MTPR

Arts & Culture

Author interviews, food, natural history, poetry, and more from "The Write Question", "The Food Guys", "Field Notes", "Home Ground Radio", "Front Row Center", and "Reflections West".

How Spider Webs Can Detect Air Pollution

Jun 2, 2019
Studies are analyzing the chemicals and pollutants caught in spider webs to determine the health of certain environments.
Flickr user PermaCultured [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Classic spiral spider webs are made by orb-weaving spiders which weave them deadly traps for flying insects. But orb spider webs are also electrostatically charged, making them perfect for capturing not only prey but pollen and other small pollutants, indicators of an environment's health.

The Trouble With CAFOs

Jun 2, 2019
Industrial chicken coop.
(PD)

The Food Guys detail problems with antibiotic use at concentrated animal feed operations (CAFOs), discuss ethical concerns over treatment of animals, and question the claim that CAFOs are more efficient or cost effective than smaller operations.

Margot Fickett is principal cellist for the symphony orchestra in the (fictional) college town of Deaton, Montana. Injured, out for the season, she is waylaid by twenty-year-old Eva Baker who claims that her son is Margot's grandchild. Now involved with a divorced veteran, Eva wants to invest in his medical marijuana business. Gatekeeper to this scheme is the peculiar money man, a dark horse known only as "Dutch." Beguiled by this cast of misfits, Margot's measured, organized world quickly dissolves. Forced to rely on one another to escape serious threat, Margot and Eva two women discover an unlikely friendship that transcends family ties.

About the Book:

C.M. Arvish has been saved by angels more than once, and this is what happened! Magical jungles and treacherous Hawaiian coastlines are what she called home. In this "humorous, harrowing, and heartwarming" tale, unforeseen events cause a twist of fate that leads to a death threat and evil forces that threaten everything.

Arvish's "fast pace, vivid, and lyrical" writing style, brings to life colorful characters and adventures, spanning Hawaii, Northwestern Washington, Asia, Indonesia, Europe, and North America.

Clark's Nutcracker
Ryan Mitchell (CC-BY-2.0)

As a bird biologist who studies bird songs, I immediately recognize most sounds I come across in nature: the winnowing of a Wilson’s Snipe, the smack of a Dark-eyed Junco, the zee-chubbity-chub of a Rufous Hummingbird, just to name a few. For me it is a matrix of sound, as diverse and varied as the surrounding landscape. When I hear a strange sound in nature, I can’t give up until I determine its source.

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