Saturday Morning Links

1. Via Statesider is the story of Crane Creek and how in the 1920’s that creek was stocked with McCloud trout, which is supposedly only supposed to be found in California:

Legend has it that in the 1800s a railcar was carrying a load of rainbow trout from the McCloud River in California to the east coast. The train broke down on the tracks that ran through Crane. Panicked, the railway workers knew they had to get the trout to colder water or they would soon die, costing not only the company money, but also costing nature a very precious commodity. They decided to transport as many trout as possible to Crane Creek for their best chance of survival. It was at this point that the creek became home to a wild species of trout that anglers dedicate their lives to catching.

Now, some quick research will tell you that the Missouri Department of Conservation stocked this creek with the McClouds until the early 1920s. What is astonishing is that these trout have survived here since that time. Most rainbow trout’s ideal water temperature is between 45 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit, but Crane Creek can exceed 70 degrees during the warmer parts of the Missouri summer. Despite the overwhelming odds against them, the McCloud rainbows have thrived in this small, too-warm creek, far from home, and they are some of the strongest, smartest fish that an angler may catch in their life.

2. Via New Yorker, the actual moment the dinosaurs died:

n August 5, 2013, I received an e-mail from a graduate student named Robert DePalma. I had never met DePalma, but we had corresponded on paleontological matters for years, ever since he had read a novel I’d written that centered on the discovery of a fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex killed by the KT impact. “I have made an incredible and unprecedented discovery,” he wrote me, from a truck stop in Bowman, North Dakota. “It is extremely confidential and only three others know of it at the moment, all of them close colleagues.” He went on, “It is far more unique and far rarer than any simple dinosaur discovery. I would prefer not outlining the details via e-mail, if possible.” He gave me his cell-phone number and a time to call.

I called, and he told me that he had discovered a site like the one I’d imagined in my novel, which contained, among other things, direct victims of the catastrophe. At first, I was skeptical. DePalma was a scientific nobody, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Kansas, and he said that he had found the site with no institutional backing and no collaborators. I thought that he was likely exaggerating, or that he might even be crazy. (Paleontology has more than its share of unusual people.) But I was intrigued enough to get on a plane to North Dakota to see for myself.

3. This is more fun history stuff, via Smithsonian Mag, 4,000 people living in a town/city in Scotland in the 3rd century:

Radiocarbon dating indicates that the fort, known as Tap O’ Noth (also the name of the hill on which it stands), was constructed between the fifth and sixth centuries A.D., according to a University of Aberdeen statement. Settlement on the hill itself dates back to the third century, meaning its early inhabitants were likely the Picts, a group of skilled farmers whose military and artistic accomplishments have been obfuscated by their lack of written records.

Drawn from a combination of drone surveys, laser-generated topographical maps and radiocarbon dating, the findings upend “the narrative of this whole time period,” says archaeologist and lead researcher Gordon Noble in the statement. “If each of the [800] huts we identified had four or five people living in them then that means there was a population of upwards of 4,000 people living on the hill.”


5. Usually finding something for the 5th item is pretty easy. It’s been a bad week. Maybe it is a good week. I don’t know. I wrote on Staking The Plains that basically if you are friends with me or align with me then we’re making a deal to look after each other (and our kids) and to speak up when people are not being treated appropriately. That’s the deal that we’re making and that’s the deal I’m making with you. That is at the very least you could do. There’s a huge part of me that feels guilty for not speaking up more. I’ve had multiple conversations with my kids and I think it starts there. Love you all.

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