The New Oregon Trail

ColGorge_2000x1000_v2The Columbia River Gorge is the lowest-elevation route to get across the Cascade Mountains. Settlers following the Oregon Trail rafted down the river from The Dalles. It was dangerous, expensive too. Interstate 84 transports modern-day emigrants the eighty-some miles from The Dalles to Portland in about an hour and a half. (Of course, some modern-day émigrés do it in less time.)

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Climate Progress Report

sum15_beatheat-17413According to Michael Mann, a climatologist at Penn State University, “The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle. They are playing out before us, in real time. The 2015 numbers drive that home.”

The Planet Earth set several records in 2015:

  • The Earth experienced its hottest year on record
  • Greenhouse gas concentration was the highest on record
  • Ocean surface temperatures were the highest on record
  • Global sea level rose to a new record high
  • More floods and droughts ravaged the planet
  • Arctic sea ice continued to disappear

Not to worry though. The Earth doesn’t care. It was OK before humans arrived and will recover and be just fine after we’re gone.

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The Happy Place to Buy

tom_petersons.0Big Time Wrestling – also known as Portland Wrestling – was a staple of Portland’s late-night TV for four decades. It went off the air in December 1991 despite being the highest-rated, locally produced show in the Portland television market. Its demise was a result of the bankruptcy of its main sponsor, “Tom Peterson’s” furniture and electronics stores. Tom Peterson died last month at age eighty-six.

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American Stereotypes

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Congratulations if you live on the West Coast. You are in the least stereotypical region of the United States! Anyway, that’s how people in other countries view us: “Americans are highly religious and wealthy consumers who spend their time firing guns, driving vehicles, stuffing their faces, watching reality TV, and are averse to traveling or learning about anything beyond their borders.”

A real estate blog did some research and ranked the fifty states from most-to-least stereotypical. The state of Washington is number 41, California is 45, and Oregon at number 49 is the second-least stereotypical state.

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