Daily Archives: 06/06/2007

Chickens Offer Up Telltale Clues

So archaeologists have found evidence of Polynesian chickens at a site along the Chilean coast, proving that Polynesians made their way to South America in Pre-Columbian times. Sort of a reverse Kon Tiki, and a testament to the skill and power of Pacific navigators.

I’ve known about this Polynesian/Asian chicken thing for a while; I remember reading about it back in my undergrad days at Beloit. The hard evidence was lacking, but all the pointers were there, specifically Magellan’s logs that mention bartering for chickens along the Patagonia coast in 1521. Considering that Columbus touched ground in Trinidad in 1498, so it is highly unlikely that chickens made it across so many thousands of miles of jungle and became a common food source among the Patagonians in less than 23 years.

Whoops There Goes Another Mountaintop Dam

No real surprises here; the December 2005 dam breaching of the Taum Sauk reservoir was caused by deliberate removal of safety gauges at the reservoir. Ameren/UE officials had the gauges removed in order to raise the water levels of the dam and increase the power plant’s generating capacity.

Wonderful.

And even better, Ameren officials hid the evidence of this removal from the Missouri investigators and never gave a complete disclosure of what actually happened that December morning. And Missouri’s attorney general will not prosecute Ameren or any of its employees. I wonder how many folks have to die before the Attorney General considers it worthwhile to indict criminal behavior?