Cascadia, State of Jefferson and other secessionist movements

Being in Portland several times over the past several weeks for beer happenings got me thinking about the (mostly inconsequential) debate about “Cascadian Dark Ales” (versus the other names of “Black IPA”, “American Black Ale” and so on) and about the “Cascadia” part of that name. See, here in the Pacific Northwest “Cascadia” can refer to the Cascadia independence movement, which according to Wikipedia:

Cascadia is the proposed name for an independent nation located within the Cascadian bioregion of the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Proposed boundaries differ, with some drawn along existing political state and provincial lines, and others drawn along larger ecological, cultural and economic boundaries.

The nation would be created by secession of British Columbia from Canada, along with Oregon, Washington and portions of other states from the United States. At its maximum extent Cascadia would extend from the coastal Alaskan Panhandle to the north, extending into Northern California in the south, and inland to include parts of Alberta, the Yukon, Idaho and Western Montana.

This also made me think about the State of Jefferson—another proposed secessionist movement that would combine part of southern Oregon with Northern California:

The State of Jefferson was a proposed U.S. state that would span the contiguous, mostly rural area of southern Oregon and northern California, where several attempts to secede from Oregon and California, respectively, have taken place in order to gain own statehood.

I find these sorts of movements (ideas? memes?) fascinating on all sorts of levels, partially because they seem so wildly improbable and partially because it’s sort of a glimpse into an alternate reality (which piques my science fiction interest). And yet both Cascadia and Jefferson State are fairly recent phenomenons, which give them an air of plausibility for something that could be accomplished in my lifetime. Wildly improbable plausibility, as I noted, but still.

For these and other historical U.S. alternate realities, Wikipedia’s list of secession proposals is a fun read.

Items of recent awesomeness

Some of these links aren’t as shiny-new as they were when I started this post, but even so:

The CDC’s zombie apocalypse preparedness plan: Yes, the CDC is all over the possibility of a zombie apocalypse. For real.

If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine).

Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn move trailer: I knew Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson were making a Tintin movie, but I didn’t realize just how OMGAWESOME it was going to be until I saw the trailer:

The Javascript PC emulator: pure amazing geekery. This is an x86 processor being emulated in Javascript inside a browser. And it’s running Linux. To be clear: what is essentially a full computer is running independently inside the browser. Which theoretically means you could run, well, anything inside of it.

First a mouse, now a puppy…

So first a mouse set a man’s house on fire, now a puppy has done the same thing here in Bend:

A frisky puppy left in a laundry room apparently sparked a northeast Bend house fire that almost claimed his life. Investigators said Friday the dog caused an aerosol can to discharge vapors that a water heater pilot light ignited, setting the room ablaze.

It’s like When Animals Attack, but weirder. Awesome.

As an aside, I really like the new NewsChannel 21 site. Barney done good!

Mouse fire!

Okay, this is kind of an awful story…

No, scratch that. It’s a story that seems like it should be awful, but I just can’t take it seriously. It just makes me laugh. I can’t help it: Mouse takes down house.

On Saturday, a Fort Sumner man’s home fell victim to a mouse fire.

Homeowner Luciano Mares said he caught a mouse inside his residence and discarded the creature in a pile of garden refuse he was burning on his property near the home.

“I had some leaves burning outside, so I threw it in the fire, and the mouse was on fire and ran back at the house,” he said.

The. Mouse. Was. On. Fire.

Update: Snopes debunks it. It almost happened, but the mouse was already dead.

Update #2: According to CNN, the story may be true after all:

Is that plausible? Fort Sumner Fire Chief Juan Chavez said Tuesday he thinks so.

“There’s no reason for him to lie about what he told us,” Chavez said. “I don’t doubt it at all.”

There’s hope!

Black metal humor

I ran across this last night, and it’s the funniest thing, hands down, than I’ve read in awhile: Top 10 Most Ridiculous Black Metal Pics of All Time. Picked it up via Boing Boing, and it’s totally, utterly random. Vulgar as hell, too, but that’s part of what makes it so funny.

Disclaimer: I don’t understand so-called “black metal,” never listen to it, don’t believe I’d care for it if I did. I mean, really, it just looks like those whiny, narcissistic goth kids from high school haven’t grown up yet.

Shoe trees

Pril is wondering what the deal is with shoe trees. I’ve been curious about that myself, since seeing one on my Walla Walla trip. I know of two (that I’ve seen personally): the one I just mentioned, on highway 97 south of Grass Valley, I believe, and north of Shaniko, and another one on highway 26, between Prineville and John Day (which may even be this one, but I can’t say for sure).

Very strange.

Some Googling turns up a number of shoe tree sites. Here’s one. Here’s another.