Scanned into History | Editorial | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Opinion » Editorial

Scanned into History

Much of Bend's rich history centers on its early sawmill days. Fortunately the Brooks-Scanlon company kept meticulously detailed records about its inner workings - much



Much of Bend's rich history centers on its early sawmill days. Fortunately the Brooks-Scanlon company kept meticulously detailed records about its inner workings - much of which is currently on loan at the Deschutes Historical Society.

While it's here, historical society volunteers have been scanning the entire archive to creative a massive digital exhibit. The society got a big boost last week with $2,500 state grant for additional computers, scanning equipment and digital storage capacity. Museum director Kelly Cannon-Miller said she expects it will take about two years to scan the entire collection. In time, the historical society hopes to have the entire archive available online for the public.

"For us, this is priceless," said Cannon-Miller.

Not With a Bang, But a Bug Bite?

Over the years, science has put forward many theoretical explanations for why the dinosaurs died out about 65 million years ago. The one currently in vogue is that a huge meteorite smashed into Earth near the Yucatan Peninsula, kicked up a lot of smoke and dust and produced a long period of global cooling.

But a new book by Oregon State University zoologists suggests the real exterminator of the dinosaurs might have been something much less spectacular:


George and Roberta Poinar are experts in the science of extracting the DNA of long-dead organisms from their remains embedded in amber (fossilized tree sap). (Their ideas were the inspiration for the Jurassic Park movies.) In their latest book - What Bugged the Dinosaurs? Insects, Disease, and Death in the Cretaceous, published this month by Princeton University Press - they suggest that the little creepy critters might have done in the dinosaurs by giving them diseases.

According to the publicity blurb, the Poinars analyzed ancient insects found in Cretaceous-era amber and discovered they contained "disease-producing vertebrate pathogens" that could have infected dinosaurs with malaria, leishmania (a parasitic disease) and other illnesses.

The bugs could have helped the dinosaurs become extinct in another, less direct way, the Poinars also theorize: They pollinated the new species of flowering plants that emerged to take the place of the ferns, cycads and ginkgoes that had been the staples of the dino diet. If the dinosaurs weren't able to to eat, they would've had starvation to worry about as well.

George Poinar concedes a cataclysmic event like a meteor strike could have played a part in the dinosaurs' demise, but he doesn't believe it could tell the whole story because the process took too long.

"Other geologic and catastrophic events certainly played a role," he said. "But by themselves, such events do not explain a process that in reality took a very, very long time, perhaps millions of years. Insects and diseases do provide that explanation."

Add a comment

More by Joseph Oguiza

  • Bonus Coverage: Hanks crosses Pope, Source takes to the air and more

    They don't care how big tom hanks is. Vatican to Hanks: Get Lost The Vatican has told Tom Hanks it doesn't want him in church. It's not his religion they have a problem with - it's the movie he's making. The producers of Hanks' new movie, Angels and Demons, had asked permission to shoot inside two of Rome's historic churches, Santa Maria del Popolo and Santa Maria della Vittoria. Fuhgeddaboudit, said the diocese of Rome. Angels and Demons is a prequel to the 2006 movie The Da Vinci Code, based on the blockbuster novel of the same name by Dan Brown, which espoused the controversial (at least to orthodox Christians) theory that Jesus had married Mary Magdalene and had children. Monsignor Marco Fibbi, a diocesan spokesman, told Reuters that the diocese had denied the filmmakers access to the churches because of the movie's subject matter. "It's a film that treats religious issues in a way that contrasts with common religious sentiment," Fibbi said. "Normally we read the script but this time it was not necessary. The name Dan Brown was enough."
    • Jun 18, 2008
  • Keeping the Beat Going: You don't know Diddley, R Kelly's home cinema, and closet dwellers

    Bo knows guitarsKeeping the Beat Going BOMP-a-bomp-bomp ... bomp-BOMP. If you've ever heard rock-n-roll - whether it was Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen, U2 or anybody in between - you've heard that beat. It was the creation of Elias Otha Bates, better known to the world as Bo Diddley. Born in Mississippi and raised in Chicago, he reportedly was inspired to start playing guitar by hearing the great bluesman John Lee Hooker and began his career as a street musician. After several years of doing nightclub gigs he released his first record, "Bo Diddley," in 1955, and it rose to the top spot on the R&B charts. That song introduced the "Bo Diddley beat," described by Wikipedia as "a rumba-like beat similar to 'hambone,' a style used by street performers who play out the beat by slapping and patting their arms, legs, chest, and cheeks while chanting rhymes." The music scholars say Bo Diddley didn't really invent the beat - that it goes back to West Africa. But what the hell do they know.
    • Jun 4, 2008
  • Rock Stars vs. Porn Stars: Sex tapes, classroom wizards and city scale acupuncture

    Text Me a Dime Bag Back in the dark days before Blackberry's and smart phones, college kids had to score their illicit drugs the old fashioned way - with Ma Bell and the doorbell. Not anymore, at least at San Diego State University where authorities recently arrested 75 students in a massive drug dealing investigation. According to the Associated Press, one of the suspects had recently sent out a mass text message to his "faithful customers" informing them that he and his friends would be unable to provide cocaine over the weekend while they were in Las Vegas. The message also advertised an ongoing "sale" and listed the reduced prices for some drugs. In all, authorities nabbed two kilos of cocaine, 350 Ecstasy pills, as well as marijuana, hash, mushrooms and methamphetamine. Among the places raided was the Theta Chi fraternity house where authorities said fraternity members were openly dealing drugs. Which got Upfront to thinking that there are a lot of frat traditions that probably should be abandoned: binge drinking, hazing, racial discrimination etc. But maybe that whole trafficking in barrels of Bush Lite wasn't such a bad business model after all, at least when you look at the alternative.
    • May 7, 2008
  • More »