Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Pepper Sprayed in Latest Standoff
Since last Thursday's violent police raid, which established a militarized zone around Dakota Access Pipeline construction areas, the Morton County Sheriff and supporting agencies have fanned out into the area surrounding the Oceti Sakowin camp.
Groups of police vehicles have parked in several areas to monitor the activity at the camp. One such area is a hill behind the main resistance camp, directly across part of the Cannonball river, known as Cantapeta Creek.
The original people of the area describe this hill as a sacred site, one that contains ancient burial grounds, which police are desecrating by parking their vehicles on it.
On Wednesday morning, a group of water protectors attempted to cross the Cannonball to establish a prayer camp on the sacred hill near Cantapeta Creek. They built a wooden footbridge so that people could cross the water.
Law enforcement responded to the footbridge by firing less-lethal projectiles at people attempting to cross. SWAT officers in a boat tore the footbridge away with rope.
NEW VIDEO: Police used chemical weapons & fired less-lethal rounds at unarmed #NoDAPL water protectors. Triage over… https://t.co/kGtzHj9ZO5— Unicorn Riot (@Unicorn Riot)1478130487.0
Several people, including a journalist, said they were shot in the back by police with less-lethal rounds at point blank range.
I was just shot. Militarized police fired at me from pointblank range with a rubber bullet at #StandingRock.… https://t.co/RvSqhrLezv— Erin Schrode (@Erin Schrode)1478120025.0
Medics reported that some of these individuals were coughing up blood from internal bleeding.
After the footbridge was broken up by police, people remained in the water on the shore of the sacred site.
Morton County Sheriff, North Dakota Highway Patrol and unidentified out-of-state law enforcement personnel repeatedly used chemical weapons (pepper spray, OC gas and what we believe was a concussion grenade) on the water protectors who simply stayed standing or sitting in the river.
More chemical weapons deployed directly into the Cannonball river by North Dakota law enforcement protecting DAPL l… https://t.co/IkeupZ4tZn— Unicorn Riot (@Unicorn Riot)1478122641.0
A boat with several heavily armed SWAT officers repeatedly tried to maneuver behind the group of water protectors near the shore. Water protectors used logs and rope to prevent their advance, and ferried people and supplies back and forth across the water using rope lines attached to canoes.
SWAT in boats, unknown out-of-state police & chemical weapons deployed against #NoDAPL water protectors swimming ac… https://t.co/ERDAsA5Dff— Unicorn Riot (@Unicorn Riot)1478122229.0
Law enforcement who were occupying the sacred site repeatedly threatened water protectors with arrest and said that the Army Corps of Engineers had authorized them to make arrests on Army Corps land.
Unicorn Riot has reached out to both the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Justice to confirm or deny this claim by Morton County and as of yet have received no answer.
Eventually, all the water protectors returned to the Oceti Sakowin camp side of the river without arrest. One person was later reported to have been arrested on conspiracy charges for transporting canoes around the time of the river crossing.
After all water protectors had left the river, drummers led many back to camp while others stayed behind to re-gath… https://t.co/6jrhVKeMbk— Unicorn Riot (@Unicorn Riot)1478119199.0
On Tuesday, when asked about the Dakota Access Pipeline, President Obama said in an interview with Now This, that, "We're gonna let it play out for several more few weeks" and mentioned that the Army Corps of Engineers may consider re-routing the pipeline.
.@BernieSanders Calls 4 Stopping #DakotaAccessPipeline as #Obama Waffles https://t.co/qyNZgZlyZY @billmckibben @350 @IENearth @greenpeaceusa— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1478114184.0
In the meantime, the Dakota Access Pipeline continues to aggressively build, guarded by large force of private mercenaries as well as local and state police, including dozens from surrounding states.
On Tuesday, an emergency commission met in the office of North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple and voted to borrow an additional $4 million to fund law enforcement deployments to protect the Dakota Access Pipeline against water protectors, saying that the original $6 million in funding had run out. This brings the total line of credit extended to the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services to $10 million. Officials say at least $8 million in costs have been incurred so far.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Unicorn Riot.
The ghoulishly named ogre-faced spider can "hear" with its legs and use that ability to catch insects flying behind it, the study published in Current Biology Thursday concluded.
"Spiders are sensitive to airborne sound," Cornell professor emeritus Dr. Charles Walcott, who was not involved with the study, told the Cornell Chronicle. "That's the big message really."
The net-casting, ogre-faced spider (Deinopis spinosa) has a unique hunting strategy, as study coauthor Cornell University postdoctoral researcher Jay Stafstrom explained in a video.
They hunt only at night using a special kind of web: an A-shaped frame made from non-sticky silk that supports a fuzzy rectangle that they hold with their front forelegs and use to trap prey.
They do this in two ways. In a maneuver called a "forward strike," they pounce down on prey moving beneath them on the ground. This is enabled by their large eyes — the biggest of any spider. These eyes give them 2,000 times the night vision that we have, Science explained.
But the spiders can also perform a move called the "backward strike," Stafstrom explained, in which they reach their legs behind them and catch insects flying through the air.
"So here comes a flying bug and somehow the spider gets information on the sound direction and its distance. The spiders time the 200-millisecond leap if the fly is within its capture zone – much like an over-the-shoulder catch. The spider gets its prey. They're accurate," coauthor Ronald Hoy, the D & D Joslovitz Merksamer Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior in the College of Arts and Sciences, told the Cornell Chronicle.
What the researchers wanted to understand was how the spiders could tell what was moving behind them when they have no ears.
It isn't a question of peripheral vision. In a 2016 study, the same team blindfolded the spiders and sent them out to hunt, Science explained. This prevented the spiders from making their forward strikes, but they were still able to catch prey using the backwards strike. The researchers thought the spiders were "hearing" their prey with the sensors on the tips of their legs. All spiders have these sensors, but scientists had previously thought they were only able to detect vibrations through surfaces, not sounds in the air.
To test how well the ogre-faced spiders could actually hear, the researchers conducted a two-part experiment.
First, they inserted electrodes into removed spider legs and into the brains of intact spiders. They put the spiders and the legs into a vibration-proof booth and played sounds from two meters (approximately 6.5 feet) away. The spiders and the legs responded to sounds from 100 hertz to 10,000 hertz.
Next, they played the five sounds that had triggered the biggest response to 25 spiders in the wild and 51 spiders in the lab. More than half the spiders did the "backward strike" move when they heard sounds that have a lower frequency similar to insect wing beats. When the higher frequency sounds were played, the spiders did not move. This suggests the higher frequencies may mimic the sounds of predators like birds.
University of Cincinnati spider behavioral ecologist George Uetz told Science that the results were a "surprise" that indicated science has much to learn about spiders as a whole. Because all spiders have these receptors on their legs, it is possible that all spiders can hear. This theory was first put forward by Walcott 60 years ago, but was dismissed at the time, according to the Cornell Chronicle. But studies of other spiders have turned up further evidence since. A 2016 study found that a kind of jumping spider can pick up sonic vibrations in the air.
"We don't know diddly about spiders," Uetz told Science. "They are much more complex than people ever thought they were."
Learning more provides scientists with an opportunity to study their sensory abilities in order to improve technology like bio-sensors, directional microphones and visual processing algorithms, Stafstrom told CNN.
"The point is any understudied, underappreciated group has fascinating lives, even a yucky spider, and we can learn something from it," he told CNN.
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