Alaska's King

This site is for the exploration and discussion of a Constitutional Monarchy, as well as important Alaska news and information. Feel free to post your comments.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Alaskan seabird emits citrusy fresh natural insect repellent

Crested auklets are small birds that in colonies of more than 100,000 on islands near Alaska and Siberia. They emit a citrus-like substance that effectively repels mosquitoes and other pests, researchers report in this month's Journal of Medical Entomology.

The birds seem to produce the odor in a gland and then preen the chemicals into their feathers, but it is not yet clear how they accomplish the feat.

Scientists believe some sort of fatty-acid synthesis is going on that makes the pleasant, citrus-like odour similar to the smell found in tangerines, oranges, and other fruits.

The odor is so distinctive that the bird colonies can be smelled more than a kilometer away.

The chemical may also be used as a pheromone, helping single auklets find a suitable mate. The chemical is similar to one produced by other creatures, including stinkbugs.

The discovery raises the prospect of new, all-natural insect repellents, but more research is needed to determine if the scent is suitable for human use.

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Marijuana Group Sues Over ONDCP Montana, Alaska Visits

Submitted by Anon: The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), a Washington, D.C.-based group that backed marijuana-related ballot items in Montana and Alaska, has gone to court with allegations that visits to the state by federal anti-drug leaders violated state campaign-finance laws.

The Billings Gazette reported July 15 that MPP filed a complaint in Helena District Court asking that the state's commissioner of political practices launch an investigation into a 2004 visit by Scott Burns, deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). MPP contends that Burns violated Montana's campaign-finance law by speaking out against Initiative 148, the medical-marijuana referendum later passed overwhelmingly by state voters, and not disclosing how must taxpayer money was spent on his visit.

MPP said that ONDCP was acting as a de-facto political-action committee. "We're not trying to say the drug czar can't campaign," said MPP government-relations director Steve Fox said. "It's merely a fact that if a federal official chooses to come to the state, they should respect the state's regulations."

In Alaska, the Associated Press reported July 14, MPP filed a similar complaint related to Burns' 2004 visit to oppose a measure calling for marijuana legalization. The group filed the suit in Anchorage Superior Court.

A previous request for the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) to investigate the Burns visit was rejected in March. "I think APOC had denied the complaint because it's a federal agency involved and it didn't have jurisdiction," said Alaska Department of Law spokesman Mark Morones.

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