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Earlier Camp Notes Posted On Facebook

NOTE  # 31:   Bison Genetics: Which Gene Does the Offspring Inhert?

REFERENCE URL:https://academic.oup.com/jhered/article/112/2/174/6141414

Our genes typically manifest a particular set of characteristics that tend to run in "families." These groupings are called "haplotypes." A study of 25 randomly selected bison from the Yellowstone herd recognized 10 distinct haplotypes. What happens to those haplotypes when a bull of one type breeds with a cow carrying a different haplotype? Does the offspring share half of each or does one dominate?

To better understand that question, semen was collected from a Yellowstone bull and 5 ova from a Semmental cow, which were then fertilized and placed in 5 donor cows. After some weeks, a fetus was removed and lung tissue samples taken. These were then analyzed for their haplotypes. Here is the result of that study:

"We used GenomeScope to fit the k-mer count histograms for each of the parents and the F1 hybrid fetus in order to estimate heterozygosity. This yielded heterozygosity estimates of 0.45% for the bison sire, 0.44% for the Simmental dam, and 1.46% for the hybrid (Supplementary Figure S1). "

So, it would appear they are shared, at least that''s my layman''s reading of the results. Corrections appreciated.

NOTE  # 30:   How to Grow Digital Bison


In the CAMP1872 Xperience's quest to give everyone the opportunity to interact with both real world and digital 3D bison, the challenge is to not only find ways to mirror the responses of a real bison herd in the wild world into a virtual world (see our Alpha Herd) but to integrate the digital herd into the rapidly evolving crypto blockchain world in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). These assets can be traded, moved from one "owner/custodian" to another and typically held in what is referred to as "wallets." Once an NFT is moved on the blockchain from one wallet to the next that data becomes "immutable," effectively freezing the status of that asset, which is fine for crypto art, but not for a virtually "living" bison that needs to move to fresh grazing, its weight and health changing on a more-or-less daily basis. We would need to find a way to expose each bison NFT to its virtual world, while not jeopardizing custodianship.

The question is not how to do this, but is it even feasible?

Turns out it appears to be quite feasible, as Kyle Johns points out in the reply below. I "met" him online during a Cardano presentation. And while his comments are generally above my pay grade in terms of understanding, it's reassuring that it can be done. Here's his comment:

Hey Bill,
First off thank you for reaching out! I definitely have some thoughts on your idea.
1) You could use IPFS + Metadata and Json-LD. Ultimately every time you run your algo you dump your results into a json file that is pushed onto IPFS. This file's hash can then be put into metadata for a Cardano transaction. Unsure exactly how you're doing the NFT aspect but you could use IPFS for the static info of the Bison. This would also result in the bison having a unique hash which you could reference in your algo(rithm) result file. You would need a way to communicate which is the latest result file but this could be done via a registry. This will allow you to reference bison associated with NFTs regardless of ownership.
...hopefully this was helpful.

So, effectively, each virtual bison continues to "live", moving with its associated herd, exposed to the same environmental and biological factors.

NOTE  # 29:   Bison: Not Your Father's Bovine

REFERENCE URL:https://www.thewildlifenews.com/2020/09/02/bison-ecology-ecological-influence-behavior-and-decline/

Came across an illuminating paper on "Bison ecology," one that looks not only at their interaction with the environment - as the quotations below indicate - but also how native tribes utilized them as an economic resource and may have been as responsible, or more, for their near extinction as white invaders. Check the reference for more details. Also track the movement of our Alpha Herd.

Many studies have documented the more persistent movement of bison compared to cattle. Van Vuren (1979, 1983) studying bison in the Henry's Mountains of Utah reported that an introduced herd of wild bison differed from cattle using the same ranges in several notable ways. Bison tended to stray further from water sources, used steeper terrain and higher elevations than cattle. Van Vuren also noted that bison seldom stayed in one location more than 3 days.

Even where habitat variation is low, bison seem to wander widely and Lott and Minta (1983) characterized bison as "highly mobile" animals. According to Lott (1991) who has studied free-roaming bison introduced to Catalina Island in California, bison had much larger home ranges than nearly all species of African ungulates, except for during migration periods. For example, water buffalo which are approximately the same size as American bison, have home ranges about 5% of the bison on Catalina Island, even in drought periods (Lott, 1991).

Carbyn and his colleagues (Carbyn et al. 1993) commented that wood bison in Canada often moved up to 32 km over a short period of time "for no apparent reason".

Norland, (1984) studying bison in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, noted that animals seldom stayed in the same location for more than 48 hours and characterized them as being "highly mobile, moving to new localities and habitats almost daily." Norland concluded that due to the constant movement and random nature of these movements that plants were "potentially grazed only once, if at all, in a 3-4 week period".

Meagher (1989) noted that though bison may have strong fidelity to home territory, they do make sudden movements of considerable distance.

Such sudden movements were noted by many early travelers on the plains as well. Along Wyoming's North Platte River in 1834 John Kirk Townsend (1978) commented that "buffalo still continue immensely numerous in every direction, and our men kill great numbers…". But the next day he wrote, "When we rose this morning, not a single buffalo, of the many thousands that yesterday strewed the plain, was to be seen. It seemed like magic. Where could they have gone? I asked myself this question again and again, but in vain."

Not only do bison move more frequently than cattle, but their selection of habitat within the landscape is also different (Kohl 2013). In northern Colorado, Peden et.al. (1974) found that bison spent less time near water and only watered once a day. Similarly, Norland (1984) reported that bison would go to water once a day. The length of stay at watering areas was "short duration–one hour or less for even the largest herds". In both studies, it was noted that bison appeared to prefer drier forage, spent less time in swales and depressions where soil moisture was higher than might be expected.

NOTE  # 28:   Droughts & Seasons: Tweaking Migration Algorithm

REFERENCE URL:https://www.drought.gov/states/nebraska/county/dawes

From time long-forgotten, bison have roamed much of the North American continent. While much of the megafauna with whom they shared the grasslands, forests, and mountains went extinct some twelve or more millennia ago, bison survived, perhaps because of their innate ability to move across the land. They could migrate seasonally, always in search of fresh grass and forb each Spring.

Similarly, our virtual Alpha Herd of 36 virtual bison: heifers, yearlings and bulls, is electronically migrating across the Nebraska Sandhills in Dawes County (below map point), which is currently in a "moderate drought" condition. To the east in Cherry County conditions are better and further east and south, conditions are normal. So, we're tweaking the code that controls their movement by taking into consideration the time of the year and local drought conditions away from which we want them "naturally" moving.

We'll see how "they" respond: (hopefully) they'll move away from the drought and towards greener grass to the east.

Drought conditions Dawes Co, NE

NOTE  # 27:   Creating a Virtual 3D Bison

REFERENCE URL:https://platige.com/project/commercial-branded-content/zubr-22/

Poland-based digital arts studio Platige Image! created this amazingly life-like bison for a series of television commercials. This is the technology what I hope we can utilize for the CAMP1872 Xperience that would utilize a herd of similar digital facsimiles in our Augmented Reality production that takes participants along with Bill Cody, Spotted Tail, Grand Duke Alexis and George Custer out onto the rugged eroded Buffalo grasslands of southwest Nebraska 150 years ago.

NOTE  # 26:   Calculating Grazing Needs of the Alpha Herd

REFERENCE URL:https://www.fws.gov/refuge/arctic/carcon.html

At the moment, with one more calf (aka 'red dogs' for their reddish pelage) programmed to be born yet this month, the Alpha Herd consists of 35 virtual bison, each of which it is estimated requires some 5 acres of pasture for grazing. So, the question is, how big a square does that represent, assuming bison graze inside a square. In the wild it's probably more a ellipse as they moved along. But if it were a square it would be one approximately 2,750 feet on a side, representing a total of some 175 acres, or just over one-quarter of a standard 640 acre section. If we use migrating North American caribou as a model for how wild bison might have traveled, here what we know about their migrating and feeding patterns.

"Caribou herds migrate different distances. Large herds are more apt to migrate long distances, while smaller herds often migrate shorter distances. For example, the Porcupine caribou herd, which contains about 218,000 animals, migrates between summer and winter ranges that are about 400 miles apart. The Central Arctic herd, which contains about 30,000 animals, migrates between summer and winter ranges that are about 120 miles apart.

"Biologists have discovered, by using satellites to track caribou, that the herds actually travel much farther than the straight-line distance between summer and winter ranges would indicate. They move to and fro over a wide area, adding many miles to their journeys. Porcupine Caribou herd animals, for example, have been observed to travel over 3000 miles per year."

NOTE  # 25:   Barometric Pressure Changes and Bovine Movement

REFERENCE URL:http://www.aloki.hu/pdf/1404_149158.pdf

A colleague raised the question as to whether or not I had included the influence of weather, barometric pressure in particular, into my the algorithm controlling the movement of the Alpha herd. The short answer is no, but it got me to wondering if cattle, likely including wild bison, are affected by changing pressure heralding changes in weather (moisture, temperature, etc.) Turns out there's a paper written on the results of research into this question on a herd of domestic cattle in Hungary; the link to the PDF is above. Their research conducted over some four years can be summarized thus:

"As rising atmospheric pressure has a calming effect on cattle, cows walk their normal daily route and spend about 8 hours feeding, and walk about 6 km on normal, nonstressed days. However, as the pressure starts to decline, the herd shortens its daily walked distance significantly or does not move at all if a stress-causing warm front is above them..."

"Solar radiation, atmospheric pressure, maximum temperature, wind speed and relative humidity determine the outdoor comfort level, as Yin (2011) suggested that a strong relationship may exist between microclimatic and comfort conditions... Results show that warm-weather fronts – low atmospheric pressure ( ) may cause more stress, because the changing (dropping) atmospheric pressure has an effect on the parasympathetic nervous system (Hainsworth et al, 2007; Kovacs, 2010). Warm-weather fronts are often accompanied by high temperature and humidity. Relaxed cattle spend more time by grazing (Grandin, 1980). Seeking fresh, nutritious grass is a natural herbivore behaviour (Gere, 1977), therefore a non-stressed herd's pasture activity is 80 % grazing and ruminating. Stressed animals gather in one group and spend more time in shade at nearby water-sources."

NOTE  # 24:   Journey to Camp Alexis


Aerial done view of site of Camp Alexis

Hey All…

I wanted to quickly share with you a couple images from our journey to the site of Camp Alexis in Hayes County, Nebraska. I will, of course, be posted many others, but I wanted to give you a preview of what we saw and experienced. By 'we' I refer to my companions: pilot and pioneer descendant Dave Ott and expert drone pilot and videographer, Mark Dahmke. Yesterday we met up in North Platte and caravanned in two vehicles over 80 miles south to the property of the Mintling family, who have homesteaded the site since the 1870s.

John Mintling escorted us across his newly sprouted winter wheat field to the edge of a ravine through which flows Red Willow Creek. He explained how we reached the site of the encampment. Fortunately, Mark had a better sense of the location than I did and we soon found ourselves standing on the site of the encampment of January 1872 at which the U.S. Army and Spotted Tail's Lakota "entertained" Grand Duke Alexis, the fourth son of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, to three days of high adventure.

Mark and his JDL drone took amazing video of the site, one panoramic image of which I've attached below highlighting the location of the encampment and Red Willow Creek. Additionally, the URL link Mark provided leads to an amazingly detailed 360 degree panorama of the site from several hundred feet in altitude.


I have to be honest with you and say that you can study a site in detail from aerial and satellite imagery, but there is nothing like being there on the ground and getting a real sense of the topography, the vegetation, and just the general lay of the land. Importantly, all three of us commented about what if we could step through a time portal back to 1872 and experience what it was like then without airline contrails, and invasive species like red cedar, and buffalo as far as the eye can see. In a way that is what I am hoping to accomplish through the CAMP 1872 Xperience.

Thanks to Mark and Dave and John we now have the ground data to create such an experience.


NOTE  # 23:   Bison Calf Weight Problem Solved: With a Little Help From a Friend


Excited this morning. See the attached DB table. It shows the "virtual/digital" calves born so far to the Alpha bison herd this calving season (April-May). The last several calves where programmatically "born" by an algorithm, including the most recent, #34.

With the help of wake689 on Sitepoint, my problem with randomly updating their weight on a daily basis has been solved. Here's the code he/she suggested that scrunches multiple lines of code that I wrote (and didn't work) into one concise UPDATE that does.

UPDATE animals SET weight=weight+((RAND()*0.4)+1.5) WHERE DATEDIFF(CURDATE(), bdate) <366

What also I find interesting about the table is the ratio of females 3-to-1 over males. The gender is selected randomly by the algorithm, so you'd think the ratio would be 1-to-1: 50% male, 50% female, but it isn't. Most curious... but also beneficial to the growth of the herd: more females mean more calves born in the future.

Alpha bison herd calves 2021

NOTE  # 22:   Dainty Hands and Buf'lo 'Chips'

REFERENCE URL:https://history.nebraska.gov/publications/buffalo-and-cow-chips

Once you get west of the Missouri River, wood becomes increasingly scarce, except for the odd cottonwood along stream beds. This paucity led to native tribes and pioneer/immigrant settlers utilizing dried bison manure "chips" as a cooking fire and heat source, which led to the penning of the following verse poetically describing the reaction of young women to handling it.

Over the sun-kissed prairie swells
She strayed in her youthful grace.
The wind-blown tresses of auburn hair
Half-hid her bewitching face.
Her gathered apron, one slim hand held,
As she scanned each tuft with care.
And oft and again she lithely stooped
To place her treasure there.

"O maiden fair, what seekest thou?
Pale lily, rose divine
Or the shy, sweet buds of the violet?"
She lifted her eyes to mine.
And then the answer, soft and clear
Fell ripe from her coral lips,
"Stranger, there hain't no posies here-
I'm lookin' fer buf'lo chips!"

NOTE  # 21:   First Official Virtual Bison Calf Birth


Below is email notification moments ago of the first virtual birth of bison calf number A20210421F0029 to the "Little Big Buffalo Hunt" alpha herd. The "birth" was programmed to take place on April 21st as part of an algorithm to create a digital herd that will be part of the proposed Augmented Reality geolocation game. Most bison calves are born after a 9 1/2 month gestation period in April and May.

Calf #29 Birth

NOTE  # 20:   Drone Video of Camp Alexis Site


On April 24, 2021, Spirit Airline pilot Dave Ott and project originator Bill Moore are flying to North Platte, NE to meet up with licensed drone operator Mark Dahmke to drive down to the site of Camp Alexis hunting camp in January 1872. There we will meet with the land owner and plan to video the campsite using conventional video and drone footage based on the location originally identified by the UNL site survey of 2008-09. Below is the proposed drone flight grid based on the UNL estimation of the US Army camp published in Custer, Cody, and Grand Duke Alexis - Historical Archaeology of the Royal Buffalo Hunt by Scott, Bleed and Damm.

drone grid of Camp Alexis

NOTE  # 19:   How Gray Wolves Survived the Pleistocene

REFERENCE URL:https://www.sciencealert.com/wolves-used-this-one-weird-trick-to-survive-the-last-ice-age

Gray wolves attack dawn horse in Pleistocene

It was recently announced that there's been a new sighting of a gray wolf in Nebraska. With the extinction of the large cats and the Dire Wolf in the Pleistocene, the question has been asked: How did gray wolves survive? Apparently, the story is in their teeth: isotopes indicate that their primary prey were the small pre-historic horses that once roamed the Great Plains tens of thousands of years ago. They had other prey, of course, but the little Equus sp. was their favorite.

"Around 50 percent of their diet, this analysis found, was an extinct species of Pleistocene horse (Equus sp.). The rest was a mixture of muskox (Ovibos moschatus), Dall sheep (Ovis dalli), and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), with a little bit of woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius)."
I wonder why bison were not included? Hmmm.

NOTE  # 18:   Song of the Plains - Famous Melody, But Composed in 1933

REFERENCE URL:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNBSetc9nNQ

I came across this Youtube video entitled "Song of the Plains" and thought it might be appropriate for the "Ghosts of the Buffalo Grass" production since the 1872 event brought Russian military representatives together with US Cavalry and Lakota warriors, the latter considered some of the best mounted fighters in the world. You'll recognize the tune. However, when I researched when it was written, it was in 1933! The lyrics were the give-away referring to "our tanks" and "Red Army." Unlike the imperial Russian "God Save the Czar," which was written in the mid-1800s, having music from the Soviet era wouldn't seem appropriate.

NOTE  # 17:   The Western Prairies: A Poetic View from 1840

REFERENCE URL:https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/data/batches/vi_aquasox_ver01/data/sn85025007/00414215683/1840091601/0092.pdf

I came across this poem in the September 16, 1840 issue of the Alexandria Gazette. Deciphering it from a Library of Congress scan took a bit of work, but I found it intriguing in its pre-expansionist perspective. The war with Mexico was 8 years away. Gold had not yet been discovered in California. Mainly fur traders ventured into this ocean of grass. Fascinating is the reference to the long-gone Mound Builders as seen in almost Homeric terms and the depiction of the invading red man, to be followed by inevitable tide of Sabbath keepers. Enjoy.

WEDNESDAY MORNING, Sept. 16, 1840.

These are the Gardens of the Desert, these
The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful,
For which the speech of England has no name:
The Prairies. I behold them for the first.
And mv heart swells, while the dilated sight
Takes’ in the encircling vastness. Lo they stretch
In airy undulations, far away,
As if the ocean, in his gentlest swell,
Stood still, with all his rounded billows fixed,
And motionless forever. — Motionless?—
No—they are unchained again. The clouds
Sweep over with their shadows, and beneath,
The surface rolls and fluctuates to the eye;
Dark hollows seem to glide along and chase
The sunny ridges. Breezes of the South!
Who toss the golden and the flame-like flowers
And pass the prairie hawk that poised on high
Flaps his broad wings, yet moves not—yet
have played
Among the palms of Mexico, and vines
Of Texas, and have crisped the limpid brooks
Tint from the fountains ot Sonora glide
Into the calm Pacific—have ye fanned
A nobler or a lovelier scene than this?
Man hath no part in all this glorious work:
The Hand that built the firmament hath heaved
And smoothed these verdant swells, and sown
their slopes
With herbage, planted them with island
And hedged them round with forests. Fitting
For this magnificent temple of the sky—
With flowers whose glory and whose multitude
Rival the constellations! The great heavens
Seem to stoop down upon the scene in love—
A nearer vault, and of a tender blue
Than that which bends above the eastern hills.
As o'er the verdant waste I guide my steed
Among the high rank grass that sweeps his
The hollow beating of his footstep seems
A sacrilegious sound. I think of those
Upon whose rest he tramples. Are they here
The dead of other days?—and did the dust
Of these fair solitudes once stir with life,
And burn with passion? Let the mighty
That overlook the rivers, or that rise
In the dim forest crowded with old oaks,
Answer. A race that long has passed a way,
Built them:—a disciplined and populous race
Heaped with long toil, the earth, while yet the
Was hewing the Pentelicus to forms
Of symmetry, and rearing on its rock
The glittering Parthenon. These ample fields
Nourished their harvests, here their herds
were led,
When haply by their stalls the bison lowed,
And bowed his maned shoulder to the yoke.
All day this desert murmured with their toils,
'Till twilight blushed and lovers walked and
In a forgotten language, and old tunes,
From instruments of unremembered form,
Five the soft winds a voice. The red man
the roaming hunter tribes, warlike and fierce
And the mound-builders vanished from the
The solitude of centuries untold
as settled where they dwelt. The prairie
Hunts in their meadows, and his fresh dug
Yawns By my path. The gophor mines the
Where stood their swarming cities, All is
All save the piles or earth that hold their
platforms where they worshipped unknown gods—
The barriers which they builded from the soil
To keep the foe at bay—till o’er the walls
the wild beleaguerers broke, and, one by one
The strong-holds of the plain were forced and
With corpses. The brown vultures of the
Flocked to those vast uncovered sepulchres,
And sat, unscared and silent, at their feast.
Hapiy some solitiary fugitive,
Lurking in marsh and forest, till the sense
desolation and of tear became
Bitterer than death, yielded himself to die.
Man's better nature triumphed. Kindly words
Welcomed and soothed him; the rude conquerors
Seated their captive with their chiefs; he chose
bride among their maidens, and at length
Seemed to forget—yet ne’er forgot—the wife
his first love, and her sweet little ones,
Butchered, amid theirshrieks, with all his race.
Thus change the forms of being. Thus arise
Races of living things, glorious in strength,
And perish, as the quickening breath of God
Fills them, or is withdrawn. The red man too
Has left the blooming wilds he ranged so long,
And nearer to the Rocky mountains, sought
a wider hunting ground. The beaver builds
On waters whose blue surface ne’er gave back
The white man's face: among Missouri springs
And pools whose issues swell the Oregon,
He rears his little Venice. In these plains
the bison feeds no more. Twice twenty
Beyond remotest smoke of hunter’s camp,
Roams the majestic brute, in herds that shake
the earth with thundering steps—yet here I
His ancient footprints stamped beside the pool.
Still this great solitude is quick with life,
Myriads of insects,gaudy as the flowers
They flutter over, gentle quadrupeds,
And birds that scarce have learned the fear
of man,
And here, and sliding reptiles of the ground.
Startingly beautiful. The graceful deer
Bounds to the wood at my approach. The bee
A more adventurous colonist than man,
With whom he came across the eastern deep,
Fills savannas with his murmurings,
And hides hisweets, as in the golden age,
Within the hollow tree. I listen long
His domestic hum, and think I hear
The sound of that advancing multitude
Which soon shall fill these deserts. From
the ground
Comes up the laugh of children, the soft voice
Of maidens. and the sweet solemn hymn
Of Sabbath-worshippers. The low of herds
Blends with the rustling of the heavy grain

Over the dark brown furrows. All at once
A fresher wind sweeps by and breaks my
And I am in the wilderness alone.

NOTE  # 16:   Building a Digital Bison Herd : Grazing Range Conditions

REFERENCE URL:https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

One of the most important factors affecting the lifecycle of grazing ungulates like bison is the condition of the grasslands on which they depend. The map below is a compilation of the Koppen-Geiger land-type map over which is superimposed the USDA and UNL's drought mitigation map for April 2021. Historically, the largest bison herds occupied the central Great Plains (orange and tan regions on the map). Drought conditions persist in the northern (North Dakota) range. This would impact the condition of wild bison herds in that region.

We propose to use this data to control the birth rate and growth rate of our digital bison NFTs.

drought map Spring 2021

NOTE  # 15:   NOAA Climate Maps

REFERENCE URL:https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/us-maps/1/202103?products[]=countypcpnrank#us-maps-select

The idea of creating digital bison with tradable value pegged to cryptocurrency blockchain NFTs (non-fungible tokens) requires that the NFT's value is not just tied to market demand but also to the virtual health of the "bison", which like real their real-life counterparts, is also tied to their physiological development. This development is bound to the condition of the pastures on which they graze, which is classed by the Bison Producers of Alberta (https://www.bisoncentre.com/resources/resource-library/advanced-bison-information-producers/pasture-management/setting-stocking-rates-pastures/) as "Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor." This classification is based on the percentage of "adapted grasses and legumes," which in turn is dependent on annual precipitation. NOAA provides a monthly database of precipitation rates as seen in the attached map for March 2021. While ascertaining the quality of pasturage by county may not be possible, rainfall could serve as an interim analog: the more rain, the better the overall quality of the pasturage.

NOAA precipitation map March 2021

NOTE  # 14:   How to Make Pemmican: Native People's Survival Food

REFERENCE URL:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pemmican

Without refrigeration or readily available salt, this is how the Plains tribes reserved the bison and other wildlife they killed. The meat had to be cut up, pulverized, air or fire dried, crushed into a course powder and mixed with suet (and wild berries in season). Once prepared, it could last months. Note that in one US Army raid on an Native camp in winter during "Red Cloud's War" in the last 1860s, the troops not only burned all the lodges, each made up of as many as a dozen or more bison skins, but a reported 30 tons of pemmican!

NOTE  # 13:   Siberia's Pleistocene Park: Bringing back pieces of the Ice Age to combat climate change

REFERENCE URL:https://cbsn.ws/34ZhuTs

NOTE  # 12:   The Plan to Revive the Mammoth Steppe to Fight Climate Change

REFERENCE URL:https://www.patreon.com/PleistocenePark

NOTE  # 11:   European Trade and Native Living Standards

REFERENCE URL:http://www.economichistory.ca/pdfs/2012/carlos-lewis.pdf

Richard Steckel and Joseph Prince argue that the traditional native economy made possible a biological standard of living higher than in Europe. The Indians of the Great Plains, including 67 the Assiniboin, who lived much of the year in the boreal forest south of Hudson Bay, were among the “tallest in the world,” a clear indication that they were better nourished. Health-based measures are one approach to living standards, but a comprehensive method requires that we take account of all consumption. In the case of the natives of the Hudson Bay region this includes the variety of goods they obtained through trade.

The great advantage of Native Americans over Europeans in nutrition is illustrated in Table 3, which compares the diets of low-wage English workers in the mid-eighteenth century with the diets of natives of the boreal forest. Daily caloric intake was much greater, 3,500 kcal versus 2,500 kcal for adult males, but the gap is a reflection of different energy demands. More revealing is the composition of the diets. On account of the greater meat component, natives consumed was much more protein, close to 500 grams per day versus 100 grams per day by the English. English workers derived just 5 percent of their calories from meat, 14 percent if dairy products are included. Their diet was mainly grain-based. By contrast, Native Americans obtained nearly all their calories from meat and fish, and most of that came from the flesh of large ungulates, the highest-priced type of food in Europe. This means that a measure of living standards based on food gives natives a decided advantage.

Native clothing, which was made from animal skins that were often decorated, was superior to the low-quality cloth worn by English workers. Budget studies reveal that the cost of English workers’ clothing was far less than the value of the deer, caribou, beaver, and other skins that were used in native clothing. On the other hand, natives, because of their nomadic lifestyle, had inferior housing; living in tipis or wigwams in the winter and communal log houses in the summer. And despite the volume of luxury goods they received from the fur trade, native purchases of luxuries, especially alcohol, was much less. Arriving at an overall comparison of living standards requires weighting the categories of consumption goods. Weights can be derived from the choices of these eighteenth-century consumers. Where weights corresponding to English budgets are used, natives in the Hudson Bay region are derived to have real incomes between 10 and 25 percent less than English workers. But if native weights are used, the positions are reversed. The real income of natives is 10 to 20 percent higher. The implication is that in the mid-eighteenth century Native Americans and low-wage English workers had similar standards of living. It was only later that the relative position of natives declined.

SOURCE: "Exchange among Native Americans and Europeans before 1800 Strategies and Interactions"

NOTE  # 10:   The Last of the Romanovs | Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna


The extraordinary story of Tsar Nicholas' sister and her journey from the palaces of St. Petersburg to death in obscurity above a barbershop in Toronto.

NOTE  # 9:   Food traceability: The Beefchain Blockchain Solution

REFERENCE URL:https://www.crypto-news-flash.com/cardano-based-beefchain-is-tested-on-1600-calves-in-wyoming/amp/

Wyoming ranchers using blockchain to secure their product chain. These could provide insights and guidance for the digital bison analog NFTs.

NOTE  # 8:   Google’s new AR experiment conjures portals to the other side of the planet

REFERENCE URL:https://thenextweb.com/plugged/2021/04/08/googles-new-ar-experiment-conjures-portals-to-the-other-side-of-the-planet/

Google's new experiment called Floom creates vortexes in your room that'll let you see what's on the other side of the globe, literally.

Here's how it works. Head to the Floom site in Chromeon your Android device. After approving necessary permissions, point your camera to an empty space on the floor. You might need to walk around a bit for it to work.

NOTE  # 7:   REWILD: Grasslands

REFERENCE URL:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.PHORIA.RewildAtHome

REWILD is an immersive AR nature experience, brought to you by Netflix, PHORIA & Google, featuring stunning scenes from the Netflix original documentary series 'Our Planet'.

NOTE  # 6:   CPU algorithm trains deep neural nets up to 15 times faster than top GPU trainers

REFERENCE URL:https://techxplore.com/news/2021-04-rice-intel-optimize-ai-commodity.html

Xperience includes conversational 'immersive agents', AKA chatbot avatars of the lead characters, basically 3D holograms and AR projections with whom you could carry on a conversation.

"The whole industry is fixated on one kind of improvement—faster matrix multiplications," Shrivastava said. "Everyone is looking at specialized hardware and architectures to push matrix multiplication. People are now even talking about having specialized hardware-software stacks for specific kinds of deep learning. Instead of taking an expensive algorithm and throwing the whole world of system optimization at it, I'm saying, 'Let's revisit the algorithm.'"

NOTE  # 5:   Primitive Bison Hunting with the Atlatl & Exploring Experimental Archaeology

REFERENCE URL:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7jMxfopKjM

47-minute documentary on the hunt and killing of bison using primitive, stone age weapons.

NOTE  # 4:   19th Century Union Station, Omaha, NE


Union Pacific station in Omaha between 1870-1930. The current station, now the Durham Museum, was built over the old station starting in 1930.

19th century Omaha Union Station

NOTE  # 3:   Buffalo Wives: The Women Who Helped Save America's Bison

REFERENCE URL:https://bisoncentral.com/genetic-item/the-early-days-ranchers-role-in-bison-restoration/

Mollie Goodnight • Agathe Finley Pablo • Louise Allard • Sarah Laribee Philip • Mary Good Elk Woman Dupree • Mary Sabine Walking Coyote

Buffalo Wives

NOTE  # 2:   The Buffalo Grass of the Great Plains

REFERENCE URL:https://www.gutenberg.org/files/17748/17748-h/17748-h.htm

Bouteloua oligostachya : aka. Buffalo Grass. This from Wm Hornaday "THE EXTERMINATION OF THE AMERICAN BISON"

VI. The Food of the Bison.
It is obviously impossible to enumerate all the grasses which served the bison as food on his native heath without presenting a complete list of all the plants of that order found in a given region; but it is at least desirable to know which of the grasses of the great pasture region were his favorite and most common food. It was the nutritious character and marvelous abundance of his food supply which enabled the bison to exist in such absolutely countless numbers as characterized his occupancy of the great plains. The following list comprises the grasses which were the bison's principal food, named in the order of their importance:[Pg 427]

Bouteloua oligostachya (buffalo, grama, or mesquite grass).—This remarkable grass formed the pièce de résistance of the bison's bill of fare in the days when he flourished, and it now comes to us daily in the form of beef produced of primest quality and in greatest quantity on what was until recently the great buffalo range. This grass is the most abundant and widely distributed species to be found in the great pasture region between the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains and the nineteenth degree of west longitude. It is the principal grass of the plains from Texas to the British Possessions, and even in the latter territory it is quite conspicuous. To any one but a botanist its first acquaintance means a surprise. Its name and fame lead the unacquainted to expect a grass which is tall, rank, and full of "fodder,"like the "blue joint"(Andropogon provincialis). The grama grass is very short, the leaves being usually not more than 2 or 3 inches in length and crowded together at the base of the stems. The flower stalk is about a foot in height, but on grazed lands are eaten off and but seldom seen. The leaves are narrow and inclined to curl, and lie close to the ground. Instead of developing a continuous growth, this grass grows in small, irregular patches, usually about the size of a man's hand, with narrow strips of perfectly bare ground between them. The grass curls closely upon the ground, in a woolly carpet or cushion, greatly resembling a layer of Florida moss. Even in spring-time it never shows more color than a tint of palest green, and the landscape which is dependent upon this grass for color is never more than "a gray and melancholy waste."Unlike the soft, juicy, and succulent grasses of the well-watered portions of the United States, the tiny leaves of the grama grass are hard, stiff, and dry. I have often noticed that in grazing neither cattle nor horses are able to bite off the blades, but instead each leaf is pulled out of the tuft, seemingly by its root.

Notwithstanding its dry and uninviting appearance, this grass is highly nutritious, and its fat-producing qualities are unexcelled. The heat of summer dries it up effectually without destroying its nutritive elements, and it becomes for the remainder of the year excellent hay, cured on its own roots. It affords good grazing all the year round, save in winter, when it is covered with snow, and even then, if the snow is not too deep, the buffaloes, cattle, and horses paw down through it to reach the grass, or else repair to wind-swept ridges and hill-tops, where the snow has been blown off and left the grass partly exposed. Stock prefer it to all the other grasses of the plains.

On bottom-lands, where moisture is abundant, this grass develops much more luxuriantly, growing in a close mass, and often to a height of a foot or more, if not grazed down, when it is cut for hay, and sometimes yields 1½ tons to the acre. In Montana and the north it is generally known as "buffalo-grass,"a name to which it would seem to be fully entitled, notwithstanding the fact that this name is also applied, and quite generally, to another species, the next to be noticed.

buffalo grass

NOTE  # 1:   The Buffalo on the 1913 Indian Head Nickel

REFERENCE URL:https://allaboutbison.com/buffalo-nickel/

Ever found one of these? The Indian Head Five Cents piece (US Nickel). Here is the story of the bison bull on the reverse side.