Daily Bread for 3.2.17

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of thirty-two. Sunrise is 6:26 AM and sunset 5:36 PM, for 11h 19m 53s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 18.2% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the one hundred fourteenth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

Whitewater’s Landmarks Commission is scheduled to meet at 6 PM.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Matthew Rosenberg, Adam Goldman, and Michael Schmidt report that the Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking: “WASHINGTON — In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators. American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence. Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Trump associates.”

Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller report that Sessions met with Russian envoy twice last year, encounters he later did not disclose: “Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Justice Department officials said, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general. One of the meetings was a private conversation between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that took place in September in the senator’s office, at the height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race. The previously undisclosed discussions could fuel new congressional calls for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia’s alleged role in the 2016 presidential election. As attorney general, Sessions oversees the Justice Department and the FBI, which have been leading investigations into Russian meddling and any links to Trump’s associates. He has so far resisted calls to recuse himself.”

Partick Markey reports that Gov. Scott Walker: Wisconsin road projects may be scaled back to save money: “MADISON – The state is reviewing whether it can scale back future road projects to save money, Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday. Walker touted smaller-scale projects just weeks after the Department of Transportation warned in a memo that there is a “tidal wave” of costly, critical projects that cannot be delayed forever. The memo comes at a time when Walker is standing against raising the gas tax and some of his fellow Republicans who control the Legislature are calling for finding another $300 million for highways over the next two years.”

Ed Yong describes how Wild Elephants Sleep Just Two Hours a Night: “The remarkably short amount of sleep in wild elephants is a real elephant in the room for several theories for the function of sleep,” says Niels Rattenborg from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology. Some scientists have argued that sleep evolved to give animals a chance to reset their brains, ready for a new day of learning. Others suggest that sleep provides an opportunity to clear out toxins that accumulated during the day. And yet others say that sleep allows animals to consolidate the memories that they have created while they were awake. But if any of these ideas are right, how do elephants cope with such little sleep? “The hypotheses about restorative functions start to go out the window,” says Manger. “You can’t say that these are general things that apply to sleep across all mammals.” The idea about memory consolidation becomes especially shaky: it’s meant to happen during REM sleep, and Manger’s elephants only seemed to get REM sleep every three to four days. How do they remember anything at all, much less develop their apocryphally long-lasting memories?”

Biodegradable bags help save animals’ lives and reduce pollution: