Snoop Dogg says if Alaskans legalize marijuana, he'll stage a concert: Rapper and marijuana aficionado Snoop Dogg said if Alaskans pass Ballot Measure 2 in November, he'll be "locking and loading" it up to the 49th state. In an interview with TV-reporter-turned-marijuana-activist Charlo Greene of the Alaska Cannabis Club, Snoop Dogg encouraged Alaskans to vote for the measure that would legalize recreational marijuana in Alaska. He said if the measure passes he'll host a concert/wellness retreat, making sure to bring the good "California stuff" with him.
Did Marco Polo preserve an ancient map of Alaska? A set of maps that are ascribed to the Italian explorer who claimed to have journeyed from Italy to China and back in the 13th Century show a coastline northeast of Japan that looks like Kamchatka, the Bering Strait, the Aleutians and the Alaska Peninsula, reports Smithsonian magazine. "If genuine, the maps would show that Polo recorded the shape of the Alaskan coast—and the strait separating it from Asia—four centuries before Vitus Bering, the Danish explorer long considered the first European to do so," Smithsonian writes. "Perhaps more important, they suggest Polo was aware of the New World two centuries before Columbus." The authenticity of the documents, though, is far from settled. A radiocarbon test on the sheepskin on which they're inscribed suggests they date from a century or two after the time of the explorer. And the maps have an unusual backstory involving an eccentric Italian immigrant to the U.S. who claimed ancestry from Polo. One possibility, according to the author of a forthcoming book on the subject, is that Polo's daughters were involved in the creation of the maps. They were known to have published material said to draw on his experiences, including "hitherto untold encounters with a Syrian navigator, a band of lance-toting women in ermine pelts and people on a peninsula 'twice as far from China' who wear sealskin, live on fish and make their houses 'under the earth.'"
In surprise to scientists, prehistoric eruption sent ash to Europe: An eruption a millennium ago from a volcano on what's now the Alaska-Yukon border spewed ash that ended up as far away as Greenland and Northern Europe, surprising scientists who discovered the (literally) far-flung ash, according to a CBC report. The scientists were surprised because the eruption was a relatively modest one. Previously scientists assumed those ash deposits were from an Icelandic volcano. But a geochemist from the University of Alberta who tested samples found the unique chemical signature of Mount Churchill ash. "It's not at all what would have been expected. The White River was a large eruption, but it wasn't exceptional," the researcher, Britta Jensen told CBC. "From these regular size of eruptions, we don't expect ash to go that far, so we didn't look for it." Among other consequences, the finding suggests that volcanic activity has more potential than previously believed to disrupt air travel. The eruption, while moderate in geological terms, was still larger than anything in recent history: "An eruption of this size hasn't happened since modern aviation, but it's something we can't discount. It may not happen in my lifetime, but it's something we should expect," Jensen said.
Wyoming NPS officials crackdown on wildlife harassment after moose death: Officials at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming closed one area and are cracking down on visitors taking wildlife photographs after a gaggle of visitors with cameras hounded a moose badly enough they she suffered a life-threatening injury trying to escape, the Jackson Hole News and Guide reports. The moose, a cow with a yearling calf, tripped on a picnic table and caught its leg in a fire grate, cutting it severely enough that rangers later euthanized it. The park's regulations require visitors to stay at lest 25 yards away from moose and 100 yards from wolves and bears, but officials there say they've had reports that visitors are getting much closer -- some "within 10 feet of a bull moose," according to a park spokesperson.