Archive for September, 2010

Old Whale Fossil Found at the San Diego Zoo

whale-in-the-san-diego-zoo There are lots of animals at the San Diego Zoo, but now there is one more: a three million year old whale. Pretty crazy. Check this out:

Via The Christian Science Monitor:

A 3-million-year-old whale has been discovered at the San Diego Zoo.

And this whale wasn’t found by a whaling ship but by some guys wearing hard hats.

A construction crew had been working on a storm water tank at the zoo, and while using an excavator to dig through the fine grain sand they struck something hard.

While whale fossils have been found in this area before, this 24-foot long baleen whale seemed to be remarkably intact and well perserved.

In a San Diego News article, Sarah Siren, a paleontological field manager with the San Diego Natural History Museum said, "It’s rare to have a skeleton this complete."

Other ancient sea fossils have been unearthed in the region, including a 75-million-year-old femur from a duck-billed dinosaur and portions of a 3.5-million-year- old sea cow found in Chula Vista, according to the Los Angeles Times.

After the whale fossil is completely excavated, the remains will be taken to the Balboa Park museum, in San Diego, for further examination and possibly be put on public display.

San Diego Wildfire Now Contained

house-fire-san-diego Kudos to the firefighters for containing the Cowboy Blaze and stopping it from destroying more than it already has.

Via Mercury News:

Firefighters have surrounded an 827 acre wildfire in a remote area east of San Diego.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says the so-called Cowboy blaze, which started Thursday in dense thickets of brush, was contained at dusk Monday. The burn area between Campo and Potrero is about 50 miles east of San Diego.

No structures burned and there were no injuries.

The cause is still under investigation.

San Diego Educational System Changing

san-diego-education From what I’ve read already, this is going to be a good change and will hopefully increase the quality of education our young San Diegans get.

Via EMILY ALPERT at Voice of San Diego:

Education Week takes a big picture look at how the new reform plans in San Diego Unified differ from the controversial changes under former Superintendent Alan Bersin — and how those reforms fared in a recent study.

The weekly takes San Diego as an example to be learned from for reformers across the country. Here’s a quote from one expert it used in the story:

"One way to read the San Diego experience is, reforms that don’t have a local constituency and are not supported by local advocates and efforts are not likely to stick," said Frederick M. Hess, the director of education policy studies for the American Enterprise Institute think tank. "In many ways, Bersin was a test case for how much you can force a school district to change. That’s just an enormous cautionary note when we hear [U.S. Secretary of Education Arne] Duncan talk about how we’re going to drive reform and what these superintendents are going to be able to accomplish."

Want more? Here’s our latest piece on the new reforms and what they could mean for schools. And don’t forget our blog post on a new study of the Bersin reforms.