earth fact 130

The oceans hold 94 percent of all life

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EARTH NEEDS Rational American Leadership On Climate Change

A map shows global surface temperature anomalies for 2014 through 2018. Higher than normal temperatures are shown in red, and lower than normal temperatures are shown in blue. (Kathryn Mersmann/NASA - Scientific Visualization Studio/AP)

By Editorial Board
February 7 at 7:34 PM
“WHAT THE hell is going on with Global Waming?” President Trump tweeted last week in the midst of a cold snap. “Please come back fast, we need you!”

If Mr. Trump had consulted scientists in the government he works for, they could have helped with his basic understanding, as well as his spelling: The warming of the Earth is unmistakable, as seen in a global temperature record that offers no reason for laughter.

Experts from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Wednesday that 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, according to two separate estimates, one from each agency.

A single year’s temperature readings do not constitute a trend. But there is a trend. The five warmest years have come in the past five years. Eighteen of the 19 warmest years on record have come since the beginning of this century. That 2018 did not quite match the record-setting 2016 for warmth is in part because a warming El Niño effect in 2016 raised temperatures even higher than human influence alone would have. By contrast, 2018 saw a cooling La Niña and was still fourth-warmest. The overall direction is relentless: This decade will be warmer than the last, which was warmer than the one before it, and so on.

As more and more of their predictions have come true, scientists have become more confident in their models — and more alarmed. Some effects of climate change remain difficult to predict or plan for. Warming could even contribute to cold snaps such as the one that prompted Mr. Trump to mock climate science on Twitter last week. Other effects are all too predictable: rising seas, stronger storms, more heat waves, more droughts, more flooding, invasive species, the proliferation of disease, depleted fisheries, dying ecosystems, more acidic oceans, crop failures, mass migrations, days so hot that people cannot work. Experts warn that Americans are already likely feeling global warming’s influence in the super-wet storms that have pummeled places such as Houston, feeding on extremely warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

In the face of ever-rising evidence, the president did not even mention climate change in Tuesday’s State of the Union address. His administration still intends to remove the United States from the Paris climate agreement, the world’s best hope to get all major contributing countries moving in the same direction. While the Trump administration ripped up clean-air rules, U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions shot up 3.4 percent last year, putting the lie to the argument that market forces alone will adequately drive down the country’s carbon footprint.

Some Democrats, meanwhile, have announced a “Green New Deal” whose goal seems to be radically reshaping U.S. society and vastly expanding government rather than simply addressing the climate problem, which is hard enough — and important enough. Though not nearly as harmful as Mr. Trump’s rank denialism, engaging in this sort of fantasy also hurts the cause of practically addressing the issue.

The world needs rational U.S. leadership. Unfortunately, global warming will not stop in the meantime.

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Groundbreaking Research Gives Hope to Bees

gary ward

Collaborative research between Host Defense's team and Washington State University has been published in Nature’s Scientific Reports! Mycelium extracts of polypore mushrooms (Reishi and Amadou) have been shown to confer an immune benefit to bees. This research provides an actionable solution against the stressors threatening bee populations and, in turn, food biosecurity around the world. We’re proud to continue our work in the field of applied mycology to help people and planet.

Join our "Save the Bees" mailing list by clicking here to receive future correspondence and updates about these exciting developments. Bees urgently need our help. Please join us in this global effort and learn how you can take action.

Fungi Perfecti

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MAPLEmapleleaf-1408 SYRUP


mapletreebuckets1408 photo by Jim Sorbie 2008

Katherine Martinko feistyredhair

Sugar maples rely on consistent snow cover to thrive, and climate change is threatening that.

Maple syrup is a food that you might have to describe to your great-grandchildren because they won't be able to try it themselves. As climate change reduces the amount of snow in the northeastern forests of North America, where sugar maples grow, it will negatively affect the trees' ability to grow and produce sap, making maple syrup a treat from the past.

This alarming discovery was revealed in a study last week, published in Global Change Biology. The researchers explain how lack of adequate snowpack causes sugar maples to grow 40 percent slower than usual, and when the snowpack returns, they are unable to recover. One biochemist has described the study as a "big deal" and NPR writes, "This spells trouble for the trees — and for humans — as the trees not only give us syrup, but also eat up a chunk of carbon pollution."

Forests play an important role, sucking carbon dioxide out of the air and storing it. They offset an estimated 5 to 30 percent of U.S. carbon emissions. But right now the forecast is dire for northeastern forests. Climate change is expected to shrink the amount of snow cover by up to 95 percent, which species like sugar maples rely on. (The snowpack insulates the trees and regulates "soil frost severity" – in other words, keeps the roots from getting damaged by too much cold.) In a worst-case scenario, that snow could go from covering 33,000 square miles each winter to a mere 2,000 by the end of the century.

"That's dwindling from an area bigger than Maine to one that's half the size of Connecticut. Even under a lower emissions scenario, the snowpack-covered area could still decline by 49 percent, to 16,500 square miles, says lead study author Andrew Reinmann, a forest ecologist at the City University of New York. 'So if you like skiing, go now.'" (via NPR)

The way in which the study was conducted is interesting. For five years (2008-2012), researchers shovelled away patches of snow that fell during the first four weeks of winter in the 8,000-acre Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire. This was meant to approximate the diminished snowfall that's expected in New England by end of century. After four weeks of shoveling, the snow was left to accumulate for the rest of the season. NPR reports on the findings:

"After five winters of shoveling, and then a year off to see if the trees would bounce back, the researchers took core samples of the sugar maples and examined their growth rings. The sugar maples' growth slowed by about 40 percent after the first two years of the experiment. They did not recover in the year off. Reinmann says it's unclear if the trees will return to their normal growth pattern after a few more years with normal snow, or if the damage is permanent."

So far sugar maples – and the maple syrup industry – have managed to withstand climate change without difficulty, but there will come a time when conditions are too hostile for them to thrive. And that will be a sad day for so many more reasons than the fact that maple syrup-drenched blueberry pancakes will no longer be a breakfast staple.

reformatted by NYA

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Will Mushrooms Be Magic for Threatened Bees?

We might be able to save honeybees from viruses transmitted by invasive parasites without chemical treatment.

Sometime in the 1980s, microscopic mites that had been afflicting honeybees outside the United States found their way to Florida and Wisconsin and began wreaking havoc across the country. These parasites have invaded and decimated wild and domestic bee colonies. Along with other dangers facing bees, like pesticides and the loss of forage lands, the viruses these mites carry threaten the bees we rely on to pollinate many of the fruits, nuts and vegetables we eat.

This mite, Varroa destructor, injects a slew of viruses into bees, including one that causes shriveled wings, a primary factor in widespread colony collapse. Worse, these parasites have rapidly developed resistance to synthetic pesticides.

Beekeepers in the United States lost an estimated 40 percent of their colonies between April 2017 and April 2018. But we might be able to save honeybees at least from this parasitic scourge without chemical intervention. I along with scientists at Washington State University and the United States Department of Agriculture recently published in Scientific Reports, a journal from the publishers of Nature, a study that could inspire a paradigm shift in protecting bees.

lilli-carre-1408 illustration by Lilli Carré

Our research shows that extracts from the living mycelial tissue of common wood conk mushrooms known to have antiviral properties significantly reduced these viruses in honeybee colonies, in one field test by 45,000 times, compared to control colonies. In the field tests, we used extracts from two species of wood conks, the red reishi and the amadou. The famous “Iceman” found in a glacier in 1991 in the Alps carried amadou in a pouch 5,300 years ago. The red reishi has long been used as an immune-boosting tonic in Asia.

Our hypothesis — and that's all it is, we don't understand the mechanism behind the results — is that extracts of wood conk mushrooms strengthen immunity to viruses. More study is needed. At present, there have been no substances proved to reduce viruses in bees.

In the field study, a small amount of one of these mycelial extracts was added to the sugar water commonly fed to honeybees by beekeepers; wild bees could benefit too. I’m excited by the prospect of this research. I am a mycologist by trade — a mushroom expert — and I hope to create, with some colleagues, a nonprofit organization that could make available this mushroom extract and a bee feeder, similar to a hummingbird feeder, so that all of us can help save bees from our own backyards.

Our team is designing a bee feeder that we hope makes it possible to track bee visits and their pollen loads. Ideally, citizen scientists will upload their data to a portal to monitor progress. I estimate that millions of these feeders are needed to reverse the decline in bee populations.

Nature can repair itself with a little help from mycologists. Fungi outnumber plants by about 6 to 1; there are two million to four million fungal species, though only about 140,000 have been named so far. Our research underlines the need to save biodiversity for the discoveries to come.

These mycelial extracts might aid other species like pigs, birds and other animals. But we need more animal clinical studies to prove that this will work on a wider scale.

Mycology is an underfunded, understudied field with astonishing potential to save lives: ours and the bees.

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The Arctic’s Warmest 5 Years on Record: 2014-Present

The Arctic has been warmer over the last five years than at any time since records began in 1900, and the region is warming at twice the rate as the rest of the planet, scientists said Tuesday.

The rising air temperatures are having profound effects on sea ice, and on life on land and in the ocean, the scientists said. The changes can be felt far beyond the region, especially since the changing Arctic climate may be influencing extreme weather events around the world.

Those assessments were part of the latest “Arctic Report Card,” issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a federal agency, and presented Tuesday at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Washington.

“We’re seeing this continued increase of warmth pervading across the entire Arctic system,” said Emily Osborne, lead editor of the report and manager of NOAA’s Arctic Research Program. “That’s having implications for both ocean and terrestrial systems.”

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U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy


By Coral Davenport and Kendra Pierre-Louis

Want climate news in your inbox? Sign up here for Climate Fwd:, our email newsletter.

WASHINGTON — A major scientific report issued by 13 federal agencies on Friday presents the starkest warnings to date of the consequences of climate change for the United States, predicting that if significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming, the damage will knock as much as 10 percent off the size of the American economy by century’s end.

The report, which was mandated by Congress and made public by the White House, is notable not only for the precision of its calculations and bluntness of its conclusions, but also because its findings are directly at odds with President Trump’s agenda of environmental deregulation, which he asserts will spur economic growth.

Mr. Trump has taken aggressive steps to allow more planet-warming pollution from vehicle tailpipes and power plant smokestacks, and has vowed to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, under which nearly every country in the world pledged to cut carbon emissions. Just this week, he mocked the science of climate change because of a cold snap in the Northeast, tweeting, “Whatever happened to Global Warming?”

But in direct language, the 1,656-page assessment lays out the devastating effects of a changing climate on the economy, health and environment, including record wildfires in California, crop failures in the Midwest and crumbling infrastructure in the South. Going forward, American exports and supply chains could be disrupted, agricultural yields could fall to 1980s levels by midcentury and fire season could spread to the Southeast, the report finds.

“There is a bizarre contrast between this report, which is being released by this administration, and this administration’s own policies,” said Philip B. Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center.

All told, the report says, climate change could slash up to a tenth of gross domestic product by 2100, more than double the losses of the Great Recession a decade ago.

Scientists who worked on the report said it did not appear that administration officials had tried to alter or suppress its findings. However, several noted that the timing of its release, at 2 p.m. the day after Thanksgiving, appeared designed to minimize its public impact. Still, the report could become a powerful legal tool for opponents of Mr. Trump’s efforts to dismantle climate change policy, experts said. “This report will weaken the Trump administration’s legal case for undoing climate change regulations, and it strengthens the hands of those who go to court to fight them,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton.

Here’s a summary of what’s new in the report.

The report is the second volume of the National Climate Assessment, which the federal government is required by law to produce every four years. The first volume was issued by the White House last year.

The previous report, issued in May 2014, concluded with nearly as much scientific certainty, but not as much precision on the economic costs, that the tangible impacts of climate change had already started to cause damage across the country. It cited increasing water scarcity in dry regions, torrential downpours in wet regions and more severe heat waves and wildfires.

The results of the 2014 report helped inform the Obama administration as it wrote a set of landmark climate change regulations. The following year, the E.P.A. finalized President Barack Obama’s signature climate change policy, known as the Clean Power Plan, which aimed to slash planet-warming emissions from coal-fired power plants. At the end of the 2015, Mr. Obama played a lead role in brokering the Paris Agreement.

But in 2016, Republicans in general and Mr. Trump in particular campaigned against those regulations. In rallies before cheering coal miners, Mr. Trump vowed to end what he called Mr. Obama’s “war on coal” and to withdraw from the Paris deal. Since winning the election, his administration has moved decisively to roll back environmental regulations.


President Trump has pushed to roll back regulations on carbon emissions.CreditBrandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times

The report puts the most precise price tags to date on the cost to the United States economy of projected climate impacts: $141 billion from heat-related deaths, $118 billion from sea level rise and $32 billion from infrastructure damage by the end of the century, among others. The findings come a month after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations, issued its most alarming and specific report to date about the severe economic and humanitarian crises expected to hit the world by 2040.

But the new report also emphasizes that the outcomes depend on how swiftly and decisively the United States and other countries take action to mitigate global warming. The authors put forth three main solutions: putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions, which usually means imposing taxes or fees on companies that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; establishing government regulations on how much greenhouse pollution can be emitted; and spending public money on clean-energy research.

A White House statement said the report, which was started under the Obama administration, was “largely based on the most extreme scenario” of global warming and that the next assessment would provide an opportunity for greater balance.

The report covers every region of the United States and asserts that recent climate-related events are signs of things to come. No area of the country will be untouched, from the Southwest, where droughts will curb hydropower and tax already limited water supplies, to Alaska, where the loss of sea ice will cause coastal flooding and erosion and force communities to relocate, to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, where saltwater will taint drinking water.

More people will die as heat waves become more common, the scientists say, and a hotter climate will also lead to more outbreaks of disease. Two areas of impact particularly stand out: trade and agriculture.

Trade disruptions

Mr. Trump has put trade issues at the center of his economic agenda, placing new tariffs on imports and renegotiating trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement. But climate change is likely to be a disruptive force in trade and manufacturing, the report says.

Extreme weather events driven by global warming are “virtually certain to increasingly affect U.S. trade and economy, including import and export prices and businesses with overseas operations and supply chains,” the report concludes.

Such disasters will temporarily shutter factories both in the United States and abroad, causing price spikes for products from apples to automotive parts, the scientists predicted. So much of the supply chain for American companies is overseas that almost no industry will be immune from the effects of climate change at home or abroad, the report says.

It cites as an example the extreme flooding in Thailand in 2011. Western Digital, an American company that produces 60 percent of its hard drives there, sustained $199 million in losses and halved its hard drive shipments in the last quarter of 2011. The shortages temporarily doubled hard drive prices, affecting other American companies like Apple, HP and Dell.

American companies should expect many more such disruptions, the report says.

“Climate change is another risk to the strength of the U.S. trade position, and the U.S. ability to export,” said Diana Liverman, a University of Arizona professor and co-author of the report. “It can affect U.S. products, and as it drives poverty abroad we can lose consumer markets.”

Agricultural risks

The nation’s farm belt is likely to be among the hardest-hit regions, and farmers in particular will see their bottom lines threatened. “Rising temperatures, extreme heat, drought, wildfire on rangelands and heavy downpours are expected to increasingly disrupt agricultural productivity in the U.S.,” the report says. “Expect increases in challenges to livestock health, declines in crop yields and quality and changes in extreme events in the United States and abroad.”

By 2050, the scientists forecast, changes in rainfall and hotter temperatures will reduce the agricultural productivity of the Midwest to levels last seen in the 1980s.

The risks, the report noted, depend on the ability of producers to adapt to changes.

During the 2012 Midwestern drought, farmers who incorporated conservation practices fared better, said Robert Bonnie, a Rubenstein Fellow at Duke University who worked in the Agriculture Department during the Obama administration. But federal programs designed to help farmers cope with climate change have stalled because the farm bill, the primary legislation for agricultural subsidies, expired this fall.

The report says the Midwest, as well as the Northeast, will also experience more flooding when it rains, like the 2011 Missouri River flood that inundated a nuclear power plant near Omaha, forcing it to shut down for years.

Other parts of the country, including much of the Southwest, will endure worsening droughts, further taxing limited groundwater supplies. Those droughts can lead to fires, a phenomenon that played out this fall in California as the most destructive wildfire in state history killed dozens of people.

The report predicts that frequent wildfires, long a plague of the Western United States, will also become more common in other regions, including the Southeast. The 2016 Great Smoky Mountains wildfires, which killed 14 people and burned more than 17,000 acres in Tennessee, may have been just the beginning. But unlike in the West, “in the Southeast, they have no experience with an annual dangerous fire season, or at least very little,” said Andrew Light, a co-author of the report and a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute.

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woke up
to a surprise
It has arrived
overnight in the half moon’s light

the dollar coin leaves of aspen
always volunteer first to turn
blindingly bright
yellow amber peach

then the wind follows
sparking a delightful dance
ultimately untethering them
in fllittery flight
readying renewal

and every night
I wish upon a falling star
or golden leaf
that we may be more receptive
and responsive
to mother earth’s messages


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U.N. Chief Warns of Dangerous Tipping Point on Climate Change


António Guterres, the United Nations secretary general, called climate change “the defining issue of our time.”

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earth facts

Antacids taste like chalk because they ARE chalk, a.k.a. calcium carbonate

Strawberry is the only fruit that bears its seeds on the outside

Coral produces its own sunscreen to protect the algae it depends on as food

About 200 million years from now, Asia and America will collide to form a supercontinent centered around the north pole

Carrots were originally purple in color

Old sea ice is drinkable; as the ice ages, the brine drains out

The most earthquake-prone state in the US is not California, but Alaska

Sloths cannot shiver

The Elephant Grass found in Africa is 4.5 meters high and elephants can hide in it

The most dominant element in the air we breathe is nitrogen, comprising 80% of the atmosphere

Slow loris, a type of lemur, can kill a human via venom in their saliva

Peaches, pears, apricots, quinces, strawberries, and apples are members of the rose family

A narwhal tusk is actually an exaggerated front left tooth, and unlike most teeth, it's soft and sensitive on the outside with a tough interior

There are 18 volcanoes in the US with the potential to erupt again, all of them in Alaska, Hawaii and the West Coast states

Oak trees don’t produce acorns until they are 50 years old

The Great Lakes, combined, contain more than 20% of the world's available fresh water

Tardigrades (water bears) are extremely durable microscopic animals that exist all over Earth, surviving temperatures from +300 degrees F to -400 degrees F, the vacuum of space, pressure six times stronger than the ocean floor, and more than a decade without food

Caffeine serves the function of a pesticide in a coffee plant

The earth has as many craters as the moon; they have eroded away or been overgrown by vegetation

A supercolony of invasive Argentine ants covers 560 miles of the U.S. West Coast

Rubies, sapphires and emeralds are all more rare than diamonds

The first potatoes were cultivated in Peru about 7,000 years ago

Hagfish absorb the nutrients they need through their skin

Platypuses swim with their eyes closed

The strike of an eagle can be two times stronger than a rifle shot

Emus cannot walk backwards

Many butterflies can drink blood when given the chance

Pandas don’t have particular sleeping spots; They fall asleep wherever they happen to be

Male giraffes drink female giraffes’ urine to gauge ideal mating times

The closest living relatives to the Tyrannosaurus Rex are chickens

A Colossal Squid can grow to be the size of a bus

Kiwis are almost completely blind; They forage mainly by smell

Wild chimps in Guinea drink fermented palm sap, which contains about 3 percent alcohol by volume

Lions inhabited many areas of Europe until they were hunted to extinction in the region around 100 BCE

In the UK, the British monarch legally owns all unmarked mute swans in open water

Alligators allow their bodies to freeze in a swamp with noses above the ice, lowering body temperature and slowing metabolism enough to survive winter

The axolotl salamander can regenerate its limbs

Moray eels have a second set of jaws that extends from their throats

Blue jays mimic hawks' calls to scare away other birds

Wombat poop is cube-shaped

Honeybees can get sexually transmitted diseases

The african penguin is also commonly referred to as the "jackass penguin" because it makes donkey-like braying sounds

The hagfish can secrete slime that clogs the gills of predators

Ducks like to surf; They have been observed riding tides and swimming back to ride them again

Animal behaviorists have concluded that cats don't meow as a way to communicate with each other; It's a method they use for getting attention from humans

Whitetail deer can sprint at speeds up to 30 miles per hour

Despite their appearance, elephant shrews are more closely related to elephants than shrews

Male platypuses have venomous spurs

In an aquatic traffic jam, alligators will give manatees the right of way

A grizzly bear's bite is strong enough to crush a bowling ball

Tigers have striped skin as well; Each pattern is as unique as a fingerprint

Capuchin monkeys pee on their hands to wash their feet

Flamingos are naturally white — their diet of brine shrimp and algae turns them pink

Bald eagles sound so silly that hollywood dubs their voices

Hartebeest evade predators by running in zigzag patterns

Toucans curl into little balls when they sleep

Female bats give birth while hanging upside down, catching the baby in their wings as it drops

Male ring-tailed lemurs will "stink fight" by wafting scent at each other

Alberta, Canada is the largest rat-free populated area in the world

Fruit bats don't use echolocation — they have excellent senses of sight and smell

The chevrotain is an animal that looks like a tiny deer with fangs

Sea otters hold hands while they're sleeping so they don't drift apart

Cats can't taste sugar; They don't have sweet taste buds

There was once a type of crocodile that could gallop

Dragonflies and damselflies form a heart with their tails when they mate

Caribbean sperm whales have their own regional accent

All clownfish are born male — some turn female to enable mating

Birds are immune to the heat of chili peppers

Lynx have large feet that enable them to run on very deep snow

Red-eyed tree frog eggs can hatch early if they sense danger

Nine-banded armadillos always give birth to identical quadruplets

A baby puffin is called a puffling

Horses are distantly related to rhinoceroses and tapirs

Trained pigeons can tell the difference between the paintings of pablo picasso and claude monet

Some cats are allergic to humans

Anteaters don’t have teeth

Prairie dogs say hello by kissing

Despite their lack of visible ears, penguins have excellent hearing

Baby elephants suck their trunks for comfort

Only the males are called peacocks; Females are called peahens

Barn owls are normally monogamous, but about 25 percent of mated pairs "divorce"

There's a place on Earth where seagulls prey on right whales

If a honeybee keeps waggle dancing in favor of an unpopular nesting site, other workers headbutt her to help the colony reach a consensus

Male gentoo and Adelie penguins "propose" to females by giving them a pebble

Dogs' sense of smell is about 100,000 times stronger than humans', but they have just one-sixth our number of taste buds

Less time separates the existence of humans and the tyrannosaurus rex than the T-rex and the stegosaurus

Humpback whale songs spread like cultural ripples from one population to another

Sharks kill fewer than 10 people per year; Humans kill about 100 million sharks per year

Fourteen new species of dancing frogs were discovered in 2014, raising the global number of known dancing-frog species to 24

Cats and horses are highly susceptible to black widow venom, but dogs are relatively resistant; Sheep and rabbits are apparently immune

Warmer weather causes more turtles to be born female than male

Azara's owl monkeys are more monogamous than humans

A single strand of spider silk is thinner than a human hair, but also five times stronger than steel of the same width

The recently discovered bone-house wasp stuffs the walls of its nest with dead ants

Reindeer eyeballs turn blue in winter to help them see at lower light levels

The extinct colossus penguin stood as tall as LeBron James

The claws of a mantis shrimp can accelerate as quickly as a .22-caliber bullet

Animals with smaller bodies and faster metabolism see in slow motion

Horses use facial expressions to communicate with each other

By eating pest insects, bats save the U.S. agriculture industry an estimated $3 billion per year

A human brain operates on about 15 watts

A sea lion is the first nonhuman mammal with a proven ability to keep a beat

Owls don't have eyeballs, they have eye tubes

Young goats pick up accents from each other

A type of "immortal" jellyfish is capable of cheating death indefinitely

A group of parrots is known as a pandemonium

Honeybees can flap their wings 200 times every second

Polar bears have black skin

Elephants have a specific alarm call that means "human"

Wild dolphins call each other by name

Octopuses have three hearts

Squirrels can’t vomit or burp

Giraffes have no vocal chords

Lemur society is run by females

Koalas’ fingerprints are virtually indistinguishable from humans (& have on occasion been confused at crime scenes)

A snail can sleep for three years

Asian elephants can do math

Gekko’s toes can stick to any surface except Teflon

Kangaroos can’t fart

Cuttlefish have 3 hearts and can mimic the shape & texture of objects around them

Cockroaches have no blood

A rhino's horn is made of hair

Slugs have four noses

Corals are not plants but they rely on photosynthesis to survive

A shrimp’s heart is in its head

Butterflies can taste with their feet

Bats always turn left when leaving a cave

Earth Worms have five hearts

Elephants can cry but are the only animal that can’t jump

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from the edit suite


I just flipped over the day page here on the big infinity board at Shakey Pictures North HQ. It's love day. A whole day dedicated to pondering love. Cool.

One day seems dreadfully inadequate for a subject so complex but that's what we've got so let's dig in.

Love makes you feel so good. Love makes you feel so bad. Love fills you and empties you all at once and it definitely makes the colours so much nicer. It's the best thing we've got - love is. So let's love.

This Official Lincvolt Years Out Take deals with the kind of love that jumps out of nowhere.

We pick up the scene at an early morning getaway somewhere on the road to Wichita when the LV crew meets a lady on smoke break:

Happy Love.

onward the passenger

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from the edit suite

Winnipeg Free Press

LV 07

Fathers and sons: a most delicate dynamic. More complex than it seems to those who are neither sons nor fathers. I have six boys. I get it. Sometimes.

There’s a deep rich father/son vein running through the heart of The LincVolt Years series, a timeless flow.

The Young Bros – Zeke and Ben – are integral to the whole journey. Zeke knows as much about the science and systems of LincVolt as anyone and on many occasions the bright light that shines out of Ben is the only thing keeping the whole deal on the rails.

Larry Johnson and his son Ben shot everything thing together in the beginning and when Larry died Ben picked up the camera and kept going - father to son. Bedrock.

In this official LincVolt out take we pick up the action with Ben operating and Larry on camera at the fender of the in-transition Lincoln. From there he explains both charge and change:

Fathers and sons and exact points – the spirits of the past and the present and the future - that’s what’s swirling in the blowing snow outside the cozy glow here at Shakey Pictures North HQ.

In a short while I’m gonna load up the family cruiser and lay in a course for Winnipeg – the heartland. We’ll head right into the teeth of winter. My two youngest sons will be with me. We won’t be in a hurry. They’ll see vast tracts of Mother Earth’s magnificent creation. Beautiful places where nature makes the rules, not people. Much as it was that first time I made the trip fifty years ago.

Much as it’s always been.


the passenger

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EXHAUST (ed)(ion)(ing)(pipe)

from the edit suite

LV 06

I embrace you last day of the year. Now in these final ticks of ’18 I can feel the exhaust fumes swirling around the very foundation at Shakey Pictures North HQ. And it gives me no comfort, no sense of solidarity, no idea how to internalize the dark power of this feeling, no idea how to turn it positive. I can’t wait to flip this calendar page.

The news that one of our great allies has grown exhausted by the battle to save Mother Earth and has left the fight was a blow. To further learn that Chief Alan Adam has signed a pack with the big oil was a gut shot. (Please see “Before and After. Honour The Treaties” in this Times Contrarian)

We rode together. We fought the greed machine together. We danced together. Many of the people of The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation became our sisters and our brothers. Now The Chief has grown too weary to fight on. Signed an agreement with 14 other Chiefs to partner up with big oil and to expand that horrid destruction of the great Boreal Forest and the very air we breathe.

I guess his spirit is exhausted. I get it. Exhaustion is a big part of the weaponry that big oil has long employed to grind down all opposition. These oil junkies and their apologists - amoral money/power addicts – are extremists. They are knowingly destroying our planet and it’s exhausting to watch. They’ve been buying off and corrupting greedy local politicians and officials for decades. Now they’ve purchased the presidency of the United States of America and they are gleefully destroying environmental protection legislation at home and around the globe. Terrorists all of them.

How much longer are we gonna let these beasts prevail? How much longer will we allow corporate profit-above-all extremists to dance away from their responsibility to Mother Earth? How much longer will we gaze into the expectant faces of our children and our grandchildren and do nothing to stop this destruction of home?

In the big story arc of The LincVolt Years you will journey to The Athabasca Tar Pit and meet Chief Alan Adam at the height of his amazing power when he was a proud warrior bound to protect Mother Earth. In those days he glowed in the sun.

You’ll met another Chief on our journey too – Chief Vern Janvier leader of the Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation. Chief Janvier also announced a new 2018 business venture recently. It’s a sustainable commercial laundry that’s clean and green and not at all exhausting. Big respect to Chief Vern Janvier.

Okay, back to the point. Root word: exhaust. Noun partner: Pipe.

This official out take dwells in the realm of ambitious process: the formidable evolution of LincVolt. This is an attempt to muffle and exhaust her first iteration with a rotary engine generator.

As we pick up the scene Larry - on camera and Neil - packing lunch, arrive at the garage to check out the latest attempt at noise/carbon/exhaust reduction:

The fumes of exhaustion may be swirling. But so too are the drums.

Resolved: do not let the motherfuckers grind you down.

the passenger

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Re rocks. Latin. Means again, as in redo or remake or rethink. Also means back, as in reflect, return, reimagine. Re is a state all of us are in some of the time and some of us are in all of the time. There’s a lotta re in The Lincvolt Years – coming soon – so you’ll get a chance to see what I mean when the series arrives.

My state of re shows up in our home – a barn renovated for human life. Our wardrobe – mostly excellent retreads from the thrift shop. In our driveway – all used, even the canoe. I’ve slipped through 70 plus years now and have never owned a new, fresh off the line vehicle. 4 wheel, 2 wheel, no wheels at all. Everything’s been recycled.

The Driver has owned more cars than anybody I’ve ever known. I have personally met dozens of them. There’s dozens more I’ve never known. And to the very best of my knowledge he’s only bought one or two new ones.

In this out-take from The LincVolt Years he talks about used cars. Here’s the scene: …the first attempt to use a Mazda rotary engine to generate electric power has failed. In a last ditch effort to salvage their journey The Driver decides to buy a used Mazda Rx7 from a guy in Wichita. We pick it up as the Mazda rolls into the garage...

Official LincVolt Years Out Take:

It’s getting a little chilly up here at Shakey Pictures North HQ. What started out as a journey has turned into a quest.

Winter Solstice brings soft snowflakes and memories and spirits from my life. In a dream last night I saw the original people wrap the first Europeans in robes and help them build shelter and hunt and bring them food so that they could simply survive in those first harsh winters. That’s a lotta love.

Happy holidays.

the passenger

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Tommy the Car

from the edit suite

photos - Larry Johnson

LV 04

Lincvolt left Wichita in the spring of ’09 on a big shake down cruise. The whole story is documented in The Lincvolt Years: Volume One – coming to a screen near you pretty soon.

Stop number two on that journey of reckoning was Perrone Robotics in Virginia. That’s where Lincvolt’s onboard intelligence system was designed, tested and monitored.

Paul Perrone is a vital veteran member of the Lincvolt Team and a pioneer in the field of automated vehicles and robotics. One of Paul’s creations, Tommy the car, caught Neil’s attention so he went for a ride and that’s where this Official Lincvolt Years out-take comes from.

This one highlights the importance of clear communication and mutually agreed upon understanding of the very meaning of a word. Any word. And it’s about how sweet it is once everybody’s on the same page at the same time. When that happens, it’s smiles all around! Clarity. An important message to me.

Please meet Tommy the car.
the passenger

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Jody From Montana

from the edit suite

LV 3

all pics: L.A. Johnson

LincVolt's zygote, a '59 Lincoln Continental Mark IV powered with a gas gulping 429 cubic inch Ford V-8, left San Francisco in September of 2007. George W. Bush was the President of the United States of America. War raged from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean for reasons I am unable to comprehend. War’s way, way bigger now - still don’t get it.

At the wheel sat The Driver, beside him the late great Larry Johnson. Great friends and collaborators for decades, they had a plan to make a film about their trip to turn this gorgeous car 21st Century green. I never actually saw the plan but I heard all about it. Larry and The Driver reckoned they'd drive the big Lincoln convertible to Wichita where a mechanic named ‘Johnny Magic' would somehow convert it into an electric powered piece of American automotive history. En route they'd randomly meet fellow travelers, pull out the cameras and talk about the coming demise of the petro-based transportation era and the rise of the electric vehicle age. Once the Wichita switch to e-power was complete they planned to revisit those same people on the homeward run to San Francisco in LincVolt.

It was a pretty good plan and they did meet some really cool people on the trip. But the plan changed. The Lincoln evolved. Time passed.Larry and The Driver never did make that homeward leg in LincVolt. Instead, the story took a whole new direction. We'll get to that later.

During the ongoing process of editing The LincVolt Years we've watched all the scenes with all the people Larry and The Driver talked to on their epic run. But because the plan changed and the story changed with it, a lot of them didn't find room in the final cut of our documentary series. Nonetheless their beautiful human contribution is deeply appreciated here in the edit suite and we'd like to acknowledge them by introducing you to Jody and her man.

There's just one more thing. It falls under the general heading of planning. The LincVolt Years takes you right inside the core of an idea. An idea that grew and grew then changed a few times then transformed completely on an ongoing basis. It took a pretty flexible plan to see it through. Some very cool planning stuff that we'll cover in the future.

For now though what you most need to know is that The LincVolt Years flows through a dream we all share about making the world better. And it follows the journey of a car and a team that boldly hit the open road to chase that dream. Fully armed with a kind of loose plan. So if you too are a dreamer, plan your journey well but remember the prime constant - things change.

the passenger

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Lincvolt, Love

from the edit suite

both photos: Ben Johnson

LV 2
A few months back, I returned to Shakey Pictures North HQ, a transcontinental journey to Zuma Beach, California. The object of the journey was to attend a director's screening of Volume 1 of The LincVolt Years. We'd be watching all five one-hour episodes with the executive producers. I was pretty nervous.

The Driver picked me up down on the beach at precisely 10:30 a.m. as designated. He was driving LincVolt - top down and gleaming in the morning sun. Her odometer had just turned over to 70,000 miles. I took one look at her and fell in love all over again. What an extraordinary accomplishment she is. But you'll get to watch all that unfold real soon so I'll stick to the point here: love.

The Lincoln Continental was born of an idea based entirely on love. Love of the open road, love of the great vistas of North America, love of the fusion of motion and freedom and friendship that comes on a grand journey in a big great car.

Bob Gregorie designed the Ford Motor Company’s 1st generation of Lincolns. His cars established the nameplate as a world's finest rivaling even Rolls Royce vehicles for style and quality. Each one hand crafted by Detroit's great car builders. In 1945, at the end of World War II, Gregorie left the company. In 1948 Ford stopped building Lincolns all together. But love brought 'em back.

The design team of John Najjar, Elwood Engel and Don Delarness loved the Lincoln so much they resuscitated the line. 2nd generation Lincoln Continentals made their debut in 1956 with the Mark II. A gorgeous hand built automobile that matched the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud in every way imaginable, even price. The Mark II was the most expensive production car built in America in the day. They sold for $10,000.00, five times more than a regular sedan. Ford lost millions on the venture.

To keep the Lincoln brand alive with prices that people could almost afford the company stopped building them by hand. In 1957 a brand new assembly plant, designed specifically for Lincolns, Thunderbirds and, later, Ford-GTs was opened in Wixom, Michigan. The 3rd generation began to roll off the line. That's where LincVolt was born.

What's not to love about a big beautiful car epitomizing the very apex of American automotive design? She had a 430 cubic inch (7.0 liter) V-8 engine, Auto-Drive transmission, Auto Lube and a Unibody platform. There were only two options on the Mark IV, air conditioning and an FM radio. She had both. Very, very hip.

But LincVolt wasn't always the symphony of electro mechanical romance - a straight quote from The Driver - that she is today. His interest in her was sparked 30 years after her birth by a want ad in a local newspaper. She'd already been through a tumultuous love affair. Love doesn't always run smooth you know.

Stay tuned. The LincVolt Years will cover all of that later. For now here's the story of the very beginning of an epic love story that's spanned decades.

And don’t you just love love?

the passenger

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from the edit suite

photo: L.A. Johnson

I got out of Calgary at sunrise on January 20,'14, the morning after the Honour The Treaties Tour's final performance. That tour was a real important event on the LincVolt storyline. One we'll get to in due time.

It turned out to be almost 2 years after Calgary before I saw Lincvolt again. She looked great. Everything The Driver had ever imagined and then some. Her systems were way more dialed in and she was getting somewhere in the neighbourhood of 60 mile per gallon equivalency. An electric 1959 Lincoln Continental 21st century, 'the no roadside refueling dream' come true. She was approaching 50,000 clean green open road miles driven when I saw her again. It was November '15 and we were driving up the Pacific Coast Highway.


Somewhere on the PCH, 11/15 - photo: unknown

By that time we were well into editing the film that The Driver started with Larry Johnson in 2007. A film documenting the journey they took on the road to rebuilding LincVolt and Repowering The American Dream. A journey that spanned nearly a decade.

There was a lot of footage; hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours. We set up shop at the Shakey Pictures North Headquarters, pictured here, and started to piece the story together. It took nearly a year just to look at the footage.


Shakey Pictures North HQ - photo: Dave Toms

Now the film that The Driver and Larry set out to make back in '07 has become an episodic documentary series and Volume 1 is nearing completion. The LincVolt Years is fast approaching the ready-to-share moment.

We'll let you know where you can watch as soon as we know. In the meantime we'll select some of our favourite LincVolt Team out-takes and stream them. As this evolves I'll check in now and again to share some stories from the edit suite.

It's quite a trip.


the passenger

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The Electric 1959 Lincoln Continental

both pics: Haskell Wexler

When we were recording the ‘Monsanto Years’ in 2015, I met Haskell Wexler, the legendary film maker and ace cameraman/interviewer. He came out to the sessions and shot Promise of the Real and I recording our first album together. We were just getting to know one another. You can view some of that in ‘The Monsanto Years’. We were recording in Teatro, an old Oxnard Theater.

Haskell came in and just started shooting, talking to everyone and being himself. I have never seen anyone like him. One day we were visitng him in Santa Monica at his office and he came out to the car. As soon as he laid eyes on it, he had to do something with the car, so that day and part of another one he interviewed me and asked all about Lincvolt.


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road to bottlerock

5/15 Vancouver Queen Elizabeth NY SOLO

5/17 Portland Keller Auditorium NY SOLO

5/18 Spokane Fox Theatre NY SOLO

5/20 Seattle Paramount Theatre NY + POTR

5/21 Seattle Paramount Theatre NY + POTR

5/23 Eugene Matthew Knight Arena NY + POTR

Hoping to see you at one or more of these NYA shows. Live Streams will be announced as we get close. Thanks for riding with us!

Tickets Page

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Xstream by NYA - news ad

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thanks winnipeg - you rock!

We just wrapped up with a beautiful Crazy Horse set. We all enjoyed the vibe. It was an unreal experience. Crazy Horse was floating in the zone. Nils, Billy, me and Ralphie all played like our life depended on it. The Horse Dream happened right in front of our eyes. The Horse is back. Wild and Free.

It was captured in high res and in a livestream by NYA. The rumbling horse was lost in its dream. We plan to share it with the world. 6AM to 10PM CST.

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beautiful old theater brings hometown crowd

What a feeling to be home in Winnipeg, especially now, with all of you. We are having a memorable time here. There’s something very special about this visit with the Horse. Seeing the old places where I started with my first band. . . . then playing the night in this grand old theater. . . . surrounded by people I love, life is surely good.

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Winnipeg Manitoba
Hello again NYA folks!
We are excited to let you all know we will be streaming the Neil Young with Crazy Horse show tonight from the Burton Cummings theater in Winnipeg, Canada‼️🇨🇦

Thanks to our NYA community’s great feedback, we were able to divine some answers to the confounding streaming issues... The livestreams worked flawlessly for some, hiccuped for others and tanked for a few.

The good news is the problem was not with our stream output and in most cases, not with your devices!

The main issue was with our livestreaming partner ~

We have identified the problem but unfortunately have been unable to implement a fix for tonights livestream. We will be upgrading our systems for all future livestreams - guaranteeing you the best experience your device and internet will allow and adding live stream support to the app - but unfortunately those changes will not be ready for this evenings performance.

Rather than cancel tonights stream we will be bringing you the the Horse in test mode.

This may be more tech info than needed but......


You will need a download speed of at least 7mb/sec to watch the stream in 1080p and 3mb/sec to watch in 720p. If the player is set to auto (the default position) the stream will automatically change quality based on your connection. If you manually select your stream resolution be certain you have the bandwidth to support it. Make sure your browser is an up-to-date version of Safari, Chrome, Firefox, or Opera.

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on the road to Winnipeg

Hi friends, and Thanks! - from the polar vortex in Minnesota and four wonderful nights for me and the archives crowd! Those are the people who search through the years on the NYA timeline to find and hear gems they may have never found any other way! Ranging from 1963 to present day, the archive is my complete music history in the highest res possible, limited only by the original master quality.

I am now found at
I communicate directly with archives members through the NYA Times Contrarian newspaper- letters to the editor. That's where I will be.

Going forward,
NYA @Instagram -
Twitter -
Facebook -
will track all the action and update you. Come on over and join us. This site is where you hear everything I have ever released . . . . . as well as the new music . . . . . before it’s released anywhere else.

Coming up -

NYA will announce to members, the Crazy Horse live-stream from Winnipeg!

NYA announces pre-sale 'ROAD TO BOTTLEROCK' tickets today, with tickets to 5 Pacific Northwest shows!

iPhone app only for now. Android still under construction. . . . coming April-May. Worth the wait.

Hope to see you at NYA. I’m almost outa here and shutting my personal accounts down.


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heading north after tonight!

I’m glad you could make it and hear some tunes, live or stream. It was a great night. We’ll be back tonight at the Northrup for one more go’round! Heading North to Winnipeg after the show and meeting up with the Horse for a big jam there. Lots of friends in Minneapolis and Winnipeg! Thanks to you all for coming out to see and hear! The STATE. Another truly beautiful theater on our Theater Tour!

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LIVE STREAM TEST livestreamtest1408

NYA will be streaming to laptops only tonight from the STATE as a test. You must be a member of NYA to view this test. Screening from the Hearse Theater on the neilyoungarchives homepage begins at 8:30 PM CST. Please be aware. . . . there may be glitches and buffering. There may also be a complete show. Thanks for supporting the Archives. Your social media feedback is valuable to us. Keep it coming. Our next test may include the APP.

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Live from Minneapolis...

photo: Robert Windel

Join us tonight 8:30 PM CST for a SOLO performance streaming live from NYA.

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PANTAGES pantageswarmwelcome1060
a warm welcome

Last night the crowd was the real star! Thanks to Minneapolis for bringing the warmth inside. I had a good time and I think it will continue to get better because playing solo acoustic is very free. Hoping you enjoy this as much as I do! Thanks to the NYA crowd of music lovers who attended!

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a great audience... lots of old songs... one new song

Pantages Theater - Minneapolis is next on the Theater Tour.

We had a wonderful night in Madison, one of my favorite places to play. Mark Humphreys, my monitor mixer for decades, made a rare speaking appearance on stage during the show!

I played my new song ‘Green is Blue’ and made less mistakes than the first night, but still did not do it justice. It’s different now doing new songs because they get shared on the internet in their infancy. . I don’t like versions where I am learning the song to be out there, before the song is performed correctly. I used to like to break in a song live so I could feel it and the audience together, just us. Those days are gone now with the internet. C’est La Vie!

We really did have a fine night together at the Overture Hall. If you were there, I’m thankful you were. “It was a good’un,” as Ben Keith used to say!

See you in Minnesota. Watch for another NYA ‘Live Stream’ from Minneapolis, and then Winnipeg, with the Horse.

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On to Madison!

photo: dhlovelife

We’re rolling again! We had a great time in Milwaukee. Played some songs for the folks! It’s always great to get the first one behind you. What a crowd! - a real NYA experience. See you in Madison as the Theater Tour continues to one of the newest Theaters we have ever visited, Overture Hall, home of the Madison Symphony Orchestra. I have played many memorable shows in Madison. The first one was with CSNY back in the day. We played for almost 4 hours. It was the first show of that tour.
Ice ahead!

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Beautiful Riverside Theater

When I was beginning in my life of music, I had big dreams of playing in theaters like the ones I am traveling to now for the Theater Tour. As a kid, those old ornate palaces, so beautiful and grand. . . . . just left me in awe. So now, as our bus crosses North America and I sit in the front window playing my D18 that Larry Cragg did his magical guitar saver treatment to, now as we beat our way through sideways snow and threatening gusts of winter exhale, now as we greet the road like the old friend that is, hearing songs new and old in my head because I know what I have to do, now I’m getting ready to play for you in a magical palace built for art and its enjoyment.


The snow is gone and the ice remains. . . . as we traverse the midwest in its giant openness, miles greeting miles greeting us. There is quiet out here. I think that’s why Willie lives here and Bob lives here. Quiet and the chance to make music. What more of a lucky life could one ever enjoy?


The First Americans beat their drums and sang their songs. I honor them. They came long before me to the plains, the openness and they love it as I do. Look at those geese flying in formation against the cloudy sky, the biting cold a refreshing taste of reality.


Naturally, we travel together along the super slab, the country road, the path, the river, the openness. She knows how. We see the animals, the birds, the fish, the people, the geese again. So much beauty.


The songs are coming back. Here they are! Wow. They are are not the ones that usually show up. They are better known. Because they are easy to sing they are perfect. This is the moment to explore their grooves, their canyons, their computer history.


So when we meet in this place, I might not be aware of myself. I might be looking somewhere outside. I might be playing lost in the sound of the picture in our fine palace, but I hope I’m not thinking. . . .



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Summer Dates Being Set

‘Neil and the Real’ will be playing several shows in Germany this June and July. Germany is always a great place to visit and we have had great shows in the Motherland!!

Most, if not all of these shows will be NYA shows, offering pre-sale tickets to NYA members.

We are all very excited to come to Germany again! ‘Promise of The Real’ returns!

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Out of the Barn Again!

Neil Young and Crazy Horse will appear in Winnipeg Manitoba, Neil’s home town, on February 3rd and 4th. Be there with NYA to celebrate the beginning of another year with the Horse!


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Winnipeg Manitoba!

It's a Homecoming on the Theater Tour

Neil is goin' back to Canada!! Winnipeg, where the Squires played in the 60s! NYA will be there. Tickets at 10 AM PST. That will be an incredible feeling for Neil and his old school-mates from Kelvin High and Earl Grey, not to mention 'The Squires' members. Two great theaters in Winnipeg!
Live stream anybody. . . . . . . . from the Burton Cummings Theater?!!

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Northrop Memorial Auditorium

I really want to thank Minneapolis for welcoming our Theater Tour.

Minneapolis has an abundance of classic theaters. Our tour of the great theaters of the world is now in the Big ‘M’ phase! Minneapolis, Madison and Milwaukee have amazing old theaters that I will be visiting on this leg. I really love these old buildings. They remind me of my early dreams of playing in real theaters for lots of people. Playing in them for music lovers from NYA is an amazing experience for me every time!
Lots of love,

Get Tickets

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Midwest tickets

What Went Wrong

NYA apologizes for inconvenience to ticket buyers for Madison Overture Hall Show. here is what happened:

  • Convenience fee cap per ticket was not triggered for Neil Young Solo pre-sale due to a ticketing system error
  • This caused higher fees to appear on P1 tickets at checkout

...conscientious patrons brought attention to the issue

How Madison Overture fixed it:

  • Activated per ticket cap on convenience fee for Neil Young tickets by 10:00 AM in the morning the issue was caught
  • Crafted messaging to alert patrons to the issue and prepared to issue refund to all patrons affected.


__The refunds are going to be automatically processed back onto the credit card or gift card that was used for purchase. The customer DOES NOT need to request the refund. Madison Overture Hall needs to process each one individually so it will not be instantaneous but it should be completed by Monday afternoon.__

We sincerely hope this problem is isolated to the one venue named above. Thanks!

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The leading poet of his generation, Bob Dylan, playing with his band, will be joined and supported by Neil Young + Promise of the Real in the concert at Kilkenny.

Ireland, the great home of poetry and literary genius, will rock to its core at the historic gathering. Imagine the green fields of Eire bending in the breeze as music of the ages fills the air. Families will be united and children will dance with their parents at this great celebration of Music, Love and Words. Be there with us. Pre-sale information available Friday December 14th - 9am Dublin time.


Get your pre-sale ticket code here.

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NYA is happy to announce that the Hyde Park show will proceed without Barclays as a sponsor. We are overjoyed, so happy to be playing the show without the fossil fuel backer! NYA tickets to all tiers will be available today. NYA special tickets are available now on cabinet door.

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Wednesday Dec 12 NYA Presale

FIVE NYA SOLO shows are coming to the midwest. Hope to see you there!

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Carnegie Hall


all pics: dhlovelife

I must confess that is was merely a bit of swank when we put a note in this space yesterday that I was out on assignment. Assignment, hell. I was not here to assess the profound sociological implications of short left hooks, or to watch the rangers maul the Vancouver Canucks. But I guess it is fairly rare when a guy can go to Carnegie hall for a concert by one of his own sons. Well, maybe not so rare –– but it never happened to me, before.

I suppose I did the things that a father might do, in the circumstances. I went around hours before the concert just to walk by and see the posters. Passing there in the cold wind, I thought of the other good musicians in the family who, for one reason or another (I guess there are quite a few) never made it to Carnegie Hall.

I thought of nights around the piano on a prairie farm in the 30s long before he was born, a ragtag and bobtail of us singing with an oil lamp guttering on the kitchen table nearby; of my Aunt Beatrice, and cousins Everett and Milt and Alice, all singers; my mother and sister and a niece with a beautiful voice; my brother who is a great entertainer (and became a public relations man).

It was all there in my mind, a thousand memories of fun and music, as I stood before the poster that said: Tonight. Neil Young, folk singer. The rest of it was partly obscured by a poster that read: Sold Out. Sold out not only that night, but the next as well.

I turned up my collar and kept on walking, and I will not tell you my thoughts, because they were my own.

My wife (his stepmother) and I dined a little later and then walked up the street from our little hotel through the crowds of kids outside Carnegie Hall who were imploring passersby for tickets, and offering up to $100 for a $5 seat.

Inside, it was the pure youth scene: Our generation’s kids in their casual clothes, the blue jeans patched, tight sweaters over young bosoms. We sat, I guess, like visitors from another world. We must have been conspicuous because later when the aisles were crowded with people sitting there to listen and glowing pot was passed in the dark as he sang (many of them waving it away without apparent embarrassment), no one passed it to me. I did not feel left out. My vices, such as they are, are from an earlier time.

Oh’ I guess it was just a concert. Before the lights went down I thought it was much like high school assembly –– the paper darts floating down from the overhanging balconies, the kids full of anticipation, yet patient.

But once the place was dark, there was something like magic. We all could see this dark form approaching the front of the stage and then the spotlight came on him: Tall and thin, blue jeans, checked shirt, work boots, dark straight hair to his shoulders or beyond, two guitars on a rack beside a plain wooden chair, a concert piano at his left. No music to play except the songs in his head, all his own.

He sings, if you have heard his own albums or those he made with the Buffalo Springfield, or more recently with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. . . he sings with love, not for individuals, but for the human condition. But now I’m sounding like a damn expert, instead of just a father, so I will lay off that line.

He sings in a way that twists my heart. It must also twist the heart of his mother, who was not there that night, but was on the next night. ( We were divorced when he was 15.) It is a strange feeling to be on one’s feet just watching quietly as part of a standing ovation for one’s own son, as happened several times to me that night.

And they insist that he be of them, alone. One time he introduced a new song he had as one he would do in a week or so for a Johnny Cash show. Voice from the audience: “Why? Why Cash, man?” Argumentatively.

There was fun. One ovation went on for a minute or two. When all had died down there was a nice strong young voice from high in the galleries calling clearly, in case he hadn’t understood: “That was all right!”

Once he was applauded for rolling up his sleeve. It was loose, and was getting in the way of his right hand on the guitar. You can’t beat being applauded for rolling up a sleeve.


Well, I won’t go on. The next morning six of us met for breakfast in our room, including my wife and Neil’s agent Elliot Roberts; my son Bob, who is a writer and researcher, and a friend of his. Neil said the audience was a little more aggressive in New York than elsewhere. We had a couple of easy hours. He had the second concert that night, then a flight to England on Sunday to discuss an new Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young album with Steve Stills; then back to San Francisco Wednesday to the ranch he owns there, with redwood forest and black angus cattle, a place he loves.

After three days there he would go to Nashville to tape with Johnny Cash. Soon after he would leave in a concert tour that includes Vancouver, Winnipeg and Toronto (Massey Hall).

As is usual, a parent really can only watch from afar. The funny thing is I keep watching, and thinking of so many other times, and thinking: He hasn’t changed. And yet . . . from a boy fishing in Omemee, to a boy with his first ukulele in North Toronto, to a tall thin kid playing and singing to a full house at Carnegie hall –– what the hell happened?

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In the “not so well known” album ‘A Treasure’, a song lives that doesn’t appear anywhere else on any other album. It features a fiddle played by Rufus Thibodeaux, banjo by Anthony Crawford, piano by Hargus ‘Pig’ Robbins, steel by Ben Keith and electric guitar by me. Karl T. Himmel sat behind the drums and Joe Allen played bass.

The song ‘Grey Riders’ is worth listening to if you are a Crazy Horse fan. It could have easily been done by the Horse and been great, but certainly not better than this performance by these masterful musicians. The fact that the Horse never played this song is curious. I don’t know how that didn’t happen.

I do know that today when I hear ‘Grey Riders’ and ‘A Treasure’, (so named by Ben Keith), that I think these are the greatest performances of all my time playing with the International Harvesters or any other band. It’s a collection the best takes from those touring times, all rolled up into one big show for you. A DVD was produced that includes funky audience video clips of every song. These audience films will become available to our NYA subscribers on December 1st.

When I think of all these musicians and their histories and the fact that I got to play with them, I am thankful for that. Many of them are Grey Riders now.

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Two solo nights at the Tower

photo: dhlovelife

I am very thankful for these NYA shows. The experience of playing for NYA folks sitting in the the best seats in the house is very gratifying.

Setlists were fluid. Very. Especially night two, but night one was really free and easy. We were all on a roll there folks. More power to us!

Those sold out NYA shows left me feeling good. It was like falling off a log! Plus they financed NYA, in the absence of subscriptions at this date.

See you soon. More NYA shows will be announced! Music is the gift for us all.


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photo: © Jay Blakesberg

We had a couple of great nights in the Capitol Theater. The NYA audience was wonderful. I think ‘Mansion on the Hill,’ from night two was psychedelic! We entered the void. ‘I’ve been Waiting for You’ and ‘Children of Destiny’ were highlights too. I love NYA shows because the crowds are so happy. See you at the next one I hope.


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Promise of the Real and I thank you for selling out our two shows at the Capitol Theater in Portchester.

We will see you there. Looking forward to jamming for you all!



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Broken Arrow Ranch 1971

photo: David Meyers

The album Harvest is made up of a diverse group of sources - a live acoustic performance, London Symphony Orchestra performances, Nashville studio sessions, and a session at Broken Arrow Ranch’s barn, now lovingly called the Harvest Barn, part of which is in this short film - ‘Are You Ready For The Country?’

In early January 1971, I was touring solo across Canada and in Toronto at Massey Hall, David Briggs recorded me on a 7 1/2 IPS stereo tape recorder. I think there was a multi track recording from that night but Mr. Briggs nailed the sound on the stereo recorder and we used that - saving a generation by not having to go to the master tape to re-mix. That gave the Massey Hall concert an immediate sound. Every tape generation takes you further from the original sound. The Massey Hall performance was released years later as a stand alone live album.

Later that January in Los Angeles, recording a solo Royce Hall show on the same tour with Henry Lewy at the board, we captured ‘Needle and The Damage Done’ and that was the first track that made it onto the Harvest LP.

Early in February I was in Nashville to appear on the Johnny Cash show. Broadcast from the Rhyman Auditorium, the show had just opened the week before with Bob Dylan as a guest, singing with Johnny. James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt were playing the second week’s show and I was on the show as well. Elliot Mazer, who I had just met, had an idea. James and Linda joined me in the studio for a session. Elliot Mazer chose the musicians for the session and put the whole thing together. ‘Harvest’ would have never happened without Elliot. He is great. He was at the board, recording. We captured ‘Bad Fog of Loneliness’, ‘Old Man’ and ‘Heart of Gold’ that first day. James and Linda sang with me, overdubbing on the choruses and James played banjo with us live on Old Man. These were all brand new fresh songs that I had been performing on my solo tour. The sessions were an amazing time with Kenny Buttrey on drums and I could not believe how great he was, so locked in with my right hand. He had his drums set up so he could see my hand on the guitar. Tim Drummond played bass and Ben Keith was on steel guitar. These were great musicians and wonderful people. They were so tuned in to what I was doing; it was easy going and that was the beginning of life-long friendships between us. Ben Keith played with me for over 40 years. Tim Drummond was with me for a very long time as well. What a wonderful group of musicians they were. Elliot got a pure clean sound, using a bit of tape repeat on my vocal. He mixed on the Quad-8 console at Quadrafonic Studios on Nashville’s legendary 16th avenue, where many historic studios were located at the time. It was part of Nashville’s famed Music Row. I was over my head with good fortune and luck combined! Elliot Mazer was key to Harvest’s success.

The next month I was doing a solo concert at Royal Festival Hall in London England and had booked the London Symphony Orchestra for a recording session at Barking Town Hall. Jack Nitzche was arranging and producing the live session. Glyn Johns was at the board. We captured ‘A man Needs A Maid’ and ‘There’s A World’. The sessions were filmed by Vim Vanderlinden and we will soon be premiering unseen footage here at the Times Contrarian. Both songs were included in ‘Harvest’. This again, was an amazing experience. For me, everything was new and I was living the dream.

Soon April arrived and we were back in Nashville recording with Elliot Mazer at Quadrafonic Sound Studio. I had more songs- ‘Out on the Weekend’, ‘Harvest’, ‘Journey Through the Past’ and ‘Dance Dance Dance’. John Harris, pianist, joined us for the session. You can really hear him on the song ‘Harvest’. Tony Joe White played electric guitar on ‘Dance Dance Dance’. The first two of those songs, ‘Out on the Weekend’ and ‘Harvest’ made it onto the album. Then we headed home. (More footage from that session may exist and the archivist is looking for it now. If it is found, NYA will share it with you soon).

A few months later in September we were at Broken Arrow Ranch, my home for a year since September 1970. We recorded in the barn on a stage built by John Snodgress, Carrie’s brother. Carrie is the mother of my oldest son, Zeke, who is an important part of our archives team. Those were some great times! The stage was built from old barn wood to be ready and looking good for some filming with the band. We played ‘Are you Ready for the Country’, “Alabama’, and ‘Words’, the subject of a previous article here in the Times-Contrarian. ‘Are You Ready for the Country’ was written at the ranch shortly before the barn sessions happened. It’s a simple song based on an old blues melody that has been used many times. I thought it would bring some welcome relief from the other songs.

The raw film we see here is found in the (9/26/71) info-card for ‘Are You Ready for the Country’. I particularly like the groove of this recording as Tim Drummond lays it down with Kenny Buttrey, while Jack plays slide guitar, something I had never heard him do before that time.

Occasionally you can see Tim Mulligan, who is my incredible live-sound mixer and mastering engineer and has been since shortly after that time. Tim is the young man moving around in the background. He helped produce some of my albums such as ‘Comes a Time’.

That’s how Harvest was made and those songs have left a mark on me and many of the people I see in my life today. If you are one of those people, a deeply felt thanks for being there.

ny / NYA

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by Bob Young and Diane Marshall

This is a song from the North, from one of your Canadian friends. We Canadians are very concerned for our old friend, the USA. My brother Bob is singing this solo acoustic rendition. Bob co-wrote this song and recorded it in Ontario, where the Youngs come from. We wish the best for the USA.


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Broken Arrow Ranch 1971

photo: David Meyers

Around the end of September 1971, I was recording the album ‘Harvest’ with Elliot Mazer in my barn at Broken Arrow Ranch, my new home. I had no idea what the title of the album would be at that time. We were just out in a field behind the barn where we had been recording. I held a piece of dried cow shit in my hand as we talked. A truck from Wally Heider Recording was there full of recording equipment and the engineer running the truck was Stan Thompson.

The Stray Gators were hanging out listening around the truck as we played back a long exploratory jam of ‘Words’ that would have taken up a whole side of vinyl so was not included in the album. In those days it was important to consider that a vinyl record would only sound great if it was about 18 minutes long. If you pushed it too much further and there was a lot of bass in the recording, (which took up a lot of the grooves) it would not sound great overall and would have to be at a lesser volume.

While I was listening to the natural echo bouncing off the hills of my new home, David Meyers asked me a few questions. I tried to answer them as best I could. You can see the guys in the distance, Jack Nitzsche, Kenny Buttrey, Tim Drummond and Ben Keith, hanging around the truck listening to what is probably the best performance of Words ever. This little short film can be found in the archive info-card of the song “Words” from the soundtrack of “Journey Through the Past” a movie I made about that time.

I was 24 years old. As I look at this today, I am moved by the innocence I possessed, as I was discovering so many things for the first time, and I miss my old friends, all of whom are gone, except for the wonderful music they made while they were here together on Earth. I was so lucky to know them and make our music together.

Jack Nitzsche was my friend from Buffalo Springfield days, ‘Expecting to Fly’ as well as my first solo album, Old Laughing Lady’ and had written much of the scores for Phil Spector’s classics, plus movie scores such as ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. Jack joined the band for the first time for ‘Words’.

Tim Drummond played with James Brown, Conway Twitty and J.J. Cale.

Ben Keith played with Patsy Cline on ‘Crazy’, Willie Nelson’s classic. Ben “Longgrain” played his beautiful way with many other musicians and great recordings.

Kenny Buttrey played with countless artists from The Everly Brothers’ to Bob Dylan. His part on ‘Lay Lady Lay’ is legendary.

David Meyers, the interviewer in this short film, is the cinematographer in ‘Journey Through the Past’, ‘Human Highway’, and ‘Rust Never Sleeps’. David was an essential ingredient, along with L.A. Johnson, in Shakey Pictures early productions.

Thanks guys! I have been very fortunate in my life to work along side of you all.


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Heading west, we are feeling thankful from the experience in Boston. The crowd was diverse and game. The theater a testimony to what man can do for the arts, very unlike what the digital age has done for music. The theater, once called Music Hall, was up to the acoustic challenge, delivering a sonic landscape for the audience to wander in. A good time was had by all.

Well almost all. There was a lonely scalper out front who couldn’t sell his tickets for more than they were worth. The tickets originated from NYA. All the tickets did, so everyone knew what this enterprising individual was doing. He seemed a little out of place amongst the audience who all paid a reasonable price for their tickets, because they got advance tickets through NYA and didn’t need scalpers anymore. Since we don't advertise, we only pull in the music lovers who are at NYA.

This leg of our Theater Tour is complete, but there will be more dates and NYA ‘Hearse Theater’ live streams coming as we tour the most beautiful theaters still in existence around the world, painstakingly built before the dawn of the Digital Age. In the tour of the future, the two come together with NYA Advance Tickets and livestreams, making it possible for everyone to be at the concerts, one way or another.

The audience knows one another through their shared experience of listening to original recordings of many songs played at the concert, Xstreamed in highest resolution, at NYA. It was NYA that provided early access to the tickets and sold out both shows, filling the Hall with music lovers who didn’t have to deal with scalpers.

What this means is a return to performing, similar to when I first began and no one knew my songs, so they just listened, rather than celebrating each song as it happened by calling out. It is easier to get lost in a song and fall in the groove when the song is filling the air. It doesn’t always happen, but sometimes it does. We are giving it a chance.

The Theater Tour has produced a feeling in the crew, agents, managers, merchandise people and audience, with everyone realizing how far we have come and appreciating the gifts of beauty, artistry, history and soul offered by the greatest theaters of our time.

Thanks for attending or live streaming our Theater Tour.


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The Crowd

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