Land of many uses?


As the Denver Post blithely put it, “the geyser was not erupting at the time.” The time, that is, when two seasonal workers at Yellowstone National Park urinated into Old Faithful. But something almost as startling was happening, thanks to technology: The destructive silliness was covered live by a Webcam. As put it: “If you’re going to pee on a national treasure, you ought to make sure you’re not being live streamed to the Web.” Sure enough, someone watching the Webcam while waiting for the geyser to spew called the park’s dispatch center to complain. According to PEER — no pun intended; it’s the acronym for the nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility — this was the first time the Webcam functioned as a protector of natural resources in the park, or (depending on your point of view) as an intrusive Big Brother. Both workers were fired by the Old Faithful Inn, and one, a 23-year-old man, has already been sentenced. He was fined $750, placed on probation for three years, and banned from Yellowstone for two years.

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