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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Daily Drift


by Katarina 2353
 Into the Gloaming ...

Some of our readers today have been in:
Hanoi, Vietnam
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Manila, Philippines
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Istanbul, Turkey
Bayan Lepas, Malaysia
Angeles City, Philippines
Bandar Sei Begawan, Brunei
Cape Town, South Africa
Konin, Poland
Auckland, New Zealand
Jerudong, Brunei
Johannesburg, South Africa
Makati, Philippines
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Diliman, Philippines

And all across the USA in cities such as:
Bemidji, Dekalb, Dolton, Gowrie and Tifton 

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Today in History

1453   France defeats England at Castillon, France, ending the Hundred Years' War.
1762   Peter III of Russia is murdered and his wife, Catherine II, takes the throne.
1785   France limits the importation of goods from Britain.
1791   National Guard troops open fire on a crowd of demonstrators in Paris.
1799   Ottoman forces, supported by the British, capture Aboukir, Egypt from the French.
1801   The U.S. fleet arrives in Tripoli.
1815   Napoleon Bonaparte surrenders to the British at Rochefort, France.
1821   Andrew Jackson becomes the governor of Florida.
1864   Confederate President Jefferson Davis replaces General Joseph E. Johnston with General John Bell Hood in hopes of defeating Union General William T. Sherman outside Atlanta.
1898   U.S. troops under General William R. Shafter take Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish-American War.
1944   Field Marshall Erwin Rommel is wounded when an Allied fighter strafes his staff car in France.
1946   Chinese communists attack the Nationalist army on the Yangtze River.
1960   American pilot Francis Gary Powers pleads guilty to spying charges in a Moscow court.
1966   Ho Chi Minh orders a partial mobilization of North Vietnam to defend against American airstrikes.
1987   Lt. Col. Oliver North and Rear Adm. John Poindexter begin testifying to Congress regarding the Iran-Contra scandal.

Walking and driving heavily restricted on much of Outer Banks

Walking, driving heavily restricted on much of Outer Banks
To protect turtles and birds, officials prohibit vehicles and pedestrians in some areas. Natives and visitors are steamed.

Non Sequitur


Red Cross officially declares Syria a "civil war"

There is fighting in Damascus, airport reportedly closed  

Business Insider explains the legal ramifications of the situation now being declared a "civil war":
The conflict in Syria was effectively declared a civil war by the Red Cross on Sunday, as the "most intense" fighting since the start of the uprising was reported in Damascus.

The Red Cross had previously designated Idlib, Homs and Hama as war zones, but the change in status means international humanitarian law applies wherever fighting occurs throughout the country

Combatants will now be officially subject to the Geneva Conventions, and will be more exposed to war crimes prosecutions, after the ICRC declared that the conflict was a "non-international armed conflict", or in lay terms a civil war.

Did you know ...

That NBC and Microsoft complete their web divorce

That genetically modified foods are not served in Monsanto's cafeteria

That Romney and son being investigated for $8 billion Ponzi scheme

The presidential campaign starts for real

Last week marked two major turning points in the presidential campaign. It was the week that Romney was finally forced to venture beyond the warmth and comfort of Fox News, and it was the week that Obama decided to engage with an honest ad declaring, "Mitt Romney's not the solution. He's the problem."
The Romney camp does not seem to have been prepared for this onslaught.

They want to be talking about the economy, but Team Obama have forced them to incessantly respond to questions about Romney's tax returns, his status as a 0.01%-er and unflattering questions about his business career.

After months of attacking Obama with blatant lies, Romney is reduced to demanding an apology for the suggestion that he was 'responsible' for the activities of Bain Capital at a time that SEC documents list him as its sole shareholder, President, CEO and chairman (while at the same time, FEC documents, curiously, list him as "retired").

It is not hard to see where the Obama campaign will be going next.

Romney has set himself up as the poster child for the Wall Street culture of wealth without responsibility that caused the fiscal crisis in the first place. And while the leveraged buyouts that made Romney rich may seem far removed from the mortgage securities collapse, the basic mechanism was remarkably similar: Overstate the value of an asset, borrow against it, pay yourself a huge management fee from the borrowed money, and make sure someone else picks up the bill when the whole scam collapses.

Expect to hear that it doesn't take any real business knowledge or expertise to make money the way Romney did. All it takes is connections to the right circle of cronies and a complete lack of moral scruples.

And they'd be right.

Romney's top campaign adviser: Mitt "retired retroactively to 1999"

The Romney people seem to have given up on even trying to make the race hard for Obama.  

From National Journal:
Mitt Romney's top campaign adviser [Ed Gillespie] insisted on Sunday that Romney has no responsibility for any decisions made at Bain Capital during the three years from 1999 to 2001, during which he claimed that he had resigned from the company to go run the Olympics in Utah, explaining that Romney had "retired retroactively to 1999" from the company.
Then Gillespie accidentally shoots a torpedo in Romney's claim that he didn't do any substantive work at Bain during his leave of absence - a leave that left him as CEO, Chairman of the Board, and President - because he was just too gosh-darned busy to do anything else.
"There may have been a thought at the time that he, that it could be part time, but it was not part time," he said. "The Olympics was in a shambles. There was corruption."
Gillespie said that, even if Bain Capital had thought Romney could take a part-time leave of absence from the company, the reality of the demands of the job was different.

"If that's what it said, maybe that's what they thought at the time was that he could do it part time," Gillespie said. "It was not a part-time job. It was a 16-hour a day job."
But there's a problem with Gillespie's explanation. If Romney was working 16 hours day at the Olympics, and therefore couldn't find time to have anything to do with Bain, then how did he find time to travel cross-country to "most" of Staples' board meetings during the same period?

From Politico:
Romney told the Massachusetts election panel in 2002 that he remained active in a number of companies while in Utah, including Marriott and Staples, the office supply giant he helped create through investments from Bain.

During his ballot commission testimony, when asked whether he continued to serve on boards while working on the Olympics, Romney answered: “Yes.”

“I immediately resigned from the board of Sports Authority located in Florida, feeling it could present a conflict of interest with my Olympic responsibilities and of course the travel could be challenging as well. I remained on the board of the Staples Corporation and Marriott International, the Life Like Corporation. And I remained as a corporator of the Belmont Hill School,” he said.

Asked specifically about the Staples board, Romney said there were four to five meetings a year and he returned to Massachusetts “for most of those meetings. Others I attended by telephone if I could not return.”
In other words, his "16-hour-a-day" job at the Olympics did not stop Romney from being involved in the decision-making of other corporations - it even gave him enough time to fly across the country to board meetings - so the excuse doesn't work for Bain either.  If Romney had time to fly home to be at several Staples board meetings, he had time to sit in on at least one Bain board meeting by phone.

And if Romney could attend at least one Staples board meeting by phone, do we know that he didn't do the same for any of Bain's board meetings?  Have the minutes of Bain's board meetings at the time been released?

And how strange that Romney found the time to fly home for several Staples board meetings, when busy working 16 hour days at the Olympics, but he chose not to have anything to do with Bain, a company where he was the sole stockholder, CEO, president and chair of the board, AND a company that Romney had a huge amount of money invested in, since he was the sole stockholder.  Is it credible to believe that Romney had time to spare for just a few board meetings, and he chose Staples over his own company?  Seriously?

Thirty-five questions about Bain that Romney needs to answer

An EXCELLENT article from Forbes. Here are a few of the best:
4. Surely someone from Bain occasionally called you up and asked your opinion about something work related from 1999 to 2002. Wouldn’t that qualify as “involvement,” if only on a minor level?

5. You earned at least $100,000 as an executive from Bain in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings according to filings with State of Massachusetts. Can you give an example of anyone else you personally know getting a six figure income, not dividend or investment return, but actual income, from a company they had nothing to do with?

6. What did you do for this $100,000 salary you earned from Bain in both 2000 and 2001?

7. If you did nothing to earn this salary, did the Bain managers violate their fiduciary duty by paying you a salary for no discernible reason?

8. Are there other companies that pay you six figures a year as earned income, not investment income, for which you have no involvement?
24. Why do SEC documents claim you were Chief Executive Officer, President, and Managing Director of Bain Capital 2000 and 2001 if you were merely the sole owner?

25. Did you sign this SEC document?

26. Is this accurate or not?

27. If you didn’t sign it, is someone guilty of lying to the SEC?

28. True or false, it is a felony to lie on SEC filings?
34. You are obviously bright, hard working and energetic. Isn’t is possible that you put in 60 hours a week on the Olympics but still put in 5 hours a week as an active consultant or adviser by phone, email and the occasional meeting with the full time managers of Bain?

"The public doesn't like corporate raiders"

We've had a spate of stories chez La Maison Chez Nous (at our place) about how the Romney campaign is in serious trouble. All have done extremely well, reader-wise. I think I agree with Paul Krugman who wrote in one of them that "Romney is in the process of getting defined."
But defined as what?

You and I, we think about stuff. So these Bain Capital lying-with-a-point stories make sense to us.

But could you explain the Bain problem in one phrase to the average Jack and Jill whose Tuesday voting is squeezed between two or three jobs, several kids, and aging parental (and American Idol) worries? Until now, I'm not sure I could.

But here's Howie Klein to do the deed, in a great catch of something written by David Frum. The phrase we're looking for is Corporate raider and David Frum supplies it.

First Klein on what Frum doesn't get (my emphasis and paragraphing throughout):
Frum doesn't seem to see the importance of the controversy swirling around Romney's time at Bain as being a real character issue, something that is helping voters understand what kind of man Romney essentially is.

[Romney's] legalistic but thoroughly deceitful and opportunistic filings and excuses for filings with government boards tells voters far more about him than the fact he's a Mormon bishop or a happily married man with a pack of sons who refused to serve in the military or wealthy enough to have a dancing horse and a new elevator for his car collection.
Then he quotes Frum. Notice (say I) what Frum does get:
Non-college whites may dislike Barack Obama, but they don’t like corporate raiders either.

In the repugican primaries of both 2008 and 2012, Romney consistently lost among repugicans earning less than $100,000 per year. (Back in 2008, Romney’s populist rival Mike Huckabee quipped, “People want to vote for somebody who reminds them of the guy they work with-- not the guy who laid them off.”)
"Corporate raider" says it all. Simple. Clean. Deadly. He's being defined as Michael Milkin. Gordon Gekko. Carl Ichan. A T-Rex predator in a world of foot-tall primates (that would be us).

Action Opportunity — you can help. "Romney the corporate raider" could be your constant characterization, you with voices (and pens). Phrases like ...

     the wine-dark sea
     rosy-fingered dawn
     swift-footed Achilles
     grey-eyed Athena
     cunning Ulysses

... these are the kinds of phrase that live a long time through sound and repetition.

Care to try to end this election now? Do to Romney what they did to Kerry and Gore. Help define him.

"Romney the corporate raider" has a nice Homeric ring to it. It's yours if you wish.

Side benefit: Ending this election now would allow us progressives to shoulder the burden of planning for the post-campaign campaign, the world of December 2012 and beyond.

"Everyone Only Wants Temps"

In Mother Jones, Gabriel Thompson goes gonzo with a stint doing "on demand" grunt work for one of America's hottest growth industries: temping.
I grab a chair from a stack in the corner and take a seat, studying a sign that implores me to be "true" and "passionate" and "creative." In reality, passion and creativity have nothing to do with it. Labor Ready provides warm bodies for grunt work that pays minimum wage or thereabouts. "Here's a sledgehammer, there's the wall," is how Stacey Burke, the company's vice-president of communications, characterized the work to Businessweek back in 2006.
Read the whole piece here: "Everyone Only Wants Temps"

Strange Ways to Escape Your Coming Retirement Slavery

A very bizarre exchange between several CNBC finance pundits recently aired in the US.

What will happen when the Ogallala runs dry ?

Mulligan began laying out a series of poster-size maps of the Panhandle. The first showed the base of the aquifer in burgundy. During the late Tertiary Period, he explained, the region we know as the Great Plains wasn’t composed of plains at all—it was a stony terrain of cliffs and valleys. Gradually that surface was buried by erosion sediment from the Rockies, which blanketed the region with the smooth surface of today’s plains. But underneath, the hills and valleys of the prehistoric landscape remain, forming the bottom of the Ogallala Aquifer.

Mulligan spread out a second map on top, which showed the same region, but in shades of blue instead of burgundy. “This is the saturated thickness of the Ogallala in 2004,” he said. “So that’s basically the available water.” The contours of the prehistoric landscape remained clear: where there had been hills, the water was shallow, and where there had been valleys, the water was deep.

Next Mulligan spread out a map recording the impact of wells, which were represented with hundreds of tiny dots. The burnt-orange shading on the map indicated a rapid rate of depletion. Mulligan said, “What you’re looking at is a drawdown on the order of five to six feet per year. So over the last fifteen years, it’s gone down eighty, ninety, one hundred feet.”

None of which, he went on, is likely to come back. For complex reasons involving wind, weather, and soil composition, the Ogallala does not recharge in the way one might expect. In fact, of the eight states above the aquifer, only Nebraska, with its sandhill dunes, is permeable enough to contribute any serious replenishment.

Now Mulligan spread out the last two maps of the region. The first was covered with crimson spots. “So what we did is, we highlighted all the areas that are less than thirty feet,” he said. “Thirty feet is kind of a magic number. You’re down to so little water that you’re not going to be able to pump nearly enough.” The map was almost a quarter red. “So that’s 2004,” he said, turning, “and this is 2030.” 

In the last map the Panhandle was nearly all red. “I look at that,” Mulligan said, “and I can only surmise that there will be very little irrigated agriculture on the high plains twenty years from now.”

“It’s hard to imagine what there will be,” I offered.

Mulligan smiled. “Just because we’re all born into this, we think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. But our human perspective is very biased.” 
Text excerpt and image from a fascinating article in this week's Harper's Magazine, entitled "Broken Heartland.  The looming collapse of agriculture on the Great Plains."

None of this is particularly "news."  I believe it's been known for decades that the water level in the aquifer is declining and will eventually be depleted.  The Texas/Oklahoma area cited above is particularly susceptible to depletion; there are other maps at Wikipedia showing the depth (and drawdown) of the aquifer in more northern states.  But with continued irrigation for agricultural purposes, it will gradually run dry.

What happens then? 

U.S. drought most widespread since 1956

Fifty-five percent of the continental U.S. was in a moderate to extreme drought by the end of June, NOAA's National Climactic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., said in its monthly State of the Climate drought report. That's the largest percentage since December 1956, when 58 percent of the country was covered by drought.

Dude, Where's My Corn?

The cost of food, including meat and eggs, is likely to rise more than 3 percent in 2012 due to drought. Read more
Dude, Where's My Corn?

UN Report: Earth In Trouble

Despite the ever-louder drumbeat for sustainability and global efforts to advance environmental initiatives, Earth remains on a collision course with ...
Continue Reading

The truth hurts


From the "They don't call it Dope for nothing, you know" Department:

Man pulled gun on bong-breaking girlfriend 
A Florida man was arrested on accusations he pulled a gun on his girlfriend after a violent argument in which she broke his bong. Brandon Chviek, 20, of Gainesville, was arrested and charged with domestic battery and strangulation, aggravated assault and possession of drug paraphernalia. Chviek and his live-in girlfriend of six months got into an argument at their residence at the Polos Apartments, said Gainesville Police Department spokesman Officer Ben Tobias.

According to an arrest report, Chviek became “enraged” after his girlfriend broke his marijuana-smoking bong, and he grabbed a handgun, described to police as a semi-automatic .22 calibre with an altered serial number, and threatened her with it. The victim later told police she thought she was going to die. The argument intensified, and Chviek punched his girlfriend hard enough that she hit the ground, Tobias said, and Chviek got on top of her and pressed his forearm into the back of her neck. Then, he flipped her over and choked her until she almost passed out, Tobias said.

Tobias said the girlfriend showed up at the lobby of the Sheriff’s Office with a noticeable bruise on her cheek and scratches and bruises around her body. Chviek was located at Campus Lodge Apartments, and he gave police consent to search the apartment. According to the arrest report, Chviek initially told police he did not fight with his girlfriend but potentially injured her while he was trying to leave the apartment — in which he claimed she was trapping him. He also told police that not only did he not pull a gun on his girlfriend, but he doesn’t even own a gun.

He had multiple scratches on his face and neck, which the victim said were a result of defending herself and trying to get away from Chviek, police reported. Chviek initially told police he got the marks from goofing off with friends but changed his story afterward, officers said. Tobias said the apartment was in disarray when searched, showing obvious signs of a struggle. Police didn’t find the firearm, but they did find .22-calibre ammunition and drug paraphernalia. Chviek was booked into the Alachua County jail, where he remains in lieu of $27,000 bond.

Mother sold baby girl for $5 and a handful of grapes

Honduran police have arrested a woman said to have sold her two-month-old daughter for $5 and $1 worth of grapes. Karina Castro, an 18-year-old from west of the capital, Tegucigalpa, was reported by a friend to guards at the Hospital School.
Emerita Ondina Vega said Castro, who allegedly suffers from mental illness, gave her daughter born on May 2 to an unknown woman, who has not yet been located, for 100 lempiras and grapes at Belen Market northwest of the city.

Castro "came here saying that the other woman, to whom she practically gave her daughter, had promised to return from the hospital," Hospital School's guard chief Javier Hernandez said.

But Vega said Castro had in fact sold her daughter and was arrested by police based at the hospital who have launched an investigation to search for the child. Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America.

If Ancient Rome Had The Internet

The destruction of Pompeii in 79AD is the most viewed video at YouTube. The first comment is..."OMG so cool! Volcanos ROCK!"

Attila the Hun has his own MySpace page. Nobody ever rejects his "invite a friend" emails.

The domain gladiator.rome sells for the record sum of 1,000,000 denarii.

"Naked Cleopatra" is the top search term on Google.

Unfortunately, the Queen of Egypt dies an early death after misunderstanding IT's call to embrace an ASP solution.

Websites like handsome-literate-male-british-slave.com pollute the search listings thanks to generous commissions at the slaves.co.rome affiliate program.

Roman programmers moan about projects outsourced to cheap coders in Mesopotamia.

The Colosseum is renamed the eBay Colosseum, with free wireless hotspots outside the lions cage restaurant.

Nobody invents a spam filter good enough for the House of the Vestals.

Reading Shakespeare Enhances Your Ability to Think

Do you ever feel mentally sharper after reading high literature? Philip Davis, an English professor at the University of Liverpool, does–particularly after reading works by William Shakespeare. The way that the Bard structured lines–what Davis calls the “functional shift”–seems to prime the mind. Davis wanted to know if this was a scientifically verifiable phenomenon. So several years ago, he asked people to read lines while hooked up to electroencephalography (EEG) equipment:
But around each of those sentences of functional shift we also provided three counter-examples which were shown on screen to the experiment’s subjects in random order: all they had to do was press a button saying whether the sentence roughly made sense or not. Thus, below, A (“accompany”) is a sentence which is conventionally grammatical, makes simple sense, and acts as a control; B (“charcoal”) is grammatically odd, like a functional shift, but it makes no semantic sense in context; C (“incubate”) is grammatically correct but still semantically does not make sense; D (“companion”) is a Shakespearian functional shift from noun to verb, and is grammatically odd but does make sense:
A) I was not supposed to go there alone: you said you would accompany me.
B) I was not supposed to go there alone: you said you would charcoal me.
C) I was not supposed to go there alone: you said you would incubate me.
D) I was not supposed to go there alone: you said you would companion me.
What happened to our subjects’ brains when they read the critical words on screen in front of them?
According to the EEG, subjects had a greater comprehension of more complex lines once they had read a line featuring Shakespeare’s functional shift:
In other words, while the Shakespearian functional shift was semantically integrated with ease, it triggered a syntactic re-evaluation process likely to raise attention and give more weight to the sentence as a whole. Shakespeare is stretching us; he is opening up the possibility of further peaks, new potential pathways or developments. Our findings show how Shakespeare created dramatic effects by implicitly taking advantage of the relative independence–at the neural level–of semantics and syntax in sentence comprehension. It is as though he is a pianist using one hand to keep the background melody going, whilst simultaneously the other pushes towards ever more complex variations and syncopations.

See you around the corner

Light trick to see around cornersWhite light and prism

Researchers unveil a simple new means to see through "scattering" materials such as frosted glass, or even see around corners.

Is Wobbling Worrisome?

 Gait Changes May Be an Early Sign of Dementia
Slow on your feet? This could be the first sign of memory loss to come. Three new studies presented Sunday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Vancouver, Canada, finds that changes in walking patterns of the elderly are closely linked to memory loss and may actually be an early clue to dementia.

The End of Cavities?

A team of scientists led by José Córdoba from Yale University and Erich Astudillo from the University of Chile have developed a chemical that can kill all the cavity-causing bacteria in a person’s mouth -in only 60 seconds! They call it Keep 32, because using it may let you keep all 32 of your teeth for a lifetime.
If Keep 32 is as successful in testing as it is in the lab, it’s likely that the chemical would be added to toothpaste, mouthwash, and other oral hygiene products, especially if researchers sell their patent to one of the major pharmaceutical companies. However, Astudillo isn’t limiting his product to the dental world. He also hopes to license the chemical to candy companies like Hershey’s or Cadbury. Keep 32 could be added to sticky sweets, meaning that consumers would no longer need to be concerned that a package of saltwater taffy or caramel would cause tooth decay. Parents will have to come up with a different excuse to prevent their children from eating copious amounts of Laffy Taffy.
After seven years of research, Keep 32 is ready for human trials, if the researchers can get the funding.

Retro Photo

Thriving Gut Bacteria Linked To Good Health

There's no magic elixir for healthy aging, but here's one more thing to add to the list: good gut health.

Produce safety testing program is spared budget ax

The Agriculture Department is extending the life of the nation's main produce-safety testing program, just as the initiative was slated to be shut down.

Trans fat ban made fast food a bit healthier in NY

Kentucky Fried Chicken employee uses tongs to hold up an sample of the company's trans fat-free Extra Crispy fried chicken in New York.

Tomatoes go under the microscope

N.C. firm helps map the tomato genome – and that could lead to tastier, sturdier, larger crops.
0715 tomatoes

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/#storylink=cpy

Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale

Though it may sound like a silly name, this ale was inspired by the store named Voodoo Doughnuts. They feature a very popular doughnut made with bacon and maple syrup. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Then there’s the Pepto-Bismol pink bottle…. More

Awesome Pictures


By Alexander Wolfe

Eight Stunning One-Color Towns Around The World

We've all heard about the colorful towns around the world, there are really lots of them and their facades are very colorful and striking.

But, are there any towns that are painted in only one color? Of course there are, but they are very rare. This list deals with these unusual tourist destinations - one-color towns.

Photo of Mount Rainier's snow monster!

 Files 2012 07 Snow-Monster
Caught on camera! The horrific snow monster of Mount Rainier Creek! Photo by Gisela Taranovski via National Geographic.

Funny Pictures

Mouse traps

Why we need Batman


Squid Chromatophores

What you see here is a microscopic view of a squid’s surface, showing the action of its chromatophores.
Chromatophores are pigment-rich, light-reflecting cells found in amphibians, fish, reptiles and cephalopods, such as squid. The cells dictate eye and skin color and, in some species, allow the bearer to adopt a color-changing camouflage when stimulated by heat, stress and other factors — a process known as metachrosis. The camouflage is also used in communication.
Squid rapidly change color when the muscles surrounding a chromatophore-filled sac contracts and expands — when it contracts, the pigment appears denser, when it expands the color becomes muted and disappears. The squid changes its color according to exterior factors — such as a threat or the presence of a potential mate – because each chromatophore is linked to a nerve ending.
Marine biologist Michael Bok took advantage of a squid with skin cells still active despite being shipped on ice, to make this video. More

Pot Farmers Killing Rare Wildlife

Rat poison is killing fishers, a rare carnivore, in some of the most remote forests of California—and pot growers are probably to blame. Read more
Pot Farmers Killing Rare Wildlife

Wild Snow Leopard Mother and Cubs

There are only a few thousand snow leopards left in the wild, and they are extremely reclusive, living in the mountains and hunting only at dawn and dusk. Now, for the first time time, we have video footage of a snow leopard mother and cubs in their natural habitat. A team of researchers from the Snow Leopard Trust and Panthera found the den by attaching GPS units to snow leopards four years ago. Imagine that job! The leopards’ movements clued them in that it was time to give birth, high in the Tost Mountains of Mongolia.
“As we stood outside the den we could hear the cub and smell the cats but not see anything inside the den,” said Panthera scientist Orjan Johansson. He and colleagues acted quickly, taping a camera to their antenna pole and extending it over the ledge blocking the den entrance. The footage captured shows a female leopard looking up at the camera, keeping a protective paw over her cub.
At the second den—a narrow crack in a cliff wall—the scientists discovered that the mother was away hunting, leaving her two male cubs unattended, seen below. “This was an unprecedented opportunity,” said Rutherford. “We wanted to be as careful as possible and only take the most pressing data.” The team quickly weighed, measured, photographed and collected hair samples from the cubs, which allowed genetic testing that confirmed sex and other information. More pictures of the cubs are available at Panthera’s photo gallery.
See two short videos at Surprising Science.


Look Out for the Shark!

While out fishing one rainy day this group of people had the shock of their life. Read more
Look Out for the Shark!:Gotta-See Videos

Sharks Now More Likely to Attack Humans?

Surfer Ben Linden became Western Australia's fifth shark attack fatality in just 10 months, and experts are asking if sharks are more commonly associating people with food. Read more
Sharks Now More Likely to Attack Humans?

Animal Pictures