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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.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Daily Drift

Hey, wingnuts ...

Carolina Naturally is read in 195 countries around the world daily.
Syrupy  ... !
Today is - Canadian Maple Syrup Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog: It Is What It Is

Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Montreal, Ottawa, Victoriaville, Pikangikum, Britannia, Vancouver, Templeton, Thunder Bay, Guelph, Winnipieg, Sioux Lookout, Toronto and Byward Market, Canada
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Bogota, Colombia
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The Bottom, Sint Eustatius and Saba
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Zurich, Switzerland
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Rouen, Lyon and Paris, France
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Ivrea, Torino and Terlizzi, Italy
Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Sochi and Ryazan, Russia
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Today in History

1626 Huguenot rebels and the French sign the Peace of La Rochelle.
1778 France recognizes the United States and signs a treaty of aid in Paris.
1788 Massachusetts becomes the sixth state to ratify the Constitution.
1862 The Battle of Fort Henry, Tenn., begins the Mississippi Valley campaign.
1891 The Dalton Gang commits its first crime, a train robbery in Alila, Calif.
1899 The Spanish-American War ends.
1900 President McKinley appoints W.H. Taft commissioner to report on the Philippines.
1904 Japan's foreign minister severs all ties with Russia, citing delaying tactics in negotiations over Manchuria.
1916 Germany admits full liability for Lusitania incident and recognizes the United State's right to claim indemnity.
1922 The Washington Disarmament Conference comes to an end with signature of final treaty forbidding fortification of the Aleutian Islands for 14 years.
1926 Mussolini warns Germany to stop agitation in Tyrol.
1929 Germany accepts Kellogg-Briand pact.
1933 Adolf Hitler's Third Reich begins press censorship.
1936 Adolf Hitler opens the Fourth Winter Olympics.
1941 The RAF clears the way as British take Benghazi, trapping thousands of Italians.
1944 Kwajalein Island in the Central Pacific falls to U.S. Army troops.
1945 MacArthur reports the fall of Manila, and the liberation of 5,000 prisoners.
1963 The United States reports that all Soviet offensive arms are out of Cuba.
1964 Cuba blocks the water supply to Guantanamo Naval Base in rebuke of the United State's seizure of four Cuban fishing boats.
1964 Paris and London agree to build a rail tunnel under the English Channel.
1965 Seven U.S. GIs are killed in a Viet Cong raid on a base in Pleiku.
1968 Charles de Gaulle opens the 19th Winter Olympics in France.
1975 President Gerald Ford asks Congress for $497 million in aid to Cambodia.
1977 Queen Elizabeth marks her Silver Jubilee.
1982 Civil rights workers begin a march from Carrolton to Montgomery, Alabama.

Non Sequitur


"This dog just appeared out of nowhere..."

"This dog just appeared out of nowhere and followed us for an entire week during our trekking trip in the Himalayan outback . . . When I decided to get up at 4 a.m. to climb the next 5000 m peak for sunrise he accompanied me as well. On the top he was sitting for the entire 30 minutes on this place."
Posted at Reddit EarthPorn, where the interesting comment thread includes the following:
"Your spiritual journey of a lifetime. His average Tuesday."
"These people just appeared out of nowhere and followed me for an entire week."
"Maybe it wasnt a dog, but a spirit guide."
"We met the same dog trekking over the Korzok Range near Tso Moriri! The first night he slept under my tent's fly, then in my friend's vestibule. For a couple of days we didn't feed him, trying to encourage him to go 'home' - that was very hard because he was such a lovely dog. After we crossed a 5900+m pass we had no choice, and fed him well. He was a wonderful companion, but eventually abandoned us for a group of mountain bikers, who presumably had better food! I only have one picture of him, but it was taken at the top of a pass, the only time he was cold and sad."

Did you know ...

About the invention of the military-industrial complex

That with "right to work," is Pennsylvania the new Wisconsin?

That Chris Christie's state police bodyguard busted for shoplifting

Is consciousness a state of matter?

Coca-Cola’s ‘America the Beautiful’ Super Bowl Ad Causes Idiotic tea party Backlash

coke super bowl ad  
During the Super Bowl, Coca-Cola aired a commercial showing people singing ‘America the Beautiful’ in different languages. The fact that Coke showed that America is a country of diversity, with many people coming here from other countries, apparently riled up wingnuts. During and after the Super Bowl, Twitter saw two different hashtags trend: #boycottcoke and #SpeakAmerican.
One prominent tea partier was so enraged about it that he devoted two separate posts on his blog to the subject. Allen West posted a column on Sunday night and then another one Monday morning. In both posts, he used quotes from a couple of past Presidents (George Washington and Teddy Roosevelt) to help bolster his case that Coke should be ashamed of itself for airing the ad. In his first post, West felt that Coke fostering multiculturalism was truly disturbing.
I am quite sure there may be some who appreciated the commercial, but Coca Cola missed the mark in my opinion. If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing “American the Beautiful” in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come — doggone we are on the road to perdition. This was a truly disturbing commercial for me, what say you?
West double-downed on this sentiment with Monday’s post. He also suggested that Coca Cola should have featured members of the American military stationed around the world instead. In his opinion, that would have been the best commercial aired last night.
I guess we touched a nerve last night regarding Coke’s “America the Beautiful” Super Bowl ad. Some people felt even questioning why an iconic American song was sung in other languages was racist. There are others, who I figured, just rolled over and said everything is fine.
But the last thing any of us should want to see is a balkanized America. Furthermore, it has to be of concern that we have Americans who lack the resolve to take a stand for our borders, language, and culture. That’s why I included the quotes from President Teddy Roosevelt, because once upon a time that was how Americans felt, and immigrants came here to be a part of the American experience, not bystanders.
Now, here is my recommendation of what the Coca Cola marketing executives should have done. Coke’s “America the Beautiful” should have been sung in English and showed Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen of diverse races, sex, and creed deployed all over the world drinking Coca Cola. If you truly want to show a diverse commitment to service, sacrifice, and honor that enables us to live in “America the Beautiful” that would have been rated the best commercial advertisement of the Super Bowl. And we would be here talking about how we were all touched emotionally.
On Twitter, conservative pundits tweeted out their anger about the commercial. Somehow, Laura Ingraham equated the commercial’s message with advocating for illegal immigration.
In the end, people like West and Ingraham cannot help themselves. They are so narrowly focused on their own personal visions of what America should be that anything that contradicts that angers them. The United States is a great melting pot of different cultures, races and nationalities. Wingnuts tend to want this country to ignore the cultures of the people that live here. They’d prefer for a homogenized landscape where everyone thinks and talks alike. Progress scares them. Differing views and opinions scare them. Change scares them.

Offshore Banking Regulations

John Boehner has often said in the questioning and criticism of his lack of leadership in the House, What are the repugican standards for judging the lower chamber? And he's proudly boasted that his chamber should not be judged on how many bills it's passed, but rather on how many bills it's repealed.
Try and try as the repugican cabal might, they've tried some 46 or more times to repeal Obamacare. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. They've worked arduously on curtailing the effects of Dodd-Frank and most other financial regulatory issues. These are protections from abuse of the super rich banking institutions on the backs and shoulders of the masses.
So what's the latest on their agenda? Just look at this, as reported by Reuters:
    (Reuters) - The repugican cabal is expected to approve a resolution this week, calling for repeal of an Obama administration law that is designed to crack down on offshore tax dodging.

    In what would be the party's first appeal to scrap the law - the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) - a panel was slated to vote at the repugican national cabal's (rnc) winter meetings in Washington, likely approving the resolution on Friday, according to party members driving the repeal effort.
What's this mean? The repugicans want to allow rich individuals and wealthy companies to continue to harbor money in off-shore banks without subjecting these monies to federal taxes.

The Middle Class Is Steadily Eroding

Just Ask the Business World

 In Manhattan, the upscale clothing retailer Barneys will replace the bankrupt discounter Loehmann’s, whose Chelsea store closes in a few weeks. Across the country, Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants are struggling, while fine-dining chains like Capital Grille are thriving. And at General Electric, the increase in demand for high-end dishwashers and refrigerators dwarfs sales growth of mass-market models. As politicians and pundits in Washington continue to spar over whether economic inequality is in fact deepening, in corporate America there really is no debate at all. The post-recession reality is that the customer base for businesses that appeal to the middle class is shrinking as the top tier pulls even further away.
If there is any doubt, the speed at which companies are adapting to the new consumer landscape serves as very convincing evidence. Within top consulting firms and among Wall Street analysts, the shift is being described with a frankness more often associated with left-wing academics than business experts.
“Those consumers who have capital like real estate and stocks and are in the top 20 percent are feeling pretty good,” said John G. Maxwell, head of the global retail and consumer practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
In response to the upward shift in spending, PricewaterhouseCoopers clients like big stores and restaurants are chasing richer customers with a wider offering of high-end goods and services, or focusing on rock-bottom prices to attract the expanding ranks of penny-pinching consumers.
“As a retailer or restaurant chain, if you’re not at the really high level or the low level, that’s a tough place to be,” Mr. Maxwell said. “You don’t want to be stuck in the middle.”
Although data on consumption is less readily available than figures that show a comparable split in income gains, new research by the economists Steven Fazzari, of Washington University in St. Louis, and Barry Cynamon, of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, backs up what is already apparent in the marketplace.
In 2012, the top 5 percent of earners were responsible for 38 percent of domestic consumption, up from 28 percent in 1995, the researchers found.
Even more striking, the current recovery has been driven almost entirely by the upper crust, according to Mr. Fazzari and Mr. Cynamon. Since 2009, the year the recession ended, inflation-adjusted spending by this top echelon has risen 17 percent, compared with just 1 percent among the bottom 95 percent.
More broadly, about 90 percent of the overall increase in inflation-adjusted consumption between 2009 and 2012 was generated by the top 20 percent of households in terms of income, according to the study, which was sponsored by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, a research group in New York.
The effects of this phenomenon are now rippling through one sector after another in the American economy, from retailers and restaurants to hotels, casinos and even appliance makers.
For example, luxury gambling properties like Wynn and the Venetian in Las Vegas are booming, drawing in more high rollers than regional casinos in Atlantic City, upstate New York and Connecticut, which attract a less affluent clientele who are not betting as much, said Steven Kent, an analyst at Goldman Sachs.
Among hotels, revenue per room in the high-end category, which includes brands like the Four Seasons and St. Regis, grew 7.5 percent in 2013, compared with a 4.1 percent gain for midscale properties like Best Western, according to Smith Travel Research.
While spending among the most affluent consumers has managed to propel the economy forward, the sharpening divide is worrying, Mr. Fazzari said.
“It’s going to be hard to maintain strong economic growth with such a large proportion of the population falling behind,” he said. “We might be able to muddle along — but can we really recover?”
Mr. Fazzari also said that depending on a relatively small but affluent slice of the population to drive demand makes the economy more volatile, because this group does more discretionary spending that can rise and fall with the stock market, or track seesawing housing prices. The run-up on Wall Street in recent years has only heightened these trends, said Guy Berger, an economist at RBS, who estimates that 50 percent of Americans have no effective participation in the surging stock market, even counting retirement accounts.
Regardless, affluent shoppers like Mitchell Goldberg, an independent investment manager in Dix Hills, N.Y., say the rising stock market has encouraged people to open their wallets and purses more.
“Opulence isn’t back, but we’re spending a little more comfortably,” Mr. Goldberg said. He recently replaced his old Nike golf clubs with Callaway drivers and Adams irons, bought a Samsung tablet for work and traded in his minivan for a sport utility vehicle.
And while the superrich garner much of the attention, most companies are building their business strategies around a broader slice of affluent consumers.
At G.E. Appliances, for example, the fastest-growing brand is the Café line, which is aimed at the top quarter of the market, with refrigerators typically retailing for $1,700 to $3,000.
“This is a person who is willing to pay for features, like a double-oven range or a refrigerator with hot water,” said Brian McWaters, a general manager in G.E.’s Appliance division.
At street level, the divide is even more stark.
Sears and J. C. Penney, retailers whose wares are aimed squarely at middle-class Americans, are both in dire straits. Last month, Sears said it would shutter its flagship store on State Street in downtown Chicago, and J. C. Penney announced the closings of 33 stores and 2,000 layoffs.
Loehmann’s, where generations of middle-class shoppers hunted for marked-down designer labels in the famed Back Room, is now being liquidated after three trips to bankruptcy court since 1999.
The Loehmann’s store in Chelsea, like all 39 Loehmann’s outlets nationwide, will go dark as soon as the last items sell. Barneys New York, which started in the same location in 1923 before moving to a more luxurious spot on Madison Avenue two decades ago, plans to reopen a store on the site in 2017.
Investors have taken notice of the shrinking middle. Shares of Sears and J. C. Penney have fallen more than 50 percent since the end of 2009, even as upper-end stores like Nordstrom and bargain-basement chains like Dollar Tree and Family Dollar Stores have more than doubled in value over the same period.
Competition from online giants like Amazon has only added to the problems faced by old-line retailers, of course. But changes in the restaurant business show that the effects of rising inequality are widespread.
A shift at Darden, which calls itself the world’s largest full-service restaurant owner, encapsulates the trend. Foot traffic at midtier, casual dining properties like Red Lobster and Olive Garden has dropped in every quarter but one since 2005, according to John Glass, a restaurant industry analyst at Morgan Stanley.
With diners paying an average tab of $16.50 a person at Olive Garden, Mr. Glass said, “The customers are middle class. They’re not rich. They’re not poor.” With income growth stagnant and prices for necessities like health care and education on the rise, he said, “They are cutting back.” On the other hand, at the Capital Grille, an upscale Darden chain where the average check per person is about $71, spending is up by an average of 5 percent annually over the last three years.
LongHorn Steakhouse, another Darden chain, has been reworked to target a slightly more affluent crowd than Olive Garden, with décor intended to evoke a cattleman’s ranch instead of an Old West theme.
Now, hedge fund investors are pressuring Darden’s management to break up the company and spin out the more upscale properties into a separate entity.
“A separation could make sense from a strategic perspective,” Mr. Glass said. “Generally, the specialty restaurant group is more attractive demographically.”

It's written all over your face

Human beings are emotional creatures whose state of mind can […]


You care about the environment, you say. You compost your organic wastes and recycle the rest. But what about your pee? Do you peecycle? No? What kind of a treehugger are you?
Everybody pees. In fact, Americans produce about 30 billion gallons of urine every year. That, according to Kim Nace of Rich Earth Institute, represents a valuable resource that most of us just flush away. Instead, Nace proposed that we recycle our urine and use it as fertilizer as it is a "local, accessible, free, sanitary source of nitrogen and phosphorus."
In other words, if you need a natural fertilizer, urine luck!
But how good is urine as fertilizer anyways? Last year, the Institute carried out an experiment to test it.
As reported by National Geographic, that thanks to sixty enthusiastic community members, the Institute collected 600 gallons of urine to fertilize a field of hay in a Brattleboro, Vermont, farm. A 50/50 mix of urine and water was applied to a test strip of land. The result was impressive:
Rich Earth Institute co-founder and Research Director Abe Noe-Hays said in an interview in the Bennington Banner, "the amount of nutrients in a year's worth of urine from one person is almost all the fertilizer needed to grow food for that person in that span."

Fire station destroyed by blaze

A fire has destroyed a fire station in Mount Albert, northeast of Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. Intense flames quickly ripped through the fire station just after 8am on Sunday.

Random Celebrity Photos



Sally Margaret Field (b. November 6, 1946) promotional photo for 1977’s “Smokey and The Bandit.” (Via)

Love her, still hot even now 
Sally Margaret Field (b. November 6, 1946) promotional photo for 1977’s “Smokey and The Bandit.”

Culinary DeLites

Bacon Salt
Makes about 1/4 cup
2-3 slices of prosciutto or bacon
1 teaspoon course sea salt
Heat oven to 375°F.
Place prosciutto slices on a baking sheet and cook for 20-25 minutes, until crisp. Remove prosciutto from pan and place on paper towels to cool. Pat off any excess oil.  
Break prosciutto into small pieces and place in a mortar and pestle. Crush into even smaller pieces, then add salt and pound the mixture until uniformly broken down and mixed. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Name A New Chip

Lay’s is holding a contest called Do Us a Flavor, in which anyone can submit an idea for a new chip flavor. There’s a million dollar grand prize! Well, you know how internet users love to have fun with this kind of thing, so there are some amazing flavors already submitted via the Twitter hashtag #DoUsAFlavor, as well as at the Lay's site. Among the serious submissions like Spaghetti and Meatballs, Poutine, and Fried Chicken, there’s also the lovely Orange Juice and Toothpaste, Student Debt, and Frozen Shampoo. See a selection of the best awful flavors at The Daily Dot.

Immunotherapy and peanut allergies

Immunotherapy — controlled, careful exposure to an allergen — has been shown to reduce the severity of allergic reactions. Sometimes, it can all-but-eliminate the allergy altogether. Increasingly, researchers are finding this is true for dangerous peanut allergies, as well as the pollen allergies immunotherapy has been more commonly used to fight. Along the same lines, a growing body of evidence suggests that keeping fetuses, infants, and small children away from possible allergens actually increases — not decreases — their likelihood of developing an allergy to those foods.

Sugar, Heroin and The Black Death

Eating added sugar not only increases the risk of obesity, but may also increase the risk of dying from heart disease.
When actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was discovered dead on Sunday with a needle in his arm, the apparent heroin overdose underscored the new dangers of the drug.
A 14th-century outbreak of plague known as the Black Death may have caused Europeans and Roma people to evolve to look more similar.



Antique Rocking Bath Tub

On Oct. 24, 1901, 63-year old schoolteacher Annie Edson Taylor climbed into a barrel and plunged over Niagara Falls. She was the first known person to do so and survive. Emerging from the barrel, she advised against attempting to duplicate her feat, allegedly saying “Don’t try it.”
She could have stayed home and had a similar, safer experience. The Niagara Wave and Rocking Bath was a novelty bath tub of the late Nineteenth Century. It’s a simple but clever design. Just fill the sheet steel bath tub with water, climb in and start rocking. The manufacturer—known as the Jersey Company—promised an accurate simulation of a sea bath and good health through improved circulation.

What World War I Did to the Middle East

by Bernhard Zand 
Century of Violence: What World War I Did to the Middle East
World War I may have ended in 1918, but the violence it triggered in the Middle East still hasn't come to an end. Arbitrary borders drawn by self-interested imperial powers have left a legacy that the region has not been able to overcome. More

This telephone is 1,200 years old

Not an electric telephone obviously, but a true "phone" designed to transmit sounds over distances, created in South America before the era of European contact.  Smithsonian has the story:
The marvel of acoustic engineering—cunningly constructed of two resin-coated gourd receivers, each three-and-one-half inches long; stretched-hide membranes stitched around the bases of the receivers; and cotton-twine cord extending 75 feet when pulled taut—arose out of the Chimu empire at its height. The dazzlingly innovative culture was centered in the Río Moche Valley in northern Peru, wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the western Andes. “The Chimu were a skillful, inventive people,” Matos tells me as we don sterile gloves and peer into the hollowed interiors of the gourds. The Chimu, Matos explains, were the first true engineering society in the New World, known as much for their artisanry and metalwork as for the hydraulic canal-irrigation system they introduced, transforming desert into agricultural lands...
More at the link.  I've been unable to locate a better photograph than the embed, but it's clear that this was the equivalent of a modern tin-can telephone.

Random Photos

Indian politician's seven stolen buffalo recovered following huge police operation

Seven buffalo stolen from powerful Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan's home, which had scores of policemen on their toes over the weekend, have been found. The police on Sunday traced the buffalo. This, however, could not save three local policemen who were on night patrol when the incident took place. They were stripped of their posts for 'dereliction of duty' and sent back to the police lines. A harsher punishment is expected after a probe in days to come.
The buffalo were stolen from the minister's well-protected farmhouse late on Friday. The alleged robbers had cut open thick iron chains to take away the animals. Led by the Superintendent of Police, Sadhna Goswami, police officers across the district spread out in a massive buffalo hunt, combed fields and took sniffer dogs along to track down the animals. To everyone's general relief, the buffalo were finally all found on Sunday, in different areas.
The stolen buffalo were recovered following a night-long operation where five police teams raided dozens of dairies, slaughter houses and meat factories in and around Rampur. Ten people have been detained in connection with the theft. SP Rampur Sadhna Goswami, along with ASP Devesh Pandey and DSP Aley Hasan, headed separate teams that included officers from six police stations and investigators from the district police's crime cell as well.

The police went through hours of CCTV footage at the meat factories to verify the entry of livestock into the premises. Three of the missing buffalo were traced in Ganj police circle, two each were traced to Swal and Shehzadnagar police circles of Rampur city. By evening five were identified as ones that were stolen while officers were unsure about the remaining two. " Sources say the police are hoping that the minister will withdraw his case against the three punished officers.

Burglar took a nap on sofa next to victim's housemate before stealing his mobile phone

Police are looking for a suspected burglar who fell asleep on his victim's sofa before stealing his mobile phone and fleeing the scene. The slumbering thief is thought to have entered a house in Hulme, south of Manchester, via an unlocked front door and fallen asleep in the living room. One of the men living at the address watched television for around two hours next the dozing intruder but assumed he was a friend of his housemate. The victim went upstairs for a shower and heard the front door closing and shortly after discovered his housemate had no idea who the visitor was.
When the pair checked their possessions they realized a mobile phone had been stolen from a table in the living room. The mysterious burglar is thought to have entered the house between 5am and 1pm on Wednesday and was described as a white male in his early 20s, 5ft 10in tall and of slim, athletic build with short, dark hair which was spikey on top.
A spokesman for GMP's South Manchester Division, said: "It is unclear how this man has come to be sleeping in the living room - whether he's entered the property by mistake or he is an intruder who has fallen asleep. However, what we are satisfied the victim's phone has been stolen and we are now looking to identify this man and speak to him regarding the incident."

Would-be carjacker trapped in garage after woman closed door

When Andre Bacon repeatedly demanded a woman give him the keys to her car in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood of Chicago, police say she did so.
And then she closed the door to the garage where the car was parked, trapping Bacon inside until officers could come and arrest him.
Police say Bacon approached his victim on Saturday evening. He repeatedly demanded she give him the keys to her car. She handed them over, then closed the garage door, ran away and called police.
Officers arrived and opened the garage door to find Bacon sitting in the driver's seat with the keys in the ignition. Bacon was then taken into custody. Now Bacon, 21, of Chicago, has been charged with attempted vehicular hijacking and theft and is being held in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Daily Comic Relief


The Coldest Spot In The Known Universe

Space has a reputation for being cold, but the tremendous chill of deep space is nothing compared to what NASA is preparing to create very near to Earth. Researchers are planning to generate a super-cold spot on the International Space Station to study the intricacies of quantum mechanics. How cold? It's going to be the coldest spot in the known universe.

The experiment being carried out in the ISS Cold Atom Lab is going to reach temperatures as low as 100 pico-Kelvin above absolute zero (pico denotes one-trillionth).

Astronomical News

Meandering rivers have been spotted on the Martian surface -- but they are now dry ridges, an eerie reminder of Mars' wet past.
In a recently-released view of the beautiful Trifid Nebula, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) takes an intimate look into the effects of star birth inside the cloud of dust and gas.
Earth may be a nice and cozy place for life as we know it to evolve, but is it really the best place for life to thrive? Probably not, say two researchers.
Early planets may have harbored microbial life just after the universe started, warmed by cosmic radiation, says a new theory.

Now even fish can use tools

Remember back when tool use was one of the things that ostensibly separated humans from animals? Nowadays tool use doesn't even make us special in comparison to carp.

Why are so many snowy owls showing up in places so far south from the Arctic?

Norman Smith releasing a snowy owl in Duxbury, Mass., that had recently been captured at Logan airport in Boston.
John Schwartz at the New York Times has a wonderful story up about a strange trend involving snowy owls: They seem to be showing up a whole lot in places very far from their normal habitat within the Arctic Circle. Places like Washington, DC; Boston; Virginia, and the like. John:
“This year’s been bizarre,” said Dan Haas, a birder in Maryland. “The numbers have been unprecedented. Historic.”No one is sure why so many snowies are showing up in so many places — whether it can be attributed to more food in their Arctic habitats than usual, or climate change at the top of the world. “Think about the canary in the coal mine,” said Henry Tepper, the president of Mass Audubon, “you think about the snowy owl in the Arctic.”

Animal Pictures