Archive for September, 2013
27 Sep 2013

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Not really a new species, this is merely a cane toad trying to eat a bat. He is destined to fail as the LA Times reports.

26 Sep 2013

Morning Kangaroo

26 Sep 2013

Harry Potter Wedding Fail

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Darcy looks down.

The Telegraph reports on problems with delivery via owl.

[A] bride’s secret plan for a barn owl to swoop to the altar with the wedding rings attached to tassels on its feet went awry when the bird had other ideas and fell asleep.

The ceremony had to be put on hold when the owl, called Darcy, took to the rafters of the 900-year-old church that was hosting the ceremony and stayed there.

It remained perched high above the guests’ heads at the Holy Cross Church in Sherston, Wilts, for an hour, during which time it dozed off.

After repeated failed attempts to coax it down, Rev Chris Bryan decided to continue the ceremony using a back-up set of rings.

He said: “It would have been absolutely superb if it worked. It was a lovely idea and it was supposed to be really stunning.

“It was a complete surprise to the groom, although the bride was in on it. It was the bride’s mother’s idea.

“The groom is into falconry as a bit of a hobby and so it was secretly arranged for two falconers to suddenly appear at the moment when the best man hands over the rings.

“This chap popped up at the front of the church next to us with a gauntlet on, as another chap appeared at the back of the church with a box.

“The owl appeared, and took a bit of coaxing to take to flight.

“It paused for a little bit, eventually saw the gauntlet, and then took off.

“But instead of landing on the arm of the man by us and delivering the rings it went up over our heads and landed up in the roof space.”

“The idea was it would be amazing and would swoop over the heads of the guests, and they’d all feel the air rushing from its wings, but it didn’t quite work like that.”

The couple and their guests were able to see the funny side, however, and there was a plan B in place, he added.

“They say never work with animals, so we had a back-up pair of rings,” Rev Bryan said.

“After a few minutes, we gave up trying to get it down and carried on. It was actually rather nice when we went up for prayers and the owl was right above us.”

The couple, from Oxfordshire, had left the church by the time Darcy was finally brought back down, with the aid of a long ladder.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

26 Sep 2013

Rand Paul: Why Doesn’t The President Take Obamacare?

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Hat tip to Sarah Jenislawski.

26 Sep 2013

Noam Chomsky Says Sarah Palin Was Right About Obama

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25 Sep 2013

Eagle Hunting Deer

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They also use eagles to take deer. (video from Daniela Imre)

Deer hunting with a Golden Eagle

25 Sep 2013

Movie: the Movie

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Seriously over-the-top parody trailer with loads of major stars making cameos.

Hat tip to Vanderleun.

24 Sep 2013

Some Days Are Like This

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24 Sep 2013

Letter From Shady Cove, Oregon

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24 Sep 2013

Lost Cities of the Upper Amazon Basin

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Boo hoo! Human economic development is ravaging the precious Amazon rain forest. Except, wait a moment, clearing rain forest vegetation is making it clear that people had cleared the same land centuries ago, cities, systems of irrigation, an entire unknown civilization once existed covering huge areas that have since been buried by the jungle.

In the academic journal Antiquity: Pre-Columbian geometric earthworks in the upper Purús: a complex society in western Amazonia.

The combination of land cleared of its rainforest for grazing and satellite survey have revealed a sophisticated pre-Columbian monument-building society in the upper Amazon Basin on the east side of the Andes. This hitherto unknown people constructed earthworks of precise geometric plan connected by straight orthogonal roads. Introducing us to this new civilisation, the authors show that the ‘geoglyph culture’ stretches over a region more than 250km across, and exploits both the floodplains and the uplands. They also suggest that we have so far seen no more than a tenth of it.

24 Sep 2013

Former Royal Marine With Handgun Saves 100 Lives in Nairobi

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The Daily Mail reports that a former Royal Marine, carrying a concealed handgun, happened to be drinking coffee in the Nairobi Mall at the time of the terrorist attack and was able to lend a hand, entering the mall’s interior repeatedly to lead as many as a hundred civilians to safety.

A former marine emerged as a hero of the Nairobi siege yesterday after he was credited with saving up to 100 lives.

The ex soldier was having coffee at the Westgate mall when it was attacked by Islamists on Saturday.

With a gun tucked into his waistband, he was pictured helping two women from the complex.

His story emerged as sporadic gunfire continued to ring out from inside the mall early today as Kenyan security forces battled Al Qaeda-linked terrorists into a fourth day. …

The former soldier is said to have returned to the building on a dozen occasions, despite intense gunfire.

A friend in Nairobi said: ‘What he did was so heroic. He was having coffee with friends when it happened.

‘He went back in 12 times and saved 100 people. Imagine going back in when you knew what was going on inside.’

Sources said the soldier was in the Royal Marine and now lives in Kenyan. He cannot be named for security reasons.

The British military regularly train and operate out of Kenya, and have been involved in tracking UK citizens involved with hardline Islamists in Somalia and Yemen.

Former members work with both the UK and Kenyan governments and security firms across East Africa.

Memeorandum describes him as an off-duty member of the British elite Special Air Service (SAS).

23 Sep 2013

Small Kitten, Big Dog

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