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Red-winged blackbird rides on red-tailed hawk's back

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© Mike White
"Hitching a Ride."
The U.S. Department of the Interior shared a photo from a wildlife refuge showing a red-winged blackbird hitching a ride on the back of a red-tailed hawk.

The photo, which was shared by the department on Facebook and Instagram, was snapped by eagle-eyed photographer Mike White at the DeSoto and Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuges in Nebraska and Iowa.

"We occasionally see territorial blackbirds (among others) dive-bombing raptors, but this is definitely something you don't see every day," the department said.

White's photo was titled "Hitching a Ride."

Smiley

Bernie Sanders clearly in pocket of high-rolling teacher who donated $300 to his campaign

© The Onion
Burlington, Vermont — After accepting a check sent to his campaign office by a local elementary school teacher, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was roundly criticized Monday as being firmly in the pocket of the high-rolling educator who had donated $300.

"He might have the reputation of being the people's candidate, but when your candidacy is effectively bankrolled by the multi-hundred-dollar donation of a fourth-grade teacher, it's clear who's really pulling the strings," said political analyst Peter Mathews, who noted that when a check arrives with a handwritten note that says "Behind you 100 percent, Bernie!" it comes with certain expectations.

"He's already spouting off talking points about supporting unions and increasing funding for education. Where do you think he got those ideas? He might think he's not influenced by that money, but when someone has deep enough pockets to drop $300, you pick up the phone when they call."

Mathews went on to say he wouldn't be surprised if Sanders' strong support for a living wage could be directly traced to the fat $20 contribution he got from a fast-food worker.

Smiley

Jon Stewart: Elvis and Area 51 alien also attended his secret White House meeting with Obama


Jon Stewart finally came clean about those meetings with President Obama at the White House that had the media's undies in a bunch this week, confessing Elvis and the Area 51 alien also were among those present, and they took turns shagging a replica of the eye socket of Ronald Reagan - because the real eye socket is kept at the Smithsonian can only be shagged on Christmas.

At the meeting, "We spent about five to seven minutes with Obama kind of scolding me not to turn young America cynical," Stewart told viewers on last night's The Daily Show. Then I spent about five to seven minutes explaining to him I'm actually skeptically idealistic. And then we spent about 45 minutes arguing about: 'Really, the VA can't be fixed any quicker? Or healthcare.gov can't come online with out crashing my son's Minecraft game?' And the whole things takes place over some of the truly best salmon you have ever had."

Comment: No wonder some consider Jon Stewart the Nightly Show's senior "Don't Give A Shit Any More" correspondent.


Black Cat 2

Domesticated cat plays with and feeds adopted baby lynx after its own mother rejected it

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Motherly love! The cat had recently given birth to kittens and adopted the little lynx as a part of her own brood
A domesticated cat has adopted a baby lynx after its own mother refused to feed it.

A worker at the Novosibirsk Zoo in the city of Novosibirsk, Russia, noticed that the young lynx Nika was not being correctly cared for by its mother.

The lynx had refused to feed the cub because it was the runt of the litter and the zoo needed to find an innovative solution for the problem.

An employee at the zoo then decided that she would bring her cat into work with her to act as a surrogate mother.

Her cat had recently given birth to kittens and it was hoped that the feline would adopt the little lynx as a part of her own brood.


Horse

Ponies swim channel from Assateague to Chincoteague Island, 90th annual event

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© Alex Wong/ Getty Images
Hundreds of spectators gathered yesterday to watch the 90th annual Chincoteague pony swim. For those of you who haven't read Misty of Chincoteague in a while, here's a refresher on why the ponies swim the channel from Assateague to Chincoteague Island off the coast of Virginia every year.


Smiley

Baby elephant chases swallows over South African road

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"Such a cute video of a tiny new-born elephant trying to chase away the low flying swallows that are around him," the video's description on the Kruger Sightings YouTube channel reads.
An African elephant calf was caught on camera wandering into a road and chasing sparrows at a South African national park.

The video, posted to the Kruger Sightings YouTube channel, shows a newborn elephant calf wandering in a road inside Kruger National Park and running after birds surrounding it.

"Such a cute video of a tiny new-born elephant trying to chase away the low flying swallows that are around him," the video's description reads.

The elephant fails to catch any swallows, but appears to succeed at having a great time trying.


Wolf

Cuteness overload: Fox Village is home to 200 playful wild foxes

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There's a wonderful, little place in Japan called Zao Fox Village. Opened in 1990, this fox sanctuary is home to over 200 wild foxes.

Comment: See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domesticated_silver_fox
The domesticated silver fox (marketed as the Siberian fox) is a domesticated form of the silver morph of the red fox. As a result of selective breeding, the new foxes became tamer and more dog-like.The result of over 50 years of experiments in the Soviet Union and Russia, the breeding project was set up in 1959 by Soviet scientist Dmitri Belyaev. It continues today at The Institute of Cytology and Genetics at Novosibirsk, under the supervision of Lyudmila Trut.
and: Fetching faces and friendly foxes: Selective breeding of foxes reveals why with humans, beauty rules


Arrow Down

South African pastor commands congregation to eat live snake that allegedly turns into chocolate; gets arrested for animal cruelty

© Facebook/End Times Disciples Ministries
Self-styled South African prophet Penuel Mnguni, 24 (l) feeds a snake to one of his congregants.
A 24-year-old self-styled South African prophet who allegedly commanded a snake to turn into chocolate, then had his parishioners feast on the reptile as a show of their faith in God's power, was arrested for animal cruelty over the weekend.

Photos posted to the Facebook page of End Times Disciples Ministries in Soshanguve, South Africa, led by the controversial young prophet Penuel Mnguni, show several of his congregants being fed what appear to be snakes as others look on with squeamish expressions.

Accompanying the photos was a message quoting Scripture and testifying of the alleged conversion of the snake into chocolate.

"‪#‎Demonstration‬ of God's Power, Romans 14. Those with small faith eats (sic) only vegetables but the ones with a great faith eats (sic) everything. During service Man of God commanded a snake to change into a chocolate and it obeyed. People ate it and enjoyed it. To God Be The Glory!" noted the message.

Mnguni was reportedly an understudy of another controversial South African pastor, Lesego Daniel, who convinced his followers to eat grass and drink petrol last year.

South Africa's Eyewitness News reported that Mnguni was arrested over the weekend after the country's animal rights group, the SPCA, charged him with animal cruelty. He was later released on bail as local courts try to find a date for his next appearance.

People

Juice Rap news: Global challenge of immigrants. Donald Trump and Tony Abbott

© RT
Mass exoduses of people - refugees, asylum seekers, and migrant workers - are taking place all over the planet, causing tensions and tempers to rise. But are these really the kinds of immigrants we should be worrying about?

And how do border-crossing corporations and global treaties like TPP, TTIP and TISA fit into the picture? Join Robert Foster as he sets out to shift our perspective and broaden our understanding of this epoch-defining phase of the great human journey.

Smiley

Universal Pictures sends DMCA notice to itself, demanding take down of "pirated" Jurassic World movie

There's no place like 127.0.0.1

Universal Pictures France appears to have tracked down one source of pirated copies of dino-flick Jurassic World: the loopback address of one of its own boxes.

In a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice obtained by Chilling Effects, an entity called TMG on behalf of Universal's French limb demanded that Google remove from its search results links to www.1divx.info, forum.wawa-mania.ec and www.zone-telechargement.com in order to prevent access to allegedly purloined copies of the disaster flick.

Also on the list is http://127.0.0.1:4001/#/fr/. As most Reg readers will know, the 127.0.0.1 IPv4 address is reserved for the computer you're working from, aka the "localhost." Which means the "pirate" link Universal wants to squash is in its very own bit barn.

While at first glance there are plenty of wholesome chuckles to be had at the prospect of Universal France thinking it pirates its own properties, chances are the IP address was turned up by an automated scanner as content owners are known to use such tools to ease the task of finding unauthorized copies of their properties.

If Universal's scanners are so unsubtle as to finger its own networks as the source of pirated flicks, what other errors might they have made? And what consequences have those errors created?