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Mr. Potato

Squirrels and beavers contributing to global warming more than previously thought

Arctic ground squirrels churn up and warm soil in the Tundra, releasing carbon dioxide, while methane released by beavers contributes 200 times more methane than they did 100 years ago, scientists say

© Alamy
An arctic ground squirrel, not giving a damn about GW.
Rodents such as squirrels and beavers are contributing far more to global warming than previously thought, forcing climate scientists to alter the models they use to chart how the world is warming up.

Arctic ground squirrels churn up and warm soil in the Tundra, releasing carbon dioxide, while methane released by beavers contributes 200 times more methane than they did 100 years ago, according to scientists from the American Geophysical Union.

Faeces and urine produced by rodents are speeding up the release of carbon from the permafrost, the vast store of greenhouses spanning the Arctic Circle, researchers found.

Comment: Since vegans and vegetarians tend to pass more gas, surely the American Geophysical Union should take a very dim few of such excess emissions and send a team to investigate?

Dollars

Mystery man hands out $100 bills in Massachusetts

A generous mystery man has made the holiday season a little brighter for employees of two Massachusetts coffee shops.

A man wearing a cowboy hat walked into Marylou's in Hyannis on Saturday and handed the worker behind the counter 15 envelopes, each containing a crisp $100 bill.

Manager Victoria Grandy tells the Cape Cod Times (http://bit.ly/1zmGccs ) "MERRY CHRISTMAS" was printed in red on the front of each envelope.
Smiley

Humane Society posts extremely honest ad for a little dog who is "kind of a jerk"

bad dog eddie
© via HSSV
It's always the little ones.
Someone at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley decided that to find a home for "Eddie the Terrible," they'd have to be brutally honest up front. "How does so much naughty exist in one dog?" asks their blog in a post titled "Three Reasons You DON'T Want To Adopt Eddie The Terrible."

They also made this video illustrating exactly how terrible Eddie is around other dogs:


Between the blog post and the video, the case against adopting Eddie is pretty damning.

Eddie isn't good around other dogs. He isn't good around children. And he does not enjoy sleeping in a crate. He's "never actually bitten anyone but we're not saying it could never happen."

So yeah, he's a little bit of a nightmare.

It's definitely a risky move to publicize all of a dog's faults, but of course, the best scenario for a rescue dog is going to an owner who knows what she or he is getting into. The blog post makes it clear that "unless you're looking for a dog that's a little bit of work, Eddie the Terrible is not the dog for you."

On other hand, this little terror is "super loyal, easy in the house and a lot of fun." For the right owner, Eddie could be just the yapping, lap-warming, fetch-playing dog they need.
Light Saber

Afghan 'Bruce Lee' spins the web with his kung fu

© Reuters / Mohammad Ismail
Abbas Alizada, who calls himself the Afghan Bruce Lee
Meet Afghanistan's Bruce Lee look-alike, Abbas Alizada! The 20-year-old from Kabul, nicknamed 'Bruce Hazara,' not only bears a striking physical resemblance to the famous kung fu legend, but also manages to pull off his martial arts moves.

The young Afghan has kicked his way through the internet, gaining wide popularity through videos and photos showcasing his talents.

Comment: He ought to kung-fu kick western occupiers, and their Taliban allies, out of Afghanistan!

USA

Hippocratic oath updated to include vow of loyalty to insurance giant

Medical
© The Onion
New York - In an effort to modernize the ancient ethics pledge, officials from the American Medical Association announced Tuesday an update to the Hippocratic Oath that includes a vow of loyalty to national health insurance giant Blue Cross Blue Shield.

"This newly revised pledge requires doctors to uphold their allegiance to Blue Cross Blue Shield, to avoid pricey tests and referrals whenever possible, and to do no harm to any in-network patient so far as it remains sufficiently cost-effective," said AMA spokesperson Amanda Cummings, noting a further addition to the professional oath that obligates doctors to enforce all co-pays and coinsurance payments.

"The updated text also requires physicians to have a comprehensive working knowledge of their specific financial agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield. And above all, a doctor must, at all times, avoid inflicting any injury or wrong upon the company's bottom line."

Officials added that the new pledge would no longer require doctors to swear by "Apollo the physician, and Aesculapius the surgeon, and likewise Hygeia and Panacea," but rather by Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO Scott Serota.
Igloo

Experts say that record heat causes record ice

Growing Ice
© International Business Times
It is one of the greatest puzzles in the science of climate change, and has been used by skeptics to cast doubt on global warming: Why, when the world is getting hotter, is the Antarctic getting colder?

Now, a scientist thinks she may have uncovered the answer.

Cecilia Bitz, an atmospheric scientist from the University of Washington in Seattle, believes that oceanic currents are taking heat away from Antarctica and carrying it north, reports the Sunday Times.
USA

Daily Show invites South African comedian to give his first impression of America - It's not pretty


Trevor Noah
On The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart invited on South African Trevor Noah to give Americans his outsider's view of how things are going in the United States. Luckily for us, Noah is a comedian because if we weren't laughing, we'd have to cry.

Stewart introduces Noah as The Daily Show's newest contributor, and while it appears that this will be a good fit, Noah admits that he was hesitant to come to a country with a reputation as bad as America's.
Stewart: I know that you flew in, I guess, yesterday from South Africa.

Noah: Yeah, I just flew in and boy are my arms tired.
The audience laughs and Stewart gives him props for the cheesy joke, but it becomes clear that Noah had something altogether different in mind. Raising his hands in a "Hands up, don't shoot" gesture," Noah adds, "No, seriously, I've been holding my arms like this since I got here."

Road Cone

Canada: Watch 'Calgary's worst driver' struggle for almost 5 minutes to leave a parking space

parking job
© youtube
Calgary's worst driver is really, really bad at driving.
Calgary Police are trying to track down the incompetent driver who was caught on surveillance video backing into another vehicle while trying to leave a parking lot for several excruciating minutes.

On Twitter, Calgary Police spokesperson Jeremy Shaw nominated the person behind the wheel "Calgary's worst driver" and said police were opening a hit-and-run investigation - although "hit-and-run" seems like a charitable description of what happened.

In the video, which has gotten hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, the driver of the grey SUV is seen backing into a maroon sedan and then struggling for another four minutes to escape the nearly-empty parking lot.
Robot

Say 'no drone delivery': Corporate America winning the war on Christmas by weaponizing cheer

stephen colbert
© Comedy Central
On last night's episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert praised TGI Fridays for its innovative use of drones to spread holiday cheer in his "Blitzkrieg on Grinchitude" segment.

"You know nation," he began, "it's getting colder and colder outside and I'm starting to get a hankering for some spiced alcoholic drinkable egg - which can only mean that Christmas is around the corner."

"But this year in 'The War on Christmas,' Christmas is fighting back! Folks, Christmas needs a hero once again, and this year - it's TGI Fridays."

Colbert then cut to a clip from the Today show reporting about the company's plans to attach mistletoe to drones and fly them over the heads of patrons.

"That's right," he said, "TGI Fridays is weaponizing Christmas cheer with a mistletoe drone that forces you to kiss - which is something to keep in mind before you take your dad to lunch."

"But what a fantastic idea this is! The only thing missing from your boozy night out was four whirling blades steered by a sixteen-year-old busboy."

Comment: However many times the truth is told via alternative media activism, media personnel exposing the truth in palatable comedy, it has not stopped the Wall Street-sponsored drone invasion into our lives from manifesting. Now, it's a reality with Amazon kava robots and TGI Friday drones. It will not end there, as corporations will have to follow suit to survive as competitive businesses.

The only choice we have is this: STOP buying from these corporations that use drones or, if you need to buy from them, say "No Drone Delivery".

Flashlight

About 100 brains missing from University of Texas in Austin

© Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Brains!
The University of Texas at Austin is missing about 100 brains - about half of the specimens the university had in a collection of brains preserved in jars of formaldehyde.

One of the missing brains is believed to have belonged to clock tower sniper Charles Whitman.

"We think somebody may have taken the brains, but we don't know at all for sure," psychology Professor Tim Schallert, co-curator of the collection, told the Austin American-Statesman.

His co-curator, psychology Professor Lawrence Cormack, said, "It's entirely possible word got around among undergraduates and people started swiping them for living rooms or Halloween pranks."

The Austin State Hospital had transferred the brains to the university about 28 years ago under a "temporary possession" agreement. Schallert said his psychology lab had room for only 100 brains, so the rest were moved to the basement of the university's Animal Resources Center.

"They are no longer in the basement," Cormack said.

The university said in a statement that it will investigate "the circumstances surrounding this collection since it came here nearly 30 years ago" and that it's "committed to treating the brain specimens with respect." It says the remaining brain specimens on campus are used "as a teaching tool and carefully curated by faculty."

The university's agreement with the hospital required the school to remove any data that might identify the person from whom the brain came. However, Schallert said Whitman's brain likely was part of the collection.

Comment: Out of sight, out of mind?

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