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Wrong time, wrong place: Rare arctic bird spotted in Florida

© Mark Hedden
Swedish biologist Viktor Nilsson-Ortman came to Florida to collect damselfly eggs for his post doctorate research and left last week with a discovery that turned the birding world all aflutter.

On the shoreline he spotted a red-necked stint, the first time this species has been seen and documented in the Sunshine State.

"What a great find Viktor!" was the salute on limeybirder.wordpress.com.

The red-necked stint is a tiny shorebird in the sandpiper family that breeds in Siberian Asia and parts of western Alaska. It migrates thousands of miles to winter in east India and Taiwan south through Australia and New Zealand. In the continental Untied States, the species has been spotted along the Pacific coast and in New England and New Jersey. And in July 2012, a red-necked stint caused a big stir when one was discovered by a national wildlife refuge biologist in Kansas.

© Wikimedia Commons
The Distribution of the Red-necked Stint
Red Broken Lines = Estimated Range
Green = Breeding Range
Blue = Wintering Range
But never before had one been seen and documented anywhere near Florida. This bird in the Keys may have remained anonymous - perhaps to be seen only by beachgoers who had no idea what type of bird it was or the magnitude of its existence here - if not for the eagle eyes and knowledge of Ortman.
Fish

Cold-water fish of northern latitudes turns up in Irish waters

© Joe O’Shaughnessy
Fishmonger Stefan Griesbach with the Golden Red Fish in Galway. It was served to visitors to the Galway arts festival.
Golden Redfish commonly found off Iceland, Greenland and Norway

A long-living fish which prefers the chillier waters of northern latitudes has been caught by an Irish fishing vessel on the Porcupine Bank.

The golden redfish, or sebastes norvegicus, is prevalent in Iceland, and can be found along the North American coast, south of Greenland and along the Norwegian coast.

The 5.9kg specimen was caught by Aran islander Tomás Conneely of the Ocean Harvester II, a Rossaveal, Co Galway, vessel which fishes for prawns on the Porcupine.
Robot

The third machine age could destroy us

Robot Caregiver
© American Psychological Association
There have been one and a half machine ages already. The first began in the nineteenth century, with machines taking over manual labor. Then in the twentieth century machines began taking over mental labor (they still are). When the third age comes, says one sociologist, we're doomed.

Sociologist Zeynep Tufekci has written an interesting article in response to the idea that we need robots to do "emotional labor" like caring for children and the elderly. She identifies the third machine age as one where machines take over the realm of emotional labor, whether that's teaching Kindergarten or working as a nurse.

Basically, she's using emotional labor as shorthand to describe a broad range of caretaking professions, especially in heath and medicine, that are currently booming.

Though she worries about handing over this deeply human kind of work to machines, she makes a deeper point about why this third machine age may be the last. Because it continues in the tradition of our previous machine ages, which have all eliminated jobs and created massive unemployment and social unrest.
USA

The ten plagues that are hitting America right now

Plagues
© The End of American Dream
Why are so many plagues hitting the United States all of a sudden? Yes, one can always point out bad stuff that is happening somewhere in the country, but right now we are facing a nightmarish combination of crippling drought, devastating wildfires, disastrous viruses, dying crops and superbugs that scientists don't know how to kill.

And as you will see, we even have a plague of flies down in Mississippi. So what in the world is going on? Is this just a case of bad luck, or is something else happening?

At the conclusion of this article, please feel free to tell me what you think. The following are ten plagues that are hitting America right now...
Arrow Down

Meet Theranos, Inc. - The blood testing company with Henry Kissinger and a Cadre of military and political "elite" on its board

Kissinger deserves vigorous prosecution for war crimes, for crimes against humanity, and for offenses against common or customary or international law, including conspiracy to commit murder, kidnap, and torture.

A good liar must have a good memory: Kissinger is a stupendous liar with a remarkable memory.

- Christopher Hitchens in The Trial of Henry Kissinger
Blood Samples
© Wikimedia Commons
Human blood samples.
I first heard of Theranos, Inc. in the fall of 2013, when the Wall Street Journal published a piece titled, Elizabeth Holmes: The Breakthrough of Instant Diagnosis. However, it wasn't just me.

It was the first time pretty much anyone on earth had heard of the company, because despite having been founded a decade earlier in 2003, it maintained a level of secrecy more characteristic of classified military operations.

Here are some excerpts from that original article:
Stormtrooper

Border Patrol agents hold Iowa Boy Scouts at gunpoint for taking a picture of them

Young Boy In A Field Looking Through Binoculars,
© via Shutterstock
"Young Boy In A Field Looking Through Binoculars"
A Border Patrol agent allegedly held a member of an Iowa Boy Scout troop at gunpoint while another threatened another boy with arrest and a 10-year prison term for taking a picture of him, KCCI-TV reported.

The incident reportedly took place while members of Mid-Iowa Boy Scout Troop 111 and volunteers traveling with them were attempting to drive through the border between Canada into Alaska. Troop leader Jim Fox told KCCI that the group was detained and searched after the scout took the picture. The agent allegedly told Fox that the scout had committed a federal offense.

"The agent immediately confiscated his camera, informed him he would be arrested, fined possibly $10,000 and 10 years in prison," Fox was quoted as saying.

Fox and his troop complied with the agent's order, but as another scout was unloading luggage from one of the group's vans, "He hears a snap of a holster, turns around, and here's this agent, both hands on a loaded pistol, pointing at the young man's head."

The troop was released after being detained for four hours, and made it back to Iowa this past Sunday.
Bizarro Earth

Single lightning strike kills 45 head of Black Angus cattle on Montana ranch

Herd of Black and Red Angus
© Wikimedia Commons
Mixed herd of Black and Red Angus.
Darby - A bolt of lightning killed 45 head of cattle on a ranch near Darby.

Rancher Jean Taylor tells the Ravalli Republic the cows, calves and a prize bull were crowded under some small crabapple trees on July 14 when the lighting struck.

Taylor says the clap of thunder awakened her at 10:28 p.m.

Taylor says the family spent years building their herd of Black Angus cattle, and now they only have eight to 10 cows left.

Area ranchers helped the family dispose of the dead animals.

Source: Associated Press
Handcuffs

Elderly veteran arrested for asking gov't officials to speak louder

veteran arrested
© Screenshot from YouTube user wilmaciii
A 76-year-old military veteran was arrested for disorderly conduct at a public county board meeting for asking officials to speak up when they refused to use the microphones. The hearing was over a controversial new plant in the area.

The contentious meeting involved a group fighting a proposed US Nitrogen plant and its plans to build a pipeline that would empty into the nearby Nolichucky River in Greene County, Tenn. The meeting - promoted as being a public one - was Friday at 8 a.m., which citizens complained was designed to keep them from attending

In the meeting room, the county's board sat in a circle around a roped-off table at the front of the room, and did not use microphones or podium behind the table, several attendees said. At least four board members had their backs to the public viewing area.

"They, in writing, presented a 'public meeting', but did everything they could to confuse people as to when it would be, having during the worst time of day and while conducting it, making sure no could properly hear or understand what they were saying," Roberta Drake posted to the Save the Nolichucky Facebook page. "It was all a farce."

When citizens began complaining, Mayor Alan Broyles, who announced in January he would not be running for reelection, according to WJHL, warned, "If we have any more outbursts from the audience, you will be removed from the building."

At this point Eddie Bruce Overholt, who the Greeneville Sun describes as the owner of the popular CJ Papadops restaurant at Bybee and a well known figure in both Cocke County and western Greene County, stood up and said, "Would y'all speak up until the whole audience can hear you?"

Police, who were on standby at the meeting, then moved to Overholt and removed him from the room with his arms behind his back, as he asked, "Are you throwing me out from a public meeting?"

Arrow Down

NYC approves apartment building with separate entrance for poor people

NY Apartment
© Gawker
It would be difficult to come with a more on-the-nose metaphor for New York City's income inequality problem than the new high-rise apartment building coming to 40 Riverside Boulevard, which will feature separate doors for regular, wealthy humans and whatever you call the scum that rents affordable housing.

Extell Development Company, the firm behind the new building, announced its intentions to segregate the rich and poor to much outrage last year. Fifty-five of the luxury complex's 219 units would be marked for low-income renters - netting some valuable tax breaks for Extell - with the caveat that the less fortunate tenants would stick to their own entrance.

The city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development approved Extell's Inclusionary Housing Program application for the 33-story tower this week, the New York Post reports. The status grants Extell the aforementioned tax breaks and the right to construct a larger building than would ordinarily be allowed.

According to the Daily Mail, affordable housing tenants will enter through a door situated on a "back alley."
Black Magic

England's cricket team terrified after experiencing paranormal activity inside haunted Langham Hotel


Renowned Langham Hotel in London
Members of England's cricket team are apparently so convinced that their London hotel is haunted that they've reportedly been unable to sleep and have requested room changes after what one player recounts as a series of eerie and terrifying incidents.

The players, who are staying at the renowned Langham Hotel, are apparently convinced that their accommodations are haunted, with some of their wives and girlfriends so freaked out that they've refused to even stay at the hotel, according to the Daily Mail.

Stuart Broad, a right-arm seam bowler and left-handed batsman for England's cricket team, apparently opened up to the outlet about mysterious taps he's heard and a purported "presence" he claims to have felt.
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