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Fri, 02 Dec 2022
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New York City Beaver Returns

Image
© Julie Larsen Maher/ Copyright Wildlife Conservation Society
"Jose" the beaver is New York City's only known wild beaver who makes his home on the lower Bronx River where it flows through the Bronx Zoo.
New York City's most famous beaver, José, has come home for the holidays! After a year-long hiatus, José - the first wild beaver to return to New York in at least two centuries - is back at the zoo and has even cut down his own Christmas tree, which he is now using to construct a new lodge on the Bronx River.

Beavers were once widespread throughout the region, but were wiped out due to fur trapping.

José, named for tireless Bronx River champion Congressman José E. Serrano, was initially spotted at the zoo in early 2007. After building a lodge on the zoo grounds, José eventually moved upriver to the New York Botanical Garden in the summer of 2007 and lived there for several months before vanishing to parts unknown. Then last week, he was spotted at the Bronx Zoo nibbling on a large tree he had just cut down along the Bronx River.

Info

Whispering Bats Are Shrieking 100 Times Louder Than Previously Thought

Annemarie Surlykke from the University of Southern Denmark is fascinated by echolocation. She really wants to know how it works. Surlykke equates the ultrasound cries that bats use for echolocation with the beam of light from a torch: you won't see much with the light from a small bulb but you could see several hundred metres with a powerful beam. Surlykke explains that it's the same with echolocating bats. Some have big powerful calls for perception over a long range, while others are said to whisper; which puzzled Surlykke.

How could 'whispering' bats echolocate with puny 70-decibel cries that barely carry at all? Teaming up with her long time collaborator Elizabeth Kalko from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and student Signe Brinkløv, Surlykke decided to measure the volume of a pair of whispering bat species' calls to find out how loud the whisperers are.

Cloud Lightning

US: Severe Weather Bus Crash Leaves Wheels Dangling Over Interstate

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Dec. 19: A charter bus sits perpendicular across a side street and with it's front end tangling over
Seattle - Two chartered buses slid down an icy, snow-covered cobblestone street and crashed through a guardrail Friday, stopping just before they would have plummeted onto the freeway 20 feet below.

The front end of the first bus dangled above Interstate 5 for hours before a tow-truck managed to pull it from the edge.

"I grabbed the person next to me and prayed to God we didn't fly," said passenger Stephanie Jackson of Spanaway.

Bizarro Earth

6.5-magnitude quake off Japanese coast

Tokyo -- A strong earthquake centered about 90 miles off Japan's east coast, measuring a 6.5 magnitude, was recorded by seismologists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on Saturday.

There were no immediate reports of damage from the quake, which happened at 7:29 p.m. (5:29 a.m. ET).

Fish

Shark jumps out of aquarium into swimming pool

A shark managed to jump out of its aquarium on to a water slide at a hotel swimming pool used by guests.

The female reef shark, one of various exotic creatures in the popular Mayan Temple aquarium at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, tumbled down the slide - known as the Leap of Faith - after vaulting the one foot high and 18 in wide barrier around its pool.

Although the creature survived the journey its body could not cope with the chlorinated water in the swimming pool at the bottom of the slide. Rescuers managed to return the 12-year-old shark to its own pool but it died shortly afterwards.

Staff at the Atlantis resort said that guests were never at risk as the water park had yet to open for the morning. The shark posed no threat to humans and regularly swam with guests in its aquarium.

Igloo

US: Powerful winter storm cuts power, disrupts travel

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© AP Photo/Jessica Hill
A motorist waits for help after flipping his pickup truck in South Windsor, Conn., Friday, Dec. 19, 2008. The season's first heavy snowstorm blanketed Connecticut on Friday, icing roads and forcing the cancellation of dozens of flights.
A winter storm packing snow, freezing rain and biting wind cut power to tens of thousands of customers Friday, disrupted travel and gave schoolchildren from Iowa to New England an early start on their holiday break. "One thing about it, you're going to have a white Christmas this year," said Lee Longdyke, as he shoveled a sidewalk in Pontiac, Mich., for the third time Friday morning. More than 200 flights were canceled at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, and more than 650 at three New York City-area airports. Many remaining flights had hourslong delays.

Runways at Milwaukee's airport were closed for much of the morning because snowplows could not keep up with "whiteout conditions," airport spokeswoman Pat Rowe said.

Snowfall affected a large region, but the worst of the ice storm - and resulting power outages - was in a band across northern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Power companies reported 60,000 customers in Illinois without service Friday, more than 35,000 in Ohio, and a whopping 180,000 in Indiana, where the area around Fort Wayne was particularly hard-hit.

Pumpkin

Global Warming Myth Explodes, Killing CNN and NBC

Okay, maybe not killing, but at least a good maiming.

If this doesn't warm the hearts of all you evil, planet-hating, Global Warming deniers, nothing will. Not only is the hoax being exposed, it is taking down with it the MSM enablers who have spouted this garbage as fact for years.
CNN, the Cable News Network, announced yesterday that it will cut its entire science, technology, and environment news staff, including Miles O'Brien, its chief technology and environment correspondent, as well as six executive producers. Mediabistro's TVNewser broke the story. . . .

Yet the big question, of course, is whether or not the reorganization will decrease the overall amount of CNN's science, technology, and environment coverage. CNN says no, but it's hard to imagine that it won't - Anderson Cooper or not, fewer people is fewer people.

Question

Are elephants thugs or guardians of the water hole?

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© Daryl Balfour/NHPA
Do elephants make other creatures feel safe at water holes?
Are elephants the bullies of the national parks? Should they be culled to give other creatures a look-in at the water hole?

These are questions that were asked recently when figures showed that, as some elephant populations have increased due to reduced poaching and creation of artificial water holes, other herbivore species have declined.

But when Marion Valeix, then at the National Centre for Scientific Research in Beauvoir-sur-Niort, France, set out to discover if the elephants of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe were harming other herbivores by chasing them away from water holes, she got a surprise.

Her team found that members of nine herbivore species (including buffalo, zebra, warthog and wildebeest) rarely backed off when elephants were around. Instead, all herds increased their drinking time - normally between 5 and 10 minutes - by around 2 minutes.

Magnify

Proof: Humans Cause Global Warming. Humans + Bad Science = Global Warming

Pre-industrial CO2 levels were about the same as today. How and why we are told otherwise?

Gore Obama
© unknown

How many failed predictions, discredited assumptions and evidence of incorrect data are required before an idea loses credibility? CO2 is not causing warming or climate change. It is not a toxic substance or a pollutant. Despite this President Elect Obama met with Al Gore on December 9 no doubt to plan a climate change strategy based on these problems. They make any plan to reduce of CO2 completely unnecessary.

Proponents of human induced warming and climate change told us that an increase in CO2 precedes and causes temperature increases. They were wrong. They told us the late 20th century was the warmest on record. They were wrong. They told us, using the infamous "hockey stick" graph, the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) did not exist. They were wrong. They told us global temperatures would increase through 2008 as CO2 increased. They were wrong. They told us Arctic ice would continue to decrease in area through 2008. They were wrong. They told us October 2008 was the second warmest on record. They were wrong. They told us 1998 was the warmest year on record in the US. They were wrong it was 1934. They told us current atmospheric levels of CO2 are the highest on record. They are wrong. They told us pre-industrial atmospheric levels of CO2 were approximately 100 parts per million (ppm) lower than the present 385 ppm. They are wrong. This last is critical because the claim is basic to the argument that humans are causing warming and climate change by increasing the levels of atmospheric CO2 and have throughout the Industrial era. In fact, pre-industrial CO2 levels were about the same as today, but how did they conclude they were lower?

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 6.3 Earthquake - Chile

Chile USGS Earthquake Map
© USGS
Chile earthquake location.

Earthquake Details

Magnitude: 6.3

Date-Time:
* Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 21:19:31 UTC
* Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 06:19:31 PM at epicenter