There´s a frenzy erupting in the birding world, and the Rufous-necked wood-rail is to blame. Never before has there been a recorded sighting of a Rufous-necked wood-rail in the United States, but for the last two weeks one of the birds has been right at home among the cattails at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Typically, the species is found along the coasts and in tropical forests in Central and South America, far from parched New Mexico. The sighting has prompted emergency plane reservations and impromptu road trips reminiscent of "The Big Year," the comedy starring Steve Martin
Comments: Funny what some will do to get a peek at a fine feathered friend. Good for the travel industry, though.
A Portland, Oregon man urinated in a Mt. Tabor reservoir Wednesday causing the city to take its critical water supply off line and dump millions in gallons of water. [Snip] officials saw five people throwing objects into the reservoir, while one person began to urinate into it [Snip] David Shaff, said that because of this incident, roughly 7.8 million gallons of drinking water will be discarded. He said the bureau often finds dead animals in the same drinking supply but the water isn’t dumped. “This is different,” Shaff told the newspaper. “Do you want to drink pee?"
The Himalaya´s mysterious Abominable Snowman might harbor an even deeper mystery, according to an Oxford University geneticist who says he has sequenced the mythic beast´s DNA and proved its existence. [Snip] Bryan Sykes, a professor of genetics at Oxford, sequenced DNA taken from two unidentified animals killed in Himalaya ranges of India and Bhutan in recent decades. The small samples - including a single hair found a decade ago, and the jawbone of a mummified animal discovered in the 1970s by a hunter - were compared to a database of thousands of known animals,
Bigfoot is real, and now at least one scientist claims there is proof. A group of Sasquatch researchers who have been collecting over 100 pieces of evidence over the past five years screened "never before seen HD video" of the alleged creature at a news conference in Dallas on Tuesday. [Snip] Dr. Melba Ketchum, who has led the group of researchers called the Sasquatch Genome Project, has been working on a $500,000 analysis of DNA samples from an unknown hominin species. Ketchum calls the project "a serious study" that concludes the legendary Sasquatch exists in North America and is a
The contrast between the two headlines couldn’t have been more stark. [Snip] Royal Mail turned a $650 million profit last year while the Postal Service was racking up a $15.9 billion loss. [Snip] British governments [Snip] ended the agency’s monopoly on first-class mail in 2006 and passed a privatization law in 2011. [Snip] Twenty-five of the European Union’s 27 nations have repealed their postal monopolies and set up corporate entities to deliver the mail. Private investors own 100 percent of the Netherlands’ post office, and substantial stakes in its German, Belgian and Austrian counterparts.
Chew on this. A team of MBA students were the recipients of the 2013 Hult Prize earlier this week, providing them with $1 million in seed money to produce an insect-based, protein-rich flour for feeding malnourished populations in other countries. The product is called Power Flour. [Snip] in Mexico, where a population of roughly 4 million live in slum conditions with widespread malnutrition. "We will be starting with grasshoppers," Ashour said. He noted that the insect is already familiar to the local diet and currently sells at a premium because of a three-month harvesting season and because grasshoppers are typically
BERLIN — It is an audacious undertaking with wide and deep support in Germany: shut down the nation’s nuclear power plants, wean the country from coal and promote a wholesale shift to renewable energy sources. But the plan, backed by Chancellor Angela Merkel and opposition parties alike, is running into problems in execution that are forcing Germans to come face to face with the costs and complexities of sticking to their principles. German families are being hit by rapidly increasing electricity rates, to the point where growing numbers of them can no longer afford to pay the bill. Businesses are more
Bill Gates is the richest American for the 20th year in a row and has reclaimed the title of world’s richest person from Mexico’s Carlos Slim with a net worth of $72 billion. Warren Buffett, again number two [Snip] The 400 wealthiest Americans are worth a record $2.02 trillion, roughly equivalent to the GDP of Russia. That is a gain of $300 billion from a year ago [Snip] only 15 saw their fortunes drop, including T. Boone Pickens, whose costly bets on wind energy lost him his billionaire status, and Manoj Bhargava, whose 5-Hour Energy drink firm has been hit
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — To understand just how complex and sometimes chaotic the organizational structure of a big-time college football program can be, one would only need to have followed the developments surrounding Texas A&M this summer. [Snip] The one exception, of course, to Saban´s single-minded, almost robotic approach occurred last season when Manziel became legend at the Crimson Tide´s expense. For 60 minutes, he drew Alabama into the chaotic, seat-of-your-pants world of Johnny Football and came out the other side as a national phenomenon, winning the game, 29-24, and ultimately the Heisman Trophy. For Alabama, though, redemption this week in College Station, Texas,
Rafa Nadal took the upper hand in the U.S. Open men´s final by winning the opening set 6-2 against world number one Novak Djokovic on Monday. The French Open champion broke the top-seeded Serbian in the third game when he blasted a forehand winner to take a 2-1 lead. World number two Nadal broke Djokovic again in the seventh game for a 5-2 edge when he won his eighth consecutive point after winning a challenge on a Djokovic ball ruled in by the linesman. Nadal, dashing around the court with speed and ease, played a much cleaner set in windy
Peking duck is no longer a dish in China, it´s a craze. Rubber ducks have been appearing on lakes, some used to commemorate the outlawed democracy movement, some to promote businesses and others just set out for fun. [Snip] The craze began in May, when a 54-foot duck made by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman was floated in Hong Kong´s Victoria Harbor. Copycat versions of the work made in China began appearing all over. The ducks showed up in at least 16 cities, used mostly to advertise real estate.
Diana Nyad´s 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida has generated positive publicity and adoration for the 64-year-old endurance athlete — along with skepticism from some members of the small community of marathon swimmers who are questioning whether she accomplished the feat honestly. On social media and the online Marathon Swimmers Forum, long-distance swimmers have been debating whether Nyad got a boost from the boat that was accompanying her — either by getting in it or holding onto it — during a particularly speedy stretch of her swim. They also question whether she violated the traditions of her sport — many
All summer long, Texas coach Mack Brown tried to paint the most pleasant picture of his program, denying the notion that he was under pressure to win big this season. Halfway across the country, Southern California athletics director Pat Haden posted a video on the school´s athletics website declaring emphatically that Lane Kiffin was not on the proverbial hot seat. Just two weeks into the season, those sunny outlooks for two of college football´s mega-programs are already in serious doubt. Brown might not publicly acknowledge that his tenure at Texas is in jeopardy, but his actions Sunday said it all.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on a conference call organized by Karl Rove’s Crossroads organization for large donors and their advisers on Oct. 30 that the Tea Party movement, in his view, is a “nothing but a bunch of bullies” that he plans to “punch … in the nose.” On the call, according to a donor who was on it, McConnell personally named Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) as Tea Party conservatives he views as problematic for him. “The bulk of it was an attack on the Tea Party in general, Cruz in particular,” the source, a
Fraud can be so brazen it takes people’s breath away. But for a prosecutor tasked with proving a swindle — or what federal law describes as a “scheme to defraud” — the crucial thing is not so much the fraud. It is the scheme. To be sure, it is the fraud — the individual false statements, sneaky omissions, and deceptive practices — that grabs our attention. As I’ve recounted in this space, President Obama repeatedly and emphatically vowed, “If you like your health-insurance plan, you can keep your health-insurance plan, period.” The incontrovertible record — disclosures by the Obama administration in
Fear swept through Borough Park, Brooklyn, as soon as the news got out: A young man was randomly assaulted by strangers early Friday morning, and the attack was possibly part of the so-called Knockout Game. Four men were arrested, but on Friday night only one was charged and the others were released. The attack added to a growing log of reports of such crimes in the Northeast and beyond. Young assailants were randomly picking unlucky targets and trying to knock them out with just one punch. Yet police officials in several cities where such attacks have been reported said that the “game” amounted
Joining the hosts of MSNBC’s The Cycle on Friday, legendary NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw previewed a special on the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination that will air on MSNBC that night. Recounting his experiences from that day, he said that the reaction to JFK’s assassination, “mostly in conservative states,” was encapsulated by his interaction with one man who expressed satisfaction over the president’s killing. “This was unusual but it was not unheard of,” Brokaw told the MSNBC hosts, prefacing a conservative’s reaction to JFK’s killing. “As I came running out of the announce booth, the chief engineer,
To the average American, ObamaCare is part web site disaster, part shattered campaign promise writ very, very large. Millions of Americans have already been forced out of their existing health care policies, a number that may skyrocket in the new year. Russell Simmons sees it differently. The hip-hop mogul says ObamaCare is already so successful it´s saved thousands, if not millions of lives. Yes, we initially wanted single payer, and we had to compromise back in 2009 for the Affordable Care Act. But, it is a damn good piece of legislation that has already saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives. So,
If voters had been aware last year that they might lose their health-care plans when Obamacare went into effect, Republican President Mitt Romney would be sitting in the White House today, according to a poll released Friday. A Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research survey conducted from Nov. 18-20 asked voters who supported President Barack Obama in 2012: “As you may know, millions of Americans have lost their insurance plans despite President Obama’s promise that, quote, ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it.’ If you knew in 2012 that this promise was not true, would you still have voted
Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans”- President John F. Kennedy. There is no family in American politics who is quite on par with the Kennedy’s. Fifty years after the assassination of JFK, the family’s presence in American politics has dwindled–they’ve experienced many ups and downs– but they’ve carried on. Each generation seems to pass on the proverbial torch, and America’s interest in the Kennedy clan, whether they’re running for office or battling public relations snafus, has continued with that passing.
President Obama said Friday he does not worry much about his safety because of the “outstanding” Secret Service detail that shadows him everywhere he goes. Obama said the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago transformed the presidential security detail to a point where he hardly thinks about safety. "It´s not something I think about, mainly because we have a Secret Service that does an outstanding job every single day," Obama told ABC News in an interview set to air next week. For example, the open-air car Kennedy was riding in while shot in Dallas in 1963
Ahmad Rashad, a Pro Bowl wide receiver, has made yet another great catch. The Minnesota Vikings legend has rebounded from his broken marriage to Sale Johnson — the ex-wife of Jets owner Woody Johnson — and is said to be dating Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s most trusted senior adviser. Rashad, a sportscaster and a close friend of Michael Jordan’s, is keeping the romance on the down low. “They haven’t gone out in public,” one source told me. “They are sneaking around.” (Rashad’s manager did not respond to questions about the relationship, and the White House declined to comment on Jarrett’s personal life.) Rashad, who
Mike Convente, a left-wing Daily Kos diarist and a representative on the University of Pennsylvania health care committee, took to the pages of Kos to complain about the "law of unintended consequences" of ObamaCare. Convente is also upset that Obama´s "marketing slogans … turned out to be not so correct." It looks as though the students at UPenn will be paying a lot more for their health insurance policies, thanks in large part to the fact that ObamaCare is forcing them to pay for coverage they do not need. Not only that, Convente is probably not buying the propaganda from
A photographer sued by a lesbian couple after she refused to take pictures at their commitment ceremony is taking her fight for religious freedom to the Supreme Court. Elaine Huguenin, who runs a photography business in Albuquerque, New Mexico, refused to take the snaps for the happy day of Vanessa Willock and Misti Collinsworth in 2006. The women then filed a discrimination lawsuit again Ms Huguenin. New Mexico law prohibits businesses from discriminating against people based on their sexuality.
This week´s episode of the CBS drama NCIS: Los Angeles featured an "ultra right wing" terror group complete with a Gadsden Flag, a favorite of the modern Tea Party movement. Tuesday´s episode, entitled Recovery, had the team investigating the apparent drowning of a Navy Lt. Commander at high priced California rehab center. The investigation revealed that the naval IT specialist had actually been drugged with scopolamine and Vicodin, pumped for intelligence on U.S. Predator drones and dumped in the pool. This led Special Agents Callen, Hanna, Deeks and Blye to a fictitious “ultra right-wing” extremist group that planned to hijack