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New July 2013

Escaped rhea ‘death threat issued’

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People trying to find an escaped 2m-tall bird capable of running at 40mph say they have received a threat to kill it.

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Cardiff City 1-1 Stoke City

Cardiff claim what could yet prove a vital point in their fight against relegation against visitors Stoke.

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A surprisingly pleasant song about plastic pollution

If you’re like the Amazing Mr. Smashing, you’re probably singing and chucking water bottles at sea otters. If so, why don’t you kick some puppies while you’re at it? If not, phew — you’re off the hook. Or not. It turns out that most of the junk in the ocean is plastic, and chances are, some of it’s yours. Don’t worry, some of it is mine, too. The stuff just never goes away! Sure, it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces over a coupla years, but then fish and barnacles and birds and maybe even weird new microbial ecosystems eat it. The video, by illustrator Edward Ward, was produced by Seas at Risk, a Brussels-based group fighting the good fight against ocean trash. This week, the European parliament passed a resolution to reduce single-use plastic bag use by 80 percent in the next five years. (Sorry, American Beauty fans, get your sublime litter fix before it runs out.) It’s not a perfect victory, since problematic “biodegradable” bags get a pass; still, it could save a lot of choked sea turtles in the long run. Nice work, Europe. Now you’ll have something to hum while you’re bringing your goldfish home from the pet store in a Klean Kanteen.Filed under: Article, Living

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These biologists created a gorgeous film about African glaciers

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Chasing Ice launched a new sub-genre of horror films: Watch big beautiful glaciers melt. OK, that might not sound as date-night friendly as a slasher flick, but, hey, if a kid talking to a wagging finger named Tony can be scary, watching the Arctic melt away is downright terrifying. Filmmakers Neil Losin and Nathan Dappen recently joined the field with Snows of the Nile, a visually stunning documentary about the disappearing glaciers in Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains (you can watch the trailer here). Losin and Dappen brought a twist to their ice-gazing short by focusing on glaciers where you might not expect them: the tropics. The emerging filmmakers, who both have PhDs in biology and star in the film, got some financial help from a Dos Equis promotion. Snows follows their journey to the Rwenzori, with prints of its glaciers from a 1906 expedition in hand. And yes, as compared to the original photos, the glaciers have changed. A lot. Grist interviewed Losin and Dappen about their respective transitions from young science students to photographers to documentarians — and on beer’s starring role. On liquid courage: Losin: I was a fan of [Dos Equis'] page because I loved The Most Interesting Man in the World campaign. And one day this thing about the “Stay Thirsty” grant came across my Facebook feed, and I thought “wow, I could really use that $25,000 – what could we pitch that would cost that much to do.” Dappen: We already had this idea of documenting tropical glaciers that are disappearing, since not a lot of attention is given to them. Neil started doing research on the topic and he found the Rwenzori Mountains. And then he discovered there was this expedition there in 1906 that photographed the glaciers. We came up with the idea to replicate the photographs. Losin: It turned out when all was said and done, the Rwenzori idea could cost about as much as the Dos Equis grant – or at least enough to get us there so we could get the footage to tell the story. On finding science: Losin: When I was 8 years old, my grandmother gave me an old bird book and a pair of binoculars that she got at a garage sale. And I was just like immediately hooked. I knew from that point forward that I wanted to do science in some way. Dappen: Growing up, I didn’t know that I wanted to be a scientist. But my mom was an agricultural economist working mostly in the third world, and my dad was a doctor and a big adventurer. So I spent a lot of time traveling in kind of exotic locations, like in the new world tropics and in Africa. On finding photography: Losin: My passion for photography also started out with birds, but there’s sort of a barrier to entry for equipment costs to photograph birds because you need enormous, expensive lenses. But ultimately I was able to invest the money into getting a big telephoto lens, and my bird photographs were like the first images that I actually sold into magazines and books. Dappen: I started taking photos in high school – I was really interested in art. I worked a lot in black and white. And then I got a job working in a photo studio and started shooting weddings and stuff like that. During my biology PhD, I still did a lot of that on the side, just because pay is not very high in grad school. On forming Day’s Edge, their production company: Dappen: We met when we were both in grad school, on an eight-week intensive field biology course for graduate students. We both quickly realized that we had a lot in common and became close friends. We talked a lot about science and photography and communication. At that point in time I think both of us thought we’d go into academia and research, but over the next few years we continued to meet up and go on adventures and talk about using our images to communicate science. And it sort of just evolved to the point where we said, “Hey, maybe we could do more with our sort of visual storytelling skill set in science than by actually doing research.” On telling the story of climate change: Losin: We really wanted to make Snows of the Nile more experiential than just beating people over the head with the same messages over and over again. So we framed it in terms of us going on a quest to recapture the images from the 1906 expedition, and the conflicts we have fighting against the weather and fighting against the clock, because we didn’t have a lot of time in the mountains to get what we came for. I also think it’s important to see climate change not just in terms of shrinking glaciers, but also in terms of what that’s going to do to human inhabitants. I think the people from the Bakonjo tribe who helped with our trip were such a great embodiment of the human impacts of climate change in the Rwenzori Mountains. To see the surprise in their eyes when we showed them the prints from 1906 – they knew stories of what it used to be like from their great-grandparents, but most of them had never seen images of it before. On green guilty pleasures: Dappen: Both Neil and I are really big into equipment. When the new camera gear comes out, we’re always excited about buying it, you know? And, finally, on dealing with green guilt: Dappen: I try to set certain guidelines of how to live and what to buy, but for me it’s not the end of the world. I think everybody just has to change in small ways. Losin: There comes a point where it can be your entire life trying to have a lower impact. And I think it’s because there isn’t necessarily an infrastructure to make life easier for people to consume in a way that doesn’t release enormous amounts of CO2. And that’s why I don’t think it should be on every individual’s shoulders – there are things that every individual can do and should do, because it really doesn’t place any undue burden on you, but the most important things might be if we can advocate politically, because then we can make it easier for everyone to live greener. Once we have a certain kind of infrastructure in place, then it doesn’t have to take your entire day to go out of the way and do these things. They become a lot more natural.Filed under: Article, Climate & Energy, Living

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Nesting storks may end 600-year wait

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A pair of white storks nesting on a chimney in Norfolk may be the first in the UK to breed from a traditional nest for nearly 600 years.

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The Good Wife Recap: Will to Go On

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Any remaining shreds of denial we were clinging to — maybe last week was a dream? maybe Will had a secret twin who took his place at the courthouse during the shooting? — were demolished in this episode. Will is dead, and it’s time to process that. And before we … More »

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Sergey Karaganov: The man behind Putin’s pugnacity

Prescient foreign-policy specialist fears the West and Kiev don’t realize the hell they are unleashing in the former Soviet empire

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Climate change will damage Australia’s coastal infrastructure, says IPCC

New report predicts species loss, a degraded Great Barrier Reef, and more dangerously hot days Live coverage Australia is set to suffer a loss of native species, significant damage to coastal infrastructure and a profoundly altered Great Barrier Reef due to climate change, an exhaustive UN report has found.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, delivered to the worlds governments in Japan on Monday, states there is significant change in community composition and structure of coral reefs and montane ecosystems and risk of loss of some native species in Australia as a result of warming temperatures and ocean acidification.

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Kerry, Lavrov look for ways to cool standoff over Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State, Russian foreign minister meet in Paris to discuss de-escalation

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​SNL Brings You Your New Favorite Hard-Hitting Cop Show: Dyke & Fats

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Last night Louis CK hosted a brilliant, very Louis CK episode of SNL, full of skits that went on just a tad too long only to be decisively followed up by a perfectly awkward and pedantic punchline. It also gave us a preview for a show that really needs to happen right now, maybe yesterday, about the two best damn Chicago police officers. You can call them tough, you can call them rugged, but don’t you dare call them Dyke and Fats. Read more…

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Oil workers and Jewish grandmas driving American metropolitan growth

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Looking for the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States? Follow the fracking – or, alternatively, search for the top-rated golf club brunches on Yelp. The most recent U.S. census data, measuring urban growth between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2013, showed that oil boomtowns and Southern retirement communities now get to sit at the popular table. The irony here, of course, is that there were never more unlikely candidates for said table than The Villages, Fla., or Fargo, N.D. This list paints a pretty bizarre picture of America’s future, but at least it’s interesting. A couple of cities on this list – Austin, for example – actually seem like fun places to live for young people, but what’s most striking is that with the exception of The Villages, all of the top spots are filled by oil towns. That’s no coincidence. Last July, the New York Times published a study examining social mobility in metro areas across the United States. The places of greatest economic opportunity, according to the results, were concentrated in oil-rich regions: North Dakota, eastern Montana, western Texas. Here’s a list of the top 10 fastest-growing metro areas, with the most likely reasons for their growth: 1. The Villages, Fla. – 5.2 percent Awkwardly named The Villages is literally just a retirement community in the dead center of Florida, about an hour northwest of Orlando. No one under the age of 65 is moving there. 2 & 3. Odessa and Midland, Texas – tied at 3.3 percent Odessa and Midland, about 20 miles apart, lie on the oil-rich Permian Basin in western Texas, which is expected to produce 1.41 million barrels this month. Both towns have experienced housing shortages in recent years due to an oil boom in the region. 4 & 5. Fargo and Bismarck, N.D. – tied at 3.1 percent Fargo and Bismarck have both seen unprecedented growth due to workers flocking to high-paying jobs on the Bakken shale. This influx — and its attendant problems, including high real-estate prices, increased crime rates, and a really tough dating scene – have been well-documented. 6. Casper, Wyo. – 2.9 percent Casper, nicknamed The Oil City, is bringing recent high school grads to work in the region’s oil fields in droves. A city full of 18-year-olds with tens of thousands of dollars in disposable income? Pretty sick, brah! 7. Myrtle Beach, S.C. – 2.7 percent It turns out everyone you’ve ever met wearing a Myrtle Beach sweatshirt is finally making their sartorially expressed dreams a reality and moving to Myrtle Beach. There is no other explanation. 8. Austin, Texas – 2.6 percent Have you ever been to Austin? There is pretty much nowhere within the city limits that you can’t get a delicious taco. That’s just part of the reason that 110 people move to Austin each day – the city’s economy expanded by 5.9 percent last year, more than twice the growth rate for the national economy. 9. Daphne, Ala. – 2.6 percent Fairhope, in the Daphne metro area on the Gulf Coast of Alabama, was founded as an experimental utopian society by a group of rare Iowan socialists, and continues to pride itself on being a weird little resort town. Fairhope’s current mayor started out as the city’s horticulturist, and the town is committed to being bike- and pedestrian-friendly. This one doesn’t sound so bad, y’all. 10. Cape Coral, Fla. – 2.5 percent In 2012, Forbes named Cape Coral among its 25 top places to retire in the U.S. It seems that the publication’s target audience took that recommendation to heart.Filed under: Cities, Climate & Energy, Living

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America’s worst food deserts: Map-lovers edition

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Pablo PecoraKhongoryn Els-Gobi Desert in Mongolia. Both a literal and food desert.Food deserts are officially defined as low-income neighborhoods far away (a mile or more) from grocery stores. But distance, as the crow flies, isn’t that relevant, since only a few mutants and drone pilots navigate their cities that way. What actually matters is the time it takes to walk to the grocery store. The website Walk Score has the data to account for the hills and railroads and warehouses that separate you from food, and it has used that information to rank U.S. cities by food access. Compare the difference between New York, where 72 percent of people live just five minutes away from a grocery store … Click for the interactive map.… and Tuscon, where only 6 percent of the population has such easy access: Click for the interactive map.Seattle is somewhere in between: Click for interactive map.City planners already use the Walk Score data to find their food deserts. (For more on why food deserts exist, and how people are addressing the problem, check this out.) You can play with the interactive maps for the top- and bottom-ranked cities here. If your city isn’t there, you can always zoom right in on your house (and prove that you live in a pizza desert) at Walk Score’s main site. Here’s the complete ranking of big U.S. cities by percentage of residents within a five-minute walk to food access: New York 72 percent San Francisco 59 percent Philadelphia 57 percent Miami 49 percent Oakland 49 percent Boston 45 percent Washington, D.C. 41 percent Chicago 41 percent Baltimore 41 percent Long Beach 41 percent Los Angeles 36 percent Seattle 31 percent Portland 29 percent Milwaukee 29 percent Minneapolis 29 percent Cleveland 25 percent San Diego 21 percent Detroit 19 percent San Jose 17 percent Denver 17 percent Fresno 17 percent Houston 15 percent Sacramento 15 percent Atlanta 15 percent Columbus 14 percent Dallas 13 percent Bakersfield 13 percent Memphis 11 percent Austin 10 percent Las Vegas 10 percent Phoenix 9 percent San Antonio 9 percent Nashville-Davidson 9 percent Louisville-Jefferson 9 percent Jacksonville 8 percent Fort Worth 8 percent El Paso 8 percent Arlington 8 percent Virginia Beach 7 percent Omaha 7 percent Tulsa 7 percent Albuquerque 7 percent Charlotte 6 percent Tucson 6 percent Kansas City 6 percent Mesa 6 percent Colorado Springs 6 percent Raleigh 6 percent Oklahoma City 5 percent Indianapolis 5 percent Wichita 5 percent Filed under: Article, Food

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America, Inc. at it’s Finest

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Chocolate Artisan Truffles by Just Chocolate

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Burberry
New July 2013