November 11, 2011
Not as big as a Giant Snail

Not as big as a Giant Snail     Photo: film_fatale/flickr

800 Rare Snails Accidentally Frozen

Giant carnivorous species found only in NZ

On Thursday, New Zealand's Department of Conservation announced that 800 endangered giant snails froze to death after a temperature gauge malfunctioned in Hokitika. The snails were being kept in a temperature-controlled room after being rescued from the site of a mining operation. "First, their natural home was destroyed for a coalmine on Stockton Plateau, and now they've died in captivity," said Nicola Vallance of New Zealand's Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society. "This tragedy was entirely avoidable." Thought to be extinct until 2003, Powelliphanta is a large, carnivorous land snail found only in New Zealand. Eating mostly slugs and earthworms, the gastropod has a shell up to nine centimeters across and can live for 20 years or longer.  

Read more at BBC News

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Joan Benoit Samuelson

Joan Benoit Samuelson     Photo: APCEvents/Flickr

Muscle Loss in Elderly Not From Aging

Research suggests inactivity behind decline

Does growing old cause muscle mass to shrink and deteriorate? New research suggests that inactivity among the elderly inflicts far greater damage on muscle strength than the aging process itself, potentially revising a long-help understanding of how the body grows old. A study released in October in the Journal of Sports Medicine found that elderly athletes had similar muscle structure as athletes in their 40s. Non-athletes, however, showed both dramatic muscle loss and deterioration of remaining muscle tissue as they aged.

Read more at The New York Times

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Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race     Photo: MauritsV/Flickr

2nd Team Drops From Volvo Ocean Race

Abu Dhabi team will send boat to S. Africa

A second boat has pulled out of the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, leaving just four teams racing from Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. The Abu Dhabi boat sustained a broken mast just six hours after leaving the starting port of Alicante, Spain. After returning to port and replacing the mast, the team set out again on Wednesday before deciding today to suspend racing while they conducted additional repairs. The team plans to send its boat on a cargo ship from Lisbon to South Africa, where it will rejoin the race. Chinese team Sanya also dropped out of the first leg after tearing a hole in its hull during the race's first night. Teams are penalized, but not disqualified, for failing to complete a stage.

Read more at Washington Post

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Surfing

Surfing     Photo: Juan Ramon Rodriguez Sosa/Flickr

ASP to Begin Drug Testing

World tour will test athletes in 2012

The Association of Surfing Professionals announced on Thursday that it would initiate a random drug-testing program beginning for the 2012 World Tour. Though the specifics of the tests are not yet confirmed, the policy will include testing for performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. Recreational drug use in surfing has becoming an increasingly controversial issue in the wake of the death of three-time ASP champion Andy Irons last November.

Read more at ESPN

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Greenpeace nuclear protest

Greenpeace nuclear protest     Photo: Greenpeace Finland/Flickr

Energy Giant Fined for Greenpeace Spying

EDF used same spies as Floyd Landis

French nuclear energy company EDF has been found guilty of hacking into the computer of the head of France's Greenepeace operations. Greenpeace has protested nuclear plants in France and abroad. "The evidence presented at the trial showed that the espionage undertaken by EDF in its efforts to discredit Greenpeace was both extensive and totally illegal," said United Kingdom Greenpeace official John Sauven. The company used the same spying agency, Kargus Consultants, that Floyd Landis paid to hack into a French laboratory that found elevated level of testosterone in Landis's body at the 2006 Tour de France. EDF, which owns London Olympics sponsor British Energy, must pay Greenpeace $500,000 euros in compensation. Landis is subject to an international arrest warrant.

Read more at The Australian

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