November 20, 2012

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Apes May Experience Mid-Life Crisis Too

Survey of 500 chimps and orangutans

An international team of scientists from the U.S., Japan, Germany, and the U.K. is believed to have discovered the equivalent of a “mid-life crisis” in apes. The researchers surveyed over 500 chimpanzees and orangutans, rating their mood, sociability, and success at achieving various goals. Analysis of the survey revealed that general well-being in apes dipped in middle age and climbed again in their later years. Great apes in captivity often live to be 50 or older. “In all three groups we find evidence that well-being is lowest in chimpanzees and orangutans at an age that roughly corresponds to mid-life in humans," said Alex Weiss, a psychologist at Edinburgh University.

Via The Guardian

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Deer.     Photo: paparutzi/Flickr

Should Hunting Magazines Be Treated Like Porn?

PETA thinks so

The controversial animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is urging the CEO of Hudson News, Joseph DiDomizio, to treat hunting magazines as he would Playboy or Penthouse by stocking them in places where children won't be able to see them. "Like other forms of casual or thrill violence, hunting spawns a dangerous desensitization to the suffering of others," executive vice president Tracy Reiman wrote in the letter. "Not every hunter will kill a human, of course," Reiman continued, referencing students at Westside Middle School and Chardon High School who opened fire on classmates, "but in this era of escalating violence, it is irresponsible and downright dangerous to allow kids access to magazines that promote killing for 'fun.'"

Hudson News, which operates more than 600 locations across the United States, most in major transportation hubs like airports and train stations, has not yet responded to PETA's letter.

Via CNSNews

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    Photo: Enrico Auxilia

Kayaker Makes Illegal Descent of Marmore Falls

Paddles away unharmed

The Cascata delle Marmore (Marmore Falls), among the tallest waterfalls in all of Europe at 541 feet, is a popular tourist destination in the Umbria region of central Italy with historical significance—it was created by the ancient Romans more than 2,000 years ago to facilitate the flow of fresh water into the city—which explains why it is so closely guarded. And why no kayaker was able to run the falls before Dario Vanacore recently snuck past security: It is illegal.

Vanacore visited Marmore in the middle of the night to hide his gear and boat, according to EpicTV, which posted a short article and images of the descent this morning. The next day, he was able to walk up to his hiding spot in regular street clothes without drawing attention to himself, change, and enter the third section of the falls. (Marmore is a tiered system; the third and final section is approximately 81 feet tall.) When he reached the bottom, Vanacore paddled away on the creek without attracting any attention from authorities.

Via EpicTV

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    Photo: Unhindered by Talent/Flickr

NPCA Ad Warns of Impending Budget Cuts

Fiscal cliff has implications for parks

“Sorry, we’re closed,” says a reindeer. It’s a warning from the National Parks Conservation Association in a new ad in The New York Times that imagines what could happen if the country goes off of the so-called “fiscal cliff.” If Congress does not agree to a new budget deal by January, a number of automatic cuts will take place, including a $200 million-plus cut of the National Park Service budget. According to an open petition letter from the NPCA to President Obama and Congress, “That could mean some level of closure at virtually every national park in the system, including reductions in park hours or seasons, closures of campgrounds or visitor’s centers, and even the outright closure of many parks in the next year.” In addition to the letter and the Times ad, the NPCA has also created the hashtag #KeepParksOpen.

Via ThinkProgress

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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

30 Injured on Hyper-Turbulent Flight

Plane dropped 3,300 feet in seconds

Thirty people suffered minor injuries on a flight from Havana to Milan when the plane encountered unusually strong turbulence and plunged 3,300 feet in a matter of seconds. The flight continued on after it was determined that the plane had suffered no structural damage, landing safely at Milan’s Malpensa airport on Monday. Two physicians on board the plane treated passengers for minor scrapes and bruises. One passenger, Edoardo De Lucchi, described the experiences as “10 seconds of terror,” with meal trays flying through the air and passengers who had not buckled their seatbelts bouncing about the cabin.

Via NBC News

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