July 19, 2012

    Photo: Su--May/Flickr

Nadal Withdraws From Olympics

Was marked to carry the Spanish flag

Defending gold medalist Rafael Nadal has voluntarily withdrawn from the London Olympics citing a lack of fitness. “Today is one of the saddest days of my career,” the 26-year-old, who was set to carry the Spanish flag during the opening ceremony, said in a statement. No specific injury was mentioned, but Nadal hasn’t played since losing in the second round of Wimbledon in late June, and he canceled a charity match on July 4 because of tendon problems in his left knee. The Olympic tennis competition begins on July 28 at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Thirty-year-old Roger Federer, who just won his seventh Wimbledon title there on July 8, will return to the grass to try for Olympic gold.

Via Newsday


Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat     Photo: Miguel Vieira/Flickr

Wildlife Officials Seek Man in Goat Suit

Human attempting to liaise with goats

Officials at the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources are seeking information about an individual photographed wearing a goat suit in the midst of a wild goat herd near Ben Lomond Peak in Utah. Coty Creighton was hiking the peak on the morning of July 15 when he spotted what he thought was a large goat, about 200 yards away, having difficulty following the herd down the slope. "I thought it was a deformed goat," Creighton said. "It was clumsy, not nimble." Using binoculars, he discovered that it was, in fact, a man wearing a fury goat suit, cloth mask, papier-mache horns, and leather gloves. Creighton snapped photographs until the man in the suit apparently noticed him and froze on his hands and knees, staring. Somewhat unsettled, Creighton decided not to approach the individual, instead posting the photos to an image-sharing site, where they went viral. Wildlife officials say that the mountain goats in the area are territorial and could pose serious risk to anyone approaching them in such a manner.

Via Standard-Examiner


Cadel Evans

Cadel Evans     Photo: Petit Brun/Flickr

Cadel's Repeat Tour de France Bid Over

Loses four minutes on final climb

After losing more than four minutes on the final climb of the day Wednesday, defending Tour champion Cadel Evans slipped into seventh place and saw his hopes of winning the race dashed. French favorite Thomas Voeckler won his second stage of the race and took over the climber's jersey out of a large, 38-man breakaway. From the start of the stage, Evans battled stomach issues and was dropped on the first climb of the day. While he managed to chase back on and survive the following summits, the final climb proved too much. Meanwhile, Cadel’s teammate Tejay Van Garderen has a hold on the best young rider’s jersey and sits in sixth place, the highest ranked American rider. With Thursday’s stage the final mountain day, Wiggins looks secure in the yellow jersey and is judged likely to win the Tour. Some shuffling is still expected just below the podium.

Via Cyclingnews


Bottlenose dolphins off the coast of Florida

Bottlenose dolphins off the coast of Florida     Photo: Peter J. Markham/Flickr

Dolphin Deaths Blamed on Oil Spill, Cold

Record die-off had mystified scientists

A record number of dolphins were killed last spring by a combination of cold weather, cold fresh water from snowmelt, and the Deepwater Horizon spill, according to a new study. While dolphins are able to adapt to natural temperature fluctuations, the paper published in PLoS ONE suggests that disruption to their food supply combined with cold weather weakened pods to the point of die-off. "Studies show that dolphins were in poor condition after Deepwater Horizon and some particularly cold winters, and we know from the NOAA analysis that some had Brucella," lead author Ruth Carmichael said. "For animals already stressed and in poor condition, this freight train of cold fresh water could certainly have affected the timing of mortality."

Via Nature