A precocious young British boy has stumbled upon a chunk of congealed whale vomit that could be worth as much as $63,000. Charlie Naysmith, 8, was walking with his parents along the beach at Hengistbury Head, on the south coast of England, when he got interested in a curious-looking rock. Ambergris, a waxy excretion formed in the intestines of sperm whales, has traditionally been used in perfumes as a fixative, though it has been gradually replaced by synthetics. In Moby Dick, Melville writes ... Read More
A woman reported missing from a tour to the Eldgjá volcanic canyon in southern Iceland ended up joining the search party formed to find her. The mix-up occurred when the woman left the tour bus and changed clothing. When she returned, the other tourists didn’t recognize her and began to worry about the missing passenger. Going off of the bus driver's description, a search was organized for an Asian woman in dark clothing who spoke English well. The missing woman didn’t recog... Read More
The White House issued a new set of fuel efficiency rules on Tuesday that require car makers to drastically increase the average fuel economy of new cars over the next 13 years. The new goal of 54.5 miles per gallon is nearly double the current Corporate Average Fuel Economy mark of 29 miles per gallon. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said that the new rules would save drivers money, though he acknowledged that new vehicle technology would cost them more in the short term. "You pu... Read More
Crews in Manhattan will begin spraying pesticides to combat the spread of West Nile virus in New York, officials said on Tuesday. While the city already sprays for mosquitos, the spraying scheduled for this Friday is different in that it will cover parts of Central Park and the wealthy Upper West Side. At least 41 people have died this summer from West Nile, a disease which causes flu-like symptoms of varying severity.
Via Mother Nature Network
Officials in the Argentine city of Puerto Madryn have approved a plan to kill aggressive seagulls with hunting rifles, following a series of attacks on whales by the birds. Seagull populations there have exploded, in part due to easy access to open-air garbage dumps, and some of the birds have learned to peck out meat and blubber from surfacing southern right whales. In response, the “100-Day Whale-Gull Action Plan,” which was approved by the local government, calls for any whale-a... Read More