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9 hours ago, Glitterwolf said:

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Ancient graffiti really does prove that while our weapons have improved, we're still all basically cavemen in blue jeans, and what was funny thousands of years ago is still pretty much funny today. 

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27 minutes ago, Crowley said:

Ancient graffiti really does prove that while our weapons have improved, we're still all basically cavemen in blue jeans, and what was funny thousands of years ago is still pretty much funny today. 

 

Football in groin!!!! :lol: It's all funny as long as it isn't you.

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New Zealand has voted on the 2018 bird of the year.

The distinction goes to the kereru, a wood pigeon with a reputation of being the drunkest bird in the country.

Also known as the New Zealand pigeon, the kereru can be found in plentiful numbers on both North and South Island, both in cities and in the country.

Most notably, it has a fondness for fermented fruit.

This has landed the bird in numerous predicaments where it was too inebriated to fly straight or to sit in a tree.

Particularly during summer, when there are copious amounts of fruit available, wildlife rescue centers in New Zealand often take in kereru that have fallen out of trees or flown into windows.

Forest & Bird, the conservation group in charge of the contest, described the animal as clumsy, drunk, gluttonous, and glamorous.

It seems those are the qualities that appeal to New Zealanders, as the kereru won the competition by a wide margin.

It garnered over 5,800 votes, while second place, the kakapo, collected fewer than 3,800 votes.

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2 hours ago, Glitterwolf said:

Also known as the New Zealand pigeon, the kereru can be found in plentiful numbers on both North and South Island, both in cities and in the country.

I must have weird luck, because when I visited New Zealand in the mid-90's, I don't recall ever seeing one of those....  But I was chased by a kiwi bird.

 

I second the sentiment that that is one gorgeous pigeon.

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4 minutes ago, WhiteWulfe said:

I must have weird luck, because when I visited New Zealand in the mid-90's, I don't recall ever seeing one of those....  But I was chased by a kiwi bird.

 

I second the sentiment that that is one gorgeous pigeon.

 

Then you were very lucky, because the Kiwi is actually an endangered species.

You didn't eat it, did you?

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Just now, Glitterwolf said:

 

Then you were very lucky, because the Kiwi is actually an endangered species.

You didn't eat it, did you?

I've had a few mention I'm lucky.  Still waiting on winning more than $20 in the lottery, although I do seem to have this unnatural ability to be able to time lights when driving really really well...  Guess that's where my luck went :P

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The techniques used in noise cancelling headphones to actually remove the noise are largely credited to one Owsley "Bear" Stanley, an audio engineer and all around brilliant renaissance man. The driving force behind the creation of this technique was the "wall of sound" PA system used by The Greatful Dead. Because modern stage monitors hadn't been perfected yet they wanted their sound system behind them to be able to hear what they were

playing. This naturally would create feedback in any microphones used, so Owsley set up two microphones in each place that one was needed and ran the signal from one through a process that would remove its signal from the other, thus creating crystal clear sound of only what was wanted (vocals for instance). 

 

Owsley is also remembered as one of the largest producers/distributors of LSD in California during the 1960's, and as the inspiration for/reason why The Greatful Dead used colorful bears as their mascot. 

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Living Fossiles:

 

Coelacanth
The coelacanth is the mascot of the International Cryptozoology Museum, and for good reason. This huge, night-sky-colored fish was once a cryptid, or an animal known only from eyewitness accounts, and not confirmed to currently exist by science (like the Loch Ness Monster.) But, similar to the frilled shark, fishers have discovered live, or only recently dead, coelacanths, meaning that they are currently swimming the ocean.

Fossils of almost the exact same animal have been found to date to  400 million years ago. Dinosaurs only appeared 230 million years ago. So coelacanths have lived through the entire reign of both dinosaurs and mammals, hardly changing at all.

 

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Solenodon
The name “solenodon” sounds like it’s referring to an extinct dinosaur, but the suffix “-don” just means “tooth.” This mammal’s name means “slotted-tooth,” and it isn’t a dinosaur, but DNA evidence confirms that it lived among them. The solenodon evolved into its current form just before the Permian-Triassic Extinction event that killed the non-avian dinosaurs. They look like long-nosed, enormous shrews and live in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

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Horseshoe Crabs
The most ancient animal on this list is the prehistoric horseshoe crab. There are currently four living species that scuttle around shallow waters and sandy beaches. Some 450 million years ago, before the first cartilaginous fish had even been born, in the Ordovician period, horseshoe crabs evolved into their current form. They’ve seen the rise of bony fishes, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, mammals, birds, and humans. And if humans manages not to kill them off  maybe they’ll live for another 450 million.

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Frilled Shark
Sharks in general are very successful evolutionarily, and have roamed the oceans for hundreds of millions of years. The frilled shark is particularly interesting because it has stayed mostly in the deep sea, evading the human gaze until it was discovered alive in 2009. Last summer, a trawling net pulled up a dead one off the coast of Portugal. Before the discovery of modern frilled sharks, they were only known from ancient fossil evidence.

The modern frilled shark looks nearly identical to 80 million-year-old fossils, and even quite similar to 300-year-old fossils. However, sharks don’t have bones outside their jaws (just cartilage) so teeth and jaws are often the only things that fossilize, which means we don't have a lot of data on what the ancient animal looked like.

 

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Edited by Glitterwolf
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In Mandela Way in London you can find an old T-34 tank.    

When the owner of the property was denied a building permit, he asked if he could put a tank there. 

The council probably though he meant a Septic tank, and approved that request...   

The barrel of the main cannon points towards the local council offices...   

 

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/stompie-the-mandela-way-t-34-tank

 

 

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n 2002, the discovery of an unknown people caused a sensation. Called the Mayo Chinchipe culture, they once lived in the highlands of Ecuador. In 2018, artifacts were removed from a site called Santa Ana (La Florida). Scientists wanted to test for the key ingredient of chocolate—seeds from the cacao tree. The results changed the history of chocolate.

For one, the popular assumption that it originated with the Maya and other Mesoamericans was turned on its head. Over 40 stone and ceramic items showed traces of theobromine, the concentrated signature of cacao seeds.

This proved that chocolate was first used by the Mayo Chinchipe culture over 5,000 years ago. It moved the origins of the popular treat back almost 1,500 years as well as out of Central America and into South America. Analysis showed that, besides adopting the hot drink, the Maya also learned how to grind the seeds from the Mayo Chinchipe.

Additionally, the discovery confirmed a long-standing suspicion that botanists had. They had theorized that South America was the birthplace of chocolate. The upper Amazon’s cacao trees have the greatest genetic variety, suggesting that the region had offered the first use of the species.

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Great Britain felt immense pride when Major Tim Peake blasted into space in 2015, with many calling him Britain’s first astronaut.

However, history has forgotten that it was Helen Sharman who became the nation’s first astronaut years earlier.

Before training for her adventure, Helen Sharman worked as a research chemist for a confectionery company. It was only when she heard a radio advertisement that said “Astronauts wanted.No experience necessary” that her life took a sudden turn.

Helen responded to the ad.

As Great Britain didn’t have its own official space program, they aimed to book a seat on a Soviet rocket to provide the world with a feel-good story following the Cold War with the aim of improving Britain-Soviet relations. Out of 13,000 applicants, Helen Sharman passed detailed psychological and medical assessments, as well as vigorous training, and was chosen as Great Britain’s first astronaut. In 1991, she became first woman to visit the Mir space station. She spent eight days in space.

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Thank you Glitterwolf, as you say it is sad how this splendid womans story is almost forgotten. I had the pleasure of chatting to her at a book festival a couple of years ago, a nicer, smarter person I have seldom met.

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