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Proof That Friendships Go Beyond Species: Pigeon Snuggles Chihuahua

Lundy is a puppy who can’t use his back legs due to potential hydrocephalus. He was taken in mid-January to The Mia Foundation, an animal rescue located in Rochester, New York, which specializes in pets born with birth defects. Here, Lundy met an unlikely friend in the form of the foundation’s bird ambassador — Herman the pigeon, who has been in the foundation since November 2018.

Check out their photos on the Facebook post.

Very cute.

(Image Credit: The Mia Foundation/ Facebook)


The Legend of a Cave and the Traces of the Underground Railroad in Ohio

There is a legend in Ohio that a hidden cave a few miles from Middletown contains many skeletons of people who died there, 21 of them enslaved people traveling the Underground Railroad. The cave produced poison gas, and was eventually sealed up so that no one else would enter. The origin of the legend was a series of newspaper articles that appeared in 1892, written by a man simply named John. No one today know who he really was.

According to John’s account, one summer night in 1849, a group of escapees took shelter in the home of a Hamilton, Ohio, abolitionist and physician, about 10 miles south of Middletown. As the night wore on, the physician grew nervous that bounty hunters were approaching. He loaded his guests into two wagons and headed north, following an empty road that wound along Elk Creek. John claimed that the doctor ushered the group into a little-known cave, where they’d be cramped and cold but safe and unseen. The cave was on the property of an abolitionist sympathizer—John’s father.

In the newspaper story, the doctor runs to the farmhouse and knocks. It is well after midnight. “I told him what I knew of the cave, that it was a deathtrap and that I was sure not one of the twenty-one would emerge alive,” John’s father says. He tells the doctor that geologists from the “Department of Washington City, DC” had also visited the cave, several years before, and had never returned.

People have been searching for the cave ever since the story resurfaced in the 1980s, yet it has not been found. After all, those who found it died, and if it was sealed up, it is no longer a visible cave, right? But on the other hand, the entire story could be fiction. Read about the enduring mystery of the deadly hidden cave at Atlas Obscura.


That Time John Adams Almost Died Sailing to Europe

Four of America's first five presidents wrote autobiographies, but only John Adams included details of his private life. Some those details are fascinating, particularly the story of how he sailed across the Atlantic, which gives modern audiences a taste of how hazardous such journeys were. In 1778, he became America's ambassador to France, and set out on the trip with his 10-year-old son (and another future president) John Quincy on the ship Boston. First, everyone got sick. Then they were spotted by three ships.

The ships turned out to be British. The Boston outran two of them, but the third one stayed close. The chase stretched on for days. At dawn, Adams would climb on the deck and scan the horizon—at first it would look like they had escaped, until he spotted a stubborn sail. “Sometimes she gained upon us,” he wrote, “and sometimes we gained in our distance from her.” Tucker and Barron ordered their crew to keep the Boston’s cannons rolled out and ready, their barrels jutting from the sides of the ship, their powder and shot piled beside them.

The Boston escaped its pursuer on the 21st, but it soon ran into a new problem. The wind was picking up; dark clouds were filling the sky. That night, a terrible storm hit. The Boston, with its guns still rolled out, was not prepared, and everyone rushed to store the weaponry. A dazzling bolt of lightning struck the main mast. Somehow it missed the casks of gunpowder still strewn across the ship. But it hit a sailor, leaving a scorched divot in his shoulder, a nasty wound that would eventually kill him.

That was only the beginning of the death and destruction and encounters with enemy ships on that voyage. You can read the whole story at outside Online. -via Digg


Extinct Turtle Weighed 2,500 Pounds

A giant extinct turtle was discovered in the tropical regions of South America in the 1970s. It was given the painfully generic name of Stupendemys geographicus. The turtle lived five to ten million years ago, but only recently have fossils been found that are intact enough to give us a real vision of its size. The S. geographicus fossil shown above is accompanied by a paleontologist for scale.  

Researchers of the University of Zurich (UZH) and fellow researchers from Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil have now reported exceptional specimens of the extinct turtle recently found in new locations across Venezuela and Colombia. “The carapace of some Stupendemys individuals reached almost three meters, making it one of the largest, if not the largest turtle that ever existed,” says Marcelo Sánchez, director of the Paleontological Institute and Museum of UZH and head of the study. The turtle had an estimated body mass of 1,145 kg (~2,500 pounds) — almost one hundred times that of its closest living relative, the big-headed Amazon river turtle.

Believe it or not, this turtle had to worry about predators. Read about the largest turtle ever at SciTechDaily.

(Image credit: Edwin Cadena)


The Reasons Why Most California Students Did Not Meet Science Standards

You might remember this from your high school life: you listen to a lecture about cell structure. A few days later, you go to school with your assignment — a cell model made of papier mâché and dry macaroni. But those are now things of the past. Science is now taught in a very different way.

A teacher might start the lesson by posing a question: How does a wound heal? Well, that involves cell reproduction. So to understand how a wound heals, the teacher might say, we must first learn how a cell works. The instructor might ask: What elements do you think a cell must have to help heal the wound? How about making a model and discussing your hypotheses with each other?

This type of teaching method, which is embedded in the “Next Generation Science Standards”, which was adopted by California in 2013, aims to lead students to the right answer, with the teacher serving as a guide to the students. Unfortunately, it isn’t that effective.

Across the state, 29.9% of students met or exceeded the new science standards on this first test, with fluctuations according to grade level.

The question is, why?

Find out the factors which contribute to this issue over at Los Angeles Times.

(Image Credit: Wokandapix/ Pixabay)


Astronaut’s Dog Gives Her A Very Warm Welcome Upon Her Return From Space

A very heartwarming moment indeed. Astronaut Christina Koch spent 328 days in space, away from her dog. When Koch finally returned, her dog, Sadie Lou lost its mind and welcomed her enthusiastically back home. To quote one of the comments on her Instagram post, the dog does love her to the moon and back. 

image via Instagram


It’s Robert Pattinson in The Batsuit!


Ominous music. Low red lighting. A man is shown slowly coming to focus. In his chest is the iconic black bat. The man behind the mask is Robert Pattinson.

Director Matt Reeves tweeted this camera test for their upcoming film, “The Batman.”

Pattinson opened up about trying the Batsuit on for the first time in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last fall.
"I remember saying to Matt, 'It does feel quite transformative!' He was like, 'I would hope it does! You're literally in the Batsuit,'" he recalled. "You do feel very powerful immediately. And it's pretty astonishing, something that is incredibly difficult to get into, so the ritual of getting into it is pretty humiliating. You've got five people trying to shove you into something. Once you've got it on, it's like, 'Yeah, I feel strong, I feel tough, even though I had to have someone squeezing my butt cheeks into the legs.'"

While some people can’t wait for the film, I’m kind of excited to see if Robert Pattinson will still be called “Shovel Face” on Honest Trailers.

But I’m still kind of interested in how Pattinson will portray the Dark Knight.

What do you think?

(Video Credit: Matt Reeves/ Twitter)


Margot Robbie in The Season 11 Premiere of “Hot Ones”

The "show with hot questions and even hotter wings" is back even hotter than before, and now it’s time for Margot Robbie to sit in the hot seat. Despite struggling with each sauce, she was able to survive the gauntlet.

Now THAT’s real HOT!

(Video Credit: First We Feast/ YouTube)


One Week and 500 Voices

You know what Barenaked Ladies really needs? A mass choir explaining how to pronounce "sorry." The band collaborated with 500 singers from Choir! Choir! Choir! for a fundraiser for Covenant House Toronto, and the result is a real hoot. -via Metafilter


The PS5 Is More Expensive Than The PS4

The new playstation console is expected to launch later this year, much to the anticipation of the gaming community. It seems that we have to save up almost $500 to get our hands on one, as the cost of producing the console is $450 per unit. The challenge is getting key components for the PS5 at a reasonable price, as Gizmodo details: 

DRAM and NAND flash memory appear to be the components Sony is having trouble getting cheap. Both are crucial if Sony wants to maintain the incredible load times its been bragging about for the PS5. Both are widely used in high-end phones and laptops. Given that it has reportedly been trying to beat Sony on raw power when it launches its next-gen console, the Xbox Series X, Microsoft may also be contributing to the shortage as it would likely be using similar materials.

The $450 number being thrown around in the Bloomberg piece isn’t the cost of the PS5 when it will be sold in stores—but the amount required to manufacture it. Typically this is a good indicator of what the actual device will cost too. The PS4 cost $381 to manufacture, according to IHS Markit, and retailed for $400. By that math, the PS5 would need to cost around $470 to maintain the same kind of profit.

image via Gizmodo


Man Jailed For 15 Years Is Set Free Thanks To Genealogical Website Data

Ricky Davis spent fifteen years after being wrongfully convicted in the slaying of his housemate. Thanks to data from publicly available genealogical websites, the authorities were able to use the data to arrest a new suspect in the murder of Davis’ housemate. The technological development improves the terrible justice system, as The Guardian details:  

The El Dorado county district attorney, Vern Pierson, would not go into detail on the newly implicated suspect, who was a juvenile at the time of the slaying and by law must make at least his first appearances in juvenile court even though he is now in his 50s, but said he was one of three young men who had been with the victim’s teenage daughter on the night of the slaying.
Pierson said the developments are “two of the most dramatic extremes that you can experience”.
“On the one hand, we have the system working in the worst possible way. On the other hand, we have the evolution of technology in terms of genetic genealogy” that led to Davis being freed and a new suspect arrested this week, he said. “It is a surreal thing in a sense.”

image via The Guardian


Dog Swallows Diamond Engagement Ring

Worried that her dog might have swallowed her missing engagement ring, a woman brought her German short-haired pointer puppy to an animal hospital in Pretoria. There, her fears were confirmed: Pepper, her dog really does have it in its stomach.

Veterinarians took X-ray photos and quickly spotted the missing item in the dog's stomach.

The veterinarians, according to the animal hospital, gave the dog medicine to induce vomiting. The medicine then took effect and did its stuff, and up came the engagement ring.

“… As good as new. Or I'd say even better as she'll always have our story to tell," the post said.

People reacted positively towards the Facebook post.

(Image Credit: Valley Farm Animal Hospital/ Facebook)


Tarantino's Camera Angel

The slate operator is crucial to filmmaking. They make sure each piece of film is labeled with the scene and take number, plus codes for different camera angles. The loud clap is a marker to synchronize sound. A good slate operator will make each take easy to find for editing. A great one will make it memorable.

Argentinian slate operator Geraldine Brezca has worked with Quentin Tarantino many times, and this compilation shows how she made each snippet of the raw film on Inglourious Basterds memorable. Notice how she uses a word to correspond with the board information. Some of those words are NSFW. -via Kottke


A Father’s Different Side: A Valentine’s Story

Helene Stapinski knew her father as a quiet man. If she had to count, she’d say that her father only spoke about 20 paragraphs to her in his whole life. Helene’s father died at age 59 (she was 22, then). Now, at age 54, she realizes that her father died young, with many things left unsaid.

We knew Daddy loved us, but not by his words...

Since her father did not talk that much, she did not really know who her father was, until her mother mentioned the love letters he wrote to her mother during his time in the Marine Corps. There Helene found a “verbose and expressive” teenager.

More about this story over at The New York Times.

(Image Credit: Bru-nO/ Pixabay)


Surprising My Girlfriend With 100,000 Roses For Valentines

This Youtuber had two trucks filled with 50,000 roses each, so that they can be delivered in time to surprise his girlfriend for Valentines Day. That’s right, 100,000 roses in total, all for his special someone. Don’t worry about how wasteful this gesture is, as he shares that all the flowers will be recycled and will be turned into compost afterward. Watch MrBeast share the logistics behind making the grand gesture possible. 

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