Birds that escape from captivity teach wild birds how to speak (and swear) in English

September 26, 2017 by  
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If you listen carefully, you might hear a variety of nonsensical conversations emerging from the treetops of certain regions of Australia . The voices don’t belong to a mysterious, hidden tribe, however. Rather, they belong to birds. According to Australian Geographic, pet birds like parrots and cockatoos that have escaped from captivity are inadvertently teaching wild birds the words they learned in their human homes. And some of them are rather naughty. According to Jaynia Sladek, an ornithologist from the Australian Museum , some birds are natural mimickers. When they hear words in repetition or are surrounded by an assortment of noises, they will begin picking up on the cues. Because many (but not all) species of birds perceive a correlation between genetic fitness and mimicking ability, it is likely the pet birds flaunted their new vocabulary upon being released to the wild. “It’s a part of their language ,” said Sladek. For some species, it’s like advertising ‘I am very fit because I can learn a lot of different birds’ [calls]’.” Wild birds are able to quickly learn from the chatty ex-pets and as a result, start picking up new words and sounds. The remnants of the language are often passed down to offspring. “There’s no reason why, if one comes into the flock with words, [then] another member of the flock wouldn’t pick it up as well,” Sladek told  Australian Geographic . Related: 98-year-old man donates $2 million in stock for 395-acre wildlife refuge The aforementioned phenomenon has been previously witnessed with the lyebird. Found in Victoria, Australia, lyebirds have the uncanny ability to recreate the sounds of saws, axes, and old-fashioned cameras  — tools that haven’t been used in the region for years. When the best singers have their photos taken by the photographers, they quickly learn the sounds of the camera noises. Those same noises are then taught to their offspring. The report says the most common word the wild birds have picked up is “Hello, cockie.” The birds have also added a wide range of expletives to their vocabulary. Via Australian Geographic , TreeHugger Images via Pixabay

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Birds that escape from captivity teach wild birds how to speak (and swear) in English

Y-shaped timber cabin on stilts overlooks Norway’s picturesque mountains

September 26, 2017 by  
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Oslo-based architect Lund Hagem has unveiled a beautiful wooden cabin that juts out over the slopes of Norway’s Kvitfjell ski resort. The timber structure – which was built on stilts to reduce the cabin’s footprint – stretches out into an elongated Y shape, creating the illusion that it’s floating over the mountaintop. The beautiful structure stands on stilts on one of the highest buildable plots in the resort and is surrounded by soaring birch and pine trees. The orientation and Y shape of the cabin were strategic to providing clear views towards the southeast, which are especially enhanced thanks to the stilts that support the two extending prongs that house the living area and master bedroom. Related: All-black timber Geilo Cabin makes the most of the winter sunlight The cabin’s glazed walls and timber slat cladding are strategic parts of the design. “Our design process was inspired by the client’s desire to have ‘a summer cabin in a winter landscape’,” explained the studio. The timber exterior is separated from the home’s glazed walls by a fun indoor-outdoor walkway that wraps around the structure. The home’s strong connection to its surrounding environment continues on into the living space, where every room offers stunning views. Rustic oiled oak boards make up the flooring and ceiling throughout the home. One prong of the Y-shaped cabin contains the living area, which is furnished with cozy fleece-covered chairs and a hanging, wood-burning stove. The second prong of the Y shape houses the master bedroom and bathroom, while the home’s three additional bedrooms make up the base of the Y shape. In addition to the main house, the architects constructed a smaller annex, also set on stilts , adjacent to the main home. “By placing two volumes close to the neighboring limits, a kind of a courtyard was created,” they continued. “This way, the outdoor spaces could benefit from privacy from the neighbors, while still benefiting from the west/evening sun, during Easter and summer.” + Lund Hagem Via Dezeen

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Y-shaped timber cabin on stilts overlooks Norway’s picturesque mountains

Researchers engineer new antibody able to fight 99% of HIV strains

September 26, 2017 by  
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Researchers have made what the International Aids Society called an “exciting breakthrough” in the fight against HIV/AIDS . Pharmaceutical company Sanofi and the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) together engineered an antibody that can tackle 99 percent of HIV strains. The antibody has prevented infection in primates . The new antibody can interact with three crucial parts of the HIV virus. And it targets more strains than naturally occurring antibodies, the best of which attack 90 percent of strains. Researchers ran experiments on 24 monkeys. They gave one antibody to eight monkeys, a different one to another eight, and the final eight they gave the new antibody. Five days later they exposed the monkeys to strains of SHIV, a monkey form of HIV. None of those given the new antibody developed an infection. Related: 44-year-old British man could be the first to receive HIV cure The antibody is called a tri-specific antibody because it’s a combination of three broadly neutralizing antibodies. NIH described it as a three-in-one antibody. Broadly neutralizing antibodies tackle “something fundamental to HIV” according to the BBC. Sanofi Chief Scientific Officer Gary Nabel said tri-specific antibodies “can block multiple targets with a single agent.” He told the BBC, “They are more potent and have greater breadth than any single naturally occurring antibody that’s been discovered.” International Aids Society president Linda-Gail Bekker told the BBC, “These super-engineered antibodies seem to go beyond the natural and could have more applications than we have imagined to date. It’s early days yet, and as a scientist I look forward to seeing the first trials get off the ground in 2018. As a doctor in Africa , I feel the urgency to confirm these findings in humans as soon as possible.” The journal Science published the study last week. Scientists from Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and The Scripps Research Institute also collaborated on the research. Human trials are slated to begin next year. Via the BBC and the National Institutes of Health Images via NIAID on Flickr and Sanofi

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Researchers engineer new antibody able to fight 99% of HIV strains

PETITION: Free Ricky the bear from her inhumane cage at an ice cream shop

January 19, 2015 by  
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Ricky is an 18-year-old bear who has spent her entire life inside a concrete-floored cage at Jim Mack’s Ice Cream Parlor in York, PA. The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has filed a lawsuit against the ice cream parlor to help Ricky gain her freedom . ALDF veterinarians have checked Ricky out and they say she does not receive the humane care that is required under Pennsylvania law. They claim that Ricky is on an inadequate diet of dog food and corn, and suffers from stress and anxiety. Two separate petitions exist to help move Ricky’s case forward. One hosted on The Petition Site calls for 173,000 people to lend their name to help free Ricky. At the time of writing, the petition is less than a thousand signatures from their goal. The second petition , hosted by ALDF, demands pledges to boycott the business where Ricky is being held captive. Sign them now! FREE RICKY THE BEAR > BOYCOTT JIM MACK’S ICE CREAM PARLOR > Image via ALDF Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: activism , ALDF , animal cruelty , Animal Legal Defense Fund , animal welfare , bears in captivity , boycott , captive animals inhumane treatment , captive bears , captivity , free ricky the bear , humane , humane treatment , ice cream parlor , Jim Mack’s , petition , releasing captive animals , Ricky the bear , Wildlife

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PETITION: Free Ricky the bear from her inhumane cage at an ice cream shop

Charles Wrights’ self-sufficient Alkira House in Northern Australia on sale for $15 million

January 19, 2015 by  
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Missing Attachment Read the rest of Charles Wrights’ self-sufficient Alkira House in Northern Australia on sale for $15 million Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , 2014 House of the Year , Alkira House , australian home , Charles Wright , green architecture , Green Building , self-sufficient house , solar powered house , stamp house , Sustainable Building

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Charles Wrights’ self-sufficient Alkira House in Northern Australia on sale for $15 million

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