Dire News


Sock in the Stomach

by on Sep.07, 2014, under Animals, Family, Food, Health

Some dogs will eat just about anything. dog_cattoy This three year old Great Dane isn't picky. Like a lot of dogs, he swallows first and decides whether or not it was food afterwards. dane1 Normally these things work themselves out in the end. But one day when he started to vomit repeatedly, his owners took him to the Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Portland, OR., where he helped them earn second place. danexr4 His x-rays, showing 44 socks, won the clinic the $500 second place prize in the 2014 X-Ray Contest Winners from The Veterinary Practice News. danexr4 He arrived with a distended stomach so was treated with exploratory surgery, which quickly revealed the cause. dane2 After the 43 1/2 socks were removed, he recovered quickly and was sent home the next day. dane3 We recommend that he pass on the socks.
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A Great Future In Plastics

by on Aug.18, 2014, under Animals, Environment, Food, Nature

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Benjamin: Yes, sir. Mr. McGuire: Are you listening? Benjamin: Yes, I am. Mr. McGuire: Plastics. Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean? Mr. McGuire: There's a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it? plastic-recycling We've seen the future, and it's rubbish. plastic_ocean Plastic is our future because we can't get rid of it. Once in the environment, it's there to stay. It doesn't biodegrade like organic materials, and doesn't oxidize like metals. If it breaks down at all, it breaks down into smaller plastic pieces. A lot of it ends up in the oceans, and on the beaches. minke01 Even the large marine animals are affected. This minke whale washed up on a beach. minke02 When the contents of its stomach were examined, it was found to contain a lot of plastic grocery store bags. laysan_albatross1 Even though their diet is different than the whales' other creatures are affected too. The Laysan Albatross has especially suffered. Laysan Albatross Nesting by Rows of Plastic Litter There's hardly a place they can go that isn't surrounded by plastic trash. albatross12 The origins are both marine and land based. Plastic doesn't observe political boundaries. albatross_anatomy The stuff found inside the Laysan Albatross is usually familiar to most biologists. More frequently, however, what they find is recognizable to any modern person. Kure Laysan Carcass The organs of the dead birds have been displaced by colorful plastic trash. albatross09 These pictures illustrate how these albatrosses were found. albatross01 Even if we make an effort to use less plastic, and recycle more religiously, it already permeates the environment. albatross02 The birds consume everything from bottle caps to toothbrushes. albatross04 These birds contain more plastic than a Lego model. lego-bird The plastic is more colorful than the birds. albatross07 But we don't think it adds to their natural beauty. albatross10 We believe that these creatures should stick to an organic diet. croc_hand1 It's a lot healthier for them than plastic. croc_limbs
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Crossing The Line

by on Jul.30, 2014, under Animals, Culture, History, Racism, Religion, War and Terrorism

Islam is a paradoxical religion. Like Christianity, it has a history of using violence to advance the religion while preaching discipline and self-sacrifice. The Koran is the framework for Islam, just as the Christian bible is the framework for Christianity. And like Christianity, there are different sects of Islam. sunnishia It's hard to know how widespread some Muslim practices are, but people in the Western Hemisphere might find some of them discomforting. muslim_marriage The Prophet Mohammed had an 8-year old wife, so most Muslims wouldn't consider letting their daughters marry below that age. 8-year old Rawan from Yemen died on her wedding night. bachabazi01 Young girls aren't the only option available. bachabazi02 If you have enough money, you can have Bacha Bazi boys. bachabazi03 The boys are usually dressed in costumes, to dance and otherwise entertain their owner and his friends. Sex with young boys is neither considered to be homosexual nor illegal extramarital sex. cir015 Female circumcision is not practiced exclusively by Muslims but many of them consider it to be a cultural tradition. islam_hand Limbs, like hands and feet, may be cut off for various offenses, like stealing, or handling the wrong literature. It's usually done in public. muslim_stoned People are stoned to death for such things as sex outside of marriage, or associating with someone from another sect or religion. muslim_heads1 They behead their victims and proudly display their trophies. muslim_heads2 What could possibly be so horrible that it offends people like this? puppy_sibhusk The opening ceremony of the Commonwealth games recently held in Scotland features Scottie dogs, each representing a participating country. cgames01 Mohamad Sabu, the deputy president of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party said, "Malaysia and all Islamic countries deserve and apology from the organizer. This is just so disrespectful to Malaysia and Muslims – especially as it happened during Ramadan. Muslims are not allowed to touch dogs, so the organizer should have been more aware and sensitive on this issue. It is hoped this incident can teach other Western countries to be more respectful in the future." cgames02 Dato Ibrahim Bin Ali, a far-Right politician, former MP and founder and president of Malay supremacist group Perkasa also called for an apology. "I think it is unbecoming. The hosts have not been sensitive enough – especially in a so-called knowledgeable and civilised society like Britain," he said. "It is shameful and has offended not only Malaysia as a Muslim country, but Muslims around the world." cgames03 We have it on good authority that Muslims don't like Scotland's other namesake famous product. whisky_springbank
A police force has apologized to Islamic leaders for the "offensive" postcard advertising a new non-emergency telephone number, which shows a six-month-old trainee police dog named Rebel.
The German shepherd puppy has proved hugely popular with the public, hundreds of whom have logged on to the force's website to read his online training diary. Police Poster Many Muslims believe that dogs are impure and therefore 'haraam' - or forbidden - except for use in hunting or farming, and that it is not hygienic to keep a dog in the house. They say that the "impurity of dogs is the greatest of animal impurities", and anyone who touches one must wash the body part that has come into contact with the animal seven times. puppies_sink We're not sure how that applies to postcards.
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Outdoor Safety Tips: Mountain Lions

by on Jul.24, 2014, under Animals, Education, Environment, Health, Nature

The mountain lion, also known as the cougar, puma, and panther isn't especially large, but they can bound up to 40 feet and leap 15 feet up to a tree. Typically found in the West, mountain lions have been sighted in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, and even Connecticut. cougar_young What should you do if you encounter one? Avoid it if at all possible. Otherwise, follow these handy safety tips. mlhabitat Frankly, we'd rather take our chances with the mountain lion rather than giving a cat a bath. cattack02 cattack01 If you have to fight, here's are some strategies you can try. mountain_lion_safety  
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Hard To Swallow

by on Jul.24, 2014, under Animals, Environment, Food, Nature

- I -
Once, when I was six years old, I saw a magnificent picture in a book called "True Stories", about the primeval forest. It was a picture of a boa constrictor swallowing a wild beast. Here is a copy of the drawing.
In the book it said: "Boa constrictors swallow their prey whole, without chewing it. After that they are not able to move, and they sleep through the six months that they need for digestion." I pondered deeply, then, over the adventures of the jungle. And after some work with a colored pencil I succeeded in making my first drawing. My drawing number 1. It looked like this:
boa fermé
I showed my masterpiece to the grown-ups, and asked them whether the drawing frightened them. They answered me: "Why should any one be frightened by a hat?" My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant. Then, I drew the inside of the boa constrictor, so that the grown-ups could see it clearly. They always need to have things explained. My drawing number 2 looked like this:
boa ouvert
The grown-ups' response, this time, was to advise me to lay aside my drawings of boa constrictors, whether from the inside or the outside, and devote myself instead to geography, history, arithmetic and grammar. The transitive property proves that a boa constrictor could really swallow an elephant. elecroc01 A crocodile can eat an elephant. snake_croc A snake can devour a crocodile. By the Transitive Property of Predation, a snake can eat an elephant. But they usually start with something smaller. snake_croc_dead Biting off more than you can chew can cause indigestion, or worse. Nonetheless, some snakes have a hearty appetite. snakefood It was still a considerable feat for the rock python that was spotted 25 miles outside the village of Billa in Gujarat, India. impala45 At the snake's home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play, a young impala is a delicacy too good to pass up. python05 A well-endowed snake can swallow something bigger than itself. It's jaw and stomach can stretch a considerable amount. python01 Snakes don't chew their food. They like to savor it as it goes down. python03 Snakes have an efficient straight-line digestive system, so like an assembly line it can take in raw materials at one end and turn out a finished product from the other, with all the intermediate processes running concurrently. python04 Although it was almost down to the end, a crowd had gathered to watch, so the python, frightened, regurgitated the antelope. It's a common defensive response so the snake can quickly shed weight and get away fast. Python_regurgitating1 Otherwise it could be there for a while. snake_digest2
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The Drive To Succeed

by on Jul.07, 2014, under Animals, Technology, Toys

Recent technology advances make it look like the self-driving car is just on the horizon. selfdrive01 It's not a new idea. There have been some early attempts, but they were quirky and not ready for the general public. herbie Some were unpredictable. selfdrive05 Others were just too complex and unaffordable. selfdrive02 But with industry giant Google developing a self-driving car that's already in the testing stages, we might actually see something that the average person can afford. selfdrive03 While it looks promising, we don't think potential competitors should give up yet. Volvo is one of the leaders in assisted driving vehicles. selfdrive12 To demonstrate the lightweight steering on its latest generation of trucks, Volvo modified the steering column on a Volvo FMX truck and engaged the assistance of mechanization expert Charlie. selfdrive11 Charlie, a hamster, controls the steering. selfdrive09 While the intelligence is built in, programming is performed by a technician, using the "carrot and stick" method. Actually he uses carrot sticks. selfdrive08 Charlie, from Oxfordshire, England, required a few weeks of training to master the new Volvo Dynamic Steering. selfdrive07 Steering around tight bends on a quarry road in northern Spain, Charlie is one more step in removing the human component in driving. selfdrive10
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Rat Pack

by on Feb.20, 2014, under Animals, Consumer, Culture, Food, Nature

The Red River delta and southern Mekong River delta in Viet Nam constitute half of the country's fish harvest, but there's an old regional favorite that isn't made from seafood. ratmeat16 The rats are captured in the wild ratmeat15 and sold in markets. ratmeat4 Compared to other types of meat, it's fairly cheap at about 50,000 dong, or $ 2.50 a pound. ratmeat5 If you're squeamish about the thought of eating a rat, just think of it as the analog of a cornish hen and chicken. A rat is nothing more than a tiny capybara. capybara_friends The rats are washed before they're prepared for cooking. ratmeat11 Then they're skinned ratmeat8 And gutted. ratmeat3   ratmeat9 If you want a night out, you can order your favorite entree at a rat restaurant. ratmeat1 They can be roasted over an open flame. ratmeat2 Or if your culinary delight is stuff on a stick Stuff_on_a_Stick You can get your rat to eat on the go. ratmeat6 The rats are roasted until they're charred. For that outdoor flavor, you can cook them right in the back yard using manure for fuel. ratmeat7 Eat up! bushrat owl-eating-rat
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