Dire News


Muppets in the Ocean

by on Aug.25, 2016, under Animals, Environment, Nature

Most of us remember the Muppets of our childhood. Whether it was Sesame Street, the Muppet Show, or Yoda, we all had our favorites. the_muppets_28058 We followed their adventures as they travelled around the world. top6-food And we followed them in space. muppets_space There were a lot of Muppets that only appeared once or twice, but they're still memorable. furline_huskie Like Furline Huskie, and his hit song "Comb Your Face". But we never thought of looking in the depths of the ocean.
Stubby squid (Rossia pacifica) off the Southern California coast

The Stubby squid (Rossia pacifica) live for about two years and are generally nocturnal, spending the daytime hours buried in sand with only their bulbous eyes exposed. This one was recently discovered 900 meters below sea level, on Trask Knoll west of Los Angeles. Although it resembles a squid, it's actually more closely related to the Cuttlefish.

stubby_squid It's not the first one sighted, but it's certainly the cutest. stubby-squid2  
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Snake Preview

by on Jan.25, 2015, under Animals, Environment, Health, Nature

We can understand why some people have a fear of snakes. They're stealthy, favor small dark places, and may live in close proximity to you for years before you realize they're there. snake_toilet No matter how conscientious you are, you still have to sleep sometime. snake_sleep Some people don't find them scary at all. snake_girl2 If you provide the proper environment, snakes are easy to maintain. They rarely aggravate allergies and they don't take up much space, making them good apartment pets. snake_pet3 The bond between a boy and his snake can last for years. snake_girl3 But fears aren't unfounded. Unlike these house pets, a snake in the wild could be dangerous snake_fangs1 The fangs may not look as sharp as cat or puppy teeth, but the venom can be potent. snake_bite2 It travels from the point of origin and spreads through the body rapidly. Even the notorious Black Mambo takes 20 minutes (in extreme cases) to 8 hours to kill. snake_bitefoot2 Other species give their victims an opportunity to experience the agony for much longer. snake_bitefoot Often the venom contains chemicals that paralyze the nerves and cause the blood to clot. If not treated quickly, it spreads and muscle tissue begins to die. snake_bite3 This 13 year old girl from Caracas, Venezuela was bitten a month before she was brought to a hospital. The leg will be amputated to keep the necrosis from spreading but they believe that effects of the necrosis, rhabdomyolysis which causes the muscle tissue to die, and Rhabdomyolysis, which leads to kidney failure, are already irreversible. snake_bitedog If your dog can't read, warn him about the dangers of snakes. dog_snake2 If you encounter an unidentified creature in the wild, if it doesn't have fur and four legs, it's probably a dangerous spider and you should leave the vicinity as fast as possible.
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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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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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Waist Deep In The Big Muddy

by on Jul.08, 2014, under Environment, Family, Health, Kids, Nature, Parenting, Recreation

It's been more than 10 years since five year old Lelaina Hall died after being trapped in the mud at Berrow Beach, Somerset in 2002. mudflat_danger People, especially kids, ignore the posted warnings to play in the mud. mudflat_rescue Emergency crews had already been called out several times to rescue people stuck in the mud. But like the others, this young boy ran out to enjoy the mudflats exposed during low tide at Weston-super-Mare in Somerset to the consternation of his mother. mudboy3 All of the stuck children were located and rescued that day, although one seven year old boy had to be checked out by an ambulance crew. Roger Fry, who lives in the area, was attending Weston Air Day when he snapped these photos. mudboy2 He said, "I was on the beach watching the planes when I heard this great ruckus. I looked round and saw this mother screaming at a kid." "I told you not to go down there, you're filthy" and so on. "Everyone stopped and looked around before the mother stormed off with some other children towards the car park. The muddy kid just followed on a little later." mudboy1 The unidentified young boy was berated by his mother, and was seen bursting into tears as the furious woman wagged her finger in front of his face. "Everyone stopped and looked around before the mother stormed off with some other children towards the car park. The muddy kid just followed on a little later." reported Fry.

"I want to play cricket on the green,

Ride my bike across the street,

Cut myself and see my blood,

I want to come home all covered in mud."

"I'm a Boy" -- Pete Townsend

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Deep Freeze

by on Feb.14, 2014, under Animals, Environment, Nature

Winter has been especially harsh this year in the Northern Hemisphere -- the better one. Cairo saw its first snowfall in 112 years.

A dog experiences snow for the first time

Scandinavian countries  are accustomed to winter and all that it brings, but even they haven't come out unscathed. In Norway, a large school of fish near the northern island of Lovund. The ambient temperature was even colder, so the fish had nowhere to escape. frozen_fish In Bodo in northern Norway, this moose was spotted, just barely visible above the ice. It appears that he was crossing the frozen lake when he fell through and became trapped. frozen_moose In southern Sweden, skater Jeffer Sandström was skating on Lake Bunn, near Jönköping, when he noticed the  fox. frozen_fox3 It too fell through the ice and was unable to escape, freezing in the overnight arctic temperatures. frozen_fox2 Seeing the fox with just a bit of his hear above the ice, the skater decided to call it a day. frozen_fox frozen_fox4
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Barbecue Blast

by on Oct.04, 2013, under Animals, Environment, Food

We previously offered Farming With Dynamite, a DuPont publication. to show farmers how they could make effective use of dynamite to clear land instead of laboring on noisy and inefficient tractors. syria-crisis_2   The joy of dynamite doesn't end there. There are other agricultural uses. For example, what if you have to get rid of a bunch of animal carcasses? dncow Certainly you could blast holes and bury them. But there's a more direct way, as illustrated in this guide from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Obliterating Animals With Explosives

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The Most Vial Record

by on Oct.03, 2013, under Animals, Environment, Health, Kids, Nature

Newberry, Florida boy Ben Smith, 11, recently set a world record. bsmith4 It probably won't appear in any record books. Ben was running through a wooded area at a friend’s birthday party when he felt a sharp pain, which he said was "like a knife". A five-foot long eastern diamondback rattlesnake had bit him on his right leg. eastern_dback Diamondback rattlesnakes have the most toxic venom in North America, and a deep bite from a large snake, like Ben had, will typically keep a patient in the hospital for as long as two weeks, according to Dr. Torrey Baines, a pediatric critical care specialist at the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital. A week and a half after being bitten, Ben remained in the pediatric intensive care unit. The venom from a highly toxic snake can keep the blood from clotting normally for up to two weeks. Once Ben's blood clotting tests produced normal results, the hospital would keep him for another 24 to 48 hours for observation. bsmith3 Doctors thought that the 80 vials of antivenin they needed to stabilize the 65 pound boy was a world record.
For a healthy person who hasn't been bitten too deeply or by a highly venomous snake, Dr. Baines said, a typical dose might be four to six vials of antivenin immediately, followed by a smaller maintenance dose of about two vials several hours later.
After the attack, Ben's friend - the birthday boy - and his father hunted down the five-foot snake and killed it. They gave it to Ben, who is keeping it as a souvenir.bsmith5 "Ben wanted to make a wallet, but has been told by the taxidermist that it would not hold up well,” his mother Heather Smith said. “We are having the snake skin preserved and Ben will decide later how to display it or if he wants to make something with the skin.” snake_front
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