Museums Battle for Possession of Horse's Head

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"Old Baldy" - the horse of Civil War General George Meade - continues to wade through battle 121 years after his death. The Grand Army of the Republic Museum and the Civil War Library and Museum both claim ownership of Old Baldy's head and want it for their own.

Gaming fun and good for you

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OMGr0x0r!! It seems that gamers aren't the antisocial malcontents that the media so often likes to paint them. Professor Talmadge Wright and colleagues at Loyola University, Chicago, have been studying Counter Strike culture, and have discovered that it's, amazingly enough, okay to shoot stuff.
Not only that, the social fun and humour of the game was not lost on them. "It gives people an option of actively participating in some kind of fantasy role they could not do in real life that allows them to play with their own feelings," said Prof Wright, pointing out that these online communities both build good teamwork and freindships while allowing people to blow off steam and relax. The study also notes that other researchers are often clouded by the idea that "mindless activity" has no place in a world that demands visable productivity.

Madagascar's mammals sailed to island

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Isolated Madagascar, with it's 100 or so species of weird and wonderful mammals, may have only aquired them after seperating from the main land. New research points to the four groups of mammals on the island coming from four individual ancestors that floated over on rafts of plantation. Both the carnivores and the lemurs are not primitive enough to justify assuming they seperated with the island, over 80 million years ago, and both groups point to one ancestor each. The genetic research that has been conducted on them hasn't been conducted on the other two mammalian groups, tenrecs and rodents, but scientist believe they probably arrived the same way, and Madagascar started off as a lone refuge of reptiles and birds.

There's a tiger in my bed...

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School officials in Minnesota were a bit taken aback by a fifth-grader's explanation of his inability to keep awake in class, and of the scratch marks covering his body. Apparantly, the tiger in his bedroom was keeping him up at night.

The 3 or 4 month old tiger - named Anna by the boy - has since been secured by a Humane Society.

Bird song CD hits top 50 in Brazil

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The work of 29 years of scientific study is appealing to both scientists and bird lovers in Brazil, not to mention regular folk. The CD contains the sounds of 80 different species found in wilds of the country. Not to be mistaken for other sorts of CDs designed for relaxing listening, the CD is all science, with the species, sex, location and time of each bird call included on the tracts.

Universe should expand forever

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NASA scientists are soon to announce that new data gleaned from the the Microwave Anisotropy Probe shows that the Universe should expand forever at an ever increasing rate. Tracing the 'echo of the Big Bang', the first release of data should also help answer other questions about the Universe, such as its infancy and the 'dark matter' that seems to fill much of it.

Sacrifice This!

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In celebration of the festival of Eid al-Adha, Muslims sacrifice cows, sheep, goats, and bulls, whose meat is given to the poor. In Istanbul today, the bulls weren't going to take it anymore and broke out, running loose through the city.
More than 600 people were injured
either attempting to sacrifice, or trying to capture the escaped animals.

Four new fanzine issues at Further Confusion

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Four Furry fanzines debuted their new issues at Further Confusion at the end of January: Fur Plus (#17), Fur Visions (#27), North American Fur (#11), and Yarf! (#66). Devoted readers of those fanzines may want to contact their publishers to buy copies, or order them from Rabbit Valley Books.

Colorado May O.K. First Animal Companionship Law

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Found at Yahoo:

Several Colorado lawmakers are supporting legislation to elevate the status of cats and dogs from property to companions. The measure would allow people in Colorado to sue veterinarians and animal abusers and seek damages for "loss of companionship," up to $100,000. Colorado has more than 2 million dogs and cats in 1.6 million households. Current law classifies them as property, and pet owners can seek only "fair market value" in a lawsuit.

Find more here

Camera catches evidence of tigers returning to China

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A baited camera trap caught the first image of a wild Siberian tiger in north-eastern China, raising hopes that the species might return to its old haunts. The tiger was all but extinct in China from poatching, but much of its old habitat remains intact. Scientists hope migrating tiger populations from Russia and captive bred introduced animals can rebuild the population if hunting bans can be maintained.

Man beats ferret to death after being told ferrets not allowed on flight

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In a disgusting display of wanton animal cruelty, a man who was told during a layover that the ferret he had smuggled on board in a cooler wasn't allowed on the plane, proceded to beat the animal to death and attempt to flush it down the toilet. The airline offered to take the animal to the local SPCA if the man wanted to continue his flight, and was shocked at how the passenger chose to handle the problem. American Airlines does not allow ferrets in the cabin, and they must have special arrangement to be taken as cargo.

Gregory Benford on the future of the Shuttle

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Gregory Benford, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California as well as a renowed SF author, comments on the future of the space shuttle, and NASA itself.

Valentine's Day lineup features Lustful Animals

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This article discusses some of the randier television programming planned for Valentine's week on Canadian television.

"The Discovery Channel, meanwhile, is offering a full line-up of humping critters including Out in Nature: Homosexual Behaviour in the Animal Kingdom, Weird and Wild: Wild Sex and a lovely little David Attenborough documentary on the peculiar seduction rituals of bowerbirds."

And the cat came back...

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Toonces the cat went missing during a camping trip seven years ago, after fleeing from a dog. But the cat has finally returned, skinny but otherwise healthy. Rob Etmanski doubts his cat will remember him after all this time, but hopes she'll be happy to be home.

Cheetahs love Calvin Klein

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According to this article, cheetahs just go wild for the scent of Calvin Klein's perfume, Obsession.

Makes scents to me...

From the Yerf Archive