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Member since: Sat Dec 6, 2008, 12:53 PM
Number of posts: 14,697

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Woman Discovers Her Pet Chameleon Will Hold Anything She Hands Her

We think of dogs and cats as being the only pets that can make us laugh, but as artist Emma Ward shows us, that’s not true. In a brief series of amusing images, she photographed her pet chameleon Olive holding tiny toy objects. Tweeting that the reptile will “grab anything you give them,” Ward armed the green creature with miniature swords and battle axes. This is all as Olive looks on, clearly unimpressed with the great power that they now wield.

Since tweeting the three pictures of Olive, the reptile has gone viral with over 169,000 retweets. Although Ward didn’t anticipate such a fervent response, the series is a perfect combination of her and Olive’s interests. Ward is a fantasy-style illustrator who enjoys creating imaginative characters and worlds—and collecting things from them. Olive, on the other hand, simply appreciates smalls things. “Knowing she likes to grasp anything that goes in her hands, I thought Lego swords and Evangelion weapons would be an interesting idea,” Ward explained to Chron.com.

Since Olive’s explosive debut, Ward has continued the trend and put her leopard gecko Stimpy in a variety of fabulous hats. Maybe it could be friends with this similarly fashionable toad.


What Makes John Bonham Such a Good Drummer?

Researcher Finds New Evidence of Western Forest Decline

CORTEZ, Colorado – In Colorado’s San Juan National Forest, between 7,000 and 10,000 feet, quaking aspen grow in glorious, shimmering groves. In mid-2004, Forest Service rangers noticed the aspen groves sickening. Trees crowns browned in patchy clusters. Their lime-green, spear-shaped leaves dropped. Aerial surveys observed a rapidly widening area of forest illness and death in the years that followed.

In 2008, William Anderegg drove from California to his parents’ home in Cortez, Colorado, a farming and ranging town south of the National Forest. He also noticed the dying aspens. It was late summer and he’d just graduated from college at Stanford. The compact crowns should have been alight with thick swaying foliage. But on many trees, the branches were bare.

“It was pretty eye-opening to see the forest change so much in my lifetime,” he recalled recently.

William resolved to track down what had killed the trees, where he’d often hunted with his dad. Their hunting ground turned out to offer the first indication of what was becoming possibly the largest loss of aspen ever.

Now a biology professor at the University of Utah, Williams’ research on that tree epidemic has helped shed light on threats to forests across the West, from Mexico to northern Canada. And it suggests that the planet might warm faster than climate scientists have forecast.


Pilot Flies 750 Miles to Save a Dog That Was Given 24 Hours to Live

While dogs might be man’s best friend, this man is now definitely the best friend of Lisa the pup.

Lisa, also known as Adrienne, is a 2-year-old dog who was rescued by the Granville County Animal Shelter in Oxford, North Carolina when she was found on the streets with a severe bladder prolapse. Because the surgery for the prolapse was too serious, Lisa was sentenced to euthanization.

That is, until Animals R Family – an animal wellness center and charity in Englishtown, New Jersey, heard about her plight.

The charity volunteered the $1,500 necessary for the surgery, but they had no idea how they were going to get Lisa from North Carolina to the animal hospital before the deadline.


Usain Bolts illustrious career ends in tears after injury downs him in final race

It was a heartbreaking ending to an outstanding track and field career for Usain Bolt on Saturday at the IAAF World Championships in London.

Running the final leg of the men’s 4×100 relay for Jamaica, Bolt failed to finish after an injury led him to pull up just after teammate Yohan Blake handed him the baton.

Bolt collapsed on the track, as the British, American and Japanese teams soared ahead to secure their first, second and third podium spots, respectively. This is the first time since 2008 that a team other than Jamaica won the event at a major meet.


Why Israel Is Concerned About American-Russian Understandings on Syria

The agreement reached during the G-20 meetings in Hamburg between U.S. President Trump and Russian President Putin on July 7, 2017, about establishing a de-escalation zone in southwestern Syria was accepted with mixed feelings in Israel.

Jerusalem, of course, welcomes stability in the southern part of Syria. But Prime Minister Netanyahu voiced concern about the agreement mainly because it focused on the de-escalation zone. It tacitly gave legitimacy to the prolonged presence of Iranian and Iranian-backed forces throughout the regions of Syria nominally controlled by the Assad regime.

Israeli doubts about this American policy will probably intensify following Trump’s decision to curtail U.S. assistance to opposition groups that were supported by the CIA. Moreover, Israel is alarmed by recent reports about negotiations between Russia and the United States that practically allow Assad to stay in power and that guarantee a favorable division of the territory between Assad and his supporters and the forces who cooperate with the United States.

Israel has five major concerns regarding the Iranian entrenchment in Syria. Two of them are an immediate concern. Israel regards these specific two as tripwires that if and when crossed, Israel will react. These are:

1. Iran’s ongoing effort together with its proxy Hizbullah to turn the northern part of the Golan Heights into a base from which the Iranians could launch – via their proxies – terror activities against Israel. Throughout the civil war in Syria, Israel countered Iranian efforts to establish a launching pad for terror attacks in the northern Golan Heights with the decisive reaction that foiled these attempts. Last year, it seemed that Iranians got the message, and they have been much more cautious about this idea.

2. Iran’s presence in Syria allows for the acceleration of the delivery of military equipment to Hizbullah through Syria, including the supply of “tie-breaking” weapons and weapons components, such as –

--precision guidance for Iranian-made missiles such as the Fatah 110 and missiles with heavier payloads;

--land-to-sea missiles produced by Iran, China, and Russia (C-704, C-802, Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missile with a 600 km range;

--SA-22 air defense system and a wide variety of anti-aircraft missiles produced in Russia and Iran);

--unmanned air vehicles, drones;

--mini submarines (Ghadir type);

--anti-tank missiles, etc.

So far, Israel has not been shy about hitting those armed shipments on Syrian territory. Recently, Prime Minister Netanyahu even admitted that Israel carried out “dozens and dozens” of such attacks. If Iran managed to solidify its presence in Syria and most of all, establish an Iranian-controlled ground corridor stretching from Iran, through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon (the “Shia Crescent”), it would be able to deliver these arms with greater safety and with fewer limits on the kinds of weapons to be delivered. In the meantime, due to ongoing Israeli interdictions, the Iranians have already embarked on building weapons production factories in Lebanon and maybe in Syria that will facilitate the supply to Hizbullah of advanced weaponry. (To some extent Iran did the same with Hamas in Gaza.)

But beyond these two well-known concerns, the Iranian presence in Syria should worry Israel for three other reasons, which are no less dangerous.

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