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The Interesting, Odd, & Unusual

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9,500-Year-Old Tree Found in Sweden Is The World’s Oldest Tree. The world’s oldest tree, a 9,500-year-old Norwegian Spruce named “Old Tjikko,” after Professor Leif Kullman’s Siberian husky, continues to grow in Sweden.

9,500-Year-Old Tree Found in Sweden Is The World’s Oldest Tree

Discovered in 2004 by Kullman, professor of Physical Geography at Umeå University, the age of the tree was determined using carbon-14 dating. “During the ice age sea level was 120 meters lower than today and much of what is now the North Sea in the waters between England and Norway was at that time forest,” Professor Kullman told Aftonbladet. Winds and low temperatures made Old Tjikko “like a bonsai tree…Big trees cannot get as old as this.” South Africa python's deadly meal: a porcupine. After the death of a 12-foot-long African Rock Python, park rangers opened its stomach.

South Africa python's deadly meal: a porcupine

Inside they found a 30-pound porcupine. Its needle-sharp quills seem to have punctured the snake's digestive tract and may have contributed to its death. The engorged snake was first spotted by a mountain biker in the Lake Eland Game Reserve, about 100 miles south of Durban, two weeks ago. 25 Things You Should Never Say To A Virginian. Portland's water pipes are the newest source of clean energy.

Portland residents can now generate green electricity simply by turning on their water taps and flushing their toilets.

Portland's water pipes are the newest source of clean energy

Fast Company reports that the Oregon city is using a state-of-the art system to capture energy from water flowing through the city’s pipelines. Small turbines installed inside the pipelines are turned by the flowing water, sending energy into a generator and off into the power grid. “It’s pretty rare to find a new source of energy where there’s no environmental impact,” Gregg Semler told Fast Company.

Semler is the chief executive officer of Lucid Energy, the Portland start-up behind the new system. “But this is inside a pipe, so no fish or endangered species are impacted. No longer 'deaf as a stump': researchers find turtles chirp, click, meow, cluck. Turtles communicate to synchronize hatching, socialize Turtles comprise one of the oldest living groups of reptiles, with hundreds of species found throughout the world.

No longer 'deaf as a stump': researchers find turtles chirp, click, meow, cluck

Many have been well-researched, and scientists know very specific things about their various evolutionary histories, metabolic rates, and the ways in which their sexes are determined. But there was one very obvious thing that has been largely left unknown by science until very recently. World's largest aquatic insect specimen found in China. By Zoe Li, CNN July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1152 GMT (1952 HKT) Large enough to cover the face of a human adult, this scary-looking insect is also known among entomologists as an indicator of good water quality.

World's largest aquatic insect specimen found in China

This lacewing discovered in Sichuan province, has a wingspan of 21 cm, making it the largest known aquatic insect in the world. How Bird Flocks Work. Flocks of birds and how they seem to move together have always fascinated any observer of them.

How Bird Flocks Work

New research from the Universities of Exeter and Cambridge reveals for the first time that, contrary to current models used to explain the movement of flocks, the differences between bird species and social relationships between individuals play a critical role in determining the dynamics of mixed-species flocks. The unified behavior of bird flocks has puzzled scientists for hundreds of years. One naturalist from the turn of the century even suggested telepathy may be involved.

Court Rules Off-The-Grid Living Is Illegal. Living off the grid is illegal in Cape Coral, Florida, according to a court ruling Thursday.

Court Rules Off-The-Grid Living Is Illegal

22 Unbelievable Places that are Hard to Believe Really Exist. Our world is so full of wonders that new and amazing places are discovered every day, be that by professional photographers or amateurs.

22 Unbelievable Places that are Hard to Believe Really Exist

Different geographical locations, climatic conditions and even seasons offer the widest variety of natural wonders: pink lakes, stunning lavender or tulip fields, breath-taking canyons and mountains, and other places you can hardly believe actually exist! How did feathers evolve? - Carl Zimmer. CDC Admits 98 Million Americans Received Polio Vaccine Contaminated With Cancer Virus. The CDC has quickly removed a page from their website, which is now cached here, admitting that more than 98 million Americans received one or more doses of polio vaccine within an 8-year span when a proportion of the vaccine was contaminated with a cancer causing polyomavirus called SV40.

CDC Admits 98 Million Americans Received Polio Vaccine Contaminated With Cancer Virus

It has been estimated that 10-30 million Americans could have received an SV40 contaminated dose of the vaccine. V40 is an abbreviation for Simian vacuolating virus 40 or Simian virus 40, a polyomavirus that is found in both monkeys and humans. Lunacy and the Full Moon. “It is the very error of the moon.

Lunacy and the Full Moon

She comes more near the earth than she was wont. And makes men mad.” Wolf and tiger cubs brought together to form a unique bond of endangered species. By Mail Foreign Service Updated: 14:21 GMT, 14 May 2010 In the wild, a chance meeting between a wolf and a tiger would not be this adorable. What is Wrong With Our Culture [Alan Watts] Extreme close-up shows you how a mosquito really bites your flesh and sucks your blood. Usually, being bitten by a mosquito is an event that conjures up swear words and frantic itching, but more advanced souls might turn their thoughts to what exactly happens when the insect manages to get under your skin. Thanks to a video shot by researchers at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, we now have a better idea. Their videos were featured by National Geographic and show the pretty unsettling sight of the mosquito's brown mouthparts nestled into the flesh of a mouse — but at such a close range that they're essentially unidentifiable.

Perhaps the most unusual thing to see here is how flexible the tip of the mosquito's mouthparts are — it flaps wildly back and forth searching for a suitable vein to suck from. This movement lets it search about in a wider area without having to withdraw and bite all over again. 8/21/13 Slough in. When Do Babies Eye Color Change. 1 of 11 <img src=" alt="Baby Wrapped in Blanket" /> When Does It Happen? “Most children are born with slate grey or light brown eyes, which tend to darken over the first year as pigment develops,” says Dr. Lee S. Friedman of the Florida Eye Microsurgical Institute. “Babies born with very light blue or green eyes frequently retain the color throughout.” 2 of 11 <img src=" alt="Baby and Mom at Bathtime" /> Why the Color Change? Dr. <img src=" alt="Woman Talking to Doctor" /> Talk to the Doctor If you have any additional questions or concerns with your child’s vision development, be sure to bring them up with your pediatrician during well visits.

How do fireflies light up. Fireflies or lightning bugs make light within their bodies. This process is called bioluminescence and is shared by many other organisms, mostly sea-living or marine organisms. Fireflies light up to attract a mate. To do this, the fireflies contain specialized cells in their abdomen that make light. The cells contain a chemical called luciferin and make an enzyme called luciferase. To make light, the luciferin combines with oxygen to form an inactive molecule called oxyluciferin. New LLNL research shows the moon's core was active later than original estimates.

New evidence from ancient lunar rocks suggests that the moon's long-lived dynamo -- a molten, convecting core of liquid metal that generated a strong magnetic field -- lasted 160 million years longer than originally estimated and was continuously active until well after the final large impacts. Head-Bobbing Sea Lion May Keep the Beat Better Than You. Girl reportedly guarded by lions - World news - Africa. Apparently This Matters: Giant elephant bird egg. Photos: Mike the headless chicken. Venus the Two-Faced Cat Still a Mystery. Why Does My Dog... Kick The Grass After Pooping? Why Does My Dog . . . Walk in a Circle Before Lying Down?

U.K.: Coffee-Powered Car Breaks World Record. Arkansas grows ‘moon trees’ Shark Swallows Another Shark Whole. How Important Was Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in the Recovery of Bald Eagles and Other Bird Species? Dear EarthTalk: I understand there is good news about the recovery of bird species like the peregrine falcon, bald eagle and others owed to the 1972 ban on DDT. Physicists twist water into knots. 39 Insanely Cool Vertical Gardens. The Unique Funeral Behavior of a Bird. If Corporations Are People, Then Why Not Rivers? Some Birds use a Hurricane to Fly Fast - REALLY Fast! Running the Numbers - An American Self-Portrait. Welcome to the year of the comet (we hope) Why Are Trace Chemicals Showing Up in Umbilical Cord Blood? What Do Hurricanes Mean For Dolphins? A Dog and a Baby « Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway. Nature Blows My Mind! This Jellyfish Is Immortal. Whales Welcome a Deformed Dolphin into Their Pod. Family Cleans House, Finds Pet Tortoise Missing Since 1982.

Is cloud seeding preventing further flooding in Indonesia? Protecting Pachamama: Bolivia’s New Environmental Law - The Argentina Independent  Open Letter to Secretary Vilsack on Food Systems. Women aged 16 to 49 bear body burden of multiple pollutants. Stunning Photos: Husband and Wife Live With Idaho Wolfpack for 6 Years. How Fast Does the Earth Rotate? What Would Happen if the Earth Stopped Spinning? Washington Post Social Reader on Facebook. Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability News: Survey Shows Business Community Moving Toward Sustainability. Fish oil helped save our son.

Algae Farm Power. Endangered turtle urinates through its mouth. Rama Hoetzlein: Yangtze River Turns Red - Biblical Curse or Industrial Pollution? Yangtze River Turns Red and Turns Up a Mystery. Google Earth Fractals. Drinking up science in African cafés. "Zombie Ant" Fungus Under Attack—By Another Fungus. "Unusual" Pictures: Lions vs. Hippo.