March 2008
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Day March 23, 2008

The Great Trafalgar Square Freeze

The day London froze. Inspired by http://www.ImprovEverywhere.com and made a reality by 100′s of volunteers. At exactly 3:30pm on a secret cue, almost everyone in the square froze. The few bewildered tourists didn’t know what was happening. For 5 minutes the participants held their positions, and then magically everyone unfroze.

A History of the Video Game Console

A gallery of video game consoles from the 1970s to present.

Thanks to Bush, Since ’01, Guarding Endagered Species Is Harder

From The Washington Post:

With little-noticed procedural and policy moves over several years, Bush administration officials have made it substantially more difficult to designate domestic animals and plants for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Controversies have occasionally flared over Interior Department officials who regularly overruled rank-and-file agency scientists’ recommendations to list new species, but internal documents also suggest that pervasive bureaucratic obstacles were erected to limit the number of species protected under one of the nation’s best-known environmental laws.

The documents show that personnel were barred from using information in agency files that might support new listings, and that senior officials repeatedly dismissed the views of scientific advisers as President Bush’s appointees either rejected putting imperiled plants and animals on the list or sought to remove this federal protection.

Officials also changed the way species are evaluated under the 35-year-old law — by considering only where they live now, as opposed to where they used to exist — and put decisions on other species in limbo by blocking citizen petitions that create legal deadlines.

As a result, listings plummeted. During Bush’s more than seven years as president, his administration has placed 59 domestic species on the endangered list, almost the exact number that his father listed during each of his four years in office. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has not declared a single native species as threatened or endangered since he was appointed nearly two years ago.

Surinam Toad Babies Emerging From Mother’s Back

(via A Welsh View)

From Wikipedia:

Surinam toads are most well-known for their remarkable reproductive habits. The partners rise off of the floor while in amplexus and flip through the water in arcs. During each arc, the female releases 3-10 eggs, which get embedded in the skin on her back by the male’s movements. After implantation the eggs sink into the skin and form pockets over a period of several days, eventually taking on the appearance of an irregular honeycomb. The larvae develop through the tadpole stage inside these pockets, eventually emerging from the mother’s back as fully developed toads, though they are less than an inch long (2 cm).


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