But the Park Service won’t tell you how to get there.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
The first thing to know is that dolphins can be divided into two groups, and those groups are ”spongers” and ”non-spongers.” The non-spongers are the dolphins that are probably the ones you think about when you have occasion to think about dolphins: smooth, sleek, nimbly darting through the water.
But the spongers! The spongers are slightly less physically nimble, but possibly much more intellectually nimble, than their fellow cetaceans. And that’s because, as they swim, they carry sea sponges in their beaks—an activity that may help to protect their sensitive snouts from sharp rocks, stingrays, urchins, and other things that might plague them, particularly as they forage for food along the seafloor. Dolphin sponging is a recent discovery: In 1997, scientists observed a group of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins engaging in the practice in Shark Bay, off the coast of Australia.
The behavior, Justin Gregg notes in his book Are Dolphins Really Smart?, has since been traced back to approximately 180 years ago, to a single female who has been nicknamed “Sponging Eve.” Scientists now believe that more than 60 percent of all female dolphins in the area practice sponging. And while the behavior seems to be transmitted for the most part along mother-daughter lines, as many as half of the males born to “spongers” in the area grow up to become spongers, too.
Read more. [Image: Hugh Pearson/Naturepl.com]
According to the Pay-It-Forward-Day authorities, today is Pay-It-Forward Day. The “holiday” celebrates of little acts of kindness between friends and strangers: If one person does something kind for another, the recipient of that kindness will be kind to someone else, and kindness will move across the world.
Think of it as an unfolding social network, of sorts, of kindness.
Naturally, a social network has turned its attention to the concept. Facebook’s always-intriguing data science team has looked at a popular, pay-it-forward-related status update from the beginning of this year. The status passed across more than 800,000 profiles and was translated into nine languages before the team stopped tracking it at the end of January.
The rancher wonders whether blacks were better off under slavery. The Silver State’s founders had no such doubts.
Read more. [Image: Steve Marcus/Reuters]
The sport isn’t in decline. Football isn’t more competitive. So why do people say otherwise?
Read more. [Image: AP Photo/ Gene J. Puskar]
Linn Ulmann spent her childhood trailing her famous parents as they traveled the world. As the daughter of director Ingmar Bergman and the actress Liv Ullmann, two legends of 20th-century cinema, her “home” shifted time and again. The one constant was a Swedish island, Fårö, where she returned each summer to visit her father.
Now, she’s fascinated by the way our surroundings shape us. In her interview for this series, the author of The Cold Song used a short story by Alice Munro to illustrate the way setting drives her writing, and how place and memory help dictate the stories we tell.
The Cold Song concerns a cast of characters affected by the disappearance of Milla, a 19-year-old au pair working in a coastal town south of Oslo. After two years, her body—and the grisly manner of its death—is uncovered by three boys searching for buried treasure. With this act of violence at its heart, the novel explores the unexpected ways a crime haunts people who knew the victim, inflaming their secret sources of guilt.
Linn Ullmann is the author of five previous novels, including Before You Sleep and A Blessed Child; her work has been translated into more than 30 languages. She spoke to me by phone from her home in Oslo.
Read more. [Image: Doug McLean]
Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified is a catch-all category for disordered eating that doesn’t fit under the umbrellas of anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating. It’s often left undiagnosed and can be extremely dangerous.
Read more. [Image: Adrian Scottow/Flickr]
Services like Silvercar, Uber, and pay-to-play airline VIP programs help keep the new aristocracy away from the rabble.
Read more. [Image: Silvercar/PGAL]
A book reader reminds other book readers of what’s (probably) to come.
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A complaint filed this week in a Manhattan federal court alleges that the FBI is cornering innocent people, insisting that they act as informants for the federal government, and preventing them from leaving the country if they refuse to collaborate. Those are the tactics of the Stasi. Spy on other members of society or else.
If you refuse? Forget about the ability to travel freely or visit family abroad.
If Tanvir v. Holder is decided on the merits, rather than suppressed in the name of state secrets, we’ll find out if the FBI has turned those tactics against Muslim Americans.
That’s what four plaintiffs allege. The stories they tell are chilling.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]