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UPDATE 8/12/19:

More than 1,600 species are protected by the federal government's Endangered Species Act. Now, thanks to new changes from the Secretary of Interior, the Trump White House is literally putting a price tag on which species to protect and which could see their fate's permanently sealed in order to protect the bottom line of corporate interests.

The Trump Administration has been trying to gut the act for months. The latest changes have been blasted as disastrous by a number of governors, environmental groups and Democrats in Congress.

After all, as the Associated Press notes, this is the same act that helped to save the Bald Eagle, literally the creature chosen to represent America as a living symbol.

"As we have seen time and time again, no environmental protection - no matter how effective or popular - is safe from this administration," said Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM).

The original story begins below.


If you care about saving the environment, November 2018 can't come fast enough.

Republicans in Congress are moving fast to reverse and alter portions of the Endangered Species Act, which has helped bring several species back from the brink of extinction for nearly 45 years.

Weakening the act is bad for the environment and bad for people. At least 10 animals, including America's iconic bald eagle, could have gone extinct without it.


So why would anyone attack it?

Lobbyists for the oil and gas industries, the timber industry, and other private interests are pushing Republicans in Congress to roll back parts of the act before the November midterms because they know if Democrats take back control of the House, they are unlikely to vote to scale back these very basic, popular protections.

"It's all about the midterms," said Andrew Rosenberg of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "[Republicans] have what might be a unique opportunity to get things through that could never get political support in a more balanced Congress."

Protecting endangered species didn't used to be a political debate.

"Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed," said one liberal icon about the importance of the Endangered Species Act.

Just kidding. Those are the words of Republican Richard Nixon, who signed the act into law when he was president.

Nixon wasn't an exception. Basic environmental protections used to be a bipartisan issue and polls continue to show that support for the act remains incredibly high, oftentimes 80% or more.

Ultimately, the only real institutional support for rolling back these protections is from limited business interests who would see short-term profits at what critics say would be substantial costs to endangered species and the environment.

Needless to say, people aren't happy about it.

The clock is ticking. Here's how you can help.

The lobbyists pushing Republicans to roll back these protections know that they only have a short window of time.

Contact your member of Congress. Register to vote. Donate to causes you believe in.

But in this case, it may all come down to pressuring one person: John McCain. McCain is normally a voice of reason in the Republican Party on environmental issues.

Contacting McCain's office and urging him to vote against any rollbacks might be the last defense in stopping changes from reaching President Donald Trump's desk. And that's something McCain has reportedly shown a past willingness to do.

Protecting our most vulnerable species doesn't have to be a partisan issue. It's about standing up for our own best interests, which is something just about everyone should be able to agree on.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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People have clearly missed their free treats.

The COVID-19 pandemic had us waving a sad farewell to many of life’s modern conveniences. And where it certainly hasn’t been the worst loss, not having free samples at grocery stores has undoubtedly been a buzzkill. Sure, one can shop around without the enticing scent of hot, fresh artisan pizza cut into tiny slices or testing out the latest fancy ice cream … but is it as joyful? Not so much.

Trader Joe’s, famous for its prepandemic sampling stations, has recently brought the tradition back to life, and customers are practically dancing through the aisles.


On the big comeback weekend, people flocked to social media to share images and videos of their free treats, including festive Halloween cookies (because who doesn’t love TJ’s holiday themed items?) along with hopeful messages for the future.
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via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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