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For Science of the Day: A rare Scaptia (Plinthina) horse fly, which has gone unnamed since being discovered in 1981, shall henceforth be known as Scaptia (Plinthina) beyoncae in honor of world-renowned recording artist Beyoncé.

Why? Researcher Bryan Lessard of CSIRO’s Australian National Insect Collection says he felt the fly’s gold-colored abdomen made it “the all time diva of flies.”

“It was the unique dense golden hairs on the fly’s abdomen that led me to name this fly in honour of the performer Beyoncé,” Lessard said, “as well as giving me the chance to demonstrate the fun side of taxonomy - the naming of species.”

[nzherald / ninemsn.]


Underwater Fire Truck of the Day: Nillumbik Shire mayor Michael Young has come out in support of volunteer firefighters who made waves last week after a video surfaced of the CFA crew driving a truck through floodwaters in the Melbourne suburb of Eltham.

“I commend the CFA volunteers for their actions under such circumstances when lives are at stake and quick decisions needed to be made,” Young told the Diamond Valley Leader.

Tony O’Day, the acting operations manager for the CFA’s northwest metropolitan region, was somewhat less impressed. “It’s an error of judgment,” he is quoted as saying. “It’s certainly not standard behaviour. We don’t encourage it.”

Research Fire Brigade Capt Neville Stewart, who was aboard the makeshift submarine, said the firefighters had no choice but to keep driving.

“We weren’t expecting it and then we just had to keep going, we couldn’t stop it,” Stewart said.

Reached for comment, the fire truck responded, “i’m a fire truck!!! i’m a FIRE TRUUUCK! suck my diiiiick!! I’M A FIRE TRUUUCK!!”

[heraldsun / video: thanks adam!]


This Is All Kinds Of Wrong of the Day: The Arizona Humane Society has come under fire for euthanizing the nine-month old kitten of a recovering heroin addict who was unable to pay $400 for the animal’s surgery.

Scruffy the cat was Daniel Dockery’s “closest companion.” Dockery had raised the feline from birth.

Earlier this month, Scruffy sustained severe injuries after getting tangled in some barbed-wire fencing. The AHS demanded $400 from Dockery to treat his pet. He requested 24 hours to obtain the money by wire from his mother in Michigan, but staff members would not allow it. They even rejected his request to have his mother provide her credit card information over the phone.

They left him with one option: Sign over Scruffy’s ownership rights or the cat would go untreated.

Dockery reluctantly gave Scruffy over to the AHS after being assured the cat would receive medical aid and put in foster care. He then spent two weeks attempting to track Scruffy down at every local shelter, but to no avail.

Yesterday, Arizona Republic‘s Robert Anglen learned the heartbreaking truth: Scruffy had been euthanized.

Asked to explain its actions, AHS told Anglen the kitten was put down “not because of its wounds, but because its owner could not immediately pay for its care.”

Apparently there were only enough resources to treat two of the three ailing cats at the clinic, and Scruffy pulled out the short straw.

“Now I’ve got to think about how I failed that beautiful animal,” Dockery said. “I failed her. … That’s so wrong. There was no reason for her not to be treated.”

AHS told Anglen it would be reconsidering its policy of rejecting payment over the phone.

Despite all he’s been through, Dockery still feels taking Scruffy to the AHS was the right decision. “I don’t want to turn people away from the Humane Society,” he said. “They do do good works.”

[republic / mediaite.] 

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