• Screengrab from Facebook videoScreengrab from Facebook video

    Last Saturday, two fast-acting young men from Adelaide, South Australia, saved the life of an unborn wombat.

    Dmrenzo Kotze, 21, and Chris Dimasi, 20, spotted a dead wombat on a dirt road. When they went to move the roadkill out of the way, they noticed tiny movements inside the marsupial.

    “We could kind of see something moving inside,” Kotze told The Advertiser. “We thought we could see what we could do because (we thought) it could be a baby.”

    The men ran home to get a knife. When they returned, Dimasi, who works at an abattoir, performed an emergency caesarean section, cutting the joey out of the mother’s pouch, while Kotze filmed the operation.

    Kotze posted the video on Facebook.

    Warning: Video shows wombat surgery

    The tiny, 247-gram wombat was still alive.

    The men took the tiny wombat — they named him Jeffery — to Kotze’s home to clean it up, then they contacted Jane and Phil Budich of Fauna Rescue SA.

    Jane Budich renamed the baby wombat Whisper. She said the young wombat

    Read More »from Adelaide men perform emergency C-section on dead wombat, save baby
  • When life gives you snow, build The Hulk.

    Luke Harris built the giant green Marvel character out of snow on his front lawn in Alton, Illinois, simply to make local kids smile.

    “What I did it for originally was the kids on the school bus would come by. There’s a lot of school buses that come by and they just wave. And that`s what it’s about,” Harris, a wood carver, told KTVI.

    Harris has been making snow sculptures for a few years now. 

    Last year, he built a gorilla out of snow:

    Each sculpture takes about a day to make.

    “’I have a way to get in the neighbours’ driveways and I gather the snow and bring it over and put it in a big pile and pack it,” said Harris. “Then I take a shovel and block it in real good and remove the waste. Then I use a cement trowel and you can do all the detail work with that.”

    When a photo of Harris’ Hulk was posted on Facebook, adults and children alike flocked to his yard for a glimpse of the impressive sculpture.

    Apparently Harris isn’t the only one

    Read More »from A 'Marvel'ous snowman: Illinois man builds The Hulk in his front yard
  • Kollin makes a plea for funds to help his friend Ryan after his house was destroyed. (YouTube)Kollin makes a plea for funds to help his friend Ryan after his house was destroyed. (YouTube)

    When Kollin Clark, 7, learned that his best friend and classmate, Ryan Branson, lost everything in an apartment complex fire, he immediately wanted to help.

    Kollin was especially upset that Ryan had lost his favourite toys in the Normandy, Miss., blaze that displaced more than 30 families.

    “He said, ‘Mommy, my friend Ryan at school, his house is gone,’” recalled Kollin’s mother, Jessica Clark. “‘You know it really makes me sad. Can you tell all the Facebook people that Ryan needs new Ninja Turtles?’”

    Jessica did just as her son asked her. She posted a video on social media of Kollin asking for donations.

    Within five days, more than $8,000 had been donated to the Branson family.

    “I really couldn’t process what was happening, but after I sat down and really watched it with my mother, I was sitting there in amazement and my mother started crying,” Ryan’s dad, Ryan Branson, Sr, told KTVI.

    As for 7-year-old Ryan, he’s just thrilled that his toys will be replaced. His best friend really

    Read More »from 7-year-old boy raises money to replace best friend's toys destroyed in fire
  •  

    House of Commons security guards receive a standing ovation from Members of Parliament. REUTERS/Chris Wattie (CANADA - Tags: POLITICS)House of Commons security guards receive a standing ovation from Members of Parliament. REUTERS/Chris Wattie (CANADA - Tags: POLITICS)
    The Parliament of Canada should initiate the most broadly acceptable model of proportional representation (PR) for electing members to our House of Commons, mostly because doing so would create a chamber where MPs are elected in proportion to votes received rather than our present winner-take-all system.

    Canada, the U.S. and U.K. are the only major Western democracies still using the first-past-the-post voting system. Our election laws should no longer prescribe that the only voters electing MPs are those favouring each riding's most popular political party. Now the votes of those supporting minority parties — about seven million in the 2011 federal election — achieve nothing in terms of post-election representation. That model was created centuries ago and is simply out-dated for modern times.

    Réal Lavergne of the Fair Vote Canada civil society adds:

    “Among the world’s 35 strongest democracies, 25 use PR and only six use winner-take-all systems of one sort or another... Comparative

    Read More »from Election reform: Canada in desperate need of proportional representation
  • A voter fills in her ballot as she votes in the U.S. midterm elections November 4, 2014. (Reuters)A voter fills in her ballot as she votes in the U.S. midterm elections November 4, 2014. (Reuters)

    There is that old maxim, “Where you stand is where you sit.”

    And the cry for election “reform” is invariably the province of losers.

    Winners are essentially satisfied with the system as it is working for them. Or, if they didn’t win the most recent election, they view the system as sufficiently congenial that they have a reasonable chance of winning. They view the day of electoral defeat as the first day of the march to victory (just as astute victors/parties recognize the day of victory is the first day in the march to defeat). And losers can be sanguine. Democrat Moe Udall was cited after the 2000 election, “the people have spoken; God damn them.”

    So despite the undeleted Udall expletive, Democrats were confident they could rebound—as they did in 2008 by electing Barack Obama as president. And, historically, there has been no significant, enduring, modern third party movement, other than ivory tower theorizing about proportional representation.

    So those that complain about the

    Read More »from Election reform: Complaints about money and electoral districts are for 'losers'
  • In this file image, Terry Virts points to his helmet as he sits inside the ISS on Feb. 25, 2015 (AP)In this file image, Terry Virts points to his helmet as he sits inside the ISS on Feb. 25, 2015 (AP)

    This week when an American astronaut returned back inside the safety of the International Space Station after having completed a nearly flawless near 7 hour spacewalk, NASA was confronted with a potentially life-threatening problem it thought it had solved two years prior.  

    As NASA astronaut Terry Virts was re-pressurizing within the Quest airlock on Wednesday after having just finished a cable routing job on the outside of the orbiting laboratory, he reported a water leak within his spacesuit helmet.

    While NASA says Virts was in no apparent danger, their engineers on the ground spent the better part of two days investigating what had happened.

    This is not the first time such a nightmare leak in a spacesuit helmet has occurred during a spacewalk in recent years. In fact, the last time it happened, the astronaut nearly drowned.  

    Back in July 2013 Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano had to abort his spacewalk when he reported his helmet was flooding, saying he had water around his ears and

    Read More »from NASA spacesuit cleared of water leaks ahead of weekend spacewalk
  • Edmonton Freezeway, courtesy designer Matthew Gibbs.Edmonton Freezeway, courtesy designer Matthew Gibbs.

    When it comes to winter, Canadians fall roughly into two categories: Those who glory in the cold and snow, who can’t wait to get out on a rink or ski hill, and those who hunker down until spring arrives, except for unavoidable excursions like butt-clenching commutes on icy freeways.

    Matthew Gibbs wants more of us in the first group. He thinks he’s found a way of luring more people outdoors by turning city sidewalks into vast urban skating trails.

    The Edmonton native is the creative force behind an ambitious concept to transform stretches in the Alberta capital’s downtown into what he calls a “freezeway.”

    The idea, he says, would draw people out of their homes, providing physical activity and making Edmonton’s often bleak downtown winterscape into a cultural hub of cafes, restaurants, cultural activities and just plain fun.

    The concept ties in well with Edmonton’s WinterCity Strategy, says its co-ordinator, Sue Holdsworth. The strategy aims to turn Edmonton's climactic reality into a

    Read More »from Edmonton Freezeway: Designer thinks it will help winter be more bearable
  • This undated photo shows a cubist painting entitled “The Hairdresser” by Pablo Picasso. (AP)This undated photo shows a cubist painting entitled “The Hairdresser” by Pablo Picasso. (AP)

    It was shipped to the United States as a Christmas present.

    But what was labeled as a $37 “art craft/toy” by a shipper named “Robert” has been since identified as a priceless stolen Picasso by the feds.

    “The shipper’s declarations to customs…indicated that shipment contained a low-value handicraft toy that was being shipped to the United States as a holiday present,” court papers stated.

    The 1911 painting, titled “La Coiffeuse,” was discovered by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, then seized by Homeland Security Investigations, in December.

    "The recovery of the ‘La Coiffeuse’ sends a strong message to thieves that the market to sell stolen antiquities in the United States is drying up," U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Anthony Scandiffio said.

    The painting had been missing from a storeroom at the Centre George Pompidou for more than a decade and is worth more than $2.5 million, the New York Times reported.

    “A lost treasure has been found,” said Loretta Lynch, U.S.

    Read More »from Stolen Picasso snuck into U.S. as an 'art craft'
  • (Facebook/Weymouth Police Department)(Facebook/Weymouth Police Department)

    The snowbanks are high in Weymouth, Massachusetts — and some dogs are making a run for it.

    The Weymouth Police Department, which is located about 15 miles outside of Boston, issued a warning to pet owners on Facebook yesterday on behalf of local animal control:

    “Please watch your dogs. We have been dealing with a large number of dogs that are running the streets. Most of them are getting out of yards that are usually secure because of snow banks.”

    “Please leash your dog or tether them when they are out. When your dog gets out the only place they have to go due to the snow is in the street. When this happens your dog is being put at risk of getting hit by a vehicle. Besides putting them at risk of getting hit by a vehicle or having an encounter with wildlife they could be picked up by us.”

    The police department then warned owners that they could be facing more than $200 in fees if their pets are picked up without valid license tags and placed in a shelter.

    One commenter wrote that she

    Read More »from Boston-area dogs using snowbanks to escape backyards
  • Leonard Nimoy, right,  laughs as he is greeted by Erin Crane, of Vulcan, Alta., on April 23, 2010. (CP)Leonard Nimoy, right, laughs as he is greeted by Erin Crane, of Vulcan, Alta., on April 23, 2010. (CP)

    A small Alberta farming town, nestled halfway between Calgary and Lethbridge, is in mourning today.

    The most famous citizen of the planet of Vulcan, "Star Trek" star Leonard Nimoy, died on Friday at the age of 83, and now the town of Vulcan, Alberta has to say goodbye to Mr. Spock.

    "He was such a humble and great ambassador...and just a great person to visit with," Mayor Tom Grant told Yahoo Canada News.

    "Our condolences are definitely with his family and friends."

    A replica of starship Enterprise from the from Star Trek series at the highway 23 entrance to Vulcan, Alberta on Aug. 27, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougalA replica of starship Enterprise from the from Star Trek series at the highway 23 entrance to Vulcan, Alberta on Aug. 27, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougalThe tight-knit community was initially named after the Roman god of fire by a railway surveyor in 1910, and for many years its greatest claim to fame was a large collection of grain elevators. 

    But as "Star Trek" grew as a cultural touchstone through the latter decades of the 20th century, Vulcan embraced its connection to Spock's homeworld. The Vulcan Association of

    Read More »from Leonard Nimoy mourned in Canadian 'home' of Vulcan, Alberta

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