Chemical pollutants are breaking polar bears’ penises

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Of all the creatures on Earth impacted by reckless human activity, polar bears are having a remarkably lousy time of it. First, climate change eats away at their habitat and makes it harder to hunt, and now it looks like chemical pollutants released into the atmosphere over previous decades are causing polar bears to experience weakness or even breakage in the most sensitive of bones. As one might imagine, this doesn’t bode especially well for the continued re-population of the species.

polar-bear-penis-bone-pollutants-3-537x358So, first things first: penis bone? Yes, some mammals (though not humans, in case you were wondering) have bones in their penises. No one is entirely sure what they’re there for: as New Scientist explains, it “could be just a by-product of evolution, or it may help support the penis or stimulate the female during mating.” Regardless of its purpose, one thing’s for certain; if a male polar bear experiences weakening or fracturing of the penile bone, they’re going to have a tougher time procreating.

A team at Aarhus University, Denmark lead by Christian Sonne, found that a certain class of pollutants, organohalogens, when present a high levels, caused polar bears to have smaller testes and a smaller penis bone. Bad enough, but then they began to look at a specific class of organohalogens—polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)—and found that these chemicals can cause the penis bone to be less dense.

After 80 years of inclusion in paint and rubber products, PCBs were banned by a UN treaty in 2001. But the pollutants are slow to break down, and concentrate at higher levels in the cold, polar air. This leaves polar bears prone to far greater exposure to PCBs, which are a form of Endocrine Disruptor (EDC). They are recognized as a carcinogen in animals and most likely also in humans.

Sonne’s team collaborated with researchers to gather and examine the penile bones of 279 polar bears from eight subpopulations born between 1990 and 2000. What they found was that polar bears in Canada had a larger and more dense penile bone, while polar bears that had greater exposure to PCBs had smaller and less dense penile bones; the North East Greenland subpopulation was found to be at the highest risk of having negative health effects.

Which is genuinely troubling news for the polar bears of North East Greenland, and others exposed to high levels of PCBs. These subpopulations may encounter difficulty reproducing in what is already an increasingly inhospitable environment. As Sonne explained to New Scientist, while we may not know what the penis bone is for, “if it breaks, you probably won’t have a bear which can copulate.”

Texas Cops Jail Woman For ‘Walking Without A License’

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Charges for driving without license and registration… while walking.

A woman in Hamlin, Texas is fighting charges of driving without a license and expired registration after she was arrested and jailed by cops while WALKING home with groceries.

Hamlin-TX_smallWendy Robins is appealing for help with her case as she fears the police department is pursuing a vendetta against her by refusing to drop the charges.

The charges stem from the incident which took place in November. Ms Robins says she was minding her own business walking home from the local store when she was physically accosted by an officer.

 

“I was approached by Officer Chad Boyett a block and a half away from my home, which I own.” Robins wrote in a submission to police watchdog website Copblock.

“Officer Boyett passed me and did a U-turn at the intersection in front of me and then pulled up beside me. I continued walking as he asked me where my auto was. I told him it didn’t matter because I was walking and that I didn’t have time for this, so I was going home.” Robins added.

“He got out of his auto and ran around to me, approximately 3 feet from his auto, forcefully gripped my arm and drug me to the front of his auto. He kept asking where my auto was and stated he knew I had been driving without a license. I informed him he can’t do this and to call the Chief of Police, Bobby Evans. He said he didn’t have to call him and that he was writing me citations for driving without a license and expired registration.” she notes in the statement.

After refusing to sign the citations, Robins claims that the officer squeezed her arm so tightly that it resulted in bruising, and then cuffed her forcefully, leaving red marks. The cop also claimed that Robins was “being hostile” and that meant she was going to jail.

Robins said she yelled out to a passing driver for help. The driver stopped and became a witness to the scene, later corroborating that Robins was not in a car or anywhere near a vehicle.

“This was humiliating simply because I do not break the law, nor go to jail.” Robins writes, also noting that she did not consent to be searched by the officer.

“I told him I had a two pack lighter in my back pocket and my credit card in my front pocket, which I attempted to get for him when he slapped my hand back and said he’d get it. I stated as he slid his hand in my pocket that I’m not comfortable with him doing that and he stated I didn’t have a choice. I informed him I could say he touched my hoo hoo.” she writes.

Robins says that at no point during her arrest or transportation to jail was she told what she was being charged with. She also claims that upon her arrival at Jones County Jail, officers made jokes about the arresting officer and his tactics, with regards to the incident.

Robins was kept in jail overnight, still without being informed of the charges against her, and only found out when a judge told her.

“The judge only told me I was being charged with driving without a license and expired registration and that my bond was $500 on each charge.” she writes.

Robins filed a formal complaint and requested that audio and video of the incident be reviewed to verify she was not driving.

“I called a meeting with Chief Evans where he stated he knew I was NOT driving and I submitted my request for audio and video. The officer NEVER turned on his lights, so I knew there was no video.” Robins states. She notes that the judge informed her a few days later that he was refusing to view any video of the incident.

Robins also notes that she produced a valid license and registration for the judge, proving that even if she was driving, she had the relevant credentials.

STILL the charges were not dropped, and the case continues. The arresting officer has not been disciplined in any fashion.

“My attorney is a civil rights lawyer from Houston and is currently investigating my case. I do worry they can get to him. HELP ME GET JUSTICE.” Robins writes.

One-Month-Old Baby Hospitalized After Having Most Of Face Eaten By Pet Ferrets

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Veteran cops who responded to the scene inside a Poplar Street home on Thursday, where an infant’s face was mauled by pet ferrets, say they have lost sleep and shed tears in the aftermath of the incident.

ferret“I’ll be 45 years in June in Darby (with the police department), and this is the worst I’ve ever seen,” borough Police Chief Robert Smythe said. “I thought I’ve seen everything. This child, the center of (her) face is missing. Her nose was gone, (and so was) part of her cheek and part of her lip. I don’t know how much of that got replaced.”

Smythe said physicians at Children’s Hopsital of Philadelphia are attempting to reconstruct the child’s face and have inserted two stents into her nose.

“She had emergency surgery,” Smythe said. “The last I heard she was in stable (condition), but she was in intensive care.”

He said the family, with four other young children in the home, has serious issues.

“The parents, I believe, have problems,” he said. “… They are challenged. They can’t take care of these kids.”

When police arrived at the home in the 300 block of Poplar Street at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, they were told the baby had been in a car seat on the floor in the dining room, Smythe said.

“There’s a cage there, a cloth cage with three ferrets in it,” he said. “The ferrets got out of the cage. Dad is upstairs sleeping. Mom is upstairs. Mom hears the baby screaming.”

Smythe said he didn’t know how long it took for the parents to come downstairs.

“The ferrets ran when the mom came down,” he said.

The police chief further described the condition of the infant.

“The baby’s nose was gone, and a lot of the flesh from under the nose was gone and the cheek (too),” Smythe said. “It had little holes all over the head from where the ferrets were on her.”

The baby’s siblings are staying with family members while Children and Youth Services and Department of Welfare officials investigate. Criminal charges are pending, Smythe said.

“Just imagine that one-month-old baby, that can’t help herself, (and) two or three animals are eating it alive,” Smythe said. “Imagine the pain.”

Timothy Tucker Beat Girlfriend With Couple’s Two Week Old Puppy Until It Died

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A 51-year-old man has been sentenced to six months in jail after authorities say he assaulted his girlfriend with a two-week-old puppy until the animal died.

Timothy-TuckerTimothy Tucker also was sentenced Tuesday to four years of probation and entry into the Swift and Sure Sanctions Program. He was ordered to pay state fees and restitution.

Tucker pleaded guilty in December to third-offense domestic violence as a second-time habitual offender. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports one count of killing/torturing animals was dismissed was part of a plea deal.

According to court documents, Tucker punched his girlfriend in the face in November, and then repeatedly struck her with the couple’s puppy.

Tucker will receive credit for 68 days he’s already served in jail.

Surveillance Video Shows Tidal Wave Of Looters Ransacking Ferguson, Missouri Market

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In a bid to identify more than 180 looters, police today released surveillance video from inside a Ferguson, Missouri market that was ransacked following the November 24 announcement that a grand jury had declined to vote indictments in the Michael Brown case.

As seen below, the 5:16 clip captures a tidal wave of looters flooding into the Dellwood Market, which had also been robbed in the days after Brown was shot to death by a Ferguson cop last August.

After failing to breach the market’s front door, the initial influx of looters broke through a boarded-up window. Many of the thieves–some of whom escaped with potato chips–are seen wearing hoodies, masks, and hats in an apparent attempt to cloak their identities.

Fill The Oceans With Concrete: Rare And Very Ugly Frilled Shark Caught In Australia

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The hideous, mildly terrifying and rarely sighted frilled shark has turned up in waters off south-eastern Australia.

The species, whose ancestry dates back 80 million years, is known as the ‘living fossil’.

6028520-3x4-340x453It was caught on a fishing trawler in waters near Lakes Entrance in the Victoria’s Gippsland region.

Simon Boag, from the South East Trawl Fishing Association, said it was the first time in living memory that a frilled shark had been sighted.

“We couldn’t find a fisherman who had ever seen one before,” he said.

“It does look 80 million years old. It looks prehistoric, it looks like it’s from another time!”

He said local fishermen were left scratching their heads at the sight of the two-metre-long creature, whose head and body resemble an eel, but whose tail is more reminiscent of a shark.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) confirmed it to be a frilled shark, and while the species is known to the scientific community, it was a nonetheless rare and bizarre find for local fishermen.

“It has 300 teeth over 25 rows, so once you’re in that mouth, you’re not coming out,” Mr Boag said.

“Good for dentists, but it is a freaky thing. I don’t think you would want to show it to little children before they went to bed.”

The species has been found as deep as 1,500 metres, but generally it lives in waters shallower than 1,200 metres.

Mr Boag said this frilled shark was caught at 700 metres, but there should not be any concern about repeat catches.

“Almost all the grounds deeper than 700 metres are closed to trawling, so there wouldn’t be any pressure on them and there’d be very few caught,” he said.

“This guy was just unlucky.”

After being declined by the CSIRO, the frilled shark has now been bought by Griffith’s Sea Shell Museum in Lakes Entrance.

“It’s in our freezer at the moment,” said museum owner Coralie Griffiths.

“It’ll be two or three weeks before it’s on display.”

Man with Scissors Lodged in Head Politely Asks for Help

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Talk about calmness in the face of grievous harm and you would have to look no further than a man in Mexico who stumbled into a hospital with scissors lodged into his skull and asked for help with a “small problem”.

Man_with_scissors_650According to the Daily Mirror, a dazed and bloodied Jonas Acevedo Monroy, 32, politely asked for help from the hospital staff after he was attacked in a bar in Chihuahua, Mexico.

The hospital staff were so amazed by his good manners that they nicknamed him “The Gentleman”.

In an incident at a drinking den, Monroy was set upon by a jealous rival.

The victim’s friend Nandor Altamirano Carvajal, 30, said: “Jonas was as always, full of high spirits and was being charming with everyone in the bar when one of the locals took umbrage.”

“He came over and started trying to wind Jonas up, but when that didn’t work he started getting abusive and aggressive.”

“Jonas offered to buy the man a drink, but the guy pulled out a pair of scissors from his jacket and stabbed him in the head.

What he was doing with a pair of scissors in his pocket I don’t know. It was really shocking,” Carvajal said.

As the 30-year-old thug, Miguel Angel Rodriguez Armendariz, fled, Carvajal helped a bleeding Monroy to his car and drove him to the hospital.

A hospital spokesman said: “The staff were very surprised when the two walked in and the man with the scissors in his head shook the receptionist’s hand and said he seemed to have a small problem and would the receptionist mind helping him.”

“At first we thought it was some sort of a joke, but then he fainted and we rushed him into emergency.

He had been stabbed in the upper-left side of his skull and the scissors had penetrated his parietal brain lobe. He is lucky to be alive.”

Police have arrested a man in connection with the incident.