It’s Friday and we’re all set to soak up some last-minute sun before Mother Nature remembers that she skimped on the snow last year and wallops us with a ferociously early blizzard. This may seem like a seasonally inappropriate opener to you, but remember, I grew up in Texas. Massachusetts summers seem really short to me.
Especially now when my calendar tells me that we only have three Fridays left before The Five-Year-Old’s first full day of Kindergarten. It seems like only yesterday Daddyo was driving me and The Four-Day-Old home from the hospital in the middle of a perfectly seasonal blizzard. And if five years of memories can be compressed into “only yesterday,” what chance can three weeks of summer have?
Since this may well be the last 90 degree day I get to enjoy for a while, let’s get straight to the news.
In a daring two-stage escape, three kangaroos broke out of the Hochwildschutzpark Hunsrueck (a wildlife park west of Frankfurt, Germany) this past week with the help of Reynard the Fox and Mr. Gronko the Boar.* Reynard, obviously the more daring of the kangaroos’ co-conspirators, snuck into the wildlife park and dug a hole under the fence of the kangaroos’ pen. Reynard then may or may not have led the three kangaroos to the place where Mr. Gronko had burrowed under the exterior fence of the complex. At that point, Kanga and Roo made good on their escape, while the third kangaroo, let’s call him Skippy, decided life was better in the pen after all. As of the last report, Kanga was still roaming around the German countryside, while Roo was back in custody. Don’t believe what I’m saying? The AP reported it, it must be true.
*All names in this story are completely made up. Can you (or your child) guess why I picked each one? Tell me in the comments and if you get them all right, I might just send you (or your child) a prize.
Continuing with this week’s theme of the wildly unlikely… Shaun Whitehead, Treasure Hunter to Search for Pirate Booty on Desert Island (Huffington Post):
British archaeologist Shaun Whitehead plans to lead an expedition to Cocos Island this fall to search for the fabled $200 million Treasure of Lima. According to legend, Captain William Thompson buried the treasure on the island when he realized he just couldn’t bring himself to part with it. That Whitehead who is best known for charting the unexplored passages in Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza would turn his attention to hunting for uncharted pirate booty may not seem that unlikely to you. You also may not be all that surprised to learn that actor Errol Flynn hunted for (and failed to find) the very same treasure in the 1940s. But did you know a young FDR went looking for the treasure too in 1910?
Next, a sign of the apocalypse that scientists are doing their very best to explain away:
Scientists are explaining the lake’s unearthly red hue as the result of an unusually high concentration of salt. Well, to be precise, they’re blaming the red water on a salt-loving organism Dunaliella salina, which produces a red pigment and has apparently taken over the lake due to the high concentration of its beloved salt. Apparently, the same thing has happened to Lake Retba in Senegal.
And finally, this week’s glimpse of Mars, courtesy of the Mars Rover Curiosity.