Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, November 5

The oldest living organism on Earth is detailed. Plans are made to transform Chicago for the future. And fires burn out of control in Indonesia, threatening the global climate. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly take on science and Earth-related news. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

If you guessed the world's oldest organism is a tree, you'd likely be correct. According to at least one conservationist, the specific tree is the "Great Yew" in a churchyard at Fortingall, Scotland, which may well be several thousand years old.

Many people associate drones with warfare, but that's hardly the only thing they're good for. They can also be used for scientific research, as this article from Discover demonstrates. In it, several photos are shared which were captured by drones observing a killer whale pod that shows strong signs of recovery for the species.

Barring a major catastrophe, it seems cities are the way of the future. More people live in cities now than ever before and the number of urban residents continues to rise. But that doesn't mean they'll necessarily stay the same. In Chicago, urban planners are looking to transform the city into a far greener, more environmentally conscious community.

Scandal rocked the scientific community earlier last month when news broke that one of the world's most respected astronomers, Geoff Marcy, had been sexually harassing women at UC Berkeley for more than a decade. Fellow astronomer Phil Plait offers his take on why the scientific community still has a lot of work to do in improving gender relations.

If you've been paying attention to the news recently you may not have heard of the devastating forest fires raging across Indonesia. The fires are sweeping across the archipelago, threatening endangered species and producing more carbon than the entire U.S. economy. But very few news outlets have reported on them. Why, asks The Guardian?

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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