John Oliver: ‘Our Drug Laws Seem a Little Draconian and a Lot Racist’

Clocking in at nearly 18 minutes, the comedian’s recent segment on the broken prison system could be one of his most inspired rants yet. Touching on everything from prison privatization to the inherent racism in the legal system to the fact that America has the “greatest number of prisoners of any country in the world” (an amount equivalent to the size of Slovenia’s entire population), John Oliver doesn’t hesitate to talk about “fact[s] that need to be spoken.”

This time, the “Last Week Tonight” host even got the help of America’s favorite Muppets to drive home his incredibly important point.

(via: TruthDig)

Endangered bats find haven at Coral Gables golf course

by Jenny Staletovich

Giselle Hosein peers into the dark sky above a manicured fairway on the Coral Gables Granada Golf Course, trying hard to see what she can so far only hear: an elusive Florida bonneted bat, among the rarest in the world.

“It took me three or four months before I was actually able to see one,” she said…

(read more: Miami Herald)

Watch John Oliver Explain Why “It’s Your Fault You’re Not Rich” Is Bullshit

by Hannah Levintova

On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, host and comedian John Oliver ripped into American politicians’ colossal mishandling of the US wealth gap, which continues to grow to ever more astronomical proportions. As Oliver points out, plenty of lawmakers insist the game isn’t rigged against the poor — ahem, Marco Rubio — while others recognize the problem but are too afraid to be gung-ho on the issue because of, well, politics.

(via: Mother Jones)

OCEAN SCIENCE: Biology of Brine Pools and Methane Seeps

One of our objectives in exploring the “New America” is to characterize the biology in some of the most extreme environments in the Gulf of Mexico, and that means visiting two of our favorite geological features - a brine pool and a methane seep. Neither site disappointed, and the mussels and tube worms we saw were stunning.

(via: EVNautilus)

Salamanders: The Hidden Jewels of Appalachia

The Appalachian region of the eastern United States is the world’s epicenter for salamander biodiversity. These secretive creatures, ranging in size from two inches to more than two feet, are a keystone species at risk from a perfect storm of threats, including: development, mountaintop mining, climate change, invasive species, disease, transportation corridors, acid rain, pollution, and more. Learn what these declining “canaries in the coal mine” are telling us about the state of our environment.

(via: )

Watch The Earth Shattering Moment This Pallas’s Cat Discovered a Camera Outside His Den

by Stephen Messenger

Motion-sensing “camera traps” placed deep in remote ecosystems have been instrumental in recording the natural behavior of some of the world’s most elusive animals — though sometimes they do catch something else: the earth-shattering moment they seem to realize that they’re being watched.

Just watch as this ferociously furry Pallas’s cat discovers the camera placed outside his den then move in for a better look.

These small felines, standing roughly the same size as a domestic house cat, are notoriously shy in their mountainous habitat high in the Himalayan mountain range. Footage like this, gathered from camera traps, is often the only evidence researchers have to go on that they are actually there.

In fact, just earlier this year,  these majestic little Pallas’s cats was discovered living in Nepal for the first time ever — offering tantalizing clues that the notoriously shy species’ range is larger than previously thought.

(via: The Dodo)

Deep Sea Octopus

Dive 07, July 15, Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition 2013

An octopus makes his way along the seafloor; note the siphon that is out and then retracted. Seen while exploring the western wall of Atlantis Canyon.

Video courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program.


Pallas’s Cats Born at Wildlife Park in Scotland

Although they are a fairly common species in zoos, very little is known about the Pallas’s cat (Otocolobus manul) in the wild.

David Barclay, one of the senior keepers at the Highland Wildlife Park, manages the European breeding programme for Pallas’s cat and maintains the International Studbook which records all captive Pallas’s cats anywhere in the world. Although only classed as Near Threatened, one of the low risk threat categories, we have seen how the status of a species that was long considered common can become highly threatened in a very short period of time…

(read more: Highland Wildlife Park - Youtube)

Bushveld Rain Frog Feeding

This little frog is a close relative of the ‘World’s cutest frog’, in fact they are in the same genus, Bushveld rain frog (Breviceps adspersus). I made this video for those wanting to learn more about these unusual frogs. This specimen was found in coastal forest along the east coast of South Africa, nearly a staggering 2000 km’s away from the north-western parts the Desert rain frog calls home.

To see other amphibians, reptiles & creepy crawlies I photographed while out in the African wilderness, go check out my photography page here:



Missed the start of #CephalopodWeek? 

Catch up with this cephalopod video triple feature from Science Friday! Get a glimpse behind the scenes of the Aquarium and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and see how we culture cuttlefish and study mysterious vampire squid.

Watch the videos

But wait—there’s more! Tune in to Science Friday tomorrow—part of the radio broadcast will feature the ocean’s most mysterious multi-armed family.

Pelagic parenting: A deep-sea squid broods its eggs

Reproduction is one of the many challenges faced by deep-sea animals. In recent years, submersibles have allowed scientists to explore the lives of deep-sea animals in ways that were not possible before.

One of the many exciting discoveries was that a mother of the deep-sea squid species Gonatus onyx broods her eggs by holding them in her arms, a behavior that had never been previously reported for squids. This shocking discovery was the first time scientists had evidence of parental care in squids.

In 2012, a team of researchers led by Stephanie Bush, reported finding another species of deep-sea squid that broods eggs, Bathyteuthis berryi, suggesting that this form of parental care may be a common solution to a reproductive problem for deep-sea squids.

Bush, S. L., Hoving, H. J. T., Huffard, C. L., Robison, B. R., & L. D. Zeidberg. 2012. Brooding and sperm storage by the deep-sea squid Bathyteuthis berryi (Cephalopoda: Decapodiformes). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 92(7):1629-1636.

(via: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)