7 Headlines You Won’t Read Anywhere Else Today: Dec. 7

By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times
December 7, 2013 Updated: December 7, 2013    

Germany: What TV-Watching Chimps Tell Us About Human Behavior

STUTTGART — Banbo is the first one to get the idea. The 11-year-old female chimpanzee presses her thumb firmly on the button and changes the channel on the TV set up in her enclosed living space. Fifteen-year-old Liboso is less certain and still sometimes presses her feet against the screen. The rest of the group prefers to watch from a distance. …

The[Stuttgart] zoo has installed the world’s first bonobo cinema, with a screen set into the wall of the enclosure and five large buttons that the chimps can use to change channel. They can flick between footage showing three different types of behavior: sex, play or aggression. The lead actors are always apes and one film shows the life of wild bonobos in the Congo. …

Suddeutsche Zeitung via World Crunch

 

Siberia: The ghost town at the end of the earth

This old mining outpost, called Pyramid and abandoned in 1998, is on the Arctic Ocean island of Spitsbergen. An anomaly, it is a deserted Soviet town that is in fact in Norway, just 1300 km from the North Pole.  … We liked the Arctic pictures and ice-scapes which highlight a spirit of conquering the cold which is a Siberian quality; indeed among the people who came to work here were many from Siberia.

‘Welcome to the very end of the earth,’ said Vladimir, whose amazing images capture a lost Soviet world which is now becoming a tourist attraction for intrepid travellers to this remote outpost. He took the images when he worked here as a guide for the mainly Western tourists in spring. …

Siberian Times

 

Spain: World’s oldest human DNA found in Spain

The world’s oldest DNA has been discovered by scientists in northern Spain, part of a finding which could help rewrite the early history of the human species.

The DNA found in Spain’s Burgos province dates back over 300,000 years, new research published on Tuesday in science magazine Nature reveals. The oldest human DNA previously found was less than 100,000 years old. … The discovery shows the history of humans in Europe is far more complicated than previously thought. …

The Local

 

Burma: Doubts Cast Over ‘Orwell Home’ in Burma

Googling the home of George Orwell in colonial Burma invariably returns images of a burnt-red two-story house in Katha, Sagaing Division, which has long been considered the former residence of the famous 20th century British writer. But now, just as plans are in motion to restore the old structure to draw tourists to the upper Burma town, locals are casting doubt on the true provenance of the house.

The colonial homes of British officers, including Orwell’s, once dotted the landscape in Katha, a colonial outpost on the Irrawaddy River. Those dwellings have since been left in varying states of disrepair after decades of neglect in independent Burma. …

Irrawaddy

 

Costa Rica: Dog fighting ban moves forward in Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly

If approved the bill would allot prison sentences of up to three years for those convicted of injuring or causing a dog’s death. …

“It’s not just fights [we’re worried about]. We’ve received reports of groups of people who organize races in which dogs are forced to drag chains, tires, anvils and other heavy objects,” Dr. Laura Loaiza, director of the Small Species Wellness Program at the Animal Health Service (SENASA), said. …

The competitions injure dogs’ jaws, legs, joints and hips … Dog spectacles are often held in public at sites such as La Sabana Park, in western San José, and La Paz Park, south of the capital, Loaiza said. …

Tico Times

 

Latin America: Large numbers of North American retirees head to Latin America and more are on the way, experts say

After 20 years in the U.S. military, James Cummiskey was divorced and looking for a change. Relenting to his buddy’s request, he flew to Medellín, Colombia, for a visit. He looked, he saw, and, by dinner time, he decided to stay. Permanently. …

Now he lives in a posh section of the mountain city of 3.8 million, surrounded by lush vistas. He married a Colombian woman, started a coffee export business, and seems to get goose bumps every time he thinks about his new life. “I tell you honestly I have had more fun here in the past four years than in the previous 50,” he says. …

Cuenca High Life

 

Ireland: The land of saints, scholars and engineers

Ancient manuscripts show that Ireland was a major centre for the study of mathematicscenturies ago. We had some of the foremost practitioners of the fine art of Computus, the difficult business of calculating the date of Easter far into the future.

But the manuscripts, along with later archaeological discoveries, also show the Irish in the eighth century AD were adept engineers, making improvements in technologies used for metal-working and agriculture, and we even had a reputation as boat-builders. …

Irish Times

 

*Image of woman in Colombia via Shutterstock