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    The Tallest Elevator In The World Exists And It Will Scare You To Death

    If you haven’t come up with your travel plans this 2017 yet, you might want to include China on your list. Why? Because it happens to be home to the Bailong Elevator, the world’s tallest outdoor elevator located in Zhangjiajie, China.

    The Bailong Elevator is set against a cliff located in the Wulingyuan area of Zhangjiajie. When translated to English, the word ‘Bailong’ translates to “Hundred Dragons Elevator”.

    Construction of the structure started in 1999 and was finished right away in 2002. This was a surprise considering how large-scale the work had to be. The cost for building the elevator amounted to around 120 million yuan or about $17 million.

    The Bailong Elevator stands at 1070 feet high.
    Source: Top China Travel

    From the onset, the people behind Bailong Elevator marketed this tourist destination as the tallest outdoor elevator in the whole world. However, the Guinness Book of World Records only gave its ‘seal of approval’ in July 2015.

    We keep saying it’s the tallest there is, but just how tall is it really? Bailong Elevator stands at 1,070 feet or 330 meters in height! It’s taller than the Eiffel Tower which stands only at 984 feet.

    Also known as the Hundred Dragons Elevator, the Bailong Elevator is made up of 3 individual elevators with large glass windows.
    Source: Daily Mail

    The Bailong Elevator is made up of three elevators, featuring glass windows making it perfect for gazing out into the open and beautiful scenery. Wlingyuan, Zhangjiajie has one of the most spectacular views in China. The huge quartzite sandstone pillars could pass as a movie location in Lord of the Rings.

    The Bailong Elevator is constructed in a World Heritage Site, stirring up controversy because of this.
    Source: Daily Mail

    The said view and surrounding wilderness is a World Heritage Site. There have actually been some concerns raised by the people of Zhangjiajie and other areas of China and a controversy has stirred as to the environmental impact of the structure.

    The Bailong Elevator opened to the public in 2003.
    Source: Amazing China Trip

    A ride from the bottom to the top will only take you a minute. If you’re not afraid of heights and will be somewhere in China soon, you might wanna drop by the Bailong Elevator and reach new heights – like literally!

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    Dream Job Alert: Japan Is Facing A Ninja Shortage

    An increase in tourism is normally a very good “problem” to have, but lately, in Japan, the increase is actually leading to a shortage of their legendary ninja warriors. While they’re known for being stealthy and “disappearing,” this time, their disappearance is not welcome.

    The increase in tourism has lead to ninja-themed villages and restaurants, leading to a heightened demand for ninja performances. That demand is leading to a shortage, as there just aren’t enough people wanting to be ninjas in Japan.

    “With the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan on the increase, the value of ninja as tourism content has increased,” Takatsugu Aoki, the manager of a martial arts squad, told Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun. “There are more employment choices, while ninja shows across the country have become popular. I feel there is a ninja shortage.”

    Those who do decide to become ninjas lack the basic skills needed for the job, Aoki says. Those skills? Being able to use throwing stars and swords, as well as engage in unarmed combat, acrobatics, concealment and first aid. Despite what you may think, you do not have to have supernatural abilities. No actual vanishing skills needed here, folks.

    Despite any preconceived notions you may have about ninjas, they have actually traditionally been focused more on getting information (or disinformation) than just assassinating people. Today’s ninjas of pop culture may be a bit more PR and less spy-like, but it’s how we think of them today that is leading to this uptick in demand.

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    How One Little Company Is Making Backpacking Cheaper—And More Inclusive

    Darnell Lamont Walker is the sort of guy who’s used to carrying his biography on his back. His idea of traveling is less about staying up on the most posh resorts, and more about seeking out new corners of strange lands, and he spends the majority of his time doing just that.

    Walker picked up a love for backpacking early on, which later turned into his life’s work: now, he runs Passport Required, a travel company that offers a round-trip flight, lodging and spontaneous adventure for less than $900. The company’s website claims it hopes to “make this world smaller, better, and more delicious.” But, Walker has also used it to make the backpacking world more inclusive—a movement that he refers to as “blackpacking.”

    I sat down with Walker to discuss Passport Required’s origins, the nuts and bolts of how their trips actually work, and how he’s worked to tear down stigmas related to backpacking in the black community.

    Darnell Lamont Walker
    GQ: How did you come up with the concept of Passport Required?

    Darnell Lamont Walker: It was a conversation with my friend Justin. I’d just returned from Europe or Africa or South America and was sharing my stories with Justin, and everything I thought was mundane had Justin in tears, sitting on the edge of his seat: the eating of cow hearts and spleens and baby goat pancreas, the being left at the French border for eight hours by a bus driver who never really liked me, and the five hours I can’t account for thanks to a coffee shop in Amsterdam.

    It was all so simple after that. “Why are you not taking people with you and opening them up to the experiences you’ve [had]? This is big.” And Passport Required was born.

    Darnell Lamont Walker

    When did you first get into backpacking? What have your relationships with other Black backpackers been like?
    I can’t remember a time when backpacking wasn’t part of who I was. Even domestically, I was that strange minimalist kid who spent all his money on new hammocks and transportation to strange locations to share spaces with strangers with nothing on my back but a few days worth of clothes and a survival kit.

    I came along relatively late to the global backpacking scene, however, having started when I was 26. It wasn’t a hard transition, but the farther [away from home] I went, the less I ran into slightly familiar faces. Black folks simply weren’t out there in the numbers I’d hoped, and strangely, I wasn’t the only one noticing. Each hostel, campsite, or bus depot I slept in came with the strange stares that are typically appointed to unicorns and leprechauns: “I didn’t think Black people traveled like this.”

    Through Passport Required, you’ve coined the term “Blackpacking.” What were the challenges you faced regarding the lack of representation for backpacking in the black community?
    I had to think back to my own upbringing, remembering the millions of times my brother, mother, grandmother would tell me about the ditches I’d end up in if I went too far away from home. My friends were being fed the same stories. We were all brought up to distrust so much of the world, so going through it with nothing but a back of dirty clothes and a canteen strapped to our backs seems dangerous itself.

    It wasn’t until Passport Required’s first trip—Colombia, in 2015—that I met my first black backpacker, Jasmine. We met in a hostel, and became friends before I even left the check-in counter. She’d been traveling through South America for 11 months and was returning home to the states the following day, and was nervous about the adjustment she knew was coming. There was a bonding that happened in that hostel, away from the folks who didn’t understand just how rare and magic this moment was for us. I wanted all the stories about all the adventures in the jungles and down the rivers and into the oceans, then the stories about how often she’d been asked “why don’t black people travel?”

    Then we talked about those black friends we invited into the world with us but refused to come because our types of travel was “something black people just don’t do. Sleeping in a room with 30 other strangers or on some stranger’s couch in the middle of nowhere makes no sense to them; stepping outside of those comfort zones, they admit, is something they’re not willing to try.

    Darnell Lamont Walker

    What methods have you found to be successful in terms of getting people out of their comfort zones? Has that desire shaped Passport Required’s format?
    What’s been incredibly successful in getting people out of their comfort zones is me pulling them away from what they think is absolutely necessary. I surprise them AFTER they sign up for the trips by telling them they can’t bring anything larger than a backpack, and it can’t weigh more than 20 lbs. This is already unheard of for so many of them, especially when we’re talking about 5-7 days of adventuring in a random world location. But, even before signing up for the trip, I make sure they’ve read over the FAQ’s on the site:

    Are we staying in hostels, hotels, basements, or what?
    Yes.

    One big misconception is that travel always has to be expensive. Is challenging this idea important for you?
    Challenging this [misconception] is extremely important to me because it also challenges the thought that travel is for the privileged classes. Through Passport Required, I’ve found a way to bring the world to those brave enough to travel with me for as little as possible. On one of the most amazing trips, we ran through five countries, slept and ate amazingly well, and spent less than $400. And while I understand $400 isn’t chump change, it is possible. Blackpacking is about using all available resources, and there are so many. I’ve gone to foreign lands with less than $30 in my pocket, stayed for weeks, and returned with more than half that $30. Travel is cheap.

    It’s a good thing I’ve never liked money, and because of that, I make no profit from Passport Required, but I do get an amazing feeling of accomplishment when I open the world up for someone who’s never been in it. You asked me earlier about the representation of black backpackers; I created Passport Required to help create more of us. And it’s been working.

    Darnell Lamont Walker

    How exactly do you make things so cheap? I’m fascinated by how you can go on a trip like this for only $400—is travel included?
    These trips are cheap because they are for the true adventurers, those who could hop in the back of a chicken truck and think nothing of it, although that hasn’t yet happened. We’re open to hostels, couch surfing, and going with the wind. And as a solo traveler, I was able to connect with countless people around the world who taught me their travel hacks. We’re often not opposed to having a few layovers, because it means we get to adventure in random cities on our way to our destination. Isn’t the journey there just as fun as reaching, after all? I’ve spent enough time traveling the world and listening others, that I know the perfect time to fly Asia and to Africa and to Europe. Our last trip was a road trip through Italy and France, a flight to Amsterdam, a drive to Belgium, a bus to Copenhagen, then back home in 9 days. Not many people want to travel to Europe when it’s still slightly-thick coat weather, so I knew the tickets would be low. But who doesn’t want to experience April in Paris? I stress that one of the points of travel is to exchange stories with strangers. Some of these strangers have become like family, and when I tell them I’m coming to their city with a group of 6, they immediately say “I will feed you” or “please stay at my place. I’d love to host you.” Our adventurous souls keep our costs low. I guess I’ve given away the secret, hey?

    What do you always take with you when you travel? What piece of clothing do you rely on most when you travel?
    I once arrived to the airport and realized I didn’t have my clothes, but I had my backpack with my camera, laptop, a book (Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin), and my journal. I need those things, always. Clothing is always optional, but when I remember to bring them, I always have one of my infamous travel hoodies because of the versatility. Hoodies protect against all the elements (well, except for racist white men in Florida).

    This interview has been edited and condensed.

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    Mum ‘Facing Prison’ If She Doesn’t Vaccinate Her Nine-Year-Old Boy

    A MUM has revealed she could be caged if she does not vaccinate her son in two weeks.

    Rebecca Bredow, from Detroit, Michigan, said she “feels like her rights as a parent have been taken away”.

     Rebecca was locked in the dispute with her ex-husband before the case was taken to court
    Rebecca was locked in the dispute with her ex-husband before the case was taken to court
     Rebecca's nine-year-old son pictured going to school in Michigan
    Rebecca’s nine-year-old son pictured going to school in Michigan

    Oakland County Court heard Rebecca was first asked to immunise her child in September last year, ABC News reports.

    Initially, she and her ex-husband, Jason Horne, agreed the child would not have all his vaccines during a short space of time.

    But after docs “grouped the immunisations together”, the mum of two changed her mind.

    Ms Bredow told WXYZ she would rather go to prison than back down on something she believes in.

    “I believe in the choice of the parent to make the right decision based on their knowledge of vaccines,” she said.

    “I feel angry. I feel backed into a corner.”

     Rebecca Bredow has revealed she could face jail in the next two weeks if she does not vaccinate her son
    Rebecca Bredow has revealed she could face jail in the next two weeks if she does not vaccinate her son

    Rebecca said she had applied for a “waiver” which allows parents to refuse immunisations on the grounds of “religious convictions or other objections”.

    Michigan schools require students to receive vaccinations before entering Kindergarten, and up until 7th grade, year 8.

    Her husband’s lawyer, said the case was not “truly about vaccinations”.

    Benton G. Richardson told the broadcaster: “It is a case about Ms Bredow refusing to comport with any number of the court’s orders and actively seeking to frustrate Mr Horne’s joint legal custody rights.”

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    Mum-Of-10 Left Looking ‘Like Crabstick’ After Using Daughter’s Red Hair Dye By Mistake

    A mum-of-ten claims she was left looking ‘like a crabstick’ after she unwittingly used her daughter’s red hair dye in an unfortunate bathroom mishap.

    Kerrie Henderson was unaware when she washed her hair with conditioner it would leave her with a bright pinky-orange colour.

    The 44-year-old, who has been colouring her hair blonde for a year, accidentally applied her daughter Kiera McLean’s red hair dye while taking a bath last Tuesday.

    It was only when her six-year-old daughter Amelia pointed at her hair that Kerrie realised her unfortunate mishap.

    Kerrie, of Stockport, Greater Manchester, said: “I honestly nearly died. I just thought oh my God.

    She was left with pinky-orange coloured hair (Image: Mercury Press)
    “Amelia came into the bathroom after I had got out and she told me I had pink hair. I didn’t believe her.

    “I knew the bath water had a red cast to it but I thought it was just from the bubble bath I had used.

    “I just told her it was my bubble bath and left it at that.

    “But she kept saying that it was pink so I went to rinse my hair just in case and then I saw the red running into the bath and I realised my hair must have been dyed pink.

    “The water was bright red coming from my hair.

    “I didn’t think it would be that bright as I only had the conditioner on for a matter of minutes.

    Kerrie Henderson has been dying her hair blonde for a year (Image: Mercury Press)
    “Then I looked in the mirror and realised how bright it was, at first I text Kiera but then I realised she needed to see it so I video called her.

    “I’ve been trying for around 12 months now to get my hair back to a blonde as I love having blonde hair but that’s not going to happen for a while now.

    “My husband wasn’t too impressed either, I did shout him into the bathroom and he came in and just asked what I wanted him to do about it.

    “I’m not a huge fan of all the crazy colours Kiera dyes her hair, so I didn’t really want pink hair myself.”

    Student Kiera, 24, was at a friend’s house when she received the phone call and confesses she couldn’t stop laughing at her mum’s new hair colour.

    Kerrie accidentally used her daughter’s red hair dye (Image: Mercury Press)

    Kiera said: “My mum messaged me at first and said she had used my conditioner and it had dyed her hair.

    “I thought it would have just been a slight cast but then she video called me.

    “I couldn’t stop laughing, I nearly wet myself from laughing.

    “It looked the same colour as a crabstick on the screen but I think it’s a lot brighter than that.

    “I was in so much trouble, in fact I still am in trouble.

    “I can’t have any conditioner in the bathroom now, I’m banned from it.

    “We have a really big family though so there are that many different bottles in there you don’t know who owns which one.

    Kiera left the hair dye in the conditioner bottle used by Kerrie (Image: Mercury Press)

    “The colour wasn’t actually that bad. But because she just threw it on like you would with conditioner it was quite patchy.

    “Plus, she doesn’t put conditioner on the roots so it was really bright at the end but light at the top.”

    The next day Kerrie was forced to use bright purple in a bid to try and cover up her accidental dye job.

    Kerrie said: “The next morning I just chucked my hair up to try and hide how patchy it was and went to the local supermarket to try and find something to cover it up.

    “Kiera said that my hair would be too weak to bleach to try and go back blonde so I had to find a darker colour from a box.

    “I got to the supermarket and they didn’t have any colours that I was that keen on.

    “It’s a dark purple but it’s quite bright so I’m not majorly pleased with it.

    “But it is better than the patchy pink it was before.”

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    Man Buys 10,000 Undeveloped Negatives And Discovers One Of The Most Important Street Photographers In History

    A man went to a local auction and bought 10,000 undeveloped negatives and discovered one of the most important street photographers in history – Vivian Maier. She is considered to be one of the most talented street photographers of the mid 20th century, with photos taken in the 50’s and 60’s in New York, Chicago and Florida.

    The huge enigma behind Vivian Maier’s work, who was a nanny and photographer, is that she kept all her street snapshots to herself and she was completely unknown until her death.

    Historical hobbyist John Maloof is the man that purchased the 10,000 undeveloped negatives at a local auction for $380, in 2007. After he started developing the negatives, he was simply stunned by the amazing street photographs he found inside the box.

    The beauty of Vivian Maier’s work lies inside the places where she chose to take street snapshots, covering all the bad and shady neighborhoods of New York and Chicago from the 1950’s and 1960’s.

    John Maloof started looking for Vivian Maier, trying to track her down, and he stumbled upon her obituary in 2009, in a newspaper. She slipped on ice and died at 83, after a head injury, because she never fully recovered.

    John also started a documentary about the very enigmatic Vivian Maier and her work was exposed in a lot of prestigious galleries from London, New York, Oslo, Hamburg, Los Angeles, given her the well-deserved credit she never received throughout her lifetime.

     

    maier-0012
    Vivian Maier – One of the Most Important Street Photographers in History
    vivan-maier-1212
    Vivian Maier – One of the Most Important Street Photographers in History
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    Vivian Maier – One of the Most Important Street Photographers in History
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    Vivian Maier – One of the Most Important Street Photographers in History
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    Vivian Maier – One of the Most Important Street Photographers in History
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    Vivian Maier – One of the Most Important Street Photographers in History
    vivian_maier_portrait
    Self Portrait of Vivian Maier – One of the Most Important Street Photographers in History
    Undated, New York, NY
    Undated, New York, NY
    April 7, 1960. Florida
    April 7, 1960. Florida
    Undated, Chicago, IL
    Undated, Chicago, IL
    Undated
    Undated
    Undated, New York, NY
    Undated, New York, NY
    vivian-maier-00123
    Vivian Maier – One of the Most Important Street Photographers in History
    1960s. Chicago, IL
    1960s. Chicago, IL
    1954, New York, NY
    1954, New York, NY
    1954, New York, NY
    1954, New York, NY
    Undated
    Undated
    Maxwell Street, Chicago, IL. 1962
    Maxwell Street, Chicago, IL. 1962

    Surf the gallery above to view the street photographs taken by Vivian Maier in the 50’s and 60’s in New York, Chicago and Florida, and get a glimpse of what lied inside the mind and vision of one of the most important street photographers in history.

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    How To Grow Ginger In A Container

    There are a few spices that grow well in containers right at home, and ginger happens to be one of them. Popular in tasty Asian dishes and in many favorite baked treats, ginger adds zingy flavor to culinary delights of all sorts. And, ginger is super easy to grow in a container. In fact, it’s so easy to grow; you may not be able to stop yourself from running out today to get this simple gardening project started. You can have fresh ginger available to add to your own recipes in no time flat.

    Ginger has been a useful plant since before historical records even began. It’s believed to originate in India. It’s been a popular spice on the worldwide scale, second only to pepper, throughout time.

    The ginger plant’s adaptability has allowed the most humble of folks all the way to the fancy rulers to enjoy it throughout history. For example, Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) is credited with enjoying the appearance of gingerbread men popular still today at Christmastime. Ginger’s rich history goes right along with its impressionable flavor, and millions continue to enjoy its flavor and its medicinal properties today.

    ginger harvest

    HOW TO PLANT GINGER: CONTAINER SELECTION AND SPROUTING

    The healthiest ginger plants are grown from reputable nurseries or from quality online gardening sources. But a ginger root can also be purchased from your local grocery store. Grocery store ginger roots may be coated with a growth inhibitor, which prevent it from sprouting in the grocery store. Grocery ginger root may also be treated with fungicides and/or pesticides. So, to clean your ginger, soak your new ginger root for 24 hours before slicing it up to plant.

    Choose a wide, flat container to plant. Ginger’s roots grow horizontally, so width is more important than depth. Containers that are small enough to easily be moved inside and out are the perfect choice for ginger. Fill your container with a rich potting soil that will drain well.

    Slice your ginger knob, into thin pieces. Select pieces of the knob that have “eyes” on them. Eyes are indentations in the surface of the root, where sprout will begin. Place the piece of ginger with the eyes facing up into the soil, and cover with about and inch and a half of soil.

    HOW TO CARE FOR GINGER PLANT

    Water your ginger well in the early stages of planting. Continue to water or spray your plant’s soil often to keep the soil moist but not soggy. And be patient. Ginger can take several weeks to sprout.

    Ginger is a good plant to enjoy indoors in colder climates. While it will enjoy the outdoors during warm months, any frost will kill a ginger plant. Choose a location with indirect light for your ginger.

    After about eight months, your ginger plant will be mature. At that point, you can separate the rhizomes by pulling off a section of the plant including a piece of the rhizome. Transplanting is as easy as setting that rhizome into a new container of soil. Ginger is an easy root to share with a friend.

    HOW TO HARVEST GINGER

    Although the ginger plant may take many months to mature, you can harvest ginger when the plant is three or four months old. When you push away the soil from around the rhizome, you’ll notice that ginger rhizomes look knobby. You will also see roots reaching outward and downward from the rhizome. The rhizome is the edible portion of ginger. The roots can be cleaned off as you clean the rhizome to eat.

    To enjoy a bit of ginger, simply uncover a piece of rhizome, and trim off one of the finger-like extensions. You can harvest ginger in this manner anytime you wish. However, you may find that you love it so much that you’ll need more than one rhizome planted at a time. You can alternate snipping from your plants if you grow more than one.

    Before you eat ginger, you should rinse it and peel the skin off with a potato peeler. Then, enjoy your ginger freshly sliced or grated. Or, dry your ginger by slicing it paper thin and setting it on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in an oven or outside in a dry, sunny location. Ginger may take several hours or several days to dry. When it’s completely dried, it can safely be stored in plastic bags. You can also grate your dried ginger with a coffee grinder. Grated ginger is a delicious result of an easy gardening project!

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    Fish Can Make Their Own Sunscreen

    Summer is approaching and it’s time to stock up on sunscreen. Fish won’t need to, however, as they can make their own. According to the latest study published in the journal eLife, researchers have found that a chemical compound called gadusol provides ultraviolet (UV) protection in fish, which could one day be used to improve sun protection for humans.

    The sun, though essential for life on Earth, can be dangerous in excessive amounts. The UV radiation from the sun can damage the DNA in cells, which in humans can lead to dangerous conditions such as skin cancer. Fish that live on reefs or in the upper ocean are also affected by UV radiation. Scientists have previously assumed the UV-protective compounds fish use came from their environment, either through their diet or a symbiotic relationship with bacteria. Researchers from Oregon State University were therefore ‘surprised’ to find that some fish can make sunscreen themselves.

    After discovering that gadusol was able to provide zebrafish with UV protection, researchers went on to identify the genes responsible for making it and reproduced the process in yeast. Interestingly, these same genes were also later found in a diverse group of animals including amphibians, birds and reptiles.

    “The fact that the compound is produced by fish, as well as by other animals including birds, makes it a safe prospect to ingest in pill form,” says Professor Taifo Mahmud, lead author of the study in a statement. Of course, further tests will need to verify the safety of gadusol before conclusions can be drawn. If it turns out to be safe and effective, Mahmud and his research team hope to use yeast to produce large quantities of gadusol for potential use in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics to improve UV protection.

    “In the future it may be possible to use yeast to produce large quantities of this natural compound for sunscreen pills and lotions, as well as for other cosmetics sold at your local supermarket or pharmacy,” says Mahmud.

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    Green Chile Rice With Black Beans

    Black beans are not usually added to this popular Mexican rice dish, but their addition makes it into a one-pot meal. Use whatever beans you have on hand, or leave them out if you want to serve this as a side dish.

    Instructions:

    Add the poblano pepper, green chiles, cilantro, and spinach to a blender and puree. Add some of the vegetable stock, as needed, to achieve a smooth consistency. Add the mixture to a medium saucepan with the remaining vegetable stock. Add the brown rice and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, until the rice is tender, 45 to 50 minutes.

    Place the onion in a large saucepan and sauté over medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the onion from sticking to the pan. Add the cumin, jalapeño pepper, and black beans and cook for 5 minutes longer. Fold in the cooked rice and lime zest. Season with salt.

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    Ever Seen A Massive Goliath Grouper Swallow A Shark? You Can Now!

    So this is one strange sight to see, but is honestly well worth watching!

    We know that when we’re out to sea fishing, there will always be a chance of other predators lurking down below our catches, hoping to grab easy pickings off the line from our hard earned catch. This has happened to many a fisherman, and its usually a shark to blame, who use their cunning to spot a weakened fish from afar and wait patiently until the right moment strikes, and they’ve found themselves a meal.

    But what happens, when what you have on the line is a shark itself?

    As it turns out, the incredible is what happens! This guy had himself a nice catch on the line, off the coast of Bonita Springs, Florida. A roughly 4 foot long Black Tip Shark that was just waiting to be pulled on board. Of course the Black Tip had some fight in it left, and wouldn’t go quietly into the night, causing a bit of a commotion atop the water. Well it was the right amount of commotion to earn itself some undersea predatory attention…

    Suddenly a massive Atlantic Goliath grouper whose eye had been caught by the Black Tip shark surfaced from below, and began circling the shark, preparing for his next meal. The fight continued on for a little while longer, until the the grouper decided he had had enough waiting. The grouper struck without mercy, swallowing the entire shark in one bite!

  • ,

    Ever Seen A Massive Goliath Grouper Swallow A Shark? You Can Now!

    So this is one strange sight to see, but is honestly well worth watching!

    We know that when we’re out to sea fishing, there will always be a chance of other predators lurking down below our catches, hoping to grab easy pickings off the line from our hard earned catch. This has happened to many a fisherman, and its usually a shark to blame, who use their cunning to spot a weakened fish from afar and wait patiently until the right moment strikes, and they’ve found themselves a meal.

    But what happens, when what you have on the line is a shark itself?

    As it turns out, the incredible is what happens! This guy had himself a nice catch on the line, off the coast of Bonita Springs, Florida. A roughly 4 foot long Black Tip Shark that was just waiting to be pulled on board. Of course the Black Tip had some fight in it left, and wouldn’t go quietly into the night, causing a bit of a commotion atop the water. Well it was the right amount of commotion to earn itself some undersea predatory attention…

    Suddenly a massive Atlantic Goliath grouper whose eye had been caught by the Black Tip shark surfaced from below, and began circling the shark, preparing for his next meal. The fight continued on for a little while longer, until the the grouper decided he had had enough waiting. The grouper struck without mercy, swallowing the entire shark in one bite!

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    Bigger Brains Help Female Fish Outwit Predators And Live Longer

    “As clever as a guppy” is not a huge compliment. But intelligence does matter to these tropical fish: big-brained guppies are more likely to outwit predators and live longer than their dim-witted peers.

    Alexander Kotrschal at Stockholm University, Sweden, and his colleagues bred guppies (Poecilia reticulata) to have brains that were bigger or smaller than average. His team previously showed that bigger brains meant smarter fish.

    When put in an experimental stream with predators, big-brained females were eaten about 13 per cent less often than small-brained ones. There was no such link in males, and the researchers suspect that their bright colours may counter any benefits of higher intelligence. They did find, Kotrschal says , that large-brained males were faster swimmers and better at learning and remembering the location of a female.

    “This is exciting because it confirms a critical mechanism for brain size evolution,” says Kotrschal. It shows, he adds, that interactions between predator and prey can affect brain size.

    It might seem obvious that bigger brains would help survival. Yet previous research simply found a correlation between the two, leaving the possibility open that some third factor may have been driving the effect. Now, direct brain size manipulation allowed Kotrschal’s team to pin it down as a cause of better survival.

    Watching evolution

    “This is the first time anyone has tested whether a larger brain confers a survival benefit,” says Kotrschal. “The fact that large-brained females survived better in a naturalistic setting is the first experimental proof that a larger brain is beneficial for the fitness of its bearer. This is like watching evolution happen and shows how brain size evolves.”

    Size is a critical trait underlying cognitive abilities, but it is not the only trait, and there is enormous variation in brain size of vertebrates – both relatively and absolutely.

    “Our study shows for the first time how differences in vertebrate brain size can evolve and helps explain why brain size is so variable,” says Kotrschal.

    “This study shows us that large brains can improve the odds of survival in a dangerous world,” agrees David Reznick from the University of California in Riverside.

    Given that brains are energetically costly this means there is an optimal brain size that balances these costs and benefits, he says.

    “We know that brain size varies among species and, in particular, that humans have large brains,” says Reznick. “These differences among species means that brain size must evolve.”

    But we have never seen the process in action before, he says, meaning we had to guess the reasons for a change in brain size or its consequences.