Haunting Images of life inside a Steel Mill.

Images by Photojournalist Kevin Frayer (Getty Images).
Like the other 160-plus signatories of the Paris climate agreement, China has pledged to slash its greenhouse gas emissions in the years ahead as part of a global goal of halting rising temperatures.
“Our response to climate change bears on the future of our people and the wellbeing of mankind,” Chinese President Xi Jinping has said.


As the world’s biggest polluter, China faces an extraordinary challenge in reducing its emissions — one made all the more difficult because of the countless high-polluting factories scattered across the country.
Authorities have moved to shut down many of the worst-offending factories, but some factory owners simply pay informal “fines” to local authorities before re-opening.


Photojournalist Kevin Frayer traveled to Inner Mongolia with Getty Images earlier this month to capture some haunting pictures of life inside one steel mill.
See more stunning  images via Buzzfeed News

The Burdekin duck is like no other duck in the world.

IMAGE CREDIT: Ben Queenborough/Shutterstock
THAT ONE in the front looks like the brains of the operation and the one at the back, well, you kinda just want to pinch its cheeks and stroke its soft little head.
Meet the Burdekin duck (Radjah radjah), otherwise known as the radjah shelduck, a species found in the coastal tropics of northern Australia, as well as in New Guinea and the Maluku Islands of eastern Indonesia.
Ranging from northern Queensland, where it’s rare, across to the coast of the Northern Territory, where it’s most common, and out around the Fitzroy River area of Western Australia, this duck is quite unlike any other shelduck on Earth.
Shelducks are large waterfowl, and could be considered as sitting halfway between a goose and a duck.
They’re known for the distinct green band of feathers that runs along the tops of their wings, and while there are only a handful of species, they’re spread out across the globe.
Source: The Burdekin duck is like no other duck in the world

Why does your dog wag its tail?

IMAGE CREDIT: Andy Wagstaffe/flickr
Why does your dog wag its tail? by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki
Dr Karl is a prolific broadcaster, author and Julius Sumner Miller fellow in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney.
THE DOG HAS been man’s best friend for thousands of years – so you’d think we’d know how to read its emotions.
When the tail is stiff, the ears are tucked in and the body is held tight, most of us recognise it as a warning sign to keep away.
Conversely, if the dog’s tail is wagging and the ears are pricked up and the body is wriggling like a can of worms, then it’s probably safe to pat the dog.
But what about those occasional cases when the dog bites, even though the tail is wagging?
Luckily, recent research has given us a subtle clue to read in the give-away wagging of the dog’s tail.
It happens because the nervous system of an animal is not perfectly symmetrical. Both the nerve pathways that run into the brain, and the brain itself, are wired up in a non-symmetrical way. For example, most male dogs have a strong tendency to be left-pawed, while the females have a weaker tendency to be right-pawed.
The tail is a mid-line structure, pulled by muscles on each side of the body, which are in turn controlled by the left brain and the right brain. Sometimes the different sides cooperate, and sometimes they compete – this means that you should easily be able to see any behaviour that tends to one side or the other.
In a study, when a dog saw its owner, the tail wagged on both sides of the centre-line, but far more to the dog’s right than to their left.
When they saw a random human, the effect was not as pronounced, but still more to their right than to their left.
However, when they saw a large, dominant, unfamiliar dog, the tail wagged far more to their left than to their right.
If the tail wags to the dog’s right, then it’s alright to pat, scratch or play catch with the dog. But if the tail wags to the dog’s left, well, it’s best left to itself.
Source: Why does your dog wag its tail? – Australian Geographic

The History of the drug OxyContin.

OxyContin is a well-known prescription painkiller.

It contains oxycodone, an opium derivative. Oxycodone has been available for decades. Doctors and government officials have recognized its dangers for nearly as long.

People began to voice concerns about oxycodone as early as the 1960s. The United Nations labelled it a dangerous drug. The United States classified it as a Schedule II substance.

These are substances the Drug Enforcement Agency considers, “drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous.” Governments around the world acknowledged that oxycodone can create health and addiction issues.

Awareness didn’t spread far beyond policing bodies at first, as the drug wasn’t used much for medical or recreational purposes.

This changed when OxyContin entered the market.

Purdue Pharma began making and marketing OxyContin in the early 1990s. They combined oxycodone with a time-release ingredient, making OxyContin the only opiate that promised multiple hours of pain relief.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved this formula in 1995. While it provided extended relief for some, it created greater problems for others.

The drug was not as effective as hoped, leaving some in pain and others struggling with new substance abuse and addiction problems.

The Center for Substance Abuse Research explains, “Prolonged use and abuse of oxycodone medications eventually change the brain in such a way that a user cannot quit on his or her own, a typical sign of addiction.”

When a person takes oxycodone for extended periods of time or in larger doses than recommended, addiction develops. This isn’t a sign of personal or moral weakness. It is a normal biological and psychological response to opiate drug use.

Addiction isn’t the only risk associated with OxyContin use. OxyContin contributed to rapidly increasing overdose deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control shares, “In 2014, the rate of drug overdose deaths involving natural and semisynthetic opioids (e.g., morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone), 3.8 per 100,000, was the highest among opioid overdose deaths, and increased 9% from 3.5 per 100,000 in 2013.”

Every year, more people overdose on OxyContin and similar drugs.

Source: OxyContin: The History of OxyContin

Volkswagen’s Beetle is rolling off the factory floor for the last time.

Volkswagen is bringing an end to its much-loved Beetle car this week at its plant in Puebla, Mexico.
  • Volkswagen’s Beetle was conceived by the Nazis in 1938.
  • Production of the car under Nazi rule never happened, but was restarted with the British.
  • The marque produced over 21 million versions, and was embraced around the world
It’s the end of the road for a vehicle that has symbolised many things over a history spanning the eight decades since 1938.
Initially birthed as a project of Germany’s Third Reich, it then became a symbol of Germany’s post-war economic renaissance and rising middle-class prosperity.
Today, the Beetle stands as a formidable piece of 20th-century design — about as recognisable as a Coca Cola bottle.
The car’s original design — a rounded silhouette with seating for four or five, nearly vertical windshield and the air-cooled engine in the rear — can be traced back to Austrian engineer Ferdinand Porsche, the founder and namesake of fellow German marque, Porsche.
He was commissioned by Adolf Hitler to create a “people’s car” that would make motoring widespread among the German people, which was then known as the KdF-Wagen — the acronym of the Nazi labour organisation, Kraft durch Freude (Strength through Joy).
Preparation for the vehicle even involved creating a purpose-built factory town, which was then known as the City of the KdF car at Fallersleben.
Aspects of the car bore similarities to the Tatra T97, made in Czechoslovakia in 1937, and to sketches by Hungarian engineer Bela Barenyi published in 1934.
But due to World War II, production of the Beetle never happened. Instead, the factory switched to military vehicle production, using forced labour sourced from occupied Europe. Liberated by US troops in April 1945, the factory town was renamed Wolfsburg a month later. By June of that year, control of the factory was turned over to Britain.

In total, over 21 million original Volkswagen Beetles were produced in its lifetime. The Kombi Van was a big seller in the 1960s.
But not all Brits were immediately on the side of the Beetle, with automotive baron Sir William Rootes telling a meeting of the country’s leading car manufacturers the vehicle would be “quite unattractive to the average motorcar buyer”.
By the end of 1949, the Volkswagen factory had produced over 45,000 vehicles, and had transferred ownership over to the West German government and the state of Lower Saxony, which still owns part of the company.
By 1955, the one millionth Beetle, officially called the Type 1, had left the assembly line.
Read on via Source: Volkswagen’s last Beetle is rolling off the factory floor this week – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Scientists show Drunk birds slur their Songs.

imrsBird, go home, you are drunk. (AP Photo/Rawlins Daily Times, Jerret Raffety, File)
Sometimes science means getting a bunch of finches sloshed. Or at least giving them blood alcohol levels of around .08 percent, which is pretty crazy by bird standards.
In a study published last week in PLOS ONE, researchers from the Oregon Health and Science University tempted zebra finches with spiked juice — but not because they wanted to help the lab animals ring in the new year in style.
The researchers study birdsong to learn more about human speech. Birds learn to sing in much the same way that humans learn to talk (in fact, a recent study found that birdsong and speech even rely on the same genes).
It’s much easier to keep a bird in a cage and study its brain than it is to do the same with a human toddler, so birds give scientists some of our best insights into the brain mechanisms that make speech possible.
If you’ve ever talked to someone under the influence of alcohol, you know that it makes speech more difficult. But there hasn’t been much research on vocal impairment caused by alcohol — mostly because scientists have so few non-human lab animals capable of “speech” to work with.
“At first we were thinking that they wouldn’t drink on their own because, you know, a lot of animals just won’t touch the stuff,” researcher Christopher Olson told NPR, “But they seem to tolerate it pretty well and be somewhat willing to consume it.”
And once the birds were buzzed, they started to slur their songs.
“The most pronounced effects were decreased amplitude and increased entropy,” the researchers wrote in the study.
So in other words, their songs got quieter and less organized.
Read more via Scientists show that drunk birds ‘slur’ their songs – The Washington Post.