The Horse-Tales And All Bungled PonyTail A Poem by jay

The Horse-Tales And All Bungled PonyTail
A Poem by jay
Whose PonyTail is that? I think I know.
Its owner is quite angry though.
She was cross like a dark potato.
I watch her pace. I cry hello.

She gives her PonyTail a shake,
And screams I’ve made a bad mistake.
The only other sound’s the break,
Of distant waves and birds awake.

The PonyTail is Horse-Tales, All Bungled and deep,
But she has promises to keep,
Tormented with nightmares she never sleeps.
Revenge is a promise a girl should keep.

She rises from her cursed bed,
With thoughts of violence in her head,
A flash of rage and she sees red.
Without a pause I turned and fled.

With thanks to the poet, Robert Frost, for the underlying structure.




“Life is growth. You grow or you die.”

“Like books, sports give people a sense of having lived other lives, of taking part in other people’s victories. And defeats.”

“But that’s the nature of money. Whether you have it or not, whether you want it or not, whether you like it or not, it will try to define your days. Our task as human beings is not to let it.”

“I’d tell men and women in their mid twenties not to settle for a job or a profession or even a career. Seek a calling. Even if you don’t know what that means, seek it. If you’re following your calling, the fatigue will be easier to bear, the disappointments will be fuel, the highs will be like nothing you’ve ever felt.”

– Phil Knight, Shoe Dog. Shoe Dog is one of our favorite books on entrepreneurship. Phil Knight is the co-founder of Nike who was the commencement speaker at Daily Pnut’s publisher’s business school graduation.

What It Means to Be a Global CEO | Longitudes

via What It Means to Be a Global CEO | Longitudes

What It Means to Be a Global CEO

CEOs must change the way they lead their companies and expand the way they think about their roles.

For the past six years, I’ve been honored to serve as Ernst & Young Global Chairman and CEO. My time at EY – including nearly a dozen years on our global executive board – has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Next summer I’ll step down from my position, and so as I attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting for my final time as CEO, I’ve been reflecting on how the conversation in Davos has evolved over the years – and what that says about the changing role of a global CEO in the 21st century.

It’s an understatement to say the world has changed since I took over as CEO in 2013. For example, at one of the first Davos meetings I attended, it seemed like everyone was talking about the potential of new regional trade agreements to drive shared prosperity.

Now many are talking about a potential reshuffling of the entire world order. So the stakes are getting much higher.

Meanwhile, many of the challenges we faced early in my tenure – from rising income inequality to declining trust in institutions – have not changed. Rather, in an age of rapid technological progress and transformative disruption, they have grown even greater and more urgent.

Today’s CEOs have to constantly think about how to improve their business models while simultaneously navigating fast-paced, massive disruption of industries and businesses and a strong undercurrent of uncertainty running through societies around the world.

Pullquote share icon.ShareToday’s CEOs have to improve their business models while simultaneously navigating fast-paced disruption.

These growing challenges have made it increasingly necessary for global CEOs to adapt the way they lead their companies and ultimately, to expand the way they think about their roles.

CEOs are accountable for more than financial success

Based on my experience at EY and countless conversations with business and government leaders around the world, I argued a few years ago that the role of the CEO had to evolve.

In a previous generation, it was often enough for CEOs to succeed by charting a course by themselves, then expecting people to follow it. If the business executed well, the CEO would be rewarded. But that’s not the case anymore.

Today businesses are accountable to an increasing number of stakeholders – and everyone from employees to board members are looking to CEOs for a clearer sense of not just where they’re going but why.

That means we need to communicate our vision to stakeholders and convince them we’re on the right path. Just as importantly, we need to communicate our companies’ values – and we have to back them up with measurable and verifiable action.

Why? Because now CEOs speak on behalf of more people than ever, and we’re held accountable in more public ways.

New pressures

With social media, virtually everything a CEO says or does can be instantaneouslyscrutinized and has the potential to spark a controversy. And in a divisive political climate, our people, our clients and our customers increasingly expect us to speak out publicly when issues arise that conflict with the stated values of our companies.

In the last few years, we’ve all seen the pressure businesses have faced when they’ve been perceived to stand on the wrong side of one issue or another. It all impacts an organization’s brand, which is an increasingly important currency.

Pullquote share icon.ShareCEOs must communicate their company’s values – and back them up with measurable and verifiable action.

This was on my mind when I joined the White House’s Business Advisory Council in 2017. I joined because I believe it’s important to remain engaged with our political leaders. It offered a direct avenue for input and to make important concerns heard.

As a general rule, I think it’s better to be in the room bringing your experience and voice to the debate than outside the room offering criticism. That’s why, although the Council eventually disbanded, I continue to spend a significant amount of time representing EY in public-public initiatives at the global, national and community level.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting that CEOs should act like politicians who espouse their views on purely political or partisan debates. But when there are issues that affect our business or conflict with our values as an organization, we need to have a voice in the conversation.

In today’s global economy, that means CEOs can’t separate traditional “business” issues like trade from issues like immigration or gender equality. These issues also profoundlyaffect our businesses, our people and the communities in which we operate.

If we don’t make it clear where we stand, we risk losing the trust of our stakeholders and in some cases, their business. Moreover, we weaken the sense of community our organizations need and undermine the very values we cherish.

The role of business in society 

Of course, this evolution is part of a broader shift in the role of business in society.

Until recently, it was widely accepted that a company’s primary responsibility was to create financial value for its shareholders. That’s who businesses and CEOs were almost exclusively accountable to. While there have always been companies that tried to create benefits for a wider range of stakeholders, this was typically seen as a way to stand out from the pack – not a basic expectation or requirement for success.

In today’s rapidly changing world, however, companies have to create value for many stakeholders to succeed. Shareholder value is still critically important – but isn’t separate from a company’s impact on its people, its communities and more.

Businesses can fulfill this responsibility in a number of ways. For example, perhaps the most valuable investments any business can make is in its own people. Employees are the ones who execute a company’s strategy, determine its culture and serve as ambassadorsto customers and their communities.

They look to their employers to educate and empower them – which is why, on an annual basis, EY invests approximately $500 million and more than 13 million hours in employee development and education.

This is on top of the important experiential learning and mentoring that’s also provided. We’ve also introduced digital credentials known as EY Badges to help people develop skills related to emerging technologies that will benefit them throughout their careers.

Pullquote share icon.ShareShareholder value is still important – but isn’t separate from a company’s impact on people and communities.

Businesses can also increase their social impact by sponsoring educational, mentoring and other community initiatives with other organizations. With a new initiative called EY Ripples, for example, we’re working to help young people gain skills and supporting high-impact entrepreneurs around the world.

By 2022, our goal is to mobilize more than 1 million of our own people and networks to make a direct impact on 10 million people and organizations.

In each case, creating stakeholder value isn’t just a nice thing for businesses to do but rather a strategic imperative that ultimately benefits their shareholders, too.

When companies invest in their people or communities, it doesn’t just create new opportunities for those who directly benefit. It also helps build a stronger workforce and a better overall business environment, creating a win-win for stakeholders and shareholdersalike.

It’s time for the next generation of CEOs to lead

As I reflect on my time as CEO, it’s remarkable to consider how much the world has changed – and how much the expectations of global businesses have changed along with it.

In an era of transformation and uncertainty, people around the world are looking to the business community for leadership.

It’s time for the next generation of CEOs to rise to the challenge. Our license to lead depends on it.

This article originally appeared on World Economic Forum and was republished with permission.

[Top Image: Burst/Pexels]

Mark Weinberger is the Global Chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young, one of the largest professional services organizations in the world with approximately 260,000 people in more than 150 countries. He previously served as the Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury (Tax Policy) in the George W. Bush Administration.Click the RSS icon to subscribe to future articles by this author. RSS Feed

My fav Newsletter :

ARKHE! This is the Brain Pickings midweek pick-me-up: Once a week, I plunge into my 12-year archive and choose something worth resurfacing and resavoring as timeless nourishment for heart, mind, and spirit. (If you don’t yet subscribe to the standard Sunday newsletter of new pieces published each week, you can sign up here – it’s free.) If you missed last week’s edition – the finest thing ever written about gender, by the irreplaceable Ursula K. Le Guin – you can catch up right here. And if you find any value and joy in my labor of love, please consider supporting it with a donation – over these twelve years, I have spent tens of thousands of hours and tremendous resources on Brain Pickings, and every little bit of support helps keep it going. If you already donate: THANK YOU.
FROM THE ARCHIVE | Grace Paley on the Art of Growing Older
graceplaey_justasithought.jpg?w=680“For old people,” Ursula K. Le Guin wrote in her sublime meditation on aging and what beauty really means, “beauty doesn’t come free with the hormones, the way it does for the young… It has to do with who the person is.” But who is the person staring back at us from the mirror as the decades roll by? The mystery of what makes you and your childhood self the same person despite a lifetime of changes is, after all, one of the most interesting questions of philosophy. Perhaps the greatest perplexity of aging is how to fill with gentleness the void between who we feel we are on the inside and who our culture tells us is staring back from that mirror.

That’s what beloved writer Grace Paley (December 11, 1922–August 22, 2007) addresses with extraordinary humor and intellectual elegance in a 1989 piece titled “Upstaging Time,” found in Just As I Thought (public library) — the same indispensable nonfiction collection that gave us Paley’s astute advice to writers.


Paley, at sixty-seven, writes:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngA couple of years ago a small boy yelled out as he threw a ball to a smaller boy standing near me, “Hey, dummy, tell that old lady to watch out.”

What? What lady? Old? I’m not vain or unrealistic. For the last twenty years my mirror seems to have reflected — correctly — a woman getting older, not a woman old. Therefore, I took a couple of the hops, skips, and jumps my head is accustomed to making and began to write what would probably become a story. The first sentence is: “That year all the boys on my block were sixty-seven.”

Then I was busy and my disposition, which tends to crude optimism anyway, changed the subject. Also, my sister would call, and from time to time she’d say, “Can you believe it? I’m almost seventy-eight. And Vic is going on eighty. Can you believe it?” No, I couldn’t believe it, and neither could anyone who talked to them or saw them. They’ve always been about fifteen years older than I, and still were. With such a sister and brother preceding me, it would seem bad manners to become old. My aging (the aging of the youngest) must seem awfully pushy to them.


I returned to my work and was able to write the next sentence of what may still become a story: “Two years later, two of the boys had died and my husband said, ‘Well, I’d better take this old-age business a little more seriously.’”

Illustration by Leonard Weisgard from a 1949 edition of Alice in Wonderland. Click image for more.

To manifest the needed seriousness, Paley considers some of the practicalities of that old-age business:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngYou may begin to notice that you’re invisible. Especially if you’re short and gray-haired. But I say to whom? And so what? All the best minorities have suffered that and are rising nowadays in the joy of righteous wrath.


You are expected to forget words or names, and you do. You may look up at the ceiling. People don’t like this. They may say, “Oh come on, you’re not listening.” You’re actually trying to remember their names.

While he could still make explanations, my father explained to me that the little brain twigs, along with other damp parts of the body, dry up, but that there is still an infinity of synaptic opportunities in the brain. If you forget the word for peach (“A wonderful fruit,” he said), you can make other pathways for the peach picture. You can attach it to another word or context, which will then return you to the word “peach,” such as “What a peachy friend,” or springtime and peach blossoms. This is valuable advice, by the way. It works. Even if you’re only thirty, write it down for later.


Paley returns to the subject thirteen years later, at eighty, in a magnificent short piece titled “My Father Addresses Me on the Facts of Old Age,” originally written for the New Yorker in 2002 and included in Here and Somewhere Else: Stories and Poems by Grace Paley and Robert Nichols (public library) — a marvelous celebration of literature, love, and the love of literature by Paley and her husband, published a few months before she died at the age of eighty-five.

Paley writes:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngMy father had decided to teach me how to grow old. I said O.K. My children didn’t think it was such a great idea. If I knew how, they thought, I might do so too easily. No, no, I said, it’s for later, years from now. And besides, if I get it right it might be helpful to you kids in time to come.

They said, Really?

My father wanted to begin as soon as possible.


Please sit down, he said. Be patient. The main thing is this — when you get up in the morning you must take your heart in your two hands. You must do this every morning.

That’s a metaphor, right?

Metaphor? No, no, you can do this. In the morning, do a few little exercises for the joints, not too much. Then put your hands like a cup over and under the heart. Under the breast. He said tactfully. It’s probably easier for a man. Then talk softly, don’t yell. Under your ribs, push a little. When you wake up, you must do this massage. I mean pat, stroke a little, don’t be ashamed. Very likely no one will be watching. Then you must talk to your heart.

Talk? What?

Say anything, but be respectful. Say — maybe say, Heart, little heart, beat softly but never forget your job, the blood. You can whisper also, Remember, remember.

Complement Paley’s wholly rewarding Just As I Thought and Here and Somewhere Else with Meghan Daum on why we romanticize our imperfect younger selves, Henry Miller on growing old and the measure of a life well lived, and legendary cellist Pablo Casals, at ninety-thee, on the secret of creative vitality.


Medium Newsletter Today’s HIghlights

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10 Discoveries That Completely Baffle Modern Scientists

10 Discoveries That Completely Baffle Modern Scientists

Every year, surprising discoveries are made all over our planet, in our solar system, and even farther out in the deep void of space. These findings push forward our understanding of the reality we live in, often challenging previous notions of universal physical laws.When a discovery falls outside the boundaries of our understanding—sometimes with a lack of context—it will often stump the smartest experts. Here are 10 mysteries that are baffling modern scientists.

10 Weird Historical North American Monster

Listverse – Daily Highlights
Sponsored by Connatix

10Giraffe Skin Disease
Photo credit: National Geographic
Since the 1990s, baffling cases of skin disease have affected giraffes in captivity and in the wild. It is a widespread condition in sub-Saharan Africa.Experts are unable to determine if this mysterious ailment is due to a combination of diseases or if an environmental effect is in play. The scientific community still doesn’t know how this disease spreads, if it can be transmitted to other animal species, or if there is a cure.Currently, Fred Bercovitch, director of Save The Giraffes, advises that this skin disease should not play a larger role in giraffe conservation efforts due to a lack of information as to how the condition affects the animals’ reproduction and mobility. A better understanding of the effect of this disease on the giraffe population could greatly increase conservation efforts in the future.[1]9 East-Shifting Tornado Alley
Photo credit:
Areas east of the Mississippi River have seen an increase in tornadic activity over the last few decades. Meanwhile, states in the area commonly known as Tornado Alley have seen a significant decrease.Although states like Oklahoma, Colorado, and Texas still have the most tornadoes each year, the total number has decreased since the late 1970s. The greatest decline has occurred in central and eastern Texas.This change in atmospheric activity has led scientists to believe that Tornado Alley is shifting east, and they do not know why. Areas where tornadoes would often go unreported before the digital age are surprisingly the same regions seeing the largest decline in tornado activity.[2]Victor Gensini of Northern Illinois University believes that the shift in Tornado Alley can be attributed to the drying of the Great Plains. Tornadoes form along the dry line where the dry air from the West meets the moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, a mixture that causes violent thunderstorms. As the dry line shifts east, so do the tornadoes.However, it is unknown whether the shift is caused by our impact on the environment or an influence of nature.

8 Mysterious Seismic WavesSeismic waves were picked up worldwide by monitoring stations on November 11, 2018, causing scientists to speculate as to what caused this never-before-witnessed event. They were able to trace the initial location to Mayotte, a French island located between continental Africa and Madagascar.This region has been plagued by earthquakes over the last year with a decrease leading up to the event. However, no earthquakes were reported to have occurred on November 11, especially nothing capable of producing the seismic signal. The strange signal was described as better representing a burst in energy than an earthquake.Lasting roughly 20 minutes, the seismic waves traveled thousands of kilometers across the globe. They tripped earthquake monitors, although oddly enough, nobody aboveground was able to feel them.As the signal was so unusual, its origin is difficult to determine. John Ristau, a seismologist at GeoNet, compared the Mayotte signal with that of the 6.3-magnitude North Atlantic earthquake. Although both signals were visible, they were very different in appearance.As Ristau explained, “You can see that the amplitude of the [Mayotte] signal varies over time; however, the frequency, or period, of the signal is virtually uniform for the entire time. This implies a source that is producing a signal at one consistent frequency, but the strength varies.”[3]Typically, an earthquake has a broad range of frequencies and periods at which it’s producing energy.Anthony Lomax, an independent seismologist, suggested that the activity was probably caused by an undersea volcano to the north of Mayotte. Another possibility is an unacknowledged slow earthquake that kicked off the event.7 The Antarctic Particles That Shatter Physics
Photo credit: Live Science
Physicists have observed a high-energy particle blast toward space from the ice in Antarctica, and they have no idea why or how this event happened. They believe that it must be some sort of cosmic ray.The collection of particles that comprise the Standard Model of particle physics should not be able to travel this way. But this is exactly what was observed by NASA’s Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) in March 2016.It is known that low-energy particles can travel miles through the Earth without being affected. But high-energy particles act differently because their large cross-sections make it likely that these particles will collide with something once they enter the Earth. As a result, they don’t make it out.Most scientists suggest that ANITA captured a whole new type of particle. Some theories include an atypical distribution of dark matter inside Earth or a type of sterile neutrino which rarely collides with matter.According to Penn State researchers who combined data from ANITA and IceCube, another Antarctica-based neutrino observatory, the particles bursting from the ice toward space have less than a 1-in-3.5-million chance of being a part of the Standard Model of particle physics.[4]6 Persistent Noctilucent Clouds
Photo credit: Martin Koitmae
The mesosphere, the part of the atmosphere that almost touches space, is very cold and dry. During the summer, ice crystals about the size of cigarette smoke particles form around dust, possibly from meteoroids, in the -125 decree Celsius (-193 °F) conditions. When this happens, it creates a blue illuminating display of wispy clouds shortly after sunset called noctilucent clouds.These fascinating clouds were first witnessed roughly two years after the eruption of Krakatoa in the 1880s. However, in 2006, scientists were able to answer the questions about their nature and formation. Recently, a new mystery has sprung up about the persistence of the noctilucent clouds during the 2018 summer season. They are observed every year and have followed an expected routine—beginning their formation in May, intensifying in June, and dissipating by late July. It came as a shock to sky watchers across the northern hemisphere to see these spectacular night lights intensify in July and stick around long into August.By using data from NASA’s satellite-based Microwave Limb Sounder, researchers from the University of Colorado realized that an increase in moisture is the cause of the prolonged effects of the noctilucent clouds. We do not know why there is an increase in moisture.However, some theories are already in place. One involves an early entry into the solar minimum (originally expected in 2020), which may be associated with the coldest and wettest years in the mesosphere. Another possible explanation is planetary wave action in the southern hemisphere which causes more moisture in the northern atmosphere than one would usually expect.[5]

5 The Puzzling Hexagonal Vortex Of Saturn
Photo credit:
Analyzing data from the Cassini-Huygens mission that reached Saturn in 2004 and ended in 2017, researchers observed a strange hexagonal vortex forming at Saturn’s north pole as the northern hemisphere entered summertime. This vortex towered hundreds of kilometers above the clouds in the stratosphere.In the 1980s, NASA’s Voyager spacecraft had discovered a hexagonal vortex much lower in the planet’s atmosphere, but they were astonished by the Cassini-Huygens finding. Leigh Fletcher of the University of Leicester explained:While we did expect to see a vortex of some kind at Saturn’s north pole as it grew warmer, its shape is really surprising. Either a hexagon has spawned spontaneously and identically at two different altitudes, one lower in the clouds and one high in the stratosphere, or the hexagon is in fact a towering structure spanning a vertical range of several hundred kilometers.A process called evanescence is one way for wave information to push up into the stratosphere, although its strength decays with height. According to our understanding of atmospheric sciences, however, a hexagonal vortex should not be able to push past the lower altitude clouds as wind directions change with higher altitudes.Cracking the case on this geometric mystery will help scientists understand the transportation of energy around planets by grasping how the higher atmosphere is affected by the lower-altitude environment. The Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) used on the Cassini-Huygens mission also revealed that Saturn’s poles exhibit surprisingly different behaviors. The south pole displays a vastly more mature circular vortex during the southern summer. This could indicate that Saturn’s northern vortex will continue to mature. Alternatively, Saturn may have asymmetrical poles that are yet to be understood.[6]4 The Missing Dark Matter
Photo credit:
A team of scientists led by Pieter van Dokkum has discovered a galaxy named NGC1052-DF2 that appears to be lacking dark matter. This has astronomers scratching their heads because the absence of dark matter in this galaxy would confirm that the substance exists as well as produce doubts about our current understanding as to how a galaxy is created.Our modern understanding is that galaxies are created from a halo of dark matter. Without dark matter, a galaxy should not be able to form.The team was able to get a closer look and determine the mass of NGC1052-DF2, located 65 million light-years away, by tracking 10 embedded star clusters with the Dragonfly Telephoto Array. They found that the mass of NGC1052-DF2 was almost equal to the total mass expected from the stars (visible matter) within it. Also, the mass of NGC1052-DF2 is only 0.5 percent of the mass of our Milky Way galaxy.[7]Some have suggested that dark matter may not exist and that we need to modify our understanding of gravity. However, alternate theories of gravity still have something that mimics dark matter on a galactic scale. In fact, it should always be there.So, van Dokkum argues that if an alternate law of gravity applies to one galaxy, then that law should affect all galaxies in the same way. As a result, every galaxy should look like it has dark matter (even if it doesn’t) because the mimicking factor would always be there.That leads us to van Dokkum’s paradoxical conclusion. If all galaxies should look like they have dark matter (even if it’s really something else), then the inability to detect dark matter in galaxy NGC1052-DF2 proves that dark matter is real. Scientists are still debating this issue vigorously.3 The Deep Space Flashing Light
Photo credit:
When astronomers were searching the depths of space to determine what comprises the 80 percent of the universe we can’t see, they stumbled across something unexpected. Seventy-two intense bursts of light were monitored from the Cerro Tololo International Observatory in Chile by Miika Pursiainen and his team.The hot bursts of light were measured as being 300 million kilometers (186 million mi) to 15 billion kilometers (9 billion mi) across. They also had brightness that one would expect from a supernova, although they did not have the duration. According to one theory, this event occurred due to a complication in the development of a Type II supernova. A Type II supernova happens when a star blows off its outer shell of gas after a buildup of heavy elements in the star’s core causes it to collapse in on itself.This complication is currently being researched by the Australian National University. It has been named a fast-evolving luminous transient (FELT), which occurs when a star develops gas bubbles during the early stages of the collapse. When the star goes supernova, these gas bubbles explode due to the superheating effect. This is still a working theory, and only time will give us any definitive answers.[8]2 Strange Infrared Light Emitting From A Pulsar
Photo credit: Live Science
RX J0806.4-4123 is one of “The Magnificent Seven,” a group of X-ray pulsars located within 3,300 light-years from Earth. These pulsars are hotter and slower than astronomers would expect for their age.RX J0806.4-4123 is emitting a strange infrared light that is completely new to scientists. When an international group of astronomers observed the pulsar with the Hubble Space Telescope, they noticed the extended area of roughly 29 billion kilometers (18 billion mi) of infrared light emitting from the pulsar.Obviously, something more is going on with this neutron star as the infrared emissions are greater than the star alone can produce. So, what is the source of the energy? Scientists have proposed at least two theories: a fallback disk or a pulsar wind nebula.[9]A fallback disk is a large disk of dust that formed around the neutron star after its explosion. Although such a disk has never been observed, researchers have hypothesized its existence.It would explain the higher temperature and slower rotation of the star as well as the amount of energy needed to emit so much infrared light. A confirmation of the fallback disk would be a huge leap forward in our understanding of the formation of neutron stars.Now let’s examine the pulsar wind nebula theory. The fast rotation of a neutron star with a strong magnetic field creates an electric field. In turn, when particles are accelerated in this field, a pulsar wind may be produced. Infrared emissions would then be emitted by shocked particles created when the neutron star travels at faster than the speed of sound through the interstellar medium.However, the existence of an infrared-only pulsar wind nebula would be extraordinary.1 The Bird In The Child’s Mouth
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Fifty years ago, the remains of a young child were found in Tunel Wielki Cave in the Saspowska Valley in Poland. The child’s gender is unknown, but the skull of a bird was in the youngster’s mouth and another was by the child’s cheek.Although the discovery was peculiar, the bones were almost immediately boxed and put into storage without being properly examined and assessed. The findings went unpublished except for a single photograph in a 1980s book by Professor Waldemar Chmielewski, the man who originally discovered the skeleton. Anthropologists don’t know why the child was buried about 200 years ago in this manner or location. The only other human remains found in the cave were at least 4,000 years old.The mystery doesn’t stop there. Although the University of Warsaw has bones from the youngster’s body, it does not have the child’s skull. In fact, it is missing. It was sent to anthropologists in Wroclaw after the excavation, but no one seems to know where the skull is now.[10]
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10 Times Snails Revealed Strange Facts And Stories

10 Times Snails Revealed Strange Facts And Stories

Most people view snails and slugs as pests. But these slimy streakers are far removed from one-dimensional garden destroyers. They amaze scientists with their abilities, and certain individuals have become the darlings of mass media.The slow creatures can also get a little creepy. They hide inside humans and, thanks to the military, have evolved into things that include cyborg spy snails.
Featured image credit: National Geographic

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10 Strange Survival Mystery
Photo credit: National Geographic
Hahajima Island of Japan is home to a fragile snail. All right, “fragile” in the sense that it is really tiny—around 0.25 centimeters (0.1 in). A thumb can easily crush Tornatellides boeningi.When researchers recently collected bird feces on the island, they found that it contained snail shells. Oddly, some of the snails appeared to be alive. Curious, the team fed over 100 mollusks to a captive population of the two bird species known to snack on the snails.Remarkably, around 15 percent were expelled unharmed. One snail even gave birth shortly after being pooped out. The digestive system is not a Disney ride. The snails endure a harsh journey lasting 30 minutes to two hours. Why such a good percentage appear to suffer no ill effect is a mystery.[1]The best theories at this point?Small equals survival. Tinier shells might be less prone to cracks and digestive juices seeping in. Tornatellides could also seal themselves away behind a mucous film that safeguards the shell’s opening.9 Why Snail Sex Is Slow
Photo credit: National Geographic
One might be forgiven for thinking, “It is slow, because they are snails.” As garden snails are hermaphrodites, they can technically reproduce by themselves. However, they seem to prefer a partner. Each snail has eggs and sperm, seeking to both fertilize another and get fertilized at the same time.The real reason why snails mate for up to three hours, which looks more like a cautious game than a passionate embrace, could be for their health. Researchers feel that snails do not really mind off-loading sperm but are careful about the quality of sperm they receive. Thus, they investigate the situation carefully.If the partner is not desirable, the other might attempt to impregnate it while avoiding the unhealthy snail’s own attempts to do so. The whole dance is wrought with concentration and frustration. The complexities of snail courtship take precedence over everything, even safety. This is why mating snails are often out in the open and oblivious to their own vulnerability.[2]

8 Snails Inside People
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In 2018, an 11-year-old boy played inside a tide pool in California. During this time, he scraped his elbow. His parents made sure that the injury was disinfected and cleaned. However, a week after their trip to the beach, the wound still festered. They took their son to the doctor and explained that there was a tenacious blister that kept growing. The child was otherwise normal and healthy.The medical staff decided to drain the blister, which was red and full of pus. After the abscess was opened, it sprang a tiny surprise on everyone—a minute sea snail. The checkered periwinkle was still alive despite being covered in human flesh and wound ooze for over a week.Luckily, it never nibbled on the boy. Periwinkles are herbivores, and this one survived thanks to its usual habitat. They browse shoreline rocks, and since air is not always good for sea snails, the species can seal off its shell with thick mucus. This prevented the periwinkle from suffocating inside the wound.[3]7Stepfather Snails
Photo credit: Live Science
During a 2012 study, researchers found another great dad in the animal kingdom. The male marine whelk cares for his offspring, while the female leaves after mating and gluing egg sacks to his back. Each capsule contains about 250 eggs. The male must carry dozens of these bags for about a month, during which he loses a lot of weight.However, the whelk is a dedicated dad. The species slithers about in California’s mudflats making sure that the eggs stay hydrated and cool. As if being a single dad is not hard enough, his kids are violent. Upon hatching, the baby snails massacre each other. The few siblings that survive are well-fed.Worse, DNA analysis showed that, on average, a male cares for a mere 24 percent of his own progeny. The rest are fathered by up to 25 other males with which the mother was involved. Researchers believe that the dads accept the burden to show females that they are good parents and thus to earn more mating rights.[4] 6 Mutant Love Drama
Photo credit: BBC
The common garden snail is a familiar sight. Normally, their shells swirl only to the right. A rare genetic mutation must occur for the sides to switch. In 2016, one was found in London and named Jeremy.A year later, scientists wanted to learn more about “lefty” genetics and decided they wanted to have his babies. Since his condition prevented him from a successful mating with normal snails, they had to find another mutant.In 2017, the call went out to find Jeremy a wife-husband. (They are hermaphrodites.) The world’s largest broadcasting organization decided to help. The BBC made the lonely snail’s plight public, and two mates were found. Enter Lefty, donated by a snail enthusiast from Ipswich, and Tomeu, who was spared after a BBC-watching restaurant owner from Catalan noticed one appetizer was a match.With the whole world watching, Jeremy was rejected. The other two got together and made 170 baby snails. At least, shortly before Jeremy died that same year, he managed a fling with Tomeu that produced 56 babies.[5]

5 They Get Kidnapped
Photo credit: Live Science
Antarctic pteropods are tiny, glass-like snails. As they are delicate and live in the vast, dangerous ocean, pteropods have evolved to be highly toxic. This survival strategy comes with an unusual risk of getting kidnapped.At one point, crustaceans called amphipods realized that the snails are so poisonous that predators avoid them. Not only are the amphipods immune to the mollusks’ deadly zap but they also abduct the pteropods to use as shields.The crustaceans use two pairs of legs to keep the snails hostage, wearing the unlucky victims like backpacks. It takes a few snails to build the living armor, but they can cover up to half of the host’s back. This criminal behavior suits the amphipods well because it convinces predators to go look for lunch elsewhere.[6]The snails get a raw deal. Once kidnapped, they cannot feed and eventually starve to death. To add insult to injury, their corpses are often kept by the amphipods that abducted them. 4 Lonely George
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There was once a Hawaiian tree snail that lived an unusual life. Never did this slimy creature sail up a tree in the wilderness because Lonely George was born and raised in the laboratory.His ancestors—the last 10 Achatinella apexfulva—were captured for a breeding program in 1997. The attempt at snail romance was a disaster. For unknown reasons, all the babies died except for one. George lived for 14 years at the University of Hawaii, becoming a local celebrity and doing tours to educate schoolchildren about the environment.George was the last of his kind. The mysterious maladies that wiped out his peers also killed off the original 10 adult snails. Hawaiian tree snails were once so plentiful that 19th-century records describe how Europeans collected 10,000 a day.This harvest was half of the problem that ended up killing the species. At one point, the rosy wolfsnail was brought to Hawaii. The idea was to use this foreign species to eat another invasive snail, the African land snail. Except the rosy wildly feasted on native species, too. George died in 2019.[7] 3 The Pink Slug
Photo credit: National Geographic
Australia is home to some of the strangest species on Earth. This fact echoed in the recent discovery of a new slug. The species (Triboniophorus aff. graeffei) is big and neon pink.Measuring 20 centimeters (8 in) long, it crawls along a single mountaintop. For a long time, scientists knew the creatures were on Mount Kaputar but thought they belonged to the red triangle variety. The latter is a common sight along Australia’s east coast. A new study identified the separate species as one that evolved on Kaputar.The slugs often live among red eucalyptus leaves, a clue as to why they turn hot pink. But camouflage does not explain why the slugs spend a lot of time out in the open. Their unusual shade might be an evolutionary quirk.Mount Kaputar was an isolated oasis in a desert for millions of years, and such havens can produce odd creatures. Apart from giant pink slugs, the mountain also spawned unique species like the Kaputar cannibal snail and the Kaputar hairy snail.[8] 2 Solar-Powered Slugs
Photo credit: National Geographic
As the name suggests, Elysia chlorotica is stuffed with chloroplasts. This allows the sea slugs to do something amazing—they photosynthesize like plants. Similar to plants, the slugs are green and leaf-shaped.Found off the United States’ East Coast, this ability does not come naturally. They poach the chloroplasts from algae. After absorbing enough, they do not eat for more than nine months. They merely bask in the sun and make their own sustenance.It remains unclear how the chloroplasts live so long and remain unharmed by the slug’s gut or immune system. In turn, the slug mysteriously survives deadly amounts of free oxygen radicals produced by photosynthesis.[9]How do the plant parts and the animal parts even interact?Only a thorough analysis could clarify the symbiosis. Unfortunately, this unique animal-plant hybrid is almost impossible to find in the wild and does not live long in the laboratory. 1 Future Spies
Photo credit: Live Science
Snails do not care for human politics. But the intelligence community cares about snails. The research arm of the United States military (DARPA) wants mollusks as batteries and listening devices.In 2012, a project successfully turned a snail into a living battery. The experiment used the animal’s blood sugar to recharge a battery-like implant, which generated a sustainable amount of energy for months.Although the snail equals just below the charge of an AAA battery, researchers have big dreams. They plan on tweaking the technology-biology link until snails can generate enough power to run microelectronics. This would allow the creatures to slide up and down enemy walls as living sensors and detectors. They could even get saddled with miniature cameras.[10]Although turning snails into cyborgs sounds weird and hurtful, the mollusks live close to normal lives. The success of their energy capacity depends on resting and eating during which glucose levels recharge the battery.
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