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The Spill: Who Drew the Lines?

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The Nazca Lines: Why Are They There?

The Nazca lines is a Unesco World Heritage site in Peru that dates back about 2,000 years. Recently, another portion, an even older design, was discovered. This one is in the shape of a cat. So, why has it not been seen before now? “The figure was scarcely visible and was about to disappear because it’s situated on quite a steep slope that’s prone to the effects of natural erosion,” said Peru’s culture ministry in a statement. Plans had been made to create a new path that would lead to an observation platform that would have given viewers a vantage point to see the other geoglyphs in the area and the work exposed the latest design discovery.

The geoglyphs are made up of more than 800 straight lines, 70 animal and plant designs, and 300 geometric figures. Some of the straight lines are 30 miles long while some of the plants and animals range between 50 to 1,200 feet in length.

Scientists think that most of the line designs were made around A.D. 1 to 700 by the Nasca people of the area. The cat, however, predates this era according to Peru’s chief archaeologist for the Nazca lines, Johny Isla. He said the feline was from the late Paracas era, around 500 B.C. to A.D. 200. “We know that from comparing iconographies,” he said. “Paracas textiles, for example, show birds, cats and people that are easily comparable to these geoglyphs.”

The reason for the lines is still debated today. No one knows for sure the purpose, but there are many theories. American professor Paul Kosok, for example, said the 310 mile stretch of the desert was “the largest astronomy book in the world.” On June 22, 1941, one day after the summer solstice, he noticed the sunset was in direct alignment with the line he had been studying. Others have suggested it was a place to have rituals to try and summon water, and there are still some who suggest the lines were put there by aliens. Whatever the reason, it is amazing that something designed so long ago in the earth is still visible today, even if we never discover its original purpose.

Biden Family Secrets Revealed?

There has been a lot of commotion in the news and across the internet regarding Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. The son had been hired to work for the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma Holdings. Despite not having the education or credentials for such a position, Hunter was earning about $50,000 a month, which drew a lot of questions about how he was able to get such a position. Joe Biden repeatedly denied knowing anything about his son’s dealings in other countries.

Joe and Hunter Biden

But recently a laptop reportedly belonging to Hunter was discovered at a repair shop after it was left behind without the services being paid for. Recovered emails and other documents found on the computer have raised even more questions as to the former vice president’s claim of ignorance to his son’s Burisma dealings. An email from Vadym Pozharskyi, an executive with Burisma, from April 17, 2015 to Hunter reads, “Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.”

After this story broke, social media giants Twitter and Facebook worked to prevent it from reaching many of their users. This has further flamed the fight against censorship, especially against conservatives.

Keeping Florida’s Flying Squirrels Safe

Thousands of flying squirrels in Florida were trapped and sold to parts of Asia over the past few years, but at least seven people have been charged in the crime. These small creatures are captured and sold on an international level, and Florida has been the latest location to capture the poachers.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said that over the past three years, poachers had set nearly 10,000 traps for the flying squirrels and had captured as many as 3,600 of the little creatures.

A concerned citizen first reported to local authorities the illegal trapping of the squirrels, which launched further investigation and led to this discovery. “Wildlife conservation laws protect Florida’s precious natural resources from abuse,” said Major Grant Burton from the wildlife commission. “These poachers could have severely damaged Florida’s wildlife populations.”

Flying squirrels can’t really fly, not like a bird. Instead, they glide from one tree branch to another, both to find food and escape predators. They can soar anywhere from 150 to 500 feet and can use their arms to change directions while their fluffy tails can help them slow their momentum. Their ability to glide for such a distance is provided by the patagium, a furry membrane that connects from their wrists to their ankles. This parachute spreads out and forms a square, acting like a hang glider.

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