Recently in Notable Category

Bald Eagles Flock to Mississippi River

The National Park Service reports a 25% increase in eagle aeries along the Mississippi River, according to an article in The Star Tribune.

Seven new aeries have been spotted along the river between Dayton & Hastings. Ramsey County Parks officials attribute the rise in bald eagle population to the effectiveness of the 1972 Clean Water Act.

The Clean Water Act has improved the Mississippi River's fisheries, allowing eagle parents to provide more for their young.

Eagle aeries have been sighted closer and closer to urban areas. One is near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport, another along Interstate 694 near Fridley.

TBS takes up Conan's standard

After a standoff that has lasted months, late-night TV host Conan O'Brien has signed a contract with TBS, according to a report from The Chicago Tribune.

Up until Monday, rumors circulated that Conan intended to sign with Fox. But after 70 hours of negotiations, reported NPR, Conan finally signed on for an 11 p.m. ET slot with an encore presentation at 2 a.m.

The Tribune said Conan received an encouraging call from fellow comedian George Lopez to join him on TBS. The station hopes that the younger audiences that this power duo can draw will help boost ratings.

iPad Apps the New Gold Rush for Developers

In light of Apple's much anticipated release of the iPad Saturday, application developers have been scrambling to create profitable apps that play up the new tech's capabilities, according to an article in The New York Times.

Apple wanted its App Store to contain 1,000 applications for the sleek new iPad for the device's opening sales. But that required of many code writers and developers to boldly go where no app developer had gone before--converting iPhone and iTouch apps to fit iPad's improved capabilities and to create new applications that are even better than their original bestsellers.

The San Francisco Chronicle
reported that of the 1,000 different developers Apple asked to create the first wave of iPad apps, only a handful actually received a real iPad to test their applications on. Many had to create their applications on an iPad simulator on a laptop and waited until Satuday when they could purchase their own iPad to see if their apps actually worked.

The iPad has met the public with mixed reviews. Some bloggers from the NY Times hoped for greater capacity and range of tasks for the iPad while others appreciate the device's innovation. Either way, Apple is certainly raking in the chips.

Prehistoric Showdown Captured in Fossils

Scientists discovered a rare fossil formation in India that depicts a prehistoric snake attacking a dinosaur hatchling, NPR reported Tuesday.

The fossil is about 67 million years old and gives scientists a glimpse of this particular snake species's (called Sanajeh indicus) behavior. The area in which the fossil was found was a popular place for sauropod dinosaurs, which are a kind of long-necked gargantuan herbivores.

But when these gentle giants are newly hatched, they are the perfect meal for a waiting 12 ft. snake.

Jeffrey Wilson, a professor at the University of Michigan, is credited with the fantastic discovery, said the AP. Scientists have found several sauropod nests near the dig site, and even some with Sanajeh indicus fossils nearby. But never with such an intricate interaction.

"I saw the characteristic vertebral locking mechanism of snakes alongside dinosaur eggshell and larger bones, and I knew it was an extraordinary specimen," Wilson told the AP.

Scientists predict that this snake-dinosaur interaction was preserved in fossil form due to an instantaneous mudslide or volcanic incident, though this fact is not entirely clear.

Olympics Close, U.S. win most medals, Canada most gold

The XXI Winter Olympic games came to a close Sunday evening with a touching Closing Ceremony, as seen on NBC.

Unlike the Opening Ceremony, all four of the spires to the cauldron rose for the occasion. The fourth and previously faulty one was helped into place by the playful performance of a mime with a tool belt, much to the audience's delight, reported CNN.

The Games ended with the final match for hockey between Canada and the U.S. that ended in overtime. The Canadian team won three to two for the gold.

The U.S. ended up on top in the medal count. And contrary to their previous performances during home-game Olympics, Canada won the most gold.

Also of note during the XXI Games is how more countries achieved medals this year than in any games past, a fact that the IOC was very proud of. Although satirical coverage from comedian Stephen Colbert during the second week of the Games touted American skill and fierce competition.

Endeavor shuttle mission a success

The NASA space shuttle Endeavor returned safely to Earth Sunday, despite worries that stormy weather would prevent the landing, according to a blog post from FOX news.

The shuttle began its deorbit burn around 8:15 p.m. CST and landed back in Cape Canaveral near 9:30 p.m. CST.

Endeavor was carrying six astronauts and the node Tranquility destined for the International Space Station. The astronauts installed Tranquility over two weeks time. It is now serving the ISS as a gym, restroom, and base for life support equipment, said an article in The Chicago Tribune.

The mission was a great success with very few incidents. Astronauts like commander George Zamka said that it was great to be home.

The new high-speed: Google Buzz

The future is here as evidenced as Internet giant Google announced Wednesday that they will become an Internet Service Provider (ISP) offering download speeds 100 times faster than in the average American home, reported The Washington Post.

The ISP announcement came alongside Google's introduction of its new app Google Buzz, a faster way to share multimedia content through Google's e-mail provider Gmail, said NPR's blogger Wright Bryan.

Google plans to lay their version of Internet fiber optic cables in a few select communities. Google also announced that they will allow other ISPs to use their cable, but for a price, reported MPR.

The Seattle Times
announced that Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has already offered his city as a test community for Googles new higher-speed cable.

These new advancements prove Google's juggernaut status. After the introduction of Googles new smartphones and Google Voice, it seems nothing can stop their progress.

Author Salinger dies at the age of 91

CNN reported Thursday that J.D. Salinger, author of such works as "The Catcher in the Rye" and "Nine Stories," died Wednesday evening at the age of 91 of natural causes.

A statement released Thursday by Salinger's family and his literary agent Phyllis Westberg said that Salinger's health "had been excellent until a rather sudden decline after the new year." He reportedly did not suffer at the time of his death.

In recent years, Salinger had become a legend as a result of his constant quest for seclusion. According to his obituary in The New York Times, Salinger escaped the public eye to a 90-acre compound in New Hampshire shortly after the publication of "Catcher."

The New York Times relates Salinger's hermetic life to the fruition of the main character Holden's fantasies at the end of "Catcher." But due to the popularity and great meaning that Salinger's works have held for readers over the past 40 years, peace was never completely granted to the famous author.

In 1986, a suit over the publication of an unauthorized collection of short stories brought Salinger's case all the way to the Supreme Court. Then later, in both 1998 and 2000, Salinger's one-time lover Joyce Maynard and then Salinger's daughter Margaret published scathing biographies about their lives with the reclusive writer--pointing out the author's bizarre habits, diets, and obsessions.

At the same time, however, The New York Times portrays Salinger's life as long and colorful. He is regarded as one of the great American authors and extremely influential in the literary world.

Salinger is survived by his fourth wife Colleen O'Neill, his two children Margaret and Matthew, and three grandsons.

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