Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ashton Kutcher steals photo of snow monkey using iPhone

Snow monkey steals iPhone and updates Facebook page.
A nature photographer was taking photos of the famous snow monkeys of Jigokudani Monkey Park in Japan when a tourist had her iPhone stolen by a snow monkey, which retreated to the middle of a hot spring.

Photographer Marsel van Oosten of The Netherlands took a photo of the snow monkey holding the iPhone like a human and entitled it “Facebook Update.” The photo went viral. Everybody loved it. Even actor Ashton Kutcher.

Ashton Kutcher steals photo, claims it as own.
Ashton Kutcher, who has a huge social media following, loved the photo so much, he posted it on Facebook and claimed it as his own.

Van Oosten wrote on Facebook that Kutcher posted a filtered version of the snow monkey, telling GrindTV Outdoor that Ashton Kutcher removed his watermark and replaced it with a tiny watermark that says aplusk, Kutcher’s screen name on Twitter and Instagram. It’s very tiny, but you can see it in the shadow of the snow monkey at the bottom in the above link. 

“I sent him two emails about this, but he never bothered to answer,” van Oosten told GrindTV. “It is a sad example of how easy people steal images from the Internet as if it’s the most normal thing to do. Ironically, Kutcher is part of the Hollywood clan that gets so worked up about people illegally downloading movies and TV series. It is mind boggling to see that Kutcher doesn’t realize he’s basically doing exactly the same thing himself: stealing copyrighted material, and to make matters worse, claiming it as his.”

A quick look at Ashton Kutcher’s Facebook page revealed that the actor must have finally gotten the message, because the photo was taken down without explanation or apology.  

The snow monkey photo is getting a lot of attention lately, but not all because actor Ashton Kutcher stole the photo and claimed it as his own. No, the photo is among the 50 finalists for the People’s Choice Award in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition by The Natural History Museum of London. Public online voting is open until September 5. The snow monkey has to be a favorite.

The least Ashton Kutcher could do now is vote for the photo.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Mayflies show up as rain clouds on National Weather Service radar

In La Crosse, Wisconsin, a week ago Sunday, radar from the National Weather Service detected what appeared to be a huge rain cloud developing along the Mississippi River, only it wasn’t a rain cloud at all. It was a cloud of mayflies.

A giant mayfly swarm emerged from the water and became airborne, producing on radar what the NWS described as echo values similar to that of light-to-moderate rain.

With a general south-to-north wind flow above the surface, the mayflies quickly moved north once in the air. As the flies dispersed moving north-northeast, they also gained altitude with some of the echo being detected as far north as Black River Falls and as high as 2,500 feet above ground.
The Minneapolis StarTribune reported that the natural phenomenon called to mind a biblical plague or an Alfred Hitchcock film. It’s definitely eerie.

Mayflies cover a gas station making it difficult to pump gas.

The mayflies started to appear on radar around 8:45 p.m. Sunday, July 20, and began invading La Crosse, La Crescent, Stoddard, and other locales up and down the river in massive numbers, as seen in the accompanying photos provided by the NWS.

The mayfly swarm is said to be an annual occurrence and a good sign for the health of the river, but this year’s event is reportedly much bigger than normal.

The NWS called it a massive mayfly emergence similar to the event that occurred on June 23, 2012, when snowplows were used to remove the mayflies from the roads.

The StarTribune reported that the mayflies produced slimy roadways and was blamed for a three-car accident near Red Wing, Minnesota.

More from the NWS:
While the emergence of mayflies from their river bottom mud dwelling can occur at various times through the warm season depending on the species, this particular emergence was that of the larger black/brown Bilineata species. The radar loop below shows the reflected radar energy (reflectivity) from 835 pm to just after midnight. The higher the values (greens to yellows) indicate greater concentrations of flies. Note how the swarm is carried northward over time.

We’re pretty sure the local residents would have preferred it to be rain.

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Wenzhu River in China turns blood-red overnight

Wenzhou River in China turns blood-red overnight. 

Residents in Wenzhou, China, were shocked last Thursday morning when they awoke and discovered the inner city waterway had mysteriously turned blood-red overnight.

Local villagers told the China Daily that the river looked normal at around 4 a.m., but started to turn red around 6 a.m. and flowed blood-red until returning to normal around 5 p.m.

No chemical plants are up river, so any kind of environmental accident was ruled out. Officials from the Wenzhou Environmental Protection Bureau collected samples and were to analyze the cause of the incident.

One villager who has lived his entire life in this town in East China’s Zhejian Providence said this has never happened before.

“The river’s color was normal yesterday,” a resident told Shanghai-ist. “It’s really scary to see the clear river turned into blood water in only a night.”

Some speculated that it was a sign out of Revelation in the Bible and that it was the beginning of the Apocalypse, though an official with the WEPB offered a perfectly logical explanation.

“We suspect that somebody dumped artificial coloring in the water because he thought the typhoon yesterday would cause heavy rain, and nobody would notice [the color],” Jianfeng Xiao of the WEPB told the ChinaNews. “It turned out there wasn’t heavy rainfall yesterday, so the evidence is left behind.”

Xiao added that there is a food coloring company along the river. 

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Grizzly bear eating GoPro camera produces rare footage


Rare footage captured while grizzly bear attempts to eat a GoPro camera


When a grizzly bear approached his brand-new GoPro camera on an Alaskan river and began eating it, wildlife photographer Chris Weston was excited for the potential rare footage but concerned whether he’d ever see it.

“I was crossing my fingers and anything else I could cross in the hope that the camera was still recording,” Weston told CatersNews Agency in a story released Wednesday. “It then occurred to me that there was a good chance I wasn’t going to get the camera back.

“I have had experience of a bear ‘eating’ a camera hard-case I was testing once, so I knew how much damage a bear could cause to even tough plastic. But the camera was completely unmarked except for one small mark on the plastic cover, so I was astonished that it was not only undamaged but also still happily recording away.”

And what the GoPro camera recorded was amazing: Rare footage of the bear’s teeth from inside its mouth. Here is the video recorded that day on the Katmai Peninsula:


Weston had purchased the $500 GoPro camera to help film a documentary on wildlife in the U.S., and was there with fellow photographer Monique Brignoni, among others.

He had placed the camera in shallow water to record footage of bears chasing salmon, but this bear became intrigued by the GoPro, possibly because of the flashing recording light.

“When we viewed the footage back on the boat, the entire crew, who had experience with working with the BBC, were whooping and hollering with amazement,” Weston said. “Working with bears over many years, I have had many close encounters but never something quite as ‘up close and personal’ as this.

“In terms of excitement and anticipation of seeing the results, this was up there with the best.”

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Great white shark attack captured on video deemed a fake

Fake shark video creates a stir online and now has 24.5 million views on YouTube

Originally posted at GrindTV Outdoor 
Australian Terry Tufferson strapped a GoPro camera to his head, walked out onto Manly’s Jump Rock in Sydney Harbour, and jumped into the water. This we know is true.
What happened next has created a great debate across streams of social media that has most people calling it “fake,” some people calling it real, and some people calling all the constant posts about it annoying.
What happened next is Tufferson surfaced and heard a buddy call out, “Shark! Shark! Behind you.” Then Tufferson submerged under the water and came face to face with a great white shark, prompting an underwater scream. The great white shark swam by again and Tufferson kicked out at the shark, or allegedly does so.
Here’s the video, see what you think:

The great white shark attack video was posted in mid-June and now has more than 24.5 million views.

The Marine Conservation Science Institute, a well respected site, was so inundated by inquiries it felt the need to comment about the fake great white shark video on its Facebook page soon after it was posted: 
“We’ve had a lot of you sending us this YouTube clip and asking if we’ve seen it. Yes, we saw it 2 days ago and did not post because it is FAKE! But in the interest of reducing our inbox flow … here it is … a stupid, but clever editing job.”
Clever indeed. So clever it prompted Richard Farr, the owner of Digital Video Experts in Sydney, to tell the Manly Daily (via the Daily Telegraph), “Unless I see the original footage I can’t say for sure, but I think it is real. If it turns out to be a fake, then this person has done an outstanding job.”
But commenters point out the first shark seen in the video is quite different than the second great white shark, yet Tufferson calls his video “Man fights off great white shark in Sydney Harbour.” Shark not sharks.
Others mention the sudden change in water color, and yet others say how the shark “seems to teleport from the middle of the video to the lower left corner.”
That magical moment occurs at the 59-second mark.
So, the great white shark attack video: real or fake? As one commenter said, “A good fake.”
OK, can we all move on now?
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Monday, July 7, 2014

Great white shark eats GoPro cameras worth $5,000

Great white shark eats a GoPro cameras


A diver in a shark cage attempting to get stunning underwater footage used a camera pole to place a GoPro camera in front of an approaching great white shark, which proceeded to bite the camera and dislodge it from the camera pole as if plucking an hors d’oeuvre off a toothpick.
The 18-foot great white shark then spit out the camera, all to the dismay of the diver, as the camera was no ordinary camera. It was a 360Heros camera that captures revolutionary 360-degree video with six GoPro cameras and special underwater scuba domes. It was being used to take the first 360-degree video of sharks.
The startup company, 360Heros, posted video of the incident for the first time last week, hoping to capitalize on its misfortune. You might want to watch in mute, however, unless you prefer the music to “Jaws” while watching an expensive GoPro camera unit—with an estimated value of over $5,000—descend to a watery grave:
The videographer in the video is Andy Casagrande IV, who was tasked with capturing extraordinary underwater video for use during Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week.”
It took a while before Casagrande emailed 360Heros CEO and founder Michael Kintner about what happened:
“Mike, I unfortunately have very bad news. A picture says a thousand words—see attached. I can’t believe it, but the worst possible scenario happened yesterday. I only just now built up the courage to tell you, but while shooting with the 360 rig, after shooting awesome topside and behind the scenes 360, I took the rig underwater and after an hour of getting awesome footage, I pushed the envelope too far and an aggressive white shark bit and literally ate the 360—completely—all 6 cameras in one bite.”
All the camera gear, SD cards, and historic footage sank to the bottom of the ocean off New Zealand.
Along with posting the video, Kintner posted a $5,000 reward for the person who retrieves the lost camera rig and its stunning footage, or what we assume to be stunning footage.
Kintner told Right this Minute that the diver wasn’t able to fetch the camera himself because another great white shark was playing with the camera below the cage farther down. Kintner also said they learned they need to make the unit buoyant so it would float next time, and to remember putting on a safety cable.
Asked the chances of someone retrieving the GoPro cameras, Kintner said, “Probably 2 percent. The water was pretty deep.”
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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Elephant takes world’s first elephant selfie at a safari park

Elephant takes the world's first elephant selfie

An elephant at the West Midlands Safari Park in Worcester, U.K., has apparently taken the world’s first elephant selfie. Yes, an elephant took a photo of itself.

How did it happen?

Safari park visitor Scott Brierley kicked off this summer by taking selfies while driving through the elephant enclosure, according to the U.K. MailOnline. You can see the selfie he took with the elephant below. Unfortunately, he dropped his iPhone while in the elephant enclosure and keepers instructed him to remain in his car and keep moving.

So he left his iPhone behind.

Later, a staff member retrieved the phone and returned it to Brierley, who got the shock of his life when he looked at his photos. There, a close-up photo of Latabe, a 22-year-old African elephant, stared back at him.

“The elephant was all over it [the phone],” Brierley explained to the U.K. MailOnline. “I think he thought it was food…I really couldn’t believe when the iPhone came back, I pressed the center button to check it was still working and wow, there it was. Me and my friend were in shock.”

The elephant actually took two selfies, though only the one you see here turned out.

“Lots of people have dropped their phones at our park, but I've never seen anything like this,” Andy Plumb, headkeeper, told MailOnline. “What a picture. We’re very proud of Latabe.”

So there you go, the world’s first elephant selfie. Or as the MailOnline called it, an elphie.

Scott Brierley took a selfie with an elephant,
which later took the world's first elephant selfie
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Friday, June 20, 2014

Great white shark bites expensive camera like an appetizer

Great white shark bites expensive camera.

A diver in a shark cage attempting to get stunning underwater footage used a camera pole to place a camera in front of an approaching great white shark, which proceeded to bite the camera and dislodge it from the camera pole as if plucking an hors d'oeuvre off a toothpick.

The 18-foot great white shark then spit out the camera, all to the dismay of the diver, as the camera was no ordinary camera. It was a 360Heros camera that captures revolutionary 360-degree video with six GoPro cameras and special underwater scuba domes. It was being used to take the first 360-degree video of sharks.

The startup company, 360Heros, posted video of the incident for the first time last week. You might want to watch in mute, however, unless you prefer the music to “Jaws” while watching an expensive camera unit—with an estimated value at over $5,000--descend to a watery grave:


The videographer in the video is Andy Casagrande IV, who was tasked with capturing extraordinary underwater video for use during Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week.”

It took a while before Casagrande emailed 360Heros CEO and founder Michael Kintner about what happened:
“Mike, I unfortunately have very bad news. A picture says a thousand words–see attached. I can’t believe it, but the worst possible scenario happened yesterday. I only just now built up the courage to tell you, but while shooting with the 360 rig, after shooting awesome topside and behind the scenes 360, I took the rig underwater and after an hour of getting awesome footage, I pushed the envelope too far and an aggressive white shark bit and literally ate the 360– completely–all 6 cameras in one bite.”
All the camera gear, SD cards, and historic footage sank to the bottom of the ocean off New Zealand.
Along with posting the video, Kintner posted a $5,000 reward for the person who retrieves the lost camera rig and its stunning footage, or what we assume to be stunning footage.

Kintner told Right this Minute that the diver wasn’t able to fetch the camera himself because another great white shark was playing with the camera below the cage farther down. Kintner also said they learned they need to make the unit buoyant so it would float next time, and to remember putting on a safety cable.

Asked the chances of someone retrieving the camera, Kintner said, “Probably 2 percent. The water was pretty deep.”

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