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11/14/2014
Practitioner's Workshop - Collaboration Works! Facilitation Skills for Product Managers

11/18/2014
Best of Boston -- Product Management & Marketing

Social Media: Mashable

Ford's Upcoming Vehicles Will Automatically Brake to Avoid CollisionOpen in a New Window

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The Ford Motor Company is joining an ever-growing list of car companies adding automated-driving features to their vehicles.

In a press release, Ford introduced on Thursday "pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection" technology. The system scans the road ahead using a windshield-mounted camera and radar system, and compares what it sees to “a database of pedestrian shapes to help distinguish people from typical roadside scenery and objects,” the company claims.

If the system detects a pedestrian in front of the vehicle, and determines that a collision is likely, it alerts the driver. If the driver doesn’t respond to the alert, the system goes one step further. First, it improves brake responsiveness by reducing the gap between brake pads and discs. Then, the vehicle slows down, and applies the brakes automatically. Read more...

More about Ford, Tech, and Gadgets

 

Workout Apps to Help You Burn Off Your Baby Weight During NaptimeOpen in a New Window

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Baby No.3 came along last fall and along with her beautiful arrival came the post-baby body that results from carrying another human being for nine months. Let’s just say that hard body is not what I’d use to describe that state. I wanted to return to my morning exercise routine, but a major hurdle was finding the time.

Even though babies sleep a lot, it’s amazing how little time you have to get things done. On top of that, my two older kids require things like food and interaction, so any extra free time is further curtailed, leaving me a small window to work out. With a husband who frequently travels, a full-time job and three kids, I needed something that I could do at home, but that would also provide enough of a physical challenge to feel like I actually get a good workout. Read more...

More about Apps, Fitness, Parenting, Tech, and Baby

 

Rwanda Cancels Ebola Screenings for U.S. and SpainOpen in a New Window

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Rwanda's minister of health is reversing a decision she made to require visitors who had been in the U.S. or Spain during the previous 22 days to report their medical condition to Rwandan authorities daily in case they showed Ebola symptoms.

Dr. Agnes Binagwaho said on Twitter late Wednesday that the decision to screen travelers from the U.S. and Spain was solely her decision and not the government's. She apologized for any inconvenience.

The MOH #Rwanda is removing special screening of travelers from US &Spain. apologies for any inconveniences caused by my decision...

— Agnes Binagwaho (@agnesbinagwaho) October 22, 2014 Read more...

More about Travel, Us World, Us, World, and Ebola

 

Scary Ghost Stories Are Even Creepier When They're About Bill MurrayOpen in a New Window

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Everyone loves a good ghost story, but add Bill Murray into the mix and prepare to freak out.

A group of friends share their creepiest campfire stories about Bill Murray. Besides appearing as quirky characters in Wes Anderson films he amuses himself by crashing random bachelor parties or popping up in people's engagement photos. What else is this eccentric Hollywood legend capable of?

Go ahead. Tell the taleNo one will ever believe you.

More about Viral Videos, Videos, Humor, Halloween, and Funny

 

Ello Says Hello to $5.5 Million, Legally Vows to Not to AdvertiseOpen in a New Window

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Ello, the fledgling social network that has vowed not to run advertising, doubled down on that sentiment on Thursday by making itself a Public Benefit Corporation and putting the sentiment in its charter.

A PBC's charter can't be changed even if the company is bought and investors can't force the company to do something that goes against its charter. "It says that the co. exists for public benefit," says Paul Budnitz, CEO and co-founder of Ello. "No investor could ever force us to do those things." Other well-known PBCs include Patagonia, Warby Parker and King Arthur Flour

More about Business and Ello

 

Sony Xperia Z3v: The Waterproof Smartphone That Does It AllOpen in a New Window

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Quick: When was the last time you saw a Sony-made Android smartphone stocked by U.S. carriers? Having trouble recalling it? You're not alone.

Sony’s Android smartphones are quite popular in Asia and Europe, but they’ve never received any real love in the U.S. Despite the Xperia Z series phones receiving high praise, most carriers didn’t sell them because Sony smartphones lacked cachet with the American public.

That changes today with the arrival of the Xperia Z3v, a variant of the Z3, as a Verizon exclusive. The rechristened Xperia Z3v has a tweaked design and a few nice (and not so nice) extra features that the international model doesn’t have. But is it enough to rumble with this year's flagships like the iPhone 6 and Galaxy Note 4? Read more...

More about Android, Reviews, Sony, Xperia, and Tech

 

Walk the Moon Names the 10 Best Music Videos of the '80sOpen in a New Window

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Welcome to Throwback Tunesday, where Mashable amplifies the echoes of music past. With genre trends and throwbacks, we synthesize music and nostalgia.

Synth, neon aplenty, the occasional keytar ... at first glance, upbeat pop rockers Walk the Moon appear to be straight out of the '80s. The '80s influence extends beyond first impression, especially when it comes to the band's music videos. The 2012 video for viral 2011 single "Anna Sun," which has racking up over 9.6 million views on YouTube, featured a flash dance mob outfitted in headbands, leggings and leg warmers

More about Music, Music Videos, 80s, Playlists, and Entertainment

 

Cree Unveils Cheaper, More Efficient LED LightingOpen in a New Window

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LED lighting is about to get a whole lot better.

In case you haven’t heard, the clock is ticking on incandescent lighting technology. The U.S. is no longer importing or manufacturing traditional light bulbs and most stores are busy selling out remaining stock piles. Many people have switched to fluorescent lighting, though questions about disposing the trace amounts of mercury in them have raised some concerns.

A likely champion is LED lighting. A standard 60-watt-style bulb from Cree Inc. consumes just 9.5 watts and can last for 25 years. Unlike an incandescent, which typically burns out after roughly 1,000 hours, an LED will continue to work after its rated time, though it may start to dim. So far, we haven’t had LED lighting in homes long enough to test these claims. Read more...

More about Led Light, Tech, Gadgets, Mobile, and Led Lights

 

Christian Bale Will Play Steve Jobs in Upcoming BiopicOpen in a New Window

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Actor Christian Bale will play Steve Jobs in Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin's upcoming biopic, Sorkin confirmed on Thursday.

Speaking with Bloomberg, Sorkin — who is known for penning the Academy Award-winning script for The Social Network, which chronicled the rise of Facebook — said Bale got the part without an audition

“We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range and that’s Chris Bale,” Sorkin told Bloomberg Television’s Emily Chang on a coming edition of Studio 1.0. “He didn’t have to audition. Well, there was a meeting.”

The film, which is based on Walter Isaacson's 2011 bio, will begin shooting in a few months, Sorkin said, adding that it will be a challenging role. “He has more words to say in this movie than most people have in three movies combined,” Sorkin said. “There isn’t a scene or a frame that he’s not in. So it’s an extremely difficult part and he is gonna crush it.” Read more...

More about Steve Jobs, Aaron Sorkin, Christian Bale, Entertainment, and Film

 

Canada's Front Pages This MorningOpen in a New Window

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"We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said just hours after a gunman opened fire near the Canadian parliament buildings in Ottawa on Wednesday, killing a soldier

The morning after what Harper called Canada's second terrorist attack in three days, Canadians woke up to these front pages

Calgary-Sun

Image: The Calgary Sun, Newseum

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Image: The Globe and Mail, Newseum

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Image: National Post, Newseum

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Image: Ottawat Citizen, Newseum

The-Province

Image: The Province, Newseum

The-Star-Phoenix

Image: The Star Phoenix, Newseum

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Image: Times Colonist, Newseum

Today

Image: Today, Newseum

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Image: Toronto Metro, Newseum Read more...

More about Newspapers, Canada, Media, Us World, and World

 

The Midterm Elections Are Worth Your Attention. Here's WhyOpen in a New Window

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Voter turnout during midterm elections tends to fall by roughly 15% compared with presidential elections, a huge drop-off. That's partly understandable. Midterms don't resonate with Americans as much as presidential elections because it's harder to feel that everyone has something at stake, and midterm elections don't usually offer the ability to cast ballots for something that will clearly effect the whole country

Except, of course, when they do, as is the case in 2014. Americans across the country will vote for 36 senators, 36 governors and a bunch of policies, but everyone will have their eyes on who wins each race for Senate, as Republicans have a good chance of wresting control of that house of Congress from the Democrats. Read more...

More about Democrat, Republican, Senate, Elections, and Midterm

 

New Mummy Scans Suggest Misdiagnosis of PharaohsOpen in a New Window

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The royalty of ancient Egypt suffered from an age-related back disorder, according to a new body scan of the mummies of pharaohs.

The new research clears up a long-standing mummy misdiagnosis, which held that some rulers who lived between about 1492 B.C. and 1153 B.C. had a painful inflammatory disorder called ankylosing spondylitis. This disease would have fused their vertebrae together starting from an early age.

"We are now questioning the reality that ankylosing spondylitis is actually an ancient disease," said study researcher Sahar Saleem of the Kasr Al Ainy Faculty of Medicine in Cairo. Whether it is an ancient disease or not, the altered diagnosis suggests that famed pharaohs, including Ramesses the Great, did not live out their final years in great pain. Instead, their disorder was likely asymptomatic, Saleem told Live Science Read more...

More about Us World, World, Mummies, Ancient Egypt, and History

 

The Nostalgic Evolution of the Nokia PhoneOpen in a New Window

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The indestructible Nokia phone is no more

Microsoft, which bought the company's mobile division this past April, has announced it will no longer use the name for future devices. Instead, its Nokia Lumia smartphones will simply be called Microsoft Lumia moving forward.

Nokia, best known for its sturdy hardware and early innovation in the mobile market, has had a long history in the cellular spotlight. From dominating the mobile market in the late '90s to partnering with Microsoft in 2011 for the Windows operating system, the company has seen a couple generations of ups and downs

Here are 11 signature phones from Nokia's decades-long history Read more...

More about Mobile, Microsoft, Features, Nokia, and History

 

3 Signs an Employee Is Headed for the Door - And What to Do NextOpen in a New Window

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When I first started out as a manager, if you’d asked me what one tool I’d wish for to better manage my team, I’d have told you more headcount, or maybe better access to executives. Ask me a few years later, and hands down, that item would be a crystal ball.

After one of my best employees handed me his two weeks’ notice several years ago, I asked myself if I could’ve seen it coming. Were there warning signs? Could I have prevented him from leaving if I’d seen those signs? While I’ll probably never know, the experience did prompt me to pay closer attention to my employees’ habits and behaviors. And, when the inevitable resignation letter landed on my desk, I tried to trace a pattern. Read more...

More about Management, Business, Jobs, and Office Culture

 

20 Fun Halloween Costumes for You and Your BFFOpen in a New Window

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The beauty of the BFF costume stems from the supremely chill nature of the relationship with your best friend. It's lower pressure than a cute couples costume and way more fun than a solo outfit

Plus, consider your options: Bill and Ted, Daria and Jane, Bunsen and Beaker— who better to imitate the greatest pairs in BFF history than you and your BFF this Halloween?

But if you and your best pal are having trouble picking a pair, we've got you covered. Check out 20 BFF costumes sure to turn a few heads.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments. Read more...

More about List, Pics, Lists, Halloween, and Costumes

 

Will an Unlimited Vacation Policy Work at Your Company?Open in a New Window

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In a recent interview, Richard Branson, founder of The Virgin Group, announced a vacation “non-policy” that allows his personal staff — some 170 employees — to take as much vacation as they want, with no one keeping tabs. At ShortStack we have a similar vacation benefit, only we call it “take what you need.”

Branson and I are in a serious minority: Only about 3% of businesses in the United States currently offer unlimited vacation, although some of the bigger players in the tech sector are hopping on the bandwagon, including Netflix, Zynga, Groupon, HubSpot, and Evernote.

Branson says his policy is more humane than parsing out days off. And it is. Read more...

More about Benefits, Business, Startups, Work Play, and Unlimited Vacations

 

5 Unbelievable Ocean Mysteries We Still Haven't SolvedOpen in a New Window

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Mermaids may not exist, but the ocean is still full of mysteries

Those large, beautiful bodies of water are home to an infinite number of strange creatures and bewildering phenomena. The average ocean depth is 14,000 feet deep — that leaves a lot of room for the mysterious, the mythical and everything in between.

"The ocean is 95% unexplored, unknown, unseen by human eyes," Fred Gorell, the head of public affairs at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Ocean Exploration and Research division, tells Mashable in an interview. "Every time we go off on an expedition, we see something new, or something believed to be new." Read more...

More about Features, Ocean, Us World, Us, and World

 

5,000 Carved Pumpkins Twinkle at Rise of the Jack-o'-LanternsOpen in a New Window

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The Great Pumpkin can't hold a (tea-light) candle to these Jack-o'-Lanterns.

The RISE of the Jack-o'-Lanterns in Westbury, New York puts on a stunning display of more than 5,000 professionally carved pumpkins. And that doesn't even include the replacements carved each week — since, you know, pumpkins tend to rot.

The intricate pieces of gourd art feature everything from dinosaurs to mythological beasts, to portraits of departed celebrities. Some take a few minutes to carve, while others require a small team of carvers working on one pumpkin for as long as 20 hours Read more...

More about Pics, Lists, Art, Halloween, and Pumpkins

 

Canada Prime Minister: Shooting Rampage in Ottawa Was TerrorismOpen in a New Window

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OTTAWA, Ontario — Two deadly attacks in three days against members of the military stunned Canadians and raised fears their country was being targeted for reprisals for joining the U.S.-led air campaign against an extremist Islamic group in Iraq and Syria.

"We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated," Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed in a nationally televised address hours after a masked gunman killed a soldier standing guard at Ottawa's war memorial shortly before 10 a.m. on Wednesday. The suspect then stormed Parliament in a dramatic attack that was stopped cold when he was shot to death by the ceremonial sergeant-at-arms. Read more...

More about Canada, Shooting, Us World, World, and Ottawa

 

10 Huge Reveals From the 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Trailer LeakOpen in a New Window

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LOS ANGELES — The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer was supposed to debut during next week's episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but on Wednesday afternoon, a dark and shadowy force had a different, more accelerated agenda.

Dammit, Hydra.

— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) October 22, 2014

SEE ALSO: A Big, Bold Prediction for Marvel's 'Expanding' Cinematic Universe Plans

Yep, the trailer leaked — now who would do a thing like that? — and Disney/Marvel's response was to release it almost immediately thereafter. Whether this was a highly orchestrated PR move or a swiftly and well-played response to leaky trolls no longer matters, because either way, that first trailer is here, and it brings a host of new details about the Avengers sequel. Read more...

More about Movies, Trailers, Marvel, Entertainment, and Film

 

Your Next Psychologist May Prescribe 'The Legend of Zelda'Open in a New Window

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When Carly McCullar, 32, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder as an adult, she wanted to improve her social and communication skills before heading into the next stage of her life.

Never having received such help before, she volunteered to participate in a unique treatment program: virtual reality. Sitting at a computer that tracked her facial expressions, the game tested her social cognition and provided feedback, McCullar played through various realistic scenarios, including a job interview, a confrontation with a loud neighbor and even dating.

The program, a collaborative effort from gaming technology experts and health researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas, simulates everyday experiences and social situations that are typically difficult for those with autism or anxiety disorders. And it's just one example in a growing trend in which video games are forms of therapy. Read more...

More about Entertainment, Gaming, Features, Social Good, and Psychology

 

16 Sinister Halloween Makeup Tutorials to Scare You Out of Your SkinOpen in a New Window

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For the lazy trick-or-treater, dressing up for Halloween means tossing a sheet on your head and calling it a day. For Alexys Fleming, it means makeup — layers upon layers of creepy and colorful makeup.

The 21-year-old artist has made a name for herself on YouTube as host of MadeYewLook, a series of tutorials for shockingly realistic stage makeup. Though her designs are complex, her videos provide thorough guidance from preferred brands, painting techniques and finishing details.

Mashable asked Fleming for tips for people who want to try her makeup looks at home Read more...

More about Pics, Lists, Halloween, Makeup, and Watercooler

 

Nepal's Kumaris Transition From Living Goddesses to Typical TeensOpen in a New Window

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The word Kumari literally means “virgin” in Nepali. These living goddesses are young, pre-pubescent girls who are considered to be incarnations of the Hindu goddess of power, Kali. They live a sheltered life until they reach puberty, and are worshipped in Nepal by both Hindus and Buddhists.

In October 2010, at age 9, Samita Bajracharya became Kumari of Patan. Photographer Narendra Shrestha followed Samita's time as Kumari through her retirement in 2014, documenting her reintegration into a normal childhood.

Additional reporting by European Pressphoto Agency Read more...

More about Photos, Us World, World, Pics, and Nepal

 

Makers of Dallas Buyers Club Are Hunting for Illegal Pirates in AustraliaOpen in a New Window

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SYDNEY — It's the story of a user operating at the mercy of a broken system, so with a lack of options they see breaking the law as the only course of action.

Nope, we're not talking about the plot of Dallas Buyers Club

Australians are some of the world's worst perpetrators when it comes to online piracy, contributing 8.4 percent of The Pirate Bay's total traffic, second only to the U.S

Reasons for this are many, but industry leaders, including Australian Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull, argue that substantial delays in release dates and higher pricing are major factors driving Aussies to torrent their favourite television shows and movies. Read more...

More about Australia, Us World, Dallas Buyers Club, and Iinet

 

Boston Layer-Lapse Takes Time-Lapses to a Wicked Cool LevelOpen in a New Window

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We can't say we're bored with standard time-lapse videos, but layer-lapse videos are an extremely impressive form of the craft.

Using Einstein's theory of relativity as inspiration, photographer Julian Tryba created a stunning time-lapse of the beautiful city of Boston by assigning different regions and objects to separate points in time

"Each of these clocks may start at any point in time, and tick at any rate," he writes on Vimeo. "The result is a visual time dilation effect known as layer-lapse."

The layer-lapse captures iconic views of the city as night and day are mashed into one scene, creating an amazing effect we hope more photographers replicate in the future Read more...

More about Viral Videos, Photography, Boston, Time Lapse, and Watercooler

 

PhotoMath: Math Student's New Best Friend Is the Teacher's NightmareOpen in a New Window

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Touted as the world's first camera calculator and launched last week, PhotoMath is an app that uses text recognition technology to solve simple math equations

But PhotoMath doesn’t stop at just solving the equation, it also provides step-by-step instructions explaining how it got to the answer.

PhotoMath can solve arithmetic expressions, fractions and decimals, powers and roots, and simple linear equations

While it’s easy to see how students could take advantage of the app during tests, MicroBlink, the Croatian company that created PhotoMath, sees many positive uses for its creation. Read more...

More about Tech, Apps Software, and Photomath

 

Traveling Across Turkey Never Looked So GoodOpen in a New Window

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The way you know a travel video is truly remarkable is when you feel like you visited a place after watching it.

Leonardo Dalessandri's "Watchtower of Turkey" fits the bill

"I couldn't be happier with the outcome," Dalessandri told Mashable about the roughly three-and-a-half minute video he posted on Vimeo. "A passion for film and music, and the desire to experiment with new techniques, have always been a part of me."

The footage was captured over a 20-day journey around the country using a GoPro and Panasonic GH3.

Camera equipment

The equipment Leonardo Dalessandri used to shoot Watchtower of Turkey.

Image: Leonardo Dalessandri Read more...

More about Travel, Turkey, Videos, Lifestyle, and Travel Leisure

 

What Twitter Fabric Means for DevelopersOpen in a New Window

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Twitter has had a complicated relationship with developers.

In its earlier days, the social network encouraged third-party developers to build their own apps and services on top of the platform. But the company later began to roll out its own competing features (the most notable example of this is when Twitter created its own image sharing service, frustrating companies like Twitpic and Yfrog).

But Twitter made its biggest appeal yet to developers on Wednesday at Flight, the company's first mobile developer conference. There CEO Dick Costolo unveiled Fabric, the company's ambitious plan to win back developers. Read more...

More about Twitter, Social Media, Tech, Apps Software, and Apps And Software

 

Here's Everything You Need to Know About Wombats to Celebrate Wombat DayOpen in a New Window

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SYDNEY — Oct. 22 is an important day for Australians. It is Wombat Day

Much like Christmas Day is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, on Wombat Day we celebrate the birth of wombats. There are no gifts or tree, actually not much happens at all.

The tenth annual Wombat Day passed with little fanfare, a small amount of wombat cakes were baked and a bunch of wombats dug some holes

In celebration of this under-appreciated Aussie legend, here's all the wombat trivia you will ever need.

Wombats live in south-east Australia, including Tasmania, with a few hanging out in Queensland. They are a protected species Down Under.

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Image: Flickr, ilumove


Although it may have similarities with a badger, it's closest known ancestor is the koala. Except they have upside down pouches and do not climb trees.

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They have never been put on a pedestal in Australia, with the koala getting all the street cred. No one knows why, as wombats are obviously the interesting ones.

We don't even eat them. And Australians eat everything.

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Image: Getty Images Read more...


Wombats are obsessed with digging using their teeth and claws and live in burrows 30 metres long.

More about Australia, Us World, Koala, Wombat Day, and Wombats

 

Ferguson Protesters Face Off With Police After Michael Brown's Autopsy LeakedOpen in a New Window

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Demonstrators returned to the Ferguson Police Department on Wednesday evening, a day after the autopsy of Michael Brown was leaked to the public

Wednesday also marked the National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality

The protesters—who have been marching since Aug. 9 when a white police officer killed Brown, an unarmed black teen— continued to call for the indictment of Officer Darren Wilson. The demonstration came as Wilson's supporters and opponents eagerly wait for a Grand Jury announcement

Meanwhile, the animosity between the two sides has been stoked by multiple leaks of information regarding the shooting of 18-year-old Brown. The latest leak came Tuesday, when the St. Louis Post-Dispatch released Brown's autopsy report done by the St. Louis County medical examiner, which had not been made public before. Read more...

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