Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, October 13

An astronomer explains why, no, NASA hasn't changed your astrological sign. Chimps may be more cognitively advanced than we thought. And a look at some of the amazing, weird life that lives in our oceans. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment about science and Earth-related news. It's all this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Everyone knows there's 12 signs of the Western zodiac, right? Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius, right? Well, some have posited the idea of a 13th sign, Ophiuchus, supposedly added by NASA. But while there is in fact a 13th constellation it's been there for quite some time. Since the constellations were first named, as a matter of fact.

Hurricane Matthew recently hit the East Coast, causing devastation and misery in its path. But that's not enough for some folks. Now, conspiracy theorists and climate change deniers are claiming that the government purposefully underestimated the strength of the hurricane "to make exaggerated point on climate" (sic). Yes, really.

Just how intelligence are chimpanzees anyway? For many years, the debate has raged on the cognitive prowess of our closest living relatives. Most scientists believe chimpanzees operate somewhere below human capacity but are still quite intelligent. Now more evidence has emerged leaning towards super-smart chimps: they may possess a theory of mind.

Yeast. Probably not something you normally think of as very important, right? Well, the unicellular fungi might be more important than you realize: they could bring about revolutions in medicine and agriculture. Not bad for critters normally found in bread, beer, or locker rooms.

It's a not too uncommonly known fact that we've actually explored the surface of our moon better than we have our own oceans. So perhaps it shouldn't come as too big of a shock that there are things in the ocean we still don't know about. But that didn't stop many from being wowed from these pictures of deep water coral reefs along the coast of Hawaii, never before visited by humans.

Top image by Nosilla ogra

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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