China is considering a bill that would make it illegal to buy and eat endangered animals — a major change for a country that for centuries has used exotic animal products in cooking and medicinal treatment.
China currently prohibits hunting endangered animals, but a thriving black market exists to support people looking for exotic animal products. Quartz examines what may be behind China's seeming about-face on the issue of endangered animals — which often grace the menu of lavish dinners designed to honor and celebrate the country's leaders. The publication suggests it may be more about reining in official excess, rather than saving the animals.
Among the animals that could benefit from a change in Chinese law are: the snub-nosed monkey, pangolins, the monitor lizard and the yellow-breasted bunting.
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The show goes on at the Lebanese Debutantes' Ball
For 16 years, through car bombs, murders and even war, Lebanon's Debutantes' Balls have gone on. A chance for the country's wealthy to show off their children, the ball has become mandatory not just for wealthy Lebanese still living in the country, but also for the Lebanese diaspora around the world.
Der Spiegel visited and has photos of the most recent ball, which seemed threatened by renewed violence, but even a fire couldn't stop it.
Migraine sufferer? Read on
New research suggests that a specific protein is responsible for the majority of migraines. So, scientists think, they can vastly reduce migraines by blocking that protein from bonding with pain receptors.
PRI's The Takeaway interviews one of the scientists working on the project, who says this would be the first innovation in migraine treatment in years.
This is a guy we want on our side
"Dalton Fury" is a published novelist, nonfiction writer, and a pretty average-looking guy. One of his many jobs, though, is to break into America's nuclear power plants. Fury, the individual's pen name, was a member of the US Delta Force team until 2005, where he helped hunt for bin Laden.
Tina Dupuy of The Atlantic interviewed him about his current work, which includes consulting for the Call of Duty videogame developers. What he's found in assessing the security of America's critical infrastructure may make it a lot harder for you to sleep at night. He and his colleagues have been able to breach nuclear plants to the point of sabotaging them 16 times. In one example, writes Dupuy, our nuclear-power infrastructure has been breached by unsolicited pepperoni pizza.
Why would you create 3-D glasses for a praying mantis?
Researchers are trying to figure out if we can learn something from praying mantises — the only insects believed to see in three dimensions, with depth, like humans. Scientists are giving the praying mantises glasses like you'd wear to see a 3-D movie, and then showing them 3-D images to see if their brains process them like we do. If not, they hope to gain insights into other ways we can develop 3-D technology, and perhaps give 3-D vision to robots. PRI's The World has the story.
What we're seeing on social
— Brian Wagner (@BrianRWagner) April 25, 2014
Weather around the world
New Delhi is gearing up for a hot weekend, with temperatures forecast to reach as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) by Monday. Pakistan and Bangladesh will also see the heat, according to AccuWeather. All of this comes just before the south Asian monsoon season kicks into gear — typically the hottest time of the year.