Friendly, Charismatic Giraffe to Give Birth Live

The Dallas Zoo is preparing to celebrate the birth of a baby giraffe — a very special event in the life a zoo. And to share their enthusiasm with the public, a live feed has been created.

The Dallas Zoo is preparing to celebrate the birth of a baby giraffe — a very special event in the life a zoo. And to share their enthusiasm with the public, a live feed has been created, which, at the time of writing, has been watched by over half a million viewers.

As Katie the Giraffe goes into labor, and then gives birth, the event will be covered from literally every angle. Eight separate cameras will capture the event and those feeds will be combined to broadcast the event live online. The Animal Planet television network will also interrupt its programming to broadcast the event live.

Our fascination with the birth of an exotic animal is intriguing. Katie the Giraffe is described as "one of the friendliest and most charismatic" animals in the zoo, a description that makes me want to be Katie's friend, even though she's a giraffe. Describing her as friendly and charismatic implies she possesses the kind of consciousness and intention that we know from our experience with humans.

Attributing human traits to animals, called anthropomorphism, is often a thorn in the side of scientists who see our desire to make animals familiar as an impediment to a fuller understanding of their nature. But as Big Think expert Sam Gosling explains, our understanding of animals as humans is natural, and may even be helpful when it comes to matching pet owners to certain pets. 

No word yet on whether the Dallas Zoo is looking for a friendly and charismatic human to care for Katie and her new baby. Stay tuned...

Read more at Broadcasting & Cable.

How to make a black hole

Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.

  • There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
  • CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
  • Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
  • Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

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  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
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In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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