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Chinese artist Liu Bolin receives face paint as part of his project to make himself and other participants blend in to the seats of a Beijing theatre. (JASON LEE/REUTERS)
Chinese artist Liu Bolin receives face paint as part of his project to make himself and other participants blend in to the seats of a Beijing theatre. (JASON LEE/REUTERS)

Talking points: MERS and camels, mess of molasses and Rocket Frog Add to ...

CAMEL CARRIERS?

The camel could be the culprit in spreading the deadly MERS virus. The New York Times reports that new evidence points to the beast of burden as the most likely intermediary in transmission of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. Though the virus has not yet been discovered in a camel, medical professionals have found antibodies to MERS in the blood of camels in Sudan, Egypt, Oman and the Canary Islands. A 38-year-old camel dealer from Batin, Saudi Arabia, died of what was originally diagnosed as bacterial pneumonia. Shortly after, his mother, daughter and cousin fell ill with what was diagnosed as MERS, and two died. And the first confirmed MERS victim, a businessman in Bisha, Saudi Arabia, had four pet camels at home.

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MESS OF MOLASSES

A massive molasses spill has stirred up the food chain in Hawaii. As reported in The Guardian, Hawaiian health officials have told swimmers and surfers to stay out of the water following the spill near Honolulu last week. A pipeline used to load molasses onto cargo ships dumped more than 1,270 tonnes of the sticky stuff in the waters near Honolulu Harbour. The molasses killed scores of fish and other sea creatures, and that is expected to attract such predators as sharks, barracudas and eels. Local diver Roger Smith surveyed the damage: “Everything that was underwater suffocated,” said Smith. “The whole bottom was covered with fish, crabs, lobsters, worms, sea fans. Anything that was down there was dead.”

ORRRBIT, ORRRBIT

The phenomenon known as Rocket Frog is surely the most famous creature on the planet, but did it croak in the process? The Telegraph reports on the likelihood that the luckless amphibian survived its recent photo-bombing adventure. The silhouette of the frog was captured last week when NASA launched its LADEE spacecraft from the Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia. A NASA spokesperson confirmed that the photo was real and suggested the frog was likely hanging out at a pool of water beside the launchpad that stores water for a high-pressure sprinkler system. The same spokesperson told CNN that the frog’s last words were, “Orrrbit, orrrbit.”

THOUGHT DU JOUR

“Human beings have an inalienable right to invent themselves; when that right is pre-empted, it is called brainwashing.”

Germaine Greer, academic and feminist

 

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