Yuka The Woolly Mammoth Goes On Display In Japan (VIDEO)


A 39,000-year-old woolly mammoth has gone on display in Yokohama, Japan.

Dubbed “Yuka,” the mammoth died at the age of 10 and was frozen in the Russian snow until it was discovered three years ago. Yuka is the best preserved example of her species, which went extinct across most of its range around 10,000 years ago. Isolated populations survived for centuries thereafter, as late as 4,000 years ago on Wrangel Island. Jack London even wrote a fictional short story about hunting a modern-day mammoth. It’s a fun read and very different than the fiction he’s generally remembered for.

Getting back to science, a Nature World News article on the woolly mammoth says that liquid blood was found in the corpse, bringing up the possibility of cloning. Several attempts have been made to clone the DNA of other mammoth carcasses, with no success.

The exhibition continues until September 16.

Why Is Death Valley Littered With Fried Eggs?

Death Valley Fried Egg Video Leads to Copycats Making a Mess

Plants, wildlife and waterways – these are the things that you can routinely expect to see when you head out to one of the country’s many national parks. But trek out to Death Valley National Park and you’ll spot something else entirely: fried eggs. Lots and lots of fried eggs.

Death Valley is one of the hottest places on the planet and holds the record for the highest air temperature ever recorded. The scorching temps mean visitors to the park regularly crack eggs on the ground in an attempt to fry them.Over the past few weeks, a heat wave has kept temperatures hovering above 120 F, leading increasing numbers of park visitors to attempt the egg science experiment.

This was made worse after a BBC correspondent and National Park employee shared a video of their attempt to fry an egg by cracking it into a frying pan. Unfortunately other park visitors repeating the experiment have been cracking the eggs directly onto the ground, keeping clean up crews on their toes.

A spokesperson for the National Park urged visitors not to litter, adding that, “an employee’s posting of frying an egg in a pan in Death Valley was intended to demonstrate how hot it can get here, with the recommendation that if you do this, use a pan or tin foil and properly dispose of the contents.”

Photo Of The Day: Summer Sanctuary

Jon Bowen, Flickr

For me, summer means spending time in the countryside – finding a quiet corner to explore that’s far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a time to breath in fresh air and take a moment and hit the “reset” button. That’s what I call a summer sanctuary.

Along with that comes eating outside. The summer months are meant to be spent outside, and what’s better than an afternoon coffee in the relaxing space of a garden or park? Flickr user Jon Bowen captures that summer essential in this simple photo snapped at Pullham Mill in Exmoor National Park. Green, luscious and relaxing, it makes me want a cup of tea and cake.

What is your summer sanctuary?

For a chance to be featured on Gadling’s Photo of the Day, submit your photos to the Gadling Flickr pool.

‘Sesame Street’ Explores The National Parks

Sesame Street Explores The National Parks
National Park Service

The creative minds behind the long-running PBS children’s television series “Sesame Street” have joined forces with the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation to produce a series of videos designed to connect young children with nature. The six videos, which can be found on YouTube, star popular characters Elmo and Murray who are joined by Park Rangers from Grand Canyon National Park and Gateway National Recreation Area. Those rangers help teach viewers about such topics as natural habitats, seasons and animal families.

The videos are obviously aimed at small children but if you’re a fan of the national parks you’ll probably still find them enjoyable as well. They offer a nice glimpse inside the two featured parks while also providing some good information about the natural world around us. So, gather up the kids, crowd around the computer and load up the clips. Who knows, you might even learn something while watching them too!

Better Know A Holiday: Showa Day

Formerly: The Emperor’s Birthday, Greenery Day

When? April 29

Public holiday in: Japan

Part of: Japan’s Golden Week, a series of four public holidays in the span of a week that sees offices closed, trains and planes packed and a mass exodus from the major cities like Tokyo.

Who died? Former Japanese Emperor Hirohito, posthumously referred to as Emperor Showa.

They changed his name? Showa refers to the era of Hirohito’s reign. After death, Japanese emperors were referred to by the name of the era during which they ruled. The Showa Emperor’s reign lasted from 1926 to 1989, the longest era in Japanese history. Showa can be translated as “enlightened peace.”

… wasn’t he the ruler during WWII? Hirohito chose the name “showa” for his era after returning from the post-WWI battlefields in France and witnessing the devastation there. His anti-war sentiment seems to have been legitimate, but he ended up reigning over a period of unprecedented military brutality. However, he also reigned over a period of unprecedented economic growth in the years after the war.

How is the holiday celebrated now? Officially it’s a time to reflect on the era of Hirohito’s reign, Japan’s turbulent past and subsequent recovery, and where the country is headed. In reality, as the start of Golden Week, it’s when most Japanese take off for a vacation.

Other ways to celebrate: Public lectures talking about Japan’s participation in the war, to pass on the memories to future generations.Why was it Greenery Day before? Until 1989, the April 29 holiday was still referred to as the Emperor’s Birthday. But when Hirohito died, the Emperor’s Birthday was necessarily moved to December, when his son and successor Akihito was born. Hirohito loved nature, so April 29 became Greenery Day, which allowed people to acknowledge Hirohito without expressly using his name. This actually isn’t the first time this has happened in Japan. The Meiji Emperor’s birthday was celebrated on November 3 until his death in 1912, and after November 3 became Culture Day.

What happened to Greenery Day then? In 2005, Japan passed a bill that turned April 29 into Showa Day. Greenery Day was moved to May 4.

This pissed off: China, South Korea, North Korea

Why? They see the holiday as honoring Hirohito, who reigned during an era of Japanese war crimes and occupation of their countries. Japan argues it that the holiday is a time to reflect on those turbulent times, not celebrate them.

What else is going on during Golden Week? Besides Greenery Day, there is also Constitution Memorial Day on May 3, which is meant to have people reflect on the Japanese government. May 5 is Children’s Day, a day to celebrate the happiness of being a kid. Traditionally, families fly carp-shaped flags to bring good luck to their boys. Girls don’t get any flags, fish-shaped or otherwise.

These aren’t really “party time” holidays, are they? Last time, we covered Songkran, Southeast Asia’s annual drunken water fight. This time, we have a series of holidays that encourage reflection on, chronologically, a nation’s past and future, man’s place in nature, the meaning of democracy, and the innocence of children. They are decidedly not party time holidays, but that’s hardly a bad thing. You can have a party anytime. But when’s the last time you thought about the importance of effective governance and the dictates of post-war economic recovery? That’s what I thought.

Check out more holidays around the world here

[Photo Credit: Flick user Summon Baka]