Officials Search For ‘Frankenfish’ In Central Park

Environmental officials plan to survey a lake in Central Park for the northern snakehead fish, a curious species often referred to as the “Frankenfish.”

After sightings in Queens in recent years, the toothy, predatory fish is thought to have reared its ugly head in the park, NBC News is reporting. Native to China, Russia and Korea, the invasive species eats frogs and crayfish, and – scarily – has the ability to live out of water in certain conditions.

The fish is such a threat to the ecosystem that signs have been posted around Harlem Meer warning anyone who catches the fish to “keep it in a secure container until it’s picked up by officials.” In 2002, the fish was discovered in a pond in Crofton, Maryland, leading to a slew of major media coverage and spawning three horror movies.

[Photo credit: United States Geological Survey / Wikimedia Commons]

Flight Attendant Humiliates Breast-Pumping Mom

Dawnella Brahos is claiming a flight attendant publicly humiliated her by not letting her use a breast pump aboard an American Airlines flight earlier this month. According to the mother, she was flying between Minneapolis and Chicago when the flight attendant denied usage, and the attendant even went so far as to claim Brahos was “making up” the fact that she had used the pump on previous legs of the trip on her way back from California.

“She was speaking in a loud voice, reading a page from a manual and adamant that because it was not pre-approved medical equipment I could not use the pump at my seat,” Brahos told NBC News.

The mother is particularly angry because she spent hours researching logistical issues, such as what planes had electrical outlets, and talking on the phone with airline representatives to ensure the device was allowed onboard. She and her husband even forked out extra money to make sure they’d be seated next to each other so a stranger wouldn’t have to be next to her when she used the device.

Brahos received a $100 voucher at the airport after she complained about her treatment, and is planning to file a formal complaint because she wants the airline “to let moms do what they need to do.”

[Photo credit: Pumpman2 / Wikimedia Commons]

Survey Ranks ‘World’s Most Unfriendliest’ Countries

Have you ever been to a country that just seems to give tourists the cold shoulder? Now, there are some figures behind those unwelcome feelings; the World Economic Forum has put together a report that ranks countries based on how friendly they are to tourists.

The extensive analyses ranks 140 countries according to attractiveness and competitiveness in the travel and tourism industries. But one category, “attitude of population toward foreign visitors,” stands out.

According the data, Bolivia (pictured above) ranked as the most unfriendly country, scoring a 4.1 out of seven on a scale of “very unwelcome” (0) to “very welcome” (7).

Next on the list were Venezuela and the Russian Federation, followed by Kuwait, Latvia and Iran (perhaps when visiting one of these countries, you should try your best to not look like a tourist?).

On the opposite side of the scale were Iceland, New Zealand and Morocco, which were ranked the world’s most welcoming nations for visitors.

Tourism infrastructure, business travel appeal, sustainable development of natural resources and cultural resources were some of the key factors in the rankings. Data was compiled from an opinion survey, as well as hard data from private sources and national and international agencies and organizations such as the World Bank/International Finance Corporation and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), among others.

The report also emphasized the need for continued development in the travel and tourism sector, pointing out that the industry currently accounts for one in 11 jobs worldwide.

All of the results of the survey can be found after the jump.

Attitude of population toward foreign visitors
(1 = very unwelcome; 7 = very welcome)


1. Iceland 6.8
2. New Zealand 6.8
3. Morocco 6.7
4. Macedonia, FYR 6.7
5. Austria 6.7
6. Senegal 6.7
7. Portugal 6.6
8. Bosnia and Herzegovina 6.6
9. Ireland 6.6
10. Burkina Faso 6.6


1. Bolivia 4.1
2. Venezuela 4.5
3. Russian Federation 5.0
4. Kuwait 5.2
5. Latvia 5.2
6. Iran 5.2
7. Pakistan 5.3
8. Slovak Republic 5.5
9. Bulgaria 5.5
10. Mongolia 5.5

Have you ever visited somewhere where they didn’t exactly roll out the welcome mat? Alternatively, have you visited somewhere on the “unfriendly” list and had a great, welcoming experience? Let us know how your travel experiences compare with the survey’s ranking in the comments below.

[via CNN]

[Photo credit: Phil Whitehouse, Wikimedia Commons]