Warriors Live: Can rebuilt Hornets add to Golden State’s woes?

first_imgScroll to the bottom of follow our live feed during the game.The Charlotte Hornets underwent some big changes in the off-season, yet the Warriors will easily be the most unrecognizable team since the two squads met eight months ago.With the news that Draymond Green will miss “a few games” with a left finger injury, it means none of the 13 Warriors who teamed up to hand Charlotte a 47-point beating last March will be suited up at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Chase Center.Aside from …last_img

Hippo to Whale: Missing Chain

first_img(Visited 31 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Despite claims to the contrary,2 whale and hippo evolution are poorly understood.  That’s the gist of a paper in PNAS this week1 that tries to connect the dots between hippopotami (artiodactyls) and whales (cetaceans) and other groups of mammals.  There’s lots of missing dots: The origin of late Neogene Hippopotamidae (Artiodactyla) involves one of the most serious conflicts between comparative anatomy and molecular biology: is Artiodactyla paraphyletic? [i.e., unrelated, but similar by “convergent evolution”].  Molecular comparisons indicate that Cetacea should be the modern sister group of hippos.  This finding implies the existence of a fossil lineage linking cetaceans (first known in the early Eocene) to hippos (first known in the middle Miocene).  The relationships of hippos within Artiodactyla are challenging, and the immediate affinities of Hippopotamidae have been studied by biologists for almost two centuries without resolution. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Their paper proposes a phylogenetic tree based on morphology; it rejects hippo relationship to pigs, and puts them as a sister group to whales, but puzzles remain: for example, “the position of Ruminantia [cows] is a central question, still to be solved.”  Clearly, they need more fossils: “Further progress in this debate is likely to come from morphological studies of paleontological data, whether known or still to be discovered” (emphasis added). 1Boisserie et al., “The position of Hippopotamidae within Cetartiodactyla,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0409518102, published online before print January 26, 2005.2See, for example, 11/21/2003 and 11/18/2003 headlines.  National Geographic News, reporting on this paper, calls whales and hippos “close cousins,” which is an odd statement, considering they conclude, “There is a 40 million-year gap between fossils of early cetaceans and early hippos.”And you thought the animators on PBS and the Discovery Channel had whale and hippo evolution all figured out.  From what missing links did hippos get their antibiotic sunscreen sweat? (see 05/25/2004 entry).last_img read more

Biomimetics Still Trending Up

first_img(Visited 78 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The imitation of nature’s designs (biomimetics) is all the rage, and shows no sign of slowing down.Nature published a special Outlook feature this week on Biomaterials.  The nine articles mentioned lifeforms from armadillos to oysters, showing how revolutionary applications are coming from the study of how nature solves problems. The writers focused not only on the superstars (spiders, geckos, etc.) but on lesser-known stars of biomimicry like ivy stems, sea cucumbers, squid, pine cones, pitcher plants and cacao. Single cells and tissues like bone, hydrogels and nacre also made the list. Amid the praises for these natural designs was an unholy mix of credit given to Darwinian evolution for figuring out these designs over millions of years.But the world’s leading science journal is not the only place where biomimetics is making a splash. Here are a few recent reports, some of them about newcomers to biomimetics:Poison-dart frog skin that inspired an Arizona State engineer to figure out a new way to de-ice aircraft wings (PhysOrg)“Designer’s toolkit” for dynamic DNA nanomachines: Arm-waving nanorobot signals new flexibility in DNA origami (Science Daily, Science Mag)3-D printed bionic ants (“intelligent agents”) that can get the job done, the way real ants do big jobs with teamwork (New Scientist, PhysOrg)Flexible-wing flapping drones that can recover from collisions like birds and bats can (BBC News and Live Science; see embedded video demonstrations)Snake robots that can imitate the complex motions of sidewinders (PhysOrg)Bat traffic rules (Univ of Bristol): “By employing movement strategies that nature has optimized over millions of years, engineers may be able to improve the efficiency of search and rescue missions, monitoring tasks, and surveillance operations in the emerging market of flying drones and autonomous moving vehicles.”Something fishy about synthetic armor (Science Mag); “Many fish are covered in rigid scales attached to a flexible dermis layer, an arrangement that is compliant, resistant to penetration, and lightweight—in other words, an efficient coat of armor. Fink et al. use this as inspiration for a synthetic protective material based on a stretchable mesh that supports a set of hard plastic tiles.”Squid-inspired “invisibility stickers” that could help soldiers evade detection in the dark, even by infrared cameras (Science Daily)DNA-mediated engineering of multicomponent enzyme crystals that can allow scientists to make functional nanomaterials (PNAS)Sometimes a researcher can save a step and go right to the animal for the goods.Opossum antivenom:  Science Daily reports that “Opossum-based antidote to venom from snake bites could save thousands of lives.” That’s right; opossums are immune from snake venom. They make a peptide that binds to the venom protein, rendering it harmless. This could lead to antivenoms that are easier to produce and have no side effects. National Geographic is a tad skeptical, but the researcher stands by it; “It was like a miracle, that this peptide really has this activity.” Mice injected with the peptide showed no signs of being sick.Weed cleanser: In a similar vein, PhysOrg reports that a common weed can reduce water pollution; just plant it. Typha domingensis already grows in polluted waterways.  “This plant helps to reduce up to 98 percent of pollution by enterobacteria (usually found in the intestines of mammals) involved in the development of disease,” a Mexican researcher found. Are there other weeds we could learn to love? AEgg plastic: Another PhysOrg article says that the albumin in egg whites inhibit bacterial growth so well, it could be mixed with glycerol to create “bioplastics” that are effectively sterile for medical applications, as well as being more environmentally friendly. “If you put it in a landfill, this being pure protein, it will break down,” the inventor says. “If you put it in soil for a month—at most two months—these plastics will disappear.”Back to the biomimetics icon, the gecko. Live Science lists “6 Crazy Skills that Prove Geckos Are Amazing.” That’s five besides their famous ability to walk up glass with atomic-powered toes! They can also fall right side up, regenerate their tails, harness raindrops for cleaning, perform tail acrobatics, and adhere to surfaces even better in the rain.In conclusion, we see that biomimetics not only promises to improve human life and health; it will improve biology overall. Its very inspiration requires focusing on the plants and animals to understand them better. That’s bound to help science education, improve textbooks, and inspire a new generation to enter biology. With all these advantages—and so many organisms to learn from—the sky’s the limit.Another outstanding benefit of the Biomimetics Gold Rush is to watch Darwinism fall off the radar like yesteryear’s news. We won’t have to fight it any more, because it’s so– so 1859.last_img read more

More Green From Beans – 4

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matthew Wilde DTNProgressive Farmer Crops EditorCorn takes a back seat to soybeans on Joshua Rausch’s farm at planting.The Paullina, Iowa, farmer is part of a growing trend of producers who plant soybeans before or at the same time as corn to maximize yields and profit potential.Soybeans are traditionally planted after corn nationwide, primarily because of risk. Corn costs more to plant and needs time to take advantage of higher-yielding, long-season hybrids. Soybeans are more forgiving than corn and have a better chance to produce a crop if planted well into June or July. Plus, a late-spring frost can kill soybean plants after emergence since the growing point is already out of the ground, unlike corn.Rausch used to plant corn first, too, which meant soybeans usually got in by mid- to late May. That changed when soybean yields plateaued a few years ago at 65 to 75 bushels per acre.“Some people would be happy with that … we’re not,” Rausch explained. “We have to continue to increase yield to reduce costs. You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect more.”The grain and cattle farmer researched ways to increase soybean production, and early planting hit home. A recent University of Illinois report stated, “results from soybean-planting research for different years and different locations vary throughout the U.S., but the evidence indicates planting on or before May 1 generally is associated with higher yields.”Why? Most soybeans planted in the U.S. are an indeterminate crop and photoperiod sensitive. The longer plants absorb sunlight, vegetative growth and flowering is spurred during the reproductive period. More flowers mean more nodes, which means more pods and soybeans.Soybean farmers are finding ways to boost revenues despite market and trade challenges. This story is the fourth in a six-part series, More Green From Beans. The series looks at ways soybean farmers are finding ways to answer trade challenges by boosting revenues through switching up agronomics and finding new markets.FIELD TEST RESULTSRausch tested the concept several years ago, planting half of a soybean field before corn in late April and the rest of his beans in mid-May after corn. Flowers showed up in the early-planted soybeans about 10 days before the later-planted fields and produced more pods and yield.“I conservatively got 5 bushels more planting early, and it cost me zero,” Rausch explained. “It’s like 5 free bushels.”He tried it again the following year with half his soybean acres getting a two-week jump start with the same result. This year, all of the family’s 500 acres of soybeans were planted in late April before corn.Rausch admitted he initially got plenty of odd looks and questions from neighboring farmers when he seeded soybeans as they planted corn, but that dissipated as he shared the results.“I heard, ‘You guys are crazy,’” Rausch recalled. “It may sound crazy, but we are seeing big returns. We’ve seen a huge yield bump by doing nothing more than planting soybeans first … and it doesn’t affect our corn yields.” (Some high-yield Midwest growers are pushing the envelope even further by experimenting with March planting dates.)Rausch said it would be nice to plant both crops at the same time, which many farmers do. But, since they can’t justify buying a second planter at this time and labor is limited, planting soybeans first is the way to go, Rausch said.At $9 per bushel, an extra 5 bushels equates to $45 per acre.STRESS MANAGEMENT ON EARLY-PLANTED CROPSTo mitigate stress on early-planted soybeans, Rausch started testing StollerUSA seed treatments and products. On those acres, he saw a 10-bushel yield bump, though it takes about 4 bushels to pay for the extra inputs where the full Stoller program was used.Jeff Berkemeyer, Stoller sales and market development representative for Missouri and western Iowa, recommended farmers use the company’s Bio-Forge Advanced at the very least if planting soybeans early. It can be applied as a seed treatment, in-furrow or in foliar applications with labeled herbicides.“It helps mitigate stress from colder, wetter soils associated with early planting,” Berkemeyer said. “You get better, quicker emergence.”GROWING TRENDMore farmers in northwest Iowa are planting soybeans first or at the same time as corn, Rausch said. Berkemeyer agreed.“It’s a growing trend, especially after farmers see the results,” Rausch said.Soybeans have seeding priority on Mark Muench’s row-crop operation, near Ogden, Iowa.After years of growing only corn, Muench started planting soybeans again in 2016 for agronomic and economic reasons. On the advice of his agronomist, John McGillicuddy, of Iowa City, Iowa, he planted one-third of his soybeans before corn on or about April 20 last year and the rest in mid-May. The early-planted beans yielded 10 bushels better.“You hear about the yield potential, but when you see it with your own eyes in your own fields, it makes a believer out of you,” Muench said. “It didn’t cost us anything.”All of Muench’s beans were planted before corn this year with the help of a neighbor. Soybean planting — half were drilled and half broadcast-seeded and worked in using a vertical tillage machine — started April 19 and wrapped up on May 4.RISK FACTORS TO CONSIDERPlanting date does strongly influence soybean yields, but agronomists warn soil and weather conditions need to be right. Slow germination and compaction can negate the benefits of getting soy in early.A University of Illinois soybean- and corn-planting date study from 2007 to 2018 reveals soybeans can reach almost 100% of their yield potential if planted by April 10. Percentage losses increase with time: 1.8% on April 20, 3.9% on April 30, 7% on May 10 and 15.8% on May 30.Corn-yield losses are less pronounced percentagewise the later it goes into the ground. One hundred percent of yield potential is possible if planted by April 20. On April 30, the yield loss is 1.3%; May 10 is 4.2%; and May 30 is 13.4%.McGillicuddy promoted the yield and revenue benefits of planting soybeans early but pointed out the risks.“You don’t want to rush soil conditions and mud them in on April 15,” he added. “One thing I try to promote is don’t push two variables. If soil is cold (below 50 degrees Fahrenheit), don’t plant if it’s also wet. Don’t make the plant deal with two problems.”Planting soybeans early, even before corn, is becoming more popular, McGillicuddy continued.“I think farmers are more analytical and less traditional,” he explained. “They understand anything that was considered a tried-and-true rule of crop production can end up going out the window.”FOR MORE INFORMATION:— University of Illinois Extension early-planted soybeans guide: https://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/…— Wisconsin Soybean Extension Program early-planted soybeans guide: https://coolbean.info/…Matthew Wilde can be reached at matt.wilde@dtn.comFollow him on Twitter @progressivwilde(ES/SK)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

As Digital Identities Evolve, Data Security Should Too

first_imgAI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Related Posts Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas arrived at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, in late January with praise for his country’s digital identity program. Estonia has one of the world’s foremost digital identity programs, which allows its citizens to use their identities to vote, buy medication, sign documents, and more.Our digital identity isn’t just about Social Security numbers and names — it’s all about context. Our behavior at home differs from when we’re traveling or at work, and our digital identities should operate in accordance with those distinct behaviors.This kind of context will dictate the future of identity. It isn’t just about attributes populating a database — it’s about building an evolving information repository that safely supports a person’s lifestyle and decision-making.The Evolution of Personal DataWe’re used to looking at identity through the lens of the system of record, one where everything about you can be summed up in neat, tidy spreadsheets. But we’re simply not comfortable being so open with such delicate pieces of information, especially in the aftermath of significant hacks to systems like Equifax, Sony, and Yahoo.What many people are comfortable sharing is their background information, their employment histories, and even their hobbies.This type of personal information can be just as useful in identifying us without making us feel like we’re exposed to the outside world.It’s the type of information that marketers use when creating ads and placing ads on Facebook; it’s even the information we mine when meeting or dating a new person. Why not lean into this version of identity?As an end user myself, I’m willing to share special information in an automated fashion so long as I’m not sharing sensitive information with you.This type of sharing gives the company access to valuable sensory and contextual information and introduces me to better products and services.Though that might sound a bit abstract, I think we can look at it as an evolution of identity. Not only that, but it’s a type of personality that’s more conducive to innovation, especially in an increasingly automated digital world. For instance, dating apps like Bumble allow users to connect their Spotify accounts to their profiles; a feature helps users form more immediate connections without having to provide more sensitive information.This isn’t to say that there’s no friction in this new digital identity. Despite the potential for better personalization, some customers still don’t want to share any of their data.Innovative entrepreneurs and researchers should see this as an opportunity to empower the next generation of personalization tools and services. Blockchain startups, for example, are quickly realizing that this trusted distributed ledger is preferred by many over single companies like Facebook or Google holding all the cards.What’s important to note here is that blockchain isn’t incremental in innovation — it’s as disruptive as Tesla was to the automobile industry. Contextual data is a radical innovation with a new engine that doesn’t require burning fossil fuels. It’s a game-changer, and those that leverage this digital identifier will evolve along with it.A Stronger (Digital) Sense of SelfThe information in a digital identity shouldn’t just feel unique to a user; it should feel safe from unwanted intruders.To make digital identities a more secure (and viable) option, enact these three strategies:1. Create a transaction framework. We created an excellent communication framework in the form of the internet. It lets us view video from another location, FaceTime with family and friends, and even move data anywhere in the world. A transaction framework is needed on top of this layer to connect the internet with emerging solutions such as AI, IoT, and edge computing.Blockchain’s distributed and decentralized ledger is the latest innovation in this space. Startups are already leveraging this technology to create and protect transactional digital identities. More importantly, the public is starting to accept this technology. Bitcoin Market Journal estimated that 22 million customers used the cryptocurrency in 2018. A transaction framework puts the necessary infrastructure and safeguards in place to foster a secure storage space for digital identities.2. Leverage encryption and machine learning. With legacy tech giants like Google and Facebook losing trust, the internet is already evolving, and one way is through the use of machine learning and personalization on encrypted data.From a storage point of view, it’s no longer necessary to depend on large data warehouses to be centralized data repositories. Data can be split and encrypted to ensure that each person connected acts as a node without ever having access to the files they store.Pretend my personal data is a pencil. I can wrap tissue paper around the pen and hand it to you, and you’ll know it’s a pencil. You may not know the exact specifications of the pencil, but you understand through context what I’m giving you. This environment is ripe for AI disruption. Machine learning will dominate this space within the next decade as algorithms learn to identify you by your transactions.3. Implement privacy by design. Government regulations around the world already are working to embed privacy into every new design. Regulations like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the second Payment Services Directive are creating a privacy-conscious ecosystem that makes many businesses scoff, but I think it’s a positive note.The definition of identity is changing in the way that we no longer need to reveal sensitive information to receive personalized offers and services. Thanks to companies like Deloitte, anyone can implement Privacy by Design into their business to ensure the implementation of 30 pieces of measurable privacy criteria and 107 privacy controls. If you can pass the Privacy by Design criteria, you’re prepared for the coming changes.Human identities evolve constantly, and with the emergence of digital identities, the way we view data — and ourselves — is also changing. We’re at the dawn of a new, trust-based world. How are you preparing? What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … How Data Analytics Can Save Lives Hossein Rahnama is the founder and CEO of Flybits, a cloud-based, context-as-a-service solution with offices in Toronto, Redwood City, and London. Follow the Puck Tags:#Blockchain#Contextual Data#data security#Digital Identity#encryption#Machine Learning#privacy#Transactions Hossein Rahnamalast_img read more

Turn Your Vehicle Into a Camera Car With MotoCrane

first_imgThe whole MotoCrane system is controlled by an iPad. With the Command Central iOS app, you’ll have FIZ control over the rig with zero-latency wireless HD monitoring. The MotoCrane also has software-enabled limits to protect the camera and vehicle — where users will save critical positions that define a safe range of motion.As the MotoCrane was just announced, we wanted to know more — so we talked to MotoCrane’s founder and CEO Zachary Nelson about the eye-catching rig.PremiumBeat: Are there attachments to power accessories that will allows users to operate the MotoCrane as a traditional crane — not on a vehicle?Zachary Nelson: MotoCrane was designed and optimized to turn any car into a camera car. While there are not currently accessories  for turning MotoCrane into a traditional studio crane or motion control system, our modular design leaves the door open for future development.PB: Any ETA on the launch or pre-orders? Any idea on cost?ZN: Pre-orders will be opening early February. Pricing and shipment details will be released at that time. (Update: The MotoCrane is available for $39,500.)PB: What exactly does the car’s 12V power supply power?ZN: As an alternative to heavy batteries that are difficult to handle and ship, MotoCrane is powered by an ultracapacitor bank contained within the system. The vehicle’s 12V power supply is used to trickle charge the “ultracap.” During setup you simply plug MotoCrane into the 12V power supply of the vehicle, and let it charge for about four minutes. Once the MotoCrane iOS app notifies you that the system is ready, you can operate it as long as the car is running. The ultracaps power everything in the system including the 200W D-Tap connector located on the head. MotoCrane can operate all day without ever swapping a single battery. We love it.PB: How long has the MotoCrane been in development?ZN: MotoCrane, LLC was founded in March 2013 by Zachary Nelson, Scott Tovsen, and Teal Bunbury.PB: How long has it been tested?ZN: We’ve been rigorously testing our prototypes for 12 months.PB: Where are the parts being manufactured?ZN: MotoCrane is manufactured around the world with components coming from Germany, Hong Kong, Denmark, United States, and more. All assembly, testing, and quality control is maintained in-house at our space in Minneapolis, MN.PB: Do you have any additional footage captured from the MotoCrane?ZN: Demo footage, system walkthroughs, behind-the-scenes and more will be released in the next couple of weeks.Are you excited about the MotoCrane? How would you use it? Share your thoughts in the comments below? We talked to the team behind MotoCrane, a powerful camera crane system that can turn almost any hunk o’ junk into a state-of-the-art camera car. Here’s what they had to say.All images via MotoCraneThe MotoCrane is the coolest new camera rig so far this year. Unlike traditional camera cars and process trailers, this camera crane system is portable and can mount to nearly any type of vehicle — giving it countless configurations.The MotoCrane comes in three main parts; the ATLIS base, ARMA Boom, and ACRO Head. When assembled, operators will have incredible control over their camera — all powered by the vehicle’s 12V cigarette lighter.The ATLIS base requires a minimum 2.5 feet x 2.5 feet platform, with a maximum of 4 feet by 4 feet. This allows the rig to work with a variety of vehicles — though not every single one. The base comes with four six-inch suction cups and four security straps rated for over 300 lb each. This will keep the MotoCrane attached to a vehicle at speeds up to 80 miles per hour.The ARMA boom has unlimited rotation, can raise 30-degrees up, 45-degrees down, and can complete a 360-degree swing in four seconds. The ACRO head also has unlimited rotation, with a 180-degree tilt and roll, and can complete a 360-degree pan in one second.The MotoCrane weighs 95 lb on its own and has a max payload of 25 lb. The ACRO head is currently compatible with all of these cameras:ARRI ALEXA MiniRED EPIC, SCARLET, RAVEN, WEAPON, DRAGONBlackmagic URSA MiniSony FS7, FS5, F5, F55, F3, A7SCanon C100, C300, C500, 1D C, 5DPanasonic GH3, GH4, GH5last_img read more

Clash mars bicentenary of Bhima-Koregaon battle

first_imgThe bicentenary celebrations of the 1818 battle of Bhima-Koregaon were marred by a clash between two groups on Monday. The incident occurred at 11.30 a.m. when people were heading towards Koregaon Ranstambh (victory pillar) in the village.The police said altercations over some hoardings resulted in pelting of stones and torching of over 10 vehicles. “The situation was immediately brought under control. Measures have been taken to prevent the spread of rumours on social media, and a number of villages like Sanawadi, Vadhu-Budruk and Shikrapur along the highway have been sealed,” said a police officer.The police blocked the traffic on the Pune-Ahmbednagar highway for sometime after the incident and it was resumed in the evening. “More police personnel, including companies of the SRPF, have been deployed to avoid any untoward incident,” the officer said.Some members of Bhima-Koregaon Shauryadin Prerana Abhiyan, a committee that conducted an Elgaar Parishad on Sunday, in which Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani and Radhika Vemula participated, alleged that the clash was provoked by right wing outfits.“The successful conclusion of Elgaar Parishad at Shaniwar Wada Fort irked several Hindutva outfits. We have strong reasons to believe that almost 3,000 right wing activists were behind the clash to disrupt the Koregaon-Bhima celebrations,” alleged Santosh Shinde of Sambhaji Brigade, one of the members.Lakhs from the Dalit community visited Koregaon Ranstambh (victory pillar) in the village on Monday. The memorial is dedicated to the battle of January 1, 1818, where 500 soldiers of the untouchable Mahar community fought alongside the English to defeat the 28,000-strong army of Peshwa Bajirao II, thus ending the Peshwai domination.(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

Pippa Middleton Cycles For British Heart Foundation

first_imgBritish Heart Foundation ambassador Pippa Middleton joined 22,000 cyclists on the London to Brighton Bike Ride, supported by Tesco, during the weekend.Pippa Middleton and her team at the finish line at BrightonCredit/Copyright: TwitterPippa and her team, along with thousands of BHF supporters, gathered over the weekend at Clapham Common before setting off on the 54-mile route taking them from city to coast as part of Europe’s largest and oldest charity bike ride.The event was initially launched in 1975 by street performer Robert Stredder and his partner who wanted to organise a bike version of the London to Brighton car rally. Since then ride has grown from 36 riders in the first year, to over 22,000 cyclists in 2015.In the event’s history, over 800,000 cyclists from all over the UK have taken part in the ride and helped to raise over £65m for BHF’s life saving research into heart disease.“I am thrilled to be involved in this milestone year of the London to Brighton Bike Ride,” said Pippa. “There was such a great atmosphere at Clapham and I can’t wait to get down to Brighton and see all my fellow riders cross the finish line.“This event is testament to the fact that cycling is such an inclusive sport that everyone can enjoy. Through the money raised, the BHF can continue to help the millions of people affected by coronary heart disease – the UK’s single biggest killer.”As part of her fundraising activity, Pippa has teamed up with London based designer, Tabitha Webb to create a limited edition dress and scarf. All profits from the sale of the items will help fund essential research.You can also sponsor Pippa through her JustGiving page.Source:British Heart Foundationlast_img read more

Dead birds fall from southern US sky experts befuddled

first_imgAPTN National NewsA mysterious case of bird deaths has wildlife officials in the U.S. southern states scratching their heads.About 3,000 red-winged blackbirds were found dead or dying in Beebe, Ark., last week. If that wasn’t bad enough, then another 500 blackbirds were found dead just over the border in Louisiana.The cause of the deaths remains unknown and wildlife officials in both states are sending bodies to the lab for study.Some have speculated that the deaths may have been caused by heart attacks, bad weather or fireworks.Last week, hundreds of thousands of drum fish washed up dead along a 20 kilometre stretch of the Arkansas River.last_img read more