Squirrels’ stash of winter walnuts causes car chaos

Walnuts and grass hidden by squirrels are seen under the hood of a car, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, U.S. in this October 7, 2019 image obtained via social media. Chris and Holly Persic via REUTERS

(Reuters) – Squirreling away supplies for winter took on a whole new meaning for a couple in the United States, after they discovered a hoodful of walnuts and grass in their car.

Holly Persic was driving to a library in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, when she noticed the car seemed strange.

“My wife called me from Northland Library and said that her car smelt like it was burning, and was making a weird sound,” Chris Persic said in a Facebook post that has since gone viral.

Holly opened the hood to find an engine full of walnuts neatly packed in grass, presumably stored there by squirrels over the weekend, when the vehicle had been parked in the open.

Chris spent almost an hour cleaning out “over 200 (not an exaggeration) walnuts and grass from under the hood”, he continued in the post.

The couple seemed to take the incident in their stride.

“There’s definitely an angry squirrel wife right now wondering where all the nuts went”, Chris said.

Reporting by Nur-Azna Sanusi; Writing by Karishma Singh; Editing by Alison Williams

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Ocean Swimming Causes Skin Changes: Study

SATURDAY, June 22, 2019 — The population of bacteria on your skin changes when you swim in the ocean, potentially increasing your risk of infection, researchers report.

They collected samples of skin bacteria from the legs of nine people before they took a 10-minute swim in the ocean, after they had air-dried completely following their swim, and then six and 24 hours after their swim.

Before swimming, all the participants had different communities of skin bacteria (skin microbiome) from one another. But after swimming, they all had similar communities on their skin, which were completely different from their before-swim communities, the study showed.

Six hours after swimming, the participants’ skin microbiomes had started to return to their pre-swim state, and were far along in that process 24 hours later, according to the research. It was slated to be presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, in San Francisco.

“Our data demonstrate for the first time that ocean water exposure can alter the diversity and composition of the human skin microbiome,” said lead author Marisa Chattman Nielsen, a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Irvine.

“While swimming, normal resident bacteria were washed off while ocean bacteria were deposited onto the skin,” she explained in a meeting news release.

The study was prompted by previous research showing a link between ocean swimming and infections, and by high rates of poor water quality at many beaches, which can lead to skin infections, ear infections and gastrointestinal and respiratory illness.

“One very interesting finding was that Vibrio species — only identified to the genus level — were detected on every participant after swimming in the ocean, and air drying,” Nielsen said.

The Vibrio genus includes the bacterium that causes cholera. Six hours after swimming, Vibrio were still present on most of the participants, but 24 hours after swimming, only one participant had them.

“While many Vibrio are not pathogenic, the fact that we recovered them on the skin after swimming demonstrates that pathogenic Vibrio species could potentially persist on the skin after swimming,” Nielsen said.

The fraction of Vibrio species detected on the swimmers’ skin was more than 10 times greater than the fraction in ocean water, suggesting Vibrio has a specific affinity for attachment to human skin, according to the researchers.

They noted that skin is the body’s first line of defense against contaminated water.

“Recent studies have shown that human skin microbiome plays an important role in immune system function, localized and systemic diseases, and infection,” Nielsen said. “A healthy microbiome protects the host from colonization and infection by opportunistic and pathogenic microbes.”

Research presented at scientific meetings should be considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on recreational water illnesses.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: June 2019

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News Bytes: ‘Sonic’ Redesign Causes Delay, ‘Shrek’ vs. ‘Thrones,’ Sony Launches PlayStation Productions & More

Mattel & Warner Bros. CP Extend DC Global Toy Partnership
Mattel will continue to be the toy licensee for DC Universe characters and brands in the girls, preschool, vehicles, games and novelty categories, supporting and growing both existing franchises as well as new content from the DC Super Hero Girls brand.

“Mattel has been our partner on DC for over 15 years and really knows our characters and understands the special connection they have with our fans. Their leadership in the preschool, vehicle and girls categories will help us bring great toys and experiences to DC fans of all ages.” — Stephen Teglas, SVP for North America, WBCP

CALL FOR ENTRIES: animago 2019
The 23rd competition for 3D animation, vfx and design will be held Nov. 2-5 in Munich. Submissions are invited to enter for a shot at 10 competition categories, including the new Best In-Game Graphics award, Best Visual Effects, Best Game Cinematic, Best Short Film, Best Advertising Production, Best Character, Best Young Production, Jury’s Prize, Best Motion Design, and Best Still (public vote). Deadline: June 30, 2019.

Sony Interactive Launches Unit to Adapt Games for Film, TV
The new banner headed by Asad Qizilbash and overseen by Sony Interactive chairman of worldwide studios Shawn Layden will mine the PlayStation games property library for filmed entertainment hits. Titles like Tomb Raider and Ratchet & Clank have previously received live-action and animated movie adaptations.

“We looked at what Marvel has done in taking the world of comic books and making it into the biggest thing in the film world. It would be a lofty goal to say we’re following in their footsteps, but certainly we’re taking inspiration from that … We want to create an opportunity for fans of our games to have more touch points with our franchises. When fans beat a 40-50 hour game and have to wait three-four years for a sequel, we want to give them places they can go and still have more of that experience and see the characters they love evolve in different ways.” — Shawn Layden, SIE Chairman – Worldwide Studios.

Let Us Not Overlook ‘Shrek’s Contributions to ‘Game of Thrones’
One seemingly absurdTwitter thread has outshone every long-gestated fan theory about the show, tbh.

’Game of Thrones’ Alum Bryan Cogman Joins ‘Lord of the Rings’ Amazon Series
Speaking of fantasy epics! Cogman joined GoT as an assistant to creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and went on to write many key episodes (including season 8 tearjerker “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”) and wrap the show as a co-executive producer. The move to LotR is part of his overall deal with Amazon Studios. The new series will further explore Middle-earth outside the familiar book trilogy tale.

Jeff Fowler: ‘Sonic’ Date Pushed Back for Redesign
After the debut trailer for live-action/CG event feature Sonic the Hedgehog gave the entire collective internet a conniption and caused director Fowler to announce a redesign of the lead character, the helmer posted to Twitter Friday that the release is being delayed to accommodate the makeover. “Taking a little more time to make Sonic just right. #novfxartistswereharmedinthemakingofthismovie,” Fowler tweeted, with a sketch of Sonic’s gloved hand (are they turning his furry white hands back into gloves?!) holding a sign with the date February 14, 2020. The new date means Sonic debuts the same day as comic-book movie Kingsman 3 and a week after hybrid family flick Peter Rabbit 2.



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