Cool and Interesting News & Such.

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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby gumby » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:10 am

Collector wrote:A strange recall:

CNNMoney wrote:NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Mazda is recalling about 52,000 Mazda6 sedans in the U.S., because yellow sac spiders like to build their nests in part of the fuel system.

"A certain type of spider may weave a web in the evaporative canister vent line and this may cause a restriction of the line," Mazda said in a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The evaporative canister vent line runs from a charcoal-filled canister that cleans air coming out of the gas tank. Blockage of the line can prevent air from getting into the gas tank as the gasoline is used, resulting in negative air pressure inside the tank. That can lead to a crack in the gas tank and the possibility of a fire.

There have been 20 reported cases of spider infestation in the Mazda6 -- all have been in cars with 4-cylinder engines, none with V6's. No actual fires are known to have been caused by the spiders, according to Mazda's letter.

Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, repair the fuel system in the cars. A spring will also be installed to prevent spider intrusion, according to the letter.
Hot cars from the Geneva Motor Show

Letters will be mailed to owners of affected vehicles beginning at the end of this month.

It's unclear why this particular spider -- the yellow sac spider -- seems to prefer the model year 2009 and 2010 Mazda6, company spokesman Jeremy Barnes said. All modern cars have the same type of equipment.

"Maybe they just like cars that go 'Zoom-Zoom'," he said. "We honestly don't know."

This article doesn't surprise me one bit. Reminds me of when I attempt to fire up my gas BBQ & I get very little flame. Spiders (and their webs) in the orifice, causing blockage of the gas.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:35 pm

Those are some old fishermen... wrote:People are discovering antique fishing tackle all the time, in closets and at garage sales, but none of that compares to discoveries made recently by archaeologists at two of the Channel Islands off Southern California.
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Looking for signs of ancient human settlement, they unearthed meticulously-crafted spearheads and other tools (see photo at right) that date back 12,000 years and provide insight into the lives of a seafaring culture that obtained bounty from the ocean.

The astonishing discoveries, at three sites on Santa Rosa and San Miguel islands west of Santa Barbara, strongly support the theory that during an era when the first traces of humans appeared in the archaeological record in North America, a coastal culture existed that was distinct from the well-chronicled inland Clovis culture, which consisted of big-game hunters who subsisted on mastodons and other large mammals.

A 15-member team led by Jon Erlandson of the University of Oregon's Museum of Natural and Cultural History found chipped stone tools, used for fishing and hunting, along with an abundance of discarded seashells and bones.

A story about the finds appears in the March 4 issue of Science; it was summarized by New Scientist and Science Daily. New Scientist's headline: "Found: fine American fishing tackle, 12 millennia old."
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In the Science Daily piece, Erlandson said, "This is among the earliest evidence of seafaring and maritime adaptations in the Americas, and another extension of the diversity of Paleoindian economies. The points we are finding are extraordinary, the workmanship amazing. They are ultra thin, serrated and have incredible barbs on them. It's a very sophisticated chipped-stone technology."

The sites are thought to have represented seasonal hunting grounds. Prey items probably included surf perch and rockfish, geese, cormorants and other birds, shellfish and perhaps seals, sea lions and otters. The crescent-shaped stones probably were used at the ends of darts to stun birds. Fish and larger marine mammals were speared.

Team member Todd Braje, of Humboldt State University, is quoted by New Scientist as saying, "We found very thin, expertly made projectile points and it blew us away that these delicate flint-knapped points are this old."
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Most of the tools were different from those unearthed at inland Clovis sites on the North American mainland, but some of the spearheads were similar, perhaps implying that trade existed between the cultures.

The newly discovered sites might help scientists learn more about how North America became populated. It's widely believed that people arrived via a land bridge connecting Siberia and Alaska, but some scientists believe seafaring migration occurred.

Erlandson explained that his team's find supports the notion that mariners were either first to inhabit North America, or that they arrived at about the same time as those via the land route.

While the recent finds are not the oldest in North America, Braje explained in the New Scientist story that "this pushes back the chronology of New World seafaring to 12,000, maybe 13,000 years ago. It gets us a big step closer to showing that a coastal migration route happened, or was at least possible."
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:33 pm

A Quest For Film wrote:http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookou ... s-in-paris

A Brooklyn man's quest to locate the owner of a roll of film he found in the snow in Prospect Park after a blizzard has ended with a reunion in Paris.

Todd Bieber stumbled upon the film canister while cross-country skiing after a 2010 Christmas blizzard that dumped more than a foot of snow over the city. Bieber developed the film and was captivated by the photos, which show what he surmised to be out-of-towners taking a snowy and beautiful journey from Central Park across the Brooklyn Bridge to an empty Coney Island amusement park, and then to Prospect Park, where they must have accidentally dropped the film canister.

Bieber's video about his quest quickly went viral, garnering over a million views. Thousands of people wrote offering tips and advice. Finally, he got the response he was looking for.

It turns out the photos were taken by a French student temporarily studying in America named Camille, whose brother was visiting her in New York when the storm hit. Camille's ex-roommate wrote to Bieber to say that she thought the photos were taken by Camille because she recognized the block outside her apartment. Bieber then decided to embark on a five-country road trip through Europe to track down Camille and return the photos.

He asked people in Europe who had emailed him about the video if he and his girlfriend could stay with them during their journey.

When he finally got to Paris, the meeting with Camille was a little awkward.

"We sat and drank tea and awkwardly talked," Bieber says in the video. "I threw her in this situation and posted photos of her family that ended up all over the Internet." She joked with Bieber that her family had started calling him the "boy Amelie," after the quirky character in the eponymous French movie who decides to change the lives of strangers around her.

Bieber tells the Lookout that Camille was happy to have her film back. "But could you imagine waking up one morning and finding out the whole internet is passing around pictures you took of your family on vacation? Her initial reaction was appropriate given the circumstances," he says.

Bieber also met Camille's brother, who is pictured in her photos and is an artist. "Thank you for losing the film," he told them.

Bieber left his own roll of black-and-white film of the trip in Paris for a stranger to find, in hope that someone will track him down and have their own adventure.


The link above contains links to the videos.

The Emperors Have Left wrote:A small colony of emperor penguins on an island off the West Antarctic Peninsula is gone, and the most likely culprit is loss of sea ice caused by warming. Although it has been predicted that penguins could suffer greatly because of global warming, this is the first time the disappearance of a colony has been documented.

The researchers, however, caution that their study is hampered by a lack of long-term information on emperor penguins, both at this site and in general, and their environment.

Emperor penguins are regal, if bulky, birds that stand as high as 4 feet (1.2 meters) and can weigh as much as 84 pounds (38 kilograms). This colony, first spotted in 1948 on an island dubbed Emperor Island, was a small one that had approximately 150 breeding pairs.

Observations are spotty, but the populations appear to have been relatively stable until the 1970s. A report in 1978 showed a sharp drop in population, a trend that continued until an airplane survey found the island empty in 2009. [Album: Life at the South Pole]

This raises the question: Did the penguins die off or just relocate? "That's one of the big unknowns," said Philip Trathan, the lead researcher and head of conservation biology at the British Antarctic Survey.

Penguin habits

Emperor penguins appear to return home each year to the site where they hatched. But the colonies must sometimes relocate because of changes in the ice, however, the details of how this happens aren't understood. Trathan and his colleagues speculate that the Emperor Island penguins born in the late 1970s – they live to be about 20 years old – may have continued to return in smaller numbers each year until the colony disappeared.

Ice is crucial to these birds. Most emperor penguins breed on sea ice — called fast ice — which attaches to the ice shelves and coastlines, and does not move in wind or currents. As the ice develops in autumn, the birds gather at their colonies. They remain there, mating, laying eggs and raising chicks until mid-summer, when the chicks fledge and the fast ice breaks up. They also forage within the pack ice, which floats at the surface of the water.

The colony on Emperor Island frequently nested on land, although reports also show these birds setting up house on the ice. So, the disappearance of this colony indicates that breeding on land may not be a good alternative, Trathan said.

Caused by climate change?

The cause of the disappearance is not clear-cut, but the evidence indicates a connection to climate change.

"The one site in Antarctica where we have seen really big changes is the West Antarctic Peninsula," Trathan said. For much of the 20th century, this region has warmed at an unprecedented rate, particularly in recent decades, the researchers write in a study published Feb. 28 in the journal PLoS ONE.

Data collected from a station about 25 miles (40 kilometers) away shows a marked increase in air temperature; meanwhile, the local sea ice in the area has been forming later and melting earlier. One study published in 2007 in the Journal of Geophysical Research found that between 1979 and 2004 in this region, sea ice began advancing about 54 days later and retreating 31 days earlier. (This trend does not hold for all of Antarctic waters, but, ultimately, Antarctic sea ice is expected to shrink significantly.)

In addition to destroying colony habitat, warming and the loss of sea ice could indirectly affect the penguins by reducing the availability of the fish, krill and squid they eat, or by increasing the presence of predators, such as giant petrels, the authors write.

Climate change is not a new culprit. A previous modeling study projected that global warming would be very bad for emperor penguins. Published in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2009, the study found a 36 percent chance that shrinking Antarctic sea ice could cause emperor penguin populations to drop by 95 percent or more by 2100.

It's possible that factors including disease or extreme weather may have caused this particular colony to disappear, but there is no data available to test these hypotheses, Trathan said.

"We need to look at more colonies so we can reduce the uncertainty," he said. "With the first report, there is a high degree of uncertainty."


Whale Shark Feeding Frenzy! wrote:If this year is like the last few, one of the most mysterious creatures in the world will soon descend upon the waters off of the Yucatan Peninsula. The blue, plankton-rich waters will become an all-you-can-eat haven for hundreds of giant whale sharks, an annual event known as "afuera."

As writer Jim Tharpe wrote Monday in the Washington Post, the sharks feed on plankton at the ocean surface in a "swirling mass." Nowhere else do whale sharks gather in such numbers in full view of human eyes – and researchers are using the opportunity to learn more about these elusive giants.

"Amazingly, the largest fish in the world, which is the whale shark, is one of the least known," Rafael de la Parra, a biologist and coordinator for Mexico's whale shark conservation Domino Project, told LiveScience. [Images of whale sharks]

Mystery beasts

The sharks live their lives largely out of the sight. Little is known about where they go and what they do when they aren't in shallow-water feeding groups like the ones in Mexican waters. Satellite tags, which beam back information about animals' whereabouts, have given some hints, said Robert Hueter, the director of the shark research center at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida.

Hueter, de la Parra and their colleagues have tracked 42 whale sharks from the Yucatan area with satellite tags since 2003. They've found that the animals swim massive distances. One female turned up in the Southern Hemisphere halfway between Brazil and Africa. She'd traveled a minimum of 4,500 miles (7,242 kilometers) in 150 days, not including vertical distance diving or any curves on her route.

"We're working on the hypothesis that they are going down there to give birth to their pups, at least that's one place that they're going," Hueter told LiveScience. The theory is consistent with observations of small whale sharks in the area, he said, but so far the team hasn't seen another female take the same journey.

The whale sharks also take deep dives. The deepest observed dive, Hueter said, was 6,325 feet (1,928 meters) below the ocean surface – more than a mile and a quarter. The sharks make these dives in a long, slow glide, Hueter said, leading researchers to speculate that it's a way for the animals to cover long distances without expending much energy.

Reproduction riddle

The reason for the deep-sea excursions isn't the only whale shark mystery. No one knows anything about how the animals breed, said Jennifer Schmidt, a biologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago who has studied the genetics of the animals. One of her studies suggests that female whale sharks may save up sperm from a single mating to fertilize multiple pregnancies, but whale shark courtship has never been observed.

"The genetics tell us that there seems to be a large degree of migration and interbreeding between animals around the world," Schmidt told LiveScience. "There must be a place where adult males and females meet to breed, but we don't know where that place is."

Most feeding aggregations seen around the world are made up of adolescent males, Hueter said. The sharks that feed in Mexico are a slightly more inclusive slice of whale shark life, with more adults and females present. Still, the sex ratio is 2.6 males to every female, and no one knows why.

Diving for clues

Nonetheless, studies of the Yucatan feeding frenzies have answered some questions about whale sharks. For one: What do they eat? The sharks are drawn to the site by an upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water that leads to plankton blooms. Plankton is the main source of sustenance for these filter-feeding sharks. In particular, the afuera area – so named because it is "outside" the Mexican government's official protected zone for the sharks – is a spawning spot for a type of tuna called the little tunny. The fish probably spawn at night, Schmidt said, and their eggs rise to the surface in the morning.

Next, she said, "the sharks come in and literally swim at surface level with their mouths wide open just vacuuming in the eggs."

Because the sharks feed at the surface, researchers have been able to figure out how they eat, as well as how much. It turns out that whale sharks have a unique filtration system: Their mouths are equipped with pads that "look like scouring pads from your kitchen," said Philip Motta, a biologist at the University of South Florida who has studied the afuera whale sharks' feeding behavior.

As the sharks swim along, water probably hits these pads at an angle, Motta told LiveScience. The water continues through, but the plankton get deflected toward the back of the throat. The set-up probably prevents the filtering pads from getting clogged, Motta said.

"There's no other fish that has anything like this," he said.

For all their size (they can grow to more than 40 feet, or 12 meters, in length) whale sharks don't eat as many calories as might be expected. According to research by Motta and colleagues published last year in the journal Zoology, a 20-foot (6.2 meter) whale shark is estimated to consume 6,721 calories (28,121 kilojoules) per day. In comparison, a moderately active human man should consume around 2,500 calories per day.

It's impossible to know in advance whether the sharks will stay "afuera" or aggregate inside the protected zone this year, de la Parra said, but the research team plans to continue research on the sharks' genetics, growth and movements. They're also monitoring whether ecotourism affects the sharks' behavior. Numerous boats carry tourists out to feeding aggregations to get close to the sharks, Hueter said, which is good for conservation awareness. However, he said, many sharks already show signs of run-ins with propellers and boats, so ecotourism can be a threat.

Hueter and his Mote Marine Lab team aren't sure if they'll have funding to continue studies in Mexico this summer. They're watching a few remaining satellite tags from previous seasons, Hueter said. They are also monitoring shark populations in the northern Gulf of Mexico, looking for contamination from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It's likely to be tough, Hueter said, but the team hopes to draw blood from swimming whale sharks to check their health. As filter feeders, he said, whale sharks are particularly vulnerable to ocean pollution.

"They can't just keep their mouths closed and swim away and feed somewhere else," Hueter said. "Even if oil is present in microdroplets that have been dispersed, they are processing a lot of volume of water, and even the smallest trace of pollutants can become concentrated on their gills."


(The above two are from LiveScience.com which I love)
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Maiandra » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:07 pm

Whale sharks are so cool! I watched something the other day about them on National Geographic channel. The aquarium housing them actually conditioned them to accept food from specific colour buckets so they wouldn't try to eat eachothers' food.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:13 pm

70 Metal Books That Could Redefine The Bible. Again.

Catacomb of 8 Million Dogs sacrificed to Anubus.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:39 am

Neither cool nor interesting - but made me laugh at the visual of this actually happening!


CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- A man was arrested Wednesday night after going on strange beer run in Chula Vista.

Shortly before 9 p.m., Chula Vista police responded to reports from witnesses who said a naked man was running in the area near 3rd Avenue and G Street.

Police were able to track the man down inside a 7-Eleven store in the area as he tried to buy some beer.
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The unidentified man was arrested and taken to County Mental Services for an evaluation.

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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby dotkel50 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:12 am

Another guy showing us his shortcomings. :shock:
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby BBP » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:03 am

:lol: Go Dot!
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Rath Darkblade » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:05 am

Heh. Another guy that should have kept his private parts private. :o ;)
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:22 pm

Boring. Right up to the 1 minute mark. Then it gets pretty amazing.
http://www.grindtv.com/snow/blog/26377/ ... sensation/
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:59 am

This one is for Collector who keeps swearing that the Android is out selling the iPhone...


NEW YORK – Consumer technology companies reporting financial results this week are looking like rowboats bobbing in the wake of Apple Inc.'s supertanker.

Close to oblivion in 1997, Apple is now the world's second-most valuable company, after Exxon Mobil Corp. On April 20, it reported net income of $5.99 billion for the January-to-March period, nearly double that of a year ago. It shipped a record 18.65 million iPhones during the quarter. Its iPad tablet computers are so popular, the company couldn't make enough.

Apple's ascendancy has produced many losers and a few winners, as underscored over the past two weeks:

• Microsoft Corp.: loser.

Apple dethroned Microsoft as the world's most valuable technology company a year ago. In its mid-fall report, it surpassed Microsoft in quarterly revenue. In the January-March period this year, it surpassed Microsoft in net income, too.

On Thursday, Microsoft reported that revenue from the Windows operating system declined for the second straight quarter because people are buying fewer Windows computers.

Some prospective buyers are going to Macs instead — Apple reported that it sold 28 percent more units. Others are going to iPads. Goldman Sachs now believes that more than 30 percent of iPads sold may be replacing PC sales. In the 90s, the trend was the opposite, as Windows PCs were crowding out Macs.

• Nokia Corp.: loser.

Nokia said this week that it will slash 7,000 jobs through layoffs and outsourcing. It still sells more phones than anyone else, but it's losing share to Apple, especially when it comes to smartphones.

Research firm Strategy Analytics also said revenue from Apple's iPhone sales surpassed that of Nokia's phones in the January-to-March period, as iPhones are much more expensive than the average Nokia phone. That makes Apple the world's largest phone maker by revenue.

To better compete with the iPhone, Nokia is ditching its old Symbian software and adopting Microsoft's Windows Phone 7. But the transition will take time; the first Windows-powered Nokia phones aren't expected until late 2011 or early 2012.

• Research In Motion Ltd.: loser.

The maker of the BlackBerry is in a predicament that's similar to Nokia's. RIM warned Thursday that net income, revenue and unit sales for the quarter ending in May will come in below its previous forecast.

The company's high-end phones are looking old compared with the iPhone and ones running Google Inc.'s Android software. They aren't selling as well as the company expected.

RIM promised investors that new phones with revamped software will bring sales roaring back in the latter half of the year, but investors are skeptical, sending RIM's stock down Friday.

• HTC Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.: winners, indirectly.

Although all three companies compete with Apple's iPhone, they are doing well. Unlike Nokia and RIM, the three are betting on Google's Android system, which comes the closest to mimicking the look, feel and functions of the iPhone.

Motorola Mobility is a shadow of the old Motorola, once the world's second-largest maker of phones. But its focus on Android-powered smartphones is showing signs of success. It reported on Thursday a near-doubling of smartphone sales in the first quarter.

HTC of Taiwan has been making smartphones for a decade, and sales are really taking off with the help of Android. On Friday, it reported selling 9.7 million in the first quarter.

For South Korea's Samsung, smartphone sales were a bright spot in the first quarter as overall phone sales declined and other electronics were weak. The company is embroiled in patent litigation with Apple.

• Verizon Wireless: winner.

The No. 1 U.S. cellphone carrier posted a jump in new contract-signing customers — the more profitable kind — after it introduced its version of the iPhone on Feb. 10, which ended AT&T Inc.'s exclusive grip on the device in the U.S.

(Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications Inc. of New York and Vodafone Group PLC of Britain.)

• AT&T and Sprint Nextel Corp: mixed.

Verizon's new subscribers came at the expense of AT&T and Sprint Nextel Corp. But neither carrier saw signs of current customers moving to Verizon for the sake of the iPhone. Rather, it seems customers weighing between carriers were more likely to go to Verizon because of the iPhone.

AT&T appeared to be splitting new iPhone customers evenly with Verizon Wireless.

Sprint lost lucrative contract customers in the quarter, but continued its long turnaround by signing up a record number of people on cheaper, contract-free plans.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Collector » Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:16 pm

Except that there are many different manufacturers of the Android. Remember, The Android is just an open platform, not a brand. The iPhone is both with only one manufacturer. To compare Apple one on one with a single competitor is misleading, as it accounts for only a fraction of total competitor sales. It is like comparing the sales of Macs against just Acer's and saying Macs out sell PCs. If HTC alone has slightly over half as many sales as the iPhone, all the others only need to sell around 9 million units combined, slightly less than HTC's sales.

Apple may indeed sell more than any other single manufacturer and their sales probably have increased since the last time I looked because of new carriers, but the figures that I have seen are on platform sales. The fact that the iPhones keep a record of everything will probably hurt sales some, too, if Apple does not address that soon.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Fri May 06, 2011 10:50 pm

A Town Population: 1

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Elsie Eiler walks past an abandoned building that was once a general store in Monowi, Nebraska April 28, 2011. At its peak in the 1930's the town had 150 residents but after the railroad left it began to decline. Now down to a population of just one, Monowi is the only incorporated town, village or city in the United States with just a single resident. The general store closed when World War Two started and the owner moved out of town to serve on the draft board. Picture taken April 28, 2011.
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Elsie Eiler poses with the town population sign outside of the village of Monowi, Nebraska April 28, 2011. Eiler is the person living in Monowi making it the only incorporated town, village or city in the United States with only one resident.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby AndreaDraco » Fri May 06, 2011 11:03 pm

This is why I love the United States so much... There's so power in these images and in the story of this old woman living in a deserted town all by herself.

Beautiful, really. Thanks for posting, Tawmis.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Maiandra » Sat May 07, 2011 7:30 pm

That is a stubborn woman. I hope she's close to other towns for her sake.

I wonder if a town ceases to exist once it has no more residents?
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