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The Bone Seller: Help Kickstart A Fascinating Documentary

My buddy Scott is a grave-robbing expert. OK, that sounds weird -- really he's an investigative journalist (his work has appeared in Wired, Nat Geo, etc) and someone who's spent so much time and energy digging up stories in India that the government of India officially considers him a Person of Indian Origin (even though he was born in Rhode Island and went to college with me in Ohio). But anyway. One of the stories he wrote while in India was about grave robbers who sold medical skeletons to (probably unwitting) anatomical supply companies around the world. There was also some evidence that people had been murdered for their body parts, all of which led to Scott writing a book called The Red Market that's coming out in a few months -- the says-it-all subtitle of which is On the Trail of the World's Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers and Child Traffickers. (How Scott hasn't gotten himself blood farmed or bone thieved at this point is a mystery to me; suffice to say he's got some steely cojones.)

Scott wants to make a documentary about the underground Indian bone trade, and the illegal suppliers of anatomical skeletons and other parts to supposedly aboveboard medical supply companies around the world. Of course, films -- even documentaries -- are expensive, and to get this off the ground he feels like he needs a really snazzy trailer, and to shoot that he'll need to get back to India and reinvestigate old leads. You can read about his idea on his Kickstarter page, or check out this less-than-snazzy but still interesting trailer for the project:

For more, check out Scott's website.

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Bone Broth 101
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Whether you drink it on its own or use it as stock, bone broth is the perfect recipe to master this winter. Special thanks to the Institute of Culinary Education

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Why Can Parrots Talk and Other Birds Can't?
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If you've ever seen a pirate movie (or had the privilege of listening to this avian-fronted metal band), you're aware that parrots have the gift of human-sounding gab. Their brains—not their beaks—might be behind the birds' ability to produce mock-human voices, the Sci Show's latest video explains below.

While parrots do have articulate tongues, they also appear to be hardwired to mimic other species, and to create new vocalizations. The only other birds that are capable of vocal learning are hummingbirds and songbirds. While examining the brains of these avians, researchers noted that their brains contain clusters of neurons, which they've dubbed song nuclei. Since other birds don't possess song nuclei, they think that these structures probably play a key role in vocal learning.

Parrots might be better at mimicry than hummingbirds and songbirds thanks to a variation in these neurons: a special shell layer that surrounds each one. Birds with larger shell regions appear to be better at imitating other creatures, although it's still unclear why.

Learn more about parrot speech below (after you're done jamming out to Hatebeak).

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