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5 More Animals That Romped Through New York

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An escaped peacock from New York’s Central Park Zoo found perching on Fifth Avenue window ledges drew attention—and international headlines—from news crews, bird watchers and well wishers last week.


The now-famous cerulean fowl, which eventually returned to the zoo on its own, got us thinking about a handful of other animals that have taken unexpected trips through the Big Apple’s urban wilderness over the years.

Photo credit: ANIMALNewYork

1. Wile E. Coyote’s Lesser-Known Second Cousin, Hal

In 2006, Manhattanites all but reenacted an episode of a Road Runner vs. Coyote cartoon, chasing a one-year-old coyote named Hal around Central Park’s famous ice rink, over the carousel, and through the woods on a two-day urban safari. Hal was eventually shot by a tranquilizer dart and captured, but not before New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was called upon to quell New Yorkers’ fears about the wayward wild dog. “This is New York,” he said at a press conference at the time. “I would suggest that the coyote may have more problems than the rest of us.”

2. Pale Male the Red-Tailed Hawk

Twenty years ago, a red-tailed hawk named Pale Male took up residency on a fancy Fifth Avenue apartment building, drawing the attention of thousands of curious New Yorkers toting telescopes. Denizens of the posh apartment, including Mary Tyler Moore, were less than thrilled about having birdwatchers’ binoculars outside their bedroom windows and decided to remove Pale Male’s nest under cover of night. Little did they know they would be sparking an international incident.


The Audubon Society, bird advocacy groups, and active-duty soldiers in Iraq all came together to demand that the nest be returned. It was, and Pale Male, along with his female mate, returned to their improbable home, where they live today. The famous hawk has since inspired an award-winning documentary—The Legend of Pale Male—three children’s books, and a recurring character on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

3 and 4. Maxine and Queenie: Renegade Bovines

Thelma and Louise? So last century. Maxine and Queenie is more like it. Both are cows that have gone on the lam in Queens and Brooklyn, narrowly escaping the fate of their cow-cohorts at a nearby slaughterhouse.

Both Maxine and Queenie were found stampeding through urban streets, tranquilized, and delivered to a farm animal sanctuary in upstate New York, where they joined dozens of other cows, sheep and goats, most of whom also made a break from the herd at the slaughterhouse. Animal control officials in New York say they usually get calls about two or three escaped farm animals per year, but more often they get calls about chickens who’ve snuck out the back door during Jewish Kapparot ceremonies—a ritual in which a chicken is sacrificed before Yom Kippur—or been dyed pastel colors during Easter. Mr. Pickles, a rooster rescued from the hard-knock streets of Brooklyn, now lives with Maxine and Queenie in upstate New York.

5. A Snake on the Loose

Just a few months ago, New Yorkers flew into a tizzy when a banded cobra escaped from its cage in the Bronx Zoo. A fake Twitter account sprang up, cracking every snake-related joke you can think of (when will the 2006 cinematic masterpiece Snakes on a Plane stop being hilarious?). The two-foot-long teenage cobra was discovered two days after its alleged jailbreak, curled in a ball in a cool corner of the zoo’s reptile house, but the fake tweets continue.

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10 Classic Books That Have Been Banned
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From The Bible to Harry Potter, some of the world's most popular books have been challenged for reasons ranging from violence to occult overtones. In honor of Banned Books Week, which runs from September 24 through September 30, 2017, here's a look at 10 classic book that have stirred up controversy.

1. THE CALL OF THE WILD

Jack London's 1903 Klondike Gold Rush-set adventure was banned in Yugoslavia and Italy for being "too radical" and was burned by the Nazis because of the author's well-known socialist leanings.

2. THE GRAPES OF WRATH

Though John Steinbeck's 1939 novel, about a family of tenant farmers who are forced to leave their Oklahoma for California home because of economic hardships, earned the author both the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize, it also drew ire across America become some believed it promoted Communist values. Kern County, California—where much of the book took place—was particular incensed by Steinbeck's portrayal of the area and its working conditions, which they considered slanderous.

3. THE LORAX

The cover of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
Google Play

Whereas some readers look at Dr. Seuss's Lorax and see a fuzzy little character who "speaks for the trees," others saw the 1971 children's book as a danger piece of political commentary, with even the author reportedly referring to it as "propaganda."

4. ULYSSES

James Joyce's 1922 novel Ulysses may be one of the most important and influential works of the early 20th century, but it was also deemed obscene for both its language and sexual content—and not just in a few provincial places. In 1921, a group known as The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice successfully managed to keep the book out of the United States, and United States Post Office regularly burned copies of it. But in 1933, the book's publisher, Random House, took the case—United States v. One Book Called Ulysses—to court and ended up getting the ban overturned.

5. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT

In 1929, Erich Maria Remarque—a German World War I veteran—wrote the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, which gives an accounting of the extreme mental and physical stress the German soldiers faced during their time in the war. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the book's realism didn't sit well with Nazi leaders, who feared the book would deter their propaganda efforts.

6. ANIMAL FARM

The cover of George Orwell's Animal Farm
Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

The original publication of George Orwell's 1945 allegorical novella was delayed in the U.K. because of its anti-Stalin themes. It was confiscated in Germany by Allied troops, banned in Yugoslavia in 1946, banned in Kenya in 1991, and banned in the United Arab Emirates in 2002.

7. AS I LAY DYING

Though many people consider William Faulkner's 1930 novel As I Lay Dying a classic piece of American literature, the Graves County School District in Mayfield, Kentucky disagreed. In 1986, the school district banned the book because it questioned the existence of God.

8. LOLITA

Sure, it's well known that Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita is about a middle-aged literature professor who is obsessed with a 12-year-old girl who eventually becomes her stepdaughter. It's the kind of storyline that would raise eyebrows today, so imagine what the response was when the book was released in 1955. A number of countries—including France, England, Argentina, New Zealand, and South Africa—banned the book for being obscene. Canada did the same in 1958, though it later lifted the ban on what is now considered a classic piece of literature—unreliable narrator and all.

9. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

Cover of The Catcher in the Rye

Reading J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye is practically a rite of passage for teenagers in recent years, but back when it was published in 1951, it wasn't always easy for a kid to get his or her hands on it. According to TIME, "Within two weeks of its 1951 release, J.D. Salinger’s novel rocketed to No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list. Ever since, the book—which explores three days in the life of a troubled 16-year-old boy—has been a 'favorite of censors since its publication,' according to the American Library Association."

10. THE GIVER

The newest book on this list, Lois Lowry's 1993 novel The Giverabout a dystopia masquerading as a utopiawas banned in several U.S. states, including California and Kentucky, for addressing issues such as euthanasia.

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Data Viz Project, Ferdio // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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Design
From Donut Charts to Bubble Maps, This Site Will Help You Choose the Best Way to Visualize Your Data
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Data Viz Project, Ferdio // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

For many researchers, gathering data is the fun part of their job. But figuring out how to convey those numbers in a clear and visually appealing way is where they lose confidence. The Data Viz Project streamlines this step: With more than 150 types of data visualizations organized by different categories, finding the perfect format for your information is quick and painless.

According to Co.Design, the compendium comes from the Copenhagen-based infographics agency Ferdio and it took four years to develop. It started as a collection of physical graphs and charts posted on the walls of their office before moving online for all employees to use. Now, they’re making the project accessible to the public.

The website includes all the basic visualizations, like the line graph, the pie chart, and the Venn diagram. But it also makes room for the obscure: The chord diagram, the violin plot, and the convex treemap are a few of the more distinctive entries.

At first, the number of options can seem overwhelming, but narrowing them down is simple. If you’re looking for a specific type of visualization, like a chart, diagram, or table, you can select your category from the list labeled "family." From there you can limit your results even further by selecting the type of data you're inputting, the intended function (geographical data, trend over time), and the way you want it to look (bars, pyramids, pictographs).

Each image comes with its own description and examples of how it can be used in the real world. Check out some examples below to expand your own data visualization knowledge.

Alluvial Diagram
Alluvial Diagram

Arc Diagram
Arc Diagram

Hive Plot
Hive Plot

Hexagonal Binning
Hexagonal Binning

Violin Plot
Violin Plot

Packed Circle Chart
Packed Circle Chart

Kagi Chart
Kagi Chart

Sorted Stream Graph
Sorted Stream Graph

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of Ferdio // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

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