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Faux Killer Whale Fails to Deter Sea Lions

ABC US News | World News

The basic principle behind a scarecrow seems like it should work just as well in water as it does on land—but residents in Astoria, Oregon have discovered it’s not as easy as you might think.

In an effort to shoo away hundreds of sea lions from crowding the local docks, the Port of Astoria borrowed a 32-foot fiberglass orca whale from a whale-watching business in Bellingham, Wash. The motorized, life-sized replica was equipped with recordings of real life killer whale calls and room enough for a human driver to control the action.

Last week, about 1000 people stood by to watch the voyage of the replica whale. Jim Knight, the executive director of the Port of Astoria, told the Associated Press that the sea lions went “deathly silent” when the vessel shoved off.

Then, the scheme went belly-up. When a cargo ship passed by, the wake caused the orca-boat to capsize. The operator was rescued—and the sea lions?

“They probably think it’s dead now,” Knight said. 

This was the second hiccup for “Fake Willy,” as it’s come to be known. The outboard motor flooded in its maiden voyage which docked the dummy until a replacement could be installed.

Recently, the Port of Astoria has attempted to combat the sea lion population, which has grown significantly in the last few decades. Beach balls, colorful tape, chicken wire and electrified mats have all been tested out.

The fake orca is now back in Bellingham, where it will be repaired and better equipped for rough waters. It will return in August, when the sea lion population is in full force during salmon-spawning season.

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© 2017 USPS
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Pop Culture
Speedy Delivery: Mister Rogers Will Get His Own Stamp in 2018
© 2017 USPS
© 2017 USPS

USPS 2018 Mister Rogers stamp
© 2017 USPS

After weeks of mailing out this year’s holiday cards, postage might be the last thing you want to think about. But the U.S. Postal Service has just given us a sneak peek at the many iconic people, places, and things that will be commemorated with their own stamps in 2018, and one in particular has us excited to send out a few birthday cards: Mister Rogers.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred Rogers’s groundbreaking PBS series that the USPS says “inspired and educated young viewers with warmth, sensitivity, and honesty,” the mail service shared a mockup of what the final stamp may look like. On it, Rogers—decked out in one of his trademark colorful cardigans (all of which were hand-knitted by his mom, by the way)—smiles for the camera alongside King Friday XIII, ruler of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Though no official release date for Fred’s forever stamp has been given, Mister Rogers is just one of many legendary figures whose visages will grace a piece of postage in 2018. Singer/activist Lena Horne will be the 41st figure to appear as part of the USPS’s Black Heritage series, while former Beatle John Lennon will be the face of the newest Music Icons collection. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will also be honored.

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Can You Spot the Christmas Pudding?

Whether it’s a sheep hanging out with Santa Claus or a panda bear hiding among some snowmen, regular Mental Floss readers know that hidden picture brainteasers are one of our favorite things. And the optical experts at Lenstore.co.uk have released a delicious one, just in time for Christmas. Somewhere in the midst of all these holiday-themed goodies above, there’s a holiday pudding just waiting to be discovered. Can you spot it? Your time starts … now.

If you give up, or are the kind of person who reads the last page of a book before the first one and just wants to know the answer, scroll down to see where it’s hiding.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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