Photo by Tomas Proszek.

Animals around the globe

You can participate in one of the largest citizen science projects, taking place around the world this weekend.
The 20th-annual Great Backyard Bird Count is scheduled for Feb. 17th through the 20th. All you have to do is count the birds you see, anywhere in the world, for 15 minutes. Submit your checklist to birdcount.org. Your data will help biologists monitor the changes that have been occurring since 1998, the year the experiment began. [Bird Studies Canada]

More than two hundred beached whales rescue themselves in New Zealand.
More than 650 pilot whales have been beached near Golden Bay for the past several days. Despite the efforts of volunteer rescuers, 350 of those whales ended up dying. When volunteers left for the night on Saturday, they expected to come back to a couple hundred dead whale carcasses the next morning, but they had successfully floated themselves out to sea in the night and apparently survived. Pilot whales are not an endangered species, but we know very little about their habits and behaviors in New Zealand. [Reuters]

World events

Greece successfully deactivated a 500-pound, WWII-era bomb that was buried under a gas station — without killing anybody.
The unexploded bomb was discovered near Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city. Before working on its deactivation, officials called for one of the country’s largest peacetime evacuations — 70,000 people left the area. The bomb was successfully deactivated, extracted and transported to a military shooting range where it will be destroyed. [NPR]

More than 20,000 people protested Donald Trump in Mexico yesterday.
The protests took place in 18 cities across Mexico and were backed by 70 organizations, including Amnesty International, a collection of universities and many local businesses. [NBC]

Being a better writer

This interview will show you what it’s like to be an “immersion reporter.”
Ted Conover has spent 30 years immersing himself in lives different from his own. For 10 months, Conover was a guard at a maximum-security prison. For a year, he hopped freight trains. He’s also devoted months to working alongside undocumented Mexican laborers and recently worked undercover as a federal meat inspector in the U.S. Katia Savchuck interviews him for Neiman Storyboard here. Another great immersion storyteller: Barbara Ehrenreich.

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