Government Leaks Key Information About Training Crows to Be U.S. Spies?

     No one thinks much about crows as their oily black feathers rustle on by. But have you thought about them being some of the military’s most important spies? The military has been training crows to be sent out as spies. They are not only the smartest bird on the earth, but no one thinks much about them. When Lucy Alley, a local bird expert in Bar Harbor, was told about the birds she said,  “Crows are one of the smartest birds. They are known for their ability to learn to speak and play games,” 

     The government is putting tiny cameras on the crows. They call them crow cameras. These cameras provide knowledge that the military could use to learn about their enemies. The cameras could be good, but they are also creepy.  Barney Mills, a leader of a neighborhood watch team in Bangor, said, “I don’t have a problem with the military training the crows. It’s the cameras I’m worried about.” This brings up another side to the new crow trainees. Could the cameras be used for something other than military uses? But we should think about what good birds have been used for in the past. 

      Many birds in the past have been used to carry messages. This is similar to when the military trained pigeons to carry important messages back and forth across the battlefield. This was not carried out very long: the birds most of the time didn’t make it back.

     You see crows everywhere all the time. You never think twice about the crow in your backyard. Or in your neighbor’s yard, or even in the middle of the road.  What about after being told that the government was training crows to be spies? These innocent birds are smarter than you think. More useful, too. 

 

Why Have a Social Life When You Can Have a Cat?

     As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, many Americans are staying behind closed doors in an effort to protect themselves and their loved ones. Gone are the days when we could safely go to dinner or catch a movie with friends. Instead, many people are looking to their cats for comfort and company. 

Taylor Williams’ cat, August, makes her laugh when playing with a paper bag.

     “My cat is my best friend,” Taylor Williams, a recent cat owner, said. “I wanted a companion during quarantine, but now I know he’ll be my companion for life.” Like Williams, many Americans have replaced their friends with cats during the pandemic. As a result, cat owners have reported greater overall happiness, higher quality of life and zero desire to leave the house or socialize again. 

     Francesca Sadler, a cat owner of one year, said, “I like hanging out with my cat more than others because of the obvious unconditional love. She has the sweetest and most peaceful energy around.” Sadler also noted that her cat offers emotional support when she is having a bad day. Unlike human friends, cats comfort their owners without interrupting, giving unwanted advice or talking about themselves. 

Francesca Sadlers’ cat, Sneezers, provides emotional support during a stressful work day.

  While cats may be sweet, they also have a playful side that’s guaranteed to get a laugh. “My cat gets zoomies at 9 p.m. on the dot every day. She will just zoom around our apartment and hop on things,” Sadler said. Other cat owners have reported their cats hiding in small spaces, delivering strange gifts and drinking from the faucet. These actions are proof that cats have a better sense of humor than most humans.

     Cats are also easily entertained and are sure to entertain others. They are known to play with string, paper and even hair elastics. In choosing cats over a social life, many cat owners have reported saving time and money on concerts, sporting events and expensive nights out. “My cat is thrilled when I come home with a paper grocery bag,” Williams said. “It’s so cute!”

     While many recent cat owners are reaping these benefits for the first time during quarantine, others have chosen their cats over a social life for years. Joann Bourgoin said, “Cats are superior. They are just cuter than us humans and hey, I can accept that.” Bourgoin, a cat owner of 20 years, has yet to meet a human as cute and lovable as her cats. 

     Socializing during a pandemic is irresponsible. But staying in solitude can get lonely. Cats are the perfect solution to this problem and will continue to be the perfect friends once it’s safe to go out again. “I don’t need a social life,” Sadler said. “I’m a crazy cat woman now and I don’t care.”

Sometimes the Best Service Dog Is a Horse

Angel Is Trotting Around Dr. J’s Yard

Dr. Jacqui Lowman has had Saint, who has been helping with her mobility needs, for the last nine years.  “Saint has been a good dog.  But unfortunately, it’s time for me to look for another service animal,” Dr. J said.  As much as she has enjoyed having Saint, she has decided to go with something that will live longer.  Dr. J has decided to get a horse.  “Her name is Angel and she is a Dales Pony.  She is black and will be 30 inches tall when she is fully grown,” Dr J said.  Dr. J decided to get a pony over another dog because of the heartache.  “Dogs have been great, but it’s always breaking your heart when they die.  My miniature would live two to three times longer than a dog, so I wouldn’t have to go through the heartache as often,” Dr. J said. Continue reading “Sometimes the Best Service Dog Is a Horse”

The Sweetest School in the State

Potential design for the towering art project. The size is proportionate to the real sculpture.

University of Maine at Presque Isle art students are licking their lips in preparation for their newest project: a 50-foot lollipop sculpture.  The sculpture will replace the wind turbine that caught fire last year.

The project is projected to take 8-12 months of work to complete.  The size of the candy will be approximately 30 feet in diameter.  The frame of the sucker will be built using a steel frame, canvased with large—but thin–sheets of aluminum.  These wrap around the structure as if they were papier mâché. Continue reading “The Sweetest School in the State”

Is the Sky Falling?

View of James Road with the field mentioned to the left.

Nighttime skies in northern Maine are undeniably beautiful. With no smog or city lights to take away from the Milky Way or constellations, stargazers can spend hours looking up at the view. But what happens when in the midst of stargazing you see something in the sky falling? Sofia Crouse and her friends shared firsthand their experience the night in mid-February when they saw something they could not explain. Continue reading “Is the Sky Falling?”

Heat Wave Takes Northern Maine by Storm

The hot sun beams down on Presque Isle, melting the snow and troubling the lives of the members of the community.

One thing Northern Maine is best known for is the cold. An unexpected heat wave, however, hit the county starting in mid-March of this year. Temperatures have been reaching the upper 90s, which is unheard of for this time of year in northern Maine. Students attending UMPI are shocked by the sudden heat wave. Continue reading “Heat Wave Takes Northern Maine by Storm”

Pantry Thief!

Recent photos have popped up all over campus to try to catch The Pantry Bandit. Witnesses say he stuffs his pockets to the brim and doesn’t even attend UMPI. The pantry is intended for students of the university to help one another out, and this so-called “man” takes without any care. The account to follow will express how terrifying this incident truly is. Continue reading “Pantry Thief!”

Usain Bolt Coming to UMPI

Olympian Usain Bolt is coming to UMPI.

     The fastest man on earth is coming to the University of Maine of Presque Isle on Saturday, April 6, for sports clinic. The Jamaican sprinter will travel to northern Maine to greet community members and students during a sports clinic, which he will be running, no pun intended. The clinic will consist of speed and agility drills run by Bolt in Gentile Hall at 11 a.m. The event is free and open to everyone of all ages. Continue reading “Usain Bolt Coming to UMPI”

Vortex Snowmobile Tank

Vortex Snowmobile Tank

There has been extremely cold weather with big snowfall this year, which has certainly caused a lot of troubles for commuting to school. Thanks a lot to school workers who always get rid of lots of snow from the roads and parking in time. They even need to work in the wee hours of the morning and evening for everyone’s convenience. Continue reading “Vortex Snowmobile Tank”

April Fool’s Day Every Day

D.J. Stone sits on the edge of the waterbed he inherited from his mother. Beside him on the bed is a pile of trousers. As he slips his leg into a fifth pair of pants, he laughs. His wife, Maria, has sewn the hems together on this pair as well. “I stayed up all night doing it. I even made sure to do all of the dirty laundry. I didn’t miss a single pair!” Maria proudly states. D.J. looks at his wife adoringly, “I’m late to work a lot because of her pranks, but the joy they bring makes jeopardizing my job worth it.” He lovingly recalls the time she put raisins in the toothpaste tube causing brown goo to ooze out when he squeezed it. He chuckles at the memory of a friend’s dinner party. Maria snuck into the bathroom and melted Tootsie Rolls all over the toilet seat. “Last night he got me pretty good!” Maria smiles, “He served me a plate of Oreos, but he replaced all the filling with toothpaste.” The love in the room is palpable. Continue reading “April Fool’s Day Every Day”