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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

June 20, 2014 at 6:00 AM

A real-life Yogi Bear, and other stuff you might have missed this week

1 Anxiety ain't just for vertebrates

Wringing their claws?

French scientists have observed crayfish behavior similar to a type of anxiety in humans. A precursor of Valium returns the behavior to normal. (The New York Times, 2012)

French scientists have observed crayfish behavior similar to a type of anxiety in humans. A precursor of Valium returns the behavior to normal. (The New York Times, 2012)

Scientists in France have discovered that crayfish experience anxiety similar to that seen in humans and other animals. This is the first time the symptoms have been recorded in animals without backbones.

Drugs used to treat anxiety in humans also reduced anxious behavior in the crayfish. Injecting the brain chemical serotonin did the opposite.

Although it’s hard to tell exactly what the crayfish are experiencing, the research suggests animals’ brains work in much the same way across species.

2 Real-life Yogi and Boo Boo

Let’s go get some pic-a-nic baskets!

A black bear and two cubs stole lunch boxes belonging to children at an Anchorage summer camp.

The children were safe, but they’ll be eating lunch inside from now on.

3 Victoria sewage fouls Washington-B.C. relationship

Something is rotten in the province of B.C.

Victoria’s unofficial mascot, Mr. Floatie, speaks to the media at a 2006 press conference on Victoria sewage. Though James Skwarok hung up his suit when it appeared Vancouver Island would build a sewage treatment plant, he has since come out of retirement for a “second movement.” (Photo by Bruce Stotesbury / Victoria Times Colonist)

Victoria’s unofficial mascot, Mr. Floatie, speaks to the media at a 2006 press conference on Victoria sewage. Though James Skwarok hung up his suit when it appeared Vancouver Island would build a sewage treatment plant, he has since come out of retirement for a “second movement.” (Photo by Bruce Stotesbury / Victoria Times Colonist)

Victoria, B.C., has been pumping raw sewage into the Strait of Juan de Fuca every day for years.

Government officials there have promised to start treating the region’s sewage by 2020, but Washington Gov. Jay Inslee thinks their plan stinks.

The Seattle Times editorial board recently aired their own disgust with the practice, and with the zoning squabble that’s stopping any changes from being made.

B.C. residents fired back on those same opinion pages. They wrote that the sewage doesn’t affect the marine environment or human health, that the planned fix is a waste of their tax dollars, and that Seattle should butt out of what is B.C.’s business (or at least Whatcom and Skagit counties’).

I think we’re all missing the crucial question here: Who the heck decided Victoria’s effort to get sewage treatment required a guy in a poo suit as a mascot? O, Canada. I don’t get you.

4 That's not pomegranate in your pom-blue juice

Food and drink labels can hide juicy little secrets…

Next time you buy juice, turn the carton around and check the label. Not only might it not contain much juice in the first place (“juice cocktail” basically means “sugar water“), it might not be the kind of juice it says it is.

But that could change thanks to a Supreme Court ruling this week against the Coca-Cola company.

A lawsuit from fellow juice-maker Pom Wonderful points out that Coke’s Minute Maid “Pomegranate Blueberry” juice was actually 99 percent apple and grape juice. That labeling complies with FDA rules, but still misleads consumers, the justices said.

Coke argued Pom was just peeved about its own poor sales.

5 Seafair sets a Guinness World Record

A highlight from our Picture This blog

2023854353Riders wait behind the start line as Seafair clown “Dr. Duke Digger” raises his flags as they prepare to set a Guinness World Record for the most people towing a mini hydroplane behind their bike during a Seafair kickoff event at Westlake Park on June 15, 2014. The record was set with 67 people participating. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson / The Seattle Times)

Comments | More in List, Roundups, Weird news | Topics: Alaska, bears, bicycles

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