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Every morning at 9:45 a.m., on Vergenoegd Wine Estate, in Stellenbosch, South Africa, about a thousand Indian Runner ducks run from a gate and run around the white manor house on a manicured gravel path, according to NPR. They might remind one of a military formation where they run in formation, all facing forward and all turning at together at the same time. And they do this twice a day.
The reason? To scare off pests from the vineyard. It’s not a new idea. According to the Livestock Conservancy, runner ducks have been used in Asia for thousands of years to glean snails and insects from rice paddies by eating them, and, no doubt, scaring some away. Denzil Matthys, the duck caretaker at the vineyard, told NPR that the ducks help make the farm sustainable. "We try to keep a pesticide-free farm by using the ducks," he says. "They help us not to use poison on the farm."
POLITICALLY INCORRECT RUSSIAN ICE CREAM
And you thought U.S. politics were weird? The chilly relations between Moscow and Washington are getting a bit worse as a new ice cream, named "Obamka" in Russian, hits the shelves. The ice cream is glazed with chocolate and its wrapping features an image of a smiling young African boy wearing an earring and holding an ice cream.
Slavitsa, the company that produces the ice cream, said in a statement to Reuters that it was part of a range aimed at children, featuring "cheerful" characters. "With different flavors and glazes, the ice cream symbolizes the main races of people on our planet," it said. Right!
A U.S. official, who declined to be named because of the subject's sensitivity, told Reuters he saw the ice cream as part of a disturbing pattern."While I haven’t seen this particular product for sale, we are disappointed by the media-driven anti-Americanism that has become so prevalent in Russia over the past few years, particularly when it takes on a discriminatory or racist bent," the official said.
We must demand a sea change in our national and global political scene, and get away from name calling, berating and insulting of other politicians and citizens who don't share the same views.