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German wasps on their way to the bar, or in this case, a rotting apple. (Photo: Bernie/Public Domain)

"Drunk" and "angry" are just about the last two words you'd want to associate with a swarm of giant wasps. But if you're in the United Kingdom, take cover: this summer, German wasps (Vespula Germanica) have been getting drunk and crashing parties. 

Over the last few months higher than average temperatures in the region have brought the wasps out in full force. And these wasps are bigger and angrier than your standard variety. Experts say that German wasps are over twice the size of regular wasps, and pack a noticeably more painful sting. One poor sap, stung on the chest, was convinced that he was having a heart attack. 

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 Clocking in 4,750 miles long and 9 miles wide, the Great Green Wall of Africa is as ambitious as it is necessary.

While only 330 miles of greenery have currently been planted in northern Senegal, international organizations have pledged over $3 billion towards the completion of this massive environmental project, designed to help stop land degredation. But the Great Green Wall is about more than just protection from desertification. Thousands of jobs, increased environmental diversity, land management research, and tourists drawn to visit the planned forest are all additional benefits. 

The successful growth of the Great Green Wall won't just benefit the local region, it will have an impact on the entire African continent and beyond, stabilizing an unstable region, and helping fight the effects of climate change on a global scale. 

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The Phoenix Pavilion (Photo: Public domain)

In 1892, Japanese workers began building a pavilion on the Wooded Island of Chicago's Jackson Park. The next year, as part of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, the Phoenix Pavilion opened to the public. Its design was based on one of the most famous temples in Japan, and inside the rooms were stocked with Japanese furniture, objects and art. After the exposition was over, Japan left some of those treasures to Chicago — including a set of sliding door paintings that were soon lost 

This week, the Chicago Mayor's office announced that those paintings had been found, in a storage facility of the Park districts.

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Rural Free Delivery in 1914Rural Free Delivery, 1914. (Photo: Library of Congress)

These days, with maps that tell you exactly when a bus is coming and weather apps that notify you exactly 12 minutes before it will start raining, the package delivery industry would seemingly have figured out how to pinpoint when your Amazon order will arrive.

And yet, no. The delivery window is still between 8 a.m.- 8 p.m., sometime the middle of Monday and Friday. And if you should happen to miss that, well, there’s always the orange note stuck to your neighbor’s mailbox.

For the past 40 years, the package delivery system has seemingly not changed; we’re still dominated by a few huge companies (some private, some public) which have storefronts and deliver products by air, land, and sea. But new advances and ideas are beginning to transform the way items are moved between consumer and producer: drones, automation, the sharing economy, megamerchants. Amazon wants you, in the near future, to hammer on a dedicated button next to your toilet that will send a humanoid or robotic courier to your bathroom with a new roll of toilet paper.

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