An excerpt from the Social Studies column in my local national newspaper (The Globe and Mail). Of course, it is the first item that is of the most interest to readers here:
One: A rare caterpillar, nicknamed Fred the Thread, is thinner than 1 mm and may be the world's thinnest. The orange insect, discovered in 2003, lives inside plant stems, says the New Zealand Press Association. The species, which escapes from a stem to become a moth, is named Houdinia flexilissima, after Harry Houdini.
Two: "Scientists descending more than two miles into the hot, fractured rocks of a South African gold mine have discovered clans of microbes that have thrived there in total isolation for millions of years," reports The San Francisco Chronicle. "Their quest, the scientists say, reveals more clearly than ever how life can exist in the most extreme environments imaginable: beneath the surface of Mars, perhaps, or on almost any other planet in the galaxy."
Five: The archer fish, found in the Indian and Pacific oceans, can spit a stream of water so accurately that it can dislodge an insect or small lizard from a branch a full meter above the water. The fish, which grows to 25 cm. in length, finds its target to an accuracy of 1 to 2 mm, says Prof. Stefan Schuster of the Institute of Zoology in Nurnberg, Germany. One spritz is usually enough, but the fish can fire five shots in a second if necessary.
10: Even Cuba gets the odd display of the aurora borealis -- about once every 10 years, says The Associated Press