Today marks 100 years since the Grand Canyon was designated as a national park. To celebrate, the park will host special events and programs at the park and throughout Arizona during the centennial year. Although afforded federal protection in 1893, the Grand Canyon did not achieve national park status until 1919, three years after the formation of the National Park Service. The Grand Canyon National Park Act, which officially made the Grand Canyon a national park, was signed by President Woodrow Wilson and considered an early success of the conservation movement. Today the Grand Canyon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and welcomes more than 6 million domestic and international tourists a year. Grand Canyon National Park Turns 100 Elephants get drunk on overripe fruit, horses eat hallucinogenic weeds, and now, it appears, dolphins may get high off of pufferfish. Footage from a new BBC documentary, “Spy in the Pod,” reveals dolphins purposely coming into contact with toxic pufferfish, which release a potent defensive chemical when threatened. In small doses, the toxin appears to put the dolphins into a trance-like state. The dolphins were filmed playfully passing the toxic pufferfish between them for 20 or 30 minutes and at one point were observed floating just beneath the surface of the water, apparently mesmerized by their own reflections. A zoologist with the film said that the dolphins’ handling of the pufferfish implied that it was not their first time interacting with the fish in this way. Another species feared extinct, the Fernandina Giant Tortoise, was also discovered last week on a remote Galapagos Island. The species had not been seen in more than 110 years when scientists found a single female tortoise, believed to be more than a century old. Scientists think there may be more living Fernandina Giant Tortoises on the island due to tracks and scat they found. The tortoise was taken to a breeding center for giant tortoises on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos. Cue Beyoncé’s “All the Single Ladies.” A single female Wallace’s giant bee, feared extinct for 38 years, was discovered on the Indonesian island of the North Moluccas last week. The world’s largest bee, four times the size of a honeybee, was found living inside a termite’s nest in a tree. The bee’s habitat is threatened by deforestation, and its size makes it a target for collectors. Two species, both thought to be extinct, recently re-discovered in Indonesia and Ecuador Dolphins may use toxic pufferfish to get high
Ireland’s actuaries are recommending that the government make private pensions mandatory for all workers, rather than introduce a UK-style system of automatic enrolment. The Society of Actuaries in Ireland said a compulsory pension system should be developed over the next five years as a way of increasing pensions coverage and making sure individuals have enough in retirement. Bringing in auto-enrolment is potentially wasteful, if the government later goes down the mandatory route anyway, it said. The recommendation is among the conclusions from a working party on pensions policy set up by the society in March 2013. The aim was to join the debate on whether a mandatory system was better than other methods, such as auto-enrolment, to complement the state pension. The society said it knew auto-enrolment might seem more palatable than a mandatory system in the current economic environment in Ireland. “However, in our view, a mandatory system is superior to an auto-enrolment regime for a number of reasons,” it said. A mandatory regime was a more effective way of increasing private pensions coverage than auto-enrolment, it said, citing international experience. Also, a mandatory system should be easier to run since there will be no opt-out and opt-in issues, it said. “Establishing the more complex system of auto-enrolment and subsequently introducing the mandatory regime could potentially be a waste of resources,” it added. Because it would take at least five years to bring a mandatory scheme into operation, the society said there was a need to move ahead quickly with decision-making and planning. Last April, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said in a review of Ireland’s pension system that making it compulsory for private workers to establish a pension was the cheapest and most effective approach to increasing coverage of private pensions. It said Ireland and New Zealand were the only OECD countries that did not have a mandatory earnings-related pillar to complement the state pension at basic level.
After kicking off the NCAA championships with two sweeps, the men’s tennis team looks to string together four more wins to capture its fourth-consecutive NCAA title.In front of a home crowd at Marks Stadium, No. 1 USC (29-1) posted a 4-0 victory against Fairfield (16-5) on Saturday, followed by another 4-0 win against No. 30 Texas A&M (14-15) on Sunday to advance to the round of 16 at Athens, Ga.The Trojans, who hold the top seed in the tournament, eliminated the Aggies behind freshman Roberto Quiroz’s 6-1, 6-3 clincher over Jackson Withrow.Reason to celebrate · Freshman Roberto Quiroz (left) and senior Steve Johnson (right) won their doubles match against Texas A&M to help the Trojans advance to the second round of the NCAA championships. – Photo courtesy of Dan Avila If the Trojans advance, they will take on either No. 8 Duke or Baylor in the quarterfinals on Sunday. USC set the tone early in doubles action, where No. 2 pair Johnson and Quiroz and No. 35 pair Nguyen and Sarmiento both dispatched their opponents to the tune of 8-4 to give the Trojans a quick 1-0 advantage.USC’s first singles point of the day came from No. 1 senior Steve Johnson, who defeated No. 33 Alexis Klegou 6-2, 6-1 for his 62nd consecutive singles win.No. 25 sophomore Ray Sarmiento then extended USC’s lead to 3-0 with a 6-1, 6-4 finish over Junior Ore.Quiroz clinched the win five minutes later, suspending the matches featuring No. 21 senior Daniel Nguyen, No. 51 freshman Yannick Hanfmann and No. 57 sophomore Emilio Gomez.The win over Texas A&M was Johnson and Nguyen’s last match at Marks Stadium. The two graduating seniors were both a part of the Trojans’ last three consecutive championship teams.“It’s always great to play at home, but it’s special for the seniors,” Sarmiento said. “I’m happy we got the wins for them.”The Trojans saw similar success in the tournament opener the day before in their sweep over Fairfield, which was capped off by Hanfmann’s 6-2, 6-2 win over Dennis Zlobinsky.After USC’s ranked pairs captured the doubles point in just 35 minutes, Johnson and Sarmiento defeated their opponents in straight singles sets to set up Hanfmann’s win.“I feel like the team is playing well. It’s a great way to go into the tournament,” Nguyen said.The first-round victory came nearly two weeks after the Trojans defeated No. 5 UCLA 4-2 at Ojai, Calif., on April 29 for the inaugural Pac-12 Team Championship.The Bruins had snapped the Trojans’ 45-match winning streak in a tight 4-3 win in the regular season finale at Marks Stadium on April 20.With a new four-match win streak intact, the Trojans continue their quest for a fourth consecutive NCAA title at the University of Georgia, where they will face No. 16 Illinois (19-7) in the round of 16 on Friday at 6 a.m.The Fighting Illini are led by No. 7 Dennis Nevolo and No. 31 Roy Kalmanovich, who also comprise the No. 21 doubles pair for Illinois.“It’ll definitely be tough,” Sarmiento said. “Illinois is proven, so we have to be ready to play and battle.” USC ultimately hopes to play for its 20th national title in the championship match, which will take place on Tuesday at 5 p.m. EST.
Sophomore midfielder Jalen Woodward heads the ball over an Eastern Washington defender in a game at McAlister Field. Photo by Emily Smith | Daily TrojanThe No. 3 seeded women’s soccer team kicked off its postseason last Friday with a 2-1 victory against a familiar foe — Eastern Washington University. Last season, the Women of Troy dominated the Eagles 3-1 to kick off the 2016 NCAA tournament. “At least it’s a team we know, we’ve played them,” head coach Keidane McAlpine said before the match. “The hard part is they know us and they’ve played us. They have had another good year and we are going to have to be prepared to play them.”Despite the Trojans’ preparation, the Eagles stole the early lead. In the sixth minute, the Eagles drove the ball into the USC zone and placed a shot on target. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Kaylie Collins made the save but was unable to secure the ball. Senior forward Chloe Williams found the rebound and delivered a shot to the back of the Trojans’ net to grant the Eagles the lead. “When you get scored on early, it wakes you up and the urgency had to pick up,” Collins said. “It was more of everyone getting on each other at that point and asking more from each other.” After the score, USC played lockdown defense and generated a couple scoring opportunities but was unable to convert the equalizer. The score held at 1-0 going into the half. Even though Eastern Washington held the momentum for the majority of the first half, the Trojans outshot the Eagles 14-3. Something needed to change for the Trojans in the second half if they wanted to extend their season another day. “We [the coaching staff] asked them what they wanted the end of their season to look like,” McAlpine said. “We changed a few things [with our formation]. But more importantly, [the coaching staff] just challenged them to really think about what they wanted the end to look like and if they wanted today to be it.” McAlpine’s words must have hit home with the Women of Troy because the Trojans came out flying. In the second half, the Trojans tallied 14 shots and 10 corner kicks. An early Eagle scoring opportunity almost put a damper on the Trojans’ hope of tying the match, but Collins denied the attempt and the USC offense went to work. Senior forward Alex Anthony found the equalizer off of the pass from junior forward Hailey Hite in just five minutes. The Trojans applied pressure for the entire second half, spending most of the time in the offensive zone.In the 73rd minute, USC nearly found the go-ahead goal thanks to a rifling shot from freshman midfielder Savannah DeMelo. The ball was just wide of the post and the score remained knotted at one.Neither team could settle the match in regulation and the game went to overtime for the first time this season at McAlister Field. USC produced a few scoring opportunities in the first 10-minute period with chances from both senior forward Alex Anthony and Savannah DeMelo. Once again, neither squad could best the other and the game was forced into a second overtime.The fourth period would be short-lived, as the Trojans found the golden goal in just 18 seconds. Deep into the offensive zone, sophomore midfielder Ashleigh Plumptre lofted a cross over Eagles goalkeeper Emily Busselman toward the far post where junior forward Erika Okuma was stationed. Okuma finished the play by pounding the ball into the open net to secure the 2-1 win for the Trojans.“We found a way to win on a day where it wasn’t our best performance and far from it,” McAlpine said. “But this team has some resolve, and it showed today. Kaylie [Collins] kept us in it in the first half and then between Alex [Anthony] and Erika [Okuma] we found a way to win it in the end.”With the victory, the Trojans advance to the second round of NCAA Tournament where they will travel to College Station, Tex. to take on the Baylor Bears Friday at 1:30 p.m.