Whale Imitates Human Speech; Unfinished John Lennon Lyrics

Oct 22, 2012 2:39pm

instant index blog 640x100 Whale Imitates Human Speech; Unfinished John Lennon Lyrics

From the unconventional and awe-inspiring to the hilarious and heartwarming, here’s a look at some of the most interesting photos, videos and stories that have our newsroom talking today. What’s capturing your attention, filling your inbox and cluttering your Facebook/Twitter feed? Comment below with the stories you’re talking about, tweet them using #InstantIndex or email us at ABC.WorldNews@abc.com and they could appear on World News. 

Tonight’s Instant Index:

Quote: John Lennon
These song lyrics were never set to music or recorded. The postcard they were scribbled on was released as part of a new book.
“When a girl begins to be a problem…
Pretty soon the girl must go…
When they’re gone you find at last you love them
Pretty soon you want to know”

Whale of a Voice
New audio analysis of  whale recordings has revealed that a beluga whale raised in captivity tried to imitate human speech. Scientists believe the whale, named NOC, taught himself to mimic human sounds. NOC would make noises when trainers were in the water near him. “Our observations suggest that the whale had to modify its vocal mechanics in order to make the speech-like sounds,” said Sam Ridgway of the National Marine Mammal Foundation. “Such obvious effort suggests motivation for contact.”

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Image credit: Current Biology

Own a Piece of National Geographic
In its 124 years of existence, the National Geographic Society has compiled a collection of 11.5 million photos and illustrations and, come December, some of its most famous works will be available to the highest bidder. National Geographic is selling part of its collection for the first time in its history, auctioning off 240 pieces at Christie’s. The auction is expected to bring in about $3 million and is designed ”to celebrate our legacy … and to give people a chance to buy a little part of this great institution’s history,” Maura Mulvihill, senior vice president of National Geographic’s image and video archives, told The Associated Press.

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Image credit: Jodi Cobb/National Geographic/AP Photo

Number: Birth Rates
The populations of America’s Southern and Western states are growing faster than other regions of the country, according to The Business Journals. The reason for the rapid growth is an influx of immigrants and a greater number of newborns. The areas with the highest birth rates in the United States are either located in the South or West.

Highest Birth Rates:

  • Provo, Utah, 87 births per 1,000 women
  • McAllen-Edinburg, Texas, 86
  • Durham, N.C., 80
  • Memphis, Tenn., 77
  • Boise, Idaho, 76

Lowest Birthrates:

  • Albany, N.Y., 36 births per 1,000 women
  • Springfield, Mass., 38
  • Knoxville, Tenn., 39
  • Bridgeport-Stamford, Conn., 41
  • Dayton, Ohio, 43

 

First Steps
A baby Giant Panda, nicknamed “Sausage,” has taken its first step. The San Diego Zoo posted this video of the 3-month-old cub learning how to walk during its ninth medical exam.

 

GoPro Goes Big
In this stunning video produced by GoPro to promote its new HERO3 camera, extreme skiers, snowboarders, mountain bikers, kayakers, divers and surfers perform breathtaking stunts that are captured beautifully  by the company’s newest product.


 

Ellen DeGeneres to Receive Mark Twain Prize for American Humor
Comedian Ellen DeGeneres will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor tonight at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Jimmy Kimmel, Kristin Chenoweth, Sean Hayes, Jane Lynch, Jason Mraz and many others will be on hand to help honor her humor. The show will air on PBS stations Oct. 30.

The Mark Twain Prize was first awarded in 1998 and past winners include Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Bill Cosby, George Carlin, Billy Crystal, Neil Simon, Steve Martin, Lorne Michaels, Lily Tomlin,  Bob Newhart, Whoopi Goldberg, Carl Reiner, Jonathan Winters and Richard Pryor.  Who do you think should win next year?

 

New York City Subway Record
Stefanie Gray, 24, will protest 2013 MTA far increases by attempting to break the Guinness World Records for the fastest trip through the New York City subway system, the New York Post reported. The current record-holder completed the trek through all 468 stations in 22 hours, 52 minutes and 36 seconds. Gray told the Post that she has not finalized Tuesday’s route, but said she will start at Penn Station and likely take the No. 2 or the No. 3 train. She still doesn’t know whether she’s heading uptown or downtown.

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Image credit: MTA

The Number You Have Reached…
India has more than 1.2 billion people and might run out of phone numbers, unless it acts soon. All the available numbers will be taken by next year, according to the Times of India. The Department of Telecom is exploring a variety of options, including 11-digit numbers.

SHOWS:
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