From swamp soccer to baby giraffes, here's a handful of photos to get your weekend started right
You might not be able to go to Westeros or Essos, but you can still visit all the places that play them on TV
Game of Thrones is done for roughly the next 10 months, sadly. On the bright side, you can use the off-season to travel to all the places that the show is filmed—assuming you, die-hard fan that you are, haven’t already done so. Hopper, a Boston and Montreal-based travel planning site, has done most of the hard work for you, putting together a detailed map of the major GoT filming locations.
The site also breaks down the destinations by both season and house (Lannister, Stark, Targaryen, etc.), so it won’t be too difficult to pledge allegiance to a particular one. Or you can just pull a Littlefinger and pick and choose whatever suits your desires at that particular moment.
The vast majority of production takes place in Europe (Ireland, Iceland and Croatia are three of the more popular settings), but Morocco in northern Africa has also played host to some of Daenerys Targaryen’s conquered cities. This won’t come as a particular shock to fans of the show, but the destinations cut a fairly wide swath of climates and terrains, so if you can find the time (and money) to tour all of them before Season 5 kicks off next spring, there’s little chance you’ll get bored.
The All Hallows College is now reportedly exploring better ways to preserve the archive with the help of the Kennedy family
A collection of letters between former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and an Irish priest was removed from an auction in Ireland on Wednesday. In the letters, the former first lady questions her faith in the wake of the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy.
The Vincentian Fathers and All Hallows College, where the letters between Jackie Kennedy and Father Joseph Leonard were being held, said Wednesday the letters “are being withdrawn from auction at the direction of All Hallows College and the Vincentian Fathers,” according to a statement to the BBC.
Representatives of the college and the Vincentian Fathers are now “exploring with members of Mrs. Kennedy’s family how best to preserve and curate this archive for the future.”
Sheppard’s Irish Auction House, which was scheduled to host the sale of the personal letters, said in a statement on its website that Sheppard’s is in the process of returning the archive and related items to the vendor. TIME’s requests for further comment were not immediately returned. In an earlier statement, the auction house referred to the letters as a “unpublished autobiography of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.”
Critics of the sale, however, said the correspondence was never meant for public consumption. Controversy over the sale had been brewing since the sale of the 33 letters was announced in April, given their deeply personal nature.
The rare hybrid--whose mom is a sheep and dad is a goat--usually results in stillborns. Now an Irish farmer is seeking a name for his healthy newborn.
An Irish farmer who claims his sheep birthed a cross between a sheep and a goat is launching a charity competition to name the newborn, the Press Association reports.
The crossbreed–generally known as a geep–is said to be extremely unusual, with most reported cases resulting in a still born.
Patrick Murphy told the Press Association that he was overwhelmed by the attention the animal received after a video by the Irish Farmers Journal was posted to Youtube and is now hoping to raise funds with the naming competition for a sick child in his village of Ballymore Eustace.
A new study finds that as the planet warms, yields for important staple crops like wheat could decline sharply.
It’s St. Patrick’s Day, which means the 100 million or so people of Irish descent around the world get the opportunity to celebrate their heritage with song, food and increasingly controversial parades. The sheer size of the Irish diaspora is what has made St. Patrick’s Day an international event—after all, there are only 6.4 million Irish people in Ireland. But it’s also a reflection of the waves of emigration that marked Ireland’s history until recently—emigration that was fueled in part by the great famine of the 1840s. Triggered by a disease that wiped out the potato, Ireland’s staple crop, the Great Famine—an Gorta Mor in Irish—led to the death of a million people and caused another million to flee the country. Without the potato blight, that Irish diaspora—and your local St. Patrick’s Day festivities—might be significantly smaller.
The Great Famine is a reminder of the way failures in agriculture can drive lasting historical change—while leading to immense human suffering. That’s a useful backdrop of a new analysis on the impact global warming will have on crop yields, just published in Nature Climate Change. The news isn’t good: the research, based on a new set of data created by the combination of 1,700 previously published studies, found that global warming of only 2º C (3.6º F) will likely reduce yields of staple crops like rice and maize as early as the 2030s. And as the globe keeps warming, crop yields will keep shriveling unless drastic steps are taken to adapt to a changing climate. As Andy Challinor, a professor of climate impacts at the University of Leeds and the lead author of the study, put it in a statement:
Our research shows that crop yields will be negatively affected by climate change much earlier than expected…Furthermore, the impact of climate change on crops will vary both from year-to-year and from place-to-place—with the variability becoming greater as the weather becomes increasingly erratic.
The effect that warming will have on crop yields is one of the most vital areas of climate research—and one of the most vexing. Warming will have different impacts on different kinds of crops in different parts of the world. Warmer temperatures—and the higher levels of carbon dioxide that come with them—may enhance yields in the short-term, but as the climate gets hotter and hotter, crops could wilt, especially in the tropics. Changes in precipitation—both prolonged droughts and bigger storms—will hit farmers hard as well. And with a 842 million hungry people around the world—and another 2 billion or so who will need to be fed by mid-century as global population grows—accurately nailing down the impact climate change will have on crop yields could make the difference between life and death for vast numbers of people.
The last assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 2007 found that temperate regions like Europe would be able to deal with moderate, 2º C warming without much of an impact on crop yields. But the newer research used in the Nature Climate Change study indicates that that conclusion might have been too optimistic, especially as the climate gets warmer and warmer towards the century’s end. Farmers in the tropics will have it particularly difficult—yields from maize could drop by 20% or more if temperatures increase by more than 3º C (5.4º F). And those reductions in yield could hide much bigger year-to-year swings, if the weather gets more extreme. “Climate change means a less predictable harvest, with different countries winning and losing in different years,” said Challinor. “The overall picture remains negative.”
We should have a better sense of where climate research stands on crop impacts later this month, when the IPCC comes out with the next chapter in its newest climate science assessment. And farmers—especially in developed nations—can and likely will adapt to what global warming will throw at them, whether by changing crop planting schedules, shifting to more efficient irrigation or taking advantage of biotechnology. But there’s no guarantee that poor farmers—who already produce less per acre—will be able to keep up. The Great Famine was triggered by the potato blight, but it was intensified by cruel policy on the part of Ireland’s British masters, who ensured that rich stores of grain and livestock were exported out of the country even as Irish citizens starved to death in the streets. As a warming climate makes the difficult task of keeping the world fed even tougher, we can only hope that wiser policy prevents the next famine.