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London is under attack… from caterpillars

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When you think of invasive species, a fluffy little caterpillar probably isn’t the first that that comes to mind — that is, unless you happen to live in London. The UK forestry commission has been fighting a battle against the larvae of an insect called the oak processionary moth (OPM for short), and after a cold winter pushed back the hatching of the newest broods, the region and its citizens are now under attack.

You might think that “attack” is somewhat of an overstatement — after all, what could a little caterpillar do besides inch along on a tree branch, right? — but you’d be wrong. These particular caterpillars are covered in tiny needle-like, poisonous hairs that can cause a seriously uncomfortable rash when they come in contact with human skin.

Not only that, the caterpillar’s hairs have a habit of breaking free from the bugs and getting swept up in the breeze. Any humans, pets, or other animals that happen to be downwind from the pests, which can cover trees and builds large nests, can develop skin irritation seemingly out of nowhere.

Called “processionary” due to their habit of forming orderly lines as they crawl across the trees they call home, the species of moth is relatively new to London and officials began noticing them in the early 2000s. They believe that the insects were first introduced when live oak trees were brought from southern Europe (where the moths are a native species) to the UK. Now, with no natural predators, the moths and their larvae are thriving, and it’s causing a serious headache.

But it’s not just Londoners that have to worry about the moths and their larva, as officials are now concerned that the bugs could spread further and further. Those charged with managing the spread, like officials in the UK forest service, have begun treating oak trees to prevent the caterpillars from getting too out-of-hand.

Forestry workers who are part of the government’s OPM Control Program regularly monitor for new nests and are tasked with determining how to handle new outbreaks of the caterpillars when they spring up. They deploy pheromone traps to lure in the adult moths and tally the numbers to get an idea of how far the insects are spreading.

Fashion and music obsessed wanderlust. Resale clothing appreciator who fancies herself a well-crafted cocktail. Occasional photographer. Amateur sneaker head.

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Amazon Now Taking Pre-Orders For Microsoft’s Surface Go Tablet

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A couple of weeks ago Microsoft launched their latest Surface tablet in the form of the Surface Go. Shortly after the launch Microsoft started taking pre-orders for the device via the official Microsoft Store, but in case you prefer doing your shopping on Amazon for whatever reason, Amazon has also started to accept pre-orders for the tablet as well.

In terms of pricing, there is no difference from the Amazon listing and the Microsoft listing. This means that the model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage will retail for $399, while the 8GB RAM and 128GB memory option will retail for slightly more expensive at $549. Some might wonder why shop through Amazon when you can buy it from Microsoft directly, but there are some advantages depending on where you live.

For example some reports have pointed out that over in Spain, Amazon Spain is giving a 25% discount on the higher-end model where instead of it being priced at 599 EUR, it is now priced at 449 EUR, so for our readers in Spain, you will be able to take advantage of this discount. However the downside is that the tablet will only begin shipping to you on the 28th of August for those living in Europe, versus the US where it is set for a release on the 2nd of August which is this coming Thursday.

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Mowgli Movie Will Now Release On Netflix In 2019

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Mowgli is a live-action Jungle Book adaptation that director Andy Serkis has been working on. Netflix has now purchased the rights to this movie and it will, therefore, be released on the online streaming network. The release date has been moved to 2019 as a result of this development which will now see this movie being released on Netflix first. This movie is different from Disney’s live-action adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling classic which the studio released in 2016.

Rohan Chand stars in the lead role with Christian Bale playing Bagheera, Cate Blanchett playing Kaa, and Benedict Cumberbatch taking on the role of Shere Khan. Andy Serkis himself will be playing Baloo.

This movie was actually supported to be released in 2016 as well but it has been delayed multiple times since then. The first trailer was released recently which mentioned October 19th, 2018 as the theatrical release date.

That was before Netflix had decided to acquire the rights to Mowgli. EW reports that with this acquisition, the release has been delayed yet again. Netflix is going to premiere Mowgli on its platform at some point next year.

Serkis has said that the decision to move the film to Netflix will help avoid a direct comparison with the Disney movie. The platform will also enable the director to have more creative freedom and explore darker themes, going so far as to explore the violence between animals.

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New iPad Pro Lineup Might Ditch The Headphone Jack

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Ever since Apple ditched the standard 3.5mm headphone jack on recent iPhone models there has been speculation that the company will do this for its other mobile devices as well. A new report has surfaced which claims that the upcoming iPad Pro lineup is not only going to be slightly smaller than its predecessor but will also ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The iPad Pro lineup due next year will reportedly see its dimensions being reduced a little for both the 10.5 inch and 12.9 inch models. The report also reiterates earlier rumors that the new iPad lineup is going to feature FaceID. A recent iOS 12 beta also revealed that there’s a big possibility that this biometric access control system might arrive with the next generation of Apple’s tablet.

The new iPad Pro models might be designed for vertical use as FaceID will reportedly not work when the tablet is in landscape mode. It may also adjust the positions of the Lightning connector and the smart connector for the keyboard for this purpose.

It is as yet unclear when Apple is going to unveil these new tablets. There have been a lot of reports and rumors about them in recent months and they will likely continue in the days to come.

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