Fred Flintstone could get into the Groove

Fred Flintstone is the main character of the animated sitcom The Flintstones, which aired during prime-time on ABC during the original series’ run from 1960 to 1966.

Fred lives in the fictional prehistoric town of Bedrock, a world where dinosaurs coexist with modernized cavepeople and the cavepeople enjoy “primitive” versions of modern conveniences such as telephones, automobiles, and washing machines. Fred’s trademark catchphrase yell is “yabba dabba doo!”, a phrase that was originally his club’s cheer, and later adopted as part of the theme song from the third season on and used in the 1994 live-action Flintstones movie.

Cats, dolphins and one smart raven: the CIA’s secret animal spies

Washington (AFP) – In early 1974, Do Da was top in espionage class, on the way to becoming a high-flying CIA agent: he handled himself better in the rough, carried heavier loads, and could brush off attackers.

But on his toughest-yet spy school test, he disappeared — done in by some of his own kind: ravens.

The bird was a central figure in a decade-long US Central Intelligence Agency program to train animals as agents, helping Washington fight the Cold War against the Soviet Union.

On Thursday, the CIA released dozens of files from its tests on cats, dogs, dolphins and on birds from pigeons to some of the smartest: ravens and crows.

It studied cats as possible loose-roaming listening devices — “audio surveillance vehicles” — and put electrical implants in dogs’ brains to see if they could be remotely controlled.

Neither of those programs went very far. More effort was put into training dolphins as potential saboteurs and helping spy on the Soviet Union’s development of a nuclear submarine fleet, perhaps the most potent challenge to US power in the mid-1960s.

Projects Oxygas and Chirilogy sought to see if dolphins could be trained to replace human divers and place explosives on moored or moving vessels, sneak into Soviet harbors and leave in place acoustic buoys and rocket detection units, or swim alongside submarines to collect their acoustic signatures.

Those programs, too, were given up, left to the US Navy which to this day makes use of dolphins and seals.


– Hawks and owls –

But what also grabbed the US spy chiefs’ imagination in the Cold War days was birds — pigeons, hawks, owls, crows and ravens, and even flocks of wild migratory birds.

For the latter, the agency enlisted ornithologists to try to determine which birds regularly spent part of the year in the area of Shikhany in the Volga River Basin southeast of Moscow, where the Soviets operated a chemical weapons facility.

The CIA saw the migratory birds as “living sensors” which, based on their feeding, would reveal what kinds of substances the Russians were testing, in their flesh.

In the early 1970s, the CIA turned to birds of prey and ravens, hoping they could be trained for “emplacement” missions like dropping a listening device on a windowsill, and photo missions.

In project Axiolite, bird trainers working on San Clemente island off southern California taught the birds to fly miles over the water between a boat and land.

If the training went well, a chosen candidate would have a tough mission: being smuggled to Soviet Russia, where it would be released secretly in the field, tasked to fly 15 miles (25 kilometers) carrying a camera to snap pictures of a radar for SA-5 missiles, and fly back.

They had red-tailed and Harris’s hawks, great horned owls, a vulture, and a cockatoo.

It was not easy. A cockatoo was “a clever flyer” but “maybe too slow to avoid gull attacks.”

Two falcons died from illness; another promising candidate lost feathers and trainers had to wait for it to molt and grow them back.

– ‘Star’ of the project –

The most promising flyer was Do Da, the raven. In just three months, Do Da went from a successful 3/4-mile trip to six miles from shore to boat, and then four miles back to shore on the same day.

He was the most promising candidate for the Russia mission, the “star of this project,” one scientist wrote, who figured out the right altitudes in the right winds, and acquired “sufficient guile to outwit the native ravens and gulls,” which hid for attacks on him.

But on a training mission he was attacked by “the usual pair” of ravens — and was not seen again.

The scientists were deeply dismayed. “He had a large bag of tricks and was loved by all,” one wrote.


Top 10 Soft drink brands of 2017 – Top Beverage brands

On the list of the top companies in the world are mainly found foods & beverage companies. As a result, the companies coming tops on the lists of the top drinks & beverages companies, by default emerge as some of the largest of all the companies in the world. The Coca-Cola Company has been at the helm for a long time now, and it isn’t going to relinquish that spot any soon. Below are the top 10 soft drink brands in the world in 2017.

1) Coca-Cola

Top 10 Soft drink brands of 2017

Coca-Cola is the most popular soft drink in the world and the most decorated of all the Coca-Cola company products. Commonly known as Coke, the beverage is produced and/or marketed in at least 200 countries. Together with at least 500 other different drinks producers and marketed by the Coca-Cola Company, there is neither a soft drink nor a soft drink company that rivals coca-cola as a whole.

2) Pepsi

Top 10 Soft drink brands of 2017

Pepsi is a cola drink type manufactured by PepsiCo. This carbonated soft drink comes in a number of variants each having its own tastes and flavors. Some of these variants include Pepsi Next, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Vanilla, Crystal Pepsi, Pepsi Zero Sugar, Pepsi-Cola Made with Real Sugar and Caffeine-Free Pepsi. Pepsi is one of the soft drinks liked because of its low caloric value as compared to other soft drinks. A 12 ounce can of Pepsi contains only about 150 calories. This is pretty low when compared with a number of cola drinks.


3) Red Bull

Top 10 Soft drink brands of 2017

Red Bull energy drink has become the most popular energy drink in the world. It is a non-alcoholic drink that contains vitamin B-complex, carbohydrates, caffeine and amino acid taurine. During physical exertion, the taurine in Red Bull adds to the deficient taurine in your body thus boosting your energy. An average of about 5 billion cans of red bull is sold annually, giving the product a 40% energy drink world market share. It is distinct and hence one of the top soft drink brands in the world.


4) Nestlé S.A

Top 10 Soft drink brands of 2017

Nestle is synonymous with instant coffee, bottled water, crunches and baby food among other food and beverage products. It is the largest food & beverage company in the world, but the fourth when it comes to the beverage segment. It’s Nescafe coffee brand is the leading coffee product on the market, with Nespresso – a home-brewing system brand also being very popular. Nestle Waters is also its other popular product that makes the company appear among the top 10 soft drink brands in the world in 2017.


5) The Gatorade Company

Top 10 Soft drink and beverages brands of 2017

Gatorade drink was invented by University of Florida doctors during the 1960’s with an aim of aiding the hydration of the university’s football team. The team was called the Gators, hence the name. It is for such reasons that the debut Gatorade lemon-lime-flavoured drink is now one of the top sports drinks within the US and beyond.

Today, new beverage brands and flavors have been created by the company. These include the G series for nutrient and fluid need replenishment to professional and collegiate athletes, energy bars & shakes as well as Propel Fitness Water that is vitamin-enhanced. Gatorade is PepsiCo produced.

6) Sprite

Top 10 Soft drink brands of 2017

Sprite is a colorless, lime-lemon flavored, non-caffeinated soft drink manufactured by the Coca-Cola Company. It is normally sold in a translucent green colored bottle that features a yellow-green label. On the other hand, the can always feature aluminum, green, silver and blue. The taste can easily be confused with that of Lemonade but Sprite plays on its own league of carbonated soft drinks.


7) Mountain Dew

Top 10 Soft drink brands of 2017

This is yet another PepsiCo carbonated soft drink. It comes to us in Mountain Dew Soda Flavors, the Energy, Dew Slurpee, and International Variations as well as the Kickstart Flavors. These are produced in hundreds of variants, some of which have been discontinued, with only the best of them all being offered to the markets. Mountain Dew soft drink is currently found in the retail stores in all the continents and more than 100 countries. Mountain Dew is mostly marketed in beautiful green containers that are well designed and branded thus attracting more customers.


8) Pepper Soda

Top 10 Soft drink and beverages brands of 2017

Dr. Pepper is a snap for most of the soft drinkers who are contemplating about the doctor to choose. Dr. Pepper Sodas and Snapple drinks are bottled and distributed by Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. The company served Canada, the USA, and Mexico as its mainstreams, with other countries also highly using its products. Among the company’s products, Dr. Pepper & Snapple is the most popular, the third most popular soda drink in the North American continent.


9) Fanta

Top 10 Soft drink and beverages brands of 2017

Fanta is yet another popular soft drink beverage produced by the Coca-Cola Company and with a German origin. Today, there are at least 100 different flavors worldwide, with the most popular and common being Fanta Orange. Others are mainly fruit flavored with some of the flavors including citrus, pineapple, strawberry and blackcurrant etc. It is one of the most favorite soda brands for the children and toddlers.


10) Tropicana

Top 10 Soft drink and beverages brands of 2017

Tropicana is a soft drink beverage that has defied the odds to come among the top 10 soft drinks and beverages in the world in 2017, beating other coca-cola and PepsiCo products. The juice, which comes in many flavors but with the orange variant being its main signature, is produced by Tropicana Products Inc. Some of the Tropicana variants include the Tropicana Twister Soda among others.

The juice is one of the healthiest and with very few calories as compared with its other competitors. Its ingredients are mainly natural, with some of the variants being sugar-free and with no artificial in them. With the increase in health awareness and consciousness of the population, don’t underestimate the future performance of the drink and its other sister soft drinks from Tropicana Products Inc.