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At a Halloween happy hour recently in Washington, D.C., a small crowd gathered to celebrate the relationship between bats and spirits.

Not spooky spirits. Instead, think tequila and mescal.

"We're here at a bar tonight to talk about [bats], because they are intimately tied to agave," announced Mike Daulton, the executive director of Bat Conservation International, a nonprofit devoted to the well-being of bats.

When you escape a catastrophe with the clothes on your back and your dog in your arms, people sometimes try to comfort you by saying the rest are "things" and things can be replaced. But, some things can't be — a family photo album, a scrapbook, grandma's quilt. That's what people in Houston are dealing with as they try to put their lives back together after Hurricane Harvey.

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Researchers in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. say they've potentially identified the "oldest known tsunami victim in the world."

It's not from a new discovery, but from researching the sediment in the area where an ancient skull was discovered in 1929.

Geologist Paul Hossfeld discovered the "Aitape Skull" in northern Papua New Guinea that year and believed it to be from a species called Homo erectus, an early relative of humans that lived more than 1 million years ago. But it was later "radiocarbon dated" to being only about 6,000 years old.

As Europe was being torn apart in the early 17th century by conflicts between Catholics and Protestants — that would lead to the devastating Thirty Years War in 1618 — the German astronomer Johannes Kepler wrote:

"When the storm rages and the shipwreck of the state threatens, we can do nothing more worthy than to sink the anchor of our peaceful studies into the ground of eternity."

Tilahun Liben thought he was seeing things. Surely that mound of orange orbs under those trees near his church couldn't be oranges. Could they?

It was 2010, and Liben had just arrived in Tucson, Ariz., as a refugee from Ethiopia. He had been a musician, playing saxophone in nightclubs, but that life ended abruptly in 1999 when an oppressive regime imprisoned him for three months for his political dissent. After Liben's release, further persecution forced him to flee his homeland: He ended up at the Kakuma refugee camp, in Kenya, where he waited 10 years to be resettled.

In a normal year, Kevin Bradley, a professor of weed science at the University of Missouri, would have spent his summer testing new ways to control a troublesome little plant called water hemp.

This has not been a normal year.

The National Park Service has announced a proposal to more than double the peak-season entrance fees at the country's busiest national parks, including Shenandoah, Yosemite, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon.

The park service said Tuesday that it needs the revenue expected from the fees to address its nearly $12 billion backlog of deferred maintenance. But the announcement has been met with worries that higher prices will push the parks out of reach for many Americans.

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Minnesota is a land of beautiful lakes and gorgeous landscapes. It’s a natural magnet to nature-seeking tourists. But the geology that created the wonder of the lakes also houses rich deposits of nickel, iron, copper and other valuable minerals. This has stirred a fierce debate over who these rare natural resources are for.

Mining these lakes could bring jobs. So can tourism. And demand for scenic vistas as well as copper will only increase as each becomes more rare.

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World wine production is having a historically bad year.

Europe, home to the world's leading wine producers, is making wine at significantly lower levels than usual – and that's because of "extreme weather events" such as frost and drought that have damaged vineyards, according to the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV).

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