Meanwhile in ... Minnetonka, Minn., agribusiness has developed the first robot cowboys

And in Southampton, England, community members formed a line more than 500 feet long to help a small independent bookstore move to a new location.

Courtesy of Cargill Inc.
Robotic cattle driver

In Minnetonka, Minn., agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. has developed the first robot cowboys. The three-wheeled machines are being used to coax cattle between pens at Cargill facilities. By taking over dangerous close-in work moving the large animals they allow humans to keep a safe distance.

The robots’ long arms can wave, imitating the motions of human cowhands. Speakers in the units utter cowboy commands like “Come on, let’s move it” or “Hey, hey.” The 450-pound robot cowboys cost about $40,000 apiece. 

In Southampton, England, community members formed a line more than 500 feet long to help a small independent bookstore move to a new location. Last month some 200 people turned out to move the entire inventory of October Books down the street, handing the books from person to person.

Local cafes brought tea to the volunteers. Curious passersby learned what was happening and joined in. It took only about an hour to transfer 2,000 books to the store’s new home in a former bank building. 

In Palau, the government will ban the use of sunscreens that contain chemicals harmful to the coral reefs that surround this tiny tropical island nation. The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2020, is similar to one already in effect in Hawaii.

Stores caught selling sunscreens with the banned chemicals will face fines of as much as $1,000. The sunscreens will be confiscated from tourists who try to bring them into the country.

Studies have shown that chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, found in many brands of sunscreens, are harmful to coral formations and other ocean life.

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