Murder in the Nest

Things are a bit cuckoo in this part of birdland:

Cuckoos live what seem to be lives full of deception and murder. As adults, they lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. (Why raise your own chick, when you can dupe others into doing the work for you?)
Cuckoos typically hatch only one offspring at a time. And when they do, the interlopers promptly push the other eggs out of the nest, killing the host birds’ true offspring.
For the newborn cuckoo, masquerading as multiple chicks can be difficult, especially when the lone, giant nestling replaces the usual clamoring brood.

Do any human analogues to this behavior come to mind?

Pebbles to Hydrogen

China’s growth demands a lot of energy and they are aggressively pursuing nuclear options. On the one hand traditional reactors such as have not been built in the US since 1979 and which make many nervous. On the other hand they are working on pebble-bed reactors:

A reactor small enough to be assembled from mass-produced parts and cheap enough for customers without billion-dollar bank accounts. A reactor whose safety is a matter of physics, not operator skill or reinforced concrete. And, for a bona fide fairy-tale ending, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is labeled hydrogen.
Small currently is in the 200 Megawatt range and cheap means approximately $300 million. These small reactors can be combined in a modular fashion using common monitoring and control systems. This seems promising simply from the perspective of power generation but there is more.
Apparently this reactor techcnology has promise for hydrogen production:
To power a billion cars, there’s no practical alternative to hydrogen. But it will take huge quantities of energy to extract hydrogen from water and hydrocarbons, and the best ways scientists have found to do that require high temperatures, up to 1,000 degrees Celsius. In other words, there’s another way of looking at INET’s high-temperature reactor and its potential offspring: They’re hydrogen machines.
…Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories believe efficiency could top 60 percent – twice that of low-temperature methods. INET plans to begin researching hydrogen production by 2006.
In that way, China’s nuclear renaissance could feed the hydrogen revolution, enabling the country to leapfrog the fossil-fueled West into a new age of clean energy. Why worry about foreign fuel supplies when you can have safe nukes rolling off your own assembly lines? Why invoke costly international antipollution protocols when you can have motor vehicles that spout only water vapor from their tail pipes? Why debate least-bad alternatives when you have the political and economic muscle to engineer the dream?
Now this looks like a line of research I’d be putting a lot of money into if I were promising the citizens of my country a reduced reliance on foreign oil.
Update (9/9): An alert reader notes in the comments that the DOE has identified a similar reactor type as part of its technology evaluation roadmap. It is not, though, clear from the referenced document what level of funding the US has provided for this effort.