This is the Yangtze giant softshell turtle, one of the most endangered species on Earth. There are two at China's Suzhou Zoo and one in the wild in Vietnam's lake Dong Mo. Conservationists really need to find a fourth to aid their efforts to rebuild the species. National Geographic spoke with Aimin Wang, director of the China division of the Wildlife Conservation Society, about the group's efforts to find another elusive Yangtze turtle:
What would it mean for the species if one were to be found?
It increases our opportunity [for successful breeding] quite a bit. The male in China is quite old, but the female is young. The turtles are bred using artificial insemination. The last four attempts with the breeding pair in China were unsuccessful. We just tried for a fifth time and got high-quality sperm. We won't know for another month if our results were successful.
Why are these turtles so important to save?
This is a flagship species, and for biodiversity, they're quite important. They serve as an important [indicator of environmental health]. If we can help them survive, that means our ecological system is quite good. If they disappear, that means our ecological system is quite bad.
Acidic solutions can help neutralize the toxins from a jellyfish sting so why shouldn't you try to piss the pain away? (Reactions)
The Bentley Bentayga Falconry is a poshmobile built out for falconry, hunting wild quarry with the aid of a trained falcon. This vehicle is the sequel to the Bentayga Fly Fishing vehicle. The price is not listed but if you have to ask... From Bentley:
Inside the master flight station, you will find a stowage tray with individual compartments, which can hold your GPS bird tracking unit, binoculars and hand-crafted leather bird hoods and gauntlets.
A beautiful Piano Black veneered drawer features a striking Saker falcon crest. This stores your own GPS tracking antennas, along with various tools and tethers for your birds.
Inside the refreshment case are three metal flasks with durable cups, for tea, coffee or other beverage of your choice. There is also warm blanket and refreshing face cloths for your comfort.
The cork fabric boot-floor and rear-sill protection cover is neatly integrated into the rear of your Bentayga. This reversible feature, together with the in-car perch, gives you a safe and comfortable space to prepare your bird for flight, with everything you need in easy reach.
There is also a removable perch and tether that fits on the central armrest inside the car, making transporting your falcon safe and comfortable.
Roger Moore, famous for his portrayals of master spy James Bond and master criminal Simon Templar, is dead at 89, reports the BBC.
Sir Roger's family confirmed the news on Twitter, saying he had died after "a short but brave battle with cancer".
The statement, from his children, read: "Thank you Pops for being you, and being so very special to so many people."
The mechanical Royal Kludge keyboard (Update: in stock here) seems to do well with Amazon reviewers, but there are no guarantees you'll receive one with the coveted OFF/NO switch.
Microsoft announced Tuesday a long-awaited upgrade to its Surface Pro series of high-end tablet PCs, dropping the number from the name and adding Kaby Lake processors, more minutes on a charge and a few dollars to the price tag.
Here's Mark Hachman, Senior Editor at PCWorld:
For Surface Pro 4 owners, the new Surface Pro is a tablet that’s 20 percent faster, with 50 percent more battery life, all for roughly the same price. If you're wondering how Microsoft eked out more battery life, executives said it was a combination of an increased battery capacity as well as efficiencies in both the new Core chip and the Creators Update of Windows 10.
The new low-end fanless model will be good stuff for everyday Windows users wanting a does-it-all gadget.
Tom Warren at
The Verge reports that the pen is being significantly upgraded, too, getting tilt detection, 4096 levels of sensitivity and a reduction in activation force: "Inking now feels a lot less laggy and way more responsive on the Surface Pro."
This is key for me. I couldn't quite get used to even the highest-end models in the past because the pen latency was so much worse than Wacom gear or the iPad Pro. I'll check in on the fifth Surface Pro and report back.
A transit officer in Minneapolis, whose main job is to ask "Tickets, please!", was filmed May 14 wanting "Papers, please!".
The video posted on Facebook on May 20 has over 1 million views. In the clip, the officer asks the man, “Do you have a state ID?” The man appears to shake his head no.
“Are you here illegally?” the officer asks next.
Morales then intervenes and asks the officer, “Are you guys authorized to act as immigration police?”
“No, not necessarily,” the officer says.
Morales tells the officer, “Then I would stay out of that. It’s very touchy legal territory.”
After the video went viral, Metro Transit Police Chief John Harrington released a statement assuring travelers it was not Metro policy to inquire about immigration status and promising an investigation.
“It is the policy of the Metro Transit Police Department that all members make personal and professional commitments to equal enforcement of the law and equal service to the public. Confidence in this commitment will increase the effectiveness of this department in protecting and serving the entire community and recognizing the dignity of all persons, regardless of their immigration status.”
Never trust someone wearing a shiny badge: they think they have all the other ones, too.
Filmmaker Neill Blomkamp (of District 9 and Chappie fame) is producing a series of experimental short movies to be released on Steam and YouTube.
He'd teased the idea in a tweet posted in April, and the response was good enough to get the green light, with the director promising a level of transparency and public collaboration rarely seen in Hollywood.
Here's a teaser:
Embedded up top is the "Presidential Motorcade" clip Blomkamp released during the presidential election campaign, with its freaky gold nightmare limousine crawling along to 14 seconds of tense synthetic murmurs. More!
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.
Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all over the vast landscape of fandom, they pack interesting stuff for geeks of all stripes, from retro gamers to comic book connoisseurs. It’s like having a nerdy pen pal who constantly sends you hand-picked gifts.
Try this Loot Crate mystery bundle to get a taste of all the awesome future stuff you can add to your collection. This package usually costs $50, but you can get a box from our store for just $25.
Though this brightly colored smoothie looks like the infamous Starbucks treat, it surprisingly contains no artificial ingredients.
Rod McCullom at Undark has a terrific overview of the perpetual "virtual lineup," where half of all American adults "are enrolled in unregulated facial recognition networks used by state and local law enforcement agencies." (more…)
A 145-meter spokeless Ferris wheel just opened in Weifang, China. Built on a bridge spanning the Bailaing River, it's about ten meters taller than the London Eye, a spoked Ferris wheel. (more…)
TED-Ed offers a brief guide to history’s deadliest colors, from lead white in Ancient Greece to “Paris Green” in the 18th century.
Though animals born with one eye rarely survive into adulthood, so far this young goat is doing better than expected.
Journalist Ammar Alwaely was filming with a colleague when a bullet tore through his shoulder-mounted GoPro, deflecting it from tearing through him. Contains plenty of NSFW swearing, which seems entirely appropriate. (more…)
It’s time for the Clone Club to say goodbye in Orphan Black's fifth and final season, which debuts on BBC America on June 10.
The recent deadly outbreak of nacho botulism reminded me of another big botulism outbreak caused by pruno, aka prison wine. Brian and Jason from Modern Rogue show how to make pruno, showing why it could easily contain botulism. (more…)
Last night's kick-off event for the UK Walkaway tour was brilliant, thanks to the magic combination of the excellent Tim Harford, the excellent people of Oxford, and the excellent booksellers at Blackwells.
Evidently, many more people eat gas station nachos than I had previously considered possible. A Sacramento, California area botulism outbreak has been traced back to folks who enjoyed the tasty treat at a local refueling station.
Gas station nacho cheese that sickened 10 people and killed one of them was contaminated with botulinum toxin, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) confirmed Monday.
"The nacho cheese sauce was removed from sale on May 5. (The California Department of Public Health) believes there is no continuing risk to the public," the agency said in a statement.
"While there are still unanswered questions about this outbreak, these tragic illnesses are important reminders to be vigilant about food safety," said CDPH Director Dr. Karen Smith. "As we head into the summer barbecue season, both indoor and outdoor chefs need to be on guard against all foodborne illnesses."
Previously on Boing Boing:
Nacho is the greatest of all orange cheeses
When I saw this keyboard on sale for $95 I had to order one.
This is a solidly made, lovely to look at, mechanical keyboard. It types very well and looks tremendous -- sadly my desk is 3" deep with scattered paperwork and the style is lost on me. I like it anyways.
KrBn Retro Circle Keycap Mechanical Keyboard LED Backlit with Aluminum Body Blue Switch Full Size (104 Key) via Amazon