[Video Link, via shironekoshiro].
I've been spending rather a lot of time in the cancer ward at a hospital lately, and I think this is a fabulous idea: a "cat immersion tent."
The teen girl in this video, Maga, is a cancer patient at Seattle Children's Hospital. She loves her cat—actually, she loves all cats— and has had to be isolated in the hospital with no cat contact, for health reasons. "During her stays what she misses most is her own cat Merry," the Seattle Children's Hospital folks say.
We asked our Facebook fans to share their favorite cat photos with us, and got an awesome response -- 3,000+ photos! We used these pictures to create this "cat immersion" for Maga -- an audio/visual experience to bring thousands of "virtual" cats to Maga's room.
[Video Link]. Him widdle names is Pancake. He is a foster kitten, snuggling up in this video with a doggie.
When you pull out a laser pointer and get your cat to chase the dot of light around your house*, you are using a patented method of cat exercise. The rights are owned by Kevin Amiss and Martin Abbott (both of Virginia), who patented it in the early 1990s. In the abstract, they describe this method of cat exercise as:
A method for inducing cats to exercise consists of directing a beam of invisible light produced by a hand-held laser apparatus onto the floor or wall or other opaque surface in the vicinity of the cat, then moving the laser so as to cause the bright pattern of light to move in an irregular way fascinating to cats, and to any other animal with a chase instinct.
In other words, they own the rights on doing this with ferrets, as well.
This might also be a good time to note an NPR story from this week, which documents IBM and Halliburton attempting to patent the process of patent trolling.
Method of exercising a cat: United States Patent 5443036
*Fact: This game becomes more fun if you have a rug. Just run the light up to the edge of the rug and then turn it off. The cat will become convinced that the little red light has gone under said rug and you will get to amuse yourself watching your cat try to lift the corner of something heavy without the use of opposable thumbs.
Thanks, Sam Ley!
Well, it's been a quiet week in Minneapolis, Minnesota, my hometown. The heatwave broke. There was a giant tomato fight downtown. And the Gonzo Group Theater is performing Aristophanes in the middle of the lightrail construction zone. But out on the Internet, everybody is talking about the fact that Minneapolis will, on August 30, play host an Internet cat video film festival.
Yes, a film festival of Internet cat videos. Curator Katie Czarniecki Hill is accepting nominations through July 30, so you should totally submit your favorite.
But I also wanted to talk briefly about the context of this, because it's awesome, and you should know about it. Czarniecki's Cat Video Film Festival is part of a summer-long program at the Walker Art Center (our fabulous modern art museum) called Open Field. If you're not familiar with Minneapolis, the Walker sits at the base of a big hill. Part of the lot is covered with art museum, and part of it is given over to a broad, grassy slope*.
That's where Open Field happens. What's Open Field? Partly it's just a reminder that this big public greenspace exists behind the Walker and, hey, maybe you should come hang out there. But it's also sort of an ad-hoc, crowd-sourced, summer-long festival space, where both Walker artists-in-residence and average folks can stage unique community events, skill-shares, workshops, and projects. Today, for instance, you could go down to Open Field and team up with a group of knitters and fiber artists who are building an interactive fabric installation; join the band Dear Data for a low-key acoustic campfire sing-a-long; watch your own (and other people's) old, film-based home movies and learn about film preservation; and participate in an interactive workshop about the history and future of print-letter writing and the post office.
Basically, you should know this—Walker Open Field: It's like a Happy Mutant smorgasbord.
*And an absolutely awesome installation piece that takes the form of a semi-hidden, ancient-temple-looking room cut into the side of the hill. Seriously, go check it out. Preferably after dark because it's most awesome then.
Good morning. Here is a high-quality photograph of the taxidermy catcopter Xeni posted video of yesterday. [Cris Toala Olivares / Reuters]
[Video Link. Warning, may totally creep you out if you love cats. ]
Dutch artist Bart Jansen had a cat named Orville that he loved very much. When Orville died, he did what any cat-loving guy would do: transformed his deceased kitty pal's corpse into a radio-controlled DIY taxidermy helicopter. WAIT WHAT
The Orvillecopter, half cat, half machine. Named after the famous aviator Orville Wright. He was killed by a car. After that he received his propellers posthumously. This is Orvillecopter's first test flight, Soon to be flying with the birds. Oh how he loved birds. He will receive more powerful engines and larger props for his birthday. So this hopping will soon change into steady flight. For the catlovers: it is a tanned hide, just like the shoes you're wearing. For the RC lovers: it's a Lotus T580 (still)
Boing Boing reader Parker Higgins shares this photograph, and explains:
I took this picture of a nyan cat sticker on the map of the San Francisco bay area public transit system, BART. The cat’s right where all four colored lines go over the Bay Bridge, so it takes advantage of the map’s implied rainbow. I love it.
Cat 'Luca' sleeps in his basket as a waitress serves some food to customers in Vienna's first cat cafe May 7, 2012. After three years of negotiations with city officials over hygiene issues, Austria opened its first cat cafe last Friday. 'Cafe Neko', "Neko" meaning cat in Japanese, was opened by Vienna resident Takako Ishimitsu, 47, from Japan. Customers can stroke and interact with their five feline hosts, named Sonja, Thomas, Moritz, Luca and Momo, who all came from an animal shelter and now freely roam about the cafe and take naps. There's a slide show with more photos here.
Livestream video link. Do you know what I'm going to do this weekend? Sit here and watch ALL OF THE KITTENS, for ALL OF THE WEEKEND. Sometimes the mommy cat is there, sometimes not. The cute little squeaky kitten sounds are the best part. (thanks, Antinous!)