Boing Boing 

Cuteness break: Hey, how's that baby panda at the San Diego Zoo doing?

Ken Bohn / San Diego Zoo

The Los Angeles Times has a cute photo slideshow up with fresh shots of Xiao Liwu, the 5 1/2-month-old male panda at the San Diego Zoo, who has been receiving some health check-ups recently. The little guy was born at the zoo, and has been "on display" since last week for a few hours each day. If only... if only I could figure out who that shot above reminds me of.

Oh yeah, here it is.

Read the rest

Bird sings dubstep, convincingly

About this cockatiel giving Skrillex a run for his money, Youtuber Rainykauke says, "Just my bird Harvey dropping some fat beats. Sorry about the poor cropping filmed this on a phone." (thanks, Chris!)

One rescue puppy teaching another rescue puppy how to walk down stairs

Tim Doucette: "Our 6 month old lab mix rescue pup taught our 8 week old foster pup from Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue in Winnipeg to go down the stairs once she got up and couldn't get down!"

(via David Daniel)

* Yes, it's so cute I forgive the shooter for holding their smartphone vertically while shooting video.

Talking porcupine knows how to party: corn, champagne, unintelligible grunting

"I think Teddy's had a happy new year," observes his handler. More about "Teddy Bear," Zooniversity's talking porcupine, in Zooniversity.org's YouTube channel. (Thanks, Dean Putney!)

Here's a photo of an adorable kitten playing with paper

A photo of a kitten named Wheatley captured and shared by Boing Boing reader Beckitten in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool.

Sand spider builds a burrow

Six-eyed sand spiders make their living by hiding, burrowing into the sand where they lie in wait of passing prey. Given that, it's a bit surprising how ... cute ... the process of burrowing looks. All I could think while watching this video was, "Awww, who's a happy spider?"

Via Brian Malow

Seals: Graceful underwater, adorably useless on land

Underwater, Antarctica's Weddell seals are fast-moving, graceful predators, catching and eating as much as 100 pounds of food per day. They dine on squids and fish and have been known to enjoy the occasional penguin or two.

On land, they are hilariously ineffectual blobs of jelly.

You can see that dichotomy in action in this great (and long) video made by Henry Kaiser in Antarctica. Following the adventures of a baby seal on the ice and under the water, the video is peaceful, meditative and reminds me a bit of the sort of old-school Sesame Street video that would build simple, kid-friendly narratives out of nature footage and music. (The music, by the way, was written and performed by Henry Kaiser, as well.)

Despite their poor performance in land-based locomotion, Weddell seals actually live on the ice, descending into the water to hunt and mate and swim around. They use natural holes in the ice to get from above to below and back, but they also work to maintain those holes and often use their teeth to chew at the edge of the ice and make a small hole larger. At about 13 minutes into the video, you can watch a seal doing just that — rubbing its head back and forth to enlarge an opening in the ice.

And why hang out on the ice, to begin with? Simple. In the water, seals are, themselves, potential dinners for larger creatures. On land, they have no natural predators at all and can safely bask in the sun, lying on their cute and chubby bellies for so long that their body heat hollows out divots in the ice.

Strangely adorable video of sea slugs eating a blue button jelly alive

Yesterday, I posted a photo of Glaucus atlanticus — a strange little creature, related to mollusks, which floats through the ocean and eats (among other things) the jellyfish-like Portuguese Man-Of-War.

In response, marine biologist Christopher Mah sent over this video, in which two specimens of Glaucilla marginata — a smaller relative of Glaucus atlanticus — nibble on the still-living flesh of a colonial organism called a blue button. This proves to be cuter than it sounds.

Part of what makes the video so mesmerizing is watching the Glaucilla marginata move around. These creatures travel in a very laid-back way. Inflating a gas bubble in their stomachs, they float around on their backs, wherever the waves will take them. That bubble seems to lead to some endearing, baby-sloth-like flips and turns as they try to position themselves to take bites out of the blue button. OM NOM NOM.

Bentley the bulldog puppy is fussy (cute animal video)

(Video Link, via Joe Sabia).

Friends With You: "Cloudy" (animated video short)

[video link]. From Friends With You, the short film "Cloudy", described as an art piece "with the purpose to transcend its viewers to a relaxed and joyous state."

This short is an exploration into the Clouds. The idea of clouds singing and performing their duties in a joyful manner show us that everything in our world has a role and a purpose. A sweet visual soundscape that takes the viewer through a personal journey into the sky. Sing, dance and relax as you follow a sweet cast of clouds and raindrops through an entrancing adventure you'll wish to take over and over again.

(Thanks, Tim Shey)

And now, we pause for a Moment of Kitten (video)

[Video Link]. Him widdle names is Pancake. He is a foster kitten, snuggling up in this video with a doggie.

OMGCATSINSPACE

A Tumblog of Greatness: OMGCATSINSPACE.

(thanks, @sbethm)

Walrus emits excellent noises on command (video)

[Video Link]

What's 3,400 lbs and makes fart-noise vocalizations when asked? E.T., a 30-year-old Pacific walrus at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, WA, who is one of only 17 walruses in U.S. zoos and aquariums. He came to the Tacoma facility as an orphan from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and is named "for his wrinkled resemblance to alien in the popular 1982 movie E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial."

I'd sure like to hear his rendition of "Trololo." [EDIT] OK. Here we go.

The zoo has a pretty great YouTube channel with more videos like this.

(thanks, @joely!)

Caturday

A wonderful photo contributed to the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by Ben Lepley, who explains that this is his cat Yoshimi Minski, "sleeping in the semi-mummy position."

Cat and Ram are pals (photo)

A reader photography contest at National Geographic yields this photograph by Sarah Deutsch, of "a magical moment of love between a cat and a ram." If interspecies love is not your thing, try this trio of dancing ostriches.

(thanks, Marilyn Terrell)

Cats with flowers on their heads, in baskets, resting in a tree (video)

Video link (shironekoshiro)

Adorable plush tardigrade is adorable

And only $35!

Caturday: watch these live nude kittens on the internet (video)

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!)

Japanese beatbox princess Aibo gives a shout-out to Boing Boing, with her cat Nao

[video link] As featured previously.

Lamb and girl butt heads

[Video Link] But neither the lamb nor the young woman are buttheads.

More at Camels and Friends, and here's their YouTube channel. I liked this video a lot, too.

(via Clayton Cubitt)

Kids narrate the lives of wild animals for "Planet Earth" promo (cutest. video. ever.)

[Video link]

Director Joe Sabia, who co-curates the Boing Boing in-flight television channel with me on Virgin America Airlines, has created this adorable spot for BBC America's natural history series Planet Earth (also available on DVD). In the promo, a series of 4-7 year old children take the place of series narrator David Attenborough—or, as he is known here, "Dabud Abunburble." You may well die of cute. Kids: Do not feel bad. I have been known to struggle over the pronunciation of Attenbooger's name, and the placing-on of headphones, too.

For Passover fun in Israel, a safari of animals crafted from Coca-Cola trash

A monkey sculpture is pictured on a pick-up truck before it is placed in an exhibition at Hiriya recycling park, built on the site of a former garbage dump near Tel Aviv. The Coca-Cola Recycled Safari featuring animals made of recycled Coca Cola packages will be open to the public during the Passover holiday.

More images of other critter creations from the recycling project, below. (REUTERS/Nir Elia)

Read the rest

Cutest video you'll see all day of penguins flying on a plane

[Video Link.] Yahoo's "Sideshow" blog has the story behind this video, and an accompanying photo gallery slideshow. On a recent Delta Flight, there were 300 or so human passengers and two foot-and-a-half tall penguins, Pete and Penny, who are 6 and 12 years old respectively. They were on their way to the New York premiere of "Frozen Planet," a new Discovery Channel documentary series narrated by Alec Baldwin. Like the narrator, the penguins fly first class. I hope they behaved better on the plane than he has been known to.

[photo: SeaWorld penguins Pete and Penny on display at the "Frozen Planet" premiere at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on March 8, 2012 in New York City. Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images]

Video: 93yo gentleman plays "As Time Goes By" on harmonica

Video Link. A medley of great songs, played in the kitchen. (thanks, Joe Sabia)

Tiny Baby Sloth gets the Onesie Treatment (VIDEO)

(Video Link) In which a baby sloth is shaved and swaddled. 

Key quotes:

Sloth milk is hard to come by.

There's an art to swaddling slippery sloths.

Video: Kittens in Space, by Jonathan "Song A Day" Mann

[Video Link]. I'm recovering from yesterday's chemo infusion (my fifth!), and feeling kind of lousy. Jonathan Mann asked me this morning if he could write a song for me as his daily song project, and if so, if I had any theme requests. I was like, duh! Kittens, and space. And like a beautiful internet miracle, bam! Just hours later, he created the wonderful video above: "Kittens in Space."

More about Jonathan: YouTube channel, Facebook, Downloads, Twitter, mailing list, Soundcloud, blog, G+, app.

Lyrics follow.

Read the rest

The Story of Sushi, told in video with handcrafted miniatures

[Video Link]

Boing Boing pal Joe Sabia, who works with me to create our in-flight Boing Boing Virgin America TV channel, shares his latest project. This delightful short film was 7 months in the making, all done with hand-made miniatures. It's a promotional video for Bamboo Sushi, a restaurant in Portland.

Joe says:

Lori Nix/Kathleen Gerber were the brilliant miniature model makers. Vincent Peone directed. Michael T scored. Matt McCorkle did Sound FX.

Full cast and credits here.

Video: Cat likes to swim in the sea

[Video Link]. Also contains an attractive woman in a bikini. (thanks, Tara McGinley!)

Maru, internet-famous cat, goes to the 2012 Oscars

Everyone's favorite internet cat goes to the Academy Awards. Well, in poster form. You can't buy the posters, or the cat, but you can buy the book. More about the legend in this previous Boing Boing post.

(Cheezburger via Swintons via Bricorama via @antderosa)

HOWTO make animatronic cat-ears

Karen sez, "Instructables user abetusk has designed her own animatronic cat ears." Holy awesomely cute. I mean keee-yooo-te.

I saw the demo video for the neurowear "necomimi" brain controlled cat ears and I thought they were pretty awesome. I'm just starting to learn electronics and I thought a fun project to start out would be making my own version. Sadly, I don't think I'm adept enough yet to take on making my own EEG and I don't think the EEG's that are available are very reasonably priced, so I settled for having a button input to control the cat ears.

I wanted to build something that wasn't too expensive and was easy enough to be done in a sitting or two. I picked out some cheap servo motors, some craft supplies, spent a weekend or two developing code to control the servo's from a microcontroller and after much trial and error, I built some kitty ears that I think are pretty decent.

Animatronic Cat Ears (Thanks, Karen!)