Why medieval monks filled manuscript margins with murderous rabbits

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Long before Sergio Aragonés filled the margins of MAD Magazine with tiny, weird cartoons, the margins of medieval manuscripts were a playground for bored monks with crude senses of humor. Read the rest

Ant bites butterfly's tongue

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In this video a butterfly is trying to eat something but a turfy ant won't let it. Read the rest

Gazelle seemingly floats in slow-mo video

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Animated gif here.

[via] Read the rest

Count the number of rats climbing this pole when the light is turned on

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Is this a restaurant? Bonus points for the unintentional Minecraft mobs sound effects. Read the rest

GoatMan: How I Took a Holiday from Being Human

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See more sample pages from this book at Wink.

GoatMan: How I Took a Holiday from Being Human by Thomas Thwaites Princeton Architectural Press 2016, 208 pages, 5.9 x 8.6 x 0.9 inches $16 Buy a copy on Amazon

Thomas Thwaites has a curious idea of what it means to take a vacation, at least if the just released GoatMan: How I Took a Holiday from Being Human is any indication. What started off as a casual observation about how Queen Elizabeth’s dog, Noggin, probably worries a good deal less than his royal master evolved into a quixotic book full of ruminations on ruminants. Animals, Thwaites imagined, live in the moment, free from worry, at one with the land. How wonderful to be so unburdened, he thought. So, after briefly considering becoming an elephant, he decided to try his hand at being a goat.

Along the way, Thwaites learned a good deal about goats. Humans, Thwaites tells us, have been interacting with them since 9000 BCE – from the domestication of bezoar goats somewhere in the foothills of the Zagros Mountains to the mythical, sexual subjugation of goats by the goat-horned, Greek god Pan, as depicted in a rather graphic sculpture discovered under layers of ash deposited on the city of Herculaneum by Mount Vesuvius in the year 79. Much to our relief, Thwaites just wants to be a goat, not to “do” one.

Which is not to say the book is not occasionally disgusting. The section describing the R&D behind his goat suit includes the dissection of a goat named Venus, who died of natural causes and whose skinned limbs, palm-sized brain, and oozing guts are explored in gory detail. Read the rest

A mass of ants behaving like a fluid so they can get things done

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Here are side-by-side video clips comparing a bunch of fire ants with different kinds of liquid.

Fire ants use their claws to grip diverse surfaces, including each other. As a result of their mutual adhesion and large numbers, ant colonies flow like inanimate fluids. This film shows how ants behave similarly to the spreading of drops, the capillary rise of menisci, and gravity-driven flow down a wall. By emulating the flow of fluids, ant colonies can remain united under stressful conditions.

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Yellowstone tourists put bison calf in car because they thought it was cold

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Update: The bison was later euthanized.

Father-and-son tourists visiting Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming received a ticket for putting a bison calf in their rental car because they thought it was too cold.

Karen Richardson of Victor, Idaho, was one of several parents chaperoning a group of fifth-graders on a field trip to Yellowstone this week.

Richardson says on Monday, as students were being taught at Lamar Buffalo Ranch, a father and son pulled up at the ranger station with a bison calf in their SUV.

“They were demanding to speak with a ranger,” Richardson tells EastIdahoNews.com. “They were seriously worried that the calf was freezing and dying.”

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Video of dog trained to prevent knife attacks

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This dog remains perfectly calm and alert until it sees a knife, then it instantly responds to disable the attacker. Amazing training. Read the rest

Infested: an itchy, fascinating natural history of the bed bug

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The resurgence of the bed bug caught modern civilization flatfooted: an ancient pestilence dating back to the Pharoahs, gone for two generations, has returned with a vengeance, infesting fancy hotels and slums alike, lining our streets with mattresses spraypainted with the warning BEDBUGS. Infested, science writer Brooke Borel's natural history of the bed bug, looks at the bug's insurgency as a scientific, cultural, and economic phenomenon, and will leave you itching with delight.

Orangutan cools off with washcloth

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This man of the forest enjoys a cool washcloth, even when his young friend tries to take it from him. Read the rest

Crazy squirrel stalks selfie woman

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Hagaman Musson says: "So I was waiting for my son to come home from school and I see this woman trying to get a close up of the squirrel trying to get a selfie with it. Next thing I know he's chasing her down the street and she's rejecting the close up. Now she's in front of our house and the squirrel comes into view still chasing her. So now she's filming him screaming for him to get away. " Read the rest

Clever non-lethal mousetrap made from soda bottle

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Mouse says wtf? From Chris Notap:

This is the best and easiest homemade humane mouse trap!. Easy to build, easy to bait, easy to release and best of all, it's humane and there's no springs or levers to wind up or load! The mouse cannot escape or chew his way out of this mouse trap. Mice are not harmed in any way during capture. As a matter of fact, the mouse remains very calm since there is no slamming doors or snapping latches to scare him! Mice can be released calmly and easily without fear of getting bitten even by the most "fearful of mice" person!! Simple operation makes this diy mouse trap fun and easy to build and adjust for easy trapping and best of all easy release. A great father and son project. Just use a dab of peanut butter to bait the trap. It's the best do it yourself humane live release mouse trap you'll find! A 2L bottle and a few other common items is all you'll need. I'll be building a humane squirrel trap next so you can capture and release squirrels easily too so subscribe and don't miss my upcoming "diy humane squirrel trap".

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Moving short animation about a boy and his three-legged puppy

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The Present, Jacob Frey's four-minute short about a young boy who's not sure about the three-legged puppy his mom gives him, won more than 50 awards and played more than 180 festivals -- it's got a sting in its tail (and its tale). Read the rest

Doom, remade with ultraviolent claymation kitties

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Animator Lee Hardcastle reimagines the quintessential first-person shooter as an even gorier game, starring Claycat, a fearless and fearsome claymation character. (via JWZ) Read the rest

Photo of deer with head stuck in light globe becomes meme

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It's unfortunate that this deer got its head stuck in a light globe. It must have been terrified. The good news is that Jeff Hull with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation managed to remove the globe, and the deer appears to be unharmed.

As you might expect, the photo of the deer has become fodder for all kinds of photoshoppery.

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Bee pulls nail out of brick wall

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Granted, the nail was loose, but it is remarkable to see a bee work it out of the hole. Two questions: what was the nail doing in the hole in the first place, and why was the bee so intent on getting it out?

[via] Read the rest

Lemur demands backrub

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Before humans descended on the island of Madagascar there was a species of lemur as a big as gorilla. Today, the largest lemur weighs 20 lbs. (The smallest, the mouse lemur, weighs 1.1 oz, and has "the smallest known brain of any primate, at just 2 grams," according to Wikipdia.). I'm not sure what kind of lemur this is, but it likes to have people scratch its back. (And this is not a video that should make you feel good, says Barbara J. King, an anthropology professor at the College of William and Mary.) Read the rest

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