[Video Link] Hopefully the monkey will teach him how to shoot video in landscape mode, too.
[Video Link] There's a video going around that shows a long line of bison trotting down a road in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park. Some people are pointing to this as a sign that the animals are hightailing it out of the park because the Yellowstone volcano is about to blow its top. But in the video above, Yellowstone Park Public Affairs Chief Al Nash explains that the bison and other animals are simply migrating to a lower elevation where they can find food, which they do every year in the dead of winter.
My takeaway from this video was a reminder that I have a box of mouth-watering Bison Bacon Cranberry Bars in my kitchen cabinet.
Thinkgeek bills their $40 Blobfish Plush as a "Grumpy Cat of the sea." While its true that the "world's ugliest animal" is actually pretty unremarkable looking when it is compressed by the awesome high-pressure environment of the sea, there's no denying that it looks like a newspaper caricature of a sad, downtrodden shlub when brought to the surface, which makes it the perfect gift...for that someone special in your life.
Seed companies and farmers didn't follow scientists' recommendations about growing a type of corn that had been genetically engineered to produce its own pesticide, and now the beetle they were battling has developed an immunity to the corn and is gorging on it with abandon. This type of corn (Bt corn) accounts for three-quarters of all corn grown in the US.
By the turn of the millennium, however, scientists who study the evolution of insecticide resistance were warning of imminent problems. Any rootworm that could survive Bt exposures would have a wide-open field in which to reproduce; unless the crop was carefully managed, resistance would quickly emerge.
Key to effective management, said the scientists, were refuges set aside and planted with non-Bt corn. Within these fields, rootworms would remain susceptible to the Bt toxin. By mating with any Bt-resistant worms that chanced to evolve in neighboring fields, they’d prevent resistance from building up in the gene pool.
But the scientists’ own recommendations — an advisory panel convened in 2002 by the EPA suggested that a full 50 percent of each corn farmer’s fields be devoted to these non-Bt refuges — were resisted by seed companies and eventually the EPA itself, which set voluntary refuge guidelines at between 5 and 20 percent. Many farmers didn’t even follow those recommendations.
Voracious Worm Evolves to Eat Biotech Corn Engineered to Kill It
(Image: Silk clipping, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from entogirl's photostream)
“The sweetest pleasure arises from difficulties overcome.” ― Publius Syrus
(Via 22 words)
Earlier today, I reviewed a new book by Kevin "Lowering the Bar" Underhill called "The Emergency Sasquatch Ordinance and Other Real Laws That Human Beings Have Actually Dreamed Up, Enacted, and Sometimes Even Enforced." Kevin kindly provided us with an excerpt from the book, a series of weird-but-true German beekeeping laws:
My swarm of bees has
fled! What shall I do?
If you own a bunch of bees (known to bee experts as a “swarm”), and it flies away one day and ends up on somebody else’s property, who owns it?
It’s too bad they don’t teach bee law in school anymore, because this would be a great bar-exam question.
Turns out that the German Civil Code has a set of rules about bee ownership in this situation that seems to cover the gamut of possible outcomes. Most importantly, the first rule of fleeing-bee procedure is that you must pursue the bees immediately. Otherwise any claim to swarm ownership will be waived:
Loss of ownership of bee swarms:
Where a swarm of bees takes flight, it becomes ownerless if
the owner fails to pursue it without undue delay or if he gives up the pursuit.
Bees are not really considered “domesticated” in the full sense of the word, given that they have a habit of picking up and moving whenever they want to and there isn’t much you can do about it, unless you thought ahead and took the time to make a shitload of bee leashes. As is the general rule with captured wild animals, if they get away they are considered to revert back to the wild and to unowned status. As long as you’re still pursuing them, though, there is hope.
German Civil Code § 960–61.
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You've likely seen pet shaming -- pictures of dogs with signs round their necks bearing Cultural Revolution-style admissions like "I eat my own poop." But you haven't lived until you've seen poultry shaming. Textile artist Amy L Rawson's got you covered.
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Canadian artist Aganetha Dyck carefully coaxes bees into enmeshing tatty porcelain statuary with honeycomb, for a result that is both otherworldly and beautiful, like the remains of a long-fallen civilization on whose bones has arisen an insectoid hive-colony. She calls the bees her "guest workers." Her work will be on display at the Ottawa School of Art from March 3, 2014 in a show called Honeybee Alterations.
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Studio Diip made a car for a goldfish. When the fish goes on an outing, it is transferred to a separate tank that is mounted on wheels. An overhead camera observes the fish's movements, and when it swims towards one of the tank's edges, the car drives in that direction. In this way, the fish can drive its tank-car all over the house and really have a good old explore.
Fish on Wheels
There's nothing quite so cuddly as a giant isopod plush toy. It has been encutified to make it even more adorable than the real-life version, with big, round, loving eyes. As the product description notes, these are "passionately loved" by some in Japan and are regarded as "mysterious and cute" -- one in Toba Aquarium has (allegedly) eaten no food for over 4 years.
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We all are currently working very hard to establish this one-of-a-kind breed – the Lykoi Cats. In 2013/2014 we hope to include other satellite breeders to help us in our effort to preserve this unique gene! We are in strong agreement as to how we want these cats to develop and where we want to see them in 5, 10, and even 20 years. Our hope is to work with other breeders with the same ethics and love for the Lykoi.
Lykoi Cats....The Wolf Cat (Via Geekologie)
Etsy seller Noadi sells some beautiful, deep-sea-themed polymer clay jewelry. Above, her Deep Space Squid Necklace; below the jump, a trilobite and a gilded steampunk cuttlefish.
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You only need to watch the last five seconds (I set it to begin playing five seconds before the action starts).
Vladimir Gvozdeff's illustration series Mechanisms depicts a wonderful bestiary of armored, mechanical creatures in steampunk style, surrounded by the detritus of contrafactual Victorian inventorship. Some of my favorites after the jump:
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