Here are a few samples from one of the better cats-that-look-like-pinup-model websites out there.
Who stuffed this microwave antenna to the bursting point with 300 pounds (about 35-50 gallons) of acorns?
Dogs get all the credit when it comes to training. Yes, they can fetch bones, sit on command, bark for food, play ball, walk on two legs, roll over, play dead, pull sleds, and probably perform about one hundred other chores and fun tricks. But can they sit on the loo while doing their business? I think not. Cats, however, can be trained to do this in as little as two weeks, as instructed in Perre DiCarlo’s nine-step Kick Litter manual.
I first met DiCarlo two months ago at Boing Boing’s Weekend of Wonder. He gave a Powerpoint talk on how to train your cat to use the toilet. Who knew such a peculiar topic could be absolutely mesmerizing? Perre masterfully blended loads of humor with practical how-to steps that kept even cat-haters completely engaged.
He ended up sending me a signed copy of his pamphlet-sized book, and I love it on many levels. The design is wonderfully whimsical, the toilet-training steps are clear with nice illustrations, and each page is adorably funny. As an added layer to the book, we also get a short story told in the first person, er, I mean first kitty, by Di Carlo’s cats Moxie and Cooper. We get to hear a charming account of the cats' training experiences, including the time Cooper fell into the bowl, and how Moxie, the female, was able to kick her litter addiction in only two weeks, while Cooper had a harder 2-month recovery time. Read the rest
A new study in Current Biology has found an inverse correlation between the volume of howler monkeys' notoriously loud hoots and the size of their testicles. Read the rest
The Idaho beaver population explosion of 1948 was a big problem. Sarah Palin was still just a twinkle in her father-to-be's eye, so she couldn't be hired to shoot them from a helicopter. So Idaho's Fish and Game department resorted to Plan B: catching the critters, stuffing them into boxes, flying them to remote areas, and dropping them by parachute to their new home. The plan worked!
A bit of bizarre silliness from Markiplier, who said it is "the result of 8 hours of wasted time in an effort to make the stupidest video I possibly could!" Read the rest
Breaking news from 84 years ago:
BRICK TIED TO COW'S TAIL KNOCKS MILKER UNCONSCIOUS
TOLEDO, Ore., Jan 18 — Jack Horsfall, Toledo high school student, decided to stop his cow's practice of switching her tail while he milked. He tied a brick to her tail. The cow switched her tail anyway, and the brick struck Horsfall behind the ear. He fell unconscious. When he had recovered he untied the brick.
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Eliza writes, "A researcher from Lehigh University has invented a light-based pacemaker for fruit flies, and says a human version is 'not impossible.' The pacemaker relies on the new technique of 'optogenetics,' in which light-sensitive proteins are inserted into certain cells, allowing those cells to be activated by pulses of light. Here, the proteins were inserted into cardiac cells so the researchers could trigger the contractions that produce heartbeats." Read the rest
BGI, the genomics institute in Shenzhen credited with a number of breakthroughs in genomic sequencing, is applying its expertise on making tiny pigs for pets. According to Nature.com the pigs will weigh about 15 kilograms when they mature.
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At the [Shenzhen International Biotech Leaders Summit in China] the institute quoted a price tag of 10,000 yuan (US$1,600) for the micropigs, but that was just to "help us better evaluate the market”, says Yong Li, technical director of BGI’s animal-science platform. In future, customers will be offered pigs with different coat colours and patterns, which BGI says it can also set through gene editing.
I didn't like it when Snoopy suddenly changed from a cute quadruped to an ugly biped and I didn't like it when I saw this video of a bear walking upright like a human in a New Jersey 'burb. Read the rest