Ram repeatedly rams a block of insulation foam

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This guy says, "I was about to insulate the walls of my house when Rambro broke in and started attacking the bale of glass wool." It looks like they both had a splendid time. Read the rest

Utah police employ "porn-sniffing" dog

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A 16-month-old black labrador named URL has been trained to sniff out electronic storage devices for the Weber County Sheriff’s Office in Utah. From Fox 13 Salt Lake:

URL is specifically trained to sniff out electronic storage devices such as thumb drives, cellphones, SIM cards, SD cards, external hard drives, tablets and iPads.

“Whether it’s child porn, or terrorism intelligence, narcotics or financial crimes information, URL has the ability to find evidence hidden on basically any electronic memory device,” the release states.

Authorities say URL will assist investigators on these specific cases and will also be used at the Weber County Jail to locate contraband, such as cellphones.

“URL does not actually search for illegal materials, but rather his highly sensitive nose has been trained to detect the unique chemical compounds found in the certain electronic components,” the release states.

Read the rest

Sharks – Taschen's huge, stunning new book about our ocean's majestic, endangered predators

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Sharks. Face-to-Face With the Ocean's Endangered Predator by Michael Muller Taschen 2016, 334 pages, 11.5 x 15 x 1.5 inches $45 Buy a copy on Amazon

Sharks. The word alone conjures images of grey and white shadows, dorsal fins slicing through the water, row after row of fierce, terrifying, teeth. And we love them for it. Since Jaws first made us all afraid to go into the water, sharks have become our favorite bad guys. We paint them as the apex predators, devouring everything that dares enter their territory, including we frail, defenseless humans. And then we anthropomorphize them into relentless, driven killers, intent on feasting upon every last one of us. While this characterization makes for great entertainment, it has also lead to the idea that shark attacks are the result of killing machines stalking easy prey instead of the mistaken identity accidents that they are. This, combined with a pronounced market for shark fins, liver, and other body parts has lead to a severe decline in several shark species across the globe.

Sharks are magnificent animals. They are the undisputed kings of the sea, at home and graceful in the ocean, beautiful and awe inspiring to watch. This beautiful animal, while dangerous, is something to be respected rather than feared; they are animals that offer far more in their exotic beauty than ever they could cut up in rare dishes and cuisine. Which is exactly what underwater photographer Michael Muller shows us in Sharks. Read the rest

Why it is a very bad idea to keep a lynx as a pet

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Nehala says: This is "what happens when someone mail-orders a lynx, which ends up destructively urinating all over the small apartment, is maladjusted, and is terrified of visitors, or in this case, a housesitter." Read the rest

This dinosaur-like bird enjoys kicking snakes

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The secretary bird looks and moves like I'd imagine a dinosaur looked and moved. Here is one giving a rubber snake the business.

From Reuters: "Scientists are studying the snake-hunting ability of the secretary bird from sub-Saharan Africa, which can kick a snake to death with a force five times its own body weight." Read the rest

Enjoy this video of a dog enjoying a video

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Chiko is a shiba inu who seems to enjoy sitting in a chair like a domesticated primate to watch videos. Read the rest

Cabybaras break out of Toronto zoo, on the lam for 3 weeks

Image: Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism / Flickr

Capybaras are not only the world's greatest rodents, they are also the world's greatest animals bar none. And now two of them, appropriately named Bonnie and Clyde, are on the lam after busting out of Toronto’s High Park Zoo on May 24. The search for the brobdingnagian guinea pigs has been going on for 3 weeks. From NatGeo:

Canadian city’s residents have taken to the streets (and social media) in an attempt to help officials find the giant rodents and lure them back into captivity.

Easier said than done. It’s been more than three weeks since the pair, now nicknamed Bonnie and Clyde, made a break for it while being transferred to a new enclosure. And so far, attempts to recapture the rodents of interest have come up empty handed.

By the way, capybaras aren't guinea pigs, but they are related. Here's a video of a baby capybara getting to know a guinea pig: Read the rest

Prestigious Pets of Dallas wants $1M from customers who said they overfed a fish

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If you hire Prestigious Pets of Dallas, TX to take care of your pets, you have to sign a sleazy nondisparagement contract through which you promise not to complain in public about the company's service. Read the rest

Orphaned baby rhino walks little girl to school

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This orphaned baby rhino likes to walk with this girl to school in the morning.

Rhinos are endangered across Africa, as demand for their horn fuels ruthless criminal poaching networks. Ol Pejeta is the largest black rhino sanctuary in east Africa, and is also home to the last three northern white rhinos on the planet. When Ringo is ~4 years old, it is hoped he can be released into the wild.

(Thanks, McRaney!) Read the rest

Beautiful Birds – Fly from A to Z with dozens of feathered friends

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Beautiful Birds by Jean Roussen (author) and Emmanuel Walker (illustrator) Flying Eye Books 2015, 56 pages, 8.9 x 12.2 x 0.4 inches $17 Buy a copy on Amazon

In Beautiful Birds, author Jean Roussen and illustrator Emmanuel Walker fly through the alphabet with dozens of feathered friends. It begins, of course, with “A is for albatross, the admiral of the skies,” and progresses all the way to “Z is for zos-ter-o-pi-dae…” with details about all kinds of avians in between. The writing brims with clever rhymes and colorful words (ogling orbs, polychrome quills) making it delightful to read out loud. If I had to guess, I’d say Roussen is a fan of E.B. White’s idea that “children are game for anything... They love words that give them a hard time, provided they are in a context that absorbs their attention.”

Walker’s vibrant illustrations give kids all the context they need. His graphic, full-bleed drawings feel like those of mid-century masters Saul Bass and Charlie Harper. As an added bonus, the book’s design is also gorgeous. It’s bound in a neon salmon linen, with patterned endpapers to match. The neon color can be found on almost every page in varying doses, giving the optical effect of spying a ruffle of feathers in the wild. – Sara Distin at Tinybob Read the rest

Bumblebees sense electricity with their fine hairs

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In 2013, Gregory Sutton from the University of Bristol published an important paper demonstrating that bumblebees can sense electricity (his experiment trained bees to associate current in fake flowers with nutrients, and showed that bees preferentially sought out electrified flowers), but now how they sensed it. Read the rest

To imagine the ocean of the future: picture a writhing mass of unkillable tentacles, forever

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In Global proliferation of cephalopods a paper in Current Biology, an esteemed group of marine biologists reports that the population of octopuses (and other cephalopods) is booming thanks to its ability to adapt quickly to ocean acidification and temperature change, which is killing off other types of marine life at alarming rates. Read the rest

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

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