Boing Boing 

How the bed bug infiltrated our bedrooms and took over the world

When things go bite in the nightRead the rest

Nocturne: a journey through nighttime in the animal kingdom

Nocturne: Creatures of the Night is not a book about sleep-deprived college students, club-hopping hipsters or even long haul truck drivers. Nocturne: Creatures of the Night is an intimately photographed book of nocturnal animals and the fun facts about their unique mating habits, lifestyles and food choices.

Photographer Traer Scott came up with this book idea after watching moths circle around her porch light. That led her to thinking about bats, which led her to creating a book about animals that are awake while most other living things are asleep. Traer’s husband created a portable photography studio that he covered in black foam, which allowed her camera lens to fit through without freaking out the animals. With help from zoos, animal caretakers and rescue sanctuaries, Traer was able to get up close and very personal with 40 or so creatures.

The resulting photographs made me smile, cringe, and sort of fall in love. I’ve never seen a common vampire bat up close (they really have two tiny fangs) nor did I know barn owls’ ears are asymmetrical to help them judge distance and sound in the dark. I’d never heard of a spiny mouse before, but now I know it’s the only mammal capable of tissue regeneration! So the next time I hear opossum scurrying across my roof at three in the morning, I may pause and think, Wow, it can “play dead” for up to four hours at a time, it eats road kill, and it’s kind of cute,“ or maybe not. – Carole Rosner

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Iridescent insect sculptures from ewaste

UK artist Julie Alice Chapell's Computer Component Bugs sculptures are iridescent, intricate assemblage sculptures made from ewaste.

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What happens when you put a hummingbird in a wind tunnel?

The Flying Spaghetti Monster did a good job when he made hummingbirds. The tiny, ravenous creatures hover by beating their wings, up to 80 times a second, in a figure-8 pattern, which creates lift during the upstroke and downstroke. This is why they can remain perfectly level rather than bobbing up and down, even in wind and rain.

Scientists at UC Berkeley put hummingbirds in a wind tunnel and filmed them at 1000 frames per seconds to study their wing motion in different wind conditions.

Image: PBS Digital Studios


How a Colorado family built a home for the world's weirdest, most beautiful bugs

big-beetleBen Marks of Collectors Weekly says: "With mosquito and bed-bug season upon us, Hunter Oatman-Stanford has written an article about the May Natural History Museum in Colorado Springs, where you will find some 7,000 insects, all safely behind behind glass. Hunter spoke to museum president R.J Speer, whose great-grandfather, James May, first started collecting bugs for the British Museum in the 19th century. Many of the museum's weirdest and rarest bugs are from that era."

The museum itself is an artifact from a bygone era, with its antique glass cases and handmade incandescent light fixtures. “It’s a static display style one would expect to see in the 1940s or ’50s,” Steer says. “It’s very old-fashioned. We don’t have any electronic displays or interactive exhibits yet, but we’re working on converting one room into a rotating display.” Inadvertently, the collection documents the history of entomology through its artifacts from the niche world of insect hunters. “We still have some of the original specimen wrappings, things like pieces of local newspapers,” says Steer. “The insect would be carefully folded up inside a small triangular paper football, and that might go inside a little cardboard matchbox, and then a series of those might be placed inside a cigar box.”

Dying Pig - "the most laughable novelty yet produced"


Almost as funny as watching a real pig begin to squeal as he slowly collapses and finally lies down and dies! [via]

Sea lion drags fisherman from boat and drags him to the bottom of the bay


A man in Mission Bay, CA was posing with the fish he'd caught when a sea lion jumped out of the water, bit him and pulled him under water for 15 to 20 seconds.

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Odd video: dogs destroy wooden chair

In this silent video three dogs rip a wooden chair to shreds. Why? Who knows, but it is fascinating. [via]

Watch: young dolphins learn to spin

Scientists have two hypotheses about why dolphins leap out of the water and spin. One is that they are getting rid of parasites. The other is that they making an emotional "exclamation point" about something that just happened.

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Profile of Hulk, a 175-pound pit bull

Hulk is an "amazing family dog," who belongs to a couple who raises pit bull guard dogs.

Beefalo are causing problems in the Grand Canyon

Zubron - hybrid of domestic cattle and european bison. Image: Shutterstock

Zubron - hybrid of domestic cattle and european bison. Image: Shutterstock

Herds of beefalo (a bison-cattle hybrid) are causing massive damage to vegetation, water supplies, other animal species, and American Indian cliff dwellings in the Grand Canyon.

Beefalo also are incredibly thirsty animals; one beefalo can drink 10 gallons of water during each trip to the watering hole, according to the BBC. With an estimated 600 beefalo, at least, wandering around the canyon’s North Rim, the herd can quickly drink scarce waterholes dry.

The beefalo’s selfishness is also costing other Grand Canyon dwellers. The BBC reports that animals, insects, and rare plants are getting pushed out of the picture, throwing the ecosystem out of balance.

Agitated cockatoo speaks out

Translation: "Stop recording me in portrait mode!"

Giant cat or hyper-detailed model cars?

Headquake claims this a scratch-built RC car. I'm not buying it. He's been breeding giant housecats.

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Uncertainty over why rabbit prefers to walk on its front legs


This bunny was one of many purchased by a Chinese zoo as live food for some of the animals it keeps.

No one at the zoo knows why the bunny walks like this, but I do: a little female spider taught the bunny how to walk on its front legs, making it a national sensation and sparing it from the jaws of a giant python. [via]

The Book of Beetles: A life-size guide to 600 of nature’s living gems

beetlesThe white fog-basking beetle dwells in the Namib desert. It climbs “to the top of a dune during the early-morning fog, orienting its body with the tip of the abdomen pointed upward and the head angled downward. Water vapor from the fog condenses on the abdomen and runs down the body and into the mouth.”

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The modern cat video was invented in 1994 by French multimedia artist Chris Marker

If you know the work of Chris Marker, you probably discovered it through La jetée, his 1962 short that tells a Vertigo-referencing, 12 Monkeys-inspiring tale of apocalypse, time-travel, inevitable love, and inevitable death — using mostly still photographs. Or maybe you know it through Sans soleil, his 1982 feature-length essay-film whose geographical reach — not to mention intellectual reach — extends from Iceland to Paris to San Francisco to Guinea-Bissau to Japan.

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Dachshund + Pitbull: greatest dog breed ever

pitshund"Rami is a one-year-old, Pit Bull / Dachshund mix shelter dog who is looking for a home where he can be loved by someone who is really into living, breathing optical illusions running around the house."