Boing Boing 

This bored cat effortlessly balances any object you place on its foot

kittyGaigai Wuwu the cat is a such a boss, he can balance things in his sleep.

Our friends at Laughing Squid have many more photos of Gaigai Wuwu showing off.

Suspected animal abuser in Brooklyn park was just man roasting guinea pig at barbecue area

lilpig

Police responding to a report of a man abusing a guinea pig in Brookyln's Prospect Park were met by a friendly man from Ecuador who was roasting the animal for breakfast on a 4-foot skewer in a designated public barbecue grill. Roasted guinea pig is a popular dish in parts of Central and South America.

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Image: "I left my heart, and several other internal organs, in Park Slope." Shutterstock

The largest worm in the world is as tall as an elephant, and many other wormy facts in We Dig Worms

Three fun facts about worms:

1. The largest worms in the world are 10 feet long (that's feet, not inches!).
2. Worms move with the help of tiny bristles.
3. A million worms can live in one small park.

A lot more facts can be found in We Dig Worms, an adorable and interesting picture book for ages 4-8 that turns the worm “eww” factor into a sense of awe and respect for the hard-working cold-blooded creatures. As a fun side note, Author Kevin McCloskey, an illustration professor at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, used paper bags as his canvas for the book’s charming paintings, “because, just like worms, he believes in recycling.”

We Dig Worms
by Kevin McCloskey
Watson-Guptill
2015, 40 pages, 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.4 inches
$11 Buy a copy on Amazon

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Dogs do not like people who snub their owners

spittle-dog

If a person who snubbed you offers food to your dog, your dog will refuse to eat it. Or so say Japanese researchers who studied social cooperation in canines. They set up a test in which a dog's owner asked another person for help opening a box. The dog was able to see whether or not the person helped its owner.

Dogs that saw their owner being rebuffed were far more likely to choose food from the neutral observer, and to ignore the offer from the person who had refused to help, Fujita said on Friday.

Dogs whose owners were helped and dogs whose owners did not interact with either person showed no marked preference for accepting snacks from the strangers.

“We discovered for the first time that dogs make social and emotional evaluations of people regardless of their direct interest,” [Kazuo Fujita, a professor of comparative cognition at Kyoto University] said.

Image: "Don't make fun of my slobber. It's a medical condition." Shutterstock

First amphibious baseball player stuns scientists

"Wearing a specially designed water suit, Oakland Athletics pitcher Pat Venditte threw warmup pitches with his right flipper then caught a fly ball with his 12-foot long tongue." -- East Oregonian newspaper

Read the rest

WHO asks people to stop drinking camel urine until MERS is contained

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Responding to a deadly outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea, the World Health Organization (WHO) is asking people to resist the temptation to drink camel urine. The beverage could be playing a roll in spreading the infection, which has killed 6 people and sickened 87 others.

[I]n parts of the Middle East, drinking camel urine is not as uncommon as one might think. In parts of the Arabian Peninsula, the liquid is consumed for its allegedly palliative properties. The Prophet Mohammed is said to have informed his followers to drink camel urine to cure them of disease.

In 2013, an intrepid reporter for Vice sampled the substance while in Yemen. “The taste of warm piss is, as you would expect, disgusting,” he wrote. “But when it’s mixed with camel milk, as it traditionally is, it’s even worse.

Image: "At your service!" Shutterstock

Add to bucket list: run with baby goats

I think Sunflower Farms could make a lot of money charging people to run with their baby goats.

Read the rest

Four dogs, one tennis ball

doagsSee video here.

There's some kind of geopolitical lesson to be learned here.

Incredible human-like animal portraits

 

12_Animal_Portraits__vincent_Lagrange_yatzerAnyone who has tried to take a good shot of their pet will understand how amazing these animal portraits are by Belgian photographer Vincent Legrange. With expressions that mimic human worry, contemplation, surprise, and the whole gamut of other human emotions, Legrange photographs both wild and domestic animals "in a sombre way."  You can see all of his animal portraits, which are part of an ongoing series called Human Animal, here at his site.

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Police say snapping turtle used to guard drug stash was "aggressive"

snappy

"Officers and Troopers searched the car, after finding drugs in the vehicle, and slammed the trunk in fear when this little guy aggressively jumped at them! Oklahoma Game Warden Carlos Gomez (Tulsa Co.) was called to the scene to remove the dangerous snapper, so the vehicle could be inventoried for impound." - Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Game Wardens Facebook page

Man who spread chocolate on lawn to deter dog-walkers draws neighbors' wrath

chocolate-chips

A San Diego neighborhood is in an uproar because a man spread chocolate on his lawn to deter dog walkers from allowing their pets to evacuate their bowels on his property. The homeowner, identified as "John" in this NBC San Diego story, says his "experiment" was a success, because dog walkers have avoided visiting his property. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs because they can't metabolize theobromine rapidly enough. (Theobromine has been tested as a way to poison coyotes.)

Some of the man's neighbors have complained to San Diego County Animal Control and the San Diego Police Department.

Biophilia – Photographs that combine artful design with taxidermy and other preservation techniques

Christopher Marley grew up with a freezer stuffed with dead birds. His father, a passionate bird breeder, couldn’t part with the birds when they died, so he stored them alongside the family’s frozen food. Now Marley, also passionate about birds as well as all types of nature, preserves beautiful creatures after they’ve died by combining art and design with taxidermy and other preservation techniques. In his new book Biophilia, which means “love of life,” Marley shares his artfully photographed collections of insects, sea life, reptiles, birds, plants and minerals. From pastel urchins arranged like a tray of meringues to vibrant Charly Harper-style insect collages to stunning portraits of snakes, wasps, rocks, crabs, bird wings and more, Marlow’s work is nothing short of magnificent. Every image in this book is a masterful work of art.

Biophilia
by Christopher Marley
Harry N. Abrams
2015, 288 pages, 10 x 12 x 1.2 inches
$35 Buy a copy on Amazon

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Armadillo decides that whatever is at the top of a slippery ramp isn't that important, after all

armadillo

WATCH: Octopus takes a stroll while clutching empty coconut shells

Too bad it wasn't carrying a clarinet so I could make a Squidward joke. squidward-clarinet

Incredible photo series of a man nursing a nearly dead dog back to health

No words are needed in this photo series, which tells the emotional story of an emaciated, badly infected dog, and the man who saved it. The photos at the beginning are intense, and the happy photos at the end brought tears to my eye.

UPDATE: His name is Wilson Martins Coitinho and rehabilitating injured and abused animals is his thing.

Cat parasite could be making kids stupid

cat

Toxoplasma gondii is a single celled organism that lives in the guts of cats and is spread to humans through contact with cat crap. About a third of the human population is infected with it. It resides in the brain and muscles, and doesn't always cause symptoms. But a new study at the University of Iowa and Florida International University has linked Toxoplasma gondii to reading and memory difficulties in children. The study also suggests that vitamin E can reduce the effects.

Infected rats are already known to lose their fear of cats, making it more likely that they will be killed and eaten. This is advantageous to the parasite, since it reproduces inside the intestines of cats. The organism's egg-like oocysts are shed in cat faeces which may then contaminate food or infect other animals. Some studies have suggested that Toxoplasma gondii can alter the behaviour of humans too, making men more aggressive and even causing women to cheat on their husbands. Other research has pointed to a strong link between the parasite and schizophrenia.

Image: Shutterstock

Wild gorilla displeased with his reflection in mirror

And other wild animals shown a mirror also appear to be concerned.

French photographer Xavier Hubert Brierre set up mirrors in Gabon to capture the local wildlife interacting with their reflections for the the first time ever. Some animals are curious about their newfound identical twins, while others would rather, um, punch first and ask questions later.

It's an interesting video, but it's not a very nice thing to do to the animals.

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