Humans, make room for Felines of New York!

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Felines of New York: A Glimpse into the Lives of New York's Feline Inhabitants by Jim Tews Simon and Schuster 2015, 240 pages, 7.4 x 9.1 x 0.7 inches (softcover) $11 Buy a copy on Amazon

A beautiful book with glossy pages, the photographs of the myriad cats in Felines of New York are as diverse as the cats themselves: single portraits that occupy a single page, several that spread across two, working cats, attentive cats, cats ignoring the photographer – all are portrayed. Lolo, a silver tabby in Park Slope, is quoted as saying, “For me, showing love is more about what I won’t do than what I will do. For example, if I love you, I won’t shit outside your bedroom door.” Jeddy, a cat from the Lower East Side, tells us, “My grandparents immigrated here from New Jersey with nothing, and now I have this box. I wish they could see me. They’d be like 'How the f--- did you get that box? We never had a box.' But I don’t know, the box kind of showed up and so I sat in it.”

Author and photographer Jim Tews takes snapshots of the cats he encounters in New York – both feral and community cats, as well as those that live with human owners. From the purebred to those with dubious origins, the photographs are beautiful portraits of cats in their habitats, and short interviews provide insight to their lives. Read the rest

Terrified chimp on the loose in Japan for two hours

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A chimp named Chacha escaped from his enclosure at the Yagiyama Zoological Park in Japan and ran around a neighborhood for two hours. He was shot with dart from a tranquilizer gun and fell from his perch on a telephone poll. It looked like quite a fall, but zoo officials say he is OK.

NY Times:

Television footage showed Chacha perched atop the pole, agitated and screaming at zoo workers below. Even after being shot by a sedative arrow in the back, he desperately tried to escape, dangling from a power line.

He finally fell head down into a blanket held by a dozen workers on the ground.

Read the rest

Serious, pointing people are always better with budgies

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If you need any proof, look no further than this thread on b3ta's Add an animal challenge. Read the rest

Amazing hi-def video of beetles, larvae, and maggots eating fish

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Watch nature's little recyclers completely hollow out two fish in this beautifully-shot timelapse video from BBC.

[via] Read the rest

Sea gull picks a fight with itself

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See video of the bellicose bird bullying itself here. Read the rest

Feathers – A sublime meditation on the brilliance of the bird feather. Released today!

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

We live in a world of backgrounded miracles, entire worlds of wonder and beauty that we either can’t see or stopped noticing a long time ago. Look closely at the wings of a fly on your window sill, stare into a bisected piece of fruit, or look carefully at a growth of mold on a dish. Millions of such micro worlds surround us, breathtaking examples of design, engineering, and evolutionary artistry. When we bother to look.

Feathers is a photographic examination of one such overlooked natural wonder, the lowly bird feather. A single bird has thousands of feathers, of different types, and there are some ten-thousand species of birds. Feathers takes a broad view of the evolution of the bird and its feathers while focusing its lens on the plumage of 75 or so notable species. Each species gets a few pages, with one or two impressively photographed feather close-ups and a brief explanatory text.

This book reminded me a lot of Rose Lynn Fisher’s BEE (which I loved). Both books are minimal in content and feel, but that only helps to narrow and maintain your focus on the world under examination. The text in Feathers doesn’t try to tell you everything about the species of the bird and feather that you’re looking at, but the bits of fascinating science it does contain are probably far more memorable. Like BEE, I felt like I got to peer into a world I don’t normally see and came away greatly enriched by the experience. Read the rest

Eel and woman become best friends over the years

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Valerie Taylor has visited a spotted moray eel for years, and the pair have become "great friends."

[via] Read the rest

Dog alone in car uses horn

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At a pizza shop in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Melissa Tonkin spotted some dogs left in a car. But they did not need her assistance; one had already figured out what the horn was and was only to happy to alert passers-by. [via] Read the rest

Photo of a man with a peg leg, a monkey, and a parrot

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When I was in Hawaii I took a photo of a photo of a peg-legged man holding a monkey wearing clothes and keeping a parrot on his shoulder. I had to shoot it through glass so the quality is terrible. Does anyone have a high quality copy? I'd love to get a print and frame it. Read the rest

Dog barks 376,572,715,308 times

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This fellow recorded his dog barking. Then he duplicated the video into a 3x3 grid and played the sound of his dog barking nine times. He repeated the procedure until the dog bark 376,572,715,308 times. (It's OK to skip to the end). Read the rest

It's a monkey in a snowsuit, checking on his pet chickens and goat

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In this heartwarming example of interspecies friendship, a monkey named Fedor makes haste to visit his pet chickens and goat.

[via] Read the rest

Among a Thousand Fireflies: children's book shows the sweet, alien love stories unfolding in our own backyards

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Rick Lieder -- painter, illustrator, photographer, husband of the brilliant novelist/playwright Kathe Koja -- waits ever-so-patiently in his suburban Detroit back-yard with his camera, capturing candid, lively photos of bees, birds, bugs, and now, in a new book of photos with a beautiful accompanying poem by Helen Frost, fireflies.

Chase freezes man's bank account because his dog's name, 'Dash,' looked like 'Daesh'

Seriously, guys? [Shutterstock.com]

Bruce Francis transferred some money to his dog walker to pay for services to his pit bull, and wrote the dog's name, "Dash," in the notes field.

Read the rest

The Cadillac of cat litter scoops

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Cool Tools reader Joe Stirt recommended the Durascoop cat litter scoop. I bought one, because the little plastic scoop I’d been using for a couple of years had gotten flimsy from use and would often buckle at the handle. This one is made from cast aluminum and will never bend. It easily shaves hardened clumps of litter from that litter box that would cause a plastic scoop to fold in half. It’s actually a beautiful looking tool, too. If Raymond Loewy designed a scoop, it would look like this (maybe the handle wouldn’t be covered with textured plastic). Cleaning cat litter is an unpleasant daily chore for me, but the DuraScoop makes it much less unpleasant. I’m surprised it is only $13. It’s easily worth three times the price. Read the rest

When the antibiotics run out, maybe we can use GMO maggots to stave off infection

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NC State University researcher Max Scott and colleagues have engineered a strain of transgenic blueflies whose maggots secrete human growth factor, which they hope to use to fight infections in patients with non-healing wounds for whom antibiotics do not offer any hope. Read the rest

Man is late feeding birds, so they come looking for him

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Sreedharan Subramaniam shot a video of impatient waterfowl walking over to the tardy man who feeds them every morning. Read the rest

Sharks and Dinosaurs – Pop-up books on steroids

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

There are only five “pages” in each of these books despite their 3-inch thickness. That is because each page is stuffed with layers and layers of ingenious interacting bits of printed paper, which magically assemble themselves into an alternate reality when each page is opened. Yes, it is a pop-up book, but a pop-up raised to an exponential level. A pop-up on steroids, or acid. Pop-up as extreme sport. The engineering is astounding. As a page is opened a 3D apparition appears, often with its own narrative, first one part and then another. The resulting paper sculpture is the story made real. The textual story is minimal; all the action is in the structures. Kids love to see how they work. The only downside to these books that belong on paper is not letting children paws tear the mechanics. These two books feature all kinds of pre-historic dinosaurs, and sharks of all types. But the artist behind them, Robert Sabuda, has half a dozen other books with the same kind of extreme pop-up-ness.

Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Sharks and Other Sea Monsters by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart Candlewick 2006, 12 pages, 7.8 x 9.9 x 2.1 inches $1 - $50 Buy a copy on Amazon

Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart Candlewick 2005, 12 pages, 8 x 10 x 2.5 inches $24 Buy a copy on Amazon Read the rest

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