Zoanthid corals are a favorite with aquarium hobbyists -- beautiful and easy to grow (easy being a relative term -- coral's always a pain in the ass). Read the rest
This kindly snapping turtle has been trained to open pineapples for his human companion. Read the rest
A man showed photos of gorillas to a gorilla at a zoo, and the gorilla was interested. Read the rest
Late August, and the roar of the crowd is unmistakable. It’s the season-ending song sung by the largest chorus imaginable: the Cicada.
Growing up in Queens, New York in the 1960s and ’70s, you heard pretty much nothing in the evenings except for the tinkling of the Mister Softee ice cream truck. Not even crickets.
Then one day on an August trip to the hoity-toity shopping street Omotesando Avenue in Tokyo in the late 1980s (having just left “Crayon,” my favorite children’s book store), I continued up the street through Harajuku and heard what sounded like a locomotive bearing down.
This was the entrance to Yoyogi Park, with wide and majestic tree-lined walkways that lead to the shrine Mejii-Jingu. If you find yourself there in the summer, make sure to investigate the gardens, which you enter for a slight extra fee—they are a mystical place where the koi mouth hello.
The heat and humidity was crushing, and the sound of what must have been millions of cicadas was overwhelming and surreal. A few steps off the street and under the verdant canopy, the sounds of Tokyo’s traffic had vanished, replaced by the roar of the crowd.
The cicada is a remarkable insect that grows in the earth, subsequently clawing its way through the soil, dragging itself up the bark of a tree. It resembles a prehistoric creature, something horrible resurrected from a comic book, and then it digs its crab-like front claws into the bark. Shortly its head splits open and an entirely different figure emerges, large and winged. Read the rest
This snake, outfitted in plasticine finery, is ready for a slithering good time. Read the rest
This happy dog doesn't mind wearing a zebra mask, but its feline friend dislikes it so much that her head has become astonishingly flat.
These kangaroos reminded me of meerkats when they saw this bicyclist approaching.
The Shiroko High Carbon Steel Kurouchi Kujira Whale Utility Chef's Knife is available in four models (the Type B has some clever handle-stuff going on -- and the charming, hand-forged kids' pencil sharpening knives are now available in the US! Read the rest
Why would someone wear a realistic bear costume and use it bother a mother grizzly and her two cubs trying to eat salmon in an Alaska river? First of all, he's lucky the mother bear didn't eviscerate him when he ran to within five to ten feet of the cubs and began “waving and jumping,” according to a group of people watching from a respectful distance. Second, it's stressful to the bears.
Alaska Fish and Game technician Lou Cenicola, was able to move the mother bear out of the way, and he tried to talk to the man. The man didn't remove the bear head, and didn't identify himself. He told Cenicola, “You have the license plate number. You figure it out.” Then he drove away, still in costume.
State troopers are investigating and said the man could face wildlife harassment charges. [via]