Scientist reviews most painful insect stings he's ever received

Entomologist Justin O. Schmidt has written a book called The Sting of the Wild, about his mission to "compare the impacts of stinging insects on humans, mainly using himself as the gauge." Here's how he poetically describes a few bug stings, based on his own 4-point "Schmidt Pain Scale for Stinging Insects."

Red fire ant (1): "Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet and reaching for the light switch."

Anthophorid bee (1): "Almost pleasant, a lover just bit your earlobe a little too hard."

California carpenter bee (2): "Swift, sharp, and decisive. Your fingertip has been slammed by a car door."

Western yellowjacket (2): "Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W.C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue."

Fierce black polybia wasp: (2.5): "A ritual gone wrong, satanic. The gas lamp in the old church explodes in your face when you light it."

Velvet ant (3): "Explosive and long lasting, you sound insane as you scream. Hot oil from the deep frying spilling over your entire hand."

Florida harvester ant (3): "Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a power drill to excavate your ingrown toenail."

Tarantula hawk (4): "Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair dryer has just been dropped into your bubble bath."

Bullet ant (4): "Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over a flaming charcoal with a 3-inch nail embedded in your heel."

Warrior (or armadillo) wasp: "Torture. You are chained in the flow of an active volcano. Why did I start this list?"

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Wild birds show interest in their reflection

Are they happy, mad, or experiencing an emotion that's utterly alien to us? Read the rest

Koko the gorilla plays bass with Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea visited Koko at her home in Woodside, CA and let her play his bass. Said Flea,"This is the greatest thing that ever happened. I will never forget."

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Bird asks for a drink

Raven asks to drink

A polite bird asks a human to give it a drink from a bottle of water.

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Fisherman found 75 pound pearl 10 years ago, just learned it's worth $100 million

Ten years ago a fisherman from the Philippines pulled up his anchor and found it was attached to a giant clam. Inside the clam was a massive pearl. He brought it home and kept it under his bed for good luck. Recently his shack burned down and he showed the pearl to a tourist officer, who encouraged him to get it appraised. Early estimates put its value at $100 million. Read the rest

Monkeys floss with stolen human hair

To these monkeys, people are just machines that make dental floss. Read the rest

Gentleman surprised that alligator doesn't like to be grabbed

"Putting a blanket on this alligator's head will render it helpless."

let me catch that pokemon....
Full video here. Read the rest

Mother and child viewing images on tablet


Mother and child viewing images on a tablet
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World's greatest seafood display

A person who goes by the moniker usedcatsalesman227 on Reddit took this photo at a Whole Foods in Brooklyn, remarking, "We think the merchandiser hated their job and decided to quit with this stunt as a final send off."

Taken at the Whole Foods in Brooklyn -- We think the merchandiser hated their job and decided to quit with this stunt as a final send off.
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Thief unwittingly steals 16 bottles of oil extracted from weasels' anal glands

A New Zealand thief spotted box of chemicals in a parked car. Probably thinking the chemicals were drugs of some kind, the thief smashed the window and took the box. The box contained 16 small bottles of pungent oil extracted from the anal glands of stoats, which was intended for experimental lures.

From NZ Herald:

The thieves could get more than they bargained for: just a few drops of scent glands in their car or home would stink for weeks.

"We popped a gland in our lab a couple of years ago during research.

"We had fans running and windows open in the middle of a Wellington winter, and it still took weeks to go. Some staff chose to work from home for a couple of days."

The oil was so potent it was in the process of being moved off-site for storage.

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Bear tears automobile to shreds

Lenny Grekko says: "Last night we were camping in the Adirondacks and a bear opened the door of my neighbors car looking for food. He got in and destroyed it before the forest ranger was able to come."

Bear broke into my neighbors car last night
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Smart About Sharks – Filled with fascinating bite-sized shark facts

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Smart About Sharks by Owen Davey Flying Eye Books 2016, 40 pages, 9.2 x 11.5 x 0.5 inches $17 Buy a copy on Amazon

I love children’s books that are as delicious for kids as they are for adults, and Smart About Sharks is exactly that. With a sumptuous textured cloth cover, an appealing gray-tinted palette of earth tones playfully punctuated by pink, and a retro encyclopedic design, Smart is filled with fascinating bite-sized shark facts that were completely new to me. Examples: sharks were here on earth 200-million years before dinosaurs; there’s a shark called a megamouth that has a glow-in-the-dark mouth; some sharks grow only to the size of a pencil.

Smart About Sharks, just released today, is similar to illustrator Owen Davey’s other info-packed animal book, Mad About Monkeys, which came out almost exactly a year ago (363 days to be exact), and which I reviewed here on Wink. Everything from what sharks eat to their social life to their various shapes, sizes, and many different types (over 500 unique species in our oceans today!) is covered in this high-quality picture book. Rumor has it that this is the start of a series with Flying Eye Books. I hope the rumors are true! Read the rest

Everyone is smiling about this lion trying to eat a baby on live TV

When the baby gets older, she'll learn to politely smile like the grownups around her while something terrifying is happening.

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"Monkey Selfie" case headed to U.S. Court of Appeals

In 2011 a crested macaque in Indonesia took a selfie using photographer David J. Slater's camera. After Slater claimed copyright of the photo, PETA sued on behalf of the monkey, claiming it was the copyright holder. But in January a federal judge tossed out the lawsuit, ruling that non-human animals are not allowed to own a copyright.

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15 most poisonous animals on earth

Interesting video about the most poisonous (not venomous) animals, from the Cane Toad to the Striated Surgeonfish.

From the YouTube description (which includes references):

In comparison to venomous animals, poisonous animals are far and few between. It turns out having to get halfway eaten before potentially harming a predator isn’t an incredibly popular adaptation in the animal world. But the animals who managed to stick it out utilize some of the most lethal toxins on the planet, some even eclipsing what even the most venomous animals in the world are capable of. The animals on this list are ordered by increasing oral LD50 (Lethal Dose 50%), so the further up the list we go, the smaller the amount of toxin it would take for your body to fade to room temperature.

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Man places boy inside rhino enclosure at zoo

What a cool grandpa! I wonder if he knows that rhinoceroses can run 30mph and weigh over a ton? From IBI Times:

Dublin Zoo have said they are investigating after pictures emerged over the weekend of a child inside the rhino enclosure. The images shared on social media show a boy standing on the other side of the fence while a man holds his hand.

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Balkan donkey cheese sounds really scrummy

Slobodan Simić is former Serbian parliamentarian who retired to become a conservationist who keeps a herd of Balkan rescue donkeys on the Zasavica Special Nature Reserve near Belgrade, along with wild pigs, cows and beavers, all Balkan species that had dwindled and that he's dedicated to bringing back. Read the rest

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