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Pink praying mantis disguises itself as a flower

Native to the Malaysian rainforest, this orchid mantis does such a good job of mimicking local flora that it inspired Alfred Russell Wallace to propose that some animals mimic plants in order to lure in the pollinators they hope to eat.

It would also go nicely in a thematic collection with the pink fairy armadillo.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: spectacular, deep, zingy novel

If you love Karen Joy Fowler's books (and you should, because she is a spectacular science fiction writer who has also written some thoroughly mainstream bestsellers), you'll know that there are two Fowlers: there's the mysterious, subtle Fowler of Sarah Canary, a nearly indescribable masterpiece; and there's the accessible, funny, sweet Fowler of The Jane Austen Book Club. But in We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, her first novel since 2008, she fuses these two things into a novel that is simultaneously a high-speed antic and an absolutely essential meditation on nothing less than what it means to be a good person.

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Down with the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats

Adam "Ape Lad" Koford's published a new collection of his wonderful Laugh-Out-Loud Cats comics, Down with the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats. The collection is pure, distilled charm.

The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats are the lineal descendants of strips like Peanuts, which mixed extremely contemporary references (in this case, references to Internet slang) with a timeless, childlike humor, and great character design. Pip and Kitteh are eternal hobos on the backroads of the Internet age, shamelessly mixing puns and sight gags in a way that is purely sweet.

As a bonus, this volume is interspersed with the hobo illustrations Ape Lad did for Hodgman's Areas of My Expertise. If you love cute animals, hobos, and Internet humor, you will love The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats.

See also: Gweek 121: The Return of Ape Lad

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Giant cat sofa

From "Habitat," a 2010 installation in the Luchtbal district of Antwerp, UNFOLD's "Felis Domesticus." It's a 3.5 meter soft sculpture of a sleeping cat that visitors can lounge upon (finally, the lap-sitting tables are turned!). Pity this never went into production as a piece of furniture; it'd make a fabulous beanbag alternative.

Habitat: Felis Domesticus (via Geekologie)

Elephant isn't very good at playing piano, but rather enjoys it

In this clip from the Music for Elephants series, Peter the elephant joins in on a rollicking 12-bar blues performed on a outdoor piano in Thailand. Peter apparently rather enjoys this, and has to be reminded by his mahout to take it easy on the keys (he's smashed pianos before in his exuberance). The whole thing is pretty festive, but there's no denying that Peter just isn't very good at playing piano.

Not that I'm any better.

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Songs for Unusual Creatures: Elephant Shrew

Tara says:

Some of Earth’s strangest animals, including sea pigs, glass frogs, Jesus Christ lizards, magnapinna squids and more, have inspired writer and composer Michael Hearst to create a new video series with PBS Digital Studios: Songs for Unusual Creatures. In each episode, Hearst will travel across the country to meet these unusual beings while also inviting guest musicians to perform a “theme song” Hearst creates for each one.

In its second episode, The Songs for Unusual Creatures Band performs a playful piece inspired by the elephant shrew, the elusive African rodent named for its long nose. Taking cues from the orchestral suite “Carnival for the Animals” written by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, the piece utilizes the keyboard, drums, bass, and trumpet to reflect the various animal families the creature derives from.


Kronos Quartet and the secret life of lemurs

Songs for Unusual Creatures: The Jesus Christ Lizard!

"Chinese Giant Salamander," by Michael Hearst

Open Source Beehives: sensor-enhanced hive design

Tristan from OpenPixel sez, "You might have heard that bees are dropping like flies. When we realised the implications of this (which everyone should look into, because it's serious) we borrowed some ideas from the WikiHouse project and applied them to bees - ie. low cost, distributed, open source manufacturing."

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Glowing 3D printed squid filled with bioluminescent soup

Rebecca Klee and Siouxsie Wiles's "Living Light" is a 3D printed hollow squid filled with bioluminescent bacteria. They've thoroughly documented their build-process, and the project is really shaping up to be gorgeous.

From the lab to the park (via O'Reilly Radar)

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Fruitfly evolved pictures of ants on its wings

A recently discovered G tridens fruitfly that has evolved a to have images of detailed, ant-like insects on each wing, complete with six legs, a thorax, antennae and a tapered abdomen. The fly uses the images defensively, waving them back and forth when threatened to create the illusion of massing ants. Many G Tridens varieties bear elaborate wing markings, but this one, discovered in Oman, is very striking. I think more beasties should have van-art bestowed on them by the strange world of evolution.

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Mouse has the biscuit

Russo-kawaii overload: a tiny, cartoon-perfect mousie-wousie struggles heroically with a comically oversized biscuit. Spoiler alert: the mouse gets the biscuit in the end.

Мышь vs. Печенька (via Kottke)

Dog-chewed shoe sells on eBay for $378

Eric Bradley says: "I saw this eBay listing for a wingtip shoe some guy’s dog chewed up. He positioned it with a very well-written description as a ‘work of modern art’ from his dog, Jack. It sold yesterday on eBay for $378. The seller says he is donating a portion of the proceeds to a pet rescue center in Washington, D.C."

Tiny clothed monkey grooms cat

I want to hire this little guy to check my kids' heads for lice. (Via Neatorama)

"Lifelike" wall-mounted T. Rex head

The 14" high T. Rex replica head ($73 on Amazon) gets pretty good reviews from the people who've bought it -- sounds like just the thing if you want to create the illusion that you're a time-traveling big game hunted.

Wall Mounted T-rex Dinosaur Head Tyrannosaurus Rex Hanging Display Plaque Decor (via Red Ferret)

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Fantastic photos of bees' heads

The Flickr account for the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab has tons of gorgeous CC-licensed photos of bees, snakes, bugs, and plants. What a bonanza!

Happy spider mating season, everybody!

It's the time of year when you're suddenly more likely to see a spider in your house. And that spider is most likely a dude — on the prowl for lady spiders. Philippa Skett exposes the arachnid dating scene happening right under your nose. Maggie 23