Researcher Melanie Barboni studies geology for a living, but as a side gig, she is known as The Hummingbird Whisperer
“They are just so cute, and so smart! They remember you. They get to know you, and then they interact with you,” said Barboni, who talks to the birds that sometimes fly into her office and recognizes at least 50 by names she has given them. Some of the bolder hummingbirds even allow her to hold them, stroke their feathers and see their nests. Her affection for the birds has captivated her colleagues in the Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences; they have helped create an unofficial “Hummingbird Alley” by putting out other feeders.
As a bird enthusiast growing up in Switzerland, she had always admired these colorful creatures from afar — but in books. She believed them to be magical fairies because they were so elusive and so beautiful.
“My dearest dream as a child was to see hummingbirds,” recalled Barboni in a departmental newsletter. “Imagine my joy when I found out that my next job assignment would bring me to Los Angeles, where hummingbirds live year-round.”
• The Hummingbird Whisperer (YouTube / UCLA)
Young @Pugloca has his finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist -- the self-described anime and Halflife fan came to Vidcon in this stunning cosplay: an influencer apology video, replete with many, many ads. He was spotted by The Atlantic's Taylor Lorenz.
Back in 2010, It Books published Mary-Lou Weisman's biography of MAD Magazine icon Al Jaffee: Al Jaffee's Mad Life: A Biography; I missed it then but happened upon Arie Kaplan's 2011 writeup in The Jewish Review of Books this morning and was charmed by the biographical sketch it lays out.
Life360 is an app that lets you track a mobile phone user in fine-grained, realtime detail, with options to set alert for things like "is this person exceeding the speed limit?" It's widely used by parents to track their teens, and this seems to be the summer where it comes into its own, with millions […]
When it comes to passwords, there’s no such thing as paranoia. You want them secure and complex, and you definitely don’t want to repeat them on all your accounts. The trouble is, the internet seems to keep growing. And so do those accounts. Just one lockout from an important email or banking site is enough […]
With the rising temperatures on tap this summer, the climate is going to be a frequent topic of conversation, and those conversations won’t be happy ones. Luckily, there’s a way to do a little climate change of your own – in a safe and sustainable way. When it comes to personal air conditioners, EvaPolar is […]
Whether you’re using them for next-level selfies or steady tracking shots, gimbals are a must for anyone who wants to maximize the potential of these powerful smartphone cameras we’re all carrying around. But those smartphones are also supposed to be portable, and let’s face it: Gimbals tend to offset that advantage. Weighing in at just […]