Someone is draining the blood from cattle, leaving them looking like "deflated plush toys"

NPR reports a real life X-File: someone (or something!) drained the blood from cattle at Silvies Valley Ranch in eastern Oregon:

The bull looks like a giant, deflated plush toy. It smells. Weirdly, there are no signs of buzzards, coyotes or other scavengers. His red coat is as shiny as if he were going to the fair, but he's bloodless and his tongue and genitals have been surgically cut out.

Over the course of a few days, more mutilated bulls were discovered:

four more Hereford bulls were found within 1.5 miles in the same condition. There were no tracks around the carcasses.

To date, the investigation has mostly just eliminated possibilities such as poisonous plants or bullets being the cause of death. Perhaps overlooking the public's enthusiasm for Westworld-style adventures, the ranch does not seem to have added the ongoing investigation to its list of activities. Read the rest

"Human Organ for Transplant" lunchbox

This Emergency Meal Transport Box marked "HUMAN ORGAN FOR TRANSPLANT" is surely just convincing enough to scandalize boomers. Even better, though, is pulling a wet slimy liver from a plastic box with a picture of Voltron on it and flapping it about while yelling "Prep for surgery!". [Amazon] Read the rest

64-meter fatberg lurks beneath English seaside resort

Fatbergs -- vast agglomerations of human waste, toilet paper, sanitary products and general filth held together by fat -- are often found in the sewers of major cities such as London. But a 64-meter monster now lurks under Sidmouth, a cosy English seaside resort on the Devon coast. [via]

South West Water (SWW) said the fatberg was the biggest it had found and it would take about eight weeks to remove. The firm's director of wastewater said he was thankful it was discovered "in good time" with "no risk" to the quality of sea bathing waters. Andrew Roantree said the discovery showed fatbergs were not only found in the UK's biggest cities, "but right here in our coastal towns". At 210ft, it is longer than the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, longer than a Boeing 747SP (185ft), and more than twice as long as a tennis court, (78ft).

The BBC points out that it is exactly as disgusting as you think. Does the fatberg smell?

Your imagination is correct. This is a huge congealed mass of fat, rubbish and anything that people flush down the toilet, whether it's meant to be flushed or not.

Southwest Water has asked residents not to feed the fatberg. Read the rest

McSweeney's doesn't want you to forget Trump's atrocities

With midterms around the corner, McSweeney's has gathered 112 of Donald Trump's "worst cruelties, collusions, corruptions, and crimes." The list is the first in a series. It begins in 2011, well before he got into office, and ends with his February 2017 atrocities. Next week they will share "Atrocities 113-192."

It's a drag to see, honestly, but I'm glad someone is keeping track.

(Nag on the Lake) Read the rest

What Bernie would look like with a Trump-like tan and a hair transplant

The internet was horrified yesterday by the photoshopped visage of Trump without the Tan. A symbol of Trump's impervious vanity, the Tan was revealed as somehow – necessary? Without it he just looks like his own waterlogged corpse. But it got me wondering what rival presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, renowned in equal and opposite fashion for his rumpled indifference to his own appearance, would look like with all the standard political trappings. The skin a bronze battleground in the eternal war between tanning addiction and smoothing peels. The 1990s hairplugs, silvered weekly. Spectacles discarded except for those scholarly photo-ops… Read the rest

Subway's "Jared's Pants" kids' game is still live on their site and incredibly creepy now

Subway has scrubbed its website of mentions of child sex suspect Jared Fogle—but it has not yet deleted a promo game site where SUBWAY KIDSTM catch candy using Jared's discarded pants.

Climate change is life and death

Temperatures rise. Scientists warn and study. Conspiracy theorists cry foul. Politicians scoff and wheedle and suppress, while their bureaucrats calmly plan ahead. In the meantime, life and death go on—just not in quite the same way we're used to. Posted by Rob Beschizza.

A rather horrible accounting of what happens if an astronaut floats off into space

The good news: There's a contingency plan for this sort of thing, involving the use an emergency jetpack that can (hopefully) stabilize you and help you maneuver back to the ISS. The bad news: If the jetpack fails, you're pretty much screwed. And you've got 7.5 hours of breathable air to consume while you think about that fact. Read the rest

Astronaut Luca Parmitano's first-person account of almost drowning in space

Who needs coffee when you have this little horror story to wake you up in the morning? Money quote: "I think the liquid is too cold to be sweat, and more importantly, I can feel it increasing." Read the rest

Snark Week - a compendium of cute things that can (and will) kill you

Last week was Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. All this week, the awesome science blog Last Word on Nothing has been running a Snark Week series — highlighting cute animals doing horrific things. Go back and check out the full series, which includes features on bunnies, pudgy little crustaceans called gribbles, and fluffy-but-destructive parrots from New Zealand. Read the rest

Terrifying Uzbeki clown wants you to wash your hands

This is an actual poster that UNICEF used to promote Global Handwashing Day in Uzbekistan schools in 2012. I like to think of it as a brilliant example of why images can speak louder than statistics. After all, I can tell you that 58% of communicable diseases could be prevented with regular handwashing. But, really, would that change your behavior as much as a menacing clown threatening to fist you (I think) if you don't wash up properly? I suspect not.

Via the HIAControversies blog Read the rest

Scientifically accurate "Duck Tales"

If you've paid any attention to the Internet over the last few years you're probably aware that real life ducks are not exactly as friendly and personable as the ones in cartoons.

What if children's television reflected the fact that real duck life has more in common with, say, Oz, than Duck Tales? It would probably look a lot like this.

May be NSFW.

Video Link Read the rest

Cochliomyia hominivorax thinks you look delicious

Meet Cochliomyia hominivorax — a delightful insect that manages to me more horrifying that even Mark's favorite Central American friend, the botfly. How much more horrific? Check out the name. Roughly translated from Latin, "homnivorax" means "eater of man". Read the rest

The worst 48 hours in Minneapolis/St. Paul

Reuters has a travel guide to how to spend a weekend in Minneapolis and St. Paul. It's supposed to be an enjoyable weekend, I think, but that's not entirely clear. Beginning with a stop in the airport restrooms (no mention of Larry Craig) the travel guide recommends eating at generic chain restaurants, spending a Saturday in the Mall of America, and taking in a baseball "match" (which, readers are warned, can last as long as 3.5 hours, not counting the possibility of overtime). The guide is correct, though, on one thing. A view of the setting sun and skyscrapers from Target Field would be impressive — especially considering the fact that the skyscrapers are decidedly to the South and East of the stadium, and not much of the seating faces West, anyway. Read the rest

Climate change is increasing the habitat of brain-eating amoebas

Brain-eating amoebas? In my local waterways? It's more likely than you think. Read the rest

Scientific retraction leads millions of testicles to retract into ribcages

From Retraction Watch: The Indian Journal of Surgery has retracted a 2011 paper entitled "Penile Strangulation by Metallic Rings". The reason: The authors apparently self-plagiarized the report from an earlier 2005 paper. Please insert your own jokes here. Read the rest

Wednesday is Dead Duck Day

Dead Duck Day — the annual memorial celebration honoring the first recorded case of male homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck — happens this Wednesday in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The holiday will be celebrated with a speech in front of the window where one of the ducks in question met his fate, followed by a duck dinner at a local Chinese restaurant. The victim duck has been taxidermied and will be on hand for the festivities. Read the rest

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