24 November 2011

Classic Re-Post | WKRP "Turkeys Away"

As god is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

Oh, the humanity!

21 November 2011

Monkey Monday | Happy

Click image to enlarge


14 November 2011

Monkey Monday | Chimpanzee Demonstrates Understanding Of Human Speech

A 25-year-old chimpanzee named "Panzee" has just demonstrated that speech perception is not a uniquely human trait. Well-educated Panzee understands more than 130 English language words and even recognizes words in sine-wave form, a type of synthetic speech that reduces language to three whistle-like tones. This shows that she isn't just responding to a particular person's voice or emotions, but instead she is processing and perceiving speech as humans do.

"The results suggest that the common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans may have had the capability to perceive speech-like sounds before the evolution of speech, and that early humans were taking advantage of this latent ability when speech did eventually emerge," said Lisa Heimbauer who presented a talk today on the chimp at the 162nd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in San Diego.

Heimbauer, a doctoral candidate and researcher at Georgia State University's Language Research Center, and colleagues Michael Owren and Michael Beran tested Panzee on her ability to understand words communicated via sine-wave speech, which replicates the estimated frequency and amplitude patterns of natural utterances. A few of the test words were "tickle," "M&M," "lemonade," and "sparkler."
Link via Monkeys in the News

04 November 2011

Nature Is Trying To Kill You

The leatherback turtle eats your soul jellyfish and the backward-pointing
 spines in its mouth help to keep its prey from slipping out.
They go all the way down its gullet.

Nature Is Trying To Kill You is a brand-new blog that celebrates "the animal kingdom's terrifying mouths, jaws, teeth, and tongues."


03 November 2011

Similar Site Search

Similar Site Search is a free and simple to use search engine that helps you find similar, related, or alternative websites. The search engine collects and combines information about websites from many sources including the site itself. It then generates a list of websites based on the similarity of topics and categories.
Via The Presurfer

02 November 2011

The Periodic Table Of Music

Click image to enlarge


D. J. Glass | Deviant Art

Face Revealed In Testicle Ultrasound Image

Elsevier Inc.
... when the scrotal ultrasound of a 45-year-old patient with severe testicular pain and a possible mass revealed the surprising image of a man in distress, urologists at Queen’s University, in Ontario, followed proper scholarly procedure: They submitted it to Urology, the official journal of the International Society of Urology.

“The residents and staff alike were amazed to see the outline of a man’s face staring up out of the image, his mouth agape as if the face seen on the ultrasound scan itself was also experiencing severe epididymo-orchitis,” wrote the authors, G. Gregory Roberts and Naji J. Touma, in an article that appeared in the journal’s September issue. “A brief debate ensued on whether the image could have been a sign from a deity (perhaps ‘Min,’ the Egyptian god of male virility); however, the consensus deemed it a mere coincidental occurrence rather than a divine proclamation.”

The patient underwent an orchiectomy, or testicular removal, and the mass proved benign ...
Chronicle of Higher Education

Too Much Nature | Snake In ATM

YouTube | Arbroath

31 October 2011

Three-Eyed Fish Caught Near Nuclear Facility

Fishermen in Argentina are claiming that they have caught a three-eyed fish in a reservoir in the Córdoba province, and it just so happens that a nearby nuclear facility pumps its hot water directly into this body of water. Unsurprisingly, the discovery of the three-eyed wolffish has prompted concerns about the levels of radiation in the reservoir and to what degree the local wildlife are affected.

Speaking to local press, fisherman Julián Zmutt said of his discovery: “We were fishing and we got the surprise of getting this rare specimen. As it was dark at that time we did not notice, but then you looked at him with a flashlight and saw that he had a third eye.” Unsurprisingly, they didn’t eat the fish, but instead gave it to local scientists to see if the mutation is natural or caused (as many think) by the nuclear power plant.

inhabitant | io9

Woman Crawls Inside Gutted Carcass To "Feel One" With The Horse

Washington County investigators have chosen not to file charges in a disturbing incident involving pictures of a Portland-area woman and her boyfriend with a dead horse. The 21-year-old woman told Washington County Sheriff’s Office detectives she wanted to “feel one” with a horse, according to a WCSO incident report. After the horse had been put down and gutted, the woman undressed and crawled inside the carcass of the dead horse and took pictures to prove it.

"At some point you in your career you say yeah I've seen a lot of bad stuff - you see this kind of picture and you realize maybe you haven't seen everything, " said Washington County Sgt. Dave Thompson. In addition to the picture of the naked woman inside the horse, there are other photos, including one of the woman and her boyfriend holding what appears to be the horses’ heart. Another shot shows them holding a piece of the horse in front of their mouth – posing as they’re about to take a bite out of it. Arguably the most artistic photo of the group is a picture of the naked 21-year-old, blood-soaked from head to toe, standing over the horse’s body she had just been inside.

The woman and her boyfriend, who have not been named, had recently taken over care of the 32-year-old horse, which was in declining health. The horse had lived in Ridgefield, Washington. The couple told sheriff’s investigators they fired a single shot with a high powered rifle to put the horse down. Their intent, they told investigators, was to humanely kill the horse and eat the meat. The WCSO incident report indicated the woman wanted to feel what it would be like to be inside the dead horse. There were photos taken. Several were of her smiling at the camera from inside the stomach of the dead animal, all but the face of her 5-foot-6, 119-pound frame inside the horse.

Her mother says the girl now wishes the entire episode would just go away. The girl has received death threats, hostile contact from people across the country who have viewed these pictures and labeled her everything from a devil worshipper to a pervert. Her mother said she is neither. Washington County’s investigation is suspended. There has been no evidence of any criminal activity. The horse was not abused, nor was it tortured. It was killed in what law enforcement considers one of the most humane ways to put animals down, a single gunshot to the brain with a high powered rifle. The horse likely never knew what happened. The meat was harvested and eaten.

One commenter wrote that the two are local college students and vegetarians.

KOIN | Arbroath

Monkey Monday | Muriqui 2016

Rio de Janeiro environmental officials are hoping to make the endangered muriqui the mascot of the 2016 Olympics.
According to the state's environmental ministry, the muriqui or woolly spider monkey is one of several animals native to the state that is at risk of extinction. The monkey is native to the Atlantic rainforest, which covers several Brazilian states, as well as Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay. Centuries of deforestation and development have seen the rainforest shrink from 1.2 million square kilometres to under 100 thousand square kilometres today.

At the launch of their "Muriqui Rio 2016" campaign, environmentalists displayed merchandise bearing the proposed mascot. Andre Ilha - the protected regions and biodiversity director at Brazil's State Environmental Institute - said the woolly spider monkey makes the ideal mascot for the Olympic Games. "It is a very peaceful animal, so it symbolises that spirit of co-operation associated with the games," he explained. "It's a very agile animal that gets around by swinging in trees. It almost looks like an Olympic athlete."
Read more here.

26 October 2011

Halloween | Light Show 2011


From the creator:
Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO. Four singing pumpkin faces, tombstones, hand carved pumpkins, strobes, floods and thousands of lights. Most all lights have been changed from incandescent to RGB LED, so power consumption is a lot less than in previous years. Also, DMX added to show. All lights, faces and props are custom made (DIY) by me except for the roof line which are CCRs. Controlling channels have gone up 8X from last year. 1144 channels. Light-O-Rama. Riverside, CA.
I think I still like the one from last year best.


25 October 2011

Halloween | Waldo

More costumed Corgis at Buzzfeed

19 October 2011

The Evils Of Evolution

Posted at an unidentified institution of higher learning.

Dangerous Minds

17 October 2011

This Is Why I'm Broke | Handerpants

Keep your hands warm and toasty with these stylish underwear gloves. These fingerless underwear gloves look just like real underwear and are made from 95% cotton, giving a comfortable feel while you parade around with men’s underwear for gloves.

Many more entertaining ways to waste your money at TIWIB.

16 October 2011

NPR | Squirrel Cop

Stories of the first day on the job, the first day in a relationship, the first day in school. On the first day, any first day, we're expected to live by the rules and customs of the culture we're entering, but we don't know those rules and customs just yet. This is a true story, told by a former rookie cop.

[NB: This doesn't end well for the squirrel.]

Thanks, tomB

NPR | This American Life

13 October 2011

Simon's Cat | Double Trouble


This is pretty accurate for dogs and new puppies, too.

Thanks, tomB

Bimbo's Initiation

Bimbo's Initiation is a 1931 Fleischer Studios Talkartoon animated short film starring Bimbo and featuring Betty Boop. It was the final Betty Boop cartoon to be animated by the character's co-creator, Grim Natwick.

Synchronized Cats

YouTube | Arbroath

Pendulum Waves

Fifteen uncoupled simple pendulums of monotonically increasing lengths dance together to produce visual traveling waves, standing waves, beating, and (seemingly) random motion. The period of one complete cycle of the dance is 60 seconds. The length of the longest pendulum has been adjusted so that it executes 51 oscillations in this 60 second period. The length of each successive shorter pendulum is carefully adjusted so that it executes one additional oscillation in this period. Thus, the 15th pendulum (shortest) undergoes 65 oscillations.

Our apparatus was built from a design published by Richard Berg [Am J Phys 59(2), 186-187 (1991)] at the University of Maryland. The particular apparatus shown here was built by our own Nils Sorensen.

Thanks, Rick

12 October 2011

Researchers Pinpoint Self-consciousness In Brain

Feeling embarrassed? You can probably thank your pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pACC), a boomerang-shaped region of the brain nestled behind the eyes. Cognitive scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, and U.C. Berkeley probed the neuroanatomy of embarrassment by asking healthy people and those with neurodegenerative diseases to sing along to the Temptations’ “My Girl.” Horns blared, strings flowed and the subject’s voice soared—and then the music and professional vocals were stripped away. The subjects had to watch a video of their own solitary singing while researchers measured their racing hearts, sweaty palms, squirms and grimaces. Those with damage in the right pACC were least likely to cringe at their own performance.

The study, presented in April at the American Academy of Neurology conference in Hawaii, adds further evidence that this brain region has a role in many emotions, says U.C.S.F. postdoctoral fellow Virginia Sturm. Among them are the self-conscious emotions, including embarrassment, pride and guilt, which are felt in the context of others’ imagined reactions. Embarrassment, Sturm says, may have evolved to motivate us to repair social bonds that become strained when we fall short of expectations.

Scientific American

11 October 2011

Sticky Comics | The 7 Deadly Keys

America's Joyous Future

Xanthony O'Harbinger Probes The Cracks Of The Unknown

YouTube | io9
Viral marketing can be pretty obnoxious, but Rainn Wilson yelling nonsense about the Dragonsingers and hungry forests is a case study in how to do it right.
Including an homage to Isaac Asimov.

10 October 2011

Monkey Monday | 'We Don't Spank Our Monkey'

Grizzly And Sophie

Grizzly and Sophie are Bisou's second cousins. They celebrated Grizzly's birthday this past weekend with a cake their mom made especially for them. Don't you love the hats?

Too Much Nature | Sharks Stranded In Golf Course Pond

Half a dozen man-eating bullsharks live in the lake in the centre of [Carbrook Golf Course in Brisbane, Australia] where their fins poking through the water have become a regular sight. The sharks, which are between 8 and 10ft long, got onto the Queensland golf course when it flooded some years ago after a river broke its banks. They became stranded when the water receded, but now they are thriving and even breeding. "You can't believe how close you are…just six feet away," club general manager Scott Wagstaff said. "There's no drama, it's become a positive thing for the golf course. They are amazing. I've become a shark lover since working here."

Although the lake is well stocked with fish, Mr Wagstaff sometimes throws in meat to encourage the sharks to come near the surface. "I'm sure they are aggressive when you are in the water but when you are out here feeding them they are beautiful to watch," he said.

YouTube | Arbroath

06 October 2011

'Have You Seen My Sister Evelyn?'

Evelyn Evelyn are a musical duo formed by Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley. According to their fictional backstory, the duo consists of conjoined twin sisters ("Eva" and "Lyn"), Evelyn and Evelyn Neville,who were discovered in 2007 by Palmer and Webley. The twins are actually portrayed by Palmer and Webley dressed in connected garments.

YouTube | Evelyn Evelyn | Brooklyn Mutt

04 October 2011

Couple Raises Chickens In New York City Apartment

Photo: Nicholas Fevelo
Robert McMinn, 45, and Jules Corkery, 45, are raising three hens inside their one-bedroom apartment in Astoria. "I don't think it's the ideal situation," conceded McMinn, a public policy associate at the mental health group Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services. But "they're cute. They're fun to [watch] run around. They're excited when we come home."

The Serama hens, a small domesticated breed that typically weighs about a pound, nest in a converted ferret cage in the living room, McMinn said. They have the run of the apartment - except for the bedroom - and lay about two eggs each a week. They also have a litter box of sand so they can give themselves cleansing dust baths. But "they poop everywhere," said McMinn, who uses the droppings to fertilize the soil in nearby community gardens.

McMinn began raising chickens in Idaho in 2003 to improve his garden, as the birds aerate the soil through their pecking and scratching and eat pests. Three years later, he created a 10-minute community radio show called "Bucky Buckaw Backyard Chicken Broadcast" about the useful pets. The show is now on eight stations throughout the country.

"A chicken can save you money. It's a cheap hobby, and it improves your gardening," said McMinn, who doesn't recommend raising them indoors. "You get the eggs and they're delicious." The small brown eggs can also pick up the flavor of what the chickens eat, said McMinn, who feeds his pets table scraps.

McMinn and Corkery give lectures at local libraries and urban gardens on the benefits of city chicken-keeping.
Read more here.

Via Arbroath

Related reading: What Is Pasty Butt, And How Do I Prevent It?

For tomB

The Avalanches | Frontier Psychiatrist

YouTube | Website

I would swear that I hear "Baltimore County School Board" at the 26 second mark.

Thanks, Roy

03 October 2011

Nevernudes Rejoice | Arrested Development Returning

“Look, for the tenth time, it’s pronounced ‘a-NAL-rap-ist’ ”
Arrested Development, the beloved comedy that ended its madcap run in 2006 after three seasons on Fox, is making a comeback. Creator Mitch Hurwitz and members of the cast confirmed Oct. 2 at the New Yorker Festival that [10] new episodes and a long-planned movie will start production next summer.
Washington Post | The 8 Best Recurring Arrested Development Jokes

Occupy Wall Street

Monkey Monday | Meditating Marmosets

At the Dutch Biomedical Primate Research Center, marmosets are participating in an experiment in neurofeedback. This is a technique that shows people their brain activity on a monitor and allows them to see what kind of thoughts and techniques get them the desired brainwaves. Once they understand the "trick" to achieving this state, they practice the same way a person would practice a physical activity. Amazingly, this can be done with marmosets as well. The marmosets see the monitors and eventually learn the tricks to meditation, if they are given a food reward after each time they succeed. The researchers however cannot explain the reason and goals of this trance-like state.

This creates an opportunity to filter out some bad data. People with ADHD know that the meditation is meant to help them concentrate, and people with depression know that it is meant to help them feel better. If they succeed, are they feeling better because of the brain waves, or just the attention, encouragement, and expectation of improvement? Since ADHD monkeys don't know why they're meditating, the placebo effect is neutralized, and scientists may be able to study if the actual techniques, or just the hope and attention, are helping people.
Neuroreport | io9

02 October 2011

01 October 2011

Monsieur Pingouin

The 79-year-old "Monsieur Pingouin" (Mr. Penguin), as he is known to locals in his Brussels neighbourhood, dons his favourite hooded black-and-white penguin costume as he looks back at more than 40 years of obsession. "My ultimate dream is to be buried in a deep ocean close to where penguins live," David said.

David's life changed in May 1968 when his hip was injured in a car accident. His resulting limp was characterised by his colleagues as a waddle, and they dubbed him Mr Penguin. As a consequence he embraced an interest in the flightless sea bird and began collecting everything he could find that had a link with the animal.

As his obsession grew, he eventually set up a museum in his home displayed some 3,500 items of penguin memorabilia. His wife showed him and his collection the door when he told her he wanted to officially change his name to Mr Penguin. He is still well-known in the streets of Schaerbeek, the Brussels district where he lives and where the burghers greet him: "How are you today Monsieur Pingouin?"
Arbroath | Reuters

30 September 2011

Employee Handbook | The Ropes At Disney [1943]

Click images to enlarge

From Brain Pickings:
In 1943, Walt Disney Productions’ personnel department set out to eliminate confusion for the company’s workforce with the publication of an employee handbook titled The Ropes at Disney. It was an effort to reconcile the need for organizational order with Disney’s effort to craft an image of an informal, irreverent, fun employer who seeks to “maintain a friendly relationship between Company and employee” (but, apparently, deems only the former worthy of capitalization.)
Click the link to see the entire booklet. Note the institutionalized sexism and objectification of women.

Periodic Table Of Super-Hero Elements

Click image to enlarge



28 September 2011

Tony Cenicola | Pin-up Chicken

Tony Cenicola

This picture flashed briefly across my TV screen this morning and its insouciance delighted me. I wasn't sure what was going on because I had the sound turned off, so I found the pic online, and apparently it's so popular that the New York Times has a article about how it came to be.


MinutePhysics | Dimensions


That's it? I need the remedial five-minute version.

26 September 2011

Monkey Monday | Monkeys Can Reason Through Analogy

Baboon Face | Papio papio
Henry Horenstein
A cat takes care of a kitten and a bird feeds fledglings: although the context is different, these two situations are similar and we can conclude that both cases involve a mother and its offspring. For a long time researchers believed that this type of analogical reasoning was impossible without language and that it was restricted to humans or, at best, great apes that had been taught a language. However, two scientists, Joël Fagot of the Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive (CNRS/Université de Provence) and Roger Thompson of the Franklin & Marshall College in the United States, have demonstrated that monkeys are capable of making analogies without language.

The two researchers carried out their experiment on 29 baboons (Papio papio) of variable ages, which could freely perform the proposed exercise (this represents a large number of animals for this type of experiment.) First of all, the baboons were shown two geometric shapes on a touch screen, for example two squares. After they touched one of these shapes, two other pairs of shapes appeared on the screen, such as: a triangle and a star for the first pair and two identical ovals for the second pair. To successfully complete the exercise and be rewarded, the animal had to touch the pair representing the same relation (of identity or difference) as the initial pair (here, the two ovals).

In other words, the baboon had to detect relations between relations, which is the definition of analogy. After an intensive learning period covering several thousand tests, 6 baboons correctly performed the task, thus demonstrating an ability to resolve analogy problems. Furthermore, the researchers suspended the task for nearly one year before proposing it again to the baboons. The animals re-learnt the task much faster than during the initial training, which shows that they remembered the situation.

Science Daily

Reconstructing Brain Imagery Using fMRI

YouTube | The Presurfer
Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and computational models, UC Berkeley researchers have succeeded in decoding and reconstructing people’s dynamic visual experience. The left clip is a segment of the movie that the subject viewed while in the magnet. The right clip shows the reconstruction of this movie from brain activity measured using fMRI.
Science Direct: Reconstructing Visual Experiences from Brain Activity Evoked by Natural Movies

24 September 2011

Dancin' The Boogie


World-famous boogie-woogie and blues pianist Silvan Zingg plays his composition "Dancin' The Boogie" while champion dancers William Mauvais and Maeva Truntzer show the audience how it's done. Most of the time, the female dancer gets all the attention -- and Maeva Truntzer is wonderful -- but watch William Mauvais. His head and shoulders stay level but his legs and feet are "goin' to war" as my dad used to say. They really are amazingly good.

Meet Mini-Molly

Mini-Molly is a nine-week-old "Morkie", a Maltese-Yorkie mix who came to live with big brother Tug the Pug today. She weighs two pounds now and will weigh about six pounds when fully-grown, so Bisou and Edgar will have a same-sized playmate. Aren't little doggies just the best?

UPDATED on Sunday 25 September:

Mini's mom brought her over today to meet Bisou, who gave her a good sniffing and then retreated to her crate and really tried to avoid Mini The Tiny Terror for the rest of the afternoon.

Mini's mom also wanted to check her weight, so we pulled out the food scale. She weighs almost two pounds exactly. Such a good girl.