31 August 2011

Child-Sized Frog Discovered, Eaten

Showing an image of the gigantic creature taken with a cell phone camera, a Chinese man claims that the photo was taken a fortnight ago at a mountainous area in Gemencheh, Malaysia. The frog was huge in size and tipped the scales at about 20kg, the normal weight of a seven or eight year-old child.

According to him, the enormous animal was captured by an Orang Asli indigenous tribesman by the riverside. His friend was startled upon seeing the creature because previously, he had never seen a frog that size in his entire life.

The man added, his friend offered to buy the frog for 500 Malaysian Ringgit (£100) but the Orang Asli demanded RM1,000 (£200) instead. As the friend did not have enough money with him at the time, he went home to get more money.

“When my friend returned to the Orang Asli’s house with the money, he discovered that the giant frog had been slaughtered and eaten. It was also learnt that the Orang Asli fell ill after consuming the frog and until today, he is still bed-ridden and unable to move around,” he said. He added, the Orang Asli did not allow any photo taking but his friend took a photo of the frog in secret.


Psychoplates are inspired by the Rorschach test. The porcelain dinner plates with inkblots discourage getting depressed from the routine of eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. Set includes 4 different patterns.

30 August 2011

Santiago Grasso | El Empleo

YouTube | Laughing Squid

Father Lets De-venomized Snakes Bite Daughter

Raymond Hoser
An Australian snake handler let normally deadly snakes bite his 10-year-old daughter to prove they are de-venomised and safe.

"Snakeman" Raymond Hoser allowed a taipan and a death adder to bite his daughter while a shopping centre audience watched on. The handler, 49, said the video proved that despite being convicted of breaching his Commercial Wildlife Demonstrator Licence, there was never any risk. He was fined $12,000 in the County Court last week for demonstrating with venomous snakes less than three metres from the public.

He said the video demonstration, which left his daughter with bleeding puncture wounds in her forearm, had proved his snakes were not venomous. "She was only bleeding and if they'd been venomous she'd have been dead in two minutes," Hoser said.
Herald Sun | Arbroath

The Evolution Of 'Movie' Dance

Scenes, in order:

1. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse 1921
2. 42nd Street 1933
3. Flying Down to Rio 1933
4. The Little Colonel 1935
5. Top Hat 1935
6. Swing Time 1936
7. A Day at the Races 1937
8. Fantasia 1940
9. Hellzapoppin' 1941
10. Stormy Weather 1943
11. Broadway Rhythm 1944
12. Anchors Aweigh 1945
13. It's a Wonderful Life 1946
14. The Red Shoes 1948
15. Royal Wedding 1951
16. Singin' in the Rain 1952
17. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 1953
18. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers 1954
19. It's Always Fair Weather 1955
20. Jailhouse Rock 1957
21. Funny Face 1957
22. El bolero de Raquel 1957
23. Damn Yankees 1958
24. Party Girl 1958
25. The Sound of Music 1959
26. Never on Sunday 1960
27. West Side Story 1961
28. Band of Outsiders 1964
29. My Fair Lady 1964
30. Zorba the Greek 1964
31. Mary Poppins 1964
32. The Producers 1968
33. Young Frankenstein 1974
34. Saturday Night Fever 1977
35. Grease 1978
36. All That Jazz 1979
37. Airplane! 1980
38. The Blues Brothers 1980
39. Urban Cowboy 1980
40. Fame 1980
41. Flashdance 1983
42. Risky Business 1983
43. Monty Python's The Meaning of Life 1983
44. Footloose 1984
45. A Chorus Line 1985
46. Girls Just Want to Have Fun 1985
47. White Nights 1985
48. Teen Wolf 1985
49. Ferris Bueller's Day Off 1986
50. Dirty Dancing 1987
51. The Little Mermaid 1989
52. Beauty and the Beast 1991
53. Strictly Ballroom 1992
54. Scent of a Woman 1992
55. Reservoir Dogs 1992
56. Addams Family Values 1993
57. Swing Kids 1993
58. Pulp Fiction 1994
59. True Lies 1994
60. Muriel's Wedding - 1994
61. Showgirls 1995
62. Shall We Dansu? 1997
63. Romy and Michele's High School Reunion 1997
64. Titanic 1997
65. Dance with Me 1998
66. She's All That 1999
67. Road Trip 2000
68. Center Stage 2000
69. Billy Elliot 2000
70. Save the Last Dance 2001
71. Shrek 2001
72. Moulin Rouge! 2001
73. Chicago 2002
74. Grind 2003
75. Kung Fu Hustle 2004
76. Napoleon Dynamite 2004
77. You Got Served 2004
78. Shall We Dance? 2004
79. Starsky & Hutch 2004
80. Beauty Shop 2005
81. Mr. & Mrs. Smith 2005
82. The 40-Year-Old Virgin 2005
83. Clerks II 2006
84. Little Miss Sunshine 2006
85. Step Up 2006
86. Take the Lead 2006
87. Hairspray 2007
88. Spider-Man 3 2007
89. Enchanted 2007
90. Stomp the Yard 2007
91. Superbad 2007
92. Get Smart 2008
93. Make It Happen 2008
94. Slumdog Millionaire 2008
95. Step Up 2: The Streets 2008
96. Tropic Thunder 2008
97. (500) Days of Summer 2009
98. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus 2009
99. Toy Story 3 2010
100. Black Swan 2010

I've seen 89 of these!

29 August 2011

Ursus Wehrli | The Art Of Clean Up

Artist Ursus Wehrli imposes his own kind of order by re-arranging ordinary objects in his book The Art of Clean Up. An upside to OCD?

Link | TDW

Monkey Monday Bonus

Monkey Monday | Chimpanzee Learns To Use SCUBA Gear

YouTube | Arbroath

Cooper, the only chimpanzee in the world known to go underwater, learns to use SCUBA equipment with the help of the scientist studying him.

28 August 2011

I Could Out-Eat Nine Raccoons

Find out how many raccoons you could go head to head with in an all-out feeding frenzy.

Link | The Presurfer

Baltimore During Irene | The Streets Are Empty And The Bars Are Full

Kaylee Gets A Haircut



Kaylee likes her new 'do. [Thanks, Steve]

27 August 2011

Richard Dawkins Responds To Rick Perry

Poor Mr. Darwin
Texas governor and GOP candidate Rick Perry, at a campaign event this week, told a boy that evolution is ”just a theory” with “gaps” and that in Texas they teach “both creationism and evolution.” Perry later added “God is how we got here.”

According to a 2009 Gallup study, only 38 percent of Americans say they believe in evolution. If a majority of Americans are skeptical or unsure about evolution, should schools teach it as a mere “theory”? Why is evolution so threatening to religion?

Richard Dawkins wrote this response to Governor Rick Perry for On Faith, the Washington Post’s forum for news and opinion on religion and politics:

There is nothing unusual about Governor Rick Perry. Uneducated fools can be found in every country and every period of history, and they are not unknown in high office. What is unusual about today’s Republican party (I disavow the ridiculous ‘GOP’ nickname, because the party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt has lately forfeited all claim to be considered 'grand') is this: In any other party and in any other country, an individual may occasionally rise to the top in spite of being an uneducated ignoramus. In today’s Republican Party ‘in spite of’ is not the phrase we need. Ignorance and lack of education are positive qualifications, bordering on obligatory. Intellect, knowledge and linguistic mastery are mistrusted by Republican voters, who, when choosing a president, would apparently prefer someone like themselves over someone actually qualified for the job.

Any other organization -- a big corporation, say, or a university, or a learned society - -when seeking a new leader, will go to immense trouble over the choice. The CVs of candidates and their portfolios of relevant experience are meticulously scrutinized, their publications are read by a learned committee, references are taken up and scrupulously discussed, the candidates are subjected to rigorous interviews and vetting procedures. Mistakes are still made, but not through lack of serious effort.

The population of the United States is more than 300 million and it includes some of the best and brightest that the human species has to offer, probably more so than any other country in the world. There is surely something wrong with a system for choosing a leader when, given a pool of such talent and a process that occupies more than a year and consumes billions of dollars, what rises to the top of the heap is George W Bush. Or when the likes of Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin can be mentioned as even remote possibilities.

A politician’s attitude to evolution is perhaps not directly important in itself. It can have unfortunate consequences on education and science policy but, compared to Perry’s and the Tea Party’s pronouncements on other topics such as economics, taxation, history and sexual politics, their ignorance of evolutionary science might be overlooked. Except that a politician’s attitude to evolution, however peripheral it might seem, is a surprisingly apposite litmus test of more general inadequacy. This is because unlike, say, string theory where scientific opinion is genuinely divided, there is about the fact of evolution no doubt at all. Evolution is a fact, as securely established as any in science, and he who denies it betrays woeful ignorance and lack of education, which likely extends to other fields as well. Evolution is not some recondite backwater of science, ignorance of which would be pardonable. It is the stunningly simple but elegant explanation of our very existence and the existence of every living creature on the planet. Thanks to Darwin, we now understand why we are here and why we are the way we are. You cannot be ignorant of evolution and be a cultivated and adequate citizen of today.

Darwin’s idea is arguably the most powerful ever to occur to a human mind. The power of a scientific theory may be measured as a ratio: the number of facts that it explains divided by the number of assumptions it needs to postulate in order to do the explaining. A theory that assumes most of what it is trying to explain is a bad theory. That is why the creationist or ‘intelligent design’ theory is such a rotten theory.

What any theory of life needs to explain is functional complexity. Complexity can be measured as statistical improbability, and living things are statistically improbable in a very particular direction: the direction of functional efficiency. The body of a bird is not just a prodigiously complicated machine, with its trillions of cells - each one in itself a marvel of miniaturized complexity - all conspiring together to make muscle or bone, kidney or brain. Its interlocking parts also conspire to make it good for something - in the case of most birds, good for flying. An aero-engineer is struck dumb with admiration for the bird as flying machine: its feathered flight-surfaces and ailerons sensitively adjusted in real time by the on-board computer which is the brain; the breast muscles, which are the engines, the ligaments, tendons and lightweight bony struts all exactly suited to the task. And the whole machine is immensely improbable in the sense that, if you randomly shook up the parts over and over again, never in a million years would they fall into the right shape to fly like a swallow, soar like a vulture, or ride the oceanic up-draughts like a wandering albatross. Any theory of life has to explain how the laws of physics can give rise to a complex flying machine like a bird or a bat or a pterosaur, a complex swimming machine like a tarpon or a dolphin, a complex burrowing machine like a mole, a complex climbing machine like a monkey, or a complex thinking machine like a person.

Darwin explained all of this with one brilliantly simple idea - natural selection, driving gradual evolution over immensities of geological time. His is a good theory because of the huge ratio of what it explains (all the complexity of life) divided by what it needs to assume (simply the nonrandom survival of hereditary information through many generations). The rival theory to explain the functional complexity of life - creationism - is about as bad a theory as has ever been proposed. What it postulates (an intelligent designer) is even more complex, even more statistically improbable than what it explains. In fact it is such a bad theory it doesn’t deserve to be called a theory at all, and it certainly doesn’t deserve to be taught alongside evolution in science classes.
The simplicity of Darwin’s idea, then, is a virtue for three reasons. First, and most important, it is the signature of its immense power as a theory, when compared with the mass of disparate facts that it explains - everything about life including our own existence. Second, it makes it easy for children to understand (in addition to the obvious virtue of being true!), which means that it could be taught in the early years of school. And finally, it makes it extremely beautiful, one of the most beautiful ideas anyone ever had as well as arguably the most powerful. To die in ignorance of its elegance, and power to explain our own existence, is a tragic loss, comparable to dying without ever having experienced great music, great literature, or a beautiful sunset.

There are many reasons to vote against Rick Perry. His fatuous stance on the teaching of evolution in schools is perhaps not the first reason that springs to mind. But maybe it is the most telling litmus test of the other reasons, and it seems to apply not just to him but, lamentably, to all the likely contenders for the Republican nomination. The ‘evolution question’ deserves a prominent place in the list of questions put to candidates in interviews and public debates during the course of the coming election.

And, just because ...

26 August 2011

Friday Morning | Irene In Perspective

Click image to enlarge

An earthquake on Tuesday and now a hurricane.

25 August 2011

Tamiya-Put-It-Togther | Build Your Own Conspiracy Theory



Moon Landing
Ogilvy & Mather created “Tamiya Put It Together”, a series of print ads for Japanese plastic model kit company Tamiya that illustrate popular conspiracy theories in the form of a plastic model kits. The ads include conspiracy theories for Roswell, JFK Assassination , Elivs, Marilyn Monroe, and the Moon Landing.
Via Laughing Squid

21 August 2011

Monkey Monday | Chimpanzees Biased For Prosocial Behavior

Photo: Discover
Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, have shown chimpanzees have a significant bias for prosocial behavior. This, the study authors report, is in contrast to previous studies that positioned chimpanzees as reluctant altruists and led to the widely held belief that human altruism evolved in the last six million years only after humans split from apes. The current study findings are available in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

According to Yerkes researchers Victoria Horner, PhD, Frans de Waal, PhD, and their colleagues, chimpanzees may not have shown prosocial behaviors in other studies because of design issues, such as the complexity of the apparatus used to deliver rewards and the distance between the animals. “I have always been skeptical of the previous negative findings and their over-interpretation, says Dr. de Waal. “This study confirms the prosocial nature of chimpanzees with a different test, better adapted to the species,” he continues.
Read the rest of the article here.

15 August 2011

GOOD | Deadliest Pandemics In History

Click image to enlarge


Source [zoomable, ginormous graphic]

Monkey Monday | Curious Chimp Investigates Camera

YouTube | Arbroath

I couldn't find an original source for this video.

14 August 2011

Rick Perry Announces Candidacy | Texas Apologizes To Nation

YouTube | TxDemocrats

From the Texas Democratic Party, Saturday 13 August 2011:
Today, Governor Rick Perry announced his intention to run for President of the United States. As much as we want to rid Texas of Perry, we don't want to inflict his anti-education, anti-job policies on the entire nation, either. So today, we launched MeetRickPerry.com.

Texas Democrats have fought Rick Perry longer than anyone. There's not an odds-maker in the country who would bet against us in a game of Rick Perry scandal trivia. So we're putting that knowledge out for the world to see on MeetRickPerry.com.

Voters across the nation need to know that Rick Perry demanded a budget that will lay off tens of thousands of teachers and cost Texas hundreds of thousands of jobs. They need to know about the slush funds he uses to reward his cronies with taxpayer dollars, and they need to know about the many candals that must now be fully vetted under the national spotlight. All that and more will be on MeetRickPerry.com, including our newest video, “Dear America” – Texas’ letter to the nation in which we say “sorry for hitting you with another Texas Governor.”

Spread the word about our site. Forward this email and share MeetRickPerry.com on Facebook and Twitter. If you can, contribute $10, $25 -- or whatever you can afford.
Thanks, Soll

Steve Cutts | In The Fall

Vimeo | Kuriositas

Hand-drawn animation by Steve Cutts, a designer and artist based in London. Music by Guided by Voices.

13 August 2011

Lloydtube | Play Anything

Lloyd Dobler was the star in the 1989 movie Say Anything. Click here to make him play any song with a YouTube URL.

The Presurfer

11 August 2011

Test Your Reaction Time

Click here to test your reaction time

Test your reaction time with this quick game from BBC Science. Five sheep want to leave their flock and run for freedom. You click the tranquilizer button when you see a sheep moving. There's a three second penalty if you shoot a dart when no sheep are running. I'm a Bobbing Bobcat -- my average score was 0.2078 seconds. Not bad for someone of a "certain age."

The Presurfer

Maru | Gap


10 August 2011

Stephen Colbert | Episode IV: A New Hope


In June, Stephen Colbert's request to form a Super PAC (political action committee) was approved by the Federal Election Commission. This is the first ad funded by that Super PAC -- Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow.

09 August 2011

Zuiikin' English | I Have A Bad Case Of Diarrhea

YouTube | Neatorama

Zuiikin' English [Eikaiwa Taisō Zuiikin' English] is a Japanese television series originally aired in 1992. Eikaiwa, Taisō and Zuiikin mean "English conversation", "gymnastic exercises" and "voluntary muscles", respectively. The 24-episode series combines English language lessons with gymnastic exercise. Topics include "Dating Tips", "Take Anything You Want - Spare Me My Life", and "How Dare You Say Such A Thing?"

For tomB

08 August 2011

Ryan Killackey | A Day In California

Vimeo | TDW

Ryan Killackey and his wife, Sherri, shot over 10,000 photographs during the course of 18 months to create this film. The music is by The Cinematic Orchestra.

Monkey Monday | Baby Vervet Monkeys

YouTube | January 2009

Around-the-clock hands-on care is essential for the survival of these orphaned baby vervet monkeys. As they grow stronger and more independent, they are eventually integrated with a suitable adult female and gradually become less reliant on human contact.
Rehabilitation, Education, Sanctuary - The Vervet Monkey Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1993. Our centre is based in Tzaneen in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. We rehabilitate and provide sanctuary to over 500 primates, orphaned, injured, abused, ex-laboratory or unwanted pets. In addition to this we provide:
  • A facility to research the life style and environment of this primate species.
  • A program to rehabilitate orphaned and injured primates.
  • A program to research the claims of damage and problems caused by vervet monkeys and offer possible solutions to co-existence.
  • An education program to inform the public of the role that the vervet monkey plays in the eco-system.
  • A sanctuary for primates unfortunate enough to be unreleasable but, manageable enough to be used for educational purposes.

07 August 2011

Stay Cool | Get Spritzed

You Tube | Brooklyn Mutt

Rejected By Hunter S. Thompson

In 1971, Mike Peterson was a young writer living in South Bend, Indiana. This letter was sent in response to a piece of satire he submitted to Rolling Stone magazine.

Letters of Note

Too Much Nature | Carnivorous Plant Catches A Great Tit

BBC News
A plant has killed and "eaten" a great tit at a garden nursery in Somerset.

Nurseryman Nigel Hewitt-Cooper, from West Pennard, was inspecting his tropical garden when he discovered one of his pitcher plants had trapped the bird. He said he was "absolutely staggered" to find it had caught the creature. It is believed to be only the second time such a carnivorous plant has been documented eating a bird anywhere in the world.

"I've got a friend who's studied these particular plants extensively in the wild and he's never found evidence of any of them having caught birds," said Mr Hewitt-Cooper. The other documented time was in Germany a few years ago and that was in cultivation, not in the wild.

"The larger ones frequently take frogs, lizards and mice, and the biggest ones have been found with rats in them, but to find a bird in one is pretty unusual."

The pitcher plant is a genus of Nepenthes from South East Asia which attracts and traps insects in a pool of liquid which it then digests. Mr Hewitt-Cooper said he thought the great tit had been attracted to the plant on Saturday by the insects and landed on its leaf. "I think it must have leant in to pluck out an insect that was floating on the fluid inside, tipped in too far and become wedged and unable to get out."

Link | The Awl

03 August 2011

Man In Bunny Suit Deemed A Public Nuisance

The Idaho Falls Police Department received calls on Monday of a man in a bunny suit that was being a public nuisance and frightening children in a neighbourhood. Police responded to the calls where they advised 34-year-old William Falkingham not to wear his bunny suit costume in public.

According to reports, a resident told authorities that her son had been frightened by Falkingham who was wearing a black bunny suit and hiding behind a tree. The neighbour also told police that the 34-year-old male pointed his finger like a gun at her son.

Officers also spoke to other neighbours who expressed that they were greatly disturbed by Falkingham and his bunny suit. Neighbours also reported that the 34-year-old occasionally wears a tutu with the costume. Falkingham told authorities that he enjoys wearing the suit, but understands the neighbours’ concerns and complaints.


Andy Rash | Breaking Bad Iotacons

Click image to enlarge
Click link below for character identification

Link | Andy Rash | Buzzfeed

Longshot Magazine | Circles Of Influence

Click image to enlarge

01 August 2011

Monkey Monday | Young Chimpanzee Feeds Baby Tiger

YouTube | Neatorama

A two-year-old chimpanzee named Do Do feeds Aorn, a two-month-old tiger cub.