Lisa Marcus's Liked Blog Posts


This Much Will Kill You


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This latest offering from AsapSCIENCE addresses the quantities of substances (many of which are widely thought to be harmless) that can harm or kill humans. Some dangerous human conditions that are beyond control (for example, being exremely tall) are also discussed. How can consumption of cherries cause an untimely death? How much chocolate, marijuana or alcohol would likely do you in? Learn the answers to these questions and more.


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Top Ten Dumbest Lottery Winners


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Carelessness. Greed leading to betrayal, overspending and criminal activity. Fraud. Lying to the wrong people. These lottery winners once had it made, but eventually made mistakes so destructive they lost everything. Want to feel a bit better about your worst life decisions? Try this Alltime10s video on for size. Via Tastefully Offensive


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Jon Burgerman's Famous Friends

Artist Jon Burgerman has been featured at Neatorama multiple times over the years for his witty work that often explores how art can be designed to interact with life in amusing and interesting ways. Such techniques can be found in a grouping of Burgerman's recent work that he calls "Jon's Famous Friends."  

The series, some of which is shown here, features his form interacting with those of celebrities. The artist said in an interview that the pieces not only are a lighthearted way to reflect upon society's obsession with celebrities, but it's also a commentary on the public's desire to present themselves in the best possible light. He says,

“I want to explore how we create public narratives for ourselves, and taking it to an extreme, absurdist level. I’m cranking up the FOMO, envy and anxiety.

I’m also trying to show that in most cases these things are actually pretty mundane. So I’m ‘hanging out’ with celebrities, but we’re not doing anything that fascinating (apart from shooting up with Obama of course). Celebrities’ Instagram feeds are often littered with multiple selfies and photos of their cats. They’re just as dull as us normal people!”

Check out more of Burgerman's hilarious hybrid images of himself and "the beautiful ones" at his Instagram account. Via Design Taxi
 


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Less Popular Fake Tan Shades




Gemma Correll zeroes in on some of the less come-hither glows of summer with her latest comic. Not every tan is a good tan, nor is it necessarily a natural happenstance. While out people watching during summer, one is often prompted to wonder about certain confusing complexions: were they caused by a sun kiss or kick? Is that real or faux/foe color? A little color can go a long way. Even an even porcelain complexion is better than mottled orange. See three more less popular fake tan shades as illustrated by Gemma Correll here. 

 


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Spiders That Appear to Fly from Treetops

Spider of Selenops family | Image: Stephen P. Yanovik

A recent National Geographic article based on data from a study called "Arachnid aloft: directed aerial descent in neotropical canopy spiders" published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface details what's likely a horrible concept to arachnophobes: a flying spider.

"Flying spider" is a bit of a misnomer, however. Selenops spiders, sometimes referred to as “flatties,” essentially coast on air, steering themselves using their flat bodies, gliding so gracefully as to appear in flight. The spider can also maneuver its body in many ways mid-glide, even turning itself right-side up or vice versa. As if that information isn't alarming enough for people firmly rooted in the anti-spider camp, Selenops is one of the fastest-moving creatures on Earth.

Check out the Selenops in all its gliding glory in the video below, and see an additional video as well as read an interesting account from scientists who conducted "glide tests" in a Selenops study at National Geographic.


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Chinese Sinkhole Swallows Five Pedestrians


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This Associated Press video footage from August 27th, 2015 shows a sinkhole in the northeastern city of Harbin, China opening up as pedestrians walk over it and quickly sucking them into the ground. Out of five pedestrians who fell into the hole, four were injured. The footage was caught on surveillance camera and showed up on Chinese social media soon afterward. Via Yakima Herald


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17 Actors Impersonating Other Actors


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One amusing side effect of actors spending long hours together while waiting on sets in their down time is that they occasionally become familiar with each other's voice inflection and mannerisms. Being actors, with (hopefully) an existing flair for imitating fellow humans, many become adept at impersonating each other.

Some actors have more of a talent for it than others  for instance, Kevin Spacey is widely acknowledged to be great at practically flawless imitations. But who knew that Bradley Cooper could do a few pretty good ones? His Owen Wilson is good. His Walken isn't bad either. See all seventeen imitations by various actors at Esquire.


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Marilyn Monroe's 1961 Letter Detailing a Harrowing Psych Ward Stay Against Her Will

Marilyn Monroe in a still from The Misfits, 1960 | Image: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

In 1960, during the filming of Marilyn Monroe's last completed film, The Misfits, her life began to fall apart. Monroe's husband at the time, playwright Arthur Miller, had written the screenplay, which was about a troubled woman in love with an older man. By all accounts, the story was Miller's interpretation of his and Monroe's marriage. 

The shoot, filmed in the Nevada desert at temperatures regularly over 100 degrees, was punishing. Monroe watched helplessly as Miller, on set, fell in love with photographer Inge Morath. Mercurial, alcoholic film director John Huston spent most of the time drunk. Clark Gable, Marilyn's costar, died of a heart attack only a week after filming ended. In this horrific set of circumstances, Monroe's remaining stability crumbled and she increasingly abused prescription drugs. In November of 1960, Arthur Miller filed for divorce. 

By the beginning of 1961, a psychiatrist Monroe had seen committed her to Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic in New York. What Monroe believed would be a few days rest turned into being locked in a padded cell against her will. Until she was released against the staff's direction with the intervention of former husband Joe DiMaggio, the actress felt trapped and terrified. Read Monroe's six-page letter to another psychiatrist, penned during her psych ward stay, at Letters of Note. Via Open Culture


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History of Cockney Rhyming Slang and How to Correctly Speak It


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In this, the thirty-sixth episode of Anglophenia, host Kate Arnell presents some fascinating facts about Cockney rhyming slang. How did it come into existence?  

"It’s not 100 percent known how cockney rhyming slang — the replacement of a common word with a rhyming phrase — came about, but it’s typically thought that the tricky word play was a type of code amongst groups of people in 19th century London who wanted to speak to each other without others being able to understand (for instance, street merchants who were haggling with customers). The “tricky” part is, in almost all cases, the omission of the secondary rhyming word, making the origin and meaning of the phrase unknown."

Tricky indeed! But very interesting in that it began as sort of a secret language or code, particularly given that some non-Brit English speakers claim to this day to have trouble deciphering it at times. Via Laughing Squid


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A Rare and Beautiful Litter of Israeli Sand Kittens



The Zoological Center of Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan in Israel is home to the lovely and rare adult female sand cat shown above, named Rotem. After Rotem's partner Sela died approximately a year ago, a worldwide search was launched by zoo staff to find another mate for her. Rotem's match, three-year-old male Kalahari, was found in Sweden.

Despite the fact that, at first, male and female sand cats aren't typically left unsupervised in the same enclosure due to possible fighting, when a friendship looked likely between Kalahari and Rotem, the zoo staff decided to let them live together. It was a decision that proved fruitful for all. 




Three weeks ago,
 the zookeepers arrived at the Safari to find three tiny kittens in a burrow in the enclosure. Rotem had already bonded with and was actively caring for her babies. Ever since they were born, the kittens have remained close to their mother. Until recently, Rotem had hidden them under her body; they are just now getting a peek at their new world. 

Any sand cat births worldwide are cause for conservationists to celebrate, as the species is classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List. Only 200 sand cats exist in European zoos, and constant attempts are made to increase their numbers.

Sand cats are native to the border between Israel and Jordan and the area further east. Additional subspecies can be found in North Africa and Saudi Arabia. 

See more gorgeous pictures of Rotem and Kalahari's new family at Zooborns.

Images: Tibor Jager

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Fifteen Incredible Images of Insects Up Close

Bluebottle Maggot

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) allows for the photographing of objects the details of which can't be observed with the naked eye. The FEI corporation, among other things, manufactures electron microscopes and runs a competition each year to find the best SEM images.

This excellent grouping of 15 photos is a selection of SEM photographs of insects and arachnids. Visit the link to see more photos like the one above, which makes a maggot look like something out of a Tim Burton movie.

For more great SEM shots, the range of which extends far beyond the scope of insects, visit the FEI corporation's Flicker account. 


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Black Lab Makes the Discovery Necessary to Bust Jared Fogle

A two-year-old black Labrador retriever named Bear is the hero technically responsible for the arrest of Subway spokesman Jared Fogle for possession of illegal pornography, according to NBC News.

The first search of Fogle's house turned up nothing, though a number of evidence trails led authorities to believe that he possessed illegal materials. At that time, the police brought Bear into the search. The lab, one of only five in the U.S. trained to do so, is able to sniff out electronic data devices. Bear found Fogle's hidden flash drive, and Fogle was subsequently arrested.

Bear's trainer Todd Jordan said, 

"Much the way other dogs can pick up the scent of a fugitive or a cache of cocaine, Bear can smell the components of electronic media, even a micro-card as small as a fingernail that a suspect could easily hide. Labs are the best on this. They’ll do anything to please their owner.”

Read more on this story at NBC News


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Burger King Throws Down the McWhopper Challenge to McDonald's



Image: Burger King

Burger King is not messing around: they took out full-page ads in The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune this morning to publicly float an idea to McDonald’s. The proposal? Open a store at a halfway point between Burger King headquarters in Miami and McDonald's headquarters in Chicago (suggested location: Atlanta) to sell their hybrid hamburger concept “The McWhopper.”

Sales of this new burger  a combination of the Whopper and the Big Mac  would begin on September 21, the United Nations-designated "International Day of Peace." Burger King has proposed that all proceeds go to the nonprofit Peace One Day. Burger King launched McWhopper.com to further guilt-trip McDonald's into accepting, which states, 

"Peace One Day is a non-profit organization campaigning to make Peace Day September 21st an annual day of global unity. They have a powerful rallying call ‘who would you make peace with?’ which inspired us to lead by example and extend an olive branch of our own. We’d like to propose a one-off collaboration between Burger King and McDonald’s to create something special – something that gets the world talking about Peace Day."

So far, McDonald’s has declined to comment. See a video Burger King created about the project below, and read more about the McWhopper proposal here



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Dog Frolics With Baby Elephant


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Yindee, a baby elephant who lives at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand, warmed up to a canine friend who was interested in romping around with him in the spirit of playtime. With his elders looking on, Yindee is able to safely experiment with leisure encounters of the canine kind, and the two oddly matched playmates seem to enjoy each other. Via Laughing Squid

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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MIT's Glass 3D Printer is Mesmerizing


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This footage by Mediated Matter Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology illustrates their first transparent glass 3-D printer. Called G3DP (Glass 3D Printing), the printer has dual heated chambers. The upper chamber, a “Kiln Cartridge,” operates at 1900°F; the lower chamber heats then cools to soften the glass. Watching the process is both soothing and satisfying. Via Gizmodo


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Ten Companies That Treat Their Employees Worse Than Amazon

Image: Jorfer 

With the recent New York Times article regarding Amazon's poor treatment of its employees, much talk about corporate workplace environments has taken place of late. Comparisons of policies are being made and former and current employees are telling horror stories. Certainly, Amazon isn't the company with the worst ever policies concerning employees; there are other corporations that are major offenders as well. 

The article linked below lists ten companies that rival or even surpass Amazon in their bad treatment of the workforce they employ. One example the writer cites is Sears, backing up his claims with the following terrifying tale:

"In 2003, horrendous working conditions were discovered in a Samoan factory used for outsourcing by Sears and JC Penney. Workers (mostly from Vietnam and China) were taken to the factory at a cost that left them deeply in debt. They also had their pay cut on the slightest provocation and received about $500 for nine months’ work. Food was so scarce that 251 people had to subsist off a single 1-kilogram (2 lb) chicken at mealtimes. When workers complained, management shut off the electricity, making temperatures soar to dangerous levels.

Worst of all, the investigation found that torture had been used to keep workers in line. In November 2000, the factory owner authorized management to make an example of a Vietnamese seamstress. In front of her coworkers, she was dragged from her workstation and had her eye gouged out with a plastic pipe.

When the revelations broke, JC Penney announced that it would financially compensate those involved. Sears refused to give them a single penny."

Read more stories alleging awful corporate treatment of employees here. 


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These Black-Footed Ferret Babies Are Absolute Charmers

Image: Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian's National Zoo

The black-footed ferret litter shown above isn't just cute and cuddly; it also represents great strides in bringing the species back from extinction. Black-footed ferret populations drastically diminished in the 20th century due to the Great Plains being converted for agricultural purposes. At that time, prairie dogs – the ferrets’ primary food source – were eradicated. 

Black-footed ferrets were considered extinct until a small population of nine was discovered in South Dakota in 1964. The last ferret in captivity died in 1979, and the species was again thought to be wiped out until a group of 18 black-footed ferrets was discovered living in Wyoming in 1981. At that point, the species was labeled "critically endangered." Since then, however, wildlife conservationists have increased the numbers of the species to more than 2,600 in the wild.

This summer, a breakthrough by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute involving artificial insemination from cryopreserved samples further increased and will continue to grow the number of black-footed ferrets.

Don't miss the adorable video below, and see additional photos and read specifics about the process of artificial insemination to increase the numbers in the species at Zooborns.

 

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Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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The Top 50 Destination Wedding Photos of 2015 Are Something Out of a Dream

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates | Image: Christophe Viseux

Destination weddings are rare celebrations compared with traditional weddings in that the couple to be married decides that the location is one of the most important elements of the ceremony. They must be satisfied with leaving to chance how many of their invited guests are able to travel to the event. But one thing is certain: an exotic destination wedding makes for some incredible wedding photos, as these shots attest. 

The photographs shown here are a small sample of "The 2015 Best of the Best Destination Photography Collection," as selected by Junebug Weddings. If you're interested in destination weddings or are a travel enthusiast, checking out all 50 of these gorgeous captures is well worth a few minutes of your time. Via My Modern Met

Mission Beach, Australia | Image: Matthew Evans

Himalayas, Nepal | Image: Charleton Churchill

Dubai, United Arab Emirates | Image: Oscar Castro 


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Anthony Michael Hall Could Have Played Ferris and Other Facts About Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Cameron's father's Ferrari in Ferris Bueller's Day Off | Image: Paramount Pictures

It's hard to believe that in 2016, the John Hughes classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off will be thirty years old! Now that I've hit you with that, I'll try to distract you from feeling ancient by presenting these fun facts about the film. For instance, it could have been quite the different animal if other actors reportedly considered for and/or offered roles in it had come to fruition:

"Molly Ringwald really wanted the role of Sloan, but Hughes didn’t think that the role was big enough for her. Anthony Michael Hall is convinced that Hughes wrote the part of Ferris for him and that a falling out between the two affected that, despite Hughes saying that Matthew Broderick was his first choice for the role from the beginning. Emilio Estevez also turned down the role of Cameron."

Read more Ferris Bueller's Day Off trivia here.


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Border Collie Puppy Teaches Wolf Pup Tug of War


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Nikai, a wolf pup at the Wolf Conservation Center in Salem, New York, is seen here in this footage being taught by Faye the Border Collie in the ways of playing tug of war with squeaky toys. Though it appears that Nikai is a bit stronger than Faye and has some pretty large paws to grow into, this video seems to capture the pair's common traits more than their differences. Via Viral Nova

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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The "Horrors" of Working at a Large Tech Company

Horror #1: Nap Rooms Often Occupied

At this point most of us have read articles concerning the incredble incentives that some large corporations (particularly those in the tech field) provide on site for their employees. If it's some fun way to waste time on break, chances are it can be found in the headquarters of such corporate environments.

This tongue-in-cheek series by The Cooper Review presents the terrifying downsides of such cushy perks. Think you have it bad at work? Just feast your eyes on some of these workplace dilemmas. Via Design Taxi

 
Horror #7: Lack of Variety in the Free Desserts Selection


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Fifteen Atomic Truths About Repo Man

Repo Man | Image source

The 1984 cult classic Repo Man is the entertaining tale of Otto (played by Emilio Estevez), a typically angry and cynical punk rock dude with hippie parents in their own little world and a consumeristic, money-driven society that has him and his ilk marginalized. When he decides to become a repo man under the tutelage of Harry Dean Stanton, however, Otto's world is turned upside down. 

Mental Floss' collection of anecdotes about Repo Man includes bits like the following tale of Estevez family bonding: 

"5. OTTO GAVE ESTEVEZ GREATER INSIGHT INTO A FAMILIAL RELATIONSHIP.
I didn't really know anything about the punk movement,” Estevez recalled to American Film in 1985. But he had a general idea because his brother, Ramon, was into the scene. “So I started listening to the music and going to the clubs and I began to understand what the punk movement is all about, and understanding where my brother was coming from at that point. So for me it was an important film on a personal level.”

Read more facts about Repo Man here.


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The Meanings Behind Ten Car Logos

Subaru logo | Image: Subaru

Many of us are familiar with the logos of automobile companies. Some people are especially conscious of those of the luxury cars, as their logos are status symbols in certain circles. Yet even if some folks are able to draw or describe automobile logos, how many know the meanings behind them? The article linked below sheds some light on those symbols. 

The example highlighted here is Subaru. The logo is an attractive image of six silver crosses against a deep blue background. The word "Subaru" in Japanese means "united." In addition, it's the name for the Pleiades star cluster. This astral formation is the nearest star cluster to Earth and is most visible to the naked eye in the night's sky. In this context, the star cluster is symbolic of the six companies that merged to form Fuji Heavy Industries.

Learn the meanings behind nine more automobile logos here.  Via Design Taxi


Pleiades star cluster | Image: NASA, ESA, AURA/Caltech, Palomar Observatory 


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Nero the Corgi Cools Off


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Nero the corgi is obviously enthusiastic about the feel of cool water against his fur on a hot summer day. Yet he discovers quickly that the filling of his doggie pool isn't going to be the most straightforward or continuous of processes. No big deal  he'll just make a jump for it... again and again. Way to solve the problem and stay cool, Nero! Via Laughing Squid

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Simon's Cat in "Pizza Cat"


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What would it take for Simon's cat to win the last delicious slice of pizza from the clutches of his human? You can almost see the wheels turning in the cat's head as he attempts one technique after the other. Finally he learns the secret, and it's likely easier than he ever could have imagined. Nice... work (if you can call it that), kitty! Via Tastefully Offensive

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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The Rube Goldberg Machine that Post-Its Built


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The 3M Corp built this interesting and colorful Rube Goldberg machine consisting of  among other things — 25,000 Post-its and 75 rolls of blue painter tape. Like most machines of this type, it is satisfying to watch all the components work concurrently to complete the sequence. Via Gizmodo


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Purchase Buffalo Bill's Place for $300,000

Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs | Image: Orion Pictures

Silence of the Lambs fans will remember Buffalo Bill's creepshow of a house, teeming with Death's-Head Hawkmoths, screams and sewing supplies. If you happen to be within a stone's throw of Perry Township Fay, Pennsylvania, you may be lucky enough to visit Bill's digs, as the home has recently been put on the market for $300,000. 

Owners Scott and Barbara Lloyd​ have called the place home since December 1976. 


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According to an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review,  the property was ultimately selected as a location in the film due to the house's entryway.

"They were looking for a home in which you entered the front door and had a straight line through," Barbara Lloyd said. "They wanted it to look like a spider web, with Buffalo Bill drawing Jodie Foster into the foyer, into the kitchen, then into the basement."

Those looking for the dungeon basement replete with deep hole to house kidnap victims will be disappointed, however. That part of Bill's home was filmed on a movie soundstage. The house isn't actually near as creepy as one might imagine. See a gallery of 25 photos at its realtor's listing. Via Esquire



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One Odd Octopus


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The octopus in this video is unlike any other octopus species, one reason being for its unusual hunting technique. Rather than pouncing on its prey from a distance like other octopus species, the larger Pacific striped octopus (shown in footage above) has a sneaky way of approaching and announcing its presence to its prey.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said marine biologist Roy Caldwell, a University of California, Berkeley, professor of integrative biology. “Octopuses typically pounce on their prey or poke around in holes until they find something. When this octopus sees a shrimp at a distance, it compresses itself and creeps up, extends an arm up and over the shrimp, touches it on the far side and either catches it or scares it into its other arms.”

The species is also a standout due to its highly unusual mating habits. Quite the eight-legged individual. Via i09


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Precious Pouch Cargo Found at Taronga Zoo

Image: Paul Fahy / Taronga Zoo

The Taronga Zoo staff is thrilled that two joeys of the endangered brush-tailed rock wallaby species have recently emerged from their mothers' pouches. Wallaby mama Ruby is carrying a joey, and most recently, mother Mica's pouch has proven home to a female joey. Says keeper Tony Britt-Lewis, 

“She’s still quite shy, but we’re starting to see her little face more and more. Mica likes to find a nice spot to rest in the sun and the joey will often pop its head out to look around.”

Brush tailed rock wallabies are now listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Tragically, population of the species has declined by up to 97% in the last 130 years due to hunting by human and animal predators, competition from introduced species, loss of habitat and diseases reducing the quality of their overall genetic health. 

See a collection of wonderful joey photos and read more about brush-tailed rock wallabies at Zooborns.  

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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In Mansfield, Ohio See Tom Cruise as Jesus and Other Biblical Oddities


Prince Charles as Abel, brother of Cain

Mansfield, Ohio is home to the state's only life-size wax museum. But it's not the typical kind of wax museum one might imagine. It's called BibleWalk, and it bills itself as the "Living Bible Museum." Since it opened in 1983, the museum has received approximately 40,000 visitors a year who come to experience its wax figures posed in dioramas illustrating the stories of the bible.

But visitors might get a sense of familiarity as they pass through BibleWalk, and it's not because they've previously read the bible. It's more likely because many of the over 300 figures in the museum are castoffs from other wax museums and were originally made to resemble celebrities and other public figures. Visitors to BibleWalk can find Tom Cruise dressed and posed as Jesus and Elizabeth Taylor, John Travolta, Steve McQueen and other celebrities as various biblical figures. 

Read more on this story and see additional photos of the odd wax figures at BibleWalk here.  


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Profile for Lisa Marcus

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