Miss Cellania's Liked Blog Posts

Lighthouse Volunteer Position Open

Talk about getting away from it all! The Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service is seeking a couple of new volunteer lighthouse keepers for Maatsuyker Island, ten kilometers of the coast of western Tasmania. The lighthouse is automated, so volunteers would spend six months monitoring a weather station, observing wildlife, and mowing the grass. Two people, all alone. And the conditions won't be what you're used to. There's a landline, but it doesn't always work well, and you'll have no internet. And Maatsuyker Island is notoriously colder than the rest of Australia. From the application form:

Volunteers are responsible for providing their own food, clothing, entertainment, bedding and other personal items.  The Parks and Wildlife Service will provide transport by helicopter for these items between Hobart and Maatsuyker Island.  Transport space is limited to 325 kg per person, (for 6 month stay).

The Parks and Wildlife Service  will also provide one resupply helicopter visit at approximately 3 months in (i.e. one resupply in the standard 6 month stay), often to coincide with scheduled or unplanned maintenance.   Space on the resupply flight will also be limited. Caretakers generally make their own arrangements for the preparation of food and other goods for resupply. Please note PWS prefer people take as many of the supplies as possible onto Maatsuyker in the beginning, so that the resupply can be primarily for fresh food and mail.  There is a vegetable garden maintained by the caretakers for fresh food.  

Electricity is supplied by a generating system incorporating solar and back up diesel. The high cost of transport dictates that gas and diesel consumption on the island be kept to a minimum.

Volunteers must go through a training program and be certified in First Aid and Marine Radio Operation, and demonstrate competency in other skills. The application is available through the Park Service. The application deadline is January 30th.  -via Metafilter  

(Image credit: Jeff Jennings)


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Stefania Atupe's Makeup Art



Makeup artist Stefania Atupe is a master of eyelid art. In fact, she channels the masters of art, like Van Gogh and Monet by recreating their famous paintings in miniature on eyelids! You certainly recognize Starry Night above. Also check out Atupe's version of Monet' s Water Lilies below.  

"When I posted the peacock design onto twitter, a girl actually messaged me and said that it reminded her of a Van Gogh piece, and since I absolutely love Van Gogh I decided I would try out Starry Night," she continued. 

"I then just sat down and spent a good hour and a half just recreating the look, slowly outlining it and developing the colours! It took really long as there's so many different colours, and I really wanted to try get all the same colours and patterns as in the original painting," Atupe continued.

Read more about Atupe at Mashable, and see more of her designs at Instagram. -via Everlasting Blort


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The Man Behind Comic Sans

Comic Sans was used so much in the 1990s that it became a joke itself. It was never meant as a joke, despite the name. Vincent Connare, who actually designed the font, will tell us about how it came about.

(YouTube link)

"It's all my fault." That may be what you watched the video to hear, but there's more to it than that, as you'll find out in this video from Great Big Story. -via Geeks Are Sexy


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The First Observations of Sea Ice Came From 8th-Century Irish Monks in Iceland

Geographers in ancient times may have guessed that the ocean is cold enough near the Poles to freeze, but they did not leave written records of witnessing it. That job fell to Irish monks who were searching for a wilderness of solitude. Christianity came to Ireland in the 5th century (remember St. Patrick), and monasteries filled with students of the faith over the next few hundred years. Crowded monasteries caused monks to reach out even further north for a peaceful place to commune with God.

There’s not much evidence left of the journeys of these monastic explorers, but in later years Norse stories had a name from them, the papar. Gaelic monks settled on empty northern islands—Orkney, Shetland—but it’s also possible that they found their way to Iceland, where manmade caves, decorated with crosses, have convinced some archaeologists that there were settlers here before the Vikings.

An early Irish geographer, Dicuil, also writes of “priests who stayed on that island from the first of February to the first of August.” The year would have been 795, and Dicuil briefly notes a journey they took north. “These priests then sailed hence and, in day’s sail, did reach the frozen sea to the north.”

But there's always the possibility of finding even earlier records. Any would useful to those documenting the natural history of the ebb and flow of Arctic ice. Read more about the history of frozen seas as we know it at Atlas Obscura. 

(Image credit: Pink floyd88 a)


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"Under Pressure" Sung by Pigeons

There's no punch line here, just an entire flock of relatable pigeons singing a relatable song as if they were born to do it. And the panels you see here aren't even half of it. They perform the entire song "Under Presuure" by Queen and David Bowie at Pigeon Comics, as drawn by ProfessorBees (Christian McGowan). See the rest of it here.   

This particular comic has become quite popular, and readers are asking for posters to be produced. That might happen. -via Metafilter


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What’s the Story Behind This Superman Comic?

The image of Superman promoting tolerance and diversity among schoolchildren is authentic. It's a 1949 image by comic book artist Wayne Boring, used in school posters and book covers. It's a relic of a campaign to stamp out racial, ethnic, and religious prejudice in the United States at a time when Europe was undergoing a seismic swell of anti-semitism in the path to World War II.

In 1938, the New York City Board of Education began requiring students to learn about how multiple groups contributed to American history. When World War II erupted one year later, the demand for tolerance education spiked. The New York Times reported in 1939 that "Instances were cited of teachers in New York City and elsewhere being 'ridiculed, harassed and otherwise impeded' by pupils under the influence of, and stimulated by, Nazi doctrine." To nip foreign propaganda in the bud, schools across the country joined the tolerance movement. Military leaders encouraged it, too. They knew that American troops, many of them fresh out of school, would fight their best if they learned to set aside their differences.

Countless non-profit groups, many of them interreligious, led the charge. Burkholder writes that “Religious leaders, educators, and politicians stressed tolerance as a central tenet of democracy." They provided prejudice-fighting materials to schools, from teachers’ manuals to comic books to textbooks.

Outside of school, short pro-tolerance films played at the beginning of movies. People held tolerance rallies. The National Conference of Christians and Jews distributed 10 million “Badge of Tolerance” buttons. Groups such as the Council Against Intolerance in America distributed maps showing the breadth of diversity in America’s cultural landscape. Even Superboy stepped in, telling a bunch of his schoolmates that “No single land, race or nationality can claim this country as its own.” At the end, Superboy and his pals celebrate by eating Swedish meatballs.

That all sounds well and good, but it didn't last. The groups that led the charge for tolerance were eventually accused of being "un-American" themselves! Read what happened at mental_floss.


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Barnaby Dixon's Raptor Puppet

Barnaby Dixon is the young puppet designer who showed us his delightful Aztec warrior finger puppet last year. Now he's got a new one that evokes the real feel of a prehistoric raptor!

(YouTube link)

The puppet is a rather complicated construction, but as before, his skills in operating it make it something special. -via Tastefully Offensive


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Isolated Treehouse Hotel Lets You Sleep Under The Northern Lights

Treehotel in Sweden has just launched its 7th room, which they call the 7th Room. The luxury suite is a 600 square foot living space (two bedrooms, one bath, and a common area) perched 33 feet up in a clump of trees! It has plenty of outdoor deck space and it is enclosed by glass to allow for spectacular views of Swedish Lapland. The suite is open for rental beginning today, although it is probably booked up for a while. Dtaying there would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. See a collection of gorgeous photographs of the 7th Room at Uncoached.


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My Name is Cow

A couple of months ago, a reddit thread asked for stories about health inspection violations. Chamale posted a lovely story about an inspection at a historical recreation.

My stepdad used to be a baker in an authentic recreation of an 18th century New French fortress. Because they sell bread to the public, the health inspector came by, and she was ripping into my stepdad for violations like the stonework walls, the doorless entranceways, or the lack of a mosquito zapper. He pointed out that they were following the highest standards except for things that would destroy the authenticity of this 18th-century bakery. The health inspector relented and agreed to give him a pass after verifying the food storage area was secure. They went to the shed, which was a doorless building attached to the bakery. As the health inspector went in, there happened to be an escaped cow licking all of the loaves. My stepdad could only say, "Honestly, this never happens." They passed the health inspection.

In response, redditor Poem_for_your_sprog (Sam Garland) wrote an amazing poem.

my name is Cow,
and wen its nite,
or wen the moon
is shiyning brite,
and all the men
haf gon to bed -
i stay up late.

i lik the bred.

That started a meme that spread way beyond reddit, as others contributed poems recited by the dog, the cat, the calf (with a reply from the cat), the goat, the bread, and more from the cow. And more here and here. So when you run into more poems of the same type, you'll know where they came from.

-via Metafilter, where you'll find more poetry. 


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"America the Beautiful" in Every National Park

Conor Knighton is a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning. During the course of 2016, he visited all 59 U.S. national parks in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. At every park, he stopped and recorded himself singing “America The Beautiful,” and made this compilation video in which you can get a glimpse of them.

(YouTube link)

In this segment from the show, he tells us about his tour. You might want to enlarge this one, because the scenery is lovely.

(YouTube link)

See beautiful pictures of Knighton's national park visits at Instagram. -via Boing Boing


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Super Antics #10

Superman has a lot to say, and he's probably counting the steps until someone wakes up and smells the  ...coffee. You have to wonder how many more "nice things" he had on his list just in case no one called him out on it. This is new material from Kerry Callen. We're just glad everyone got a laugh out of it.  -via Geeks Are Sexy

See more of Callen's best comics, previously at Neatorama.


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A History of Pepsi Cola

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

Pepsi Cola was originally called "Brad's Drink" and marketed in Bern, North Carolina in the early 1890's by pharmacist Caleb Bradham. Bradham = "Brad's Drink," get it?

By 1898, the name Pepsi was officially adopted. The name "Pepsi Cola" is derived from the pepsin and cola nuts in the recipe. Pepsi was originally marketed as a cure for stomachaches or dyspepsia.

A church across the street from Bradham's drugstore claimed the name Pepsi Cola was an anagram for "Episcopal." But Pepsico, the company that manufactures Pepsi, discounts this theory. (And remember, just because Britney Spears is an anagram for Presbyterians, it doesn't mean this fact has any other significance.)

Pepsi actually fared better than its main rival, Coca-Cola, in its early days. (Coca-Cola was invented a few years earlier, in 1886.) It sold briskly until 1923, by which time Coke had built a huge empire.

Pepsi, meanwhile, went broke. Sugar prices had gone up as result of World War I, and the company couldn't pay to make it's own beverages. Eight years later, the company went bankrupt again.

Ironically, the Great Depression did not bankrupt it a third time. If anything, it helped. Pepsi introduced a 12-ounce bottle in 1934 at the height of the depression. Coke bottles were only half that size, a fact Pepsi capitalized on. Its marketing team wrote the words to the world's first jingle to go on the radio:

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Surfing Under the Northern Lights

Photographer and filmmaker Chris Burkard records surfers and other extreme adventurers. Surfing in Iceland is definitely an extreme adventure. In this video from The Big Story, Burkard talks about what he does and about how a severe storm in Iceland led to an amazing opportunity to photograph a surfer under the Aurora Borealis.  

(YouTube link)

Burkhard's Iceland trip is the subject of the upcoming documentary Under an Arctic Sky. -via Laughing Squid


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The Empire Scratches Back

That one scene we all remember so well from The Empire Strikes Back is now available with an all-cat cast! Pasdidée set up the frame and then had to be very patient for his two cats to get their parts right. Here the human version and cat version are shown side-by-side, or rather, top and bottom, as it were.

(YouTube link)

In fact, they may have even switched roles in the middle, but it's hard to tell. Even for the director.   -via reddit

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

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The Official Hostess Power Rankings

Lucas Peterson at Lucky Peach made us all a graph that sorts Hostess snacks by not only taste, but by how easily each one's name can be given to a pet. As someone who named a cat Marshmallow*, I heartily approve. -via Digg   

*Someone in my family actually suggested SnoBall.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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7 Weird But Real Jobs

Most of us end up doing something for a living that we didn't plan for as kids. But there are jobs out there that are rare, odd, and probably difficult to get into unless you just happen to fall into them. Can you imagine majoring in French literature and then getting a job as a professional bridesmaid?

Most people believe that in order to be a bridesmaid, you must be close friends with a bride. This is not the case. There is a company called Bridesmaids For Hire, where the bride-to-be can hire a woman to be her bridesmaid. Some women don’t have many women friends, which can make the wedding party uneven. Some women don’t have responsible friends. The bride needs a bridesmaid who is willing to do the work on the big day. She needs someone there to handle problems when they arise and to make her day easier. If a bride doesn’t have any friends who can handle the job, she can hire a bridesmaid. Bridesmaids For Hire offers a variety of packages, and the cost ranges from $300 to $2,000, depending on the package that you choose.

Yes, it's a real job, but it might not be a full-time position. Read about more Amazing Jobs You Had No Idea Were Real at Uncoached.

(Image credit: Sherry Main)


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Possible Consequences of Writing Poetry

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research, now in all-pdf form. Get a subscription now for only $25 a year!

compiled by Tenzing Terwilliger, Improbable Research staff

Poets, since ancient days, have suffered (and in some cases, also celebrated) a reputation for being sufferers. Several researchers have tried to assess how, what and whether poets suffer. These four studies present compelling evidence for or against the prevailing beliefs.

Possible Pathology for Poets
“Poetry or Pathology? Jesuit Hypochondria in Early Modern Naples,” Yasmin Haskell, Early Science and Medicine, vol. 12, no. 2, 2007, pp. 187–213 (http://dx.doi. org/10.1163/157338207X194686). The author, at the University of Western Australia, Crawley, explains:

In their didactic poems on fishing and chocolate, both published in 1689, two Neapolitan Jesuits digressed to record and lament a devastating ‘plague’ of ‘hypochondria’. The poetic plagues of Niccolò Giannettasio and Tommaso Strozzi have literary precedents in Lucretius, Vergil, and Fracastoro, but it will be argued that they also have a real, contemporary significance. Hypochondria was considered to be a serious (and epidemic) illness in the seventeenth century, with symptoms ranging from depression to delusions. Not only did our Jesuit poets claim to have suffered from it, but so did prominent members of the ‘Accademia degl’Investiganti’, a scientific society in Naples that was at odds with both the religious and medical establishments.

Possible Immunity for Poets

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North Koreans Try American BBQ

Digitalsoju TV took some people who escaped from North Korea years ago to one of the best barbecue restaurants in South Korea. They also recruited a master barbecue chef and flew in a variety of American barbecue sauces. The people who were trying all these cuts of meat and sauces for the first time were quite impressed (as I'm sure anyone would be).

(YouTube link)

But the food is mainly a starting point for a discussion about the difference between North Korea and the rest of the world. They tell us about the food, the farms, and the customs they grew up with, and especially the North Korean government that takes everything from the people to feed the administration and military. It's all in Korean with subtitles, but well worth the watch. -via reddit, where two of the video producers answer questions.

Warning: if you watch this, you will end up hungry.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Overwhelmed

This is one of the reasons you waste time: you have so much to do, you don't know what to do first. That can lead to nothing at all getting done! But as you make your to-do list, put your priorities in order. The you'll have a clear idea of what's most important. In this comic from Chris at Lunarbaboon, the process resembles getting your ducks in a row, even if they are shaped like little devils.


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Diseases Caused by Masturbation

I'd heard of the writings of Dr. Samuel-Auguste Tissot, but I had no idea his 1760 book on masturbation was still in print! The 2015 edition of Diseases Caused by Masturbation was originally titled L’Onanism. Dissertation sur les maladies produites par la masturbation.

The book recounts stories from his own patients and from the patients of other renowned European doctors to support his claim that masturbation is deleterious to a person’s body and mind. Tissot also uses quotes from the ancient physicians, such as Galen and Celsus, as well as the most noted doctors of his day, such as Herman Boerhaave, to further strengthen his claim.

It's pretty easy to see how he might come to those conclusions. First off, everyone who went to the physician for treatment had a physical illness. Secondly, not only did everyone masturbate, in the 16th century most of them felt guilty about it, and it was easier to confess to the doctor than to the priest. The correlation was clear. You can read quite a few pages of the book, but the reviews are the best part of the Amazon page, even though most reviewers admit that they have already gone blind. Now I can look forward to weird contextual ads following me around the 'net. It's an occupational hazard. -via Blame It On The Voices


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Work Safety Fails

I just found a new Twitter account that I will have to bookmark. Work Safety Fails collects cringeworthy images, videos, and gifs from workplaces all over the world. Some are scary, like the guy above who should have worn a harness while cutting a tree, and some are just dumb.

But occasionally there's a sequence that works amazingly well if you ignore all standard procedures and safety rules. These are labeled "like a boss."

Follow Work Safety Fails here.


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Ringling Bros. Circus to End

Officials with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus have announced that the circus will close down in May of 2017. They cited declining ticket sales, operating costs, and changes in audience taste as the reasons. The circus was a combination of several earlier circuses that merged, with the oldest going back 146 years.

The circus, with its exotic animals, flashy costumes and death-defying acrobats, has been a staple of entertainment in the United States since the mid-1800s. Phineas Taylor Barnum made a traveling spectacle of animals and human oddities popular, while the five Ringling brothers performed juggling acts and skits from their home base in Wisconsin. Eventually, they merged and the modern circus was born. The sprawling troupes traveled around America by train, wowing audiences with the sheer scale of entertainment and exotic animals.

By midcentury, the circus was routine, wholesome family entertainment. But as the 20th century went on, kids became less and less enthralled. Movies, television, video games and the internet captured young minds. The circus didn't have savvy product merchandising tie-ins or Saturday morning cartoons to shore up its image.

Cost aside, audiences decided that carting wild animals from town to town for live performances is not right, clowns are scary, and its easier to watch other acts on video. However, more modern traveling live shows such as Cirque de Soleil continue to draw audiences. -via reddit


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Extreme Trick Pool Shot

Allstars Sports Bar in Bristol, UK, set up what they call a trick shot that takes advantage of a stairway, a dozen or so pool tables, the bar itself, and a mini-golf green. They obviously were inspired by Rube Goldberg.

(YouTube link)

From the Facebook post about it, we gather that they usually do one of these elaborate videos every year for Christmas, and this one finished a bit late. Maybe they had to do it a few dozen times to get it right.  -via the Presurfer


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The Promise of New Painkillers

For thousands of years, humans have used the extracts of the poppy plant for pain relief. In the last 200 years, opium and the more refined morphine and its derivatives have been the go-to medicine for pain relief, particularly after surgery. But the side effects are horrendous. While nothing better for pain relief has been found, scientists are working on opioids to separate the painkilling effects from the other effects.  

Traditional opioids—including morphine, the potent synthetic fentanyl and the Vicodin you get from your dentist—all work by binding to opioid receptors in the nervous system. These receptors come in three flavors: mu, delta and kappa. It’s at the mu-opioid receptor that opioids work their magic, activating a cascade of cellular signaling that triggers their pain-relieving effects. In the language of neuroscience, opioids are mu-receptor “agonists,” as opposed to “antagonists,” which are compounds that bind to a receptor and block it, preventing cellular signaling. When an opioid binds with the mu-opioid receptor, it ultimately turns down the volume on the nerves communicating pain. This, of course, is the desired effect.

Unfortunately, that’s not all it does. Opioids also release the neurotransmitter dopamine, which causes euphoria and can lead to addiction. These compounds also inhibit nerve cells from firing more generally, including in parts of the brain that regulate breathing—which can be dangerous. Take too much of an opioid and you stop breathing and die; that’s what it is to overdose. The CDC estimates that 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. The side effects go on, from constipation to nausea to the rapid development of tolerance so that ever higher doses are needed for the same effect.

But what if we could refine opium to only effect the mu receptors and not the others? That would kill pain without the high? Or that wouldn't inhibit respiration? Several new formulations are in the works, including Oliceridine, which works even faster than morphine and is now in Phase III clinical trials. Read about the research into a better painkiller at Smithsonian.

(Image credit: Louise Joly)


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Mark Hamill Reunited with His Prop Lightsaber

Outside of the war, the entire plot of Star Wars: The Force Awakens led to Luke Skywalker being reunited with his personal lightsaber that was lost when Darth Vader cut his hand off in The Empire Strikes Back (yeah, his hand was lost, too, but we don't want to see that after all this time). I hope that doesn't count as a spoiler. But that reunion happened in real life, too, as Mark Hamill is shown what happened to the lightsaber he used while filming Return of the Jedi.   

(YouTube link)

This clip is from an upcoming episode of the Comic-Con HQ series Mark Hamill's Pop Culture Quest.  -via Geeks Are Sexy


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Making Lemonade Out of a College Rejection

Made an artwork out of my Oxford rejection letter #oxford #Art

A photo posted by Claudia Vulliamy (@flamboyant_aesthete) on Jan 12, 2017 at 4:25pm PST

Eighteen-year-old Claudia Vulliamy applied to Oxford University and was rejected, which puts her into a group comprising the majority of those who apply to Oxford. But she promptly made use of the rejection letter by creating a collage that incorporates it! This piece is not for sale; her mother says it will be framed and kept in the family. Vulliamy will probably attend Durham instead, and you can see her other art at Instagram. -Thanks, John Farrier!


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Hairy-Legged Vampire Bats Feast on Human Blood

Now, there's a headline that can induce nightmares. There are three species of vampire bat (that we know of), and only one of them, the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus), is known to drink the blood of mammals -mostly livestock. The white-winged vampire bat (Diaemus youngi) and the hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata) target birds for their blood. At least until now. Hairy-legged vampire bats have been drinking human blood in Brazil. That shocked scientists who know how chemically different bird blood and mammal blood is.

As Sandrine Ceurstemont reports for New Scientist, previous experiments have shown that when only pig and goat blood was made available to bats that were used to bird blood, many of them opted to fast rather than diversify their diet - and sometimes even starved to death.

But when Bernard and his team investigated the diets of a colony of hairy-legged vampire bats in the Caatinga dry forests of northeastern Brazil, they found something strange.

Genetic analysis of 15 faecal samples contained bird DNA as expected, but 3 of those samples contained a mixture of human and bird DNA - evidence that these particular individuals had been feeding on both.

This switch in diet could be due to the depletion of some wild bird species, plus farmers locking up their chickens at night. The implications are frightening, as bats have been known to spread hantavirus. Read more about the research that led to this discovery at Science Alert. -Thanks, John Farrier!

(Image credit: Gerry Carter)


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Sledding With My Cat

(YouTube link)

Jesse took his cat Weston up a mountain so they could sled down together. You might think that's a crazy idea, but Weston seemed more calm than Jesse was on the downhill. How would your cat react?  -via reddit

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

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Walking on Thin Ice

Tuesday night, students on the campus of Penn State were having a little trouble negotiating the icy sidewalk. It's not level, either. They really could have used some salt. Contains NSFW language.


(Facebook link)

They say the temperature was around 32; college students just dress like it's much warmer. One student who was out that night posted a picture of his scraped-up face after he fell in the Facebook comments. This is why my daughter got Yaktrax for Christmas. If the sidewalk is icy, put your phone in your pocket, keep your hands free, plant your feet a little further apart, and go slow. Better yet, stay inside! -via Digg


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Riding an Avalanche

In this video, Tom Oye was snowboarding at Whistler, British Columbia, when an avalanche opened up beneath his feet. His helmet cam gives us his personal POV as he was tossed down the mountain.

(YouTube link)

But listen: that mechanical sound you hear is Oye's inflatable backpack airbag deploying, designed for just such an emergency. The bag helped keep him above the snow, and might have also helped if he were thrown into rocks or trees. They're not cheap, but could save your life. -via Sploid


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Profile for Miss Cellania

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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