Have you ever tried pressing your nose on a window or transparent glass? This beagle named Max certainly has, and it is funny. Apparently, Max was put on the balcony by his mother while she cleaned his room, because he loves to bite the mop. Growing impatient on the balcony, the beagle decided to press his nose against the glass, as if to ask his mother, “How long will the cleaning take?”
Like a lot of librarians and library staffers across the United States, I'm working from home. The adjustment has its challenges, but also opportunities to rethink how libraries can and should operate. For example: you want a 5:30 AM virtual reference appointment? Sure, I'll be there!
Alas, I don't have Curbside Larry's engaging personality. He sells what the Barbara Bush Branch Library of the Harris County Public Library (that's the Houston area) has for you. This punk ass book jockey talks like a stereotypical Texas car salesman offering crazy deals on the latest and classic models. Texas Monthly reports:
Curbside service at the Barbara Bush Branch Library was already robust when the character—played by library staffer John Schaffer—was created. But according to Clara Maynard, the branch’s manager, Curbside Larry has brought even more awareness to the curbside pickup option at the library—and he’ll continue to do so, as she says that this isn’t the last we’ll see of the character. Schaffer, she says, has received a well-deserved promotion, and will be spending more time as both Curbside Larry and other characters to bring even more attention to the Harris County Public Library.
Do you think that you can cross in time before the train arrives? Maybe, but keep in mind that if you fail, you're creating an awful bloody mess all over the tracks for someone else to clean up. And the engineer will also be an emotional wreck, as he just watched someone--you--die in front of the vehicle under his control.
So the New Zealand Transport Agency, which operates the country's public train system, has created a series of mock memorials next to crossings. Scan the QR code on each to see video of a near miss.
Many animals engage in what behaviorists call "contrafreeloading." This means that when presented with the opportunity to solve a puzzle and be rewarded with food or get free food for no work at all, animals that engage in contrafreeloading take the puzzle option. Rats, gerbils, mice, chimpanzees, dogs, and other animals demonstrate this behavior.
But not cats. Andy Fell writes for the University of California at Davis:
But not domestic cats. Given the choice, cats prefer eating for free to working out a simple puzzle to get their food, according to a paper by researchers from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine presented this week at a virtual meeting of the Animal Behavior Society.
UC Davis cat behaviorist Mikel Delgado with colleagues Brandon Han and Melissa Bain offered 18 house cats a choice between a food puzzle and a tray of free food. Cats ate more from the free tray and spent more time on the free food, they found.
“It wasn’t that the cats NEVER used the food puzzle, they just used it less, ate less food from it, and typically would eat from the freely available food first,” Delgado said.
Why do some species engage in contrafreeloading and cats don't? It's uncertain:
Although contrafreeloading has been known for almost 50 years, there is still no single theory to explain it.
“There are different theories about why animals might contrafreeload, including boredom in captive environments, stimulating natural foraging behaviors, and creating a sense of control over the environment and outcomes,” Delgado said.
It’s also not clear why cats don’t do it — perhaps because it does not simulate natural hunting behavior, she said.
Street art isn’t just the optical illusion we see drawn on roads or pavements, some are in the form of different object displays, like a colorful row of umbrellas over a street. National Geographic features different kinds of street art from all over the globe. Check all the images here.
Who wouldn’t dream of going on a much needed vacation every now and then? Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, that isn’t much of an option. That doesn’t mean we can’t take a break! Minjin Kang and Mijoo Kim of MUE Studio created some vibrant, minimalistic worlds in their series called ‘Visual Escapism, Somewhere in the World 2020.’ The artists aimed to create dreamlike dreamlike spaces that are architecturally rendered in 3D. Check out more pieces from the series here.
Montreal-based graphic designer Olivier Bruel has done a mashup that is a welcoming distraction. Bruel has combined several well-known logos, such as Google and Lego, and the results are strange but fascinating. Creative Bloq has more details:
Perhaps the most enjoyable of Bruel's designs are the most incongruous. We're not sure Peta and Metallica are often used in the same sentence, but the logo for Petallica (above) is making us imagine all sorts of head-banging heavy metal songs about small, furry animals.
You can enjoy more of our favourite examples below, and find the full, strange collection on Bruel's website. For more marvellous mashups, take a look at these fun Disney NBA logos.
The popular image where you can see either a bunny or a duck is nothing new. This carved illusion is 900 years old! You see two animals, but does the head in front belong to a bull or to an elephant? It was carved into the Airavatesvara Temple in Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is dedicated to Shiva, but it features relief sculptures of many Hindu gods. -via reddit
It’s always fun to see the development of automobile designs. Seeing how far companies and developers have taken one of mankind’s helpful tools can also give us an insight on what trends the manufacturers have taken into account during the creation of these cars. Automobile Magazine features the different concept cars from the 1980s, when America was starting to take off economically. Check the full piece here.
Women, amirite? Who could possibly flip out at free king cobra left as a surprise in the bathtub? Well, Andre du Preez, a hobbyist snakecatcher in South Africa, married someone who doesn't appreciate a random romantic gesture. After rescuing the freezing, hibernating snake from construction site, he brought the cobra home to warm up in his bathtub.
Du Preez then stepped out to set up a terrarium for the snake when his wife discovered what her husband had been up to. The Daily Star reports:
But he didn't know his wife Tossie, 55, had returned early from a shopping trip – only realising when he heard her screams and the slamming of the bathroom door. [...]
He said: "When I heard all the screaming I knew I was in for it but I had only planned to give the snake a few minutes to warm up and I thought she would be gone half an hour.
"She may not be very tall but she has a temper and can be more dangerous than a cobra!
Du Preez was able to avoid getting bitten, though.
Beekeeper Joseph Zgurzynski found a very odd bee with big yellow eyes a couple of months ago. Photographer Annie O’Neill was there to document the bee, which showed features of both male and female bees. Scientists who studied the pictures determined this bee shows mosaic gynandromorphism, meaning it has both male DNA and female DNA throughout its body. How does that happen? You probably know a bit about genetics, reproduction, and mutations in humans and other mammals, but you can throw all that out the window when it comes to honeybees. Entomologist Natalie Boyle of Pennsylvania State University explains.
When a queen and a drone mate, their fertilized eggs only ever generate female bees. That’s because males are created from unfertilized eggs, which means they only have one set of chromosomes—those of the queen. As a result, male bees have no fathers or sons, but they do have grandfathers and grandsons.
“If you think about it for too long, you just wind up in a little bit of a mind pretzel,” says Boyle.
The Batwoman (La mujer murcielago) is a 1968 Mexican superhero wrestling film that harnesses a gender-swapped DC character we all know. Batwoman wears full tights while wrestling, but fights crime in a bikini. If this idea intrigues you, get this- she is fighting mad scientists who are kidnapping wrestlers in order to create a sea monster. It's all explained in another video on the next page.
Divya Premchard, a resident of Dubai, recently launched a series on Instagram wherein she recreates popular Indian snacks as eye makeup. Honestly, I have no idea what these snacks are, but they look as delicious as the makeup looks lovely.
The Japanese festival Tanabata is based on the story of Orihime and Hikoboshi, literal star-crossed lovers who are separated across the Milky Way and can only see each other on the seventh day of the seventh month each year. It is celebrated at different times in July and August in different cities of Japan. The biggest festival, in Sendai, was cancelled this year, but while gatherings didn't happen, confectioners in Japan made seasonal treats anyway.
The sweet shop Ōmiya in Toyota produced Tanabata-themed wagashi representing the Milky Way itself!
Done in kingyoku style and flavored with lemon juice, we created a rendition of the Milky Way that can fit into the cusp of your palm! We used multiple colors to imitate the heavenly clouds. First, be sure to enjoy the gorgeous colors with your eyes, and then lastly, enjoy the subtle taste of lemon representing Orihime and Hikoboshi’s bittersweet love with your mouth.”
We've seen version of the classic plague doctor's mask, shaped like a bird's beak and filled with aromatics to prevent inhaling the deadly miasma. While those did exist during the 17th century, they weren't universal. They were kind of expensive, so doctors and others who were charged with treating plague victims were more likely to wear something akin to what you see above, which resembles a cross between modern medical hazmat suits and Ku Klux Klan robes.
The sleeves on this get-up are tight to the wrist like modern protective gear, which fits the admonition above to not wear fancy sleeves (Ruisinger questions the 1656 engraving on this basis; the man has voluminous sleeves and may not even be wearing gloves. To this I would suggest that views on miasma were a matter of opinion, not science). The most interesting aspect for me is that the hood has a long bib at the front; a feature shared with two of the Italian beaked masks that I featured in my other article. Perhaps those were the ‘Gucci’ option, or just an alternative view on what would work best?