Miss Cellania's Liked Blog Posts

Harriet the Singing Donkey



Martin Stanton lives in Ireland, and his neighbors down the road have a donkey named Harriet. Harriet never learned how to heehaw like other donkeys, but she's got an operatic soprano voice with occasional vibrato. I am not making this up. -via Laughing Squid


All Cats Are Different

Ignoramusky is back, with a new compilation of the smartest, clumsiest, and funniest Russian cats around! Bonus: Many of the clips are enhanced with appropriate musical soundtracks.


Parenting Lessons That Completely Backfired

Parents have a lot of things to teach children and relatively little time to do it. Most of us are just making it up as we go along, anyway. Everyone has a story about that one time that the kid outsmarted us, like the kid who kept his room clean by living in the hallway, or completely misunderstood the point, or even stories of totally unforeseen circumstances, like the father who auditioned for his daughter's high school play in order to demonstrate that failure is okay and then won a leading role. An askreddit thread has a treasure trove of those stories. 

One of my 5 year old twins was still having occasional accidents because she would get so caught up in playing/doing something else that she just wouldn't go and would pee her pants. To combat this we would give her a special prize of some variety when she wouldn't have an accident. This, in turn, caused her twin sister to START having accidents so she could get prizes for not having accidents (even though she was fine on this front beforehand.) We had to rethink our methods.          -KyleRichXV

Not a parent, but as a child I noticed my sister was writing her name on the walls when she was drawing on them with crayon. Taking on the role of Helpful Big Sister, I informed her if she was going to graffiti things she shouldn't write her name and give herself away.

A few weeks later, she was carving patterns into the wooden desk in the study and carved my name into it instead.         -frozennie

Coworker of mine was trying to teach her kid the "don't talk with your mouth full" rule. Instead, the kid just spits out their food when they want to talk.

Children are the absolute masters of malicious compliance.          -MisterCrispy

Read a book that suggested you ask your kid what an appropriate punishment for misbehaving would be and then carry it out. 6 yo son pinched his brother or something, so we asked what an appropriate punishment would be. He said “pluck out my eyeballs and throw me over a cliff?”. We didn't follow through. And stopped reading parenting books.          -Mungobrick

Lifehacker has a roundup of the best stories, and you can read them all in the reddit thread. -via Metafilter

Oh yeah, there are more stories in the comments at Lifehacker and Metafilter. Feel free to add yours here.


Why Siberian Huskies Have Those Baby Blue Eyes

Genetic testing companies are doing great business- people are even paying to have genetic studies done on their dogs. This is a boon to researchers, as a new study used 6,000 such canine genetic profiles with permission of the dog owners. Adam Boyko and Aaron Sams of Embark Veterinary, Inc. were able to pinpoint the source of blue eyes in Siberian huskies.  

The expansive analysis revealed that blue eyes in Siberian huskies appear to be associated with a duplication on what is known as canine chromosome 18, which is located near a gene called ALX4. This gene plays an important role in mammalian eye development, leading the researchers to suspect that the duplication “may alter expression of ALX4, which may lead to repression of genes involved in eye pigmentation,” Aaron Sams of Embark tells Inverse’s Sarah Sloat.

The genetic variation was also linked to blue eyes in non-merle Australian shepherds. Just one copy of the mutated sequence was enough to give dogs either two blue eyes, or one blue and one brown eye, a phenomenon known as “heterochromia.” It would seem, however, that duplication on chromosome 18 is not the only factor influencing blue eye color: Some dogs that had the mutation did not have blue eyes.

When a scientist asks why, the answer is a gene mutation that they can pinpoint. The rest of us want to know why that mutation became dominant for the breed as a whole. Maybe we'll find out eventually. Read more about the research at Smithsonian.


Cole and Marmalade Meet the New Kittens

Cole and Marmalade meet their new housemates, Zig Zag and Jugg, but only after a gradual program to get them used to each other first. Along the way, we can marvel at the cat paradise that Chris Poole and his family have made their home into.


Introducing Kids to Horror Films

If you dislike horror movies, you might want to shield your children from them, but sooner or later they're going to see something that might traumatize them while visiting friends. If you enjoy horror movies, you don't want to traumatize your child and turn them against the movies you love. There are films made for children that will introduce them to the thrill of being scared -but not too scared. Den of Geek has a list of movies that "offer children a safe, but interesting, introduction to the world of horror, with archetypal tropes, characters and even the odd jump scare." The trick here is to watch with your children, so you can pause, explain, and reassure when necessary.

When your child is older and has seen the movies made for kids, then what? Elementary students and tweens may get a thrill out of gore and jump scares, but to really appreciate the horror genre, they need to see well-made movies that engage the viewer. For that, you might consult the list of 81 Best Creepy Horror Movies, although you'll want to select movies you've already seen to ensure they are appropriate for your children. Older classics like Gaslight or The Uninvited will give them the creeps without the sex and violence of newer movies. Watching horror movies that are age-appropriate will help prepare your children for the time they are old enough to go to a theater without you.


Dog Gets 3D-Printed Titanium Skull

A Pennsylvania dachshund named Patches developed a brain tumor the size of an orange. The cancer invaded her skull and pushed her head up in a large lump. Patches' family was referred to the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, where veterinary surgical oncologist Michelle Oblak recommended surgery.  

Normally in a case such as this, the tumor and a portion of the skull would be removed, and a titanium mesh fitted in place, Oblak told the Canadian Press. Instead, Oblak and her colleagues used a new procedure in which a 3D-printed skull cap is specially fitted for the canine patient, which the researchers claim is more precise and less costly than conventional methods. Incredibly, the titanium cap replaced 70 percent of Patches’ skull, which had to be removed during surgery. Oblak said researchers in the UK have done something similar, but on a “significantly” smaller scale.

Naturally, this kind of surgery raises questions about the expense, but the article does not address that. The surgery came through a teaching hospital that does research, which may contribute to the development of such techniques for humans eventually. Anyway, the surgery was successful, and you can see before and after pictures of Patches at Gizmodo. -Thanks, WTM!

(Image credit: Michelle Oblak)


"Cat Grandpa" Naps with Shelter Cats

Terry Laurmen of Green Bay, Wisconsin, is 75 years old. He volunteers at Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary, where he enjoys brushing the cats. They love it too! The shelter, which specializes in caring for disabled, ill, and elderly cats, is a comfy place, so Laurmen often falls asleep with the cats.

"They all know him, when he walks through the door they run over to him because they know he has the special brush and the special treats. They all pile on top of him and rub all over him and just love him," sanctuary owner Elizabeth told the BBC.

But grooming 20-30 cats can get exhausting, and the other volunteers began snapping shots of Terry taking his daily siestas with his furry friends.

The pictures, posted at Facebook, went viral. When the shelter attached a fundraising link, they raised more than $40,000 in donations! They also have more volunteers because of the publicity. So what's next?

"People have been requesting we make a calendar with Terry and the cats on it!" Elizabeth says.

"I asked him if he would be comfortable with something like that - and he said he'd do anything to raise money for them."

Read more about Cat Grandpa at BBC. -via Fark


Great Dane Does Lunges

"I don't know what you're doing, Dad, but I wanna do it, too!"

Eli Clark was exercising by doing lunges across the living room, and his great Dane Luca did his best to join in. He didn't quite understand what moves were involved, but gosh darn it, he did his best! That's a good dog. Luca now has his own Instagram account. -via Tastefully Offensive 


You Have Teamwork and Courage and Magic in Your Blood

Blair Braverman came home to some "minor tornado damage," meaning there were tree branches all over the yard, so she put her puppies -and some grown dogs, too- to work. After all, dogs are great at fetching sticks!  

The clean-up project was so adorable that the neighbors had to come by for a cuddle. But the best part of the day was the bedtime story that Braverman told the puppies about their grandfather (told to us complete with pictures). It's a tale you don't want to miss at Threadreader. -via Metafilter


Why the Ouija Board Became So Big

Ouija board is parlor game, albeit one with no rules, strategy, or goal. What it does have is whiff of the supernatural, which is enough to make it a long-lasting hit. Vox brings us the history of the Ouija board, as part of its series called "Overrated." -via Tastefully Offensive


The 2018 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

(Mary McGowan)

"Whoa!" says the squirrel, "They picked me?!" The annual Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards received thousands of entries this year, and they have been whittled down to 41 finalists. All kinds of animals, from backyard critters to exotic beasts, have been caught in the act. Like this rhino in a tutu.

(Kallol Mukherjee)

The winners will be announced on November 15th at the awards ceremony. Meanwhile, you can browse all 41 finalists at Bored Panda.


Jim Castigan's Hobbit House

Jim Castigan is a concrete construction pro and a Lord of the Rings fan. A few years ago, he decided he needed a shed for the lawn tractor, and thought it would be neat if it looked like a Hobbit house. The shed turned out well and inspired him to build a complete two-bedroom, two-bathroom, energy-efficient Hobbit house, which he began five years ago. Castigan chronicled the project in a blog. The Hobbit house exterior is finished, and the interior is almost finished, and not yet furnished.

You can see more pictures of the house, exterior and interior, with details, in this post and at Instagram. For construction geeks, there's a gallery of the entire project here. -via Laughing Squid


The Frozen Dead of Antarctica

There are many ways to die in Antartica: a fall from a cliff, a slip into an ice crevasse, starving to death, and of course, freezing. The oldest human bones found in Antarctica are from a Chilean woman who died between 1819 and 1825, a true pioneer, although her story is a mystery. She is only the first known of many people who have died in Antarctica and whose bodies remain there, frozen and often lost. A hundred years later, there was the Terra Nova Expedition (pictured), in which all five men died, but only three bodies were ever recovered. Over time, more explorers, sailors, and workers died in the frozen wilderness, some eventually buried in cemeteries on the continent, others lost to deep snow and ice, or becoming part of glaciers moving toward the sea. Read about the frozen dead of Antarctica at BBC Future. -via Real Clear Science


Zig Zag, the Happiest Kitten Ever

Chris Poole and his wife have adopted two new kittens! We don't know Jugg's story yet, but Zig Zag was rescued from underneath a car, where she had taken shelter from a busy road.

Zig Zag was scared, sick, and hungry, but has taken well to her new home, and has now joined Cole and Marmalade (and Jugg), the world's luckiest cats, inside the house. Poole also fosters kittens from a shelter, so Cole and Marmalade are used to extra cats around. Zig Zag and Jugg, however, are there for good.


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