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This category contains 23 posts

Of Mice and Men.

“‘People have not paid attention to this in the entire history of scientific research of animals,’ says Jeffrey Mogil, a pain researcher at McGill University and lead author of the study. ‘I think that it may have confounded, to whatever degree, some very large subset of existing research.'”

Sorry, Lenny: A new study finds a potentially problematic issue for decades of research: Mice are scared of men (or males of any species). ‘If you’re doing a liver cell study, the cells came from a rat that was sacrificed either by a man or a woman,’ Mogil says. As a result, ‘its stress levels would be in very different states.’ This, he says, could have an effect on the functioning of the liver cell in that later experiment.”

Arkham Aquarium.

“Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot. I must be a creature. I must be a creature of the night…I shall become a shark.” Iconic Batman villains reconceived as cartoon sharks, by artist Jeff Victor. Mr. Freeze’s goldfish is a nice touch.

“The Blood Harvest.”

“‘Every drug certified by the FDA must be tested using LAL,’ PBS’s Nature documentary noted, ‘as do surgical implants such as pacemakers and prosthetic devices.’ I don’t know about you, but the idea that every single person in America who has ever had an injection has been protected because we harvest the blood of a forgettable sea creature with a hidden chemical superpower makes me feel a little bit crazy. This scenario is not even sci-fi, it’s postmodern technology.”

In The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal unearths the amazing secrets, and industry, surrounding horseshoe crab blood. “The thing about the blood that everyone notices first: It’s blue, baby blue…The iron-based, oxygen-carrying hemoglobin molecules in our blood give it that red color; the copper-based, oxygen-carrying hemocyanin molecules in theirs make it baby blue.”

Got Your Back, Manatee.

When you’re down, in trouble, and need a helping hand…will a flipper do? Calming manatees work hard to brighten your day. (Just don’t let them watch Walking Dead.)

The Otter Rim.

In the Moment of Zen department, a geriatric sea otter takes up basketball. Nice inside moves — and I don’t want to be a jerk about this — but given the way the game has evolved, Eddie probably needs to work a little harder on his midrange jumper if he wants to get some run. (Also, try not to get traded to Bright Water.)

The Other Veal Pen.

Do you still hear them, Clarice? By way of Dangerous Meta, Two minutes of goats screaming like humans. I can’t tell how many of these are dubbed, if any, but very funny regardless.

Update: The screaming goats’ fifteen minutes continues with a special duet with T-Swift.

So Hot in Herre.

“This video, put together by NASA using temperature records from 1880 to 2011, shows you the warming world in just 26 terrifying seconds. Blue shows temperatures that are lower than the baseline average between 1951 and 1980, and reds show temperatures above the average.” By way of Mother Jones, a NASA animation tracks the warming of the earth over the past century and change. A crazy coincidence, I know.

In related news and per this post, a high-school friend sends along these similarly distressing charts of arctic ice melt. And here, via The Guardian, are the 100 most endangered species on the planet. “Some of the creatures on the list are down to the last few individuals. For example, numbers of the saola – an antelope known as the Asian unicorn, so rarely is it sighted – have been whittled down to the last few tens in existence.

Not a Playa, He Just Crunch a Lot.

Not a Wire character, but possessed of the same doggedness and “world is mine” gangsta sensibility, is Teddy Bear the Porcupine. Do not get between this man and his corn, ya heard?

Move over, Clint.

‘He followed us through the gate and ran over and found Suryia. As soon as he saw Roscoe, Suryia ran over to him and they started playing. ‘Dogs are usually scared of primates, but they took to each other straight away. We made a few calls to see if he belonged to anyone and when no one came forward, Roscoe ended up staying.‘”

As a mental health break of sorts, the Daily Mail catches up with an orangutan and bluetick hound who’ve become best buds back home in South Carolina. And for those parents already bored with Go the F**k to Sleep, the pals, a la Owen and Mzee, “have released a picture book capturing their unorthodox friendship.

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The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead
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