A rather amusing brochure about IUDs caught my eye the other day ... well, I should say, was pointed out to me by my housemate/best friend, Kassidy, that the brochure image contradicted the nature of the product. The brochure depicts the happy portrait of a beaming mother and her enormous moon-faced infant... wrong imagery for a contraceptive product, really.
It tickled me in that way which forces my hand to type things into Google... like "Baby fear-factor" and "How will I know if I spawn Satan?"... ironically, I have found something very close. It's called:
With the catchy little snippet of "It starts out disgusting, and only gets worse"; you can imagine my delight in finding it. The Flog-come-satirical-information-site is clever in playing on single (and some partnered), unmaternal women's fears of child-birth and tiny, helpless, bald, crying midgets. I laughed. I cried. I got scared... then I read it all again.
Even the website adverts are fake and hilariously so. My favourite for many many reasons is this one:
Protoceratops andrewsi nest from Mongolia - image from National Geographic, by Khishigjav Tsogtbaatar
There's so many of them and they all so tiny and cute! If you have read Dinotopia by James Gurney, you'd know of Bix. For those who need a refresher course, Bix was a traveling dinosaur Ambassador and she was also a Protoceratops. The link here is that these little hatchlings are also Protoceratops, from Mongolia. A total of 15 youngsters were uncovered in a nest.
Will and Bix from James Gurney's Dinotopia
Protoceratops is a herbivorous, beaked dinosaur that lived over 85-70mya. It's the smaller cousin of Triceratops, but lacking facial horns. Its life-cycle is pretty well know due to the amount of fossil evidence of hatchlings, adolescents, and male and female adults.
Protoceratops also lived along-side Velociraptor. This is famously noted in the "Dueling Dinosaurs", where a Protoceratops locked its beak tightly on the forearm of a velociraptor; the moment being frozen in time and sediment.
On this day, 7 years ago, the last male Po'ouli, a small, endemic Hawaiian bird, died from Avian malaria whilst in the care of the Maui Bird Conservation Centre with the intention of breeding the species back from the brink. Sadly, his death came barely 2 months after his capture from the wild and a female had not been found in time to breed.
This setback would have been less devastating if there were more Po'ouli to collect to try again. The species was unknown to science until 1975 where the population was estimated to be around 200 (76 birds/km2); however, ten years later, the Po'ouli population dropped to 8 birds/km2. A significant decline of over 90%. Since the loss of the Po'ouli male, the reality of the situation was confirmed when no evidence or sightings of living specimens were found in their natural habitat; making the Po'ouli extinct.
Eric Vanderwerf, of U.S Fish and Wildlife Services lamented in 2004: "I kind of liken it in some way to the loss of the Mona Lisa or the Sistine Chapel. If we lost that, we could never get it back. We can never get another."
A nearly complete fossil of a plesiosaurus was uncovered by a Syncrude heavy equipment operator in an oil sands area, Alberta. It is believed to be around 40 million years older than other plesiosaur fossils, making it the oldest plesiosaur discovered to date.
I've been in a glass cage of emotion! No internets for weeks, which has made me feel very out-of-tune with the world... but the first thing I did read was the multiple murderous hippopotami in South Africa.
Who'd have thought that a cow would be spooked by a koala enough to have a murderous streak. They are thuggish in their approach too. So watch out for the koalas, Eastern Staters. Next we'll be hearing about cows with guns...
This is a new species, unknown to science referred to as a "ferret-badger". It's interesting looking enough. At first I thought they called it a ferret-badger because they had no idea which one it was more closely related to; then I did a little more research and found the strangest handful of cute, ferret-badgers. They look a little like Palm civets to me.
A species of Melogale, Chinese ferret-badger (image from Scienceblogs)
A week without internet and I'm behind a few posts... *sigh*
Re-cap of the last week:
Hallow'een started sluggishly on Monday. And by sluggishly I mean I have a diabolical friend who lives and breathes spooky, creepy, murderous things and she was prepared for Hallow'een to get underway. So keen, in fact, that she bought enough candy to feed the local school for at least 2 days (we're talking over 6 bags of chocolate and marshmallow candy eyes). Did the children show up after school at 3pm... No. Did they show up before 5pm like EVERY OTHER YEAR... No. Our first trick-or-treaters arrived just as Kass pulled up at 6ish from work. All up, we may have seen 20 kids... one particular group had at least 10 kids under 10yrs dressed up in full costume! (mostly Disney characters). We are still eating candy...
Tuesday was the Melbourne Cup. This day saw me forget for the first year ever to place a bet - and I'm not so sad about it now... seeing as the favourite, Americain, becameAmerican't as he barely scraped in 4th place. Once again, a random horse won the Cup. Now, if Black Caviar runs in next year's Melbourne Cup, I'll be placing my entire life savings on her winning ticket! That horse is still unbeaten!!
The other days of the week were less eventful... Wednesday was an exam. Thursday was my mum's birthday, which it appeared that I was the only one celebrating. Cooked the meal -damn vegetarians- and served up the dessert. Gave mum the earrings I made her and the book I bought in May (yes, organised aren't I), only for her to look at the earrings and say, "I think I can see your finger prints all over this... or you've tried making a miniature bum imprint cos that looks like a crack."
Dad and I replied on cue, "Look some more and find the penis, only then are you allowed to make comment".
I think I grew a little this last century. That is all.
You know those old, awesome-looking, hardy plants that Triceratops liked chewing on in children's dinosaur picture books... cycads?? Well, as it turns out, cycads lied about their age like a 16 year old in a liquor store. They are younger than they appear... sort of... if you count 10 million years young as oppose to 280 mya.
The species around today are not the same species that were around with the early amphibians during the Permian nor are they the same species feeding the plumpy herbivorous dinosaurs. These modern cycads are fairly new in the grand scheme of plant diversification - having only really decided to extend the *snicker* branches of the family *snicker* tree out around 10 mya.
I have discovered jelly art! It's always been there but I haven't paid it much attention until now! This is one of the coolest desserts you could make -ever-. I want to make these so bad, but leaving me in the kitchen with a rather large needle with coloured gelatin is the worst thing anyone can do (not that I'd consider injecting jello; but more because I'm exceedingly uncoordinated and I do want to keep my eyes puncture-free). I've found HEAPS of footage on YouTube under "Gelatina Encapsulada" and "Gelatina Artistica"; some pretty awesome DIY clips too.
If anyone manages to make these (and it's their first attempt) I'd love to see photos! Post a link in the comments or IM me (or FB me if you're on my friend's list - if you're not, then !!YAY!! You're the <5% of people who read this and weren't forced to as a "friend's obligation").
I've scratched up another dinosaur! And it's a little relation to Velociraptor too. Talos sampsoni. Now why is this little raptor so amazing and exciting to me?!?!
Well, the palaeontologist who pushed for the Kaiparowits Basin Project, is not only the curator of the Utah Museum of Natural History... but he's also DR. SCOTT the Palaeontologist from DINOSAUR TRAIN!!! Yes, Scott Sampson!
I haven't been more excited about a children's TV series since.... I can't even remember! This show got me hooked the very first time I saw it because of one thing that stood out amongst all other children's shows: the correct scientific names for dinosaur species was used to introduce "new" dinosaurs to the imaginations of children. The meaning behind the species names are also woven into the show.
Dr. Scott teaching kids about Deinonychus (related to Velociraptor and Talos)
Toys teach kids a lot of things. Colours, shapes, texture, how to share... etc... but the one thing I wasn't expecting was a Disney toy that teaches young girls the best place to touch to get that all-over vibrating happiness:
Going through some images on Weheartit and I was bombarded by Hello Kitty (stupid non-feline hellion). But not the sweet, adorable kind of Hello Kitty marketed to small children... no! Instead, I came upon the spawn of the white hate of Satan! You all know that the Hello Kitty merchandise has gone a little too far (everyone knows about the "vibrator") but there's, unfortunately, a lot more...
AR-15 Assault Rifle
Oil for your ride
Multitudes of condoms for your other ride
If you're struggling to get that girl into bed, dangle a few of these in front of her.
If all else fails, give her one of these.
Our children are royally screwed if this is what they're into.
Propanoplosaurus marylandicus: A young juvenile nodosaur (ankylosaur: aka "Url" from Dinosaur) uncovered in a Maryland university in 1997. Only making its debut in the latest installment by the Journal of Paleontology.
April 2011: A Wedgetail eagle in Kalbarri gorge, WA. Rounded a bend towards the Murchison River near Little Red Hill and Big Red Hill (damn Australia, we're bloody imaginative). Saw the eagle on the ground and we were pretty excited to see that it had caught something barely minutes before we arrived. This caused a HUGE debate in the car as to what it had caught - the majority said "rabbit"... I claimed "pig".
The car spooked the wedgie, so she tried to drag her prize away into the bushes. We were curious but were also interested in checking the state of the river for future fishing expeditions a few metres away. We hopped out the car and the wedgie decided that we were after her and dropped her kill in the bushes nearby. I wondered over carefully, and used a stick to examine the carcass (didn't want to leave gross human smells on eagle food :P) since the wedgie was still hanging around to grab her meal back the moment we left.
I want one... but I want a shark or Liopleurodon instead. That would be so awesome, curled around my bed or even used as a bed. Very cool. But I want this for another reason... any of these felty predators can easily protect me from the dreaded Architeuthis plushieii.
Architeuthis plushieii (as named by myself: not official name)
If you're like me and love animals, would like to decorate your room or house with animal things like mounted trophies BUT hate the notion that an animal has to die for you to have it featured in your home... then try Faux animal trophies! There are sooo many in various designs and mediums.
I'd recommend purchasing snare wire animals from Iganyana Arts: the wire is from poachers' snares which have been dismantled and collected then turned into beautiful wire animal sculptures by locals and sold to tourists with the money supporting the community (therefore reducing the need to poach in the reserves for black market money or food). Ultimately, this aids in protecting the wildlife.
This is a clever and beautiful way to display animal art with soft lighting - a faux trophy light-fitting designed by Christophe Hascoet, Annabel Karim Kassar, Isabelle Rolland (you better have >$7.5K for one). Recycled cardboard! You can purchase a moose, deer, elephant or rhino from Cardboard Safari
This gorgeous cow is made from paper. Just paper. Created by a wonderful artist, Anna Wili Highfield DEAD plush animals aren't scary at all when sewn, stuffed and mounted by aicreatures on Etsy
Convert and old sweater into an animal trophy bust, or you could have a look and maybe take a liking to one of Rachel Denny's knitted deer busts.
Woven basket style animal trophies - very cool when paired with a wicker dinning or lounge set. These can be found at Ballard Designs.
There are the masses of Papier-mâché, porcelain, wood and plastic/resin casts and crafted animal trophies too. Too many to list.
The functional hanging trophy ~ can be used as a hat or key rack. These are simply cute and the style is humorous. Designed by New Zealander, Phil Cuttance.
And a few ... hehehe ... silly ones I stumbled upon :P