Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Cat's Meow

Ever wondered what was going through your cat's mind when you've replied to their mewing with louder meows only to receive a brief moment of silence followed by a strained mew??

Well... Inkmo has considered this and has provided some enlightenment:

(click for full view)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Little Bix nursery

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.

image from Melbourne Museum

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.

image of Dueling Dinosaurs by AMNH

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Apologies don't prevent extinction

Unheard of for me to post more than a single post in a day, but this compelled me to mention and remind us how rapidly thing can go south.

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."

When they find one near Loch Ness, I'll be excited

MORE dinosaur news:

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.

image by Sue Sabrowski - Royal Tyrrell Museum

Thursday, November 24, 2011

No one is safe, not even Drop bears

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.

1. Farmer gouged to death by pet hippo Humphrey who was 'like a son to him'
2. Escape from the jaws of a hippo

While hippos are pretty dangerous in general, I was intrigued to know if there had been any honey badger attacks (specific aren't I). I didn't find any honey badger media but I did find this:

Koalas under attack from cows

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...

Another article I found was this:

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)

Friday, October 21, 2011

A page from a Cycad's diary

Dear diary...

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.

The full article can be found on Science : "Recent synchronous radiation of a living fossil" --- but subscription to the journal is necessary to view it. Or you can GOOGLE it and read the News feed.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Zodiacs

This one goes out to Ben, because I read this on Smosh and I laughed so hard coffee leaked from my nose (I was drinking coffee at the time, I'm not a caffeine dispenser normally).

(you'll never know if you don't read it).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Jelly is AMAZING!

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").

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dr. Scott... I heart you.

Joyful tidings!

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)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Evolution; a fact

It was pointed out to me by a rather ingenious mind that:

"Evolution is a fact".

She followed this statement with:

"It sounds even better translated to Polish:
Ewolucja jest faktem."

The Polish are wise people.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Maryland's miniature version of "Url"

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.

Makes me wonder...

What's lying underneath my university??

I'm gonna dig me up a dinosaur!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fine whiskered gentlemen

I've been going through a few webcomics and I've managed to hook myself onto Lackadaisy (again)! If you love the 1920's theme, cats and bootlegging then you will love this webcomic.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Eagles like pork chops too

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.

Guess who was right?!?!

Pork chops of Razor-back piglet!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Whale: The large and plushie

Mocha Dick by Tristin Lowe.

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)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Nonsensical pseudo-science

The Creation Museum... where dinosaurs
become "Missionary Lizard(s)"

Enough said...

Monday, August 8, 2011


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

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Laboratory story

I had a Cell Biology unit about 2 years ago with a few first year students mixed in my lab bench group at University. I was 3rd year at that time since I was allowed the entire 1st year of my Biological Science course to be exempted but was still required to undertake the Cell Bio unit to progress into Microbiology. I was use to 2nd and 3rd year laboratory work and associating with students who not only dressed appropriately for a lab but also acted mature enough to conduct the experiments.

I recall, and it still makes me cringe to this day, this one particular practical. The basis for the prac was simple - culture two different strains of E. coli in various nutrient mediums to figure out which medium produced a more concentrated culture of each strain and which essentially retarded growth. Straight-forward enough. But this was not the cringy part.

The prac went on for 5 hours, one hour longer than expected due to a little misunderstanding in the required materials by the lab technicians. Not a problem, but it was a tiny bit annoying hunting down LIVE cultures of gram-positive and gram-negative E. coli. Everything completed in the end, I gathered my things before signing off with my prac demonstrator. Walking past the lab bench before mine, I saw and overheard the most face-palming dramatisation (the cringe).

Three (and I'm not lying) blonde 1st year students in short shorts, T-shirts and ridiculous shoes; one in heels and the other two in ballet flats, were discussing the prac in high, giggling voices and dramatic hand gestures. I rolled my eyes thinking "Bloody 1st years; can pick them from a mile away. Who wears that during a lab?!" Everyone I was use to seeing in labs sported comfy sneakers, jeans and various amusing, mostly nerdy, T-shirts.

They didn't look particularly bright, but they didn't appear to be particularly stupid. I mean, they had made it this far into their first year of University. They started talking about amoebas. Totally off-topic from the practical. And this is where things got weird. I was about to leave after signing off, but instead headed back to the bench to grab one more sheet of graph paper to aid in my lab report. I looked up to the other bench to see the tall, leggy blonde doing all the talking stopped in mid-sentence to emphasis her point on how amoebas communicate with one another.

It went a little something like this:

With her arms outstretched on either side of her she proceeded to make slow mesmirising waves that rippled from her finger tips to her shoulders and made the rest of her body sway slightly. She then uttered in a soft, cartoony voice as she swayed,

"I'm an Amoeba"

This whole story was brought about because directly after that lab, I told my boyfriend, Ben, about it and he has never let me forget it. If I'm having a ridiculously blonde day he imitates Amoeba girl to annoy me. I happened to see if I could find something on YouTube with the title "I'm an Amoeba"... there are a few but nothing fantastic. I did find this little gem of a website though. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Save a Shaved Ice Baby... eat a cinnamon bun

A very talented person from deviantART made this little cinnamon bun - Furious Little Cinnamon Bun to all the Dr Tran fans. I'd like a whole collections of shaved ice babies :P

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Food-a-saurus nommm

Wow... it's been a while since my last blog. I'm in the process of moving house (still moving) and currently under pressure to finish painting the rooms before the flooring goes down. EEEEPP! So I'm rather tired and very lazy after a few daylight hours boxing ornaments, folding clothes, painting undercoats and filling holes (giggle) in the walls to feel mentally stimulated enough to blog ANYTHING.

But I've poured through my random files and found a few pics to share... all dinosaur related, of course. :D All spurred on by the sandwich cutter I got from Kass earlier this year. I feel great every time I use it!

The cake feature here is something most appealing to me... vintage triceratops! And since my birthday is less than 2 weeks from now, I shall be looking forward to blowing out a forest fire atop one of these cakey masterpieces! *hint hint* :P

From now on, I expect Easter to be a very prehistoric affair... in the name of Raptor Jesus and chocolate. I want the T.rex ones (far right, bottom shelf)!

T.rex melon head - great for children's parties... teach the buggars to keep their hands out of the food bowls by adding pointy toothpick teeth.

Cutest stegosaurus dim sim ever. Probably the ONLY dinosaur dim sims ever.

This book is amazing, Planet Cake Cupcakes by Paris Cutler, for the most adorable, clever, cheerful and nom cupcakes. I have the book and have struggled in making reindeer cupcakes for Christmas last year because I suck at making coloured fondant with liquid food colouring. But look at the dinosaurs you can make!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

B-grade Plushies

B-grade, even C and D-grade, creature movies are awesome (except Aztec Rex/ Tyrannosaurus Azteca - that was so bad it hasn't even been listed in Bad Movies). Anyway, for the majority of B-grade movies, I love the horrible acting, iffy CGI, polystyrene props, low budget filming, hilarious one-liners (Shark Attack 3: Megalodon) and bogus science. They're completely illogical, but grossly entertaining. And these films have just made an impression on myself alone... for there are a slew of us out there --- making B-grade movie plushie mascots!

Sans plus attendre....

The B-grade movie in the limelight is:

And the plushies: