Aaaawwwww!

From a collection of pictures of heartwarming kids and their antics over at Pitsnipes Grips (warning:  that blog is sometimes NSFW, although this post is OK), here’s one that made me smile. There are lots more at the link.  Enjoy! Peter

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Hobbit shrimp???

I daresay the shade of J. R. R. Tolkien is laughing at this news. A student at the Netherlands’ Leiden University named Werner de Gier recently [discovered] … a pair of new shrimp species during a research project for his bachelor’s degree. One of the species was unique in that it had hairy feet and not one to let such an opportunity slip by, de Gier and his supervisor, Charles H. J. M. Fransen, decided to honor one very special hobbit. The shrimp’s official scientific name is Odontonia Bagginsi, which as you might have guessed is a nod to one

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Sometimes Nature is just too cool for words

Here’s a wonderful video clip, filmed from a drone, of a blue whale mother and her calf swimming with dolphins off San Diego on June 4th.  I recommend muting the music soundtrack and watching in full-screen mode.  Clearly, the dolphins are treating the blue whale just as they would a ship, and swimming in front of her and her calf in playful mode. All together, now:  Aaaawww! Peter

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Not quite accurate, but a good meme nonetheless

Received via e-mail, origin unknown (clickit to biggit): Silly, perhaps, but then, so are most of the rationales advanced for gun control.  They won’t succeed in stopping criminal violence, or even in reducing it much.  Case in point:  “moped crime” in London.  Armed individuals would go a long way towards reducing that type of crime, I reckon.  Certainly, nothing else is working! Peter

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Canny crustaceans?

I had to smile at this headline and article.  For the benefit of US readers, what we refer to as “shrimp” are usually called “prawns” in the UK. Prawns with shy personalities do better in the battle for survival Prawns have personalities and cautious crustaceans do better in the battle for food, new research suggests. Scientists studied rockpool prawns and found some were consistently shy, while others were bolder. But this bravery may come at a cost – as the risk-takers tended to do worse than other prawns when competing for food. There’s more at the link. Must be because

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Tentacles and space-suits, oh my!

I had to smile at this report. The paper … attempts to tackle the question of how life originated here on Earth. The researchers embrace a number of proposed explanations and discuss their implications, but one particularly interesting note is their proposal that cephalopods (squid, octopus and cuttlefish) may have originated somewhere other than Earth. Whoa. “Evidence of the role of extraterrestrial viruses in affecting terrestrial evolution has recently been plausibly implied in the gene and transcriptome sequencing of Cephalopods,” the researchers write. “The genome of the Octopus shows a staggering level of complexity with 33,000 protein-coding genes more than

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So much for emotional support animals

Considering our recent discussion of emotional support animals (ESA’s), I couldn’t help laughing at yesterday’s Pearls Before Swine comic strip.  Click the image for a larger version at the comic’s Web page. I still think the best ESA story I’ve ever heard of comes from the boss of Dreadnaught Industries here in Texas.  He registered a longhorn steer as his emotional support animal!  I’d pay money to watch the reactions of airline employees as he tried to take that on board a plane with him . . . Peter

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