Friday, February 27, 2009

You learn something new every day

The photo above is a Jenny Haniver. That's not the name of a person, it's the carcass of a ray or a skate which has been modified and subsequently dried, resulting in a grotesque preserved specimen. [wiki] One suggestion for the origin of the term was "jeune d'Anvers" (French for Antwerp is Anvers), that is "young girl of Antwerp." British sailors "cockneyed" this description into the personal name "Jenny Hanvers." For centuries, sailors sat on the Antwerp docks and carved these "mermaids" out of dried cuttlefish. They then preserved them further with a coat of varnish. They supported themselves by selling their artistic creations to working sailors as well as to tourists visiting the docks. Jenny Hanivers have been created to look like devils, angels and dragons. It is possible that Jenny Hanivers were the source of some tales of dragons during the Middle Ages, and they affirmed people's belief in dragons. Jenny Hanivers may also have started the legends of Mermaids. (via Cynical-C) At Susology, the story of an artist currently creating Jenny Hanivers. Photo credit: Awkward Conversations post on "Rogue Taxidermy: The Jenny Haniver".

Any dog can bite but most don't

Dog bites happen, but they don't happen often, and many bites are preventable. That message, delivered Thursday at a forum in Denver, was gleaned from data taken in Colorado over a year-long period. The Coalition for Living Safely With Dogs, made up of Colorado veterinarians, animal-control officers, animal-care professionals and others presented the data at the group's second annual forum. "The data shows that any dog can bite but most don't," said Nick Fisher, a coalition member. The dog-bite surveys were taken from July 2007 to July 2008 and covered 17 "districts" in Colorado. The coalition study tallied 2,060 bites. That's about 1 bite for every 350 dogs, less than one-third of one percent. Of the 2,060 bites, Labrador retrievers made up the biggest percentage on the bite list. Labs accounted for 13.3 percent of the reported bites; pit bulls, 8.4 percent; German shepherds, 7.8 percent; Rottweilers, 3.9 percent; and Chows, 3.5 percent. Source

Smile, it's Friday!

Photo from manymuddypaws

Funky fish found - the frogfish

A funky, psychedelic fish that bounces on the ocean floor like a rubber ball has been classified as a new species, a scientific journal reported. The frogfish — which has a swirl of tan and peach zebra stripes that extend from its aqua eyes to its tail — was initially discovered by scuba diving instructors working for a tour operator a year ago in shallow waters off Ambon island in eastern Indonesia. Each time the fish strike the seabed, they push off with their fins and expel water from tiny gill openings to jet themselves forward. That, and an off-centered tail, causes them to bounce around in a bizarre, chaotic manner. Photo credit: David Hall Source

Marilyn and her dogs

Marilyn Monroe at the beach with her dog Ruffles in 1947. Photo: Associated Press MM plays with her Chihuahua on May 17, 1950. Image: Earl Leaf Also on May 17, 1950 Image: Earl Leaf MM and Arthur Miller with Miller's dog Hugo, during a playful moment at Miller's summer home on June 25th, 1956. Image: © Bettmann/CORBIS Here's another photo of Hugo with MM and Miller. Image: © Bettmann/CORBIS When Marilyn and Arthur split up, Arthur retained possession of Hugo. Maf was a little white French poodle who was given to MM in New York by Frank Sinatra. Sinatra had purchased the dog from Natalie Wood’s mother. Marilyn named the dog “Maf” because of Frank Sinatra’s alleged mafia connections. lnterestingly, to spite Arthur Miller, Marilyn used to let Maf sleep on an expensive white coat that Miller had presented her. When Marilyn returned to live in Hollywood, she had Maf flown back to be with her. Following her death, Maf was inherited by Frank Sinatra’s secretary, Gloria Lovell. (via u2r2h blog)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Please take a seat

Story here (via Bits & Pieces)

On the subject of penguins

Looks like the inauguration, doesn't it? This amazing photo was taken on South Georgia Island. The photographer says, "This is not the largest colony of king penguins on South Georgia but there were over a hundred thousand breeding pairs in this location. The brown spots are not open spaces but chicks that have not fledged." from Flickr, by chuck12600 Take a look at it in the largest size: 3200 x 2135. Better yet, set it as your desktop wallpaper.

As cute as a sock monkey?

Might be cuter than a sock monkey ... This instructable will walk you through the step by step creation of a Sock Penguin. This project was completed for a Grade 1 (6 year old kids) class that has been studying penguins. Please note that no penguins were harmed in the creation of this project, however, some socks were severely damaged in the prototyping stage. Please do not use socks that still contain feet. Note that hot glue guns can burn you. They're called "hot" for a reason. Do not let 6 year olds operate hot glue guns. Adult supervision is required. Also, do not let 6 year olds operate heavy machinery. It's just a bad plan. (via Penguins!)

Bored? Go wake up your cat

Chris "Petey" Peterson at "Something Awful" had a dastardly idea. Assuming that your cat is sleeping right now, and which cat isn't, grab a camera and go wake that cat up. Go, right now! Take a picture of that darling little (pissed off) face and post it. Quite a few people have responded and sent Chris their photos. Here's a couple: Ok, I have to admit - I too, have been know to interfere with my cats' napping pleasure. I took this picture of Grace when I caught her napping in Ava's chair which Grace thinks should now be called Grace's chair. The next photo is of Bandit. I have an extensive collection of shots of him sleeping. He's always sleeping, except when he runs through the house doing his "here comes a herd of elephants" sound effects. Next, Smoke. He had the fluffiest, fuzziest belly, and the sweetest personality until he scratched the hell out of my daughter-in-law's arm one day. He left us one day on a neighborhood safari and never came back. Here's a bonus shot: waking up two cats at once! Buddy always loved to sleep on top of Coco. They're both gone from us now, but fondly remembered.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Today's awwww

Art by Roberto Kusterle

duetto per archi, 2006 (duo for stringed instruments, 2006) More at website

Good to know: Some people still have money

Despite the grim economic environment, the art market let out a collective sigh of relief Feb. 23 as Christie's in Paris successfully auctioned $266.7 million worth of Impressionist and modern artworks collected by the late designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Berge. The sale of nearly 700 works, estimated to bring in up to $425 million, continues through Wednesday. A German Silver-Gilt Cup Formed as a Hunting Bear Maker's mark of Leonhard Umbach Augsburg, 1585-1590 Height: 6 7/8 in.; Weight: 13.70 oz. Estimate: €80,000 to €120,000 (approx. $103,000 - $155,000) Francois Pompon (1855-1933) Boston Terrier or 'Toy' Model created in 1930, cast circa 1965-1970 Black patinated bronze Portrays Madame Georges Menier's dog, 'Toy' 11 3/4 in. x 13 1/4 in. x 5 7/8 in. Estimate: €15,000 to €20,000 (approx. $19,000 - $26,000) Source

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Brave, loving, or stupid?

Read the story in the Daily Mail about British park ranger Alex Larenty who regularly treats eight year old lion Jamu to a foot massage and a hug. (The shots were taken at The Lion Park, near Johannesburg, South Africa, just weeks before a man who broke into the reserve was mauled and killed.)

What's that in your pants?

from flickr, by Chuckumentary

Monday, February 23, 2009

The quest to ave Right whales

At least 32 new right whale calves -- more than ever recorded -- have been observed this season off the coasts of Georgia and Florida, where the whales migrate to give birth between late November and March. Only about 400 members of the species exist, and the massive mammal is thought to be the most endangered of all the large whales. Each birth is seen as a miracle of sorts -- a potential key to the survival of a species that has been through many tough years. Right whales were named by their hunters who once said they were the "right whale" to kill. When they were harpooned, the chubby whales floated to the surface of the water. That made them both profitable and easy to hunt. Every morning during calving season, volunteers armed with binoculars and whale-related handouts troll up and down the Florida coast -- climbing to balconies and zipping up elevators to the top floors of high-rise condos and retirement communities -- to look for whales. Source

Unbelievably cute

Only 28-days old, brother and sister Zanzibar and Nairobi are already a huge hit with visitors to Taronga Zoo, in Sydney. They are the latest additions to the site's meerkat manor - and are the first pups to be born there for nine years. more

Hurry, Winter is almost over

(via Kiyo's)

Cute or not? Gentoo penguin chick

This little cutie was born on Dec. 12 at Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Need a laugh?

The Chuckle Buddies love to have fun. Marlin the Monkey & Paul the Pooch will explode with uncontrollable laughter when you pass by them while rolling around on the floor. Their laugh is so infectious that you won't be able to help yourself from having a smile on your face. Get Your Chuckle Buddies for $19.95 each (via Nerd Approved)

Friday, February 20, 2009


(story here)

Photography by Gary Parker

When attempting to describe Gary Parker’s unique brand of photography forget words. Begin with this: picture what an exuberant 8 year old boy might do with a camera if he had 25 years of experience winning awards in advertising and photojournalism, could light anything and could read the minds of dogs and go figure, EVEN CATS!

Gary is so busy taking photographs, he actually needs 2 websites to show them all off.

At Gary Parker's Cat/Dog Photography, I found this wonderful photo:

But Gary Parker Photography, which seems to be his main site, is also crammed full of pet photography, like this:

Doesn't this look like FUN?

Gary Parker Photography also showcases Gary's pro bono work with Little People of America (LPA). His photos encompass the #1 dwarfism photography website in the world, a site which has positively impacted the lives of many Little People families worldwide, as well as many of average stature who have found the portraits a source of inspiration, education and delight.


Please note: All photographs are the exclusive property of Parker Photographic productions, Inc. – and are protected by US international copyright laws. These photos may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, stored, manipulated, projected or used in any way without the expressed permission of Gary Parker. If you wish to use any of these photographs please contact

Gary Parker is currently creating Gary Parker's "Lunatic Light Workshops,"a series of workshops on various photographic topics including lighting, photoshop techniques, backyard photography, and the art of photographing your pets.

Smile, it's Friday!

Photo from A Blog Around the Clock

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Now here's a real "wildlife" photographer

What would you do if you saw a wild otter holding a video camera? Take a picture, of course! Professional photographer Enrique Aguirre took this photo of an otter holding a video camera while on a tour of Elkhorn Slough aboard the Elkhorn Slough Safari Boat out of Moss Landing on Feb. 3. The otter apparently found the camera at the bottom of the ocean. Do you think the otter will post on YouTube soon? Photo Credit: Enrique Aguirre Source

Hello, beautiful!

Meet Inuk, upclose and personal. Inuk is the Mystic Aquarium's male Beluga whale. He is an amazing creature who shows a great deal of curiosity and intelligence. When the crowds are thin at the Aquarium and there are only a few people in front of the glass he will sometimes stay and watch those people closely. Especially children who are more calm. Some people ask if whales have ears at the you can see the small opening behind the eye, that's Inuk's ear. Status: Vulnerable, growing risk; mostly from pollution of native waters but also hunting. IUCN Redlist: Vulnerable Cook Inlet Alaska Population: Critically Endangered. CITES: Appendix 2 Photo & text: eclectic echoes (via benhästen)

When cats decorate

(via Miss cellania)

Oh, Oogie

When he was just a puppy, Oogy was living in a hell on earth. He was tied to a stake and used as bait for pit bulls in a dogfighting ring. He'd been thrown in a cage and left to die, and the police raided the facility. He was brought to Ardmore Animal Hospital, and they saved him. Dr. Bianco, a veterinarian, says Oogy was still a puppy when he first treated the dog's severe damage. He basically had the side of his face ripped off, his jaw was crushed, his skull was damaged. He's lucky to be alive. Larry Levin and his twin boys were at the vet to drop off their cat when Oogy walked down the hall…and right into their hearts. "He looked like part of him had melted," Larry says. "But he just covered us with kisses. It's like he didn't know that anything bad had happened to him—he was just full of love. He jumped in our arms." When Larry found out the dog didn't belong to anyone, he asked Dr. Bianco if he could adopt him. "I couldn't believe my good luck," Larry says. "That's how I felt about this dog right from the start." Source

Good work

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'll stick to Coke, thanks

Hindu scientists have devised a new drink made from cow urine. The drink has been devised by the Cow Protection Department of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Rather coyly, they've called it 'gau jai,' the Sanskrit for 'cow water' and say it is in the final stages of development. Om Prakash, the head of the department, said: "Don't worry, it won't smell like urine and will be tasty too." Good to know. Source

Art by Cuson Lo

This is "Big Big Cat Starred At Me", more at Artfingers

Today's awwww