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Forget rats, pigeons & bedbugs: Bunnies are New York’s hottest new vermin!
01.06.2015
05:55 am

Topics:
Amusing
Animals

Tags:
New York City
Brooklyn
rabbits
Gowanus


 
The wildlife of NYC is much maligned, and yet every honest-to-God New Yorker knows these scrappy, hard-bitten creatures are an integral part of experiencing the city. Maybe you saw a rat as big as Corgi attack a Corgi the size of a slightly smaller Corgi!? Perhaps you encountered a roach trying to sell you a Rolex? I was mugged at knifepoint by a Central Park squirrel–-we all have our stories! But is this delicate ecosystem ready for a new player?

Meet the Gowanus Bunnies—the roughest rabbits you’ll ever meet and the latest addition to the brutal fauna of the five boroughs. In a Brooklyn neighborhood best known for the opaquely polluted waters of the Gowanus Canal, these flinty Leporidae found a home in a dirt alley next to a tire shop, and while their fuzzy-wuzzy cuteness hasn’t gone completely unappreciated by the neighborhood, the urban bunnies may be becoming a problem.

For one, they reproduce in accordance with stereotype, and their famed fecundity has bolstered the colony’s ranks into a verging swarm. That may not sound very threatening, but rabbits burrow, and a lot of important and delicate stuff goes on underground in New York, including electrical work and the foundations of some very old rotting buildings. Others fear a more Night of the Lepus situation, noting the rabbits seem to have developed a taste for chicken wings (could human flesh be much further down the road?!?).

Local Joel Bukiewicz, who owns a knife shop across the street from the rabbits, has seen the bunnies fighting viciously:

“I think of rabbits as friendly, innocent and sweet,” Bukiewicz said. “These are angry, hardened city rabbits and possibly carnivorous. These are Gowanus rabbits. I wouldn’t want to bring one home.”

Of course attached to all of this is a “New York person”—30-something piano teacher Dorota Trec, who calls her pets “erotic,” and maintains that there’s nothing unsavory, dangerous or unethical about her rapidly multiplying herd. Animal welfare advocates disagree, and Trec is currently facing potential action from the health department who are probably rightly concerned about an animal hoarder who appears to be ground zero for a new pest epidemic. I hope they get them all spayed, but I don’t hold out too much hope for adoption—I’m not sure these rabbits can be rehabilitated back into society.
 

 
Via DNAinfo

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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A fate worse than death: Your dead pet sings from beyond the grave!
12.30.2014
07:26 am

Topics:
Animals
Animation
R.I.P.

Tags:
dead pets


 
As astonishing awfulness goes, pet memorial videos from petphotofun.com have a TON of poor-taste bases covered, all crammed in to an uncomfortable interstice between bathos, death, and cute animal pics. Pet Photo Fun specializes in animating pet photos, so your adorable furry companion appears to be speaking or singing. They’ll do this with customized messages, so for example you can send your best pal a birthday e-card featuring his or her favorite quadruped companion singing a birthday tribute.

Prepare yourself for a gainer into a bottomless well of impossible mawkishness.
 

 
Ain’t that somethin’? The digital pitch-shifting applied to the “animal” voice just ramps the discomfort factor up through the roof. So take that level of delirious, treacly maudlinism and apply it to a creepily animated photo of a deceased pet delivering its lifetime human companion a message from beyond the grave. For $30, the pet will sing Pet Photo Fun’s purpose-composed and heavy-handed original song “Think of Me and Smile.” For $60, the song will be delivered with an additional personalized message.

I realize that as tacky and ghoulish as this all is, there are folks out there who’d be genuinely moved to receive one, and I wouldn’t dream of invalidating their grief, but all things being equal, when her time comes, I’d be perfectly happy with my dog’s picture just in a frame.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Catnipped: Watch a jaguar tripping balls after eating ayahuasca vines
12.11.2014
09:27 am

Topics:
Animals
Drugs

Tags:
jaguar


 
Apparently animals dig otherworldly experiences, too. Take this jaguar for instance, who seeks out and then happily munches on the Banisteriopsis caapi vine located in rainforests of South America.

Ayahuasca AKA yajé is a tea brewed by shamas known for its psychoactive effects. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the role of Banisteriopsis caapi in the making of ayahuasca.

It contains harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine, all of which are both beta-carboline harmala alkaloids and MAOIs. The MAOIs in B. caapi allow the primary psychoactive compound, DMT (which is introduced from the other primary ingredient in ayahuasca, the Psychotria viridis plant), to be orally active. The stems contain 0.11-0.83% beta-carbolines, with harmine and tetrahydroharmine as the major components

From what I understand, a human wouldn’t get this effect from eating the yajé vine alone. It would have to be mixed with other plant matter to reach its full, trippy effect. Perhaps a jaguar’s liver processes the plant differently? I don’t know.

What is known is that many animals “self medicate”—take for instance when your dog eats grass, it’s probably trying to bring on vomiting. Pregnant elephants in Kenya have been observed eating the leaves of certain trees to induce delivery. Some species of lizards are believed to eat a certain root to counter the venom of poisonous snake bites.

And as we’re reminded every holiday season (on websites just like this one) reindeer located in the Arctic Circle are known to eat the Amanita muscaria mushroom, an especially strong “magic” mushroom. Maybe that’s how Santa’s reindeer achieve lift off…

 
via Ultraculture

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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PETA inflicts ‘indecent’ billboard-sized facial on unprepared town
12.09.2014
10:37 am

Topics:
Activism
Advertising
Animals
Sex

Tags:
PETA


 
The cheeky introduction of sex into other subject matter has long been a staple of advertising that seeks to use word of mouth and/or media reverb to make its impact. Everyone enjoys a good chuckle at a banana positioned to resemble a willie, for instance, and why not? It’s all a lot of fun, the banana lobby is happy, and everybody wins. However, sex in advertising can also be a bit of a tightrope walk, as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recently learned.

Only one day after it was put up, PETA was ordered to take down an “indecent” billboard poster in Nottingham after a request from the Notts County Football Club. The poster, which was appealing to consumers to stop using dairy products, had been placed just outside the club’s playing arena.
 

 
The billboard read, “Some bodily fluids are bad for you” and a photo of a woman having experienced the, ahem, “aftermath of a sex act,” as one report delicately phrased it.

PETA has defended the billboard by calling it “cheeky,” but some pedestrians disagreed. As a local resident named Richard Brown said, “It’s clear what they are doing but I think it’s a bit naughty. I’ve got a seven-year-old daughter and young people aren’t stupid, they can read and it’s not great that they can see things like this that are indecent.”

The billboard was the only one of its type in England;  PETA commented that it used the location because it was “suitable.” Damian Irvine, commercial director at Notts County, said: “Once the content of this advert was identified we informed advertising company Space Outdoors who agreed the content was not in keeping with our community and family-focused values.”

via Arbroath

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Puppies with Guns calendar
12.05.2014
09:54 am

Topics:
Animals
U.S.A.!!!

Tags:
guns
puppies


 
I shit you not, there’s a Kickstarter trying make a puppies and guns 2015 calendar happen. And you know it will because… you know, ‘Murica! 

This project brings two of the greatest things on earth; firearms and puppies.

Surely what will follow is a Kittens With Guns, amirite? Or better yet, Baby Bats Dressed As Burritos With Guns! 

I think I’ll stick with my annual Goats in Trees calendar, thank you very much.


 

 

 

 
Via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Let Charles Mingus help you with your cat poop problems
12.01.2014
07:31 am

Topics:
Animals
Movies
Music

Tags:
cats
John Cassavetes
Charles Mingus


 
Charles Mingus is one of the greatest jazz composers of all time, and he also, it seems, shared some similarities with your typical crazy cat lady. He liked having cats around, and spent a lot of time thinking about the nettlesome issue of feline fecal matter.

On p. 77 of Cassavetes on Cassavetes we find the following anecdote, told by John Cassavetes, about enlisting Mingus to do the soundtrack for his first movie, Shadows. Mingus would only do it if Cassavetes would come over to Mingus’ house and clean up the cat shit—but even that didn’t solve Mingus’ problem:
 

First we were going to use Miles Davis, but then he signed with Columbia Records and I got so angry I didn’t want to use him. Anyway, someone said there was this great improvisational artist down in the Village who’d cut a few records, so I listened to a couple and oh!—this guy was wonderful! Charlie Mingus. So Charlie said, “Listen, man, would you do me a favor? I’ll do it for you, but you have got to do something for me.” “Sure, sure,” I say. “Listen, I’ve got these cats that are shitting all over the floor. Can you have a couple of your people come up and clean the cat shit? I can’t work; they shit all over my music.” So we went up with scrubbing brushes and cleaned up the thing. Now he says, “I can’t work in this place. It’s so clean. I’ve got to wait for the cats to shit.”

 
Cassavetes had intended for Mingus to improvise the needed music in a single session, but Mingus demanded to compose it properly. Cassavetes ended up using music composed by Mingus’ saxophonist Shafi Hadi. Meanwhile, two years after the first release of Shadows in 1957, Mingus completed his own soundtrack to the movie. According to Cassavetes, those Mingus compositions are “Nostalgia in Times Square” and “Alice’s Wonderland.” 
 

 
At some point Charles Mingus figured out the best method of toilet training a cat, and he felt he had to get the word out. He wrote a short pamphlet called “The Charles Mingus CAT-alog for Toilet Training Your Cat.” You could order the “CAT-alog” directly from Mingus, and it also appeared in a publication called Changes that existed between 1968 and 1975 and was run by Mingus’ wife, Sue Graham. (Interestingly, the officiant at their wedding was Allen Ginsberg.) You can read the entirety of Mingus’ “CAT-alog” at this website, which is administered by Graham. Mingus’ main point is to execute the transfer to the toilet very slowly: “The main thing to remember is not to rush or confuse” the cat. Also, don’t use kitty litter: “Be sure to use torn up newspaper, not kitty litter. Stop using kitty litter. (When the time comes you cannot put sand in a toilet.)”

Recently Studio 360 dedicated a segment to Mingus’ kitty program, even enlisting actor Reg E. Cathey, familiar from such TV shows as The Wire and House of Cards, to read Mingus’ pamphlet in its entirety.
 

 
Listen to Mingus’ “Pussy Cat Dues,” after the jump…..

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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There’s a Facehugger from ‘Alien’ dog leash
11.26.2014
08:36 am

Topics:
Animals
Movies

Tags:
Alien


 
You might have been expecting something closer to a muzzle, but this is not a Facehugger per se, more like an Alien “Backhugger.” Still you have to admire this creative take on a dog leash by Etsy shop GCFX. It’s designed to fit small to medium sized dogs, 15-35 pounds. Big dogs need not apply.

While I dig the idea, I don’t dig the $150 price tag.


 

 
via Geekologie

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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William S. Burroughs buys a parrot, 1963


 
Today’s adventure in obscure video centers around an innocuous 85-second film shot by Antony Balch called William Buys a Parrot. In the movie, the “William” is William S. Burroughs and the parrot is actually a cockatoo. It’s in color and has no audio track—it resembles a home movie to some extent but it’s just a shade more orchestrated than that, although it might just have been something shot to test a new camera. In William Buys a Parrot we see Burroughs, wearing a white suit and a dark brown fedora, approach a door in some exotic desert setting—either Gibraltar or Tangier, it seems. He raps on the door knocker, a man from inside comes out and they chat for a moment or two. Cut to a some kind of a coastal veranda, where Burroughs confronts the bird. Then the fellow comes out and the two men sit at the table and enjoy an adult beverage. The last third of the movie is the bird jumping around in his cage with Burroughs in the background. End of movie.
 

Burroughs and Balch in ‘Tony and Bill
 
In Wising Up the Marks: The Amodern William Burroughs, Timothy S. Murphy has this to say about the movie:
 

William Buys a Parrot demonstrates that even when silence eliminates the specific word—the external word of mundane narrative interaction that is susceptible to technical reproduction and animal mimicry—it leaves intact the general, generic, internal Word—the structural Word of addictive subjectivity that allows the viewer to provide her own narration for this film.

 
Well… sure... Why not? To me, though, it just looks like a famous writer buying a bird and enjoying some daytime spirits with a chum…

William Buys a Parrot was probably shot in 1963, but edited in 1982 by Genesis P-Orridge who is said to have rescued it and many other films from a trash dumpster after Antony Balch’s death (including Balch’s other collaborations with Burroughs and painter Brion Gysin and some prints of Kenneth Anger’s films).
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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‘50 Ways to Eat Cock’ is the only rooster cookbook you’ll ever need
11.18.2014
09:34 am

Topics:
Amusing
Animals
Books
Food

Tags:
cooking
chicken


 
I’m a big believer in the prurient pun, and I think anyone who can actually monetize juvenile humor is a true student of humanity who paid attention in class. So I doff my cap to new-agey nutritionist (and possibly penis-obsessed crazy person) Adrienne Hew, who penned 50 Ways to Eat Cock: Healthy Chicken Recipes with Balls! My only criticism of this culinary concupiscence is that the book might suffer from repetition. If the joke was just in the title, it would allow readers to question her motives, maybe even consider the possibility of her naivete. For example, the competing oral sex-themed cookbook, 50 Ways to Eat a Beaver exercises some subtly. Hew however, is relentless:

Curious about cock? You’re not the only one. Once revered for his virility and strength, the rooster has taken a back seat to the hen in more recent years. With healthy chicken recipes like Risotto Cock Balls and Cock-o’s, 50 Ways to Eat Cock is a fun and inventive chicken cookbook that takes a revealing look at the folklore, history, culinary culture and nutritional benefits of this well-endowed ingredient. With tongue-in-cheek descriptions, these playful cock recipes are bulging with everything from the quintessential to the quick-and-easy to the downright quirky. You’ll learn how to tame this tough bird meat into succulent and finger-licking gourmet meals.

Thanks to the ingenuity of author and Certified Nutritionist, Adrienne Hew, the noble cock retakes his rightful place at the head of the table. Grab the “hard copy” as the perfect bridal shower gift!

Okay, the “hard copy” line is pretty good, even though I think we could have done without the winking quotation marks.

As a cook book, I’m a little skeptical of the project (though I hold out far more hope for her follow-up book 50 Ways To Eat Your Honey: Healthy Honey Recipes for Mastering the Art of Honeylingus). To my knowledge, rooster is pretty inedible in any recipe other than coq au vin, or some other variation of “stew-with-bacon-until-edible.” This does not mean I will not be purchasing it though. Bachelorette parties have certain, near-sacred phallic traditions that simply must be observed (I don’t make the rules), but that doesn’t mean a dick joke can’t have practical applications.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Clean, cute and cruelty-free knitted dissection specimens are cuddly and gross!
11.07.2014
09:29 am

Topics:
Amusing
Animals
Art

Tags:
dissection
knitting


frog on dissection tray
 
I seem to remember being one of the kids that refused to dissect a frog in Biology class, but I wonder if I could have swung a passing grade if I had offered to do a mock-dissection with one of these beautiful knitted specimens from aKNITomy. Look at those lovely little felted innards! My first concern was actually that I might not be able to remove the creatures from their mounts for fun pranks, but no!

He comes pinned into his actual dissection tray (never used!), but he is not glued down, so you can take him out and cuddle him if you wish.

Fantastic! In addition to hiding one of these ghastlies in your infantile roommate’s childhood teddy bear display, you can actually cuddle with these disemboweled stuffed animals! A cute touch I noticed was the dead-as-a-doornail “x’s” over all the eyes ... all except the alien.. who stares at you, all blank and lidless. The description says “alien autopsy,” but are we dealing with knitted extraterrestrial vivisection here? Because I just don’t think I can ethically support yarn-alien cruelty.
 

rat on dissection tray
 

fetal pig on framed cork
 

bat on framed foam core
 
More, including the alien autopsy, after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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