After dreaming about mantises (commonly known as “praying mantises”) one night Academy Award-winning director Zana Briski decided to film the fascinating insects as they go about their day-to-day business.
The word mantis is derived from the ancient Greek name “mantodea” (which means “prophet”) and was coined in 1838 by the German entomologist Hermann Burmeister. Mantises are highly predatory insects with their fellow bugs (or even their own siblings) being their primary prey. However, larger species of mantis have been known to feed on animals such as snakes, fish and even rats or mice.
In Briski’s short film Reverence, she manages to capture the horror and spellbinding beauty of these remarkable insects at such a close range, it’s impossible to look away from.
Sometimes the Internet truly is the giver of great things. I say that because some AWESOME person calling themselves “Donald Purrump” has set up an Instagram page that has issued a challenge for pet owners to “Trump your Cat.”
Trump your Cat’s Instagram has just under 5,000 followers, but that’s going to change pretty quickly I suspect. Since its creation, people have uploaded images of not only cats, but dogs and a lone Guinea pig to the page all sporting versions of Trump’s ridiculous comb-over-and-up. It’s quite something. Unlike Fight Club, Trump your Cat has a few rules:
Trump your Cat Guinea Pig
1. Brush your cat.
2. Form the hair you brushed into a toupee.
3. Place toupee on cat.
Darkly comic performance artist Brother Theodore’s trademark manic, impassioned delivery made him an obvious choice for cartoon voice work. Although he was one of the more frequent guests on 80s David Letterman shows, I actually first heard him as a kid incessantly watching the 1982 animated feature, The Last Unicorn (he perfectly voiced an evil hunchback). He also made a great Gollum in the really underrated 1980 cartoon of The Hobbit—again, perfect casting. However, Theodore really shined at monologue, which is why this 1966 animated adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s satirical short story “The Nose” is so strong; he does every voice—the narrator, our tragic protagonist (Nathan Naspicker), the cruel and unfeeling police, and even the rogue nose itself.
“A Nose” is obviously slightly reworked for a light cartoon audience. Rather than Gogol’s 1830’s St. Petersburg, director Mordi Gerstein chose to set the story “in the Year of our Lord 1305, on the 25th of March in the city of Pittsburgh.” Poor Nathan Naspicker finds that his nose has abandoned him and started a life of its own. As Naspicker attempts to track down his roving schnozz, he begins to despair. There is no moral, it’s just pure madness, but it has a happy ending (kind of?)! The format of the film is actually quite experimental as well—partially animated, partially live action. It’s a cute cartoon for kids, but it’s definitely pure Brother Theodore in all his mad glory.
It’s seldom that you’ll hear me saying a good word about Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the rightwing lawman from Arizona’s Maricopa County who’s known for taking racial profiling to outrageous heights and for being one of the foremost diehard “birther” idiots. BUT in this case, I have to hand it to the Sheriff: When I heard about the sad, sordid and sick tale of the hapless would-be horse-fucker Michael Crawford, arrested by Arpaio’s men in an undercover sting operation last Friday, my first thought was “I’m glad they got this sick fuck.”
And then my second thought was realizing that there was VIDEO FOOTAGE of Crawford’s sting. As the kids say: OMG. I mean… It’s the REALEST thing you’ve ever seen (Today at least).Totally revolting. To Catch a Predator on steroids.
Michael Crawford, 68, landed in Phoenix believing he would meet with a horse owner he’d been corresponding with online, according to a statement released by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Crawford hoped the fictitious owner would allow Crawford to engage in “perverted” sex acts with an animal, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said at a press conference Sunday.
Crawford posted an ad on a popular website soliciting a willing horse owner, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Investigators in the Animal Crimes Investigations Unit opened the case in October and corresponded with Crawford via e-mail and phone-call conversations.
“If you can really help with what I am seeking, I am definitely interested in traveling out to meet you,” Crawford told the detectives. He admitted that he had traveled the country since the 1970s to find horse owners willing to let him have sex with their steeds.
On Friday, Crawford was met by undercover deputies at the Phoenix airport and taken to a “meeting” with the horses in Tolleson, Arizona. It was all videotaped.
You will never get you innocence back after you watch this 68-year-old perv gleefully licking his lips over which horse he thinks he’s going to fuck.
How is that even enticing? HOW? If you’re a horse-fucker, does it matter if it’s a boy or a girl? So many questions.
I had seen the brilliant 1989 short film Ilha das Flores (translation, Isle of Flowers) before, but in the original Portuguese with subtitles. The narration is so poetic and coy, I was thrilled to find this wonderful version dubbed in English, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Writer and director Jorge Furtado actually said the piece was in part inspired by Kurt Vonnegut, and you can certainly hear it in the cadence of the narration (and subject matter), but there is also a Pythonesque humor to this absurdist little “documentary,” very reminiscent of the black humor in The Meaning of Life. I mean the opening credits land the first punch with, “God doesn’t exist.”
The “story” of the film begins with a Japanese-Brazilian farmer, who grows tomatoes that are later purchased in a supermarket by a nice middle-class door-to-door perfume saleslady. She then cooks these tomatoes into a sauce for her nice middle-class family—throughout all this the narrator is taking little contextual detours along the way on matters like evolution and the Holocaust. The story spins back and forth with cutting little observations on labor alienation and capitalism, until eventually we arrive at the titular Isle of Flowers, the tragic, ugly side of all our modern conveniences.
Now you may have heard about this Pacu fish before which has a hilarious reputation for only attacking men’s balls. The truth is, the rumors about this Pacu fish feasting on male testicles is pretty much more of an urban legend than actual fact. The Pacu “folklore” started in Papua, New Guinea with the nickname for the fish they coined translating as “ball cutters.” Now I’m not saying the Pacu fish has never attacked a dude’s balls before—they’re not known to be the friendliest fish, either—it’s just not as common as most people would have you believe.
The real threat with this fish is that it’s not indigenous to the area and could mess with the whole ecosystem, i.e. spreading disease and spurring fiercer competition for food.
More than anything, the Pacu fish is in need of a good dentist. Lookit that tartar buildup. Daily flossing is a must!
The oughts were banner years for grind bands with pets for singers: there was Caninus, a side project of Most Precious Blood whose 2004 album Now The Animals Have A Voice I purchased because I figured I might someday have to prove that yes, there was a metal band with two pit bulls for singers. And there was Baltimore’s Hatebeak, formed by members of the Index and Pig Destroyer, who featured a front-bird, a parrot named Waldo.
Though they released splits with Caninus and Birdflesh (I have a feeling I know what you’re thinking, but sadly, no, the latter band does not also have a bird in it), Hatebeak broke up in 2009 before ever recording a full length LP of its own. That’s about to change—they’ve reunited, and will be releasing The Number of the Beak next week. It collects their split tracks on side one, while side two is all new. They’ve pre-released a handful of songs on Soundcloud, all titled with preposterous metal/avian puns, like “Hell Bent for Feathers,” “Roost in Piece,” you get the drift. Check out “The Thing that Should not Beak”:
In an interview with Consequence of Sound‘s Sami Jarroush, drummer Blake Harrison informed us that the band will never tour:
Parrots like doing this stuff—the mimicry is kind of like a form of play, so it’s more like they have to be in a relaxed ... playful mood. You know the sound of your smoke detector when the battery is low? And it’s like a really loud chirp? He will do that when he’s uncomfortable.
The bird really shouldn’t and probably couldn’t—I don’t want PETA after me for subjecting a bird to like 120 decibels of distorted guitars. And you know, it’s kind of more of like a fun thing. Playing live would be a pain in the ass, and if it’s not fun I don’t know if I would necessarily want to do it.
The Number of the Beak is due out on June 23, 2015. We’ll leave you with one of Waldo’s finest performances, “Seven Perches.”
Much love to Christian Taylor for alerting me to this excellent news.
Perhaps I’m just projecting how I would feel (if someone did this to me) onto Merlin the Cat, but doesn’t he look just a wee bit humiliated sporting The Dragon Cut? I could be wrong (but I don’t think I am).
The Main Lion cat grooming salon located in Paoli, Pennsylvania offers this ‘do. It’s unique!
Though many of the photos appear to be candid snapshots, the images are textured with story. For example, Frida’s hand-painted “plaster bodice”—a cast she wore after one of her many surgeries—contains the hammer and sickle (a pretty explicit nod to her belief in revolutionary communism), but below that is a fetal image, a tragic reference to her failed attempt to have a child due to the bus accident in her youth that left her in constant pain. There are sweeter moments too. While her tumultuous relationship with her husband Diego Rivera produced some warm moments in front of the camera, it is with her many pets that you see Frida at her most gentle and caring.
Frida Wearing Plaster Corset, Which She Decorated With Hammer And Sickle (And Unborn Baby), Coyoacán, 1951
Ouch: The x-ray of a Jack Russell Terrier who ate a 10-inch bread knife.
The excuse of the dog ate my homework might not be so far fetched as these X-rays of things our fine four-legged friends have swallowed shows.
Dogs are supposed to be carnivores, but omnivore or hoover might be more appropriate, as some of the items gulped down by these intrepid pooches include knives, a skewer, a phone charger, a light bulb and a rubber ducky. The images come from the They Ate What? competition, where vets submit X-rays of the most shocking items discovered inside family pets in the hope of winning a $1,500 prize. This selection is things the dogs ate….but don’t worry all foreign objects were successfully removed—to the relief of both dogs and owners.
This dog ate a phone charger.
Shish-kedog: A dog from Germany called Marley ate this kebab skewer.
Stoned: A seven-year-old Jack Russell from the UK devoured 80 small stones.