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Ayn Rand ‘objectively’ explains to ‘Cat Fancy’ that cats are awesome, 1966
06.16.2014
05:47 am

Topics:
Animals
Books
Thinkers

Tags:
Ayn Rand
cats

Ayn Rand
 
It’s difficult to think of something—anything—that could endear Ayn Rand to me, but the news that she was a cat person certainly would be in that unlikely ballpark.

That said, I’d peg this curious missive she sent to Cat Fancy magazine on March 20, 1966, as an obvious hoax if it wasn’t right there in the volume dedicated to her correspondence.
 

Dear Miss Smith,

You ask whether I own cats or simply enjoy them, or both. The answer is: both. I love cats in general and own two in particular.

You ask: “We are assuming that you have an interest in cats, or was your subscription strictly objective?” My subscription was strictly objective because I have an interest in cats. I can demonstrate objectively that cats are of a great value, and the carter issue of Cat Fancy magazine can serve as part of the evidence. (“Objective” does not mean “disinterested” or indifferent; it means corresponding to the facts of reality and applies both to knowledge and to values.)

I subscribed to Cat Fancy primarily for the sake of the picture, and found the charter issue very interesting and enjoyable.

 
It’s especially great that even when writing Cat Fancy about her fondness for cats, she still can’t help getting into a nitpicky semantic debate over the word “objective”! Cat Fancy apparently set out the bait, and she went for it, like, well, a cat goes after a sardine…...
 
Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand swooning over the heroic properties of the American industrialist with an especially adorable Objectivist pal
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Kooky Simon & Garfunkel ad from 1967: Art is a lion, and Paul is a panda

At the Zoo
 
I stumbled upon this fantastic image in an extremely thoughtful and well-written article by Richie Unterberger on “folk-rock findings” that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame posted a few days ago. After assessing some fascinating magazine ads featuring Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Gene Clark, and Janis Ian, Unterberger ends with a real corker, a full-page magazine ad from March 1967 promoting Simon & Garfunkel’s then-new single “At the Zoo,” off of their album Bookends, complete with cute little “panda-Paul” and cute little “lion-Art” in the foreground.

Writes Unterberger:
 

Here’s guessing Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel did not see or approve this ad before it got printed in March 1967. Maybe Garfunkel wouldn’t have minded being cast as the lion, but it’s hard to see Simon being pleased to be the panda.

 
I suppose Unterberger could have a point here, but I don’t think so. First of all, the song ain’t exactly “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” it’s “At the Zoo,” one of their more whimsical, not to mention kid-friendly, ditties. Second, Simon & Garfunkel weren’t idiots: they were and are creatures of commerce as well as of art, and they probably weren’t all that opposed to whatever approach would land them the biggest hit. (For the record, it reached #16 on the U.S. charts.)

Third, and most important, that image wasn’t limited to print advertising by any means—it was the cover of the single! Did they have no control over this image, after three successful albums and the Graduate soundtrack?
 
At the Zoo
 
Well, either way you should still read Unterberger’s article. He makes a lot of good points about the evolution of the marketing of folk-rock during that period.

Here’s a wonderful clip from the UK of S&G performing “At the Zoo” for what seems like a TV audience, but it’s obviously being performed live, not lip-synced. 
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Incredible cat portraits by Eldar Zakirov
06.06.2014
06:39 am

Topics:
Animals
Art

Tags:
cats
Eldar Zakirov

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I prefer dogs, but I’m sure I could find some room on the wall to hang one of these magnificent portraits of cats in regal attire by Uzbek artist Eldar Zakirov. I’d probably put it next to favorite dogs playing poker picture, but I’d be worried they might fight when I’m not looking.
 
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Via Nerdcore
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Earthworm lemon tart and squirrel crostini: Gourmet dishes made from ‘invasive species’
05.27.2014
07:28 am

Topics:
Animals
Food

Tags:
invasive species


Grey Squirrel: squirrel crostini, white mulberry, goat cheese, hazelnut & purslane
 
What constitutes luxury is most certainly subjective, but it’s usually connected to rarity or scarcity, or at least the perception thereof. For example, beautiful pearls can be created through farming technology, but people pay way more for natural, rather than cultured. Diamonds aren’t particularly rare either, but De Beers controls output, manufacturing scarcity to control prices. Sell the common as fancy is the real challenge, but photographer Christopher Testani, food stylist Michelle Gatton and art director Mason Adams believe it can be done.

Invasive Species is a photo series of just that—non-indigenous animals upsetting the balance of their new habitats—prepared and plated to gourmet presentation. Some of it doesn’t look half bad, but I’m a little skeptical of its wider appeal. Gatton hopes that we might “reclaim our role as predators and not consumers to restore balance in nature.” It’s a noble goal, Louisianans have been trying to make Nutria meat happen for years. It’s lean, delicious and comparable to rabbit, but the meat of a giant swamp rat is a hard sell for most folks. Maybe all they need is an artsier presentation?
 

Nutria: nutria sausage gumbo, tiger shrimp, bell pepper & black rice
 

Canadian Goose: goose leg confit, autumnberry sauce, sweet potato mash
 

Jellyfish: peanut butter jellyfish, wakame & salted cucumber salad
 

Wild Boar: wild boar ribs, celery root & watercress
 

Periwinkles: steamed periwinkles in calvados cream broth
 

Lionfish: lionfish ceviche, wild fennel & red onion
 

Earthworm: lemon curd tart in chocolate & earthworm crust, crispy earthworm topping
 
Via feature shoot

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Heroic cat saves little boy from vicious dog attack
05.14.2014
10:22 am

Topics:
Animals
Heroes

Tags:
cats


 
YouTuber Roger Triantafilo uploaded this incredible video today of what appears to be a pit bull mix mixed-breed dog attacking his young son who was on his tricycle. What you don’t expect to happen is a cat. Yes, a cat happens. Just watch.

My cat defends my son during a vicious dog attack and runs the dog off before he can do additional damage. Thankfully, my son is fine!

Glad the little boy is doing well.

 
h/t reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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‘No wire hangers EVER!’: Sneaky crows create nests from stolen coat hangers
05.12.2014
10:09 am

Topics:
Animals
Art

Tags:
Crows
wire hangers
Nests


 
As we all know by now, or should know, crows are extremely intelligent creatures. In fact, these little high IQ sneaks are extremely resourceful when it comes to building their nests when natural materials like tree branches and twigs aren’t available to them.

In heavily populated and developed areas of Japan—where trees are scarce—crows’ nests have been spotted around town made almost entirely out of stolen wire hangers from nearby apartments. Apparently there are even “crow patrols” (sent by The Kyushu Electric) who destroy and dismantle the wire hanger nests sitting on their power lines.

More than anything, the intricacies and craftsmanship of these nests are impressive, like deliberate works of art. Just look at them!


 

 

 

 
Via Beautiful Decay

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Poor kid: Eight-legged hermaphrodite goat born in Croatia
05.07.2014
11:43 am

Topics:
Animals

Tags:
goats

taogkid8.jpg
 
A goat has been born with eight legs, and both male and female reproductive organs on a farm in northeast Croatia.

Farmer Zoran Paparic’s goat Sarka gave birth to the kid at his farm in Kutjevo, along with two healthy goats. This maybe the kind of mutant birth one would expect to read about in a gory devil-worshiping horror novel, or the pages of some religious tome, the kind predicting the “End of Days” and all that, but according to local veterinarians, this poor little kid is the product of underdeveloped twin siblings.

Mr. Papric told InSerbia:

“I counted his legs and I thought I was seeing things. Then I called my neighbour to make sure that I am not crazy”

Vets believe the “octogoat” is unlikely to live long, however, if it survives its first few weeks, it may live up to three years. The goat is trying to stand on its feet but lacks strength. Mr Paparic has said he would like to keep the goat as a pet if it does survive. He also added that a few years ago in a neighboring village, a friend’s goat gave birth to a kid with two heads.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Bunny in a g-string promotes ‘bestiality’ animal campaigners claim
04.22.2014
07:39 am

Topics:
Advertising
Animals
Sex

Tags:
rabbits

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An advertisement for a Swiss shopping mall has been condemned by an animal rights’ group for promoting bestiality. The Easter poster campaign for the St. Jakob Park shopping mall has a red g-string superimposed on a rabbit. Critics claim the poster sexualizes the animal, which links to bestiality and animal abuse.

Daniel Bader from the Swiss animal protection group told Tages Anzeiger:

“From our point of view, the respect of the rabbit has been badly damaged.

“This is a clear sexualisation of an animal. As far as I’m concerned, it heads in the direction of bestiality and it stinks of promoting animal sex and the sexual abuse of animals.”

I wonder what Herr Bader would make of Brian Griffin, Disneyland, Jessica Rabbit, or those annoying dogs that always hump your leg? Clearly, Fritz the Cat would give him a heart attack,

The manager of the shopping mall told Central European News that the images of attractive women “in bunny ears and fluffy tails were clichéd,” and he wanted to create something more humorous with a real rabbit.

However, according to The Independent, Swiss PR guru Klaus J. Stoehlker said the image was far more damaging to the lingerie company.

“If I was the boss of that Italian lingerie company I would take action over this advertising,” he said.

“I mean, who wants to see their sexy underwear stuck on such a fat rabbit backside?”

No comment…
 
Via The Independent

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Battle Royale: Incredible aerial photos of a clash of hippos and crocodiles
04.21.2014
01:29 pm

Topics:
Animals

Tags:
Crocodiles
Hippos


 
In 2011, photographer Marc Mol captured these intense aerial shots of hippos and crocodiles battling it out over Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park. Large herds of two different species going at it, is a pretty incredible thing to witness, IMO.

I’m not entirely sure if the crocs took down a single hippo—hippos are known as one of the most aggressive and vicious animals on the planet—or if the crocs were feeding on a dead one and then other hippos came in to protect their territory? Either way, it’s like a The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers epic battle scene, but in nature.

If you are going to be lucky enough to be around at exactly the right moment to photograph such a thing, hope that your luck holds out and that you’re airborne when it happens, like Marc Mol was!


 

 
Via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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These images of meat stuffed into plastic bottles are kinda gross
04.21.2014
11:21 am

Topics:
Animals
Art
Environment
Food

Tags:
Meat


 
This isn’t going to be one of those preachy posts where I tell you meat is gross and this is why you should become vegetarian—I do a enjoy a nicely grilled steak from time to time m’self—but you have to admit that these images by photographer Per Johansen are more than a tad unsettling.

Johansen’s new series titled Mæt (Danish for “full”) is a take on human consumption, gluttony and ethics in the meat industry. The plastic recycled bottles represent the human stomach gorging itself with raw, bloody meat.

Are you full yet?


 

 

 
More meat-stuffed bottles after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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