All of our cat friends out there are a never-ending source of laughs for us owners. And if you’ve had a feline companion for any significant amount of time, you know that they like to sit awkwardly sometimes.
Are they trying to mimic us humans? Or are they making some kind of other, independent statement?
We’ll never know, but at least we can snap photos of them and they’ll make us laugh!
There’s a lot of information out there about how to treat a snakebite in order to give yourself the best chance to survive. And if you grow up somewhere with dangerous snakes, you pay attention when you people talk about how to handle a bite.
After being bit on the finger, an unfortunate Chinese man from the Zhejiang province thought he was doing exactly the right thing when he cut off the afflicted appendage – only to find out at the hospital that it was all for naught.
He believed the snake that had bitten him was a “hundred pacer” (Deinagkistrodon acutus), a snake that’s believed to have venom potent enough to kill a man before he can walk 100 steps.
In some parts of China, the same species is known as a five-step snake, which would make it 20x more deadly than this man believed when he took such drastic action.
So, I mean…you kind of get his reasoning (and admire his grit).
He arrived at the hospital 50 miles away, only to be told by one Dr. Yuan Chengda that “the five-step snake is not that toxic.”
It turns out that, while the snake’s venom is dangerous and can cause symptoms like local bleeding, swelling, blistering, necrosis, heart palpitations, and even death, it’s not as rapid as people believe. Also an antivenin is available and, if received in 6 hours or less, usually effective.
If the man had brought his finger, doctors at the hospital said they could even have reattached it.
According to Dr. Yuan, this isn’t even close to the first case he’s seen of someone overreacting and losing a limb.
“Some bite victims used knives to cut their fingers or toes, some used ropes or iron wires to bind the bitten limb tightly, and some even tried to destroy the venom in their body by burning their skin. When they arrive at the hospital, some people’s limbs are already showing signs of gangrene.”
Officially, the advice when dealing with a snakebite is that the “wound should not be tampered with in any way” – i.e. you shouldn’t use tourniquets, you shouldn’t “cut, suck, or scarify the wound or apply chemicals or electric shock,” and most of all, you shouldn’t panic.
I love a wholesome story about animals and this one certainly checks all the boxes.
In the city of Niš, Serbia, a man named Sasha Pesic has been running a shelter for dogs since 2008. Pesic originally came up with the plan for the sanctuary after he discovered four abandoned puppies on his way home from work one night. Pesic enlisted six volunteers and opened a shelter in Niš to feed and give dogs a home. He runs his shelter from contributions and donations from around the globe.
In addition to feeding and sheltering the dogs, Pesic sterilizes them, vaccinates them, and microchips them. Today, the shelter has roughly 750 dogs. Here’s a video of Pesic rescuing some abandoned pooches.
Pesic’s shelter has taken in about 1,200 dogs over the years, and roughly 400 of them have been adopted by people around the world. Pesic said, “I receive zero assistance from the government and some vets are actually charging me more than regular prices because they think I have a lot of money from donations. I’m all on my own and I cover the veterinary treatment and everything necessary out of donations and my own pocket.”
One of the most mysterious places in the United States, Area 51 sits in the Nevada desert and is the inspiration behind countless movies, TV shows…and memes. Area 51 is a highly-classified military base, so you know that no planes are going to be flying over this patch of land.
Okay, this might be one of the locations that you didn’t expect to see on this list. Why is it a no-fly zone, you ask? During the 1980s and 1990s, the theme parks were bombarded by aerial advertisements flying overhead and officials wanted to get rid of those nuisances. There’s also a safety component, as both parks are among the most significant tourist destinations in the country.
This area covers over one million acres in Minnesota and was declared a no-fly zone back in 1949 when President Harry Truman signed an executive order. The boundary waters are one of the only few no-fly zones that are purely recreational.
When I was a young boy, I dreamed about my dog Quincy being able to talk. I’d think about the conversations we’d have and all the great adventures we’d go on together. He was my best pal, and his being able to talk would just be the icing on the cake…
As you’ve probably figured out by now, Quincy never learned how to talk and my childhood was ruined. But this story gives me hope for the future!
Christina Hunger is a speech-language pathologist who is working on teaching her 18-month old dog Stella to speak…seriously. Hunger (what a name) says that Stella already knows 29 words…which is 29 more than Quincy ever knew…
Stella is using a system that has a number of buttons, each of which plays a particular word out loud when it is touched. Hunger started teaching Stella how to use the device when the pup was only eight weeks old, and Stella can now let her owner know when she needs help, when she wants to take a walk or go play, if and when she misses a certain family member, and if she’s feeling distressed.
Hunger said, “The way she uses words to communicate and the words she’s combining is really similar to a two-year-old child.”
Hunger is basing the training off of Augmentative and Alternative Communication, known as AAC. Hunger has learned that even though dogs can’t speak like humans do, they can express themselves in other ways, such as barking and jumping. Hunger also said that she wants to eventually teach other dogs to “speak” as well.
You have to admit that this is a pretty incredible story and the progress that Hunger has made is very impressive. Follow her Instagram page to follow this excellent journey. Go Stella!
It’s so sad to think about how many abandoned, stray, homeless animals there are across the country. Dogs and cats that are just waiting to find a safe, warm, loving home where they can live out their days in peace and comfort.
And while there are countless shelters and organizations doing great work out there in regard to rescuing and adopting animals, there’s always room for more help, right? Damn right, there is. Fargo Brewing Company in North Dakota recently joined forces with a local animal shelter called 4 Luv of Dog to create beer cans featuring perfect pooches who are looking to get adopted.
The dogs featured on the six-pack of cans are referred to as “Oneders” because they have had a harder time getting adopted due to socializing issues with other canines. On their Facebook page, Fargo Brewing Company said, “It’s our hope that through this event we can raise a little awareness about these ‘one’derful pooches and hopefully find them homes of their own!”
The pups featured on the six-pack are Nyx, Bizzy, Jensen, Hobie, Moby, and Virginia.
The idea for the collaboration came from a man named Jerad Ryan who volunteers at the dog shelter and also works at a company that produces beer labels. Ryan said,
“I approached my boss about donating beer can labels to a brewery willing to feature our dogs. He loved the idea. I asked Fargo Brewing if they would be willing to do this for us and they loved it too. They have gone above and beyond with donating profits and having an event where the public can come and meet our Oneder dogs, as they don’t get to attend events with the other dogs. The response from the community has already been amazing and heartwarming.”
Dog people love that pups are super loyal, always waiting by the door for their arrival, and never leaving their side. While kitty owners may feel the same way about their pets, cats’ loyalty has always been a little bit…questionable.
Not any more!
In a recent study about “secure attachment,” scientists found that dogs and cats are actually very similar.
Oregon State University researchers found that cats attach to their humans and affixing a sense of overwhelming security to them. The basis of this study came from a series of experiments exploring bonding between parents and children done in the 1970s. These researchers decided to test cats for similar emotional bonding.
They used 70 kittens, 30 adult cats, and, of course, their owners to test the theory.
Surprisingly, scientists found that 64.3 percent of the cats shows signs of “secure attachment” when left alone in the room for two minutes. When the owners were in the room (for the same duration of time), the cats exhibited a security in exploring the room’s surroundings and appeared more relaxed.
The other 35.7 percent showed “insecure attachment,” meaning they “shunned their owners altogether or exhibited extreme clinginess.” This is, perhaps, a way to punish their owners for leaving them in strange surroundings. Side note: these secure/insecure bonding percentages are actually very similar to the percentages that appear in both human babies and puppies.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Kristyn Vitale said,
“It’s important for owners to think about that. When they’re in a stressful situation, how they’re behaving can actually have a direct impact on their cats’ behavior. Cats that are insecure can be likely to run and hide or seem to act aloof. There’s long been a biased way of thinking that all cats behave in this way. But the majority of cats use their owner as a source of security.”
A Harvard psychologist says, “Humans dream about the same things they’re interested in by day, though more visually and less logically. There’s no reason to think animals are any different. Since dogs are generally extremely attached to their human owners, it’s likely your dog is dreaming of your face, your smell and of pleasing or annoying you.”
7. Elephants will trumpet the arrival of a new calf
Elephants for Africa explains, “The female elephant community is social and supportive, with young calves being tended to not only by their mothers, but also by other females in the herd. When a new baby is born, all of the females in the group trumpet the news and announce the new arrival.”
Aa recent study at the University of Northampton explains the physical changes in heart rate among cows that have been separated.
“Social bonds do occur in domesticated dairy cattle and can be found when living in large dynamic group systems, but they are significantly affected by separation at the time of regrouping. These social bonds are important to the welfare and wellbeing of cattle; practices that promote stability and positive associations will be beneficial to the welfare of animals.”
5. A lot of times, mean looking dogs in film are actually really happy
During the making of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, CGI was used to hide wagging tails.
“The dogs are happy, their tails wagging, tongues hanging out. They’re not thinking about the drama, they’re not wondering where are those kids? So, we had to replace their wagging tails in a bunch of shots to make them look more menacing.”
It’s crowded in a hive and bees bump each other all the time. What’s funny is that they make a “Whoop” sound when it happens, per this video.
3. Squirrels hide a lot of nuts that grow into trees
Squirrels hoard the nuts they don’t eat right away. In fact, they hoard so many nuts that they forget where they stashed them all, which results in millions of new trees, according to this Purdue University study.
I’m not very familiar with horseshoe crabs. It turns out there’s a lot to learn – because any species that has managed to survive for 450 million years likely has at least a couple of evolutionary tricks up their sleeves.
If crabs had sleeves, I mean.
First up: horseshoe crab blood is bright blue, due to copper-based hemocyanin it uses to transport oxygen (instead of the hemoglobin that makes our blood red). Also, instead of using white blood cells to fight infection, they use amebocytes – and the Atlantic horseshoe crab has evolved to the point where their amebocytes of great value to the medical community.
These amebocytes coagulate around extremely small amounts of bacterial contamination, and the reaction takes only 45 minutes as opposed to the 2 days it takes most mammals’ immune systems to respond. Medical laboratories use it to test equipment and vaccines in a much more efficient manner, which prevents people from dying of infections.
The value of horseshoe crab blood is unfortunately leading to overharvesting – a quarter of a million crabs are harvested for their blood every year – and the population is in a steep decline that may be impossible to recover from, unless extreme measures are taken.
The crabs aren’t killed for their blood, though; 30% of their blood is harvested, then they’re returned to the ocean. That said, around 10-30% of the crabs don’t survive the process, and females who are bled often breed less afterward.
But the blood goes for $15k a liter, so I doubt people are going to stop anytime soon.
An Etsy shop is now selling customized pet cookie cutters, designed to look exactly like your precious dog or cat. Anyone who loves their pet enough to be tempted to eat their face will totally get the appeal.
Bakers Street Cutters personally customizes a 4-inch cookie cutter based on a pet photo of your choice. Their designer creates an illustration from the photo, then renders that illustration into a 3D cookie cutter. The result is truly precious. Because while you could always buy a regular pet cookie cutter from the store, those off-the-track cutters will never capture the unique essence of your fur baby!
One customized pet cookie cutter from Bakers Street costs $27 plus shipping. Is that a lot to pay for one (1) cookie cutter? Maybe, but when you consider that it’s an edible version of your pet’s face, it does seem pretty worth it. The turnover is one to nine business days, plus up to two weeks for shipping.
There are a lot of ways to use these cookie cutters. You could make themed cookies for your pet’s next birthday party (you throw your pet birthday parties, right?). You could make holiday cookies shaped like your pet. You could even make cookies FOR your pet, using pet-safe ingredients.