Rat Cordery.

People who have small animals know they have a special love for electrical cords. Chez Caine, there are always those rats who are looking to jack on. Part of setting up Athena (the new computing machine), is to deal with cord. For the very fine cord, which runs from the machine to the adapter is a favourite for jacking on. So, that part: slice open black aquarium tubing, place over the cord, secure with electrical tape. This impairs their ability to sense the current running through. For the rest, I cut lengths of cotton cloth, and wrap the cord, followed by a quick wrap of shiny wire, because rats are easily distracted by shiny metal, and will chew on that and forget about jacking on. Got Athena all fixed up, and Hades tested for me – yep, boring. That’s a good thing.





© C. Ford.

Naked Owls.

Anan Kaewkhammul / Shutterstock.

Anan Kaewkhammul / Shutterstock.

Owls are, of course, amazing. They can rotate their head almost 360 degrees, they have lopsided ears – all the better for hearing you with, my dear – and are collectively known as a parliament.

The Internet, however, is freaking out at what they look like naked.

Twitter user Dana Schwartz is obviously of curious, and brave, mind as she googled the now immortal words “what owls look like without feathers”, which produced this image that you now cannot unsee.

People had all manner of fun in the tweet stream, happily obliging with photos of other naked beings:

A hairless hedgehog. That’s something to curse about!

Via IFLScience!

I can sort of add to the nekkid animals. This is Rune, (pronounced Rooh neh) who has been hairless most of his short life, and just now has developed a very fine, sparse coat of sorts. There are two others like him, but Rune grabbed my heart from the start. He’s a sweet, shy boy, with a penchant for perching on top of my head, much like his grandmother, Grace. Somewhere in that line, there was a hairless rat or two.

Rune1 Rune2 Rune4


‘Shit, the monkeys are here…’

The Rock of Gibraltar is an imposing limestone monolith, towering 426 metres over the Mediterranean Sea on the southern coast of Spain in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. Its prominent place in European myths and its impressive views have long made it a draw for tourists, as has the population of Barbary macaques inhabiting the Gibraltar Nature Reserve on the rock’s upper reaches. However, the macaques aren’t bothered by human-imposed borders, frequently venturing off the reserve and into town, where they wreak mischief on tourists and residents alike. Subtly and playfully observed, Eleanor Mortimer’s amusing short documentary Territory puts us on the ground in the ongoing, low-key turf war between the people of Gibraltar and the clever primate cousins who are utterly indifferent to their will.

Via Aeon, where you can see the video full size.

Pan Pan Has Walked On.

Pan Pan at the China Conservation and Research Centre in Dujiangyan in September 2015.

Pan Pan at the China Conservation and Research Centre in Dujiangyan in September 2015.

The world’s oldest male panda, with more than 130 descendants — a quarter of all the captive-bred pandas on the planet — has died aged 31, officials said.

Giant pandas have a notoriously low reproductive rate, a key contributor — along with habitat loss — to their status as vulnerable on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of threatened species.

But Pan Pan — whose name means “hope” in Chinese — was a prolific father, siring many cubs over the years that have gone on to have offspring of their own.

Announcing his death, the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas called it “heart-wrenching news” and said the “hero father” had been suffering from cancer.


The most recent estimates show a population of 1,864 adult giant pandas in the wild, up by more than a sixth over a decade, with experts crediting nature reserves, bamboo planting, farmer subsidies and commercial programmes for the increase.

Via Raw Story.