Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Strange, but, Unfortunately True...

A black-and-white house-cat, Lenny, was turned back to a shelter near Rochester, New York, in April, only two days after adoption because the new owner could not tolerate Lenny's flatulence. (A braver second adopter, even though "warned," has taken Lenny in successfully.)

On dairy farms across the country, cows bizarrely queue up, without prodding, to milk themselves by submitting to $250,000 robots that have recently become the salvation of the industry. According to an April New York Times report, this advance appears to be "win-win" (except for migrant laborers watching choice jobs disappear) -- more efficient for the farmer and more pleasant for the cow, which -- constantly pregnant -- usually prefers frequent milking. Amazingly, cows have learned the drill, moseying up to the precise spot to engage the robot's arms for washing and nipple-cupping. The robots also yield copious data tracked from transponders worn around the cow's neck.

Argentinian agricultural scientists in 2008 created the "methane backpack" to collect the emissions of grazing cows (with a tube from the cow's rumen to the inflatable bag) in order to see how much of the world's greenhouse-gas problem was created by livestock. Having discovered that figure (it's 25-30 percent), the country's National Institute of Agricultural Technology announced recently that it will start storing the collected methane to convert it to energy. In a "proof of concept" hypothesis, it estimates that about 300 liters of methane could power a refrigerator for 24 hours.

Researchers from the Polish Academy of Sciences, writing recently in the journal Zoo Biology, reported witnessing 28 acts of fellatio by two orphaned male bears at a sanctuary in Kuterevo, Croatia -- the first-ever report of bear fellatio and the payoff from 116 hours of scientific observation over a six-year period. In each case, the researchers wrote, the older male was the receiver, and the researchers speculated that the episodes were less sexual in nature than a reflection of the bears' "early deprivation of maternal suckling."

The Skin By Molly salon in Brooklyn (and by now, perhaps, competitors) offers "facials" for the derriere (occasioned by a recent social-media fascination with "bum selfies.") Molly's is the "Shiney Hiney Facial" ($65 for a 30-minute treatment), important because, she says, "Acne can flare up anywhere."

Today's Reflection:
Those of of you that believe in telekinesis? Raise my hand!

Live Long and Prosper...

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