Past the array of simulcast screens with hypnotized leather-skinned regulars clutching bettor's tickets like Blackjack hands, and beyond the families seated on long, wooden benches exchanging crumpled dollars for informal wagers, were the chariots. They were enameled and gleaming in candy apple red, cobalt blue and, pearl white. Beyond them were the tiny, darting heads of the ostriches that will pull them to glory.
The Cameltonian and Ostrich Derby is a Meadowlands Racetrack innovation, squeezed in between a few of the night's regular horse races in the hopes of attracting spectators beyond the usual racetrack diehards. The camels and ostriches come from Hedrick’s Exotic Animal Farm in Nickerson, Kansas, a [...]
There is literally nothing on the internet that interests me today; the only thing I found interesting enough to read fully was this three-sentence description of Canadian primates on Wikipedia:
The only primates that live in Canada are human beings. They are only distantly related to the New World monkeys of Central and South America, and the species originated in east Africa. Humans first arrived in large numbers to Canada around 15,000 years ago from North Asia, and surged in migration starting 400 years ago from around the world, especially from Europe.
Which is pretty funny but not really enough for a post, you know? So I'm just going [...]
The pignose frog, also known as the Indian purple frog, is one of the weirdest-looking frogs on the planet. It looks like a frog supervillain. It looks like a New York financial industry fatcat grown soft on the blood of the poor—but only on the outside, as its eyes and mind remain hard and cold and shrewd. It looks like Danny DeVito could play it in a movie without unduly taxing the makeup artist. It looks like what you would imagine Karl Rove would look like if your only knowledge of Karl Rove came from the descriptions of others. And it's purple. What kind of animal is purple? Not [...]
Today begins the 15-day celebration of the Chinese New Year. According to the Chinese zodiac, we are saying goodbye to the year of the snake (get outta here, snake!) and welcoming the year of the horse. More specifically: each year is also assigned an interaction with one of the Chinese elementals that make up the universe, so this year is the year of the Wooden Horse, which may not have the undertones of Grecian subterfuge in China that it has here.
Those born in the year of each of the 12 animals are said to share personality traits with the animal in the year of which they are born. [...]
Former Salon editor-in-chief Kerry Lauerman's secret Lerer-supported "content plus commerce" startup has been revealed—they were waiting for their Techcrunch exclusive blog post, which they now have. Because that's how you get readers! OH WE KID. Anyway, it's about kittens and hamburgers, and which one you should eat or not! Money quote: "Look at the front of The New York Times — they have a significant animal story on the front page every week. It’s our plan to launch a site to try to own that topic." (Well, not this week, there isn't one trending, but that's just because they went so big with their recent People DO IT [...]
Now that we're well on into our planet's sixth mass extinction event, and with recent news that we're charging towards environmental catastrophe faster than ever, it's time we start thinking about contingencies not in terms of "if" but in terms of "when." Let's say, just for argument's sake, that the human species will survive. Some people, like Annalee Newitz, author of Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive A Mass Extinction, think we will! But even if she's right, certainly, there will be changes we'll have to get used to. Besides the hilarious "Great, I'll have beachfront property" jokes the wittier among us [...]
Wild Nature Institute is the nonprofit creation of wildlife biologist Monica Bond and quantitative ecologist Derek Lee. They live and work for much of the year in Africa, where they study and inventory iconic and threatened wildlife populations such as the Masai Giraffe, which is rapidly declining due to lost habitat, disease and illegal hunting.
Ken Layne: Hello, Derek Lee! Because you are traveling between Nairobi and Zanzibar and I'm on the other side of the planet, maybe we'll do this in email format? So what is it that you and Monica do in Africa? This past week sounds like it held a lot of safari travel and [...]