Swedes are an interesting bunch. They're efficient but they love a good coffee-break, they're humble but they hang flags on their front porches, and they can appear cold at a glance but are as warm as an Arctic sauna when you really, really get to know them. And to me, they're also quite odd. [more inside]
Dogs are technically cursorial animals, which is a term that indicates that they are designed for swift running. That implies that in times of stress or threat the first line of defense that a dog uses is not his teeth, but rather his ability to run away. Behaviorists believe that depriving a dog of that course of action by immobilizing him with a hug can increase his stress level and, if the dog's anxiety becomes significantly intense, he may bite.
What ethnic groups are generally uncomfortable with hugging? How do you say "hug" in French? Why Asians don't always hug. Should I hug my Japanese friend? More hugs please, we're Chinese [NYT]. Do you know how to give an "American hug"? Ahmadinejad criticized for hugging. Ebola's cultural casualty: hugging in Liberia [NYT]. Kiss, hug, or shake hands? How to give a man a hug.
Adam Curtis mini film on the modern hug on television. As originally featured on his blog.
Here's a video of a giant baby panda cub being reunited with her mother at the Taipei City Zoo. [more inside]
While the most talked about topics in hockey this year have been the deaths of multiple current and former NHL enforcers, the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash tragedy, and the rash of concussions among star players, A new series by the Yahoo "Puck Daddy" blog is bringing attention to a more positive aspect of the game: the Hockey Hug. [more inside]
Need a hug? Take a visit to the nicest place on the internet.
Inside the Mind of the Octopus:
"The heavy lid covering her tank separated our two worlds. One world was mine and yours, the reality of air and land, where we lumber through life governed by a backbone and constrained by jointed limbs and gravity. The other world was hers, the reality of a nearly gelatinous being breathing water and moving weightlessly through it."In exploring the world and personality of the octopus, a journalist relates his interactions with a Giant Pacific Octopus and provides a look at the remarkable intelligence of the short lived cephalopods. [via]
"Regardless of political stance, no one can deny the joy felt upon seeing your loved ones return home safely -- WelcomeHomeBlog.com is a site celebrating that amazing feeling. Visit daily for heartwarming stories, videos and pictures of members of our courageous armed forces returning home to their families and friends..."
In which a chimpanzee is shown reacting to sleight-of-hand on a Japanese television show. [SLYT. Overuse of sound effects.]
With Mother's Day fast approaching, you may want to consider a gift of Orchidaceae. Orchids belong to the most diverse family of plants known to man. There are over 880 genera, 28,000 species and well over 300,000 registered cultivars currently documented. First, choose one you would like to cultivate. Then, learn how to buy your first orchid. Finally get the scoop on growing them yourself. Mom will give you a hug, 'cause everyone needs a hug.
Christian the pet lion [yt] sees his former owners after being released in the wild. He was quite the sophisticated cat in his domestic days. Here is another video from prior to his liberation. [via reddit]
Free hugs in New York City inspire free hugs in Sydney inspire free hugs in Philadelphia (Warning: Two YouTube links).