The seal was a remarkable find, bearing the name of an unknown princess and the only depiction of an ancient Israelite harp. Good enough to be depicted on Israeli coinage? Almost too good... The Trouble With the Maadana [more inside]
Inside the Snitch Tank. After his arrest for the worst mass shooting in Orange County, CA history, Scott Dekraai poured out his feelings to a jailhouse informant. But instead of nailing down a death-penalty conviction against a confessed killer who was arrested with murder weapons in his car, the bugging of Dekraai’s cell touched off a legal storm over prosecutorial misconduct and the misuse of jailhouse informants which has delayed justice and drawn national attention. The Orange County Register has set up an extensive website to accompany their ongoing investigation and report.
Last year Jimmy Kimmel teamed up with Snoop Dogg to produce the nature series, Plizzanet Earth. In the latest episode, Snoop Dogg tackles Otters vs. Crocs. (Mostly bleeped but probably NSFW for a few people.) [more inside]
The day Chris Kyle died - an account of the fateful gun range encounter between the subject of the film "American Sniper" and fellow veteran Eddie Ray Routh. Routh has received a life sentence for killing Kyle and freind Chad Littlefield, with a jury finding his claims of PTSD to be "an excuse".
The Art of Antarctic Cooking
What comprises “Antarctic culinary history,” Anthony writes, is “a mere century of stories of isolated, insulated people eating either prepackaged expedition food or butchered sea life.” It helped if some of these isolated, insulated people knew their way around the kitchen. “The cook, however good or bad, is an artist whose simple vocation is to make others lives happier,” observed chef Raymond Oliver. More magician than artist, a cook with an Antarctic expedition ranked as one of its most important members. His kitchen little more than a Primus stove, his ingredients either canned or scrounged, he conjured nourishing dishes as if from the gelid air.[more inside]
A REDTAIL'S DREAM Two years ago, Minna Sundberg was an art student who aspired to write and draw graphic novels so she decided to create a 'practice comic' while still in school. It was a fantasy adventure based upon Finnish mythology - not like Norse Gods, the omnipotent entities here were spirit animals, including an irresponsible young fox spirit who messed up the Northern Lights (also known as 'Fox Fire') and pulled the population of a rural village into a Limbo-like 'dream bubble' between Life and the Afterlife. [more inside]
In the Crosshairs: Chris Kyle, a decorated sniper, tried to help a troubled veteran. The result was tragic. [Previously, Via]
Ronan keeping the beat | Sea Lion is First Non-Human Mammal to Keep a Beat | Study done at the Pinniped Cognition & Sensory Systems Laboratory.
"I'll break down to you exactly what happened, a play-by-play account. I came home, unbelievably intoxicated, I mean beyond drunk. I couldn't even, let's say, upload a video to Youtube. Then I walked upstairs and spotted in the hallway a video camera atop a tripod, pointed toward the floor. I had no choice. The only viable move was for me to start singing Kiss From a Rose to my cat, who I am very clearly abusing physically."
"A pod of orcas, or killer whales, cooperate to wash a Weddell seal off an ice floe. This sequence, filmed for Frozen Planet, marks the first complete filming of killer whale "wave washing" behavior." [more inside]
Genghis Barbie is a "post post-feminist feminist" French horn quartet that plays breathtaking renditions of Somebody to Love, Kiss from a Rose and Janelle Monae's 57821. Oh, and Thong Song.
Northern Fur Seal release (slyt thatisall)
"A ball-throwing robot with visual feedback" sounds dull, so let's hide the robot arm in a plush seal suit! Now that ball-throwing robot with stereo vision looks like a seal playing basketball! Just ignore the robotic hand coming out of it's mouth, and the un-seal-like movements. (via)
Even as the Deepwater Horizon well nears the day when it will finally be sealed for good, and BP finds itself falling under continued criticism as it is discovered that oily sediment is coating the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, the US government has announced that 3,500 unused oil wells must be sealed by the companies which drilled them. [more inside]
The California and Steller sea lions hauled out at Pier 39's K dock in San Francisco have become a famous tourist attraction. The colony has occupied the spot since 1990, seemingly abandoning their traditional grounds at Seal Rocks. A fall survey counted record numbers of over 1,500 sea lions at the Pier, but they abandoned the area in droves after Thanksgiving. "We have no idea where they moved on to or why” an expert from the Marine Mammal Center said, although the Center does not believe that the sea lions have left for good. [more inside]
"Soon were the lofty peaks of Corcyra lost to view;Founded by Trojans, populated by Chaonians, a sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius, colonized by the Greeks and Romans, sacked by the Goths, ruled by the Slavs, the Byzantine Empire and the Turks, taken by Manfred of Hohenstaufen, purchased by the Most Serene Republic of Venice, invaded by Ali Pasha and Suleiman the Magnificent, eventually becoming a place of refuge for the likes of Casanova and for hunters and painters, the ancient city of Butrint, a microcosm of Mediterranean history, is a World Heritage Site within a National Park which includes a Wetland of International Importance all of which is being kept alive by a partnership of local, national and international organizations . Come and explore Butrint. [more inside]
We coasted along Epirus, and coming to the Chaonian
Harbour, we drew near Buthrotum, that hill city."
- The Aenid - Book III, Virgil (trans. Cecil Day Lewis)
The Jupiter Foundation and the Whalesong Project are both organizations which record humpback whale songs from floating buoys; some of their archived recordings can be found here, here, and here. (Warning, last two may resize your browser.) DOSITS hosts a more comprehensive collection of oceanic sounds, with seals and fish along with its whales and dolphins. It also has a couple of nice sections on how animals use sounds in the ocean. (Previously.) [more inside]
Leopard seals, by Paul Nicklen. Leopard Seals are the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic, and are near the top of the Antarctic food chain. Paul Nicklen won first prize in the Nature Stories category of the prestigious World Press Photo contest for his photographs of Leopard Seals. The first known human fatality was in 2003 when a Leopard Seal dragged Kirsty Brown, a snorkeling biologist, underwater to her death.
PARO: Seal Type Mental Commit Robot for Psychological Enrichment.
Make like a knight and generate your own simple heraldic shield. The venerable Pimbley's Dictionary of Heraldry can define the archaic blazoning terms that the Generator uses. If you'd prefer a more modern, more casual emblem, try the Official Seal Generator.
Artist's medium: pen and ink on hides, paper, fish skins, seal skins, tree mushrooms, plywood, ceramic tile.
The art of George Aden "Twok" Ahgupuk: Denali, oomiak, blanket toss, whale hunt, caribou, and quite a few more subjects. Don't miss the fourth-graders.
FORCE Ministries "IN 1998....the Lord began opening doors to the SEAL Team community and to military installations nationwide." : "[ Our] Defining passage : "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it." ( Matthew 11:12 NIV ) : An all consuming fire for Dominion. "They are My Special Forces Unit. They are called by My Name. They are called Kingdom Warriors. They are those I have been grooming since birth. They will be sent out against satan's hoard." (more inside)
Seal kills scientist A British scientist has been killed by a leopard seal whilst snorkelling in Antarctica. I had no idea that a seal could (or would) attack a human. These things can grow to 23ft long! They are known to feed on penguins, but a human is a fair bit bigger than a penguin, so this is one nasty animal, not the doe-eyed creature we coo over in nature programmes...