Bowerbirds, a family of 20 species in eight genera
, are a fascinating bunch of birds who range from New Guinea and Australia. Some are flashy, others drab
, but all are named for the "bowers" (avenues, huts, or towers of sticks
) that the males craft and decorate
to attract a mate. There are regional styles
(PDF) in the design of the bowers, and the male Greater Bowerbirds even employ optical illusions
. Some, like the Vogelkop Bowerbird
, add mimicry vocal to their repertoire of courting methods. Add accidental cultivation to the list of fascinating features of the bowerbirds
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Apr 26, 2012 -
On the 6th of December
2011, as has been traditional for the past 9 decades since Finland's Independence, the President, Tarja Halonen and her spouse, Dr Pentti Arajarvi host what is known
as the Linnan juhlat
or Castle Ball, an extremely popular televised reception for the notables of the nation
. Along with the usual dignitaries, the President is also permitted to select invitees based on merit - entertainers, athletes, individuals - whom she feels have been in the news in the past year.
This year Peter and Teija Vesterbacka also were invited due to Peter Vesterbacka's work as the CMO of Rovio. Teija Vesterbacka wore a red dress for the evening that had design concepts from one of the birds in the mobile game Angry Birds.
Highlighted in the Finnish news
by the very select group of photographers permitted entry to this exclusive event, it was when the photograph of this dress went viral among global MSM that the angry birds began to fly
posted by infini
on Dec 8, 2011 -
Ghost of Gone Birds.
Over 100 artists were invited to choose an extinct bird and produce a piece of art inspired by that particular bird and celebrating its glory days. Birds celebrated in the show include the Dodo, the Matinique Amazon Parrot, the Black Mamo and the Great Auk.
posted by sweetkid
on Nov 4, 2011 -
How to hatch a dinosaur:
'So making a chicken egg hatch a baby dinosaur should really just be an issue of erasing what evolution has done to make a chicken. Every cell of a turkey carries the blueprints for making a tyrannosaurus, but the way the plans get read changes over time as the species evolves.' [via
posted by dhruva
on Oct 7, 2011 -
Who invented the cloacascope? Who could pinpoint minute structural characteristics of charred bird feathers and identify the bird species or family based on the feathers? Who was the oldest of 15 children and worked for more than 50 years at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History? Roxie (large image)
. Roxie C. Laybourne
, feather detective
of forensic ornithology
. [more inside]
posted by cashman
on Mar 14, 2011 -
Since the very beginning, PRI's This American Life has (every few years) commemorated Thanksgiving in the US with episodes about the exotic mysteries of turkeys, chicken and other fowl. They call it Poultry Slam
and episodes from 1995
are all available for your turkey day and I-refuse-to-even-look-at-a-Walmart day enjoyment.
posted by l33tpolicywonk
on Nov 24, 2010 -
Things stuffed inside other things: You've heard of turducken
, but what if that isn't enough for you? The largest stuffed dish in terms of sheer bulk may be this recipe
for stuffed camel, a dish so decadently large that Snopes had to verify its existence
. But if the stuffed camel isn't enough layers for you, the most nested dish of all time may be the Roti Sans Pareil
("Roast without Equal"), a 19th century French dish requiring 17 birds that are now mostly endangered. Thanks to Google Books, we can now peruse some 19th century recipes of the dish (1
) or, if you prefer, you can read the original French
posted by jonp72
on Nov 26, 2009 -
Photographs of flocking birds by Richard Barnes.Boids.
A program by Craig Reynolds modeling emergent behavior. Swarm.
A platform and wiki for agent-based modelers.
posted by OmieWise
on Sep 17, 2009 -