New York city is home to tens of thousands of stray cats and there are around 500 registered feral cat colonies in NYC. The latest real estate boom is also pushing out your local stray cat. Vacant lots, old factories, former warehouses and even shuttered hospitals are being redeveloped, forcing colonies of strays to find new habitats. While the cats help keep the vermin population in check, they can also carry disease, kill backyard wildlife “Outdoor cats obliterate wildlife,” said Robert Johns of the American Bird Conservancy, “and yet they get special treatment. We don’t allow colonies of feral dogs to roam around.” [more inside]
Genie (born 1957) is the pseudonym of a feral child who was the victim of extraordinarily severe abuse, neglect and social isolation. Her circumstances are recorded prominently in the annals of abnormal child psychology. Born in Arcadia, California, United States, Genie's father kept her locked alone in a room from the age of 20 months to 13 years, 7 months, almost always strapped to a child's toilet or bound in a crib with her arms and legs completely immobilized."Secret of the Wild Child" - A 1997 NOVA episode.
They love firearms, hunting … and Jesus. In outback NSW (Australia), Jack Marx joins Steve “I Like Guns” Lee and crew for 24 hours in pursuit of feral pigs.
"We finally flew our first thermal camera flight yesterday afternoon. About 10 seconds after launch my co pilot looked at the screen and said something like, 'We now have our very own predator drone'" A rice farmer in Louisiana had a real problem, feral pigs were coming out of the woods at night, into the rice fields, tearing up his crops and causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. The only solution is to bring in hunters to shoot the pigs. Hunting feral pigs in waist high rice plants, in the dead of night, is very difficult. You have to be within 10 feet of them to shoot them and it can take hours to stalk them down. So the farmer calls his brother, an Electronic Warfare engineer who flies RC airplanes as a hobby. $5000 worth of electronics, including a $4500 infrared camera, are installed on a $80 model airplane, and the Dehogaflier is born!
Three years later, 'The Girl in the Window' learns to connect. An update on the progress of Danielle Lierow, a so-called "feral child" who was the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning special report in the St. Petersburg Times. Unlike another famously neglected young girl, Dani has not been the subject of intense scientific scrutiny, and appears to be living a normal family life as a well-loved special needs child--albeit one in a family in a rural area where resources, and access to services via Medicaid, are sometimes limited. [more inside]
Cats are apparently the culprits behind several avian extinctions worldwide. So, are cats bad for the environment?
Why Cecco Beppe Does Not Die (Scratch 'n' Sniff Edition), a reenactment of the lost 1916 Futurist film Vita Futurista by the neutered cat responsible for the sleeper hit Valentine for Perfect Strangers (DLYT)
The 12th-century English chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall relates a strange story: two lost and distressed children appeared in a local village, speaking a language no-one could understand, and, most strikingly, with strangely green-coloured skin. [more inside]
Kate Rich has run the Feral Trade grocery business trading goods along social networks since 2003. Feral Trade forges new, 'wild' trade routes between art, business and social interaction. Goods hitchhike on other sources of movement, harnessing the surplus freight potential of social and cultural travel to haul grocery items intercity, often using other artists and curators as mules. An online courier database provides a live, public view of all movements in the network.
Located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, tiny Sable Island has a population of about 15 humans, assorted marine birds and seals, and more than 300 wild horses. The island is a bastion of purity, wildness and beauty unmatched in the world. [more inside]
The UK media is like a "Feral Beast", and is undermining Britain, says Tony Blair. Simon Kelner, editor of The Independent, responds. Some reasons why Blair might not be too keen on the press.
Romulus and Remus are the most famous, and Rochom P'ngieng is the most recent addition to the roster of children believed to be raised by animals (via, and previously).
Feral Robotic Dogs OUT THERE, in happy family homes, in the offices of corporate executives, in toy stores through out the globe, is an army of robotic dogs. These semi-autonomous robotic creatures, though currently programmed to perform inane or entertaining tasks: begging for plastic bones; barking to the tune of national anthems; walking in circles; are actually fully motile and AWAITING FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS.
Feral Children? Some of this has to be fiction... but even so, it still makes for interesting reading. Some links to media from the BBC and other sources.
We are because of others. We are born into this world with minds as naked as our bodies and we have to rely on others to feed, clothe us, and to teach us to think of ourselves as selves. The key is language -- grammatical speech and human culture build upon the brain's biological capacities to create a mind that is something different again than that with which we are born. We are conscious because we can speak to others and ourselves, because we can speak of ourselves to others and ourselves. Language gives us as individuals, memory, and as groups, culture, the social memory. Or so thought Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky, among others. Welcome to the the neuronaut's guide to the science of consciousness.
Feral children have fascinated linguists, psychologists, anthropologists, and filmmakers for over a century. Read about the Wild Boy of Aveyron, Kamala and Amala (raised by wolves), and Genie (chained and locked in a closet until she was 13) and you'll discover how fragile humanity can be when "nature" overruns "nurture."
"Dog Child" Rescued An 11-year-old Chilean boy who has been living in the wild with a pack of dogs was rescued and taken to a hospital. He survived by drinking the milk of a female dog and eating scraps of food. (Even more amazing is the tale of the boy who was raised by monkeys and rescued in 1991...)