Vampirism — piercing or cutting animal skin to suck or lap up blood — is known throughout the animal kingdom. Mosquitoes come to mind, plus ticks, mites, vampire bats, and the vampire finch of the Galapagos Islands. But … vampire moths? Wait, let's take a step back, did you say the vampire finch of the Galapagos Islands? Yes. They're a subspecies of the sharp-beaked ground finch that outnumber every other finch species on all of the islands combined. While they don't seem to bother the adult Boobies whose blood they drink, they may be fatal to chicks* and even crack open eggs. Right, what of those vampire moths? [more inside]
In the journal Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation, the proposition paper 'Publisher, be damned! from price gouging to the open road' (replicated) criticises the large profits made by commercial publishers on the back of academics’ labours, and the failure of the Finch report on open access to address them. After a lengthy delay, the paper was eventually published, but only with a large disclaimer from the publishers (Taylor and Francis) and after a stand-off with the editorial board. [more inside]
Vinkensport (finch sport), or vinkenzetting (finch sitting) is a Belgian, primarily Flemish, sport involving a box, a bird, and a counting stick. The bird that sings the most times in an hour wins. Here is a short and somewhat doubtful documentary.
Moths, spiders, mushrooms, foxes and other Lewis Carroll-ian delights stuffed and mounted for your delight and safety by the self-taught artist Mister Finch
"I called Joe," Stewart remembers, "and asked if he wanted to come to spring training with me. I said, 'The Mets have this pitcher they picked up. They got him pitching in secret, under a big tarp. He has a 168 mile an hour fastball and he plays the French horn and went to Harvard and he was raised in Tibet by Buddhist monks and he pitches with one foot bare and one foot in a boot. And guess what? You're going to be him.'" [more inside]
This is the story of Lylah Clare. Overnight, she became a star. Over many nights, she became a legend. [more inside]