"A set of towers, spread across the globe, have given goats the opportunity to make good on their evolutionary heritage and farmers a chance to leave an unforgettable impression on visitors. And don't worry—there hasn't been a single report of the goats falling." From Modern Farmer. [Previously]
Urban Farming in Boston (Hens and Honeybees); Growing Rice in New York City; Growing Lettuce Indoors in Japan; Goats Evicted in Detroit.
Not enough kicking of balls around to watch? Here is some more kicking of balls around. Moose playing with ball. Other moose playing with ball. Horse playing with ball. More horses playing with balls. Crow and Dog play with ball. Elephant plays with ball. Squirrel plays with ball. Deer plays with ball. Goat plays with ball. Rhinoceros plays with ball. Tiny parrot plays with ball.
The Running of the Goats (SLYT)
Goats in sweaters (and other clothing). Photographer's website. Previous goats at Modern Farmer [more inside]
We've talked about goats before, but I don't think we've collectively experienced the joy of goats frolicking on a bendy piece of metal.
Goat Simulator is a small, broken and stupid game. It was made in a couple of weeks so don’t expect a game in the size and scope of GTA with goats. In fact, you’re better off not expecting anything at all actually. [WARNING: virtual goats, violence]
Spider webs are incredibly strong and flexible. It’s no surprise, then, that spider silk proteins may someday form durable artificial ligaments for people who have injured their knees or shoulders. Six different kinds of silk are produced by orb-web weaving spiders. These silk fibers have very different mechanical properties that are so effective they have changed very little over millions of years. How to synthetically develop these silks is one focus of Lewis’ research. The secret to producing large quantities of spider silk is to use “factories” designed to manufacture spider silk proteins that are easily scale-able and efficient. Lewis uses transgenic goats, E.coli bacteria, transgenic alfalfa and transgenic silk worms to produce the spider silk proteins used to create spider silk. Spider silk is 100 times stronger than natural ligaments and 10 times stronger than natural tendons; it is stronger than Kevlar and more elastic than nylon.
A 6min brief on the work being done in Laramie, WY whereby spider silk is being spun from goat milk. SPIDERGOATS[more inside]
Presenting Reddit's most adorable, most tentative, cutest hyper-specific subreddit: Boop. Best of Boop.
It is Goat Week over at Modern Farmer! Come for the live GoatCam, stay for the goat taxonomy, rules for raising a goat in the city, and a story about the effort to make goats that produced spider silk (previously).
Somebody make them stop - they're so soft!! Because everyone needs a little (slyt) adorbz in their life.
Goats Yelling Like Humans. Does what it says on the tin. [SLYT]
Q: What's the connection between heroin in Glasgow and a dead goat in Turkey? A: Anthrax.
"To commemorate National Hairball Awareness Day, the museum featured a display of 10 of these hairballs"
Hairballs: Myths and Realities behind some Medical Curiosities (possibly NSFLunch) [more inside]
"It was hot as blazes as we tore through the south side, pulling up at lights all the people laughing at the white kids doing their little dance in the car." John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats performs 'The Sign,' by Ace of Base, interspersed with a story about the song and hand-signal dancing.
In northern Afghanistan, here are goats, horses, men and dusty plains, and they have been there ever since Genghis Khan and his Mongol horde swept into the neighborhood in the 13th century. Their game, then, is simple. Men on horseback grab a goat from a chalk circle, carry it around a pole and drop it into another circle. No downs or innings. Sometimes there are teams, and sometimes there aren't. Sometimes the field is 200 meters by 200 meters, and sometimes it isn't. And the goat might be a calf, but it's always dead, with its head and hooves cut off. Grab the goat, bring it around the pole and put it in the circle. That's buzkashi.
The Legend of The Goatriders (Bokkenrijders): In the Limburg region at the end of the 18th century, between 300 and 600 individuals were tortured, tried and executed, accused of being members of a notorious and heretical band of robbers (who rode across the night sky on the backs of goats). But were they devil-worshipping hoodlums or the product of the economic and class pressures of their time? Regardless they have made their way into legend on TV and the printed page. (PDF link, from the European Ghost Literary Project) [more inside]
June is Goat Trauma Awareness Month.
Charlie and Spike are two kittens with Myotonia Congenita, also known as fainting goat syndrome. [more inside]
Defendant has willfully continued to offer food services from buildings with goats on the roof. [more inside]
The Glorious Hairy Tentacle of Judgment, the Lorentz-Fitzgerald Contraction and the Absence of Smerlox Braff
"Scenes from a Multiverse"* is a brand new webcomic from Jon Rosenberg, the Lonely Goatherd, developed when he recently realized that when his absurd magnum-opus reaches its pre-destined conclusion (on the Mayan-designated Dec. 21, 2012), the impressive bound volumes of the story were not going to pay for his kid's college education. So here are daily visits to random levels of existence (if you assume all those levels of existence contain strange beings a lot like people you find annoying) without the bothersome story arc. PLUS the opportunity to vote for the alternate universe you'd like to revisit! (bonus previ-eewww content) [more inside]
Every Christmas since 1966, the Swedish town of Gävle has built an enormous traditional Yule goat of straw. And almost every Christmas, someone tries to set fire to him. [more inside]
In 1972, the book Mind Games - The Guide to Inner Space, inspired* a song by John Lennon. This was during the heyday of the human potential movement, which offered the heretical and possibly dangerous idea that people can achieve heretofore unimagined potentials. Inevitably this movement led to military applications and even a movie about men staring at goats.
Towns everywhere are looking for ways to cut costs during the current economic downturn. Andover, Mass has come up with one interesting solution, goats. Andover is not the only place goats are being used in the place of weed wackers and lawn mowers. Google is also going with goats, citing the reduction in pollution and the cuteness factor. Possibly they may also attempt to lighten the mood in the office, by mixing in some fainting goats.
In 2000, the Spanish Pyrenean Ibex (a type of mountain goat) went extinct. In early 2009 it was brought back to life, the first time an extinct species has been "successfully" cloned. The newborn bucardo died of respiratory failure minutes after birth, setting a second extinction record.
Beware of Dog. Nepali artists paint signs on metal. Before and After. The story behind Danger Dogs. Click on the names of the different artists at the top of the page for various styles. [more inside]
Thank You Mario But Our Princess Is in Another Castle. John Darnielle (of the Mountain Goats) and Kaki King perform a song, sung from the point of view of Toad from the Super Mario Brothers video game franchise.
How many goats are you worth? You've always wondered. Take the quiz and find out.
Dramatic footage of golden eagles hunting mountain goats. (alerts: rather gruesome; voiceover in Spanish)
Were you psychologically damaged at a petting zoo?. The Childhood Goat Trauma Foundation was created in 1982 by a small group that originally came together as an informal support group for problems that were the result of traumatic experiences at petting zoos as children. This group realized that there were many others out there who were afraid to come forward with their horrific stories and wanted to find some way to help as many people as they could. The Childhood Goat Trauma Foundation is the result of their dream.
The Last Days of the Ark: "We found that in 90 to 95 percent of turkeys produced worldwide, the genetic stock comes from one of three breeding stocks" but there are heritage breeds being preserved throughout the world. American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Heritage Breeds Conservancy. Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Rare Breeds Canada. Rare Breeds Australia, with by far the best Breed Profile pages. New Zealand Rare Breeds. Desert Heritage Breeds. Rare Steeds. "Eating these breeds may be the best way to save them", so, for shopping. [more inside]
The Childhood Goat Truama Foundation. All your childhood carpinae-based nightmares are belong to them. (just a brief reprieve from election coverage - via the ultimate insult)
They're farther along than I thought... You may have heard about Nexia Biotechnology, who have put spider genes into goats to get milk with spider silk protein in it. I thought it was still in the research phase, but Nexia have apparently gone to market with the stuff. They've signed agreements with several manufacturers to produce spider silk protein-based products such as lightweight ballistic armor (like Kevlar, only lighter and non-toxic to produce) for the armed forces and super-strong sutures and prosthetic ligaments for medical supply companies.
Dale Earnhardt Appears In Goat's Birthmark... sort of.
Got Silk. ''Oh, it's not that weird,'' Nexia's president and C.E.O., Jeffrey D. Turner, says as we walk around the pens, being nibbled constantly by aroused goats. ''What we're doing here is ingeniously simple,'' he says. ''We take a single gene from a golden orb-weaving spider and put it into a goat egg. The idea is to make the goat secrete spider silk into its milk.''
Valentine's Day may be a remant of the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, in which "young men who were naked except for the skins of goats that had been sacrificed this day, ran from the Lupercal around the bounds of the Palatine . . . striking the women they met with strips of goat skin, to promote fertility."
This factoid resists my every attempt to add further comment.
This factoid resists my every attempt to add further comment.