In 2003, the BBC reported that a population explosion of Great Gerbils
had destroyed more than 4 million hectares of grasslands in China's north-western Xinjiang region
-- an area about the size of Switzerland. By 2005 the damage covered 5
million hectares, and the Xinjuang Regional Headquarters for Controlling Locusts and Rodents were reported to be breeding and attracting pairs of golden eagles to curb the gerbil population. So McSweeney's Joshuah Bearman was assigned to the story. His report: An Investigation Into Xinjiang's Growing Swarm of Great Gerbils, Which May or May Not be Locked in a Death-Struggle With the Golden Eagle, With Important Parallels and/or Implications Regarding Koala Bears, The Pied Piper, Spongmonkeys, Cane Toads, Black Death, [and] Text-Messaging.
posted by zarq
on Sep 18, 2012 -
In placing before my readers in the following pages the results of my twenty-five years’ experience of Rat-catching, Ferreting, etc., I may say that I have always done my best to accomplish every task that I have undertaken, and I have in consequence received excellent testimonials from many corporations, railway companies, and merchants. I have not only made it my study to discover the different and the best methods of catching Rats, but I have also taken great interest in watching their ways and habits, and I come to the conclusion that there is no sure way of completely exterminating the Rodents, especially in large towns. If I have in this work referred more particularly to Rat-catching in Manchester that is only because my experience, although extending over a much wider area, has been chiefly in that city, but the methods I describe are equally applicable to all large towns.
posted by timshel
on Feb 8, 2012 -
"The 9:30 Club became the place in Washington where the misfits could go and nobody would judge them. The scene became bigger as MTV opened the doors to this kind of music. But the 9:30 Club was on the ground floor."
Today's Washington Post magazine features an oral history of the 9:30 Club
, in celebration of its 30th anniversary. (Alternate link to just the text of the article
posted by Ike_Arumba
on Apr 18, 2010 -
Unexploded landmines still remain a huge problem the world over. What is more, landmine clearance is an expensive business. One man has found a potential solution, however. All hail the HeroRAT
posted by pashdown
on Dec 13, 2009 -
Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center have been testing the possibility that a blue food dye found in Gatorade and blue M&Ms could assist in healing spinal cord injuries, and oh who cares OMG blue rats
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Jul 29, 2009 -
Totally rad Frontline video
about Hero Rats
who sniff out unexploded land mines in rural Tanzania. Not only a great idea, but this story had me on the edge of my seat: are the rats on a suicide mission or not?
posted by dydecker
on Jun 29, 2007 -
Ratablog If the rats could type (or more accurately, if they could type actual words and refrain from peeing on the keyboard) they would tell their own stories. They can't, so we will.
posted by srboisvert
on Jun 3, 2005 -
that survive to the age of four are the wisest and the most cynical beasts
on earth. A trap
means nothing to them, no matter how skillfully set. They just kick it around until it snaps; then they eat the bait. And they can detect poisoned bait a yard off. I believe some of them can read." Also, they're athletes
posted by Shanachie
on Apr 1, 2005 -
are being trained to detect buried land mines in Africa. Giant African pouched rats
! Mine-detecting is definitely not a suicide mission, the rats are trained
with care and attention and are expected to give about eight years of service. They can also detect tuberculosis
. And so cute
! Here's a page on keeping them as pets
(but you'd need a spare room and a nocturnal lifestyle.)
posted by aeschenkarnos
on Dec 3, 2004 -
Mutant Rats are Here!
Farms in Kyrgyzstan are being overrun with rats that do not respond to the usual poison and target people. It was created in a (mad scientist's?) lab. Apocalypse Now?
posted by billsaysthis
on Sep 22, 2003 -
Excellent, now i can take over the WORLD!!
Please add, Predator like optics and Universal Soilder healing abilities - I expect to see them on thinkGeek
by the end of the month, thank you.
Although a little cruel, scientist have managed to put implants in rats brains, effectivley given them god like controls of the little vermin.
posted by monkeyJuice
on May 2, 2002 -
Introducing ... Ratbot!
Leave it to the good folks at SUNY to come up with a remote-controlled rat. Best of all: "If the rat correctly followed the cue and turned left, its reward-centre was stimulated, filling the rat with a feeling of well-being."
posted by risenc
on May 1, 2002 -
Rodents will swim for fresh tuna?
"Wrecked Taiwanese tuna vessel. Still had tons of tuna on board. Thousands of rats had taken over ship with relatively unlimited food supply." The boat is in open water. Maybe the rats sent out a reconnaisance team first? Do they really swim that well or could it be the tide goes down and they run for it? If they do swim that well, how did they get on to the boat?
posted by mmarcos
on Sep 25, 2001 -