Thursday, November 26, 2009


Aquaria 11/23/09 Valencia, Spain, boasts not the largest tank, but the largest aquarium in Europe, the Oceanografic.

Stone/house 11/19/09 Reader Angelica Compton brought my attention to this article about an enormous boulder in a house in Margaretville, New York.

Follow-ups 11/16/09 The photograph in this post shows a Chinese man who has had half his body amputated. The operation is called a hemicorporectomy and here is more about why and how often it is performed.

Alligator urban legends 11/14/09 Here is a dead alligator photographed last week near Manaquiri, Brazil. And here is a crocodile photographed in Tanzania on top of the backs of some hippos who then attacked and killed it. Two men in Bangladesh were sentenced in absentia to 2 years in jail for beating and blinding a sacred crocodile at a shrine. You may still vote for your favorite entry in the Viewer's Choice Competition of National Geographic's International Photography Contest 2009, including #23, a striking close-up of an occupant of Kwena Crocodile Farm in South Africa. Lastly, fossils uncovered in the Sahara Desert reveal "a world full of crocodiles."

Placentas and more 11/12/09 A female photographer with phocomelia gave birth to an average-sized son, now 4 years old.

Forensic pathologists
11/8/09 In this post I featured some famous forensic pathologists. I was recently asked to write an editorial for Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology and discussed - in an article called "No 'Glass Ceiling'" - the increasing presence of women in the field.

Odd animals 11/4/09 Like Gemina at the Santa Barbara Zoo, a young giraffe named Amali has arrived at the Tulsa Zoo with a crooked neck.

One man band 10/24/09 It dawned on me to look up the history of another street musician - the organ grinder - and find out why they are always depicted with monkeys. They operated organs of various sizes on the street and were often looked down on: banned, accused of petty theft, and considered tone deaf. The monkeys were used to attract attention, performing tricks and collecting coins from patrons. The photo above shows an Afghan boy (obviously not an organ grinder!) with his pet monkey.

Winks and blinks 10/21/09 You have probably heard about Rom Houben, the Belgian man who was unable to communicate for 23 years until doctors recently discovered that he was not in a persistent vegetative state. Because he now types very quickly on a touch-screen keyboard with a finger cradled by a therapist, there are those who doubt the story.

Burqa 10/20/09 Barbie in a burqa is going on sale at a charity auction. While we're on the subject of things Muslim, here are 2 incredible photographs: Afghan children reading the Koran and pilgrims in Mecca before the start of this year's haj.

Dinosaur eggs 10/4/09 A rich accumulation of dinosaur bones has been found at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument site in Utah.

Gossamer 9/27/09 A deadly Australian spider has invaded Japan, possibly in woodchips aboard a container ship.

Pig butchering 9/1/09 Two rats, 2 pigeons, a rooster, a rat, and some 20,000 buffalo have been slaughtered in Nepal in the world's biggest animal sacrifice.

Squid 7/17/09 The strange mating secrets of the squid are revealed in 2 articles, one from 2005 and the other from 2008. Here is an award-winning photo of a squid embryo.

Green eggs and ham 5/11/09 Two firetrucks carrying 15 firefighters responded to the smell of gas in Axedale, Australia, only to find it was due to the flatulence of a 120kg pig. In Ridgetown, Ontario, Canada, a small pig left in the washroom of a Tim Horton's donut shop has been reunited with its owner - a student at the local agriculture school. And here is an article about the intelligence of the pig.

Coal mining and caving 5/4/09 Like Floyd Collins, John Jones has died while exploring a cave despite aggressive attempts at rescue. Here's a piercing photo of some Ukrainian miners.

Dolly the sheep 5/2/09 The world's oldest sheep, 23-year-old Lucky, has died in Lake Bolac, Australia.

Chihuahuas in the weird news 5/2/09 A chihuahua name Shyla in Christchurch, New Zealand, has become a surrogate mother to 7 abandoned kittens.

Mastectomy tattoos 4/27/09 There is research afoot in Australia to enable women to regrow their breasts after mastectomy.

Raiding ancient Egypt 4/20/09 Twenty of the mummies in the Egyptian National Museum of Antiquities in Cairo have undergone CT-scanning that revealed signs of atherosclerosis.

Giants 4/17/09 A female American model over 6' 8" tall is being featured in an Australian men's magazine next to an average-sized model.

Octopus fossils 3/19/09 Here is a lovely photomicrograph of fossilized red sponge coral.

Kangaroo home invasion 3/15/09 A man in Melbourne, Australia, was attacked and the dog he was walking nearly drowned by a kangaroo they startled in the park. Meanwhile, a remote community in Australia's Northern Territory are being terrorized by 6,000 wild camels.

Octopi at it again! 3/8/09 My Dad and I learned on a documentary the other night that octopi live in every ocean, so I became curious what an Arctic octupus (scroll to the end of the link) and an Antarctic octopus look like. The rare "dumbo" octopus recently turned up in the Census of Marine Life.

Chilblains 2/27/09 The Guiness Book of World Records has recognized a 76-year-old Nepalese man as the oldest person to summit Mount Everest.

Double-muscled dog 1/30/09 This dalmation has no excuse for its size except its owner, who has been banned from owning dogs for 10 years.

Disturbing decapitations 1/23/09 Like the people on the Canadian bus, the riders of New York's D train were trapped on board with a homicidal maniac armed with a knife.

Ancient animals 2/19/09 A first edition of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species is being auctioned after it was found in the guest washroom of a private home in Oxford, England. The gender of a tortoise estimated to be 75-100 years old has been mistaken for 50 years.

More mammoths 1/6/09 Researchers have found a fungus in mammoth poop that is explaining why they died out.

Auroras 12/23/08 To complement this image of the world with an aurora, here is a film of the planet showing the movement of the clouds.

Election Day! 11/4/08 In re: people-watching in the past - here is a mesmerizing film taken in San Francisco in 1905 to compare to 1901 footage from Washington, D.C., linked in this post.

Elephants 10/30/08 There is a link in this post to photos of animal embryos. Here is a photo of a 14-day-old transgenic mouse.

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