This just in: Australia’s been taken over by enormous cats. Well, sort of: The country’s Northern Territory is apparently overrun with feral cats that weigh up to 45 lbs; to smaller creatures, they’re basically killing machines, Vice reports, alongside a pretty stunning image. It’s posing a threat to the area’s biodiversity. “Even a small cat will eat several birds, reptiles, or mammals in a 24-hour period,” says a land official. “So you do the math on that, one cat might be eating 2,000 animals a year.” Read more at Newser…
It’s OK to be jealous of a plant. The Psychotria Elata, also known as Hooker Lips or the Hot Lips Plant, has a better pout than you. These plants with the perfect lips can be found driving hummingbirds and butterflies wild in the rain forests of Central and South America. With some luck, MAC will start making a Hooker Lips red lipstick so us humans can get this look. [Oddity Central]
Cornell University might have just earned itself a prominent place in my higher education fantasies, thanks to some lush new lawns they installed … in the library. Two different libraries, to be exact, plus three other locations around campus, were equipped with real patches of grass to help students get a taste of nature and relieve stress while they studied for finals. The project was dreamed up by recent graduate Gilad Meron, who based the idea on Attention Restoration Theory, “which says that direct exposure to nature, viewing nature through windows, and even viewing images of nature are restorative.” Bringing nature inside seemed like an obvious next step, and as an added bonus, it allows students to sit in the grass and read without getting beaned in the head by a dudebrah’s frisbee. Bliss! [Neatorama]
On my recent trip to Hawaii, I spent pretty much every night watching the sun set over the bright blue ocean and just, you know, thinking about life. There are certain places in the world–Maui, for example–that invite you to slow down, take a breath, and consider this amazing world we live in and our place in it. Inspired by that pristine ocean view, I decided to hunt down a few more perfect places for pondering. From waterfalls to banyan trees to a stunning starry sky, click through to check them out…
I rolled out of bed to pee. I shuffled past the roaring wood stove, into my snow boots and towards our one and only bathroom—the outdoors. After leaving New York City, my fiancé and I moved to Montana and built a traditional yurt from scratch. It was a bitch of a task, but the outcome was a nomadic home surrounded by five mountain ranges. And this was our inaugural night of official yurt slumber. Yanking the door open, I stepped into what felt like a meat locker: pitch dark, minus 20 degrees, tree shadows, the hush of night. Bare-assed, bare everywhere, I squatted in the snow.
Letting my eyes adjust, I dripped dry. Wind blew itself in from somewhere—first small wisps, then full-blown gusts. It whipped around me, moving between my legs and up my back, alerting every pore, shivering my elbows and loosing my hair to a wild mess. As the wind continued, my whole self began to vibrate. Whoa. I clutched myself, trying to not fall backwards.
I felt aroused. Keep reading »
Yeah, yeah, nature is beautiful, and all that … but have you really seen it up close? The Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition, according to their website, “honors the world’s most extraordinary microscope images of life science subjects,” and extraordinary they are. This year’s winner, Charles Krebs, photographed the feeding of Rotifer Floscularia ringens, with its cilia carrying water containing food. You can check out the runners up and other honorable mentions, as well as galleries from years past, at the Olympus BioScapes website.
We love it when smarty-pants people, like MIT grads Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, use their brilliance for things like curing disease and/or making jewelry. This “Full Moon” necklace from their “Nervous System” line is a “one of a kind composition born from the intersection of rapid prototyping and pattern generating algorithms.” Yeah, we don’t get it either, but isn’t it pretty? [$70, N-E-R-V-O-U-S.com via The-Coveted.com] Keep reading »