animals

And Night, the fantastical, comes now

324.jpg

Horses are the only species other than man transported around the world for competition purposes.

In humans, transport across several time zones can result in adverse symptoms commonly referred to as jetlag.

Can changes in the light/dark cycle, equivalent to those caused by transport across several time zones, affect daily biological rhythms, and performance in equine athletes?

[…]

We found that horses do feel a change in the light/dark cycle very acutely, but they also recover very quickly, and this resulted in an improvement in their performance rather than a decrease in their performance, which was exactly the opposite of what we thought was going to happen.

{ HBLB | PDF }

Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.

2334.jpg

Australia has begun exporting camels to Saudi Arabia.

More than 100 animals are being shipped from the Australian port city of Darwin and are due to arrive in Saudi Arabia in early July [2002].

The vast majority are destined for restaurant tables in a major camel-consuming nation.

{ BBC | Continue reading }

photo { Janet Biggs, Point of No Return, 2013 }

This is what Zarathustra had told his heart when the sun stood high at noon

245.jpg

{ Carefree baby seal suns itself on Queens beach }

We are not part of the animal kingdom

33.jpg

Experiments on mice are widely used to help determine which new cancer therapies stand a good chance of working in human patients. Such studies are not perfect and, all too often, what works in a rodent produces little or no benefit in people. This has led researchers to explore the ways in which mice and men are dissimilar, in order to pick apart why the responses are different. A new study now proposes that the temperature in which lab mice are kept is one thing that does matter.

{ The Economist | Continue reading }

Give us that brisket off the hook. Plup.

31.jpg

The most disturbing thing that ever happened at the Ueno Zoo was the systematic slaughter of the garden’s most famous and valuable animals in the summer of 1943. At the height of the Second World War, as the Japanese empire teetered on the brink of collapse, the zoo was transformed from a wonderland of imperial amusement and exotic curiosity into a carefully ritualized abattoir, a public altar for the sanctification of creatures sacrificed in the service of total war and of ultimate surrender to emperor and nation. The cult of military martyrdom is often recognized as a central component of Japanese fascist culture, but events at the zoo add a chilling new dimension to that analysis. They show that the pursuit of total mobilization extended into areas previously unexamined, suggesting how the culture of total war became a culture of total sacrifice after 1943. […] The killings were carried out in secret until nearly one-third of the garden’s cages stood empty, their former inhabitants’ carcasses hauled out of the zoo’s service entrance in covered wheelbarrows during the dark hours before dawn.

{ University of California Press | PDF }

This unprecedented ceremony known as the “Memorial Service for Martyred Animals” was held on the zoo’s grounds where nearly a third of the cages stood empty. Lions from Abyssinia, tigers representative of Japan’s troops, bears from Manchuria, Malaya and Korea, an American bison, and many others had been clubbed, speared, poisoned and hacked to death in secret. Although the zoo’s director had found a way to save some of the condemned creatures by moving them to zoos outside Tokyo, Mayor Ōdaichi Shigeo insisted on their slaughter. Ōdaichi himself, along with Imperial Prince Takatsukasa Nobusuke and the chief abbot of Asakusa’s Sensōji Temple, presided over the carefully choreographed and highly publicized “Memorial Service”, thanking the animals for sacrificing themselves for Japan’s war effort.

{ The Times Literary Supplement | Continue reading }

art { Ito Shinsui, After the bath, 1917 }

High dive into frozen waves where the past comes back to life

345.jpg

Of all the modern artist-curator-collectors, one stands out for the eccentricity and extremity of his habit. Viktor Wynd is the grandson of the novelist Patrick O’Brian (who himself wrote a biography of perhaps the greatest collector of the 18th century, Sir Joseph Banks). His Little Shop of Horrorsin Hackney, London, presents an up-to-date collection of curiosities. Visitors are greeted by more taxidermied beasts, from crows to hyenas; the faint-hearted are advised not to proceed downstairs, into Wynd’s dim and dungeon-like cellar, which contains two-headed babies and antique pornography. (There’s a long tradition of such shock exhibits – guests arriving at the home of the celebrated 18th-century anatomist and collectorJohn Hunter were greeted by the preserved erect penis of a hanged man in his hallway.)

{ Guardian | Continue reading }

Knutzen dissuaded Kant from the theory of pre-established harmony, which he regarded as “the pillow for the lazy mind”

319.jpg

This article examines the reasons for the Chihuahua breed’s popularity in contemporary western society by looking at two sets of data: Chihuahua handbooks and The Simple Life show, starring Paris Hilton and her Chihuahua Tinkerbell. The article argues that the Chihuahua is a holy anomaly. […]

The Chihuahua – or the bonsai wolf – transcends two binary oppositions fundamental to contemporary westerners: subject/object and nature/culture.

{ SAGE }

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof

45.jpg

Taylor argues that this view of the self forces on us the obligation to “live up to our originality.” Artists become high priests of this new religion, paradoxically modeling modes of individual inimitability.

But nothing has done more to substantiate this aspiration than consumerism. It has aspired to manifest the fathomless depths within as an endless plentitude of goods to acquire to express the self and limit it at the same time.

{ Rob Horning | Continue reading }

installation view { Cai Guo-Qiang, Heritage, 2013 | GOMA, Brisbane, Australia | + photos }

Karma karma karma karma chameleon, you come and go, you come and go

35.jpg

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, honey bees pollinate 80% of our flowering crops, and are thus essential for the production of 1/3 of our food. […] But for more than 2 million Americans, bees are a dangerous threat. Somewhere between 1% and 7% of human beings are allergic to insect venoms, with their symptoms ranging from mild overreactions to full-blown anaphylactic shock. For those with bee allergies, even the slightest sting can lead to a fight for life. Even more troubling is that, in half of all fatal sting allergy cases, victims had no previous major reactions to venom. Nearly 100 Americans die every year from bee stings. […]

Allergies are defined as ‘hypersensitive immune responses’—or, in colloquial terms, odd moments when our immune systems flip out. Anaphylaxis is the whole-body manifestation of an allergy, which can range from something as minor as hives to sharp drops in blood pressure and even cardiac arrest. You don’t have an allergic reaction the first time you come in contact with an allergen; instead, like with viruses or other potential invaders, your body takes an immunological picture so it can remember the allergen later. This is what is known as the adaptive immune response, and it’s usually a good thing—when you get the chicken pox, for example, your adaptive immune system remembers what the disease looks like, and can find and kill it should you ever be re-exposed. But when it comes to allergies, the adaptive immune system goes too far. The next time it detects allergens, it sends out hordes of IgE antibodies to destroy them. These IgE antibodies wreak havoc in our bodies—through cascading immunological pathways, IgE antibodies cause the release of histamine and other inflammatory compounds and can lead to anaphylaxis.

{ Discover | Continue reading }

Normal people are so hostile

31.jpg

Fishing operations have expanded to virtually all corners of the ocean over the past century. […] How badly are we overfishing the oceans? Are fish populations going to keep shrinking each year — or could they recover? Those are surprisingly contentious questions, and there seem to be a couple of schools of thought here.

The pessimistic view […] is that we may be facing “The End of Fish.” One especially dire 2006 study in Science warned that many commercial ocean fish stocks were on pace to “collapse” by mid-century. […]

Other experts have countered that this view is far too alarmist. […] Overfishing isn’t inevitable. We can fix it.

Both sides make valid points — but the gloomy view is hard to dismiss. […] One reason the debate about overfishing is so contentious is that it’s hard to get a precise read on the state of the world’s marine fisheries.

{ Washington Post | Continue reading }

photo { Playboy, Miss December 1971 }

How can we describe the landscape of what is increasingly referred to as post-postmodernism?

324.jpg

As I monitor the important work being done to find extraterrestrial intelligence today, I often consider how we might communicate with ETI if/when we do finally connect. Pioneering work done over the past decades to develop an understanding of dolphin communication may serve as a guide when the time comes. […]

Dolphins produce a wide array of sounds aside from their distinguishing whistles. These range from lower-pitched grunts to the clicks that they employ for echolocation (a highly developed ability that enables them to locate even tiny objects underwater while blindfolded). Many scientists have hypothesized that these diverse sounds actually comprise an extensive form of language that dolphins use to communicate with one another. The general demeanor of these creatures – oftentimes playful, humorous, and responsive – suggests that they could be capable of such a level of comprehension. […]

(some scientists have surmised that dolphin “speech” may consist of as many as 60,000 “words”, or more)

{ Wired Cosmos | Continue reading }

De trailer de trailer alias de plane de plane

36.jpg

When people want to direct the attention of others, they naturally do so by pointing, starting from a very young age. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, on October 10 have shown that elephants spontaneously get the gist of human pointing and can use it as a cue for finding food. That’s all the more impressive given that many great apes fail to understand pointing when it’s done for them by human caretakers, the researchers say.

{ EurekAlert | Continue reading }

images { 1 | 2 }