Tuesday, November 11

The Debunker: Are Bats Blind?

by Ken Jennings

In November, we set our clocks an hour forward and officially say good-bye to an hour of daylight every evening. From now until spring, we're going to be spending most of our non-working hours in the dark: commuting home from the office when it's dark, making dinner when it's dark, meeting friends when it's dark, getting the kids to and from a million stupid activities in the dark. Ken Jennings, of Jeopardy! fame, is going to brighten this gloomy month with the light of knowledge, debunking some long-held myths about other nocturnal urban wanderers: the birds and critters you might see on a streetlit November night.

The Debunker: Are Bats Blind?

Bats are creepy flying nightmare-rats, but nature has taken pity on them in their grotesquery, and gifted them with one of the animal kingdom's all-time great superpowers: echolocation. Many bats emit ultrasonic chirps whose echoes they can use to navigate, communicate with other bats, and find prey. In other words, they can hunt at night without using eyesight. But bat-sonar wasn't proven until 1940, when Harvard zoologist Donald Griffin published his landmark paper on the phenomenon. The common expression "blind as a bat," however, dates back to the late 16th century. What gives?

read more…

 

Monday, November 10

Music Monday: We Honor Jacob Cats

by Scott Lydon


Happy Music Monday! Today we honor the birthday of Jacob Cats, a Dutch poet. You all love Dutch poets, don’t you? Sure you do! And that’s why you’ll be joining Scott in this cat-themed tribute today. Or else.

Squeeze - Cool For Cats

 

Jacob Cats studied law, and was almost married, but caught a form of malaria just before he took his vows. He moved to England to consult the doctors there, but to no avail. He was finally cured by a traveling doctor who may have been a fraud!

Today’s your day to salute the great Jacob Cats. See you after the jump!

read more…

 

Friday, November 07

 

Wednesday, November 05

 

Tuesday, November 04

The Debunker: Do Raccoons Wash Their Food?

by Ken Jennings

In November, we set our clocks an hour forward and officially say good-bye to an hour of daylight every evening. From now until spring, we're going to be spending most of our non-working hours in the dark: commuting home from the office when it's dark, making dinner when it's dark, meeting friends when it's dark, getting the kids to and from a million stupid activities in the dark. Ken Jennings, of Jeopardy! fame, is going to brighten this gloomy month with the light of knowledge, debunking some long-held myths about other nocturnal urban wanderers: the birds and critters you might see on a streetlit November night.

The Debunker: Do Raccoons Wash Their Food?

Raccoons are so associated with food-washing that their species name, Procyon lotor, literally means "the washing pre-dog." The French call the little guy le raton laveur--"the rat who washes." The popular myth is that of an animal who won't take a bite without thoroughly dunking its meal--which, if you ask me, is pretty snooty for an animal that gets a lot of its meals from garbage cans.

read more…

 

Monday, November 03

The GIF That Keeps on GIFFING: Official Rules

by Sam Kemmis

Woot.com the GIF that Keeps on GIFFING Contest 

OFFICIAL RULES

Please read these rules before entering the Woot.com the GIF that Keeps on GIFFING Contest (“Contest”). By submitting an entry, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor and the judges, and that you satisfy all eligibility requirements.

read more…