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Compiled by Ryan

The links:

-You’ve probably heard the dead polo horses story by now, but it’s easily the best link of the week, so here’s the NYT version.

Hulu is quietly developing an iPhone app, which is weird because the phones hate Flash, which is the basis for Hulu’s normal website.

-I really enjoyed this Variety piece on why Lost still matters and Heroes doesn’t.  (Hint: have an endgame.)

Do you think the fact that Scott Mednick looks eerily similar to Splinter landed him the producer role on the upcomming "TMNT" movie?

Do you think the fact that Scott Mednick looks eerily similar to Splinter landed him the producer role on the upcomming "TMNT" movie?

-Demetri Martin is all over the place these days, and I’m really excited to see him in the film version of Moneyball, which promises to be a total nerd piece posing as cool.

-There was some back and forth about The Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize??” being named the official state rock song of Oklahoma this week.  I love the Lips, but doesn’t the legislative body of OK have better things to do than determine its state’s official rock song?

-Girl Talk spoke to Billboard about his evolving sound and what it might mean for his next album.

The YouTube highlights:

I generally like Andy Milonakis, but I’m not sure how I feel about his Twitter rap:

Tony Danza being a dick [via Videogum]:

New music spotlight:

Art BrutArt Brut vs. Satan

Art Brut are a bit of an acquired taste, but I generally find them to be pretty enjoyable.  Bang Bang Rock & Roll is one of the better rock albums to come out of the UK this decade, but I wasn’t so hot on It’s A Bit Complicated.  Luckily, I hear more of their debut than their sophomore effort on this new one, plus bonus points for wordplay:

Art Brut – “Alcoholics Unanimous” from Art Brut vs. Satan, out now on Downtown

Tinted WindowsTinted Windows

Do you really need me to tell you who Tinted Windows are?  They’re everywhere now, but for those unaware the band is Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne), Taylor Hanson (Hanson, duh), James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins), and Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick, terrible-trying-to-be-funny nickname club).  It’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect: straight-ahead pop-rock:

Tinted Windows – “Kind of a Girl” from Tinted Windows, out now on S-Curve

Compiled by Ryan

The links:

self-titled scored an interview with The Dead Weather, and it includes bits about upcoming Jack White projects, one of which is some sort of White Stripes film.

Any excuse to post a picture of this man.

Any excuse to post a picture of this man.

-Will Oldham (of Bonnie “Prince” Billy fame) doesn’t do many interviews, so it was nice to read one in A.V. Club this week.  Spoiler: he doesn’t like the way Wes Anderson uses music in his movies.

Mark Wahlberg and James Franco have been added to the upcoming Tina Fey and Steve Carrell comedy Date Night.  Unfortunately, so has Leighton Meester.

-CNN headline: Woody Harrelson claims he mistook photographer for zombie.

-Watching the NFL on television just won’t be the same without John Madden, for better or for worse.  The legendary announcer is retiring.

The YouTube highlights:

I’m a sucker for cool animal videos (save your emails: I’ve already seen all the good ones).  This fox rox:

A couple of New Pornographers stopped by Letterman this week, albeit on different nights.  Here’s A.C. Newman with “Like A Hitman, Like A Dancer” and Neko Case with “This Tornado Loves You”:

New music spotlight:

There was really nothing that came out this week that I found noteworthy, so instead I’ll give you a new song from the upcoming Sunset Rubdown record:

Sunset Rubdown – “Idiot Heart” from Dragonslayer, out June 23 on Jagjaguwar

By Ashlee

Harlan Hubbard was a painter and writer who lived naturally and apart from modern civilization, and lived a full and happy life.

“For Harlan Hubbard”

You, who abuse the earth

Who use what you do not love

You do not work the soil

Or feel the thorns

If ever you were outdoors

A machine is between

The ears and the birds

The nose and the fragrant foliage

The skin and the dust

Degrading yourself, your mind

With labor-savers

The modern world is far too small

In its extravagance they left no room

For the real, good, and natural

You use the world and its goods

Without consideration or love

Reducing creatures and all of creation

To ideas and monetary values

Buying packages

Boxes, cartons of product

Never eating food

You shall waste away

As your bones grow padding

And you skin stretches over

Spilling greed over your jeans

You who consume and take

What big companies put out

On the shelves, endless

Labor, overworked

And underpaid for your

Bargain, what a deal

What a steal

What a shame

 

Companion Poem:  “Modern Nature” by Andrei Voznesensky

Red cows
on the asphalt road have settled.
Lazing on the asphalt pan they lie.
We drive them round
for cows are sacred!
They are loyal to the highway,
we wonder why.

“Old herdsman, we want our question answered:
Why have the cows gone mad?” “God forbid!
The point is that flies do not like asphalt.”
Those modern cows! The are wise indeed!

They got it, the sly ones! Cattle of genius!
Unlike the poor, unfortunate flies.
“The flies know that asphalt
is carcinogenic.”
Those modern flies! They are really wise!

By Ashlee

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of poems by Sylvia Plath, who was the daughter of an expert on bees.  She wrote a few poems on the topic (one of which is included here), and I too have been fascinated by these amazing creatures, which led me to write this poem. 

“For the Bees”bee

I walk into the swarm
Of bees, whirring
Their entire bodies
Give the air electricity

My skin holds tremors
Yellow blinds while
Black bites
Faint and pinching

While the space between
My stomach and my throat
Fills with itching and sudden
White panic

I won’t let it escape
Or I will create a commotion
That will end with wounds
Red and full

So I remain stormless
As the syrupy wax
Lures my taste
Jar in hand

The queen bee feeds me
Fills me with her work
And I bow to her
And live like her
Demanding respect
For my golden honey

Companion Poem:  “The Beekeeper’s Daughter” by Sylvia Plath

A garden of mouthings. Purple, scarlet-speckled, black
The great corollas dilate, peeling back their silks.
Their musk encroaches, circle after circle,
A well of scents almost too dense to breathe in.
Hieratical in your frock coat, maestro of the bees,
You move among the many-breasted hives,

My heart under your foot, sister of a stone.

Trumpet-throats open to the beaks of birds.
The Golden Rain Tree drips its powders down.
In these little boudoirs streaked with orange and red
The anthers nod their heads, potent as kings
To father dynasties. The air is rich.
Here is a queenship no mother can contest —

A fruit that’s death to taste: dark flesh, dark parings.

In burrows narrow as a finger, solitary bees
Keep house among the grasses. Kneeling down
I set my eyes to a hole-mouth and meet an eye
Round, green, disconsolate as a tear.
Father, bridegroom, in this Easter egg
Under the coronal of sugar roses

The queen bee marries the winter of your year.

By Ryan

Much like The Onion, Google News is good for reading the headlines and not much else.  However, every so often something catches my eye, and I’m led down a rabbit hole of crazy.  This happened again last week.  I didn’t even have to finish reading the headline, because when a link begins with “Growing threat from feral swine…,” you click that bitch, no questions asked.

You can read the whole story here, but this is my favorite part:

“Any pig can revert to a wild state in a matter of months, growing long hair and tusks and becoming aggressive. They are known to destroy crops and land and will eat virtually anything”

My first thought was, Wow, those pigs are dicks!  My second thought was, Hey, I remember reading about some badass feral camels awhile back.  My third thought was, I know I’m encroaching on Adam’s territory here, but the internet needs an article about animals with attitude.  It’s in this spirit that I offer you the biggest jerks in the animal kingdom:

Those aforementioned feral camels

Brought to Australia to work the mines (I’m guessing this was before they invented slaves), these camels were out on their asses when someone created mining robots.  With a “Tough luck, ya spittin’ goons!,” the camels were inexplicably released into the wild.  Maybe the Australians figured that they would die, but the camels had other plans.  They now roam the countryside, steal food from cattle, and knock down fences by leaning on them, sometimes to get over the fence, and sometimes just for good measure.  I’d like to see a robot do that!  (I’m well aware that a robot could do that, I just would like to see it.)

Honey badgers

You might think I made this one up, but I promise you that I’m not that good.  These animals in Africa used to just be called “badgers,” but their propensity for tearing apart beehives to get honey-beestings be damned!-has earned them the right to add the deceptively-sweet first name to their kind.  They’re also known to eat small antelope and other things not made of honey.  Rumors persist that if a honey badger is attacked by a human, THEY ALWAYS GO FOR THE GROIN.  Hey, they don’t call ’em honey badgers for nothin’!

Cuckoos

Some species of cuckoos are what is known as brood parasites.  A cuckoo of this type will lay its eggs in another bird’s nest, and if the other bird refuses or fails to hatch the egg, the cuckoo kills them.  You gotta hand it to cuckoos: they demand perfection from their fellow winged-friends, and participate in a progressive form of natural selection where those who cross them pay the ultimate price.

Awesome side note: to study this trait, European scientists took cuckoo eggs out of magpie nests and watched the cuckoos destroy every single magpie nest in the area.  Science 1, magpies 0.  If this list were about human jerks, those scientists would have secured their spots.

Nile crocodiles

Don’t let their rhyming name fool you; these crocs are all business-primarily, the business of torture.  While many predators kill their catch before consuming it, the Nile crocs do so by holding their prey underwater until it drowns.  This is the kind of stuff PETA doesn’t tell you.  Furthermore, Nile crocs use a group kill method called “death roll,” wherein the crocs use each other’s bodies for leverage as they grip into flesh, then roll over to pull it apart.  Just remember that when Quentin Tarantino uses it in his next movie; if you don’t, the Nile crocs might have a thing or two to say about it.

Killer whales

Okay, okay, it might be a bit obvious, but they’ve earned their obvious place on jerk lists.  They toss seals into the air like blubbery M&M’s before eating them.  They bump chucks of ice so that unsuspecting penguins slide into their watery graves.  Perhaps most awesome, they fake their own deaths by beaching themselves, then snatch seals as the tide pulls them back out to sea.  Anytime you fake your own death to cause the death of another being, you’re officially an a-hole in my book.

Skuas

Skuas are seabirds who hold other seabirds underwater until they throw up.  This would be mean even if the skuas ate the seabird vomit, but most don’t.  They eat the other birds, sometimes after making them vomit.  Talk about adding insult to injury!  It’s much like getting a swirly from a bully, except after the swirly you puke and the bully eats you.

I’m sure there are many more animals who deserve to be called jerks by some dude on the internet, and believe me, THEY’LL GET THEIRS!  Feel free to nominate such jerkimals in the comments.