Tuesday, September 02, 2014

‘Fawlty Towers’ Hotel Recreated In LEGO

I have seen every episode of Faulty Towers at least five times so I adore Nathan Feist's Lego recreation of the  hotel. It is accurate right down to such details as the reception desk, the broken-antlered moose head, the fire extinguisher and even the design of the lobby’s tiling.

Feist's creation was displayed at BrickFair, an annual Lego convention in Virginia

Images: Nathan C Feist
More: Dangerous Minds

Soviet Space Dogs

Two posts about soviet space dogs today! That's because the death of little Laika, the first dog to travel to space, has always resonated with me. Although she died a few hours after launch, subsequent canine travellers returned from their out-of-this-world missions alive and became heroes.

Soviet Space Dogs (Text by Olesya Turkina, Senior Research Fellow at the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg) takes a look at canine space explorers in Soviet pop culture.

Children’s toy packaging from West Germany in the late 50s shows
 Laika, the first space dog

Illustrated by Yuri Galperin, this 1961 childrens book is titled
The Adventures of Belka and Strelka

A postcard produced in Italy around 1960 shows an image of
Kozyavka the space dog

More: theguardian.com

Dog Space Suit with Breathing Tube, Soviet Union, 1950s

This brown lace-up full body suit with breathing apparatus is one of the 1950s dog spacesuits originally used to test what effects low gravity and high-speed launches had on mammals. The suit is believed to have been used by the dogs Belka and Strelka for the USSR's Korabl-Sputnik 2 mission—the first of Russia's space dogs to return to Earth safely.

It is expected to fetch $10,000 at auction.
More: Auctionata


Les Gardians: Stewards of the Camargue

The Brotherhood of the Camargue Horsemen have been tending to herds of horses and bulls in the unfenced coastal region of the Camargue in southern France since the 1500s but now their way of life is under threat.

Monday, September 01, 2014

On This Day

Today is the centenary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon. The very last bird (Martha, after Martha Washington) died in the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914. It was, without doubt, the most dramatic extinction ever witnessed.

"The number of these birds … was far beyond the power of human calculation," wrote Virginia historian Philip Bruce in the 17th century. With awe, he recorded that, "for hours they darkened the sky like a pall of thunder clouds; and that they broke down, by their weight, the limbs of the forest whenever a entire flock lighted in search of food."

More:  LiveScience

Calling the Peacocks

A bird keeper in Guilin, China, whistles and his flock of peacocks fly home for dinner.

Via: Miss Cellania

Happy Labour Day!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Swans Feed Koi Fish

At Swan Lake Resort in Kending, Taiwan, two black swans feed their fish friends, the koi.

Via Miss Cellania

Pets Swallow The Darndest Things

Who knew there was a contest for radiographs of weirdest things pets ingest? Here are a couple of the 2014 X-Ray Contest Winners:

DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital
Portland, Ore.
A 3-year-old male great Dane was observed repeatedly vomiting and retching all day.
Abdominal radiographs revealed a severely distended stomach and a large quantity of foreign material.
During exploratory surgery performed by a DoveLewis veterinarian, 43½ socks were removed. The patient was discharged home one day after surgery.

Mary Green, DVM
Animal Emergency of Pasco
Port Richey, Fla.

A client with a dog named Woof called, saying her dog had eaten a rubber duck. Her 3-year-old son had lost his rubber duckie, so Mom, unable to find it after a month, bought him a new one.
Watching her son in the tub, she saw her Woof, come in, nose around in the water and gulp down the duckie. 
Radiographs found five rubber duckies. Every time a duck went missing, Mom would buy a new one. 
We surgically removed the flock along with a toy truck tire and a piece of another toy, and Woof did very well.


How To Make Old Kentucky Famed Drinks

Hey y'all, September is National Bourbon month! I bought a big old bottle of the stuff when I was down in The Land Of The Free last week and plan to kick back on the porch with a nice mint julep. The Kentucky for Kentucky team has gathered up a special collection of 47 drink recipes curated by the Brown Foreman Distillery Company of Louisville, Kentucky. The collection dates back to 1934.

More recipes: Kentucky for Kentucky