When we think of stray cats, our minds often fill with montages of sad, ragged animals set to the tune of depressing Sarah McLachlan music. (Thanks, ASPCA.)
But the stray kitties seen through Japanese photographer Masayuki Oki‘s lens are anything but. Although shining a light on the plight of stray animals is crucial, it’s arguably just as important to shed similar light on their happiest moments to show them running and playing like the cats that grace us with their presence at home.
Affectionately referring to his fuzzy subjects as busanyan, which literally translates to “ugly cat,” Oki’s work throws the imagery we’re used to in sharp relief against scenes of stray animals finding happiness in the unlikeliest places.
I’m going to go ahead and assume that Oki took this photo on a Monday morning before the cat had his coffee. I feel you, my man.
The addictive smartphone game has been shoehorned into an amusing animation narrative whose ridiculousness is part of its appeal
Thats right: a film has been made out of the addictive smartphone/tablet game Angry Birds, where catapults ping flightless birds at the little pink piggies who have stolen their eggs. This movie is driven by a naked commercial imperative though perhaps no more than any other film and it doesnt match up to the hyperactive, clever surreality of the Lego Movie. Yet there is a kind of pleasure and fascination, mixed with exasperation, in seeing how the game has been mangled and bent into the shape of the conventional animation narrative, with zappy little dialogue moments, funny characters and some sophisticated touches for the grownups (including a nod to The Shining, of all things).
Jason Sudekis voices Red, the grumpy red bird with big eyebrows who is the star of the game. After a rage outburst, he amusingly has to attend anger management sessions, but then the piggies arrive, pretending to be the birds friends while scheming to take away their eggs. To rescue them, Red has to rediscover his inner righteous anger and to re-invade the piggies domain. For this he must use the catapult the piggies have, erm, given them as a present, and he must also detonate the huge mounds of TNT that the piggies have left lying around. The sheer contrived ridiculousness is part of the fun. But you really do have to know the game.
As the proud owner of a rescued dog, I know all too well what a difference a few days of love, good food, and a comfy puff can do for a scared pet.
While my dog was “just” malnourished, I’ve written about plenty of pups and kittens who saw God knows what in their past lives. But once they’re shown some affection and a good home, their whole demeanor, and hopefully perspective on life, changes.
To prove just that point, check out some of these amazing before and after adoption photos. Get ready for some serious feels.
1. Luna was found starving and covered in mud. Just look at her delight after finding her forever home!
It’s clear that anything is possible with a little love, a ton of treats, and a trip to the vet. I highly recommend opting to adopt rather than shop. Saving one life saves the others who can be taken in after them.
Public poll shuns giants such as Toni Morrison and William Faulkner, but Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Stephen Kings The Stand are in
Frank Herbert, Robert M Pirsig and Dr Seuss are in. Henry James, Norman Mailer and Edgar Allan Poe are out.
A public poll for the Library of Congress to choose 65 books by US authors that had a profound effect on American life has thrown up some surprises.
Herberts Dune, a 1965 science-fiction novel adapted into a film starring Sting, Pirsings cult classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and childrens favourite The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss real name Theodore Geisel all make the cut. So too does the prolific and popular Stephen King with The Stand.
But literary giants such as William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, John Updike and Tom Wolfe do not. The library, the biggest in the world with more than 162m items, does not claim the list is a definitive rank of greatness.
Guy Lamolinara, director of National Book Festival, said: Its not supposed to be a diverse list or the best American books. Its the books that are most dear to people.
Novels were the clear winner over biographies and histories. Im most surprised how much of it is fiction, Lamolinara added. It shows peoples fascination with the creative process of writing.
Some 17,200 people responded to the librarys survey. Of the 65 books included, 40 were picked directly by the public. An additional 25 titles were selected by the public from a list created for the 2012 Library of Congress exhibition Books That Shaped America.
A new free exhibition, America Reads, opened at the library on Thursday, featuring rare editions usually withheld from public view, along with a video in which six Pulitzer Prize winners, including Jennifer Egan and Rita Dove, discuss the books that they think shaped the US.
Perhaps reflecting preoccupations in a presidential election year, the new batch of 40 titles has a healthy dose of politics. There is Profiles in Courage, a Pulitzer-winning book ostensibly by the former president John F Kennedy, though since alleged to have been mostly written by Ted Sorensen, his speechwriter and aide. Also present is All the Presidents Men, journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernsteins account of the Watergate scandal that toppled Richard Nixon, adapted into a movie starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.
And there is more than a hint of Donald Trump. Robert Penn Warrens All the Kings Men charts the rise of a demagogue, while Ayn Rands The Fountainhead features an egocentric architect with whom the Republican nominee has said he identifies. Indeed, Rand, whose Republican admirers include Trump and the House speaker, Paul Ryan, also has Anthem in the list of 40 books, adding to Atlas Shrugged on the original list of 25.
Ayn Rand evidently has a large fanbase, Lamolinara commented.
Other striking choices on the new list include Kurt Vonneguts Slaughterhouse-Five, Alex Haleys Roots: The Saga of an American Family, Alice Walkers The Color Purple, John Steinbecks Of Mice and Men and East of Eden, Sylvia Plaths The Bell Jar, Ernest Hemingways The Old Man and the Sea and The Sun Also Rises, Ken Keseys One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Hunter S Thompsons Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Among the less conventional books is The Book of Mormon, Joseph Smiths 1830 sacred text of the Latter-day Saint movement; Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle and Julia Child; and the stage plays Death of a Salesman and The Crucible by Arthur Miller.
The original group of 25 included canonical texts such as Harper Lees To Kill a Mockingbird, Mark Twains The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Harriet Beecher Stowes Uncle Toms Cabin, JD Salingers The Catcher in the Rye, John Steinbecks The Grapes of Wrath, F Scott Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby, Margaret Mitchells Gone With the Wind, Dr Seusss The Cat in the Hat, Herman Melvilles Moby-Dick, Joseph Hellers Catch-22 and Benjamin Spocks Baby and Child Care.
App-inspired film takes $39m in debut weekend, with young audiences praising movie despite critics mixed reviews
The Angry Birds Movie soared to $39m in its debut weekend at the US box office, knocking Captain America: Civil War off its perch at the top. New adult comedies Neighbors 2 and The Nice Guys struggled to get their footing, according to comScore estimates on Sunday.
Rovio Animation spearheaded the production of The Angry Birds Movie, which cost around $73m and opened strongly internationally last weekend. The film has already earned $150m worldwide, according to estimates from Sony.
The Angry Birds Movie features the voices of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad and Danny McBride and, as an attempt to create a compelling story out of a fairly simplistic app-based game, has received mixed reviews from critics. Audiences under 25, however, gave the film an A CinemaScore, which should help the film continue to perform well over Memorial Day weekend.
Its very difficult turning a video game property into a successful movie, said Josh Greenstein, Sonys president of worldwide marketing and distribution. To use a bad pun, we are flying high.
ComScores senior media analyst, Paul Dergarabedian, said the success of Angry Birds likely had more to do with family appeal and ingrained brand recognition.
Families are always looking for out-of-the-home content, Dergarabedian said, noting also that the film was the latest in a string of very successful PG-rated films including The Jungle Book and Zootopia.
PG is the hot new rating now. There used to be a stigma that younger teens wouldnt be interested. The numbers prove that when you go after the broadest base possible, you can be highly successful.
The PG-13 rated Captain America: Civil War was not too far behind, earning an additional $33.1m for a second-place spot, which brings its domestic total to $347.4m. Even in his third weekend in theaters, the superhero proved mightier than R-rated comedies Neighbors 2 and The Nice Guys, both of which underwhelmed.
Neighbors 2 brought in only $21.8m less than half of the first films $49m opening in 2014. But the film from the director Nick Stoller also cost only $35m to make.
Were really proud of Neighbors 2, said Nick Carpou, Universals president of domestic distribution. Were not just out there trying to go to the bank on something. It really is a different take.
Stars Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne and Zac Efron all returned for the sequel which puts a new spin on the frat next door idea by having the young familys new neighbors be a sorority comprised of girls upset about the unequal rules for fraternities and sororities.
The R-rated 70s-set buddy comedy The Nice Guys grossed $11.3m for a fourth-place spot. Warner Bros handled the domestic distribution for the Shane Black-directed film, which stars Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe and has been very well received by critics.
While the comedy openings might be less than hoped for, both could still provide decent counterprogramming to the spectacle-driven films opening on Memorial Day weekend, when mega productions X-Men: Apocalypse and Alice Through the Looking Glass take over.
In this foreword from The Assassination Complex, a new book about drone warfare, the whistleblower explains why leaking information about wrongdoing is a vital act of resistance
Ive been waiting 40 years for someone like you. Those were the first words Daniel Ellsberg spoke to me when we met last year. Dan and I felt an immediate kinship; we both knew what it meant to risk so much and to be irrevocably changed by revealing secret truths.
One of the challenges of being a whistleblower is living with the knowledge that people continue to sit, just as you did, at those desks, in that unit, throughout the agency; who see what you saw and comply in silence, without resistance or complaint. They learn to live not just with untruths but with unnecessary untruths, dangerous untruths, corrosive untruths. It is a double tragedy: what begins as a survival strategy ends with the compromise of the human being it sought to preserve and the diminishing of the democracy meant to justify the sacrifice.
But unlike Dan Ellsberg, I didnt have to wait 40 years to witness other citizens breaking that silence with documents. Ellsberg gave the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times and other newspapers in 1971; Chelsea Manning provided the Iraq and Afghan war logs and the Cablegate materials to WikiLeaks in 2010. I came forward in 2013. Now another person of courage and conscience has made available the extraordinary set of documents published in The Assassination Complex, the new book by Jeremy Scahill and the staff of the Intercept.
We are witnessing a compression of the timeframe in which unconstitutional activities can continue before they are exposed by acts of conscience. And this permits the American people to learn about critical government actions, not as part of the historical record but in a way that allows direct action through voting in other words, in a way that empowers an informed citizenry to defend the democracy that state secrets are nominally intended to support.
While Snapchat has been around for a while now, filters and their popularity have definitely grown recently. The technology allows you to digitally transform your face with everything from ears to full-on goofy disguises. At times, the results are hilarious…but sometimes, it’s just plain weird.
Just as taking selfies made its way to the animal kingdom, so have Snapchat filters. As you could imagine, the photos are pretty ridiculous:
Now give me sultry.
“I wear my sunglasses at night.”
“How do ya like my ‘stache?”
Everyone looks pretty unsure here.
This might give me nightmares.
This cat-bunny is a lil’ scary.
This is what happens when the cat pulls an all-nighter.
This dog is going to Coachella.
No one should use this panda filter.
If you’ve ever considered putting makeup on your dog, here’s proof for why you shouldn’t.
Just because they cant sing opera or ride a unicycle doesnt mean that animals dont have culture, and theres no better example of this than the killer whale. As one of the most brutal predators on the planet, orcas may not fit the profile of a cultured creature. However,these beasts of the sea do display a vast range of highly refined behaviors that appear to be driving their genetic development, according to new research.
The word culture comes from the Latin colere, which literally means to cultivate. In other words, it refers to anything that is acquired or learnt, rather than instinctive or natural. Among human populations, culture not only affects the way we live, but also writes itself into our genes, affecting who we are.
For instance, having spent many generations hunting the blubbery marine mammals of the Arctic, the Inuit of Greenland have developed certain genetic adaptations that help them digest and utilize this lipid-rich diet, thereby allowing them to thrive in their cold climate.
Like humans, killer whales have colonized a range of different habitats across the globe, occupying every ocean basin on the planet, with an empire that extends from pole to pole. As such, different populations of orcas have had to learn different hunting techniques in order to gain the upper hand over their local prey. This, in turn, has a major effect on their diet, leading scientists to speculate that the ability to learn population-specific hunting modalities could be driving the animals genetic development.
Publishing their findings in the journal Nature Communications, an international team of scientists explain how they analyzed the genomes of 50 orcas from five different populations, inhabiting a range of locations in the North Pacific and Antarctic Oceans.
Among the whales included in the study, some came from populations known to feed mainly on penguins, some ate a diet consisting mostly of mammals and others feasted on fish. After examining their genetic make-up, the researchers found that the orcas fit into five neat ecotypes, or genetically distinct geographic varieties of whale, thereby indicating just how synchronized their genes are with their culture.
They suggest this has occurred as populations have developed highly specialized, often ingenious hunting techniques such as the creation of artificial waves in order to knock seals off ice floes, as made famous by the BBCs Frozen Planet documentary series. By teaching these strategies to their young, the whales have developed a deep-rooted culture, reinforcing their diet and leading to certain selective pressures upon their genes.
For example, fish-eating ecotypes were found to carry certain genes that enabled them to more effectively digest their scaly prey, while those that hunt blubbery mammals were more genetically attuned to this fatty diet.
All in all, the study authors suggest that culture-genome evolution may not be exclusive to humans after all, and urge other researchers to place more focus on the role of animals culture in driving their genetics.
What is it about gummy bears that makes them so irresistible for everyone from toddlers to teens…and full-grown adults?
Perhaps we’ll never know whether it’s their squishy consistency or their sugary flavor, but one thing we do know is that we can finally stop spending money on the store-bought versions. Yes, my friends, you can indeed make these childhood treats at home!
And the recipe is really easy!
Your kids are about to tout you as the best parents ever.
When we were little, our stuffed animals served as fluffy confidantes.
They sat with us at our tea parties, they stayed close at night to fend off bad dreams, and they comforted us when we were sick. What they didn’t typically do, however, is teach us important lessons that would ultimately stick with us for a lifetime.
But one Japanese organization aims to change all that. Second Life Toys allows parents to send their kids’ damaged stuffed animals in for “transplants” to teach them about the beauty of organ donation.
While thousands of people are registered organ donors in the States, the issue gets little attention in Japan.
There are quite a few reasons why Japanese people have mixed feelings about organ donation. For one, belief systems in Japan dictate that bodies should be whole upon cremation, which understandably discourages them from registering.
Along with that, the 1968 Juro Wada case, which involved harvesting organs from a braindead patient at a point when the determination of brain-based death was still hotly contested, embedded an association between organ donation and unethical activity deeply into the cultural consciousness.
Representatives from Second Life Toys believe that they can flip the script on this pressing issue by teaching kids the importance of organ donation at a young age.
A parent sends photos of their child’s damaged toy to the company, and upon approval, they mail the stuffed animal in for “surgery.” Using parts from donated toys that look much different than the rest of the recipient, they repair the defect and mail it home.
For more information about the initiative, check this out!
The best way to make change is to work from the ground up. After all, children are the ones who will build a better future someday. If you want to learn more about this project, be sure to check out the company’s website.