Albino Raccoon and regularly colored family.
Photograph by Rick Stockwel
- Member of grand jury talks to friend about the case. Says there “isn’t enough evidence at this point to warrant an arrest” (storify) STL Co. Court is aware of the situation and is investigating.
- Recap of second set of Ferguson Town Hall Meetings
- In Ferguson, protesters and police…
Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
The Aye-aye is a lemur, a strepsirrhine primate native to Madagascar that combines rodent-like teeth and a special thin middle finger to fill the same ecological niche as a woodpecker. It is the world’s largest nocturnal primate, and is characterized by its unusual method of finding food; it taps on trees to find grubs, then gnaws holes in the wood using its forward slanting incisors to create a small hole in which it inserts its narrow middle finger to pull the grubs out.
The Aye-aye is near threatened!
I am guilty of making this mistake and confusing the two terms too before. I used to think that an antisocial refers to someone who doesn’t like to socialize but it turns out that in the field of psychology, the proper term for someone who doesn’t like to talk is called an asocial.
BOOK OF THE DAY:
Markus Zusak’s risk paid off in The Book Thief when he made Death its narrator. The story is set in Nazi Germany during World War II. Death recounts the story of an orphan, a nine-year-old girl named, Liesel. Death has in possession a book she wrote about the years of her life from 1939-1943 and the destruction and sadness she left behind, such as her home. Liesel still able to find the small pleasures in life steals a few books.
Although Liesel has been torn from a life with her parents she finds a good home with her foster Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Hans teaches Liesel how to read and write, while Rosa is known to swear a lot and have a good heart. One night, Max Vandenburg, a Jewish man, visits the Hubermann house. Max is the son of a dear friend who saved Hans’s life during World War I. He made this friend a promise to help his widowed wife. Hans does not hate Jews and hides Max is in his basement. Max and Lisel become friends. The novel revolves around the growing relationship between Liesel and the two men.
Books have become Liesel’s main pleasure. She is a child living in a time of war, where depression, death and deprival reign, which is why books are magic to her.
Zuzak is a poet of the written word, although Liesel lives in Nazi Germany and Death is the narrator, he never depicts a morbid story. Death is a lonely and tortured entity who is drawn to children. It has had years to examine and observe human nature. Zuzak writes:
"So many humans. So many colours. They keep triggering inside me. They harass my memory. I see them tall in their heaps, all mounted on top of each other. There is air like plastic, a horizon like setting glue. There are skies manufactured by people, punctured and leaking, and there are soft, coal-coloured clouds, beating, like black hearts. And then. There is death. Making his way through all of it. On the surface: unflappable, unwavering. Below: unnerved, untied, and undone."
"People and Jews and clouds all stopped. They watched. As he stood, Max looked first at the girl and then stared directly into the sky who was wide and blue and magnificent. There were heavy beams - planks of sun - falling randomly, wonderfully, onto the road. Clouds arched their backs to look behind as they started again to move on. "It’s such a beautiful day," he said, and his voice was in many pieces. A great day to die. A great day to die, like this."
Zuzak authentically measures human nature by presenting two sides of Germany: committed Nazis and people like Hans. Only Zuzak could have pulled this off. There is nothing mournful about the story. His writing and plot seamlessly find each other into a hauntingly beautiful piece of literature. It is difficult to talk talk about the plot without recognizing Zuzak’s true artistry.
Zuzak has revealed that the book was inspired by two real-life events connected to his German parents. One is the bombing of Munich, and the other: a story of a teenage boy who offered his bread to an emancipated Jewish prisoner. Both the boy and the prisoner were whipped by a soldier. Nevertheless, the nature of Zuzak’s believable character and life in Nazi Germany make the novel extraordinarily unique. When you consider this as the inspiration of the novel, you fully comprehend and appreciate Zuzak’s portrayal of life in Germany.
Death is Zuzak’s most powerful tool. The portrayal of such a believable young girl and the relationships form between people sweep you off your feet. His language demands attention. Every image of loss, friendship, and war reverberate your soul. The Book Thief is worth a first and second read. The supporting characters and the overall language will make this an instant favorite in your library.
The lake (once the fourth largest in the world) has been shrinking since the 1960’s, when the Soviet Union diverted two rivers to provide irrigation for farms. This year a drop in rain and snow levels lowered the water level even more.
Metal Saber-toothed Tiger Skull Model. The fangs were coated with grass. Made by Xuande Copperwares
Those things growing out of this giant Australian cuttlefish (Sepia apama) are its skin papillae. It can extend and retract its papillae at will, helping it alter its texture to better blend in with its surroundings.
Both papillae expression and color change are controlled by visual, not tactile, cues. This means that these guys don’t need to actually touch anything to decide on their camouflage strategy.
Just by looking, they are clever enough to decide what sort of color, pattern, and texture is needed to virtually disappear.
video source: Roger Hanlon on Youtube
reference: Allen et al. 2009.