Tag Archives | Cats
An Italian cat owner got the surprise of his life when his runaway pet managed to slip into a previously-hidden grotto. The owner, Mirko Curti, followed the sounds of the kitty’s yowling into an lost Roman tomb full of bones and urns:
The tomb was discovered just outside a residential area in the Roman city of Via di Pietralata.
Archeologists who were called to the site have speculated that it dates back to sometime between the 1st century B.C. and the 2nd century A.D.
With all of those bones, Curti was lucky he wasn’t chasing a dog…
William S. Burroughs loved his cats. The outlaw author known for his unabashed avant-sexual space operas and hyper-spatial exploratory prose wasn’t one to apologize for his utter disgust over a society he saw crumbling under the iron claws of Control. However, behind the icy eyed visage of ‘El Hombre Invisible’ was a heart warmed with the gentle purrs of his coveted feline companions.
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As Yony Leyser, director of the critically acclaimed bio-pic Williams S. Burroughs: A Man Within, discusses in an article for Vice, understanding Burroughs’ cats is central to understanding the man behind the myth:
“Author William S. Burroughs made his love for all things feline known in his book The Cat Inside, in which he refers to cats as “psychic companions” and innate “enemies of the state.” In his final journal entry, written just before he died, Burroughs discusses love as the ultimate cure-all. I feature the quote in my documentary William S.
Most of the pet-oriented phone apps have been dismal as one would expect (chasing a virtual mouse bouncing across the screen, et cetera), but Paint for Cats should be cherished for allowing the expression of nonhuman creativity. Art of the future should not be restricted to humans. Metro UK writes:
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A ball of string used to keep cats entertained – but it seems an iPad is more appealing to the our feline friends these days after a US company opted to develop some new tablet Apps specifically for them.
The app [Paint for Cats] makes a colourful paw imprint when a cat touches the screen. It was recently tested at an animal shelter where it received a positive response, with bigger cats such as lions and tigers even taking to it.
Creator TJ Fuller said: ‘I had seen so many YouTube videos of cats playing with iPads but of course they were playing games designed for humans… I would love to do a game for dogs but they generally don’t react to that sort of stimuli like cats do.
Sounds like Google’s virtual “brain” consisting of 16,000 networked computers does a pretty good job of enjoying the same dumb stuff that humans do. John Markoff reports for the Sydney Morning Herald:
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Inside Google’s secretive X laboratory, known for inventing self-driving cars and augmented reality glasses, a small group of researchers began working several years ago on a simulation of the human brain.
There Google scientists created one of the largest neural networks for machine learning by connecting 16,000 computer processors, which they turned loose on the internet to learn on its own.
Presented with 10 million digital images found in YouTube videos, what did Google’s brain do? What millions of humans do with YouTube: looked for cats.
The neural network taught itself to recognise cats, which is actually no frivolous activity. This week the researchers will present the results of their work at a conference in Edinburgh, Scotland.
We've seen a lot of strange things on the Internet, but this dead cat turned into a remote-control flying helicopter may be the strangest yet. The cat helicopter was conceived by Dutch artist Bart Jansen, and debuted for the public at the KunstRai ArtFair in Amsterdam that ended Sunday. Jansen calls his creation the Orvillecopter and describes it as "half-cat, half-machine." The Orvillecopter is exactly what it looks like: A taxidermied cat with a plastic propeller attached to each paw. No animals were harmed for this project. The cat, who was conveniently named Orville, belonged to Jansen and died after he was hit by a car.
Via the mermaid’s tale:
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Rats infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii do crazy things. They find the scent of cat urine sexy and attractive, they don’t run from the actual beasts; they are more active in running wheels, which might indicate that the parasite induces increased activity which may more readily attract a cat’s attention. When an infected rat is eaten by a cat, the T. gondii is passed on in the cat’s feces to infect again. T. gondii can only reproduce inside the cat. Great survival strategy on the part of the parasite, this trick of making the rat no longer fear cats — now that’s really building a better mouse-trap! Did this strategy evolve by adaptive selection, or is it just something that happened?
Czech biologist, Jaroslav Flegr, thinks T. gondii infections do much the same to humans — his story is told in the March 2012 Atlantic Monthly.
Is a microscopic, mind-altering parasite spread by cats responsible for car accidents, hoarding behaviors, and schizophrenia? Respected scientists are now saying that “crazy cat lady” disease is real and millions of people are infected. Shocker from Kathleen McAuliffe in the Atlantic:
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Jaroslav Flegr is no kook. And yet, for years, he suspected his mind had been taken over by parasites that had invaded his brain. So the prolific biologist took his science-fiction hunch into the lab. What he’s now discovering will startle you. Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia?
The parasite, which is excreted by cats in their feces, is called Toxoplasma gondii and is the microbe that causes toxoplasmosis — the reason pregnant women are told to avoid cats’ litter boxes. Since the 1920s, doctors have recognized that a woman who becomes infected during pregnancy can transmit the disease to the fetus, in some cases resulting in severe brain damage or death.
An Arkansas Democrat has a message for whomever killed his kids’ cat: “I’ve got a gun and I know how to use it.”
According to the Blue Arkansas blog, the campaign manager to Ken Aden, who’s running for the state’s third congressional district, came home last night to discover the family pet had been murdered and left on their front porch, as if the attacker wanted it to be discovered.
The feline’s skull was bashed in, and an ominous message was carved into its side: “LIBERAL.”
“If I have to protect my kids, I’ll do it without hesitation,” Aden campaign manager Jake Burris told Blue Arkansas.
The killing comes after a weekend of positive press for Aden, a former soldier running for Congress as a Democrat in one of the most conservative areas of Arkansas…
[continues at RawStory]