Tag: animals

An afternoon with Tommy

by James on May.25, 2011, under colossal waste of time, kids today

Yes, his leg is missing.

Among the things I do with my dog besides taking him to the beach, loving on him and irritating him in equal amounts, and posing him for a picture with a knife in his mouth, is recording his barking and howling.

So.

I downloaded a program called PaulStretch that can take audio and stretch or shorten it without losing sound quality, among other things. Then, I recorded Tommy barking and howling, and manipulated what I got.

Enjoy.

This is a normal bark:

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This is the same bark at 20x the length:

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Here’s a longer bark at normal speed:

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Here’s the same bark, but 50x its normal speed; almost a minute long (and force yourself to listen to the whole thing, because it is creeeeeepy):

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Okay, this one’s a howl (how I got him to do that is my secret):

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The same howl at 5x (it’s like a horror movie sound effect):

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And my personal favorites, these are the same howls at regular speed,

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then at 25x PLUS! I autotuned it to sound like several dogs at once (you might pay money to listen to that during a shiatsu massage):

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The Two-Legged Pig and the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

by James on Oct.01, 2010, under colossal waste of time, kids today, you can't turn away

Pork is really every carnivore’s favorite food lately. There’s bacon in/on everything, and it quite consistently makes everything more delicious. But what can you use it for outside of food? Think outside the skillet.

Two-Legged Pig

Not as inspiring as Faith the two-legged dog.

Now, everybody’s seen the dog with two legs who was on Oprah and wears a backpack. Yawn. And it’s name is Faith, for god’s sake. That’s like a grief councilor named Joy. Or a urologist named Wankem. …Um, anyway.

Zhu Jianqiang, which translates as “strong-willed pig”, was born without her hind legs, but managed to survive, and is now a local celebrity. I’m guessing that rural-born Chinese pigs are rarely given names as they’re quickly slaughtered and eaten. However, Wang Xihai, Zhu’s owner, probably decided to keep her as-is to try and make some money like the owners of Mike the headless chicken. I’m hoping it was just out of the kindness of his heart, though. He did actually teach her the front-leg-walk himself, and it took a month before she could do it. And now she weighs 50kg (110lbs) but can still do it effortlessly. Wang Xihai says he believes all life should be given a chance. I still sorta think he saw a runty, unbreedable pig and tried to come up with another use for it. Pigs are pretty smart, though. It was all, “well, it’s either learn to walk on my front legs, or learn to be bacon.”

He also says his house is filled with tourists everyday. And, he CLAIMS he’d never sell her, no matter the price. Look at that picture, though. Maybe a pair of pants and some chapstick. Just sayin’.

Bacon Bust of Kevin Bacon

An inevitable and inedible Kevin Bacon made from real bacon.

Now, I decided to post this next item along with the pig above, just so you’d have an idea of what you can do with a physically disabled pig once it’s dead. An epic Kevin Bacon bust made of real bacon.

There’s currently a REALLY REAL EBAY AUCTION, here, where you can buy the giant bacon sculpture and have the profits donated to a cancer charity. REALLY!

But, you can’t eat it! WTF! It’s covered in lacquer, I guess so the museum, and your house, don’t become the world’s largest ant and fly habitat. And, I think it only looks like Kevin Bacon if he were the model for a statue on Easter Island. Otherwise, it’s just an 18 inch waste of hundreds of pounds of skillet-fried goodness. If I can’t sop up the grease with my toast, there’s no point.

It was only a matter of time, really. Kevin Bacon made of bacon? Everyone loves bacon right now, like I just said, so why not a delicious pun.

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In honor of the World Cup

by James on Jul.08, 2010, under actual celebrity, colossal waste of time, who cares

Chinese Woman Trains Chickens to Play Soccer

Studies show soccer roosters are almost three times as delicious

If you’re like me, the first thing you thought of when you read the headline was, “Bullshit.” And if you’re even more like me than you realized, the second thing you thought was, “Why do the Chinese always do the weirdest shit?” Both of those points are valid issues to take with the headline itself.

With these roosters, maybe China will qualify higher next time. (Hey-oh!)

But seriously, since I know you won’t read the article, this poultry match consists of only two players who use their feet and wings to handle the ball. Which sounds like bending the rules a little to me, but you’re already reading about roosters who play soccer, so…

The article also keeps referring to this person as “he,” even though she’s clearly a woman wearing Chinese mom jeans. (The headline also says “rosters,” so what are you gonna do.)

In other news, this reminded me of a story I had heard as a child, which I originally dismissed as an old wives’ tale (designed, I guess, to exacerbate my “Sleep Anxiety Disorder”). But I looked it up and it’s actually true. The Internet never lies.

There was a farmer who cut his chicken’s head off in preparation for eating, only to find the chicken still lived. And since I know you won’t click that link either, The chicken retained its jugular vein and most of its brain stem, leaving it capable of doing instinctual things like breathe, eat, and occasionally preen and (attempt to) crow. Since the trachea and esophagus were basically exposed to the air, the owners kept Mike’s windpipe clean with an eyedropper and fed him with a syringe straight into his gullet. The farmer traveled the country for a while making something like $50,000 in today’s money. “Mike the Headless Chicken” died one night when his owners were unable to clean his clogged trachea in time, leaving the bird to choke to death.

Mike, the 1945 money-making headless chicken, who probably caused dozens of copycat botched beheadings

So, in conclusion, chickens are either 1.) highly adaptable in that they can be trained in sports professionals do for millions of dollars a year, and even live on for several years with most of their heads missing, or 2.) they’re among the lowest on the brain activity scale and are able to do almost nothing for themselves, needing only the barest essentials of organs to do even complicated instinctual activities.

“Mike the Headless Chicken” also reminded me of the novel Johnny Got His Gun where the soldier slowly realizes his face, limbs, sight, speech, and hearing are all gone and he’s just “a piece of meat that keeps on living.” And as if that idea couldn’t get any more disturbing, the novel was made into a movie with Donald Sutherland, and also inspired the Metallica song “One;” a band so metal, they even have the word “metal” in their name.

So, what happens in the mind of a soccer playing rooster? Or in the medulla oblongata of a headless chicken? Could Mike have played soccer? Could the roosters have continued to play after losing their heads? Do they get angry with themselves when they lose? Do they fake injuries for superfluous indirect kicks like those pussy-ass Italians? Just because we CAN make a movie about something as disturbing as being locked inside your own brain, does that mean we should? Would Mike want his story told? Or would he just want to be glazed and rotisseried like any other self-respecting chicken.

Think about that the next time you get $0.10 hotwings, Monday nights at The Wild Goose on Lincoln Ave.

More Pictures

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Watch live hummingbirds drink from your face

by James on Apr.14, 2010, under actual gadget

Yep. It’s real.

The inventor is a man from California’s Humboldt County. You sit outside with this on your head, and hummingbirds drink from the tube coming out from between your eyes. It costs $80 and you can get it from heatstick.com, the most professionally designed website ever. Here’re some tips on how to get birds to eat off your face:

Using and enjoying the feeder is a two step process.
The first is to acquaint the hummingbirds with the
feeder. We set an old can of paint on a small shelf
on the side of the barn and slipped the feeder onto
the can. It wasn’t long before the hummingbirds found
it, and after a little searching, found the feeding
station. Then we let them get familiar with the
feeder for a few days. Finally we set a chair next
to the shelf, removed the feeder from the can,
slipped it on and waited. One never forgets the first
time a hummingbird suddenly arrives at the feeder
right in front of your eyes.

Awesome. I actually invented something like this. It’s the wild lion feeder mask, and it’s a steak with two eye-holes poked into it. You lay out in the sand in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park with this on your face, and usually in less than an hour, Kenya’s mane-less male lion (the one featured in the movie “The Ghost in the Darkness”) will find you and eat right from your face. Results vary, however, as sometimes they devour the person wearing the mask also. But, you get to experience this right up close like you never would otherwise!

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Japanese cat cafés, a whole new way to waste your money

by James on Feb.17, 2010, under colossal waste of time, who cares

Relax and stroke a cat. For $10/hour

Busy or stressed out? Now you can drink coffee and work on your laptop, just like at a Starbucks, except lots of cats will be there, too.

Japanese cat cafés, like this one in Tokyo called Nekobukuro literally translated “cat sack” *snicker*, are very popular and busy business people will take breaks to come have their blood pressure lowered by petting a sleeping cat.

Sounds pretty great. The best part is someone else has to worry about the boxes of shit everywhere; the main drawback to being a crazy cat lady.

Usually, cat cafés charge around $10 an hour for the privilege of cat affection (or rejection, depending on the cats’ moods), but they’re very popular among busy Japanese who don’t have time or space to devote to pets of their own.

Incidentally, there’s also a service where you can rent a dog to play with. It’s like g-rated prostitution for people without pets. And you can quote me on that.



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