Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fence porthole gives pooch a point of view

It needs no explanation, the Pets' Observation Poodle from Hammacher Schlemmer. Nine inches wide and 5" deep, it gives "the inquisitive canine," which is cataloguese for "dog," a panoramic view of things at which to bark.

Hammacher Schlemmer suggests lining several of these $30 domes around the perimeter of your yard, to allow your pet an unrestricted view of interesting places it cannot go.

Source: Boing Boing Gadgets

Friday, April 25, 2008

Drug-Sniffing Dogs Cloned in Korea

The Korean Customs Service today unveiled seven golden Labrador retrievers cloned from a skilled drug-sniffing canine in active service—a test to see if duplicates could reduce the difficulty and expense of finding dogs qualified to detect drugs and explosives, officials say.

Seen here at their training facility near Incheon International Airport west of Seoul, the pups were born five to six months ago.

The dogs all currently share the same name: "Toppy"—a portmanteau of the words "tomorrow" and "puppy."

In February all seven passed a behavior test to check if they are qualified to work as sniffing dogs. Only 10 to 15 percent of naturally born dogs pass the test.

If the cloned dogs succeed in other tests for physical strength, concentration, and sniffing ability, they will be put to work by July 2009 at airports and harbors across South Korea, according to the training center.

Normally, only about three out every ten naturally born dogs the center trains—at a cost of about $40,140 each—ends up qualifying for the job.

The cloning was conducted by the team at Seoul National University that in 2005 successfully created the first known dog clone, an Afghan hound named Snuppy.

The team's leader, Lee Byeong-chun, was a key aide to disgraced scientist Hwang Woo-suk. Hwang's purported breakthroughs in stem cell research were revealed as false, but independent tests proved the team's dog cloning was genuine.

Lee said it cost approximately $100,000 to $150,000 to clone each of the seven Labradors.

The seven are the first cloned drug-sniffing dogs, though his team has cloned 13 other dogs and five wolves, he added.

Ancient Praying Mantis Found in Amber...

An 87-million-year-old praying mantis found encased in amber in Japan may be a "missing link" between mantises from the Cretaceous period and modern-day insects.

The fossil mantis measures 0.5 inch (1.4 centimeters) from its antennae to the tip of its abdomen.

Although the forelegs, head, and antennae appear to be well preserved, the wings and abdomen have been badly crushed.

Kazuhisa Sasaki, director of the Kuji Amber Museum, found the fossil creature in January buried 6.5 feet (2 meters) below the surface in an amber mine in Japan's northeastern Iwate Prefecture.

"This part of Japan is famous for producing large amounts of amber, but it was very fortunate for me to find this specimen," Sasaki said.

"I found it in a deposit that had lots of other insects—ancient flies, bees, and cockroaches—but this was the only praying mantis."

Are animals stuck in time?

Dog owners, who have noticed that their four-legged friend seem equally delighted to see them after five minutes away as five hours, may wonder if animals can tell when time passes. Newly published research from The University of Western Ontario may bring us closer to answering that very question.

The results of the research, entitled "Episodic-Like Memory in Rats: Is it Based on When or How Long Ago," appear in the current issue of the journal Science, which was released recently.

William Roberts and colleagues in Western's Psychology Department observed that rats are able to keep track of how much time has passed since they discovered a piece of cheese, be it a little or a lot, but they don't actually form memories of when the discovery occurred. That is, the rats can't place the memories in time.

The research team, led by Roberts, designed an experiment in which rats visited the 'arms' of a maze at different times of day. Some arms contained moderately desirable food pellets, and one arm contained a highly desirable piece of cheese. Rats were later returned to the maze with the cheese removed on certain trials and with the cheese replaced with a pellet on others.

All told, three groups of rats were tested in the research using three varying cues: when, how long ago or when plus how long ago.

Only the cue of how long ago food was encountered was used successfully by the rats.

These results, the scientists say, suggest that episodic-like memory in rats is qualitatively different from human episodic memory, which involves retention of the point in past time when an event occurred.

""The rats remember whether they did something, such as hoarded food a few hours or five days ago," explained Roberts. "The more time that has passed, the weaker the memory may be. Rats may learn to follow different courses of action using weak and strong memory traces as cues, thus responding differently depending on how long ago an event occurred. However, they do not remember that the event occurred at a specific point in past time." .

Prior studies have suggested that rats and scrub jays (a relative of the crow and the blue jay) appear to remember storing or discovering various foods, but it hasn't been clear whether the animals were remembering exactly when these events happened or how much time had elapsed.

"This research," said Roberts, "supports the theory I introduced that animals are stuck in time, with no sense of time extending into the past or future."

Are Ice Age relics the next casualty of climate change?

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) recently launched a four-year study to determine if climate change is affecting populations of a quintessential Arctic denizen: the rare musk ox. Along with collaborators from the National Park Service, U. S. Geological Survey, and Alaska Fish and Game, Wildlife Conservation Society scientists have already equipped six musk ox with GPS collars to better understand how climate change may affect these relics of the Pleistocene.

The research team will be assessing how musk ox are faring in areas along the Chukchi and northern Bering Seas, and the extent to which snow and icing events, disease, and possibly predation may be driving populations.

Musk ox are a throwback to our Pleistocene heritage and once shared the landscape with mammoths, wild horses, and sabered cats, said the studys leader Dr. Joel Berger, a Wildlife Conservation Society scientist and professor at the University of Montana. They may also help researchers understand how arctic species can or cannot adapt to climate change.

Once found in Europe and Northern Asia, today musk ox are restricted to Arctic regions in North America and Greenland eventhough they have been introduced into Russia and northern Europe. They have been reintroduced in Alaska after being wiped out in the late 19th century. Currently they found in two national parks: Alaskas Bering Land Bridge National Park and Cape Krusenstem National Monument.

Balding Penguin Gets a Wetsuit

Pierre, an African penguin at the California Academy of Sciences, was going bald, which posed a significant problem for the 25-year old bird. Penguins rely on their feathers to stay warm, not blubber.

The poor little bird was shivering and refusing to get into the water. Scientists charged with his care initially tried a heat lamp to keep him warm, but that was costing him social interaction, so they began brainstorming. The result was interesting to say the least. They ordered him a wetsuit.

Pierre, who began going bald when he was five years older than the average life expectancy of a penguin, was fitted for a suit by Oceanic, one of the largest manufacturers of wetsuits in the world.

He has, since that time, began to re-grow his feathers. He now fearlessly plunges into the water where his mates have readily accepted him, allaying one of the early fears of the scientists. Pierre, who has been in the Velcro-closed suit for about six weeks now, is already being weaned off his new clothes as he re-grows his feathers, but until then happily flaps around the habitat with his black neoprene body.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ashera Cats are expensive...

The ASHERA EXOTIC CAT is considered one of the rarest domestic cat available today. A proprietary blend of the exotic bloodlines of the African Serval and the Asian Leopard Cat subsequently crossed with a rare domestic cat, the ASHERA grows up to 30 pounds (14 kg).

The Snow Ashera is a rare version of the standard Ashera and differs in that the background color is white instead of the brown caramel seen in the standard cat. The result is a striking animal that resembles the famed white tigers. The Royal Ashera is rarer still, with less than four kittens produced each year. The Royal Ashera has a cream background but uniquely, the spots and stripes are tiger orange, instead of black. The Royal Ashera is indeed the rarest domestic cat in the world and will be enjoyed by just a few. All ASHERA kittens are hand delivered to your residence (U.S. residents only).

Price: From $22,000.00 to $130,000.00

LifeStyle Pets

Oscar the sexy naked bird...

Oscar has a rare virus that causes her to pull out her feathers because they irritate her. She has survived 12 years so far. And yes, Oscar is a girl. It was a year before Humane Society workers determined through a blood test that what they thought was male, was truly female, and it was too late to change names.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

3-D Coyote Lifelike, Full-Size Predator

Get rid of aggressive, destructive, disease-carrying Canada geese

DIY Discovery Channel: Casio EX-F1 Slow-Mo Cam In My Backyard

Shooting slow-mo takes some getting used to, and because you end up with long stretches of zero movement, the in-cam video editor is not just a luxury but a necessity. In the end, though, everything looks like it's ready for Discovery Channel. I think that chipmunk's gonna be a star.

Check out the VIDEO

Compliments of Gizmodo

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008


R.O.A.R for Earth Day!

Reach Out. Act. Respond.

This month, celebrate the earth as a home for animals while lending a helping hand, whether it’s nationally, locally or in your own backyard. With Earth Day approaching on April 22, it’s the perfect time to learn more about local conservation – and we’re ROAR-ing with ideas!

Animal Planet is partnering with leading animal organizations to inspire people like you to make the world a better place for animals. Together, we have the power to improve the lives of animals in our communities and in the wild. Simple things like volunteering at a local shelter, spreading the word about conservation, supporting a favorite animal cause or walking an elderly person's dog can make a difference. Even the smallest act has an impact. Join us in our passion to help animals.


ROAR for Earth Day!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mascot Bloopers!

Rick Rolling Puppy...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

To the douche bag who let their dog pee on my Vespa...

That isn't nice.
I don't understand how hard it is to curb your dog away from things that people own, touch or tend to.
I see people let their dogs pee on garbage bags and i think, someone has to pick that up; and maybe being a garbage man isn't the most glamorous job, but who wants to add insult to injury but making them touch urine soaked bags to make an already not so fun job worse!

there shouldn't be a need for people to put up signs that say "please curb your dog" around gardens! That should be common sense. If someone has a garden, then they probably enjoy tending to it. The next time they lean over to smell their flowers, all the will get is a tasty whiff if your dogs liquid excrement!

There are plenty of places in this city that are acceptable to let your dog urinate on. Fire hydrants for example is a good place to start. We hold firefighters with the utmost regard in our society, yet when they are trying to save your lives and possessions we thank them by letting them douse the blaze with a piss soaked hydrant.

Lets take a moment to dissect the term "curb your dog." Maybe the key here is that you don't quite understand what it means. "Your dogs urine isn't wanted here" that is what it means. But lets break it down further, does it mean that you should bring your dog to the actual curb to pee? YES!

I don't want to put a sign on my vespa cover saying "please curb your dog" because that is silly, and you probably won't pay any attention to it anyway; because any person who is so oblivious to the world around them would most likely not be able to process that request.

in conclusion, everything i touch now smells like urine, and i hope that one day i will be able to shake your hand.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Animal Planet: "Groomer Has It" - April 12th at 9pm

GROOMER HAS IT sniffs out 12 of America's most devout dog groomers to compete against each other in a test of desire, creativity and affinity for animals as they shave, shear and shampoo their way through a series of challenges that will crown only one as "Groomer of the Year." The contestants will be put through their paces to see who can turn the shaggiest pooch into a beautiful, prancing pup beginning Saturday, April 12, at 9 PM (ET/PT).

These self-proclaimed best groomers will live together in a swanky Los Angeles loft, the "Dog House;" work elbow-to-elbow in one salon; and face grooming challenges that range from styling pups for their runway debut to grooming some of the most exotic dog breeds to making adoptable pups look their fetchingly best for new homes.

After each challenge, host Jai Rodriguez and our outspoken panel of judges, including esteemed veterinarian Dr. Karen Halligan, champion dog handler Xavier Santiago and leading U.S. grooming expert Joey Villani will decide which contestant does not make the cut.

The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $50,000, a mobile grooming salon from Wag'n Tails Mobile Grooming and the title of "Groomer of the Year" - three prizes totaling $125,000 that could jump-start the groomer's career and change their lives.

Each of these groomers thinks he/she has what it takes to be top dog in this competition, but in reality, only one… GROOMER HAS IT.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Most Popular Dog Name is Max...

According to the announcement of the Department of Health, in 2004 the most popular dog names in NYC were Max, followed by Lucky, Princess, Rocky and Buddy. Always consider that only registered dogs contribute to these dog name statistics, and only about 20% of dogs are considered to be officially registered in NYC.
According to a list published by VIP (Veterinary Pet Insurance) for the most popular dog names in 2004 the number one male dog name was Max, followed by Buddy and Jake. For female puppies the most popular name was Molly, followed by Maggy, Daisy and Lucy. The list was compiled from a survey of more than 30,000 of VPI s policyholders.
Another source for dog name statistics could be a dog tag business. One good example for a company which has compiled lists of favorite dog names from their pet ID tag orders is Bow Wow Meow - they offer listings of most popular dogg names for different geographical regions. So as for baby names it alway depends on what region you are looking at if you search for favorite dog names.


Photo courtesy of:

Friday, April 4, 2008

Monkey Vs Dog...

Sassy Pet Saks™

Talk about stylin’ with sweetness, Douglas Company’s Sassy Pet Saks™ and Totes are the fashion forward statement of the year. No girl’s accessory wardrobe is complete without one. Most girls, “in the know,” have several! There are 13 brand new styles to choose from or add to your current style collection.

Giddy up and go Western Chic with the new Pink Bling Sak™, Kicky Denim Sak™ , and Cowprint Tote. Each holds a galloping great horse. Or, spring into spring with the following flowerlicious styles: Flowerburst Sak™ with white pony, Electric Bouquet Tote with white cat, Daisy Madness with Shep Terrier and Dream Catcher Tote with yellow nugget lab inside. Feel exceptionally pretty in pink with Summer Sun Tote, Sweetly Pink Sak™, Magic Princess Sak™ and Pretty Lilly Sak™. If black and white is more your style then go preppy with Black & White Plaid Tote holding a White Highland Terrier or try it a little more mod with Black & White Whirl Sak™ with black pup inside.

Douglas’ Sassy Saks™ come with all the feminine touches and are created from the richest and most popular hues and fabric choices. Look for this award-winning collection in specialty gift stores near you. Douglas Totes, Lil’ Nugget Sassy Pet Saks™, Sassy Pet Saks™ and Adventure Saks™ range in price from $13 to $24 each.

"Douglas’ Sassy Saks™ and totes continue to create fun fashion for girls of all ages,” said Erika Radich, Marketing Manager, Douglas Company. “Each new design offers a unique look to add to the young wardrobe needs.”

Douglas products are sold at specialty gift and toy stores in the USA, Canada and Europe.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Your Pets Can Live Pain Free...

Dr. Frank's Safe All Natural Pain Relief

Just a side note here, i think if you have to actually say that the product is "safe" in the title byline then it makes you wonder. Also i don't understand why it's in a spray bottle. You spray it into your pets water dish and then they drink it and all pain stops magically. Why isn't it just a bottle that you mix in the water, why a spray bottle, it seems pointless.

There is a must see video here: VIDEO