August 19, 2011 § 3 Comments
Imagine that you were sitting in your office and looked out the window to see a 120 pound guinea pig. This actually happened to a couple of guys in Paso Robles, California. And the giant guinea pig that they saw was actually a capybara.
The capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) is the world’s largest rodent, and is usually only found in central and eastern South America. So when a couple of dudes working at a water treatment plant saw one splashing around in the Salinas River, they were understandably confused. They called the Department of Fish & Wildlife, who sent over some guys to try and catch the giant semi-aquatic hamster. They failed. They tried for three weeks to trap it, and have now given up, saying “He seems pretty content in there,” and “we hope that it lives a happy capybara life in Paso Robles.” So if a 100+ pound water rat is not your idea of a good swimming companion, I would recommend against the Salinas River. And South America.
It is kind of a bummer to me, though, that he will probably never find another capybara to mate with. Hell, he probably won’t even have a couple of capybara buddies to go out for beers with (which is a shame, because a couple of beers may prevent dementia). He’s a lone South American rodent, just capybara-ing about, destined to live without suitable female companionship. Poor guy.
Zebra finches, on the other hand, which are small orange and black birds, have a rather novel solution to the problem of life without suitable female companionship: bro-mance.
Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) are one of those unique animals that mate for life. So what do you do if you’re a handsome young zebra finch and there are no more females available for mating? You find a bro. Scientists have noticed that some male finches become “mates,” and groom each other and look after each other the same way that males and females do. So even if they run out of females, males can find a fellow finch with which to partner. And, like male-female finch relationships, these finch bros partner for life. (@MaleZebraFinch123: “Finch bros before finch hoes. #pimpinainteasy”)
I don’t know what the finch-equivalent of “sexting” is; but for humans, at least, “sexting” is now a real thing, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The O.E.D. has conducted its annual word-adding, and “sexting” made the cut.
As well as “sexting,” the O.E.D. also added “cyberbullying,” “unfriend,” and “retweet,” meaning that they are now officially part of English speech. This is in addition to words that the O.E.D. added earlier this year, including “LOL” and “OMG” and “<3”. Thats right. According to the definitive glossary of the English language, “<3” is a real word. I think that the fellows down at the Oxford English Dictionary are letting their standards slip. But don’t tell them that: those cyberbullies will unfriend you faster than you can LOL.
Speaking of bullies, scientists in Singapore are breeding “suicide bombing bacteria.” Allow me to explain.
These scientists are breeding a strain of E. coli (which you may remember as the culprit behind the recent taintings of strawberries and papayas and ground turkey) that hunts down other strains of E. coli, then attaches to them, and then explodes, squirting deadly pyocin toxin all over both of them. So everybody dies, and we can eat diseased strawberries with impunity. They haven’t tried the kamikaze E. coli in a living animal yet, only in petri dishes, but I’ve got to imagine that taking this as medication would be similar to the sensation of swallowing Pop Rocks.
And the mention of “pop” and “rock” leads us to our Friday Katy Perry! She was recently in the movie, “The Smurfs” which has netted many millions of dollars. But when asked if she would give up music for acting, she said that she would enjoy doing cameos, but wouldn’t want to be a full-time actress. So fans of Katy Perry, you can breathe easy: you have many years of kissing girls and liking it ahead of you. Rock on, Katy Perry…rock on.
We ❤ Katy Perry.
(Note: I actually listened to her new album this morning on Spotify, and I have to say, in all honesty: it was dreadful. Sorry.)
(Alternate title for this article: “A couple of capybara buddies to have a beer with.”)
Keep a good heart; the worst is yet to come.