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April 3, 2012

Ursine tool use – Episode 2: Ting Ting uses a rubber ball to scratch her back

Last week I reported on what The Economist called "the first case of ursine tool use."

Now comes my Crack Research Team®™©, drilling down way deep into the metaphorical rat runs and back alleys of the web to bring us this video, filmed at 11:30 a.m. July 17, 2011 at the Oakland [California] Zoo.

In it, the zoo's Bornean sun bear Ting Ting is seen using a rubber ball to scratch her back.

Tool use?

Or just another example of being "a little bit smarter than the average bear?"

You be the judge.

Wait a sec... who's that, looking like a bear but actually speaking English?

April 3, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

You're Late Temporary Tattoos


Designed by Julia Rothman for Tattly.


Set of six different colors: $18.

April 3, 2012 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

My not so brilliant running career


Not that anyone's interested but I thought I'd take up some space with an update on what's going down (not my times, that's for sure) with the state of boj road racing and whatnot now that one quarter of 2012 is in the books.

Is it just me or is the year whizzing by?

But I digress.

In the latter part of last year something happened in my brain or mind or wherever such things transpire, such that I suddenly got a long distance jones like I'd never had before.

So much so that I decided to try to run a half-marathon every month or so for the rest of my life.

The goal being, of course, to drop dead during the race.


Because then I don't have to run anymore.


But I digress yet again.

The Marine Corps Marathon on October 30, 2011 proved to be a beast for me: I did the first 13.1 miles in 2:32, then blew up and took 3:13 to finish the second 13.1 miles.

And it was a whole lot uglier than that sounds.

Anyhoo, as clifyt is wont to say, that woke me up and I decided 13.1 miles was my distance of choice.

I did the Three Bridges Half-Marathon outside Charlottesville on December 4, 2011, in 2:24, stopping many times to make movies with my new iPhone 4S.

I did the Colonial Half-Marathon in Williamsburg on February 26 of this year in 2:15.

The Charlottesville 10-Miler last Saturday beat me up, and I finished in 1:48 — 8 minutes slower than last year and six minutes slower than the first 10 miles of the Colonial Half five weeks earlier.

Go figure.

I was going along just fine at a sub-10-minute-mile pace for the first five miles but then ran out of gas, such that I completed the final five in about 12 minutes/mile (see results up top), which included a very pleasant 3-minute-long walk during mile seven.

Anyway, next up is the Charlottesville Half-Marathon this Saturday, April 6, with a 6:30 a.m. start that's the earliest I've ever begun a race.

I'm still feeling a few aches and pains and a little tired after the 10-Miler (as I write these words, it's only 55 hours ago that I finished it) and was thinking I was probably gonna bag the upcoming half in favor of the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon on May 6, but then I had stroke of inspiration (though who knows, it could well be the other kind, in me it might be hard to tell) and realized that even if I blow up a few miles into the upcoming half, it's not as if I'm in the middle of nowhere like with the Colonial — which was mostly through some primeval forest outside Williamsburg — but, rather, I'll be somewhere in Albemarle County where being sweaty and wearing a race bib and holding out my thumb for a ride back to the race start on the Downtown Mall will most likely result in just that as opposed to my vanishing from the face of the Earth.

So I'm gonna be there come Saturday morning.

After Pittsburgh I've got no races planned till the Richmond Half in November but I'm actively looking for half-marathons in June, July, August, September and October.

Who knows, maybe I'll visit your neck of the woods.

And how great is it that the 10-Miler official race results (top) had me down as a female?

Who knew?


Note added at 6:21 p.m. today: Just got back from a 3 mile run in my new Nike Mayflys* (fo shizzle). Could I have done 10 more, like I'm gonna be called on to do Saturday morning? Hey, I've got 3+ more days to rest, ask me Saturday afternoon.

*The shoe is called the Mayfly. I know the plural of fly is flies, but if the shoe model name is Mayfly I'm gonna go out on a sugar-coated limb and say that the correct plural of the shoe model is Mayflys.

Don't like it?

Call Phil Knight.


Note added at 6:42 p.m. today: A blog post is never finished, only abandoned, to paraphrase Paul Valéry**: I just found a redundant sentence in the original post and corrected it.

**"A work of art is never finished, only abandoned."

April 3, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Safari Animal Butt Magnets


What took so long?


Set of six includes lion, elephant, tiger, giraffe, hippo, and leopard.





April 3, 2012 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The strange road trips of Calder Brannock


Long, entertaining story by Maura Judkis in Sunday's Washington Post Arts section short: "For more than two years, the 27-year-old artist has been leading other artists in the 'Adventure Residency' — a series of curated travel experiences to places that inspire him. There, the artists create work for Brannock's roving gallery, Camper Contemporary, which is a white cube space inside a 1967 Yellowstone camper-trailer."

Apply within.  

Adventure Residency Program Headquarters is open at Flashpoint, 916 G St. N.W. in Washington, D.C., through April 27.

Free, the way we like it.

Up top, a piece by Mike Thompson that accompanied the Post story.

April 3, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bacon Jam


That's different.

From the March 2012 issue of The Washingtonian: "The bacon craze has resulted in many pork-infused disasters — ice creams, air fresheners — so we were skeptical when Virginia Lamb & Meats' bacon jam ($8) appeared at the Dupont Circle FreshFarm Market. But after sampling the bourbon-colored spread, which has echoes of maple syrup, we're hooked."

"Virginia Lamb owners Corey and Janet Childs aren't jumping on a current trend but mining an old one. 'Potting,' or slow-cooking meat with a good deal of fat, is a tradition. For the jam, bacon is smoked from the hogs raised by the couple's 14-year-old son, then braised. Spread it on toast for a double BLT or grilled cheese, mix it into a steak marinade, or slather it on pancakes. However you use it, this is one product that will survive the bacon boom."

Available here

Email: info@virginialamb.com.

[Photo up top by Erik Uecke]

April 3, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Historical Background and Review of the German Mercator Knife (aka "Cat Knife")

Get yours here.

[via Alan Fick]

April 3, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Series One Watch


$125 (time included).

April 3, 2012 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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