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June 11, 2012

Tube-Lipped Nectar Bat sports longest tongue (relative to body length) in the world

From Life's Little Mysteries:

A team of explorers for the National Geographic Channel has captured never-before-seen footage of the tube-lipped nectar bat, a peculiar species discovered in 2005 in the cloud forests of Ecuador. The bat is camera-worthy thanks to one attribute in particular: its incredibly long, wormlike tongue.

The 2.5-inch bat sports a 3.5-inch tongue — the longest (relative to body length) of any mammal in the world. If humans were similarly proportioned, we'd have nine feet of flesh spilling out of our mouths.

To capture this striking footage of the bat plunging its tongue into nectar-laden flowers, the NatGeo team cut a tiny hole into the base of a flower and installed a special slow-motion camera inside, which slowed the action by 40 times.

On top of upping the tongue length record in class Mammalia, the discovery of the tube-lipped nectar bat in 2005 also solved a longstanding mystery: The question of what pollinated the plant Centropogon nigricans, which stashes its pollen deep within its flutelike bloom. Turns out, the flower depends solely on this bat and its outsized tongue.

The footage will air as part of the "Untamed Americas" TV documentary series, which premiers on the National Geographic Channel tonight (Monday, June 11) at 9 p.m. ET/PT in the U.S.

Gene Simmons, call your office: you've got mail.

[via Joe Peach]

June 11, 2012 at 05:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Museum of Endangered Sounds

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Created by Brendan Chillcutt who wrote:

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I launched the site in January of 2012 as a way to preserve the sounds made famous by my favorite old technologies and electronics equipment. For instance, the textured rattle and hum of a VHS tape being sucked into the womb of a 1983 JVC HR-7100 VCR. As you probably know, it's a wonderfully complex sound, subtle yet unfiltered. But, as streaming playback becomes more common in the US, and as people in developing nations like Canada and the UK get brought up to DVD players, it's likely that the world will have seen and heard the last of older machines like the HR-7100. And as new products come to market, we stand to lose much more than VCRs.

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Imagine a world where we never again hear the symphonic startup of a Windows 95 machine. Imagine generations of children unacquainted with the chattering of angels lodged deep within the recesses of an old cathode ray tube TV. And when the entire world has adopted devices with sleek, silent touch interfaces, where will we turn for the sound of fingers striking QWERTY keypads? Tell me that. And tell me: Who will play my GameBoy when I'm gone?

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These questions and more led me to the undertaking that is The Museum Of Endangered Sounds.

My 10-year plan is to complete the data collection phase by the year 2015, and spend the next seven years developing the proper markup language to reinterpret the sounds as a binary composition.

If you don't understand my passion and the significance of my work now, you probably never will. But if you do, then you've come to the right place.

And please, please email me if you enjoy the museum or have any questions! I love to hear from people and need to know what gadget sounds I am missing.

Thank you!

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[via reader Jean Roberts who added, "Small site with great potential." Concur.]

June 11, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Experts' Experts: Cook's Illustrated's favorite peeler

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In the latest issue (July & August) of the ad-free magazine, the only type whose editorial content can be taken at face value, their gimlet-eyed testers evaluated 16 peelers, tossing six aside as FAILs without even putting them through the final boot camp, then selecting two that rose above the rest, with one — at $3.95 the cheapest of them all (#3 overall was the most expensive at $18) — being anointed the magazine's new favorite.

Pictured up top, the winner: Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler ($3.95).

The runner-up was the Messermeister Pro-Touch Fine Edge Swivel Peeler ($14.90), below.

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The old adage "You get what you pay for" appears to be in serious danger of being swept aside in the new era.

June 11, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

What is it?

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Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: smaller than a bread box.

Another: not of this century.

June 11, 2012 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Cat walks down refrigerator

Gray Cat has been studying this video all morning, preparing for her initial descent.

Stay tuned for a bookofjoe World Exclusive.

[via Kay (Leah)]

June 11, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Titanium SlatGrill

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9"W x 9"L x 4"H.

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Slats can be used as skewers.

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Weighs one pound, breaks down almost flat.

Uses any heat source, from wood to a camp stove.

Stainless steel chains for lifting and moving grill while hot.

$189.

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

"This is how I met my new boyfriend"

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By Molly McAleer.

June 11, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Banana Wine Bottle Stopper

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From the website:

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This handy bottle stopper is made of silicone and will fit neatly in the top of your wine bottle once it has been uncorked.

Food-grade silicone creates an air-tight seal and a bogus banana is sure to amuse and raise many a smile.

10cm (3.9") high.

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"Bogus banana" — good one, that.

$7.97.

June 11, 2012 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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