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February 12, 2019

Flying Squirrels That Glow Pink in the Dark

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From the New York Times:

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One spring night in Wisconsin, John Martin, a biologist, was in his backyard with an ultraviolet flashlight.

Suddenly, a hot-pink squirrel flew by.

It was a southern flying squirrel, a small, furry creature most active at dawn and dusk.

Under most circumstances, it has a warm brown color.

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But in the beam of Dr. Martin's flashlight, it sported a gaudy Day-Glo hue closer to something you might see in a nightclub or a Jazzercise class circa 1988.

He told his colleagues at Northland College, but of course, everyone was pretty skeptical, said Allison Kohler, a graduate student at Texas A&M University.

Dr. Martin asked Ms. Kohler, then a student at Northland, to look into it.

After examining more than 100 specimens of flying squirrels across two museum collections and spotting five more squirrels under UV light in the wild, the researchers and their colleagues reported surprising results last week in the Journal of Mammalogy: The pink is real.

Three different species of flying squirrel — southern, northern and Humboldt's flying squirrel — turned that color under ultraviolet illumination.

What the flying squirrels get out of it is still a mystery.

Confirming that the squirrels are even capable of seeing in ultraviolet wavelengths will require additional study, Ms. Kohler said.

While ultraviolet fluorescence in mammals has not been closely studied, it is not unheard-of in other parts of the animal kingdom.

Birds and butterflies have many brilliant markings that are usually invisible to humans, who can't see ultraviolet wavelengths except under special lighting, but that are easily spotted by other members of their species.

Fluorescence is common in the oceans, too.

Studies have found that birds may use fluorescent markings when choosing a mate, and fish flash at other members of their species while darting through reefs.

The researchers have some hypotheses concerning what's behind the squirrels' Day-Glo displays.

Ultraviolet rays are abundant during the dawn and dusk periods when the squirrels are moving around.

So it is reasonable to expect that the fluorescence is visible to other organisms even when there are no biologists with UV flashlights in the vicinity.

The vivid pink color might have evolved to confuse the owls who prey on the squirrels.

Those birds of prey fluoresce in precisely the same hue themselves; a flying squirrel may look, superficially at least, like a flying owl.

Or, if it's confirmed that the squirrels see UV, the color might have something to do with mating or signaling to other flying squirrels.

"It could also just be not ecologically significant to the species," Ms. Kohler said, noting that future work will delve into the question. "It could just be a cool color that they happen to produce."

February 12, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

The 50 Fastest Speeding Tickets in Texas in 2018

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Res ipsa loquitur.

February 12, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Susan Hiller: Stories From The Other Side

From Vimeo

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A cascade of voices belonging to people who have been declared physically dead, but lived to tell the story, comes together in a ghostlike installation of 104 screens.

Experience the intriguing art installation by the late American conceptual artist Susan Hiller (1940-2019).

"Channels," the installation artwork Hiller discusses, centers on death and near-death experiences.

The 104 television screens, which the artwork consists of, are programmed with visuals in shades of blue — echoing the "screen of death" in computer terms and the "stand-by screen" in TV-terms — and a myriad of voices belonging to people who have had near-death experiences.

The result is fascinating and somewhat uncanny.

Hiller is interested in investigating certain occurrences, such as near-death experiences, which have become subject to ridicule and even embarrassment: "The point is that the stories are there, and it's worth looking into them."

The incidents furthermore seem to contradict the common belief that the brain is a source of consciousness or reality.

In the early 1980s the London-based Hiller began to make innovative use of audio and visual technology.

Her groundbreaking installations, multi-screen videos, and audio works have achieved international recognition and are widely acknowledged as a major influence on younger British artists.

Hiller's works are based on specific cultural artefacts from our society, which she uses as basic materials.

With a practice extending over 40 years, she has been recognized by mid-career survey exhibitions at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts (1986), Tate Liverpool (1996), and Tate Britain (2011).

For more about Hiller: susanhiller.org/

For this video, Hiller was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg in connection with her exhibition "Channels" at Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen, February 2015.

February 12, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

My brand new logo

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"A professional design for everyone."

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Free, the way we like it.

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Tell you what,

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I think I'll stand pat.

February 12, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

18 Karat Solid Gold Casio G-Shock Watch

YouTube caption

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We're excited to share with you some images of the first G-Shock concept watch.

Rather than being for sale, this solid gold DW5600 is a one-off conceptual watch that was created by G-Shock's founding father, Mr. Kikuo Ibe.

Mr. Ibe had long desired to create a solid gold watch as a way to symbolize G-Shock's toughness, using one of the toughest metals on the planet: gold (solid 18 karat gold!).

On the 25th and 26th of August 2015, Mr. Ibe was in Sydney, Australia to personally show local media the watch.

Mr. Ibe revealed that it cost around $100,000 just to create this one-off G-Shock.

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A bit rich for your blood?

I've got you covered.

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GMWB5000GD-9_hd

The Full Metal 5000 is a brand new, specially crafted all-metal timepiece.

Inspired by the first G-SHOCK model, DW5000C, this upgraded original boasts a modern lustrous color way while maintaining a vintage aesthetic.

The watch also incorporates one of the first and most iconic G-SHOCK case designs, featuring a vintage square-shaped case and bezel with a brick pattern on the face and gorgeous gold color accent.

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A snip at $550.

February 12, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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