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January 24, 2020

Giant Technicolor Squirrels of India


From Atlas Obscura:

If you're passing below a thick tree canopy in peninsular India and happen to hear a scurrying above you, be sure to look up.

You might catch a glimpse of a striking squirrel whose fur appears to have been hand-painted with splashes of brown, orange, maroon, and black.

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Meet the Malabar giant squirrel, which boasts an all-natural technicolor coat.

Also known as shekru, these bright, bushy beauties, which are endemic to India, stretch as much as three feet long — much longer than the eastern gray squirrel and other less-fantastical counterparts. 

The patchwork fur may help the squirrels hide up in the sun-speckled canopy, which would be an advantage, because they spend most of their lives up there, scampering among the branches and nibbling on flowers, bark, seeds, insects, and bird eggs.

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Their feathery, charcoal-colored tails help them balance while they teeter on narrow branches or hang straight down to feast.

High above the forest floor, they're out of many predators' reach — but if they are startled, though (say, by one of their winged predators, like the crested serpent eagle), they plop down flush against the branches, as though trying to melt into them.

Ratufa_indica_(Bhadra _2006)

The squirrel is the state animal of Maharashtra — and if you're setting out to spot some, your best bet will be in that region's Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, tucked among the green, rolling Western Ghats mountain range.

The sanctuary was established in the 1980s and has seen the squirrel population grow since.

The animals have popped up on endangered species lists, but a census of the furry residents found that their numbers climbed by 8% in the sanctuary between 2015 and 2016.


Researchers surveyed squirrel nests in the nearby mango, coconut palm, and jamun trees, and estimated that there were 2,145 individuals bedding down in the branches there.

Each squirrel may build as many as eight nests; in 2017, the sanctuary's census counted more than 22,000 of them.


As an extra boost to the animals' numbers in the wild, the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park and Research Centre launched a breeding effort in July 2018.

Soon, there may be more of these colorful creatures than ever.

The nearest airport and train station are in Pune. Buses depart regularly from Shivajinagar Bus Terminus, but private transportation may be easier if you plan to tack on some impromptu exploring. 

January 24, 2020 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

My Kindle Direct royalty tax form is ready

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Next slide please.

Since my Kindle Direct royalties for my book (pictured in the upper right of every boj post and page since 2004) for 2019 amounted to a grand total of 35 (thirty-five) cents, I'm gonna go rogue and bag paying income tax on it.

January 24, 2020 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Raspberry Beret" — Prince

Who says there are no second chances in life?

In case you didn't click on the link to this sublime 1985 video in this morning's 8:01 a.m. post 'cause you were barely compos mentis, here's another crack at the piñada.

January 24, 2020 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why I like livestreaming my life on Twitter

Back in 1996 when JenniCam started, I was in awe of her.

I still am.

Now that I can do a G-rated version of what she did, I finally feel like I've achieved my dream since forever, namely bookofjoeTV.

I posted about it from boj's get-go, with each promising step toward making it possible for a TechnoDolt©® like moi to broadcast my life making me that much more eager to get started.

I thought getting Google Glass in 2013 would do the trick but that turned out to be a flop.

Now that easy livestreaming is finally here, it's as much fun as I'd hoped it would be.

The fact that only a handful of people ever see it doesn't matter.

What I've realized is that there's something magical — for me — about being plugged in live to the internet/world wide web/virtual world: it's as if I'm completing a circuit and some sort of gratifying internal electricity is flowing.

Very few people have my point of view: everyone I know would do anything possible not to have people know what they're doing.

Diff'rent strokes. 

January 24, 2020 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Helpful Hints from joeeze: A tight bottom sheet will enhance your sleeping experience

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I've long since realized that if my bottom sheet is taut and wrinkle-free I'm way more likely to get a good night's sleep than if it's loose and creased and saggy.

I solved this problem last century with what used to be called Sleep-Snug clips (below),


made to affix your sheet to the fat mattress welts at the intersection of the sides and bottom.


The only thing that makes these clips — now called "Bed Sheet Grippers" — not perfect is that they can be very, very difficult to attach firmly, to the point where sometimes I'd get exhausted with repeated attempts to simultaneously pull the sheet taut while enclosing it inside the narrow cleft of the Sleep-Snug along with the mattress welt.


About a month or so ago I was sitting here doing something close to nothing, but different than the day before, when it occurred to me that a binder clip — a regular old office standby — might work for sheet tightening.

I tried various ones I had sitting around the house and found a perfect solution with a 4"-wide LION clip pictured up top. 

Easy to clip on and it stayed on.

I ordered another 8 so I could put 3 on each side of my mattress (I don't bother with the head end 'cause it's difficult to get to what with that end of my bed up against the wall: besides, pulling the other 3 sides tight creates a very taut sheet.

I had my Crack Research Team©® drill down for a good price for these clips after my first pass yielded Amazon's $6 apiece.

Office Depot offers them for $2.49 each, with 20% off bringing the price down to about $2.

They're $1.99 apiece here.

Be sure you're getting genuine LION clips, item #15510 stamped on each clip under the brand name.

If you're not satisfied with the tautness of your sheets after using these clips, let me know and clifyt will refund twice what you paid for them.

January 24, 2020 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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