Sounds just like a human mother I know!

I clicked some random link today whilst checking out the news and came across a Discovery article that was pretty cool.

The cuckoo is like the trailer park trash of the bird world. The girl gets knocked up and leaves the baby on another bird’s doorstep, only to turn around and get knocked up again. Screw it, let everyone else take care of them! Watching youngin’s takes up too much time – time that should be used to chainsmoke Camel Reds and buy more hot pants to strut around in.

But really, imagine walking back into the room with some Biter Biscuits only to find that all of your children have been thrown out the window and there’s now an illegitimate child with a nicotine patch in their place screaming “FEED ME! FEEEEED ME!” – albeit with a convincing accent. Terrifying, if I may say so.

Cuckoo Chicks Change Calls to Mimic Host
Stephen Pincock, ABC Science Online

July 22, 2008 — The chicks of a species of Australian cuckoo can adjust their call in order to fool other species into rearing them, despite never having heard the cry, researchers have found.

Like their European counterparts, Australian cuckoos are well known for laying their eggs in the nests of other birds.

Once the chicks hatch, they kick out the host’s other eggs and set about convincing their foster parents to feed them by imitating the calls of the host’s offspring.

But researchers from the Australian National University and the University of Cambridge, report in the latest issue of the journal Evolution, that one species of cuckoo can modify its call depending on which species it has hooked up with.

Females of the Horsfield’s bronze-cuckoo (Chalcites basalis), usually lay their eggs in the nests of fairy-wrens, but will sometimes lay them in the nests of other species including thornbills and robins.

Chicks that hatch in a fairy-wren nest are known to copy that species’ short “cheep cheep” begging call, while chicks that hatch in the nests of thornbills imitate the thornbill’s long, rasping whine.


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Times Online Archives!

July 10, 2008

Recently, Times Online launched an archives section ranging from 1785 until 1985. I’m a history geek and I find this absolutely fucking fascinating. Think, for a second, of all the things you could look up. The emergence of submarines (u-boats), the discovery of penicillin, the flight of man — god damn, everything. Being this is my blog, however, I’ve found a few choice entries for you, fair reader. Enjoy. Or don’t.

Vampires! Why by golly. So they make us look like fools, do they? Here are a couple sad tales from France, including dung and an overdose:


And then we have this. Forget vampires, we got Bonnie & Clyde:

This isn’t even a scratch on the surface, and allah knows I’ll be clawing into this stuff for a long time now. The first mention of this, the first mention of that. Anything you can think of that relates to modern society is probably mentioned here somewhere. And it’s worth reading. Because as we all know, say it along with me kids, history — repeats — itself. Good job. Now if only Opium were still accepted. Search for the Opium Commission. Those English did not fuck around with their scag.

Security Question!

July 1, 2008

Enter only the letters with monkeys riding tricycles whilst licking the shoes of Japanese businessmen on them. Hey, it makes about as much sense as this:

It’s like a schizophrenic designed Rapidshare’s software security or something. Seriously, cats? I don’t even see any fucking cats, and if there were cats there, why would they be binded to giant letters? As if regular verification isn’t hard enough. Half the time letters are so italicised that they’re just a blur of squiggles.

Screw you, internet.