“My mum told me that if I didn’t want to get pregnant, I should put a potato up there. I believed her.”

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After complaining to physicians about abdominal pain, doctors found a sprouting potato deep inside a 22-year-old Colombian girl, which she had been using as some type of backwoods contraception device. Apparently, Mother does not always know best.

Picture of the Day & The Weekly Round-Up

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David Benjamin Sherry

Last Week…

We looked through some of Ed Templeton’s nudes

Tim & Eric made a hilarious commercial for GE

We released the TWBE FC Home Team Party Cap. Buy one!

Nixie made a drone camera that you wear on your wrist

and

Rocky Barnes was our Muse

Pygmy Falcon

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Odd Creatures is a recurring column about the world’s weirdest species written by award-winning science writer and author Bec Crew, and illustrated by the super-talented Aiyana Udesen

 

Look at this tiny little fighter pilot. This is the pygmy falcon, (Polihierax semitorquatus), Africa’s smallest raptor bird. Native to several regions in Africa, including southern Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, this compact killer only grows to about 20 centimeters long (a bit less than 8 inches), which makes it only slightly larger than a house sparrow. But don’t let this guy’s small stature and extreme fluff fool you – it doesn’t just hunt insects, lizards, snakes and mice, it also hunts other birds, striking them down in mid-air and ripping them from their nests.

And speaking of nests, the pygmy falcon sure knows how to live in style. They’re too busy dive-bombing the shit out of their prey to worry about domestic matters like building a nest, so they move into other species’ nests instead. In southern Africa, the pygmy falcon population lives and breeds in the enormous homes of the sociable weaver bird (Philetairus socius), the largest and arguably most elaborate structures built by any bird on the planet. Sometimes these nests will stretch 7 meters across and can easily weigh more than a ton. They basically look like someone threw a big, golden-brown haystack in a tree and it stuck. Sometimes they’re so big, they snap the branches and collapse all over the place.

Built like the bird equivalent of an apartment block, the sociable weaver’s nest can house hundreds of pairs of birds from several generations. They’re sectioned off like honeycomb with over 100 little chambers connected by a complex system of tunnels and entrances, and lined with plant matter, fur and cotton. They even have their own heating and cooling systems, with internal chambers retaining the heat to keep everyone warm at night, and the cooler rooms arranged around the edge of the structure to be used as a shady refuge during the day. These nests can be occupied for over a century before they start to decay.

Inside, the pygmy falcons can be quite sweet for the miniature assassins that they are, occasionally living in what’s known as polyandrous relationships, which means the chicks are cared for by three, sometimes four adults, including both parents. The reason for this congregation of babysitters could be for added defense, or maybe they just enjoy the warmth of all that collective fluff.

The pygmy falcons aren’t the only ones who take advantage of the hospitality of the aptly named sociable weavers – Kalahari tree skinks (Trachylepis spilogaster) also gather around their colossal nests, feeding, nesting, and basking in the sun. And a study conducted by Australian researchers earlier this year found that although lizards are one of the pygmy falcon’s absolute favorite foods, they appear to have absolutely no effect on the tree skinks’ population near the weaver nests. None. In fact, they report that, “We observed skinks on all trees with active pygmy falcon nests, while we observed no skinks on three trees without pygmy falcon nests.” WTF are you doing, lizards?

While it’s not clear why the pygmy falcons aren’t eating the Kalahari tree skinks to oblivion, it could be because they’re hunting and eating everything else, including the skinks’ other predators, so are inadvertently protecting them. If you’re going to be protected by something, it might as well be a communal-living puffball of death.
 

—Bec Crew / @BecCrew

Art Tonight (and this weekend) in New York

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Peter Sutherland and Jim Mangan at Muddguts, Lance De Los Reyes at The Hole, and Chuck Webster drawing at the Wythe Hotel. All the info below.

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16-Bits of Surrealism

The Persistence of Pixels, an homage to Dalí

Linked Out

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Every week Chris Black uses his superior internet reading abilities to provide you with a list of links to things that you’re bound to find interesting
 
When Was Pop Music At Its Lowest Point?

Accidental Cool Art

The Trouble With Electric Cars

Why You Hate Work

Skateboarding As Religion

The Importance of Friendship Diversity

Remembering The Golden Age of the American Airport

Don’t Do the Things You Love

Worst Selfies Ever

A&F Quarterly: The Story of Abercrombie’s Highbrow, Controversial, Sort of Amazing Magalog

Can Psychedelics Expand Our Consciousness?

 

— Chris Black / @donetodeath

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Friday’s Vault

Reese Forbes In Eastern Exposure 3

Picture of the Day

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Jason John Würm

Listen Below: YACHT, Slothrust, Prof, Jon Hopkins, Rich The Kid, The White White Quilt, Audio Push, Dirt Dress, and Diamond D

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New and recent music for your desktop speakers
 
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Lunchtime Laughter

A headfirst slide into third base doesn’t go exactly as planned.

Crystal Girls

A series of work by Noé Sendas

Printables

Levon-Mosgofian

Was Levon Mosgofian of Tea Lautrec Litho the Most Psychedelic Printer in Rock? by Ben Marks

If it weren’t for the career pressmen at companies such as Bindweed Press, Cal Litho, West Coast Litho, and Tea Lautrec Litho, the drug-fueled dreams of Wes Wilson, Alton Kelley, Stanley Mouse, Victor Moscoso, and Rick Griffin might never have seen the light of day.

Flying Lotus – Never Catch Me (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

Not sure when music videos started getting called films, but this one is by Hiro Murai.

The Irony of it All

banksy-immigration

A new street piece by Banksy poking fun at the anti-immigration U.K. Independence Party was buffed from its location in Clacton-on-Sea yesterday after many in the town complained that it was racist.

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Morning Dose of the Tina Belcher Moombahton Mix

by Eclectic Method

You can’t deny the power of a Kate Moss breast to bring awareness to a good cause

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It is Thursday after all…

Picture of the Day

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Graham Nash
Hiroshima, Japan, 1985

The High Price of True Perfectionism

Perfectionism

According to a new paper in the Review of General Psychology “real perfectionism can be devastatingly destructive, leading to crippling anxiety or depression, and it may even be an overlooked risk factor for suicide.”

The Entire ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy in 3 Minutes

 

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