Tag Archives: animals

Get Ur Squeak On

Proves that you can get anyway with pretty much anything as long as it’s (a) cute, and (b) animated.

Also, some ‘outtakes‘ (in the Pixar tradition), on the designers’ website…

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Milking It

Credit where credit’s due…

Guardian Weekend cover 23 August 2008Evidently someone in The Guardian‘s art department has some classic vinyl at home: compare the cover for yesterday’s Guardian Weekend (above) with the sleeve art from hard rock band Mama Lion’s 1972 album Preserve Wildlife (below): Mama Lion Preserve Wildlife album cover

Points to The Guardian for revisiting the timeless theme of long-haired, slightly-disheveled blondes suckling cute baby animals, but our vote goes to the original shot of Mama Lion’s lead singer Lynn Carey and the kitty cat.

If you’ve never heard Mama Lion, hunt them down for some Joplin-esque, bluesy rock. Carey also turned in a storming vocal performance as the singing voice of character Kelly McNamara (played by actress Dolly Read) in Russ Meyer’s cult film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

[Thanks to Helen Noir for introducing us to the music of Lynn Carey and Mama Lion]

UPDATE: More album-art suckling identified by our readers. See the comments, below…

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Givenchy Giraffe

Corinne Day channels Richard Avedon for UK Vogue.


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Hamster Shredder

A brilliantly lean piece of design (rather than a torture device for small furry things).

hamstershredder.jpgTom Ballhatchet‘s hamster-powered paper shredder. Genius.

Via Core77.

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The Sheep Market

Artful clickfarming.


Turking meets art meets politics in Aaron Koblin’s online work The Sheep Market.

Koblin used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk webservice to recruit 10,000 workers for a simple task — to each submit a drawing of a ‘sheep facing left’. All sheep can be viewed on the website, and what a diverse flock they are: from fluffy and well-proportioned, to stick-legged and wobbly.

The work is open to critical interpretation or simple woolly appreciation. You can even purchase (while stocks last) sets of stickers of your favourite sheep.

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Happy Valentine’s Day

“Birds do it, bees do it/Even educated fleas do it”…

Whatever you’re doing on the 14th, we offer an alternative take on romance for your enjoyment: Scanner‘s 2002 Valentine’s Day radio piece The Sounds of Love, featuring (in no particular order):

Bats; Albatrosses; Tungler frogs; Asian Lions; Billygoats; Mute Swans; Elephants; Puerto Rican Tree Frogs; Peacocks; Swallows; Beluga Whales; Capuchin Birds; Blue Tits; Cats; Bees; Grey Lions; Toads; Satin Bowerbirds; Grey Seals; Hammer Headed Fruit Bats; Swallow Gulls and Elephant Seals

Scanner played an awesome spatialised version of this at the recent Future of Sound launch. Find more of his works on the compendious, tremendous UbuWeb.


Originally transmitted by the BBC on 13th February 2002.

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The Difference A Year Makes: The Cat Circus

Footage now readily available online. We are beside ourselves with happiness.

With thanks to Tom.

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Shame Fame

We have a little theory about PETA and the fashion industry…

We all know that PETA have a long history of stunts against fashion industry fur fanciers. But do they (or we) ever consider how PETA has in fact done a grand job of publicising and popularising their ‘victims’?

Example One. Julien MacDonald’s show at London Fashion Week. Having been Creative Director at Givenchy a few years back, he quit after a few lacklustre collections. He now has his own line at Debenhams department store and Paris Hilton as a muse — oh, and he’s the catty judge on Sky One’s Project Catwalk. So his show was hardly destined to be front page news — and certainly not big news outside the UK fashion fish bowl. That is, until the PETA flour bombing incident. (Note this also got everyone’s favourite publicity whore, Paris, the lion’s share of the coverage too.)

Example Two. Anna Wintour. Although a known and respected fashion editor, she truly entered mainstream consciousness when PETA started dumping dead raccoons on her dinner plate in restaurants. Since then it’s been one long panto season of ‘Nuclear Wintour’ vs. the animal rights loons, garnering plenty of press for both American Vogue and PETA in the process. It’s also a win-win situation on both sides (although we’re sure damned inconvenient for Wintour on occasion) — PETA make Anna their very own Cruella de Ville and Wintour looks like a stoic protector of Vogue’s (crucial) advertisers.

Example Three. The ‘Giselle fur scum’ sign paraded on the Victoria’s Secret catwalk behind an oblivious-looking Giselle a few years back. She did pretty well out of that did she not? In fact, it seems to have become staple image in any press coverage of PETA — namechecking the VS underwear label as well, of course.

It’s just a thought…

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Branded Taxonomies

A whimsical thought from The Economist.

echidna.JPGLast year the name of a Bolivian monkey was bought in an online auction for $650,000 by the online casino Golden Palace. Now Golden Palace’s entire marketing strategy is based on doing quirky things in order to generate publicity — they are the proud owners of William Shatner’s gallstone, for instance. That is not The Economist‘s concern however — this article is more interested in the science of taxonomy and the issue of inspiration.

That Bolivian monkey is now the proud owner of the moniker Callicebus Aureipalatii and The Economist thinks that there is a marketing opportunity in branded taxonomies:

Notwithstanding recent discoveries in New Guinea (the ‘lost world’ reported this week) few biologists these days have flashy mammals and birds to hawk around. But a little imagination might find sponsors for lesser creatures. For, while a wealthy airline (if any still exist) might aspire to a Papuan bird of paradise, its low-cost confrere could consider something a bit more within its budget – a butterfly perhaps? And which building society would not be seriously tempted by its own bee? These humble yet hard working animals save in the summer to survive through the winter – and build their own homes, to boot. Neglected molluscs could, meanwhile, be snapped up by Shell, while moth taxonomy would certainly be boosted by the interest of the construction firm, Caterpillar.

The article has a nice sign off, too:

Detractors of such horrid commercialisation there will no doubt be. But they might consider that taxonomists have been amusing themselves quietly for years, as names as Colon rectum (a beetle), Ba humbugi (a snail), Oedipus complex (a salamander) and Ytu brutus (a beetle) attest. Besides, how much disrepute could commerce really bring to the discipline what brought the world Trombicula fujigmo, a mite whose name is an acronym for ‘fuck you Jack, I got my orders’.

Pictured is our own BST-sponsored creature, Monstrum mirabile visu — a new type of echidna. More about the state of taxonomy and a proposed ‘ZooBank’ of names is available on the The Economist site.

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As it was foretold…

Bible gets it right re: odd couples in the animal kingdom.

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. Isaiah 11 : 6-9

hamster and snake.jpgA Tokyo zoo reports that a snake is co-habiting with a hamster which was initially introduced to its tank as lunch. The bizarre pairing joins the now-famous odd couples of a year-old hippo and a 107-year old tortoise in Kenya and the tigress that adopted an onyx back in 2002. hippo and tortoise.jpg

“I have never seen anything like it,” a zookeeper at the Mutsugoro Okoku zoo said, adding that the hamster was known to fall asleep sitting atop the snake. The hamster was initially offered to Aochan, the two-year-old rat snake, because it was refusing to eat frozen mice, the Associated Press reports. As a joke, the zookeeper said they named the hamster Gohan – the Japanese word for meal.

Via the BBC and included because no BST week is complete without a comedy wildlife story.

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