Cooling off at the Bat Clinic [via Nina Reznick]

Heat-stressed baby Flying Foxes, a type of bat, are lined up to feed at the Australian Bat Clinic in Queensland, Australia on Jan. 9. Thousands of bats near Brisbane and the Gold Coast have succumbed to extreme heat, falling out of trees and dying during a recent heat wave which is setting record high temperatures in Australia.

As only the Irish Can Tell A Story! [via Cacciatore]

Paddy had long heard the stories of an amazing family tradition.

It seems that his father, grandfather and great-grandfather had all been
able to walk on water on their 18th birthday. On that special day, they'd
each walked across the lake to the pub on the far side for their first legal

So when Paddy's 18th birthday came around, he and his pal Mick took a boat
out to the middle of the lake, Paddy, stepped out of the boat .... and nearly

Mick just barely managed to pull him to safety.

Furious and confused, Paddy went to see his grandmother .
"Grandma he asked, "Tis me 18th birthday, so why can't I walk across the lake like me
father, his father and his father before him?"

Granny looked deeply into Paddy's, troubled eyes and said,

"Because ye father, ye grandfather and ye great-grandfather were all born in December
when the lake is frozen, and ye were born in August, ya fekin idiot!"

Caught in a Toyota [via Nina Reznick]

There are no scratches on the outside of this car, but the
vehicle is totaled!

A man in Waterton Park , (south of Calgary ), came out to find the inside of his 18 month old Toyota Sequoia trashed. 

A grizzly bear had somehow got a door open.
Once inside it got trapped when the door shut behind him, 
probably by the wind.

The Toyota was the Platinum edition, all the door panels were ripped off, the head-liner torn to pieces, all headrests, the  leather seats, the dash shredded.
The steering column was twisted Sideways. Two of the six 
airbags went off, the other four the bear ripped to pieces. 

You can imagine a trapped grizzly being hit with an airbag in an enclosed space! 

He must have figured he was in for the fight of his life, and by 
the looks of this car, he won the fight.

When the bear ripped off the door panels he also clawed all  the wiring harnesses out.

Toyota figures every wire he pulled or clawed at resulted in 
alarm bells, voices or sparks.

The head mechanic at Calgary Toyota doubted if they had  the expertise to put this vehicle back together, even if they  had enough parts to do it. And, to add insult to injury, the  bear took a big Dump in the back of the SUV . . . and then  broke out the rear window. (So a bear dosen't always shit in the woods.) 

Fish and wildlife officers have inspected the damage and figure it was a 3 year old Grizzly.

The vehicle has been written off by the insurance company.

The cost of this fully optioned vehicle new was over $70,000, 
and they stopped counting the repair costs at $60,000 plus.

And we worry about colliding with a deer ???


SMARTER THAN EINSTEN? [via Nina Reznick]

When Jacob Barnett was 2 years old, he was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism. Doctors told his parents that the boy would likely never talk or read and would probably be forever unable to independently manage basic daily activities like tying his shoe laces.

But they were sorely, extraordinarily mistaken.

Today, Barnett -- now 14 -- is a Master's student, on his way to earning a PhD in quantum physics. According to the BBC, the teen, who boasts an IQ of 170, has already been tipped to one day win the Nobel Prize.

Since enrolling at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) at the age of 10, Barnett has flourished -- astounding his professors, peers and family with his spectacular intelligence.

The teen tutors other college students in subjects like calculus and is a published scientific researcher, with an IQ that is believed to be higher than that of Albert Einstein. In fact, according to a 2011 TIME report, Barnett, who frequently tops his college classes, has asserted that he may one day disprove Einstein's Theory of Relativity. (Watch him explain his genius to 60 minutes' Morley Safer in a 2012 interview in the video above.)

Outside of his rigorous university commitments, Barnett, who has Asperger's Syndrome, is also an entrepreneur and aspiring author.

The teen, who, with his family, runs a charity called Jacob's Place for kids on the spectrum, has used his story to raise awareness and dispel myths about autism.

"I'm not supposed to be here at all," he said last year during a TEDx Teen speech about "forgetting what you know" in New York City. "You know, I was told that I wouldn't talk. There's probably a therapist watching who is freaking out right now."

Though he makes it all look so easy, his mother, Kristine Barnett, says that he has to work hard on a daily basis to handle his autism.

"He overcomes it every day. There are things he knows about himself that he regulates everyday," his mother told the Indianapolis Star last month.

In April, Kristine Barnett's memoir about her family's experience with autism, "The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing Genius," was released. A movie deal is said to be in the works.

"I hope it really inspires children to actually be doing something," Barnett told the Star of his mom's book and potential film. "[I hope it] encourages them to do what they like doing. I just hope it is inspirational."

For more on Jacob Barnett, watch this March 2013 YouTube video of him working through what is described as "a simple quantum mechanics problem":

Give it some thought ... [via Cacciatore]

Mensa Question, give it some thought before peeking at the answer.

You are on a horse, galloping at a constant speed.

On your right side is a sharp drop-off.

And on your left side is a tiger traveling at the same speed as you.

Directly in front of you is another galloping horse, but your horse is unable to overtake it.

Behind you is a lion running at the same speed as you and the horse in front of you.

What must you do to safely get out of this highly dangerous situation?

See answer below…

Get your drunk ass off the merry-go-round 

Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn

Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn portraits maps drawing
Peak District, 2013. Pencil on a contoured map of the Peak District. 47 x 35in (120 x 90cm)

Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn portraits maps drawing
Colorado Geological, 2013. Pencil on a geological map of Colorado, the first of a series of works exclusive to the Mike Wright Gallery in Denver, Colorado.

Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn portraits maps drawing
Bristol Envelope, 2013. A small portrait, produced in ink on an original street map of Bristol (UK) – this was later cut and folded to form an envelope, combining the current map works produced by Fairburn and a previous project—postal art.

Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn portraits maps drawing
Yr Ods EP Cover, 2013. Pencil on contoured maps showing parts of Wales, produced for Welsh Band Yr Ods.

Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn portraits maps drawing
Shrewsbury, 2013. Progress shot, ink on a street map of Shrewsbury.

Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn portraits maps drawing
Innsbruck, 2013. Ink on a contoured map of Innsbruck/surrounding area, 20 x 20in (52 x 52cm) approx. Lines of elevation have been followed with a pen, the width of each line has been altered accordingly to build the different tones.

Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn portraits maps drawing
Pontypridd, 2013. Pencil on a contoured map of Pontypridd, South Wales (UK).
Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn portraits maps drawing
Solihull, 2013. Progress shot of a past experiment in inks.

Using a wide variety of canvases including railroad blueprints, star charts, geological and street maps, Welsh artist Ed Fairburn (previously here and here) uses addative and subtractive techniques to create portraits that seem pefectly integrated with the topography of streets, mountains and rivers. It’s been almost a year since we last checked in with Fairburn whose process and approach to creating these stunning portraits continues to evolve. One of his most striking methods is to carefully follow map contours with a pen creating rows of lines that vary by width to create individual forms and shadows. The final portraits are so entwined with the map, it becomes hard to imagine one existing without the other.

You can see Fairburn’s work for yourself at Mike Wright Gallery in Denver, Colorado starting January 17th, and he also has prints available here.

Things to do before you get old! [via Nina Reznick]

Rock climbing in South Africa

Sitting on the Trolltunga rock in Norway

Climbing Redwoods

Skywalking in the Alps

Extreme skiing in Wyoming

Ice climbing a frozen waterfall