Dinosaur down!

Dinosaur down!

One of our cats, Tosh, decided to smite our dinosaur plants while we were sleeping last night.

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. I mean, they’ve chopped down their cat tree at one point.

Cats rearranging furniture

Drunken shark killer

Speaking of people with large balls, a drunken Serbian man killed a shark by jumping on its head.

“Dragan climbed on the jumping board, told me to hold his beer and simply ran to jump. There was no time for me to react or to try to stop him, he just went for it” says Milovan. “Dragan jumped high and plunged down to the sea, but didn’t make as much splash as we thought he would”, explained Milovan.

The reason could be because Dragan Stevic ended up jumping straight on the shark which was lurking near the beach, probably looking for its next victim. Dragan had nailed it right in the head, killing it instantly. The Egyptian police found the shark washed out on the beach that morning.

Dragan was able to swim to the shore and told his friends he had twisted his ankle, telling them the water was not that soft. The water is soft buddy, you just landed on a shark. At the moment, the fearless hero is in a hospital recovering from alcohol poisoning. After Dragan gets well, he will get a chance to have some more drinks as the resort had awarded the Serb tourist with a free vacation for his heroic deed.

Part of me thinks this is some sort of fake story, but part of me really, really wants it to be true.

[Via Geekologie]

The 12 year old matador

The Justin Bieber of bullfighting?

I can say for a fact, this is something I never considered doing as a kid.

Though he stands just four feet ten—short, even for a kid who is about to turn 13—Michelito has become internationally renowned for his exploits in the ring. By his own estimate, he has already put the sword to 300 bulls. Ask him if he remembers his first kill and he says, “It was October 27, 2005, in my mother’s home state of Tabasco. I was 6 years old.” Four years later he tried to set a Guinness World Record for novice bullfighters (novilleros) by slaying six bulls in a single appearance—and succeeded, but Guinness refused to recognize it. (“We do not accept records based on the killing or harming of animals,” its website explained.) This past June, Michelito became the youngest matador ever to perform in the world’s largest bullfighting arena; he was such a hit that he was invited back in August.

[Via Daily Dish]

Lucky for them, they’re cute

It was 4AM. MEEEEOOOOOWWWW! Crash! Thump! Thump thump thump! Boom! MEEOW! Bang! *BOOM*! Crash! Pow!

It’s a good thing Tosh and Tegan are so cute. Because I’m not too happy with them waking up the whole neighborhood every night. When I see them curled up like this, I almost feel bad for considering giving them away. Or shooting them with a NERF gun.

Cute monsters

Cute monsters

So long, Axl-dog.


I remember when we first picked Axl up, back in August of 2001.

We went down to a nearby pet store, specifically looking for a new dog. The local humane society had setup a small pen with dozens of adorable puppies. All of them were yipping, running around, playing with each other. How could one choose between so many animals? My sister, mom, and I debated. There was a cute dalmatian sitting in the corner.

My mom shot down that idea, “No! Besides, dalmatians often have health problems.”

My sister focused on this adorable pile of black fur sitting in the middle of the pen. It looked happy as can be, ignoring the other rambunctious pups tussling around it. Sitting on his hind legs, ears flopped over, head slightly cocked, tongue hanging out, and mouth stuck agape as if he was smiling.

My sister said, “I want that one!” And so, it was.

Axl as a Puppy

– – –

All puppies are adorable. But Axl was especially so (at least in our eyes). Nearly perfectly behaved, not too overactive, easy to train. Compared to previous dogs we’ve had, he was incredible!

He’d love to be nearby, that way he could always have an eye on what you were doing. Whether it was on the couch, or on my homework.



– – –

Little did we know, that cute, compact pile of fur (which we initially thought was a chow / black lab mix) would grow into a large beast of a dog. A beast, but a gentle giant. It turns out, he was a newfoundland.

We found this out while taking Axl for a walk in the park a few years ago. A lady walking her dogs passed by and said, “Oh wow! I love your newfoundland! He’s so beautiful!”

Confused, we said, “I think you’re mistaken, he’s a black lab!”

But the lady was insistent, “No! He’s definitely a newfoundland.”

So, we looked it up when we got home. After seeing photos, we were flabbergasted.

Here is your average, typical photo of Axl:


And here is your average, typical photo of a newfoundland (according to Wikipedia):


– – –

Well, that was certainly exciting news. And it earned Axl a new nickname. We called him the Goofy Newfy. And the descriptions of typical newfoundlands certainly made sense.

It is known to be one of the kindest and gentlest dogs. It is for this reason that this breed is known as “the gentle giant”.

All of this was true. Axl was the absolute sweetest, most well behaved, and loyal dog we’ve ever had. He was at his happiest when someone was there to pet him. That’s really all he ever wanted.

The Happy Newfie!

– – –

Of course, with the newfound knowledge of Axl’s ancestry, was the stunning realization that newfoundlands often have serious health problems — their lifespan typically ranges anywhere from 8 years to 13 years, which is quite a bit shorter than your average dog.

But surely, our Axl would be an exception He was always so limber and active.

Axl as a Puppy

Axl playing with volleyball

And he loved playing in the creek, or sitting in front of a fan to cool off.


Axl-dog being cool

Though sometimes, you got the impression that all he ever did was sit in front of a fan…


– – –

Sadly, over the past year or so, he’s become a bit slower, more lethargic, and even larger. It seems his “old” age was catching up to him. You’d often find him just sitting around. As long as he was next to someone who could pet him, he was happy as can be.




– – –

One of my favorite things about visiting my parents’ house was how excited Axl would be to see me. It didn’t matter how long I had been gone — 3 months, 9 months, nearly a year? He would always remember who I was. When I got out of the car, he would be right next to the window, looking at me with his cheesy grin, his tail straight up in the air and wagging.

You could easily imagine him saying something like, “Oh yeah! You haven’t given me a good petting in awhile, buddy! Oh, good to see you again too.”

The Most Awesome Dog in the Universe

The other thing Axl would always do, every single day in fact, is greet you in the morning. And it was only in the morning.

He would attempt to speak. It sounded like something between a growl and a howl — a very deep throated “WOOOO WOO WOOOOOOO WOO WOOO.” But it wasn’t threatening at all. It was an affectionate sound. And you could speak right back to him too. Sometimes he would even reply, “WOOOOOOO WOO.”


– – –

When I went home last Christmas, we talked about Axl’s health and mentioned this could be the last time I’d ever see him. It was heartbreaking. He was still sharp, but he struggled to get up and move around.

I visited my parents again back in April, and saw that his condition had deteriorated a bit more. It was obvious that something had to happen in the next few months. So, I spent a few hours playing around with him — which basically involved him sitting in one spot and me petting him!


Axl and Dave

Anyway, I had to leave for the airport the next morning. I said goodbye, gave him a big hug, and sadly had tears in my eyes. And I took one final photo as I walked out the door. It was the last time that I would see Axl.


He was just over 9 years old.

So long, you Goofy Newfy. You’ll be missed!

Cal Academy’s sneaky octopus

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article this morning on how carpenter ants have been borrowing out of their exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences.

One of the anecdotes they relate is the story of an octopus that snuck out of its enclosure at night and would snatch crabs from another tank. I’d actually heard this before, but didn’t realize it happened here!

About 10 years ago, Mr. Shepherd says, crabs kept mysteriously disappearing from a tank in the old academy. The culprit was a giant octopus two tanks over, which used its tentacles to sneak out at night and snatch crabs, he says. The octopus tank has since been wrapped in AstroTurf.

I’ve written about crazy octopi before.