Abril 2008

A frog has been found in a remote part of Indonesia that has no lungs and breathes through its skin, a discovery that researchers said Thursday could provide insight into what drives evolution in certain species.

The aquatic frog Barbourula kalimantanensis was found in a remote part of Indonesia’s Kalimantan province on Borneo island during an expedition in August 2007, said David Bickford, an evolutionary biologist at the National University of Singapore.

Bickford was part of the trip and co-authored a paper on the find that appeared in this week’s edition of the peer-reviewed journal Current Biology.

Bickford says the species is the first frog known to science without lungs and joins a short list of amphibians with this unusual trait, including a few species of salamanders and a wormlike creature known as a caecilian.

“These are about the most ancient and bizarre frogs you can get on the planet,” Bickford said of the brown amphibian with bulging eyes and a tendency to flatten itself as it glides across the water.

“They are like a squished version of Jabba the Hutt,” he said,referring to the character from Star Wars. “They are flat and have eyes that float above the water. They have skin flaps coming off their arms and legs.”

Bickford’s Indonesian colleague Djoko Iskandar first came across the frog 30 years ago and has been searching for it ever since. He didn’t know the frog was lungless until they cut eight of the specimens open in the lab.

Graeme Gillespie, director of conservation and science at Zoos Victoria in Australia, called the frog “evolutionary unique.” He said the eight specimens examined in the lab showed the lunglessness was consistent with the species and not “a freak of nature.” Gillespie was not a member of the expedition or the research team.

Bickford surmised that the frog had evolved to adapt to its difficult surroundings, in which it has to navigate cold, fast-moving streams that are rich in oxygen.

“It’s an extreme adaptation that was probably brought about by these fast-moving streams,” Bickford said, adding that it probably needed to reduce its buoyancy in order to keep from being swept down the mountainous rivers.

He said the frog could help scientists understand the environmental factors that contribute to “extreme evolutionary change” since its closest relative in the Philippines and all other frogs have lungs.

Bickford and Gillespie said the frog’s discovery adds urgency to the need to protect its river habitat, which in recent years has become polluted due to widespread illegal logging and gold mining. Once pristine waters are now brown and clogged with silt,they said.

“The gold mining is completely illegal and small scale. But when there are thousands of them on the river, it really has a huge impact,” Bickford said. “Pretty soon the frogs will run out of the river.”



This is one rich cup of haute chocolate: A New York eatery is offering a US$25,000 dessert bulging with top-grade cocoa, edible gold and shavings of a luxury truffle.

The Frrrozen Haute Chocolate was declared the most expensive dessert in the world on Wednesday by the Guinness World Records. The dessert is a frozen, slushy mix of cocoas from 14 countries, milk and 5 grams of 24-carat gold topped with whipped cream and shavings from a La Madeline au Truffle. It is served in a goblet with a band of gold decorated with 1 carat of diamonds and served with a golden spoon diners can take home. The dessert was created by Serendipity 3, a restaurant popular with tourists and once featured in a John Cusack movie. Now that is R-I-C-H!


nagsearch ako sa youtube ng mga weird at kakaibang tv commercials. nilagay ko dito ang ilan sa kanila:

eto pa

next: compilation ng mga funny billboards/ad signs:

eto pa


A FERAL cat in Tennessee survived for 19 days with a jar stuck on its head.
Tabitha Cain, 25, has fed the cat, which she calls Wild Oats, for several years. The family saw the cat a number of times with the peanut butter jar on its head and tried in vain to catch it.

But after not seeing the cat for a week, the Cains feared the worst. “I thought she was going to die with that jar on her head,” said Ms Cain.

They found the once-chubby cat on Wednesday, too thin and weak to flee. They caught her with a fishing net and used some oil to get the jar off her head. They gave her water and treated her wounds and on Friday she began to eat again.

“I’ve heard of cats having nine lives but I think this one has 19 because she survived 19 days,” said Doretha Cain, Tabitha’s mother.

Memphis vet Gerald Blackburn said the cat may have lived off of its excess fat.

The Kanamara Matsuri ( かなまら祭り, literally the Festival of the Steel Phallus) is an annual fertility festival held in Kawasaki Daishi, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The event is held on every spring, and this year’s main festivity was on April 6.

Basically it’s a festival where you can see penis everywhere (read more from Metropolis). For more photos, please check: http://flickr.com/photos/triplexpresso/sets/72157604411804755/


It’s the stuff nightmares and horror movies are made of.

A holidaymaker got a nasty shock when he learned that the strange bleeding bumps on his head were not bites or shingles, but live maggots.

Aaron Dallas, from Colorado, looked for medical help when the unusual lumps appeared on his scalp after a holiday to Belize during the summer.

One doctor thought they might have been caused by a gnat bite. Another believed his problem was shingles.

But then the bumps took on a life of their own and began to move.

A doctor discovered five bot fly larvae living inside Aaron Dallas’s head, near the top of his skull. This was a few weeks after a mosquito had apparently placed them there.

“I’d put my hand back there and feel them moving. I thought it was blood coursing through my head. I could hear them. I actually thought I was going crazy,” said Dallas, of Carbondale.

Bot flies rely on mosquitoes, stable flies, and other insects to carry their eggs to a host – and in this case the host was Dallas.

“It was weird and traumatic,” he said. “I would get this pain that would drop me to my knees.”

After their discovery the parasites were removed by a doctor. Dallas’s wife teased him about it afterwards, but didn’t find the experience funny.

“It’s much funnier to everyone else. It makes my stomach turn over. It was cruel,” he said.

Bot fly infections are fairly routine in parts of Central and South America.



It must have been a driver’s worst nightmare – cruising down the highway and suddenly running smack into millions of angry swarming bees.

The bees were on the loose in California after a truck in which they were being transported flipped on its side on the highway.

The California Highway Patrol said eight to 12 million of the honey bees escaped from the crates in which they were stored.

The truck was carrying over 400 beehives with 30,000 bees in each.

The bees stung police officers, fire crews, and tow truck drivers trying to corral them after the accident.

“People were being stung left and right. It was an ugly, ugly scene,” one police officer said.

The great escape happened near Sacramento and the insects swarmed over an area of Highway 99.

For seven hours authorities brought in handlers who used smoke in a bid to calm the bees and coax them back into the hives.

Several beekeepers driving past the accident stopped to help the emergency services deal with the bees.

The highway had to be closed for a period.

Police did not know what caused the tractor trailer carrying the bees to flip over while entering the highway on its way to Yakima, Washington. But they said they believe the driver may have been driving too fast.

The bees had been used to pollinate crops in the San Joaquin Valley.

The honeybee is the world’s premier pollinator and is invaluable to farmers for pollination.

But there has been a shortage of them in recent times because of “Colony Collapse Disorder”. US beekeepers have been losing thousands of their bees, puzzling scientists. This has led to a rise in honey prices and has also threatened fruit and vegetable production.

After a seven-hour clean-up operation at Sacramento, police were unable to say how many bees remained unaccounted for. But they were not getting any calls from panicked drivers. “No news is good news,” one officer said.

– March 28, 2008


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