The Comically Bizarre Fuzzy Tufts of Planthopper Nymphs

Fuzzy Butt Tufts of Planthopper Nymphs
photo by Ken-ichi Ueda

Planthoppers–small insects that feed on plants and hop like grasshoppers–are typically disguised as leaves or plants in their adult form, but as immature nymphs many species take on a much less subtle appearance. Planthopper nymphs are notorious for sprouting waxy filaments that variously resemble optical fibers, afterburners, and bizarre feathery tendrils. For added flair, the filaments oftentimes protrude from the hind end of the nymphs. They’re not simply decorative however: The filaments aid in concealment as well as gliding.

Fuzzy Butt Tufts of Planthopper Nymphs
photo by Karunakar Rayker

Fuzzy Butt Tufts of Planthopper Nymphs
photo by David Reed

Fuzzy Butt Tufts of Planthopper Nymphs
photo by Melvyn Yeo

Fuzzy Butt Tufts of Planthopper Nymphs
photo by Sabina Casalora

via Featured Creature, Mother Nature Network, Look At This…, The Presurfer

‘A Single Life’, An Animated Short About a Woman Who Travels Through Her Life by Spinning a Record on a Turntable

A Single Life” by Job Roggeveen, Joris Oprins, and Marieke Blaauw is a short animated film that features a woman named Pia who travels the path of her life by spinning a single record that plays on a turntable. The film had been recently nominated for an Oscar.

A Single Life is an animated short film in which Pia finds a vinyl single. When playing the mysterious single, Pia is suddenly able to travel through her life. If she spins the record forward, she becomes older. If she skips backwards, she gets younger.

‘Amazon Prime for Women’, An Amusingly Topical Parody That Addresses the Gender Pay Gap

Comedian Paul Gale (previously) has created a parody of the Amazon Prime service with “Amazon Prime for Women,” a brief but amusing and highly topical parody that directly addresses the gender pay gap.

For years, Amazon has led the online retail revolution by offering fast delivery of your favorite products at low prices, but we realized that some customers can afford more than others, so we’re introducing a new service that offers 78% of each item for 78% of the price. It’s perfect for the average working woman who earns 78% as much as a man with the exact same job.

Gale has also followed up with data from the American Association of University Women regarding the gender pay gap.

According to the American Association of University Women, White women take home 78% of white men’s earnings, Black women earn 64%, and Hispanic women earn 54%. Though there are a number of factors at play, these drastic differences illustrate that, even with those factors taken into account, a real gap does exist.

Highlights From the 15th Annual Edwardian Ball in San Francisco

Videographer Mark Day recently posted a video of highlights from the 2015 Edwardian Ball–the annual two-night celebration of writer and artist Edward Gorey–which took place in San Francisco back in January. The video includes backstage footage as well as some great shots of the ball’s elaborately costumed participants. This year’s event was hosted by the Vau de Vire Society with co-hosts Rosin Coven.

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

Jonathan Banks of ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Better Call Saul’ Talks with Conan About the Educational Film He Made in 1974

“It goes under the category that no good deed goes unpunished.”

On last night’s episode of Conan, actor Jonathan Banks of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad begrudgingly spoke with host Conan O’Brien about the time he appeared in a 1974 educational PSA film entitled Linda’s Film On Menstruation.

My friend George Eichen who eventually became a lawyer at Warners and all that, back in the day he went, “my girlfriend wants to do a film for the New York Public School system, she’s gonna try to sell it to the administration. Will you do this for me?”

The entire film Linda’s Film On Menstruation in full is available on YouTube.

Bald Eagle in Pennsylvania Is Covered in Snow up to Its Head While Protecting Its Eggs

Eagle Protects Eggs Despite Heavy Snow

Liberty and Freedom, a pair of nesting bald eagles in Pennsylvania, recently entered the national spotlight when images from a live nest cam showed one of the eagles nearly covered in snow but still sitting on the pair’s eggs. In the images, only the bird’s head is visible–the rest of its body and the nest are obscured by a thick layer of snow. In a Lancaster Online article, naturalist Jack Hubley explains that the eagles are so well insulated that there’s little reason to worry about the birds or their eggs.

As of writing, the live cam shows that the nest has been partially cleared. Liberty and Freedom’s nest is located at Codorus State Park and the nest cam is operated by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Eagle Protects Eggs Despite Heavy Snow

Eagle Protects Eggs Despite Heavy Snow

photos via Pennsylvania Game Commission

via WTOP

‘PBS Game/Show’ Explores How ‘Minecraft’ Creates the Worlds Players Explore

PBS Game/Show host Jamin Warren explores how the immensely popular video game Minecraft creates worlds for players to explore in a recent episode of the series. Warren specifically dives into the game’s procedural generation.

Minecraft is MASSIVELY popular, in part due to its nearly UNLIMITED potential. The world is constantly generated as you venture forth from your starting point, but has anyone ever really asked HOW? How does Minecraft keep generating beautiful places for you to explore?