05 June 2011


ART. In Art Is The Beauty of Imagination, cartoonist and playwright Jules Feiffer joins a panel discussion on art, and on how the artist gains access to the viewer's imagination, hosted by World Science Festival. The video is brief, the insights provocative.

ADS. On a decidedly less elevated plane, here are 25 Old-Timey Ads for Modern Products. I think my personal favorite may be number 25, only because I served in the Army Signal Corps. Spoiler alert -- political incorrectness abounds.

STRAY CATS. In a fascinating report, Researchers Track the Secret Lives of Feral and Free-Roaming House Cats. "The study used radio telemetry and a sophisticated activity-tracking device to capture the haunts and habits of dozens of owned and un-owned cats .... As expected, in most cases the un-owned cats had larger territories than the pet cats and were active throughout the year. But the size of some of the feral cats' home ranges surprised even the researchers. One of the feral cats, a mixed-breed male, had a home range of 547 hectares (1,351 acres), the largest range of those tracked (see map below).

"Like most of the feral cats, this lone ranger was seen in both urban and rural sites, from residential and campus lawns to agricultural fields, forests, and a restored prairie .... The owned cats had significantly smaller territories and stayed close to home. The mean home range for pet cats in the study was less than two hectares (4.9 acres) .... The overlap of feral and pet cat territories spells trouble for the cats, the environment, and potentially also for the cat owners .... Two of the leading causes of death were other cats and disease.

" .... Even though pet cats have relatively small ranges and are active only in short bursts, their impact on wildlife in the vicinity of their homes is likely much more intense than that of a feral cat that wanders over a larger territory. Unlike other feline predators, such as bobcats, that are native to the [habitat], domestic cats are invasive species that have a disproportionately damaging effect on wildlife -- either through predation or disease."

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