On the 11th Day of Xmas, My True Love Gave to Me: Eleven Vipers Viping


For Christmas this year, little Jimmy asked for night-vision goggles. He had been extra good, wrote Santa several nice letters, and had even spent time working at the local soup kitchen. He really, really wanted night vision goggles. They were exactly what he needed for a tactical edge over his friends in imaginary covert ops and would also come in handy when spying on his sister’s hot friends during sleepovers.

Green tint notwithstanding, boobs are boobs.

Unfortunately, little Jimmy has found himself in the middle of Kristin’s Gloriously Masterful Interpretation of the 12 Days of Christmas, so he is bound to get something a little more… exotic. Even more unfortunate for little Jimmy, everybody over at Animal News: The Podcast is sick to death of birds. So I’ve eschewed the OBVIOUS choice of “Sand Pipers Piping” for day eleven.

Stupid bird! That'll give you cancer!

No, Jimmy is getting a box of rattlesnakes this year. Tough nuts, Jimmy. But hey, we aren’t just here to jerk people around. Rattlesnakes were chosen specifically to address Jimmy’s wishes. See, Rattlesnakes are pit vipers. And pit vipers come with built-in infrared night-vision.

The eponymous pits on the face of pit vipers are heat sensing organs. They are some 30 times more sensitive than military issue infrared cameras. Also, since there are two of them, pit vipers can actually “see” heat in stereo, making it possible to not only identify the location of prey but also determine where and how it is moving.

However, the pits do pretty much look like giant nostrils.

The heat sensing abilities, combined with the snakes’ ability to smell in stereo (so that’s why they have a forked tongue,) the hypodermic needle-like fangs, and the ability to strike in a third of a second, make vipers awesome killing machines and awful Christmas gifts.

And just in case Jimmy’s box o’ rattlers doesn’t kill EVERYBODY in the family, we hid an eyelash viper in the poinsettias.

Happy Holidays!

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On the 10th day of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me: Lords of the Animals


It’s another edition of

Kristin’s Gloriously Masterful Interpretation of the 12 Days of Christmas™!

It’s Matt™!

Lords. A. Leaping.

While it evokes quite a picture, especially after a bunch of somewhat humdrum and strange birds (including maids and ladies [if you’re from one of those countries that calls ladies birds]) and rings, I didn’t know what to do for this one.  I looked at it from every angle I could, tried every trick I could find, and finally came to the conclusion that, despite my milking advice (never google anything ever) I would use a google search.

However, mostly, I just got the song.  But since we are an animal blog, I wondered what the lords of the animals were.  So I googled it.  I googled it long and hard.  And as the first result, I got this Wikipedia page.

Well, well, well, I said, I could do with some good old fashioned Wikipedia research.  And since there is only one way to present gods as comprehensible to men, I will present the Lords of The Animals the only way anyone knows how.  Magic Cards.

Cancel! You countered my seven/seven behemoth for three mana?! I'm never playing this game again!

 Cernunnos

Regal Force

Horns. Check. God. Check. Works for me.

So, the horned god Cernunnos, not to be confused with the modern god CERN (science joke, coming in), is not actually well known.  As a green creature, he is mostly associated with the forces of life and rebirth.  If anyone plays magic, you’ll know that means that you have a ton of creatures to deal with.  This card, using it’s ability, could concievably outdraw your deck, so you need to use it carefully, however, with good planning, it could be a good setup for an end game, by allowing you to get overwhelming force.  5/5 isn’t bad either.

Not much is actually known about this god, as the wikipedia will attest, but there are many examples out there of it.  It seems to be associated with life, animals, and maybe even commerce.  Which are three things that are linked in my mind, because for my life, I write about animals, at the job that I am not doing right now.  Maybe old Cernunnos was on to something.

Herne the Hunter

Multicolored creatures. So potentially useful, so hard to play.

Herne is a god of the hunt.  He has a mount, owls, and hunting dogs.  He hunts things.  I used this Magic Card, because it had a guy on a horse.  Eat it, accuracy.

2/2 is a little low for a four mana multicolored creature, but if you had the maximum of four in the deck, and you were able to play all of them, you’d have four 8/8 creatures.  Which would be somewhat brutal to defend against.  I never had much success with multi-colored decks, but I never really had much success at all, come to think of it.

The Wild Hunt

Black always has the coolest art.

The Wild Hunt is probably not actually a black thing, but since I am trying to at least represent each color in this post, I figure that we should include black here.  Perish is a great card, if you are going against green, or if you really need to discard cards to do damage against any other color.  Three mana and you take away all of a green deck’s creatures for at least a turn? Sounds good to me.

The Wild Hunt is lead by various royalty, fairies or gods, and results in the complete destruction of the hunted.  Brutal? Yes.  But also, brutal.  If you are ever hunted by the Wild Hunt, you’re going to die.  Speaking of which…

Fairies

Fairies.

Fairies, the fae, the fair folk, Tinkerbell.  They are known by many names, reside in the wild, don’t give much of a crap about mortals, and are generally considered to be badass tricksters.  They are more of a wild creature than a lord of the animals, but I had to include them, didn’t I?  Or they would torture me or something.

Blue was always brutal to me.  But I hate counters.  So I hate blue decks.  Too much sorcery, not enough brutality.

Nemean Lion

I know, it's a cougar.

I know, I know.  Anyway, sometimes, a lord of the hunt just doesn’t hunt what you expect.  The Nemian Lion, best remembered for being the first labor of Hercules, and it’s incredibly resistant skin, actually hunted people, by taking their women, and drawing them in.  It was bad ass.  Then Hercules killed it, and wore it’s skin as armor, which is also bad ass.

Thus, we end some of the Animal Lords.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Because googling magic cards was somewhat annoying.

On the 9th Day of Xmas, My True Love Gave to Me, 9 Glowing Nightmares (Also, news)


Today I was listening to the NYT Science Times podcast and generally letting the boring stuff serve as white noise when the host assaulted me with an astounding fact:

“90% of Sea Animals are bioluminescent.” 

Of course, the expert guest quickly jumped in and said Yes, in some regions it’s that high. So, only as many as 90% can flash and sparkle? That’s still pretty incredible. Animals using the power of light to communicate complex details concerning mating rituals, food sources, and defense against other, toothier animals. And what do we use  ours lights for? Replacing the sun occasionally? Growing ..houseplants? Decorating our houses come the holiday season..

Welcome to another amazing edition of

Kristin’s Gloriously Masterful Interpretation of the 12 Days of Christmas!

We’re at 9, and instead of going on about dancing to attract (or, in most cases, repel) a mate, let’s look at the awesome power of light which seems to attract everything from mates to food to death.

The name Dumbo Octopus refers to a genus whose species run the gamut of adorable to terrifying.

I can appreciate the Atolla Jellyfish because, depending on its pose, it’s either a menacing character or the indisputable lead man in the cast of my nightmares.

Deep sea shrimp just want to show viper fish the true meaning of Christmas....lights.

Red Gree. Jellyfish

I wish I had time to photoshop a lil' Santa hat for this festive jellyfish.

Ctenophora, comb jellies, are where you go for the atypical jellyfish shapes – you can have blob shape, head massager shape, organ shape, lemon juicer shape – whatever you want!
Blue Glowing Jellyfish
And finally, it’s my favorite, the Vampire Squid.
In addition to having those dumbo ears, Vampire Squid tend to be blood red or black, act a bit aggressive, and from time to time pretend to be pineapples. Remember that Atolla Jellyfish? How it can change from scary to horrific?
This squid has that shit in spades. Literal spades.

Sparkling eyes.

Aw, it's wearing a dress, kind of. Nothing amiss here.

Please stop.

No.

Anyway, that NYT article wasn’t trying to convince anyone that these animals are cute. It was more about how we should be nice to their habitats cause if not they will not glow as hard and refuse to put out the bioluminescent chemicals we use for medical research. Cute or not, we can’t just burn them all like I want to.

On the 8th Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me: Eight Milk Jokes Milking


It’s another edition of

Kristin’s Gloriously Masterful Interpretation of the 12 Days of Christmas™!

Hey wait, this is the bearded one again.  Matt.  Yeah, that is the ticket.

We talk a lot on the podcast about milk, specifically whale milk, and so I figured we could go light on the animals, and really explore another kind of animal.  The human animal.

I figured that during this holiday season, you could use some milk based humor to really get through these hard times.  Maids, bleh, let’s do some milk jokes!

First up, we have one of the greatest shows of recent history, Mr. Show, featuring Jack Black, in The Joke: The Musical.  The content here is a little racy, so don’t show this off to kids.

If you haven’t watched it to the end.  You should, you insane person.

Next up, a random sampling of what you, internet denizens, think is funny!  You freaks!

That's not funny.

No, it’s not, me in the captions!

Wow, that is impressively not funny.

That one seems kind of sexist.

Yeah, maybe you guys aren’t that good at this.  How about pictures of things being milked?

What can't be expressed in a tasteful stippled portrait?

I’ve never seen it look so classy, like it is writing for The New York Times.

Hey, that's not a cow!

True, that guy/girl/person is actually milking a goat.

That's weird, but cute, I guess.

Yeah, I mean, it’s not like doing an innocent search for something on google will give you any horribly strange and brutal results right? I mean, let’s just go over there and search for milking.

Seriously, don't search for it. It'll just end up with everybody crying.

Welp, that’s it.  Internet is over.  Oh, and by the way, I hope you retain that image forever for maids a milking.  Because now I will.  And that is the worst thing that anyone has ever done to me.  I hate you, caption me.

On the 7th Day of Xmas, My True Love Gave to Me: Seven Sloths a-Swimming


The 7th day of Kristin’s Gloriously Masterful Interpretation of the 12 Days of Christmas™!

Enough with the birds already! Why would you give one person so many fowl? This song is going to give somebody avian flu. Or at least terrible foot infections.

No, the only way I can get my head around this song is if at least a half-dozen birds are replaced with sloths.

Most of the birds in this song are for eating, but the eating of swan is taboo these days. So imagine getting seven useless swans… for six straight days. They will, given the opportunity, run amok. I can’t say that sloths would be any better for eating, but an equal number of sloths would certainly be less troublesome. Running amok, or running at all, is simply not something of which they are capable.

"You run amok. I'm just going to hang out."

And swans, like just about all birds, defecate often. What’s worse, they don’t seem to care much about where they do it. As many a golf course greens-keeper knows, swans will deuce wherever they please. Do you really want to spend every day cleaning up the leavings of a large bevy of swans? I thought not. Sloths, on the other hand, only relieve themselves once a week. And then they bury it.

"A little privacy, please!"

But mostly, sloths are just wicked cool. And swans are jerks.

"I'd like to see a stupid swan try THIS."

And if you are really caught up on the wording of the song, we can get around that too. See, sloths may only be able to crawl along the ground at a top speed of 2 meters per minute, but they really are decent swimmers. So this year, don’t give geese, give sloths. Or cash, cash is always good.

Happy Holidays!

Red Gree. Jellyfish

12 Days of Christmas, Animal Edition


We here at ANTP will take any excuse to post about animals we like or want to eat or dislike or whatever and Kristin likes Christmas.

Here’s what we got so far:

1.Instead of partridges, we got Fancy Bird Hairstyles

2. Instead of 2 Turtle Doves, we got Two Footless Doves

3. Instead of 3 French Hens, we got Nonsense Hens

4. Instead of 4 calling birds, we got Bird Dopplegangers

5. Instead of 5 golden rings, we got Hardcore Goldfish

6. Instead of 6 Geese, we got Six Monsters Laying

7. Instead of 7 Swans, we got Seven Sloths a Swimming

8. Instead of 8 Maids, we got Eight Milk Jokes Milking

9. Instead of 9 Dancers, we got Nine Glowing Nightmares

10. Instead of 10 Lords, we got Lords of the Animals

11. Instead of 11 Pipers, we got 11 Vipers Viping

12. Instead of 12 Drummers, we got 12 Puppet Parents

This kind.

On The 6th Day of Xmas My True Love Gave To Me: Six Monsters Laying


It’s another edition of

Kristin’s Gloriously Masterful Interpretation of the 12 Days of Christmas™!

Hey, wait a goddamn second.  I’m not Kristin.  I’m not the only attractive member of the podcast other than Jake.  I’m just some other guy.

Oh hey, I’m Matt!

I agree with Kristin.  This song has too many birds.  So, for “Geese a laying.”  I thought to myself, man, Geese are so 1800’s.  We have airplanes and trains and refrigeration.  If I am going to give a gift to somebody, it better be better than geese.  So, I just searched for eggs on google, and I want to show you what I found.  Come along with me.

Well, aren't those cute.

Look at those little bitty eggs.

Aww… those eggs are so cute.  I bet they would be delicious too.  All you would have to do is get them away from their mom, put them in a pan, fry them up… mmm… good eats.

I wonder what kind of animal those are from. Could I handle six of them for the rest of the days of Christmas?  Probably, I mean, look at how small they are.

This kind.

This kind.

Oh, you might be thinking to yourself.  That doesn’t look so bad.  It’s kind of cute with it’s bill and mammalian features.

You’d be right, if it were anything but a platypus.  What that cute picture doesn’t show, and could never show, is that it’s cute little beak is actually a highly tuned electrical sensor that can track things in the water, in front of it.  It has cute little fins with cute little claws, what could it really do to you though?

Oh, I may have forgotten to mention, it has two poisonous barbs in it’s hind legs, that contain a neurotoxin.  Yes, the platypus is one of the few venomous mammals in the world.  It also is the only one of those to lay eggs.  So, maybe a herd of 56 platypus and their breeding partners would be a little out of your depth.  Your true love would never wish that upon you.

How about this then?

How about this then?

Aww… Why did that man put an animal egg in his belly button, you say?  Good question.  anyway, that thing looks reasonable, right?  Probably good eating too.  Let’s see what mommy looks like.

What is it? What is it? Kill it!

Oh good, another monster.  What the hell is that thing? Oh, it’s just another product of the Australian nightmare factory.  Yes, it’s an Echidna.  The Echidna, together with the Platypus make up a group called the monotremes.  These animals are egg layers all.  They also curl up into bundles of nightmare spikes.

You know what?  We should probably look somewhere else.

This can't be bad, right?

I mean, look how small they are!

Oh.

Oh good.  Yeah, I don’t want 56 of these.  I’m pretty sure you’d have 200 by the end of day one.  Then things are going to get rough.

How about one of these?

Pretty cute, right?  I mean for a lizard.  Hold on, I’m sensing a pattern.  Maybe it isn’t as cute when it grows up.

AHHHH, DRAGON!

No, I refuse on principle.

Hmm...

What is the catch? I know there is a catch.

NO!

No. No. No. No. No.

Oh, a sea creature, this couldn't be terrifying.

Right? I mean come on.  There is no way this is scary, right?

:Distant sounds of the vomit of terror:

Oh no. Please. No more.  Just one you say?  Well, maybe this will be the twist! Maybe after all of these terrifying things, the last one will be cute and cuddly.

Hmm...

Okay, I may be on board.  It looks like an egg.  Actually the creature is kind of cute. And while a non traditional egg shape, perhaps that is just what we need to change up the song.

No.

Okay fine.  The song is perfect.  There is no way a goose could be terrifying right?

WRONG.

Goldfish Ring

On the 5th Day of Xmas, My True Love Sent to Me: HARD-CORE-GOLD-FISH!


Welcome Back to

Kristin’s Gloriously Masterful Interpretation of the 12 Days of Christmas!

Why anyone would pierce a fish is beyond me. Actually, I suppose it isn’t since I understand the basics of fishing. And…

I’m using the word “hardcore” in the title but by no means advocate piercing animals. There is absolutely no point except to very deliberately agitate the animal. Sure, they might get used to it but why even do it in the first place? Let’s find out, I guess.

Cow Septum Rings = Reasonable

“The nose ring assists the handler to control a dangerous animal with minimal risk of injury or disruption by exerting stress on one of the most sensitive parts of the animal, the nose. Bulls, especially, are powerful and sometimes unpredictable animals which, if uncontrolled, can kill or severely injure a human handler.” -Wikipedia

Septum rings

Maybe the most normal of the animal piercings. I bet they sneeze when it gets put in, I know I did!

Pig Septum Rings = Fairly Reasonable

Pigs dig or “root” with their snouts, and such digging may be undesirable in some circumstances. Nose rings make digging uncomfortable for the animal, although a rung pig is still able to forage freely through leaf litter and surface vegetation.” -Wikipedia

Left to their own devices, pigs would just dig up all the evidence you worked so hard to bury in the backyard.

Kittens with Pierced Ears = Profitable Bullshit

‘Dr Merck said metal rings through the kittens’ ears affected their hearing while studs at the back of their necks and the bases of their tails produced a permanent feeling of submission.

“It would make them feel as if they were constantly being bitten (by their mothers),” she added.’ -MSN

Kitty Ring

Don't you think cats are crazy enough, kitten piercing lady?


Goldfish Lip Ring = Complete Bullshit

” I was bored, and the fish was at the shop. It all started out as a joke, but it looked cool and it never affected him adversely. So I just left it in.” -bizarremag

97% of all irony is completely lost on fish.

I can barely justify my own piercings so I’m still having trouble understanding what the pet piercings are all about. But if you’re going to do something for the sake of being hardcore, just be a tattooed fish.

Just like with eating beached whales, living inside horses and having sex with turkeys,

Don’t do this.

It’s a hassle, it interferes with the fish’s protective slime coating and is insulting to nature.

 I’m taking a break from all this, this song is starting to wear me out.

On the 3rd Day of Xmas, My True Love Gave to Me: Nonsense Hens


Welcome to the 3rd installment of

Kristin’s Gloriously Masterful Interpretation of the 12 Days of Christmas™!

In addition to being delicious, chickens clean up nice when it comes to the fascinating, ever-expanding world of Show Poultry. French chickens in particular, Faverolles, are something to behold in the pageant circuit. Yet,  they are by no means the definitive birds of the pageants. So strongly do I feel about this that I refuse to even put up a single picture of a faverolle.

Although it is my dream to have this blog launch my career as a poultry show judge, I’m content (for now) to judge these birds with my co-bloggers.

Aracuana

Kristin : Does the animal win points for being unable to see past its massive eyebrows? If so, plus a million points to the Araucana.

Matt: 15 points for aviator style goggles and helmet.

Jake: E for effort.

 Belgian D’Uccle

Matt: Two thumbs left for fluffiness.

Kristin: This chicken has perhaps witnessed great atrocities based on its hairstyle. 20 pity points.

Jake: I was gunna give it a score but instead give it a hearty handshake.

Houdan

Matt: I give it a blue ribbon for dogness because it looks like a dog to me.

Kristin: I don’t like this one’s attitude. Minus 10 points.

Jake: 87% Fresh

Japanese

Kristin: Very alert and stately bird. Short leggged and good natured? A+

Jake: On a scale from 1 to 7, I give it a “good”

Matt: 3 Fans for tail.

Modern Game

Kristin: This animal was bred to show. Look at that alluring stance, the smize, the turn. Best points.

Matt: Two chicken boners. [K: That doesn’t even work, it’s a male chicken…]

Jake: Don’t judge homosexual chickens. 3 1/3 stars.

Pekin Bantam

Kristin: I don’t really understand what the hump on this bird is but am intrigued by the prospect of extra meat. 2 million points.

Matt: One Golden Globe. It looks like a globe.

Jake: It looks like a squirrel from where I’m sitting. I give it a squirrel! Just kidding. Two squirrels!

Note: Jake is not wearing his glasses.

Polish

Kristin: I don’t need to see other entries. This one wins.

Matt: 10/10

Jake: Full credit.

Silkie

Matt: 0 points for effort.

Kristin: No, I refuse that answer. We hold a high calibre of judgment here. Do not be the Paula Abdul of this competition.

Matt: Fine, I’d say it’s a 21.

Jake: I give it a Paula Abdul…of this competition.

Fluffiest bird ever SO Soft

Winner: Poland. This country turns out a great chicken.

Of course that just the consensus of hungover, half-blind podcasters. Feel free to to make your choice in this poll.

Kissing a Pigeon on the Mouth or Beak

On the 2nd Day of Xmas, My True Love Gave to Me: Two Footless Doves


It’s Kristin’s Gloriously Masterful Interpretation of the 12 Days of Christmas™!

Did you know that half this song is birds? HALF. That’s kind of a messed up deal present-wise if you ask me. Anyway, footless doves.

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about real [read: fancy] doves, I’m talkin’ ’bout Rock Doves and not the fancy versions of those either. Fancy birds don’t lose their feet, everyone knows this.

Perched high on their silk pillows, fancy birds never have to worry about foot problems.

Anyway, take a second and wonder What is it with all those toeless, nubby street pigeon feet? For the longest time, this was barely worth a wonder to me. I just assumed that city people  were constantly stepping on or running over the pigeons’ feet and they just broke off. Then, some time later, I realized that that doesn’t make any sense.

Footlessness

"I simply must learn to look both ways before crossing the street"

Pigeons are slow, goofy-lookin’ walkers to be sure but they can fly and are excellent flyers.

Kissing a Pigeon on the Mouth or Beak

But they don't know to get away when it really counts.

After some minimal detective work and a short study montage, I now know that the foot issues are due to an adorably named affliction, Bumblefoot, or some wayward string or hair that wraps around the area and cuts off circulation until something falls off. Both of these are really terribly painful ways to lose your feet.

Bumblefoot refers to the staph infection that sets in after the bird gets a cut or scrape from a rough surface. Pigeons tend to perch almost exclusively on pointy, abrasive things without wearing socks or shoes. One time, I swear I even saw one standing on the pointed end of a statue’s spear: they really just don’t care. And we all get cuts n’ scrapes but what makes the city pigeon even that much more careless is that he’ll expose himself to bacteria with the staph. And by “expose himself to bacteria ” I mean “stand in his own shit.”

To be fair, shit is probably warmer than concrete... Or, this is evolution at work.

The feet don’t grow back, and usually it’s the nub that’s now exposed to the rough, Staphylococcus-y environments so that the whole cycle might start again and again until the pigeon is completely legless  (otherwise known in the wild as “dead”)

Happy Holidays!