Based on Google searches.

Check out that platypus, man. Dude just looks confused as hell. He has a duck’s bill and feet, a beaver’s tail and an otter’s body and fur. In fact, when scientists first heard of this guy they thought he was a hoax. Other weird facts about platypuses are that they’re venomous, lay eggs, have 10 sex chromosomes, and they don’t have stomachs or teeth. Nature, man. It’s wild. Anywho, Playtypus.

Note: Bonus baby platypus pic below! Check it out!

Baby Platypus!

In an intense encounter recorded by surveillance cameras, a Florida man chased an alligator under water and rescued his 3-month-old puppy from the jaws of death.

Richard Wilbanks, 74, of Estero ran into his backyard pond, wrestled the gator above surface, and pried its jaws open to free Gunner, his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Wilbanks told CNN “We were just out walking by the pond and it came out of the water like a missile. I never thought an alligator could be that fast. It was so quick.”

He said adrenaline or instinct kicked in, and “I just automatically jumped into the water.”

Holding the alligator wasn’t so tough, but prying open the jaws was “extremely hard,” he said.

Wilbanks said his hands were “chewed up,” and he went to a doctor for a tetanus shot. Gunner had one puncture wound in his belly and did fine after a trip to the veterinarian’s office.

Because hell yes Richard Wilbanks did. Hey, you see your dog being dragged to the depths of hell by a modern day dinosaur that’s what you do – you jump down there and bring it home. Then you make a quick trip to the doc for a tetanus shot followed by a stop at the vet and you get on with your life.

You don’t mess with a man’s dog, folks. Even if you are an alligator.

PS- Sparky hasn’t tangled with a gator yet but I promise it wouldn’t get the drop on him. The Spark is vigilant.

Scientists managed to double the size of monkeys’ brains by injecting fetuses with human genes.

Our future overlords.

The study was carried out by researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany, with colleagues at Japan’s Central Institute for Experimental Animals in Kawasaki and the Keio University in Tokyo.

The gene has been used in the past on mice and ferrets, with results showing that it causes an expanded neocortex in the animals, but its relevance for primate evolution was unclear until now.

A release about the study published by EurekAlert explains that the expansion of the human brain during evolution – specifically the neocortex – is linked to our cognitive abilities such as reasoning and language.

The findings, published in the journal Science, showed that the modified brains had nearly doubled in size approximately 100 days into gestation.

Oh for the love of God. WHY? Like Ian Malcomb said in Jurassic Park, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” I mean, we all know the endgame here, right? We’ve all seen Planet of the Apes. Sweet Jesus. As far as I’m concerned the researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany and trheir buddies at Japan’s Central Institute for Experimental Animals in Kawasaki and the Keio University in Tokyo can go straight to hell.

Note: Seriously, messing with nature never ends well. Click here to read all about it. I’ve been to this place and recommend it highly.

I know, Elon Musk can be a bit of a tool. However, you have to admit the guy has an impressive resume. I mean, he founded PayPal, invented the Tesla, sent the first civilian manned mission to space, plans to microchip human brains with something called a Neuralink, read every single page of the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica at the age of 9, taught himself how to write computer code at the age of 10, and while at the University of Pennsylvania he double majored in Business and Physics. There’s a lot more but I’m leaking self-esteem by the second.

That said, perhaps Elon Musk’s greatest accomplishment took place a couple days ago when he posted the answer to the age on question on Twitter. Ladies and gentlemen, behold:

Makes perfect sense. Eggs were a thing back in dinosaur times. Dinosaur descendants eventually evolved into birds (as we all learned in Jurassic Park) thus, eggs came before chickens. Finally, we know. Thanks Elon Musk.

Holy Mother of God look at that gigantic gator that’s on the loose in Naples, Florida. Dude’s the size of a Toyota Prius. Prehistoric like you read about, man. Apparently he got flushed out of his home due to Hurricane Ita and is looking to devour a family of seven. Anywho, there he is. Chilling.

Yep, just random photos. Click and scroll for the randomness.

I saw a photo of this huge wolf the other day and was intrigued. I mean this guy looks like he weighs 200-pounds. Check him out, man.

Yikes.

Anyway, this led to my crack staff here at Shoe: Untied doing some research on how big wolves can grow to be, which led to the comparison of wolves and dogs. Here’s what we found . . .

REPRODUCTIVE CYCLES

Like many other wild animals, wolves give birth during a well-defined time of year – typically the Spring. This is important because it is much tougher for wolves to find enough food during the Winter than it is during the Spring, Summer or Fall. So, by giving birth in the spring, wolf mothers have plenty of time to raise their young before winter arrives. Cool, right?

https://pixabay.com/en/wolves-canis-lupus-two-wolves-1388558/

On the other hand, dogs live alongside humans. This means they don’t have to catch their own food. Most dogs simply eat from a bowl on the kitchen floor. This means that dogs may breed at any time of year, as their puppies will have just as much food in the Winter as they will in the Spring, Summer or Fall.

PREDATORY SEQUENCE

Wolves and most other predators employ a consistent set of behaviors when trying to catch prey. Scientists call these behaviors the predatory sequence.

https://pixabay.com/en/wolf-wolves-eat-carnivores-3549410/

The predatory sequence for wolves begins when they start sneaking up on their prey. This is called Eye Stalking, which we’ve all seen taking place at local hangouts. The difference is when wolves get close enough they’ll start chasing the animal and try to grab it with their teeth, using something called a Catch Bite.

Once a wolf captures its prey, it will employ a crushing bite to subdue the animal. This is called a Kill Bite. Finally, once their prey is dead, they’ll begin using a Dissecting Bite to access edible portions of the carcass, sort of like me attacking a Cozy Burger.

However, humans have eliminated some of these steps in some dog breeds. Sometimes, humans have done this to make better pets, but they’ve also done so to make some dogs better at hunting, tracking or performing other tasks. Labrador Retrievers, for example, no longer have a Kill Bite. It’s been bred out of the breed. This helps ensure that when they retrieve a bird their owner has shot, they will carry it gently in their mouths.

SELF-RELIANCE

Wolves are obviously wild animals who must fend for themselves. By contrast, dogs are domestic animals, who live alongside humans.

https://pixabay.com/en/wolf-wild-animal-predator-nature-1350014/

This means that when wolves are faced with a challenge, they must figure out a solution for themselves. But dogs find it easier to simply entice their human to help in these cases.

For example, if a wolf comes upon a locked door, he may paw and bite at the door to open it. If he’s unable to do so he’ll be out of luck. But if your dog encounters a locked door, he may paw at it for a moment but he’ll likely just try to get your attention, so you’ll open the door for him.

This means that wolves are more self-reliant than dogs but dogs probably live easier lives than wolves. I know my dog Sparky sure does.

DIFFERING DEVELOPMENT

Wolf puppies and dog puppies both have several similar traits. They both have floppy ears, big eyes and short snouts. These traits are thought to be an adaptation that encourages their parents to take care of them.

https://pixabay.com/en/wolf-european-wolf-european-wolves-1384036/

But wolves mature really quickly and their parents will stop caring for them as much. Accordingly, adult wolves lack these types of features. But dogs often retain these juvenile features into adulthood. That’s wild.

Scientists call this phenomenon Neoteny. This probably occurs in dogs because they continue to depend on humans (who are somewhat like their parents) for their entire lives. It may also be a reflection of human desires. Humans often think that floppy ears and big eyes are cute features, so breeders have tried to produce dogs with these traits.

SIZE DIFFERENCES

Dogs come in a remarkable variety of sizes. Chihuahuas may only weigh 4 or 5-pounds, while Mastiffs and Great Danes may reach 150-pounds or more. But the average dog probably weighs about 30 to 50-pounds.

Wolves, on the other hand, are usually larger. Even the smallest Grey Wolves usually weigh about 50 to 75-pounds, and the largest examples may exceed 175-pounds in weight. like that bad boy up top. Wolves are also taller and longer than most dogs. Some wolves even measure more than 6-feet long from nose to tail.

The wolf’s long coat helps to make them look even larger than they are. This long coat not only helps to keep them warm, but it also helps them repel predators and threats too.

Note: I petted a wolf once and your hand literally disappears into its fur. Unbelievably thick.

Note 2: I actually had to look up the past tense of pet. I didn’t know if it was pet or petted. It’s petted.

DIETARY DIFFERENCES

Dogs and wolves both love meat, but they have vastly different diets. Wolves occasionally eat berries or other plant matter, but they primarily feed on large mammals. This includes deer, moose, elk and other large herbivores living alongside them. In fact, wolves living in areas without many large herbivores often struggle to find enough food.

But dogs have lived alongside humans for tens of thousands of years. During this time, they stopped hunting large animals and instead started eating human leftovers. This includes not only meat, but plenty of fruits, vegetables and grains too. Dogs certainly love meat, but most modern dog foods also contain plenty of plant-based foods too.

Scientists used to think that dogs were the direct descendants of Grey Wolves, but new research indicates that this thinking was wrong. Instead, wolves and dogs share a common ancestor, which makes them evolutionary cousins, rather than parent and child species. Who knew? Not I.

Still, even though they aren’t as closely related as we thought they are, they still share a lot of important similarities which makes the differences they have all the more interesting, at least to me.

So, there you go. Six differences between wolves and dogs. I hope you learned something.

Funny us funny though, right? Right?

Check out that Indian Flapshell Turtle, man. Dude looks like he fell into one of those cheese fountains at really tacky wedding receptions (sorry Heather and Chad). This guy is actually an extremely rare Albino Flapshell Turtle which has been spotted in the wild only once before. This type of turtle can also be found in other South Asian countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. Seriously though, that turtle looks like it’s made of cheese. Anywho, Indian Flapshell Turtle.

NYTOn Saturday just past noon, Leonard Shoulders strolled up to a bus stop in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx. A handful of people stood around, waiting for their rides or looking down at their phones — an unremarkable scene.

But then a hole suddenly opened up on the sidewalk and Mr. Shoulders, 33, plunged into it. Stunned bystanders who rushed to the edge of the chasm faced a ghastly sight: Mr. Shoulders had dropped 12 to 15 feet into an underground vault teeming with rats.

“Rats crawling on him, he can’t move,” his brother, Greg White, told CBS New York. “He didn’t want to yell because he was afraid there were going to be rats inside his mouth.”

For about 30-minutes, Mr. Shoulders remained in the vault as firefighters tried to pull him out of the hole. Videos of the scene show him eventually being wheeled away on a stretcher by emergency workers. He suffered injuries to his head and arm, Mr. White said.

Cindy White, Mr. Shoulders’s mother, told NBC New York: “He’s traumatized. He said he went straight down, and he was falling, falling, but the debris was falling and hitting him in the head.”

Imagine this – you’re standing there on a crisp fall day, minding your own business, maybe checking your phone for messages or chatting up a homeless dude on the sidewalk, when suddenly you’re plunging straight down into the Depths of Hell. As you float downward into the darkness you have zero idea how far you’re going to fall, so you brace for the impact. Suddenly you land, but it’s a shockingly soft landing. You survived! But then, that soft, thick furry blanket under you begins to move. You’ve fallen onto a mass of teeming New York City sewer rats. Good God almighty that had to be horrifying. And how about Cindy White? She says her son is “traumatized.” Man, is she insightful or what?

Anyway, next time time you’re having a bad day remember that it could be worse – at least you’re not Leonard Shoulders.

Note: This has lawsuit written all over it, so here’s my question – Would you fall 12 to 15 feet into an underground vault teeming with rats and lay there for 30-minutes unti you were rescued for a couple million bucks?

More people live in the red areas than the gray areas.

Well friends, the day has finally arrived. Election Day. Man, has it been a long time coming. I have voted in 12 presidential elections, having first voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976. It’s no secret where I stand, having come from a political Southern Ohio family. Yes, I’m a Democrat and I’m proud of it. And no, I’m not a thin-skinned, politically correct pansie so don’t go there.

As a Democrat who has friends and a few family members who are Republicans I realize all is not black and white. There are many shades of gray in between. I understand that all Republicans aren’t right-wingers who support every single thing Donald Trump does. I also realize they don’t all fit the stereotype that many want to fit them into – as uptight, devoid of compassion, racist, homophobic people who hate protecting the environment. I also know that not all Republicans are tax cutting, gun collecting war lovers. To lump all Republicans into that group would be ridiculous, right? Of course it would.

Same with Democrats.

For example, I’m a Democrat and I’m very patriotic. I love this country and I don’t have a problem with the constitution. Yes, I see the First Amendment being threatened sometimes by conservatives, as some have talked about banning peaceful, and I stress peaceful, protests and marches for example. I believe in the constitutional right to worship any way you want or if don’t want to worship at all. The Constitution doesn’t support a national religion, as some, and I say some, conservatives would like. I also happen to believe in the Second Amendment and I support gun reform to reduce death caused by certain guns. I do not support the confiscation of all guns, and by the way neither did President Obama or any other Democratic candidate. I own a gun myself. I also support an individual’s right to sit or kneel during the National Anthem, and it has nothing to do with my support of our armed forces, who incidentally fight for the very right to be able to do what I’m talking about.

I’m a Democrat and I don’t want to kill unborn children. I simply believe in pro-abortion rights, which means supporting a woman’s right to make a choice to have an abortion based on health or extremely extenuating reasons, such as rape, and not just because she doesn’t want a child. Again, all cases are not black and white. To me, it’s a personal choice to be made by a woman.

Like I mentioned before, I’m a Democrat and I’m not thin-skinned nor easily offended. I’m a liberal yet I hate the “Wussification of America” (if you don’t believe me type those words into the search box up there). I think people have gone way overboard with getting their feelings hurt, to the point of absurdity. I believe people should suck it up and not let mere words bother them so much.

I’m a Democrat and I don’t want to dole out welfare checks to able-bodied men or women who will not work. I’m also in favor of prosecuting welfare fraud. That said, as a liberal I believe in helping and assisting people with education, training and finding jobs that will help them maintain their dignity. The majority of food stamp recipients aren’t the lazy stereotype but are children, the elderly, the disabled and the working poor. Simple as that. Despite what you might think people on welfare aren’t lying back in a hammock enjoying a wine spritzer and driving a Hummer. I believe that most people are good and need the assistance and that those who are abusing the system should be prosecuted. And oh, by the way, anyone who hates government, taxes and socialism but receives free, taxpayer-subsidized Medicare or Medicaid is just begging to be called a hypocrite. Especially those that complain the free healthcare isn’t good enough.

I’m a Democrat, and although I don’t attend church regularly I do believe strongly in following in the examples set forth in the Bible, by helping people if it’s in my power and not turning away anyone in need if I can possibly help it. Yes folks, liberals can be religious. I also believe there are examples set forth in religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and others that we can all follow.

Not all Democrats are the enemy and it’s the same with Republicans. And again, the political spectrum is a wide and diverse one. After all, we’re all on the same team here, right?

No matter what happens with today’s election, my true friends will remain my true friends no matter what side they’re on politically. Those that haven’t been able to disagree with me in a civil manner have been removed from my life long ago.

I love our country and I will live with the results, no matter how much I might disagree. I’ll do so because I respect the process and I respect some of the people on the other side.

I hope you do the same.

PS- Here’s proof we can get along. W and Michelle, besties.

The Beatles first arrived in America in early February of 1964, and their press conferences were surprising to put it mildly. The American reporters were ready to pounce on these odd looking dudes with the weird haircuts and many fully expected to make fun of them. They believed they’d be interviewing dumb musicians. What they found, however, was four charming, engaging and intelligent young men. In no time The Beatles had won them over with comments like you’ll soon read below. Check ’em out:

Reporter: How do you find America?

Ringo: We turned left at Greenland.

Reporter: Where do the haircuts come from?

George: Our scalps.

Reporter: Does it bother you that you can’t hear yourself singing at concerts?

John: No, we don’t mind. We’ve got all the records at home.

Reporter: You’re not married.

George: No, I’m George.

Reporter: Some people have been calling your haircuts “Un-American.” How do you respond to this?

John: Well, that’s very observant of them because we aren’t American.

Reporter: What are some of your favorite programs on American television?

John: Popeye, Bullwinkle. All the cultural stuff.

Reporter: What do you call your haircut?

George: Arthur.

Reporter: A U.S. psychologist said your music had unresolved leading tones, a false moral frame ending up as a plain diatonic. What do you say to that?

John: We’re going to see a doctor about that.

Reporter: Will you sing something for us?

John: No. We need money first.

Reporter: The French have not made up their mind about The Beatles. What do you think of them?

John: Oh, we like The Beatles.

Reporter: How does all the adoration from teenage girls affect you?

John: When I feel my head start to swell, I look at Ringo and know perfectly well we’re not supermen.

Reporter: You’ve got fame and fortune. If this were all to disappear overnight, and you were left with one thing you’d like to hang on to, what would that be?

The Beatles, in unison: THE MONEY.

Reporter, to John: What type of women do you prefer?

John: My wife.

Reporter, to George: What type of women do you prefer?

George: John’s wife.

Reporter: Has success changed your life?

George: Yes.

Reporter: Detroit has a movement called Stomp Out The Beatles. What do you say to that?

Ringo: We have a movement to stop out Detroit.

So yeah, all four were pretty damn funny in addition to being amazing musicians. Here’s a video of some of their interviews:

For some reason, when sports fans are arguing about the greatest NBA player of all-time they seem to mention Michael Jordan, Lebron James, and sometimes Kobe Bryant. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar always seems to be ignored, as do players such as Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Recency bias? Maybe, and although I do agree that recent players are more athletic than players from the past, there are certainly exceptions. Some players could simply play in any era, and the one I always think of when having this discussion is Wilt Chamberlain. Here are just a few facts about Wilt, the man I consider to be the best basketball player to ever live. Keep in mind that Wilt was 7′-1″, 250 pounds as a rookie.

  • While in college at Kansas Wilt ran a 10.7 100-yard dash.
  • His personal record for showing the shot put was 56-feet.
  • His triple-jump record was over 50-feet.
  • His broad jump best was 22-feet.
  • He won the Big 8 high jump 3-years in a row.
  • He ran a 4.6 40-yard dash.

As an NBA player, Wilt achieved the following –

  • He averaged 50.4 ppg in a season.
  • He once scored 100-points in an NBA game. In that game he was 28 of 32 from the line and grabbed 25-rebounds. Finally, although steals and blocks were not recorded back then, several witnesses said Wilt also had 13-blocks and 10-steals. This would have given him a quadruple double with a triple.
  • Wilt once had a game where he scored 25-points, grabbed 22-rebounds and passed out 21-assists.
  • On a challenge, Wilt once grabbed a quarter off the top of the backboard.
  • In the 1962 season Wilt averaged 48:30 minutes per game. Games are 48-minutes long so Wilt played entire games plus overtime to average that much. Paul George led the NBA in minutes played a couple years ago at 36:30 per night. Wilt would laugh at “load management.”
  • And finally, Wilt Chamberlain averaged 30.1 points and 22.9 rebounds for his career.

Here are some other facts about Wilt Chamberlain:

  • He  once challenged NFL legend Jim Brown to a 100-yard dash and beat him.
  • He is in the professional Volleyball Hall of Fame
  • He could bench press 500-pounds. Shaquille O’Neal’s best was 450-pounds.
  • He had a 50-inch vertical leap. The only other players in history to come close to this were Michael Jordan and Darrell Griffith, both at 48-inches..
  • During an interview when he was 47-years old, someone questioned his physical fitness claims. Wilt proceeded to do 200-fingertip pushups in a suit and stood up without having broken a sweat.
  • A part of his workout routine was doing 100 sit-ups with a 50-pound weight on his chest.
  • Quote from former NBA player Johnny Kerr: “Once Wilt got upset and dunked on me so hard the ball went through the rim and broke my toe.”

One final story, as told by legendary coach Larry Brown:

“I was at a Lakers open gym in the mid-80’s. Wilt was approaching 50-years of age at this time. Wilt’s team was winning and Magic Johnson began calling chintzy fouls, even calling a goal tending on Wilt at one point. Finally, Wilt got angry and said, ‘There will be no more layups against my team.’ And guess what? There wasn’t.’ I was there. I saw it.”

Note: In Wilt’s book he claimed to have slept with over 20,000 women in his life. Those close to him agreed that’s probably about right.

You guys know how I love random videos, like the kid being chased by the bird or the horse and dog running down the street, right? For some reason many of these weird videos take polace in Russia. Below we have some guy being interviewed while casually enjoying a heater. Then, when calamity comes crashing into his world he just casually observes it while never missing a puff. Amazing really.

Note: Someone should really check on the driver of that car though.

Holy bloodshed!

Update: The police have been called several times.

[Click to enlarge the goriness]

We all know how supermarkets change their layouts every year to force you to look around for stuff, right? So you supposedly will stumble upon items you never knew about and buy them? Diabolical really. This video shows how food is placed and aisles are arranged to make you spend more cash. Take a gander.

Check out that Dwarf Kingfisher, man. Just adorable like you read about. Tiny and colorful, this little dude’s got it all. He resides in lowland forests, typically near streams or ponds, where he feeds upon insects, spiders, worms, crabs, fish, frogs, and lizards. Sadly, this beautiful little bird’s biggest threat is human pollution. That sucks man. Anywho, Dwarf Kingfisher.

Note: For more cool animals, type “Cool Animal of the Day” into the search box on the left.

There are 11 U.S. states larger than the United Kingdom.

For more cool maps, type Map of the Day into the search box on the left.

I have a funny story about this concert. I was seeing a girl once who told me she never really understood the fascination with Elvis. I brought this video up on YouTube and this is what she said a minute in:

“Oh, I get it now. I really get it now.”

Then, a little later . . .

“My God that’s a beautiful man.”

This concert was significant because Elvis had sort of vanished from the music scene for a few years thanks to The Beatles, the British Invasion and The King’s choice to do some crappy movies. Anyway, here’s Elvis at his legendary comeback in 1968.

Love them all. Click and scroll for the coolness.

I got nuthin’ here. Nuthin’ at all.

PS- Good God.

Click on one, then scroll for the burns.

And here’s the kicker – the album was released on Friday, May 26th, 1967 and Hendrix played it the following Sunday evening, the 28th, with Paul and George in attendance. Incredible.

Here’s Paul talking about that night.