If you watched my video on why things sound scary, then you heard me mention a particularly scary cat video.
This is that video. I present … Attack of the Fifty Foot Felines! (make sure to stick around to the end!)
I had a lot of fun working with Buzz, who does a show all about sound effects and foley art and is very silly and sort of like a real-life cartoon character. Our co-stars were furry and adorable. And sorry for all the puns*.
*Not actually sorry.
Behold the pinnacle of the evolution of fast, the grand champion of terrestrial velocity, the prima ballerina of deadly grace … the cheetah.
When you’re done looking under the hood, check out this amazing slow-motion video of a cheetah at full speed, from National Geographic. It is one of the most beautiful things you’ll ever watch.
I mean, just … wow:
(cheetah infographic by Bryan Christie Design for National Geographic)
Cat Crafts in Space
You guys seem to love all the science-themed creations out there (for good reason). Remember these fantastic science-themed fashion creations by Shenova? Yeah, like that.
Well, here’s a random Etsy list of cat-themed space creations to get your creative and shopping juices flowing (a few gems featured above).
(tip of the space helmet to Michele Banks)
LOLscience of why cats (and other animals) like stroking
Nature covers a nearly purr-fect neuroscience study that looks at why cats and other animals love to groom each other. Specialized neurons respond to stroking, but not poking, and stimulate pleasure circuits in the brain. Humans might share some of these neurons in our own skin, which explains our fondness for massages, head scratching and other gentle caresses.
In short, why pets like to be pet.
The Science of Cats
The guys at AsapSCIENCE take aim at the internet’s favorite animal/purpose for its existence: Cats.
You’ll never believe what a cat is doing when it sticks its tail up and rubs along your leg. Smelly little weirdos.
"I notice they forgot to cover the science of why dogs are so much cooler," said the science blogger who was clearly trying to raise a ruckus by starting a cats vs. dogs battle after the video he posted.
The principles of quantum mechanics dictate that a system exists in something called a “superposition”, or all possible states, until we measure it. Measurement forces the pieces of the system to declare one specific state. In the case of cats in boxes rigged with poison, this means that until we look, the cat is dead AND alive (check out MinutePhysics’ awesome video about this for more).
Berkeley scientists have reported that they were able to indirectly and weakly make measurements about the state of a quantum bit without disturbing it, effectively taking a squinty-eyed look inside Schrödinger’s box, and quickly closing the lid. It’s not a full-blown observation of a quantum state, but it shows that we can measure certain properties of quantum computing bits without forcing them to be “dead or alive”.
(More at New Scientist)
It’s nice to know that if you ever need a cat picture in the future, you might one day be able to use mathematics to draw one. You’re looking at a “fractal kitty” whose shape was approximated by applying a type of fractal version of a complex pattern called a Julia set.
Head over to Scientific American to find out how these can be used to approximate shapes like cats, hearts, and other cute math-related stuff.
Big kitty gets stripes and blotches from same gene interaction as little kitty does. By digging into genome sequences of cheetahs and feral cats, a gene with no previously known function appears to decide whether these cats show stripes or spots.
More at ScienceNOW.