How a ‘tiny hamster’ video gets made

In total, planning, scripting and prepping a tiny hamster video takes a crew of 10 people roughly a month. Shooting can take a full day: The Thanksgiving video took 12 hours, with a 30-minute lunch for its human participants. And from those hours and hours of filming, only a minute or so of footage actually gets used.

- The Washington Post examines the making of the Tiny Hamster videos

For Your Enjoyment #24

Emperor penguins are notoriously shy. When researchers approach, these penguins normally back away and their heart rate goes up. That's not what the scientists need when they want to check heart rate, health and other penguin parameters. So international scientists and filmmakers, led by Yvon Le Maho of the University of Strasbourg in France, created a remote control rover disguised as a chick to snuggle up to shy penguins in Adelie Land, Antarctica...

Roving penguin cams allow a glimpse into life on the ice (image above; h/t DM)

“It’s nice to finally have a simple, clean expanse of unspoiled nature where I can just pop in, enjoy looking at a couple of endangered condors, grab a quick breakfast and the day’s paper by a windswept escarpment, and then be on my way."

- The Onion reports on the newest National Park, designed to cater to business travelers 

[T]rying hard to be different often ends up in hipsters consistently taking the same decisions, in other words all looking alike. We resolve this apparent paradox studying a canonical model of statistical physics, enriched by incorporating the delays necessary for information to be communicated.

- Jonathan Touboul examines the conformity of everyone's favorite anti-conformists in this scientific journal-style publication

To stay relevant and increase demand for potatoes, it will be critical to understand Millennials and how potatoes fit into their lives—now and in the future.

- The United States Potato Board (USPB) is working to understand the role of potatoes in the lives of Millennials

Here’s an insanely revolutionary act: why not counter each ill thought that comes through your head with an acceptance—the acceptance that you’re not always going to agree with everything every woman does. Or an acceptance that some women will be tricky and some will be actual bitches, some of them will read Lean In and be the next Sheryl Sandberg, some women will call Beyoncé an anti-feminist, some will be walking contradictions, or some women will say that I’m a fake behind my back, or that I’m a liar, and that I don’t write well, or whatever—and just to accept that people are just people, women are just women, instead of reacting poorly and slamming them in whatever juvenile way that you see fit.

- Women, let's all love each other, respect and appreciate each other, and be there for one another, shall we? (h/t CM) 

[O]n its war path to a $30 billion valuation, Uber continues to battle itself with questionable comments and tactics that are in danger of harming the company’s reputation and becoming a liability.

- Uber might be kind of a creep and you should probably be creeped out by its creepiness 

That’s it. Enough already. Enough. Enough. Enough. Whether we want to or not, we have to deal with our feminist bullying problem.

- Feminist bullies are just that, bullies.

The CoolComforts Go To Disney World

My parents spent these past few days in Disney World, even kicking off their visit to Florida with their friends' Disney-themed Halloween party. This trip marked their seventh time in the park, the first being in 1981 together, followed by numerous family vacations since. Follow along with their entire week here, including their stay at our favorite Disney World resort, The Grand Floridian, and their visits to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.

A Brazilian free-tail who isn’t good at being a bat

In continuing with my ongoing Animal Adoption spree, MS and I recently made a donation to Bat World, a non-profit sanctuary that provides care and rehabilitation for orphaned bats, in honor of a little free-tailed bat named Little E. E was initially rescued and subsequently released back into the wild, but was unable to survive on his own so was brought back and given a permanent home at Bat World: 

The minute we arrived back at Bat World the little bat knew where he was. He perked up considerably and couldn’t wait to jump into a soft roosting pouch. He was examined and hydrated, then fed a rich meal of blended insects. After his tiny belly was full he fell to sleep, cuddled up with some of his old roostmates that were still in rehab. We are grateful knowing the little bat is safe and sound.  Little E is just not good at being a bat, but here, it doesn’t matter. He can fly safely within the confines of a flight cage every night, snuggle with roostmates every day, and eat food that is always catered.

Read more about Little E over here / watch the video that convinced us to donate here / donate to Bat World Sanctuary over here. On a related note, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust monthly newsletter reports that Sokotei, the little African elephant that DM and I are sponsoring, is doing quite well - if not causing a bit of mischief - over in his Nairobi Nursery.

Bloods Lake / 10420 / Clayton Peak

The first (and only) full day of a quick weekend back in SLC started with a morning hike in Big Cottonwood Canyon; revisited Bloods Lake and then headed up Peak 10420 and Clayton Peak. Weather in SLC (approx. 4200'): clear, sunny, dry, 71ºF / weather at the summit(s) (10420'-10721'): high winds, below freezing, snow storm. Photos were taken before the storm set in; I was too busy scurrying back down the trail to take any photos once the snow began.