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Delightful Creatures

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Gizmodo's Brent Rose reviews the TheraPik, a $13, ugly, plasticky bug-bite zapper that actually works really well. It heats up your mosquito (and other critter) bites until the venom's proteins break down, and the itching and swelling disappear.

Using It
You put the tip of the Therapik onto your bug bite, then you press and hold down the button. The tip uses light to heat the bite up. You hold it there for as long as you can take it, up to a minute. The burning sensation gets pretty intense after 30 seconds or so.

The Best Part
It actually works! Mosquito bites (the only thing we tested it with) stopped itching within a few seconds of taking it off, and in most cases they never itched again. We are officially stunned.

Therapik Bug Bite Relieving Gadget Review: We Can’t Believe This Actually Works

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[Video Link] A man who desperately needed to cut a stick into small pieces was assisted by a kindly piranha at the Cuyabeno Rainforest in Ecuador. (Via Arbroath)

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This video about deep sea life
is very informative. It tells you
the story of a sea urchin and about
its parents' sex. It also talks
about other babies, their parents
and their sex. It talks about how
the sea urchin metamorphosed
from a tiny cell into a sea
urchin. I like it because it's
scientific and it uses words
that are recognizable to me.
I also like the descriptive
language, which they use
a lot in this video.

Sasha Harmon Matthews, 7, is fond of sea urchins.

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CMGW Photography snapped this beautiful shot, "First Contact," in which a young girl and a manatee share a moment through a pane of glass.

First Contact

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In National Geographic, a rare moment of marine nomadism, as a sea nomad child called Enal hitches a ride by holding onto the tail of his friend, a tawny nurse shark. The picture is by James Morgan, submitted to the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest (Top prize: Photo expedition for two to the Galapagos with a National Geographic photographer).

Enal, a young sea nomad, rides on the tail of a tawny nurse shark, in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Marine nomadism has almost completely disappeared in South East Asia as a result of severe marine degradation. I believe children such as Enal have stories that could prove pivotal in contemporary marine conservation.

Spontaneous Moments—Week 4 Gallery

(Thanks, Marilyn!)

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François Vautier infested his flatbed scanner with an ant-colony and scanned the burgeoning hive-organism every week for five years, producing a beautiful, stylized stop-motion record of the ants' slow consumption of his electronics.

Five years ago, I installed an ant colony inside my old scanner that allowed me to scan in high definition this ever evolving microcosm (animal, vegetable and mineral). The resulting clip is a close-up examination of how these tiny beings live in this unique ant farm. I observed how decay and corrosion slowly but surely invaded the internal organs of the scanner. Nature gradually takes hold of this completely synthetic environment.

ANTS in my scanner > a five years time-lapse!

(via Kottke)

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Ball's Pyramid looks like a place where nothing could survive. The remnants of a long-dead volcano, it sits alone in the South Pacific ... a narrow, rocky half-moon some 1800 feet high.

But Ball's Pyramid isn't devoid of life ...

for years this place had a secret. At 225 feet above sea level, hanging on the rock surface, there is a small, spindly little bush, and under that bush, a few years ago, two climbers, working in the dark, found something totally improbable hiding in the soil below. How it got there, we still don't know.

What they found is horribly awesome and awesomely horrible and you need to read the whole story, written by NPR's Robert Krulwich.

Via Elizabeth Preston. If you want a hint, she described this as, "a really beautiful story about some really disgusting giant insects."

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bees.jpg

Beekeeper Lv Kongjiang, 20, stands with bees covering his body on a weighing scale during a bee-wearing competition held last week in China. Competing against fellow beekeeper Wang Dalin in Shaoyang, Hunan province, the two wore only shorts and bees; Wang won the competition after attracting 57 lbs of bees on his body in 60 minutes, while Lv had 50 lbs, local media reported. Photo Reuters/China Daily

Previously: The Beekeeper's Lament: Must-read book on bee life, and death

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