6 Animals With Astounding Electric Powers

Written by Monte Richard. Posted in Daily Daft, Funny But True

Electricity, that magical, mystical force of nature that powers this modern age of marvels. Where does it come from? How does it get into our homes? Why can’t we bathe with a toaster? No one really knows. But thanks to Benjamin Franklin we can all watch TV, nuke nachos and play video games whenever we want through the wonders of electricity.

But we weren’t the first to unravel the secrets of this elusive force. In fact, lots of creatures utilize electricity in the most astounding ways. Mindless beasts have mastered this primal force of nature. Which is kind of weird when you think about it. No animal has ever figured out how to make fire but they can generate and manipulate electromagnetic waves?

It just goes to show that nature is weird.

Electric Eel

Electric Eel Electrophorus electricus

photo: Wikipedia Commons

No one will be surprised to see the Electric Eel on this list. Everyone knows this slimy, sinuous South American fish can shock the ever-loving heck out of you. Its one of those cool animals we all learn about as kids. It’s interesting, but not terribly surprising. It’ll zap you…big deal. So can the torpedo ray, electric catfish and static electricity zapping rug under your feet.

But what really sets the electric eel apart is how much voltage it can generate. The electric eel (which is really not an eel but a member of the catfish family) can smack you with up too 600 volts of natural, home grown electricity. That’s almost five times more than a standard house socket. And they can deliver these debilitating jolts every few seconds continuously…for two hours straight. That’s enough to make you very very dead indeed. Though human fatalities are rare (because really, who in their right mind goes swimming in the Amazon anyway) multiple bursts can cause cardiac arrest and drowning.

electric eel image

“If it’s beauty doesn’t kill you the 600 volts will.”

They can also sap you from up to six feet away and they can grow over eight feet in length. And just to round out the weirdness factor, electric eels breath mostly air because the water they live in is oxygen poor.

Here’s a video of one killing a crocodile:

electric eel vs gator video

Elephant Nosed Fish

First of all that’s not his nose, it’s his chin. Regardless, this is an unattractive fish. The Elephant Nosed Fish is quite possibly one of the ugliest most malformed aquatic creature you will ever set eyes upon. It also has what is probably the most sophisticated sensory equipment in the entire animal kingdom. This fish’s super chin lets it perceive the world around it in ways that could almost make Daredevil believable as a Superhero.  The power of Electrolocation, is apparently like Dardevils echolocation, only with electricity, and possibly magic.

Gnathonemus petersii Elephant Nosed Fish

Sharks and platypus are amazing in that they can detect the minute electric impulses given out by all living animals. But the elephant nosed fish has all that beat. It detects its favorite food buried in the mud and muck in the pitch of night with an electric field it generates through its tail and senses it with its elongated chin. And in case that doesn’t sound impressive enough, it eats ‘dead’ insect larva.

Sharks can feel living things, but the elephant nosed fish hunts creatures that don’t even have a life force to give them away.

Yes, they have a special sense that allows them to see dead things. Their Schnauzenorgan (we didn’t make that up, its a scientific term) are so sensitive they can find dead bugs in the muck in jet black waters. They can also determine distances, differentiate between substances, shapes and sizes. They know if something is alive, dying, or dead, which means they probably have Shrodinger’s Cat all figured out.

The elephant nosed fish can do all of this in absolute darkness with its electric chin wand. It’s a fish with super radar better than all our senses combined.

Bees

 

Bee in the snow

photo: Wikipedia

“No I’m not cute when I’m surrounded by snow…I’m Dying!”

Bee’s have fascinated people since the beginning of time. And why shouldn’t they. They’re awesome. They can communicate by dancing and they produce a sweet delicious super food that doesn’t ever go bad, even after a few thousand years. They can like fly around and sting people and stuff.

No creature on earth pollinates as many plants as bees do. They are absolutely vital to the reproduction of the worlds plants. And unfortunately cell phones are killing them off. But that’s only because these hive minded honey makers have a very special relationship with electricity.

Bees like many other creatures use the earths magnetic field for navigation. Bee’s will high tail it back to the hive before a storm breaks because they can sense the electromagnetic waves of the coming maelstrom.  It’s believed that cell phone traffic interferes with their navigation.

However, even more incredibly than the fact that our communications technology is destroying nature itself is the fact that bees have mastered the power of static cling. Bee’s are fuzzy. When they fly their wings generate a negative charge that their fur picks up. Pollen naturally has a positive charge. So when a bee pulls up to a positive flower pulsing with negative static electricity the pollen practically leaps
off.

Bee in Pollen

“Ugg, and I just got cleaned off too.”

How incredible is that? They’ve mastered the same technology that makes your socks stick to everything in the drier. They’re living electro magnets! Pick up you’re cell phone and call a friend. Let them know that bees are awesome…and that the phone call is probably contributing to their inevitable extinction.

 

Oriental Wasp

Oriental Wasp - Vespa orientalis

photo; Wikipedia Commons

 “Damn! Forgot the suntan lotion.”

Although Not as Dangerous As the The Giant Hornet (See Article: Thieving Bastards of Nature) Wasps are already pretty fearsome. They’re fast, quiet and their sting is pretty painful. But sometimes Mother Nature just can’t leave well enough alone. What could make the wasp even better? Green energy sources.

Researchers discovered that the oriental wasp is more active during mid day than other wasps. These bugs are usually very susceptible to high temperatures. They tend to shut down during the hottest part of the day so they don’t burn up. But not the oriental wasp. These ground nesting pests thrive on sunlight. In fact, they’re the worlds only truly solar powered animal. These sun wasps have a special brown band of cells on their backs that collect light and converts it to electricity

Oriental Wasp Vespa orientalis Voltron Electricity

“Transform into Omegawaspoid!”

 

And they’re unbelievably efficient. Most solar cells have a maximum absorption rate of around 25%. But the brown strip on the oriental wasp traps 99% of all the light that hits it. If it absorbed any more light it would be invisible (and then we’d be screwed). What does it do with all this electricity? It definitely helps them get going in the morning, but beyond that science isn’t really sure. It could help with metabolizing food, it might be for the creation of special enzymes or they might be using it to develop some sort of super bug weapon. Some sort of wasp Voltron or something…powered by solar energy.

 

Super Chicken

Lots of animals can sense the electro magnetic forces of the earth. It was discovered 40 years ago that migratory birds know which way the poles are. Whales use it too. Heck, it was recently discovered courtesy of Google Earth that cows only graze facing either north or south. It seems like most animals are in tune with forces beyond the keen of human senses. And that makes perfect sense.

We’ve got GPS and Mapquest to tell us where to go. But few of these nifty tools are available to the beasts of the air, land and sea. So if you’re a blue whale traveling from one pole to the other then ability to sense directions is invaluable. But chickens take magnetic sensitivity to the next level.

Chicken Crossing the road

Photo Thanks: Wikipedia

 

“Which is very helpful if you’re trying to cross the road.”

Yes, the chicken. That paragon of chubby, flightless laziness who would not survive a single day in the wild is in possession of one of the greatest senses in the world. They can actually ‘see’ the electro magnetic forces of the earth. They have GPS vision. Researchers have shown that chickens can correctly orient themselves under blue light but they loose all sense of direction under longer wavelengths like red.

In other words chickens are from Krypton. Their powers, like Super Man’s, cease to function under a red sun.

Super Chicken

 

Asian Super Ants

Another creature which is too badass to exist without calling into question the concept of a loving, merciful God is Lasius neglectus or the so-called Asian super ants. These lovable little buggers are drawn to electricity in a bad way. Their attraction to sparky is actually stronger than their need for food or drink or NSFW pictures. They attack electric circuits. Science really doesn’t have a clue as to why they do this. Maybe these ants detect electromagnetic waves to hunt their prey and our power lines confuse them. Maybe they’re just jealous of our technology (suck it ants). Or maybe they believe in an antie version of Valhalla and riding the electric snake is an express ticket to paradise.

Ant Head Formicidae

Photo Thanks: Wikipedia

“Give us the password to your router and no one gets hurt.”

 

Whatever the reason swarms of these critters have caused blackouts in Great Britain with their antics. Once one gets zapped an alarm pheromone is sent out that calls swarms of their brethren to attack. Millions of ants will immolate themselves sometimes leading to short circuits. And it gets worse. Asian super ant reproduces quickly and they don’t fight amongst themselves like some other species so they form gargantuan super colonies.

And don’t think only Britain is doomed. Other ants have been known to attack electricity, like the fire ants in this video:

Ant Video

 

If you’re under attack by ants and your phone keeps going dead (and you can’t find any bugs or eels to charge it with), you can check out an emergency mobile phone charger in the Phone Chargers section of our Gadget Shop

 

sources:

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/electric-eel/
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/latest-questions/question/1859/
http://www.frontiersinzoology.com/content/6/1/21
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070821114339.htm
http://articles.cnn.com/2010-06-30/world/bee.decline.mobile.phones_1_bee-populations-cell-phone-radiation-ofcom?_s=PM:WORLD
http://www.asknature.org/strategy/ab1828fc6ae6030c71b72422fe6fa232#section
http://www.dailytech.com/Oriental+Hornet+Capable+of+Converting+Suns+Energy+into+Electric+Power/article20601.htm
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19709-zoologger-the-solarpowered-electric-hornet.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17575035
http://www.livescience.com/1652-chicken-crossed-road-directions.html
http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/15351611

 

 

MP3 Speakers – The Quest for the Ultimate External MP3 Speaker

Written by Monte Richard. Posted in Daily Daft, Gadgets

 

It’s an endless cascade of vibrating particles parading through space. It’s the roar and rumble of acoustic swells tossing on a vast, invisible ocean. It’s the modulation of harmonious airwaves resonating inside your head. It’s called ‘sound’ and you’re MP3 player is completely useless without it.

Without sound you can’t hear stuff and then you would never be able to enjoy your favorite Madonna album ever again. What you need are a good set of external speakers to let your songs roam free. Sure, you could use headphones, but then how are your family and friends supposed to rock out with you? How will acquaintances and total strangers in the checkout line at the grocery store know that you have wonderful taste in music? Fear not friends for we at DaftGadgets.com have got y64 c6vered.

If you have music stored on an electronic device that you’d like to listen to then look no further than our mp3 speakers section where we have every kind of sound delivery system you could possibly imagine and a few that defy all reason.

Keychain Minispeaker

iPod iPhone external speaker keychain

For shear portability the Keychain Minispeaker has no equal. First of all it’s a cube. Why is that good? Because boxy is beautiful.

No matter how you set it down it will sit there calmly and with quite dignity. The square is the most stable of all shapes. And then you can stack stuff on top of it if you need too. Get a bunch of them and build a little fortress of speakers. It can also act as an impromptu six sided dice if you find yourself in a game of Dungeons and Dragons. And it’s a keychain so you’ll never lose it or leave it behind. This small blocky resonator is also great if you need to hide a small unobtrusive speaker somewhere. Get a sound bite of a pissed off rattle snake then hide the Keychain Minispeaker on your partner’s side of the bed.

It’s strong enough to play your tunes and small enough to get you into a world of trouble.

Boom Box Speaker Cushion

cool boom box speaker cushion for ipod iphone or mp3 media player

Ever wish the novelty throw pillows on your couch could double as speakers? Do you have so much trouble waking up in the morning that you need the alarm right in your ear? Do you miss the eighties? Well then you need the Boom Box speaker Cushion!

Yes now you can jam in comfort with this plushy sound amplification device. And the electroluminescence equalizer panel on the front keeps time with the music. It even accepts cassettes! (No it doesn’t.) Blowing out your ear drums has never been so easy.

Just plug in your MP3 player, rest your head on the pillow and cue up your favorite heavy metal band. Or fall asleep at night listening to Beethoven and Mozart. Or beat your partner over the head to Michael Jackson’s song “Beat It”.  Pillow fights have never rocked so hard.

 

The Vibration Speaker
External Vibration Speaker for iPhone iPod or mp3 media player

You can make music emanate from common debris with the Vibration Speaker!

The Vibration Speaker hooks up to anything and turns it into an amplifier for your favorite songs. Plug it into an empty milk jug, pizza box, tin can or anything else you want to be your speaker. Each strange, disparate thing you attach it to will create a completely new and unique sound.

It’s perfect for exploring the musical spectrum. It’s also great if you want to convince your children that the box of Rice Crispies is haunted by malevolent spirits. The Vibration Speaker is portable, you can use it to turn the garbage can into a sub woofer and the whole thing comes in one of those old card board milk containers you used to get in the lunch room. You can’t go wrong with the Vibration Speaker/Pint of Milk.

Boombox Mini MP3 Speaker
boom box mini speakers for ipod and iPhone

Pimp out your MP3 player with the Boombox Mini MP3 Speakers.

Are you unreasonably proud of your collection of kangol hats? Do you still use words like boogie? Do you and your friends often engage in random break dance fights against roving bands of neighborhood thugs? Well unless you want to get served, you’ll need some serious speakerage.

Styled to look like tiny ghetto blasters from the 80’s, these speakers proudly announce to the world that your crew is the hardest around (sequined Michael Jackson glove sold separately). They run off of your devices power supply so there’s no charger or batteries. Just plug them in and go.

The boombox isn’t dead, it’s just smaller. And it’s small enough to dip it in gold to wear around your neck! Now that would be def.

Dancing Cat Speaker

If there’s anything the Internet has taught us it’s that we love cats. We simply cannot get enough of their furry antics. Well the Dancing Cat Speaker manages to capture all of the wuvable cutesiness of those frisky felines and put it to music.

This animatronic cat speaker dances and shimmies to your favorite tunes and it won’t scratch up the furniture. It’s perfect for cat lovers, kids of all ages and anyone who love creepy dancing anthropomorphic animals. Or maybe you just need a companion for your lonely pit bull.

Why have a speaker that just plays music when you can have all your jams accompanied by the hedonistic gyrations of a robotic stuffed animal?

Spring Speaker

External spring speaker for iphone or ipod

You’ve never seen a speaker like this before. If we hadn’t told you it was a speaker you probably wouldn’t have had any idea what it was. But that’s because it’s a Spring Speaker.

Put a spring in your beat with the revolutionary Spring Speakers! The accordion like construction of these unique speakers gives you a level of customization over your music that other mini sound systems simply cannot match. The ‘bellows’ design allows you to enhance the sound or amplify the base response simply by changing it’s shape. With other speakers you’re stuck with whatever they give you. If it sounds flat too bad so sad. But with the Spring Speaker too much treble is no longer any trouble at all (yes we know we’re reaching with that pun).

Don’t settle for mediocre sound quality. Now you can slinky your way to the perfect music setting with the Spring Speaker.

 

You can see the entire line up of External Speakers in the MP3 Accessories Section of our Gadget Shop.

Office Stuff – Gadgets For The Office That Are Sure To Make Employees Less Suicidal

Written by Jason Scott. Posted in Daily Daft, Gadgets

 

Everyone hates the office. Even those who like the office, love to hate it. Be it because of the demanding tps reports from an annoying micro-manager like Bill Lumbergh, or just because they don’t like being told what to do. Either Way, there is an ever growing market for things that make the workplace “suck less” (yes this is a reference to the vacuous void created when your brain shuts down creativity and focuses on menial tasks)

The Following Office Gadgets are sure to make any office employees less suicidal

Office Stuff – Like, Dislike, Win and Epic Fail Stamps

Office Stuff - Like Dislike Stamps

Nothing says you like someone like a stamp on their forehead. Unfortunately, inking the heads of coworkers or employees with a like or dislike button could get you into trouble with the law. Depending which part of the employee’s body you stamp, you could also find yourself in the middle of a sexual harrasment suit.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t let others no how you feel. Next time you read a proposal get out one of these office stamps and get your point across.

The epic win/fail stamps

Office Stuff Epic Win epic fail stamps

Not just for cool teachers, epic stamps are only to be used when something is really great, or so terrible that you wish you ripped your eyes out to save yourself from the experience.

Now if you are looking for something a little less dramatic, you can use the like/dislike stamps. Although these can be used sadistically to hurt peoples feelings, they can also be used to grade work, on empty food wrappers, Movie stubs, and even new bills that pass through congress.

Use your imagination and you’ll soon realize that there is an entire world out there just aching to hear your opinion on stuff.

Office Stuff – USB Flash drive Voice Recorder

office stuff - usb flashdrive voice recorder

Have you ever had a million dollar idea, only to forget about it and later see it brought to market by some would be thought thief? If so, don’t be victimized by thought theft again!

According to the 100th monkey effect, if you experience events that inspire an idea, then its likely someone else will too. After 100 people (a.k.a monkeys) experience similar events that lead to the same inspiration, your idea becomes worthless because it now belongs to the entire populace and those who have more money and resources than you will create it.

Don’t let these ideas get away. When brilliance strikes, record it with a usb voice recording flash drive, and be one of the first 99 monkeys to earn some credit.

Office Stuff – iPhone 4 Desktop Phone

office stuff - desktop iPhone accessory

Okay, its cool to have an iPhone, but not so cool in the office because you look like you are talking to your friends. This is where the desktop iPhone comes into play.

Its great as a desk docking station for your iPhone that lets you access your schedule, make notes or input new data, but it also allows you to make video call too!

The phone also works hands free with a built in speaker system (a speaker system that also plays music) so you can put your hands behind your head and lean back like any over paid business professional.

The best part is, when you talk over the desk top phone, everyone will think your working instead of gabbing on your iPhone! (Okay, maybe the best part is not losing your intelligence from exposure to cellphone radiation)

Office Stuff – The Desktop Mini Shopping Cart

office stuff - mini shopping cart stationary holder

Let’s face it. We are all happier when we are buying a new toy or gadget. Placing the mini shopping cart on your desk doesn’t just keep your pens and other stationery all organized, it also reminds you that working throughout the day will eventually bring you money that you can use to buy things, which is a pretty good motivator for improving office productivity.

So go ahead and pick up a mini shopping trolly and don’t be afraid to charge it to the company as a business expense.

Office Stuff – The USB Microscope

usb microscope

Imagine what a hero you would be if you suddenly discovered and outbreak of Ebola or that zombie making T-virus we keep hearing about. Or what if you discovered penicillin 2 (and upgrade from the previous version) while studying a new type of mold that can only found on lunches left in the office fridge for more than 30 days? The point is that you can’t make scientific discovers that will better your company and all of humanity if you are stuck in a cubical looking at spreadsheets.

The USB Microscope isn’t about goofing off during office hours. Its about activating the creative scientific genius inside your brain that can only improve your overall productivity.

Sure, maybe you’ll end up wasting time studying the bacteria on your tongue or the hair follicles on that favorite employee you’ve been stalking. Either way, the usb microscope is an office gadget for any true geek.

Office Stuff – The Magic Rotating Globe

Magnetic rotating office globe

Every cool office needs a globe. A globe tells those who visit that you are an international player and that you were not afraid to cheat to get ahead in geography class.

Now you could choose a “non geek” globe, that is hundreds of dollars and made out of nicely stained wood or, you can choose a globe that says “I’m technologically advanced and most likely more evolved than other non geeks in the business community so do business with our superior organization”

The Magic Rotating Globe gently spins its accurate mapping as if it was truly floating in space. A real attention getter, the 14 inch globe can sit right on top of your desk without taking up too much space.

The best part is that it will leave everyone who see it wanting one of their own.

Office gadgets make a bad thing good and a good thing great. Whether you hate or love your job, some cool office stuff just makes the time pass quicker (note: This principle does not apply to our backwards moving clocks).

Check out our complete line up of office gadgets in the Office Stuff section of our Gadget Shop

3D Viewing – Inventing the 3D Television

Written by Jason Scott. Posted in Daily Daft, Funny But True, Gadgets

3D has been around a lot longer than most of us realize. Anyone who was able to to produce 1.21 gigawatts of energy and force it into a flux capacitor knows that wearing 3D glasses was a style donned by more than just your average obnoxious bully sycophant from the year 1955. In fact the 1950s are known as the “Golden Era” of 3-D cinematography.

photo thanks wikipedia

photo thanks wikipedia

The concept of 3D is simple, show 2 different images to each eye in way that makes the put together image look like it has more depth. Unfortunately, quality 3D is a bit more complicated.

For those of you who remember the 3D ground breaking video game “Time Traveler” (see article: Top 10 Video Games of All Time) you are probably too old to be playing video games. That being said, the game had a sort of “Help Me Obi-Wan Kenobi, Your My Only Hope” look to it. Which means if society had really wanted 3D TV, we could probably have it by now if we had only been prepared to pay the $2.00 per game the inventors of time traveler were asking. In fact, 3D has a way of coming in and out of style.

So just how close are we to 3D TV?

There have been a few attempts at different ways of creating the effect, and we can only assume that when we do get the technology there will be an HDDVD vs Blue Ray, Betamax VS VHS type war.

Some possible attempts at 3D Technology include:

Stereoscope 3D.

Stereoscopic 3-D imaging is created by presenting two offset images separately to each eye ball.

How can we use it?

The idea here is to use two tiny screens that fit snug over your eye sockets. It would be the same idea as stereo head phones, except these would be eyephones (pardon the pun).

Back in the 1840s, Sir Chearles Wheatstone invented the stereoscope by taking nearly identical photographs side by side that the viewer would see through a pair of binoculars

This idea was later for cool iconic geek toys like the view master

There was even a view master that played sound!

So why does StrereoScope 3D suck?

Up until now, it has been too expensive to put two lcd screens behind a pair of glasses. As well, it takes away from the group experience, and people don’t like to wear bulky mechanisms on their heads.

So is stereoscope 3-D Dead?

There was a submarine game the Sega brought out call “Sub-Roc” where you would look through a periscope, but like most things by Sega, it didn’t take off.

photo thanks: wikipedia

The Pulfrich Effect 3-D

According to German physicist Carl Pulfrich things move slower in the dark, at least as your eyes are concerned. Since this discovery in 1922 we have had a Rolling Stones concert, Shark documentaries, Power ranger movies, and special episodes of Doctor Who (dimensions in time) all shown in Pulfrich 3-D. The best thing about the technology is that all you have to do is get a tinted monocle and you are are watching 3D!
It works because when you watch things moving side to side while wearing a darkened lens, the object appears to move in depth, towards you or away.

Why does it suck?

For the Pulfrich Effect to work properly, the objects on the screen must be always moving sideways at the right speed. This unfortunately causes some viewers to vomit.

The good news is, you can get the effect any time if you watch things like football games, nature shows, or certain musical scenes from “singing in the rain”

Red-Geen Anaglyph

Edwin Porter had a vision. A vision of half naked belly dancers dancing for him in 3D when he was away from the Gentleman’s club. In fact his idea was demonstrated before the television was even invented. It wouldn’t be until 40 years later that the same technology he demonstrated in 1915 would be used for home 3D TV viewing.

So why does it suck?

Originally it sucked because most people in the 1950s didn’t have color TVs, as well, the red green glasses required gave them headaches. (Similar to those who watched the red green show)

“The Red Green Show – known to cause headaches.”

On top of that, the 3D image was red and green and not true color so nobody really cared when the technology went away.

Why it doesn’t suck

Colorcode (Amber Blue Anaglyph) is a take off on Red Green anaglyph. The difference being that it uses amber and dark blue. Colorcode has been used successfully in the 2009 Superbowl ad Monsters vs Aliens as well as during a special episode of the show Chuck.

In fact, Colorcode is probably the best thing going so far as far a 3D TV is concerned, so it shows how revisiting an epic fail can turn it into a win.

Anyone for the creation of “New Pepsi”

Polarized 3-D Lens.

These lenses let in light vibrating in only one direction. By projecting two different images on the same screen using polarized lenses at different angles, you could route a separate image to each eye allowing for full color images.

Why does it suck?

Because there is no known way to send polarized images through a tv screen, so its pretty much useless.

So what are we to do?  How are we going to get a decent 3D image at home on our television?   Yes were asking you Obi Wan,  Help us, you’re our only hope.

If you’re looking for that retro feel check out our 80s retro iPhone case available in our Gadget Shop

5 of Nature’s Little Guys That Don’t Give a #$%* How Big You Are

Written by Monte Richard. Posted in Daily Daft, Funny But True

By now everyone knows about the honey badger, one of the most fearless, aggressive animals in the world. And of course there’s the wolverine who, aside from being one of Marvel Comics biggest cash cows, is also a crazy weasel like creature that will attack bears and wolves just for laughs. These are fearless little animals that routinely go up against overwhelming odds. But those are the exceptions, right? Rarely in nature do you see the whole David and Goliath setup working out in favor of the underdog. Normally the big animals eat or at least squash the smaller ones. Usually. But sometimes Mother Nature pulls for the little guy. There are teeny animals out there that simply do not know the meaning of fear or common sense. A few of these munchkins will stand up and throw themselves headlong against behemoths…and win.

1. Epomis Beetle

photo thanks: wired.com/wiredscience

photo thanks: wired.com/wiredscience

The bug in the frogs mouth there is winning.”

Frogs are vicious eating machines.  Yes…frogs. They regularly consume scorpions, tarantulas, snakes, birds, you name it.  They’re deadly, agile and hungry as a hippo…only shorter.  If it fits in their mouth they’ll attack and eat it. But if there is one area where frogs really excel at it’s eating bugs.  What with the long tongue, the pouncing and the huge mouths, frogs were tailor made to destroy insects.  But apparently no body told that to the Epomis Beetle.  This small ground beetle will attack and devour frogs, lizards and salamanders at will.  How do we know this? Because scientist set up Thunder Dome like encounters where the beetle won 100% of the time.  That’s right, 100%! This isn’t a bug that ‘sometimes’ pulls out an upset. It’s a super beetle that apparently cannot lose. Here’s a horrifying video of a little beetle brutalizing an amphibian several times it’s size:

epomis beetle

Their strategy is to jump on the amphibian, which outweighs it by a factor of at least 10 and then they start biting it. Do they have some kind of poison? A paralyzing venom to subdue their hippity hoppity foes? No. They just bite him till he dies. That’s like leaping onto a bull and chewing on it till it stops kicking. And not only do the adult beetles eat frogs, but the larva do too. In fact the baby beetles dine almost exclusively on amphibians. And once again, they never lose. Scientists recorded one instance where a frog actually managed to swallow a larva for two hours…he still lost the fight and was consumed by the bug. How do you eat your opponent and still lose?!?

photo: Sciencenewsline.com

“How many lions has your newborn consumed?”

2. Kingbird

Groups of small birds have been known to mob larger predators. They’ll do this to chase them away from their nests. Seals do the same things to great white sharks. It’s a common practice in nature for a group of smaller animals to band together to harass a larger predator.  Kingbirds do something like that too, but with just a tad more “Hell Yeah!” mixed in.  A lone Kingbird will jump on the back of a hawk and peck the bird in the head mercilessly!  This little 2 oz menace will ride on the back of a friggin hawk! That’s like a human leaping onto a great shark and continuously bashing it in the skull with a pipe.

photo thanks: extras.mnginteractive.com

photo thanks: extras.mnginteractive.com

Mommie!!!”

He’s not flitting around harassing it. He’s not posturing or making threats. The Kingbird is riding it bareback and stabbing it in the head. How aggressive and/or mentally unbalanced do you have be to pull this off? The Kingbird will peck the poor hawk relentlessly until it leaves the area. And there’s nothing the alpha predator can do but scream and run. They don’t try to fight back. They don’t hang around plotting their revenge. They get the hell out of Dodge. But the real kicker is that hawks don’t even prey on Kingbirds!  They’re way too small. That’s right, the Kingbird is the bully here. He’s beating up the hawk for no reason other than he can.

3. Cookiecutter Shark

Sharks are scary it’s true, but they don’t indiscriminately attack people.  Typically shark attacks happen because they mistake humans for seals or all that flailing around in the water makes them think you’re wounded.  It really doesn’t want to eat you.  It’s not hunting you.  Honestly you probably don’t even taste good. In fact, Great Whites have been known to spit people out.  Sure, the odds are you’ll still die from the wounds, but that’s not the point. Sharks do not see us as food. They aren’t just mindless eating machines that the movies portray. They won’t just attack you for no good reason…except the cookie cutter shark.  It will straight up eat you.

Photo Thanks: ehay.deviantart.com/art/

Awww…look how cute!”

This two-foot monster will attack anything, people, dolphins, whales, submarines. It literally does not care who or what you are.  If you move you’re food.  And yes, it has actually been known to attack submarines. The navy has had to replace rubber seals and coatings after these vicious little monsters grubbed on them. It’s called a cookie cutter shark because it swims past at high speed ripping a chunk of flesh out with its melon baller like teeth. The only reason you don’t hear about more attacks on people is because they’re nocturnal hunters. So be careful if you go swimming in shark infested waters at night…although lets be honest, you probably deserve to be eaten anyway.

photo thanks: blogs.discovery.com

photo thanks: blogs.discovery.com

Awww…look how cute!”

4-Jack Jumper Ants

No one is surprised that ants will attack creatures several times their own size if their hive is threatened or if they have a team to back them up.  They routinely throw away their lives just because. But then some ants take it to the next level, like the Jack Jumper Ant of Australia and Tasmania.

BANZAII!!!

BANZAII!!!

This is the Jack Jumper of Australia and Tasmania.  He’s throwing himself at a huntsman spider who incidentally eats ants for breakfast.  The ant didn’t stumble upon the spider by accident. The spider didn’t come too close to the nest. This lone ant saw a spider and launched itself over a cliff to attack it. Why?  Because Jack Jumper Ants will attack anything on sight.  And unlike most ants they can see quite well and they can leap 20 cm into the air.  If you get within the range you’re food.  Period.  They are extremely aggressive and they will attack anything.  Also unlike most ants the Jack Jumper is very independent minded so they’re solo hunters.  This little insect can single handedly take down a bee or a wasp. It’s only one ant, but it’s wicked enough to capture and kill a friggin wasp on it’s own.

They’re also amongst the most poisonous creatures on earth.  They kill more humans in their native Tasmania annually than spiders, snakes, wasps, and sharks COMBINED.  Yes, this ant is the most deadly killer in an area renowned for its deadly killers. They sting their prey (or anything that’s pissing them off) repeatedly, releasing a venom that ignites the allergic reaction in most humans, leading to death if medical attention is not sought right away.  And don’t think thick clothing will protect you, they can sting right through it.

photo thanks: www.alexanderwild.com

photo thanks: www.alexanderwild.com

5 – Common Krait

“He always hogs the covers.”

Most snakes are kind of skittish.  They don’t have legs. They aren’t very tall. They know better than to hang out around larger creatures that can crush them.  The math is pretty easy on this one. If you’re a small animal that crawls around on your belly then stay away from things that can smash you. Even very poisonous snakes are reluctant to bite people because they themselves might be hurt in the process. That’s why rattlesnakes make all that racket. They’re saying ‘hey, I’m over here don’t stomp on me because I will totally kill you, ok.’ But the common Krait of India is either the bravest or stupidest snake in the world. It will actually climb in bed with people.

And this isn’t a case where the snake accidentally blunders into an empty bed because he thinks it’s a good place to hide. They will slither beneath the sheets while people are there. No one is exactly sure why they do this.  Maybe they’re cold.  Maybe they just like to snuggle.  Maybe it’s the fabric softener you use. Whatever the reason it’s a recipe for disaster when you consider that it’s more poisonous than a cobra and it’s bite is almost painless.  It’s not uncommon for people to die in their sleep. Sleep tight!

For a good nights sleep try our Memory Foam Sleep Mask with Stereo Input

Sources:
http://kalachkrait.webs.com/
http://animal.discovery.com/videos/wild-recon-common-krait-venom.html

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/270254/jack_jumper_ants_two_times_worsethan_pg2.html?cat=5
http://news.discovery.com/animals/cookiecutter-shark-scooped-flesh-out-of-human-swimmer-110705.html
http://www.livescience.com/14882-human-cookiecutter-shark-bite.html
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/shark-attack-documented-cookiecutter-shark-attack-human-hawaii/story?id=14001710
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1216709/Pictured-The-plucky-little-kingbird-took-piggyback-predatory-hawk-lived-tell-tale.html
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_13452818
http://kathleen-airdrie.suite101.com/eastern-kingbird-a-flycatcher-a184444
http://www.livescience.com/14254-beetles-eating-amphibians-predator-prey.html
http://news.discovery.com/animals/frog-legs-on-beetles-menu-110524.html
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/09/epomis-beetle-amphibians/

5 WTF Toys That Are Sure to Warp the Minds of Children

Written by Jason Scott. Posted in Daily Daft

WTF Toy #1. You Can Shave The Baby.

you can shave the baby

Yes, now you can shave the baby! The Baby’s pubic hair that is…
The Red Headed baby with armpit and genital hair can only be found in Japan (we wonder why?) We’ve heard of toy babies that fill up diapers, burp, and even breast feed, but even we are scratching our heads at this one. There is also some added hair at the sock line for some reason which only leads us to do one thing. Find the Japanese Bable bot translation for “What the hell were you guys thinking?”

WTF Toy #2. The Placenta Teddy Bear

Photo Thanks inhabitots.com

Photo Thanks inhabitots.com

If you think Placentas are gross, you would probably be shock to know that some people (mostly women we think?) eat their placenta after birth. Possibly to be more like the animals in nature or possibly because of the tangy taste is has, were not sure. Either way, you don’t have to worry if cannibalism is not your thing, now there is a way you and your baby can cherish it for a life time.

The Placenta Teddy Bear by Alex Green.

To make one of these cuddly contraptions, you need to dry out the placenta and cure it with sea salt. Then, after it is dried out, you must add an emulsifying mixture of tannin and egg yolk to make is soft and pliable. Then, its just a matter of imagination and a sewing kit!

WTF Toy #3 Grade up to Elite Cow

photo thanks boardgamegeek.com

photo thanks boardgamegeek.com

This game was put out by the British Beef Association as a way to desensitize kids to the screaming moos cows make in the slaughter house. A wonderful game to play while waiting for dinner, Grade up to Elite Cow will make everyone a little less hungry.

The board game teaches children how beef is processed and graded. Oh, and did we mention? The game starts out at a bull semen auction. Enjoy!

WTF Toy #4. The Nimbus 2000

Nimbus 2000

Yes, Harry Potter was all the rage back in the day. However, “Rage” was the feeling some parents had when they realized their kids were playing with a lookalike broomstick from the Harry Potter movies.

Why you ask?

Because the broomstick came with a wonderful feature that allowed it to vibrate.

Yes, the Nimbus 2000 was a children’s toy that began to vibrate when it was wedged into the child’s crotch area. It was pulled from the shelves pretty fast. We’re not sure who at Mattel was responsible for letting this one out in the first place.

WTF Toy #5. The Peekaboo Stripper Pole…….for Kids!

tesco-stripperpole

Yes, it arrived in the U.K. Back in 2006. The peekaboo stripper pole was banned almost immediately. It came complete with a cd of music to strip to, a lacy garter, and a wad of play money, all to be used in conjunction with a collapsible stripper pole.

This one just speaks evil.

For Toys of a Less Evil Nature, See the Geek Toys and Gadgets Section of our Gadget Shop.

Cool or Crazy? – The Fine Line of Politics

Written by Jason Scott. Posted in Daily Daft, Funny But True

Every once in a while, a politician, leader, or dictator will surprise us. We expect them to lie to us, raise taxes, and waste lots of money, but on rare occasions they do something that no one expects. Sometimes we hear touching chicken soup type stories of how the teddy bear got its name after Teddy Roosevelt showed compassion by refusing to shoot a half dead beaten black bear in the face with his shot gun (we added the face part, but we assume the other hunters were asking him for a head shot).

Other times we hear stories of people like Turkmenbashi who ordered the construction of an Ice Zoo in the middle of the Dessert, or stories of Boris Yeltsin outside the white house drunk in his underwear trying to get a cab to take him out for pizza. Its the stories like these that leave us scratching our heads asking

“Is this leader kinda cool, or is he just Nuckin’ Futs?”


1. Francois Duvalier AKA Papa Doc.

photo wikipedia

photo wikipedia

Claiming to be Baron Samedi, the Voodoo spirit of death, Papa Doc makes the Daft Gadgets list of Crazy or Cool with ease. By no means are we saying that the Voodoo religion holds a monopoly on “Crazy,” in fact we are currently looking to hire an artist to make custom voodoo dolls of our customer’s ex lovers based upon the photographs then send in. We think that voodoo could be the next big thing for our Gadget Shop.
That aside, were pretty sure that Papa Doc was “Nuckin Futs”

His departure from the land of sanity probably occurred during a 9 hour coma he experienced that left him with massive brain damage. Upon awakening, he demanded his successor (Clement Barbot) be arrested.

So, What is so odd about that?

He told his people that they would have trouble finding him because he had transformed himself into a large black dog.

So what was the most logical thing to do?

Well round up all the black dogs and put them to death of course.

After ordering the death of all the black dogs in Haiti, Clement Barbot was found (obviously because there were no black dogs left for his spirit to hide in) It was at this point that Papa Doc had Clement’s head cut off and preserved for Voodoo uses at a later time.

On his death bed, Papa Doc let out one last final secret. He confessed that he was responsible for JFK’s Assassination…..by way of a Voodoo Curse. He also sent one of his people to the U.S.A to visit Kennedy’s grave and “steal the air” around it so that Papa Doc could control JFK’s soul in the afterlife with a spell.

Now as “Cool” as all this sounds, our vote for Papa Doc is on the “Crazy” side.

Jaime Nebot

photo wikipedia

photo wikipedia

Jaime Nebot serves as the Mayor of Ecuador’s Largest city, Guayaquil. He has made headlines in Ecuador with various antics. On August 31, 1990. Nebot was heard screaming hysterically during a public broadcast of a parliamentary session. Although screaming in parliament is a very common thing these days, it was Nebots choice of words that earned him fame.

His words were: “Come here so I can pee on you,” and then “I can’t just hit you. I have to pee on you.” The police came in and restrained Nebot who told them he was angry at the back room dealings of the socialist party.

Now as funny as this televised was for us to watch without understanding a word (okay, we could make out a few of the swears) this incident is not the reason he is on our list.

The real reason Nebot is on our Cool or Crazy list is this:

In October of 2003 during a press conference, Nebot decided that the criticism from the press was not only unwarranted, but that it got in the way of his duties as the Mayor, essentially costing the tax payers too much money. Nebot then hired an assistant specifically for the task of addressing the critics from the press.

What’s so crazy cool about that you ask? ………..

The person he hired was a parrot.

photo wikipedia

photo wikipedia

“I get paid in Crackers”

“Here is the parrot,” he explained, “that will be in charge to answer all the undesirable comments that I have no time to answer! Some people only approach me with nonsense talk, so the parrot will answer back in the same way because I need to use my time to work.”

We don’t know about you, but were putting Nebot in the “Cool” Category.

Francisco Macias Nguema

Francisco Macias Nguema

Some people believe that insanity is hereditary. Luckily for Macias Nguema, he didn’t believe in such ridiculous superstitions. Born the son of a witch doctor who killed his younger brother, Francisco became the first President of Equatorial Guinea.

The center of an extreme cult of personality. He was known for doing wonderful things like having entire families and villages executed, punishing critics to 30 year jail terms, making intellectuals illegal and lots of other fun stuff……. like his special Christmas in 1975. We guess he was in the festive mood when he march 150 of his opponents in to a football stadium in Malabo where he lined them all up and shot them dead to Mary Hopkin’s song “Those were the days”

Now, on the surface, it may appear that he was just “Evil” but we feel that two things allow him on to our list of Crazy or Cool.

The first, he banned lubrication in powerplants claiming that his magic powers would keep the place running (which they did until the power plant broke down shrouding the entire capital in darkness). The second, he would indulge in Bhang (buds from a female cannabis plant) and the Hallucinogenic plant known as Iboga, and then have an imaginary tea party with imaginary enemies who he would execute.

As funny as playing the Red Queen in wonderland sounds, we’re putting him in the crazy category

Other politicians and leaders who almost made the Cool or Crazy list include:

Hajnal Ban

photo wikipedia

photo wikipedia

Who was tired of being short at around 5 foot 1 and had her legs lengthened to make her 5 foot 4 (or perhaps 5 foot 6 in high heels) which we decided is probably more cool than crazy since she wasn’t that tall.

and of course, it was hard to leave out Gaddafi

who wasn’t just known for his Gaddawful clothing styles, but also for doing things like firing his body guards and replacing them all with female virgins. Which we think is kind of cool, even for a crazy person.

Cyborg – Creating a Modern Day Human Robot

Written by Jason Scott. Posted in Daily Daft, Funny But True, Gadgets

“The point of technology is to extend what we can do with our bodies, our senses, and most of all our minds”

-Scientific American

photo wikipedia

photo wikipedia

Its only a matter of time before the human search for the holy grail of immortality moves to the religion of science, and when it does, the new wars will be man vs machine, cloning vs robotics, stem cells vs artificial intelligence, and discrimination laws of mechanical and electromechanical robots.

If you think about it, the human body is an inferior biological animal housing unit that contains a superior functioning brain. Dogs and Cats hear and smell better than we do, hawks have better eyesight, and pretty much every animal or insect is faster or stronger than us pound for pound. To put it bluntly….We suck!

However, as we mentioned, the one advantage we do have is our brains. Our brains are both a dangerous servant and a fearful master, and most of us either accept them (because they are stuck in same body) or fight them by killing them with weapons like beer.

One of the biggest questions in this chicken egg universe is “will artificial intelligence be created before we transplant a brain into a computer or will that act create the first being of artificial intelligence?

Who knows really, but its safe to say that if we aren’t replacing body parts with cloning we will be replacing them with robotics since everyone knows the cost of using parts from drifters and hobos is on the rise.

We already have robotic automation in areas like water management, military aviation, and vacuuming, and the area cyborg technology is much more advanced than most people realize. In fact, we have already have the technology to create a Borg like being, It just hasn’t happened yet because nobody wants to scare the crap out of the general populace.

Peg legs, wooden arms, hooks, glass eyes, false teeth, hearing horns, eyeglasses, wheel chairs, canes, and other synthetic replacements are being replaced with new robotic technologies every day. Exoskeletons can be used to help disabled people move around or increase the strength of human soldiers so that they can carry bigger guns and kill people easier, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. You can also expect robotics to create intelligent implants in the brain, which will “improve” our rational thought, and release nanorobots into our blood to clean our arteries.

Imagine how great life will be when we are programed to like it! (insert sarcasm emoticon here)

Here are just a few of the advancements in cyborg technology over the last few years.

Robotic USB Finger

photo thanks gizmodo

photo thanks gizmodo

For the Do it Yourselfer, you may want to take a page out of Jerry Jalava’s book. He lost his finger when some stupid biological Deer Like organism tried to commit suicide by running into his motorcycle. Years ago a loss of an index finger meant more than just a nose full of boogers and “issig letters wile tpig”, it also came with a feeling of permanent loss.

However in getting with the 21st century, Jerry probably remembered the words of his father who used to say “I have more knowledge in the tip of my finger than you do in your entire body” and with that, he decided to replace his missing finger with the usb flash drive seen below.

Unlike a primitive biological finger, Jerry’s usb finger isn’t integrated like some un-upgradeable computer from Dell. His usb finger can be removed and replaced with a new model or alternative tool should the need arise. However, the USB finger is more of an adaptation than a replacement since the function of the finger has changed from pointing blame to storing a collection of porn.

Bones

photo thanks national geographic

photo thanks national geographic

For a Borg like adaptation of a finger tip you need look no further than the U.S. Military who in 2008 claimed to have unlocked the secret to regrowing limbs with the use of Nano Scaffolding. (Sorry Jeremy, you were obsolete before you began)

How does it work?

Basically, a tiny scaffold of polymer fibers (100 times finer than a human hair) is attached to a patient in place of a missing organ or appendage. The scaffold then acts as a guide for human cells to rebuild themselves by weaving themselves through the tiny holes of the scaffold replacing the bone and tissue.

They have apparently already used the technology to replace a missing finger tip lost during a model airplane accident. (which seriously discredits Dr. Conners and his Gamma Radiation theories)

Dr Conners.  Photo wikipedia

Dr Conners. Photo wikipedia

Look Like we wont be seeing Dr Lizard any time soon.

Eyeballs

photo thanks wikipedia

photo thanks wikipedia

Rob Spence decided to fit his prosthetic eye with a video camera that includes a miniature lens and wireless transmitter. He is currently using it to create a documentary about the intersect of humanity and surveillance technology. Like the USB finger, the eyeborg is not a replacement, but more of an adaptation, since it has an entirely new function.

There is however, a prosthetic device that does allow a certain type of blindness to experience sight.

No it is not a visor.

photo thanks wikipedia

photo thanks wikipedia

“Sorry Mr LaForge”

Achromatopsia is a form a color blindness where you can only see black and white, However thanks to a prosthetic device known as “Eye Borg” (yes this is called eyeborg as well) Color Blind people can now have the frequency of colors converted to sound.

Neil Harbisson, (an officially recognized cyborg) is a color blind painter who can now perceive three hundred and sixty color hues through varying frequencies and adjust them with volume to help measure color saturation. As a painter, this device has not only made his life richer and deeper, but it has also allowed him to express his artistic view to world in way that has never been previously possible.

Who would have thought that robots would bring advancements in the world of art?

Bionic Knee and Foot

photo wikipedia

photo wikipedia

For those of you who are familiar with the Movie “Black Hawk Down” you may also know that the film was loosely based upon real events.

Brad Halling, a now retired ex special forces operative, lost his leg in Somolia when a rocket propelled grenade collided with his Black Hawk Helicopter. Since then he has had a few different prosthetic limbs, but none of them have been a unique as his Binonic Knee.

How does it work? The Bionic Knee receives signals to an embedded microprocessor from a transmitter strapped to the functional leg. It then learns how the person walks and transmits this information to a powerful electric motor that mimics the persons walking muscles.

The Bionic Foot works in a similar way with the robotic ankle joint recalibrating its position at 1000 times per second, but it costs 1/5th the price at $20,000 (vs $100,000)

Both area available on the market.

Non Sentient Robot Brain – Or is it?

French Researchers have been working on a concept that allows a robot to control human limbs. Sure, you could replace a defective arm with a robotic one, or, you could just attach a bunch of electrodes to your human body and let a robot brain control you like a puppet master.

The goal of the French scientists is to help people afflicted with paralysis and other disabilities regain some of their motor skills. So its supposed to be more of a robotic physio therapist rather than a robotic Geppetto

Here is an example of how a robot and human can have peaceful coexistence within the same body.

For the latest Robot and Geek toys, check out the 3 in 1 all terrain robot from Daft Gadgets.

3 in 1 all terrain robot

3 in 1 all terrain robot

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