and you thought the hermitage cats were cool…

Just to go along with yesterday’s post on the feline employees of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, did you also know that Russian feral dogs in Moscow have not only become quite clever at stealing food from pedestrians but have also managed to navigate and use the expansive subway system?

Well they have and I am pretty sure we can all start panicking…!  Because we all know that their intelligence will only continue to expand, pretty soon they will be wearing pants, and driving cars, and stealing our jobs, and eventually forming some sort of world government (in collaboration with the Saucer People) and it’s all down hill for us from there.

So enjoy the freedom while you can simple humans, I am going to try to win over on the canine side.  First step, let’s all look at some pictures and watch this video about our imminent overlords.

don’t worry, I’ll get the next one!

Some extra reading:

abc NEWS –  Stray Dogs Master Complex Moscow Subway System (2010)

Wikipedia – Feral dogs in Moscow (last edited 2012)

The Wall Street Journal – In Moscow’s Metro, a Stray Dog’s Life Is Pretty Cushy, and Zoologists Notice (2008)


Interesting Facts of the Day…dum dum daaaaah!

1) Garlic pills = less mosquito bites

The summer I spent working at a summer camp one of my fellow co-workers let me in on this little secret. Having the “sweet sweet blood” myself that mosquitoes are irresistibly drawn to (true story: when I was 11 I was hauled into town from the summer camp I was staying at to be inspected by a doctor since the counselors were convinced I had come down with a case of the chicken pox), I have wanted to test this theory myself for a number of years.

At the beginning of the summer I found out I would have a chance to participate in a camping trip into Algonquin Park in mid-August and figured that early June would be a good time to start swallowing garlic pills daily. My hope was to stink up my skin so much that by the time I entered the park I would not only remain bite-free myself, but would also shield all of the outdoor enthusiasts around me within a 5 kilometer radius. (I have since learned that the smell of garlic does not drive these little blood-suckers away, but rather it acts as a cloaking device that makes you hard for the mosquitoes to find). So the garlic pill swallowing continued religiously for a few months and then the moment of truth – camping in the woods for 4 days.

The Results: I left the park with about 5 bites which for me is pretty incredible since similar trips have left me more within the it-is-easier-to-approximate-how-much-of-my-skin-surface-has-NOT-been-bitten ballpark than vice versa. However, I was also told that because the timing of our trip coincided with the natural decline in mosquito populations, a direct correlation seemed impossible to make.

Until this weekend that it is, wherein having been garlic-free for approximately one week I sat on a patio for the span of 4 hours and got bitten at least 7 times! Hallelujah!…kind of. My current itchiness is comparable to a ride through the Burlap Sack Tunnel (real ride: look it up), but I believe I was able to partially prove that the garlic pills do some good. Needless to say I am back on the garlic wagon and will be until first frost. It also helps that one of my camping mates had a very similar experience.


2) The elusive truth about eye-patches revealed.

If you wake up in the middle of the night and need to turn the light on to do something – cover one of your eyes prior to turning the light on and keep it covered until you turn the light off again. The covered eye will maintain its “settings” for darkness and you will therefore be able to get back to bed without stumbling around in the dark and knocking over that priceless grandfather antique clock at the foot of your bed. Isn’t that neat?! This is the real reason that a lot of pirates wore eye patches – this would enable them to go from the deck (sunlight) to the low light level below deck and not have to spend a period of time adjusting to the light. Genius!

I have resisted looking this one on because I so want to believe this to be true…the eye patch part…the stumbling in the darkness business would suit me fine. I secretly despise that antique clock…

HOLLA!  Even in death pirates understand the importance of unimpaired vision in changing light conditions