Who is making this dog run?One day, lazy dog owners may be able to command their canines to walk themselves or perform a variety of other tasks all by remote control.
Researchers at Auburn University's Department of Mechanical Engineering have created a special suit for dogs that comes equipped with a microprocessor, wireless radio and GPS receiver.
According to Science Daily, the device allows a handler to "provide autonomous guidance of the canine using an embedded command module with vibration and tone generation capabilities."
Jeff Miller and David Bevly describe details of the project in the forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control, noting that their tests show obedience accuracy up to almost 98 percent.
Also see: 5 surprising facts about service dogs
However, researchers aren't developing the technology just to make life a little easier for people too lazy to walk their dogs.
There are a variety of life-saving situations where the technology
Blog Posts by Mother Nature Network (mnn.com)
Who is making this dog run?One day, lazy dog owners may be able to command their canines to walk themselves or perform a variety of other tasks all by remote control.Read More »from Scientists Create Dog Remote Control
Canned unicorn meatBetter hurry! There's no better time to stock up on UFO detectors … or a tank.Read More »from 7 of the Strangest Things You Can Buy Online
Amazon.com may be best known for peddling a vast selection of books, music, consumer electronics, toys and clothing, but those who dig deeper will be rewarded with a treasure trove of weird and wacky wares for the home, garden and beyond. Here's a look at nine particularly offbeat Amazon.com items available from verified third-party sellers. (In many cases, the customer comments, not the products themselves, are the main attraction.)
A gallon of milk
Average rating: 4 stars
According to a recent study, purchasing comestibles online via a grocery delivery service such as Peapod or FreshDirect is actually greener than making a solo trip to the supermarket. So what about buying a gallon of whole milk on Amazon.com? The jury is still out on that one although this notorious listing boasts some hilarious, ludicrous and, at times, strangely poetic user reviews (there are more than 1,450 of them). For instance:
How afraid should she be?Sound like a crazy question? Turns out, it's not so crazy. If you've ever been a teenager (and I'll go out on a limb and say that most of you were), you're all too familiar with the following scenario: You start to notice a bump forming just above your lip. Or maybe it's on your chin. Or your nose. Then you start to feel a pus-filled whitehead forming and you can't wait to get to a mirror (let's hope at home) to pop that sucker. Chances are that you've popped a pimple or two in your day, but dermatologists say you should resist the urge. That's because popping pimples can leave you with scars, or worse, an infection. When you pop a pimple, you're actually tearing open your skin in the process. You're also introducing bacteria from your hands into the open wound, which can become infected, leave a permanent scar, or make you very ill. In fact, there's something called "the triangle of death" on your face -- so called because getting an infection in this area can cause you to die. HowRead More »from Can Popping Pimples Kill You?
- Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) | Healthy Living – Thu, Sep 5, 2013 11:04 AM EDT
If he runs for just one more minute...The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate to higher-intensity physical activity each week, and it should be in bursts of at least 10 minutes each for substantial health benefits.Read More »from Every Single Minute of Physical Activity Helps, Says Optimistic New Study
Which has led many to wonder about the inefficacy of brief activities. Why take two minutes going up the stairs if more than 10 minutes is required to make it worthwhile for health?
But now a new study suggests something else: go ahead, take the stairs! Every minute counts toward reaching the 150-minute goal, whether it's part of a 10-minute bout or not.
Also see: 5 ways walking is better than running
The purpose of the study conducted at the University of Utah was to see if moderate to vigorous physical activity in less than 10-minute episodes related to weight outcomes.
The study, published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, found that each minute spent engaging in some kind of moderate to vigorous physical activity -- be it
Blackie the cat meets Churchill aboard her homestead, the HMS Prince of Wales.When one thinks of service animals, dogs and their inherent affinity for work come to mind. Cats in this capacity? Not so much. Cats may be hell-bent on languidly lounging in the sun, but seldom seem eager to lend a paw.Read More »from Cats at Sea: 7 Famous Seafaring Felines
The long history of cats serving on ships counters the stereotype. Ship's cats have been employed on trading, exploration, and naval ships going back to ancient times when Egyptians took cats on Nile boats to catch [skipwords]birds[/skipwords] in riverbank thickets. When cats were brought aboard trading ships, the species began to spread throughout the world. Phoenician cargo ships are thought to have brought the first domesticated cats to Europe around 900 BC.
Eventually their main job at sea was in the position of pest control; rats and mice onboard are a serious threat to ropes, woodwork, food, and grain cargo - not to mention the critters' roles as carriers of disease. Cats also offered companionship to sailors. There's a reason animals are used for therapy, a
A cat can help lower your blood pressStroking or cuddling a cat can have a positive effect on your health. Research shows that felines can relieve stress and lower blood pressure, and studies have found that the hormone oxytocin is released when we're around pets, triggering feelings of happiness.Read More »from How Cats Can Get Trained as Therapy Animals
With results like these, it's no wonder therapy cats are often taken to hospitals, nursing homes, schools and even prisons. But what does it take for a feline to become a certified therapy animal?
There are several organizations that certify pet therapy teams. Pet Partners and Love On A Leash are two of the largest, but some areas also have local organizations. Pet Partners' Therapy Animal Program is one of the largest in the U.S., and the organization been training volunteers nationwide since 1990.
The first step in preparing a cat to be a therapy animal is to make sure the feline meets basic requirements. These can vary by organization, but typically include being comfortable in a harness and up to date with shots.
Rover is so overTraditional pet names like Fido and Rover have been replaced by popular baby names, according to report by John Lewis Pet Insurance.Read More »from More People Giving Pets Human Names
The study of more than 50,000 pet names found that the top 10 pet names also appear among the 70 most popular baby names in England and Wales.
The most popular name for both cats and dogs was Poppy, which is also the 13th most popular name for baby girls in the United Kingdom. The name is also on the rise in the U.S. - a trend baby name experts attribute to the Duchess of Cambridge's sister.
The decline of traditional pet names is demonstrated by the fate of Rover and Fido, which were both in the top 10 in the 1970s but have dropped to 840 and 1,480 respectively.
Also see: 5 ways communities persuade dog owners to pick up poo
Animal insurance company Petplan says this decrease in popularity suggests that owners regard their children as part of the family.
But those four-legged family members aren't getting just any names - many of them
Is this kid eating healthy?by Jenni Grover MS LD RN, Mother Nature NetworkRead More »from 5 Healthy Habits for Kids Heading Back to School
As summer winds down and you look back on all those ice creams at the beach and grilling out with friends, you may well be turning your attention to your kids' return to school. Alongside all the shopping for supplies and meeting new teachers, it's important to remember that healthy lifestyle choices are a critical part of setting kids up for success.
Here are five ways that you can ensure a healthy, productive and enjoyable return to school.
1. Always eat breakfast
Your mother wasn't kidding when she said that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. From the role that breakfast plays in maintaining a healthy weight to studies showing that kids who eat breakfast perform better at school (and enjoy more success in life!), there's plenty of reason to focus on a healthy breakfast as a way to kick-start your kids' day. But that doesn't mean you have to go making fancy meals from scratch. Healthy, whole grain breakfast cereals;
- Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) | Pets – Tue, Aug 27, 2013 3:21 PM EDT
Homer the blind catAfter being abandoned as a kitten and losing both of his eyes to an infection, Homer didn't have it easy, but his life changed when Gwen Cooper adopted him.Read More »from Homer, the Blind Cat Who Inspired a Bestseller, Has Died
She was impressed by the tiny cat's zest for life despite his hardships, so she took him home and named him after the blind Greek poet who wrote "The Odyssey."
"Fate may have taken Homer's eyes, but he had my heart from the moment I first held him," she wrote on her blog.
The bond between Homer and Cooper inspired a book that topped the New York Times bestseller list and enabled them to save countless other special-needs cats.
But today, those touched by Homer's story are mourning his loss. The famous feline, who just celebrated his 16th birthday, was euthanized last week.
Homer had been ill since last fall. Veterinarians discovered that his liver enzyme levels were off and he was having intestinal problems.
Although doctors said Homer was close to death, the cat seemed to bounce back early this year. However, his health
Why does your head hurt?Pounding, throbbing, stabbing, aching - welcome to the world of headaches, an ailment that affects more than 45 million Americans each year.Read More »from 43 Surprising Headache Triggers
Humans have been suffering from the malady for millennia. Recorded depictions date back to at least 4000 B.C. in Mesopotamia, where it was thought that Tiu, the evil spirit of headaches, was to blame. The shenanigans of evil spirits were assumed to be the cause of headaches throughout many cultures, and gave rise to trephination - a procedure in which a small circular portion of the skull was removed, creating egress for the pain-triggering spirits.
Given how agonizing a headache can be, rowdy evil spirits wreaking havoc doesn't seem all that much of a stretch. Fortunately we know better now, and in most cultures no longer rely on holes drilled in the head for relief. But if not evil sprits, what does cause the pain?
There are many catalysts that can create the ache, and medical literature has complied a lengthy compendium of causes.