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24 Pictures of Adorable Cats And Dogs From Meet The Breeds 2012

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Each year, the American Kennel Club throws Meet the Breeds in New York City's Jacob Javits Center. More than 200 breeds of cats and dogs are available for cuddling and photo ops (if you can get them to sit still!). We hit the floor to bring you adorable pictures and interesting factoids about 24 breeds.

Abyssinian


Abyssinians have uniquely colored coats thanks to a dominant mutant gene that gives each strand of fur a base color, then three bands of darker colors. The hair is lighter at the root, and darker at the ends. The first cat to have its entire genome published was an Abyssinian.

English Springer Spaniel

In 19th and early 20th century Britain, a litter of spaniels would be divided up by size: The smaller dogs were used to hunt woodcock, and were called "Cockers"; bigger dogs were used to flush, or spring, game, and were called "Springers." The first English Springer Spaniel came to Canada from England in 1913.

British Shorthair


These cats get their teddy bear good looks thanks to a short but extremely dense coat, which creates a plush effect. Look familiar? The British Shorthair was the inspiration for Puss in Boots and the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland.

Beagle


Beagles can't be too tall: In the U.S., their height limit is 15 inches; in England, 16 inches.

Savannah


Savannahs are a cross between domestic cats and Servals, a wild African cat; they can weigh 20 pounds or more, and can be trained to walk on a leash. The breed was accepted by the International Cat Association in 2001.

Portuguese Pointer


This breed came from the Orient to the Iberian Peninsula as early as the 14th Century, and was brought to America by Portuguese bird hunters.

Sphynx


The first attempts at creating this breed began in 1966, when a hairless kitten was born in Ontario, Canada. That kitten, a male named Prune, was bred with other cats in an attempt to create more hairless kittens, but because hairlessness is caused by a recessive gene, those attempts had limited success. More naturally hairless cats were found in Minnesota and Toronto between 1975 and 1978, and these cats were bred with Devon Rex, another cat with little body hair. The Sphynx breed—so-named for its resemblance to the Egyptian Sphinx sculpture—traces its history back to those cats.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi


Known as "the corgi with a tail," this breed is descended from the Teckel or Dachshund family. They were not declared to be a separate breed from the better known Pembroke Welsh Corgi until 1934.

Bengal


These exotic-looking felines are a hybrid of domestic cats and Asian leopard cats, which gives their coats a distinctive marbled and spotted pattern. Bengals are only domestic breed that has rosettes—a spot with a center that is halfway between the color of the coat and the color of the spot—like the ones found on jaguars and ocelots.

Norwich Terrier


The ancestors of these dogs—who have a nose for rats and other vermin—came from England's East Anglia and Leicestershire regions, near Cambridge. In fact, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, breeders would sell these terriers to Cambridge University students (the dogs got rid of rats in the dorms).

Devon Rex


The founding father of this breed, Kirlee, was born in 1959. These cats are very intelligent, and can be trained to walk on a leash and perform tricks.

Chinese Crested


These dogs also come in a fully-coated variety called Powderpuff.

Toyger


Since the late 1980s, breeders have been trying to replicate the pattern and colors on the coats of tigers. Hence, the toyger. The cats that started off this trend were a striped domestic shorthair named Scrapmetal; a Bengal named Millwood Rumpled Spotskin; and a street cat from Kashmir, India, named Jammu Blu, who had spots between his ears instead of typical tabby lines.

Bull Terrier


Bull terriers go all the way back to 19th century England, when James Hinks bred existing bull-and-terriers (crosses between bulldogs and various terriers), his own white Bulldog Madman and White English Terriers (which are now extinct). The dogs, called White Cavaliers in that day because of their all-white coats, were crossed with brindle Staffordshire terriers in the early 1900s to create a colored variety.

American Wirehair


This breed is the result of a spontaneous mutation that occurred in a kitten born in upstate New York in 1966. The mutation has not yet been reported in any other country.

Border Terrier


Though this dog was not shown as a specific breed until the late 19th century, it can be seen in paintings of hunting scenes from the 18th century. Border Terriers were used by shepherds, farmers and poachers who needed a terrier who could keep up with the horses, go to ground to kill or bolt game, and fit in comfortably in their homes.

LaPerm Shorthair


These cats first appeared in 1982. Some of these cats are born hairless, then grow sparse, curly coats (some even have curly whiskers), but LaPerms can have straight fur, too.

Wire Fox Terrier


For 100 years, the fox terrier was shown in the United States as one breed with two varieties—Smooth and Wire. Separate standards were approved in 1985. The ancestor of the wire is thought to be rough-coated terriers of Wales, Derbyshire, and Durham.

Maine Coon

The Maine Coon gets its name from a widespread, by biologically impossible, legend—that the breed originated from matings between semi-wild domestic cats and raccoons. Another popular theory: the breed came from six pet cats sent to Wiscasset, Maine by Marie Antoinette as she was planning to escape from France during the French Revolution. Most likely, Maine Coons are a cross between domestic shorthair cats and longhairs brought to America by New England seamen or Vikings.

Pumi


There are only 100 Pumis—a Hungarian dog used for herding sheep and cattle—in the United States.

Ragdoll


The breeder who originally developed the Ragdoll breed claimed the matriarchal cat, Josephine, was genetically altered at a medical center where she was taken after she was hit by a car. Afterward, all of her kittens were born with the laid-back personalities this breed is known for (apparently all the kittens born before Josephine's hospitalization acted like normal kittens).

Nederlandse Kooikerhondje

This quiet dog helped kooikers (decoy men) lure ducks into traps. Its name means small Dutch decoy dog; the breed is not yet fully recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Selkirk Rex


This cat has a thick, plush, curly coat that actually comes from a dominant gene. The first Selkirk was born to a house cat in Montana in 1987, and was bred with a black Persian, creating three curly haired and three straight haired kittens.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog


This dog is one of the earliest Swiss breeds; it was instrumental in the development of both the St. Bernard and the Rottweiler.

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Lazy Cyclists Help Make These Massive Bike Graveyards in China
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When bike share programs go right, they can make life easier for commuters while reducing a city’s impact on the environment at the same time. When they don't go exactly as planned, they can create sprawling bicycle graveyards like the one seen in these photos.

The eerie scenes, recently spotlighted by WIRED, can be found throughout the city of Hangzhou, China. Like many large cities, Hangzhou is home to an official bike share program. But there are also private bike share companies that give cyclists the option to pick up a bike and leave it wherever they please rather than return it to an official docking station. The result is thousands of bikes scattered around the city like junk.

In response to complaints, the city of Hangzhou has begun collecting these abandoned bikes and storing them in lots. These aerial images are a good indication of the sheer number of bikers the city has—and they also have a creepy, post-apocalyptic vibe. Check out the photos below.

Bike graveyard in China.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Bike graveyard in China.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Bike graveyard in China.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

[h/t WIRED]

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7 Throwback Photos of 1980s NYC Subway Graffiti
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In May 1989, after a 15-year-long campaign of slowly eradicating New York City’s subway graffiti train-by-train, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority officially declared the city’s subways graffiti-free. There’s still subway graffiti in New York City today, but now it's confined to rail yards far away from the stations and tunnels. By the time the trains make it back onto the tracks, they’ve been cleaned of any markings.

There was a time, though, when graffiti artists had near-free rein to use the city’s subway trains as their canvases, as much as the transportation agency tried to stop them. A new book of photography, From the Platform 2: More NYC Subway Graffiti, 1983–1989, is an ode to that period.

A photo taken at night shows a subway train tagged

Its authors, Paul and Kenny Cavalieri, are two brothers from the Bronx who began taking photos of subway trains in 1983, during the heyday of New York City's graffiti art era. They themselves were also graffiti artists who went by the names Cav and Key, respectively. (Above is an example of Cav's work from 1988, and below is an example of Key's.) Their book is a visual tribute to their youth, New York's graffiti culture, and their fellow artists.

For anyone who rides the New York City subway today, the images paint a whole different picture of the system. Let yourself be transported back to the '80s in some of these photos: 

A subway car bears tags by
Some of Kenny (Key) Cavalieri's work, circa 1987.

Graffiti on a subway car reads

Blue letters tagged on the exterior of a subway car read “Comet.”

Pink and blue lettering reads “Bio” on the outside of a subway car.

A subway car reads “Pove” in green letters.

The book includes short commentaries and essays from other artists of the period remembering their experiences painting trains. It's a follow-up to Paul Cavalieri’s original 2011 collection From the Platform: Subway Graffiti, 1983-1989. He’s also the author of Under the Bridge: The East 238th Street Graffiti Hall Of Fame, a history of four decades of graffiti in the Bronx.

From the Platform 2 is $30 on Amazon.

[h/t The Guardian]

All images courtesy Paul and Kenny Cavalieri // Schiffer Publishing

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