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Totally inappropriate coloring books

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It wasn't long ago that we reported on a flurry of overtly political kids books -- like Help! There's a Liberal Under My Bed! and Why Mommy is a Democrat (because "Democrats always share their toys") -- which more or less used our spawn as canon fodder in the current culture wars. Now there's an even more insidious (and hilarious) kiddie publishing trend afoot: deeply ironic, tongue-firmly-in-cheek coloring and activity books, the true meaning of which is certainly lost on the very young. For instance, the Pat Robertson and Friends Coloring Book (pictured above, already colored in by artist Josh Neufeld), in which the titular pastor cavorts with Teletubbies, exhorts God to pack the Supreme Court with conservatives, and so on. (By now, the elementary school set is already thinking "adults are insane, I hope I never grow up!") Well, there's more to come, Junior ... read on!

The Gangsta Rap Coloring Book
Featuring kingly portraits of slain emcees like Tupac and B.I.G. Entourages of scantily clad ladies are notably absent, however (what gives?) -- a possible (and rare) concession to Concerned Parents Everywhere.
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The George W. Bush Coloring Book
Remember back in 2001 when Will Ferrell stopped doing his George W. Bush impression on SNL because it suddenly seemed inappropriate? Those days are long gone, friends -- witness Comedy Central shows like Lil' Bush -- and this coloring book. (Does Crayola make a color for "hubris"?)
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The Heavy Metal Fun Time Activity Book
Is this an activity book or a history lesson? After all, what kid is going to know their Judas Priest from their Iron Maiden?
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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images
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Animals
Fisherman Catches Rare Blue Lobster, Donates It to Science
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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Live lobsters caught off the New England coast are typically brown, olive-green, or gray—which is why one New Hampshire fisherman was stunned when he snagged a blue one in mid-July.

As The Independent reports, Greg Ward, from Rye, New Hampshire, discovered the unusual lobster while examining his catch near the New Hampshire-Maine border. Ward initially thought the pale crustacean was an albino lobster, which some experts estimate to be a one-in-100-million discovery. However, a closer inspection revealed that the lobster's hard shell was blue and cream.

"This one was not all the way white and not all the way blue," Ward told The Portsmouth Herald. "I've never seen anything like it."

While not as rare as an albino lobster, blue lobsters are still a famously elusive catch: It's said that the odds of their occurrence are an estimated one in two million, although nobody knows the exact numbers.

Instead of eating the blue lobster, Ward decided to donate it to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye. There, it will be studied and displayed in a lobster tank with other unusually colored critters, including a second blue lobster, a bright orange lobster, and a calico-spotted lobster.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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Courtesy Murdoch University
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Animals
Australian Scientists Discover First New Species of Sunfish in 125 Years
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Courtesy Murdoch University

Scientists have pinpointed a whole new species of the largest bony fish in the world, the massive sunfish, as we learned from Smithsonian magazine. It's the first new species of sunfish proposed in more than 125 years.

As the researchers report in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, the genetic differences between the newly named hoodwinker sunfish (Mola tecta) and its other sunfish brethren was confirmed by data on 27 different samples of the species collected over the course of three years. Since sunfish are so massive—the biggest can weigh as much as 5000 pounds—they pose a challenge to preserve and store, even for museums with large research collections. Lead author Marianne Nyegaard of Murdoch University in Australia traveled thousands of miles to find and collected genetic data on sunfish stranded on beaches. At one point, she was asked if she would be bringing her own crane to collect one.

Nyegaard also went back through scientific literature dating back to the 1500s, sorting through descriptions of sea monsters and mermen to see if any of the documentation sounded like observations of the hoodwinker. "We retraced the steps of early naturalists and taxonomists to understand how such a large fish could have evaded discovery all this time," she said in a press statement. "Overall, we felt science had been repeatedly tricked by this cheeky species, which is why we named it the 'hoodwinker.'"

Japanese researchers first detected genetic differences between previously known sunfish and a new, unknown species 10 years ago, and this confirms the existence of a whole different type from species like the Mola mola or Mola ramsayi.

Mola tecta looks a little different from other sunfish, with a more slender body. As it grows, it doesn't develop the protruding snout or bumps that other sunfish exhibit. Similarly to the others, though, it can reach a length of 8 feet or more. 

Based on the stomach contents of some of the specimens studied, the hoodwinker likely feeds on salps, a jellyfish-like creature that it probably chomps on (yes, sunfish have teeth) during deep dives. The species has been found near New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and southern Chile.

[h/t Smithsonian]

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