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129 cats just wasn't enough

The title of this video, as per YouTube, is "Crazy Russian Lady Owns 130 Cats." That really says it all. Watch her part the feline sea as she feeds them like one would seagulls at the beach.

Jaw-dropping, no? And you heard her right: at the end of the clip, she cries "give me more cats!" It's a peculiar psychological phenomenon called "animal hording," and can involve everything from chinchillas to mongooses, but most typically victimized are cats and dogs. According to the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (yes, really), crazy cat ladies and their obsessive ilk collectively hoard some 250,000 animals at any given time in the United States. Not only do the attendant smells and noises bug neighbors, but the inability for most hoarders to properly care for all their animals is a serious animal welfare issue. (A quick peek at this blog on animal hoarding reveals any number of news stories on pet hoarders being arrested for animal cruelty when dead and dying animals are found in their homes, uncared for -- also those houses are frequently condemned.)

Portrait of a cat lady, after the jump.

This is an English-language news report on the Siberian cat lady, who apparently cares for her furry brood as well as can be expected:

So what can explain this kind of hoarding behavior? The psychiatry of hoarding is in its infancy, though it's classified as a type of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. We do have access to a few interesting studies, however, that give a portrait of your average hoarder:

"¢ Most of those studied collected dogs, or cats; men more often collected dogs, and women more often collected cats.
"¢ Nearly two-thirds of their sample were women, and 70% were single, divorced or widowed.
"¢ Social isolation was common but appeared to result from the hoarding behavior rather than causing it.
"¢ Most reported their collecting started in childhood.
"¢ Many had no telephone, public utilities or plumbing, and many hoarded inanimate objects as well.
"¢ 46% were more than 60 years old.
"¢ Dead or sick animals were discovered in 80% of reported cases, yet in nearly 60% of cases the hoarder would not acknowledge the problem.
"¢ In 69% of cases, animal feces and urine accumulated in living areas, and over one-quarter of the hoarders' beds were soiled with feces or urine.

Yecch! Very grim, but fascinating nevertheless. Given that there are as many as 2,000 new hoarding cases reported every year in the U.S. alone -- and surely we're no exception to the norm -- chances are, our readers know some of them, have met some of them, have lived next to some of them, even have grandparents who fit the bill. We want to hear about it!

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science
6 Radiant Facts About Irène Joliot-Curie
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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Though her accomplishments are often overshadowed by those of her parents, the elder daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie was a brilliant researcher in her own right.

1. SHE WAS BORN TO, AND FOR, GREATNESS.

A black and white photo of Irene and Marie Curie in the laboratory in 1925.
Irène and Marie in the laboratory, 1925.
Wellcome Images, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 4.0

Irène’s birth in Paris in 1897 launched what would become a world-changing scientific dynasty. A restless Marie rejoined her loving husband in the laboratory shortly after the baby’s arrival. Over the next 10 years, the Curies discovered radium and polonium, founded the science of radioactivity, welcomed a second daughter, Eve, and won a Nobel Prize in Physics. The Curies expected their daughters to excel in their education and their work. And excel they did; by 1925, Irène had a doctorate in chemistry and was working in her mother’s laboratory.

2. HER PARENTS' MARRIAGE WAS A MODEL FOR HER OWN.

Like her mother, Irène fell in love in the lab—both with her work and with another scientist. Frédéric Joliot joined the Curie team as an assistant. He and Irène quickly bonded over shared interests in sports, the arts, and human rights. The two began collaborating on research and soon married, equitably combining their names and signing their work Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie.

3. SHE AND HER HUSBAND WERE AN UNSTOPPABLE PAIR.

Black and white photo of Irène and Fréderic Joliot-Curie working side by side in their laboratory.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Their passion for exploration drove them ever onward into exciting new territory. A decade of experimentation yielded advances in several disciplines. They learned how the thyroid gland absorbs radioiodine and how the body metabolizes radioactive phosphates. They found ways to coax radioactive isotopes from ordinarily non-radioactive materials—a discovery that would eventually enable both nuclear power and atomic weaponry, and one that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935.

4. THEY FOUGHT FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE.

The humanist principles that initially drew Irène and Frédéric together only deepened as they grew older. Both were proud members of the Socialist Party and the Comité de Vigilance des Intellectuels Antifascistes (Vigilance Committee of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals). They took great pains to keep atomic research out of Nazi hands, sealing and hiding their research as Germany occupied their country, Irène also served as undersecretary of state for scientific research of the Popular Front government.

5. SHE WAS NOT CONTENT WITH THE STATUS QUO.

Irène eventually scaled back her time in the lab to raise her children Hélène and Pierre. But she never slowed down, nor did she stop fighting for equality and freedom for all. Especially active in women’s rights groups, she became a member of the Comité National de l'Union des Femmes Françaises and the World Peace Council.

6. SHE WORKED HERSELF TO DEATH.

Irène’s extraordinary life was a mirror of her mother’s. Tragically, her death was, too. Years of watching radiation poisoning and cancer taking their toll on Marie never dissuaded Irène from her work. In 1956, dying of leukemia, she entered the Curie Hospital, where she followed her mother’s luminous footsteps into the great beyond.

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Live Smarter
You Can Now Order Food Through Facebook
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iStock

After a bit of controversy over its way of aggregating news feeds and some questionable content censoring policies, it’s nice to have Facebook roll out a feature everyone can agree on: allowing you to order food without leaving the social media site.

According to a press release, Facebook says that the company decided to begin offering food delivery options after realizing that many of its users come to the social media hub to rate and discuss local eateries. Rather than hop from Facebook to the restaurant or a delivery service, you’ll be able to stay within the app and select from a menu of food choices. Just click “Order Food” from the Explore menu on a desktop interface or under the “More” option on Android or iOS devices. There, you’ll be presented with options that will accept takeout or delivery orders, as well as businesses participating with services like Delivery.com or EatStreet.

If you need to sign up and create an account with Delivery.com or Jimmy John’s, for example, you can do that without leaving Facebook. The feature is expected to be available nationally, effective immediately.

[h/t Forbes]

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