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Librarians Doing the "Thriller" Dance

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In her new book This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All, Marilyn Johnson explores the relevance of librarians in the technological age. She also makes them seem like the coolest people on earth.

In one chapter, she notes that readers wouldn't believe how many videos of librarians dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" are available on YouTube. Everyone's seen the dancing inmates or the hilarious scene from Jennifer Garner's 13 Going On 30, but librarians? We scoped it out and Johnson was right. Here are some of the best.

National Library of Australia

At the National Library of Australia, librarians break it down at their 2008 Christmas party.

Worthington Libraries

In celebration of being named Library of the Year in 2007 by Library Journal and Thomson Gale Publishing, eight librarians at the Ohio library busted some moves. Worthington Libraries was founded in 1803, just weeks after founder James Kilbourne arrived in Worthington, Ohio.

PB Holiday Parade

Though you can't hear the song until about halfway through the video, this clip shows a presentation made by librarians for a holiday parade. It may be quiet. But it's totally worth it to see the book cart drill team dance their bums off in the middle of the street.

Braulio Cesar Linare

In this short film, Braulio Cesar Linare's "Library Thriller," a two teenage boys incur the wrath of an angry librarian by chewing gum in the library's quiet zone. The most plot-focused of tonight's videos, you won't peep any dance moves until the 4:30 mark when the dance is used as means to return books through the library's outdoor slot.

Terrebonne Parish Library

Louisiana's Terrebonne Parish Library gets some late-night visitors. In August of 2005, Terrebonne Parish Library housed Hurricane Katrina survivors until Hurricane Rita damaged the lower portion of the building in September. Since then, the building has undergone massive renovations, including the addition of a mobile library which was presented to the library system by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Santa Monica Public Library

The American Library Association supports book cart drill teams to increase the visibility of libraries in communities and build morale among staffers. Teams perform at community events and festivals, march in parades and travel to schools. They also compete each year at the ALA Library Book Cart Drill Team Championship. Here's the 2008 winners from Santa Monica Public Library performing "Well-Stacked Sci-Brarians."

EBRP Library

The Dewey Decibelles, East Baton Rouge Parish Library's book truck drill team, performs "Zombies vs. Heroes" at the Louisiana Library Association conference. "Thriller" doesn't start until a minute and a half in, but it comes with librarian growling.


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Fisherman Catches Rare Blue Lobster, Donates It to Science
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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
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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