CLOSE

Morning Cup of Links: Drunk Octopus Texts

Buff Your Brain! A few shortcuts to increasing your IQ make it simpler than you thought.
*
In a series of text messages and photos, a drunk octopus steals a diver's camera and then relates his adventures to other cephalopods. There's really nothing I can add to that.
*
Putting Scotch whisky in an aluminum can seems like defeating the purpose of paying for Scotch, doesn't it? Open a can, and you have to drink all twelve ounces.
*
Bob Anderson, who choreographed all the major movie sword fights of the past few decades, passed away at age 89. In a video interview, Anderson and Viggo Mortensen talk about the art of film swordplay.
*
Gravitas is a simple physics game in which you release a little red block by rotating the fence holding it. Or multiple fences. And please avoid the force field!
*
The Highest-Grossing Films of 2011. What does it say about our tastes that eight of the top ten are sequels?
*
The dancing inmates at the Cebu Detention Center in the Pilippines have inspired a web-only musical production. Part one of Prison Dancer will drop in March, but the teaser should hold you  until then.
*
If you are going to graduate this year, don't do this, especially in high heels. Hundreds of parents are videotaping the event, and your name will be enshrined for posterity.
*
Gigantic Glowing Forms Hovering Over The World's Cities. You may think of UFOs, but they are enormous featherweight art installations from Janet Echelman.
*
There's a shortage of ADHD drugs. Is it the DEA's fault for cracking down on abuse, or the manufacturer's fault for trying to maximize profits?
*
Money for (Practically) Nothing: 4 Very Big Paychecks for Very Little Work. The problem is that these schemes are pretty much un-reproducable.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
arrow
video
Bone Broth 101
5669938080001

Whether you drink it on its own or use it as stock, bone broth is the perfect recipe to master this winter. Special thanks to the Institute of Culinary Education

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
science
Why Can Parrots Talk and Other Birds Can't?
iStock
iStock

If you've ever seen a pirate movie (or had the privilege of listening to this avian-fronted metal band), you're aware that parrots have the gift of human-sounding gab. Their brains—not their beaks—might be behind the birds' ability to produce mock-human voices, the Sci Show's latest video explains below.

While parrots do have articulate tongues, they also appear to be hardwired to mimic other species, and to create new vocalizations. The only other birds that are capable of vocal learning are hummingbirds and songbirds. While examining the brains of these avians, researchers noted that their brains contain clusters of neurons, which they've dubbed song nuclei. Since other birds don't possess song nuclei, they think that these structures probably play a key role in vocal learning.

Parrots might be better at mimicry than hummingbirds and songbirds thanks to a variation in these neurons: a special shell layer that surrounds each one. Birds with larger shell regions appear to be better at imitating other creatures, although it's still unclear why.

Learn more about parrot speech below (after you're done jamming out to Hatebeak).

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios