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The Missing Links: Invasion of the Chickens, A History

The Future Is Now
Because in the 1960s the future was 50 or more years from then, which could be now. So now is the future for the 1960s. The same could be said for the 1890s, when 50% of the future was 51-500 years from that point in time. But when is the future now? Oh, just look at this chart.

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On Writing & Snoopy
Everyone’s favorite cartoon Beagle waxes philosophical on writing - and gets some help from some people that know a thing or two about it.

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My Arm Itches. Oh Sweet Lord, It’s Flesh Eating Bacteria!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Probably. It might just be an itch. But I’m pretty sure it’s flesh eating bacteria.

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We Have Some of the Best Readers and Commenters Around
But we do get the occasional spammer trying to sell us cheap Uggs. Here's how Tumblr keeps out the trolls.

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Today Is Mr. T's 60th Birthday!
Celebrate by reliving that magical Christmas of '83 when Laurence Tureaud played the White House Santa.

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The Chicken Coup
The new issue of Smithsonian magazine details the sweeping epic tale of how the chicken ended up on everyone’s plate. They also have a gallery of chickens dressed as famous historical figures. Because that’s funny.

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If A James Bond Villain Built A Pool
It would probably resemble this 66 million gallon behemoth.

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And A Few Random Things That Occurred to Me:

- On this past weekend’s season finale, Kristen Wiig received a send-off like very few other SNL cast members ever have. I think it proves that I was right to include her in my Top 10.

- In her Weekend Links this past Saturday, Allison Keene included a story asking whether you can call a 9-year old a psychopath. I don’t know the answer to that, but after a weekend of my wife being out of town, I do know you can call a 2-year old one.

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Bone Broth 101
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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

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Why Can Parrots Talk and Other Birds Can't?
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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).

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