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Get Ready to Get Drunk With Some Owls

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Now that cat cafes are so passé, animal lovers are looking for the next animal and drink combination. Trendy London citizens need look no further than Soho for their next fix—soon, a new pop-up bar featuring owls will be opening!

Annie the Owl and friends will be taking over a Soho bar from March 19 to 25, 8:30 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. Customers can enjoy two hours and two cocktails nestled amongst the nocturnal birds. There's just one catch—you have to be very lucky to get a spot. Right now, the tickets are being sold for £20, but you have to enter a lottery to earn some face-time with the owls. Winning the raffle only gives you one ticket, so you'll have to fly solo if your friends don't win as well.

Right now, owl cafes are all the rage in Japan, but (perhaps predictably) London kicked it up a notch by adding booze to the equation. On top of feathery friends and drinks, the bar also offers music, comedy, and an "electric atmosphere." The drinks will be mixed by some of London's top mixologists, and the birds will all be accompanied by professional falconers, so you know you'll be in good hands.

The website lists all the owls that will be joining the guests with full bios. Some of the personalities include: Winston (the wise one), Ruby (the exotic one), and the mysterious Hootie, whose face has not been disclosed because she's a finalist in the World Owl Beauty Pageant (fancy!).

Those concerned about the little critters' well being—don't worry! A statement has been released to ease any fears:

“The organisers of Annie the Owl would like to assure that during the operating hours of the sit-down event, all possible measures are being taken to safeguard the welfare of owls. The organisers have also made sure the noise and background music will be kept to minimal and an owl will only have around 10-12 members of public around him/her at a given time. After consulting with professional falconers, the organisers have made sure the environment at the venue is suitable for the birds, with a suitable diet/water available. The organisers have also made sure that people attending the event wouldn’t be allowed to touch the animals, if not felt appropriate by the professional falconers who accompany them.”

The organizers, Locappy, will be donating the profits to Barn Owl, an organization that protects owls in the United Kingdom.

You can enter the raffle here, or follow them on Facebook here. 

[h/t: HelloGiggles.com]

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This High-Tech Material Can Change Shape Like an Octopus
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Octopuses can do some pretty amazing things with their skin, like “see” light, resist the pull of their own sticky suction cups, and blend in seamlessly with their surroundings. That last part now has the U.S. Army interested, as Co.Design reports. The military branch’s research office has funded the development a new type of morphing material that works like an octopus’s dynamic skin.

The skin of an octopus is covered in small, muscular bumps called papillae that allow them to change textures in a fraction of a second. Using this mechanism, octopuses can mimic coral, rocks, and even other animals. The new government-funded research—conducted by scientists at Cornell University—produced a device that works using a similar principle.

“Technologies that use stretchable materials are increasingly important, yet we are unable to control how they stretch with much more sophistication than inflating balloons,” the scientists write in their study, recently published in the journal Science. “Nature, however, demonstrates remarkable control of stretchable surfaces.”

The membrane of the stretchy, silicone material lays flat most of the time, but when it’s inflated with air, it can morph to form almost any 3D shape. So far, the technology has been used to imitate rocks and plants.

You can see the synthetic skin transform from a two-dimensional pad to 3D models of objects in the video below:

It’s easy to see how this feature could be used in military gear. A soldier’s suit made from material like this could theoretically provide custom camouflage for any environment in an instant. Like a lot of military technology, it could also be useful in civilian life down the road. Co.Design writer Jesus Diaz brings up examples like buttons that appear on a car's dashboard only when you need them, or a mixing bowl that rises from the surface of the kitchen counter while you're cooking.

Even if we can mimic the camouflage capabilities of cephalopods, though, other impressive superpowers, like controlling thousands of powerful suction cups or squeezing through spaces the size of a cherry tomato, are still the sole domain of the octopus. For now.

[h/t Co.Design]

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Animals
25 Benefits of Adopting a Rescue Dog
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According to the ASPCA, 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year in the United States. Although that number has gone down since 2011 (from 3.9 million) there are still millions of dogs waiting in shelters for a forever home. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month; here are 25 benefits of adopting a shelter dog.

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