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This Chicken is Tweeting for an Australian Barbecue Company

You've probably heard the theory that, given infinite time, a monkey on a typewriter will eventually bang out the works of Shakespeare. Betty, a chicken living in Australia, isn't expected to recreate such greatness—she just needs to stumble upon any five-letter word in the English language. Of course, Chicken Treat, the company behind this publicity stunt, would prefer that she not take infinitely long to do so.

Since October 8, Betty has spent her days pecking away at a keyboard inside her coop, unintentionally composing nonsensical tweets for the official Chicken Treat Twitter account. Her insights so far—“XKX BNHVFSE13 X8FGD 3 /P,L,9,I GU90U8BNGFVEĘASDZ EFSZV Q VCW 23QZAWFNJFIPGFB5 1 I PKO0 OLO I0PL A1REG5H K OKMYUT89 9IIO 5 1Q"—are about as coherent as most of what you'll already find on Twitter, but they're not good enough for Chicken Treat just yet.

The team is counting on Betty to get them into the Guinness Book of World Records. In order to qualify for the title of "First Coherent Tweet By A Chicken," Betty will need to peck and pick her way to a real five-letter word found in an English language dictionary. Until then, it's just chicken scratch.

[h/t Munchery]

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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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