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General Mills, YouTube

General Mills Wants You to Show Off Your Bunny's Athletic Chops

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General Mills, YouTube

Let's face it: The Olympics are great, but they're just not cute. Sure, it's a unifying world event that lets top-class athletes compete for the glory of their countries, but it could also really use some adorable whiskers and velvety soft fur.

Luckily, General Mills is holding their own cuddlier version of the sporting event. The Rabbit Showdown is a competition of athleticism, determination, and fluffy tails. Rabbit owners around the world can film their pets competing in events like hopping hurdles or scurrying the 100-centimeter dash. Your beloved bunny can hop, scamper, and leap into a gold, silver, or bronze medal. All you need is a camera and a rabbit with a special talent to apply (tiny sweatbands are a plus). You can then send your video to RabbitShowdown.com for a chance to win big. Medal winners will get their likeness displayed on commemorative cereal boxes along with other mysterious prizes (we're guessing cereal).

The event is being hosted by the Trix mascot, who is now a real bunny. The competition is a celebration of General Mills's decision to move away from artificial flavors and colors. Trix, Reese's Puffs, Cocoa Puffs, Cookie Crisp, and other cereal brands have already made the switch (Lucky Charms has been a little trickier). With more "real" ingredients come more real mascots, hence the Trix Rabbit's new appearance. Don't worry: The mascot still talks.

“After listening to our consumers, General Mills was the first cereal maker to announce its commitment to remove artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources. We are proud to continue to lead the category by reaching the 90 percent completion milestone across our cereal portfolio,” General Mills marketing manager Briana Falk said in a press release. “The #RabbitShowdown is a fun way to celebrate real progress with really cute furry friends, as we continue on in our journey to make cereal even better.”

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Focus Features
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Animals
25 Shelter Dogs Who Made It Big
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Focus Features

If you’ve been thinking of adding a four-legged friend to your brood and are deciding whether a shelter dog is right for you, consider this: Some of history’s most amazing pooches—from four-legged movie stars to heroic rescue dogs—were found in animal shelters. In honor of Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month, here are 25 shelter dogs who made it big.

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iStock
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This High-Tech Material Can Change Shape Like an Octopus
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iStock

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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