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Petwigs
Petwigs

Now You Can Buy Adorable Wigs For Your Pets

Petwigs
Petwigs

Unless you’ve got an animal that will willingly undergo a lion cut, it can be hard to style your pets. At least, it was. Now, thanks to actress Leisha Hailey (The L Word), anyone can have a perfectly coiffed companion: Her company, Petwigs, creates adorable and stylish wigs for the critters in your life.

Hailey tells mental_floss in an email that she came up with the idea 12 years ago. Pet costumes were dominating the market, but the wigs that would complete the looks were lacking. “There weren’t any pet wigs conveniently available, nor did they come in a wide selection of colors and styles,” she says. She didn’t act on her idea, however, until she met Melissa Carbone of Ten Thirty One Productions; the pair launched Petwigs, then brought on collaborators Regina Carpinelli and Sofu Snow.

Though Hailey had never designed wigs before, they weren’t completely foreign territory: She drew on her background as a musician who, in her 20s, was “basically raised by drag queens in the East Village.” Her band opened up for performers at the Pyramid Club, and it was there, in the backstage area, that she learned how to use the arts as a means of transformation. “It has to be incredibly executed with a twist of humor,” she says. “I have the same vision for Petwigs: High style, classic looks. Put it on an animal and the laughing ensues.”

The "Party in the Back" wig. Image credit: Petwigs.com.

 
To figure out how to make the wigs, Hailey and her colleagues met with Hollywood-based wig makers. First, they designed a sizing system that uses a net as a base. “The base comes in 3 sizes: Small, Medium, Large,” Hailey says. “They fit comfortably between the ears of your pet depending on what size your animal is. The hair falls around the ears, and that’s where the magic begins.”

Next came the design of a strap and clasp system that keeps the wigs on (and allows them to easily come off) without irritating the animals. “Every friend with a pet was brought in for sizing and strap system analysis,” Hailey says. “We landed with the final design by trying different straps.”

Finally, they created prototypes of the styles; each wig took about a day to build. The company settled on synthetic hair, which held the shape and style of the ‘dos best. “The styling process was meticulous,” Hailey says. “We want our wigs to be high end, like your pet just walked out of the salon.”

The "Headbanger" wig. Image credit: Petwigs.com.

 
Picking the styles that would become Petwigs’ first collection was of paramount importance. “We are coming out with our Original Collection, which consists of the most iconic hairstyles of the decades,” Hailey says. “From there, we will always stay with the times and plan to have an ever evolving selection of styles.”

Petwigs range in price from $35 to $43 and come in styles like “The Bombshell,” “The Editor,” and “The Tigerbeat.” Hailey’s personal favorite style is “The Supreme,” a red beehive. For adorable photos of animals in wigs, you can follow the company on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook—or you can just preorder your very own PetWig here (make sure to read the fit and safety information first!) to bring the fun home, just in time for Halloween.

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John Phillips, Getty Images for Tourism Australia
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New Plankton Species Named After Sir David Attenborough Series Blue Planet
John Phillips, Getty Images for Tourism Australia
John Phillips, Getty Images for Tourism Australia

At least 19 creatures, both living and extinct, have been named after iconic British naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Now, for the first time, one of his documentary series will receive the same honor. As the BBC reports, a newly discovered phytoplankton shares its name with the award-winning BBC series Blue Planet.

The second half of the species' name, Syracosphaera azureaplaneta, is Latin for "blue planet," likely making it the first creature to derive its name from a television program. The single-cell organisms are just thousandths of a millimeter wide, thinner than a human hair, but their massive blooms on the ocean's surface can be seen from space. Called coccolithophores, the plankton serve as a food source for various marine life and are a vital marker scientists use to gauge the effects of climate change on the sea. The plankton's discovery, by researchers at University College London (UCL) and institutions in Spain and Japan, is detailed in a paper [PDF] published in the Journal of Nannoplankton Research.

"They are an essential element in the whole cycle of oxygen production and carbon dioxide and all the rest of it, and you mess about with this sort of thing, and the echoes and the reverberations and the consequences extend throughout the atmosphere," Attenborough said while accepting the honor at UCL.

The Blue Planet premiered in 2001 with eight episodes, each dedicated to a different part of the world's oceans. The series' success inspired a sequel series, Blue Planet II, that debuted on the BBC last year.

[h/t BBC]

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'Angry Badger' Terrorizes Scottish Castle, Forcing Closures 
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iStock

Portions of the 16th-century Craignethan Castle in Scotland were shut down last week after a less-than-friendly badger holed up there and refused to leave. Historic Environment Scotland, which manages the site in South Lanarkshire, sent out a tweet last Friday notifying visitors that the property's cellar tunnel would remain closed over the weekend “due to the presence of a very angry badger.” Staff tried to coax it out with cat food and honey, but the badger did what it wanted, and they were unable to move the mammal.

A spokesman for HES told the BBC, "The castle is surrounded by woodland and we believe the badger may have become lost. Staff first spotted some dug-out earth on Wednesday evening, and later spotted the badger on closer inspection."

On Saturday, staff used a GoPro camera to check out the tunnel from a safe distance and learned that the badger had left voluntarily, but not before making a mess. The critter dug through both soil and stonework, according to The Scotsman. The castle, an artillery fortification erected around 1530, is already partly in ruins.

Craignethan Castle in Scotland
Sandy Stevenson, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Badgers are not typically dangerous, but they can become aggressive if they feel cornered or threatened. They can be seen year-round in Scotland, especially during spring and summer. Earthworms, bird eggs, small mammals, fruit, and roots are among their favorite meals, and they can even be “tempted into your garden by leaving peanuts out—a tasty snack for our striped friends,” the Scottish Wildlife Trust says.

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