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March 2013: 10 Most Popular Posts.

1.- Camouflage Photography in the Animal World: 50 Astonishing Photos.
Some animals have sharp teeth, some have fragile wings, some are predators, some chew on grass, but they all need to survive. Even if harder to believe, some carnivores can be extinct pretty fast, if they don’t find an “intelligent” method of hunting.
On the other hand, small animals with poor defense mechanisms need to find a smart way of surviving and hiding. Nature has found the solution to all these and it is called “camouflage”. That’s the ability of transforming yourself or adapting to the environment you live in, in such a way that you become a contained part of it, that others barely notice you. In one way of another, most of the animals have developed such a skill and they easily trick the eye.
From changing colors to changing body shapes, vertebrates and invertebrates appear as if… they are not there. This post will exemplify the camouflage technique, even in the underwater world. Prepare to train your eyes for spotting the animals and their amazing disguises!

2.- Giant George, The World’s Largest Dog.
Meet George. Giant George, that is. This blue Great Dane is, quite possibly, the largest dog in the world. Yes, even larger than Boomer the Molosser, the previous largest dog in the world.
This big beast is 7 feet, 3 inches long, 43 inches tall at the shoulder, and weighs an impressive 245 pounds! Every month, owners David and Christine Nasser feed George 110 pounds of dog food, and he sleeps in his very own Queen-sized bed. The couple have had George since he was 7 weeks old, and he’s definitely eating them out of house and home!
Some friends of mine have a Great Dane they’ve named Pennyroyal, and it’s the smartest, quietest, most gentle-natured dog I’ve ever had any dealings with. Great Danes are absolutely beautiful dogs, and that blue color is just gorgeous. I have no doubt that George is just as sweet as their dog, even if he does make Pen look like a puppy!

3.- Mimic Octopus, this fascinating creature was discovered in 1998 off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia.
The Mimic Octopus, Thaumoctopus mimicus, is a species of octopus that has a strong ability to mimic other creatures. It grows up to 60 cm (2 feet) in length. Its normal colouring consists of brown and white stripes or spots.
Living in the tropical seas of South East Asia, it was not discovered officially until 1998, off the coast of Sulawesi. The octopus mimics the physical likeness and movements of more than fifteen different species, including sea snakes, lionfish, flatfish, brittle stars, giant crabs, sea shells, stingrays, flounders, jellyfish, sea anemones, and mantis shrimp. It accomplishes this by contorting its body and arms, and changing colour.
Although all octopuses can change colour and texture, and many can blend with the sea floor, appearing as rocks, the mimic octopus is the first octopus species ever observed to impersonate other animals.
Based on observation, the mimic octopus may decide which animal to impersonate depending on local predators. For example, when the octopus was being attacked by damselfish, it was observed that the octopus appeared as a banded sea snake, a damselfish predator. The octopus impersonates the snake by turning black and yellow, burying six of its arms, and waving its other two arms in opposite directions.

4.- The best photos from National Geographic June 2012.

Explore an unparalleled treasury of iconic images and groundbreaking photography in National Geographic Image Collection,.
The best photos June 2012.
The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States, is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world.
Its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical conservation, and the study of world culture and history.
The National Geographic Society’s logo is a yellow portraitframe - rectangular in shape - which appears on the margins surrounding the front covers of its magazines.

  
5.- Astronomy Picture of the Day, December 2012: Chapter III.
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
the highest resolution version available.
Saturn's Rings from the Dark Side
Image Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA
Explanation: What do Saturn's rings look like from the dark side? From Earth, we usually see Saturn's rings from the same side of the ring plane that the Sun illuminates them -- one might call this the bright side. Geometrically, in the above picture taken in August by the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn, the Sun is behind the camera but on the other side of the ring plane. Such a vantage point gives a breathtaking views of the most splendid ring system in the Solar System. Strangely, the rings have similarities to a photographic negative of a front view. For example, the dark band in the middle is actually the normally bright B-ring. The ring brightness as recorded from different angles indicates ring thickness and particle density of ring particles. At the top left of the frame is Saturn's moon Tethys, which although harder to find, contains much more mass than the entire ring system.

6.- Weirdest animals and creatures in the world.
pink fairy armadillo
Pink Fairy Armadillo
The Pink Fairy Armadillo (Chlamyphorus truncatus) or Pichiciego is the smallest species of armadillo (mammals of the family Dasypodidae, mostly known for having a bony armor shell). It is approximately 90-115 mm long excluding the tail, and is pale rose or pink in color. It is found in central Argentina where it inhabits dry grasslands and sandy plains with thorn bushes and cacti. It has the ability to bury itself completely in a matter of seconds if frightened.
The Pink Fairy Armadillo burrows small holes near ant colonies in dry dirt. It feeds mainly on ants and ant larvae near its burrow. Occasionally it feeds on worms, snails, insects and larvae, or various plant and root material.

7.- The illusion of Food Art, artistic expression through food and edible.

This incredible artist animates food in ways you would never imagine, transforming ordinary fruits and loves of bread into pieces and parts of strange stories, complete with offbeat implications, curious perspectives and unique facial expressions.
Davin Risk
(image via: Mike Industries)
Davin Risk, food sculptor and photographer, created three entries for the “Make a Meatspace Shuffle” competition, which sought creative interpretations of the iPod shuffle as food. The first was made entirely of goat butter, the second was made of parsnips, the third was tofu and finally, the entry that proved to be a winner was created from banana, spaghetti noodles and apple slices.

8.-  Surreal Photo Manipulation: 40 Amazing Artwork, Chapter 1.
home is where the heart is Surreal Photo Manipulation: 40 Amazing Artwork

9.- Laogai, it is estimated that in the last fifty years more than 50 million people have been sent to laogai camps.

Laogai, which means "reform through labor," is a slogan of the Chinese criminal justice system and has been used to refer to the use of prison labor and prison farms in the People's Republic of China (PRC).
It is estimated that in the last fifty years more than 50 million people have been sent to laogai camps. Laogai is distinguished from laojiao, or re-education through labor, which is an administrative detention for a person who is not a criminal but has committed minor offenses, and is intended to reform offenders into law-abiding citizens.
Persons detained under laojiao are detained in facilities which are separate from the general prison system of laogai. Both systems, however, involve penal labor.
In 1990 China abandoned the term laogai and started labelling the facilities as "prisons" instead.[why?]China's 1997 revised Criminal Procedure Law brought an end to official laogai policy, but some prisons in the Tibet Autonomous Region and in Qinghai still practice forced labor and amount to a continuation of laogai.

10.- Save the Children lists 10 countries where motherhood is a daily, life-or-death struggle.

This week, Save the Children released its annual report on the State of the World's Mothers, which ranks the status of mothers in countries worldwide using a wide set of criteria including female life expectancy, lifetime risk of maternal death, women's economic equality, child mortality, and working conditions for mothers.
Topping this year's index is Norway, the developed country with one of the highest ratio of female-to-male earned income, the world's highest contraception rate, and one of the most generous maternity leave policies anywhere. Northern Europe dominated the top 10 with the United States coming in at a not particularly impressive 31st, thanks in part to its 1 in 2,100 maternal death ratio -- the highest of any industrialized nation-- and its maternity leave policies, the shortest and least well-supported financially of any wealthy nation.
This Mother's Day, it's worth remembering the struggling moms in the following 10 countries, who make up the bottom of the list.
 
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