If you are a student taking any sort of liberal arts class, chances are you’ve written a paper this semester. You might even be writing one right now, as you’re reading this. Shhh, it’s okay, we can keep a secret.

The thing with papers, especially long papers, is that it’s very easy to lose focus. Sure, the prize of finishing the paper and all of its associated glory is always there on the horizon, but let’s be real, it’s really darn far away when you  have to write a 15 page paper. We need motivation in intervals, to consistently keep us going. Written?Kitten! is here to save the day.

It’s quite a simple concept, but you’ll be amazed at how great it works. Type your paper in the dialog box and VOILA, you’ll get a new freakishly adorable kitten “randomly selected from Flickr’s “most interesting” photos matching the tags “kitten” and “cute,”’ according to their about section, every time you hit the word goal you’ve set for yourself. Genius right? Let’s see it in action:

writtenkitten

Here, we set the goal to 100 words (you can also set it to 200, 500, or 1000). Since the “paper” exceeded that, it gave us a kitten! And look, it’s almost asleep. D’AWWWWW IT CAN’T KEEP ITS HEAD UP.

See, if you use this beauteous tool to write your papers, you’ll never be bored or deprived of cuteness again. And if you do get bored? Well, there’s a new kitten in probably a few words! And in no time, you’ll be done with your paper and cute-ed out. The best of both worlds. And with all that excess dopamine in your brain, you’re sure to do well on the paper! Dopamine helps brain function, right? Don’t quote us on that, we’re not psych majors.

katz

AH

wecant

WE CAN’T

DISCLAIMER: Let it be known that we just copied and pasted the same phrase over and over so we could see what was in kitten store. We do not advise this to all you paper-writers out there. That’s cheating!

Happy writing! The time is meow.

Image sources: (1) Hailey Simpson, Daily Cal,  (2) ankakay under Creative Commons, (3) BigTallGuy under Creative Commons


squirrelwithmonocle

All of us experience the fearless, foraging squirrels on a nearly daily basis, but these squirrels are a lot smarter than we might think. Maybe the atmosphere of academia is rubbing off on them? … Or maybe the squirrels are rubbing off on Berkeley?

Researchers have been observing how the squirrels here actually save food for the future. They either eat the nuts they find or look for places to bury them, sometimes travelling as far as 100 meters. This behavior is called “cacheing.” Who knew these fox squirrels were so forward-thinking? Every nut is precious, especially in this economy.

read more »


Thursday, Oct. 4 was International Animal Day, and if you walked through Sproul, you probably noticed the crate of kittens at the Paws and Claws Club table.

Kittens on Sproul!

Kittens on Sproul!

The kittens are up for adoption out of the East Bay Humane Society, and as club member Yujin notes, “we have [a] fostering program in our club through them” where qualified volunteers can be short-term owners. If you love cats, definitely read on!

We might note that, since you’ve probably read of the psychological benefits of being a dog owner, you might not surprised to learn that owning a cat can have psychological benefits, too.* College life is punctuated by stress and anxiety, and studies show that cats can be effective in taking the edge off the bad mood — so why not consider adopting a pet?

On the other hand, adoption can be a big commitment. read more »


Is this … a teddy bear lounging in this tree? Our eyes must be deceiving us.

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dogNothing grabs at the heart quite as strongly as adorable, fuzzy animals. The people over at Paw Fund seem to know this, as it is a nonprofit that helps both the homeless and lower-income to pay for medical bills for their pets.

Founded in January by Jill Posener, the organization started with $25,000 in donations and has helped about 30 animals get spayed or neutered and obtained medical attention for 50 others.

This Sunday, May 22, Paw Fund along with People and Animals Living Safely will hold a free animal care clinic in People’s Park from 11 am to 4 pm. We’re just glad that help is being made more readily available for these animals.

Image Source: Jodene under Creative Commons
Pets of the homeless to get help at People’s Park clinic [Berkeleyside]


Chickens in the CoopLions and tigers and — oh wait — Lucky Dog pet store has a pretty wide array of animals, but these aren’t exactly the types that need homes now that the shop has been evicted over a rent conflict. The problem arose, said owner Bobby Rostam, when the landlord, Mary Pagones, refused to repair the property. Rostam consequently ceased his rent payments and court documents show that at one point he owed Pagones $41,000.

Pagones lowered the rent from $3,500 to $2,000 a month in the spring of 2010 on the condition that Rostam would leave by November 11, 2010. Rostam failed to leave by the agreed-upon time and has not paid rent since January, said Pagones’ lawyer.

Rotsam still doesn’t have a home for many animals ranging from turtles to chickens, and Pagones’ lawyer stated that if any animals remain at the store the animal shelter will be called.

Here’s to hoping they all find good homes.

Image Source: JMaz under Creative Commons
Closure of Lucky Dog pet store puts animals at risk [Berkeleyside]


D'AWWWWW.

Baby seal, for comparison purposes: read more »