After 71 years with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Jane Little gave her final performance on Sunday, dying at the end of a performance of the song "There's No Business Like Show Business." She was 87.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) May 16, 2016
Little held the record for longest professional tenure with one symphony. She made her debut as a bassist with the Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra (later the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra) at the age of 16 on Feb. 4, 1945. Little told Atlanta Magazine she wanted to become a ballerina, but her feet "just weren't right," and after scoring high on a musical aptitude test in high school, was urged to become a bassist. "Within a month, I was hooked," she said. "I loved it. It was awfully difficult to push those heavy strings down, and to carry the instrument around, but I just loved it."
When she learned about Frances Darger's record with the Utah Symphony — retiring in 2012 after 70 years — Little decided she wanted to break it, The Washington Post reports, and she did so in February. After hitting that milestone, she said she planned to retire at the end of the season, wanting to spend time at her house in North Carolina. Little had been undergoing chemotherapy for multiple myeloma, and she told friends she had been feeling a bit under the weather. When she collapsed onstage, orchestra members carried her backstage, and she never regained consciousness. "Hollywood could not have scripted it better," Paul Murphy, orchestra's associate principal viola, told The Post. Her husband, Warren Little, died in 2002.
i am losing my patience with this particular mormon mommy blogger
A seller on the New Zealand auction site Trade Me is offering an erotic eggplant for sale. As of this morning, the bidding is at over $100.
The length of the eggplant clocks in at an impressive seven inches with a four-inch circumference, according to the New Zealand Herald, which refers to the eggplant as a “phallic vegetable” for some reason.
The unnamed user from Waikato, New Zealand said the auction was just for a laugh. It all started when his father found the bizarre object growing in their vegetable patch and picked it last Wednesday.
According to the seller, his dad “thought it was hilarious, and my wife and I found it pretty funny too.”
First posted to the auction site on Saturday, the eggplant’s bidding has been robust. The seller says profits will go to the New Zealand Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Hmm, what would you do with this erotic eggplant?
Image screenshot via Trade Me
Jimelle Levon, an 18-year-old from Columbus, Ohio, is taking prom fashion to a whole new level. He designed a Coming to America inspired dress for his date, as well as a matching blazer for himself, and people are capital “O” OBSESSED.
A photo posted by تهةثممث (@jimellelevon) on
Making the dress was no joke. Jimelle explains the painstaking process of creating the dress in another post on Instagram (also featured is a bonus photo of Vanessa Bell Calloway in the original for reference):
A photo posted by تهةثممث (@jimellelevon) on
Sewn while on her body? SLAY.
On his website, which showcases some of his other designs for his more casual line Koldkut, he explains how he got into fashion design:
“I’ve been designing for four years now. I started off painting shoes and distressing jean shorts, then expanded from there. I have never taken any classes or been taught how to sew. I am a self taught artist.”
How amazing is this dress though?!
A photo posted by تهةثممث (@jimellelevon) on
Here are some of his other designs from this prom season:
A photo posted by تهةثممث (@jimellelevon) on
A photo posted by تهةثممث (@jimellelevon) on
We wish we knew Jimelle when we were in high school!
The post The internet can’t get enough of this high schooler’s epic “Coming to America” prom dress appeared first on HelloGiggles.
They said it couldn't be done. An emo revival, ha. And yet here we are with new songs from Brand New and Dashboard Confessional all in the same week. It's okay not to be okay. DC have quietly returned after a seven-year hiatus with their first new song since 2009's Alter the Ending, and they've done so acoustically, with the spring-appropriate "May." It comes with zero news of a new album (Chris has been writing, though!) and ahead of a new tour with — get this — Taking Back Sunday, Saves the Day, and Saosin. Yup, our teen hearts are beating pretty fast right about now. Have you missed Chris Carrabba wailing on about sentimental things? Wanna see him do all that in black and white? Hands down, you are Taylor Swift and you're gonna love this.
As previously established with our look back at the classic lifestyle guide, Jane Seymour’s Guide to Romantic Living, the 1980s were a time of much ado about romance and relationships. Another curious illustration: The May 11, 1983 “smooch-a-thon” to defend a Guinness world record for longest kiss.
“We know the secrets of kissing,” participant Barbara Kane informed UPI, explaining that, “Position has everything to do with success.” She and her kissing buddy Dino DeLorean had previously achieved a world record with a six-day kiss. But then they were challenged to go for ten straight days by a pair of college students, and somebody decided the best venue was “a chaise lounge outside ‘Only Hearts,’ a Manhattan boutique.” (The rules didn’t require absolutely continuous lip-to-lip contact; there were scheduled restroom-and-protein-drink breaks.)
“People ask me if I have been picking up weights with my lips,” said DeLorean, who admitted he had not.
The pair were not actually a couple, and their activities occasionally caused a little trouble in the romantic department:
But Mrs. Kane and DeLorean, both actors from Los Angeles, decided to meet the challenge in the window of the boutique, although she said the first time they did it her husband was upset when he saw television clips of her and Dino kissing. ‘It took a while, but he calmed down,’ she said.
Said DeLorean, ‘I had a girlfriend going into the contest. I didn’t going out. I guess she didn’t trust me and told me to ‘kiss-off!’’
Ultimately, they went for 21 days—after relocating proceedings to a nearby radio station when the crowd got too distracting for their host boutique.
In less than a decade, it may be possible for a person to live in San Francisco, commute to work in Los Angeles, and go to lunch in Las Vegas, without having to hop on an airplane or sit in traffic in a car.
— Mayor of Los Angeles (@MayorOfLA) May 11, 2016
Hyperloop One is one of two companies striving to realize Elon Musk's dream of a super fast transportation system using tubes, magnets, and pods, and on Wednesday, Hyperloop One held its first open-air test of its propulsion system in the desert outside of Las Vegas. A metal sled was sent down a short track, going from 0 to 53 miles per hour in one second, CNET reports, and the successful launch was met with cheers.
Hyperloop One's hyperloop network would consist of several tubes that connect major cities to each other. Pods, which would carry cargo or 10 to 30 passengers, would go inside the tubes, depressurized to eliminate most air resistance. Magnets would help the pods reach speeds of up to 700 mph, although engineers say passenger-filled pods would accelerate at the same rate as a private jet, so people could eat, drink, and chat comfortably. The company wants to have the system up and running for cargo as early as 2019, and for passengers by 2021, and will hold a full-scale test at the end of the year. Watch the video below to get a better idea of how you might be traveling not too far down the road.
A man from Oregon who bought a $300 clay jug thingy at an estate sale was told during an episode of Antiques Roadshow that it was worth $50,000. Turns out, it’s not...
In actuality, the uh, interesting looking artwork is a piece of clay a high schooler named Betsy Soule sculpted in the ’70s. When the buyer, Alvin Barr, asked for an appraisal from found-object expert Stephen L. Fletcher for PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, it was estimated to be worth $50,000.
In the episode (beautifully titled “Grotesque Face Jug”), which aired last year, Fletcher called the jug “bizarre and wonderful” and made a Picasso comparison. Mashable reports:
He estimated the piece was made in the late 19th or early 20th century, and valued it at around $50,000.
“What?” shouted Barr, understandably.
Unfortunately for both Barr and Fletcher, these estimates were a little off the mark. The jug was actually made in the early 1970s — not by a professional potter, but by horse trainer Betsy Soule in her high school ceramics class.
“It was covered with dirt and straw,” Barr told Fletcher in the episode. “Looked like some chicken droppings were on it. It was very dirty. I had to have it.”
The jug’s creator, Soule, got hip to the clay mishap when a friend who saw the Antiques Roadshow episode alerted her about “that weird pot you made” being featured on the show.
Roadshow has corrected the error, listing its appraised price as $3,000–$5,000, which is still too much money.
Image via PBS
There's a Sweet new wedding cake trend going around, you guys, and it totally rocks.
This is the one that went viral a little while back, and it's easy to see why. Soooo sparkly.
Ah, but check this drama out:
(By Three Tiers For Cake)
The rock veining, the gold leaf, the gold fox toppers? IT'S ALL WORKIN'.
And hey, who knew rock candy could look that elegant? Now I want someone to dip those stretchy candy necklaces in gold leaf and drape them over a champagne flute. Yeah. You guys get on that.
Speaking of rock candy, here's a fun ombre option:
What's that? You want to see this in green?
Geode toppers (also edible!) seem to be popular for smaller cakes:
(By Dhanya's Delights)
Or I also like this option:
(By Alana Jones-Mann)
Not exactly a geode, but check out this one with slices of rose quartz:
(By A Squad Bake Shop)
I'm resisting the urge to make a Steven Universe reference here, you guys. Just me?
Oooh, or how about this one with a crazy realistic Malachite inlay:
(By Ruze Cake House)
But let's get back to geodes:
(By Sainte G.)
'Cuz those crystals on top are awesome. A real Fortress of Solitude vibe, am I right?
(Yes, that's another geek reference. WHAT.)
Another "WOW" moment, coming up:
(By Whisk Cake Company)
And finally, my favorite geode of them all:
(By Sophia Fox)
Pink sparkly hearts, a watercolor fade, and gold leaf trim? YES PLEASE.
Hope you guys enjoyed your Sunday Sweets on the rocks! Happy Sunday!
Courtney Stodden is pregnant with her first child, she revealed to Us Weekly after a video circulated to media outlets showing the 21-year-old with a positive pregnancy test. Stodden’s husband Doug Hutchison, 55, appears to be filming his wife in their bathroom.
“Alright, here’s the first [line],” Stodden says as shakes the pregnancy test.
“Come on, here we go honey,” Hutchison says in the background.
The video cuts to Stodden sitting on a toilet with the positive test in her hand.
Her husband asks, “Honey? Honey, how you feeling?”
She responds, “A little overwhelmed” and the video ends.
“It’s a bittersweet time for me right now,” she told Us Weekly. “I’m dealing with a lot of stress and emotions surrounding life and its ups and downs. Doug and I weren’t planning on going public with this so soon. I’m only four weeks along in my pregnancy. But some things are out of your control.”
The source claims the video was sent to “[Stodden’s] closest friends and family.”
Courtney’s mother was asked how she felt about it and said, “If it wasn’t for media I would not get to know the news about my daughter’s pregnancy. If this is accurate this will make grandchild number five. If she is happy, I am happy for her. It would be nice to experience this with her but as it still stands her and I are still not speaking. I did not even hear from her on Mother’s Day. I was blessed to be able to celebrate it with my other two girls. Courtney is still missing from our family. I pray for her everyday.”
There is no way that baby is Doug’s. No chance. I think Courtney probably thinks now she has to make a decision whether to stay in the marriage she hates or make a break for it.
A bison calf at Yellowstone National Park was euthanized after foreign tourists thought it was cold and put it in their SUV.
— CNN (@CNN) May 16, 2016
The calf was released but was ultimately rejected by the herd, and was euthanized after being "abandoned and causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway," the National Park Service said in a statement Monday. Witnesses said that last week, a father and son told a park ranger they captured the bison and put it in their SUV because it appeared to be cold, NBC News reports. They were later ticketed.
Visitors to Yellowstone must stay at least 25 yards away from bison, elk, and deer, and 360 feet away from bears and wolves. The National Park Service is using this sad incident to remind people that these are wild animals, and are very protective of their young. "Approaching wild animals can drastically affect their well-being and, in this case, their survival," the service said.
When you see the finished design of this 170 square meter (approx. 1829 square foot) home in Madrid, you’d never believe where they started from (see before images below). Egue y Seta took this old 1950’s home from outdated and dismal to a welcoming space for a young couple with children. A live-in tale in Madrid, as the project is called, is half of a duplex that’s split over three staggered floors with a gabled roof on top.
Under the gabled roof on the top floor, there’s the playroom with a bookcase and a suspended net to hang out and read in when they want to relax.
Up a set of stairs is a guest bedroom separated from the main area by glass.
On the main floor, they’ve installed wall-to-wall custom bookcases that were brought from the family’s previous home.
The dining table came from a 19th century French farmhouse bringing along lots of character for the room.
The kitchen was designed to be practical and comfortable, and features white cabinets, grey concrete floors, and warm wood furniture.
The master bedroom is lit via skylights and windows that let the sunlight enter to bounce off the all-white walls and ceiling.
In the master bathroom, two bowl sinks are arranged to face a window instead of mirrors.
Photos by VICUGO FOTO.
Apparently the producers at KTLA decided that meteorologist Liberte Chan needed some shaming on Saturday. While Liberte was doing the weather report, the station received some e-mails. No one will reveal how many. It was probably one. The e-mails were about Liberte’s dress. The e-mailer believed no bare shoulders should ever be shown on television because they lived in the 1900’s. Instead of waiting until after Liberte finished her report, producers decided to interrupt the report and force Liberte to put on a sweater and cover her bare shoulders. From now on, all female reporters at KTLA are instructed to show no more skin than a Duggar at church. Liberte handled the whole thing great.
An army vet who woke up after being in a coma for 48 days had one thing on his mind: Taco Bell.
Jake Booth, 35, from Florida, caught a case of bronchitis in February that later developed into double pneumonia. Things worsened after Jake was sent to the hospital, where he had a heart attack, slipped into a coma and didn’t wake up for 48 days.
USA Today reports:
When he did, to the surprise of his family and his neurologists, he knew who he was, understood where he was and recognized his 6-year-old daughter, Eva, and his 1-year-old son, Aiden. He struggled to speak — and still struggles to speak — due to the lingering effects of intubation and a tracheotomy, but as soon as he could form sounds into words, he made a request.
“I want Taco Bell,” Jake said.
Jake’s friend Jason Schwartz says, “We’d all been waiting an entire month for him to eat those tacos. It was symbolic of the entire thing — more of a metaphor of him having woken up and being given a second chance at life.”
The Taco Bell request was essentially a sign that Jake was his normal self. Jake couldn’t actually eat solid foods for 22 days, after which he was able to take a nice bite out of several crunchy tacos from Taco Bell. Jake was elated and is alive after eating the Taco Bell.
Image screengrab via Now This
There are flying fish and flying squirrels, but you won't find too many flying turtles outside of Super Mario Bros. You might imagine Nicole Marie Bjanes' surprise, then, when a turtle came crashing through her windshield while she was driving down Interstate 4 in Deltona, Florida.
The turtle actually became airborne in the first place after being hit by a different car, according to troopers who spoke with Fox 9. The critter then rocketed through Bjanes' windshield and landed on her dash. Bjanes was treated for minor cuts.
After spending months working on getting the gold-plated bricks right, they finally made it happen by doing the process in three stages at three different facilities. The resulting brick has a thin layer of 24k gold that still allows the bricks to be stacked and connected, while still keeping it pretty durable for wear.
If you’re interested in purchasing, check out their Etsy site here.
It's official: FX announced that it has begun script development on Mayans MC, a new drama centering on the Latino biker gang from Oakland seen in Sons of Anarchy. The commitment confirms that the spinoff reported last year is definitely a go, despite the short-lived The Bastard Executioner. But in case you're worried that Mayans MC would be a white guy writing about Latino culture, don't fret! Sutter is partnering up with Elgin James, a filmmaker best known for his film Little Birds. "I wanted to find a strong, unique Latino voice. Because I didn't think a white guy from Jersey should be writing about Latin culture and traditions," Sutter said in a statement. "Elgin is that voice." Sutter and James are co-creators and executive producers, and James will pen the script about a "dark, visceral family drama." Sounds very on-brand.
Spy the rings below to see absolutely gorgeous scenes of tiny forests, Aurora Borealis-inspired skies, forests, waterfalls, and lagoons. they're all slightly different since they're all handmade to order (with a four to five-week wait — likely worth it based on these designs!). Let's ogle the designs and wish they were ours, shall we?
We also hear a rumor that they're going to start making pendants as well. Matching engagement ring + pendant combo incoming!
Want to see the rest of the collection of wooden rings? They're available to order here. Would you wear one of these as your engagement ring?
h/t My Modern Met
Here we are, friends, Week 2 of me being vegan. I promised I’d keep everyone updated on my progress even though they were like, ‘No, please, you don’t have to it’s fine!’ But I insist. So, here goes, my update on being vegan: It sucks!
I’ve lost 3 pounds, have loads more energy and all the acne around my mouth has cleared up. My hair is shinier and my skin has lost that dullness that was making me look like a tired burn-out. I’m less bloated, sleeping better and my BMs are like a Japanese bullet train: fast, regular and just the right amount of scary. I’m also miserable and cranky and depressed and being vegan sucks and I wish I hadn’t been so publicly smug about it because now I hate it and want to quiiiit.
I would take double the mouth acne for one Cheeto right now. That’s right Cheetos aren’t vegan. You think, “Sure I could live without steaks,” and forget that ALMOST NOTHING is steaks and ALMOST EVERYTHING has some kind of animal in it. God, every part of a cow tastes so good it’s like they WANT us to make food out of them and all their juices.
And please, don’t tell me about all the ‘awesome’ meat/animal substitutes on the market. I’ve tried them all, most recently every vegan cheese available at Whole Foods. Here’s a fun fact: vegan cheese doesn’t taste like cheese, not even a little. It can maybe pass when it’s hidden deep in pizza, covered with tons of other flavorful stuff. But you can’t eat slices of vegan cheese the way you can eat slices of deli American straight out of the brown paper wrapping at midnight OH GOD that was my favorite thing to do and it’s gone now and I can’t recant after only 2 weeks or everyone will make so much fun of me.
WHY did I tell my whole office I was going vegan? “You’ll never last,” they said, “It will be just like when you were going to ride your bike to work every day.” And I winked and said, “You know best, don’t you Lani?” I was such a sarcastic little shit and Lani was right and now I can never eat anything but goddamn weeds for lunch until I quit or die or kill Lani.
So, that’s how it’s going. I’m not happy and feel trapped between my pride and my physical desires. It’s a lot like when I told my whole office I was going to be celibate for a year and Lani was like, “But you love to fuck, you’ll never last!” Also I’m realizing now that our office is too friendly with each other. And I want to eat a stick of pepperoni like it’s a Slim Jim.
Images via Shutterstock
I don't understand.
When the announcement was put out that this foreign born A list movie/television actor’s stalker was leaving red ribbons, it was actually to distract from the fact that they were leaving blue hankies. There’s a subset of Tumblr stalkers who have gotten his addresses, notate what cars they drive and tell their followers that whenever he wears a blue hankie, it’s a secret message to and from him so the stalkers are encouraged to go into his neighborhood and carry/wave/gift blue hankies to show him that they’re in on his supposed secret message.
To Post Secret, a project that collects personal secrets written artistically onto postcards, someone recently sent in the following bombshell: “Ever since we started getting married and buying houses,” she writes, “my girlfriends and I don’t laugh much anymore.”
Her personal secret is, in fact, a national one. It’s part of what has been called the “paradox of declining female happiness.” Women have more rights and opportunities than they have had in decades and yet they are less happy than ever in both absolute terms and relative to men.
Marriage is part of why. Heterosexual marriage is an unequal institution. Women on average do more of the unpaid and undervalued work of households, they work more each day, and they are more aware of this inequality than their husbands. They are more likely to sacrifice their individual leisure and career goals for marriage. Marriage is a moment of subordination and women, more so than men, subordinate themselves and their careers to their relationship, their children, and the careers of their husbands.
Compared to being single, marriage is a bum deal for many woman. Accordingly, married women are less happy than single women and less happy than their husbands, they are less eager than men to marry, they’re more likely to file for divorce and, when they do, they are happier as divorcees than they were when married (the opposite is true for men) and they are more likely than men to prefer never to remarry.
The only reason this is surprising is because of the torrent of propaganda we get that tells us otherwise. We are told by books, sitcoms, reality shows, and romantic comedies that single women are wetting their pants to get hitched. Men are metaphorically or literally drug to the altar in television commercials and wedding comedies, an idea invented by Hugh Hefner in the 1950s (before the “playboy,” men who resisted marriage were suspected of being gay). Not to mention the wedding-themed toys aimed at girls and the ubiquitous wedding magazines aimed solely at women. Why, it’s almost as if they were trying very hard to convince us of something that isn’t true.
But if women didn’t get married to men, what would happen? Marriage reduces men’s violence and conflict in a society by giving men something to lose. It increases men’s efforts at work, which is good for capitalists and the economy. It often leads to children, which exacerbate cycles of earning and spending, makes workers more reliable and dependent on employers, reduces mobility, and creates a next generation of workers and social security investors. Marriage inserts us into the machine. And if it benefits women substantially less than men, then it’s no surprise that so many of our marriage promotion messages are aimed squarely at them.Lisa Wade is a professor at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
A Canadian couple has been convicted of letting their toddler son die of bacterial meningitis by failing to seek proper medical treatment for him. David and Collet Stephan gave their 19-month-old son Ezekiel a variety of naturopathic remedies, herbs and supplements, only calling an ambulance after he stopped breathing.
The Stephans’ case has sparked a larger debate in Canada about whether naturopaths, who are not exactly real doctors, should be allowed to treat children at all. The other issue is the conduct of the Stephans themselves, who, as the jury heard, tried seemingly everything short of taking their son to the hospital before his death in March 2012. From CBC:
In a bid to boost his immune system, the couple gave the boy — who was lethargic and becoming stiff — various home remedies, such as water with maple syrup, juice with frozen berries and finally a mixture of apple cider vinegar, horse radish root, hot peppers, mashed onion, garlic and ginger root as his condition deteriorated.
Court heard the couple on tape explaining to the police officer that they prefer naturopathic remedies because of their family’s negative experiences with the medical system.
The toddler was sick for nearly two and a half weeks before his death. David Stephan told police that natural remedies had worked in “every single scenario” in the past. He’s vice president of Truehope Nutritional Support Inc., a supplements company.
CBC reports that there were gasps in the courtroom when the Stephans were convicted of “failing to provide the necessaries of life” to the boy. A Facebook page supporting the couple, Prayers for Ezekiel, is full of claims that the government and/or the medical establishment are attacking the family for their beliefs. Another page set up to support them, Stand 4 Truth, accuses the court system of “censoring” testimony that would exonerate them. The case has been covered on virtually every anti-vaccination and “natural health” blog, from the perspective that the Stephans are being crucified for opposing the medical establishment.
The couple will receive a date for their sentencing hearing on June 13.
The Stephans with their surviving children and a photo of Ezekiel. Screenshot via Stand 4 Truth
Rose, an Oakland resident, will celebrate her first Mother’s Day this weekend. She’ll probably start with breakfast and a morning swim. She’ll dunk her babies underwater and wrestle them for awhile, then perhaps an afternoon nap.
Rose, a river otter at the Oakland Zoo, gave birth to three fuzzy pups in January. Her mother, Ginger, welcomed her fourth litter of pups in December. The proud father of both, resident Oakland Zoo stud Wyatt, completes the river otter family exhibit at the Wayne and Gladys Valley Children’s Zoo.
As your own mother can attest (and maybe she’s reminded you on a few occasions) babies are demanding little miracles. Newborns are nearly helpless and need constant attention. River otters are no different.
“They literally can’t do much besides find the teet and nurse,” says Margaret Rousser, zoological manager at the Oakland Zoo.
Rose doesn’t have to worry about predators, but wild river otters are making a comeback in the Bay Area, and wild otter moms have a lot to worry about. Raccoons and dogs can dig up their natal dens. And a mom needs to be sure she can get food and keep her pups warm.
In order to give their young ones the best chance at survival, river otters and other mammals have evolved a way to time their pregnancies so babies come when the habitat has ample resources for the new family.
Pregnancy’s Pause Button
Some mammal mothers can press the pause button on an embryo’s development—it’s a process called delayed implantation.
Unlike the choice human females can make to use birth control or freeze eggs to time a pregnancy, delayed implantation is unconscious. The animal mamma’s body responds to environmental cues that tell her the habitat will support her young ones. A physiological call to action: It’s go time!
Delayed implantation has some obvious benefits. Babies literally suck up tons of energy by breastfeeding. Waiting until conditions are ripe gives the baby and the mother a better chance at survival.
It helps mate selection, too. Some animals are alone most of the year; a female can go long stretches without seeing a desirable male. Delayed implantation allows her to mate when she finds a good one, and then hold onto the embryo, perhaps for months, until the timing is right for birth. If only humans were so lucky.
What Is Delayed Implantation?
Rose’s and Ginger’s pregnancies began just like your own mother’s did. The male’s sperm fused with their eggs to form a single-celled zygote. The zygote divided into a bundle of cells called a blastocyst. Here’s where human and otters diverge.
At this stage, otter development just stops. In river otters, the blastocyst can hang out in the uterus for seven to 10 months until just the right time… BOOM. An environmental signal triggers a spike in hormones that jolts the embryo back into action to implant into the uterine wall.
Rose and Ginger both mated with Wyatt last spring. About 9 months later, the handlers noticed Rose acting strange. In the wild, female otters only tolerate males during mating season. At the zoo, Wyatt, Rose and Ginger are the best of buddies but during pregnancy, instinct kicks in.
“Rose started being cranky with Wyatt,” says Rousser. “She didn’t want anything to do with him.”
Zoo staff, ready to monitor Rose’s pregnancy, wanted to be sure her embryo had actually implanted.
So they shipped Rose’s frozen poop to Cincinnati.
Reading Hormones in Otter Poop
If you’re Helen Bateman’s mail carrier, you really hope those packages are frozen, because you’re delivering a lot of poop to her lab.
Every winter, zoos from all over the country send frozen otter feces to Bateman — she’s a research associate at the Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Bateman ‘reads’ the poop for a spike in progesterone, the hormone that tells her when implantation occurred.
“For a lot of carnivores, it’s in the poop,” she says, adding that it’s difficult to get urine samples from water-loving otters. “They’re not so good at peeing on cue.”
Bateman gives the zoos a 10-day window for the birth. River otters are predictable— they give birth 63 to 74 days after implantation.
A Scientific Mystery
Delayed implantation pops up across the mammal spectrum, including in species of marsupials, rodents, and mustelids, like river otters. But we still don’t know exactly how it works.
Most of what we do know is from experiments on the mink, courtesy of the fur coat industry, Bateman says. These experiments show that seasonal light cues trigger implantation. This makes sense—at high latitudes, longer days signal the passing of winter. As the snow melts, a mink mother has access to the nutrition she needs to grow a healthy pup.
Day length also seems to be a trigger for polar bears. For some bats and seals, rainfall and temperature seem to be other factors in implantation. There’s also a genetic component. Probably, it’s a mix of all of these.
For endangered species populations researchers are trying to breed in captivity such as polar bears and giant pandas, delayed implantation makes the process complicated, Bateman says.
She points out that scientists can’t manipulate endangered species to test what works best.
Scientists think that the widespread existence of delayed implantation in mammals is evidence that a common ancestor of all mammals was probably a delayed implanter. As evolutionary branches diverged over millions of years, groups dropped the trait.
So actually, humans might be the strange ones. Our ancestor lost the ability long ago.
And perhaps the best General Tso's chicken in LA
Hawthorne, a tiny city southeast of LAX, is probably best known for producing the Beach Boys, and more recently, Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX. When it comes to food, the South Bay hamlet has been short on innovation, apart from a small Pakistani community. But since February, Hawthorne has housed Chubby Rice, a modern Chinese-American restaurant that skips gloppy sauces and heavy batters in favor of flavorful cooking.
The plate that best exemplifies their approach is their rendition of General Tso’s chicken. The famous dish, synonymous with Chinese-American cooking, actually has roots in Taipei and was the subject of a documentary called "The Search for General Tso." Chubby Rice’s version may be L.A.’s best, featuring dark meat tossed with onions, scallions, garlic, white button mushrooms, and a savory soy-rich sauce that gets smoky from the wok.
Each plate comes with a choice of two sides. Clearly a restaurant called Chubby Rice calls for a mountain of fried rice stir-fried with egg and dime cuts of lap cheong sausage. You also have the opportunity to snag an egg roll here, which just might be the pinnacle of Chinese-American egg rolls in Los Angeles. Blistered wrappers cradle crumbled pork and vegetables in a ratio you won’t find many other places. A larger version listed under the "Bite Me" section as Chubby egg roll on the menu is the size of a small burrito.
Chubby Rice took over a Korean restaurant called Pojang and shares a strip mall near Hawthorne High School with a nail salon, insurance office, and Mexican restaurant. The glass-fronted space features white and orange walls and wood tables dressed with small succulents.
The pinnacle of Chinese-American egg rolls in Los Angeles
Jason Lau and wife Helen originally hail from Hong Kong. They ran a restaurant called Golden Crown for 30 years in Mountain Home, Idaho, an Air Force town outside of Boise with 120 seats and 150 menu items. They retired a couple years back and got bored, so they relocated to Los Angeles and resurfaced with their greatest hit dishes. Daughters Linda and Alice, and Alice’s wife Joe Fang, now run the show.
Fang said of the Laus, "They cook for guests like they cook for their own family." That means less oil, no MSG, and a mix of soybean and vegetable oils. For instance, Chubby wings are fried chicken drumettes, with meat scraped down the bone to resemble meaty lollipops, but they sport especially thin, crispy sheathes.
The family makes dumplings in-house, filling thin skins to produce spicy pork and shrimp wontons submerged in chile oil and showered with scallions. Pan-fried dumplings feature rosy cores crafted with pork, cabbage, and bok choy. Dip in the aforementioned chile oil or a tangy blend of soy sauce and vinegar.
To start, it’s also worth considering the crab rangoon — bat-shaped wontons filled with oozing cream cheese, crab, and minced vegetables. Dip the golden results in house-made amber-hued sweet and sour sauce.
Fang is particularly proud of his family’s pork chop sandwich, which features a crispy boneless Taiwanese-style chop piled with tangy vinegar-based slaw and rich chile aioli on a massive roll that’s buried in an avalanche of French fries.
Unlike at many Chinese-American restaurants, you won’t have to play hide and seek with the meat when ordering Mongolian beef. This version projects transparency, with thin strips of juicy beef sporting noticeable sears and judicious saucing. Orange chicken features a touch of citrus, but isn’t drowned in viscous sauce and peels.
Salt and pepper is another preparation does Chubby Rice’s protein section justice. Scored tubes of calamari come lightly battered, sporting crisp coats, soft cores, and a shower of chopped chilies, garlic, and scallions.
You won’t have to play hide and seek with the meat
Another stop forward with Chubby Rice’s approach is their packaging. Every entree comes in a three-compartment container, but instead of Styrofoam or plastic, Chubby Rice opts for compostable cardboard, an eco-friendly update on tradition.
Is Chubby Rice changing the direction of Chinese food in Los Angeles? No, but the family has applied 30 years of lessons learned to bring a fresh, thoughtful take to fast casual cooking. The food might not be space age, but based on the crowd at a recent lunch, they’ve clearly already captured the imagination of aerospace engineers and rocket scientists.
Chubby Rice, 12836 Inglewood Ave., Hawthorne, 424.456.4341