‘Neanderthal bone flutes’ not ‘Neanderthal bone flutes’ after all?

The first ‘Neanderthal cave bear bone flute’ from the Middle Palaeolithic was believed to have been discovered in the 1920s in Potočka Zijalka Jama Cave, Slovenia. But are such finds really ‘Neanderthal bone flutes’ or simply products of Ice Age spotted hyena scavenging activities on cave bear cubs in European cave bear dens? The latter […]

Mr. Sparks’ predator-intimidating walking stick (new patent)

“Disclosed herein is an apparatus for deterring predators, which may be used as a walking stick until a predator is encountered. Upon encountering a predator, the apparatus allows a user to rapidly deploy a collapsible rigid structure from the interior of the hollow walking stick, which supports a membrane, or set of membranes, that display […]

Enter, pursued by a bear

Do you share the Christmas tradition of watching “Project Grizzly“, the documentary film about Ig Nobel Prize winner Troy Hurtubise? Here’s the film: Troy was awarded the 1998 Ig Nobel Prize for safety engineering, for Troy Hurtubise, of North Bay, Ontario, for developing, and personally testing a suit of armor that is impervious to grizzly bears. BONUS: Farewell, […]

Home-built suits of armor, built to survive against grizzlies or neighbors

Savor, if you will,  the lurch of latter-day suits. Compare and contrast these two descriptions of men who scrounged materials to build suits of armor to protect them against possibly malevolent forces. First, Troy Hurtubise, 1998 Ig Nobel Prize winner, who built a suit of armor to protect him against grizzly bears. Stephen Smith wrote […]

Legal scholarship: a stuffed bear, Satan, an ass, and an ax

Some further items from the Lowering the Bar blog’s collection of legal cases worth pondering, if not studying [that’s our description, not necessarily Lowering the Bar‘s, though not necessarily not, either]: Pardue v. Turnage (La. App. 1980) (“An exhaustive reading of the entire record convinces this court that Kenneth Turnage did give his stuffed bear to the Lessards.  For the trial […]

What else does a bear do in the woods?

“What else does a bear do in the woods?”* asks investigator Don Davis, answering his own question by alerting us to this new study: “Behaviour of Solitary Adult Scandinavian Brown Bears (Ursus arctos) when Approached by Humans on Foot,” Gro Kvelprud Moen, Ole-Gunnar Støen [pictured here], Veronica Sahlén, Jon E. Swenson,  (2012). PLoS ONE 7(2): e31699.  The […]

Improbable Research