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Thursday, July 24, 2014

AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL, TERRIFYING SPIDERS (10pics)

10. Jumping Zebra Spider
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The jumping zebra spider has eight eyes arranged in three rows; the main two are extremely large and are
used for binocular vision.
If the notion of a spider leaping in your direction is worrisome, try imagining one that, relatively speaking, has way more "ups" than Michael Jordan in his prime. Salticus scenicus, which is found in North America, Europe and northern Asia, can jump an astounding 20 times its own length [source: Earth Rangers].
Before you totally freak out, keep in mind that the jumping zebra spider is only about a quarter of an inch (7 millimetres) long, so it's not likely to do you much harm [source: Earth Rangers]. Besides, these arachnids primarily feed on pesky insects such as mosquitos and flies, so they're very beneficial to humans [source: ADW]. And when it looks at you with those plaintive eight eyes, who could resist its charm?
9. European Tarantula
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The European tarantula is in great demand whenever Hollywood needs a dangerous-looking arachnid.
Lycosa tarantula, also known as the European tarantula, is a pretty scary-looking guy. Though mainly found in southern Europe, this hairy creature, whose body can be as long as 1.2 inches (3 centimetres), is in great demand in Hollywood [source: Burke Museum]. Special-effects people cast it whenever there's a script calling for a venomous spider to menace a hero or grow to enormous size and terrorize a town.
But looks can be deceiving. While it is true that Lycosa tarantula is capable of biting a human, its venom has a very low toxicity, and less fearful individuals may actually keep them as pets. However, you can get a minor skin rash or eye-and-nose inflammation from handling one, so be sure to wash your face and hands afterward. Further, Lycosa tarantula has been found to be not a tarantula (Theraphosidae) at all, but actually belongs to the family of wolf spiders (Lycosidae) [source: Burke Museum].
8. Eight-spotted Crab Spider
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This is one attractive spider. In case you're keeping count, the eighth spot is on its abdomen.
Credit: Cai Yixiong/National Parks Board, Singapore.
Platythomisus octomaculatus is one of the most festive-looking spiders around. With a bright yellow body and black spots, it looks almost as if it's dressing up as a ladybug for Halloween [source: Wired].
Discovered in a forest preserve in Singapore in 1924, this spider lives in the foliage of small trees and has been observed only sporadically ever since. It's one of the biggest types of crab spiders, at about 1 inch (2.5 centimetres) in length. Today, scientists believe its existence may be threatened by disturbances to its habitat [source: Singapore Red Data Book].
7. David Bowie Spider
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The David Bowie spider is named after the singer who used to sport a red mane and fronted a band called the
A spider has to be pretty extraordinary to be named after a British rock star. But Heteropoda davidbowie, whose name comes from the bright orange hairs on its red-brown body and legs, fits the bill. (During the early 1970s, Bowie sported a similarly coloured mane and fronted a band called the Spiders from Mars.)
These spiders, which are found in Southeast Asia and Australia, can grow up to an inch (2.5 centimetres) in length. They don't sing or play the guitar, but they're usually pretty good hunters of insects and other spiders [source: Arkive].
6. Goliath Bird-eating Spider
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Despite its name (and this picture), the Goliath-bird eating spider rarely eats birds, preferring to dine on
insects and frogs.
OK, now this one does look legitimately frightening, even to a spider fancier. Part of the tarantula family, Theraphosa blondi, found in Venezuela, the Guianas and Brazil, is the veritable Andre the Giant of spiders. The biggest specimen ever captured, a female named Rosi, weighed a formidable 6.1 ounces (175 grams).
Velvety black in appearance and equipped with fangs that are three-quarters of an inch (20 millimetres in length), the Goliath usually feeds on insects such as crickets and beetles. Despite its name, it rarely feeds on birds, but it's capable of killing and consuming bigger prey, like small mammals and frogs. If you get bitten by one, though, the effect is probably no worse than that of a wasp sting [source: Natural History Museum].
5. Twig Spider
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Rather than spinning the traditional orb-shaped web, the twig spider goes for a single-strand design.
Ariamnes flagellum, which is found in India, Southeast Asia and Australia and is about the size of a U.S. quarter, is one of the weirdest-looking creatures you'll ever see - that is, if you aren't fooled by its ingenious camouflage.
The twig spider has a bright-green abdomen and lines up its tiny, thin legs in a straight line, so that it looks like the tendril of a climbing plant. The only time its presence is obvious is when it moves. Rather that spinning a typical spider's web, this crafty creature opts for single-strand in the shape of Y. But when an unwary flying insect lands on what it thinks is a safe perch, a nasty surprise is in store [source: LifeDesks].
4. Long-horned Orb-Weaver
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No one is really sure of the purpose of this spider's long horns. Some think it is to intimidate predators.
Credit: Gido/Flickr.
With its massive antenna-like horns, the spiny Macracantha arcuata looks like some sort of WiFi-equipped gadget. Nobody is really sure what purpose the horns actually serve, but it's possible that they are mostly for show, to make the spider look more intimidating to predators [source: Wired, World Spider Catalog].
Little information is available in scientific texts about this spider, although it was first discovered in the 1700s and lives in India, Borneo and China. The long-horned orb-weaver is so otherworldly looking that an illustration of it is actually included in an artist's guide to drawing mythical creatures [source: O'Connor].
3. Sydney Funnel-web Spider
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The Sydney funnel-web spider looks a little like a black leather glove - and packs a punch too.
Spiders who weave funnel webs are found in many parts of the world, but the scariest one of them all is the Sydney funnel-web spider, Atrax robustus, which lives within 100 miles (160 kilometres) of Sydney, Australia. These creatures have a body that's about 1.4 inches (35 millimetres) in length.
But the spider, which looks a bit like a tiny black leather glove formed into a fist, possesses a fearsomeness that isn't all show. These spiders are extremely aggressive and venomous, and the males have very strong fangs. A bite from this spider can be fatal if not treated immediately, so watch out [source: Fathallah].
2. Trapdoor Spider
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This type of trapdoor spider, found in South Africa, is in the same family as the one found in the caves
of Malaysia.
The trapdoor spider (Liphistius malayanus), which is about 1.75 inches (4.5 centimetres) across, is an ancient creature, part of a genus that may date back as far as 360 million years to the Carboniferous period.
It has lasted that long by hiding in cave walls in Malaysia, where it camouflages its nest with a trapdoor fashioned from mud and dirt, attached to six to eight signal threads. The spider waits underneath with its legs touching the threads. If an unwary insect lands on that spot, an alarm is tripped and the spider rushes out and grabs the victim and drags it into its lair. Fortunately, it isn't big enough to grab you [source: Liz Price].
1. Black Widow
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The black widow spider is so-called because the female tends to kill its partner after mating.
We couldn't very well do an article on scary spiders and leave out the black widow, could we? Latrodectus Hesperus, which is found in temperate regions throughout the world, has a bulbous body and a distinctive, hourglass-shaped mark on its abdomen. It is just 1.5 inches (38 millimetres) in length, but its size is deceptive. The spider's venom reportedly is 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake, and if the creature bites you, the result is achy muscles, nausea and a paralysis of the diaphragm that can make breathing difficult.
Fortunately, most people who are bitten by black widows don't suffer any serious or permanent injury, though the venom can be fatal to small children, the elderly or people in poor health. Black widows are most infamous for their violent macabre mating behaviour, in which females sometimes kill and eat their mates after copulation. And you thought "Love Hurts" was just an old heavy metal song [source: National Geographic].
Author's Note: I've always been interested in spiders, dating back to my childhood, when I noticed a spider build a web in the opening of our bathroom window. If I stood on the side of the bathtub, I could watch the spider manoeuvring around on the silken strands. One day I noticed another insect - it looked like some sort of beetle - venturing into the web, and becoming entangled. After that, I watched in equal parts fear and fascination as the spider leisurely dissected and devoured its prey, in the equivalent of a miniature monster film that only I got to see. Unfortunately, soon afterward my mother apparently noticed the web and swept it away in the interests of neatness, and I had to find another source of entertainment.
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Surprising Facts About Mila Kunis(10pics)

Mila Kunis has become one of the most sought after actresses on the planet. She’s sweet, successful and sexy – the perfect combination in everyone’s eyes. And while Mila has been on the scene for decades, there are still a lot of things most of us don’t know about the 30-year-old star. Here are 10 cool facts you probably didn’t know about Ashton Kutcher’s current flame:

1. Mila and Macaulay Culkin

While many people are aware that Mila and Macaulay had a relationship in the past, most don’t realize just how serious the romance was. Mila and the Home Alone star dated for eight long before calling it quits in 2011.
Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

2. She Was Partially Blind

In recent years, Mila has revealed that she was partially blind in one eye for countless years. The successful actress didn’t tell anyone about it for fear it would impede her chances of securing roles. She has since admitted that she suffered from chronic iritis but the condition has been corrected thanks to surgery.
CarlaVanWagoner / Shutterstock.com

3. Her Attraction to Justin Timberlake

Millions of women would snap at the opportunity to get frisky with Justin Tiimberlake under the sheets but Mila wasn’t exactly impressed with his skills. While filming a sex scene for Friends with Benefits, Mila actually fell asleep. “One time Justin was on Mila, kissing her, and she fell asleep,” Will Gluck, the director of the film told E! online. “We called cut and he got off and she was sleeping. So that’s how good in bed Justin Timberlake is.”
Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

4. Her Journey to America

When Mila was 7 years old her family won a lottery that allowed them to leave Russia for the USA. When she came to America, she had no idea how to speak English but gradually learned the language through acting classes.
Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

5. Knocked Up

Mila had originally auditioned for the lead role in the hit film Knocked Up but she didn’t get the part. Instead, the role was given to Katherine Heigl. The same director, however, later decided that Kunis would be perfect for another role he had available and cast her as Rachel Jansen in the hit comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall – a movie that put Mila back on the map.
Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

6. Family Guy

Many of you may not know that Mila plays the voice of daughter Meg Griffin on Family Guy. She’s been filling the role since 1999.
Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

7. First Kiss

Mila’s has admitted that her first on-screen kiss was with her current boyfriend, Ashton Kutcher, on the set of That 70′s Show.
s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

8. She’s a Liar

She may seem like the most honest person in the world but Mila has recently admitted that she lied to get a role on That 70′s Show. She initially told producers that she would be 18 “soon” despite only being 14 at the time. Directors eventually found out about the fib when Mila was asked to sign her contract but, by then, she had already won them all over and there was no way they were going to let her go.
s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

9. Her Real Name

She’s known all over the world as Mila Kunis but that’s not her actual birth name.  Mila is short for Milena and her full name is Melina Markovna Kunis.
Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

10. Black Swan

Kunis worked her butt off (literally) to play the role of Lily in the Black Swan. She lost 20 pounds in 4 months by working out 5 hours a day, 7 days a week and sticking to a very strict 1200-calorie per day diet. When she was finished filming the movie, she immediately went to In-N-Out where she ordered a Double Double animal style with a root beer float.
s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Choose Your Marvel Heroines(31pics)

Superman 1


Superman 2


Batman


Spiderman


Ironman


Aquaman


Green Lantern


Flash


Hulk


Thor


My eyes are on Iron Girl! How about you? Who's your favorite heroine among the stunning beauties featured above?
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