Beetle byte (6 December 2013 edition)

This, that, and the next thing(s) for your reading enjoyment.

The pink/blue divide in the toy aisle

No sharks here. Just dolphins. And Andrew, your shaggy-haired boyfriend or male acquaintance, on his jet ski, in his blue polo with the sailboat on it. You are only allowed into the girl aisle as a male toy if you are wearing a polo shirt. That is how they can tell you’re safe. You also have the option of being a non-human creature, like Sniffy or Nasal Congestion or whatever the dragon’s name was.


A better gift for any child

The network has therefore drawn up an “alternative Christmas list for kids” that suggests a stick makes a brilliant gift. Sticks, it helpfully suggests for baffled parents, are “easy to pick up, perform a thousand different uses and can be thrown away as easily as you found it. Great for helping with imaginary games, playing Pooh sticks, building things.”


And no smartphone gifts either (Infographic)


Maybe a gift of POEtry? (Poetic comic!)


Birds have a better grip than we do, it seems

“The bird’s foot closes and grasps automatically as the ankle and knee joints are bent,” we read. “This grasp cannot be released until the limb is straightened again.”


Monarchs are losing their grip on existence

So you get back to the philosophical aspect of it: How many natural phenomena are we going to kill off? I think the monarch is the canary in the coal mine telling us that things are beginning to go really wrong, when you can take a widespread migration of this sort and completely dismantle it as a result of human activity.