Socialising kittens that are 10 weeks or older

When we first brought our rescue kittens home, I scoured the web looking for hints and tips for getting them socialised.

Generally speaking, the best time to socialise kittens is before they’re 10 weeks old – and much of the help you’ll find online describes this in detail. However, if you have young rescue kittens that are older than 10 weeks, it’s extremely difficult to find good advise on socialising them.

Our kittens were born under an outer suburban home, where an elderly lady fed them leftovers. They’d escaped capture several times. This meant by the time we brought them home, they were extremely wary of people and were not excited about being handled. It also meant they were past that ‘magical’ ten weeks barrier!

We played with them, kept them warm and safe and well fed. Cats are naturally inquisitive – kittens especially so – so they engaged well with us and explored the house, finding all sort of nooks and crannies and playthings. But handling and affection continued to be difficult.

After a lot of work, Crumpet and Cookie finally figured out that cuddles are nice.

It took a lot of searching before I found the perfect advice, and I’m repeating it here in the hopes someone else can find it if they need it!

Use food! Wet food in particular triggers a powerful pleasure response in cats, it’s why cats often purr when it’s feeding time.

The best thing you can do when starting to socialise kittens after ten weeks is to stroke and pet them while they’re eating wet food. This will not only acclimatise them with being handled, it will link that pleasure response with being stroked and touched.

As they get used to this you can then bring in other elements of “training” by sitting on the floor to them a small daily treat (a kitten snack), but ensure they learn that this comes with gentle, caring contact. They can climb onto your lap to get it, or take one from your hand.

All other aspect of socialising still apply, of course: regular play, handling, routines etc. But considering they were so late into the home, using food was the gateway we needed, and I hope it works for you too!

YouTube Playlist: Every* Michael Jordan Game

NBA Reddit is a special place in the off-season. As well as keeping track of trades, rumours and drama, the subreddit also embraces tangents and absurdity. It can also be a time to focus on NBA history, hypotheticals or player appreciation.

In this off-season spirit, Reddit user u/rumbolz spent a few hours a day over the course of the week building a YouTube playlist of every single Michael Jordan game that’s available on YouTube. That’s an enormous 862 games.

It’s worth noting that, despite all this work, there are still 210 career games missing – but this is everything rumbolz was able to find on YouTube.

For some reason a lot of his Wizards games [are missing] and quite a bit from the 80s, but I don’t think we’re missing a single playoff game, and pretty much every game from the 90s [is there].

rumbolz

Related: Scoring highlights from every Michael Jordan 50-point game (YouTube playlist).

Kermit vs DALL·E

DALL·E is an AI system that can create images and art from a written description using natural language.

It’s in limited access right now, but Twitter user @HvnsLstAngel recently posted a full thread of DALL·E injecting Kermit into the art styles of various TV, film and other media. The results are equal parts impressive, bewildering, hilarious and intriguing.


More DALL·E:

DALL·E 2 Explained (YouTube)

MKBHD tests DALL·E 2 (YouTube)

DALL-E 2 Creates Incredible Images—and Biased Ones You Don’t See (Wired)

#dalle on Twitter.

The train station jingle composer

While most train stations alert passengers with basic dings and dongs, metro riders in Japan are treated to uniquely crafted melodies. Minoru Mukaiya is the mastermind behind these jingles—he’s made around 200 distinct chimes for over 110 stations. For Minoru, there’s no greater joy than bringing a little bit of music to millions across Japan every day.

Great Big Story

Hobo Code

The problem is: all this information came from hobos, a group that took pride in their elusiveness and embellished storytelling. The truth is, there really isn’t any evidence that these signs were as widely used as the literature suggests.


Related #longread: Twilight Of The Hobos (Buzzfeed):

Minnesota Jim, meanwhile, seems a little confused by the proceedings. His victory seemed, at least in part, based on his age. At 83, he’s one of the few surviving bridgers — hoboes that rode on both steam- and diesel-powered trains during their time — and winning seemed to be a kind of lifetime achievement award. But he cautiously told the local paper that kids today shouldn’t ride the rails. “The trains show no mercy.”

A Buddhist Funeral Service for Robot Dogs

James Burch for NatGeo:

Hiroshi Funabashi, A-Fun’s repairs supervisor, observes that the company’s clients describe their pets’ complaints in such terms as “aching joints.” Funabashi realized that they were not seeing a piece of electronic equipment, but a family member.

And [former Sony employee] Nobuyuki Norimatsu came to regard the broken AIBOs his company received as “organ donors.” Out of respect for the owners’ emotional connection to the “deceased” devices, Norimatsu and his colleagues decided to hold funerals.

We haven’t found red (long read)

The Quest for the Next Billion Dollar Color:

Mas Subramanian, the biggest celebrity in the uncelebrated world of pigment research, glances at a cluster of widemouthed jars containing powders in every color of the rainbow, save one.

During his nine-year sojourn into the strange, finicky realm of color, Subramanian, a materials science professor at Oregon State University at Corvallis, has grown infatuated with a form of chemistry that he, like many of his peers, once considered decidedly low-tech. His renown derives from his accidental creation, in 2009, of a new pigment, a substance capable of imparting color onto another material. YInMn was the first blue pigment discovered in more than 200 years.

It isn’t only the exotic blueness that has excited the color industry, but also the other hues the pigment can generate. Subramanian soon realized that by adding copper, he could make a green. With iron, he got orange. Zinc and titanium, a muted purple.

Scanning these creations, scattered across his workbench like evidence of a Willy Wonka bender, he frowns. “We’ve made other colors,” he says. “But we haven’t found red.”


Listen to the story here.


More long reads here.

The Orchestra Hit

Ear Worm is an excellent series, but this episode in particular is just bonkers good.

Learn about how the “ORCH2/ORCH5” stab became so popular by way of a modern music history lesson.

1984 Dave Letterman losing his shit watching someone program a sequencer with a light-pen on a CRT display? I’m in.

Online ads are stuck in the ’90s

The Outline’s Josh Topolsky waxing eloquent on Recode Media podcast:

The TV ad works because it’s good for TV. The magazine ad works because it’s good for magazines. You know what Instagram and Snapchat and Facebook (to some degree) and Pinterest figured out? There’s an internet ad that works really well, it just isn’t the box that is on every website.

Figuring that out is the key to unlocking what advertising should be on the internet, and the key to unlocking what good advertising looks like, and very few people have done it well. Almost no one – I would say zero – publications have built a system that is holistically, like from the ground up, designed around the marriage of both interesting, digital-first content and interesting, digital-first advertising.

Nailed it.

The Outline isn’t for everyone, and that’s by design. Their content/ad strategy has been super fascinating to watch, especially in connection to the media manifesto Topolsky published in 2016.

It’s been doubly interesting to compare The Outline to the launch of The Ringer, Bill Simmons’ media company, which he spun up after breaking from ESPN. The Ringer launched on Medium first to minimise their launch runway, but moved to the Vox media stack less than a year later. The Ringer is a heavily staffed blog, and I think it can be safely argued that their written content is not particularly compelling or well presented, and there has certainly been very “bog-standard” approach to advertising (with Vox handling the ad sales after the move).

Now – all that said – in addition to the site, The Ringer has a hugely successful podcast network with Bill’s podcast alone estimated to be bringing in around $50,000 per episode. Simmons is clearly leaning heavily into podcasting (as well as experimenting with a variety of video stream/show formats), with the development of the site and it’s associated ad strategy taking a relative back seat.

None of this is zero-sum, of course. There’s room for a lot of ‘winners’ in the online media space. But watching it all unfold is a great spectator sport.


The Pod Pod is a selection of recommended single podcast episodes.

700 Sharks In The Dark

A single shark is too clumsy to catch even a somnolent grouper. A pack of them is more likely to flush the fish from its hiding place and encircle it. Then they tear it apart. Seen live, the attack is a frenzy that explodes before us. Only later, thanks to a special camera that captures a thousand images a second, are we able to watch the sharks in slow motion and appreciate their efficiency and precision.

Incredible pictures and story from Laurent Ballesta and his team.