Uber-Lice ain’t Uber-Hip

Lousy at it sounds, a new breed of lice has been discovered living almost exclusively in the beards of Hipsters.

The new breed, tentatively named “Pediculus hipsterus” after the place of its discovery, has larger claws, a thicker shell and is ideally suited to long, shaggy chin hair.

“It may well be that this louse has been around for a while, adapted to the facial hair of humans, and that we have only seen a resurgence in its population since the proliferation of the hipster lifestyle,” says Robert Deakin, Curator of the National Louse, Mite and Tick Association, “We have seen this before with fleas and mites, where a given species was thought to be extinct, only to reappear as society’s habits changed.”

This case is different, he goes on to say, in that the louse under question has never been catalogued before, and shows a particular predilection for long, shaggy beards, a favourite of the hipster movement. Not only this, the louse have shown a strong resilience to conventional treatments, requiring nothing less than physical removal to treat the problem.

“The usual anti-lice shampoos only slow them down. Eggs are attached more strongly. The correlation between the adoption of the hipster lifestyle and the discovery of these lice is too strong to ignore.”

When asked why other periods of high beard usage would not have seen such a creature, Robert replies, “It’s a myth that lice like dirty hair. In fact, the cleaner and more well groomed, the better. In the past, beards would have been hostile, dirty places to live. Hipsters are unique, in that they regularly clean their beards and have access to conditioners designed to soften the normally wiry hair. It is my theory that the shampoos, conditioners and perfumes used to maintain hipster beards is breeding this uber-lice.”ChesterLogoSmall

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Crows are Raven Mad about Tatts

Crows, those black, pesky, assertive birds, have an artistic side: They ‘tattoo’ themselves. In Santiago, Chile, researchers have discovered intricate markings that are revealed when the bird is examined under ultra-violet light.

“It’s a tribal pattern. You can see that birds of a similar region have similar markings. What’s more interesting is that the crow uses its saliva to make the pattern, it’s not like Blaschko’s lines, nor genetic,” says Javiera Franco, ornithologist and researcher, “The bird is responsible for making these patterns.”

The team went one further and relocated a crow to a different area. After a week, they  discovered that the crow had updated its ink to match those of its compatriots. The findings required that a bird be tagged and monitored daily, then brought in for examination with special cameras, since the tattoos do not show on the black feathers under normal lighting conditions.

“We already knew crows were smart. This just confirms that they are highly complex creatures,” she says, “It displays a high level of intelligence and social interaction. I am keen to see if any other birds behave in this way, and if it has any effect on courtship.”ChesterLogoSmall