Caturday felid trifecta: Young jaguars practice hunting; photos of cats standing up; a $500,000,000 nuclear disaster involving kitty litter

Here’s a nice video from BBC Earth of three orphan jaguar cubs getting hunting practice with the help of their human caretakers. Note that they eat their prey with relish, so they may be from Chicago.


From My Modern Met we have: “20+ Purrfect Portraits of Fabulous Felines Standing on Two Legs“. A bit about the series:

Photographer Alexis Reynaud was inspired by these oddities. It led him to create the series Standing Cats, in which glamorous felines are seen posing upright on two feet.

Standing Cats is an instance of life imitating art. “This idea came about while watching my cat’s movements,” Reynaud tells My Modern Met. “At that very moment, I thought that he was the reincarnation of Puss-in-Boots.” Reynaud’s portraits feature a stage setting that gives fluffy felines the spotlight to act their true selves. “[It’s] an otherworldly catwalk,” the photographer explains. “Meet a dancer, an imp, and even a movie star.” Regardless of who the feline is, they transcend their primal nature and become more human.

Standing Cats is both a display of feline behavior as well as an homage to their innate beauty—such as fluff and unique coloration. Scroll down to see these kitties in all their upright glory.

Well, art is art, and here’s a bit of it:


Finally, I call your attention to the passage below taken from the Vanity Fair article, which you can get by clicking on the screenshot:

The article is about the dysfunctionality about a very important cabinet-level department: the Department of Energy (DOE). “MacWilliams” is John MacWilliams, the Associate Deputy Secretary of the DOE. This shows the importance of understanding verbal communication. This was a half billion dollar mistake!

Ernie Moniz had wanted MacWilliams to evaluate the D.O.E.’s financial risks—after all, that’s what he’d done for most of his career—but also, as Moniz put it, to “go beyond financial risks to all the other risks that weren’t being properly evaluated.” To that end Moniz eventually created a position for MacWilliams that had never existed: chief risk officer. As the D.O.E.’s first-ever chief risk officer, MacWilliams had access to everything that went on inside of it and a bird’s-eye view of it all. “With a very complex mission and 115,000 people spread out across the country, shit happens every day,” said MacWilliams. Take the project to carve football-field-length caverns inside New Mexico salt beds to store radioactive waste, at the so-called WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) facility. The waste would go into barrels and the barrels would go into the caverns, where the salt would eventually entomb them. The contents of the barrels were volatile and so needed to be seasoned with, believe it or not, kitty litter. Three years ago, according to a former D.O.E. official, a federal contractor in Los Alamos, having been told to pack the barrels with “inorganic kitty litter,” had scribbled down “an organic kitty litter.” The barrel with organic kitty litter in it had burst and spread waste inside the cavern. The site was closed for three years, significantly backing up nuclear-waste disposal in the United States and costing $500 million to clean, while the contractor claimed the company was merely following procedures given to it by Los Alamos.

A nuclear kitty:

h/t: Michael


  1. Mary Sheumaker
    Posted September 14, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    This has always been my concern about nuclear power. How can it really be safe if humans are involved and the waste is dangerous effectively forever?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 14, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      It’s not for ever! Most waste is recycled back into the power generation & most of the rest is safe after 300 years. A tiny amount requires 10,000 years.

      There are much better ways of treating high level waste than the one described in the OP

      There’s less deaths & illness [from ores right through to power & disposal of waste] by a huge margin with respect to nuclear compared with fossil fuels – no deaths at all at the power generation end in the USA in 50 years.

      There are currently reactors that are operationally fail safe & better technology that is absolutely safe is on the way in the form of nuclear fusion [no bets on when as it’s always 50 years away as the joke goes, but we seem to be making big strides in solving the problem of containment/control]

  2. Michael Fisher
    Posted September 14, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    LOL. I hope the relish was your proper green deli pickle relish* & not that overly sweet tomato concoction.

    * Typically pickled gherkin, spirit vinegar, onion, red pepper, mustard seed, turmeric & cloves [& absolutely no sugar America!]

    • Stephen Wilson
      Posted September 15, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Yes! Finally someone who gets it! Why, oh why must every pickling recipe or mix I’ve found in the US have sugar in it? I opened a can of so-called “pickled beets” and tasted an almost candy-like sweetness. For goodness sake they even put sugar in canned CHILI in this country!

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 15, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Thank you! I am no longer alone! Even the modern British recipes & ready made bottled products generally have added sugar [or sweetener], but not as much as over the ocean. Very strange. The vinegar content in relish doesn’t need balancing with sugar, it should be slightly bitter [or sour] for the best taste experience.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 14, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Trump has managed to destroy nearly all of the cabinet level agencies of the government. If the democrats take over it will take many years to rebuild the government. This is ignorance on a massive scale. So destroy the govt. and greatly increase the debt – only Trump could accomplish this.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 14, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      I’m sure Huawei would be happy to rebuild all your systems for you, for a suitably economic price. 😎


    • rickflick
      Posted September 14, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      I’m hoping the time to recover the government won’t take very long. The majority of any vast bureaucracy is in the hands of mid-level management down to the worker bees. Leaders may be ignorant political hacks who screw things up, but the inertia built into the body of technicians, and the legal fights over reckless policies should allow a fairly quick recovery. Hope, I said. If tRump gets a second term, all bets are off.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 14, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        Hopefully, IF tRump goes down at the next elections, enough of the infrastructure and staff will be left to enable recovery.

        Leave it long enough and all the good staff will have got disgusted and left and found themselves new careers and the organisation will have crumbled.


        • rickflick
          Posted September 14, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

          Yes, but remember, tRump hasn’t gotten around to filling hundreds of upper level slots after 3 years! How’s he going to get around to replacing thousands of trench persons? 😊

          • Jenny Haniver
            Posted September 14, 2019 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

            Unfortunately, he’s doing quite well replacing judges from the Supremes on down to the judicial trenches. He’s not letting those positions sit vacant for long.

            • rickflick
              Posted September 14, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

              Yes indeed. I think Mitch McConnell is doing most of the dirty work in getting marginally competent ideologues appointed to the bench. After all, you wouldn’t want any sense of balance or fair play to interfere with our glorious one party future.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted September 14, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

            Who says tRump is going to replace them? The fewer the staff, the bigger the ‘savings’. (As the FAA and Boeing just found out – oops!)
            Then when departments have to try and rebuild an effective staff post-tRump, tRump and his Rethugs will be able to point to massively increased budgets and scream about ‘bloated bureaucracy.’

            It’s the organisational equivalent of ‘deferred maintenance’.


            • rickflick
              Posted September 14, 2019 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

              True, but such a dreary conclusion! There does seem to be a cycle between Democratic administrations and Republican. They tend to blame everything and everything on each other in order to get a chance to screw things up themselves. Who will be responsible for the next recession and who will be blamed for it? Not hard to guess. Why is the electorate so stupid?

  4. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted September 14, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I think kitty litter ‘crystals’ is simply silica gel. I’ve had it recommended for taking the smell out of carpets (when I bought my car it stank of cigar smoke. Took ages for the smell to go away).

    Why some official had to say ‘kitty litter’ instead of properly specifying it, I don’t know.


    • another fred
      Posted September 14, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      I think they meant vermiculite. Having dealt with government contracting and DOE I will bet the farm that the specification did not say “kitty litter”.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 14, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        Now that is very possible. Highly absorbent and fairly inert.

        I suppose anything suitably absorbent could be used as ‘kitty litter’, which is why it’s a dreadful way to describe any product. And whoever relied on it, even if they heard it correctly as ‘inorganic kitty litter’, was being (IMO) grossly negligent.


  5. Taz
    Posted September 14, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I’m always concerned that standing cat photos involve fishing line.

    • Derek Freyberg
      Posted September 14, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      I don’t know about fishing line, but the expression on the fourth one reminds me of Bucky Katt, the pugnacious feline in the cartoon Get Fuzzy.

    • Patrick Wynne
      Posted September 14, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      The 1st, 2nd and 5th ones in particular don’t look like natural poses. Whenever my cats have stood on their hind legs, they don’t have that hunched over look to their shoulders; that only happens when I pick up their front end.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 14, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    The article is about the dysfunctionality about a very important cabinet-level department: the Department of Energy (DOE).

    Who’da thunk that the path to the cabinet position as secretary of the department overseeing the maintenance of the nation’s nuclear arsenal would be to want to abolish it (the department, not the arsenal) even though, oops!, you couldn’t remember the department’s name?

  7. Posted September 14, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Reminds me of articles I’ve read recently about Japan possibly dumping toxic waste from the Fukushima disaster into the ocean.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 14, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      This hasn’t happened & will not happen. It’s a bit of spin doctoring by someone. More than 1m tonnes of contaminated water is held in almost 1,000 tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi site, but the utility has warned that it will run out of tank space by the summer of 2022.

      A the operator Tepco, hasn’t kept on top of cleaning up that water to the level where it can be released into the sea.

      Please read the press release in the light of someone wanting more funding – just a tactic. South Korea & others would go ape shit if Japan did this.

  8. merilee
    Posted September 14, 2019 at 7:53 pm | Permalink


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