17 June 2010

Father's Day Gift Ideas

... from the Times' Nick Kristoff:

Sunday is Father’s Day, and we dads will be overwhelmed with neckties and wrench sets. We will feign ecstasy, and our loved ones will pretend to believe our protestations of pleasure.

But for a really nifty Father’s Day gift, how about sponsoring a rat? Specifically, an African giant pouched rat, about 30 inches long including tail. These are he-man rats, the kind that send cats fleeing. What’s more, we’re not talking about just any giant rat, but an educated one with the rodent equivalent of a Ph.D.

A Dutch company, Apopo, has trained these giant rats, which have poor sight but excellent noses, to detect landmines in Africa. The rats are too light to set off the mines, but they can explore a suspected minefield and point with their noses to buried mines. After many months of training, a rat can clear as much land in 20 minutes as a human can in two days.

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

UP said...

I'll pass on the rat, my brother, because nothing says, "Happy Father's Day" like a new hand mixer and tickets to see "Patsy," the stage presentation of the life and times of that Honky Tonk Angel, which is what I'm getting!!