USPS Allowed Mailable Live Animals

Mailable Animals

While pursuing Hackernews, I stumbled across a particularly interesting section of “Publication 52 – Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail” of the United States Postal Service’s Domestic Mail Manual which discusses the legality of mailing live animals. The document can basically be distilled down to this:

Mailable Live Animals

Some animals are mailable under proper conditions. See the specific instructions as noted for the following kinds of animals:
Live bees
Honeybees and queen honeybees are acceptable for shipping within the continental U.S. and must be free of disease, as required under federal and state regulations.
Live, day–old poultry
The following live, day–old animals are acceptable for mailing when properly packaged:

  • Chickens
  • Ducks
  • Emus
  • Geese
  • Guinea birds
  • Partridges
  • Pheasants (only during April through August)
  • Quail
  • Turkeys

All other types of live, day–old poultry are nonmailable.

Live adult birds
Disease-free adult birds may be mailed domestically when shipped under all applicable governmental laws and regulations
Live scorpions (only under limited circumstances)
Scorpions are mailable only when sent for the purposes of medical research use or the manufacture of antivenom. Scorpions are nonmailable under any other circumstances.
Other small, harmless, cold–blooded animals
Small, harmless, cold–blooded animals, except for snakes, turtles, and turtle eggs, are mailable only when they meet certain requirements.

Nonmailable Live Animals

Live Birds
Day-old poultry vaccinated with Newcastle disease (live virus) is nonmailable. Day-old birds, except those specifically permitted, are nonmailable
Live, Warm–Blooded Animals
Warm-blooded animals, except for adult birds and specified day-old birds under specific conditions, are not mailable. This includes: cats, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rabbits, rats and squirrels.

All snakes, turtles, and poisonous reptiles are nonmailable.
Poisonous Insects and Spiders
All poisonous insects and all spiders, except scorpions under limited circumstances, are nonmailable. Other nonpoisonous and non-disease-conveying insects are permitted.
I thought this tied in well with a post I did about five years ago called An Inventory Of Live Animals Being Sold On

Kickstarter Store On Amazon

Amazon Screen Shot in conjunction with their Launchpad program (a program that helps startups launch, market, and distribute products) has built a store that only sells products founded on Kickstarter. Here is what Kickstarter had to say about the initiative:

The Kickstarter community is known for coming together to support big, creative ideas at the earliest stages of development. This collection brings some of the most exciting products inspired by those ideas together in one place — from albums, books, and board games, to wearables, films, robotics kits, and beyond. Within the collection, we’ve surfaced several emerging themes to make it easier to find what will speak to you.

Amazon’s Launchpad also has collections for other crowd funding sources such as CircleUp, Indiegogo, and a collection specifically for products founded by women.

Amazon Prime Day Deals

Amazon’s fake holiday is back again this year. In an effort to get you to join Amazon’s prime service they are offering some pretty good deals. They are offering a bunch of crap too, so allow me to point you in the direction of some of the good ones.

There are tons of other deals you might be interested in but you need an Amazon Prime membership to take advantage of the sales, so sign up for a free trial now if you haven’t already.

Denver Public Library Lookup Extension

My family is full of voracious readers. We all spend a pretty penny at and related sites buying books we are interested in while our Denver Public Library cards sit dormant in the junk drawer. I wanted a way to save some money and support our local library. So I created a Chrome Extension to do just that. Now when we are about to buy the next book for our book club from our favorite online retailer we can, with one click, check to see if the Denver Public Library branch has it available first.

Use the Denver Public Library Lookup Extension for Chrome to instantly search the Denver Public Library at the same time you’re viewing pages at online bookstores. Get the extension by clicking the button below or by visiting the Chrome Web Store.

Right now this extension is for Google’s Chrome web browser only. If you are using Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari, drag the button below up to your to your bookmarks bar.

More detail instructions and some caveats below.

An Inventory Of Live Animals Being Sold On

  • Ladybugs – 1,500 per order. Can Devour Up To 50 Aphids A Day. $11.49
  • Crickets – 1,000 per order. One inch long. $25.99
  • Gutloaded Mealworms – 500 per order. Packed full or calcium and other essential nutrients. $9.99
  • Small Dubia Cockroach 100 per order. Can’t fly, climb smooth surfaces, or make any annoying noises. $16.99
  • Littleneck Clams – 100 per order. Don’t have necks. $64.19
  • Trapdoor Snails – 50 per order. Hardy. Trapdoor snails do not attack plants. $103.70
  • Adult Delphastus – 25 per order. Will Stay In The Area After They Are Released. $21.99
  • Oysters 24 per order. Ready to shuck. $39.99
  • Soft Shell Crab – 12 per order. The actual shedding of the shell can take anywhere from one to three hours. $36.00
  • Freshwater Cherry Shrimp – 12 per order. Includes both males and females (mostly females). $26.33
  • New England Lobster – 2 per order. Four to six pounds. $122.24
  • African Dwarf Frogs – 2 per order. Hours of fun. $39.95

  • A Timeline Of Future Science Fiction Events

    Below is a list of predictions made by speculative science fiction authors both past and present. Also listed is the novel or short story in which the prediction was made, as well as the year it was published.

    Notably, the list puts the Hunger Games in the year 2108 and robot cats finally make an appearance in 2966. My favorite entry by far is the year 2107 when “Everyone blogs about themselves, all day, without shame: ‘only perverts do things in private.'”

    Around The World

    Lyrics to Daft Punk’s hit song “Around The World

    “Around The World”

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    Guardian’s 100 Greatest Non Fiction Books

    After what I’m sure was much deliberation, the folks over at the Guardian have cobbled together a list of what they consider the 100 Greatest Books in Non Fiction. It is organized by category and then by date.

    As far as the sections go: The History section veers a bit too much to the classics for me; there should be a Sport and an Economics section; the Science section could be a little more flushed out. Other criticisms include that Stein’s Autobiography is not really non-fiction.

    This sort of list can never be exhaustive or satisfy everyone, but I tend to enjoy them anyway because they usually spur me to put some new books on my reading list, which is never a bad thing. The list is as follows (with a few additions of my own at the end):


    The Shock of the New by Robert Hughes (1980)
    Hughes charts the story of modern art, from cubism to the avant-garde
    The Story of Art by Ernst Gombrich (1950)
    The most popular art book in history. Gombrich examines the technical and aesthetic problems confronted by artists since the dawn of time
    Ways of Seeing by John Berger (1972)
    A study of the ways in which we look at art, which changed the terms of a generation’s engagement with visual culture


    The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects by Giorgio Vasari (1550)
    Biography mixes with anecdote in this Florentine-inflected portrait of the painters and sculptors who shaped the Renaissance
    The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell (1791)
    Boswell draws on his journals to create an affectionate portrait of the great lexicographer
    The Diary of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys (1825)
    “Blessed be God, at the end of the last year I was in very good health,” begins this extraordinarily vivid diary of the Restoration period
    Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey (1918)
    Strachey set the template for modern biography, with this witty and irreverent account of four Victorian heroes
    Good-Bye to All That by Robert Graves (1929)
    Graves’ autobiography tells the story of his childhood and the early years of his marriage, but the core of the book is his account of the brutalities and banalities of the first world war
    The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein (1933)
    Stein’s groundbreaking biography, written in the guise of an autobiography, of her lover


    Notes on Camp by Susan Sontag (1964)
    Sontag’s proposition that the modern sensibility has been shaped by Jewish ethics and homosexual aesthetics
    Mythologies by Roland Barthes (1972)
    Barthes gets under the surface of the meanings of the things which surround us in these witty studies of contemporary myth-making
    Orientalism“>Orientalism by Edward Said (1978)
    Said argues that romanticized western representations of Arab culture are political and condescending


    Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1962)
    This account of the effects of pesticides on the environment launched the environmental movement in the US
    The Revenge of Gaia: Earth’s Climate Crisis & The Fate of Humanity by James Lovelock (1979)
    Lovelock’s argument that once life is established on a planet, it engineers conditions for its continued survival, revolutionised our perception of our place in the scheme of things


    The Histories by Herodotus (c400 BC)
    History begins with Herodotus’s account of the Greco-Persian war
    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon (1776)
    The first modern historian of the Roman Empire went back to ancient sources to argue that moral decay made downfall inevitable
    The History of England by Thomas Babington Macaulay (1848)
    A landmark study from the pre-eminent Whig historian
    Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt (1963)
    Arendt’s reports on the trial of Adolf Eichmann, and explores the psychological and sociological mechanisms of the Holocaust
    Making of the English Working Class by EP Thompson (1963)
    Thompson turned history on its head by focusing on the political agency of the people, whom most historians had treated as anonymous masses
    Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown (1970)
    A moving account of the treatment of Native Americans by the US government
    Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression by Studs Terkel (1970)
    Terkel weaves oral accounts of the Great Depression into a powerful tapestry
    Shah of Shahs by Ryszard Kapuściński (1982)
    The great Polish reporter tells the story of the last Shah of Iran
    The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914-1991, 1914-1991 by Eric Hobsbawm (1994)
    Hobsbawm charts the failure of capitalists and communists alike in this account of the 20th century
    We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families by Philip Gourevitch (1999)
    Gourevitch captures the terror of the Rwandan massacre, and the failures of the international community
    Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt (2005)
    A magisterial account of the grand sweep of European history since 1945


    The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm (1990)
    An examination of the moral dilemmas at the heart of the journalist’s trade
    The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test“>The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe (1968)
    The man in the white suit follows Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters as they drive across the US in a haze of LSD
    Dispatches by Michael Herr (1977)
    A vivid account of Herr’s experiences of the Vietnam war


    Lives of the Poets by Samuel Johnson (1781)
    Biographical and critical studies of 18th-century poets, which cast a sceptical eye on their lives and works
    An Image of Africa by Chinua Achebe (1975)
    Achebe challenges western cultural imperialism in his argument that Heart of Darkness is a racist novel, which deprives its African characters of humanity
    The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim (1976)
    Bettelheim argues that the darkness of fairy tales offers a means for children to grapple with their fears


    Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter (1979)
    A whimsical meditation on music, mind and mathematics that explores formal complexity and self-reference


    The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau – Complete by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1782)
    Rousseau establishes the template for modern autobiography with this intimate account of his own life
    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass (1845)
    This vivid first person account was one of the first times the voice of the slave was heard in mainstream society
    De Profundis by Oscar Wilde (1905)
    Imprisoned in Reading Gaol, Wilde tells the story of his affair with Alfred Douglas and his spiritual development
    Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph by TE Lawrence (1922)
    A dashing account of Lawrence’s exploits during the revolt against the Ottoman empire
    The Story of My Experiments With Truth by Mahatma Gandhi (1927)
    A classic of the confessional genre, Gandhi recounts early struggles and his passionate quest for self-knowledge
    Homage to Catalonia“>Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell (1938)
    Orwell’s clear-eyed account of his experiences in Spain offers a portrait of confusion and betrayal during the civil war
    The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (1947)
    Published by her father after the war, this account of the family’s hidden life helped to shape the post-war narrative of the Holocaust
    Speak, Memory“>Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov (1951)
    Nabokov reflects on his life before moving to the US in 1940
    The Man Died: Prison Notes of Wole Soyinka by Wole Soyinka (1971)
    A powerful autobiographical account of Soyinka’s experiences in prison during the Nigerian civil war
    The Periodic Table by Primo Levi (1975)
    A vision of the author’s life, including his life in the concentration camps, as seen through the kaleidoscope of chemistry
    Bad Blood: A Memoir by Lorna Sage (2000)
    Sage demolishes the fantasy of family as she tells how her relatives passed rage, grief and frustrated desire down the generations


    The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud (1899)
    Freud’s argument that our experiences while dreaming hold the key to our psychological lives launched the discipline of psychoanalysis and transformed western culture


    The Romantic Generation by Charles Rosen (1998)
    Rosen examines how 19th-century composers extended the boundaries of music, and their engagement with literature, landscape and the divine


    The Symposium by Plato (c380 BC)
    A lively dinner-party debate on the nature of love
    Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (c180)
    A series of personal reflections, advocating the preservation of calm in the face of conflict, and the cultivation of a cosmic perspective
    Essays by Michel de Montaigne (1580)
    Montaigne’s wise, amusing examination of himself, and of human nature, launched the essay as a literary form
    The anatomy of melancholy by Robert Burton (1621)
    Burton examines all human culture through the lens of melancholy
    Meditations on First Philosophy by René Descartes (1641)
    Doubting everything but his own existence, Descartes tries to construct God and the universe
    Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion by David Hume (1779)
    Hume puts his faith to the test with a conversation examining arguments for the existence of God
    Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant (1781)
    If western philosophy is merely a footnote to Plato, then Kant’s attempt to unite reason with experience provides many of the subject headings
    The phenomenology of mind by GWF Hegel (1807)
    Hegel takes the reader through the evolution of consciousness
    Walden by HD Thoreau (1854)
    An account of two years spent living in a log cabin, which examines ideas of independence and society
    On Liberty by John Stuart Mill (1859)
    Mill argues that “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others”
    Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche (1883)
    The invalid Nietzsche proclaims the death of God and the triumph of the Ubermensch
    The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn (1962)
    A revolutionary theory about the nature of scientific progress


    The Art Of War by Sun Tzu (c500 BC)
    A study of warfare that stresses the importance of positioning and the ability to react to changing circumstances
    The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli (1532)
    Machiavelli injects realism into the study of power, arguing that rulers should be prepared to abandon virtue to defend stability
    Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes (1651)
    Hobbes makes the case for absolute power, to prevent life from being “nasty, brutish and short”
    Rights of Man by Thomas Paine (1791)
    A hugely influential defence of the French revolution, which points out the illegitimacy of governments that do not defend the rights of citizens
    A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft (1792)
    Wollstonecraft argues that women should be afforded an education in order that they might contribute to society
    The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1848)
    An analysis of society and politics in terms of class struggle, which launched a movement with the ringing declaration that “proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains”
    The Souls of Black Folk by WEB DuBois (1903)
    A series of essays makes the case for equality in the American south
    The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir (1949)
    De Beauvoir examines what it means to be a woman, and how female identity has been defined with reference to men throughout history
    The Wretched of the Earth by Franz Fanon (1961)
    An exploration of the psychological impact of colonialisation
    The Medium is the Massage by Marshall McLuhan (1967)
    This bestselling graphic popularisation of McLuhan’s ideas about technology and culture was cocreated with Quentin Fiore
    The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer (1970)
    Greer argues that male society represses the sexuality of women
    Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman (1988)
    Chomsky argues that corporate media present a distorted picture of the world, so as to maximise their profits
    Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky (2008)
    A vibrant first history of the ongoing social media revolution


    The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion by James George Frazer (1890)
    An attempt to identify the shared elements of the world’s religions, which suggests that they originate from fertility cults
    The Varieties Of Religious Experience by William James (1902)
    James argues that the value of religions should not be measured in terms of their origin or empirical accuracy


    The Origin Of Species by Charles Darwin (1859)
    Darwin’s account of the evolution of species by natural selection transformed biology and our place in the universe
    The Character of Physical Law by Richard Feynmann (1965)
    An elegant exploration of physical theories from one of the 20th century’s greatest theoreticians
    The Double Helix by James Watson (1968)
    James Watson’s personal account of how he and Francis Crick cracked the structure of DNA
    The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins (1976)
    Dawkins launches a revolution in biology with the suggestion that evolution is best seen from the perspective of the gene, rather than the organism
    A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking (1988)
    A book owned by 10 million people, if understood by fewer, Hawking’s account of the origins of the universe became a publishing sensation


    The Book of the City of Ladies by Christine de Pisan (1405)
    A defence of womankind in the form of an ideal city, populated by famous women from throughout history
    Praise of Folly by Erasmus (1511)
    This satirical encomium to the foolishness of man helped spark the Reformation with its skewering of abuses and corruption in the Catholic church
    Letters Concerning the English Nation“>Letters Concerning the English Nation by Voltaire (1734)
    Voltaire turns his keen eye on English society, comparing it affectionately with life on the other side of the English channel
    Suicide by Émile Durkheim (1897)
    An investigation into protestant and catholic culture, which argues that the less vigilant social control within catholic societies lowers the rate of suicide
    Economy and Society by Max Weber (1922)
    A thorough analysis of political, economic and religious mechanisms in modern society, which established the template for modern sociology
    A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf (1929)
    Woolf’s extended essay argues for both a literal and metaphorical space for women writers within a male-dominated literary tradition
    Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee and Walker Evans (1941)
    Evans’s images and Agee’s words paint a stark picture of life among sharecroppers in the US South
    The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan (1963)
    An exploration of the unhappiness felt by many housewives in the 1950s and 1960s, despite material comfort and stable family lives
    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (1966)
    A novelistic account of a brutal murder in Kansas city, which propelled Capote to fame and fortune
    Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion (1968)
    Didion evokes life in 1960s California in a series of sparkling essays
    The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (Volume One) by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1973)
    This analysis of incarceration in the Soviet Union, including the author’s own experiences as a zek, called into question the moral foundations of the USSR
    Discipline & Punish by Michel Foucault (1975)
    Foucault examines the development of modern society’s systems of incarceration
    News of a Kidnapping by Gabriel García Márquez (1996)
    Colombia’s greatest 20th-century writer tells the story of kidnappings carried out by Pablo Escobar’s Medellín cartel


    The Travels of Ibn Battuta by Ibn Battuta (1355)
    The Arab world’s greatest medieval traveller sets down his memories of journeys throughout the known world and beyond
    The innocents Abroad by Mark Twain (1869)
    Twain’s tongue-in-cheek account of his European adventures was an immediate bestseller
    Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West (1941)
    A six-week trip to Yugoslavia provides the backbone for this monumental study of Balkan history
    Venice by Jan Morris (1960)
    An eccentric but learned guide to the great city’s art, history, culture and people
    A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor (1977)
    The first volume of Leigh Fermor’s journey on foot through Europe – a glowing evocation of youth, memory and history
    Danube by Claudio Magris (1986)
    Magris mixes travel, history, anecdote and literature as he tracks the Danube from its source to the sea
    China Along the Yellow River by Cao Jinqing (1995)
    A pioneering work of Chinese sociology, exploring modern China with a modern face
    The Rings of Saturn by WG Sebald (1995)
    A walking tour in East Anglia becomes a melancholy meditation on transience and decay
    Passage to Juneau by Jonathan Raban (2000)
    Raban sets off in a 35ft ketch on a voyage from Seattle to Alaska, exploring Native American art, the Romantic imagination and his own disintegrating relationship along the way
    Letters to a Young Novelist by Mario Vargas Llosa (2002)
    Vargas Llosa distils a lifetime of reading and writing into a manual of the writer’s craft

    My Additions

    1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann (2005)
    Charles Mann share what human civilization in the Americas was like before the Europeans crashed the party
    Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond (2005)
    Jared Diamond explores biogeogrphical effects on the broadest human history (and prehistory)
    The Mismeasure of Man (Revised & Expanded) by Stephen Gould (1996)
    Stephen Jay Gould’s masterful demolition of the IQ industry
    The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe (2008)
    A chronicle of America’s manned space program.

    Meanwhile, the fine people over at Metafilter have begun compiling their own list

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