Slothen Bräu: The Los Angeles Zoo’s Resident Sloth Just Helped Develop a New Beer

Damocean/iStock via Getty Images
Damocean/iStock via Getty Images

For the past nine years, the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens—located in California's Griffith Park—has held the annual fundraiser Brew at the L.A. Zoo. Here, animal lovers and hop heads can sample drinks from 40 local and regional breweries, wineries, and distilleries, while interacting with a Komodo dragon, alligators, and elephants.

This year, the zoo's resident Linné's two-toed sloth, Charlie, climbed down from his tree long enough to make himself useful. His animal keeper laid out a variety of foods in an effort to coax the sloth into picking out the flavors for a specialty beer to be brewed for the event, including zucchini, squash, roses, pears, yams, and beets. “He went straight for the roses and straight for the pear,” Megan, one of the zoo's keepers, said.

The zoo partners with brewery/beer pub Simmzy’s Pub, which has several locations throughout Los Angeles. Simmzy’s head brewmaster, Brian Herbertson, took the “claw-selected" pear and roses and brewed them into a beer aptly named Slothen Bräu. The beer has been described as “somewhere between an ale and a lager, with a distinct German Kolsch vibe.” Slothen Bräu will debut on August 2 (which is also International Beer Day) at Brew at the L.A. Zoo and at Simmzy’s Pubs.

It's not the first time the zoo has let one of their residents play brewmaster for a day: Last year, a black bear named Ranger chose hibiscus and honey for the zoo's Simmzy’s collaboration. Apparently animals are great at picking ingredients. No word yet on what Charlie thinks of his beer.

This Course Will Teach You How to Play Guitar Like a Pro for $29

BartekSzewczyk/iStock via Getty Images
BartekSzewczyk/iStock via Getty Images

Be honest: You’ve watched a YouTube video or two in an attempt to learn how to play a song on the guitar. Whether it was through tabs or simply copying whatever you saw on the screen, the fun always ends when friends start throwing out requests for songs you have no idea how to play. So how about you actually learn how to play guitar for real this time?

It’s now possible to learn guitar from home with the Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle, which is currently on sale for $29. Grab that Gibson, Fender, or whatever you have handy, and learn to strum rhythms from scratch.

The strumming course will teach you how to count beats and rests to turn your hands and fingers into the perfect accompaniment for your own voice or other musicians. Then, you can take things a step further and learn advanced jamming and soloing to riff anytime, anywhere. This course will teach you to improvise across various chords and progressions so you can jump into any jam with something original. You’ll also have the chance to dive deep into the major guitar genres of bluegrass, blues, and jazz. Lessons in jam etiquette, genre history, and how to read music will separate you from a novice player.

This bundle also includes courses in ear training so you can properly identify any relative note, interval, or pitch. That way, you can play along with any song when it comes on, or even understand how to modify it into the key you’d prefer. And when the time comes to perform, be prepared with skilled hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, bends, trills, vibrato, and fret-tapping. Not only will you learn the basic foundations of guitar, you’ll ultimately be able to develop your own style with the help of these lessons.

The Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle is discounted for a limited time. Act on this $29 offer now to work on those fingertip calluses and play like a pro.


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A Prehistoric Great White Shark Nursery Has Been Discovered in Chile

Great white sharks used prehistoric nurseries to protect their young.
Great white sharks used prehistoric nurseries to protect their young.
solarseven/iStock via Getty Images

Great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) may be one of the most formidable and frightening apex predators on the planet today, but life for them isn’t as easy as horror movies would suggest. Due to a slow growth rate and the fact that they produce few offspring, the species is listed as vulnerable to extinction.

There is a way these sharks ensure survival, and that is by creating nurseries—a designated place where great white shark babies (called pups) are protected from other predators. Now, researchers at the University of Vienna and colleagues have discovered these nurseries occurred in prehistoric times.

In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, Jamie A. Villafaña from the university’s Institute of Palaeontology describes a fossilized nursery found in Coquimbo, Chile. Researchers were examining a collection of fossilized great white shark teeth between 5 and 2 million years old along the Pacific coast of Chile and Peru when they noticed a disproportionate number of young shark teeth in Coquimbo. There was also a total lack of sexually mature animals' teeth, which suggests the site was used primarily by pups and juveniles as a nursery.

Though modern great whites are known to guard their young in designated areas, the researchers say this is the first example of a paleo-nursery. Because the climate was much warmer when the paleo-nursery was in use, the researchers think these protective environments can deepen our understanding of how great white sharks can survive global warming trends.