Two adorable baby porcupines have been born at London Zoo

Two adorable baby porcupines have been born at London Zoo

Who knew that baby porcupines would be so adorable? London Zoo has just welcomed two new arrivals, and their big ears and bewildered little faces will melt your ice-cold heart. Baby porcupines are known as porcupettes (stash that info in your brain, it could win you a pub quiz some day!) And thankfully for their longsuffering mother, they’re born with soft spines that harden up when they’re a week old.

Zookeeper Veronica Heldt spotted the pair while monitoring the zoo’s porcupine cam, which allows these spiky creatures to explore their habitat undisturbed. She says: ‛Our new arrivals are developing really well. Although they’re only two weeks old, the nocturnal little
ones are already confidently exploring their surroundings and bonding well with their new family.’

She’s named the pair Hector and Hinata, to alliterate with their proud parents Hettie and Henning. Currently, the newborns are fully healthy and weigh 660g and 750g each: a fully grown porcupine weighs around 15kg. The family are Cape porcupines, the world’s biggest species, originating in South Africa. They’re known for supporting healthy ecosystems by digging into the soil as they forage, encouraging new plants to grow. But unfortunately, they’re under threat from habitat destruction and from hunters, who sell their quills to tourists. So the birth of some wet-around-the-ears new porcupines is definitely cause for celebration: time to knit the new arrivals some booties and pay your respects at London Zoo, stat.

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9 Things to do in Blackpool for Free

9 Things to do in Blackpool for Free

Blackpool is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK with so many amazing attractions. However, it is not renowned for being a cheap holiday but it can be made a lot more affordable if you know where to go. Which is why we are sharing these 9 things to do in Blackpool … Read more

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Artist Ai Weiwei to launch first design-focused exhibition at London’s Design Museum

Artist Ai Weiwei to launch first design-focused exhibition at London’s Design Museum

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei is to take over London’s Design Museum with his first installation using design and history as a lens through which to consider what we value.

Hundreds of thousands of objects, which have been collected by Weiwei since the 1990s as part of his ongoing fascination with artifacts and traditional craftsmanship, will be at the heart of the exhibition in a series of five expansive “fields.”

The fields include Still Life, which will feature 1,600 tools from the Stone Age highlighting the origins of design rooted in survival, and Left Right Studio Material, which consists of thousands of fragments from Weiwei’s porcelain sculptures that were destroyed when his studio was demolished by the Chinese state in 2018.

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Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Another field, Spouts, will feature 200,000 porcelain spouts crafted by hand during the Song Dynasty.

Two untitled fields feature an estimated 100,000 cannon balls from the Song Dynasty, and Lego bricks which Weiwei began working with in 2014 to produce portraits of political prisoners.

Lego briefly stopped working with the artist as a result but a response from social media led to donations from the public and it is these donated bricks which will be presented for the first time as a fully-formed artwork at the exhibition, which runs from April 7 to July 30.

Weiwei, who is best known for working on the design of Beijing’s Olympic stadium and filling the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall with hand-crafted porcelain sunflower seeds in 2010, said: “This is an exhibition focused on a very specific concept: design.

“I had to think about how we use the space in the Design Museum as a whole, and the exhibition offers a rich experience of what design is, and how design relates to our past and to our current situation.”

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The exhibition, Ai Weiwei: Making Sense, opens at the Design Museum in Kensington, west London, on April 7 (John Walton/PA)

It is the artist’s biggest UK show in eight years and features dozens of objects and artworks from throughout his career exploring tensions, including his Han Dynasty urn emblazoned with a Coca-Cola logo which epitomizes these clashes.

Highlights also include a number of Weiwei’s objects transforming something useful into something useless, including a worker’s hard hat cast in glass and a sculpture of an iPhone cut out of a jade axe head.

There are also works that refer to the Covid-19 pandemic, with three toilet paper sculptures on display shown in the context of China’s rapidly changing urban landscape which Weiwei has documented through photographic and film works.

Ai Weiwei: Making Sense will feature large-scale works installed outside the exhibition gallery in the museum’s free-to-enter spaces as well as outside the building, including a piece titled Coloured House featuring the timber frame of a house that once belonged to a prosperous family in Zhejiang province in eastern China during the early Qing Dynasty.

Weiwei has painted the frame with industrial colors and installed it on crystal bases, and it is the first time it has been seen in the UK.

Justin McGuirk, chief curator at the Design Museum and curator of Ai Weiwei: Making Sense, said: “Ai Weiwei’s fields are extraordinary, and they tell a story of human ingenuity that spans millennia. The fields are a meditation on value – on histories and skills that have been forgotten, and on the tension between the industrial and the hand-made.

“Their scale is unsettling and moving, and, in trying to make sense of these works, the visitor is challenged to think about what we value and what we destroy.”

Design Museum director and chief executive Tim Marlow said: “Ai Weiwei is one of the most compelling artists and activists working today, but his practice is profoundly pluralistic, encompassing film, architecture, design and collecting.

“This exhibition is, therefore, long overdue and I’m proud that the Design Museum is the first institution to frame the work of Ai Weiwei through the lens of architecture and design and to collaborate in new ways with one of the great creative forces of the 21st century to date.”

Artist Ai Weiwei to launch first design-focused exhibition at London’s Design MuseumLondontopia – The Website for People Who Love London

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The best things to do in Windsor with kids

Whether your family loves royal history or you’re looking for a great day trip from London, you’ll find more than enough things to do in Windsor with kids to keep everyone entertained. contains affiliate links* The biggest…

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