Faced with a bevy of logistical challenges, the U.S. Marine Corps has gone old school in its efforts in Afghanistan.

In the extreme terrain, mules and donkeys are recognized as crucial components of military supply chains. But where do you find recruits skilled in mule packing? As it turns out, you make your own--Mule School is in session at the Marine Corps's Mountain Warfare Training Center, according to an article from ABC News.  

Mule School (actually called Animal Packing Course) students spend two weeks learning the finer points of mountain packing.

It's not a new idea--animal packing is a skill outlined in the Marine Corps' tactical guide, and, according to the article, was used extensively in the 1980s during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The course has been offered at the Warfare Training Center ever since, although it was only formalized last year.

Instructor-leader (and former bull rider) Sgt. Jerry Meese told ABC it's an important skill for troops to learn.

"If you start relying on modern technology too much," he said, "there will come a time when people will forget how to do this."


We Lexingtonians tend to have a soft spot for Big Ass Fans, a local company that makes, well, big-ass fans that keep air circulating in big-ass buildings around the world.

The group's generally cheeky tone is reflected in the logo hats and shirts often spotted around town, as well as the fab commentary sprinkled throughout their Web site. And then there's Fanny, their donkey mascot, immortalized gazing at her, umm ... badonkeydonk.

But an article in the Lexington Herald-Leader shows their earnest side as well--champions of donkey rescue.

Turns out they donate proceeds from their merchandizing efforts to Longhopes Donkey Shelter in Bennett, Colo.

It's a fair trade, according to Big Ass Fans President Carey Smith.

"They send us nice calendars of the donkeys every year, so it's a win-win."

Check out the righteous swag.