Friday, August 31, 2007

Calling Agent Mulder

Friday, August 31, 2007

Two right feet, both male and lodged in size 12 running shoes, recently showed up on two islands in British Columbia's Strait of Georgia.

The discovery of the two human feet within the space of a week has prompted speculation that they may belong to men who died in the ocean following a plane or a boating accident.

"We have been informed that it looks like both feet had separated from the body by natural decomposition, possibly while in the water,'' said Cpl. Brian Cox of Oceanside RCMP on Vancouver Island.

The first was discovered Aug. 20 on Jedediah Island by a 12-year-old girl from Washington state, who found a black-and-white Adidas shoe with a sock and foot still inside.

The second was found six days later on Gabriola Island by a Vancouver couple who were hiking along the beach when they came upon a Reebok running shoe with human remains inside.

Cox said a cleanly cut foot would have been very suspicious, but natural decomposition suggests the victims may have drowned.

The B.C. Coroners Service is conducting DNA tests on the feet in a bid to identify them.

Meanwhile, police have been left to ponder the odds against finding two male feet wearing size 12 running shoes within the space of a week. They are so astronomically high, they defy description, Cox said.

playing in Lightroom

Playing around with Lightroom

Musical Interlude

Nils Lofgren performing Black Books

(the guitar solo is gut-wrenching)

Lynn Miles

...hails from Ottawa, Ontario

Recommended: Night in a Strange Town

A little Ian and Sylvia (for you, Mom)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007


I feel a sick day coming on.

(The antithesis of light summer reading: Cormac McCarthy's bleak, stark, post-apocalyptic novel The Road.)

A little Thurber to lighten the mood.

"What have you done with Dr. Millmoss?" (James Thurber, 1934)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Weekend movies: "The story is very dark, and grabs your deep inner frightens."

(review of Kontroll on IMDB )

From Hungary: Kontroll - Murder, mystery, romance, just another ride on the subway

From Argentina/Spain: Bombon - a story of destiny and friendship between a man and a dog

From America:
To Live and Die in LA - A Federal Agent is dead. A killer is loose. And the City of Angels is about to explode.

Add Granville Island Pale Ale, turkey burgers (organic natch), the best focaccia in town, and popcorn and you have a heavenly weekend.

Dumbass of the week

Mike Cassidy, Mercury News Columnist

Unfortunately, there are a zillion thoughtless self-centred fuckwits just like him on the planet.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Elmira's bark should be implanted in Michael Vick's ear for all eternity.


This "study" implies that for women to be healthy they need to do housework, or more housework. Do they think we're stupid?

August 23, 2007 THE PROVINCE (FINAL)

Housework could change your life, too

CALGARY -- Ladies, start your vacuums.

Pre-menopausal women who are physically active -- especially those who spend a lot of time doing housework -- significantly reduce their risk of developing endometrial cancer, a study has suggested.

About 4,000 Canadian women develop the cancer that attacks the lining of the uterus each year, and 700 die from it.

Christine Friedenreich, a researcher at the Alberta Cancer Board, analyzed results from a study that followed 250,000 European women for six years.

Although all physically active women had some protection against the disease, it was those who spent three or four hours a day working around the house who cut their risk in half.

"In some of those countries, those women were doing an enormous amount of household activity," said Friedenreich. "It does accumulate over the day."

Cindy Young, who manages a cleaning service, said she saw "astounding" health benefits when she became a maid.

"I lost about 60 pounds in a year. Cleaning changed my life," she said.
No, exercise changed your life. Goody for you if you prefer dishwashing, laundry, and vacuuming to hiking, swimming, walking in the park. Me and my uterus prefer the latter. (Endorphins gotta count for something and I don't get endorphins from housework.)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Why zoos deprive elephants of trees

In the wild, elephants depend on trees for shelter, shade and food. Trees also make handy scratching posts.

The next time you visit an elephant zoo exhibit, check to see whether trees are included, and I don't mean on the periphery where the elephant can't reach or have contact with them. Many elephant exhibits do not include trees because of the risk of damage. I've mentioned the asinine practice before. For example, Tina spent 35 years living in a dreary treeless yard that didn't even have grass. Hers was the most boring space imaginable and it was completely lacking in shade. If she needed shelter from the sun she had to go inside her dingy barn (something she was discouraged from doing during the day as it would deprive visitors who'd paid to see her). Likewise, the Hawthorn elephants were deprived of trees during the time John Cuneo owned them. He felt the elephants would "abuse" his "beloved" trees, so he wouldn't let them near a tree.

I found this little item today in the news. In lieu of shade trees, the Norfolk Virginia zoo has built a canopied misting station to keep their gals cool on summer days. It's a great contraption, one I'm sure the girls spend oodles of time in.

Elephant manager Jody Watkins said the girls are so excited about their $70,000 digs they’ve been coming inside late for dinner.

Other animals’ exhibits at the zoo have substantial shade from trees. But trees were not part of the original design of the elephant yard because of the damage elephants do to them.
I applaud the zoo for building the misting station and incorporating toys and ways to entertain and amuse their girls, but it seems ridiculous that elephants are deprived of trees by design. Ideally, an elephant habitat should not be a treeless "yard" but a richly diverse environment with hills and dales, tall grass, swimming pools (of the natural variety, not cement-bottomed atrocities), mud holes, and lots of trees. A misting station in the middle of all this would be nice, but hardly necessary.

The North Carolina Zoo is an example of what can be achieved for elephants.

Here's an old photo of Jenny (now deceased) communing with a tree at The Elephant Sanctuary near Hohenwald, Tennessee, where elephants and trees don't need permission. Prior to her arrival at the sanctuary Jenny lived the typical life of a circus elephant: chained in a cramped trailer for up to 18 hours a day when she wasn't performing under the "big top."

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Getting acquainted with primates

But first, a sublime photographer.

Steve Bloom's photographs are marvellous! Click on the various projects to view.

Linda Koebner was featured on the PBS Best of Nature (25 years) series. In the film she is reunited with Swing and Doll, two chimps she rescued from a medical research lab 25 years before. She had not had contact for 18 years. Of this experience she writes:

After two days with them, I knew that I would soon have to leave, probably never again to sit close enough to breathe in their smell, touch their soft faces, or tickle them until they chortled with delight. Swing had taken my hand on many occasions, hoping to draw me into a shelter on the far side of the island. I had resisted, because no matter how much I trusted her, I knew the danger of being together in an enclosed space, especially since female chimps are known to wait and plan an attack. But, it was the last day and I felt that if I were to be hurt, it would be worth the risk. I took her hand and went with Swing across the island, away from the cameras and into our own world. We sat together in the cave. Swing put her huge arm around me and drew me close. Then she took my head and turned it to her face, holding it as if it were a fragile bowl. Her hands cradled my face and our eyes met and held. I can only describe the next dozen seconds that passed between us as a lifetime of knowing - knowledge of our children, our pains, our happiness. Thirty years passed between us as a brief union of souls.
The video of their reunion is not available on line - at least, I can't find it, but here's a still:
Linda Koebner reunited with Doll and Swing

Monkey World is a marvellous primate rescue centre in Dorset England. The videos are well worth buying and the funds go to a very good cause.

Nyaru Menteng in Borneo rescues and rehabilitates Orangutangs that are being displaced (and killed) by the palm oil industry.

Friday, August 17, 2007

shoot them all!

I've been walking our gorgeous seawall every day for the past week. As is usual every summer, parts of the park are crowded with tourists and locals. I bust through these bits as quickly as possible because I'm not keen on crowds, but what truly sickens me is the endless littering. Gad, it's unbelievable.

Every few feet there are garbage bins but it's as if they are invisible. Shitheads routinely ignore these and toss their refuse on the beaches, under park benches, on lawns, in the forests and in flower beds. They eat from Styrofoam and paper plates and cups, using plastic utensils and leave these behind. And the smokers! Goddamn. It's bad enough having to inhale the carcinogenic fumes, but seeing hundreds of butts scattered on beaches really pisses me off. Who the fuck do we think we are? Oh I forgot, the Lord's greatest creation evah.

Too many human beings SUCK. The sooner the earth is rid of us, the better off it will be.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

a poignant photo of Tina (who was deprived of contact with grass and trees until she lived at the Sanctuary).

Isn't she darling in her camisole of hay? Kisses, Angelkins.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A wild lion is reunited with the two men who raised him and set him free. It’s old footage, a little pixelly, but wonderful all the same.

A lion hugs and kisses the woman who rescued him from a cruel circus 6 years before.

Friday, August 3, 2007

YouTubiness and beer

Some finds this week.

Ray Barretto's Acid. The best salsa music ever. (Video's kinky like your average Republican politician, but the oh man, it's so good)

Flying Dog makes great beer. no shit.

New World Lies
. They're all true.

Wedding Thriller Dance

Patton Oswalt on old woman giving birth