Category Archives: Nature

Somewhere Over the Double Rainbow

I feel a bit behind the curve on today’s great thing.  (In fairness, being behind the curve in the age of the Internet means being about a second behind everyone else.)  My brother-in-law just forwarded this YouTube delight to me.  I knew NOTHING of it and since he emailed it to me, I’ve watched it countless times.  So, apologies if today’s great thing is old news to you (I believe the video made its net debut in January of this year).  But, hopefully, I’m acting as the herald of web-excellence here for at least a few of you.

141.  Double Rainbow Video

In this cynical age (of which I’m usually proud to be a part of), it’s good to know that all it takes for some people to have their heads exploded is two big gay old rainbows.  This video was filmed by a gent who goes by the handle “Hungry Bear”.  (His real name is Paul Vasquez).  What’s excellent about this is not necessarily the natural phenomenon of two rainbows, but the narrator’s breathless reaction.  He cries, he laughs, he has an absolute joy overload and, from the sounds of it, an existential crisis at the same time.  I love his unbridled enthusiasm.

Here’s the official clip:

But, as our video’s narrator questions, “What does it mean?”  I imagine it has something to do with moisture/light/and refracting or something.  Also, here are some definitions that Google came up with:

  • Double Rainbow is a brand of premium ice cream based in San Francisco, California. The company has franchises across the United States and also sells quart and half-gallon products through chains such as Trader Joe’s.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Rainbow_(ice_cream)
  • Double Rainbow is Aya Matsuura’s sixth album (her fifth studio album), containing two of her previously released singles. It was released on October 10, 2007.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Rainbow_(album)

For deeper sociological insight, here’s a rather excellent cultural reading/analysis of what the clip’s viral success means:  What does it mean?

And a CBS news report–cashing in on this meme.

I kinda don’t like the interviewer’s tone.  Come on, lady.  Don’t yuck Hungry Bear’s yum.  I rather like to think we’re laughing with him and not so much at him.  It sounds like he legitimately just wants to share cool nature videos.  Plus, then I don’t have to feel like a jaded douchebag.  Reportedly, he’s a cagefighter…so this is his way of trying to mellow this crazy world out.  You know, for every bone broken or face gouged, share a rainbow or a fawn grazing or something with the world.  She’s right about one thing though…there are already plenty of tee-shirt designs out there.  Here’s one of my faves:  Threadless

I’ve decided that anytime I use the word awesome, I’m going to replace it with ‘double rainbow’.  You may use it too if you want.

I wonder if this guy likes Skittles.  I would sort of like to send him two packs.  I think the opportunity to taste the double rainbows would flip his shit right out.

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Filed under Nature, website

Slow Cookers

I used to love pranking people.  Small, little, all-of-a-sudden pranks.  I don’t mastermind anything too elaborate.  I’ve never had the foresight to plan something that takes a lot of brain-power, cooperation, or good-timing.  I’m not George Clooney on the set of Ocean’s Eleven.  I basically enjoy gently fucking with people and/or scaring them suddenly.  Perfect example, when I was on the newspaper staff at my highschool, I used to like to hide in dark corners of the shut-down (except for Villa Notes editorial staff) building and jump out at other newsies when they were coming out of the copy room.  One time, I scared a girl so bad that she cried.  Sorry, Amy Gray.  I was only funnin’.

Maybe I’m not so much a prankster as I am an asshole.

Anyway, the instant gratification of terrifying someone I love is now easier than ever with the power of the Internet!  You see, my girlfriend has an irrational hatred and fear of sloths, whereas I have an irrational fascination with them that borders on adoration.  (They always look so smiley!)  So, what I sometimes like to do is send her photos of sloths within emails under a false subject header.  Typically, I’ll go with something that I KNOW she’ll open like ‘funny kittens!’ or ‘new Indigo Girls album!’  and then when she clicks open, a pic like this will be there:

https://i2.wp.com/www.illogicopedia.org/images/e/e6/Sloth.jpg

My head is sooooooo round.

Get it?  I’m exploiting her fears!  This usually results in an immediate phone call from her where I’m told that I’m awful and questioned about how I could possibly think sloths are cute and not horrible and don’t I see that there’s something not right with them?  That’s the crux of it, really.  Karey thinks something isn’t ‘right’ with them.  To her, they are the animal equivalent of that cross-eyed banjo playing kid in Deliverance. She thinks they have ‘spooky wee faces’ and that they could slash you up real good with their long claws if given the opportunity to get within striking distance.  When I’ve reassured her that they live mostly in trees and are, in fact, the slowest land animal AND quite docile, she still insists that they could drop out of a tree onto your head and kill you, like some vicious, long-nailed fancy fur hat.  She feels that way even after I send her pictures that are THIS adorable:

https://i0.wp.com/blog.bekahbrunstetter.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/sloth.jpg

Want one.

The way she feels about sloths is captured perfectly by this classic Natalie Dee cartoon.  I swear, the similarity of her nightmarish scenario of  sloth-death-from-above and this toon are purely coincidental.  Perhaps this indicates that more people than you’d think are crazy afraid of sloths.  It is titled ‘Attack Sloth’:

https://i1.wp.com/www.nataliedee.com/060807/attack-sloth.jpg

Adorable.

But I think sloths are awesome.  That’s why they are today’s great thing:

131.  Sloths

I like ’em two-toed AND three-toed.  There are actually six varieties of sloth (four three-toed and two two-toed) and they all live within the rainforests of Central and South America.  Luckies!!!  Interestingly, sloth fur grows in the opposite direction of other mammals.    (Hair typically grows towards extremities).  It’s theorized that the reversal is due to the amount of time that the animals spend hanging upside-down.  Theyachieve naturally the back-combed look that Russell Brand can only dream of.  The fur also hosts cyanobacteria which is symbiotic as it gives the animal the gift ofcamouflage.  Its fur is also a microcosm of non-parasitic insects.  Again, similar to Russell Brand’s!

Recent scientific findings have uncovered some new and unusual behavior in the two-toed variety.  Apparently, two-toed sloths have been seen descending from their trees to eat poop out of latrines.  I have to admit, that is pretty vile.  There are several theories for this behaviour, including one that posits that they’re only eating the poop for the bugs that flock to it.  Still, that’s gross, sloths.  But, before you judge too harshly, you know your dog would eat your poop if given half a chance.  It would gobble up your poop and then lick your face and you would still love it–your dog, that is.    Plus, who can resist a bowl full of human poop?  We eat such delicious things.  Where else, in the fricking jungle, is a sloth going to get its little hands on Dorito fragments and empanadas if not our waste?  Anyway, the reason that this is so unusual is that a typical sloth diet is almost exclusively leaves–specifically leaves attached to the tree that the sloth itself is attached to.  On rare occasions, they will supplement their diets with bugs, small birds, or reptiles.  Poop is a new thing.

Their giant Krueger-esque claws are their only defense and the only time they typically need that defense is on a rare journey to the forest floor for a poop.  Sorry to keep talking about poop in this post (no I’m not).  But, did you know that sloths dig a hole to poop in and then bury it?  Tidy!  Interestingly, though they are useless on the soil, they are excellent swimmers.  I do not know if they ever poop in water.

Here is a video of a sloth descending from its tree for a poo:

I like how David Attenborough pronounces it ‘slowth’.  I named my stuffed-animal sloth that I got from the zoo ‘Slowlita’.  And yes, I tuck it into Karey’s side of the bed to annoy her.  To add scientific theory to that video, some people think it chooses the same spot (near the base of the tree) so that it helps in the fertilization of what is its number one food source…

So, the main two camps of sloths are two-toed and three-toed.  (BTW, the ‘toes’ in question are actually fingers…they all have the same number of toes…just a different number of claws).  The two-toed variety are usually brown and look a bit more like baby bears.  The two-toed variety are also generally a bit more aggressive if pushed to it (they’re nocturnal as well…perhaps making them grumpier during the day) and the three-toed are the grey and black ones that look dopey and happy.  Three-toed sloths have extra neck bones, allowing them to turn their heads almost 360 degrees.  Something tells me that that would freak the shit out of Karey.  Here’s one of the best slide shows ever about sloths.  Great pics, seriously:  BBC

I think what I like so much about sloths is that they’re sooo unusual looking.  They don’t look like much else on earth, do they?  Their closest ancestors are actually armadillos and anteaters but sloths look more than a few branches away on that family tree.  Really, they look like an animal that was created by Jim Henson.  Their arms especially and their slouchy little bodies are right out of Muppet Studios.

The other thing about sloths is that though they do move ridonkulously slow (this is due to their low-metabolism brought on by their diet), they don’t actually sleep all that much.  On average, they sleep ten hours a day.  I would too, if I didn’t have access to coffee.  There’s something about sloth behavior that’s a bit ‘stop and smell the roses’ isn’t there?  With their perma-smile and mellow movements, they look perpetually stoned.  Sloth Club is a group out of Japan dedicated to what they interpret as ‘sloth philosophy’.  It’s all about slowing down our usually frantic pace.  Sloth Club

Would you like to see a video of some baby sloths?  I know I would.  These are from a sanctuary in Costa Rica.  (Dropped sloths are rarely retrieved by their sloth-moms if they should accidentally fall to the ground.)  Luckily, organizations like this one–sanctuary — and not my gf Karey–who would be so terrified at the sloth falling from the sky onto her that she would probably stomp it to death–scoop up the orphans:

Before I close, I’m tempted to show an entertaining little video about sloths that was featured on SNL.  Now, you should be able to view it on Hulu or on SNL’s main NBC site.  However, I don’t have the rights to see that shit.  Just because I live in Britian.  Come on!  Hurry it up international trade laws or whatever body it is that governs this crap.  The world needs to see more Target Lady sketches!  Anyway, I did find one site that Viacom hadn’t crushed with its cruel fist yet.  But, instead of embedding the vid, I’m just going to link to it.  Maybe that way, it’ll be safe from corporate destruction.  It’ll be our little secret.  Shhhh….

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Filed under Nature

Salty Little Question Marks

Whilst I’m blogged about sea creatures before, marvelling at the mammoth blue whales and fantastical Narwhals, I have to admit–there are lots of things that live in the sea gross me out.  (It’s one of the main reasons that I shy away from seafood…well, that and the disgusting taste…).  For instance, look at this monkfish:

http://www.stripersonline.com/surftalk/attachment.php?attachmentid=266941&stc=1&d=1249765172

I'm a goddam delicacy...

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!  Come on!  I don’t care how much that fish would fetch you at market.  It’s not worth it.  Throw it back!!!  Before it throws YOU back.  That’s just one example of finned fugliness.  Check out the blobfish.

http://weirdimals.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/blobfish.jpg

Yes, I'm for real.

It looks like Ziggy!  Even seaweed can look pretty skeevy in the wrong light.  Mercifully, the underwater world isn’t ALL hideous beasts and unappealing foliage.  There’s some cute sh!t down there too.  Today’s great thing, for instance…

https://i1.wp.com/s3.amazonaws.com/readers/2008/09/20/seahorse_1.jpg

Whiiiinnnnnyyyblurbblubblurb....

110:  Seahorses

Awwww, seahorses.  They can turn colors to match their environment you know, just like chameleons.  And, like some reptiles, they can move their eyes independently of each other.  Neat-o!  Mostly, seahorses are found in tropical waters but there have been herds found in waters as northern as the Thames Estuary (the Queen’s private sea-stables me-thinks!)

https://i0.wp.com/www.zaldiva.com/images/ACTION%20FIGURES/SEAMONKEYS/seamonkeys_all_pic1.jpg

The British royal family at play...

The mating habits of seahorses really ratchets the cute factor up enormously.  For the most part, seahorses are monogamous (pretty rare for a fish–which it is).  When seahorses find a suitable mate, they perform an elaborate dance, circling around each other and making musical clicking noises.  Interloping seahorses might try to cut in, but if the match is already made, the couple stays focussed on each other.  Eventually, the female will deposit her eggs into the male’s belly pouch.  If you watch this, it’s pretty cool to see one seahorse shrink whilst the other grown instantly fatter.  This is the only instance in nature where the male of the species carries and gives birth to the young.  So cool.  Female seahorses must be pretty hot to command that kind of whipped behavior.  Hats off to you, seafillies!  In fact, the female totally wears the pants in this relationship.  She  scoots off every day– to god-knows-where…much further away from the home territory than the male ever will– for a period of time but always returns by morning to perform yet another brief dance for the pregnant dadfish.  Gotta keep ’em interested, right?  Am I right?!  She works hard for the money…doot doot doot doot…so hard for ya honey doot doot doot doot…she works hard for the money so you better treat her right.  Weirdly, seahorses will typically mate under a full moon.  They also frequently swim in couples by linking their prehensile tails together.  They are die-hard romantics.

Incidentally, baby seahorses are called ‘fry’.

Though there are many different species of seahorse, most are about as big as a teacup.  Primarily, they take up residence in reefs and areas where there are lots of leafy plants.  They aren’t terrific swimmers so it’s a necessity for them to avoid vast spaces of purely open sea.  If they get caught in a current they can die of exhaustion trying to swim back to home base.  They’ll often use their tails to secure their position by anchoring themselves to plants, rocks, and other stationary objects…like little helium-filled party balloons.   Though they’re not strong swimmers, they can maneuver around a bit with the flippers on their back (dorsal fins).  These fins can beat nearly as fast as hummingbird wings.  The pectoral ones near their eyes are utilized more for steering.  But, because of their upright design and small fin size, they just don’t have those streamlined skills that you see so often in other fish like salmon and are poorly suited for swimming at any great length or distance.

As mentioned earlier, these critters, though they don’t look it, are a type of fish.  More specifically, they are part of the pipefish family.  Here’s a pipefish:

https://i1.wp.com/www.bonairediveandadventure.com/images/0708-Harlequin-Pipefish-l.jpg

Pipefish...

They are also related to the even more mythical sounding seadragons…both ‘leafy’:

http://leadcreatively.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/seadragon.jpg

leafy seadragon

…And ‘weedy’ varieties:

http://driftline.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/weedy20sea20dragon20002.jpg

weedy seadragon

You’ll notice that they all have long snouts–sort of like land horses.  They graze almost constantly like real horses too.  They don’t have teeth, per se, or even a stomach, but they are perpetually hoovering up plankton, brine shrimp and other prey small enough to fit through their little cocktail straw faces.  They eat like real fatties.  Their near constant consumption of food is a solution to the whole ‘not having a stomach’ issue.  Food pretty much passes straight through the seahorses which is another reason that they hover around their territories so much.  They wouldn’t want to get caught in an unknown area where scavenging for eats would be difficult.  This is a completely different reason to why I eat like a fatty.

https://i2.wp.com/spiltmilkncookies.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/screens_feature-39140.jpeg

Uncle Rico loves....

https://i1.wp.com/www2.mpsaz.org/kerr/academics/5th_grade/images/seahorse.jpg

...seahorses

A seahorses coronet is as distinctive and unique as our fingerprints.   This is great news for the Fish Police (ten points if you remember that cartoon).

It’s time to admit that a previously unacknowledged part of me just wants to live under the sea with the seahorses and ride one around like Princess Ariel from The Little Mermaid.  Sigh, my secret girlishness embarrasses us all.

Although reading about seahorses has totally made me want to run out, buy a tank and purchase dozens of these critters so that I can watch them hold tails, dance around, and hoover up their food with their pointy faces, I will resist.  Apparently, they don’t fare particularly well in captivity and the trade of seahorses, which are also used heavily in Chinese medicines, has severely impacted their numbers in the wild.  It would totally suck to watch these supercute animals die in a tank just because I had to have one.

Seahorses that are bred in captivity have better survival rates in tanks than those that aren’t…but if you’re purchasing them from a shop, there’s no way for you to tell.  So for now, no seahorses for me.

Anyway, who’s got time to maintain a fish tank?  I don’t even have a DOG yet.  Priorities…

To close, here’s a video I found about these delightful varmints.  It’s ten minutes long and it goes more into the conservation efforts than anything, but it’s got some cool footage of the mating rituals and of their crazy eyes moving independently about as well.

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Filed under Nature

Big Chilly Styles

Ok, it’s November and it’s officially chilly outside.  For most people, this is distressing news.  Nobody, except kids hoping for snow days, WANTS it to freeze outside do they?  There’s plenty of things to put you off living anywhere outside of the equatorial zone when winter strikes…cold tile floors, short days, awful road conditions.  But, I think there’s actually a few things that we can appreciate MORE in cold weather.  And, it’s more than just Christmas and thick socks.

https://i0.wp.com/www.k9magazine.com/pictures-of-dogs/d/453-2/Boxer+decked+out+for+cold+weather.jpg

Harrumph!

 

106.  The Return of Cold Weather


1.  Red wine and hot drinks.  I’m sure I’m not alone in having seasonal taste buds.  When people ask the get-to-know-you-type question “What’s your favorite drink?”, I never know what to answer.  I don’t really have a favorite drink.  What I order really depends on several factors–what the menu offers, what the occasion is, and super important here…what the weather is outside.  When it’s hot, I want a cold beer, white wine, or a refreshing cocktail like a mojito.  But when the weather turns, I get down with red wine, whiskies, and hot cocktails.  These things are meant to warm your belly.  I don’t think you can really truly appreciate the figgy, chocolatey, earthy tones of a zinfandel in hot weather.  Also, who wants an Irish coffee in the summer ever?  Not me!

https://i1.wp.com/www.houseofmenzies.com/acatalog/glassred.jpg

And later, when you pass out in a snowbank, you won't even feel the cold.

2.  Jackets and clunky shoes–In summer, I often find myself having to suck in my gut and watch what I eat more closely.  Not so in fall and winter!  Feeling a bit podgy due to that extra dessert of fourth pint?  Just cover up with a sweater and jacket.  No one will no the difference (until you get naked–then the illusion is over).  The shoes?  Well, I don’t wear high heels but I DO have some boot cut jeans.  They look better with shoes that have thick soles and I can’t wear giant sneakers ALL of the time (unfortunately).  The clunkier the shoe, the more supported my foot feels.  Being an urban kind of girl, I also like that extra level of protection that a bigger shoe gives me against street gum, street trash…and since I’ve moved to Manchester, street barf.

https://i2.wp.com/www.revzilla.com/product_images/0011/8929/Fieldsheer_Womens_Judy_Cool_Jacket_Silver-Black_zoom.jpg

Cool jackets...camouflaging your physique since...ever.

3. Jazz music–Admittedly, this one is a bit more difficult to explain.  I guess there’s just something about jazz music that reminds me of winter holidays…Christmas, New Years, and Valentine’s Day.  When I hear Lena Horne or Ella Fitzgerald singing anything or something like Duke Ellington’s “Take the A Train” it makes me think of long brisk walks around New York City.  You should be able to see your breath in front of you when you listen to that music.  You should also have a classic Greek deli coffee cup in your hand.  Oh, there should also be steam coming out from the manhole covers in the streets and yellow cabs racing by.

http://www.thegoodstore.com.au/Uploads/Images/new-york-cup(2).jpg

Put coffee or spare change in here please.

4.  Watching a DVD at home–Yes, I know that many of these items seem like they’re all about getting warmer and battling the cold of winter–instead of celebrating the chill.  Well, to that, I ask the following question.  In which other season are you SUPPOSED to use Biederlack blankets and hot water bottles?  Summer?  I think not.  (This just in…fricking Biederlack of America is going out of business!  Quick, purchase their amazingly fuzzy blankets whilst you still can.  I implore you!)  Biederlack

Anyway, as I was saying, getting warm and snuggly and inert whilst watching a DVD is better in the winter.  The reason why should be obvious to anyone with a conscious.  When/if it’s warm and sunny outside, don’t you feel guilty for staying in and watching television? Aren’t you ashamed to be indoors when you could be out playing frisbee, picnicking in the park, or flying a kite?   No need to feel bad about your sloth in the autumn and winter.  Fire up the popcorn in the microwave and pop in Ghostbusters for the 50th time.  Ain’t no shame.

5.  Candle appreciation–Again, as with anything that I’ve mentioned on this list, it doesn’t HAVE to be cold outside to appreciate this item.  Candles in summer are nice…say you’re having an evening meal at a beachfront restaurant, gentle breeze rolling in, a candle on the table gently flickering–lovely.  But the long nights mean that candles are almost a necessity in autumn and winter.  Plus, the heavy and sweet scents that come with these seasons are soooo good.  Pumpkin, cinnamon, pine, vanilla, jeez even myrrh.  I’ll take ’em!  My pal Ari has his own candle line and his fig-scented one is heavenly.  Scandles No I’m not just flogging them because he’s my buddy.  It’s just that they’re good.

6.  Sledding–Obviously.  Sure, there are other winter sports that are fun.  But, I’m really not athletically gifted enough to enjoy them properly.  Sledding?  All you have to do is sit on a piece of plastic.  That, I can handle.

Now, that’s six reasons to help you feel happier in these dark and cold months.  Don’t forget, when you step into the crisp air it only bites for a few moments.  A good scarf ALWAYS helps.  Once you move around in the outdoors, you warm right up.  Just remember that you’ll like it better if you put some jazz in your earbuds and a glass of wine in your belly.  Enjoy a bit of Duke and Ella.

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Filed under Hobbies, Movies, Music, Nature, Vittles

Best’O’Ween 09

Last year, to celebrate Halloween, I wrote up blogs on pumpkin templates and animal Halloween costumes.  Well, a year has passed and…sure…I’d love to do up some fresh takes on this season.  But, I just can’t resist a good pumpkin OR pets all dressed up.  So, I thought, why not do a best of 2009 Halloween list.  Except, I’ve expanded the categories.  Huffingtonpost has been running loads of good Halloween lists, so if you get a moment, go and check those out…I’ve snagged many pics from that site.  I wholeheartedly recommend their collection of ‘best geeky’ costumes.  It’s a treasure trove.

105.  Best of Halloween List

–Best Pumpkin Template:  By a liberal mile, the best new addition to Halloween-squash  awesomeness is this Rachel Maddow pumpkin stencil.

Smartest pumpkin on teevee.

–Funniest Costume (Female):  This 80’s Sitcom Mom as made available on 80stees.com   Proves that raising kids in the eighties is hard, but HILARIOUS!

80s Sitcom Mom Costume Wig
–Best Group Costume:  iPod commercial dancers.  Yes.  A thousand times yes.

–Best baby costume (warm weather climate):  Nacho Libre!

Nothing like a two year old with a 'stache!

–Best baby costume (cold weather): Luke Skywalker inside a dead ton-ton

You can buy this at Think Geek.

–Best Pet (Non-Dog Category) Costume–This cat…just look at that aggravated expression.  Priceless.

"You come near me little dog, I'll bite your neck and scratch your silly little ears off."

RrrrrrRRRRrrrrrrRRRRRrrrrrrr

–Best Dog Costume–Redneck boxer…he looks like he’s right off of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.

"You ain't got nothin' better to do but stare at me?"

Bring me back a beer, will ya?

–Best Dog Costume (Breed Appropriate)–It’s a French Bulldog as a Gondolier, get it?!  Oh wait…Venice is in Italy…whatever–close enough.

France is not Italy, moron.

–Most and Best Effort:  Coolest Transformers costume ever.  And I don’t even LIKE Transformers.

Well, that’s all for now.  Happy Halloween, dear readers.  Back to regularly geekitude next month.

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Filed under Hobbies, Nature, Uncategorized

Our Underwater Ally

Since this is the one hundredth entry to this blog o’delights, I figure that this one better be pretty big.  And, as I’ve already covered blue whales AND Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in these cyber-pages , what’s left that can amount to the gargantuan challenge?  What about one of my longtime favorite mythic creatures?  Oh yeah.  Try Nessie on for size:

100.  The Loch Ness Monster

As a kid who loved loved loved dinosaurs when I was growing up, Nessie always held a special place in my heart.  To this day I want to believe that there is a  plesiosaur in Loch Ness.  A plesiosaur best fits the description that most Loch Ness monster enthusiasts picture:


https://i1.wp.com/www.zmescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/plesiosaur1.jpg

Plesiosaur

Nessie, was first sighted in 565 AD when it was written that St. Columba encountered a sea creature in the massive loch.  Since then, hundreds of reports have been filed.  Unfortunately for cryptozoologists, most have been disproved as hoaxes.  Sigh…still, it’s cool to think that there might be a surviving family of giant prehistoric beasts up in Scotland…kind of like the Anastasia Romanovs of monsters.  I should, at this point, geekily point out that whilst these creatures lived in the same period as the dinosaurs, they are not technically defined as such.  They are referred to as Mesozoic reptiles.

Besides the obvious resemblance, the fact that fossilized remains of plesiosaurs were found and identified in the UK region only fuel the fire of the Nessie=plesiosaur theory.

Again, buzzkills are quick to point out that there are a multitude of reasons that disqualify the Nessie=plesiosaur theory:

-The time line of the creation of the lake/extinction of the animal don’t overlap

-The water’s too cold for a cold-blooded reptile

-A plesiosaur would have to surface several times a day, providing ample opportunity for spectators to be granted a peek.

Stop yucking my yum, science!!!

https://i1.wp.com/greencanticle.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/colm-cille.JPG

All hail Pope Nessie!

Still, whether Nessie is down there or not…even thinking of the diving teams going down into that Loch sends a chill up my spine.  The murky, freezing cold depths where there ARE reputedly giant eels amongst other scary aquatic life.  I mean, it’s a big-ass, cold, fog covered lake in a remote and mountainous area of Scotland.  Imagine diving down there.  Eek!  You can probably barely see two feet in front of you.  That gives ample ‘sneaking’ distance to creatures that live to freak you the hell out.

I also like to think about the accredited scientists that might be still hunting Nessie.  Getting laughed at by the local pub-patrons…  Sure the Aberdeen fans at The Old North Inn might be ridiculing him now, but Professor Hamish MacPhee will have the last laugh when he finally uncovers irrefutable proof of the existence of history’s most sought after beast!  Then maybe that girl at the office will notice him…

Along these lines, one of the most famous Nessie-hunters, Robert Rines, has officially retired.  Sad, yes–but after 30 years in the game AND capturing that famous ‘flipper’ picture–I guess the guy deserves a break.  Retiring Nessie Hunter article:  WWII Vet calls it a day…

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The flipper...

Speaking of recent events in the world of all that is The Loch Ness monster, there was a most recent sighting (August 2008) via Google Earth.  This report, which contains the quotes:  “Veteran American monster hunter Bob Rines thinks environmental conditions in the Highland loch have changed and can no longer sustain the elusive reptile.” and “Gary Campbell, of the monster’s official fan club, said: “I’m concerned. There have been none of the normal sightings that verify that Nessie and her family are still alive and well”, reminds me of the clip from Napoleon Dynamite wherein he details the adventures of our ‘underwater ally’ as his classroom report.

Here’s the full article:  Nessie on satellite

But, perhaps the best link to click in this blog entry is this one here, which is to Nessie’s official homepage.  nessie.co.uk

The coolest thing about this page is the opportunity it presents you to ‘contact Nessie’ via e-mail.

“What would that go like?”,  you might be wondering.  What would I actually say to Nessie given the exciting opportunity to communicate with her?  Well, here’s my recent correspondence.  Maybe it will inspire you to get in touch as well.

Dear Nessie,

I think you’re a big dinosaur.  Do you have a Scottish accent?  Let’s be friends.  Can I ride on your back?

Love,

Kate McCabe

Manchester

If I get a response, I’ll update this blog!

No tribute to Nessie would be complete without mentioning the ‘tree fiddy’ bit from South Park.  Chef’s parents, who–inexplicably–live in Scotland describe their encounter with Nessie.  Enjoy:

Long live Nessie!  Also, word up to Ogopogo, the OTHER lake monster.

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The Old Man and the Fleabag

Recently, I received a worthy forward.  It was a video compilation of reporters eating it.  It’s very funny…though for a few of these clips, I was left a bit anxious…wondering if the reporter featured was actually physically alright afterwards.  Have a look and try not to cringe too much.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

There are a few clips that really get me on that reel.  I love the inappropriate “Ohio State!” lady.  I love the angry woman that wallops the reporter with her purse and challenges him to “put that on the news!”.  But, most of all, I love that blustery old codger trying to shoo away that dog.

92.  Bert Case’s Dog Shoo

I obsessed over this clip for a good week at my day job–watching it sometimes five times in a row.  It stuck in my head so much that I was even driven to learn more of how/why/and where this incident occurred.  Here’s an extended version of the incident in question.  It answered some of my questions.  The dog shouter-er in question is Bert Case of Jacksonville MS:

It gets me every time.  This guy does exactly what you’re not supposed to do when confronted with a snarling dog.  He’s so grumpy old-cootish, I love it!  I keep waiting for him to sputter ‘get outta here you pesky varmint!  Dagnabbit!” and let off some six shooters.  I’ve memorized his choreography and now bust it out sometimes at work in random scenarios–like if someone comes to my desk with post for me.  Admittedly, it’s pretty obnoxious to do something like that if the person doesn’t get the reference but…feh…I just can’t help myself.

The triumphant “You go!” at the end is a cherry on top of this man vs dog sundae.  Watch him look over to the camera man at that point for his/or her approval.  Bert, you are a viking among newsmen.

I’m also just plain smitten by that dog.  Look how full of glee it is at it nips at the old man’s heels.  Life is a game.  This dog relishes misbehaving.   It reminds me of any attempt to try and discipline my sister’s dog.

The Brown in question...

The Brown in question...

Brown would do something awful, like take a poo in the middle of the room and you’d use your sternest voice to say ‘Bad dog.  Bad.  No!’ and Brown would just put her fuzzy face into happy dog smile and bow right into play pose and dart around the room as if your tirade were an invitation to play some stupid dog game.  Incredibly frustrating from a training point of view, but also hilarious.  Hey, she’s not my dog even if I did help pick her out.

Anyway, I thought it only fair that if Bert Case, the reporter in this clip, gets a profile on a website, the dog should also get equal representation.  After all, a dramatic scene requires two players and this dog should get credit where it’s due.  So, I wrote one for him.

Here’s Bert’s first.  If you click on this link you’ll see a nice snap of him and learn that he’s an experienced field reporter, anchor, and news director for WLBT 3 out of Jackson, Mississippi.  :

Bert Case

And now, for the real star of the scene:

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Ruggles Age 5

Ruggles

Ruggles, 5, has been a resident of Jackson, Mississippi for three years–previously occupying a dog house in a backyard in nearby Biloxi.   For three years running, he has been celebrated locally for treeing the most neighborhood cats–11 per week at last count.

Ruggles has built a solid reputation for independence and bravery.  This can be seen in his daily actions wether it be courageously and brazenly  whizzing on Mr. Atkinson’s prize begonias or for not coming when he’s called.

Ruggles has earned the wary respect of local residents for successfully chasing away more delivery men than any other neighborhood dog–ensuring that nobody gets packages or pizzas in a timely manner.  Since taking residence in the area, Ruggles has made it his priority to be more brown and stripey and barky than any dog in the immediate vicinity.

To email Ruggles, leave comments here.

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