Monthly Archives: June 2009

Dissertation Owls Asleep on the Job

Folkes, while the dissertation elves, tiny little owls that creep into grad students’ bedrooms to madly type pages whilst the tortured souls sleep, are on furlough,  I have been working furiously on my thesis. The result? A certain lack of Beastliness. And vocabularity.

This will be remedied shortly, just as soon as the Muse goes on strike again, as she (the fickle bitch) is wont to do.

– sj

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under academia, folklore, Uncategorized

Foxy Loxy Strikes Again: Hide your manolos.

Citizens the German town of Föhren have been in a tizzy for the past year, wondering what kind of sick freak would going around stealing single shoes from their doorsteps in the middle of the night, leaving their mates behind. More than 100 mismatched hiking shoes, Wellingtons, steel-capped workman’s boots, flipflops and smelly old bedroom slippers went missing.

Well, folkes, as it turns out, it’s one shoe-loving vixen (aren’t we all) that has absconded with the missing footwear. Just one shoe at a time mind you, as she has to carry them home in her mouth.  

 Locals have offered two explanations for her kleptomania: either 1) she has been gathering the footwear as toys for her pups, or 2) “She’s clearly got a thing about shoes.” Claro.

This second  option is the opinion of one Rudolf Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, the local count (a count!!!!), who adds that  “the shoes may well be intended as toys for the cubs because there are bite marks made by little teeth on the shoelaces.” This is very cute. And not at all what one (at least, dear readers, one American with little to no experience with german nobility) would expect a count to be occupying his time with.  But the author of BV has a quibble with Count RRvonK: he is quoted as saying “It’s impressive that she found the time to steal them in addition to getting food.”

Silly man. Today’s liberated, self-sufficient, upwardly-mobile  vixen can work a full-time job, keep a fabulous home, cook herself and her loved ones gourmet meals, and though things like sex and balancing her checkbook may fall by the wayside, she will always, always, always have Time for Shoes.

Leave a comment

Filed under baby animals, exceedingly cute, Uncategorized

Stars of our Stars:

Today, the author of BV would like you to contemplate the fact that there are stars beneath the ocean, glowing in shades of blue and red and green, constellations of… well, of jelly actually. But enough for the waxing poetic: turn your attention to these glowing beauties, and ask yourself: need all aliens come from above?

Leave a comment

Filed under marine life, the strange and the beautiful, Uncategorized

Tickle-me Elmo’s friend, the Slow-Loris

 

The author of BV would like to be clear: wild and exotic animals are not pets. They belong in the fields and forests and streams, making nice with other wild and exotic animals. And the Slow Loris, a south/southeast asian primate currently considered threatened/endangered, is no exception. These little charmers, which have long been hunted for their eyes (used in local traditional medicine), deserve a break,  and should NOT be sought and poached, ripped heartlessly from their native lands,  for no reason but our own gratification.

That said… I kinda want one.   

Leave a comment

Filed under baby animals, endangered species, exceedingly cute, human behavior, Uncategorized

The Guinea Pig Way

Every so often, one discovers something so simultaneously cute and creepy that one is obliged to  share it with the world. (for teh author of BV, this is a somewhat more frequent occurance).

For once, dear readers, the source of cute and creepy is not a kitty video, but a guinea pig song and dance number (you may have noticed that I am becoming rather inordinately fond of the little buggers). Wonder if the chairman of the board ever did it “the guinea pig way”… No matter, albinoblacksheep has made it happen.

Leave a comment

Filed under common household pets, cute/creepy kitty videos, exceedingly cute, Uncategorized

You’d be Prickly, too

A rare Prickly shark ( Echinorhinus cookei) was recently “found” and displayed at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, quite the coup for the eager grad student type who “found” the shark.

The shark was  “collected” in an area where the Monterey Bay Aquarium Supported research, by the unnamed graduate student (sorry, chum), who was documenting  daily migrations of prickly sharks from the deep waters of the canyon to the shallows of the canyon head where the specimen in question was… “collected” and quickly put on display at the aquarium.  

But as of the writing of this post, the Prickly predator has been returned to the wild, because after a mere 15 hours in captivity, staff scientists at the Monterey Bay aquarium noticed that the shark “appeared too bouyant to swim easily.”

The scientists tagged the prickly (and, apparently, gassy) shark, normally seen only in very deep waters,  before releasing him in waters about 250 ft deep.  They watched him swim off, clearly headed back for the deeper waters of the pacific rim.

Reports have yet to be confirmed, but some witnesses swear that they saw the shark flipping those scientists the bird as he swam out into deeper waters.*  

 

*please note: the author of BV is in favor of any and all humane efforts to learn more about the life in our oceans, and understands that the scientists’ intentions were pure. Nevertheless, she empathizes with the shark, who was kidnapped, stuck in a  tank, made a mini-media spectacle, and sent home all in the span of a day. As the title suggests, after this kind of Wednesday, you’d probably be prickly, too.

Leave a comment

Filed under human behavior, marine life, the strange and the beautiful, Uncategorized

Petaluma Bird Sanctuary Threatened

There is a new asphalt plant planned for a site along the Petaluma River.

GOOD NEWS, right!? Industry, new jobs in a  ravaged marketplace… But, in this case, the costs may be too high.  Because in this case, the proposed development is slated for a site right across from Schollenberger Park, which just happens, dear readers, to be one of the premier bird sanctuaries in North America.  And, you know, sits within spitting distance of a dozen or so parks and schools.   

So when a group of mothers heard that the council was all set to vote on the building permits and zoning changes, and learned about the toxic brew of noxious chemicals for which Asphalt companies are famous, they got a good whiff of something rotten in Denmark and promptly formed themselves into an advocacy group that they dubbed “Moms for Clean Air.”

In a typical gynocolocially inaccurate rhetorical ploy deigned to minimize the credibility of  unruly females, certain critics have called  the Moms “hysterical.” … You tell me, dear readers: Someone has threatened your kids– and your BIRDS, for goodness sake– and you don’t have good cause to be just a wee bit hysterical? Just a wee bit? Or might the emotion these critics are searching for be something closer to “righteous indignation?”

Hysterical, indeed.

In any case, the city and county apparently turned deaf ears on ths Moms’ complaints, so the mothers did what every parent who has been through PTA basic training knows to do. They went over the county’s head. 
At long last, these mobilized mothers  found an advocate in California Assemblyman Jared Huffman, a Democrat from Southern Sonoma who, according to a Chanel 5 report,  “organized the first comprehensive hearing on the issue, bringing together regulators from the EPA, Fish and Game, The Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and other agencies, most of which are just beginning to look at the project.”

The company that wants to the build the plant, The Dutra Group, says that “This is the right plan, and this is the right location.” Shockingly, the spokeswoman who delivered this little pearl of persuasive wisdom is named Dutra. What a coincidence.  

Isn’t it also the funniest coincidence that Dutra’s other asphalt plant has already been cited–multiple times– for environmental violations?

Need more?

In 2001, Marin County Grand Jury accused the company of illegally expanding operations.

In 2006, Dutra was fined $735,000 for dumping sludge near the Farallon Islands.

The Dutra family denies these incidents ever happened. Apparently, they have never heard of a little thing called “public record.”

So far,  only one council member (Zane) has been willing  to publicly announce  opposition  to the asphalt plant. The other four, stalwart souls all, are refusing comment.    But, s hould you have a comment, dear reader, and should you be of the same mind as the author of BV, you may follow the links to the Moms’ site, and tell them that they have your support. You may also follow this link to a PDF of their mission statement.

Go, Moms!

Leave a comment

Filed under backyard fauna, endangered species, human behavior, Uncategorized