May 2010

Food Drive for Homeless Animals Month

Do you regularly donate food to your local shelter, food pantry, or other service organizations? If so, I’d like to personally thank you for your generosity and kindness. Not everyone has the means to do that, but when we can, we definitely should try to do so. Even if your local grocery store has a collection bin and you toss in a can of soup or a bag of rice each visit, you are helping people more than you know.

Save the Asiatic Black Bear From Bile Farming

When you think of bile, what comes to mind? For me, it’s usually dry heaves, puking, that kind of thing. I used to have a pretty strong stomach, but ever since I had a baby it seems like it’s gotten a bit weaker (sort of a contradiction to the rule that your stomach’s supposed to get stronger post-birth, right?), and a lot of things—from the sight of cat vomit to a very strong fart—make me gag these days.

In China, bile is actually seen as something much more important; it’s considered a medical remedy. How could you use bile for medicine when it’s inside a human, you might wonder. That’s easy: you don’t take it from humans, you take it from bears—the vulnerable species of Asiatic black bears, to be exact.

Our Animals To Defend Us?

Item: Associated Press -- May 19, 2010 -- "The U.S. Navy is now showing off the latest line in the defense when fighting the War on Terror. The Navy has been training dolphins and sea lions, in case of a water attack."

Training animals to defend us? Is everyone sure this is the right thing to do? Can these animals be trusted? 100%? Can we be sure that these are all American born animals? Have we seen the birth documents? My concerns sound a little stretched, don't they? Well, training animals to be American hitmen sounds stretched.

Octopus Steals Camera

I freely admit that I'm an admirer of the Octopus. I'm convinced that they're thinking, creative, and intelligent. I've written about them before, in terms of their problem-solving abilities, which makes them fabulous escape artists. I've written about their uncanny ability not just to mimic their surroundings, but even to , or use tools like coconut shells to help safely relocate to a new home. The video linked below is an extremely amusing video shot by a somewhat startled photographer as an octopus steals his still new camera, and darts away (with the camera still running).

Mother bear wrestles tree to rescue cub

Today on the Internet is a little video that has the makings of going viral. It is footage of a mother bear rescuing her baby bear cub, who is stuck in a tree. The mama bear wrestles a tree to rescue cub  See the video  This is a  real life rescue by a mama bear of her baby cub stuck up in a tree.  How the little cub got up in the tree? Well, I suppose, the darn little cub climbed up the tree, the adventurous little fella that he is. His mama wrestles with the tree to get her cub free. She shakes the tree. She partially climbs the tree. And with a mama's persistence, she bends the tree, until it breaks, and comes to the ground, and her cub comes tumbling free.  The little cub, with his feet on the ground, takes off running, to scoot away. Happy that he's free, and away from that bad old tree? Or knowing that he's in trouble with his mama, and prudence requires a fast scoot?

Bumblebees: America's Native Pollinators

I've been studying and thinking a lot about bumblebees since yesterday afternoon, when I discovered that some bumblebees have colonized my compost heap.  I was digging out the composted chicken manure to give away to a gardening friend (and to make room for more chicken poop) when I noticed that several bumblebees were buzzing around the general area.  

The bumblebees looked fretful, which surprised me, since the bumblebees out here are usually pretty passive. (They leave frantic antics to the yellow jackets that should be here soon.)  One buzzed around my face, then wandered over to check out my hands, then hovered and kind of paced back and forth in the air.