Friday, February 27, 2009

Calif. aquarium blames flooding on curious octopus

Santa Monica aquarium blames the soaking they discovered Tuesday morning on one of the two aquarium's Kid's Corner resident spotted octopi, a tiny female known for being curious and gregarious with visitors. The octopus apparently tugged on a valve to the recycling water tube and that allowed 200 hundred gallons of water to overflow its tank.

Aquarium spokeswoman Randi Parent says no sea life was harmed by the flood, but the brand new, ecologically designed floors might be damaged by the water.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Chimp attack!

Chimpanzee attacks "owner."
de Waal "I don't know where people would find these animals or why you would want to have them. Even if a chimp were not dangerous, you have to wonder if the chimp is happy in a human household environment."
[update: congress gets involved by passing the Captive Primate Safety Act]

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Birds are on the move

After the US Airways Flight 1549 which I discussed on 2/7/09, the New York Times reports that we are tracking birds by putting lightweight "backpacks" on them. In a separate article, we are finding out that because of global warming, birds are moving further north: "The boreal chickadee has moved 280 miles north, almost out of the range of the lower 48 states. The marbled murrelet, a seabird that breeds inland, has moved 360 miles north. The wild turkey has gone about 400." Such shifts in biotopes makes evident the nomadic character of the Animal Revolution.


The wonderful thing about cryptozoology is that it works with virtual worlds, alternative time scales, biotopes that run parallel or occasionally intersect our own. University College London has a list of ongoing events and ways of thinking about this topic.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bloody Revolution starts in France

And now the Chef of State is the one bitten:
"Former French President Jacques Chirac was rushed to a hospital after being mauled by his pet dog who is being treated for depression." The dog named Sumo is a white Maltese poodle. Does your dog bite? The Fox New story continues: "has a history of frenzied fits and became increasingly prone to making "vicious, unprovoked attacks" despite receiving treatment with anti-depressants." Well, being told where to walk, when and if one can walk, when to pee, when to eat... one can become a bit frenzied. Add to this pedegree overbreeding (both human and dogs) and it becomes a bit rough out there.

Hat tip to Malamud on this one. Rumor has it that Randy Malamud is increasingly siding with the animals and will turn on humans once the Revolution is under way.

Other incidents in the Animal Revolution

  • Chuck the groundhog bits NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg's finger. Chuck has redefined groundhog's day. It is about the groundhog, not the humans. Stay out of the animal layer. Interestingly, Chuck lives with his human handler, Doug Swartz. He was wild and orphaned and was taken in by the Staten Island Zoo. "Chuck has free range of the house and uses a litter box. But you know, groundhogs are very aggressive."
  • "Hit birds. We lost thrust in both engines." US Airways Flight 1549 struck by a flock of large birds (type yet to be determined). As humans, we're happy for the survival of the passengers and crew. But what happened to the birds? I've yet to see a funeral for them. My suspicion is the birds knowingly attacked the plane in order to assert their airspace over NYC. [Update: birds where Canadian Geese. Yet to be determined if they were the migratory sort or were local. If migratory, imagine the international wars involved here. NY Times says they are tracking birds by putting backpacks on them.]
  • Randy Malamud has a forthcoming essay "Americans do weird things with animals or why did the chicken cross the road?" in Animal Encounters. His premise is "it is morally, intellectually, and ecologically preferable not to do weird things with animals. By 'weird,' I mean contra natura; silly; irrational; counterproductive or retrograde, in terms of envisioning a relationship that people could have with animals that would be more fulfilling and better suited to our role as one speices among many in a complex and vast ecology" (75). Malamud lists things we do to animals. Among the list are Sigfried and Roy's 58 White Tigers of Navada. In October 2003, one of the tigers--named Montecore--"lunged at Roy Horn during the show and dragged him offstage. The tiger wrapped his raw around Roy's neck, making cuts that croshed his trachea as well as deep puncture wounds on the back of his head" (87-88). The notion that "Roy had it coming" was not very commonly held.
  • Hippo eats dwarf. Okay, this is an internet hoax story, but is recalls what Malamud says--"A mauling, or at least the possibility of a mauling, is the subtext of every carnival show" (88).
My thanks to Randy Malamud for the conversation that listed out these above incidents.