Sunday, July 08, 2007

Animal Blog

The chimpanzee of Tarzan
Cheeta, Johnny Weissmuller’s companion in 12 movies, is still alive. He just turned 74. He is the world’s oldest chimpanzee. For many years he enjoyed cigars and booze, until animal rights activists protested. He still enjoys the occasional hamburger and chips. He also likes to watch television. He had cake on his birthday – sugar-free, because he is diabetic. He still has all his teeth. His real name is Jiggs, and he has produced over 100 paintings.

Memorize this information! Share it with your friends! Astonish them! These ape facts will make you popular with potential lovers!

Other animal news
This Associated Press report came out of Raleigh, North Carolina, but I suspect it has wider resonance:

“Animal welfare officials are looking for pets that ran away this week after they were spooked by Independence Day fireworks displays.”

Somewhere, in a dark basement in Raleigh, parakeets, dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and –yes- ferrets huddle together in fearful silence.

More animal news
The feral kittens next door have become young adults, and have learned how to hop the fence into our yard. They were observed last night romping and frisking around the compost bins. And giving us baleful glances.

Knut
The Daily Mail, always on top of this story, gave us an update on the formerly cuddly polar bear.

Keeper Thomas Doerflein, told the Mail that Knut, who now weighs close to a hundred pounds is getting too big and powerful to play with: "He now sometimes has temper tantrums when he's hungry or when he wants something and doesn't get it. Then he gives me a really good bite. He is, after all, a predator."

The Daily Mail also claimed: ”Pictures of the adorable ball of Arctic fuzz melted hearts the world over.”

Will Knut ever be cute again? Or is he doomed to be a shaggy hulking predator in a play-free environment? Stay tuned!

Behavior that may baffle other primates
AP: “Hundreds hoping to be lucky in love poured into Las Vegas wedding chapels Saturday to tie the knot on 7/7/07, a date with auspicious associations.”

More behavior that may baffle other primates
From The Hill:

“NPR handed out Nina Totin’ Bags on Capitol Hill last week — a canvas number with four Andy Warhol-inspired faces of NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg.

“But the bag wasn’t all. Totenberg came to the Hill in honor of NPR’s lobby day and sang The Temptations’ ‘My Girl.’




“On the bag, Totenberg wears purple and green eye shadow. ‘I like it,’ Totenberg said in a phone interview …. “I don’t look ugly, so that’s all that matters.’”

Creepy news from Good Morning, Silicon Valley, a newsletter which I usually receive in the afternoon, for some reason

“In a study done for NBC, Innerscope Research wired up viewers to gather a bundle of biometric reactions while they watched fast-forwarded commercials, then massaged that data into a scale measuring ‘emotional engagement.’ As the New York Times reports, preliminary results found that viewers of the high-speed ads registered as high on the engagement scale as those watching the commercial (or even the program itself) at normal speed. ‘People don't turn off their emotional responses while they're fast-forwarding,’ said Carl Marci, the chief science officer of Innerscope. ‘People are obviously getting the information.’ A second study will look for the qualities that result in the most engagement with fast-forwarded ads, so that NBC can offer its advertisers tips.”

Let’s just put the chips in our heads right now, and get it over with.

More animal news!
A dodo, deceased, skeletal in fact, has been found in a cave in Mauritius. Scientists are excited about the discovery. They have nicknamed the skeleton “Fred.” It is cuddly and adorable. And it will grow up to be shaggy and powerful predator.

Love is all you need
DIRTY BLONDE: THE DIARIES OF COURTNEY LOVE has been published. I’ve read several reviews of it; there is general disappointment in its relative lack of tawdriness. Caveat Emptor!

Another caveat
Pope Benedict XVI has removed restrictions on celebrating the Latin Mass, which has been pretty much gathering dust in the attic since the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Conservative Catholics are thrilled, although liberal Catholics object. Also Jews are angered because the Tridentine Mass contains a prayer for their conversion.

Final caveat
It is not advised that you ignite loud fireworks in the vicinity of polar bears, either cute or shaggy.

Oh, and…
Chris Rock was taken off the air at the LIVE EARTH show in London, mere seconds after he took the stage to introduce the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He said, “I’m here to save the environment. Paris Hilton is playing here next week; there are still some tickets available.” The joke got a nice response, so he said, “I’m only joking, motherfuckers.” At which point the BBC pulled the plug on him.

Did you know that humans are the only primates that make Paris Hilton jokes? Though I understand that Jiggs remains a loyal fan.

3 Comments:

Blogger Liberal Seagull said...

As the New York Times reports, preliminary results found that viewers of the high-speed ads registered as high on the engagement scale as those watching the commercial (or even the program itself) at normal speed.

Is anyone else reminded of the "Blipverts" in Max Headroom? Or am I the only one that still remembers that show?

3:29 PM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

I LOVED that show. I cut out the reference, but the same article refers to it:

"One of the plots on the late, great 'Max Headroom' show involved 'blipverts,' high intensity TV commercials squirted at viewers in mere seconds (with, as it turned out, some deadly consequences). We aren't near the exploding-head stage yet, but there's some new research indicating that users of TiVo and other DVRs who whip through commercials in fast-forward are still being engaged by the speeding images."

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NPR handed out Nina Totin’ Bags on Capitol Hill last week — a canvas number with four Andy Warhol-inspired faces of NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg.

That is baffling. But it might make sense as part of a "Faces of Radio" series. I can't wait for the Andy Warhol-inspired faces of Ian Shoales, perhaps on a shoulder bag! I can just see Joan Rivers on a red carpet somewhere:

"Who are you carrying?" > IAN SHOALES
"And who are you wearing?" > KNUT... Isn't
he shaggy, but adorable?

-D.E.

1:58 PM  

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