March 25, 2013

Weeklyish Squee! The Love of a Pack of Pups

This sweet video warms my heart. How can anything in the world seem awful when there is such beauty and joy in the world? How?

January 31, 2013

Hilarious "True Facts"

I recently came across a funny video on another blog that I read regularly, Epbot. It is written and created by Jen Yates who also created the hilarious blog Cake Wrecks.

On Epbot, Jen mostly posts geeky fun stuff and steampunk stuff and DIY crafty stuff and sometimes posts humorous videos. Since I really dig her sense of  humor, I often giggle and find them amusing. However, this video (and many in the rest of the collection) had me gaffawing and chortling loudly. As an environmental educator by profession and a lover of all things sciencey and documentaryish this video just perfectly struck my funny bone. So on to the main attraction...

The creator of this series, Ze Frank, knows exactly how to suck you in thinking you are watching a real nature documentary. That Morgan Freeman voice is so commanding. (Go watch the video 'True Facts About Morgan Freeman'). I recommend exploring the rest of Ze's website as well. It isn't exactly all about science/nature but there is some fascinating and creative stuff going on in the community he has facilitated. You could easily find yourself falling down the rabbit hole....Watch these videos and enjoy the belly laughs.

True Facts about Seahorses 
"That is how a sea-whores do" 

True Facts about Angler Fish
"Here the angler fish waves a lovely pashmina shawl"


True Facts about Echidnas

The baby echidna: "a blood flavored crunchy gummy bear"

By the way, there is another video creator who shares fascinating info about nature in a quite hilarious manner. I wrote about it a while ago.....Honey Badger Don't Care! Enjoy.

January 21, 2013

The Ultimate Joy

I love listening to podcasts and one of my favorites that I mentioned a long time ago is RadioLab hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich. Every week I get to hear them explore an new and exciting science topic. Episode 3 from season 11 aired on December 17th and was called Bliss. Their investigation was all about what makes people exceptionally happy to a point that their lives are changed.

They opened with a fascinating and funny story about Aleksander Gamme, an adventurer who embarked on a solo trek to the south pole and back by himself over a period of 86 days. Along the way he would stash items in buried caches to save weight. On his return, he would dig them up often not remembering what he had put in them. The video below is made by him while digging up one of these caches. Make sure when you watch it you have the captions turned on so you can understand what he is saying. But even without that you can understand his complete and utter joy and excitement when finding cheese doodles and candy bars in the cache. I can't think of a time that I have ever been so blissed out and happy that I hollered like he does. It made me smile and giggle. What a wonderful feeling. I look forward to a day when I experience such a profound joy that I cannot help but whoop! and laugh like him. Enjoy this heartwarming video (captions on). And be sure to check out the RadioLab podcast.

January 1, 2013

Weekly Squee! Holiday Goats!

Even though it has been a week since Christmas, I thought I would share this holiday cheer provided by sweet, jumpy goats. You can visit their website at Giggle with the Goats or view their other videos at their YouTube channel.

December 28, 2012

Free Meat with a side of Misogyny

Colleen is cutting steaks from the bottom round of Elk.

This Christmas brought an abundance of fresh elk meat when a couple of friends came upon a recently road killed young bull. Instead of writing it all down myself, I'll just provide a link to their webpage for most of the details. Here is a brief excerpt from his blog:
"In these parts, elk meat is a coveted delicacy, so when you come across a free find, you don’t just pass it up. As I mentioned before, the body was in fairly good condition. The body was also still warm, which meant this was a fresh kill. Erin had me continue home to grab a rope and a sled so that we could haul the carcass back home and salvage the meat. Erin called our friend Colleen, an avid hunter, and had her talk my wife through removing the viscera. The next day, she came out with her knives and bone saw and, for the price of half the meat, helped Erin to butcher the elk."  Matt Singer

By all means read his whole entry for the complete story. It was a great adventure. The only sour note I experienced was the day after I talked her through gutting the elk.

I was running some errands to get the supplies we would need to do the butchering and stopped by the local outdoor store to inquire about the salvage permit that is required by Idaho Fish and Game. Unlike some states, Idaho allows salvage of road kill and you just need to get a free permit. I assumed I could do the paperwork at the same place I buy my annual hunting and fishing licenses. So I walked up to the counter and two young men were standing there and asked if I needed help. I smiled and said I needed to get a salvage permit for an elk. The both laughed at me, looked at each other and the male customer also standing at the counter. "We have no idea what you are talking about!" ***guffaw, chuckle, snark*** It looked at them and said that the permits are required by Fish and Game to salvage roadkill and since I buy my hunting license here I thought they would have them. They still grinned and looked confused and humored by my request. "We don't know anything about that (tee hee, silly girl). Maybe you should call the state patrol." Their condescension and patronizing attitude oozed from them.  I just looked at them and said, "No, I'll call Fish and Game" and walked away. I was so very angry at their disrespect and it was all I could do to not lay into them about treating customers property. You'd think the staff at the biggest provider of hunting licenses in our area and the largest hunting store within 80 miles would be aware of such regulations. Instead I was treated like a silly girl interrupting their gun talk. I was in need of a bone saw and decided to ask the woman in that department instead of interact with those two buffoons again. Thankfully she was professional and extremely helpful. In all my years shopping for guns and hunting equipment I have never had such a negative interaction with staff in these departments. Instead of letting the bad behavior of these two boys bother me too much, I decided to write about it here and will likely include it in my dissertation when I write about treatment of women in hunting/outdoor stores.

After the long day of butchering the young elk, I came home with tons of steaks, a few roasts and stew meat. Luna will even get a few good bones to chew on. I really can't imagine getting a large cow or bull elk or even a moose. It takes a lot of time and energy to get your food prepped and stored. If anyone ever tells you that hunting is an easy way to get meat, don't believe them. It is hard work but so very worth it! We may not have done the hunting part of the equation this time but we did all the work required after. I am grateful that my friends happened upon that elk when they did so that his death provided us with some meat as I didn't get a deer this past season. His short life will nourish ours.

Well, I've got some stew cooking right now and it is about done so I'll sign off now and wish you all a wonderful new year.

December 25, 2012

My Puppy the Penguin

UPDATE: The video has been fixed 

My lovely dog Luna is a very active happy pup. Sometimes I think she is part cheetah, part kangaroo, part pig, and part penguin. Which doesn't leave much room for the labrador retriever. She is faster than all the other dogs she meets, she can do a vertical jump up to 5 feet, she loves to roll around in the mud and she absolutely loves snow. I first discovered her love of snow a couple years ago while at my friends farm. We were traipsing through the fields and the snow was quite deep and there was a steep hill ahead of us. Luna and my friends' dogs were just running about having fun but when we got to the steep hill, Luna laid down and slid down the hill on her belly head first, ran up to the top of the hill and did it again. From that moment on I always took her out to play in the deep snow. She shows such exuberant joy in flopping and sliding around in the snow.
This video is from last year but is the best one I've gotten yet. The dog barking in the background is Lana, a white German shepherd that my friend was fostering. This is one of Luna's favorite places to visit. Lots of land to run around free, her best buddies to play with and her auntie Erin who spoils her rotten. Life is good.

December 24, 2012

Weekly Squee! Dolphin and Cat as Playmates

This adorable cat and dolphin seem to be hitting it off quite well. The folks filming appear to be on a boat in the ocean and their little gray tabby keeps reaching for the dolphins and then rubbing faces with them. I can't help but wonder if there is any communication going on between these two beings and species. What drives two completely different species like this that never naturally interact to suddenly be so social? Things to ponder while watching this adorable video over and over.