Polluted English waterways are shrinking otters’ penis bones  »


All the harmless-to-us chemicals we humans are flushing down our sinks and toilets have effects on the creatures living in our waterways. In England, otters, which made a valiant comeback after being nearly wiped out by chemical pollution, are now turning up with smaller penis bones, which scientists believe is linked to modern contaminants.

Dr Chadwick said: “With many of these contaminants, there can be all sorts of different sources… so it might be things like drugs that we’re taking and they flush through our sewerage systems and end up in the rivers.”

She added that dust from industrial production travelling into the atmosphere could also carry contaminants that end up in rivers as rainfall, even travelling long distances between countries.

Sorry, otters. All those lovely Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals that help us thrive are slowly murdering you.

"People are very quick to say: otters are in our rivers. That must mean rivers are perfect, they’re so clean, everything’s fine again… but it’s not really that simple," said [Countryfile director Anna ] Jones.

[Photo by Keven Law via Flickr]


Hello, friends! It’s Mark’s WTF Wednesday!  »

You guys, two epic things happened in the past week! First, I turned 28 and then I got monumentally sick. I was so sick, in fact, that I showed up to my own awesome birthday party woozy and coughing up a storm, but still managed to have an awesome time and offend my mother with my horrible jokes. She sat in a corner of the room the entire night and sent me pictures of myself from her phone with desperate captions begging me I calm down and stop swearing so much. I couldn’t do it! I love to swear! Maybe that’s why I’m still sick.

You know how sick I am? I am writing this post from bed, where I am curled up with my knitting, Charmed queued up on Netflix (I am just starting to watch this show! Ten years late!), and my phone all ready to call up Allen and make demands of him. He doesn’t buy it anymore, though. Allen used to be at my beck and call when I was sick, but now he just tells me to stop pretending I’m going to die and drink some Theraflu. Can you imagine that he and I will have been together for four years on Sunday? Gross! I hope things don’t get too serious!

Man, am I feeling ornery this week. That’s why I’m please as punch (take that!) that a zoo couldn’t get pandas to mate in captivity.  Not only did pandas Sunshine and Sweetie fail to produce an heir, but they straight-up wrestled instead of doing the deed. I can relate to this because this is what also happens in my personal life. Every time I try to hug Allen at night, he kicks me. Hard. Then he blames me for bothering him because I should know that he is a very precise sleeper and cannot be touched. He also does this fantastic thing where, as soon as I have left the room during the night (even for as little as 30 seconds) he will roll himself into a sushi with ALL of the covers. Then, when I try to get them back, he kicks me! Four years, you guys!

Since this has kind of turned into my “grumpy anniversary post,” let me show you a video of a dog freaking out on an escalator (as dogs are wont to do) as the dude accompanying him laughs it up.

That is some adorable shit, you might be thinking, but how are you going to relate that to your own relationship? Easy, you guys. Allen is also a very particular escalator rider! He has to stand on his own step and look serious the entire time! And woe betide anyone who attempts to get on the step with him; he will put his arms out like a plane and prevent you (this is also how he dances), and if you still persist he will kick you. And by you, I mean me. And by kick, I mean ask politely to step up or down. Allen, like this adorable dog, knows that riding the escalator is serious business.

Let me end this for you with a clip of a baby otter squeaking. I’m going to post it without comment and not even relate it to Allen. This, I feel, is the way anniversary present I can give him because I am not sharing any more of his personal history and embarrassing moments.

That’s it for this week! Send me links for next week and have a love-filled Wednesday!


Baby rescue otter gets a bottle! This is Otter 501, the subject of a documentary:

Otter 501, a southern sea otter pup, was found on the central California coast June 10th, 2010. She was only a few days old and without human help her chance of survival was slim. Luckily, she was rescued and cared for by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Research and Conservation program. We at Sea Studios were lucky to have had the chance to film this incredible process and are creating a feature film, “Otter 501”, based on her experience.

She’s so cute! And if you look at the other videos, so squeaky! You can see some more footage of Otter 501 on their youtube channel and in my daydreams. 


It’s not all bad: Otters return to English rivers!  »

English river otters are back! The Guardian reports that the animals are now living in every county in the country, which is amazing, considering that they nearly went extinct in the 1970s.

The resurgence in England’s otter population is due to the otter-hunting ban of 1978, and the significantly improved health of English rivers. Wonderful, all around. Although let’s not forget that otters are also “wanton killer[s],” selfishly eating up all the fish that people would like to be catching themselves. The NERVE.

[otter at the Eagle Heights Wildlife Park in Eynsford, Kent, by Keith Marshall via Flickr]


Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

Hey, guys! Last week was kind of a downer, huh? Lots of animals dying and people sitting around being thankful for the trussed and and gutted giant birds they’re sacrificing to show just how blessed they have been this year. That was sad. But Thanksgiving was also awesome because of all the “Gentle Thanksgiving" photos and messages you guys sent in! Really gave me hope as I was lecturing Allen about Turkey consumption and tempering my unadulterated rage with delicious Olive Garden wine (not at the olive garden! You can buy their Moscato at BevMo now. Hate all you want, but that is the most delicious wine you will ever drink!). Then I got a sinus infection and spent the entire weekend watching PBS and knitting. Allen’s mom taught me how to weave a scarf and I have been working on it since Friday! My friends are going to be really happy to receive their holiday presents this year. They are also probably going to be concerned about my mental state. According to my mother, swigging Olive Garden Moscato while knitting and watching Stephen Sondheim’s Birthday Celebration is apparently not the healthiest way to spend a Saturday night.

You guys ever been to New Ganges? It is probably the best vegetarian Indian restaurant in San Francisco. There is this awesome man who claims he is not the owner (spoiler alert: he totally is!) who walks around and feeds people and offers them tiny nuggets of wisdom such as “those who eat with their hands never burn their mouths,” which is both true and pretty priceless. Anyway, he often comes over and tells you about your dish and then points out that if you have one bite with sauce, and then another without, and then one with another sauce, and then one with both, you will have four different tastes. This is also priceless and true. While I cannot offer you four tastes of something amazing (spoiler alert: everything at New Ganges is amazing! Have we done a review for this restaurant? Seriously, it is the bomb!) I can offer you the following video of cats playing patty cake. In the spirit of watching it as you would eat your delicious samosas at New Ganges, I request that you first watch this video with the sound off. Let it sink in. Digest. Then, watch it again with the sound on. There, you have had two amazing tastes of one amazing video. If you are truly adventurous, you may want to listen to just the sound before putting everything together.

Two tastes are not enough? Well, here’s a third! An otter is terrorizing people—and there is footage. Personally, I do not know how an otter can terrorize people as otters generally don’t go into your house to steal shit, or fuck your car up by sticking tacos underneath the door handles or anything. That’s just not how they do. If they are fucking shit up, I humbly suggest that it has more to do with the fact that they were forced to not only eat pumpkins in October but then pose for pictures with them. That is fucking degrading. If someone forced me to do that, I would probably set fire to their house like Lisa Left Eye Lopes (because I am not going to stick to the rivers and lakes I am used to, thank you very much and DO NOT CROSS ME!) or do something Rihanna-related, OK? I am for real. Otters, however are much more forgiving. Unless they have pups to protect. or rabies. Or just hate it when people record them. Otters need privacy, too! And OK, I have nothing to say about the fact that this otter bit a dog and some people (because that sucks), but I am not surprised it bit the dude in the news report who is talking to it in a baby voice and snapping at it. And that news anchor who is all “how dangerous can otters be?”—let me tell you something, buddy: otters crack shit on their chest. I can’t do that. Can you?

In sad news, Prince Chunk died earlier this week. Prince Chunk (nee Powder) was abandoned by an elderly woman who could no longer take care of him in 2008 (due to home foreclosure and also I presume being hella old. Why you gotta abandon, though?) and was then adopted by an awesome woman (oddly enough, both the woman who abandoned him and the woman who adopted him are named Donna. Weird, huh?) who helped get his weight down and gave him an awesome life. Prince Chunk was about 10 years old and was something of a celebrity in New Jersey which, while impressive, isn’t that hard. I mean have you seen what’s been coming out of New Jersey lately? All Manzos and Staubs and Stangers, not to mention the Giudices! Jesus!

That’s all for this week folks. I would like to leave you with this final thought: Why does GMC censor Sister, Sister? And secondly, do they not realize that by censoring words like “dork” and “dang” make the show seem even more dirty? What up, GMC?

Send me tips for next week and have an awesome Wednesday!


Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

What? Oh, I didn’t see you through this haze of prescription painkillers and tertiary muscle relaxants. That’s right, today’s WTF Wednesday is brought to you by the letters V, I, C, O, D, I, and N! That means that this post will be both mercifully short and also make no sense whatsoever. Just imagine we are all at an awesome party, sitting on beanbag chairs under a blacklight. That is how I feel right now, and so should you. Except I hope you can move your back, because I can’t move mine. Or walk straight. Enough of my whining, this is a party!

First off, here are some bears doing yoga. It actually looks more like Tai chi to me, but what do I know? The last time i did any kind of exercise was a jacked-up sun salutation on a Wii balance board (why does that fucking thing groan every time you step onto it? Does it know that it is lowering my self-esteem each time I want to play Rhythm Parade?). I always feature bad things happening to bears, so I thought I would post something awesome. Just forget that the bears are in a zoo, because zoos are horrible. Just focus on the amazing stretches they can do. Who even knew Bears stretched? And who knew that they could be even more adorable? I certainly didn’t.

And while we’re on the subject of bears, here is what happens when a stupid Toronto weatherman tries to throw pumpkins at polar bears. I mentioned last week that I do not believe that all animals love pumpkins. Example, this otter, whose look clearly states, “You want to be next, stupid? Why would you think I’d want a pumpkin? Did you get me a fucking Kindle or what?” I bet that otter wasn’t going to be reading the new Jodi Picoult, either. Anyway, here’s today’s lesson: Don’t throw shit at animals from high places. It is traumatizing and not at all pleasant, and you deserved to lose your microphone and also be ridiculed by the internet. Allen watched that video like five times last night. He was dying. I mean literally choking for breath. He was laughing that hard. Between that and this video of an Ellen writer going through a haunted house (“you are so rude!!!!!”), he was really on fire.

Fine, it wouldn’t be WTF Wednesday without some sad news: a porn star strangled a dog. Say it with me: WHAT THE FUCK. Why would you do that, porn star Jason Creed, a.k.a. Shane Michael Thompson? Why would you just take your three-legged puppy and beat it, strangle it to death, and then try to pass it off as a seizure? Here is some news: Seizures and BEING BEATEN AND STRANGLED TO DEATH present quite differently. I don’t even watch House and I know that. And why the fuck would you adopt a three-legged dog, who was obviously already coping with large difficulties in life, and then abuse it? What is wrong with you? Did you not realize that there is a special room in a special circle of hell that is devoted to people who are deliberately cruel to animals? Maybe you were drunk or high, which makes it even worse. Not even Vicodin can take the harsh edge off the idea of a poor unsuspecting dog being attacked by a third-tier gay porn actor. Thank god his friends and roommates turned him in, although what disturbs me EVEN FURTHER is that they also stated that they had known about the abuse. Why didn’t you speak up before the dog was murdered? At least this guy is in jail. I could make all sorts of jokes about that, but I won’t; partly because this story is too sad and partly because I have standards.

That is it for this week. As always, please send me links for next week or leave them in the comments. Have an awesome week!

[photo by South Beds News Agency via the Telegraph]


Feral cat controversy, jerks in Missouri, junk in your wine, and MORE in today’s link-o-rama!  »

[image from Lucia Oberste of Zoomie’s Pet Care]

Fun-times vegan-style events!
OK there’s only one this week, and it’s not even 100 percent vegan, but one is better than zero, right? Right! So: Tomorrow, Saturday, Apr. 3 from 5 to 11 p.m. in the Laskie Street parking lot (off Mission Street, between 8th and 9th Streets) in San Francisco you can attend the first Underground Street Food event! The website is a garish nightmare and requires you to subscribe to a mailing list for details, but it might be worth checking out.

Items of social and political import!
It seems like supperclubs in New York are having as much fun and success as they are in San Francisco. Although we are sure none holds a candle to our beloved friends at Brassica.

Ellen, the Humane Society, Halo products and are sponsoring Stamps to the Rescue campaign, selling first-class stamps with images of adopted shelter animals, and donating 1 million meals to animal shelters.

Salon has a neat little slideshow of five of the “least green” “green foods” campaigns, including those from Sara Lee, Fiji water, McDonald’s, Monsanto, and Syngenta.

So what’s the deal with zoophilia? Is it a legitimate sexual orientation? Can it ever be acceptable behavior?

NATO has decided that hey, we are not as tragically underfunded and pathetic as U.S. public schools, we do not need Pizza Huts, Burger Kings, or Dairy Queens on our bases in Afghanistan any more; our canteens serve the same food, anyway.

Remember the horror that was the Paula Deen dinner party? James Brady Ryan of Pop Torture took it a step further and served only Sandra Lee “semi-homemade” dishes. Yes, it actually does end in vomiting.

Actually homemade: Vegetarian Times has four vegan cheese recipes! I’m making the goat cheese as soon as I get my hands on some cashews—review to come.

Apparently fresh produce carts are not as popular in New York City as the mayor had hoped, or at least not in the areas he would like them to be set up.

Geraldine Baum would like you to know that she buys and wears fur because she’s cold, and because her Russian grandmother said it was a very important status symbol, SO THERE.

There’s a feral cat colony in Daly City that needs feeding a few times a week—please contact Nadine May for more information.

Oh awesome, New Jersey: let’s reclassify feral cats as “exotic” animals so instead of following a successful trap, neuter, release program, we can just try to shoot them to death!

Even more awesome: Brenda Shoss of Kinship Circle organized an email petition of Missouri state legislators, asking them to vote against opening a horse slaughterhouse—currently illegal in the U.S.—and in return many representatives harrassed her.

It’s hard out there for an omni-locavore; “there are a lot of people out there who raise great animals for us to use, and they don’t have the opportunity to get them to us because the slaughterhouses are going away.”

Paul Shapiro of the HSUS is working on a campaign in Ohio for Nov. 2010 similar to California’s 2008 Prop. 2. There’s also a little interview with him in the Mar. 22 issue of Restaurant News.

Even Josh Ozersky, the coolest eating-est dude who ever ate a cool thing, advocates giving up bluefin tuna, lest the species be eaten to extinction.

Watch out for 2008 pinot noirs from the Anderson Valley; winemakers have been using isinglass, “milk byproducts,” and egg whites to alter the extra-smoky flavors left by the wildfires during that year’s grape-growing season.

Should mainstream food writers “disclose” their food preferences, specifically their vegetarianism? The Accidental Hedonist says no.

Pescetarians can ease their consciences with a new U.S.-based “Which Fish to Eat?” guide from GOOD. Hooray.

And eaters of pigs can feel better knowing their pork suppers won’t be made from pigs who cannot walk or stand on their own anymore, or at least not in California.

Why won’t the U.S. government pay for more Plumpy’nut? It’s super-successful, it’s cheap, and it’s vegetarian. What is Plumpy’nut? Basically, magic.

Daz and Chip, two best-friend otters who lived in Nelson, New Zealand, died within an hour of each other this week.

Late addition video to cheer you up! Clever bunny Pallina makes the bed and opens a jar! (link from Cute Overload)


International cuteness  »

The latest “animal pictures of the week” from the Telegraph is seriously top of the pops, people. Too goddamn cute! They of course are tainted as most of the pictures are of animals in zoos but still, it’s hard not to swoon from their adorableness. I LOVE THE DAMN ANIMALS!

Above we have Thai the otter, who appears to be saying grace before chowing done on that weird shrimp cake. There’s also this adorable monkey in China, who they claim is catching snowflakes in his mouth. Could that really be true? I HOPE SO IT’S SO CUTE!

If you follow @TelegraphPics on Twitter, you can get tweets whenever they put up a new gallery. You can also be more like me because I follow them on Twitter. Everybody is always trying to be me! Jeez!


BABY OTTERS!!!!!!!!!! It’s Otterdorable! I bet they grow up to be just like Alvin and the Chipmunks. But Otters. And one extra one, that one will probably grow up to be the creepy guy who lives with them.
(via dailyotter)

BABY OTTERS!!!!!!!!!! It’s Otterdorable! I bet they grow up to be just like Alvin and the Chipmunks. But Otters. And one extra one, that one will probably grow up to be the creepy guy who lives with them.

(via dailyotter)

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