Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! (on Thursday!) »
I finished a complete draft of my thesis! I was up until midnight writing a conclusion and while I cannot say it is the best conclusion I have ever written, at least it didn’t end with “in conclusion,” so that’s something. I was celebrating all day today! Then I fell down a flight of stairs. I fall down flights of stairs fairly regularly, so I’ve learned to skid on my knees and protect my abdomen, but this time was just a bruise to my ego and slight ankle injury, as I missed a step on the narrow staircase at work and tumbled into the waiting room like some kind of medieval jester doing tricks for all assembled. In order to show everyone cackling that I was OK, I bravely picked myself up and limped over to my mailbox to see if I had any mail. Unfortunately, there was nothing in my mailbox so not only was I embarrassed about falling down a flight of stairs, then I was doubly humiliated when everyone realized that I had fallen down a flight of stairs while excitedly on my way to check my empty mailbox. High-fives all around.
So I’m elevating my ankle, being embarrassed and feeling particularly vulnerable, when Allen decides that he was so excited to have contributed last week that he is going to send me another link this week. I was talking to him and he said, “Oh, I saw another thing you might want to write about. I’ll send it to you.”
“Cool!” I said. “Maybe I’ll use it!”
“What do you mean, ‘maybe’?”
“Well I have a lot of things to write about. There are like a bunch of links I have to get through, but if yours is good, I’ll consider using it.”
“You are desperate for links, Mark; you ask for them every week!”
“Listen, don’t give me your attitude. You got a taste of the big time and now you want to be featured every week? I made you a star! I can make you or break you!”
“Mark, I am a computer engineer. You do not have a job. I sent you links to be nice, but that’s okay, I don’t have to do that if you’re so selective.” And then Allen went to work and I fell back asleep until 11:30 a.m. When I woke up, I decided that he was right and I was going to use his link, which is about a girl with a jumping cow.
[can’t see the video? watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
What is wrong with you, European cow-riding girl? At first, I was going to think that this was a little bit cute, because when I imagine a girl riding a cow, I imagine a toddler not so much riding as much as hugging a cow; then I saw that this was a full-grown girl with a fucking crop forcing a cow to jump hurdles? I was hoping that the cow looked at least a little happy, but you know what? It doesn’t! Surprise! Cows don’t like to jump hurdles! Why do we go through this every month? Why do people see an animal and not think, “Man, that cow looks so happy just grazing there, perhaps I will leave it alone,” but instead decide that the best thing to do with that animal is to saddle it up and then beat it into jumping over shit? Is it something in the water? Am I just missing some insane “do weird shit to animals” gene? I mean I certainly used to try to dress my hamster up and put my bunny in a sweater, but I never tried to make them jump hurdles or walk a tightrope (although, let’s be honest here, if we could do it without any cruelty, a hamster in a cowboy outfit walking a tightrope would be fucking adorable).
So let’s do this girl one better: What’s worse than riding a cow, crop in hand? Perhaps it is torturing a squirrel in front of children (WARNING! The accompanying video is emotionally distressing):
[can’t see the video? watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
I don’t even know. Apparently the squirrel may have been rabid (the rabidness of the squirrel is pure speculation, as it doesn’t seem to be going at anyone and seems like a small, subdued blob), but that is not the question here. Here is the question I have: Why was a police officer called for a squirrel? Follow-up: Why did he taser/pepper-spray (it is not clear) the squirrel if it was far from the children? Was there a more humane way to treat the squirrel, even if it was rabid, instead of torturing it in front of children that were begging him, by name, to leave the animal alone? Answer: Probably yes! How do you sleep at night, Mesquite, Texas police office? And more importantly, have you been reprimanded? Let’s hope you were fired, actually. Any person who would willingly and calmly torture a baby animal is probably not someone we want patrolling the streets.
Two Ducks have decided to stage a sit-in protest at a Chick-Fil-A restaurant in New Jersey. The official reason may be that the ducks were living in plants that have recently been landscaped, but I’d like the real reason to be ducks protesting the fact that their feathered friends are being eaten by the thousands right next door! That is some bad-ass duck business. In a stunning display of cognitive dissonance, the restaurant employees have been feeding and leaving water for the ducks while continuing to serve delicious dead chickens only several feet away. Delightful!
That’s it for this week. Send me links (and sympathy for my twisted ankle!) for next week and have a safe, non-falling-down-stairs rest of the week!
Another squirrel rescue! This is from reader Rebeka P.:
His name is Ax, or Axeman. (An Amebix song named “Axeman” inspired that: lock up your acorns, the Axeman is coming!) I kept him in my shirt for a week or two straight when he wasn’t sleeping in his nest. He was very small, eyes just barely opened, and we woke up at all hours of the night to feed him.
We released him before the winter since he seemed ready to go, more eager to get outside. After a few trial runs of him being outside for three hours while I sat and watched him in the trees crying because I was scared he was too high up or that he would never come back, we brought his cage and his nest and lots of nuts outside for him and let him do his thing. We have a squirrel food basket hanging in a tree in the woods full of goodies for him, and other squirrels, so he would have a steady flow of food through the winter since he didn’t have all spring and summer to collect nuts and stash them away.
We see him sometimes up in the trees. I miss him so very much but am so happy to have had his company. He enjoyed cleaning me, digging in my hair, laying on his belly on my head and spinning around in my hair, hiding acorns in my clothes, and playing with stuffed animals. He was the cutest and loveliest creature I’ve ever had the pleasure of caring for.”
Rebeka also says that the Squirrel Board has good resources on how to raise a squirrel adding, “squirrels are not pets, they do ‘wild up’ and are a LOT of work even just to raise them! Lots and lots of work and time with them. They’re cute, cuddly and awesome but they belong in the trees.”
I didn’t realize everyone and their mom was rescuing squirrels! I’m so jealous! What’s up with these squirrel parents though? We need a squirrel social services. Or maybe people just need to stop hitting squirrels with their stupid cars. Vegansaurus friend and super squirrel foster mom, Livia, is taking care of these two adorable critters:
The furless guy is a storm victim; his nest was blown down. The older one’s mom was dead in the street and he fell out of the nest looking for her. Now please excuse me while I go punch a bunch of people and then cry forever.
Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day! »
That’s right people, it’s Squirrel Appreciation Day! Hurrah! In celebration, I bring you the wonder that is the squirrel. From an old BBC video with an amazing soundtrack, we have a squirrel dominating an obstacle course!
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
- There are more than 200 kinds* of squirrels in the world, though none in Australia.
- The common squirrel can run between eight and ten miles an hour at full speed, which is pretty good considering their tiny, adorable legs.
- Their favorite foods are nuts and sunflower seeds.
- Besides making little churping noises to communicate, a squirrel’s tail says stuff too!: “The most common tail gesture is the “flicking” which means “get away!”” Adorbs.
- Squirrels in the wild live about to about 6 or 7, in captivity they can live up to 20 years. Most grey squirrels die before they are a year old though, from getting hit by cars. Sad face.
- The largest type of squirrel reaches three feet head to tail; the smallest, five inches.
- The largest concentration of squirrels in the US is in Washington, DC. They have black squirrels in DC too! I used to see them all the time.
- While flying squirrels don’t actually fly, they can glide over 150 feet. Dang!
Lastly, we have their size relative to a tea cup—thanks National Geographic, you quirky bastard!
Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day, go feed your friendly neighborhood squirrel! But make sure any nuts you give them are unsalted—salt is bad for them. If you’re going for extra credit, build them a little squirrel house!
*Notice I didn’t say, ‘species,” that’s because I don’t believe in that concept. It’s a terrible way to understand evolution!
[photo by alphakilo2bravo]
Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! »
It is finals week! For me, this no longer holds any fear because I am in grad school and every week is finals week. “Bring it on!” I say as my tears smudge the ink of yet another double-spaced monstrosity that I cannot bear to finish. “Nailed it!” I yell as I accidentally reply-all with an embarrassing email in which I beg for an extension. “Is this worth it?” I ask as I drink yet another bottle of tequila, watching myself cry in the mirror. Be brave, future graduates! Slay those finals like the people slew the other people in that one movie. And then triumph and revel in your victory! Uh-oh, this pep talk has really broken down now, hasn’t it? Just go out there and do it! And be awesome! OK, let’s talk about squirrels, because if there’s anything this paragraph has taught me, it’s that I should probably not pin my dreams on a career in motivational speaking.
You know how when you think about Russian people, you think about alcoholics? Now you know how stereotypes work! Although the thing is, stereotypes are often based upon very real things. As a Russian person, I can tell you that lots of Russians have alcohol problems, but don’t take my word for it because I am not a scientist or the president of Russia. The president of Russia, in fact, is so concerned about the nation’s drinking problem that he has hired a CGI squirrel to show you how dangerous drinking is. Why a squirrel, you ask? That is a very good question for which I have no answer. I have no idea how a squirrel, no matter how mangy it looks, is going to convince me to put down my bottle of apple-infused vodka,* not even if it speaks in a drunk voice and jumps around and around an empty white room. If you don’t speak Russian, you may think you are watching an amazing short about the plight of an animal imprisoned in a white room, possibly by the KGB. Not so! The squirrel is actually incredibly wasted and discussing such far-ranging topics as “We saw his wife and he thought it was the devil so he said let’s shoot her and then we will mark this occasion.” When I first saw this video, I had no idea what it was about and thought it was a warning about psychosis. I got out my DSM to see if I could diagnose the squirrel, before realizing that if I am going to diagnose animated Russian squirrels, perhaps I am the one I needed to worry about.
Or perhaps I need to worry about the good people putting camels into their Christmas pageants. I have been to a couple of Christmas pageants in my day and while I have seen some bad acting—fifth-graders! Why did I pay you $2.50 when you cannot pay me the courtesy of learning your fucking lines?—I have never felt physically threatened by the production, probably because none of the pageants I have seen featured a live camel! Yes, friends, a live camel is the one thing your Christmas pageant is missing. What, there’s two things missing? Your Christmas pageant isn’t a hit unless the camel topples over into the audience? The camel had a sore knee and lost her balance (yes, there is video). It’s a good thing no one was injured because if anyone had, you can bet that there would be crowds cheering wildly for her death, regardless of her bearing zero culpability for this fiasco.
Apparently the company that provided her for the pageant is a fucking horror show and should be shut down immediately: its owner has been jailed for selling panthers as well as forcing animals to perform high dives. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? THAT HORSE DID NOT WANT TO JUMP OFF THE DIVING BOARD? You know how I know? Because the animals performing the high dives were reportedly shrieking and defecating as they did so. Diving boards are fucking horrifying. I remember my dad tried to get me to jump off of one once by showing me how much fun it was. He did it wrong and came out crying because the water—instead of accepting him gently—punched him right in the balls. He never forgave me.
Dredging up all those memories is a bummer, dude. Let’s look at this picture of a hamster to cheer ourselves up. Kinda makes all your troubles disappear, doesn’t it? Have an awesome day, and please send me links for next week!
*Not en vogue in Russia, where we drink our vodka straight! “Like real man,” my father says.