Monday … Bring it on!!!

♫  ♪  I got my hush puppies on, I guess I never was meant for …

OH … HI! Sorry … I was a little caught up in my Monday song …

Good Slippery Monday Morn, my friends!  I don’t know what the weather is doing where you are, but here we are in the throes of an ice storm.  Daughter Chris went into work at 11:00 last night, as she had to be at work by 6:30 this morning, and the predictions were for treacherous ice covering all the highways.  Needless to say, Miss Goose and I will be staying indoors today.  I hope it is nicer wherever you are!

For most of you, this is your first Monday at work in this new year of 2018.  Thus far, I am not impressed with 2018 and hope the first week was not a harbinger of things to come, else I am going to do a Rip Van Winkle and you can wake me in 2019!  Eight short days into the new year and I am already tired of the drama and stress.  But, let us put all that aside and start our work week out with a laugh, chuckle, or at least a wry grin, okay?  Pull up a chair, grab a cuppa, and lets spend a bit of time together this morning.


In remembrance of …

Those of us who are of a certain age and have adult children would be well-advised to be nice to our children, for they are the ones who will be left to write our obituaries.  For one Texas man, Leslie Ray Charping, this warning comes too late.  This is the obituary that was published when poor ol’ Ray died last year …

Leslie Ray “Popeye” Charping was born in Galveston, Texas on November 20, 1942 and passed away January 30, 2017, which was 29 years longer than expected and much longer than he deserved.  Leslie battled with cancer in his latter years and lost his battle, ultimately du

Charping

e to being the horses ass he was known for.  He leaves behind 2 relieved children; a son Leslie Roy Charping and daughter, Shiela Smith along with six grandchildren and countless other victims including an ex wife, relatives, friends, neighbors, doctors, nurses and random strangers. 

 At a young age, Leslie quickly became a model example of bad parenting combined with mental illness and a complete commitment to drinking, drugs, womanizing and being generally offensive.  Leslie enlisted to serve in the Navy, but not so much in a brave & patriotic way but more as part of a plea deal to escape sentencing on criminal charges.  While enlisted, Leslie was the Navy boxing champion and went on to sufficiently embarrass his family and country by spending the remainder of his service in the Balboa Mental Health Hospital receiving much needed mental healthcare services.

 Leslie was surprisingly intelligent, however he lacked ambition and motivation to do anything more than being reckless, wasteful, squandering the family savings and fantasizing about get rich quick schemes.  Leslie’s hobbies included being abusive to his family, expediting trips to heaven for the beloved family pets and fishing, which he was less skilled with than the previously mentioned.  Leslie’s life served no other obvious purpose, he did not contribute to society or serve his community and he possessed no redeeming qualities besides quick whited sarcasm which was amusing during his sober days.

With Leslie’s passing he will be missed only for what he never did; being a loving husband, father and good friend.  No services will be held, there will be no prayers for eternal peace and no apologizes to the family he tortured.  Leslie’s remains will be cremated and kept in the barn until “Ray”, the family donkey’s wood shavings run out.  Leslie’s passing proves that evil does in fact die and hopefully marks a time of healing and safety for all.

Like I said … be nice to your kids …


Why did the chicken cross the road?

Actually, why did a bunch of chickens cross the highway?  Some 19 chickens managed to shut down a California freeway after their cage fell from a truck, and they escaped.  FREE AT LAST … they ran amok and it took the California Highway Patrol (CHiP) about two hours to round them all up …

“We took these guys into custody without any trouble. They were too chicken to fight,” the CHP tweeted with photos of the rescued chickens.

Some of the comments on the tweet were eyeroll-worthy:

Yeah, the response has been overwhelming.  We had to fly the coop.- CHP Santa Fe Springs

They ran a-fowl of the law!

But why did they cross the road ??

Are these Freeway Range?


It all spends the same …

A man in Putian City, Fujian Province, China wanted to buy a car … he had been saving for quite some time.  So, he walks into a BMW dealership and chooses a used car for $11,000.  And then, when it was time to pay, the man hauled in 10 very large boxes filled with … you got it … COINS!!!!

coinsNow, here in the U.S., I am fairly certain the man would have been told to take his coins to the bank and come back when he could pay with paper or plastic.  In the U.S., ‘customer service’ is rarely customer-centric.  But the dealership in China closed shop for the day and every employee was rounded up to help count and roll coins!

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Tailgating?

What follows is the conversation between a Brown County, Texas, sheriff’s deputy and a man pulled over for a minor traffic violation who had … well, see for yourself …

hot-dogDriver: funny story actually.. I spent the day in Waco and had some hot dogs for lunch. I set one on the rear bumper and somehow forgot about it and continued running errands around Waco. It wasn’t until several people asked about the hot dog, at several different locations, that I realized I had left it on there, so I put a little note on the bumper.

Deputy: is the hot dog glued on there or what?

Driver: What?! You mean it’s still there? That’s insane!

Deputy: yes sir, still there! (I’m laughing hard at this point)

Driver: (loses it) I DROVE ALL OVER WACO AND BACK TO BROWNWOOD AND THAT HOT DOG IS STILL THERE!

Deputy: Apparently so! Do you mind if I take a picture?

Driver: Go right ahead!

Deputy: Sir, it is apparent that you are a cautious driver, so you’re only gonna receive a verbal warning for your violation… and thank you, this made my day.

Driver: maybe I should drive around with a hot dog on my bumper all the time, so I don’t get any tickets!


And finally, this week’s “Cutest Animals’ video, submitted by the Russian Ministry of Defense …

And now, if I did not make you laugh, I know that cute puppy video at least warmed your heart a bit and made you smile, yes?  So, you already know what I’m going to ask you to do, right?  That’s right … go out and share those smiles.  I can tell you that a smile from somebody would lift my heart right about now, so if you want to send me one, I’ll take it!  But seriously, folks, there is an awful lot of sadness in the world today, and you never know when just a smile or a kind word might lift someone’s spirits.  Have a great week, keep warm and safe, and remember that Filosofa loves you!

oon-Maxinetoon-1toon-2toon-3toon-4toon-spring

Saturday Surprise — Fun Animal Stories & Pics

It is finally Saturday, and time for Saturday Surprise.  I know you all have Christmas activities … shopping, baking, parties, shopping, decorating, wrapping, shopping, cleaning, and … did I mention shopping?  So, I really appreciate you taking a bit of time to spend here on this busy Saturday morning.  Like you guys, I have most of the listed activities to do this weekend also, so this morning’s Saturday Surprise may be a bit shorter than usual, but I just couldn’t let you guys down after the week we’ve all had!  If there is one thing I have learned since I started this feature, it is that one can never go wrong with cute or funny animal stories and pictures, so that is what I chose for today!

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This first story is about an orange cat named ‘George’.  We have an orange cat.  His name is … wait for it … “Orange”.  Yes, Miss Goose named him when she was 3 years old.  Anyway, back to George.  George’s housemate is Meloney Blayze from Petts Wood, south east London. Apparently Meloney is in the habit of letting George out the kitchen window early in the mornings to explore in the garden, and then, leaving the window open so he can return when ready, she returns to bed

One morning last week, when Meloney got up later in the day, as she passed George’s bed, she says she found herself thinking “hmm, those are not the cat’s ears”.  A return to the bed and a closer look revealed not George, but a fox had come through the window and was happily occupying George’s bed.  George was none too happy and was hissing at the fox, who, according to Meloney, was “acting like another member of the family who had been there for years and was confused about what all the fuss was about”.

Fox-1Ultimately, Meloney picked up the bed and dumped the fox out the window, restoring order once again.

Fox-2I just had to share this one comment from a reader on Bored Panda

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This next story reminds me of something I would do, being possessed of both a soft, squishy heart and near-blind eyes.

Eric and grandmaWhen Eric Hertlein went to visit his grandma in Kansas, he already knew she would have an array of cats, for she could never resist taking in a stray (gee, why does that sound familiar?)  Sure enough, there were three there at the time.  But wait!  One of those cats looked … oddish.  On closer inspection, Eric discovered not a moggie, but an opossum!  Even as Eric pointed out that the ‘cat’ was not, in fact, a feline, grandma “reassured me it was one of her cats.”  She had named this one Tete.

Tete-1Once Eric convinced grandma that Tete was, in fact, an opossum, she was nonchalant … “Well, he hasn’t bothered me yet, so I’m OK with him being here!”

Tete-2And once again, I loved this comment

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And I will end with some funny animal pictures. These are some of the winners of the  Funniest Wildlife Photos Of 2017.  The first one is a series of four pictures, the rest are singles.

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HELP!

dormouse

The Laughing Dormouse

Hitching a ride

Hitching a Ride

WTF

WTF???

Again, I am orry about this one being a short post, but with only nine short days until Christmas, we all have plenty we need to be doing. Try to relax and enjoy whatever you do today, keep safe & warm, and have a wonderful weekend!  Hugs ‘n love from my house to yours!

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On the Killing of Elephants … Again 😢

elephants-2Look at the picture above.  Somebody please tell me why some men see those majestic animals and their first thought is to kill them? I will never understand it, but then I am a lover of nature and do not seek to destroy that which I love.  This week, Trump & Co, in their determined effort to undo every single thing that Obama did, have overturned a ban on bringing the heads of slain elephants into the country from the nations of Zimbabwe and Zambia.  Now, read this sentence and tell me if you see something wrong with the logic:

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) said it has determined that hunting African elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia “will enhance the survival of the species in the wild.” 

baby elephant

 

“The decision, cheered by some hunting and gun rights groups, is a reversal of the policy under the Obama administration. The United States and international authorities say the African elephant is a threatened species, and the Obama administration argued that allowing trophy imports would harm the animals by encouraging killing them.” – Timothy Cama, The Hill, 15 November 2017

 

Dead elephant

“In 2014, the Obama administration curtailed elephant trophy imports as part of an initiative to protect elephants, whose populations were alarmingly declining, targeted for wildlife trafficking and ivory. As a result, officials in Zimbabwe and Zambia bolstered efforts to combat poaching and enact stricter systems to keep track of permits and quotas.

The Safari Club and the National Rifle Association, which challenged the ban in court, are celebrating the reversal and praising the Trump administration for recognizing the importance of “sound scientific wildlife management.”

By lifting the import ban on elephant trophies in Zimbabwe and Zambia the Trump Administration underscored, once again, the importance of sound scientific wildlife management and regulated hunting to the survival and enhancement of game species in this country and worldwide,” Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement.” – Brianna Sacks, Buzzfeed, 15 November 2017

elephant and babySavanna elephant populations declined by 30 percent across 18 countries in Africa from 2007 to 2014, according to the Great Elephant Census published last year. The elephant population declined 6 percent overall in Zimbabwe but dropped by 74 percent within one specific region. Elephants saw “substantial declines along the Zambezi River,” in Zambia while other areas of that country were stable, according to the census.

The announcement to overturn the 2014 ban is expected on Friday.  Donald Trump promised his followers that he would reverse everything that President Obama ever did, and he has certainly been trying.  Every one of his attempts thus far has been harmful to the nation and its people:  reversing environmental protections, healthcare, labour standards, gun control, education and more. In most cases, the only reason for the changes are to spite Obama.  Why?  Well, we all know the answer to that.

elephant-drawing.jpgWhat makes a man hunt wild game anyway?  It is an expensive activity, what with travel, licensing and fees, so only the relatively wealthy can participate.  It is not, though some would argue, a sport, for there is no sport in murdering an animal with a high powered rifle, when the only defense the animal had was to attack you, but you shot him before he could come near.  The animal stands no chance against this …

rifleI cannot, I suppose, call this a crime against humanity, but it is most assuredly a crime … a crime against nature, a crime against … life.  Donald Trump and Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior, must be toasting their achievement tonight, and Donald’s sons even more so …

I, however, am not.

sad

Saturday Surprise — More Fun Critters!

Good Saturday morning, friends!  And you’re just in time for Saturday Surprise!  It has been a challenging week, both in terms of keeping up with the news (impossible), keeping my mood stable (almost worked, with a little help) and other challenges.  Now you all know what my favourite thing is, right?  So, I decided to treat myself to a bit of happiness today, and hope it brings you some too, with some more mostly-unheard-of animals!


blue footed booby 1

Say ‘hello’ to this adorable Blue-Footed Booby, native to subtropical and tropical regions of the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is easily recognizable by its distinctive bright blue feet, which is a sexually selected trait. Males display their feet in an elaborate mating ritual by lifting them up and down while strutting before the female. The female is slightly larger than the male. (of course, and she falls for a guy stomping his feet in front of her … figures)

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How about this guy … the Venezuelan Poodle Moth, only recently discovered (2009) and not much information is available yet, as scientists are still trying to figure out quite what it is …

Venzuelan poodle moth.jpg Personally, I think it is cute, but not something I would want to wake up and see staring at me!


fluffy cowfluffy cows

These, friends, are Fluffy Cows.  Okay, technically they are a Scottish breed called Highland Cattle, but where I first found them, they were dubbed Fluffy Cows, and I thought it was cute.  Aren’t they much cuter that regular Texas Longhorns?


Fluffy pigs

And speaking of fluffy, how about fluffy pigs!  These are Mangalitsa Pigs, also known as ’a pig in sheep’s clothing’. It is a Hungarian breed of domestic pig. It was developed in the mid-19th century by crossbreeding Hungarian breeds from Szalonta and Bakony with European wild boar and the Serbian Šumadija breed. The Mangalica pig grows a thick, woolly coat similar to that of a sheep.


Endangered duck breeding success

Great family portrait of these Madagascar Pochards, don’t you agree?  They are an extremely rare diving duck, that was thought to be extinct in the  late 1990s. Specimens of the species were rediscovered at Lake Matsaborimena in Madagascar in 2006. As of March 2013, the population is around 80 individual ducks.


Look what I found … Greater Bamboo Lemurs, also known as the broad-nosed bamboo lemur and the broad-nosed gentle lemur, is the largest bamboo lemur, at over five pounds or nearly 2.5 kilograms. It has greyish brown fur and white ear tufts, and has a head-body length of around one and a half feet, or forty to fifty centimeters. They have relatively long tails and long back legs for leaping vertically amongst the trees of their forest habitat .


Wombat

This guy has captured my heart!  He is a Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat, found only in  Epping Forest National Park in Queensland, Australia … Meeka, could you send me one?  They have bodies covered in soft, grey fur and even have fur on their noses, a trait that sets them apart from the common wombat. They have longer, more pointed ears and a much broader muzzle than the other two species. Individuals can be 35 cm high, up to 1 m long and weigh up to 40 kg. The species exhibits sexual dimorphism, with females being somewhat larger than males due to the presence of an extra layer of fat. Oh, doesn’t it just figure???

wombat 2

Why does Australia get both Koalas and Wombats … couldn’t they share at least one of the two?


Normally I wouldn’t associate octopi with the word cute, but just look at this Dumbo Octopus, also known as the Grimpoteuthis … but we will stick with Dumbo Octopus, for obvious reasons.

dumbo octopus

This guy is so named for the prominent ear-like fins which characteristically protrude from the mantle just above the eyes and which give a vague resemblance to the ears of Walt Disney’s flying elephant Dumbo.

cumbo octopus 2


Ever hear of a Gerenuk?  Me neither, but they are also known as the giraffe gazelle, The Gerenuk is a long-necked antelope found in the Horn of Africa and the drier parts of East Africa.

gerenuk

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And last but not least, I shall leave you with this … the Blobfish.

blob fish

He looks just the way I feel some days!!!

The Blobfish is a deep sea fish that inhabits the deep waters off the coasts of mainland Australia and Tasmania, as well as the waters of New Zealand. The flesh of the blobfish is primarily a gelatinous mass with a density slightly less than water; which allows the fish to float above the sea floor without expending energy on swimming. Its relative lack of muscle is not a disadvantage as it primarily swallows edible matter that floats in front of it such as deep-ocean crustaceans. Sounds a bit like a lazy fella to me …

blob fish 2


And on that note, I must be going, for there are errands to run today.  I do hope you all have enjoyed visiting with the animals, and that you have a wonderful weekend.  Better get out and enjoy it now, for winter is on its way!  Hugs ‘n love to all!

Saturday Surprise — In Pictures

One of the suggestions for the new Saturday Surprise feature came from Eschudel of Zombie Flamingos who suggested a ‘Snapshot Saturday’ with unusual or interesting pictures from the week.  Sounded like a good idea, so I went in search of and found a hodge-podge of unusual, touching pictures, but as I was loading them onto this post, I concluded that there needed to be a theme.  So, I sat down and ate dinner, responded to comments from the day, chatted a bit with the family, and then when I came back to work, a theme hit me!  (No, it didn’t hurt … at least not much.)  What about unusual animals?  So, I once again went in search of … and I found some really, really strange creatures (no, I wasn’t in a bar!!!).  So … sit back and take a look at some of these guys!

The Panda Ant

Panda-ant

The Mutillidae are a family of more than 3,000 species of wasps (despite the names) whose wingless females resemble large, hairy ants. Found in Chile, they are known for their extremely painful stings, hence the common name cow killer or cow ant. Black and white specimens are sometimes known as panda ants due to their hair coloration resembling that of the Chinese giant panda. (Image credits: Chris Lukhaup)

Hummingbird Hawk-Moth

hawk-moth-1

hawk-moth-2

As this hawk-moth feeds on flowers and makes a similar humming sound, it looks a lot like a hummingbird. What’s interesting is that it is surprisingly good at learning colors. (Image credits: Jerzy Strzelecki | unknown)

Glaucus Atlanticus (aka Blue Dragon)

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blue-dragon-2

blue-dragon-3.jpg

Also known as the blue dragon, this creature is a is a species of blue sea slug. You could find it in warm waters of the oceans, as it floats on the surface because of a gas-filled sac in its stomach. (Image credits: unknown | unknown | paulhypnos)

Venezuelan Poodle Moth

poodle-moth-1

poodle-moth-2

Discovered in Venezuela in 2009, this new species of alien-looking moth is still poorly explored. Waiting for more info about them! (Image credits: Arthur Anker | imgur)

The Blue Parrotfish

parrotfish-1

parrotfish-2

This bright blue fish can be found in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and spends 80% of its time searching for food. (Image credits: imgur | depalmadise)

Okapi

Okapi-1.jpg

Okapi-2

This mammal is native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Despite the zebra-like stripes, it is actually more closely related to giraffes. (Image credits: marylandzoo.org | baynews9.com)

Sea Pig

sea pig-1

sea pig-2

sea pig-3

Scotoplanes live on deep ocean bottoms, specifically on the abyssal plain in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean, typically at depths of over 1000 meters. They are deposit feeders, and obtain food by extracting organic particles from deep-sea mud. (Image credits: imgur | thedailygreen.com | realcoldfish)

Aye-aye

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Aye-aye-2.jpg

Due to its bizarre appearance and unusual feeding habits, the aye-aye is considered by many to be the strangest primate in the world. It is the world’s largest nocturnal primate. Unusual physical characteristics include incisors that are continually growing (unique among primates), extremely large ears, and a middle finger which is skeletal in appearance, and is used by the animal as a primary sensory organ.

Aren’t they all just adorable?  Which was your favourite?  I am torn between the Okapi and the Aye-aye.  I had fun finding these guys … there are many, many more, so we shall do this again sometime soon.

Stay tuned for next week’s Saturday Surprise!

I Am A Nonperson … So Are You … Just Ask Eric Trump

You can pretty much gauge what type of a news day it is by the number of paper towels used in my household.  Here’s the scenario:  I see a news story that makes me angry, and I curse whichever Trump caused my anger, usually Donald himself.  If it makes me really angry, I stick out my tongue and do a raspberry … ppppbbbbbttttthhhh.  (Yes, I know … very mature …) I then go get a paper towel to clean the droplets off my screen.  And so goes the day.  At the end of the night, as I am preparing for bed, I check the paper towels.  If there is still ½ roll or more on the dowel, I figure it was a pretty peaceful news day.

Tonight there is only one lonely paper towel left on the roll.  And here is part of the reason:

Eric Trump.  Eric came flitting across my radar last night when Forbes reported that the Eric Trump Foundation shifted money intended to go to cancer patients to the family’s businesses. I left that one alone, because I had other fish to fry.  Then tonight … this headline:

Eric Trump Says Those Who Oppose His Dad Are ‘Not Even People’

Eric Trump, Donnie Dark’s 33-year-old son, appearing for some unknown reason on Sean Hannity’s Fox network television program, uttered the words you see above.  In addition, he said that he’s “never seen hatred like this” and “morals have flown out the window” when it comes to attacks against his father.

… excuse me a second while I go grab a paper towel …

First point here is that he just said approximately 64% of the people living in the U.S. are nonpersons.  Including me … and probably you, if you’re reading this post.

Second point is that while it is true that there is intense hatred in this nation, as I have noted many times before, and morals seem to have been packed away with the holiday decorations … who the Sam Heck is this little snotty greasehead to complain when it is his family, specifically his father, that contributed to, if not created, the hatred and bigotry from which we suffer today???

Having made those two points, I have a few other things to tell you about Mr. Eric Trump.  First, let us check out the Forbes story.  Every September, the Eric Trump Foundation holds its annual fund-raiser at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York.  It is a rather hedonistic affair, with 18 holes of golf, followed by Hooters waitresses and cigar spreads, followed by a clubhouse dinner and whatever comes after.  It is attended by rich people indulging in excesses, but hey, all proceeds go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, so it’s all good, right?  That is, according to Eric, who has hosted the event for the past ten years, all proceeds to benefit cancer research, to save the lives of kids with cancer.

Since the golf course, clubhouse, etc., are owned by Donald Trump, when the event first began in 2007, expenses were minimal … about $50,000 each year.  Even at that, it was a lie that all donations went to St. Jude.  But in 2011, the expenses nearly tripled from the prior year.  Why?  Because Donnie Dark apparently ‘just found out’ that he was donating the use of his facilities to his son’s charity and went through the ceiling, saying, “We’re donating all of this stuff, and there’s no paper trail? No credit? I don’t care if it’s my son or not–everybody gets billed.”

… hold on just a sec … need another paper towel …

eric-and-dad

Does Donald look like he is about to cry???

And so it came to pass that now the charity had expenses for a lousy one-day affair of some $142,000.  But wait … it gets even better.  In order to offset the additional expenses, Trump Sr. donated $100,000 from his own charity to Eric’s charity event.  Sounds generous, but think ‘money laundering’.  Remember from a post I wrote a year or so ago    that Trump himself has made almost no contributions to his own charity, so what he actually did was take money from his donors, give it to Eric’s charity, who in turn gave it to Donald’s businesses.  Money donated to a charity went to line Trump’s pockets.  Guess what, folks … people have done prison time for this sort of thing.

Meanwhile, Eric is lying through his teeth when he says that all the money donated goes to St. Jude.  No, not all, not even close, Eric.  In 2015, the event saw approximately $2 million in donations, offset by $322,000 in expenses.  Yet still, Eric claims that all proceeds to go St. Jude. And I’m the nonperson here???

And lastly, let us not forget these ugly images of Mr. Eric Trump and his brother Donnie Jr. from last year.

And I am the nonperson? Hey … where did all the paper towels go???

bounty

Are Animals More Human Than Humans?

I consider myself an animal rights activist. Though I do not carry signs and march alongside PETA, I support animal rights both financially and in my writing.  Frankly, today I think animal rights are probably a much worthier cause than human rights, since animals are more pure of spirit and, as I am given to understand, inhabited the earth long before humans.  I do not wish to write tonight of Trump, the disastrous health care bill, Tillerson, Sessions, or any of the other ugly aspects of our daily life.  Instead, I wish to write about … pigs.

The headline that piqued my curiosity read …

Woman who helps thirsty pigs evades jail

Of course, I first thought the pigs were jail-bound, but upon closer reading (with a magnifying glass), I determined the woman who was helping the poor, thirsty pigs, was for some reason, jail-bound.

The story, as told by BBC, goes like this:

An Ontario judge dismissed mischief charges against Anita Krajnc, ending a legal battle that captured the global attention of animal rights activists.

Judge David Harris said he was not convinced that Ms Krajnc obstructed the use of property when she gave water to pigs headed to slaughter.

Ms Krajnc said it confirms “compassion is not a crime”.

Mischief to property is a criminal offence in Canada related to the wilful destruction or damage of property.

Justice Harris wrote in his decision that he is satisfied that Ms Krajnc “did not obstruct, interrupt or interfere with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of any property” when in July 2015, she gave water to a few animals being carried in a tractor trailer filled with 190 pigs going to a slaughterhouse outside Toronto.

Ms Krajnc, who co-founded an organisation called Toronto Pig Save in 2011, regularly gathered with other activists on a traffic island at an intersection near a large slaughterhouse to pet the animals and give them water.

But this time, the truck driver confronted Ms Krajnc and police were called. A video of the tense encounter was posted online by the activists.

During her trial, supporters crammed into the courtroom, many sitting on the floor. Members of the media sat in the prisoner’s box.

Despite her win on Thursday, Ms Krajnc told the BBC she has “mixed feelings” about the decision.

“We were hoping for recognition in the legal system that pigs and other animals are simply not property – that they are sentient beings, that they have basic rights,” she said.

pigs-1

So, doesn’t that raise a number of questions in your mind?  It doesn’t, you say?  Awwww … c’mon … play along here and don’t force me back into the world of … well, you know … just yet.  Filosofa is trying to de-stress here, and the least you can do is play along …

So, (for those of you still reading) the first question is:  Should animals have the same rights as humans? Well, in a case in New York in 2015, two chimps, Leo and Hercules, went to court.  Their lawyers wanted them removed from an animal testing facility to an animal sanctuary.  The judge, one Barbara Jaffe, suggested the chimps had the right of habeas corpus – the ancient legal principle under which the state has an obligation to produce missing individuals before a court.

pigs-2-chimp

But later, the judge changed the wording and suggested that the court does not consider the animals to be legal persons. Awwwwww …. This story was supposed to DE-stress me …  😥

The year before, there was the story of another chimp named Tommy, in which case a judge said a chimp was not entitled to the same rights as people.

pigs-3-Tommy

And this led to the term speciesism, defined as: “the idea that being human is a good enough reason for human animals to have greater moral rights than non-human animals. …a prejudice or bias in favour of the interests of members of one’s own species and against those of members of other species.”

Now, folks … look around you at the world today.  Do ‘human animals’ ACT like they have ‘greater moral’ rights?  Do they even act like they have morals? If humans are to be considered “superior”, then does it not follow that they have a moral obligation to care for those who fall beneath them in the … um … food chain?

If you made it this far, thank you for putting up with this rambling-of-the-mind post, but the mind was rather like a rubber band wound too tight and needed to be let off the leash for just a bit.  I shall return in a bit with more of my usual fare.  Meanwhile, if you see a thirsty pig today … give him a bit of water.

R.I.P. Piggy Bank

Today I am sad to report that Omsin, the sea turtle, has died.  I meant to write a post about Omsin earlier this month when her story first crossed my radar, but I was distracted by other stories, mostly political, and eventually Omsin receded to the dusty corners of my mind.  Omsin lived most of her life in a pond near the Gulf of Thailand, south of Bangkok until earlier this month when she was moved to the veterinary faculty at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University.

Though it is unknown how long Omsin had lived in the pond, it is thought that she had been there for most of her 25 years. It is likely she was initially taken there by fishermen who had, perhaps, caught her in their nets. Long ago, a Buddhist leader told fishermen they’d earn good karma by releasing their catches into artificial ponds, and the tradition came to be known as ‘mercy release’.

Since sea turtles are known for their longevity, custom held that the turtle’s long life would rub off on those who shared their wealth. Thus came the tradition of people tossing coins into ponds where turtles live, and thus began the problems for poor Omsin.  For you see, Omsin liked to eat the coins that were thrown her way.  When Omsin was rescued from the pond in February, she was one very sick turtle, at the point of death, shell bulging, infected, barely able to swim for all the ‘fortune’ she’d swallowed. Scientists and veterinarians named her Omsin, which in Thai means “piggy bank”.

Omsin-4At the rescue center, Omsin quickly came to the attention of veterinary scientist Dr. Nantarika Chansue — Thailand’s leading turtle rescuer. Dr. Chansue, who has been rescuing turtles from filthy ponds for some fifteen years, said she had never seen a case as disheartening as Omsin.  A CT scan revealed an egg-shaped clump, seven inches on the side, glowing silver, and the mass had cracked her shell.  Turns out there were 11 pounds of slimy black coins pressing against the walls of Omsin’s belly. Surgery to remove the coins was the only hope to save Omsin’s life.

The coins could only be removed a few at a time through the 10-centimeter incision, and the surgery took 7 hours to remove all 915 coins. It was hoped that Omsin had a decent chance for a long life at the end of the surgery.

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But Omsin’s problems were not to end there.  At first she seemed to be recovering well, but on Saturday, a checkup revealed intestinal problems that would require more surgery.  This morning, doctors performed a second operation, but sadly, Omsin, aka Piggy Bank, did not awaken and was pronounced dead at 10:10 a.m. Cause of death: blood poisoning. Doctors said the removal of the coins had created a space in Omsin’s stomach that had probably blocked blood flow in her intestine. That became fatal after she suffered an acute intestinal infection.

“I felt angry that humans, whether or not they meant to do it or if they did it without thinking, had caused harm to this turtle, It’s torture for animals after they eat the coins people throw into ponds. Instead of getting merit, you actually commit a sin.” – Nantarika Chansue

Humans, even well-intentioned humans, pose the greatest threat to the earth and all its lifeforms.  R.I.P. Omsin Piggy Bank.omsin-3

The Sad Tale Of Vince, Impy and Gugu

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Last May I wrote a post about poachers murdering elephants to obtain their tusks for the purpose of selling the ivory to traders.  Though the illegal trade has slowed slightly, elephant poaching remains a serious problem, especially in areas of central and west Africa.  But just today, another, similarly heinous event has come to my attention:  the poaching of rhinoceroses.  Just as the elephants are being killed for their tusks, the rhinos are being killed for their horns, which are then sold to illegal markets mainly in Vietnam and China. It is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine but more and more commonly now it is used as a status symbol to display someone’s success and wealth. A status symbol.  A living, breathing, majestic creature dies so somebody can have his horn to display as a symbol of wealth.  Think about this one for just a minute, folks.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)it is estimated that 1,100 rhinos were killed in 2016 in South Africa alone, and over 129 have already been killed this year. Today very few rhinos survive outside national parks and reserves. Two species of rhino in Asia—Javan and Sumatran—are Critically Endangered. A subspecies of the Javan rhino was declared extinct in Vietnam in 2011. A small population of the Javan rhino still clings for survival on the Indonesian island of Java.

According to an article in The Washington Post, “experts say, that any living rhino — anywhere in the world — is now at risk of being killed.”  Anywhere in the world, even in zoos and sanctuaries, it would seem.

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Vince – R.I.P.

On Tuesday, Vince, a 4-year-old male white rhino, was slaughtered inside his enclosure at the Thoiry Zoological Park west of Paris, France.  Vince was born at a zoo in the Netherlands in 2012, but had resided at Thoiry since March 2015. The murderers broke through a series of metal doors to gain access to the area, then shot Vince three times in the head.  They then used a chainsaw to remove one of his horns, and apparently began working on removing the second horn, but did not finish.  It is unclear whether they were interrupted or the chainsaw broke or ran out of gas, but either way, Vince is dead.  And for what?  So somebody, somewhere, can hang his horn on the wall above their fireplace as a status symbol.  😥

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Thando and Impy napping

But there’s even more.  Last month, at Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in South Africa, two baby rhinos, who had already lost their parents to poachers, were murdered.  Two armed men stormed into the orphanage, held the staff hostage, ripped out the security cameras and shot two 18-month-old white rhinos, Impy and Gugu. Gugu immediately died after being shot, but Impy did not die immediately, yet the poachers continued to remove his horns.  He was later euthanized by zoo staff.  Although the story of Impy and Gugu was reported in several mainstream media outlets, I found this story in the Dodo to be the most informative and touching, even recounting how they came to be at Thula Thula. I hope you will take a minute to read it … it is a story that brings these two rhino-babies to life … it is their legacy.  There is also a Facebook page  written by staff members that tells the story from a personal viewpoint.

On 23 February, it was reported in the SA People News  that two men were arrested for this atrocity.  Apparently, they are known rhino poachers from a “notorious gang” which operates in Mpumalanga and the Kruger National Park, also in South Africa. However, it turned out the men were guilty of a different rhino attack nearby on the same night, so they were released from jail.  WHAT?

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Vince, Impy and Gugu are but three of the thousands of rhinos that have been killed since rhino horn became popular within the last decade, but their stories are important for two reasons.  First, reading their stories, putting a name to the victims of these horrid crimes, seeing their pictures, makes it more personal, helps us to realize what a true crime this really is, more than simply reading statistics about poaching.  Second, and most disturbingly, these two stories suggest a new and alarming trend, one where even animals being protected from poachers in the wild, are not safe.  It suggests a certain desperation or else laziness on the part of the evil men who would murder an animal for money. Are these two instances isolated, or are they merely the beginning?  Will other poachers soon decide that it is much easier to murder and de-horn a rhino in a small, protected area than to have to scout hundreds or even thousands of acres in the wild?  I hope I am wrong, but more and more, the human race amazes me, and not necessarily in a positive way.

Jolly Monday!

Blogger-friend Mary recently referred to my Monday morning posts as Jolly Monday, and I liked that, so it is today’s title.  A number of new readers have come to Filosofa’s Word in the past few weeks, so rather than have them wondering if I have completely lost my bloomin’ marbles with today’s post, I will explain about Jolly Mondays.  Mostly I write about socio-political issues, which of late tend to be rather dark.  At the behest of a friend some time ago, I decided to make my Monday morning post completely politic-free.  Since then it has evolved into basically a venue for humour, good news, cartoons, and most important of all, cute animal stories and pictures!  As most already know, and the rest of you will soon see, I am a sucker when it comes to furry critters … which explains our family of ten, seven of whom walk on all fours.  Soul-mate Herb was only mildly incredulous the other night when I told him I had spent ten minutes apologizing to one of our felines, after calling her a b—- for knocking my ashtray onto the floor.

So, it is Monday again dear friends.  I know you are all scattered ‘round the world, but I have to tell you about our weekend weather!  On Friday, we set a new record high of 76° F (24° C), and the next day, barely made it above the freezing mark (0° C), with snow, sleet and wind!  What a quick change, and not necessarily a welcome one!  Mother Nature is being contrary!

coffeecinnrollsGrab your coffee and pull up a chair … you have just a few minutes for a chuckle to start your work week out right, get in the right frame of mind to deal with whatever life throws at you this week …


A tale of courage

I first saw this story in the Guardian one-day last week, read the piece, had a chuckle, then moved on to more serious topics.  Later that afternoon, perusing the more serious sites I visit daily, it came back onto my radar in, of all places, Foreign Policy magazine!  Okay, I thought, obviously this guy is not going off my radar until I write about him, so welcome to Filosofa’s Word, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, President of Iceland!

The latest population estimate for Iceland is 333,443 people.  Iceland does not appear to have much of a problem with immigrants, perhaps because if its climate.  As the name implies, it is somewhat cold in Iceland.  However, Iceland is not without troubles, but luckily they have a president who is not afraid to tackle even the toughest of problems:  pineapple on pizza!!!

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Jóhannesson was giving a speech at a local high school when a student asked whether he thought pineapple was a viable topping for pizza.  He said he was fundamentally opposed to the concept of pineapple as a pizza topping and if he had the power to do so, he would ban the practice entirely.  Well, wouldn’t you know that his remarks caused a virtual UPROAR!  People on both sides of this burning issue took to Twitter and Facebook, including frozen pizza king DiGiorno. In light of the potential divisiveness of the scandal, Jóhannesson issued the following statement on Facebook:

monday-pizza“I like pineapples, just not on pizza. I do not have the power to make laws which forbid people to put pineapples on their pizza. I am glad that I do not hold such power. Presidents should not have unlimited power. I would not want to hold this position if I could pass laws forbidding that which I don’t like. I would not want to live in such a country. For pizzas, I recommend seafood.”

It is to be hoped this puts an end to it and Jóhannesson’s approval rating, which stood at 97% prior to his remarks, will not be damaged.


Old McDonald had a … restroom?

monday-mcdonalsdsEver wonder where McDonald’s keeps their chickens until they’re ready to be turned into chicken nuggets?  Well, wonder no more!  A five-year-old boy in Cobough, Ontario, not far from Toronto, has found the answer.  While his mom was ordering his Happy Meal, the little boy went into the restroom to wash his hands and discovered … you got it … a live chicken!  He came running out to tell his mom, who didn’t quite believe him at first, but upon investigation by restaurant staff, sure enough … there was a live brown chicken bobbing around the floor of the restroom.

monday-chickenMcDonald’s spokesperson Michelle Yao confirmed staff contacted Municipal Animal Services to take the chicken. She also said officials are conducting an investigation to determine how the chicken ended up in the washroom. I’m not sure how one conducts such an investigation … DNA testing, perhaps? But more power to them.  Meanwhile, there is at least one chicken who will not end up as a McChicken!


You better slow down, else I will … dry you!

Imagine for a moment that you live in a small, peaceful village, but lately tourists have been speeding through the village on your quaint, cobblestone streets, endangering lives and disturbing your peace.  What do you do?  Well, duh … you get out the hairdryer, of course!  The place is the tiny village of Hopeman, Scotland, population approximately 1,720, where villagers ranging from elderly men to little girls have begun donning reflective vests and standing along the street, holding a hair dryer that they hope speeding drivers will mistake for a speed gun.  Don’t laugh … it would probably make me take my foot off the gas!  A matter for the police, you say?  Well, the police response is “We are aware of complaints regarding speeding in Hopeman, which we are continuing to address.”  Sounds like the stock-in-trade answer, don’t you think?  Hats off to the citizens of Hopeman for trying to keep their village safe!


The quokkas are back!!!

Remember on January 17th … yeah, me neither … when I included a blurb in my Monday morn post about the cute little animals of which I had never heard, quokkas?  Well, seems like you can go 65 years and never hear of something, then all of a sudden they are all over your radar!  So, the cute little quokkas are back in the news …

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Look at that smile … doesn’t it just melt your heart?

Campbell Jones was riding his bike on Rottnest Island, off the coast of Australia, when he passed a quokka alongside the roadway.  He did what any of us would, pulled over, got off his bike, and actually played with the quokka for a few minutes.  Then, as he was preparing to get back on his bike, the quokka, apparently not wanting his newfound friend to leave, leaped into his arms!  He (Campbell, not the quokka) was wearing a GoPro camera that just happened to capture the flying leap!  They say a picture is worth a thousand words … this one certainly is!


I usually sense if one of my posts is ‘good’, ‘not-that-great’, or ‘just-hit-the-delete-button bad’.  I sense this is not one of my better “Jolly Monday” posts, and for that I apologize.  For some reason, I am just not feeling particularly humorous tonight. But alas … I tried … and I shall top it all off with a few cartoons to make up for my lack.  So now, go scrape the ice off your windshields and have a safe journey to work this fine Monday morn.  Remember to share a smile, a chuckle, maybe even half your peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich today … we all need someone to smile at us once in a while.  Keep warm and safe … and have a GREAT MONDAY!

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