April Fool’s!

I gave some thought to trying to pull an April Fool’s joke on you guys by telling you that this would be the last post ever on Filosofa’s Word, but … I figured some would see the title or read the first sentence and say, “Whew, it’s a good thing, for that old hag never had anything interesting to say anyway.”  And then my feelings would be hurt.  Not to mention that I’ve never been any good at pulling April Fool’s jokes.  The best one I tried was hiding my daughter’s car after she went to bed one March 31st night.  But, after an hour or two, I feared she might wake up, think it had been stolen, and call the cops (I only moved it one street over), so I moved it back before going to bed.  My girls … and anyone who knows me … can tell when I’m “up to something”, for my face gives me away every time.  So … instead of pulling a prank on you guys, I’m going to share some of the best April Fool’s pranks by others in years past.

Nearly every site I visited had this one …

On April 1, 1957, the BBC TV show “Panorama” ran a segment about the Swiss spaghetti harvest, enjoying a “bumper year” thanks to mild weather and the elimination of the spaghetti weevil. Many credulous Britons were taken in, and why not? The story was on television – then a relatively new invention – and Auntie Beeb would never lie, would it?

It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied, “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.” Even the director-general of the BBC later admitted that after seeing the show he checked in an encyclopedia to find out if that was how spaghetti actually grew (but the encyclopedia had no information on the topic). The broadcast remains, by far, the most popular and widely acclaimed April Fool’s Day hoax ever, making it an easy pick for the #1 April Fools’ hoax of all time on the Museum of Hoaxes website – a fine source for all things foolish.

More recently, in 2015, Cottonelle tweeted that it was introducing left-handed toilet paper for all those southpaws out there.

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Few people may have been taken in by Cottonelle, but that wasn’t the case in 1973, when Johnny Carson cracked a joke about a toilet paper shortage. Worried Americans immediately stocked up. Well, you can never be too sure.

In this now-classic 1996 prank, Taco Bell took out newspaper ads saying it had bought the Liberty Bell “in an effort to help the national debt.” Even some senators were taken in, and the National Park Service even held a press conference to deny the news. At noon, the fast-food chain admitted the joke, along with donating $50,000 for the bell’s care. The value of the joke, of course, was priceless.

In 1994, PC Magazine ran a column about a bill making its way through Congress that would prohibit the use of the Internet while intoxicated. Despite the name of the contact person, Lirpa Sloof (“her name spelled backward says it all,” the column concluded), many people took the story seriously.

In retrospect, however, perhaps the bill – fake or not – wasn’t such a bad idea.

Here are some of the best April Fool’s pranks from around the globe …

France: According to Le Parisien, in 1986, the Eiffel Tower was going to be dismantled and rebuilt inside the new Euro Disney park.

Denmark: In 1965, a Copenhagen newspaper reported that Parliament had passed a law that all dogs be painted white to improve road safety because they could then be seen clearly at night.

Norway: In 1987, after reading that the government was planning to distribute 10,000 litres of wine confiscated from smugglers, hundreds of citizens turned up carrying empty bottles and buckets.

China: Claiming that it would reduce the need for foreign experts, the China Youth Daily joked in 1993 that the government had decided to exempt PhDs from the nation’s one-child-per-family policy. After foreign press picked up the hoax, the government condemned April Fools’ Day as a Western tradition.

Great Britain: In 1980, those serial pranksters at the BBC announced that Big Ben, London’s historic clock tower, would undergo a face-lift and become digital to keep up with the times. This one didn’t go over so big, as enraged callers flooded the station with complaints.

Canada: In 2008, WestJet airlines advertised its overhead cabin bins as “among the most spacious of any airline” and said it would charge passengers an extra $12 to use these “sleeper cabins.”

Taiwan: In 2009, the Taipei Times claimed that “Taiwan-China relations were dealt a severe setback yesterday when it was found that the Taipei Zoo’s pandas are not what they seem.” The paper reported that the pandas, a gift from the Chinese government, were brown forest bears dyed to resemble pandas. Among the complaints sent to the paper was one from the zoo’s director.

Germany: In 2009, BMW ran an ad promoting its new “magnetic tow technology.” The invention enabled drivers to turn off their engine and get a “free ride” by locking onto the car ahead via a magnetic beam.

Perhaps the most fun part of April Fool’s pranks are that somebody, somewhere, will fall for almost anything!

And if you need some ideas for your own pranks, Bored Panda has a few

Insect Lamps

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Attach An Airhorn To Their Seat

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Delight Their Taste Buds With Caramel Onions

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Prank At Walmart

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Now, use your imagination and have a bit of fun with the day … just keep it fun, not mean.  Unless you’re pranking someone who deserves mean … then it’s okay to be mean.

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Saturday Surprise — Critters From Down Under

For the sake of my sanity, I need Saturday Surprise this week as much as you guys … anything besides impeachment just for this morning, please!  Well, you guys know where I turn when I’m stressed and need a smile, right … CRITTERS!

When we think of Australia and critters, a few come to mind right off … kangaroo, wallaby, koala … but there are many more critters that are native to Australia and I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of them.

More than 70% of Australian wildlife is found nowhere else in the world, but sadly much of it also is vulnerable, threatened, or endangered. The 2019-2020 bushfires didn’t help, destroying over 18 million hectares (approx 46 million acres) of land, and it is estimated that it killed over 1 billion animals. 😢  And a few endangered species are now facing the risk of extinction especially with the loss of habitats. So, let’s learn a little bit about these (mostly) cute critters.

(Header image:  Wombats have very interesting butts. Not only do they produce cubed poop, they also protect themselves from predators by diving into their burrows and block the entrance with their butts. Their bottom mostly consists of cartilage that is resistant to bites and scratches.


1-quokka

Quokkas have been labelled one of the friendliest animals on the planet because of their cute smiles. They will even happily live in big groups without being territorial and have no problems with sharing food or shelter with other Quokkas. But even though they are pretty friendly, they are still wild animals and will scratch and bite if they feel threatened. It is prohibited to touch them and can result in a fine, as irresistibly cute these creatures are DO NOT TOUCH.

2-galah

Galahs can travel in flocks of 1000 birds and are known to fly at 70km/hr. Since these birds main diet is seeds, They are vital in helping with seed dispersal by dropping germinated seeds into other areas.

3-rainbow-lorikeet

These beautiful birds are often considered the bullies of the birds as they chase and pick on other bird species. Male and female rainbow lorikeets are pretty much identical so the only way you can really tell is by a DNA test. Their diet mainly consists of nectar and pollen.

5-leafy-sea-dragon

These leafy sea dragons can only be found off the coast of South and East of Australia. They are near threatened due to divers taking them home as pets but are now protected. They have no known predators because of their spiny fins and camouflage. Whilst they are closely related to sea horses they cant grip onto things with their tails and they mainly drift in the current than propel themselves with their fins like sea horses do.

7-fairy-penguin

The fairy penguin is the smallest in the world. They are the only penguins to breed in Australia but have found themselves to be a great target for predators. Which makes them highly dependent on human intervention and protection and not just humans but one specific colony relies on Maremma sheepdogs to protect them from foxes. They even made a movie about the first dog to look after the penguins, called “Oddball”.

10-red-bellied-blacksnake

Red bellied black snakes are one of the most encountered snakes and are responsible for a number of bites annually. But they are generally a shy snake and will usually slither away or stay still in the hopes of not being seen. Most victims of bites suffer mild symptoms with very few cases needing hospitalisation. There have been no confirmed deaths from a red bellied black snake bite.

11-blue-ringed-octopus

This colourful octopus is the only octopus that is toxic to humans. So much so that they can kill 26 adults within minutes. When they flash their blue rings it is because they are NOT happy so you should stay away, although best to keep away from them in the first place. In saying that there have only been very few deaths from this tiny octopus. The blue ringed octopus is very small, reaching the size of a golf ball and love to hide under rocks and inside shells.

12-cassowary

The cassowary is considered one of the deadliest birds but in fact there have only been two recorded human fatalities from a cassowary, one in 1926 and the other in 2019. These birds have talons that look similar to a velociraptor and is one of the reasons the cassowary is often called a “living dinosaur”. They are fast runners, high jumpers and good swimmers so it’s best to steer clear.

14-koala

Koalas solely live on eucalyptus leaves and spend up to 4-5 hours eating, the rest of the time they are sleeping (approx18-20hours a day). Sadly koala chlamydia is quite prevalent so there are sterilisation programs to stop infected koalas from procreating. The biggest colony of koalas that is not affected by chlamydia is on Kangaroo Island, but after the 2019-2020 bushfires there has been a huge decline in koala numbers and are now considered endangered in many parts of the country.

15-kookaburra

Kookaburras are part of the kingfisher family but do not need to live near water and don’t really eat fish. They mainly eat small animals like mice, chicks, lizards and insects. They have a very distinguishable sound, which is a bit like a laugh and often call loudly during dusk and dawn.

20-pig-nosed-turtle

The pig-nosed turtle is the only surviving member of it’s family, which are the only freshwater turtle with large paddle like flippers. Their shell is not hard but is in fact leathery feeling.

21-blue-tongue-lizard

The blue-tongued lizard is the largest member of the skink family, when they feel threatened they will puff up their bodies, sticks out it’s tongue whilst hissing. Whilst they don’t have the best teeth, they do have a powerful bite and tend not to let go.

27-bilby

The bilby is a nocturnal animal about the size of a rabbit. They have poor eyesight so rely on their sense of smell and acute hearing. The bilby is kind of an Easter icon in Aus as you can get chocolate Bilby’s just like the bunnies and a portion of the sales gets donated to Bilby conservation programs/organisations.

28-numbat

Numbats are one of only a few marsupials that don’t have a pouch. They have about 4 babies and the young attach themselves to the teats for the first 5 months. Then the mother will dig a burrow for them to finish their development and will stay in there until around late spring, where they will leave and go off on their own.

31-long-nosed-potoroo

Potoroos are mainly solitary animals and are also non-territorial. They are nocturnal animals but have been known to come out during the day in winter months, particularly on cloudy days foraging for food. The potoroo is the oldest species of the kangaroo family and have undergone little changes, essentially becoming a living fossil.

32-frill-necked-lizard

The frill on the neck of the frill-necked lizard can reach 30cm (12in) in diameter and is erected by cartilage spines that are connected to the jaw bones. They unfold their frill during mating to get rid of excess heat and also as a defence with a bit of a hissing sound too. They can also run pretty fast upright on their hind legs.

34-tasmanian-devil

Tasmanian devils are the largest living carnivorous marsupials with an estimated 544kg (1199lbs) of bite pressure per square inch so they can crush bone. Sadly tens of thousands of Tassie Devils have died since the 90’s from starvation due to a contagious disease that causes tumours to grow around the mouth area, making it hard to eat. Tasmanian Devils can only be found in Tasmania in the wild but many wildlife parks and zoos have them on the mainland.

35-flying-fox-megabat

The flying fox (megabat) is the largest flying mammal in Australia with a wingspan of over a metre. They are vital in the survival of many native plant species as they are major pollinators for over 50 types of trees. They are pretty harmless but if you get bitten or scratched seek medical attention as they can carry the lyssavirus which is closely related to rabies.

echidna

Just like the Platypus, the Echidna is also a monotreme (egg laying mammal),. The female deposits a single egg into her pouch and 10 days later a baby echidna hatches, which is called a puggle. Echidnas are solitary animals but will meet to mate and spend about a year looking after their babies.

These are only some of the fascinating wildlife found in Australia … for more, hop over to Bored Panda and check out the rest!

Saturday Surprise — A Hodge-Podge

Today, I have somewhat of a hodge-podge for you.  I thought we all needed something to laugh about after the past couple of weeks {years}!


Have you ever done something really dumb … you know, those kinds of things that make you smack your head and say, “I can’t believe I did that!”  🙄  Oh come on now, you know you have — we all have!  Let me start out with a couple of my own … er … less-than-brilliant moments.  My van is old, with 221,000+ miles on it, and it needs to be started every couple of days to keep it at least semi-functional.  Since I only use it once a week to pick up my online grocery order from the Kroger that is less than a mile from home, I usually start it every other day, let it run for 10 minutes, then go back out and turn it off. But one time, I forgot it was running, and a couple of hours later when my daughter returned home from work, she said, “How long has your van been running?”  Oops.  Now I set the timer on my phone to remind me!  Then there was the time years ago when I was at the grocery checkout and suddenly realized my keys weren’t in my pocket.  I panicked, and the cashier asked me what was wrong … “I can’t find my keys!” … and she calmly asked, “Is that them in your hand?”  🤦

Here are some gems from readers of Bored Panda …

  • I have a key fob for my car. It’s set up so that if you hit the lock button once, it locks the car. If you hit the same lock button again, it locks it again and honks the horn so you know you’ve locked it for sure. The thing is, I always want to make super sure that it’s locked, but sometimes I come home to my condo super late, and my parking spot is right under someone else’s window. I noticed that if the key fob was farther away from the car when I hit the button twice, the honk was not as loud. So out of consideration, I would always wait til I was halfway up the stairs to do the double lock honk. What a great neighbor I am! Anyway, after maybe 2+ years of doing this, one time my girlfriend and I were in my condo and I realized I needed something out of my car. So I go down there but when I get there I realize I had forgotten my keys. Well, I had my phone, so I called my girlfriend and asked if she would stick her arm out the window with the key fob and unlock my car. She mistakenly hit the lock button twice and my car honked. Really loudly! Even though she was all the way up on the third floor! It was only then I realized…the honk was always the same. It only sounded softer when I was farther away…because I was farther away. I have a master’s degree…

  • My coworker asked if there is lactose in eggs, I thought to myself “they both come from the same animal, so maybe”. For 5 seconds, I thought milk came from chickens.

  • I once had a brain fart and forgot that porcupines were animals. I was hanging out with my family and my niece mentioned that her favorite animal was a porcupine, and I laughed for a good long time before explaining to her that porcupines weren’t animals. I’d gotten them mixed up with pine cones. I have a graduate degree. My niece was maybe 6 at the time. She schooled me.

  • When I was cleaning out my shed in the back, I stepped on a rake and the pole smacked me in the face. Literally, like the cartoons. It happened three more times before I came up with the bright idea to move the rake.

  • I was sitting in traffic, and I noticed that all the other lanes were moving while mine hadn’t budged an inch. I craned my neck trying to see what the hold up was, and finally figured out that I wasn’t in a lane at all, but had been patiently waiting behind a line of parked cars.

  • A couple months ago, my husband and I went on a walk. There are a lot of trails where we live and a couple of lakes. So we walked down a trail to the lake, turned left up another trail, and ended up at the top of a street. We start walking down the street and I realize there is a house that has a wishing well in their front yard like we do. I point it out to my husband and then I realize they have the same truck we do, too. I point out the truck and then I realize that we were in front of our own house. It wasn’t my brightest moment.

So, what are some of your not-so-bright moments?


I always find critters help bring down my stress levels (unless it is my own recalcitrant furry family members while they’re intent on destroying furniture or pulling up the carpet!). Recently, Agora challenged international photographers to participate in the #Animals2020 photo contest with their best shots of living creatures around the planet.  Here is a sampling …

1-iguana

Iguana — Jakarta, Indonesia

2-koala

Mother & baby koala — Australia

3-monkey

Baby monkey — Kedoya Utara, Indonesia

10-fox

Arctic fox — Iceland

17-bekantan

Mother & child Bekantan — Cisarua, Indonesia

19-owl

Barn owl — Northumberland, United Kingdom

22-lion

Lion — Gondwana Game Reserve, South Africa

23-Ibex

Ibex — Chamonix, France

25-puffin

Puffin — Smoker Island, Wales, United Kingdom

41-bee

Bee on flowers — South Korea

42-bird-zebra

Bird on zebra — Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

This is just a sample of the full collection, but you can see the rest, along with some of the photographer’s stories.


And last, but not least … in case you still haven’t chuckled … a few really bad (don’t say I didn’t warn you) jokes, courtesy of Reader’s Digest

  • What did the fish say when he swam into a wall?  Dam.
  • What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.
  • Did you hear about the Italian chef who died? He pasta-way.
  • Did you hear about the fire in the shoe factory?  10,000 soles were lost. The police said some heels started it.
  • What’s the difference between a rabbit and a plum? They’re both purple except for the rabbit.
  • What do you call an alligator in a vest? An in-vest-igator.
  • I could tell that my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio. – Rodney Dangerfield

toonNow, try to put the serious stuff out of your mind for a couple of hours today and enjoy your Saturday, ‘k?

Saturday Surprise — More Squirrels!

Conversation between me, myself, and I, with name-calling and profanities removed:

Me:  It’s 11 days before the election … surely you can’t expect me to manage a Saturday Surprise post this week?

Myself:  Okay, fine, so go to bed, then, lazy.

I:  Look, you write about politics all week … don’t you want a break?

Me:  No, the political situation is important!  It’s the thing weighing most heavily on my mind, the thing that has wrecked my appetite and my sleep!  I can’t find humour today … I just can’t.

Myself:  Oh great, feel sorry for y’self, why don’t you?

I:  Look, maybe you don’t want a break, but maybe your readers would be grateful for one, don’t you think?  Think about them, not yourself.  They’re worried too, and they need something to smile about.

Me:  Well … since you put it that way …

Myself:  Then get busy, you lazy sod.

Me:  I’m going, I’m going … would you please shut up!

And so … I went in search of something to give us all a reason to smile!  And I found – squirrels!!!

Geert Weggen is a Dutch/Swedish international awarded photographer specialiced in photographing Red squirrels.  In December 2018, I did a Saturday Surprise post featuring some of his squirrel photography.  This week, he put out a new collection of adorable photos, but first, I’ll let Geert tell you a bit about himself and how this all came about …

“15 years ago, I built a house with a balcony in a small village in the middle of Sweden beside a forest. I never expected that my balcony would become a photo studio for wild animals. Now I make my living with red squirrel photography.

It all started with a fox standing in front of my door. I started to take photos of the fox. After 2 weeks of daily visits, the fox started to climb onto my balcony and climb into boxes. This was the start of creating scenes on my balcony where I would lay out food for wildlife and capture them with my camera.

The studio is built 1 meter from the ground and is directly connected with my kitchen window and the forest. This is how I make compositions at eye level, 3 meters from my window. I use food to lure animals.

There can be a total of 14 squirrels visiting my garden, but mostly, there are 6 coming daily. I do not give them much food, so that they are not dependent on me.

I have won prizes, published books, and been published in many newspapers and magazines, TV and radio broadcasts, as well as worked together with publishers and artists. I have also done commercials and organized workshops. I’ve also been featured on Bored Panda many times, and you can find the links to these articles hereherehereherehere, and here.

Although there can be many squirrels coming in my scenes simultaneously, they are rarely all perfectly in focus or the right composition; therefore, I sometimes capture 2 photos with the animals in different positions and stack them together. Another thing I do is cloning out wires, pins, or food buckets if needed.”

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Me, myself, and I all hope that the cute, furry squirrels brought a smile to your face, and we wish you a wonderful weekend!!!

Saturday Surprise — Critter Love

Given the events of the past week, I thought there couldn’t possibly be a Saturday Surprise post in me this week, and was preparing a post about … well, you’ll find out this afternoon.  But then, I came across a post on Bored Panda and … by about the 7th picture, I found a funny thing happening to my face.  The corners of my mouth were turning up and I was saying, “Awwwwww …” repeatedly!  So, long story short, I decided that I could step away from the drama & trauma of the world for just a bit and share some “awwwww … “ moments with you guys.

It seems these days that some people cannot accept any who look different from themselves, say have a different skin tone or accent.  But these critters prove that looks, fur colour, size, gender, and even species are irrelevant in the grand scheme.

According to Arizona Humane Society’s Pet Behavior and Pet Training Manager Jenny Dagnino, social relationships and friendships between animals of different species are common.

Take a look at some of these guys … I guarantee they’ll bring a smile to your face …

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This pelican befriended the dog who kept hanging out and seemed lonely.  The man who took this picture adopted the dog, but brings him back every day to visit his pelican friend.

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Even height doesn’t matter to these two!

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Wasn’t there once a book or a film titled “The Owl and the Pussycat”?

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And I know there is both a novel and a Disney film about “The Fox and the Hound”!

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You may remember these two, Herman the pigeon who can’t fly, and Lundy the chihuahua who can’t walk, for I wrote a post about them in February.

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Yet another Fox and Hound!

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Growing up together

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♫  So Happy Together

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Giving comfort in the time of need

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“Hey!!!  Give us back our brother!”

critters-15Now, if all these adorable critters didn’t warm your heart, then … I just don’t know what will!  Perhaps a cute critter video?

Now that you’re smiling and feeling all warm ‘n fuzzy inside, go forth and have a terrific WEEKEND!!!

Saturday Surprise — It’s A Surprise!

Good morning my friends and welcome!  Have you noticed that weekends aren’t quite what they used to be?  Even so, though, we will celebrate the beginning of the weekend in style this morning, and with hopes that this weekend will bring joy in one form or another.  For me, it means that at least I don’t have to cook, for daughter Chris cooks on Saturday night, and Miss Goose on Sunday, so I do get a break.

The folks at the San Antonio Zoo in Texas did not waste their time while the zoo has been closed due to the pandemic!  These folks played with Lego building blocks!  Take a look at some of the things they built …

pandas

peacock

frog

bee

mantisAmazing, aren’t they?  I used to build with Lincoln Logs when I was a kid, and managed to do a windowless log cabin a time or two, but that was the extent of it for me!  This Lego zoo is awesome, and … the icing on the cake is that you don’t have to mingle and mix, but you can see all the Lego-critters from your car as you drive through.

lemur

polar-bears

bald-eagle

dodo-bird

butterflyThe “Wild Connections” exhibition of animal sculptures was created by famous New York artist Sean Kenney, who is also a certified Lego professional. Who knew there was such a thing as a ‘certified Lego professional’???  These animals are entirely made from Lego bricks and will be on display until September 5th. The exhibition features over 30 LEGO sculptures, created with more than three million LEGO pieces, of animals like pandas, lemurs, tortoises, birds like peacocks and bald eagles, and even insects like bees and butterflies.

throated-hummingbird

ladybug

tortoise

chameleon

dragonflyEach sculpture is unique and took a lot of time and patience to make. For example, the sculpture of baby pandas took 405 hours to make and the artist used 53,460 bricks to build it, whereas the sculpture of a bald eagle took 184 hours and 42,198 bricks to build. It’s good to know that artists like Sean Kenney used the global lockdown to create and shed some light in these uneasy times!

duck-ducklings

lion

buffalo

jumping-loi

calfSays Tim Morrow, President and CEO of the San Antonio Zoo …

“LEGO bricks have been a large part of many childhoods sparking curiosity, ingenuity, and creativity. Now they can be experienced larger than life, in nature by families visiting the zoo. These giant plants, animals, and bugs are the perfect complement to a zoo visit.”

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snow-leopard

birdbath

deer

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I hope you enjoyed seeing these amazing creations!  Hopefully, by next summer, we can see the animals up close and in person, but for now, aren’t these grand?

Have a fun weekend, whatever you do!

Saturday Surprise — Avian Humour

I must admit that I nearly forgot that today is Saturday.  There’s a reason for this … no, I’m not losing all my marbles, only a few of them.  See, daughter Chris was off from work yesterday (Friday), which made it feel like Saturday all day, for she’s never home on Friday.  So, since I thought it was Saturday all day long, when I sat down to write this morning’s post, I wasn’t thinking about Saturday Surprise, and I had another post about half completed when a little birdie tapped into my mind and said, “Yo!  It’s Saturday, not Sunday!”  And so, I changed gears, but with some difficulty.  Since it was already midnight and I had no plan, I must settle for some funny bird pictures I found over at Bored Panda.  Hopefully, they will at least make you smile a bit.

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Proud momma bird with newly hatched baby

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A warm place to be

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Eh … not even big enough for a snack

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Caught one of those alien drone birds!

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Photobombed by an owl!

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Bees???  What bees?

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Oh that’s gonna hurt!

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Apologies for such a short Saturday Surprise, but I do hope that you enjoyed the birds!  And one last treat … I love owls, and I came across this video of some really adorable owls!

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!!!Weekend

Saturday Surprise — Creativity!

I couldn’t decide on which of two things to do for today’s Saturday Surprise:  balloons or sand.  So, I decided to give you a taste of both!


Andoni Bastarrika discovered his talent ten years ago, in the summer of 2010 while at the beach with his two daughters.  He was playing around, trying to sculpt from sand a little mermaid for his girls, when he discovered he had a gift for sculpting with sand, a unique fluidity of his hands.  Says Bastarrika …

“They knew what they were doing. I devoted myself to developing this gift and have spent the last 10 years doing just that.  The sand fascinates me because no matter how you look at it, it will always teach you things if you are willing to learn. In order to create a sculpture, an unthinkable number of sand particles participate, hugging each other tightly through humidity, so that someone could model their union. And once the artist steps back, its piece will remain at the mercy of nature, meaning that sooner or later the wind will dry them up and release each particle, slowly consuming all the individuality and authenticity.”

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“The time it takes to create one piece largely depends on its size. The elephant, for example, took me 2 days, while the horse and the bison took 12 hours each. The dogs, which were smaller, needed about 6 to 8 hours.”

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“There are a lot of reasons why I like to make animal sculptures as well, but one is the fact that animals are free spirits. Humans can reflect and learn from them.”

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Now, those of you who say you’re bored these days, being confined to quarters with nothing much to do, here’s something for you to spend some time on … balloon art!  We’ve all been to a fair or street carnival where there’s a man blowing up narrow balloons and turning them into rather simplistic dogs, or other critters, but Japanese artist Masayoshi Matsumoto has taken balloon art to a whole new level.

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Like the sand artist Bastarrika, Mr. Matsumoto has been perfecting his craft for about ten years now.

“My creations are one hundred percent balloon-only. I don’t use any adhesive, marker pens, or anything else.”

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“A lot of my work revolves around nature because I’ve been fascinated with it since I was very young.”

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Matsumoto says his sculptures aren’t products of spontaneity; they’re the offspring of careful and deliberate planning. Once he’s done designing a particular piece, Matsumoto usually spends 2-5 hours blowing and twisting the balloons.

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Okay, folks, get some balloons and let’s see what you can do!  I’ll feature any and all pictures that you guys send me … c’mon … you can do it!


Okay, friends, time for you to get to those weekend chores … mowing the yard, and after all of last week’s rain, the gutters probably need cleaning!  Whatever you do this weekend, keep safe and find time to enjoy life.

Saturday Surprise — Strange & Unique Critters!

Good Saturday morning, friends and welcome to the …weekendI’m sure you must all have big plans for the weekend, perhaps watching the grass grow, or something equally exciting.  Well, let me start your weekend off with some cute and unique critters!  I’ve heard that there have been sightings recently of animals never before seen by humans … let’s take a look, shall we?

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Blurb

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Squix

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Meowth

Heh heh heh … APRIL FOOL!!!  These are actually photo-shopped creations by Norwegian electronics engineer, Arne Olav Gurvin Fredriksen.

A project that started purely as a hobby, Fredriksen began making his photo manipulations in 2012.

“Me and a friend were joking about how weird and harmless guinea pigs are, so I started mixing them with other animals just for fun with the Photoshop experience I had. This was right in the exam period, so I needed some pauses from studying. The pictures became quite popular, so I continued making some in 2013. Then I had a break for several years, and in the past years, I’ve picked up the hobby again.”

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Bowl

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Felinguin

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Spowl

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Samoyird

Fredriksen engages his audience in his entertaining hobby by letting them suggest and pick names for the new surreal creatures and most of them are spot on and almost as funny as the pictures.

“At the beginning I named my animals myself. But when posting the pictures on the web, people would almost always write comments with better name suggestions. That gave me the idea to let everyone suggest names and then vote between the best ones. I think it’s really fun to see the names people come up with, as they’re very creative.”

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Monkat

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Pear

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Chitten

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Doggorang

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Spug

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Bish

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Chickabunny

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Spoat

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Cird

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Forilla

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Fizelle

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Ravenzee

 

You can see a whole ‘nother set if you head over to Bored Panda!   Now that you’ve (hopefully) started the weekend with a bit of a chuckle, have a good rest-of-the-weekend … get outside and go for a walk, observe nature, breathe the fresh air … and who knows, perhaps you’ll even spot a unique critter!

Jolly Monday With Popcorn!

Good Monday morning, friends!  Come on in and take a load off.  For obvious reasons, I shan’t ask how your weekend was, but take heart … Jolly and I spent several hours last night searching the neighborhood (the Internet, that is) in search of things to (hopefully) bring a smile, or maybe even a chuckle!  But first, I attempted to make a strudel, and jolly made popcorn … and of course, there’s bacon for the bacon-lovers and a sprinkled donut & juice box just in case Benjamin happens to drop in, so grab a snack and then we’ll go have a bit of fun.

Oops … forgot the tea …

tea  Monday-tea


popcorn-3Teeny Tiny Critters

Take a look at this adorable hedgehog midget …tiny-1

And these owls …

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No, they aren’t real, but I bet you can’t guess what they’re made of!  They are made of stones!  Akie Nakata, is known as the Stone Artist.  She has been drawing adorable animals on stones since 2010 and over time, she has built quite a solid collection.

tiny-3For her, stones are not just materials or canvases that she just draws on. First, on her usual walk along the riverbank, she finds a stone that catches her eye:

popcorn-3“When I find a stone, I feel that stone, too, has found me. Stones have their own intentions and I consider my encounters with them as cues they give me that it’s OK to go ahead and paint what I see on them. So the stones I decide to paint on are not arbitrary, but my significant opposites with whom I have established a connection, who inspire me to work with them.”

tiny-4The artist leaves the shape of the stone untouched. She neither grinds nor smooths them, as she likes to stay true to the stone that inspired her.

“In my encounters with the stones and in my art, I respect my opposites in toto, so I never process stones and would never cut off an edge to alter the shape. The art I want to create is a life newly born in my hands through my dialogue with the stone. I want to paint the life I feel inside the stone. I consider my work completed only when I see that the eyes are now alive and looking back straight at me. To me, completing a piece of work is not about how much detail I draw, but whether I feel the life in the stone.”

You can see lots more of Ms. Nakata’s work if you head over to Bored Panda.


Elephants are afraid of … WHAT???

Recently, India has been having a problem with elephants wandering onto the railroad tracks and getting themselves … well, smushed.  But, the owners of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), found a solution.  Guess what, it turns out, elephants are afraid of?elephant-beepopcorn-3Yep, you got it … great big ol’ elephants fear little teeny-weeny bees!  So, Northeast Frontier Railway’s Moradabad division installed honey bee sound systems at various points along the railway tracks.  Once an elephant herd is sighted, villagers at once inform the local staff about their presence, the buzzing sound is then played near the tracks to scare them away. “Till now the project has been a success,” said the Divisional Railway Manager. Elephants have been long known to be frightened by the buzzing sound of bees and stings.

Who would have guessed?


A dangerous criminal …

The Pembroke Pines Police Department in Florida have been after an elusive criminal since January, and she led them on a merry chase, but finally, on March 19th, they were able to capture her.

unknown-cow

The Pembroke Pines Police Department said the cow was spotted in the area of Sheridan Street and Interstate 75, causing officers to respond and guide the animal toward an enclosed field in Davie.

The property owner agreed to allow the cow to stay until it could be safely moved.

popcorn-4“We wish the cow well on its future adventures,” the department said.

The police department said last week that the cow had been wandering the area since January, and repeated failed capture attempts revealed the animal is “faster than it looks” and is a “talented fence jumper.”


Shall we have a few ‘toons ‘n memes for a laugh or two?

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popcorn-4And of course, I cannot end a Jolly Monday without a cute animal video!


jollyOkay, folks, that’s a wrap for yet another Monday!  I hope you guys all manage to find some good karma this week, keep your cool, and for Pete’s sake keep safe!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa & Jolly!