Archive for August 2010
While we were cry excited to see Nia run at the cheetah show last time we went, we were disappointed Minnow, the Fishing Cat, didn’t make an appearance. There was a tweet over the weekend: she’s back! Sunday, we went to see, and she did great!
Minnow, with trainer Linda.
Minnow demonstrated how fishing cats jump into the water to get their fish. Note the webbed feet.
Fishing cats can also lay in wait, getting low in the water like an alligator. It also caused some frustration when her time in the show was over, and she didn’t want to leave.
One program for cheetah conservation has been providing farmers in Africa Anatolian shepherd dogs. The dog’s bark will scare away a cheetah, protecting the flock. In doing so, the farmers have no reason to kill the cheetah. Pow Wow is part of the cat ambassador program, to educate about this and, occasionally, demonstrate her mighty bark.
Cleo the serval came out.
In addition to deem onstrating their jumping ability, Cleo showed how having long legs help you get your prey.
Normally, only two cheetahs will appear at a show. At this one, however, Chance came out to say “Hi” before everyone got down to business.
Bravo, Chance’s brother, made the first run.
Somehow, the lure bounced, and got hung up in a fence. This made for an easy cat for our boy.
The last run was made by Sara, the world record holder for cheetahs (and, by extension, mammals).
Thanks to Sara and the rest of the cat ambassador program for a great afternoon!
Five years ago today, we were evacuated from our house. Six months before, a tanker car full of styrene was parked within a mile of my house. It sat there until springing a leak the day before. People immediately around the leak were evacuated; we were told to shelter in place (close windows, turn off the air conditioner). This is something that we had to do on occasion growing up in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Lake Charles is home to many chemical plants, including, ironically, the plant where the styrene was produced.
The next morning, I left for work. By the time we got there, our whole neighborhood was evacuated.
I drove back to see if I could talk my way into my house to get out my cats. This was denied. However, at the end of the day, we were permitted in. I got the cats and a few random items, then met my wife and daughter. We all spent the night at a hotel that allowed pets, but not exactly close. The next day, we boarded the cats at the vet, and found a room closer to home.
The day after that the evacuation was lifted. We got our cats, and returned home.
It was, in the great scheme of things, not a great thing. At the same time, New Orleans was experiences the worst of Katrina. Still, it was something that stands out for us.
I wonder how he got up to the sixteenth floor? I’m glad he’s on the other side of the glass, in any case.
“Environmental analysis can be an endless balancing of this versus that. Do you care more about conserving water or avoiding toxic chemical usage? Minimizing carbon dioxide emissions or radioactive nuclear waste? But today, the Lantern has good news: There will be no Sophie’s choice when it comes to e-books. As long as you consume a healthy number of titles, you read at a normal pace, and you don’t trade in your gadget every year, perusing electronically will lighten your environmental impact.”
—Brian Palmer, Slate
Last year, the Cincinnati Zoo’s Cat Ambassador program got a new baby cheetah, named Nia. She had her first birthday last month, and is running in the shows. I got to see her run for the first time today. She has it down!
She can catch a lure.
Of course, she also likes treats…does her trainer have one?
(I think that is Linda, the person who writes their blog and tweets.)
Chance, an older cheetah, also ran. For a portion of each stride, all for paws of a running cheetah are off the ground. Chance demonstrates this well.
Chance took his “kill” into the shade for…what does he do when he catches the lure (oh yeah…wait for a trainer to bring a treat).
Jambo the serval demonstrates how he could get a bird flying by.
With all the cubs gone, the fishing cats can relax.
A black footed cat tries to see how long he can stretch out to.
The snow leopard was shy today, busy bathing herself.
As in spicy hot, like a habanero pepper.
About a year ago, I put on new handlebar tape. I instantly regretted it–I simply didn’t like how it looked. I literally didn’t ride for a few days because I was embarrassed to be on it.
Further, the material didn’t wear well. It flaked off, and, from the sweat inherent in physical activity, turned black.
Today, I decided to replace it with orange tape. I went to a local bike store, and grabbed some new tape. I looked at what they had, and picked orange. The salesperson commented it would look good, more so when I described by bike. I brought it home, and, along with other maintenance, wrapped my bars.
I think it looks great! The bike is a habanero, so the orange tape is a great fit.
“You hate your job? There’s a support group for that. It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar.”
A few weeks ago, my wife and I were watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation” while I was playing on my iPad. Picard was handed a PADD, one of the tablets used on the show. My wife remarked on how clunky it looked compared to my iPad. I was amused by that.
An interesting article on Ars Technica today: How Star Trek artists imagined the iPad… 23 years ago. Basically, it speaks of how the creators of “Star Trek,” most specifically artist Michael Okuda, came up with the interface design seen on later “Star Trek” series (“The Next Generation,” et al.). It also looks at how the iPad compares favorably to it.
The short description: they chose the format in order to keep set-building cheap, and stumbled upon an interface that was futuristic, made sense, and did not limit what the writers could include in the plot. My favorite quote: “…And I realized the proper answer to that was, ‘It’s in the software.’ All the things we needed could be software-definable.” iOS devices, such as the iPad and iPhone, really carry forward that philosophy. I call them the most SciFi things I own–this seems to bare that out.
My daughter and I try our trailer bike today.