Monday, December 17, 2012

Plastic Bag Dangers. De-tusking Elephants. A Week of Mass Murder. Sound Barrier on Land.


For “Mammal Monday”:

Take a look at the dangers wild animals and pets face from plastic bags...

Bird in plastic


Bird in entangled in plastic  bag.

A cow eats plastic bag and dies.

Hundreds of cows die annually from choking on plastic bags.



“Nearly 200 different species of sea life, including whales, dolphins, turtles, and seals, plus thousands of birds, die every year because they mistake discarded bags for food or get so entangled in the bags they can't survive.”








“About 100,000 animals such as dolphins, turtles whales, penguins are killed every year due to plastic bags. Many animals ingest plastic bags, mistaking them for food, and therefore die. And worse, the ingested plastic bag remains intact even after the death and decomposition of the animal. Thus, it lies around in the landscape where another victim may ingest it.”

Plastic Bags Are Dangerous To








You can get a reusable shopping bag at your grocery store for only $.99 or $1.99 at most. Buy six of them for less than ten bucks and do the animals a favor.”

A dog smothered when he got his head stuck in a plastic treat bag, and another in the wax paper insert in a cereal box.  Make sure you never leave plastic bags anywhere.


Plastic Bags & Animals: Making the Wild Safe for Wildlife

imagesCAAMS4L7 “The news comes with depressing regularity. A whale dies in an urban harbor and, on being autopsied, reveals a stomach full of plastic, the most abundant detritus of civilization. Remarks a British marine biologist, “We have recorded plastic bags in the Bay of Biscay [in western Europe] over 120 miles from shore in waters over 4,000 meters in depth. Beaked whale species in particular are highly susceptible to swallowing plastic bags as they are believed to strongly resemble their target prey, squid. Other species of large whales, which take large mouthfuls of water during feeding, also take in plastic bags by accident and hence are also at risk.”

Elsewhere, a flamingo strangles itself on a bag, unable to twist its way out of the entangling plastic. A platypus suffers deep cuts from a plastic bag entwined around its body, while a pelican dies after consuming plastic bags while diving for fish. Calves, turtles, dolphins, seals—the list of victims goes on. Another scientist has recorded 170 kinds of land animals and birds injured by plastics washed up on British beaches, joining myriad aquatic species who suffer the effects of discarded bags in the environment.”  More at:


Kenya takes drastic steps to save elephants

(CBS News) “Mountain Bull is a six-ton living legend in Kenya. He has evaded poachers many times before. Now hunters are after him again -- for his massive tusks.

They chased him for more than an hour. Finally, the Bull broke cover, and there was a clear shot -- not from a bullet, but a drug-filled dart. These hunters were government veterinarians.

The magnificent bull elephant has already had lots of interaction with poachers. In one incident alone, he was shot eight times -- the slugs are still in his body. But he has survived. Now conservationists and rangers are doing something dramatic: they're taking off part of his tusks in the hopes it will make him less of a target.

It's a controversial move. He's less of a target for poachers but also less able to defend himself against other bull elephants. The tusks will eventually be destroyed by the government.

An estimated 25,000 elephants are being killed every year by well-armed African gangs -- some have links to organized crime -- with much of the illegal ivory ending up in China.   "It's the worst that it's been in the last 30 years," says conservationist Ian Craig. "It's a steady deterioration, and it's getting worse."

Mountain Bull eventually wobbled to his feet and headed back into the brush, where he now may be able to live out his days in peace.”  More and more videos at:


AMAZING - Man in India rescues kittens from a flood!

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Man in India rescues kittens from a flood.


A Week of Mass Murder: Why So Much Violence in America?

The week began with Jacob Roberts’ shooting rampage at a crowded mall in Oregon and ended with mass murder at a Connecticut elementary school. Why?

We check the news, perhaps on our mobile device, on our computers or on cable television, and see another mass shooting has taken place somewhere in the United States. Earlier this week it was in a community outside of Portland, Oregon, where a shooter wearing a hockey mask ran into a crowded shopping mall and opened fire. The result: three dead, including the shooter.

Then today, as we were about to post this blog, in Newtown, Connecticut, a shooter entered an elementary school and left perhaps upwards of 30 (still unconfirmed) dead. If this report proves accurate, this shooting in Connecticut would be the second deadliest school shooting in American history.

Such scenes of mass murder have been played out so many times in recent years that it has almost become mind-numbing.

We all wonder, Why?

With sketchy news reports and the complexity of human psychology, I can’t tell you all the influences and motivations of the shooters. How can we make sense of senseless violence? Sometimes all we can do is pray for the families of the victims and pray for the time when murder and violence and suffering will end. God promises that time will come (Revelation 21:4)!

But in the meantime, what can we learn and seek to change? One thing that has struck me many times when I hear about another terrible act of violence is the glorification of violence in our culture.

Glorification of violence

Consider: Two notable mass shootings this year seem to be connected to violent movies. On July 20, 2012, a gunman walked into a midnight showing of a newly released movie and opened fire on moviegoers as the film was opening. The result: 12 dead, 58 injured.

This event took place as the extremely violent new Batman movie (The Dark Knight Rises) was playing. This movie contains a number of violent scenes: An evil villain is shown breaking Batman’s back, breaking another man’s neck and holding an entire city hostage with a nuclear bomb. A number of movie reviews criticized ‘The Dark Knight’ for its overly violent and dark themes.

The recent Oregon mall shooting was done by a man wearing a hockey mask that resembled that worn by Jason in the ‘Friday the 13th’ movies. I can’t say with certainty that the resemblance was intentional, but consider that these movies feature a crazed and evil character who commits mass murders wearing a hockey mask.

These are just two examples of extremely violent content that Hollywood has produced in the last few decades. Then there are the violent video games that don’t just have us watching murder, but often actively engaging in murder by controlling murderous digital characters. Does this steady diet of violent entertainment contribute to the seemingly constant trend of mass shootings as well as the less reported acts of violence that occur in the United States every day?

We must realize that this glorification of violence is a serious problem.”

More at:


On This Day:

Stuntman Stan Barrett breaks the sound barrier, Dec 17, 1979:

“On December 17, 1979, Hollywood stuntman Stan Barrett blasts across a dry lakebed at California's Edwards Air Force Base in a rocket- and missile-powered car, becoming the first man to travel faster than the speed of sound on land. He did not set an official record, however. The radar scanner was acting up, and so Barrett's top speed--739.666 miles per hour by the most reliable measure--was only an estimate. Also, he only drove his rocket car across the lakebed once, not twice as official record guidelines require. And, none of the spectators heard a sonic boom as Barrett zoomed across the course.

Barrett was a 36-year-old stuntman and ex-lightweight Golden Glove champ who had been introduced to auto racing by Paul Newman in 1971. (He was the actor's stunt double for the film "Sometimes a Great Notion.") Barrett's car, the $800,000 Budweiser Rocket, was owned by the movie director Hal Needham, a former racer himself who had broken a nine-year-old world land-speed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats the previous September. The car had a 48,000-horsepower rocket engine and, to give it a little extra kick, a 12,000-horsepower Sidewinder missile.

December 17 was a dry day with temperatures hovering around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to break the sound barrier under those conditions, Barrett had to go faster than 731.9 miles per hour. He started the rocket engine and stepped on the gas; then, after counting to 12, he pushed a button on his steering wheel to fire the Sidewinder so he could go even faster. After he zoomed past a battery of timing devices, Barrett deployed a parachute to help him slow down. In all, it took only a handful of seconds for Barrett to blast across the 5 3/4-mile lakebed.

Unfortunately, the radar speedometers on the ground malfunctioned: Instead of the Rocket's speed, they measured the speed of a passing truck (38 miles per hour). The final speed estimate came from data by the Air Force, whose scanners seemed to indicate that the Rocket had "probably exceeded the speed of sound."

Controversy over how fast Barrett actually went persists to this day. It took until October 1997 for another driver, in a British car called the Thrust SSC, to officially break the Mach 1 sound barrier.”



Misty had to wear her raincoat for her first ‘outs’, as it started out as a dark, dreary, rainy day.  And I was feeling dark and dreary over the news of Misty’s cancer.  I didn’t really feel like grooming Mikey, Sam’s dog down the street, but I went to get him anyway. I didn’t know if Sam would still want him groomed on a rainy day, but he did.

Mikey has bad ears and Sam, who has had a stroke, can’t remember to do Mikey’s ear medications, so I wanted to give Mikey’s ears a really good clean this time.  Ray came over here to help hold Mikey’s head still, while I did that.  It doesn’t hurt Mikey, it is just that one ear is a little tender, so he tries to move it away from me.  Then I syringed his ears out while he was in the bathtub, and put drying drops and medication in them, when he was dry. Mikey is always grateful afterwards, as it feels so much better.  Sam and Mikey are going on an RVing trip, so I wanted Mikey to feel good.

The rain stopped, but it was still humid and warm, so even in December, I had to run the AC for some of the day.

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