Friday, February 6, 2009
Don't Lose Your Dinosaur
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Movie Night involved the bloody, fictitiously action-packed "Wanted" followed by the latest from Will Ferrell & John C. Reilly "Step Brothers" which was a lot of fun. That Step Brothers movie you really have to watch a few times to get all of the funny lines because while you're laughing hysterically from one, they'll hit you subtly with another…and the T-shirts are awesome. Boss Lady K & I had a great time. Also, a bunch of the ladies in the office are going to Forza now. They signed up yesterday after asking me how I liked it and stuff…and then forming some kind of alliance to motivate each other to go. I should probably get commission from the gym…but it's okay. The eye candy is all the reward that I need. Tomorrow morning I'll be picking up JL Clyde from the airport and we have a weekend full of activities planned so it may be a few days before I got back with pictures and rambles. I know you're heartbroken…but just have patience. In the meantime, here's some more news...
Pythons in the Lam - It's pretty difficult for a 23-foot, 130-pound python to hide. The orange reticulated python, the world's longest snake species, as well as a second python, measuring 13 feet, escaped from a terrarium in their owner's home in San Luis Obispo on Sunday night. Police warned residents that the snakes were large enough to make meals of young children or pets (and I'm sure a few parents said "Okay kids, no more video games. Time to play outside.") but both had been captured by Monday afternoon. The 23-footer was found basking in the sun in a backyard several blocks away. The smaller python was spotted under the owner's porch. No injuries were reported…and as of yet, no children or pets have been found in their bowel movements. Police said the snakes' owner will not be cited. "There is no leash law for snakes," said police Sgt. Kurt Hixenbaugh. Yeah, those snakes always find their way out of those leashes anyway. I have fond memories of going to Hogle Zoo (quite possibly the worst zoo ever) as a kid (and teenager and adult and for business meetings) and seeing the reticulated python that they have there. The only thing is…it never seemed to move. Each and every time that I visited…it was in the same position…at the corner of the exhibit…and even as a kid, I thought "Wow, that thing could swallow me whole…if it ever decided to wake up." Now, an orange one…that would be something to see. Think that a 23-foot orange snake sounds scary (or like a pair of flashy boots)? It could be worse (or better)...
Anaconda Prequel - Never mind the 40-foot snake that menaced J-Lo, Ice Cube & Angelina's dad in the 1997 movie "Anaconda." Not even Hollywood could match a new discovery from the ancient world. Fossils from northeastern Colombia reveal the biggest snake ever discovered: a behemoth that stretched 42 to 45 feet long, reaching more than 2,500 pounds. "This thing weighs more than a bison and is longer than a city bus," enthused snake expert Jack Conrad of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, who was familiar with the find. "It could easily eat something the size of a cow. A human would just be toast immediately. If it tried to enter my office to eat me, it would have a hard time squeezing through the door." Actually, the beast probably munched on ancient relatives of crocodiles in its rainforest home some 58 million to 60 million years ago, he said. The discoverers of the snake named it Titanoboa cerrejonensis ("ty-TAN-o-BO-ah sare-ah-HONE-en-siss"). That means "Titanic boa from Cerrejon," the region where it was found. While related to modern boa constrictors, it behaved more like an anaconda and spent almost all its time in the water, Head said. It could slither on land as well as swim. Conrad, who wasn't involved in the discovery, called the find "just unbelievable.... It mocks your preconceptions about how big a snake can get." Titanoboa breaks the record for snake length by about 11 feet, surpassing a creature that lived about 40 million years ago in Egypt. Among living snake species, the record holder is an individual python measured at about 30 feet long, which is some 12 to 15 feet shorter than typical Titanoboas, said study co-author Jonathan Bloch. Bones collected at a huge open-pit coal mine in Colombia were being unpacked at the University of Florida (GO GATORS!!!) and graduate students unwrapping the fossils "realized they were looking at the bones of a snake. Not only a snake, but a really big snake." So they quickly consulted the skeleton of a 17-foot anaconda for comparison. A backbone from that creature is about the size of a silver dollar...while Bloch said a backbone from Titanoboa is "the size of a large Florida grapefruit." So far the scientists have found about 180 fossils of backbone and ribs that came from about two dozen individual snakes, and now they hope to go back to Colombia to find parts of the skull, Bloch said. Titanoboa's size gives clues about its environment. A snake's size is related to how warm its environment is. The fossils suggest equatorial temperatures in its day were significantly warmer than they are now, during a time when the world as a whole was warmer. So equatorial temperatures apparently rose along with the global levels, in contrast to the competing hypothesis that they would not go up much, Head noted. "It's a leap" to apply the conditions of the past to modern climate change. But given that, the finding still has "some potentially scary implications for what we're doing to the climate today," he said. The finding suggest the equatorial regions will warm up along with the planet, he said. "We won't have giant snakes, however, because we are removing most of their habitats by development and deforestation" in equatorial regions. Thank God!!! Let's be sure to keep it that way. Then again, I think Barry White may have said it best, "There's nothing like the sexy slither of a lady snake. Ooooh baby..."
Angelina Update - Speaking of Jon Voight's daughter (HOW???) and tropical climates, Angelina Jolie has called on Thailand's government to give more freedom to tens of thousands of Burmese refugees it has kept locked inside camps for up to 20 years. The Academy Award-winning actress and goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Refugee Agency visited Thailand's Ban Mai Nai Soi refugee center Wednesday. "I was saddened to meet a 21-year-old woman who was born in a refugee camp, who has never even been out of the camp and is now raising her own child in a camp." She asked Thai authorities to give around 110,000 refugees in northern Thailand greater freedom to move around and seek higher education, because they are unlikely to be welcomed back anytime soon to Myanmar, also known as Burma. Myanmar's military junta has been accused of gross atrocities against ethnic minorities, forcing thousands to flee to neighboring countries. Jolie sat down in a two-room house on stilts and talked with a female refugee. She then met orphans at a boarding school and heard from teenage girls worried that they might be sent back to Myanmar. "I hope we can work with the Thai authorities to speed up the government admissions process and that you will not be forced to go back to Burma if danger remains," Jolie said. UNHCR says Thailand has yet to give refugee status to 5,000 Burmese that fled to Thailand in 2006-2007, when there was significant fighting across the border in Myanmar's Kayah state. Her visit comes amid an uptick in the arrival of migrants from Myanmar, who often travel on rickety vessels to escape violence or harm. You've all seen the documentaries, right? Maybe the new Rambo? That whole region of Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand is in political turmoil…and it seems it's only going to get worse. Kudos to stars like Angelina (and to a lesser extent Stallone) who go over there and try to make a difference. It's very admirable…and really really hot. I mean...if anybody can motivate them, it's this goddess. To further my point…
Ashley Judd Update - An animal rights group is getting help from superhot actress Ashley Judd in its campaign to try to stop Alaska's practice of killing wolves and bears from airplanes. Judd appears in a new Internet video for Defenders of Wildlife, and targets not only the state's predator control program but also one of the program's chief supporters, Governor Sarah Palin. "It's time to stop Sarah Palin (ugh…done?) and stop this senseless savagery," Judd says in the video posted on a Web site operated by the political arm of the group (the other arm is for actually doing stuff), the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. Palin, the former Republican vice presidential candidate, countered that the program is scientifically based and an important tool to sustain moose and caribou populations for Alaska subsistence hunters. In Alaska, private citizens are permitted to shoot wolves from the air or conduct land-and-shoot hunting of wolves in rural areas. Defenders of Wildlife says more than 800 wolves have been killed since the program began almost five years ago. Along with Judd's videotaped segment, the animal rights group asks for donations to help end the predator control program, possibly through federal legislation. Palin said it was "reprehensible and hypocritical" that the group would use the state and her administration as a fundraising tool. It's not the first time Defenders of Wildlife has targeted Palin. Last fall, when Palin was John McCain's running mate, it ran ads in several states denouncing Palin and the predator control program, and raised more than $1 million. Judd had obviously campaigned for President Barack Obama. Now, I'm not an activist for animals by any means (I think they're delicious and fashionable) but I'm also not a big fan of hunting from airplanes or helicopters or hovercraft or like that. (Don't worry fishermen, boats are okay) I have to side with the actress hottie & the hippie chicks on this one. Here's my solution. I think that if you're going to hunt wolves or bears or caribou or whatever…that you should have to do it the old fashioned way. On the ground level (trees are allowed…while they're still around) and using weapons that YOU made yourself. I'm not talking about a rifle that you bought either. I'm talking about a bow & arrow made from a branch and horse hair, an axe made with a good piece of birch and a sharpened rock, or the ultimate test of manhood…your bare hands. That's my proposal…and the punishment, anybody found hunting from a plane or using automatic weapons or anything like that will be HUNTED themselves. Keep up the good work, Ms Judd. Oh wait, you're still married, aren't you?
Candy Land Movie - Etan Cohen ("Tropic Thunder," "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa") will write and Kevin Lima ("Enchanted") will direct a live-action feature based on the Hasbro board game "Candy Land" for Universal Pictures reports Variety. The racing game is among the first board games played by children because it requires no ability to read and only minimal counting skills. This marks the first film to emerge from the deal the studio made last February with Hasbro whose properties include Transformers and G.I. Joe. Remember the ridiculous list of movies that I thought would be made with this deal? Well, apparently this is step one…and it's only a matter of time before my epic masterpiece of "Jenga" hits the screen…starring Sylvester Stallone & Gary Oldman. I still think the last one-liner in my finale is just about the greatest ever…but I'm biased. It never ceases to bring a smile to my face when I say it out loud. Anyway, I'll ugh…keep you posted on who they cast for this Candy Land movie in the meantime with such key roles as King Kandy (the role that the late great John Candy was BORN to play…but will probably be John Goodman), Queen Frostine, Princess Lolly, the villain Lord Licorice (Tim Curry), the Candy Cane guy (I forget his name), Gramma Nutt (tehehehe) and my personal favorite, Gloppy the Molasses Monster.
Well, I'll leave you all on that sweet note before the weekend. Tonight the only class at the gym is another Yoga class…but I'll still go to it. No idea if I'll get around to it while I have a visitor. I'm so easily distracted when that's the case. "I probably should go to the gym and jog for a half-hour at least." "Wanna go get a Coke slurpee and walk around town in the snow?" "You betcha!!!" Also, less than two weeks until Mardi Gras weekend in New Orleans, my fifth time going to that wonderful city on the bayou. Should be a fun, debaucherous time. Also, really considering going to Cali with my mom and aunt and whoever else I can convince to go that first week of April…but it's still in the air. It'd be nice to go to Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, the beaches of Orange County and San Diego again…but not sure if I can really afford a week in the sun. It'd also be nice to go check out Lilie's new and now fully-furnished apartment and check out this white sand beach that she keeps yammering on about on her blog…but again, we'll have to see. Oh my, fun times are on their way. Have a great weekend everybody!!!