With a Tsiou Tsiou Here and a Wan Wan There
Animal noises from across the globe
Did you know that in Finland, cats don’t purr, they “hrr”? Or that in Japan, a pig says “boo boo”? The somewhat-arbitrary sounds we assign to animals in English are far from universal. British Vimeo user properniceinnit has compiled an interesting and, possibly handy, video featuring how different languages interpret animal sounds.
The video portrays the noises of dogs, cats, cows, chickens and pigs in English, Mandarin, French, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Hindi, Canadian-French, Romanian, Japanese, Russian, Dutch, Bengali, Brazilian-Portuguese, Colombian-Spanish, Swahili and Mongolian. For a more extensive list of animal calls across the planet, check out The University of Adelaide’s Animal Sounds Database.
I’m extinct! Just kidding, no I’m not!
The Hula painted frog is rediscovered
The Hula painted frog, a somewhat-silly-looking speckled amphibian, was thought to have died off long ago. This already elusive creature was declared extinct in 1996, about 40 years after its swampy home, Israel's Hula valley, was drained in the 50s. But in 2011, one female frog was spotted lurking in the muck by a park ranger, and since then, 13 more have been discovered.
These “living fossils” are not the first animals to have been declared extinct and then re-found years later. They join the ranks with the woolly flying squirrel, the pygmy tarsier, Caspian horses and, of course, the illustrious coelacanth.
Give a dog a home
On the fence about adopting a pooch this holiday season? Your friends at Animal Human New Mexico have put together a video that will have you putting that pooper scooper to use in no time. This glorious piece of cinematography shows all the fun things you can do with dogs, like wearing life vests in kiddie pools. It also marks the first time I’ve ever enjoyed a Barry Manilow song.
The nonprofit is located at 615 Virginia SE. You can call them at 938-7868.
This cool, six inch-long walking stick has been hanging out on a shaded fence in my backyard since last night. He looks like desert brush.
Words vs. syllables
The difference is one evil monkey
Those readers who pick up the print addition will notice a small blip in the ”Culture Shock” column this week. We are soliciting submissions for our annual haiku contest. (This is still in effect. Send ‘em in!)
The column is written in haiku format, so clearly I know what that is. But some kind readers have pointed out—in variously witty ways—that the instructions ask for lines featuring 5, then 7, then 5 words. The proper allotment for verbosity is 5-7-5 syllables. This error has already been corrected online, so those readers who only interact with us in cyberspace have nothing to worry about. Sadly, there is nothing we can do about the print version except offer up the explanation.
Late Tuesday, when we were scurrying to get the paper in order and off to the printer, I heard a whinnying and scraping in Kimo Way. I went back there and opened the door to find a Pegasus. It was dingy and it smelled like trash, but it was still a Pegasus in all its glory. Never having ridden one, but always yearning to do so, I grabbed its wavy mane, jumped onto its silvery back, and it leapt into the sky.
While I was soaring through the clouds, an evil monkey snuck into my office. Seeing my unfinished haiku article open on my computer, he removed his suit coat and fedora and had a seat at my desk.
After galavanting on the Pegasus and bidding it farewell, I was so starry-eyed I didn’t even notice that the article was finished and sent off in my absence.
I sincerely apologize for the misinformation and word/syllable confusion. If anyone sees a dapper evil monkey, please report it to the Alibi offices immediately. While you’re at it, grab him and explain that haikus are arranged in 5-7-5 syllables.
Farewell, Skating Monkey
Take a good look at this monkey. This may be the last time you will ever see him.
His filename mentions he’s more than just a monkey; he’s a skating monkey, though I see no skates. This makes me think that many years ago he was torn from some larger and older artwork, but to tell the truth, I don’t know his full story.
I only know he was last saved on July 6th 2003 and since then, has occasionally filled in whenever someone needed an arbitrary Alibi-branded image but didn’t want to bother the art department. For the last couple years, he has served as a default OGP image for Alibi stories or blogs which otherwise lack an image.
Today he retires from that job, handing over the reigns to a more professional and well-groomed Alibi representative, which I hope will be less distressing to readers. You see, there’s a problem with monkeys. Though he may appear innocent and happy, I think we can all agree that monkeys symbolize many evils (which the monkeys pretend to neither hear, see nor speak of):
1) Racism. You know that whenever white people mention monkeys, it’s really code for darker skinned people, don’t you?
2) People's callous disregard for the suffering of animal test subjects at the hands of the cosmetics and aerospace industries. Whenever someone uses monkey imagery, that’s practically advocacy for consuming more mascara and weather satellite photos, whatever the cost to our innocent Gaia-mates.
3) Science’s rejection of the special status humanity once enjoyed, prior to 1859 when a godless communist suggested that life could be shaped by processes which could be understood, like everything else in the world.
4) Perhaps this is just my own personal monkey-demon, but some friends once used to “point” a small stuffed gorilla toy (gorillas aren’t monkeys, but let’s not split hairs), such that its sideway stare was directed specifically at me. The monkey was watching me. I hated it. No matter how intimidatingly I stared back, it wouldn’t flinch. If my friends ever left the room, I would grab the monkey and hide it, in order to escape its relentless gaze.
5) Tell us your complaint about monkeys. Hey, we all know they’re bad, but exactly how? Monkeys are just like bananas, in that their imagery always means more though we pretend they’re merely themselves. Let’s just cut through the bullshit right away, and get down to how monkeys bother you.
Red Dragon Invades Downtown
Monster possibly about to make a trip to Knockouts
I love this weird city. A crowd of shrieking and pointing passersby attracted me to the front entrance of Knockouts on my way back from lunch this afternoon. It was not a dancer doing something outrageous. It was the biggest four-legged reptile I’ve ever encountered outside of a zoo. It was rough and reddish, with a long white band on its tail and enormous jowls. Unlike the speedy Godzilla, or a Komodo dragon, it was crawling along like cold honey. And it was moving steadily towards the Knockouts door. His owner stood calmly minding him, answering questions from rubberneckers like me.
Me: “Holy shit!”
Owner: “ ... “
Me: “What is that?”
Owner: “Red tegu.”
Me: “Where’s it from?”
Me: “Oh my god, what does it eat?”
Owner: “Meat. He’s a carnivore.”
Me: “Holy shit!”
The nice man explained, however, that he has this particular red tegu on a diet of wet dog food. Still, I wouldn’t try to pet it, as they are known for eating anything that can fit between their jaws.
Toy Australian shepherds?!
While fact checking a little while ago, I ran a search on Placitas, N.M. and happened upon Placitas Miniature and Toy Australian shepherds—I had no idea there was such a thing, and in such close proximity to my home. The website, linked above, hosts an abundance of cute images of the little pooches that should fill your heart with joy.
A dove by any other name would be as revered?
Yesterday’s Daily Word provided a link to a KRQE story about the City’s Council’s introduction of a bill aimed at cracking down on pigeon poop. The pigeon nuisance abatement ordinance would make feeding and keeping the birds a finable offense.
I have mixed feelings about this issue. Obviously there’s an overpopulation problem in Albuquerque, and I’ve seen people feeding the pigeons. Since moving into my Downtown house a year and a half ago, I’ve witnessed the level of neighborhood pigeon crap increase dramatically. At some point last year four birds took up residence in the rafters in the back of my house. I think the pigeons are cute, but the mess they make at my back door is filthy and disgusting. I can’t get too mad at them, though, and here’s why. Several years back NPR ran an interview with Andrew Blechman, author of Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World's Most Revered and Reviled Bird. Learn all about these interesting birds here.
Tasmanian wombats at the Rio Grande Zoo
The only Vombatus ursinus tasmaniensis in North America arrived at the Rio Grande Zoo on Friday, Dec. 3. The males are Otto and Yamu, and the female is named Womona.
They’re usually about 33 inches long and weigh roughly 44 pounds.
SFAI 140 at Santa Fe Art Institute
An evening of 20 stimulating talks, each for 140 seconds, by the area's most innovative thinkers and practitioners.
Two Uncommon Worlds of the Northern Tularosa Basin at New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
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