Animals in the News

There are two animal stories in the local news today that you may want to learn more about and Fourth Dwarf is here to give you the links.


The Ottawa Sun reports that Speedo Steve will ring in the New Year with icy plunges in both Pembroke and Ottawa. The Sun provides a photo of Steve in the traditional Canadian bathing suit of real beaver with a tail of moose hide. [Open this somewhat NSFW link to the Sun article with Chrome incognito to avoid the monthly limit.]

If you're thinking of joining Steve on a swim, the CBC has a list of tips for you.

Details on the Ottawa swim are on the Sears Great Canadian Chill Facebook page. (I don't see any links for buying a beaver swimsuit from Sears, I hope Steve doesn't get in trouble for shopping at another store, he might have bought it at Roots or the Bay.)

Saving a Pig

And the Ottawa Citizen reports on the heart-warming story of Peaches the pig and the young woman who is hoping to save her from slaughter and butchery.  [Open this perfectly SFW link to Citizen Article (SFW if it's okay for you to read about women saving food animals while you're at work) with Chrome incognito to avoid the monthly limit.]

Peaches is apparently going to the Big Sky Ranch. They have a page full of animals you can sponsor as permanent residents. Stay-Puff and Fergus, both emus, have found sponsors, but Oscar the sheep and Punkin the Shetland pony appear to be sponsor-free.  They also have a page of animals you can adopt, although it looks like the only animals currently available are dogs and pot-bellied pigs.

Peaches, of course, has her own Facebook page.




'Tis the season for politico Christmas cards... *

* Original image: Emperor Haute Couture from the fertile mind of Kingston artist Margaret Sutherland.

** Shooped accessorization from the fertilized mind of coyote.



She tried to break the Internet...

...only broke Photoshop®...


Canada's fight against ebola: Side by side with, ummm... North Korea.

You may have noticed that in the past week, Canada's currently sitting Government Of The Base, By The Base, For The Base, has banned visas from citizens of countries that have ebola outbreaks.

At a guess, it's probably calculated to play well with The Base. Especially in the drear-long, ummm, year-long run-up to what HarperCo is doing its level worst to turn into a tawdry burlesque of an election. I digress. We were talking here about ebola, not elections. Weren't we?

So in only the latest of what's becoming a pretty impressive pile of really badly misinformed — or maybe just plain pandering — sorta-science-y decisions, they've taken a policy cue from, I guess, North Korea. Which, along with those other global intelleckshul heavy-hitters, Gabon, Haiti and Mauritius, has banned travellers from the State of Ebola.

The sole other developed nation that's done it is Australia. Whose prime minister and ours, you will recall, held a like minded mutual butt sniffing and tail wagging session ummm, exceedingly cordial official state visit, back in June.

So we can probably take it as a given that Canada's rigged-on-the-fly visa policy on travelers from ebola-stricken nations was instituted for bad reasons. Given that, it also holds that if we were to look at, say, any intellectually-sound medical evidence, we can call the ban boneheaded for good reasons.

It falls under the aegis of what an editor of one of this country's large financial dailies is pleased to call "junk science". Which in his case, is just about any science with which he personally disagrees for inchoate ideological reasons. And in our case, is just about any policy purporting to appear to be evidence-based, from those clever hyperpartisan children running amok in the prime minister's office. And all of their uncritical mouthpieces.

You could look that up, but you don't have to, because I did it for you.

Sigh. In the hands of the prime minister's office, Canada's science-related policy (using the term ever more loosely as time goes one...) lately looks like a coyote blues standard: if it weren't for bad science, we wouldn't have no science at all. . .


HarperCo: "In Space, Nobody Can Hear Our Sh*tty P'Shoops..."

Government crudely alters reality, thinking no one will notice. Again. Then blames bureaucrats when somebody at The Economist calls 'em out. Then tries to pretend it never happened.

So just another lazy late Friday afternoon in Ottawa, really.



Harper wears Iraq

The PM, it is reported, has decided to dip a toe, likely newly-clad in spit shined combat boots for the photo op, into the sucking morass that is Iraq: "It's just Noble, okay? Clear and present danger to Canada, okay? But I'm not telling you anything else, nyah, nyah, nyah!"

One columnist type, probably tick-boxed on the PMO Enemies List as "mostly on-side, except when he's disturbingly off-script" called it Harper's Churchill moment.

In fairness to the pugnacious ol' bon vivant, we must note that for Churchill the danger was far more clear and present, and the actual battle arena far better defined. As opposed to being an amorphous wanna-be state moshing around the outback Middle East.

We jaded coyotes, by now probably on the PMO Enemies List, period, know that the moshers are vile people who do very vile things. We're just not clear how tossing a half-dozen planes and maybe two dozen guys into that pit to chase 'em is noble, or makes the PM the kind of heavy international playa he thinks he is. And he and his minions remain fatally short on supporting details. But we await his no-doubt historic speech with interest:

"We shall defend our shrinking polls, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches of our fake lake, we shall fight on the landing grounds we shall build for the F-35, we shall robocall the hell out of our data fields, we shall run for in the hills ; we shall never surrender! Although you can bet your fuzzy asses we'll prorogue. Whenever."

Yup. Words for the ages.