[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

1_36377299764_bdb19e159e_h

A 9-week-old Sumatran Tiger cub was introduced to a 7-week-old Bengal Tiger cub at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Ione and Paul Harter Animal Care Center on September 11.

The Sumatran Tiger cub arrived from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and was introduced to the Bengal Tiger cub, currently residing at the Safari Park.

The Sumatran Tiger cub was born at the National Zoo on July 11 and was rejected by its mother a short time later. After numerous attempts to keep the mother and cub together, the animal care team decided it was in the cub’s best interest to separate them.

The Bengal Tiger cub was confiscated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers on August 23 during a vehicle inspection at the U.S./Mexico border. His story attracted worldwide media attention. Back in early September, ZooBorns introduced readers to the little cub and how he became a resident of the Safari Park: “Confiscated Tiger Cub Finds Refuge at San Diego Safari Park

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3_21731710_1983111141705552_1410871529957508442_oPhoto Credits: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Both the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and the National Zoo are members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and in a collaborative effort, both zoos’ animal care teams determined the best solution for the well-being of the two cubs would be for them to become companions.

The cubs took to each other immediately, and interacted by wrestling, jumping and engaging in a lot of friendly roughhousing—things tiger cubs do.

Park staff explained how they are able to differentiate between the two tigers. Although Sumatran Tigers, in general, are the smallest subspecies of tiger, the opposite is currently the case with the two cubs. The Safari Park’s Sumatran cub is currently the larger and darker colored of the pair, however, it won’t be long before his new companion is larger.

Guests at the Safari Park can now see them through the nursery window at the Animal Care Center during Safari Park operating hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

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(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:58 am
vvalkyri: (Default)
[personal profile] vvalkyri
So what I'm trying to do right now is test out the mobile version of dream wits in the hopes I might spend more time posting to it, especially since I can talk to the phone. It has been a mixed couple of days. The impromptu wake at Diane's was good Dash small and quiet, with generally about six to eight people at any given time, allowing whole group conversation. I'm looking to create a remembering Keith Facebook group or perhaps something else I'm not sure. Tonight's lumsfs up in Columbia will be another impromptu wake and there will be a slightly less impromptu wake via mumsfs next Thursday in Gaithersburg. Bsfs is looking at their space for a more formal Memorial. I currently have no idea what's going on with a family funeral or anything.

In other news, it was a good choice to get the multipass for fair, because when all this went down on Saturday getting there at 5:15 was perfectly fine.

And I got a crow both Monday and Tuesday and well it's been a wonderful thing I wish I understood why my wrists and hands hurt as much as they do, and I'm really hoping that it doesn't have anything to do with ceasing doxycycline for the Lyme. I consulted with an infectious diseases doc on Friday and I'm relatively sanguine about the amount that I've done . But I do want to email about stuff that's happened in the last week.

I'll admit I haven't been all that politically engaged. There's so much going on it's impossible to keep up and the things good. Those who have the energy and especially those who have Republican Senators might like to spend some time calling said Republican Senators to push back on their final last-ditch kill the ACA legislation that were looking at this week .

All of the above courtesy the somewhat newer phone I have finally changed too, which seems to have fairly awesome speech to text.

Many thanks to free, for giving me the link to the dreamwidth mobile.

QotD

Sep. 20th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Rosh Hashanah is about relationships. Whether between individuals and the God in whom they believe, communities and the traditions which define them, or simply between individuals, whether any God or tradition is part of their lives, it's all about sustaining relationships which sustain us and help us do the same for others." -- Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

Today is...
Gregorian: 2017 September 20
Julian: 2017 September 07
Hebrew: 5777 Elul 29 --- sundown will be the start of 5778 Tishrei 01
Islamic: 1438 Dhu I-Hijja 28
Persian: 1396 Shahrivar 29
Mayan: 0.0.0.13.0.4.14.14
Indian: 1939 Bhadra 29
Coptic: 1734 Thout 10

[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

1_World first as rare Bermudian skinks hatch at Chester Zoo as part of bid to save species (10)

Two clutches of critically endangered Bermudian Skinks have hatched at Chester Zoo. This is the first time conservationists have bred the species outside their homeland.

Known as ‘rock lizards’, the small Bermudian skinks are a much-loved cultural icon in the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda and are an important part of the ecosystem.

The species is on the brink of extinction in the wild, as habitat destruction and introduced predators have almost wiped them out. In a last gasp attempt to prevent the species being lost forever, the Bermudian government called on experts at Chester Zoo to help breed the species in the UK. Now, after years of work by conservationists and 43 days of incubation, seven Skinks have hatched.

2_World first as rare Bermudian skinks hatch at Chester Zoo as part of bid to save species (7)

3_IN BERMUDA_Coloration study on wild Bermudian skinks (2)

4_World first as rare Bermudian skinks hatch at Chester Zoo as part of bid to save species (1)Photo Credits: Chester Zoo

The major success at Chester Zoo is a dramatic breakthrough in the fight to save the Skink: a flagship animal in Bermuda’s species recovery programme.

It is possible that individuals bred at Chester Zoo will be reintroduced to the wild in Bermuda, whilst the zoo’s experts will also travel to the island to set up in-country breeding facilities.

In parallel with the breeding project, a team from the zoo is also working in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of Bermuda on an intensive ecological study following the last remaining populations of the Skinks on both the main and offshore islands.

Dr. Gerardo Garcia, Curator of Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates at Chester Zoo, said, “The world’s biodiversity is under threat and we must protect our living world. Conservation is critical and breeding these skinks is a momentous event. Not only is it providing us with vital new data which will help to inform future decisions in terms of protecting the species, it will engage future generations with these fascinating animals too.”

“It has taken years of work, both out in Bermuda and here in our zoo breeding facilities, but to finally hatch these clutches of Bermudian Skinks is magnificent news.”

The Bermuda Skink has been listed as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Mike Jordan, Collections Director at Chester Zoo, said, “We are working hard to prevent the extinction of this unique species, found nowhere else but Bermuda – and with so few endemic vertebrates – they are incredibly important to the country. This breeding breakthrough, in tandem with our extensive work out in the field alongside the Bermudian government, is a hugely significant boost for their long term survival hopes.”

Dr. Mark Outerbridge, Wildlife Ecologist for the Bermuda Government and the zoo’s partner in Bermuda, added, “I was thrilled to hear of the recent breeding success at Chester Zoo. Skinks have been living on Bermuda for over 400,000 years, and I believe we need to do all that we can to ensure their continued survival. The captive breeding is a critical step in this process and I am very grateful to all the staff there.”

The first Bermudian Skink (Plestiodon longirostris) hatched at Chester Zoo on June 7th from an egg that was laid on May 9th. The zoo’s reptile experts were able to photograph the moment the first skink popped its head out of its egg. Two clutches, one of four and one of three, have hatched at the zoo, with seven individual new Skinks in total.

Chester Zoo’s Curator of Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates, and PhD student, Helena Turner, are currently in Bermuda collecting vital data from the last remaining wild skink populations.

More great pics below the fold!

5_IN BERMUDA_Bermudian skink is given a health check

6_IN BERMUDA_Bermudian skink is given a health check (2)

7_IN BERMUDA_Castle Island

8_World first as rare Bermudian skinks hatch at Chester Zoo as part of bid to save species (4)

9_World first as rare Bermudian skinks hatch at Chester Zoo as part of bid to save species (12)

10_World first as rare Bermudian skinks hatch at Chester Zoo as part of bid to save species (13)

11_World first as rare Bermudian skinks hatch at Chester Zoo as part of bid to save species (14)

12_World first as rare Bermudian skinks hatch at Chester Zoo as part of bid to save species (15)

sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
[personal profile] sorcyress
At GenCon, I was summing up the job search thusly:

18 applications
4 interviews
1 second interview
Bupkiss.

This summer was way more frustrating about teaching jobs than it has been in the past, in no small part because I really truly was doing an awesome job of applying places. I thought I was doing relatively well at interviewing. Maybe my references weren't as good as they could be, but in general, I was really putting myself out there and trying...and still getting nothing.

On Wednesday the 23rd of August, I got a call --would you be willing to come in?
On Thursday the 24th of August, I had an interview.
On Friday the 25th of August, I got a call.

On Monday the 28th of August, my perfect birthday, I woke up unbearably early and biked to school. Monday and Tuesday were teacher days, Wednesday was the first day with students. It's now partway through the fourth week of school, and I have finally gotten the HR bullshit sorted out and a paycheck into my bank account and that means it's really truly officially real.

I am a professional high school mathematics teacher.

For the whole year, from the beginning. At a public high school, with all the diversity and benefits that implies. With five classes and about eighty students (a frankly amazing average ratio) and oh my _dear sweet weeping gods_.

I am fully, blessedly, employed, in a place I love, doing exactly the thing I want to be doing with my life. Yes, it's frustrating that all my work searching this summer was for naught, but I can forgive the universe its machinations.

I've been sitting tight on announcing this until it was real, and it's been killing me. No matter how much I will complain over the next ten months about the early mornings and endless prep work, I am so so unbelievably very happy.

On Monday, August 28th, I celebrated my perfect birthday by starting at my perfect job.

~Sor
MOOP!

FAQs: No I won't tell you where specifically online. Algebra 1, Discrete Math, and Calculus. Some 9th graders, mostly 12th graders. Yes the commute sucks less than the private school one. Yes the pay is better --I'm making a bit over $50k this year. Yes, I am so so so so happy.

QotD

Sep. 19th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

[I feel, based on my own reactions each time I think about the loss described here, like I should provide some kind of content-warning to avoid ruining someone's day if this is their nightmare fuel. But I'm really not sure what form this warning should take.]

Linda Ronstadt describes what she can't do. May be upsetting to artists. Many people may just calmly think 'oh, that's sad'. )
sparowe: (Compassion)
[personal profile] sparowe

Love Everyone Differently




Unfortunately, sometimes we try to love others as if they are all the same.

You’ll find that not all people need the same thing from you. One of your children, for example, may need more of your personal time than another does. One friend may need more encouragement on a regular basis than another. Some people just need different forms of love.

Respecting individual preferences and opinions is also very important. Selfish people expect everyone to be like they are, but love respects the differences in people. If God had wanted all of us to be alike, He would not have given each of us a different set of fingerprints. I believe that fact alone proves we are created equal, but different.

We all have different gifts and talents, different likes and dislikes, different goals in life and different motivations. A loving person respects and encourages the differences in others.


[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

1_LA Zoo Snow Leopard Cubs 8-30-17 by Tad Motoyama

The Los Angeles Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of two endangered Snow Leopard cubs!

A male and female were born on May 12 and May 13 to a three-year-old mother, Georgina, and a five-year-old father, Fred. The cubs are the first offspring for the adults, who were paired together in July 2015 as a part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP).

The new siblings spent several months behind the scenes bonding with their mother and getting to know the animal care staff. At four months old, the cubs have now gained enough strength and coordination to navigate their outdoor habitat and make their public debut.

“We’re so excited to welcome these cubs,” said Stephanie Zielinski, animal keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo. “There is less known about these beautiful cats than most of the other large cat species due to the extreme habitat Snow Leopards have evolved to live in the wild. This is why it’s such an honor to be able to educate the public and give them the opportunity to observe this elusive species here in Los Angeles.”

The Zoo’s animal care staff began working with the cubs early on, separating the mom for short amounts of time to allow her rest and to help her grow accustomed to animal care staff being around her young. These interactions with the cubs helped animal care staff conduct regular exams, give vaccinations, and eventually lead to an easier transition when introducing the cubs to the outdoor habitat.

2_Snow Leopard Mom & Two Cubs 9-11-17  Photo By Tad Motoyama

3_Snow Leopard Cub Female by Jamie Pham

4_Snow Leopard Cub Male by Jamie PhamPhoto Credits: Los Angeles Zoo / Tad Motoyama (Images: 1,2,5) / Jamie Pham (3,4,6,7)

Snow Leopards in the wild are found in unforgiving environments in the cold, high mountains of Central Asia throughout 12 countries. The habitats range from alpine meadows to treeless, rocky mountains. Due to the high altitudes of its habitat, the animal has evolved to have a large nasal cavity to breathe the thin air and can retain oxygen well. The cats have a thick fur, which allows them to keep warm, and a long tail they can wrap around themselves for added warmth and protection for their ears and face. Their paws have hair cushions that act as snowshoes and also provide protection from sharp rocks. Smoky gray and blurred black markings on the cat’s pale gray or cream-colored coat provide them with handy camouflage in the mountains. Snow Leopards can tolerate extreme temperatures of 104 degrees Fahrenheit down to 40 degrees below zero.

While Snow Leopards have perfectly adapted to the cold, barren landscape of their high-altitude home, human threats have created an uncertain future for the cats. Habitat destruction, prey base depletion, illegal trade, poaching, and conflict with the local people have led to a significant decline with only an estimated population of between 2,000 to 7,000 Snow Leopards left in the wild.

Guests of the Los Angeles Zoo can now visit the cubs, currently weighing in at around 22 pounds each, and see firsthand how energetic and playful they are. The cubs and their mother will transition, on and off exhibit, at various times throughout the day, allowing outdoor time for the adult male Snow Leopard, Fred.

5_LA Zoo Snow Leopard Cub Hiding in the Grass 8-30-17 by Tad Motoyama

6_Snow Leopard Cubs 1st Day on Exhibit by Jamie Pham

7_Snow Leopard Cubs by Jamie Pham

Weekend

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:50 am
dmilewski: (Default)
[personal profile] dmilewski
On Friday night, we had Carol and Paul over for dinner. We haven't seen them in 5+ years, so it was a good dinner with the usual number of excess dishes.

Saturday was a lost day for me as I had a headache kick in.

On Sunday, I got to my Saturday work and fixed the oven. The oven's gas safety regulator was malfunctioning, so I took the time to track down an affordable part (or pay literally 8x the price for the unaffordable part). Then I had to get the oven out, shove over a cabinet, shove over the fridge, unplug the fridge, and wedge in behind the oven to discover that I couldn't find the gas cutoff. (It turned out to be under the sink, but I had forgotten that.) I cut the gas off at the meter. I found a youtube video with almost my exact model getting disassembled. Did the work. Reassembled. Done.

Yay. Done. The oven reached temperature, beeped, and maintained temperature for several hours.

And the fridge didn't work any more. So I had to pull crap back out to replug the fridge.

And the hot water didn't work right this morning. So I had to go down the basement and relight the pilot for the water heater.

While I was at all that pulling crap out, I scrubbed down the oily top of the fridge. It was that truly and epicly icky.

Also in work yesterday was changing out the driving lights for my wife's car (one was out) and replacing the air filter (because the thing had a decided bad power response). Next I have to hook up my car readout thingie to find out why her car wants maintenance.

On Saturday, we got out to the redecorated Taipei Tokyo cafe. They had a considerably adjusted menu and a different vibe, although the place still felt cafe style. I got the feeling that the restaurant had changed hands, now leaning a bit more Japanese than the previous iteration. They had a steady stream of customers, so life still looks good for them.

With several new Lego Elves sets released, I've bought her a few dragons sets over the last few weeks, allowing her to have all the dragons. I envy that in her, because that's something that I never accomplished with any of the toy sets that I wanted when I was little. I can support that because there's only so much time left for this, and I get to live vicariously through her pleasure. However, from here, she'll need to earn more because we need some carrot for school work. That, and she'll need presents for her Christmas list.

QotD

Sep. 18th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-03-08:

"I found much that was alarming about being a citizen during the tenures of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. But, whatever I may have seen as their limitations of character or intellect, neither was anything like as humanly impoverished as Trump is: ignorant of government, of history, of science, of philosophy, of art, incapable of expressing or recognizing subtlety or nuance, destitute of all decency, and wielding a vocabulary of seventy-seven words that is better called Jerkish than English." -- Philip Roth, novelist

[ http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/30/philip-roth-e-mails-on-trump]

(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2017 06:06 pm
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
[personal profile] sorcyress
So here's a thing.

Back near the start of June, Captain Awkward1 posted a link to the Ingrid Michaelson video "Girls Chase Boys". I'd seen it before, but not in a while, so hell yeah it was time for a rewatch.

And somewhere in the thirty or fifty rewatches I've done this summer, I came to a really striking realization about my sexuality. I feel queer2 or straight entirely independent of the gender of the person I am being attracted towards.

Like, this is probably a pretty logical end result of not having a gender myself. I can't be a lesbian if I'm not a woman3, but I'm also not able to be het with a woman if I'm not a man. Bisexual has served me fine as a term for years now (and queer even moreso). I am content and secure in my attractions4.

But it was a weird moment of clarity when I realized that the attraction I feel for the men in that video is decidedly queer attraction. And weirder still to realize that I can, and often do, feel straight attraction towards men. And continually weird to realize that my attraction towards women can be either queer or straight as well. Like, these are two markedly different feelings for me, apparently. They both have the same root (I want to get romantic and-or sexual with this person because I am aesthetically or otherwise pleased by them) but they feel different.

After some soul-searching5, I determined that a big part of what makes me feel queer vs straight attraction is whether the person I am attracted to is giving out queer vs straight signals. These can be either gender-queer or sexuality-queer, but apparently I save my straight attraction for the hets.

I don't know what to do with all this information. Hell, I don't even know if it's useful information to have, or if the back of my brain has latent transphobia in this regard (many of the attractive trans women I know are some variation of enby, almost all of them are sexuality-queer --I don't tend to feel straight attraction to people who I don't perceive as relatively straight, but would I automatically feel queer attraction to any trans woman, even a straight one?)

But it's a thing my brain is doing, and I like paying attention to those.

~Sor
MOOP!

1: Captain Awkward is probably the single best advice blog on the internet, and I highly recommend pawing through her archives occasionally. She is better at teaching people how to be adults than just about anyone else, and I try very very hard to behave as would make her happy.

2: "Gay" would also be accurate here, but I very much prefer queer.

3: TRANS LESBIANS ARE LESBIANS. TERFS CAN FUCK OFF.

4: This is absolutely not true, I'm into a lot of straight men for an enby. The fact that I'm demonstrably more androsexual than gynosexual freaks me out on the regular, because boy howdy, is it hard to actually be "bisexual". But for the sake of this post, let's pretend I feel not-weird about myself.

5: Translation: Looking at a lot of different attractive people for science.

QotD

Sep. 17th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Just because your electronics are better than ours, you aren't necessarily superior in any way. Look, imagine that you humans are a man in LA with a brand-new Trujillo and we are a nuhp in New York with a beat-up old Ford. The two fellows start driving toward St. Louis. Now, the guy in the Trujillo is doing 120 on the interstates, and the guy in the Ford is putting along at 55; but the human in the Trujillo stops in Vegas and puts all of his gas money down the hole of a blackjack table, and the determined little nuhp cruises along for days until at last he reaches his goal. It's all a matter of superior intellect and the will to succeed.

Your people talk a lot about going to the stars, but you just keep putting your money into other projects, like war and popular music and international athletic events and resurrecting the fashions of previous decades. If you wanted to go into space, you would have."

-- George Alec Effinger (not sure which story -- I can find lots of sites repeating that it is from Live! from Planet Earth, but I haven't seen any saying which story in that anthology the quotation is from)

Keith Marshall

Sep. 16th, 2017 03:27 pm
vvalkyri: (Default)
[personal profile] vvalkyri
Keith Marshall died today. I don't have memorial info yet, but Diane might have people over tomorrow; she's not alone now, and that is good. Ping me on this handle on gmail if you want further info.

I was just about to leave for Wheaton regional for acro when I got the call, and then the other call. Had over an hour on the phone with the housemate yesterday rapidly coming to an understanding of why she was impossible to live with, so i suppose I should have known better than to admit I already knew, that Diane had already called me. And I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised when she started yelling and hung up on me when I told her the Baltimore and DC science fiction people would be available to help sort through his things - I knew there had already been strife over his wishes that his books go to bsfs.

I decided half an hour ago that I'd instedad go to faire at this point. Called gsh and established through tears that he would still be there. Am still messing with the iPad.

I wrote this on Facebook:
Back when social media showed stuff in order and I more consistently posted on a certain other network Keith William Marshall would check on me when I hadn't posted in a day or two. He was willing to spend likely three times as long supporting me in replacing my disposall 'myself' as it would have been to just do it. He made bracelets and fiddle toys the 3D printer and last I saw him he gave me a Magen david. I keep thinking of the anodized titanium bracelet he made and wore. He was kind and matter of fact and knew about so many things and i wish I'd remembered he was still one of the people who chats on the phone. Ive had a candle burning for Keith since last night; Diana called a few minutes ago and it sadly now serves as memorial.

We always think there will be more time. I knew yesterday the situation was bad but was already thinking about how to be future help.

there isn't yet memorial information. Diana may have an informal gathering at her place tomorrow. If you know her or Keith, ping me for phone/address.

I'm hoping that bsfs/wsfa can be involved in sorting through Keith's books and such, because it was important to him they not be trashed. Communication in that area is currently a bit fraught.

Fsck. Just Fsck. Other times friends have died it's been either less of a surprise or farther away


It's surprising and it isn't surprising that I'm crying. We met 20 years ago. He always made me feel cared for and protected. And it was a shock, and I could have spent more time with him. Particularly after he was no longer driving.

I gotta get moving in some direction
sparowe: (Fell)
[personal profile] sparowe

Unresolved Guilt

 
Today's MP3

What kind of person does unresolved guilt create? An anxious one, forever hiding, running, denying, or pretending. As one man admitted, “I was always living a lie for fear someone might see me for who I really was and think less of me. I hid behind my super spirituality but this lie was exhausting and anxiety producing.”

Unresolved guilt will turn you into a miserable, weary, angry, fretful mess. In a psalm David probably wrote after his affair with Bathsheba, the king said, “When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat” (Psalm 32:3-4 NLT).

As the apostle Paul told Titus, God’s grace is the fertile soil out of which courage sprouts! “God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation is available for everyone!” (Titus 2:11, 15 MSG).

Read more Anxious for Nothing

QotD

Sep. 16th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Writing this novel is 30% words and 70% evicting the cat from the keyboard. #amwriting https://t.co/Wlm9hpQJe3" -- Karen Osborne, 2017-01-16

(@alitmag's reply: "Writing tip: Make sure to have more keyboards than cats. For extra security, pack two spares!")

[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Chris Eastland

1_36409942973_29346c6757_b

Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of three Meerkats on August 17.

The trio is the first offspring for parents Calvin (age 11) and Victoria (age 9). The pair has been together for 2.5 years but never successfully produced pups.

“Calvin and Victoria are proving to be great parents and have shown constant attention to the new additions,” said Sabrina Barnes, Area Supervisor of Primates. “We are very excited to once again have Meerkat pups at Nashville Zoo!”

2_37224892145_17c55dda27_b

3_36387283684_3985559802_bPhoto Credits: Rachel Schleicher

Keepers have noticed Calvin and Victoria taking turns caring for the pups. When Victoria is not in the burrow nursing, Calvin is inside caring for them. Meerkat society is centered around family groups (known as “mobs”), relying heavily on group cooperation. The pups will stay at the Nashville Zoo to live in a family group.

The average litter size for Meerkats ranges from 1 to 6 pups, and pups average 25-35 grams in weight when born.

Meerkats are currently listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. They live throughout southern Africa and are present in several protected areas, with no major threats at this time.

Nashville Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for this species to maintain the captive population.

sparowe: (Jesus)
[personal profile] sparowe

The Grace of Christ

 
Today's MP3

Guilt sucks the life out of our souls. Grace restores it. No one had more reason to feel the burden of guilt than did the apostle Paul. He had orchestrated the deaths of Christians—an ancient version of a terrorist. Yet, Paul gave his guilt to Jesus, period. He surrendered it to Jesus! As a result he could write, “I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us” (Philippians 3:13-14 TLB).

What would the apostle say to the guilt-ridden? Simply this: Rejoice in the Lord’s mercy. Trust in his ability to forgive. Cast yourself upon the grace of Christ and Christ alone!

Read more Anxious for Nothing

QotD

Sep. 15th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"As long as we're valuing capital over labor, we have a future in store that's owned by the 0.0001% where the rest of us get to pay for the privilege of being allowed to breathe their air and live on property they own. Where I get stuck at is how we get out of this bind--with people like the Mercers and the Kochs and the various Putin-orbit oligarchs holding the rights to so much of the world's wealth, how do we devalue, divest, and otherwise claw back those resources to a place where we can use them for the good of society, rather than the plutocrats?" -- Boussinesque, commenter at Balloon Juice [thanks to [info] realinterrobang for quoting this earlier]

[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

Shellie Giraffe Calf Born at TLD

On August 27, the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens welcomed a female Giraffe calf to their herd. Born to mother, Dadisi, and father, Hesabu, the calf weighed in at 143 pounds and stood 5 feet 11 inches tall.

The calf was given the official name “Shellie Muujiza”. Through a generous gift of $50,000 by long-time supporter Harold Matzner, Shellie Muujiza was named in honor of Harold’s life partner, Shellie Reade. And true to the Giraffe’s heritage, Muujiza mean ‘miracle’ in Swahili.

“We are excited to share the joyous news of our new addition, Shellie. Mother and calf are doing very well and guests have the thrilling opportunity to see them both beginning today,” said Allen Monroe, President/CEO of The Living Desert. “While we continue to mourn the loss of Pona, our male Giraffe who suddenly passed away in August, we find comfort in the new life that this Giraffe calf brings to The Living Desert.”

Giraffe Calf  born August 27 at The Living DesertPhoto Credits: The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

This is the seventh calf for mom, Dadisi, and ninth calf for father, Hesabu. Dadisi is 16 years old and has lived at The Living Desert since 2002; this is her second female calf. Hesabu is 16 years old and has lived at The Living Desert since 2002. The Living Desert is home to a herd of eight giraffe, five males and three females.

“I am proud to support The Living Desert and their important Giraffe conservation efforts,” said Matzner, who also named baby Harold, the Giraffe born at The Living Desert on April 28, 2017. “It’s a true pleasure to name two Giraffe in their magnificent herd.”

“Dadisi and her calf have bonded and are doing very well. The well-baby exam showed that all her vitals are within the normal range and she is progressing as expected,” said RoxAnna Breitigan, Director of Animal Programs at The Living Desert. “We are grateful for Mr. Matzner’s continued generosity and support of our giraffe herd. We look forward to seeing baby Harold and baby Shellie together on the savannah habitat.”

Giraffe gestation is about 15 months. The calf will now nurse for nine to 12 months, and begin eating foliage at about four months. During the first year of her life, she will have doubled her size. Giraffe have their own individual spot-like markings and no two giraffe have the same pattern, similar to humans’ unique fingerprints.

Currently listed by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as “Vulnerable”, Giraffe populations have declined up to 40% over the last 30 years. There are fewer than 98,000 giraffe in the wild. Native to southern and eastern Africa, major threats to giraffe population is habitat loss and fragmentation, civil unrest, and ecological changes.

Visitors can get up-close and personal with these majestic animals by participating in the Giraffe feedings from 9:00 a.m. to noon daily. For more information, visit www.LivingDesert.org .

Next Step

Sep. 14th, 2017 05:45 pm
[syndicated profile] universes_feed

Posted by Elizabeth

Next INTO THE FIRE duty will be copy edits–they should arrive here at the end of September and I need to get them back to the publisher before October 13.  Thank goodness for overnight package service!!!  Between now and then I will be working on the introductions for the new edition of the original three Paks books (one done, one partially done.  The bike accident had its effect.)  Also starting work again on the next short fiction anthology.

There are many other things going on of course.  The house next door that we bought to renovate as a rental is making good progress.  The outside is done (new roof, repairs of overhang and gable ends, repair of sun porch that amounted to rebuilding it at least halfway up, repair of storage unit, repainting everything out there.  Looks pretty spiffy now.   Inside has the major renovations done:  new counters in the kitchen, repairs to cabinets, new kitchen sink (old “harvest gold” one was chipped; new one is stainless steel),  holes in ceilings repaired, holes in walls repaired, the worst areas where the leaks were reframed, old paneling (not great paneling, now stained) taken off and new drywall put up in one room,  new shower/bath inserts and new toilets are coming, and completely new flooring throughout.  There are now smoke detectors where there should be, and proper external doors with deadbolts on two doors that didn’t have that (the carport door was just a screen door; the door into the sun porch was an interior door, hollow core, with one break that went into the hollow.  There’s more plumbing and more electrical to be done, plus it needs appliances and some blinds on the windows.

Here are some pictures of before and after of specific things that were bad and now aren’t.

Small front bedroom had a hole in the ceiling where water had poured in and where animals had also come in (rats’ nest in closet as well as mold on walls.)  That closet was very small,  small, with a narrow door.  Now combined with small closet in foyer, reframed with wider opening and bi-fold doors, ceiling and walls had bad wood replaced with new, new drywall, then painted, new vinyl plank flooring.

  The worst visible damage in the place before

  After–dry, solid, clean, more storage

 

Kitchen had old worn counters, old harvest-gold sink with chips in the enamel, cracked/broken vinyl tiles on the floor, kitchen fire damage to stove and cabinet on one side, old wood cabinets with dirty stained wood, rotted out under sink, stained and peeling wallpaper on the drop-ceiling sections above cabinets, old and part-rusted dishwasher.   Now has refinished & repaired cabinets, new cabinet hardware, new counters, new sink, counter material extended up wall behind sink and stove opening, all cabinets walls, and ceilings painted, new vinyl tile flooring.  Breakfast nook (behind camera) painted in contrasting color to match front room, foyer, and large room (to the right in this picture.

      

Before: view to front room…”gold” tile floor, sink, stove exhaust, dishwasher, fire damage, wallpaper overhead

             

After: white cabinets, steel sink, nickel hardware, new countertop/backsplash, new vinyl tile floor (same new flooring in the bathrooms.)  Appliances not in yet.

Front room–off kitchen, had been used as a dining room at one time.  The 1970s shag carpet was stained, torn, and damaged by animals in the house. It needed holes in the wall and ceiling patched, a light fixture moved, new flooring, and a paint job.  You can see in the first picture the water and animal damage in the foyer, as well.  All that was of course taken care of–the very bad closet backed up on this area and was taken down to the concrete slab.

  

Minus the old filthy carpet, debris, and low-hanging chandelier, and painted a light taupe with white trim, this room could have multiple uses depending on the needs of those in the house.  The foyer, this room, the breakfast nook off the kitchen, and the large room are all done in the same color; everything else is white.

And that’s probably more than you wanted to know about this particular project.  We have not done any of the work ourselves; some of that sort of thing we’d done 30-40 years ago in other places, but at this point neither of us is good on ladders, and we are slow, half-decent carpenters…and other people need jobs.  My job has been to show up every day to see if any questions need to be answered and to cheer on the people doing the hard work…and then get out of their way and let them do it.   I’ve been lucky in having excellent contractors (and in having had an architect/engineer mother so that I knew how to appreciate the work.)

(no subject)

Sep. 14th, 2017 02:24 pm
vvalkyri: (Default)
[personal profile] vvalkyri
Just posted over on FB:
A "care and feeding of the [vval]" note: If there is some sort of Activity happening and I'm off to the side alone doing something else, that is very rarely my first choice in how my life is going. There are people who sit and watch at a dance or read a book at a party. That is not me. It may be that I've decided I'm superfluous, or am not sure how to insert myself (this happens at acro jams) but while I /can/ entertain myself on the sidelines that isn't why I showed up. I supposethere's also craft nights where everyone has a project. And it's certainly nice to be out near people while getting stuff done, so maybe that's another counter example...
.
So the thing is, right now I'm sitting in Meridian Park watching three instructors do acroplay. Thing is, the visiting one had invited me to come join them, and had taken til most of 1 to mention to me that he was arriving at the Park to join with one of the others, and when I finally managed to get here, there were 3. And so I'm superfluous. They're doing stuff that's beyond my comfort level, which is fine, but I'd also expressed last night that I didn't want to get in the way.

So I paid a few bills and am now sitting typing, and I'm not sure whether they think this is what I want to be doing. When I rushed out and changed another potential thing I was doing to be here.

Edit: I just got to try a couple things and spot a couple things, which was helpful

The Sorcerer's House (2010)

Sep. 14th, 2017 09:54 am
dmilewski: (Default)
[personal profile] dmilewski
The Sorcerer's House (2010) is a fantasy-horror novel in the usual vein of Gene Wolfe. If you know how Gene writes intellectual, detached horror wired together with abrupt fantasy and human interactions evocative of older decades, then you'll know what you're getting in this book. If you enjoy Gene's work, you'll enjoy it well enough, but if you need a story with heart, this isn't your thing.

The work is an epistolary novel, one told entirely in letters and writing. The protagonist Bax is an ex-con doing his best to keep his head above water when he gets a plan to squat in a haunted house. From there, things slowly get inexplicable with the mud thick unclarity that only a Gene Wolfe novel can provide.

I found the front half of the story interesting and engaging, introducing characters at a nice pace and deploying them well. 
I enjoyed the setup and the slow reveal and the inexactness of the magic system. About halfway through, the number of characters increased, and for me, they didn't fit as well nor add as much to the story as I would have preferred. By the end third, I was utterly baffled by the almost random way that the character's threw themselves at the oddest circumstances, losing every bit of charm that the first third possessed.

Stories make promises. I feel that this story set up a number of promises that it left behind, never fulfilling, and instead fulfilled a completely different set of promises, which is why this book, though excellent, had a hollow ending for me. 

You see, early on, Bax does a bit of magic that he doesn't do right, and that's supposed to cause him a bit of trouble. Naturally, you would expect that this would cause him trouble, and it seems to, but the story should then progress to him actually doing what it takes to resolve that issue, but the issue gets dropped and is never seen again. His quick wealth accumulation and his status as a felon should also come back to haunt him, but it really doesn't. This is what I mean when I say that the story promised certain things, but then dropped them. 

Otherwise, I quite enjoyed the format. The quick chapters made for lighter reading, rarely bogging down. There's some indications that the narrator was unreliable, but not enough that it became a true plot issue. The secondary characters all seemed a bit one dimensional, sometimes with a good explanation, and sometimes not. The action scenes didn't work, nor did any scene dependent on tension.

Lack of tension control kept this from being a true horror novel. While there is some tension in Bax's circumstance, and the general threat of the unknown, when the bad stuff does arise, the stakes are too nebulous and the rewards too inexact to allow any true increase in tension.

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