Pandodyssey™ Panda Blog

This is a blog devoted to Giant Panda enthusiasts, environmental wanna-bes and peace loving funimals, world-wide.

Friday, September 29, 2006

this is some DEE DEE DEE reporting

In today's online wp, is an article concerning how wildlife taints our waters, and what can we do to combat "wildlife waste"? No, this is not a joke! Read it here:

Wildlife Waste Is Major Water Polluter, Studies Say
from the washington post, Sept. 29, 2006

Does a bear leave its waste in the woods?

Of course. So do geese, deer, muskrats, raccoons and other wild animals. And now, such states as Virginia and Maryland have determined that this plays a significant role in water pollution.

Scientists have run high-tech tests on harmful bacteria in local rivers and streams and found that many of the germs -- and in the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, a majority of them-- come from wildlife dung. The strange proposition that nature is apparently polluting itself has created a serious conundrum for government officials charged with cleaning up the rivers.

Part of the problem lies with the unnaturally high populations of deer, geese and raccoons living in modern suburbs and depositing their waste there. But officials say it would be nearly impossible, and wildly unpopular, to kill or relocate enough animals to make a dent in even that segment of the pollution.

That leaves scientists and environmentalists struggling with a more fundamental question: How clean should we expect nature to be? In certain cases, they say, the water standards themselves might be flawed, if they appear to forbid something as natural as wild animals leaving their dung in the woods.

"You need to go back and say, 'Maybe the standards aren't exactly right' if wildlife are causing the problem," said Thomas Henry, an Environmental Protection Agency official who works on water pollution in the mid-Atlantic.....

What environmentalist or conservationist has proposed cleaning up our nation's waterways to "cleaner than found in nature" standards? I do not believe anyone is trying to turn the Potomac River into a potable water source -- the Potomac is both tidal and brackish in the areas around D.C. so, even centuries ago, the only possibly way humans might drink from it was at its source: a spring in West VA about 300 miles upstream.

What we are trying to do is preserve the river's natural resources and restore both it and the Anacostia to their pre-"F-ed up-by-man" state. Are we really trying to point the finger at ducks and geese?

Pardon my non-French but NO SHIT Sherlock the WP Reporter, ducks and geese poop in the river. Where would you have them go, in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum where all the other tourists go? But I'll bet that, if the ducks and geese could have their way, they'd find a nice quiet out of the way river to poop in rather than in the crowded Potomac. However, I don't believe that the "wildlife" in and around the District have much choice in the matter.

If the percentage of waterfowl waste in the water around DC is higher now than it was in pre-"F-ed up-by-man" times, it is because they are more densely crowded into smaller and smaller areas than ever in history. They are certainly not choosing to be more densely crowded, they are forced by our actions. I'm just a pandologist but believe me, wildlife has always crapped in the river, and nature got by just fine prior to man coming in and upsetting the balance. Nature has an interesting way of, oh idunnowhatyoucallit, RECYCLING?, and returning organic matter to the earth to decompose. If the river is unhealthy now, it's not because the ducks and geese threw a wrench into the works, WE DID. ANd we don't need a numerical standard to tell us in percentages or so many "parts per millions" whether or not the river is sick. When the cleanest parts of the river are producing boy bass that lay eggs, I think that could be a clue that something is amiss. Balance is the key here, not arbitrary man-made standards.

If water quality standards are wrong, so be it. Fix it and lets move on. But there is NO WAY that duck poop is the cause. Puh-leeze.

Is this writer/"reporter" on crack? At least then there would be an excuse.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

"... can find a better band..."

It IS easy being green these days.... bands that could kick pearl jams' collective wussy ass are jumping on the green bandwagon in droves. (to give credit where credit's due, PJ was among the first. Fair and balanced this blog is.) STS9 made their usual rounds on the summer festival circuit. They'll keep the east coast grooving on tour all autumn long, offsetting carbon emissions all along the way.

It just keeps getting better and better. Have a blast, see live music, and help the environment all at the same time.

[from JamBase Sept. 26.]

Sound Tribe Sector 9 understands that there is an emissions footprint associated with our tours, including our tour bus and air travel and the electricity used to power our concerts. Through a partnership with Sustainable Waves, In Ticketing and Green Mountain Energy Company, we are offsetting 100% of the carbon emissions created during our "Live As Time Changes" Fall 2006 Tour. Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas (GHG), is one of the primary contributors to global warming.

Through a donation of Renewable Energy Credits from Green Mountain Energy Company, STS9 will offset about 138,000 pounds of CO2 while touring this fall. To put this in perspective, that is equivalent to not driving your car over 154,000 miles or recycling over 341,000 aluminum cans. It would take over 9,000 trees more than a year to sequester that much carbon and has the same environmental impact of taking about 12 cars off the road for one year.

STS9 will be rolling from city to city in a carbon neutral bus that has been offset through a donation of renewable energy credits from Green Mountain Energy Company. Each show STS9 plays will be 100% carbon neutral and offset using renewable energy credits. Renewable energy comes from sources like wind, solar and bio-energy which are naturally replenishing and virtually inexhaustible.

For more information, please visit

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Rebel Environmentalist

The man. His record label. His airline. His rail line. His alcoholic beverage. His carbonated beverage.

The visionary who brought us the likes of Boy George & The Culture Club, the Sex Pistols and Virgin Cola is branching out once again. The rebel billionaire himself is joining the fight against global warming, but doin it HIIIIIIIIS way, as usual.

Branson Plans $3B Against Global Warming

NEW YORK -- British business mogul Richard Branson said Thursday he would invest about $3 billion to combat global warming over the next decade.

Branson, the billionaire behind the multi-platform Virgin brand, said the money would come from 100 percent of the profits generated by his transportation and airline sectors. It will then be invested in efforts to find renewable, sustainable energy sources in an effort to wean the world off of oil and coal. ...

"Our generation has inherited an incredibly beautiful world from our parents and they from their parents," Branson said at a news conference with Clinton at his side. "We must not be the generation responsible for irreversibly damaging the environment."

"SRB" ("Sir Richard" duh) and the Virgin Group are hedging their bets on their own secret alternative fuel project, due out in '07. According to this article in CNN Money:

He's investing in conventional ideas like ethanol plants and solar power, but he's also developing a formula for a new ultraclean fuel that can power his jets as well as cars and trucks.

CNN ponders the qualities that make SRB, Sir Richard Branson:

What we love about Branson is that he's part Warren Buffett, part P.T. Barnum. Not every idea he's dreamed up has panned out: Virgin Cola bombed in the United States, and the irresistibly named Virgin Brides retail chain is down to one lonely store in Manchester, England.

Still, Branson remains an unflappable inventor and promoter. On a brief landing in the States between launching a cell-phone carrier in South Africa and promoting a rock concert in Toronto, he sat down with Business 2.0 to explain how he keeps coming up with new ideas.

Q: What's the next big thing?

SRB: I used to be skeptical of global warming, but now I'm absolutely convinced that the world is spiraling out of control. CO2 is like a bushfire that gets bigger and bigger every year.

All of us who are in a position to do something about it must do something about it. Because Virgin is involved with planes and trains, we have even more responsibility. So we've put aside quite a lot of money to invest in alternative fuels. Over the next four years, we'll invest something like $1 billion in alternative fuels.

The money is going into a whole series of different things like building ethanol plants. We're looking into wind power. We're looking into solar. And we're also actually working on developing a new kind of fuel, which I can't say much about but which is quite exciting.

Q: So we'll be pumping Virgin Fuel?

A: It will be called Virgin Fuel, yes! It's not ethanol-based as such, but it'll be a clean fuel. And if we've got it right, it could be a very important breakthrough. We think this fuel will work in cars and trucks and trains within a year. And we're hoping that it might work in commercial jet engines within five years, possibly sooner. So it will be able to work in Virgin Atlantic planes one day.

But it's not just that we thought we should do this to try to save the world and the thousands of species that could die if we don't do it. Unless you can generate cash, it's not going to be successful. With oil prices above $70 a barrel, people want to save on the cost of fuel, and so alternative fuels suddenly make business sense.

Sir Richard himself believes global warming is a problem and he has way more at stake about it than most of the rest of us.

SRB: estimated $3 Billion fortune, much of it in oil sucking ventures
CP1: eagerly awaiting next paycheck since ... last paycheck

Quirkies just sounds dirty

Quirkies: Hedgehog sex, man bites panda and hotels for pets

Alternative title: "The english have a way with news".

There's not really much left to say about any of these 3 stories, is there?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Coming Soon: Littering a Galaxy Near You

Humans are messy beings. Wherever we go, our crap will follow and we, being the unimaginative creatures we are, like to dump it (or let it dissipate) wherever is most convenient.

First, trash in our streams. Then in our oceans.

Then gas "trash" in our atmosphere. (Not littering in the literal verb sense but the principle is the same.)

IS no place sacred? Where else can we intentionally and unintentionally put our non-biodegradable debris?

AAhh, space. The final frontier. Boldly littering where no man has littered before. Literally.

First, we start small: the space equivalent of a cigarette butt out a space shuttle window. Just some celestial flotsam, no harm no foul right? In fact, we've already got a waste disposal depot/international space station in orbit.

Where next we ask ourselves? THE MOON ALICE, that's where! According to this article in New Scientist Space, we are poised on the brink of mucking up its atmosphere too. Wait, you ask, the moon has an atmosphere? Yes and a very fragile one at that.

Yep, the moon.

Take heart though in the fact that moons should now be considered a renewable resource! If the moon's atmosphere is already a lost cause, why fight it? Why not just rename it the IDG: Earth's International Dumping Ground? It's just a matter of time before "taking out the trash" will involve Cape Canaveral, a countdown, and a shuttle contracted to "Waste Management". Once we're done with Earth's moon, we can then move onto Mars' moons -- it has two!

Then....ummm, Jupiter with its 60 wonderful, unspoiled moons ...

Yep, the moon(s).

Global Panda Watch

Atlanta Pandas Well Watched

The Atlanta Journal Constitution on-line has a dedicated page to keep the world wide web apprised of their pandas' daily activities. The latest update from Sept 18 says:

Lun Lun — who until now would rarely put her cub down, much less let it out of her sight — briefly left the 12-day-old baby twice this morning. The cub sometimes softly vocalized when mommy was away, zoo officials said. At other times, it remained quiet. Lun Lun had a Sunday evening snack of a banana and two leafeater biscuits, but throughout Monday didn’t nibble on anything else. She did finally get a drink at 6 p.m.

The Zoo at Atlanta has their own version of daily panda updates on their website as well as the all knowing, all watching pandacam:

Last night, Lun Lun ate bamboo for the first time since giving birth on September 6. She left her cub for nine minutes to eat bamboo, some banana and two leafeater biscuits. She left the cub again a few hours later to eat more bamboo. We expect that she will continue to leave the cub more frequently and for longer periods of time. Dr. Rebecca Snyder, Curator of Giant Panda Research and Management.

Bookmarking It Now...

NBC nightly news with Brian Doofy Williams managed to suck my attention (not to mention pride, integrity, self-respect) through two insufferable commercial breaks with this adorable piece on what's going on halfway round the panda-populated world. It's a short video of outtakes shot at the Wolong Panda Research Center by NBC reporter turned pandologist, Mark Mullen.

WARNING: The link above contains over 30 links to other panda related stories and video clips.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Shanghai, we've got a problem

To misquote Mitch Hedberg (rest in peace, man), it's the Cutest Infestation Ever!!! Another panda kindergarten article. Aaaaah, now my day is complete.

I had big plans for this post, including fake captions and thought bubbles. Then I got home last night and started watching "DEAL.....OR NO DEAL????" and ceased to do anything more useful than repeatedly ask my dog: "DEAL......OR NO DEAL????"

all the small things

It's great that, in the course of my normal day, I happily discover an opportunity to do a little something for the environment, all the while sitting at my computer. This morning I purchased tickets for the 9:30 club through, and was overjoyed to find not one, but TWO environment related incentives, both voluntary and both so very easy!

Here's the message that popped up on the Main calendar of events page:

**TREE FOR EVERY TICKET PROGRAM** For every ticket that is purchased through this presale, Xavier Rudd and Musictoday will plant a tree in some of the neediest tropical areas of the world. As a fan, you can make a difference simply by buying tickets through Xavier Rudd during the purchase process. Thank you for your support!

And then a couple pages deep into the ticket purchase process, you find this message:

Help the environment - Offset your CO2 emissions on the way to the show!When you drive your car to an event, it emits harmful doses of CO2 that pollute our environment and promote global warming. By helping fund the purchase of renewable energy sources you can offset this pollution. To do so simply check the text box to the right and your credit card will automatically be deducted .40 cents (USD). All proceeds go to Native Energy and will be used to purchase renewable energy sources. To learn more visit

So in one checkcard transaction, I planted two trees and paid 40 cents toward reducing carbon emissions for one night. I LOVE programs that cater to the lazy (ie, me) and make it easy to donate and show support for conservation and environmental efforts in the course of everyday transactions. I would've bought the tickets anyway but I feel far less ripped off by the sur-charge if I know part of it is going to help plant trees and offset carbon emissions, than when ticketmaster pockets the whole of it. Take THAT (hi-yah!) ticketmaster!

FYI, NativeEnergy is a privately held Native American energy company dedicated to the expansion and education of renewable energy projects nationwide. They have partnered with many programs, corporations and (most importantly imo) musicians on tour to educate the public on the social, economical, and environmental benefits of renewable energy. Their website makes it simple to calculate your own carbon footprint and what you can do to reduce it or pay it back to the environment through donations to renewable energy projects.

Many Native American tribes once held vast oil and gas lease agreements with domestic oil companies giving them permission to drill on reservation property for a cut of the profits. Yet, here we see a group of Native Americans trying to do the exact opposite, and in fact are among those leaders who are spearheading the effort to stop abusing our environment and steer us back to the long held traditional Native American values of respecting the earth.

I'm deducing that at least a part of this all came about because the Native Americans, like the rest of the whole flippin' WORLD, got fleeced by the oil companies. So another good reason to support NativeEnergy: to NOT support oil.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

stuck at work, so bored...hey what's this...EEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Panda Preschool 2006 video

WARNING: The Pandologist General warns that this footage may cause dizziness, squealing and possibly a happy dance involving clapping of hands and flailing of extremities. It is advised that office/cube/building/city block mates be forewarned.

Umm, still stuck here. Let's see what else ... oh! This one came c/o another bored,trapped employee:

From some clever gentlemen, who could teach us all a thing or two about making the best of a lousy situation: Kosovo (a song parodied after the beach boys' "kokomo")

Alright, so it's not exactly 4 guys on treadmills, but you have to factor in that 1) they're burly soldier-dudes lip-synching and dancing to a beach boys' melody (nearly) straight-faced the entire time-impressive in its own right; 2) they are on duty it would appear with limited resources; and 3) they're in F$&#ing KOSOVO -- How many song parodies did YOU write while being shot at in a warzone? Also mega bonus points for the line "Milo -- se vich, You sorry summmabitch" set to the refrain.

Survivor: Cook Islands starts tonight with the new twist that's old news by now. It's a good thing I got all the decidedly un-PC comments out of my system already :) Let's just leave it at:

So far, I'm rooting for Team-I-hope-the-immunity-challenge-involves-math-and-not-driving... ohhhhh, this is going to be a FUN season!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

oh right, this is a panda blog

Bumper Crop of Pandas in China (can i have just one??)

Latest panda births in China bring year's total to 25, the most ever
SHANGHAI, China The birth of twin pandas at a research center brought the number of the endangered species born in captivity this year in China to a record 25, a news report said Tuesday.

The number of births so far this year is up from at least 19 for the research program in 2005, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The twins, weighing in at 160 grams (5.64 oundces) and 158.5 grams (5.59 ounces), were born early Monday at the Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan. The as-yet-unnamed cubs were the first for their 8-year-old mother "Youyou," the report said.

The bears are the sixth set of twins born to captive pandas this year — a sign of the growing success of China's extensive breeding program, which relies heavily on artificial insemination, Chinese researchers say. [Sadly, minus one cub as of last week.]

"We've pretty much resolved the problems of infertility among pandas," the center's director Zhang Zhihe was quoted as telling Chinese media.

This is great news! In a relatively short period of time, the pooled efforts of scientists & conservationists & a government willing to recognize the economic and social impact of jeopardizing a national treasure has resulted in the pandas' current success story. While we are still a long time away from being able to delist the giant panda as an endangered species, this shows that man CAN reverse some of the ill effects modernization has had on the natural world. Education, cooperation and a $hitload of bamboo.

Whoever thought that the US would be behind China in conservation? Whodathunkit?

Panda Software warns of Subliminal Spam

Panda Software, an anti-virus and security software company, has found what it believes to be subliminal advertising in spam e-mails. The aim of such messages is to get the reader to buy the items being advertised in the e-mail through the use of suggestion.The example Panda found displays a series of images over a very short period of time: no more than 40 milliseconds. The adv wants the reader to buy stock options, and is accompanied by background images creating the word "buy" and repeating it in different positions behind the advertisement. Panda stated that "it is worrying to witness how cyber-criminals are trying to introduce new strategies to increase the effectiveness of their attacks."The use of subliminal imagery in advertising has been banned in Australia the United Kingdom, and the U.S. since 1974, and is also banned in a number of other territories around the world.

There are posted comments at the link above that I don't understand at all. Wait, or was that the subliminal spam? Anyone else got a hankering for a bamboo frappucino all of a sudden?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

revenge: a dish served best as sushi

Don't hurt rays after Irwin death, officials say

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian authorities have urged fans of Steve Irwin not to attack stingrays after several rays were found dead since the TV naturalist was killed in a rare fatal attack by one of the normally placid animals.

Irwin, whose "Crocodile Hunter" documentaries were watched by more than 200 million people, was killed eight days ago when the serrated barb from a stingray's tail pierced his heart. Queensland state officials said up to 10 of the animals have since been found dead in coastal waters.

Two were found dead with their tails hacked off Tuesday at Deception Bay, north of the Queensland capital Brisbane.

Up to six rays had also been found dead recently further north at Hervey Bay said Wayne Sumpton, a senior biologist in Queensland's Fisheries Department.

"We do not know if these incidents are motivated by Steve Irwin's death. At the moment that is just speculation," he said.

Fish kills spear-fishing diver

MIAMI (Reuters) - A Florida diver shot a large grouper with a spear gun then apparently drowned when the fish sped into a hole, entangling the man in the line attached to the spear, investigators said Monday.

The 42-year-old man, whose name was withheld, was free-diving in about 25 feet of water off the lower Florida Keys Saturday and speared a Goliath Grouper, Monroe County Sheriff's Detective Mark Coleman said.

"It looks like the fish wrapped the line attached to the spear around the victim's wrist. The fish then went into a hole in a coral rock, effectively pinning the man to the bottom of the ocean," Coleman said in a news release.

Police divers found the speared fish tightly wedged into the hole, with the man's body still tangled in the line, a sheriff's spokeswoman said. Goliath Grouper are the largest members of the sea bass family and can weigh hundreds of pounds.

These two stories just go to show you that whoevers in charge around this universe has got a ridiculous sense of humor. (and please don't anyone suggest euthanizing the fish ...)

Grease - The Comedy

Thar's oil in that thar Gulf!

the Good: We as a nation will be less dependent on foreign oil when they get this black gold pumped -- in 2010.

the Bad: We as a nation will use this as an excuse to stave off exploring alternative fuel options and this will set us back 20 years.

the Verdict: this IS what the "way-to-proud-of-Texas" Adminsitration considers an "alternative" to oil so we can file this under "Progress". Yay!

In that case, I wonder how much oil might be in my front yard? The skyrocketing prices at the pump is giving some entrepreneurs environmentally (and just ... mentally perhaps) unsound idear. Take Mr. Charles Jordan of La. for example. He's digging up his front yard for oil.

"So just how close to home is it? "Actually it's in my front yard," said Jordan. "When I walk out of my front door I of course can see the rig."

Just 200 yards from his front door, the well stretches 85-hundred feet below his home and swimming pool as well as the nearby Calcasieu River. Jordan expects to drill up to 300,000 barrels of oil." ...

But it takes money to make money. Drilling alone will cost Jordan two million dollars. But with gas prices fluctuating at all time highs, Jordan says it is a risk that is worth while.

"Higher prices make something like this feasible, where as 5-to-6 years ago it wouldn't have been worth it because you would have lost money on a venture like this," recalls Jordan.

Hmmm, this guy might not be so cracked after all.

"Jordan says it is a venture other states should consider permitting U.S. oil drilling. "I think this country needs to become a lot more energy dependent and not be dependent on foreign oil. This is one small step for energy independence for this country," said Jordan.

Jordan expects to strike oil within the next two weeks."

If this guy strikes oil in two weeks, I will definitely be posting about it. (and goodbye scarlet begonias, hell-ooooo shovel!)

If you ever lost sleep wondering if drilling for oil could possibly cause earthquakes, you can now rest your weary wittle eyes and breathe a sigh of relief. Among the harms that drilling for oil does cause the environment, earthquakes and tsunamis aren't among them. Great, now to get back to my regularly scheduled digging up of yard.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

And he shall be called ... Margarine


Zoo Atlanta’s Giant Pandas, Lun Lun and Yang Yang Successfully Reproduce

ATLANTA – Sept. 6, 2006 - Zoo Atlanta animal management staff confirmed today that 9-year-old female giant panda Lun Lun (Loon Loon), and 8-year-old male giant panda Yang Yang (Yahng Yahng) successfully produced a cub. Delivery took place at 4:51 p.m. in a specially constructed birthing den in the Giant Panda Building at Zoo Atlanta.

This panda cub birth at Zoo Atlanta is the fifth birth in a U.S. zoo within the last six years. Only an estimated 1,600 to 3,000 giant pandas remain in the wild today, with 185 additional living in captivity. ...

[The article states that "The cub is hairless, weighs about 4 ounces and is the size of stick of butter."]

For daily updates on both Lun Lun’s and the cub’s progress, please visit our Web site at Zoo Atlanta will post daily updates by 5 p.m. daily.

Other events sharing lil Marg's birth date: (from wikipedia)

1995 - Cal Ripken Jr. breaks Lou Gehrig 's record of 2,130 consecutive Major League Baseball games played at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland.

1970 - Jimi Hendrix plays what turns out to be his last ever performance, at the badly controlled and rained out Love and Peace Festival, on the Isle Of Fehmarn, Germany

1996 - Tupac Shakur is shot in Las Vegas, Nevada after attending a Mike Tyson boxing match.

In good old Chinese tradition, Margarine will officially be named on his 100-day birthday. It has been rumored that names currently in contention include:

1. Parkay
2. Oleo
3. Crisco
4. I Can't Believe It's Not Tai Shan

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

step away from that water fountain!

Male Bass Across Region Found to Be Bearing Eggs

Abnormally developed fish, possessing both male and female characteristics, have been discovered in the Potomac River in the District and in tributaries across the region, federal scientists say -- raising alarms that the river is tainted by pollution that drives hormone systems haywire. ...

The cause of the abnormalities is unknown, but scientists suspect a class of waterborne contaminants that can confuse animals' growth and reproductive systems. These pollutants are poorly understood, however, leaving many observers with questions about what the problems in fish mean for the Potomac and the millions of people who take their tap water from it.

"I don't know, and I don't think anybody knows, the answer to that question right now: Is the effect in the fish transferable to humans?" said Thomas Jacobus, general manager of the Washington Aqueduct, which processes Potomac water to provide drinking water for residents of the District, Arlington County and Falls Church.

[from page 2 of this article]:

Even less understood -- both in the Potomac and around the world -- is how these pollutants affect human health.

In 1996, Congress required the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help answer that question by developing a screening program to identify which chemicals are endocrine disruptors. Ten years later, the agency hasn't tested a single chemical, officials said. Environmental groups have accused the EPA of proceeding too slowly. Agency officials have defended their efforts by saying the research has been more complex than expected.

"I would have hoped it would have been faster, but this is a very difficult program," said Clifford Gabriel, director of the EPA's Office of Science Coordination and Policy. "We want to make sure we get the science right."

In the area, at least four drinking-water utilities -- the Washington Aqueduct, Fairfax Water, the Frederick County authority and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, which serves Montgomery and Prince George's counties -- take water from the Potomac. That has prompted some environmentalists to worry about problems in tap water, in light of the intersex problems in fish.

"If they can't tell us what the problem is," said Ed Merrifield, executive director of a group called Potomac Riverkeeper, "then how can they tell us that they've taken it out of the water?"

There's hardly anything I can add to this except a profound "EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!" First the male largemouth bass. Then what, the male largemouth humans?

Contact EPA Region 3 at this link to let them know that NO you don't in fact want human males laying eggs so test the flippin water already.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Croikey, we miss him already

'Crocodile Hunter' Irwin Killed by Stingray

Sept. 4, 2006 — Steve Irwin, the hugely popular Australian television personality and conservationist known as the "Crocodile Hunter," was killed Monday by a stingray while filming off the Great Barrier Reef. He was 44.

Irwin was at Batt Reef, off the remote coast of northeastern Queensland state, shooting a segment for a series called "Ocean's Deadliest" when he swam near one of the animals, which have a poisonous barb on their tails, his friend and colleague John Stainton said.

"He came on top of the stingray and the stingray's barb went up and into his chest and put a hole into his heart," said Stainton, who was on board Irwin's boat at the time.

Crew members aboard the boat, Croc One, called emergency services in the nearest city, Cairns, and administered CPR as they rushed the boat to nearby Low Isle to meet a rescue helicopter. Medical staff pronounced Irwin dead when they arrived a short time later, Stainton said.

Irwin was famous for his enthusiasm for wildlife and his catchword "Crikey!" in his television program "Crocodile Hunter." First broadcast in Australia in 1992, the program was picked up by the Discovery network, catapulting Irwin to international celebrity.

"Steve was beloved by millions of fans and animal lovers around the world and was one of our planet's most passionate conservationists," said Billy Campbell, president of Discovery Networks, in a statement available on the Web here.

He rode his image into a feature film, 2002's "The Crocodile Hunters: Collision Course" and developed the wildlife park that his parents opened, Australia Zoo, into a major tourist attraction.

"The world has lost a great wildlife icon, a passionate conservationist and one of the proudest dads on the planet," Stainton told reporters in Cairns. "He died doing what he loved best and left this world in a happy and peaceful state of mind. He would have said, 'Crocs Rule!'" ...

Irwin, who made a trademark of hovering dangerously close to untethered crocodiles and leaping on their backs, spoke in rapid-fire bursts with a thick Australian accent and was almost never seen without his uniform of khaki shorts and shirt and heavy boots.

His ebullience was infectious and Australian officials sought him out for photo opportunities and to promote Australia internationally.

Steve Irwin, conservationist, environmentalist, and hero to millions, this pandologist included--so much so that "Croikey, that was a clooose one!!" and "Yer allroight, there's a good fella!" to this day are oft exclaimed around pandodysssey HQ (ie, my place). I credit Steve Irwin with much of my early education to conservation. He was a darn good surfer too, catching overhead waves in his khaki shorts and boots! Here's a link to a lengthy (but not too depressing) Australian news clip and tribute on youtube to the crocodile hunter and a link to the article of appreciation.

Thanks Steve for letting us all share in your world. Croikey we'll miss you.