The Legend of Wooley Swamp

What ever happened to nuance? Jabberwocky is being spewed up by the left and right as they try to drag us into their Wonderlands. This blog charts a path out of this swamp of simple truths and false certainties. And from time to time, it'll be a place for more light-hearted musings.

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Location: Palms - L.A, California

Friday, December 09, 2005

World Cup Draw, plus "Furry Friday Friends"

It’s the 2006 World Cup Final Draw Day, so expect some kind of elated, ho-hum and/or confused comment from yours truly later today. If you cannot watch it on television, you can follow it LIVE via the World Cup website. German public broadcaster ARD is the one showing it here, so their site has plenty of goodies, click here.

Here’s another piece from the same website:
Time to Make Friends in Berlin

What can I say? It’s always time to make friends in Berlin and if I’m around I’m one of them. Especially if you buy me a beer.

If you don’t like soccer or football, you probably like animals. So I thought I’d introduce the newest member of the animal kingdom as well as two long lost brethren.
By the way, I am not referring to the bizarre – i.e. many have wondered why he has a jersey but no shorts – World Cup mascot, Goleo (pictured here with Heidi Klum, (c) REUTERS , Kevin Coombs.) This creature is, unlike the supposed one below, clearly a hoax.

Ok, here are your new Furry Friday Friends:

Exhibit One: The Thylacine, a.k.a. Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus)
Since it's the Website of Everything’s Animal of the Day today, this magnificent (and sometimes tired) beast is more than worthy. In addition, your intrepid author once had the great privilege of walking the cragged hillocks and lush forests of its native habitat, Tasmania. And while I saw numerous tracks and hairballs, and even what was likely a fresh thylacine shadow sun-blasted onto a cliff wall, I was not blessed by its presence. An elusive feline indeed, but extinct? I don’t think so…

Exhibit Two: Sasquatch, aka Bigfoot/Yeti/Abominable Snowman, (Orangutanus canadianus) This wonderful, and friendly, giant is always deserving of love and attention from us humans. After all, Sasquatches are primates, our closest relatives. Since childhood I have learned much about this often erroneously identified as non-existent humanoid. There were many a day when I would sit in our backyard in Washington D.C. hoping for one to appear out of the depths of the adjacent Glover Archbold Park. Unfortunately, one never did. And on our family trips into the foothills of Maryland and West Virginia, my brother (and parents too) was so boisterous as to keep them at a safe distance from el homo sometimes sapiens.

Still-frame from the famous Patterson-Gimlin party reel
with Sasquatch. Look at him moon-walk pre-Billie Jean!
Michael stole that too...

So you can imagine me counting my lucky stars, when some twenty years later I shipped out to Vancouver in western Canada. At last, I found myself in the Pacific Northwest, where practically every local had shared a steak and some berries with Sasquatch. From my base in paradisiacal North Vancouver, the residential area closest to the great temperate rainforests and Coastal Mountains, I began many an expedition and I was not disappointed.

Exhibit Three: Borneo Possum Cat (unofficial name of Felix borneous) Supposedly, some random 'explorer' has made yet another ‘discovery’ of a new furry friend. While I welcome the wider public’s presumed acceptance of the Borneo Cat, I must point out that this tail-gater has been around for millennia. Unlike the aforementioned duo, I have had no real personal contact with this mammal…yet.

Caught in the Spotlight: Borneo Possum Cat Chilling on a Friday Night
(c) World Wildlife Fund, WWF

But during my trek across the nearby island of Java, I heard only good things from many who had met it. Thus, I look forward to a future meeting, which may be caught on film by some new kind of wacky camera that makes your eyes glow. Furthermore, I had the pleasure of being in the immediate vicinity of an oft-ignored relative of the Borneo Possum, the Iriomote Cat, a few years back. And back in Washington DC, the trash-eating raccoons hinted that their cousin had an easier time finding yummy treats over there in Southeast Asia.

But these tales are best saved for next week/month/year’s installment of: “Furry Friday Friends” You may look forward to more-than-alleged encounters with not just the shy Iriomote Cat and DC raccoons but also with the Stewart Island Kiwi, the Adaman Sea Giant Squid and many, many other wonders of nature.


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