11kg Flower blooms in Malaysia

271104lb.jpgBorneo is in the news again… the Tenom Orchid Centre at the Sabah Agriculture Park in Malaysia is passing around the cigars this weekend. Thursday morning a worker opening the centre for the day had a shock when he discovered that this extremely rare and bizarre parasitic plant had bloomed overnight. The species has one of the largest flowers in the world, and it is the first time since the park opened 10 years ago that the plant has bloomed. In fact, the flowering marks the first time an attempt to cultivate the plant has been completely successful since it was first attempted in 1929.

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Defending nature au naturel

Environmental protesters really do seem to be putting a whole new spin on the concept of dedicating bodies to the cause of science. First, the Victoria’s Secret campaign, then the Fuck for Forest folks (and their waffles), and now this:

Link: Two protesters defend nature au naturel: South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

A luncheon meeting of The Scripps Research Institute board of directors at The Breakers resort was stripped of all decorum Monday when two topless women surprised the diners in the Seafood Bar with a 30-second chant to protest the science center’s planned expansion to a Palm Beach County wetlands area.

"Nature yes, biotech no," sang out Lynne Purvis and Veronica Robleto, both 24, who described themselves as environmental activists from Lake Worth. Those words also were painted on their bodies.

…Police issued the women a warning against trespassing.

The pair might have made a clean getaway had they not had to valet-park their car. "There were no free spaces available," Purvis said.

Demonstrating once again, that cars are bad for the environment.

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Bullwinkle Takes Flight

snopes says it's true
snopes says it’s true

My uncles and grandfather were moose hunters in New Brunswick, and I grew up hearing stories of the bizarre agressive antics of bull moose in full rut. I’ve heard about a moose treeing my grandfather for a full day; moose charging moving locomotives head on, as well as cars on the highway; moose wandering into downtown Saint John, mistaking the foghorn for the calls of a lovesick female. But I’ve NEVER heard of anything like this!

Yes, that’s a bull moose, hanging 50 feet up in some electrical cables. Workers were five miles away, using hydraulics to string up power lines, when the moose came across the swaying cables and decided to pick a fight. The line construction manager for City Electric in Anchorage explains:

Crews can lay up to five miles of line at a time before tightening it with a giant hydraulic winch, said Pickens. It’s similar to stringing fishing line through the eyes of a fishing pole, he said. The line is pulled through leaders on the crossties at the top of the power poles and then winched tight with as much as 5,000 pounds of pressure, he said.

“As you’re pulling, it constantly droops up and down,” said Pickens. “My guess is that he was right in the middle of one of the sections when it got pulled up.”

It’s not uncommon for bull moose to challenge inanimate objects to a battle during the rut when testosterone has taken over. Most Alaskans have seen pictures of bull moose with swing sets, tire swings, lawn chairs and Christmas lights tangled in their antlers at this time of year….

“We’ve had them running down the main streets of Delta with shirts and pants hanging from their antlers after they get caught up in clotheslines”

Bullwinkle was lowered to the ground, but sadly, there’s no happy ending to this one. He was unable to get himself untangled, and was so traumatized that there was little chance he’d survive a tranquilizer dart. His carcass is now gracing the freezer and plate of some local needy family, though everyone’s wondering what happened to the trophy sized rack of antlers.

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White Squirrel Wars

A postcard arrived the other day, proudly proclaiming Exeter, Ontario, to be the home of “The Lucky White Squirrel”. I thought it was a joke; I’ve never heard of a white squirrel, let alone seen one. It took a couple of email exchanges with my buddy, and a little Google research, to convince me that she wasn’t pulling my leg.

There really ARE white squirrels, and better yet, squirrel WARS are fought over which town has the most right to lay claim to them. How did I miss this?

Exeter is a small Ontario town waging a single-handed campaign against several towns south of the border, all Yankee pretenders. Its Website, http://www.whitesquirrels.ca, loudly proclaims its local rodent population to be “All Squirrel, All White, All Canadian”. Roadside America, on the other hand, (“Your Online Guide to Offbeat Attractions) complains, “The town of Exeter, Ontario appears bent on total White Squirrel Supremacy”.

Exeter’s site demurely resists accusations of nefarious intent: “The goal of this web site is not to make a million dollars but help others cherish these White Wonders.”

And maybe help Stedmans V&S department store unload the town’s “largest collection of white squirrel souvenirs”. Just a thought.

Roadside America? Roadkill America, more like it.