February 2011 - Posts

The Pittsburgh Zoo held its Super Bowl bash Feb. 2 and, according to one of its residents, the Steelers are going to take home their seventh Bowl trophy come Sunday night.


Angeline the prognosticating pachyderm chose the hometown team over the Green Bay Packers.


But not to be outdone, the Dallas Zoo's Jenny the elephant also threw her turban into the predicting ring, choosing to crush and eat a watermelon painted with the Steelers' colors, thereby picking the Packers to win.


Apparently, elephants aren't the only psychics at the zoo. Eli the orangutan, a resident at the Salt Lake City, Utah zoo, picked the Packers three separate times. Eli chose a box emblazoned with the Packers' colors and logo three times, and he smashed the Packers helmet in his habitat, while leaving the Steelers helmet alone.


Who knew orangutans were Cheeseheads?


There were also more than a few humans willing to stick their necks out and pick a Super Bowl winner. EA Sports held its annual matchup of the contest via the "Madden" video game, and that final score saw the Steelers on top 24-20.


The Super Bowl kicks off at 6:30 p.m. (EST) Sunday at Cowboy Stadium.


We don't care who wins and we don't have a prediction. We just watch for the commercials.

Posted by bulldog | with no comments
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Punxsutawney Phil wasn't the only one who "emerged" this week – comedian Mike Birbiglia stepped outside of the display window at Macy's in New York this week after spending a week there as part of a publicity stunt.


The event was part of "Clean Sheet Week," a publicity stunt sponsored by the makers of Ultra Downey Fresh. The comedian had to live in the window for the entire week, and he spent much of the week interacting with passersby and Web viewers.


Before the week began, Birbiglia said he planned to spend the week working on a new comic routine, but he found he was too busy with visitors to spend time on much else. The famous sleepwalker said he didn't get much sleep, because every time he tried to go to sleep, people knocked on the window. 


"People kept coming by. I found most of them to be friendly, though some were a little crazy," he said.


Funny. This was a publicity stunt to prove that even after a week, sheets washed with this particular Downey product would still be fresh. Nobody has mentioned whether that was the case. All they've talked about his Birbiglia's experience and his interaction with the public.


Were the sheets still fresh? We suppose the world will never know.

Posted by bulldog | with no comments
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Out of all the "creatures" that inhabit Facebook, there's one that didn't ask to be there – but she's attracted a lot of attention and has nearly 300,000 "friends."


Her name is Heidi, and she's a cross-eyed opossum who calls the zoo in Leipzig, Germany home. The zoo was also the home of Paul, the late octopus who correctly predicted the outcome of all of Germany's 2010 World Cup games and Spain's victory in the final. 


Heidi has received media attention from all over the globe, and her picture has been viewed via the Internet millions of times. But what makes us as humans give attention to a critter like Heidi?


It's the cute factor. She's a cute little opossum with her little beady, black eyes turned inward toward her cute little pink nose. When we look at cute little animals like her, it triggers a reaction in our unconsciousness, the same reaction we get when we see a cute baby. It's a feeling that we, as humans, crave.


That explains Heidi's attraction – and those Web sites with all the kitten and puppy photos.


There are critics of giving these animals this kind of attention, and they're speaking out. One such group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, says the animals never benefit from the attention.


"These animals are put on show for millions of people but afterward, they remain incurably crippled," said Edmund Haferbeck, an animal expert with Germany's branch of PETA. He criticizes facilities like the Leipzig zoo, which he says benefit from the animals without putting any of the money the animal brings in into improving the zoo and the lives of the animals that live there.


Whatever, Edmund. We just love the cross-eyed little booger.

Posted by bulldog | with no comments
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We are in the midst of desperate times. Unemployment has skyrocketed and has continued to climb in many parts of the country. The number of homeless people has also grown, as people have been laid off from jobs and, unable to find work, they've been forced onto the streets. Shelters are turning people away as they operate at capacity, and those who operate soup kitchens are begging for more volunteers as they work overtime to feed the homeless.


One postal worker in New York, desperate to save his home and keep his family from ending up on the streets, found an unusual way to do so. He stole coupons from his mail route and sold them at steep discounts on eBay to help pay his mortgage.


Thomas Tang, 38, took more than 7,000 coupons from stacks dispersed on his route, and those stored at the postal branch where he worked. He told police he made $35,000 from JC Penny coupons alone by selling them on eBay. He also sold coupons from Kohl's and Lowe's.


Tang said in a statement that he has two small children, and his wife is pregnant with the couple's third. He couldn't pay his mortgage, and didn't want his home to go into foreclosure, so he concocted the scheme.  He's been charged with felony grand larceny.


While we don't condone what Tang did, we do understand the desperation. People all over the country are facing the same kind of desperation to hold on to their homes and belongings in a time when, in some cases, those things have become luxuries. 


We hope Mr. Tang has a good, sure-I-did-it-but-can-you-blame-me kind of attorney.

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