Scary Animals

January 5, 2011 § 1 Comment

In a previous post, I wrote about cute animals, now (after I just had a runin with a terrifying spider)  I would like to turn my attention towards scary animals.  This is almost the complete opposite of what I wrote about in my previous post, but I think that scary animals are a part of life.  There are a number of reasons for animals to be “scary,” maybe there is a negative connotation like dangerous associated with them besides just their appearance that leads them to be considered scary, or maybe they do look scary.  But for whatever reason google images has labeled them as a scary animal.

I love this first picture for a couple reasons. First, the shot of the horse makes it indeed look a bit frightening to me.  It is shot at the right moment where the horse looks like he wants to eat the kid, but what gives the horse its scariness is not necessarily that its scary, its that the kid’s face shows just how terrifying it actually is.  He is absolutely terrified and so the viewer naturally sees the horse as terrifying.

I’m not sure if this photo is real or not, but even if it is not real, this lizard doesn’t appear all that scary to me.  Yes it look a bit weird and kind of like an alien, but to me this doesn’t really strike fear.  Now I’m sure that I would jump out of my shoes if I saw one in the wild, but this picture doesn’t seem to be all that frightening to me.

I thought this was an appropriate picture to end on after our studies of Grizzly Man.  I do think that there something a bit frightening about the bear and his jaws and teeth that would tend to scare most people away.  I think for me, it kind of puts into perspective just how firm and strong Treadwell must have been to be able to stand up to and survive with the bears.

I think that some animals look scary to frighten humans (and other animas?) away from them.  Like a baby’s adorableness draws people in, I think that the scariness drives people away.  Maybe its like certain bright colors on animals warning people that its dangerous by trying to frighten them away.

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Cute Animals

December 14, 2010 § 2 Comments

A quick search of “cute animals” into google images yielded a variety of results, from adorable bunnies to creepy ostriches.  I picked out a few I liked and have them for the class to ponder.

This picture was interesting because although the position of the cat’s paw on the chicks head is adorable, I am a little afraid to think about whether in reality the cat was “playing” with the chick and batting him on the head with his paw.  I don’t know something to think about.

This picture struck me because to me the bunny isn’t really that cute, but the action that it is doing is.  The bunny is being pictured from a different angle which makes it look a little weird, but it also helps to make the thievery look more suspicious.  The bunny looks diabolical which makes the overall picture cute.

I really like this picture because the puppy is adorable and small and sleepy, and it seems to be emerging from the towel.  With its one ear, cute eyes, and general adorableness, I really like this picture.

I have two puppies and wrote about them here, but I like this picture too.  The one on the left is just cute for itself, and the one on the right is like compressed in on itself.  It just makes you smile and long to say “puupppy.”  I love their adorable tongues too.

Last one, although I needed to do a more specific search of “baby seals,” to get this picture, I think that it was worth it.  There’s nothing else to say except for “aaawwww.”

There’s plenty of other pictures out there.  There sure are a lot of cute animals :).

Crazy Puppies

December 7, 2010 § 2 Comments

Well we’ve been talking about animal behaviors a bit in class and whether or not some of the behaviors of the penguins in March of the Penguins had their feelings and actions “pasted” onto them by Morgan Freeman.  Since we are discussing animal behaviors, I think its about time I talked about my puppies.

Well first off, they are the two cutest fuzzballs that could you could hope to have follow you around and jump on your face when you get home.  I can tell you however, it may be their cuteness that saves them from the majority of my and my mom’s, and my sister’s wrath every morning on our way to school.  Everything is fine and dandy until little Tazzy spies a biker, or a jogger, or walker, or occasionally a car, (which happens all too often since we are on the ROAD), and the car is filled with a sharp, constant and piercing bark.

Why this is the reaction of my cute little puppy, to turn into a savage fiesty, bitey, beasty beast, where if you try to touch him, he will turn on you in a second, is beyond me.  One second he is lying down all adorable like, and the next your finger is hurt and your in a heap of pain.  It has been said that dogs bark at strange things as part of a guard dog reaction, and I think that I have seen this myself whenever a raccoon ventures near the house and the peace and quiet is brutally interrupted, but I don’t know if the same concept applies in the car.  Is he trying to protect us? I don’t know, if so, then why would he be so willing to bite us when we try to move him?  Maybe he is just trying to protect himself?  I don’t know, but whatever it is, he is very loud about it.

One other thing I want to talk about, is my dogs’ jealousy.  I don’t know whether there really is jealousy between my two dogs, but it sure seems that way.  If I am petting Pooky, it won’t be long before Tazzy is running over.  If you try to give one of them a treat for doing something right, then it is nearly impossible to not give the other one something when they look over longingly at the treat.  They sure play off each other though.  In the morning, whenever Tazzy starts barking it won’t be long before little Pooky is joining in.

I don’t know if I am projecting emotions onto my dogs like we argued in class the other day, but they are still so adorable in whatever they do, even if their barking is a bit loud.

Those Penguins Are Huge

December 5, 2010 § 4 Comments

So in one of my last posts I talked about how I had an encounter with a giant sea turtle and how it is just amazing that there could be a turtle so big.  As I was watching March of the Penguins in class, I again was struck by the size of the animal that I was watching.

Those penguins were huge.  Both the parents and babies.  I really liked this post about wild animals as pets, and I am not going to lie, I wanted to stick my face into that pile of cute little baby penguins, but when you get some perspective, the babies are pretty big too.  Big like it would be a challenge to lift one.  Here is a picture to see what I am talking about with the babies:

Now I will admit, I do not know how close to adult size this guy is, but he has all of his baby feathers, and looks to me like it would be an armful (literally) to lift him.

The adults also looked pretty big.  Here are a couple of pictures to demonstrate:

The penguin is pretty much as big as a crouching human.    Here is another example:

This penguin again looks like he/she is half the size of a human, much bigger than the small penguins I envisioned.

Now that I think about it, I think that to me at least, the movie painted them as bigger.  Although they are still bigger than the tiny penguins I usually think of (ones that go up halfway to a persons knee perhaps), I think the movie has a lot of shots angled up to make them look bigger than maybe they really are.

I think the reason I am so interested in their size is I am trying to imagine what I would come across if I came across the group huddled together in the middle of a storm.  Would I come across I tiny group huddled together? Or more like that in the movie, where there are giant penguins filling the screen almost as big as a person?  I guess the real answer appears to lie in between, but it is still interesting to think about how camera angles change our point of view of things.

The Bare Necessities

December 1, 2010 § 4 Comments

So I was thinking of the different things that I could talk about, and one song immediately came to mind.  “The Bare Necessities.”

First some context of the song.  It is sung in Disney’s The Jungle Book when Baloo the Bear is trying to tell Mowgli to just look for the simple and necessary things in life and to stop worrying and wanting things that aren’t essential.  Therefore the only way to get the message across is  for Baloo to sing his Bear Necessities.

When I revisited the lyrics, I noticed a couple of things. The first is that Baloo calls the bare necessities “Mother Natures Recipes,” meaning that they are all natural and they are put there by Mother Nature.

A second thing I noticed was that insects in the song are treated differently than the others, than people and bears.  First Baloo talks about not worrying and that the Bare Necessities will come to you, but of course insects are part of the bare necessities.  The bees have to make honey for the bear, and the ants provide him with food.  How can they not worry about things? They could be eaten or have their honey stolen.  I think that the song would be very different if it were from the perspective of the ants.  Ironically, Baloo later says that the ants are “working too hard.”  However they are also giving him honey.  It seems like a bit of a paradox, that the bees must make Baloo honey, and yet they are working too hard to do it.

A final thing that I noticed is how Baloo talked about the necessities coming to you.  This concept just seems so weird to me.  If you stop looking for things you can’t get and don’t need, then the things you do need will just come to you.  I guess the things that you need will be easier to see if you aren’t looking for things you don’t need, but it just seems like a weird concept that they will come to you.

Overall, the song is still really catchy and I thought it was appropriate to talk about after watching Grizzly Man.  The part with the prickly pear is a personal favorite.  Here is a youtube video of it (disclaimer: I haven’t listened to this video (my sound isn’t working for some reason) but I will later and make sure it is good).

Sea Turtles

November 29, 2010 § 3 Comments

If you ever want to feel small, all you need to do is go see a sea turtle in person up close.  They are huge.  Suprisingly huge.

When I was little, I saw one snorkeling and it was probably twice as big as me.

When we then went to the turtle hatchery, we were in awe about how many huge creatures were just swimming around.

This morning, when my sister and father and I were snorkeling again and we were lucky enough to see two turtles, the message of how small I am really came through once again.

I mean it’s a sea turtle and its just a tiny bit smaller than myself and everyday no matter what I am doing it just goes on swimming around.  It really makes you wonder about what else exists out there if there are turtles bigger than me.  How would I feel running into a giant squid? A megladon (the’ve got to be out there)? An orca? A blue whale? Would my heart stop, would I swim away as fast as I could? I just don’t know how I would react.

When I saw the turtle my initial reaction was to freeze and admire.  Would I freeze and admire if a giant bear came out towards me like happened to Treadwell?  Was it the fact that I recognized a turtle the reason I wasn’t freaking out (although I still was a bit nervous).  What about if a huge moose came out of the woods?  I love moose, but they can be pretty dangerous (I mean there is even a T.V. Show called Moose Attack!).  Would I freeze, admire, or move away? I know that I would be shocked about the size but I don’t know what my next reaction would be.

I think in these types of situations you just don’t know, until you see what happens for yourself.

Digging in the Sand

November 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

As my sister and I were digging our giant hole on the beach, an unusual human instinct which always overcomes me (and the various families around me) upon seeing the endless sand against the deep blue ocean, it was interesting to think about all of the different ways we were digging.

At first, I was just doing a straight up claw dig, where I was just removing the sand with the use of my ferocious claws. Later, my sister decided it was “dog digging time,” and she just started throwing sand out of the hole as fast as she could, eventually just throwing globs of the wet sand right onto her loving brother. At first I thought her method kind of strange. To me, dog style would be the stereotypical stand on two legs, bend over, and shove the sand outward through your legs. Apparently to her, it just meant working fast and just trying to get the sand out of the hole in any way possible, not caring about where it lands. Although I think that my version of the digging style is more of what I’ve seen, I think hers captures the general concept behind dog digging perfectly fine. When a dog is trying to dig a hole, to lets say bury a bone, it doesn’t really care how the digging is done as long as the dirt is moved out as fast as possible. A dog doesn’t think, well maybe if I try to scrape off the sand from the sides then it will easier to remove while widening my hole at the same time. No. A dog just digs and digs and digs until he can fit his bone into the hole, then he goes and refinds the dirt, reburies it, and goes on his way.

My mom started digging more of the crow or raven way, where she went and found a tool (in this case a nearby bucket) and was able to take out a lot more sand that way. I don’t know what my dad would have done. In the end I used a lot of different strategies (including tunneling), which ultimately helped make our hole amazing. I don’t know what it is, but there is something about sand that calls a bit of a wild side in humans and makes them use wildish skills to accomplish their goals.

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