October 31, 2008

WHAT is the world coming to?!!!



[The following is modified from http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2008/s2405616.htm]

Apparently, the cruelty in the world keeps getting worse!
Yesterday at the Adelaide Zoo a BLIND 78 year old flamingo was ASSAULTED by four young men! The flamingo was rushed to the hospital and was kept overnight. He's in serious condition! The zoo has charged the four men and they face a $50,000 fine or four years in jail. I PERSONALLY think they should pay the fine and give it to the zoo. Then they should be exiled to the middle of the desert where they can't hurt any other living thing. All the words racing through my mind are not suitable for public blogs--but I'm sure most of you know what I am thinking.

This flamingo has been at the zoo since the 1930's and has become an icon. He's quite friendly (being in a zoo for so long and all) and he was happy at one time to wander around his lagoon and the footpaths! A long time friend of the beanten flamingo, another male Chilean flamingo, is now quite distressed and is roaming the lagoon without his long time friend. "Whilst they don't get on terribly well, they do sort of push each other around a little bit. Like two grumpy old men but they will certainly miss each other if they are apart for any length of time." It just makes you want to cry!

Sigh.


Isn't he gorgeous?! And they say he's one of the oldest flamingos at any zoo in the world!

October 29, 2008

this one's for you kyle!

video

My loopy day started with THIS--aren't they gorgeous?!
(This loopiness, I must add, is completely Brayde's fault).
Then, after JUST making the bus-- (thanks Vincent), I got to work and met Trevor about my NEW job that makes MONEY!
Lorikeets. Money. Hm.
THEN, me and George went for an afternoon glass of wine at the pub on campus. (Because she's leaving to go galavanting around Europe for a few weeks... you know, as you do.)
Lorikeets. Money. Wine.
Wednesdays may be my new favorite day of the week.

October 24, 2008

introducing: Cacatua sulphurea abbotti



I'd like to introduce one of the rarest bird species on the planet today. Everyone thought these little cuties were pretty much extinct. But recently, ten were found (including TWO teenagers) on Masakambing island in Indonesia!***

Yellow-crested Abbott's cockatoos are a subspecies of the Lesser Sulphur Crested cockatoos... I think. (The story is quite convoluted and apparently the world wide web is full of misinformation. The words 'yellow' and 'crested,' more or less, are being thrown around like there are no other adjectives in the English language.) In any case, the Abbott cockatoos, native to Indonesia, are not to be confused with the species that entertain me everyday. Those are the Sulphur Crested Cockatoos (Cacatua galerita). See what I mean?

I did find this for the Frenchies though: En milieu naturel : Le cacatoès d'Abott est une sous-espèce du petit cacatoès à huppe jaune que l'on peut reconnaitre à sa longue huppe et l'absence de marques jaunes sur le coté de la tête. Cette sous-espèce, comme un grand nombre de sous-espèces du petit cacatoès à huppe jaune est en très grave danger d'extinction du à la fois à la réduction de son habitat mais également au trafic incessant dont l'espèce fait l'objet. Il est endémique à l'Ile de Solombo Besar, en Indonésie.

There you are people-- let it be a lesson. Don't buy cockatoos! Let them live in the forest!

October 22, 2008

weather schmeather



This is the weather forecast for Sydney this week. Please note that this week's low is 10 C (50 F) whereas this week's high is going to be 34 C (93.2 F). Also, expect "haze" next Wednesday. Welcome to spring?

October 20, 2008

Happy (alleged) Birthday Sydney Opera House !

Opera House birthdays must mean good Mondays.

I woke up very early this morning to go swimming at Macquarie. (I've been trying to convince myself for over a month now). To my pleasant surprise the olympic sized pool turned out to be heated...and not crowded...and clean...and AWESOME. I couldn't believe it. What luck.

Afterwards, I went and picked up my shiny new health insurance card where I enjoy no-copays and am allowed to ride in an ambulance for free.
I cannot WAIT!

(I must comment here that these are two things that my life has lacked since my undergraduate days.... MORE THAN THREE YEARS AGO. What adversity I have endured! I have no idea how I managed.)

And this all happened before I really even started work-- hm. With such a good start to a Monday, I had no choice but to fill the rest of my time doing linguistics and watching the storm clouds and cold winds blow in, drinking coffee.

What did you do?

October 16, 2008

a dialogue with the two leading presidential candidates....

McCain: And of course, I've been talking about the economy. Of course, I've talked to people like Joe the plumber and tell him that I'm not going to spread his wealth around. I'm going to let him keep his wealth. And of course, we're talking about positive plan of action to restore this economy and restore jobs in America.

Lindsay: Oh right, because Joe who is a plumber will actually have enough "wealth" by himself to pay for his family's health care needs, and his kids' education including college expenses, and any damage to his property from catastrophic natural events (indubitably caused by our extreme care for the environment), and food, and the new bridge into his town, and...and...and. Come on! Are you serious?! Where does Joe's wealth go when he loses his job? If it's everyone for himself--what's the point of even living inside a society?

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Obama: Now with respect to a couple of things Senator McCain said, the notion that I voted for a tax increase for people making $42,000 a year has been disputed by everybody who has looked at this claim that Senator McCain keeps on making. Even FOX News disputes it, and that doesn't happen very often when it comes to accusations about me.

Lindsay: HAHAHAHAHAHA

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Obama: When President Bush came into office, we had a budget surplus and the national debt was a little over $5 trillion. It has doubled over the last eight years. And we are now looking at a deficit of well over half a trillion dollars.

Lindsay: Just recently, the national debt clock in New York had to be replaced because it didn't have enough digits on it. TEN TRILLION DOLLARS. Impressive.

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McCain: Free trade with Colombia is something that's a no-brainer.

Lindsay: Right- because free trade would really help stabilize the Columbian economy...pffft. Read Chomsky for a good discussion about Columbia... and Venezuela for that matter.

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McCain: Well, it is a terribly painful situation for Americans. They're seeing their premiums, their co-pays go up. Forty-seven million Americans are without health insurance in America today.
And it really is the cost, the escalating costs of health care that are inflicting such pain on working families and people across this country. And I am convinced we need to do a lot of things.
We need to put health care records online. The V.A. does that. That will -- that will reduce costs. We need to have more community health centers. We need to have walk-in clinics.

Lindsay: What happened to Joe paying for all of his health care by himself with the "wealth" that you are going to let him keep to himself? You mean to say, it is not enough?! You mean to say that even a small successful business owner such as himself cannot afford to go to the hospital if he cuts himself while fixing a drain pipe.... in the "richest and most powerful nation in the world." Oh-- right, community clinics, of course--that'll work. I'm sure they are totally funded.

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Schieffer: Let's talk about energy and climate control. Every president since Nixon has said what both of you...

McCain: Climate change.

Schieffer: Climate change, yes -- has said what both of you have said, and, that is, we must reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Lindsay: Ummm, wait-- I get it... in some way if we don't use Middle East and Venezuelan oil, then we somehow avert the impending doom climate change will bring to civilizations across the globe*. WOW, thank you Schieffer, I never saw it that way before. YES, then I agree--full speed ahead on drilling in Alaska!

*(As a sidenote-- I think that forcing everyone to drive SMART cars would also work to avoid the apocolypse, you know, just in my opinion).

October 12, 2008

dive bombing cockatoos make waiting for the bus WAY more fun

Daylight savings started last week for us Sydneyans, which means it's dark later now. Wahoo. The good news is I have more time to run everyday. PLUS now when I'm waiting for the bus home it's starting to be that high part of the afternoon. And apparently at this particular point in the day the birds are out to play. They fly around dive-bombing each other and just generally making a raucous. It's brilliant. I want one. But Beckie won't let me...Hm, sounds like another roommate I used to live with. :)

I started my french classes this past Saturday! It's at the University of Sydney--which means I get to go to the city every weekend! The class will run till mid-December, so hopefully I'll learn some things before Vincent arrives. We can only hope. In any case, it gives me an excuse every week to drop by Starbucks and feel all nostalgic about times gone by.

Weather is getting warmer, summer is getting nearer and work is coming along nicely. I'm waiting on ethics approval for my PhD research and we're getting started on the Medical Signbank project. Go Go Linguistics!

And on a final note: Congrats to Brian on his awesome run in the Portland Marathon a few weeks ago--all I can say is "supafast!" Also, hats off to Kyle who has arrived in France and will start his PhD work soon. And Happy Birthday Kylie who turns 21 this week! (Her party was lovely by the way!)