Komodo dragons shall henceforth be called “AWESOME NEW LIZARDS”

well, i know that it’s been some time, and you’re most assuredly chomping at the bit for the latest in random bear news, so rest assured that your prayers have finally been answered: we’ve got bears, and bears behaving quite inappropriately at that! i do, of course, wonder in my more reflective moments if such a focus on bears is any kind of way to run a website that’s theoretically not ABOUT bears … but who am i to deny the people what they want?

scavenging Russian bears
to prepare yourself for this article, try not to picture this face devouring your mother’s naked, disheveled corpse

Russian bears treat graveyards as ‘giant refrigerators’

now, living in Maryland, i know a lot of people that don’t hunt, and there are usually a couple of concepts they just don’t get; the first and most common, of course, is that there’s skill and effort involved – hunters don’t just walk out into the woods with automatic weapons and mow down a huge pile of deer, and while it seems like people should know that, they just don’t seem to get it. but the next big thing they miss is that sometimes, some animals just have to go. the best example of this is “nothing’s eating these deer that my car keeps crashing into, so someone better shoot these fuckers ASAP,” but now let’s talk about a story wherein bears may have FINALLY gone too far.

“But when the two women in the Russian village of Vezhnya Tchova came closer they realised there was a bear in the cemetery eating a body. … The shocked women cried in panic, frightening the bear back into the woods, before they discovered a ghoulish scene with the clothes of the bear’s already-dead victim chucked over adjacent tombstones, the Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomelets reported.”

so from the jump, it’s pretty clear that this is not going to be a hilarious story where bears get up to shenanigans and our reaction is a cross between “those bears, they’re just like us” and amused laughter. well, unless you’re a more abnormal dude that happens to think the prospect of a bear stripping down a corpse like a candy bar and getting scared off by shrieking ladies is funny. i know there’s a few of you dudes out there on the internet.

“Russian bears have grown so desperate after a scorching summer they have started digging up and eating corpses in municipal cemeteries, alarmed officials said today. Bears’ traditional food – mushrooms, berries and the odd frog – has disappeared, they added.”

to be honest, i’m less distressed that these bears are “desperate” for food -partially because i attribute this to laziness, as bears eating out of trash cans are clearly lazy and never accused of being “desperate” for Twinkies and hot dog buns- as i am that these bears supposedly survive on a diet of “mushrooms, berries and the odd frog.” has the author ever SEEN the muscled, furry, flesh-rending beast that a bear is? you don’t build that physique on fucking berries and frogs!

“Local people said that bears had resorted to scavenging in towns and villages – rummaging through bins, stealing garden carrots and raiding tips.”

STEALING GARDEN CARROTS. look, is it possible that some of the events here are the work of poor, vodka-filled Russians (or at least Russians who really love carrots) and not actual bears? because things would make a lot more sense for me if that was the case.

“You have to remember that bears are natural scavengers. In the US and Canada you can’t leave any food in tents in national parks,” said Masha Vorontsova of WWF Russia.

so this is what i am saying: are the bears “natural scavengers,” or are they “desperate” to eat carrots and corpses? i’m going to need you Russians to get together on this one and get back to me when you have a solid answer to the question. unrelated note: as a 70s baby, raised in the 80s (and barely touching 16 when shit got crazy), i will probably NEVER stop assuming the wrong organization is involved when i see the WWF acronym.

“In Karelia one bear learned how to [open a coffin]. He then taught the others,” she added, suggesting: “They are pretty quick learners.””

totally picturing a Far Side-cartoon-style image here. also, i keep correcting misspellings and other grammar issues from this article, which is not making me think well of the Guardian.

“According to Vorontsova, the omnivorous bears had “plenty to eat” this autumn, with foods such as fish and ants at normal levels. The bears raided graveyards because they offered a supply of easy food, she said, a bit like a giant refrigerator. “The story is horrible. Nobody wants to think about having a much loved member of their family eaten by a bear.””

ah, so i think we can agree that “bears like easy food” is the answer we’re going with here. also, in fairness, this is not a scenario where a much-loved member of your family is eaten by a bear; this is their CORPSE being eaten by a bear. it’s still pretty terrible, but i’d rather my mother’s dead body get eaten by a bear than show up at her house and found a bear smashed through a wall and KILLED her. also, i should probably apologize to my mother for using her in this example.

“The bear population in Russia is relatively stable with numbers between 120,000 and 140,000. The biggest threat isn’t starvation but hunting – with VIP sportsmen and wealthy gun enthusiasts wiping out most of the large male bears in Kamchatka, in Russia’s Far East. Chinese poachers have killed many black bears near the border, selling their claws and other parts in markets.”

honestly, guys, if the bears are constantly eating corpses and ravaging their way through gardens, it’s probably a GOOD thing that wealthy Western hunters and Chinese poachers are cutting down their numbers to some extent. because sometimes, some animals just have to go.

psychic octopus
although i have to ask, if this octopus is so smart, why doesn’t he follow a better sport than that lame “soccer” thing everyone but the USA USA USA loves

psychic octopus fails to predict own death

honestly, the worst thing about supposedly having psychic powers is that nothing bad can happen to you -such as death, for example- without everyone around you making lame jokes about your inability to see it coming. has no one considered the possibly that this octopus Paul was making carefully reasoned predictions on every one of those eight World Cup matches? maybe he was just a student of the game of soccer?

“Paul the Octopus, who gained worldwide fame this year by correctly forecasting the outcome of eight World Cup soccer matches including the final, has died peacefully of natural causes, the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen said on Tuesday. … “He was dear to all our hearts,” [said the aquarium’s general manager, Stefan Porwoll], “and we will sorely miss him. He died peacefully in the night of natural causes.””

just remember that while for people, “natural causes” can mean many things, for an octopus, “natural causes” is basically limited to “got slightly old and died” and “cooked and served to Japanese guys.” so at the very least, it could have been worse.

“It said it would erect a memorial to the little brown octopus whose astounding predictive powers turned him into the true star of the tournament, eclipsing the likes of Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, Thomas Müller and Andres Iniesta. Spain, which won the tournament, embraced “Pulpo Paul” as a hero. There was a one in 256 chance that he would get all eight predictions right. Paul’s success rate confounded mathematicians, angered bookmakers and spooked hundreds of millions of football fans around the world.”

this is both awesome, because i would totally visit and photograph myself next to a statue of a random octopus, and sad, because you’re basically saying that every actual soccer player who played hard in the World Cup is taking a backseat to a random octopus with PSYCHIC POWERS … and it’s especially sad if you don’t believe people, let alone octopi, don’t have actual psychic powers. that said, i don’t get all these angry bookmakers, because it’s not like the octopus was playing in these games.

“Some Germans, disappointed by Paul’s unfavorable predictions towards their own national team, had joked that they wanted to fry him up as calamari.”

things that a psychic octopus doesn’t find funny: THAT FUCKING JOKE

“”In honor of Paul and in view of the worldwide interest, a memorial will be put up to him in our exhibition,” said the aquarium, which is clearly adept at milking his fame.”

also, i LOVE the way the article takes a shot at the aquarium using a popular attraction to benefit themselves. isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? i remember when my local zoo got some Komodo dragons and did the whole “come see our AWESOME NEW LIZARDS” thing; were they supposed to hide they in a back room as a surprise or something? okay, okay, that’s not a great comparison, but i think we all get my point.

“The small town of Carballino in northern Spain offered a €30,000 “transfer fee” because it wants to make Paul a mascot of its food festival, a disturbing notion.”

somewhere there are a bunch of Germans sitting in a back room somewhere asking themselves why they didn’t take the €30,000.

“Paul offered a welcome distraction. His success rate enabled him to brush aside competition from other animals chosen to rival his predictive powers during the tournament, for example a chimpanzee called “Pino” in an Estonian zoo, a parakeet called Mani in Singapore, or a crocodile called Harry in Australia.”

respectfully, i don’t see why you’d expect any of those animals to predict soccer better than an octopus. chimpanzees are fucking nasty, brutish animals, and this “Pino” (whose name is in quotes for some reason, even though the names of every other animal in this article aren’t) can’t be an exception; he was probably “predicting soccer” to trick some female zoologist to come close enough for him to bite off her face and rape her.

and a parakeet picking sports? they don’t have that kind of cognitive power, although i guess they could attempt to squawk out the names of teams, which would be endearing. finally, i don’t even see how a crocodile has anything to do with sports either. they don’t move unless they’re eating something, as far as i can tell, and an animal like that HAS to be offended by the constant motion of soccer players.

anyway, i’ll miss that saucy octopus. i liked the cut of his jib.

finally, one quick shot at a subject i LOVE to hate:

garbage-ass Jane Austen
aside from an editor, academics also note that Jane Austen could have used help from a stylist. BURN

Academic: Jane Austen Had a Lot of Help From Editor

most everyone that knows me knows i don’t have a lot of respect for Jane Austen -if the article was written by me, it would have been titled “Janklow: Jane Austen Fucking Sucked At Writing”- and while you can blame my feelings on many things, whether it be a belief that i don’t respect female authors (not really true) or that i can’t get down with intricate romances from the 1700s and 1800s (quite likely), just know that i find ripping on Austen very, very funny.

“She’s renowned for her precise, exquisite prose, but new research shows Jane Austen was a poor speller and erratic grammarian who got a big helping hand from her editor.”

AHAHAHAHAHA. although this does remind me of the cockiness of authors who think editors have NOTHING to do with the process of completing a book, even when it relates to notably good authors, and so i can’t really hate on Austen for that aspect of the issue … although i CAN hold it against that conceited idiot Anne Rice.

“Oxford University English professor Kathryn Sutherland studied 1,100 handwritten pages of unpublished work from the author of incisive social comedies such as “Pride and Prejudice.” She said Saturday that they contradicted the claim by Austen’s brother Henry that “everything came finished from her pen.””

AHAHAHAHAHA. and not only is it awesome that a female professor is the one busting her on this (theoretically sparing us from the inevitable reaction wherein people claim some dudes are framing Austen because they fear her femininity or something), but it’s ALSO awesome that, in the process, Austen’s brother is getting called out as a liar.

“”In reading the manuscripts, it quickly becomes clear that this delicate precision is missing,” Sutherland said. She said the papers show “blots, crossings out, messiness,” and a writer who “broke most of the rules for writing good English. … In particular, the high degree of polished punctuation and epigrammatic style we see in ‘Emma’ and ‘Persuasion’ is simply not there.”

AHAHAHAHAHA

“Sutherland said the revelations shouldn’t damage the reputation of Austen, who was little known when she died in 1817 at the age of 41 but has since become one of Britain’s most beloved authors. Sutherland said the documents reveal an experimental writer who was “even better at writing dialogue and conversation than the edited style of her published novels suggest.””

damn it, Sutherland, don’t start complementing Austen this late in the game! we’re insulting her here! anyway, it won’t damage her reputation because she has an avid fan base that could care less, and again, editing is part of the game. it makes the finished work better, and there’s nothing wrong with that. still… AHAHAHAHAHA.

what more can i say? i’m childish as hell about this kind of thing.

also, i hope someone caught that “Safe” reference up there, although, deep down, i know no one didn’t. still, just remember these two things:
01. there’s ain’t no sense in gambling if you gamble to lose;
02. if you make twelve dollars, put seven away, live off the five, and never ever fuck with your safe.

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