ME and Ophelia

Friday, July 31, 2009

Snake 'befriends' snack hamster
- JK wedding entrance dance

Snake 'befriends' snack hamster

Photo:  Aochan, the snake 'seems to enjoy' being with Gohan, the hamster (AP/BBC)

A rodent-eating snake and a hamster have developed an unusual bond at a zoo in the Japanese capital, Tokyo.

Their relationship began in October last year, when zookeepers presented the hamster to the snake as a meal.

The rat snake, however, refused to eat the rodent. The two now share a cage, and the hamster sometimes falls asleep sitting on top of his natural foe.

"I have never seen anything like it," a zookeeper at the Mutsugoro Okoku zoo told the Associated Press News agency.

The hamster was initially offered to Aochan, the two-year-old rat snake, because it was refusing to eat frozen mice.

As a joke, the zookeeper said they named the hamster Gohan - the Japanese word for meal.

"I don't think there's any danger. Aochan seems to enjoy Gohan's company very much," said zookeeper Kazuya Yamamoto.

The apparent friendship between the snake and hamster is one of many reported bonds spanning the divide between predator and prey.

Source: BBC News, 19 January 2006 - Snake 'befriends' snack hamster

Lioness adopts third baby antelope 

Lioness adopts third baby antelope

Photo: The last calf was killed while she was sleeping

Odd couple make friends in Kenya

Odd couple make friends in Kenya

Photo: Mzee and Owen have become firm friends despite the age gap (AFP/BBC)

The lioness and the oryx 
07 Jan 02 |  Africa
Japan zoo walks portly penguins 
15 Dec 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Escaped snake in hamster jam 
01 Aug 00 |  Scotland
Tokyo delighted by visiting whale 
05 May 05 |  Asia-Pacific

JK wedding entrance dance 

Kevin Heinz and Jill Peterson, the wedding couple filmed dancing down the aisle, have become an internet sensation after the video received six million YouTube hits.

From The Daily Telegraph
Couple's wedding entrance dance becomes YouTube viral hit
By Alastair Jamieson
26 July 2009
The whole dance, performed to the tune of Chris Brown?s 2008 song, Forever, lasts five minutes and takes most of the assembled guests by surprise

The video clip, posted only one week ago, shows the pair dancing energetically towards the altar, preceded by their ushers, bridesmaids and groomsmen.

The whole dance, performed to the tune of Chris Brown’s 2008 song, Forever, lasts five minutes and takes most of the assembled guests by surprise.

The groom, 28, performs a somersault on his way to the altar and his hip-swaying bride, also 28, receives a standing ovation as she joins him for the exchange of vows.

The video has already turned the couple, from St Paul, Minnesota, into celebrities in the United States with appearances on network television. It has already been viewed 6.6m times.

The new bride said only the couple’s parents were aware of the plans for the unconventional wedding march and that the dance was only rehearsed for “about an hour and a half” before the ceremony.

"I'm just glad I didn't hurt myself," Mr Heinz said of his somersault.

The success of the clip echoes that of British couple James Derbyshire and Julia Boggio who re-enacted the 1987 Dirty Dancing scene between Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray on the dance floor at their reception.

The 2005 clip became so popular, with more than three million hits, that Swayze himself appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show to meet the couple.

You Tube caption (13,092,099 views to date): Our wedding entrance dance to Forever...yeah, forever. For more information or to make a donation towards violence prevention please visit our website:

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# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 7/31/2009 0 comments

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Queen told how economists missed financial crisis 

Cryptic note to self for future reference.  I saw it coming, which is why I wrote and published this at Sudan Watch on Tuesday, June 19, 2007:
U.N. Head Links Climate Change, Darfur
Recently on television news, I saw the great American media baron Ted Turner talking about masses of money changing hands more now than ever before. Seems he's divesting of media to concentrate and invest in nuclear and environment.

My point is, the climate change spending budget will be humongous and, coupled with the world's munitions spending, represents an historic opportunity for making poverty (and war!) history. Surely if world peace could be agreed, and amnesty's sorted, it would leave those who refuse to give up illegal weapons to be treated as criminals.

United Nations Blames Darfur on Food, Water Shortage & Newspapers 18 June 2007

U.N. Head Links Climate Change, Darfur
AP report via Guardian June 17, 2007

"It is no accident that the violence in Darfur erupted during the drought," Ban said. (Reuters)
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Quote of the Year

"The Queen asked me: 'If these things were so large, how come everyone missed them? 
-Professor Luis Garicano (Source:  see here below)
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Sunday, 26 Jul 2009:
Queen told how economists missed financial crisis
The Queen has been sent a letter by a group of eminent economists explaining how "financial wizards" failed to "foresee the timing, extent and severity" of the economic crisis, it was reported.

The three-page letter, signed by London School of Economics professor Tim Besley, an external member of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee, and political historian Peter Hennessy, was sent after the Queen asked on a visit to the LSE why nobody had predicted the credit crunch, according to the Observer newspaper.

The letter ends: "In summary, your majesty, the failure to foresee the timing, extent and severity of the crisis and to head it off, while it had many causes, was principally a failure of the collective imagination of many bright people, both in this country and internationally, to understand the risks to the system as a whole."

The letter talks of the "psychology of denial" that gripped the financial and political world and says "financial wizards" convinced themselves they had found ways to spread risk throughout the financial markets - a great example of "wishful thinking combined with hubris".

The content was discussed during a seminar at the British Academy in June, attended by Treasury permanent secretary Nick MacPherson, Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O'Neill and Observer economics columnist William Keegan, the newspaper said.

A Buckingham Palace spokewoman would not discuss the correspondence but said: "The Queen always displays an interest in current issues and is kept abreast of current issues. Obviously the recession is very topical."

In March, Mervyn King became the first Bank of England governor to be invited for private talks with the Queen.

When she visited the LSE in November last year she asked Professor Luis Garicano, of the economics' management department, about the origins of the credit crisis, saying: "Why did nobody notice it?"

Prof Garicano told the Queen: "At every stage, someone was relying on somebody else and everyone thought they were doing the right thing."

The Queen described it as "awful".

Prof Garicano said afterwards: "The Queen asked me: 'If these things were so large, how come everyone missed them?"'

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