Tag Archives: Animals

Forget The Super Bowl, Forget The Puppy Bowl, This Year It’s All About The Kitten Bowl

KITTEN BOWL YEAH

Are you ready for some football kittenball??? On February 2 the Hallmark Channel will launch the first ever Kitten Bowl – the cat lovers’ answer to the Puppy Bowl.

For years, Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl has dominated the “cute animals playing football” market, but not anymore. This year the Hallmark Channel, with the help of host Beth Stern, will blow those dogs out of the water.

According to the official Kitten Bowl website, Kitten Bowl sounds fantastic:

“Kitten Bowl” is the greatest feline showdown in cable television history.  The competition will consist of two preliminary playoffs and a championship match. Along with basic obstacle courses of hurdles, tunnels, hoops, jumps, weave poles, lasers, lures and toys on strings, “Kitten Bowl” will feature clever locker room strategies, player profiles and “interviews,” and camera work and audio recordings from the athletes as they play the game!”

Sold! You had me at kitten.

But not everyone is down with the most adorable football line-up ever. Animal Planet, which has been airing Puppy Bowl since 2005, isn’t so pleased about their new competition.

“They’re copycats,” says Brian Eley, vice president for communications at Animal Planet. “And yes, we like our puns.”

If you prefer fuzzy felines over football, nachos, and men in tight pants, tune into the Kitten Bowl on February 2. The inaugural three-hour special event begins at 12pm EST. Who needs Peyton Manning anyway when you have a room full of the most adorable kitten athletes in the world?

And if you’re still not convinced, here is a cluster of football cuteness:

kitten bowl 3

kitten-bowl-cat-photos-017-480w

kitten-bowl

Kitten Bowl 2014

And if that didn’t convince you to tune in, then you should probably get off this site… we’re kind of all about kittens.

Via: Bleacher Report

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Nazi Art Owner Refused To Give Up Loot… And Other News

Nazi Art Collector

Who knew Nazi art owners would be difficult to deal with?

The German art collector found to have a Nazi art trove in his Munich apartment says he isn’t willing to return any of the looted art to previous owners, including pieces taken from Jews. 80-year-old Cornelius Gurlitt’s wartime stash, comprised of 1,400 works – many of which were believed to be destroyed – is thought to be worth $1.35 billion. Gurlitt’s father was a Nazi art dealer who sold art that had been confiscated or bought by the Nazis – but apparently he kept quite a few for himself and passed them down to his son who now refuses to give them up. “I won’t freely give anything back, no, no,” Cornelius Gurlitt, 80, said to German weekly Der, “When I’m dead they can do with them what they want.” Well, that shouldn’t be too long from now. Wall Street Journal

PAris GunmanThe manhunt is on – Paris style – after a gunman opened fire at a newspaper office, shooting a photographer’s assistant twice. The gunmen then fled the scene and forced a motorist to drive him to the Champs Elysees. Another gunman – or very possibly the same gunman – also opened fire at the bank Societe Generale, but there were no injuries reported. In another incident on Friday – which may or may not be related – a gunman broke into BFMTV on Friday and threatened journalists with a gun before leaving. Either this guy’s been really busy over the last few days or a lot of people in Paris hate journalists. BBC News

Shocked LionsLion on lion violence at the Dallas Zoo! Every cat owner’s worst nightmare happened at the Dallas Zoo on Sunday when one of the lions attacked and killed a lioness in the exhibit. A 5-year-old lioness was bitten on the neck by one of the male lions and died after about 10 minutes. Zoo officials are baffled over the incident, which occurred in full view of zoo visitors. “I would have to think something caused the males to react that they don’t normally see every day,” the zoo’s vice president of animal operations and welfare said. “Lions can be aggressive, but they don’t kill each other.” For now, officials say the male and female lions will be placed in separate exhibits until they can figure out what the problem was. USA Today

Zimmerman ViolenceSpeaking of domestic violence, Neighbourhood Watch’s Poster Boy George Zimmerman has been arrested in Florida on domestic violence charges after allegedly pointing a gun at his girlfriend. The incident, which took place at his unnamed girlfriend’s home in central Florida, isn’t the first time police have been called in to settle a Zimmerman-related domestic dispute. Earlier this summer police investigated a domestic dispute between Zimmerman and his wife Shellie Zimmerman after she filed for divorce. Quick temper? Check. Reckless use of a gun? Check. No jail time served? Check. Sounds like Zimmerman! CNN

Rob Ford Knocks Over CouncillorToronto Mayor Rob Ford has issued another apology – this time for knocking over a City Council member and giving her a fat lip. As the Toronto City Council debated limiting the cracked-out mayor’s powers even further in the wake of the ongoing crack scandal, Rob Ford bulldozed into Toronto City Councillor Pam McConnell, knocking her off her feet. Ford wasn’t rushing over because someone was waving around a crack-laced Big Mac as many first assumed. No, he was rushing over to help out his brother, Doug Ford, who was apparently in an altercation/shouting match with a heckler. “It was a complete accident,” Ford said. “I sincerely apologize.” NBC News

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Uber Delivers Kittens for National Cat Day… And Other News

Uber Kittens

I’ll take one taxi full of kittens! The car service Uber is delivering kittens to customers in celebration of National Cat Day.

Uber teamed up with Cheezburger to allow users to order some much needed kittens snuggles. Customers who live in San Francisco, New York, or Seattle can order 15 minutes worth of kitten snuggletime for the low cost of $20! Uber Kittens 2All proceeds go towards a local animal shelter and kitten-lovers can even adopt the fluff balls upon delivery. The only problem with this GENIUS IDEA (other than I didn’t think of it first) is that users should expect a delay – especially in New York City. Due to the popularity of Uber kittens, the Big Apple is experience a major shortage of cats. Uber Blog

HangersDemand for metal coat hangers in Texas rose dramatically after the attorney general requested an emergency ruling be granted by a federal appeals court judge that would allow the state to enforce a law that could shut down a dozen abortion clinics in Texas. Governor Rick Perry signed the anti-abortion law back in July, after an successful 11-hour filibuster by Senator Wendy Davis. But on Monday, one day before the law was to take effect, a federal judge deemed key parts of the law, which requires abortion-performing doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within a 30-mile range of the clinics they use, unconstitutional. In response to the judge’s ruling, Perry vowed he and others will keep fighting – to the death! Hence the emergency appeal to keep the restrictions on schedule… Huffington Post

Jim WheelerThe voice of the people is all that matters – even if it means reinstating slavery! A Republican Nevada state assemblyman said he would vote to bring back slavery of that’s what his constituents wanted. “If that’s what the constituency wants that elected me, that’s what they elected me for,” Jim Wheeler said. “That’s what a republic is about.” Unless they want affordable healthcare – that’s whole other story. Raw Story

Libya TruckWhy rob a bank when you can rob a truck? It has a getaway car included! A group of 10 heavily armed men intercepted a truck in Libya, containing a money shipment from the Central Bank of Libya worth $43 million. The truck was guarded by only one security vehicle so the masked gunmen didn’t have too much trouble stealing the loot. Security forces are now searching for the culprits and cursing their cash-only society. CNN

Hostages in NigerFree at last! Four French hostages  kidnapped by al Qaeda’s north African arm three years ago in Niger have been set free. Pierre Legrand, Daniel Larribe, Thierry Dol and Marc Feret were all taken in raids targeting two French firms operating a uranium mine near Arlit, northern Niger. As for their condition, that’s yet to be determined. “We can’t say that they’re in great health but their health is fine,” said a source close President Hollande. France is denying that they paid a ransom to release the hostages. “We don’t play that game,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said. So al Qaeda just decided three years was enough, time to go? Al Jazeera

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How To Save A Rhino By Shooting One… And Other News

Black Rhino

Kill a rhino, save a rhino! The Dallas Safari Club is auctioning off a permit to kill an endangered black rhino in Namibia.

Namibia has an annual quota to kill up to five black rhinos out of the country’s herd population of 1,795 rhinos. The rhinos who are singled out to be killed are aging, non-breeding beasts, which tend to kill off younger rhinos – so killing the mean older black rhinos is all part of Namibia’s population management technique. And now one lucky millionaire hunter can join in the fun! The Dallas Safari Club hopes to auction off the rhino kill for a million dollars – the proceeds of which will go towards The Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia’s Black Rhino. “First and foremost, this is about saving the black rhino,” Ben Carter, the executive director of the Dallas Safari Club said. But second and secondmost, it’s about killing the black rhino. Al Jazeera

Obama ScanThis week on Who is the NSA Spying on Now, Spain! The newest revelation to come from the Edward Snowden leaked documents is that the NSA collected data on 60 million phone calls in Spain over the course of December 2012. The news comes after confirmation that numerous world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have had their personal phones tapped. Obama apologized to Merkel but claims he did not know what the NSA was up to. The NSA has so many eavesdropping operations they can’t keep track of them – let alone brief the president on them! But now that Obama (and the rest of the world) knows, it’s time to put a stop to it. According to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein, the White House has decided to halt the spying programs targeting allied governments. “Unless the United States is engaged in hostilities against a country or there is an emergency need for this type of surveillance, I do not believe the United States should be collecting phone calls or emails of friendly presidents and prime ministers,” she said. Unfriendly leaders, however, are fair game. Reuters

one-world-trade-centerAnonymous street artist Banksy isn’t making many friends in New York City. After spraying graffiti all over town, Banksy has now insulted One World Trade Center in a rejected New York Times op-ed. Calling the building “biggest eyesore in New York,” Banksy views One World Trade Center as “a betrayal of everyone who lost their lives on September 11th, because it so clearly proclaims the terrorists won. Those 10 men have condemned us to live in a world more mediocre than the one they attacked, rather than be the catalyst for a more dazzling new one.” Ouch. He the went on to say, “It’s vanilla. It’s like something they would build in Canada.” Looks like he’s not making friends in Canada either. The Guardian

NYC MayorThe New York City mayoral debate is being delayed so residents can properly reflect on Hurricane Sandy. For some reason no one noticed this earlier, but the final debate was scheduled for October 29, the one year anniversary of the storm. Both candidates asked for the debate to be moved to Wednesday so they could properly mourn/pull a few publicity stunts in a desperate attempt to win some last minute votes. Democrat Bill de Blasio and the Republican anti-kitten candidate Joe Lhota issued a joint statement saying “this day should be marked with solemn reflection and remembrance.” The New York Times

Putin GayPutin has promised to make gay and lesbian athletes “feel comfortable” at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Russia has been criticized recently over a new law banning “homosexual propaganda” targeted towards youth, but now Putin wants to make clear that gay athletes are A-Okay. “We will do everything to make sure that athletes, fans and guests feel comfortable at the Olympic Games regardless of their ethnicity, race or sexual orientation,” Putin told the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. Although Putin feels most comfortable wrestling bears in the wilderness, so maybe he isn’t the best judge of comfort… CNN

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Lesus Christ! The Italian Mint Screws Up… And Other News

Lesus Christ

What would Lesus do? He would probably spell his name correctly.

The Italian State Mint misspelled Jesus on special medals for the Vatican to commemorate a new pontiff. The Vatican has had to pull over 6,000 of the gold, silver, and bronze collectibles that went on sale Tuesday which spelled “Jesus” as “Lesus.” The four lucky buyers who managed to get their hands on the Lesus medals before the error was noticed may be in for a treat – experts are predicting the value of the medals will soar. Lesus Christ! The Telegraph

Christie Big MacNew Jersey goes gay! A New Jersey judge has ruled against the state’s request to delay same-sex marriages, meaning same-sex couples could potentially walk down the aisle in as little as two weeks – no thanks to Chris Christie. The New Jersey Governor wanted to push off gay marriage until the appeal of an earlier decision is settled. But mainly he felt that if he couldn’t marry what he loves (Big Macs), homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to marry who they love. The Guardian

StarbsStarbucks for President? No one likes a shutdown but Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz really hates a shutdown. The Starbs mogul is offering customers in the US a political petition, along with their $5 coffee, that urges Washington to get over their differences and end the government shutdown. Customers can sign the “Come Together Petition” online or print a copy, gather signatures and return it to the store. But how exactly can Congress end the government shutdown? By passing a “bipartisan and comprehensive long-term budget deal by the end of the year.” Easier said than done – especially when you’re dealing with Tea Party nuts. Maybe Starbucks should stick to coffee beans. CBC News

MigrantsAgain!?! A week after more than 300 African migrants drowned when their vessel capsized, another boat carrying 200 migrants has capsized off the same Italian island of Lampedusa. They should really look into their boat making skills – or at least find a better route. 27 people are confirmed dead but a significant number of the “undocumented Italian citizens” were rescued  by a life raft tossed down by a military aircraft. Rescuers are still searching for additional survivors. BBC News

elephant-pointElephants get the point! A new study published this month in the journal Current Biology reveals that elephants can understand pointing – something cats certainly can’t do. Researchers found that African elephants could read their visual cues and locate buckets of fruit. Meanwhile, in Missouri, a 41-year-old elephant charged and killed a zookeeper who had come to feed her. What set off the incident is unclear but I’m pretty sure the zookeeper gave the elephant the finger. CNN

thanksgiving-cat-is-not-happyHappy Thanksgiving weekend to Canadians! This year Canadians have a lot to be thankful for – mainly that they got rid of Ted Cruz at a young age and he wasn’t able to shutdown their government. Also, they don’t have a looming debt-ceiling crisis. Yay!

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South Africa: Rhino Poaching on the Rise

Rhino Poaching  Horn

In honour of “World Rhino Day” (which was September 22), here is some depressing rhino poaching news: a record 688 rhinos have been killed in South Africa in 2013.

Yes, 2013 is not a good year for rhinos. In fact, it’s been the bloodiest year yet for them. There are about 18,000 white and 4,000 black rhinos in the South Africa but with the dramatic increase in rhino poaching their numbers are dwindling.

Demand for rhino horns is being largely driven by Asian markets (especially Vietnam) who view the horn as a status symbol and something that can magically cure diseases (spoiler alert: rhino horns have no medicinal uses… or any other kind of use… they are useless… stop poaching them).

The Guardian reports that a survey of 720 people in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City found that typical buyers were “educated, successful and powerful individuals” and use rhino horn as currency in networking. Networking?!? Get a golf membership or a Facebook account and stop driving a species into extinction!

Anyways, the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) is all over this sh*t and has coordinated the #iam4rhinos campaign in conjunction with ‘World Rhino Day’ – because everyone knows that liking things on Facebook and tweeting hashtags will 100% solve the issue at hand. Now here’s a video that all Vietnamese people should watch:

Via: The Guardian

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Current Event Dog (!?!?!) of the Day: Sunny Obama

Sunny Obama

Proving once again that once you go black, you never go back, the Obamas have added a new black Portuguese water dog to the family: Sunny Obama.

Not to be outdone by the British royal family’s leaked portraits, the Obamas took to twitter to announce Sunny Obama as their royal addition.

First lady Michelle Obama tweeted out at about 8 p.m. ET, “So excited to introduce the newest member of the Obama family — our puppy, Sunny!

The new puppy, named Sunny Obama for her friendly nature, is of the same breed as 4-year-old Bo Obama. Sunny, however, is a girl – so maybe their hoping love sparks will fly.

The White House released this joyful statement on their blog along with some pictures of Bo and Sunny becoming fast friends:

Sunny was born in Michigan in June 2012, and arrived at the White House today. Just like Bo, she’s a Portuguese Water Dog, which works great for the Obamas because of allergies in their family.

Sunny is the perfect little sister for Bo – full of energy and very affectionate – and the First Family picked her name because it fit her cheerful personality.

In honor of Sunny, and perhaps to hide the fact that she was obviously purchased from a dog breeder and NOT the Humane Society, the Obamas are making a donation to the Washington Humane Society.

And while Bo seems pretty happy to have a new playmate, some Americans are pissed at the first family for adopting another dog that taxpayers have to feed! The nerve of the president for getting his children a family pet!

Here are a few comments from Fox News viewers (I didn’t even have to scroll…sigh)

“Great….another mouth to feed for taxpayers.”

“I wonder how many American children could have been cared for with the money they spend to keep a dog groomed and cared for. I wonder how many children have died that didn’t have adequate access to a medevac air transport when a dog gets to ride around on “Air Obama”.”

“I feel sorry for that poor puppy, she will be subjected to Michelle’s vegan diet , and listening to Barry’s lies. The puppy will commit suicide in 2 weeks , I guarantee it.”

“I hope the Obama’s are paying the bills for Sunny‘s care and feeding. I thought the White House had no money; which is why tours were cancelled for the children who own the White House.”

“I hope they don’t eat it.”

Well, I do agree with that last comment. It would be a shame if the first family ate Sunny Obama.

Via: Current Event Cats & The White House 

Teddy Bear + Housecat = My New Pet

Olinguito New Pet

Cuteness alert! Smithsonian scientists have discovered a new carnivorous mammal, and it is suuuper cute.

Dubbed the olinguito (oh-lin-GHEE-toe), the new mammal is a relative of the raccoon family. The Smithsonian press release describes the 2-pound animal’s appearance as “a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear.” Love it.

The cat teddy bear lives in the cloud forests of Ecuador and Colombia in South America and is the first new carnivore species to be found in the Americas in 35 years. It’s thought that an olinguito was exhibited in several zoos in the US between 1967 and 1976 but it was misclassified and no one could figure out why it wasn’t bredding with the other animals. Now they know why – olinguitos only like other olinguitos.

But don’t get too attached – the olinguito may be already be a threatened species thanks to the tear down of cloud forests.

“The cloud forests of the Andes are a world unto themselves, filled with many species found nowhere else, many of them threatened or endangered,” Kristofer Helgen, lead researcher on the discovery and curator of mammals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, said in the release. “We hope that the olinguito can serve as an ambassador species for the cloud forests of Ecuador and Colombia, to bring the world’s attention to these critical habitats.”

Either way, I know what the cats are getting for Christmas this year!

Via: The Smithsonian 

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The Chicago Tribune Knows What’s Important… And Other News

Chicago Tribune Kitten

The Chicago Tribune knows an attention grabbing headline when it sees one!

For a glorious 16 minutes today the Chicago Tribune homepage featured an adorable picture of a grey kitten with the text: Test, test, test, test, test. Spoiler alert: I think the test failed. That or the office kitten got a hold of the keyboard. Sadly, the Chicago Tribune fixed their “error” after 16 minutes of wonderful cat news but the newspaper is still hoping to win a purr-litzer prize for the article. Ok, that was bad. Gizmodo

Bradley ManningBradley Manning, the original Snowden, who gave classified documents to WikiLeaks, has been found not guilty of aiding the enemy. But the army private who was arrested in Iraq in 2010 is not totally off the hook – he has been convicted of five lesser counts under the Espionage Act and 16 non-espionage related charges. Side Note: Is Bradley Manning a midget or did they just find the largest guard in the world to walk with him? Anyways, the prosecution argued that the leak, the largest in US history, assisted al-Qaeda (aka the enemy) and Manning should have known that would happen because well, there were 700,000 documents full of government secrets. The defense played the dumb card, arguing that Manning was a shy, naïve soldier who didn’t act with the “evil intent” necessary to justify the aiding-the-enemy charge. So I guess it was a small victory for the defense. Had Manning been convicted of aiding the enemy, he would have faced a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole. Next up: Snowden? Washington Post

Pakistan prisonPrison Break: Pakistani Edition. Turns out Indonesia isn’t the only place prisoners can make mass escapes. Late Monday night 250 prisoners escaped from a Pakistani prison after the 100-year-old facility was attacked by Taliban fighters. Damn those Taliban fighters! The militants ambushed the prison grounds on motorbikes and vehicles, blasting the walls with rocket-propelled grenades and other explosive devices, which allowed the prisoners to break free. Security officials have said that 243 prisoners, including 30 militants and 5 females, escaped. Considering the prison only held about 500 inmates, it was quite the prison break. As for the whereabouts of the escapees, no one really know. “The attackers have melted away in the population,” one official said. Good to know they’re assimilating well.  New York Times

Fifty Shades of TortureHow do terrorists pass the time at Gitmo? By reading 50 Shades of Grey obviously. In between forced tube feedings and interrogations, high-value detainees at Guantanamo’s secret Camp Seven enjoy a little light reading. According to Representative Jim Moran, a Democrat from Virginia who went on congressional delegation tour of the camp last week, 50 Shades is the most commonly requested book at the prison. “Rather than the Quran, the book that is requested most by the [high-value detainees] is Fifty Shades of Grey. They’ve read the entire series in English, but we were willing to translate it,” Moran, who advocates for closing the facility, told HuffPost. “I guess there’s not much going on, these guys are going nowhere, so what the hell.” The book is about torture, sexual degradation, and dehumanizing submission… I guess they can relate. Huffington Post

Toronto StreetcarJust when you thought riding the Toronto streetcar couldn’t get worse: it got worse. Amateur video footage from Friday night shows Toronto police shooting repeatedly at a teenager armed with a knife on a streetcar. Sammy Yatim, 18, pulled a knife and ordered everybody off the 505 Dundas streetcar near Trinity Bellwoods Park. Police were alerted and crowded around the streetcar. A standoff quickly ensued and nine gunshots were heard on the video, at least one of which fatally shot Yatim. Some are now up in arms over what they are calling excessive police force. Police say the video is “just one segment” of a broader picture and they are investigating the incident. CBC News

Bloomberg SodaNYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg can now drown his sorrows in a 16-ounce soft drink because a New York appeals court has upheld a ruling striking down the mayor’s latest health push: his controversial ban on large sugary drinks. The court ruled that the ban, which would have prohibited the sale of sodas and other sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces by restaurants and city eateries, was an illegal overreach of executive power. But Bloomberg’s not ready to back down just yet – his administration says it will appeal. “Today’s appellate division decision is a temporary setback, and we plan to appeal as we continue the fight against the obesity epidemic,” said Bloomberg, whose other pro-health efforts include an end to smoking in most public places, a ban on trans fats and requiring big restaurant chains to list calorie counts of their offerings. NBC News

VaCATion Time

Programming Note: Reagan is going on a vaCATion and will be back on August 12th with more news and more cats.

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Indonesian Men Up a Tree Without a Paddle (Or Tiger Repellant)

Tigers Send Men Up a Tree

Five Indonesian men were rescued after spending 5 days trapped up a tree to avoid being mauled to death by Sumatran tigers.

After entering the Mount Leuser National Park in the north of Sumatra island on Tuesday in a search for rare incense wood, the men “accidentally killed” a tiger cub when it wandered into a trap they had set for deer. Needless to say, things didn’t turn out like Life of Pi. No, instead the tigers mauled one of the men to death and the other five ran up a tree.

The trapped men alerted nearby villagers using mobile phones. Sadly, none of them managed to tweet a picture of the large Sumatran tigers, who were circling the base of the tree. Even sadder, none of them had Eye of the Tiger as their ringtone to get them through the situation.

Villagers attempted to rescue them but had to retreat once they saw the size of the tigers. So they called in some back-up  and five days later the back-up arrived. The park covers nearly 7,930 sq km so it took them a while to get there… Police and rescuers moved in after tiger tamers managed to drive away the tigers and the men were escorted to the nearest village to recover from the ordeal.

In fairness to the tigers, the Indonesians started it. AND, Sumatran tigers are a critically endangered species with only about 350 remaining in the wild due to forest destruction and poaching. Indonesians, on the other hand, are a dime a dozen. Surely they could have spared more than one in exchange for the death of a cute little tiger cub.

Via: BBC News

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