Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Search for the Elusive Camel Toad

A friend posted this on a mailing list, and I couldn't resist. Thanks, Jen-O!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

More Monkey Awesomeness

I had to add this. Check out the Helping Hands logo from their website. I can't say enough about the middle icon.

Love the curly tail!

Li'l Buddy

I was in a little town outside of Austin on Thursday just hanging out, walking around looking at the old houses. I saw a guy in a wheelchair who looked like he was pretty challenged. You know how it is--you're pretty curious about what is going on with him but you don't want to stare and make it all awkward. So I ran my eyes over him without staring to take in as much info as possible that could be processed later. As I made the ocular sweep my eyes caught on something strange and furry. Was that a cat's tail wiggling on his shoulder? No! It turned out to be one of my favorite things in the world--a HELPER MONKEY! I know the concept of the helper monkey is pretty old news for most people, but how many have you actually seen in person?

The helper monkey doesn't really have a good rep in popular culture. Most recently one made an appearance in that deliciously wicked Malcolm in the Middle episode with the evil helper that holds Craig hostage. But it's George Romero who probably made the most memorable images of helper monkeys in the genius Monkey Shines. That monkey had a serious possessive side to her that was not pleasant for anyone involved. I don't know about you but I have never heard of real monkeys able to channel and embody their companion's rage. I did once have a girlfriend's cat try to smother me once, though. So if you know anything about helper monkey monsters please post your story in the comments field--I would love to hear it!

I always pictured the helper monkeys as being pretty large--maybe the size of a cat--but this one was tiny. It made me wonder how much help it could really give to this man. My only guess is that it they place the monkeys with the companion early so that they bond and can be trained to the companion's specific needs. This monkey was also wearing a teeny diaper, which made it all the more amazing to see.

Here's a little video introduction for those who have never heard about these helpful creatures: Gizmo & George

Today I dedicate this blog to you, little helper monkey. May you and your companion share many fruitful years together in picturesque Bastrop, TX!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Do Androids Dream of Electric Fish?

These are the coolest things I've seen since the creepy which one is the robot post. I read about it first on Slashdot. Robotic carp that aren't remote controlled and look very realistic in their movements. They're on display at the London Aquarium alongside real fish. Take a look at the BBC news story on them. But if you really want to see them swim, take a peek at their home site, Essex Robotics.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Hang on to Your Ego

This hilarious post by Miss Tanya made me go back to my international yoga bitch slapping.

The most humiliating moment I've ever had re: yoga was staying for a short time at an ashram in Rishikesh, India. Every morning and afternoon we would gather to do yoga (in addition to meditation and spiritual instruction). I am the first to admit that I don't do yoga enough to be very flexible at all and it isn't anything that I can even attempt to hide in a class. I just do my thing as well as I can and try not to be competitive (competitiveness is bad energy, dontchaknow).

One day the instructor came up to me as I was struggling to get my nose to my legs while in the lotus position. I was sweating and internally whimpering, kind of shocked that I could even get into the lotus position, and the instructor came off of his yoga dais to see how everyone was doing. Right away, he got a look on his face as if he were looking at a dog trying to do its own taxes. He really wanted to correct the dog, but he couldn't figure out why it even had a tax form let alone was getting the deductions wrong. Sitting next to me, the yogi folded himself over like a wallet then looked at me as if he had blinked instead of impressively showing off his flexibility.

Thank god we left soon thereafter because the ego I was trying to tame would have strangled him if he did that again.

The End.

Ask me later sometime to tell you about trying to shove a piece of rubber through the back of my mouth up into my nose to "floss" the connecting hole. That's a lovely tale.