Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The Weekend is difficult to describe without, how can I put it, sounding weird to those that have not been. But for me, it is a chance to stimulate my brain in a way that mainstream life cannot. It is a chance to explore other people's beliefs, perspectives and standpoints and it is the unleashing of excitement at the thought that there is so much more to this universe than we can comprehend. If we all took time to reflect and listen on a regular basis to those ideas that are 'out there' and still unproven, I believe it would allow people to stop worrying about the pettiness and materialism, which has dominated our lives, and to appreciate what is truly important - an appreciation of what we already have, and the tantalising ideas of what is to come.
In my career I am surrounded by young people who have been so indoctrinated by our culture that their greatest ambition is to 'be famous.' At the Weird Weekend, I met amazing people who were intelligent, eloquent and well respected - what's wrong with that as an ambition? We are so closed down by what we think we should be doing, that we forget to look at what is already happening - in our communities, in our families and in the natural world. The Weird Weekend had it all: stories of men and women searching for unusual animals, the possibility of extra terrestrial life, treacle mines, whistling spiders and the confirmation that there is a big cat sidling around Devon, proving that a lot of our science fiction is, in fact, immersed in science fact.
The real stars of the weekend were the speakers who had prepared such thought provoking talks that by Saturday night, I was mentally saturated. Obviously, this is the main reason that I could not answer many of the quiz questions, that and the desire not to show up the rest of the guys competing. I am very kind like that.
Jon said to me over the weekend, 'I am not going to dumb down the Weird Weekend’, and to that I say 'Hoorah!’
Don't ever dumb it down, to do that it would lose its integrity and professionalism.
And besides, with me attending, I think you have enough of a dumb quotient!
The CFZ have been actively studying the big cat reports from this area since 2005, and for the last 18 months have been making a feature-length film there.
Max and I drove the team to Huddisford Woods on Friday and showed them three of the places that the big cats have been seen. We did not tell them specifically where to look and the Danish TV crew will, I am sure, corroborate this.
After microscopic analysis, and comparison with known leopard hairs, Lars identified the hairs found in the woods as being from a leopard. The analysis was carried out in front of representatives of the CFZ (including president Colonel John Blashford-Snell), and was filmed both by CFZtv and the aforementioned Danish TV crew.
The video of the examination will be released as soon as we have time to digitise it (probably in a few days). Conspiracy theorists will no doubt claim that we will use this time to somehow doctor the results. This is just not true: the examination was filmed on our Sony PD150 and we have to digitise the DV Tapes which has to be done in real time, and we just have not had the time to do it.
Lars Thomas is not just an old friend of the CFZ, but he has been a core member since 1994. Several other people in the party that found the hairs are also CFZ members. The CFZ have therefore proved that there are big cats living wild in this country. However, in view of recent events we would like these findings corroborated. We have 25-30 of these hairs, and will make them available to anyone who has the resources and expertise to test them, including - if they wish to participate - the Big Cats in Britain research group, who have made no secret of their animosity towards us.
There are two provisos:
1. That the results (including any reports, films or photographs) are immediately put into the public domain
2. That the hairs are returned intact to the CFZ
OK guys it is up to you.
The project to commemorate the world’s extinct species.
MEMO is an educational charity dedicated to building an ongoing memorial to extinct species.
The memorial will be a stone monument bearing the images of all the species of plants and animals known to have gone extinct in modern times. It will incorporate a bell to be tolled for all extinct species, including the great many ‘unknown’ species which it is believed perish each year unseen by scientists. The bell will be tolled on the International Day of Biodiversity on 22nd May each year.
On this day in 1227 Genghis Khan died. Fascinating fact 1: It has been claimed, after studies of male Y chromosomes, that as many as 0.5% of the world’s population are descendants of Genghis Khan. Fascinating fact 2: Fascinating fact 1 could be complete poppycock.
And now, the news:
Festival of Wildlife 2011. Baja California, Mexico...
Efforts to save world’s rarest marsupial are payin...
85-Million-Year-Old Sea Monster Re-Explored
Pensioner allowed to walk owls after public outcry...
Ancient turtles 'driven to extinction by humans'
Sri Lanka's Human-Elephant War Escalates
Ashford anglers mourn death of giant carp 'Two Ton...
In memory of Two Tone:
In the Pacific there are around 4 dozen sea snakes that can be found; of them, only one has ever been reported in Hawaiian waters: the yellow-bellied sea snake (Pelamis platurus). This is the only open-ocean marine snake. Even though it does occur here naturally, it is by no means common. In fact, you'll likely never see one. Only 20 specimens have been documented. Marine sea snakes are very poisonous. They are distantly related to cobras. But as far as venomous snakes go, these guys are very timid and rarely bite people. I have swum with sea snakes on several occasions in the south pacific and even played with them. They don't want to bite you if they can help it.
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Corinna looks back at the Weird Weekend, introduces a new member of the family, and generally muses on stuff. (Warning: Contains bloody big batrachian)
Weird Weekend 2010
Well, it was a long trip and I had jelly legs by the time we got there, but it was all worth it! Listening to lectures, interviewing speakers and helping hand out the raffle prizes (wearing, of course, my amazing hat) was just the beginning of the Weird Weekend fun. Over the next couple of weeks I will be continually posting my blogs so keep a look-out!!
On this day in 1930 Poet Laureate and writer of the classic children’s story The Iron Man was born.
And now, the news:
Albino starling spotted in Weymouth
'Ligers' bred in Taiwan zoo
Zebras corraled after wandering Calif. streets
Beast of Dorset makes another appearance - in Cros...
Another related video; see if you can guess the link between this and the last story (not too difficult today):