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Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

I know that today’s post isn’t necessarily about arts and entertainment, but I find this far too important not to post for you to see. While roaming around facebook, a friend of mine sent me this video, which I found to be amazing. A few Southern farmers have worked out a very simple solution to help clean up some of the oil that is currently killing the gulf. Watch it for yourself:

Hay! This is absolutely ingenius! Just think about all the hay we’ve got all around the country. If we simply put more man power on doing this, who knows how much oil could be averted away from the marine creatures and the coast, too?

This idea is also better because it is completely green. The chemicals the government has been pumping into our ocean to ‘help’ clean up the oil may be doing more harm than good. With this simple solution, there are no added chemicals and less chance of hurting more animals.

Think about it.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

You’ve felt the energy of your latest cd purchase and now all you want to do is blast it through your house, screaming the lyrics at the top of your lungs. But what about your pooch? It might hurt his ears.

Trouble be gone! Pet Acoustics has just come out with a product to help ease your dog’s pain. According to their website, ‘My Pet Speaker transforms your personal music library into pet-friendly tunes that soothe and relax dogs, cats, horses, and their people.’

I don’t usually advertise products on my blog, but this device is just too interesting to pass up. We all know that our pet’s hearing is much more sensitive than our own. In most cases, a sound that your pet hears is a sound that the human ear may not even register. Here’s how the pet speakers work:

‘Designed to eliminate these unsettling frequencies, My Pet Speaker features an Omni directional speaker with a 4” drive unit and cone reflector which disburses the music in 360 degrees recreating how animals hear in nature. By producing limited frequencies and featuring a soft bass design for listening comfort, your pets will not be startled or disturbed by jarring volumes and piercing sounds that put them on alert. My Pet Speaker keeps these alarming frequencies within the comfort range of your pet’s hearing. This allows you to use your entire music library to fill you and your pets’ environment with a sense of calm and relaxation.’

Pretty cool, huh? Instead of blasting your music and listening to Fido shriek in pain (and you thinking it is cute that he wants to ‘sing along’) he can be soothed! Geez, what will people think of next? I swear, there’s a gadget for everything.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

If you didn’t know, I am a huge animal lover. My lifelong dream is to grow up, live in a big house with a big yard, and have lots of dogs. Not kids, but dogs. Part of me has always wanted to work in a veterinarian’s office, but I have always thought the sad parts would be too much for me to handle. Nonetheless, that is why I chose my latest book, Dr. Nick Trout’s Tell Me Where It Hurts.

The book gives you a day in the life story, told by Trout, about his vet office and the wonderful animals he works with on that given day. He wakes up in the morning to his beeper, a sure sign that a sick or injured animal will need his help immediately, then the day progresses from there. Each chapter is labeled with a time stamp, so you know which part of the day you are reading about.

Trout goes over all the topics you’d be curious to know about working in an animal hospital — dealing with overbearing owners, understanding the need for some animals to be put to sleep, animal surgeries, exotic pets, and even how he was introduced to his veterinary career…by a convicted murderer British vet, I might add. (That’s a good chapter.)

The book has funny little anecdotes, with facts sprinkled in here and there. In some cases, Trout goes off on a tangent and the result can be boredom for the reader, but I think that all in all, there’s something really special about this book. It actually made me reconsider wanting to be a part of a vet’s office. Who knows, maybe I’ll get my vet tech license…

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

This little piggie went to Pennywell Farm. This little piggie snubbed his nose in paint. This little piggie cried “I want to be like Jackson Pollock” all the way home. Cheesy, I know, but how can I resist when the subject of today’s post happens to be pig artists?

You may be familiar with Pennywell Farm. It sits on the hillside of Devon in England and is most known for its cute baby animals, especially miniature pigs. (We might call them piglets.) Lately, its owners have decided to steer from the boring old petting zoo routine and aim more for artistic talents…with their pigs, of course.

The little piglets are creating works of art that have been selling for close to $30 each. All of the profits from their oinktastic talents are going towards the Farm Crisis Network Charity. So far they have raised around $250.

Pennywell Farm’s owner, Chris Murray, told the Daily Mail that his piglets accidentally broke out of their enclosure during a craft fair one day and went straight for the paints that had been laying around, digging their snouts in the tins. (Luckily, the paint was non-toxic.) Ever since, he has seen them as little Jackson Pollocks.

Here is an example of their fine handiwork:

Now can you understand why he calls them Jackson Pollocks?

Murray said, “The pigs tended to go more for pointilism – they weren’t too keen on cubism. We think of them as our little Pigassos.” Not only are the canvases covered in paint when the pigs are done with their work, but so are they!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Today I would like to spend some time talking about one of my favorite authors — Bill Bryson. He is the king of hilarious, witty travel writing that always holds your attention, whether you want to go to his travel spot or not.

This book serves as a great little getaway to Australia without actually going!

This book serves as a great little getaway to Australia without actually going!

Recently, I have been reading In a Sunburned Country, an older novel (written in 2000) but still lovely to wrap your thoughts around. In this story, Bryson sets loose on the sunny, unbearably hot continent of Australia, tackling its dangerous animals, friendly people, and of course, its pubs.

The great thing about this book is that it is a mixture of facts and pleasurable storytelling. All of it is nonfiction, but the way in which Bryson writes it really makes it come alive. He puts himself in the action and then relates facts about which part of Australia he is in. And the factoid parts never get boring — he often throws in his own little witticisms on the subjects, which are most always very funny.

Perhaps some of my favorite parts in this book occur when the travel writer finds himself at odds with one of Australia’s deadly creatures. There are plenty of them! Right from the beginning of the book, he is swimming in Portuguese man-o-war infested waters. He also purchases various books with great subjects like crocodile encounters and killer creatures to read on his trip.

At the end of each day, you can usually count on Bryson retiring in some small pub, observing the Australians around him with great interest. Some of the people he meets during his travels are quite entertaining characters, to say the least.

The storytelling done here is most pleasant because Bryson does it with such ease. You really feel like you’re getting a good look (even though it’s only an overview) of the entire continent. The same can be said for his other books. There is definitely no one else out there quite like Bill Bryson.

Where will he take us next?

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