National Wildlife Refuge Rescues Lions, Tigers & Bears from Zoo

Colorado Sanctuary — Nation’s Oldest Wildlife Refuge — Rescues Lions, Tigers & Bears from Abandoned Argentinian Zoo

 

 

“Don’t fence me in!”

Sad, isn’t it?  You’re a grown-up bear, lovin’ the scents of open grass on the free breezes that whisper around you.  And all around you are fences.  And those big primates up there on the wood walkway just keep staring down at you.

But for one big ol’ grizzly bear, this is great!  He’s feelin’ fine.  And he’s feelin’ free.  And the near-blind big male can’t see much of those nosy primates anyway.  Just days ago, he was sick and suffering with his mate in a broken-down Argentinian zoo, imprisoned in a filthy steel cage, struggling to survive under cruel, inhuman conditions.

Now the two bears, as well as other zoo inmates, are on the mend and lovin’ it.

Read on, my friend…

DENVER, Feb. 19, 2017 — The Wild Animal Sanctuary, the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit Wildlife Sanctuary, has successfully rescued 3 Bengal Tigers, 2 African Lions and 2 Grizzly Bears from inhumane conditions at a closed zoo in Colon, Argentina.

The five big cats and two bears were the last remaining animals to leave the zoo after closing its gates nearly four years earlier.  City officials contacted the sanctuary after closing their doors due to world-wide protests over the inhumane care and squalid conditions that existed at the zoo.

A team of four staff members including the Sanctuary’s head veterinarian, Dr. Felicia Knightly, visited the zoo in 2014 to determine if the animals were in sufficient condition to undergo the 6,400 mile trip to Colorado.   The non-profit wildlife sanctuary was chosen after numerous attempts to find suitable homes within Argentina failed.

The initial team’s inspection determined the animals needed time to gain weight and receive medical attention in order to safely travel to the United States — which would be accomplished while international paperwork and import/export permits were pursued.

In late January 2017, all seven animals were ready to make the trip, so a new rescue team was sent from the Sanctuary to retrieve the animals.

In early February, the team traveled back to Colon to begin the relocation process.  Once the animals were crated and transported to Buenos Aires, both the animals and human caretakers flew to Miami, Florida where they connected with one of the Sanctuary’s ground transportation teams.

Within 28 hours the animals arrived at their final destination in Keenesburg, Colorado.  Animal care staff at the Sanctuary had spent the previous week preparing special accommodations for the Argentinian refugees, and immediately released the cats and bears into their new homes.

All seven animals successfully made the trip to Colorado without incident, but some had lingering medical issues that would require attention.

The male bear was virtually blind due to an advanced case of cataracts, while his female partner suffered from severe dental problems.

Before leaving Argentina, the rescue team discovered the female bear had a significant nasal cavity infection, which had been caused by numerous broken teeth.  Now that both bears are under the care of the Sanctuary’s highly-experienced doctors, both issues will be corrected through specific medical procedures.

Once all seven animals receive medical clearances, they will begin a rehabilitation process that enables them to be released into large natural habitats where they will live comfortably and roam freely.

The Sanctuary will continue to care for the animals, as well as feed and support their daily needs on a full time basis, just as they do for all rescued animals living at the facility.

Last year marked nearly 37 years of rescuing exotic and endangered animals for the wildlife sanctuary.  The 720-acre facility is located thirty minutes outside of Denver, Colorado and is home to more than 450 large carnivores. The Sanctuary features a mile and a half long elevated walkway that recently received the Guinness World Records award for Longest Footbridge – which enables visitors to walk above and observe rescued animals living in spacious habitats.

To learn more about The Wild Animal Sanctuary, visit their home page at http://www.wildanimalsanctuary.org

Sometimes, I wonder about “Wildlife Sanctuaries.”  You see the large open spaces — but you also see the pens and fences.  Are they just glorified Zoos, after all?

The published mission of The Wild Animal Sanctuary is “to rescue captive large carnivores who have been abused, abandoned, illegally kept or exploited; to create for them a wonderful life for as long as they live; and to educate about the causes and solutions to the Captive Wildlife Crisis.”

Since 1980, they’ve taken in well over a 1000 large animals, mostly predators.  These guys range from unwanted pets who got too big for their “owners,” to ill-treated and abandoned zoo and circus animals, including some from Ringling Brothers.

Thing is, these animals couldn’t survive in the real wilderness, if released there.

So, yes, wildlife sanctuaries are a good solution.

I”m sure that our ol’ grizzly bear and his missus will be smiling in their new home.  Bears do smile, you know.  I’ve seen it.

==>> And to see my Rant on Circuses & Zoos, go to Animal Rights, Circuses, Tarzan & PETA XXX

 

– Brian Alan Burhoe

 

SOURCE:  The Wild Animal Sanctuary & PR Newswire

Title: National Wildlife Refuge Rescues Lions, Tigers & Bears from Zoo

Keywords: National Wildlife Refuge, rescue bears, save the bears, wildlife refuge near me, zoo

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PAN by Knut Hamsun – Under a Strange Sky

 

From the Author of GROWTH OF THE SOIL…

 

 

PAN, A Northern Novel by Knut Hamsun

 

“I have gone to the forest.”  The Northland is a world unto itself.  And I grew up in the Northwoods of Canada.  I’m descended from people of the European Northcountry.

Perhaps this is why Norwegian writers have struck such a chord with me.  Writers like Sigrid Undset, Per Petterson, Kjersti Scheen, Gunnar Staalesen, Jo Nesbo and Jørn Lier Horst.  I’ve recently discovered Mikkjel Fønhus’ masterwork TRAIL OF THE ELK and am seeking more of his works in English translation. [1]

Trygve Lund, who journeyed to Canada as a young man, joined the Royal North-West Mounted Police and later wrote about his experiences, has long been a fave of mine. [2]

And then there’s Knut Hamsun.  And GROWTH OF THE SOIL.  I was a young man myself when I first read SOIL and Hamsun’s simple, powerful and haunting story of a man who comes walking north has been part of my soul ever since. [3]

I’ve read Hamsun’s other writings over the years, of course.

When I first read “I have gone to the forest” — the short sentence that began Knut’s LOOK BACK ON HAPPINESS — I felt an almost spiritual connection with those simple words.  “Since the forest will not come to me, I must go to it…”

Loved some of his writings.   Mixed emotions on others.  And of those, it’s PAN that’s come closest to SOIL for me for its artistry and vision.

Here’s my GoodReads Book review of the Knut Hamsun novel…

 

Pan: From Lieutenant Thomas Glahn's PapersPan: From Lieutenant Thomas Glahn’s Papers by Knut Hamsun – a Book Review
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

UNDER A STRANGE SKY…

When getting ready to write PAN, Knut Hamsun described it in a letter saying, “It will be so beautiful, and will take place in Nordland, a still, red love-story. There will be no polemic in it, just people, under a strange sky.”

And Hamsun wrote his best “love-story” in PAN. A novel literally about the four seasons of love, from the young passions of springtime, through summer and fall, to the dark endings of winter. At his best, Hamsun can catch the psychology of real people — and he does that here.

The retired soldier Glahn lives alone in a cabin with his hunting dog at the edge of the evergreen Northland forest. He knows a great peace and happiness in the deep, wandering woodlands and thinks that this is enough. And then he meets Edvarda…

Hamsun’s love of the Northcountry wilderness is here as it would later be in GROWTH OF THE SOIL.  In itself, that makes this a major work of Norwegian fiction.

Some of Hamsun’s early writing can be too dark, or unformed.  I believe PAN to be the beginning of his great works.

Certainly a tale of romantic love that would be matched only by VICTORIA and WAYFARERS.

Yes, it should always be read.

If I were to sum up Knut Hamsun the man and the writer in one sentence, it would be “There was once a man who never gave in.”  It’s the closing line from Hamsun’s own play, Evening Glow.

– Brian Alan Burhoe
www.CivilizedBears.com

 

[1] To read more about Mikkjel Fønhus, go to  “Trail of the Elk: Discovering the Northcountry of Mikkjel Fønhus”

[2] To read more about the Life & Works of Trygve Lund, go to  “The GREATEST WRITERS OF NORTH-WEST MOUNTED POLICE FICTION”

[3] To read my book review of SOIL, go to  “Knut Hamsun’s GROWTH OF THE SOIL – A book review”

 

lone-wolf-story

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WOLFBLOOD, a Northwestern yarn in the Jack London Tradition, FREE TO READ ==> CLICK HERE  WOLFBLOOD: A Wild Wolf, A Half-Wild Husky & A Wily Old Trapper

 

PAN by Knut Hamsun – Under a Strange Sky

Keywords: book review, Growth of the Soil, Knut Hamsun quote, I have gone to the forest, Knut Hamsun, Mikkjel Fønhus, Northcountry, Nordland, Northland, Norwegian fiction, Pan, T Lund, wilderness

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World Wildlife Conservation Day – It Began With Teddy Roosevelt

 

World Wildlife Conservation Day — It Began With Teddy Roosevelt!

 

eagle-world-wildlife-conservation-day

 

“Here is your country! Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” Teddy Roosevelt

President Theodore Roosevelt was the first world leader to not only talk passionately about Conservation, but to act on it.  Teddy began the movement to proactively protect our wilderness areas and the wildlife that inhabited it.

“It is also vandalism to wantonly destroy or to permit the destruction of what is beautiful in nature, whether it be a cliff, a forest, or a species of mammal or bird.” Teddy continued.  “Here in the United States we turn our rivers and streams into sewers and dumping-grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy forests, and exterminate fishes, birds and mammals — not to speak of vulgarizing charming landscapes with hideous advertisements. But at last it looks as if our people were awakening.”

While many countries faltered through the 20th Century, a handful of world leaders were able to pick up the torch and carry on Teddy’s essential fight.

Canada’s Greenest Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, for instance…

In 1987, Conservative Prime Minister Mulroney spearheaded the The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer  — signing nations that committed to reducing, and eventually completely stopping, production of chemicals such as CFCs that contribute to breaking down the ozone layer.  Remember CFCs — Chlorofluorocarbons?  Our refrigerators, air conditioners and spray cans used to be full of them.

And Remember Acid Rain?  Brian Mulroney began negotiations with President Ronald Reagan in 1986 on the deadly phenomenon.  The Canada-US Acid Rain Treaty was signed by Prime Minister Mulroney and President George H W Bush in 1991.  Our Great Lakes are showing sure signs of recovery.

The legacy of Brian Mulroney, Ronald Reagan and George H W Bush to the environment is a proud one.  And a surprise to many.

teddy-roosevelt-climate-changeHistorically, the whole concept of Conservation came from the Right, not the Left.  The very word “Ecology” was coined by German traditional conservative landowners who were fighting the massive destruction of their beloved woodlands and their rich ancestral soil by the new international liberal forces of Progress and coal-fed industrialism.  Valiantly protecting what Wilhelms Riehl called the “mythic darkness of the primordial forest.”

And President Teddy Roosevelt was warning Americans about “Climate Change” and “Deforestation” way back in 1908, in his prophetic  “Eighth Annual Message to the Senate and House of Representatives” —   See Teddy Roosevelt Called it Climate Change in 1908!

 

“Live Free, Mon Ami!” – Brian Alan Burhoe

 

 

Title: World Wildlife Conservation Day — It Began With Teddy Roosevelt

Keywords: Teddy Roosevelt, President Theodore Roosevelt, Climate Change, Deforestation, Conservation, conservative, greenest prime minister, Brian Mulroney, World Wildlife Conservation Day, Quotes

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Canada’s National Bird: Grey Jay, Whiskey Jack – Loon?

 

Canada’s National Bird: Grey Jay, Whiskey Jack – Loon?

 

grey-owl-grey-jay

You’ve probably read the reports:

“When news broke that Canadian Geographic had picked the diminutive Grey Jay, also called the Whisky Jack, as its nomination for Canada’s official National Bird, it touched off a cacophony of tweets.”

Well, yes, it was a surprise for those of us who care about such things, eh?

And care we should.  Canadian Culture has been under siege since the 1920’s.  Our enemies have always understood the most basic of facts: destroy a nation’s culture and you destroy that nation. [1]

And our animals are our national totems.  They tell us and they tell the others who we are.  National animals reflect our Sacred Culture.  National animals reveal our souls…

I’ve written elsewhere that I agree that Canada’s National Animal should be rebranded from the Beaver to the Polar Bear. [2]

But I’d always thought that our national bird was the Loon.  Other choices may have been the Canada Goose or Snowy Owl.  Ravens are almost worldwide, but I love the dark eyed Raven.  Much surprised when Canadian Geographic announced it should be the Whiskey Jack (aka Canada Jay or Grey Jay).

Not that I didn’t know about the Whiskey Jacks.  Grey Owl had told me about the notorious wilderness companions/tricksters/camp robbers.  The adventurous birds had eaten out of his hand.  And I believe I have seen and heard them in my boyhood New Brunswick forests.

These birds had accompanied hunting parties, explorers, trappers, canoeists from earliest days in the Canadian wilderness.  The black headed jays were always there for a food hand-out.  A bother to some — a welcome companion to others.  Whiskey Jacks are part of our mythology.

I still think of the Loon first.  I’ve heard them calling across lone Canadian lakes.  What true Canadian hasn’t?  Their call always brings back fragments of my fave boyhood poem, Scott’s UNNAMED LAKE: “It sleeps among the thousand hills where no man ever trod, and only nature’s music fills the silences of God.”

But I could accept the Whiskey Jack, I guess.

Dipping into TALES FROM AN EMPTY CABIN, I listened again to my friend Grey Owl, who had first told me of the Whiskey Jacks, “those companionable, impertinent grey brigands who appear, soundlessly like ghosts from nowhere, at the first stroke of an axe or first wisp of smoke from a camp fire.

“They contrive to make themselves welcome by an ingratiating amiability that may, or may not, be counterfeit.  Their antics are amusing and they provide considerable light entertainment at times that might otherwise be dull.  A man feels that their companionship at a lonely camp fire is worth a few scraps of bannock or meat…

“Gourmands and thieves they undoubtedly are, but they are cheerful, good-natured pirates and good company withal, and these engaging rascals have a pleasant, plaintive little ditty that they sing, as if to please the hearer, but which I gravely suspect is but a siren song used only to charm contributions from reluctant prospects.”

Grey Owl has spoken on the subject.

– Brian Alan Burhoe

 

lone-wolf-storyDo you love wild animal tales?

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“THIS WAS A GREAT SHORT STORY. MORE PLEASE!” Make It Beautiful @Create4Ever

WOLFBLOOD, a Northwestern yarn in the Jack London Tradition, FREE to Read ==> CLICK HERE  WOLFBLOOD: A Wild Wolf, A Half-Wild Husky & A Wily Old Trapper

 

[1] “Canadian Culture has been under siege since the 1920’s…” Canuck Movies – Mounties, Nell Shipman & the Canadian Spirit

[2] “Canada’s National Animal should be rebranded from the Beaver to the Polar Bear…”   What is Canada’s National Animal? The Polar Bear!

Keywords: animal story, Canada’s National Bird, Canada’s National Animal, Gray Jay, Grey Jay, Grey Owl, Loon, polar bear

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Bob Dylan Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature

 

Bob Dylan Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature

 

boomer-generation-singer-songwriters

 

Yes, it’s true.  For my generation — us Boomers — most of our great writers are our Singer-Songwriters.  They sang our lives.

So I cheered at the Announcement.

Nobel Prize for Literature for Bob Dylan.

And a week later “the elusive, reclusive artist acknowledged his win” by adding “WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE” on his website.

But what was all that indignant muttering about?  Some thought that Bob was just the wrong troubadour, is all — maybe it should be Leonard Cohen.  Others thought that the choice of any singer-songwriter was someone just not “literate enough.”

Me, I cheered and sang a few legendary lines and said, “It’s about time.  The next ten winners should be the Great Ones.  Our Singer-Songwriters!”  Leonard.  Gordon,  Buffy.  John.  Paul.  Pete.  Elton.  Bruce.   _______.  _______. [1]

As I’ve said before, most of my boyhood heroes were writers.

Sir Charles G D Roberts, creator of the Realistic Animal Story, who I met in our elementary school readers.  Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan, who I met everywhere else.

Then wilderness writers like Jack London and Grey Owl.

Later, Andre Norton, Will Henry, Ian Fleming, George Orwell, Edgar Pangborn, Farley Mowat, Pierre Berton, Ross Macdonald, Kurt Vonnegut…

Didn’t think of it at the time, but I was inspired by writers born before my time, men and women of our parent’s and grandparent’s generations.  In the case of scribblers like Fielding and Dickens and Twain and Conan Doyle, even further back.

Then (for me) came Lightfoot.  And Buffy Sainte-Marie.  Dylan.  Lennon and Jagger.  Singing about my own life.  Poets of our own time.

Actually, some of these weren’t Boomers, but War Babies.  Some remembered the crump of bombings and the nightmare of firestorms.  They wrote about it in differing ways.  One was “born in a crossfire hurricane.”  Another said “give Peace a chance.”

And Dylan.  “Come gather ’round people wherever you roam and admit that the waters around you have grown…”

And then the younger Boomers.  I’ll get on my knees and pray we don’t get fooled again.  Old man look at my life, I’m a lot like you were.  Who are you — what have you sacrificed?

YES!  For our generation — us Boomers — most of our great writers are our Singer-Songwriters.

Dylan deserves noble prizes.

That very awarding acknowledges their Métier.  They sang our lives.  Hallelujah!

==>> “The first artists to blow the old stuff off the airways for me, who I was aware of as speaking directly to me about my own life, our own times, were…”  To read more go to Life & Works of Brian Alan Burhoe – All About Us & More

Live Free, Mon Ami! – Brian Alan Burhoe

 

[1] Add your own favourites…

Title: Bob Dylan Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature

Keywords: Bob Dylan, Boomer generation, Boomers, Charles G D Roberts, Jack London, Leonard Cohen, lyrics, my generation, Nobel Prize Literature, singer-songwriters

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The Walter Lantz Story: Woody Woodpecker, Andy Panda, Chilly Willy & the Beary Family

 

The Walter Lantz Story: Woody Woodpecker, Andy Panda, Chilly Willy & the Beary Family – A Tribute

 

walter-lantz-creator-woody-woodpecker

Guess who?  Ha-Ha-Ha Haaa Ha!”
 

“Everybody thinks I’m crazee-ee-ee.  Yessiree, that’s me, that’s me.  That’s what I’m cracked up to be.  I chop a hole in ev’ry tree-ee-ee.  Knock on wood.  Well, knock on wood-ood-ood.  So I’m crazy.  So what, what can I do?  So are you!” Woody Woodpecker

“Anything for a laugh. That was the kind of picture we used to do, the kind I’ve always done. We never tried to do a cartoon that was abstract, or arty, or difficult to understand, or with some kind of hidden message…  All we ever wanted to do, all I ever do want to do, is make ‘em laugh.” Walter Lantz

Robin Meets Woodpecker: “On behalf of the Academy, I’d like to give you this award for doing strange and wonderful things with a laughing bird.” Robin Williams, on presenting an Honorary Academy Award to Walter Lantz at the 1979 Oscars.

 

A recent trending hashtag on Twitter — “#MyFavChildhoodCartoon” — sure brought back memories.  Folks young and old had sent out hundreds of wonderful heart-felt postings.  I had to throw in my own Tweet: “LONG TIME AGO, I LOVED KINDLY OL’ WALTER LANTZ’S INTROS TO HIS OWN CREATION WOODY WOODPECKER.”

Yes, stirred memories.

Way back when, I learned to read on Dell comic books.  Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories.  Walter Lantz New Funnies.  Walt Kelly’s Pogo Possum.  Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan.   Zane Grey’s King of the Royal Mounted…  Dell even put out a version of my fave Weekend Comics colour feature: Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant.

And also learned from the beginning that all those characters were created by real people, even the capricious cartoon characters.  The creators — writers and artists — enchanted me.

We met kindly ol’ Walter Lantz on the original Woody Woodpecker TV Show.  I was fascinated as a kid by those “Moment with Walter Lantz” clips when he would talk about creating his characters, even show us the drawing and animation process.

walter-lantz-creator-woody-woodpecker5And his animated folk.  There was Woody the Woodpecker, of course.  And Woody’s rambunctious niece and nephew.  Remember their names?  Allll right! [1]

And Andy Panda.  Oswald the Rabbit.  Chilly Willy.  Charlie Chicken.  The big bully Buzz Buzzard.  Homer Pigeon.  Wally Walrus.  Gabby Gator.  Elmer the Great Dane.  Sugarfoot the Horse.  Maw and Paw the Humans.

And, among my later favourites, the bear family named Beary — do you remember their names? [2]

And those fond thoughts made me wonder if Walter had ever written his own memoirs.  Or had anyone penned a full bio?  Well, yes.  Look there.  THE WALTER LANTZ STORY: With Woody Woodpecker and Friends.  Published by Putnam in 1985, while Walter was still alive (Walter Lantz lived to be 95, Bless him).  Hardcover, 254 pages.  “Copiously illustrated with photographs and drawings.”  Written by Joe Adamson, who had also authored TEX AVERY, KING OF CARTOONS and BUGS BUNNY: 50 Years and Only One Grey Hare.  Joe Adamson knows his stuff. [3]

So I logged onto Abebooks and sent for my own used copy (ex-library) through Better World Books.  It arrived in the trustworthy mail the other day.  Yup, it’s out of print, but here’s my GoodReads Book Review telling you some of the reasons why this wonder-filled book should be newly reprinted…

 

The Walter Lantz StoryThe Walter Lantz Story by Joe Adamson – a Book Review
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Have you ever wondered, like me, who voiced that joyous, rascally, in-your-face Woody Woodpecker Laugh? Film historian Joe Adamson answers that — and more.

If, also like me, you love memoirs and biographies of creative men and women, then I recommend THE WALTER LANTZ STORY. With input from Walter Lantz himself, Adamson has written an astute study of a great artist and the moving life of a warm and kind man.

At age 12, Walter Lantz dropped out of school to work for his father at a mining company commissary deep in the green Northwoods of New England.

While he enjoyed hunting and fishing, he still yearned to educate himself.

Wanting to follow his artistic dreams, the young Walter enrolled in two correspondence courses. One was in the popular field of newspaper cartooning. The other course was in a new art form, “something called Animation.”

Walter Lantz literally started his career at the beginning of animated motion picture shorts — his story is the history of the feature cartoon. And it’s all here in this book — complete with photos and artwork on nearly every page.

And the kindness I spoke of… While Walter lost his mother at an early age, and his father lost the use of his legs, and it became a family struggle just to make a living, Walter kept his warm sense of humour and his deep love of family and friends.

From his early days drawing cartoons for Randolph Hearst’s newspapers to his creative experiences in the newly formed Hollywood animation studios, Walter built a career.

When he first arrived in Hollywood, the animated silent cartoon had fallen on hard times and Walter found himself starring in short two-reel live-action comedies. Working first for Hal Roach, then Canadian Mack Sennet, Walter learned the basics of movie comedy: slapstick and gags.

When the arrival of sound and a young Walt Disney made cartoons a hot item again, Walter Lantz was ready.

First came Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, voice provided by a kid named Mickey Rooney.

Then Andy Panda — inspired by the sudden love affair of North Americans in the Thirties with the Chinese Panda.

And then Woody Woodpecker — inspired by an obnoxious woodpecker tapping noisily on the roof of the lakeside cabin where Walter and his new bride Gracie were attempting to enjoy their honeymoon.

Followed by Chilly Willy, Homer Pigeon, Wally Walrus…

Oh, yes. Who performed Woody’s voice? In 1940, it was Mel Blanc. By the Fifties, Mrs. Gracie Stafford Lantz did Woody’s voice — and that famous laugh.

Yup, I recommend THE WALTER LANTZ STORY.

Five Out of Five BEAR HUGS!

==>> To see another Tribute to a boyhood hero, see Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Tribute to Tarzan’s Creator, A Personal Hero

 

walter-lantz-creator-woody-woodpecker3Footnotes & Monikers:

[1] Splinter & Knothead.

[2] The put-upon papa bear was Charlie Beary, with mama bear Bessie Beary.  And big Junior and his little sister bear Suzy.  Ah, the memories.

[3] Joe Adamson has also written GROUCHO, HARPO, CHICO AND SOMETIMES ZEPPO: A Celebration of the Marx Brothers & a Satire on the Rest of the World.  And a number of interviews and articles in Film Comment magazine (like “Well, For Heaven’s Sake! Grown Men!”) and The American Animated Cartoon (“Interview With Chuck Jones”), among other television and movie-related projects.

Note on Artwork: Colour photo of Walter Lantz at top of page is a detail from the front jacket of THE WALTER LANTZ STORY, drawing and design by Frank McSavage.

Title: The Walter Lantz Story: Woody Woodpecker, Andy Panda, Chilly Willy & the Beary Family

Meta Description: Read a loving write-up about the well-lived life, worthwhile works and wonderful wacky worlds of Walter Lantz, creator of Woody Woodpecker — and Wally Walrus!

Keywords: animated cartoon, book review, cartoon, Dell comics, Edgar Rice Burroughs, fav childhood cartoon, Joe Adamson, Robin Williams quote, Tarzan, Walt Disney, Walter Lantz, walter lantz cartoons, walter lanz, woody the woodpecker, woody woodpecker episodes, woody woodpecker laugh, Woody Woodpecker song lyrics


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L Sprague de Camp’s ZEI Novels in the Edgar Rice Burroughs Tradition

 

L Sprague de Camp’s ZEI Novels in the Edgar Rice Burroughs Tradition

 

Hand-of-Zei-deCamp

“On a fine clear morning, the sun rose redly over the rim of the Banjao Sea.  The rising sun, which the Krishnans call Roqir and the Earthmen call Tau Ceti, cast its ruddy rays slantwise across a vast floating swamp…”

 

 

The Search for Zei/The Hand of ZeiThe Search for Zei/The Hand of Zei by L Sprague de Camp – a Book Review
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Edgar Rice Burroughs was a favourite fantasy writer in my youth. Besides all that swashbuckling adventuring and exotic worldscaping, I loved the lightness of his story telling, the humour. Not too many could out-do Burroughs, but L. Sprague de Camp accomplished that deed.

De Camp’s “The Search for Zei/The Hand of Zei” is his best. Set on the medieval-level planet Krishna, the Zei stories remain a long-time fave. In addition, this Ace Double edition had wonderful cover art by Emsh.

“Twenty-five degrees north of the equator on the planet Krishna lies the Banjoa Sea, the largest body of water on this planet. And in this Sea is found the Sunqar, home of legend and Mystery.  Here under the scorching rays of the hot high sun, the beaked galleys of Dur and the tubby round-ships of Jazmurian slowly rot in the unbreakable grip of a vast floating continent of sea vine.”

The writer of these words, Dirk Barnevelt, didn’t know that he would soon be venturing across this “barbaric planet” himself.

He was a writer, not a hero.

Rollicking adventure!

==>> To Read More About Science Fantasy Adventuring in the Burroughs Tradition, see Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Tribute to Tarzan’s Creator, A Personal Hero

 

Brian Alan Burhoe
www.CivilizedBears.com

 

 

L Sprague de Camp’s ZEI Novels in the Edgar Rice Burroughs Tradition

Keywords: Ace Double, Book Review, Emsh, Hand of Zei, Brian Alan Burhoe, L Sprague de Camp, The Search for Zei, Edgar Rice Burroughs

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Celebrating P G Wodehouse & The Whimsical, Witty World of Jeeves

 

Right Ho!  Celebrating P G Wodehouse & The Whimsical, Witty World of Jeeves

 

P-G-Wodehouse-Jeeves

 

“P G WODEHOUSE IS ENGLISH LITERATURE’S PERFORMING FLEA.” Sean O’Casey

“I’M BITTEN.  WHAT A DIVINE ITCH!” Brian Alan Burhoe

 

The World of Jeeves (Jeeves, #2-4)The World of Jeeves by P G Wodehouse – A Book Review
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve stumbled upon P.G. Wodehouse late in life.

Knew about him, of course. Knew about Jeeves and Bertie. Probably read some of Plum’s short stories in various humourous collections over the years. Yes, I know I have. When I read “Uncle Fred Flits By” in WHAT HO! THE BEST OF P G WODEHOUSE, I said (out loud and with joy): “I know this story. What a riot!”

Why I’ve taken so long, I don’t know. Because Terry Pratchett is gone? Tom Sharpe? Douglas Adams left us in 2001 and the shock wave’s just struck? Can’t find any new classic Britcoms on the telly? (Wake up PBS!)

Wake up, Brian.

I’ve been reading THE WORLD OF JEEVES on and off, one delicious short story at a time. Maybe comedy works best in short form — I don’t know. Just know that this book is smegging great! (Oh, smeg – I’m referencing a different universe, aren’t I – sorry.)

This big fat omnibus, this “trackless desert of print,” gives us all of the short stories collected in CARRY ON, JEEVES and THE INIMITABLE JEEVES and VERY GOOD, JEEVES as well as two more stories, “Jeeves Makes an Omelette” and “Jeeves and the Greasy Bird.”  A smorgasbord of sprightly stories.  A groaning table of flippant fables.

Could London between the world wars have really been this much fun? Especially if you have all those fearsome Aunts? Although I’ve fallen in luv with Aunt Agatha….

If you’re an aging Boomer like me, and all you’ve known about the elegant London Clubs is what you read in Ian Fleming, let Wodehouse give you a lighter view of that upper crust (and crumbling) society — via the Drones Club.

And let him show you what finely crafted comic stories are really like.

And let Jeeves solve all your problems.

Right Ho!

Brian Alan Burhoe
www.CivilizedBears.com

 

 

Celebrating P G Wodehouse & The Whimsical, Witty World of Jeeves

Keywords: An Aging Boomer Discovers P G Wodehouse, Bertie Wooster, best of P G Wodehouse, book review, Brian Alan Burhoe, Britcoms, comic stories, Ian Fleming, Jeeves, performing flea quote, P G Wodehouse, Wodehouse quote, World of Jeeves review

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Nell Shipman Nude Scene

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  Nell Shipman Nude Scene — Complete Moving Picture World & Vancouver World Ads   WARNING: This page contains images of nudity.  Some modern viewers may be amused, bemused or even tickled pink.       Early in the silent movie … Continue reading






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Teddy Roosevelt Called it Climate Change in 1908

 

“THE CLIMATE HAS CHANGED AND IS STILL CHANGING.” President Theodore Roosevelt, 1908

 

teddy-roosevelt-national-forest

 

 

Teddy Roosevelt Called it Climate Change in 1908

 

As a Canadian, I’ve never had much to do with party politics.

OK, I’ve posted the occasional Patriotic Rant, but then, being a big teddy bear by nature, moved on to laughter, love and a good cold glass of Moosehead Ale…

My favourite Canadian Prime Minister remains Conservative John Diefenbaker. As a boy, I loved his fierce loyalty to country and his sense of personal independence. I’ve mentioned elsewhere his historic speech introducing his Bill Of Rights (“We must vigilantly stand on guard within our own borders for human rights and fundamental freedoms which are our proud heritage”). [1]

I’ve applauded Conservative Brian Mulroney for his work on the environment, earning him the title “Canada’s Greenest Prime Minister.” Although I’ve also lamented his joining with Ronald Reagan and Maggie Thatcher in that whole Free Trade thing. Still unsure about FT after all these years.

I’ve celebrated Justin and Sophie’s appearance on the world stage, not for political reasons, but because of the cred they’ve given Canadian culture. As of this writing, there’s a number of women positioning for leadership of the Conservative party — a good sign for the Dominion.

My Mom is an English war bride and I lived in Yorkshire from ages 4 to 8, so I’ve followed all things British over the years. Those old Britcoms still break me up (“Are you free, Mr Humphries?”). Cheer for England in the FA Cup. The Brexit thing — well, I kind of agree with it, sort of, but it’s not my place to go on about it either way.  Except to cheer: “God Bless England!”

American politics?  I keep out of it.  There’s one exception. Teddy Roosevelt.

teddy-roosevelt-climate-changeI read a library book about him as a kid and he earned a respect that has stayed with me. Probably the Rough Rider charge up San Juan Hill first caught a youngster’s imagination. Ranching out in the Wild West. Exploring the Amazon jungles. A young asthmatic growing up to lead a Strenuous Life outdoors. Bully stuff.

Later, it was his dedication to Conservation and National Parks that kept my interest. He later said that these were his proudest achievements.  A true outdoorsman to the end.

In his “Eighth Annual Message to the Senate and House of Representatives” of Tuesday, December 8, 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt gave a long and astute summary of the State of the Union and, in fact, much of the world. [2]

Among detailed accounts of Finances, Business, Law, Education, Public Health and Soldiers’ Homes, he certainly caught my attention with his Forests, Inland Waterways and National Parks sections.

“The climate has changed and is still changing? And Teddy wrote that in 1908?”

Well, yes.  There it is.  Word for word.

Today, when it’s taken for granted Fossil Fuels are the primary cause of extreme climate change, I’ve drawn some fire by saying, “No. Deforestation is the Number One Cause of global climate change.” Not that I’m letting Fossil Fuels off the hook. Three and a half centuries of coal-fed industrialism, with oil and gas following along, have added immensely to real eco-callapse. [3]

Thing is, many petrochem industries are now beginning to invest in Green technology. The recent announcement that Japan has now “more electric car charging stations than gas stations” caught our own Green Techies by surprise.  Our Green tech and Green Energy sectors are already scrambling to catch up.

But Humankind has been busily hacking down those thriving magnificent forests for the entire Age of Civilization — for over 5000 years. And the destruction has been clearly affecting the Earth ever since. The Industrial Age has seen a gigantic leap in that forestland destruction.

The cure is no longer “Plant A Tree” but PLANT ENTIRE FORESTS – OR ELSE!

And Teddy Roosevelt gave us the reasons why in his 1908 Message:

“If there is any one duty which more than another we owe it to our children and our children’s children to perform at once, it is to save the forests of this country, for they constitute the first and most important element in the conservation of the natural resources of the country,” Teddy said.

“Shortsighted persons, or persons blinded to the future by desire to make money in every way out of the present, sometimes speak as if no great damage would be done by the reckless destruction of our forests…

“All serious students of the question are aware of the great damage that has been done in the Mediterranean countries of Europe, Asia, and Africa by deforestation. The similar damage that has been done in Eastern Asia is less well known.

“A recent investigation into conditions in North China by Mr. Frank N. Meyer, of the Bureau of Plant Industry of the United States Department of Agriculture, has incidentally furnished in very striking fashion proof of the ruin that comes from reckless deforestation of mountains, and of the further fact that the damage once done may prove practically irreparable…

The climate has changed and is still changing. It has changed even within the last half century, as the work of tree destruction has been consummated….”

Teddy concluded: “What has thus happened in northern China, what has happened in Central Asia, in Palestine, in North Africa, in parts of the Mediterranean countries of Europe, will surely happen in our country if we do not exercise that wise forethought which should be one of the chief marks of any people calling itself civilized.

“Nothing should be permitted to stand in the way of the preservation of the forests, and it is criminal to permit individuals to purchase a little gain for themselves through the destruction of forests when this destruction is fatal to the well-being of the whole country in the future.”

Well said.

teddy-roosevelt-bearI really recommend that you read Teddy’s entire Forests report. And the Waterways and National Parks sections that follow.

Maybe you’re not an American and all you know about Teddy is that he once spared the life of a bear while hunting — and a stuffed bruin was named after him.  Entire generations have grown up with fond memories of their childhood teddy bears…  No matter — you should read it.

Here’s an unquestionable fact, my friend: Just over a Hundred Years after Teddy Roosevelt gave his impassioned warning, we’re seeing the global climate change effects, the results of inattention, indulgence and inactivity are here…

It will be the entrepreneurial free enterprisers who will put in the hard work and reap the rewards of our new Green Economy.  For a look at these issues from a Conservative voice,  SEE  Global Climate Change Facts: COP21 Climate Change Conference Paris 2015

 

[1] For more on Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s 1960 Canadian Bill of Rights, see Old Stock Canadian vs Newcomer: A Patriot’s View

[2] To Read the Complete “Eighth Annual Message to the Senate and House of Representatives” by President Theodore Roosevelt, Dec 8, 1908: Click Here  (Note: if page doesn’t immediately load, you may have to click on Reload)

[3] Besides investing in Green Tech, the Petrochem industry could really up their public relations game by explaining the disastrous results of Deforestation — and Planting New Forests!

Brian Alan Burhoe
 CivilizedBears.com

 

Teddy Roosevelt Called it Climate Change in 1908

Keywords: climate change, climate change effects, deforestation, forests, destruction of forests, global climate change, global warming, greenest prime minister, patriotic rant, teddy bear, Teddy Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, wilderness

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