Cheer Du Jour

A little cheer to forget your troubles, and better yet, to toast with a glass of bubbles!

Corgi Cheer

A bit of Cheer and World Domination Tips by Corgis…

via This Tumblr Demonstrates How Corgis Will Take Over The World.

This Tumblr Demonstrates How Corgis Will Take Over The World

Begging never looked so good. posted on August 30, 2013 at 3:14pm EDT  Chelsea Marshall BuzzFeed Staff

This is Io. He’s so good at begging, he has a Tumblr devoted to it.  tumblr.com

This is pretty much how it goes down…tumblr.com

This is Io. He's so good at begging, he has a Tumblr devoted to it.

This is pretty much how it goes down...

He includes his friend’s top-notch beggin’ work as well. This is Otis.

He includes his friend's top-notch beggin' work as well. This is Otis.

Otis, completing step one of “staring at owner,” successfully shows step two of “looking intensely at object of desire.”

Otis, completing step one of "staring at owner," successfully shows step two of "looking intensely at object of desire."

He is usually this successful but it took years of work.

He is usually this successful but it took years of work.

There is more to begging than just getting the food/tummy rub at hand…

There is more to begging than just getting the food/tummy rub at hand...

It is about overcoming obstacles, even when it seems impossible.

It is about not fearing the unknown, confident there is usually something glorious inside the can.

It is about not fearing the unknown, confident there is usually something glorious inside the can.

Lastly, it is about knowing there is power in numbers.

Lastly, it is about knowing there is power in numbers.

 

via This Tumblr Demonstrates How Corgis Will Take Over The World.

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Feb 27: Happy International Polar Bear Day!

A male polar bear

Mother Nature created the perfect snowy environment here in the Midwest to celebrate International Polar Bear Day. The day of recognition for this majestic bear was created by Polar Bears International (PBI). Their mission, as the world’s leading polar bear conservation group, is dedicated to saving polar bears by saving their sea ice home. Their focus is on research, education, and action.

Every February 27th celebrates the polar bear, and is a call to action to lower our carbon footprint, and save sea ice habitat. Do your part today by adjusting your thermostat to reduce energy consumption (other energy-saving ideas here). Perhaps you would also like to celebrate by adopting a polar bear. Ok, it’s a symbolic adoption, but you can imagine your adopted bear(s) frolicking in the tundra outside your window. Click here for adoption/donation details. Later today (3:30 CST), PBI will announce the winners of their Project Polar Bear Contest, via a special broadcast on the

Ursus_maritimus_Polar_bear_with_cub.jpg, with ...

PBI website at 3:30 p.m. CST on February 27. Project Polar Bear is a three-month-long competition that challenges teams of young people to design and carry out long-lasting community projects to reduce CO2.

You can also celebrate today by watching Siku via his personal webcam (click here for Siku Cam), from his home in the Scandinavian Wildlife Park in Kolind. I enjoyed having breakfast with Siku (born 11/22/11) a few minutes ago. He is adorable!

Here are a few fun facts about Polar Bears I found on the PBI site:

  • Only five nations host polar bears in the wild – Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia and the United States (Alaska). In 2008, scientists estimated the polar bear population to be 20-25,000. Threats to their survival include: rapid loss of sea ice (their major threat), pollution, poaching, and industrial impact.
  • In the wild, polar bears live an average 15 to 18 years, although biologists have tagged a few bears in their early 30s. In captivity, they may live until their mid- to late 30s. Debby, a zoo bear in Canada, lived to be 42.
  • Polar Bears are big! Adult males normally weigh 351 to more than 544 kilograms (775 to 1,200 pounds), and adult females are smaller, normally weighing 150 to 295 kilograms (330 to 650 pounds). The largest polar bear ever recorded was a male weighing 2,209 pounds.  An adult male may reach over 10 feet when standing on its hind legs.
  • Polar Bears are designed to survive in the arctic climate, where winter temperatures can plunge to -45º C (-50º F). Polar bears are insulated by two layers of fur that help keep them warm. They also have a thick fat layer. In addition, their compact ears and small tail also prevent heat loss. In fact, polar bears have more problems with overheating than they do from the cold—especially when they run. Polar bear feet are furred and covered with small bumps called papillae to keep them from slipping on ice. Their sense of smell is powerful for detecting seals.
  • New evidence suggests that the polar bear, Ursus maritimus, or the sea bear, started to evolve about five million years ago from brown bear ancestors.

While I did not find specific Happy International Polar Bear Day, Care2.com does have several Polar Bear e-cards (free) you can use to share the holiday.

Three Cheers for Polar Bears!!!

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Pawsitively Purrfect Predictions for Oscar Night

Best Actress Academy Awards

As usual, I’ve seen about ten percent of the nominated films, so I’m clueless when it comes to awards night. To my rescue, come whiskers of wisdom. If you didn’t see the adorable puppies on Jimmy Fallon this week, click here to watch it. Or, visit the Film School Rejects to get predictions by Oscar the Cat (of Meowywood?) and Oscar the Dog (of Hollywoof?).

A Cat and a Dog Predict The Oscars | Film School Rejects.

While it may sound fitting for two film critics to name their pets Oscar, neither Christopher Campbell nor Kate Erbland named theirs for the Academy Awards. It just turns out that two of the Film School Rejects associate editors have animals (he a dog; she a cat) who share a name with the biggest film honor there is. So, we’ve decided to exploit these little friends and put them to work making predictions about who will win in the major categories this Sunday night. It’s okay, they were paid for their efforts.

First up is Oscar the dog (full name: Oscar the Groucho Marx Campbell), a tubby, ginger miniature pincher who enjoys sleeping under sheets and eating anything that’s not technically food (we swear he’s part goat). To make his predictions, he had a little help in the form of kibble, a piece of which was placed on cards for each nominee in ten categories (actually nine, because he got special doggy treats for Best Picture). Whichever name or title card he ran to first was his first-choice prediction.

The poor pup did experience a few snags. He initially chose Robert De Niro for Best Supporting Actor but the camera wasn’t recording (on second try he ran for Alan Arkin just to get it over with, it seemed). And while he chose Helen Hunt for Best Supporting Actress, he went for Anne Hathaway next and seemed to realize his mistake, turning to his friends as if to ask for a do-over. Finally, a funny thing happened with his Best Picture picking. On the first, confused effort, he actually ate all but the treat on Silver Linings Playbook. When redone for the official run, he went straight for Silver Linings Playbook.

Watch the video of Oscar’s predictions below:

Oscar the Dog’s Official Oscar Picks

Best Picture: Silver Linings Playbook

Best Director: Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Animated Film: ParaNorman

Best Documentary: The Gatekeepers

Best Adapted Screenplay: Silver Linings Playbook

Best Original Screenplay: Django Unchained

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis

Best Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin

Best Actress: Quvenzhané Wallis

Best Supporting Actress: Helen Hunt (but look at how he knows he meant Hathaway!)

Oscar Erbland

Next up, meet Oscar Erbland (full name: Oscar Erbland), a skinny tuxedo cat who started life in an underground car garage and now lives in the absolute lap of luxury in Southern California.

Oscar the Cat Predicts 2013 Oscar Winners

Oscar the Cat Predicting

Oscar was self-assured about his early picks, including Lincoln for Best Picture and, shockingly enough, Michael Haneke for Best Director, but he began to slow down when we got to Animated Feature and Documentary. Eventually, he just tapped out and refused to budge, leaving an opening for his big brother Felix to bum-rush the picks for Best Original Screenplay. Apparently, Felix is a huge Wes Anderson fan, because that kit went straight to Moonrise Kingdom, pawed at it, meowed at it, and eventually just threw his body on it. Guaranteed winner. In any case, Felix’s ardor for Oscar prognostication lit a fire in his little brother, and Oscar tore through the acting categories with renewed vigor.Everyone got treats and scratching pads by the evening’s end.Behold, an entire gallery of photos of the world’s most charming seven-pounder feline picking Oscar winners (with bonus big brother!):

Oscar

Best Picture: Lincoln

Best Director: Michael Haneke, Amour

Best Animated Film: Wreck-It Ralph

Best Documentary: Searching for Sugar Man

Best Adapted Screenplay: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Original Screenplay: Moonrise Kingdom

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis

Best Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin

Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway

Who says that cats and dogs can’t get along? Oscar the cat and Oscar the dog agreed on the following Academy Awards picks: Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Best Supporting Actor (Alan Arkin) and…yup, that’s it. Wow, you’d think we were just going totally random with our pet-picked Oscar winners. Wild stuff.

via A Cat and a Dog Predict The Oscars | Film School Rejects.

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Feb 15 – 18: The 16th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count

What a week – King Cake, Pączki, and oh, so much lovely Valentine Candy! Want a chance to walk some of that off (not that there could possibly be many calories in the aforementioned treats)? It’s Birding Time! See below for steps (literally and figuratively) you can take to help our fine, feathered friends. The 2013 GBBC takes place February 15 through February 18.

Cardinal

(Photo credit: Shellie @ Firefly Creek)

See the website for instructions and other tools and information: 2013 downloadable instructions (PDF), FAQs, GBBC Photo Contest rules, GBBC participation certificate, Local events, Educational materials, Learn About Birds, and a printable checklist of species for your area in the United States and Canada.

The 2013 GBBC will take place Friday, February 15, through Monday, February 18. Please join us for the 16th annual count!

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual 4-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. Beginning in 2013, GBBC checklists will be accepted from anywhere in the world! Everyone is welcome–from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds. Participants tally the number of individual birds of each species they see during their count period. They enter these numbers on the GBBC website.

Why? Scientists use the GBBC information, along with observations from other citizen-science projects, such as the Christmas Bird Count, Project FeederWatch, and eBird, to get the “big picture” about what is happening to bird populations. The longer these data are collected, the more meaningful they become in helping scientists investigate far-reaching questions, like these:

• How will the weather influence bird populations?; Where are winter finches and other “irruptive” species that appear in large numbers during some years but not others?; How will the timing of birds’ migrations compare with past years?; How are bird diseases, such as West Nile virus, affecting birds in different regions?; What kinds of differences in bird diversity are apparent in cities versus suburban, rural, and natural areas?

The Great Backyard Bird Count is led by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, with Canadian partner Bird Studies Canada and sponsorship from Wild Birds Unlimited. via How to Participate — Great Backyard Bird Count.

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Puppy Bowl 2013 MVP and Good News Update

If you were watching that other game and missed the Puppy Bowl, click here for highlights from Animal Planet. The MVP was Marta, the Schnauzer/Beagle mix from AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport in Iowa (click here to see her write-up and video). The best news? USA Today reports that all the Puppy Bowl players have been adopted!

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