Tag Archives: nature

Florida Manatee Fights Forced Ridings

An open letter from a manatee upset with the recent trend of people trying to ride manatees. 

Greetings humans and other land-based creatures. I come to you today with a heavy, four-chamber heart. I want to address a delicate issue that demands the immediate attention of the international community – including those above the water and those under it as well.

We manatees unequivocally condemn and formally denounce all attempts to ride on us, and demand you stop this degrading practice at once.

Is it not enough to mercilessly run us over with your massive boats, hunt us for our precious body parts, or throw tantalizing non-food items at us that look just enough like lettuce to be confusing? Must you humiliate us further with this abhorrent behavior of trying to ride us? We will tolerate this no longer.

Perhaps you are thinking, “What are you gonna do about it manatees? You’re so big and slow we can do whatever we want to you.”

Yes, we are generally speaking a lumbering, peaceable species. But we should not be provoked. We are far more patient than your hot-tempered, destructive race, but we can only be pushed so far.

How will the manatee community respond if this shameful practice continues, you ask? While nature has neglected to give us a substantive means of self-defense in terms of brute force or physical combat, we do have options available to us that we will not hesitate to mobilize, should our hand (we say “flippers” but I’m using your language here for clarity) be forced.

Our serene countenance and adorable looks have endeared us to many of our aquatic brethren; some of whom are quite protective, vengeful and ill-tempered. We have friends who are highly venomous or pointy-billed, and some who have large, sharp teeth. We have developed excellent relations with the infamous candirus of South America, who delight in swimming into human bodies and exiting in shall we say, the most sensitive, painful way you can imagine.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

These are not threats. We manatees have been backed into a corner and pushed to the brink by your hurtful, gross conduct; much of which seems to take place in the region you call “Florida,” but we call “Warm Grass Munch World.” If the attempts to ride or mount us in any unauthorized manner continue, we will respond with swift, immediate action. We will respond with “ocean justice,” which is like your “street justice” or “prison rules,” but much more brutal. Do not be surprised when shark attacks increase, sailfish impalings become more commonplace, or your hospitals begin to fill with wailing, crotch-bandaged candiru victims.

You have been warned.

We are a simple species. We basically just float around and eat vegetation. We’re not hurting anyone. It is true that we produce a shocking amount of horrific gas — but does that make us unworthy of basic respect or decency?

I end with saying we are not so different. I have learned much about your ways. We both wean our young on milk, breathe air and struggle with body image issues, we both enjoy swimming and munching on lettuce – and dare I say we both want generally the same things for our young. Mammal to mammal, I ask for an immediate end to this undignified, uncalled for practice of trying to ride the noble manatee. I assure you we will afford the same respect in return.

 — Grassman the Manatee

Sad manatee photo via manatee.net

Sad manatee photo via manatee.net

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11 Comments

Filed under Flora + Fauna, Florida

Fake Friendships, Flying Frogs, Falcons & Flacco

What a week for F! The Falcons and the greatest F-QB since Frerotte, Gus – Flacco, Joe – both have a shot at the Super Bowl this weekend, Manti Te’o set us up beautifully for a Fake Friendships post, and Neatorama reported on a new species of flying frog. Whew, where to begin… Let’s start with the Te’o debacle.

Fake Friendships

You’re not going to believe this, but some people use the anonymity of the Internet to pass themselves off as something/someone they are not. I know right! Hard to believe. Notre Dame star Manti Te’o learned this lesson the hard way this week. Continue reading

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Filed under F Athletics, F Commentary

Fantastic Florida: Flickers of Hope

Dear Friends, Fellow Floridians, and Future Floridians (looking at you, every curmudgeon from the northeast who inevitably will end up down here; most probably in my neighborhood; or at least with my exact commute),

It has come to our attention that the fair state of Florida has gained a reputation for being somewhat of a, shall we say; horrifying embarrassment/kinda’ concerning* mega whirlwind of sharp, pointy garbage/shockingly dreadful malaise magnet/mushroom cloud of negativity/nationwide laughingstock.

Now, I understand the concerns. No doubt we’ve had our struggles. Generally speaking, we have our bizarre hunting accidents up north; our aberrant and illicit manatee-riding behavior in the middle; and of course our wanton killing, face eating, and cockfighting-related issues that affect our southern regions.

I get it.

Haha! Look at that state! It has so many problems! Look how dysfunctional they are!

With all due respect (if Ricky Bobby taught us anything, it’s that you can say anything so long as you preface it with an ‘all due respect), get out of our face, Ohio. Take a step back Kansas, Vermont, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Oregon, or North Dakota; no one can ever remember your capital city.** Don’t even start.

Ricky Bobby wisdom: You can say anything so long as you say "with all due respect."

Ricky Bobby wisdom: You can say anything to anyone, so long as you say “with all due respect.”

Just because we lead the nation in foreclosures, animal bites, retaliatory human-on-animal bites, most types of fraud, tacky things, staged accidents, bizarre news, and voting difficulties, you think you’re better than us? Continue reading

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Filed under Florida

Feeding Frenzies

Thanksgiving-time is upon us. In this fair season where we may be tempted to overindulge in foodstuffs, we thought it might be nice to show some footage of beasts more gluttonous than ourselves.

Why?

1.) We are all about feeling better about ourselves

2.) Because shame is a powerful motivator

So please enjoy these clips of ravenous animals chowing down without restraint. May it serve as a reminder to show a modicum of discipline during times of abundance. And also as a reminder to never trust cunning, deceptively bloodthirsty porpoises.

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Filed under Flora + Fauna, Food

Flamingos

As a proud Floridian, I stand by one of our most iconic symbols: the flamingo. This noble creature has served as a spokesman for some of our finest institutions, such as Miami Subs and the Florida Lottery, shown tremendous grace over being turned into a lawn ornament, and brought a certain amount of class to a place where we used to just scream at horses to run faster.

Whether selling discount gyros or gracing lawns, flamingos are elegant creatures that deserve our full support.

Despite consistently having the smelliest quadrant at our local zoo (don’t even try to blame those swans you share the pond with), we stand with you, flamingos – albeit far away and not downwind. If it wasn’t for the Fennec Fox, you’d definitely be our official animal. Actually that’d probably make more sense as we’re not a Moroccan blog.

The majestic flamingo taking flight. We’re all rooting for you this week!

In all seriousness, this is a big week for flamingos. The BBC ran a great story detailing a gigantic flamingo love fest that is supposed to start happening this week in Tanzania. So everyone keep it down and keep your fingers crossed for lots of successful breeding of lesser flamingos. Unfortunately these critters are close to being endangered.

!BONUS FLAMINGO FACTS!

1. Scientists appear to have named the different kinds of flamingos based on their awesome-ness, you’ve got: lesser flamingos, greater flamingos, and then of course, AMERICAN FLAMINGOS.

2. Apparently the Romans of old used to enjoy eating flamingo tongue.

3. Flamingos can live up to 40 years!

4. They get their pink color from the things they eat, such as Big League Chew**, and other flamingos**.

**Not a real flamingo fact

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Filed under Flora + Fauna, Foreign Lands

Five Fluffy Animals

I want to start with an acknowledgement that fluffy animals are not the sort of manly thing we usually discuss around here. But if having a daughter has reminded me of anything, it’s that fluffy animals are indeed delightful. I don’t care who hears me say that.

We’re gonna take this even further… Not only are we presenting a list of 5 of the world’s fluffiest animals, we are ranking them according to snuggle-ability; meaning the animals we’d most like to snuggle.

Of course this is a bit arbitrary but those are the parameters as set by my lil’ pumpkin – who you DO NOT want to cross.

Without further ado let’s continue the time-honored art of making arbitrary lists about animals!

5. Hedgehog– Most of us think of Sonic when we think hedgehogs. Athletic, spry, highly motivated ring-grabbing heroes… Man what a misleading portrayal. It turns out that real hedgehogs are hilariously fluffy globs of slothful helplessness. Perfect for snuggling though.

No chance he’d make it around one of those loop-de-loops and defeat Dr. Robotnik.

4. Bear cub (black, brown or polar) – There’s just something so alluring about danger-snuggling something so powerful that could potentially eat you like a flopping salmon.

3. Golden Lion Tamarin – Despite a traumatic childhood event involving a ferocious monkey attack (“Surely this monkey tethered to a tree outside our shady hotel here in Costa Rica is tame and trustworthy? OH NO HE BITES GET HIM OFF AHHH!!!”), this little fella could be the bridge I need to turn my night terrors into sweet dreams.

2. Arctic Fox – I had a business idea a couple years back where you charge people to take naps with a skulk of arctic foxes. (Any angel investors out there want in on the ground level of an exciting opportunity???) Living in Florida and finding out that arctic foxes are extremely aggressive face-rippers have hampered this initiative’s progress.

1. Red Panda – Red Pandas might be the cutest animals in the world. Relatives to the larger black and white pandas, raccoons, and of course Mario from Super Mario 3 (after getting the leaf), I wouldn’t mind having to vacuum all that red fluff out of the carpet if a pumpernickel of pandas* came to visit.

*Since red pandas tend to be solitary creatures and therefore don’t have a group nickname, let’s just go with “pumpernickel of pandas” for now. 

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Filed under F Lists, Fatherhood, Flora + Fauna

Firmament

Let’s get heavy! Today we’re going to engage the formation and structure of the universe – no big deal. Strap on your helmets and gird your loins, it’s gonna get opinionated in here!

Before we get into this, it should be noted that my personal worldview is essentially “Judeo-Christian” in nature. That said, there are many big questions surrounding life/death/the universe/things of the supernatural realm I am tremendously confused by or undecided about, so I try to keep an open mind. How exactly the world came into existence and how the universe is structured would certainly fall into this category.

In that spirit of open-mindedness, let’s chat about a controversial* word featured in the Genesis account of creation that begs some explanation. Continue reading

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Filed under F Abstract Concepts, F Commentary, Faith