Dr. Birdcage passed this along – “The List: 5 Reasons Why We Should Worry About an Ape Revolution.” It’s from Smithsonian Magazine’s Around the Mall blog.

With the impending release this Friday of the documentary summer blockbuster Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I thought we should all be prepared in case we ever face chemically enhanced apes that attempt to take over our world. In the past on our site we’ve investigated zombies and kept a running record on robot technology, but the threat of ape rebellion had yet to be cataloged. The National Zoo’s Amanda Bania, a keeper who works with the great apes, told me that gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and the other ape species can best us in many ways, even without being injected with mysterious serums by James Franco. This week’s list deals with 5 ways that apes outdo humans:

[read the whole post]

I mostly posted this to fuel JunglePete’s clearly rational and justified fears about the impending ape-based apocalypse.

JunglePete is pregnant. (Technically, his wife is pregnant).

In the JunglePete due-date pool, I chose two dates, because I live lawless like that.

I chose February 2nd for the irrational reason that it’s my favorite holiday.

I chose February 6th, because that’s the date that seems more probable to me for reasons that aren’t any more scientific than my other selection – I just picked it because I could.

Alas, it turns out that February 6th is the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth.

For the past few nights I’ve had vivid nightmares that Pete and Mela give birth to Ronald Reagan. The baby isn’t just the reincarnation of Reagan, it’s a baby-sized version of 2nd-term Presidential Reagan, complete with cowboy hat.


I’m hereby un-selecting February 6th in the JunglePete baby-pool in the hopes that the dreams will go away.

I’m putting that picture of Ronald Reagan and Bonzo at the top of this post because it makes me laugh. Also because it will annoy Pete, as Bonzo is an ape and Pete has that natural anti-ape bias endemic in most people who were raised by monkeys.

JunglePete is a responsible scientist and a serious conservationist. You may have gotten a false impression that he’s an irresponsible person who keeps exotic pets because I keep joking about having to share a bathroom with reptiles while staying at his house. Nothing could be farther from the truth. When I met Pete almost 30 years ago (really? 30?) he was being raised by monkeys, but it was on a sanctuary. Pete knows firsthand not to keep beasties in the house that don’t belong there and he knows the bad things that can happen to critters when people try to keep them as pets.

Mind you, this is the guy who keeps posting facebook updates that he’s in a hotel room with an alligator, so it’s not entirely my fault if you think he’s a lunatic. I just want to set the record straight: JunglePete doesn’t randomly take gators to hotel rooms. He always does the honorable thing and marries them first.

I’m adding a postscript to this post. I checked my email and there was a message from Pete with this link in it, “What’s in the box? MeanLouise edition”. I just don’t know what to say!

She’s feisty, shows her teeth and hisses but is gentle – for now. She may look cute but some day she’ll be able to do some damage.

I think that part’s about the gator, not me, but I can’t be sure…

He said: “He was dressed as a blue Smurf and nobody goes out to battle dressed as a blue Smurf.

Link courtesy of JunglePete. In case I haven’t mentioned it recently, JunglePete is a rockstar. Check out the letters he got after his recent presentation about alligators to a group of elementary school students.

I must admit I’m mildly concerned that I’m going to be sharing a bathroom with Chomp-Chomp when I go to visit.*


*That was a joke. JunglePete is a responsible professional who does not keep wild or so-called exotic animals as pets or keep reptiles in his bathroom. I hope.

You should now be able to subscribe to follow-up comments via email. I know, how very 2002 of me. I’ve been meaning to fix that for a while now (probably since 2002), you can thank JunglePete for encouraging me to fix this feature. Also, go read his post, “Living Without Aigrettes” and look at the pretty bird pictures. I know you loyally read all his posts, but I just wanted to make sure you didn’t miss that one. Educational and aesthetically pleasing. Bonus.
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So much political excitement, but I’m tired and I have an inbox full of squirrel-related news that requires no commentary, so guess what I’m going to post about?

JunglePete forwarded this one:

JONES, Okla. — A squirrel caught fire, sparking a blaze Wednesday morning that resulted in the evacuation of an elementary school in Jones, fire officials said.”

This is not to be confused with last year’s Southern California wildfires, which have been blamed, at least in part, on flaming squirrels

Or with last year’s Hudson, New Jersey pyromaniacal squirrel incident, “Flaming squirrel ignites car in Bayonne.”

Or Alan Turcott’s squirrel difficulties, wherein his house was set on fire by squirrels…twice in eight days.

Or British Columbia, where squirrel fires are apparently a regular occurrence.

These little bastards are far more dangerous than I ever suspected. I need to go back to bed now and not think about this.