8

A Conoisseur of Milk

I don’t know why a beverage meant for calves is so nourishing for humans, all I know is that it works for me. I need milk to stay healthy. I literally feel less energized if I go a few days without it.

cow milk

My travels in Arizona gave me the chance to explore different brands of milk. Being a milk snob, I preferred to get the organic variety at Whole Foods for ridiculous prices.

However, the non-organic type often tasted good too, though it had a funny smell. As I traversed the desert landscape, I usually purchased Shamrock Farms milk at gas stations. Now, here is the funny thing about Shamrock milk. They proclaim proudly that they “pledge not to treat our cows with the growth hormone rBST.” But this opens up a whole line of inquiry: does this mean they treat their cows with other growth hormones that are not rBST?

They also remark rather unconvincingly, “No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST treated cows.”

Now that I think about it, every single brand of milk I bought in Arizona had the same pledge about not using the growth hormone rBST, whatever it is. This makes me wonder, are there any milk companies out there that advertise their hormone use? “We use as many growth hormones as we can! None of that sissy organic stuff.”

Then, there was this:

muscle milk

Hey, at least they’re up-front about it!

Wow, this post was weird. It just came out and I couldn’t stop it. Thanks for reading, and please let me know in the comments how you feel about various types of milk!

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7

Pirate vs. Cowboy

Okay, this title sounds like it was written by a 5-year-old, but I can explain. I’m back in jolly old port of Vancouver, but part of me is still in wild west mode, so even though you may be used to me posting about swashbuckling heroes and pirates, you will have to endure  enjoy a few more western style posts. The other day I was thinking about how rarely it happens that pirates and cowboys cross paths. In fact, historically, it probably never happened. Or did it?…

So I wanted to share this song because it is by outlaw country artist Hank III and it’s about pirates, so it proves that cowboys and pirates can coexist. Also, it’s one of the coolest/weirdest songs ever.

Please comment below on whether you prefer cowboys or pirates and why!

6

Cuban Trip and Swimming with Dolphins

I’m on a catamaran in the middle of the Carribean, preparing for a dolphin adventure when my brother, who is lounging beside me with a bad case of heat stroke suddenly says, “Did you know that dolphins rape people?”

“Surely that’s nothing but a joke,” I reply.

“No, it’s a fact. I heard it on the radio.”

Fortunately this conversation did not ruin my dolphin experience…

I recently returned from Cuba, where I had many adventures, including wearing this funny hat in the jungle and yes, swimming with dolphins.

Swimming with dolphins had been a dream of mine for a long time, and it’s finally happened! As seen in this photo, dolphins are rather promiscuous. They will snuggle up to random tourists, and  I believe they mostly do it for the free fish. It kind of makes you feel like that guy who thinks the stripper really likes him. But still, I got the feeling that they’re very friendly and warm creatures. Of course, they’re much more complex than we sometimes like to believe.

People have a tendency either to think of dolphins as perfectly angelic or sometimes quite on the contrary, demonic creatures. Jokes going around on the internet about “dolphins raping people” have made some believe that dolphins are completely evil and amoral, or as one commenter stated, “rapey, murderous jerks.” Of course, there are some people to whom this title can equally apply, but that’s no reason to give up on the entire human race. I decided to do a bit of research and found this interesting article, which talks about people’s attitudes towards dolphins and the truth behind the myths:

http://www.beatricebiologist.com/2011/06/dolphin-sexual-harassment.html

4

Seagull vs Raven

Living in Kitsilano sometimes makes me think of that CCR song “Looking out my back door,” especially the part that goes, “look at all the crazy people dancing on my lawn.” But lately it’s been the wildlife that has really been acting crazy. From my balcony, I saw a seagull and a raven circling each other in the air like World War I flying aces. Another time, alerted by high-pitched screaming and cawing, I looked out to see a raven zooming down on a seagull, who stood its ground, or rather its power pole. The pole didn’t look large enough to have a nest on top of it, so it’s not like the seagull was defending its home. Maybe they were just fighting for the hell of it? Or playfighting? Apparently ravens have been known to play with other animals, so maybe it was just having fun while the seagull didn’t know what the heck was going on?

Anyways. I’ve been seeing a lot of birds fighting each other lately. I couldn’t help but think it’s symbolic of something or other, so I tried to find some mythology relating to seagulls and ravens or crows, and this is what I discovered on Wikipedia:

[A] legend from the native peoples of the Pacific Northwest tells of how at the beginning of the world, Raven was the one who brought light to the darkness. When the Great Spirit created all things he kept them separate and stored in cedar boxes. The Great Spirit gifted these boxes to the animals who existed before humans. When the animals opened the boxes all the things that comprise the world came into being. The boxes held such things as mountains, fire, water, wind and seeds for all the plants. One such box, which was given to Seagull, contained all the light of the world.

Seagull coveted his box and refused to open it, clutching it under his wing. All the people asked Raven to persuade Seagull to open it and release the light. Despite begging, demanding, flattering and trying to trick him into opening the box, Seagull still refused. Finally Raven became angry and frustrated, and stuck a thorn in Seagull’s foot. Raven pushed the thorn in deeper until the pain caused Seagull to drop the box. Then out of the box came the sun, moon and stars that brought light to the world and allowed the first day to begin.

Those covetous seagulls! I always knew they were up to no good, especially when one of them had tried to snatch a churro right from my hand in San Francisco. They want the good things all to themselves: the sun, the moon, the stars… and even churros! Obviously, the ravens were engaging in some preventative measures to keep these interlopers under control. By the way, the seagull in the photo is not the one I saw fighting, just a random seagull I met in San Francisco. It looked very much like it, though…

Well, that’s all for today. I’m going to write my fantasy novel. Have a good day, and if you see a raven and seagull fighting, cheer for the raven!