Bear eats campers as they slept

One man was killed and a man and a woman were injured afterbeing eaten by bears in attacks in the middle of the night on Wednesday at a popular campground on the edge of Yellowstone Park, Montana in late July 2010.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department spokesman Ron Aasheim said it was believed one bear was involved and at least two tents were left in tatters in the attack, which occurred at the height of the tourist season.

"I thought I would be dinner," said Deb Freele, 58, of London, Ontario, who recalled awakening from in her tent to find a bear chewing on her arm.

"Within hundredths of seconds, I felt the teeth in my arm, heard bones breaking. I screamed and that seemed to aggravate him. He sunk his teeth into me again," she recounted in a telephone interview from her hospital room in Cody, Wyoming.

“I had a sense that something wasn’t right, but I hadn’t heard anything. I had just woken up and felt a bit of pressure on the tent, and he closed his jaws right down on my arm. Then I screamed. Then he bit harder and I screamed more,” Freele said from her hospital bed.

“It was a brutal attack. It wasn’t like, ‘Oops, I made a mistake.’ He was out to get me and the other people,” Freele said. She described the bear’s attack as silent and methodical, giving her the feeling that she was being hunted.

“It hurt. I can’t describe the pain. I couldn’t control the screaming, and I knew what was happening. I thought I was dead, and couldn’t believe it was happening. I thought, ‘This doesn’t compute, it just doesn’t jive, with what I understand about bears,’” she said.

Here's a picture of the 'mother' bear that was caught with some others that were believed to have been the people eaters. The fate of this bear was to be put down after it was determined after DNA tests confirmed it was the responsible bear. This was done using hair, saliva and tissue samples. Her three cups would be sent to a local zoo.

Soda Butte, which offers 27 campsites in a national forest known for its blue-ribbon trout fishing, was immediately evacuated and nearby campgrounds were closed after Wednesday's attacks.

Wildlife officials launched an all-out search for the bear, or bears, including the use of airplanes and helicopters on the lookout for radio-collared animals or others in the vicinity. Eventually the beers were caught in the traps as seen in the photograph bellow:

Tony Latham, a retired conservation officer who has investigated previous bear maulings in the region, said predatory attacks on people are unusual, especially if fatal.

"In my 22 years as an officer in Idaho, there was only one predatory attack, and the person got away by getting into a river," he said. "I don't believe there was ever anyone killed in Idaho by a bear in those 22 years."

Halo Reach News and Info Wrap Up

As the release date for Halo: Reach draws closer and closer more and more more information and news is getting released to build excitement and get the fans wet with glee. The biggest thing for me this week was the release of a short campaign trailer The Battle Begins. It was a great insight into how epic in scale Reach might be - remember how Halo 3 was touted as a huge space battle in which to Finish the Fight? Reach might actually be that game.

Of course to play Reach you might want to play it on the 250 gig Xbox Reach Console which has been made specifically as a game tie in. Controllers and the like can be found on the ultimate Buy Halo Reach page - all goods are bought through Amazon so you know it's safe online trading!

Comic Con came and went and we got to see all kinds of awesome Halo cosplay - there was a sweet panel with Bungie staffers that showed of Versus mode in Firefight. Forgeworld was unveiled and the map is just insanely massive is scope - it's almost most a limitless platform for making custom halo maps and game types.

I also found some images of new maps, including Reflection.

And finally Frankie appears to have confirmed that the Master Chief will be back, just not in Reach......oh something else important happend too... Reach's gamer points list was released!

Extra for Experts: What does the Master Chief's face look like?

Roller Derby - Stop Drop and Roll

I'm spinning around.....
If this is what the referees wear to the roller derby, imagine what the players wear.. OK you don't - here's some shots from the Stop Drop and Roll derby event held at Wellington's TSB Arena / Queen's Wharf last night (July 24). It was a fun event to watch, not nearly as vicious or violent as some people seem to make out but there were still plenty of thrills and spills!

Wearing some sexy and not so sexy hot pink, here's the winning team Brutal Pageant who turned around a slow second half into a runaway victory at the end.

Above: Smash Malice - though they lost, they appeared to be the more skillful team all up!

Note to self - do not try a reverse Moonwalk mid race or this happens:

Kiri Te Karnage has her fans...stalkers...well wishers...

Indeed on the Facebook page, Kiri Te Karnage said "Thanks to everyone who came - there was close on 4000 of you!!! The biggest NZ Roller Derby (maybe even Australasia....) audience EVER!"

Some videos!

If you are interested in joining a roller derby team - here's how to get hold of the Richter City Rollers: Contact them through their website, or stalk em via Facebook or Twitter. They also hold Freshmeat and Greet evenings on the last Wednesday of every month where you can go and chat to real people.

All the professionally looking Images were sourced here - plenty more to check out!

Is there a war somewhere?

Would this photo showing the effects of a bomb blast in Iraq help? This was a car bomb attack in the city of Baqouba.

I found this photo in the NZ Herald's Photo of the Day section, not the world news section. Curious, I googled for a bomb blast in Baqouba and found bugger all results in the news section. Does the world not care? (Baqouba is also spelt with out the O.... the same results happen without the O).

What's the real tragedy? Everyone appears bored of  The War (whichever one it is today) and the lack of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Everyone is sick of Afghanistan and all its ills. No one is fact checking any more. No one is fisking the Robert Fisk's of this world.

The reason the picture made the Herald and all the other newspapers in the world was because it is a classic photo. It's got nice colours, like the Wiggles do - and those colours may symbolize a supposed loss of innocence which makes for awesome photo journalism but we all know Iraq lost that a long time ago.

What do Jelly Fish eat? And who eats them?

These Jelly Fish are the right way up!
Like boobies, Jellyfish come in all shapes and sizes and indeed, colours. But what do they eat? How to they catch their food and do they eat with ketchup? Or who eats them? What creatures find jelly fish  tasty?

First up, what are Jelly Fish? Are they actually fish? The internet reveals allJellyfish (also known as jellies or sea jellies or medusozoa) are free-swimming members of the phylum Cnidaria. Jellyfish have several different morphologies that represent several different cnidarian classes. Medusa is another word for jellyfish, and as such is used to refer specifically to the adult stage of the life cycle. 

Really? I thought Medusa was a lady with snakes in her head.... but I digress, what have we appeared to have learned here children? Jelly Fish are not actually fish. Fish are fish. Fish are also friends, not food

Okay, I told a lie, Jellyfish eat fish. Indeed, when ordering pizza, they order extra anchovies.
Jellyfish are actually carnivorous. They eat a healthy diet of  zooplankton, smaller fish and sometimes other jellyfish. Bigger jellies eat large crustaceans like shrimp.

This guy is simply here because he looks cool!
I may have written above that fish are friends and not food, we know that's not necessarily true - the same does not apply to Jelly Fish. Many sea creatures find jellies and the members of the Medusa family to be tasty treats. Like jelly is.

So fish like to eat Jelly Fish:

Starfish seem to like to eat them, but how the fuck to they catch them? Sneak up on them when they are dead? That's what sunstars do with octopus...

And there's always a hungry turtle around that's keen to try any fish once...

When Morary Eels feel pekish, what do they eat?

What do Morary Eels eat when they feel pekish?

Moray eels are carnivores and their diet consists mainly of other fish or cephalopods, as well as mollusks and crustaceans. They go hunting mostly at night and their chief hunting tool is their excellent sense of smell which makes up for their poor eyesight. This means that weakened or dead creatures tend to be easy to detect and are therefore the moray eel's favoured food source.

Moray eels
 are cosmopolitan eels of the family known as  Muraenidae. The approximately 200 species in 15 genera are almost exclusively marine, but several species are regularly seen in brackish water. 
Don't not confuse them with fresh water eels or Boris the Eel

The longest moray species, the slender giant moray (Strophidon sathete) reaches up to 4 metres (13 ft). The largest in terms of total mass is the giant moray (Gymnothorax javanicus), which reaches almost 3 metres (9.8 ft) and can weigh over 36 kilograms. That's more than Posh Spice!

Got my eye on you buddy!
Moray eels' heads are too narrow to create the negative pressure that most fish use to swallow prey. Quite possibly because of this, they have evolved a second set of jaws in their throat called pharyngeal jaws, which also possess teeth. When feeding, morays launch these jaws into the mouth, where they grasp prey and transport it into the throat and digestive system for a yum sea food dish. Moray eels are the only animal that uses pharyngeal jaws to actively capture and restrain prey, check out the diagram below of how it works.

This is direct proof that Moray eels are descendants of the Aliens from the Sci fi movies:

If that doesn't convince you, would telling you they are also descendents of leopards help? I bring you the leopard moray eel! So named for its spots, it was picked on at eel school by the other eels as they thought he had real bad acne....
I'm a leopard, hear me roar!
Moray eel are not known to go about deliberately attacking divers but when startled they do not hesitate to lash out with their infamous 'double jaw attack move'. This picture below is supposedly the result of the bite of a startled eel:

Sorry if you lost your lunch there with that last image. Any ways, enjoy some more pictures of moray: 



 and a dirty red one thus being you an eel traffic light!

Merge like a Zip

So like I was cruising along the freeway (in the hot hot sun) when a road sign suggested I merge like a zip. And I thought how the fuck am I supposed to boil a cup of water in the middle of the road?

Then later on I saw this. And I thought to myself, only in Geraldine....

Watch out  for Geraldine's Sheep Shaggers!!

Tuatara: Living Fossils

Hi, I'm Terry Tuatara, I breathe only once per hour!
The tuatara is New Zealand's famous gift to the World because it is the only survivor of an ancient group of reptiles that roamed the earth at the same time as dinosaurs. The relatives of tuatara died out about 60 million years ago which is why the tuatara is called a ‘living fossil’.

Tuatara are famous for feeding on the New Zealand Weta but they predominantly prey on; including beetles, crickets, and spiders. Their diet also consists of frogs, lizards, and bird's eggs and chicks like baby petrel which they find unprotected in nest burrows.

Weta ya reckon? Nice picture?
Tuatara once lived throughout the mainland of New Zealand but rats and people drove them to extinction there. They are now found only on 37 off-shore islands and mainland islands and specific entities like the Karori Sanctuary.

There are two species. Sphenodon punctatus is the Cook Strait tuatara which live on Stephen's Island in the Marlborough Sounds. The Northern tuatara, Sphenodon punctatus punctatus, is a sub-species which live on offshore islands around the north of the North Island. Total tuatara population on all these islands is estimated to be between 50,000 and 100,000.

You wanna share my baby Petrel?
Tuatara are are cousins with Komodo Dragons, in the sense they are living relatives of the ancient dinosaurs.

Extra for Experts: Tuatara are known to have a low sex drive - this Tuatara took one hundred years before he popped his cherry!

What do eels eat? Ducks? Fish?

Spare duck, maam?

What do eels eat? Ducks? Fish?

Well apparently Boris the eel likes to eat baby ducklings so we might be on to something. But first what are eels?

Eels are elongated fishes, and look like snakes. Most eels prefer to dwell in shallow waters or hide at the bottom layer of the ocean, sometimes in holes. Some eels dwell in water as deep as 4,000 metres (13,000 ft). Others are fairly active swimmers and some have even been known to travel across dry land in search of bodies of water. 

Did I leave the oven on?
But what do they eat? This article suggests that a freshwater eel is believed responsible for the disappearance of water fowl, small ducks and possibly birds at the pond near the Eagle Vale Leisure Centre, somewhere in Australia.

New Zealand's department of Conservation's site tells us that freshwater eels eat "live" food. Small long-finned eels living amongst the river gravels will feed on insect larvae, worms and water snails. When they get bigger, they begin to feed on fish. They will also eat fresh-water crayfish and even small birds like ducklings (like Boris!).

Sometimes however, eels with find themselves on the back foot - nature will strike back and in return for eating a swan's sweet tasty little goslings, the swan will simply eat the eel!

No gag reflex?
Humans also love to eat eels as well. The Japanese and Maori people are well known to love eel on their sushi or smoked. And sometimes kids land grown up kids love to go eeling for the sake of it:

And another proud Kiwi family showing off their catch:

When Komodo Dragons get hungry, they get HUNGRY!

When Komodo Dragons get hungry, they get HUNGRY! As proven by these awesome shots of this fierce animal eating all kinds of prey. For some reason I'm reminded of the game Hungry Hungry Hippoes though I have no idea why!

Feed me Seymour!
The Komodo dragon (in the scientific vernacular, Varanus komodoensis) is a large species of lizard found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Motang. A member of the monitor lizard family (Varanidae), it is the largest living species of lizard, growing to an average length of 2 to 3 metres (6.6 to 9.8 ft) and weighing around 70 kilograms (150 lb).

Their unusual size has been attributed to island gigantism, since there are no other carnivorous animals to fill the niche on the islands where they live. However, recent research suggests that the large size of komodo dragons may be better understood as representative of a relic population of very large varanid lizards that once lived across Indonesia and Australia which appear to have died out after contact with modern humans. Dam you mankind!  Once again you have killed off a great species! For those that are still living, they are living fossils, like the Tuatara.

Although Komodo dragons eat mostly carrion, they will also hunt and ambush prey including invertebrates, birds, and mammals. By that's not the real gossip, Dragons have been known to catch the odd human being too!

Although attacks Komodo are very rare, Komodo dragons have been known to attack humans; on June 4, 2007 a Komodo dragon attacked an eight-year-old boy on Komodo Island. The boy later died of massive hemorrhaging from his wounds.

Perhaps the most notable Komodo lizard attack came in June 2001, Phil Bronstein, Executive Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, was given a special tour of the Komodo dragons at the Los Angeles Zoo for a Father's Day present by his wife, Oscar nominated actress Sharon Stone. While barefooted and petting one of the dragons, Bronstein's foot was seriously bitten and required extensive surgery. The animal was said to have acted on basic instinct....

According to Australian scientific research, the Komodo dragon has a snake-like venom in its bite which sends victims into shock and stops their blood from clotting. Lead researcher Bryan Fry said three-dimensional computer imaging comparing the Komodo’s bite with that of Australia’s saltwater crocodile showed it used a “grip and rip” pulling maneuver to tear deep wounds, similar to a shark or sabre cat.

As part of his Komodo research, Mr Fry surgically removed a venom gland from a terminally ill Komodo dragon. He found it contained a highly toxic poison which would induce potent stomach cramps, hypothermia and a drop in blood pressure. This finding refutes myths about the germ's in the dragon's mouth being the cause of death. The venom also blocked the blood’s clotting ability add further distress to the animal's prey.

This finding could mean that the Komodo Dragon was the possibly largest venomous animal to have ever lived!