Another Heart Window Nut

Another Photo Exhibition

The Salvador Darling show is closing today. I’ll be heading over there this evening to take down the photos from the walls, only to send new ones along to Sunnyside Sundays (Portugal Pavilion).

It takes place on Sunday, August 21. It should be a great day.

The only unfortunate part is that I won’t be present, but there will be all kinds of vendors and fun. Check it out if you can!

One day only.

Gorilla My Heart

I love the Toronto Zoo. I realize that not everyone agrees with the concept of a zoo, but in my opinion there are some Zoos that do great work for conservation and preservation of species, and the Toronto Zoo is one of them.

One of my favourite exhibits is the Gorilla exhibit. I’m not sure if it’s their grace, or strength that draws me to them. Perhaps the similarities between us and them make it more fascinating? Either way, a trip to the zoo would not be complete without visiting my lowland brethren.

Today, I will tell you two tales of why Gorillas are better than people.

You will be amazed…

The Window

Before the Gorillas got their new spiffy environment at the Zoo, they had a relatively plain one. There was an outdoor component, and an indoor one (these were visible to the zoo patrons).

The outdoor component has all kinds of ladders and ropes and things for the Gorillas to use for exercise, and the inside was essentially a large space with various open-concept rooms. The visitors were separated from the Gorillas by a thick layer of clear Plexiglas, so that observation of the Gorillas would be unhindered.

On this particular day, the Gorillas were inside, as the weather was quite hot and humid and inside was much cooler. Consequently, a lot more people were inside than usual as well.

There was a crowd along the Plexiglas wall about five people deep. The line closest to the Plexiglas window was made up mostly of kids, but there were also some older teenagers and young guys.

The older boys were leaning right up to the glass, making faces (which was entertaining for all of us, I’m sure, including the Gorillas).

Given the number of people, things were surprisingly calm. Charles (the patriarch of the Gorillas), was sitting near one of the females, who was watching her baby playing in the soft straw of the enclosure floor. The other females were also close by, and there were two adolescent males goofing around with some of the toys and stealing glances at the face-makers.

The problem started when some of those older boys started smacking the glass.

This caused the baby to jump a little and irritated the adolescent males.

Charles looked around and appeared to be communicating with the young male gorillas. When he spoke, they would calm down slightly.

However, this did no good when the teenagers started smacking the glass hard, over and over.

Some of the kids in the front row were getting nervous as the young male gorillas started pacing close to the Plexiglas. The teens kept pounding.

Suddenly, one of the adolescents smacked the wall as a reply, shaking the Plexiglas. There is no doubt in my mind that the barrier would hold, but I’m sure it ruffled a few feathers in the crowd.

Given the level of response, you would have thought that the humans would quit pounding on the glass, but they kept going.

Soon the baby gorilla became upset and made an awful wailing noise.

At this point Charles got up (you have to realize that this guy is huge), picked up the baby Gorilla and nestled him to his torso to protect him. He then made a sharp hissing noise to the other Gorillas, and motioned to the door to the outer enclosure. The rest of the Gorillas followed him out, heads bowed.

The humans, in the mean time, were still making whooping noises and pounding on the glass.

Now think about this picture for a moment, and you tell me who the real animals are…

Gorillas: 1 Humans: 0

Charles and The Nut Thrower

I used to go to the Zoo a lot more than I do now. I used to be a member, which was more cost effective than paying admission several times a year.

One thing about zoos that really bug me is that there are a lot of stupid people. Among my favourites are…

  • Girls who insist on wearing clubbing clothes to the zoo
  • Guys who go there to cruise for chicks
  • People who don’t pay attention to where they are going
  • People who think feeding the geese and birds is a good thing

The most annoying person of all, though, is the nut thrower.

I was standing at the barrier of the outdoor enclosure watching Charles chill in the shade.

Picture a rather large (obese) man, with Weird Al Yankovic‘s Hair and moustache, a really big baseball cap, and an ugly Hawaiian shirt draped over his torn jean shorts. He was loud and obnoxious. He essentially shoved his way up to the enclosure and started telling people how stupid and slow Gorillas were.

This guy had a bag of peanuts and he was throwing them at Charles (the head Gorilla). The peanuts were flying all over, as this guy didn’t have the greatest coordination. The ones that actually hit Charles would just harmlessly bounce off of his furry hide, apparently doing no harm.

Even so, it was quite annoying…

See how stupid he is? He’s just letting me throw shit at him. Hahaha. This is hilarious.

Did I say annoying? I would also like to add embarrassing!

I was about to say something when Charles himself silenced the perpetrator with a simple action.

Peanut guy wound up and whipped a peanut that was going right for Charles’ face. It’s as if the world stood still except for that peanut. People gasped that the guy would throw it so hard.

But it was nothing to Charles.

Quick as a flash he caught the peanut between his strong thumb and forefinger and slowly looked up at the obnoxious man. Meeting his gaze, Charles then crushed the peanut into dust.

The peanut thrower became visibly shaken, and dropped his bag of peanuts as he backed away very quickly and took off.

Charles then collected the peanuts around him into a pile, put them on his belly and enjoyed the rest of his day.

Gorillas: 2 Humans: 0

Conclusion? Humans can be jackasses.

The Raven Can Go to Hell

The Raven Might Have Been An Idiot

When I see a quote, I usually take it with a grain of salt. A lot of the most famous quotes were made a long time ago, and may not apply to things today. However, people still use them.

And so, I have received some salt from a few people about this quote

Stress is the refuge of the fearful.
– Jorge Figueiredo, 2005

And so, I think I will change it (as it is my quote after all…) to…

Stress is a refuge for the fearful.
– Jorge Figueiredo, 2005


Clouds Can Go to Hell

I woke up at 4:40 AM this morning to see the meteor shower. My eyes playing tricks on me (thanks to sleep) took a few minutes to focus, and what I saw was…


So much for seeing one of the most spectacular sights in the sky…