Category Archives: Humour

Lucky Ducks

Seven ducklings are lucky to be alive after being pulled to safety from a storm drain in Ohio by Good Samaritans – but the baby mallards ultimately have their mom to thank for their rescue.

Columbus Discovery District Officer Bill Cobun was passing through a parking lot on the Columbus campus of Columbus State Community College Tuesday when he noticed an agitated duck standing near the grate of a storm drain.

The mallard was squawking as if trying to draw someone’s attention and appeared in distress, so Cobun approached the feathered critter for a closer look, suspecting that she might be ill.

Duck in distress: An agitated mallard was spotted standing near the grate of a storm drain in Columbus, Ohio, and squawking Duck in distress: An agitated mallard was spotted standing near the grate of a storm drain in Columbus, Ohio, and squawking

Stranded: Seven chicks had fallen down into the storm drain in a parking lot on the Columbus campus of Columbus State Community CollegeStranded: Seven chicks had fallen down into the storm drain in a parking lot on the Columbus campus of Columbus State Community College
WernerWerner

Hometown heroes:  Columbus Discovery District Officer Bill Cobun (left) and Police Lt. Dan Werner (right) answered the feathered mom’s distress call and came to her ducklings’ rescue 

When the safety officer made his way to the grate, he heard chirping coming from the underground nook.

As it turns out, the mallard was upset that seven of her chicks had fallen down into the storm drain and became stranded, ABCNews.com reported.

Cobun called for assistance, inadvertently alerting the college’s media relations coordinator David Wayne, who rushed to the scene of the duckling rescue accompanied by a videographer.

Meanwhile, college safety officers and Lt. Dan Werner, of the Columbus State Police, arrived in the parking lot and removed the grate.

The rescue of the trapped ducklings was captured on video showing the officers plucking the fuzzy yellow-and-black chicks from the storm drain and setting them free above ground.

Rescue mission: The officers remobed the grate, reached down into the hole and extracted the tiny trapped ducklings Duck tale: The officers remobed the grate, reached down into the hole and extracted the tiny trapped ducklings
ducklings ducklings

Freedom: The tiny baby ducks were released from their captivity, rushing to their mother’s side

Happy end: Once the ducks were reunited, they went about their business Happy end: Once the ducks were reunited, they went about their business

The tiny critters could be seen rushing to their mother’s side, one of them even flipping over in his hurry to reunite with his feathered parent.

Lt Werner, a self-described animal lover, said he was thrilled to help save the baby ducks from their predicament.

‘What amazes me is nature, how mama wouldn’t leave. She was staying right here. She kept looking in the hole to make sure they were OK,’ he said.

Once the tight-knit avian family were back together, the mom and her ducklings went on their merry way.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2345558/Lucky-ducks-The-heartwarming-moment-ducklings-fell-storm-drain-rescued-concerned-mother-looks-on.html#ixzz2XDsMFuKf

Advertisements

Rubber duck artist Florentijn Hofman doesn’t understand intellectual property

rubber-ducks-hofman.png

It was announced this week that Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman will bring a smaller version of the Hong Kong duck to China’s capital for Beijing Design Week in September. Accompanying the duck will be Hofman’s inflated ego and wilful misunderstanding of copyright and intellectual property.

In previous coverage of the Hong Kong duck we’ve largely overlooked Hofman’s ridiculous statements (he claimed Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour would “never be the same“) about the “meaning” behind his work: ‘artist says pretentious thing about art’ isn’t really news. What is worth discussing however is Hofman’s equally ridiculous statements about intellectual property and the monopoly he seems to think he has on depictions of rubber ducks.

The stated objective of Hofman’s visit to Beijing Design Week is to “drive an awareness programme raising the sensibility towards intellectual property rights around China”. This is an admirable goal for sure, but one that is entirely unsuited to Hofman’s work.

As Jeremy Goldkorn pointed out on Twitter, rubber ducks predate Florentijn Hofman by a long time. The first rubber ducks appeared in the late 19th century as rubber manufacturing became widespread. In fact, the iconic nature of the rubber duck in pop culture is what makes Hofman’s work so successful, something he previously acknowledged. Since bringing his work to China however, Hofman (and his representatives) have taken a different approach, seeking to claim that companies that riff on or recreate the Hong Kong duck are infringing upon the artist’s “intellectual property”, a narrative that has been seized upon and bolstered by the Chinese press in a series handwringing editorials.

From a moral standpoint, Hofman’s case is fairly strong. Recreations/copies of the Hong Kong duck that popped up in Chinese cities were crass opportunism at best, a way to piggyback on the huge amount of goodwill Hong Kong was receiving from the duck’s presence in Victoria Harbour. What the recreations do not do is infringe upon Hofman’s intellectual property rights. Making a larger version of an existing object does not give one copyright over other depictions of that object.

When discussing copyright and creativity, the words we use matter. Hofman is well within his rights to say that copying his idea (of taking an existing object and making a large, inflatable version of it) is kind of a dick move, but to make this a debate about intellectual property only further degrades an already vague, unhelpful term.

tl;dr “Pretentious Artist Doesn’t Understand Intricacies of Copyright Law”

Source: http://shanghaiist.com/2013/06/25/rubber_duck_artist_florentijn_hofman_doesnt_understand_intellectual_property.php

Staffy and Gosling become buddies

An orphaned goose has formed an unlikely friendship with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier after being given a home at a dog rescue centre in Leeds.

Named Orville, the gosling was one week old when he was found alone and injured in Morley.

Brian Wheelhouse, founder of the Whitehall Dog Rescue centre in East Ardsley, said: “Ruby was there from the beginning and I think he saw her as a mother figure. He just started following her around and it got to the point where he wouldn’t go out if Ruby wasn’t there.

“She loves him and he loves her.”

Ruling the roost

Many mothers struggle to adjust when their babies grow up and move away to university.

But one particularly protective mum was causing chaos on campus yesterday as she viciously attacked students trying to get back to their halls of residence.

The furious Canadian goose built her nest close to a block of student flats at the University of Warwick and then refused to let anyone pass while she waited for her eggs to hatch.

A surprised male student tries to make a run for it on campus at the University of WarwickAngry birds: A surprised male student tries to make a run for it on campus at the University of Warwick
The student was forced to make a dive for cover as the goose attacked, watched by its mate Undignified: The student was forced to make a dive for cover as the goose attacked, watched by its mate
One victim got a vicious pecking, photographed by engineering student Zhi Chow, who lives on the campus in CoventryOuch: One victim got a vicious pecking, photographed by engineering student Zhi Chow, who lives on the campus in Coventry

Terrified students were left too afraid to leave their homes after a series of aerial attacks from the goose who pecked, squawked and chased them.

Many were wearing headphones or talking on the phone and didn’t notice the goose’s warning hiss until it was too late.

Some were forced to run for cover as the angry birds attacked while others even threw themselves to the ground for protection.

Business Management student Zhi Chow, who lives on the campus in Coventry, West Mids, set up a camera to capture the siege.

A female student flees as one of the Canada geese dives at herIn a flap: A female student flees as one of the Canada geese dives at her
Another woman beats a swift retreat from the pathway near the restHissy fit: Another woman beats a swift retreat from the pathway near the rest

One picture shows a terrified man hurling himself to the ground, covering his head, as one goose launches at him from mid-air.

In another, one girl eyes up the bird sitting on the nest unaware that its mate is lurking behind her, ready to attack.

Mr Chow said: ‘I thought it was hilarious when I first saw people being chased by the geese.
‘It’s not so funny when you’re walking past them though.

 A frightened girl hangs on to her shopping as she runs past the protected nestDuck, duck, goose: A frightened girl hangs on to her shopping as she runs past the protected nest
The goslings have now hatchedProud mother: The goslings have now hatched, but she is still keeping a watchful eye

‘They’re terrifying – the birds are so big and they’ll clearly stop at nothing to protect their eggs. ‘My bedroom window looks out directly onto their nest, so I set up a camera to capture the attacks so I could show my friends.

‘Lots of people have started avoiding the area as word spreads about the geese.

‘There have always been a lot of geese on campus here, but I’ve never seen any as angry as this.’

The mother goose’s efforts to protect her young were rewarded last night when her goslings finally hatched.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2327212/Terrorised-protective-mother-goose-Students-forced-run-cover-birds-looking-eggs.html#ixzz2WlfHMA9n

Groundsman finds duck nesting in OVEN!

For Missy the Muscovy duck, this dry and warm shelter would have appeared like the perfect place to create a nest for her eggs.

But the bird was dangerously close to becoming a roast duck after unwittingly setting up home in a large furnace.

Groundsman Mario Kopitski, 46, was shocked to discover the duck and twelve eggs nesting in the replica 5ft Norman smelting oven moments before he was about to light it.

Lucky duck: A groundsman was shocked to discover this duck nesting in a furnace - moments before he was due to light it Lucky duck: A groundsman was shocked to discover this duck nesting in a furnace – moments before he was due to light it

He was on his daily round of lighting three smelting ovens in the in the nine acre grounds of Mountfitchet Castle in Stansted, Essex, when he discovered the white duck and its eggs.

The 25-year-old replica oven is used for cooking bread and reaches temperatures of up to 200C.

Mr Kopitski said despite a variety of animals residing at the farm, including 25 other Muscovy ducks, peacocks and deer, none had ever made their nest in such an unusual place.

‘I’m so relieved I checked the oven when I did – otherwise poor Misty would have been toast,’ he said.

‘It was a real shock to see her sat there and I’m so pleased her and the eggs are safe.’

Home sweet home: The duck has now been allowed to remain in the furnace until her eggs hatchHome sweet home: The duck has now been allowed to remain in the furnace until her eggs hatch

Alan Goldsmith, who has been curator of the 200AD castle for thirty years, said the duck was incredibly lucky to be alive.

‘It’s awful to think that in a few seconds poor Missy could have been roast duck,’ he said.

‘We’ve decided to leave her there in peace until the eggs hatch in 28 days time and then her ducklings will join her around the grounds.

‘I just can’t get over what a close call she had, it’s been a complete surprise to all of us here.’

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1274401/Crispy-roast-duck-boiled-eggs-Groundsman-finds-duck-nesting-OVEN.html#ixzz2Wldd1GXQ

Time-Traveling Turkeys

Free Birds

In the States, Thanksgiving is practically synonymous with turkey. Any mention of the holiday automatically conjures images of a big, juicy, oven-roasted bird, and vice versa. Even vegetarians aren’t immune to the association — plenty of them nod to tradition with products like Tofurkey.

But as pleasant as it is for us humans to gorge ourselves on tryptophan-laced poultry, you can’t blame turkeys for wishing they could remove themselves from the menu. In Relativity’s Free Birds, two of them finally get the chance to do just that. Reggie (Owen Wilson) and Jake (Woody Harrelson) find a time machine to take them back to the very first Thanksgiving, where they attempt to save their kind once and for all.  To watch the first trailer, press HERE.

Quackers

I love this.  The idea of being able to fall so far and be completely un-injured, amazes me!  Why are they not hurt?  Well, quite simply, the ducklings are very very light weight and their downy feathers help reduce their falling speed.  Brilliant!