Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tidings Sad and Better

Summer Reading Club has been all-consuming for me and I have been neglecting the blogosphere. Thus, too late was I horrified to hear of the death of staunch Nolablogger Ashley Morris. I didn't know Ashley, but he was well known around town and us Nolabloggers have to stick together, so his death will be keenly felt. He was only 44, and left behind a wife and three small children. There's really nothing I can say that his real friends haven't already said, except he will be missed. PLease donate to his family's memorial fund if you can: Remember Ashley Morris.

In happier news, my library was visited Thursday by one Tom Javoroski from Indiana, who is one of the founders of a charity group called Gamers for Humanity. As in computer gamers, board gamers, RPG gamers, dare I say it even LARPers? ... The group is down here doing rebuilding work with Phoenix of New Orleans. Tom also donated some used books to our library, gifted us with some nice Gen-Con swag, met my husband and gifted him with some RPG rulebooks, as if he needed any more, my god. It was cool to meet him and great to hear about the work his group is doing. They are planning to come back next year, too, so surf by their site and give them some love: Tom took some digital pics and I'm hoping he'll let me borrow one to paste here.

People around the country are still helping. America has not given up on New Orleans yet, and that's good to know. I think Ashley Morris would be pleased.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Elephant Paints Self Portrait - AOL Video

You have to watch this video, it's incredible:

Elephant Paints Self Portrait - AOL Video: ""

I suppose this elephant could have been trained to do this without understanding it, but it doesn't look like it, does it?

Also read this article from the New York Times Magazine. Amazing and sad.

Did you know that elephants bury their dead? The only other lifeform to do so. They also bury human remains when they come across them. What does this mean? It means elephants are sentient beings. Doesn't it? I was always taught in my history and anthropology classes that the first glimmerings of true sevtience in humans were evidenced by the habit of Neaderthals burying their dead, which meant care for the dead one beyond life, understadning of a consciousness and a possibility of an afterlife. It has to be the same for other lifeforms too, then, right?

What can we do to save these elephants before they are all gone?