Category Archives: Birds and Mammals

Sophie at Warsaw Zoo, December 2006


5 October 2017

Playout date: 4 December 2006
Duration: 7:24
Views at the time added to HTV: 6,451
Likes at the time added to HTV: 8
Dislikes at time added to HTV: 4
Popularity % ” ” ” =L/(L+D): 66.7%
Comments at time added: 4
Total interactions at time added: 16
Camera: Logitech Webcam
Post Production: Windows Movie Maker – medium use
Location: Warsaw Zoo
Other people featured: Sophie James
Genre: Zoo/aquarium
Music used: “Chung Kuo” by Vangelis, “Kichikichi Batta” by Tomozaku Murakami, plus ambient zoo noises
Languages used: English and Polish
Animals/plants featured: Patagonian conure, peacock, mandrill, chipmunks, ring-tailed lemur, and dozens more
Other remarks:

What a cutie Sophie was at age six! They grow up quick though. Featuring a bit of chipmunk talking, plus criticism of bad behaviour by other zoo guests (something I regularly have to do, more’s the pity), and the stars of the show, the talking cockatoos.

RSA 8/10 Hoppy Feet


Playout date: 25 November 2006
Duration: 2:19
Camera: Panasonic DMZ -FZ30
Post Production: Windows Movie Maker – slight use
Location: Table Mountain National Park
Other people featured: David Uncleborough
Genre: Environmental
Music used: “This could be heaven” Queen
Languages used: English
Animals/plants featured: African penguin, Sphenicus demersus
Other remarks:

Another one of the videos done as “David Uncleborough” my impersonation of the narrating style of the veteran bremoaining broadcaster David Attenborough. Only whereas he tends to speak uncritically about evolution, David Uncleborough refers to it with unbelief and cynicism.

I had high hopes of developing a series of “David Uncleborough’s Life on this Planet” spoof nature documentaries but never really got to it. Maybe I will one day.

 

RSA 7/10 – Cheetah!


Playout date: 22 November 2006
Duration: 2:55
Camera: Panasonic DMZ -FZ30
Post Production: Windows Movie Maker – slight use
Location: Moyo, Stellenbosch area of South Africa
Other people featured: CHI colleagues
Genre: Environmental
Music used: “This could be heaven” by Queen
Languages used: English
Animals/plants featured: Cheetah (Acinonyx j. jubatus)
Other remarks:

This lovely animal was walked around us before the food was served and we were asked to keep calm. He remained with his handlers at the top stage during117777 the meal, and was continually stroked and petted by these handlers. In addition to seeing the cat, another attraction of the evening was having local tribal markings plainted on our faces using something that looked a bit like Tippex. The scenery from the mountains we saw on the way when visiting the Stellenbosch wine region was also unlike anything I had seen before. South Africa is a wonderful country.

Sealy Phocas (South Africa series 4/10)


Playout date: 14 November 2006
Camera: Fuji Finepix
Post Production: Windows Movie Maker – slight use
Location: Hout Bay, Cape Town
Other people featured: David Uncleborough, Afrikaaner boat captain, Viktor Dmitrievitch Huliganov, Pierre Delauney
Genre: Environmental
Music used:  Heaven for Everyone, Queen
Languages used: English, but with Russian and French words for seal.
Animals featured: Arctocephalus pussilus, Cape fur seal

I rarely do a lot of different voices on one video, but this is one occasion. I do what I hope is a passable
impersonation of David Attenborough (I called this character David Uncleborough and he comes up a couple of times in my films), and also I do a South African, some Huliganov and some Pierre Delauney.
The Hout Bay cape fur seal colony is a beautiful thing to see. This is the part of the world where the great
white shark preys on these creatures, even jumping out of the water to attack them. We didn’t see any of them today, though.
The mountains around are the twelve apostles, very majestic neighbours of the Table Mountain.

Old Usenetposts Gallery #5 Coots in cahoots


Gallery Page 5 – Coots in cahoots


The birds you see here are the common coot, Fulica atra, which is similar to the American coot Fulica americana, only with a ‘balder’ appearance, as the white headshield is higher in the Eurasian version, leading to the expression ‘as bald as a coot’. The term ‘coot’ in itself is in all likelihood onomatopoeic in English, as one common noise the bird makes, among a large playlist of other calls and alarms made by the splashing of its specialised lobed feet, is like the syllable ‘coot’. The only language that shares with Engolish the name ‘coot’ is Dutch, which calls the bird ‘Meerkoet’. The German term is ‘Blaesshuhn’, the Scandywegian languages are ‘blishoene’ and ‘sothoene’, but don’t ask me which is which, the Russian is Lysukha’ and the Polish is ‘Lyska’, and the Romance languages show mainly variants on the latin ‘Fulica’ (Fr. ‘Foulque’, Sp. ‘Focha’ , It. ‘Folaga’)

Coots wintering on the Vistula near Plock – Photo taken at Nowy Duninow, December 2004

These coots are resting together on the retention reservoir which has been made in the Vistula River between Plock and Wloclawek in a ribbon several birds deep and several kilometres long, strongly calling to mind the appearance of the band of rooks in migratory flight over Warsaw each spring and Autumn, only resting on water rather than flying through the air. These birds will migrate in the spring into East Poland, Belarus and Russia for the summer breeding period – this is the most westerly point on mainland Europe that they are found all year. They live for about 18 years, are omnivorous, and considered as a type of rail: family Rallidae, order Gruiformes.

More beautiful landscape scenes from Poland and elsewhere coming up…

DJJ 13th February 2005

Old Usenetposts Gallery #2 Tropical Birds


(I’m continuing with the repost of old material from the former Usenetposts.com)

Gallery Page 2 – Tropical Birds
Right, still with me? Good. We’re still looking at unidentified fauna. Here we have a kind of gull that I’ve never seen in Europe, with a kind of hairstyle, as it were, of an old English teacher of mine. (I use that possessive pronoun attributively, not possessively, as he would say). Provisionally, therefore, I’ve named it the Saunders gull – but what is its real name? E-mail or bulletin board if you know the answer. Seen in the Dominican Republic, Casa de Campo, November 2004.

This seagull is probably not new to science, but it was new to me

Again from the Dominican Republic in November 2004, is this small reddish hawk. The picture doesn’t deserve its own page, as the quality is not good, but still I don’t know the bird so I’m hoping someone will tell me what it is. This is the best of three I managed to take before it flew away.

The tiniest hawk I ever saw

More animals coming up, before moving on to other themes…

DJJ 13th February 2005

Monty the ginger cat not reacting to Colonel Bogey


Playout date: 7 October 2006
Camera: Fuji Finepix
Post Production: None
Location: Hemel Hempstead
Other people featured: My wife and my dad
Genre: Cat film
Music used: A whistled version of Colonel Bogey (Creative commons)
Languages used: English
Animals featured: Monty the ginger cat

I used to be able to make my old cat come by whistling Colonel Bogey like this, but Monty was a one-man cat, and could only be summoned by my father. He was at first my sister’s cat, but when she started to live with her later husband, the cat needed a new home as like most young people these days he is an allergist for cats.

Unfortunately Monty passed away a couple of years back, having lived about 17 years, which is a ripe old age. His presence lives on a bit in the house in a way. I still go gingerly into the kitchen when the light is out from having needed to do so before in order not to walk into him.

Why do Christians eat pork?


Pot bellied pig at Lisbon Zoo

Image via Wikipedia

I received a question on Christianity, which is a welcome change from receiving all linguistic questions, from YouTube viewer JInks232, who writes:

I viewed your “Basket case” video and an old question came to mind. How is that Christians eat pork despite the injunction in the bible against its consumption?

We traditional eat a nice ham for Easter Sunday. I am just curious and you seem to be knowledgeable.

Many thanks for that compliment, friend.

The fact is not all Christians eat pork – Seventh Day Adventists do not, I believe most Messianic Jews do not and there may well be others who do not. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of Gentile Christians do not observe the shunning of pork, even though hopefully most of us are aware that Jesus Christ himself certainly must have refused to eat it, by way of His living out the whole Law.

The placing of pigs, and with them a whole series of other animals, on the list of unclean animals takes place in the context of Levitical law. This comes from when Israel was called aside as a nation after arriving in Israel and the priesthood of the Levites was instituted.

When Noah lands the Ark after the Flood, God gives an instruction in Genesis 9 v 3, that he can eat any of the animals, just as before he could have eaten any of the plants.

There is mention in Genesis 7, before Noah goes into the Ark, of taking seven pairs of clean animals, one pair of unclean, but this has nothing to do with not eating them, as mankind was not allowed to eat animals at all until Genesis 9, after the Flood. So it presumably refers to some animals being regarded as sacrificial animals even before people consumed the animals.

Nothing more is said about some animals not being eaten or being regarded as dirty until we get to Levitical law. Especially Leviticus chapter 11. In the meantime we have had Abraham, Isaac and Jacob needing to be circumcised in order to be in the covenant, but no word about them shunning pork.

Some people talk about pork being regarded as unclean because of tapeworms. In this case people simply would have not kept pigs at all, and yet we know that pigs were kept in the region because of the Gadarean swine and also the fact that the prodigal son in Jesus’ parable ends up in a pigsty.

So circumcision was earlier by some generations in the Old Testament than dietary laws. Anyway Jesus kept all of the Levitical laws perfectly.

The Levitical law was a law for a special holy nation to be set aside to see if they could follow a set of precepts reflecting the perfection of God, and was there as Paul says as a schoolmaster, to lead us to the doctrine of grace. If righteousness comes by the law, he wrote, then Christ is dead in vain. Only Christ, out of all the men who sought to keep the law, actually managed it in thought, word and deed, despite being subjected to all temptations that man is prone to. This level of holiness is inconceivable to anyone who was normally conceived. The heritage from Adam through the male line precludes any such righteousness by works as we have a flesh that is in bondage to sin. So the only claim to such a righteousness we can have is for that man Jesus to have died on our behalf and to have offered himself as propitiation on the basis of simple belief in Him, repentance and calling on Him for salvation.

The experiment that the human can achieve righteousness by the law was done by God with the Jews as the chosen nation. It failed. Christ was the answer.

The experiment that the human can achieve political fairness and equality by communism was done by men with the Soviet peoples and some others as the chosen ones for that, but it was something God had never asked them to do. Still Christ is the answer.

Jesus Christ sent his disciples to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and ministered to Israel almost exclsuively. He did however respond in kindness to those coming who recognised that they were outside and ready to pick up crumbs that fell from the masters’ table.

Even after His resurrection, when at the end of Matthew’s Gospel He finally instructs the disciples to go into the whole world, not just Israel, He himself still gives one more chance to Israel. Look how the Acts of Apostles is structured, It is very important, these first few chapters tell a lot of how Gentiles started to be included.

in Acts 2 we have Pentecost, and the tongues enabling the message to go out into the whole world.

In Acts 3, we still have Peter addressing the men of Israel, though, and in Acts 4, and Stephen in Acts 7 addresses also the Jews.

Stephen the Martyr sees Christ in His resurrected state above the Jews to whom he offers the Gospel, and when they stone him it s like the final rejection. The garments already go to Saul, shortly to become Paul and the one who will be the apostle to the gentiles. Peter receives his vision in Acts 10 vv 14-15 where God commands him to eat of the unclean beasts, he says he has never eaten anything unclean, and God says “what God hath cleansed, that call not thou common”. The chapter goes on to show how now God has opened the way for the gentiles to join the covenant of Christ, and Paul to be the Apostle to them.

Later Paul deals with the issues of Jewish Christians trying to impose circumcision (as I already said above, a more core aspect of OT righteousness even than the dietary laws) on Christians and the Letter to Galatians is mainly all about that, and Christian liberty from Levitical laws. If a person sees righteousness as needing to involve one part of the law, such as circumcision, and not all by grace alone through faith, then they are a debtor to do the whole law.

So the New testament gives us every reason to understand that as we are gentiles and brought in to the grace of Christ, we are nevertheless not expected to behave like Jews. We should honour Jews and not do what the Church did to the Jews through so much of history, but we are not expected to be Jews. We are not converting to Judaism, we are experiencing an extension to pagans of the grace that at first belonged to the Jews. We are cleansed, our food is cleansed, and God is not calling is unclean. He washed us.

If we deny that washing by trying to obey works righteousness then we are outside the covenant of grace and back under the necessity to obey the whole law, because the Levitical law was not a loose leaf law, you didn’t pick or choose the things you liked. If you wanted access to the Holiest of Holies under the Levitical system, that’s how you did it. And the nation was a Theocracy, it wasn’t a secular state like today’s Israel.

We don’t have to become Jewish to by loved and included in a Saviour who was Jewish. We should certainly not be Anti-Semitic or offend Jews. I am not going to sit around without a yarmulka on if I go to a synagogue, nor am I going to sit around eating tasty food if someone in my team is eating only matzos at Passover. But that is by way of acknowledging the specialness of God’s special people, and not by way of saying that my salvation is incomplete if I don’t do these things. If I am working on a project even with Muslims then I will do them the courtesy of ensuring the pizza ordered for lunch has no pork, so how much more am I willing to accommodate the people of the Abrahamic Covenant.

Salvation is by grace, through faith, not of works, lest any man should boast. And even Abraham believed God, and it was that believing, not his act of circumcision, that was accounted to him as righteousness.

If a Christian doesn’t want to eat pork, he can shun pork. But if he thinks that he has earned any of his salvation by doing so, it would be better for him to wallow in a pigsty for a thousand years than get that wrong idea about what the following of Levitical law can do for him.

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