Archive for April, 2010

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goodbye left elephant stud :(

April 28, 2010

I’m really sad guys. I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye.

I finally made it home after a long day of work and something fell out of my ear unto the ground. It was the back to my earring. And the front to my earring wasn’t there. And you know what earring it was? My beloved elephant stud from H&M. I still have the one that was in my right ear. However, left elephant stud is gone… forever maybe. I retraced my steps back to the car and nothing to be found! I drove all around Missouri today. Left elephant stud could be stranded, all alone in Sikeston, MO for all I know.

Well, I guess there’s nothing else I can do now but say goodbye…

Goodbye left elephant stud! You will be missed. Especially by right elephant stud.

Right elephant stud refused to have its picture taken due to overwhelming sadness. Therefore, this is my first pictureless entry…

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first youtube video

April 23, 2010

Today, April 23rd, 2010, marks the five year anniversary of the first video upload on YouTube. To my surprise the video is about elephants! It is actually a really random video entitled “Me at the zoo” by YouTube cofounder Jawed Karim. It was filmed at the San Diego Zoo.

The guy in the video is pretty profound…

“And the cool thing about these guys is that they have really… really… really… long… um… trunks. And that’s, that’s cool.”

I think this ranks in my top ten favorite quotes.

I don’t have the ability to embed videos into my blog yet, so watch the 19 second video HERE.

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shakespeare’s pizza

April 21, 2010

Last weekend I took a mini vacation and drove two hours to Columbia, MO, home of the University of Missouri Tigers. My brother is a proud student at Mizzou so I went to visit him. I had a great time and would like to thank him for being a spectacular host!

I am a loser and I like to be all touristy when I visit  places. I had visited Mizzou before but I never really researched the city of Columbia and what to do before those visits. Probably because those times I went for specific reasons:  moving my brother into his dorm/apartment, Family Weekend, Homecoming Weekend, my brother’s probate, etc., etc. Well, this time I was just going. I just wanted to spend time with my brother and get out of St. Louis for a little bit. My research led me to the most popular pizza joint in Columbia:

Shakespeare’s Pizza.

The pizza was so good it deserves it’s own line. I may even have to say this is the best pizza in the state of Missouri. Even better than Pi (for the St. Louisans and Barack Obama).

You’re probably wondering why I’m writing a quasi review of a pizza restaurant since it has nothing to do with elephants. Well, I say WHO CARES? I can write whatever I want! It is MY blog.

Haha…just kidding! I get to write about  Shakespeare’s because of this:

This picture was hanging up write above the table that I chose for us to sit at when we ate at Shakespeare’s. When I saw it of course I had to take a picture of it! And I told my brother this gives me an excuse to write about Shakespeare’s. And you know what he said? “Really? I will actually read your blog if you write about Shakespeare’s” At least he’s honest…

Shakespeare’s is the most popular restaurant in Columbia, MO. And if you want quality, you have to wait. The first time my brother and I tried to go on Saturday for lunch, there was an hour and a half wait for pizza. We hadn’t eaten breakfast so we were real hungry. We went to another Columbia establishment, the Heidelberg. The second time we tried for dinner around 8:30pm and the wait for pizza was an hour and a half. We had to get ready to go out for the night so we didn’t have time to wait. Instead we went to good ol’ Chipotle… My brother said we would come for lunch before I left on Sunday. It opened at 11am so we would try to get there when it opened.

On Sunday we got to Shakespeare’s around 11:30am. We ordered a pepperoni pizza with jalapenos and artichokes. The lady who took our order told us we made a good choice. We also ordered a couple Fitz’ rootbeers. Yum.  Total was about $18. Then we waited… and waited… and waited… and… waited some more… and waited a little bit more… I swear we waited like an hour but it was probably more like 30 minutes. And my brother kept trying to reassure me it was worth the wait. THEN I heard it: “CECE!” Yes, that’s me. Yes, that’s my pizza.

And my brother ain’t never lied! IT WAS SOOO WORTH THE WAIT. The pizza was THAT good.

We ate almost all of it then I remembered I need to take a picture for this post. Also, they don’t give you napkins at Shakespeare’s. They give you these little red towels instead. And you definitely need the towels because it gets messy!

The pizza was delicious. It was hot, cheesy, and the ingredients were fresh. The pepperoni, jalapeno, artichoke combo was PERFECT. The cashier was right! The crust was tasty. The only complaint I had was that they should have cooked the pizza for maybe one minute less. It was extra crunchy in some places. But, the overall quality of the pizza overshadows that.

I would definitely recommend Shakespeare’s if you are ever in Columbia, MO. If you are taking a road trip, it would be worth it to drive out of your way for an hour to eat here. Just saying…

And the icing on the top of the cake of my Shakespeare’s experience was the elephant picture. That made me so happy. Outside of the building there is a mural on the brick wall. The mural recreates what is inside the restaurant. Here is our little elephant buddy in the mural!

Can you find him???

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uncle elephant wins goldman prize

April 20, 2010

Uncle Elephant! What a cool name! This is the nickname of Tuy Sereivathana, a Cambodian man, who has worked toward peaceful living between elephants and humans in Cambodia.

Yesterday, Mr. Sereivathana, was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in San Francisco. The Goldman Prize website says the mission of the prize is to “annually honor grassroots environmental heroes from the six inhabited continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands and Island Nations, North America, and South and Central America”. The six Goldman Prize recipients each received $150,000 to further advance their efforts to protect the environment.

In Cambodia, people live in close proximity to elephants and elephants would often destroy homes and farms of the Cambodian people when looking for food. Cambodians would ward off these elephants with violence– guns, knives, poison. These practices did not make the living situation ideal for elephants or humans. Remember the posts about elephant memories? Violence will make elephants more dangerous in the long run because they will remember past wrongs. Additionally, the elephant population was continuing to dwindle.

Uncle Elephant has worked to put a stop to all of this. He developed ways to avoid conflict between humans and elephants. His grassroots model “revolves around building trust with farmers and giving them the resources to fend off elephant attacks” (San Francisco Chronicle). Villagers in Cambodia now use things like hot chiles, fireworks, fences, and foghorns to ward off elephants.

Tuy also has set up schools in Cambodia to teach children about the environmentnt and how to live harmoniously with animals and nature. He has set up four schools and currently has about 250 children in atttendance each week. He believes that starting young will make it easier for the children to get along with elephants, other animals, and the environment in the future.

Uncle Elephant’s program has been successful. There have only been a few recorded elephant attacks since 2003. Moreover, he wants to continue to work to increase the elephant population. Currently, there are less than 400 elephants in Cambodia, but Uncle Elephant hopes his efforts will increase that number to more than 1,000 in the next 20 or so years. He is also expanding his programs to other countries where there is a lot of human-elephant conflict.

I think Mr. Sereviathana is doing a great job with his efforts and I am proud to call him Uncle Elephant!

Uncle Elephant

For more information about Tuy Sereviathana and the Goldman Prize visit here.

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elephants never forget

April 15, 2010

I have my first post request! Some friends of mine asked me to write a post about the phrase “elephants never forget”. I’ve been wanting to discuss elephant phrases  like “elephants never forget”, “the elephant in the room”, “white elephant”, and “pink elephant” and the origins of these phrases in this blog, so I am glad I got this request. Thanks Dave and Sarah :)

“Elephants Never Forget” Is this true? What are the origins of the phrase?

“Elephants never forget” is related to the phrase “a memory like an elephant”. There is not much information on when people began using these two phrases, but both are referring to the very impressive memories elephants are known to have. For many years, the proof of amazing elephant memories were based on people’s observations. Humans saw that elephant swould always follow the same paths during migration. Additionally, humans that have had relationships with an elephant report the elephant recognizing and remembering them after long absences. Or if an elephant had a bad experience with a human it will remember and become angry if it sees the human again later in life.

Now there are studies to provide evidence for the strength of an elephant’s memory. One study, published in the New Scientist, can be read here. It discusses how elephants can suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Elephants will experience a stressful event at an early age but when they grow older something will trigger the memory of the stress they experienced years ago. This is usually when the elephant lashes out and then we see reports in the news about a zookeeper being killed by an elephant. This is also why some people have begun to use the phrase “elephants never forget and never forgive”.

shirt design from shirtoid.com

An elephant’s memory is the key to its survival and this is why it has to be so powerful. Elephants use their memory to keep out strangers from their clan. If an unknown approaches an elephant clan, they will all stand together until the matriarch decides if the unknown person, animal or thing is a threat to the clan. Elephants also recognize members of their group by remembering urine smells. Elephants can remember urine smells of up to 30 of their relatives. This “talent” allows elephants to keep track of other members of their herd. More information about this interesting survival technique can  be found in here in Royal Society Publishing, Biology Letters.

Some people believe that elephants’ memories are what have allowed to be some of the longest living animals. Elephants are known for their longevity. They can live as long as humans. The oldest recorded elephant lived to be 86 years old.

Lastly, elephants are known to be one of the smartest elephants after dolphins and primates like chimpanzees. Since intelligence and memory are linked, their intelligence is probably a product of their strong memories.

Elephants’ great memories is actually one of my favorite aspects of these animals. I admire people with exceptionally good memories because my memory seems to fail me a lot. It is really hard for me to remember details of my childhood and things that happened to me a long time ago. Sometime I kind of feel incomplete because of that. Also, I cannot remember movies that I watch after a few months have passed. I will not remember anything that happened in the movie. When I watch the movie again I will slowly begin to recall, but I was never one who you could easily discuss a favorite movie with. And I’m definitely not someone who quotes famous movie lines.

There are two aspects of my memory who kind of resemble an elephant’s memory. I  can remember a face. I may not know where I’ve seen you or any details surrounding our meeting but I will remember that I’ve met you. You know sometimes when you meet someone and the next time you see them they don’t remember you? So they introduce themselves like you’ve never met before. I’m that awkward girl who will tell you that I’ve met you before and embarrass you. I can’t help it! It is kind of insulting when you meet someone but they don’t remember you!

Second, I can remember a conversation. I HATE when people tell me the same thing over and over again. “We just had this conversation yesterday. Why are you telling em this again?” I don’t make it awkward though. I usually just let them tell me again….

In conclusion, elephants have extraordinary memories and that’s why we say “elephants never forget”.

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san diego baby

April 15, 2010

On Monday April 12th, a new baby elephant boy was born at the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park! It was born Monday night around 8:30pm and weighed in at 200 pounds!

Imagine having a 200 pound baby… yeah, I think I’ll have to pass on that one.

The African elephant Swazi is the mother of the calf, and it is her first child. This is the second baby elephant to be born at the zoo this year! The other was born on Valentine’s Day, and one more is due later this year! The zoo has yet to name the baby.

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elephants to keep you warm at night

April 13, 2010
It’s getting a little warm outside and I’m realizing my corduroy comforter is made for the cold winter months. It is too big and bulky for spring and summer. I’m starting to get hot at night (which I hate!!) and I’m starting to wish I had something a little lighter to keep me warm. So I would really like to invest in a nice duvet/down comforter. I hope to find something at a decent price but still good quality. While I was browsing I started looking at duvet covers and of course I had to search for elephant ones. I found this gorgeous white one at this site called The Quilt Crazy Shop. They seem to have some quality items which unfortunately means its on the pricier side. I definitely won’t be buying this due to the price, but I just wanted to showcase this beautiful white and gold elephant comforter. The design is so intricate and you can tell that it took time to create.

Elephant Art Duvet Comforter Cover Set, $192.85, The Quilt Crazy Shop

I’m kind of wondering why the price for the king size one is $192.85 and the cost for the queen size is $246.05. Doesn’t really make sense to me. Maybe because queen is more popular??? Who knows…

The description of the comforter talks about how in the Mughal Empire, the Majaraja, or prince, would journey into town surrounded by Indian elephants. The elephants would be adorned with exotic jewels and beautiful colors and were seen as a symbol of wealth and royalty.

I know I’ve mentioned my birthday on here like twenty times, but I just want to be sure you have lots of options when you send me my present. So this duvet cover is a great option if you still haven’t decided what you will be getting me :)