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Seeing the truncated subject line of one piece of spam actually tempted me to look at it (not that I'd ever act on spam, needless to say, other than perhaps tracking down the perpetrator) - "Interact with wild a...". I was so disappointed when it wasn't "animals", but "and kinky girls free". I'd have accepted "armadillos" too. Maybe "anteaters" as well.

From an article on attempts to trademark smells in the EU: "Only one scent has so far won EU trademark protection: the smell of freshly cut grass. A Dutch perfume company registered it in 2000 and uses it to make tennis balls smell good."

One or two folks might be interested in this: "Big Dinos Return", over at the Lawrence Hall of Science, at UC Berkeley, until January 16 2006. One line in particular caught my eye - "giant robotic dinosaurs". How can anyone say no to giant robotic dinosaurs? (Though, the exhibits seem to be geared for, say, 12 year olds and younger, judging by the site)

Woohoo! masem pointed out word that Warner is actually - finally - considering a DVD release for Animaniacs! [Edit: added the missing link. Rawr!]



So, what playground stuff did you most enjoy? ^_^ (I was always a big fan of concrete pipes, but a slide like that looks like way too much fun :) .. and just in case you're not familiar with the strip, zoom over to bad_rabbit for much more.

As for Sunday? I woke up and managed to be waiting by the door at 10am - a good thing, as it turned out, as my reply to those picking me up didn't get through, so they only knew the cross-streets. Just as well I'd said (in that email) I'd be waiting outside. ^_^ In brief: tossed around and spun briefly on Kong (a 'coaster of the suspending variety), watched some penguins and stingrays, some very leisurely, very happy time in a pool with three dolphins (to the point of feeling where their few "whiskers" were for their first month, and seeing the difference between male and female dolphins) with seven friends (including Smash and Dragon, whom I'd not seen in probably seven years), perfect stuffing at a Korean barbecue place, with the rounding off to an absolutely fabulous day being a thick slice of pumpkin cheesecake.

 
 
 
 
 
 
We didn't have any seriously dodgy playground/gym equipment. I remember my elementary school gym class had a trampoline that we got to try maybe once or twice a year. I believe they're *illegal* now in my home state of New York.

We also climbed ropes all the way to the 20'-foot ceiling, with a two-inch mat at the bottom. Yeah, like that's gonna help!

Where do you get to swim with dolphins? Who gets to go in? I assume it's very limited-access, or the 'phins would get neurotic as hell.
I'm definitely not a simian - I could never get the hang of shimmying up those ropes, though ours didn't afford quite such nosebleed views of the hall. :) Thankfully, the tutors taking PR (physical recreation, that is :) were cool with that sort of thing, and just let me fiddle around with some other activity in the meantime. (Ironically for me, the school I went to had a well-earned reputation for sports of a wide variety, to the extent of "offering" sports three times a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday - yep, we had half-days of classes on Saturdays too. Typically games like (field) hockey in the winter, and cricket in the summer; hockey I didn't care for at all, as the game seemed to be interrupted every fifteen seconds over some rule or other, while I was shivering away on the field. Cricket's a far more civilised game, and held at a more clement time of year, too, even if I'll admit I tended to locate myself somewhere out of the way, seldom in danger of being involved in much action. ^_^

This was at Marine World's "Dolphin Discovery" program. (I'll have to write it up properly in a future entry) Currently, they offer it two times a day. First about half an hour with a little introduction to the various families of marine mammals (cetaceans, pinnipeds, sirenians, with otters and polar bears counted too), before donning the supplied wetsuits - a very good thing, as their water was a touch on the cool side. :) We were divided into two groups of four, and then introduced to each of the dolphins in turn, as we stood on platforms set some 3' down in the pool. Plenty of opportunities to stroke them, of course - encouraged, even, as they shed some 6-9 layers of skin a day. (You could even feel a little of it flaking off as you stroked them) Not just on their heads, but down their sides, and along their fins and flukes, through the course of our time there - not sure how long we were in, actually, but it's listed as about 30 minutes. Being up close like that, we were even afforded the opportunity to see the location of their nipples, recessed behind slits, of course; dolphins can't suck, so the mother has to squirt the milk out, and the baby needs to make a watertight seal, using their tongue as a sort of flexible straw. (Though I dare say tursi can go into far greater detail - I'm quite the cetacean newbie :)

Needless to say, quite a wonderful adventure - a rare joy indeed. As birthday presents go, the recipient seemed duly pleased. :)
That's wonderful -- I must try it. Thanks for the info!