Bidding Adeiu to Lonesome George

A dying breed has officially died in the Galapagos Islands. The world has just said goodbye to Lonesome George, believed to be the last of his sub-species. George has gained fame over the years as the world’s rarest creature, since there are no other known members of his species and he produced no offspring.

Lonesome George was first discovered by a Hungarian scientist in 1971. For the past fifteen years, he’s been living at a breeding center on the island of Santa Cruz, as scientists have attempted to help him to breed, but any eggs he’s produced with females there have been infertile.

He was found by his longtime keeper, Fausto Llerena, who was shocked to find his body, since tortoises can live to be 200 and he was only 100. The Galapagos National Park will have a post-mortem to discover the cause of his death.

And with his passage, the sub-species of Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni has become extinct. While this breed used to be plentiful on the island, they were hunted by humans to the point of extinction.

Fighting Racism

 

…Even If It Is An Urban Myth

On TAM Airlines a story has been told of a 50-something-year-old white lady who sat down next to a black man.  She was furious, so complained to the stewardess. “Can't you see?” she asked the stewardess, “I have been seated next to a black man. You need to change my seat,” she insisted.”  The stewardess tried to calm her down and told her the plane was full but she’d check if there were any extra seats.

She returned a few minutes later and told her, that she was indeed correct; there were no more seats in economy class, but there were seats in first class.  She added, “it is unusual for our company to allow a passenger from the economy class change to the first class. However, given the circumstances, the commandant thinks that it would be a scandal to make a passenger travel sat next to an unpleasant person.”

She then turned to the black man and said, “which means, Sir, if you would be so nice to pack your handbag, we have reserved you a seat in the first class…” All the passengers who were sitting nearby started applauding, with some of them even giving a standing ovation!

Finnair Celebrates India’s Republic Day

 

One might ask, what does Finland have in common with India and why would Finnair want to make such a fuss about celebrating India’s Republic Day?  Well, it all started when a Finnish employee of Finnair got in touch with an old colleague from India and started remembering the great culture of India and Bollywood.  A scheme was hatched and what resulted was the “Take-off to Bollywood” song and dance that passengers aboard a Finnair flight AY 021 Helsinki to Delhi enjoyed last week, January 26, marking India’s Republic Day.

Finnair Runway blog poster decided to make something of this – a Finnish-Indian (or Findian) joint endeavor through Finnair’s company slogan, “Designed for you.” The result was, those who were on the flight on that day, began it not with a speech about how to deal with gas masks should the need arise, but a beautiful, colorful song and dance by the stewardesses (some in full Indian attire) in celebration of India Day, Bollying around to send passengers (and thereafter YouTube viewers) a greeting on this special India day.

 

New York Christmas Proposals

It seems that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have a thing on Christmas Day when it comes to romantically surprising the girl of your dreams and proposing.  According to an article in USA Today, Christmas 2011 was certainly the time to pop the question.  One guy said that it felt particularly appropriate because everyone’s in a good mood; there is lots of family around and it’s always nice to be near to those you love on this special, momentous occasion, so why not combine the two?

As well, according to NY professional proposal planner Sarah Pease, gets around one or two inquiries a week from grooms-to-be but from Thanksgiving it’s usually around one or two a day with most of them thinking about getting down on one knee from December onwards until the Christmas and New Year season.

It seems like people are still traditionalists at heart when it comes to romance and proposing, according to Pease.  People like doing the engagement-ring under the tree fanfare.  As well, diamond dealers see a huge jump in sales around this time.  There are also celebrity proposals around this time too – it certainly makes a great publicity stunt! 

So overall, December seems to be the month to get a wife.  Of the close to 40 percent of proposals that take place between November to February, 16 percent of these take place in December.

Enough About Santa, Who’s the Woman Behind the Man?

 

We always hear about the big cuddly Santa Claus but usually, when men are that successful, we really need to look at the woman behind them. So, let’s take a look at Mrs. Claus.  Did she exist?  Who was she?  And what do we know about her?  Well, apparently, it was a James Rees who founded her in 1849 in a book he wrote entitled ‘Mysteries of City Life.’  In the book, Rees looked the Christmas legend and through this developed the persona of Mrs. Claus, who he called Gertrude.  Since then however, she has been lovingly known as Jessica.

So it seems, Jessica, Gertrude, aka Mrs. Claus is worthy of a mention.  Over the years the woman behind the man has made a variety of literary appearances including in the very well-documented and famous Yale Literary Magazine.  As well, if you look through the archives you can find her Good Housekeeping as well as Harper’s Magazine.

We say keep it coming.  It’s all very well Santa goes down many chimneys to deliver presents to lots f little kids but it’s Mrs. Claus who has to make the dinner at home and wait for her hubby to return – hopefully in one piece – to join her for their best holiday of the year!

Giving in the Holiday Spirit

It truly is wonderful that so many individuals and companies try to get into the holiday spirit and, in the upcoming weeks and days to Christmas, really give back to those in need.  For example, the Great Clips hair salon chain – around Northwest Indiana and Chicago – is going to be making a real difference for the charity of Ronald McDonald House in the region.

The chain is asking its customers to purchase basic household items from the charity’s online gift registry (RMHC-CNI, which will be adding to Edward Hospital’s new Ronald McDonald Family Room in Edward Hospital as well as the Ronald McDonald House located near Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago. As well, people can donate soda pop tabs to the recycling program.

Spreading Holiday Cheer

Sudz – the Great Clips mascot – will be going with Ronald McDonald to the Palaos Park Salon a couple of days before Christmas.  Further, the salon will be offering free haircuts to those with a valid coupon, Christmas Eve.

So it really is a special time for everyone. So many kids are left without toys on Christmas – the season of gift-giving – as their parents cannot afford them; this is a great way of giving to those in need so that they do not feel deprived during this time.  Good job McDonalds and Great Clips!