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March 2011

Congress may remove Rocky Mountain wolves' protection

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WolfThe repopulation of grey wolves in Montana and Idaho led to their removal from the Endangered Species List in 2008, concerning many conservationists. But last August a U.S. federal judge ruled this kind of subdivision of populations illegal.

Now Michael Brune of the Sierra Club says lawmakers seek to withdraw this protection through a budget amendment. [tip: Ezno]

New information on the death of ch?ken Hachik?

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Researchers at the University of Tokyo have come up with a new theory to explain the death of the famous dog, Hachik? (also known as ch?ken ['faithful dog'] Hachik?).

Hachik? was an Akita Inu who was born in Japan in 1923. He became the pet of Professor Hidesabur? Ueno of the University of Tokyo. For around a year Hachik? would meet his master, at the end of the day, at Shibuya Station.

On 21 May 1925 Prof. Ueno died from a stroke while at the university. For the rest of his life Hachik? continued to make the trip to the train station and wait for his master. Hachik? finally died in 1935.

Furries to feature on 'OMG! With Peaches Geldof'

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Last Wednesday (March 2) saw the premier of OMG! With Peaches Geldof, a tabloid-style television program hosted by British model Peaches Honeyblossom Geldof.

The program, airing on Wednesdays at 9pm on the UK's ITV2, is about "people who live unique and often shocking lifestyles - Who are they? What makes them tick? Why do they live the way they do and is it causing them problems or a rewarding way to be?".

Episode 1 featured vampires and internet dating. Episode 2, to air next Wednesday (March 9), is to feature Furries, described in the OMG! episode guide as "people who have a strong appreciation for anthropomorphic animal characters and dress accordingly". The episode also features guest panelist Dom Joly, who Peaches described as "quite an embittered man".

OMG! With Peaches Geldof had previously contacted furries as part of their research phase. The interview is the subject of several threads on the UKFur forums (registration required).

FursuitTV marks 5th anniversity with 3-hour show

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Costuming-heavy clip show FursuitTV is holding a three-hour special today at 5PM EST (10PM GMT, 2PM PST, 11PM CET) to celebrate their fifth anniversary.

The show is to contain this year's best clips plus new material, and can be seen via direct stream or JustinTV. Watchers can discuss the show in real time on #FursuitTV (Anthrochat).

FurBuy proposes modified member fee structure

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FurBuy has proposed changes to their paid membership system, introduced last November.

The proposals include a 'feral' membership level for those with annual auction turnover between $500 and $2000, and the ability to pay for just a 3- or 6-month term.

Anthrocon requests conbook submissions, offers sweepstakes

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AnthroconAnthrocon is requesting submissions for this year's conbook, and is offering a sweepstakes to attract artwork, fiction, photography, and articles for the publication. This year's theme is "The Anthropomorphic Institute Of Magic".

The lucky winner gets a supersponsor membership for 2011, or an upgrade if already a member.

All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. EDT April 23. It is not necessary to submit material to enter the sweepstakes, and there is no limit on the number of entries.

Review: Verbinski's 'Rango' puts the ugly back in 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly'

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small_Rango.jpg When first shown the trailer to Nickelodeon Movies' Rango, I was unimpressed. Though the inclusion of Johnny Depp would normally be interesting, I assumed he was just another slumming celebrity voice. And the character designs were a bit offputting. To put it mildly. But the revelation that the director for the movie was Gore Verbinski did pique my interest.

Rango is Verbinski's eighth film; previous work includes such oddities as Mousehunt (which furry fans may be somewhat familiar with), the American remake of The Ring (one of Bravo's "100 Scariest Movie Moments" selections), and the three released Pirates of the Caribbean movies — the third of which made him one of only four directors to gross over a billion dollars at the box office (putting him in the company of Peter Jackson, Christopher Nolan and Ursa Major Award-winning James Cameron). In other words, Verbinski is a director to watch.

But does Rango live up to some of his previous works?

Two-headed tortoise born in Slovakia

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large_mutant-torrtoise-two-heads.jpgA two-headed, five-legged tortoise was born in Slovakia two weeks ago, and displayed in Žilina on March 7.

The left head is named Magda and the right, Lenka. They are conjoined twins of a sulcata tortoise native to the Sahara Desert. If the tortoise survives to adulthood it may reach a length of 1m and weigh up to 75kg.

Although all are scientifically known as chelonians there is often confusion about the terms tortoise, turtle and terrapin. Although there are regional differences, a generally accepted definition is that chelonians on the land are tortoises, those in the sea are turtles and the ones in ponds/lakes/rivers/swamps are terrapins.

Review: 'OMG! With Peaches Geldof'

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I was dreading to hear what Peaches (daughter of Bob) Geldof would ask a bunch of furries — in the end it was more what Dom Joly said which was annoying.

For those outside of the UK, OMG! With Peaches Geldof is a TV show on the digital network ITV2 which does not have a good reputation. It is considered by many to be cheap, tacky, low-brow infotainment, as is most of ITV2's output.

It was this cheap material that I had to wade through before they got to furries. For most of the time I as flicking between channels hoping that these fame-obsessed idiots would soon get off the screen. As a result I did not have high expectations of their coverage of the furry fandom.

I was expecting the usual stuff about having sex in fursuits to be trotted out. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

Dreamhost ditches after DMCA deluge

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Following the trend of imageboard mishaps, has been thrown off Dreamhost after HardBlush founder Onta sent a notification of copyright infringement. [tip: Freehaven]

Apparently this was far from the first notification sent by disgruntled copyright-holders. Regardless,'s administrator appears confident of resuming service soon.

Update (11 March): The board is back up, apparently at Tocici.

Owners of Fur Affinity, FurBuy clash over auctions

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The furry marketplace heated up today as FurBuy owner Jurann was "permanently banned" from Fur Affinity for "false threats against users holding auctions on FA instead of furbuy" and "disruption of the community, drama starting and interference with user transactions."

FA's Dragoneer gave his opinion of Jurann's attempts to pressure artists into using FurBuy:

Frankly, I'm sick of Jurann constantly threatening users, encouraging them to "Go to Furbuy...or else!"

In response, Jurann said Dragoneer "[took his] legal advice as a threat," while maintaining that FTC auction guidelines apply to Fur Affinity:

It's a simple fact that there ARE rules and guidelines, and they are quite clearly not being followed on FA at present.

Upcoming furry comics for May 2011 (Previews only)

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Another recommended hardback from Fantagraphics this month, a French classic you've probably never heard of.