Space push by Bush

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The budget is often a time to push forward new initiatives, but rarely is it the place for the discussion on the growing possiblity of real 'space aliens'. In a brief passage entitled "Where Are The Real Space Aliens?", points out the growing evidence of the possibility of extraterestrial life as part of the budget for NASA. For four paragraphs, it's produced a lot of buzz.

Only Two Weeks Left for FREE MEMBERSHIPS at ConFurence

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You must reserve your hotel room for CF2003 before February 15, 2003 if you intend to sign up for the Furry West Homestead Act of ConFurence 2003.

"Furry West Homesteaders" (Up to 4 in each hotel room) get free memberships to the convention, in addition to some of the same benefits that Sponsors of the convention will receive. This includes getting into the Art Show a full hour before anyone else is permitted to enter.

Upcoming Furry Comics for April 2003

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Doodles wrote in with this month's Upcoming Furry Comics listing compiled from Previews: "Hello, folks! Another month, another listing. It's a mild month, with a lot of the major publishers slacking off in preparation for the coming Summer."

Click on 'Read More' for the listing.

Space shuttle Columbia tragedy

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For those who may not have heard yet, the space shuttle Columbia, with 7 astronauts on board, broke up on re-entry from its 16 day science mission. It is unlikely there were any survivors. Long range photographs of the re-entry show clear evidence of a breakup, and witnesses near Nacogdoches and Palestine, Texas, have reported falling debris. Given the altitude and speed of the vehicle at breakup, it is believed unlikely to be a terrorist act.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the crew.

Toys for Pigs

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A law which goes into effect today rules that British pig farmers must place "manipulable material" in their animal's enclosures. Failure to provide such release from boredom can result in a fine of up to £2,500.

Lion Rips Woman's Arm Off

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Source: Lion Rips Woman's Arm Off

MADRID (Reuters) - A lioness in a Spanish animal sanctuary ripped the right arm off a British tourist after the 54-year old woman clambered up a barrier and stuck her fingers inside the cage, local media reported.

Surprise Guest for ConFurence 2003

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I wish, oh I *REALLY* wish I could tell you who just accepted to be a guest at ConFurence 2003... However, due to contractual obligations, he would have to jump through legal hoops and we would end up getting buried in paperwork before being able to make any kind of announcement of his being a guest at any public function.

However, I *CAN* tell you that he is the Director of one of the anthropomorphic Motion Pictures nominated to receive this year's Ursa Major Award and he will be at ConFurence 2003: The Furry West as our surprise Guest of Honor!!!

This year's Ursa Major nominees for best Anthropomorphic motion picture are:
* Ice Age
* Spirit: Stallion of the Cimaron
* Spirited Away
* Lilo & Stitch
* Stuart Little 2

We just *can't* tell you who it is before the convention, but he is the director of one of the above films.

Darrel L. Exline
Director, The ConFurence Group
Chairman, ConFurence 2003: The Furry West

Cheetahs on a military payroll?

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A military airbase near Kruger National Park in South Africa was plagued by local wildlife crossing their runways. Their inventive solution was, instead of building huge fences or deploying poisons, to hire two Cheetahs to patrol the base and scare off the larger animals. They've also got some Caracals to help drive off birds and smaller critters.

Read the whole story here.

National Zoo concerned after rash of animal deaths

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The National Zoo is calling in an intern animal care co-ordinator after the lastest in a string of unusual animal deaths at their facilities. The latest was a pygmy hippo in apparent perfect health. Only 9, the pygmy hippos are known to live over 40 years in captivity. It's a black eye for the facility, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution. Animals are born and die all the time at zoos, but what's unusual is that "it's a high number of profile animals."

The Polar Den announces Monday Night Movies

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In an effort to stitch together the various factions of San Diego Area fandom, The Polar Den (Darrel L. Exline and Kristine Bauer's home in Lemon Grove, California) will be hosting Monday Night Movies starting Monday, February 3, 2003. The "Theatre" at the Polar Den has an 84-inch parabolic Screen, a ceiling-mounted projector, three rows of seating, and an honor-fridge stocked with sodas for 50 cents each (or 3 for a dollar).

Get a Free Membership to ConFurence 2003!

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It's called the Furry West Homesteader Act of ConFurence 2003, and it means FREE MEMBERSHIPS to those who participate.

All it takes is to reserve your hotel room at the Hilton before February 15, and you and your roomates (up to 4 per room) can get FREE MEMBERSHIPS to ConFurence 2003: The Furry West. You can also phone the Hilton at 818-843-6000 during business hours.

CF2003 takes place on April 25-27 at the Hilton Burbank Airport and Convention Center in Burbank, California (northern Los Angeles County). If making reservations online, use the 3-letter event code "COC" to get the correct rates ($102 standard, $135 Suites, extra $20 for 3rd and 4th guests per room)

Remember: Your reservations need to be made BEFORE February 15, and you need to send in the Homesteader Act form (PDF Format) by March 1 (Pre-registration deadline) to claim your free memberships.

More information is online at confurence.net/cf2003

Mr. Ed Returns...

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SNL writer Jack Handey is rehashing a new Mr. Ed for Fox, and giving him a more "urban" voice. Yay.

Wild equines in grave danger of extinction

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Save my ass! could be the environmental cry soon. Horses and man have had a long and powerful association with each other, but now the activities of man are putting the remaining wild equine species in danger of extinction. Most of the wild equine species are part of arid locals with low biodiversity, making them especially vulnerable to climate changes and human encroachment. "Zebras, asses and horses can serve as 'flagship' species for the conservation of these ecosystems."says Dr Patricia Moehlman, who chairs the equid specialist group in the World Conservation Union.
Equines have given humans so much, now it is time for humans to give something back to these fascinating animals.

Environment, economics, kicks Dracula Park out of Transylvania

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How soon the people of Sighisoara do forget. A Dracula theme park was planned outside of that city, the place where Vlad the Impaler was born, but was blocked for environmental reasons by local and international environmental groups. With the announcement that the new location for the Dracula theme park would be in the capital of Romania, Bucharest, because it would attract the most tourists there, people in Transylvania are outraged again, saying it will take away needed tourist dollars from the impovershed region. It seems that when it comes to something as important to the Romanian people as Vlad the Impaler and Dracula, you just can't make everyone happy.

Articles on anthropomorphism in children's lit.

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Last year, Amy Pronovost asked me if I could find any scholarly articles which discussed anthropomorphism in children's literature, since at the time I had access to librarian journal databases. I came up with a short list, and thought I should share it.

From the Yerf Archive