Hockey Coach Rips Out Tongue of Rival Mascot

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(Harvey) was in a place he shouldn't have been.

ANTHROCON: CONBOOK and T-SHIRT Announcement

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It's never too early to start looking for the high-quality artwork and stories that have become the hallmark of Anthrocon's annual con book. This year's theme is "Creatures of the Night," those secretive beasts that prowl the darkness of our collective imagination. We are looking for artists of both ink & paint and of the written word to liven up our con book, which was so popular last year that every single person who registered ended up with one!

Just dial "666"

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A small college in Kentucky has been trying for six months to get their phone number changed from its 666 prefix. The number has been cause for concern as they happen to be a Bible College.

Sloth bear sanctuary opens in India

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BBC Online reports that India's first bear sanctuary, paid for by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and Wildlife SOS, is now open to take care of "dancing bears." The sloth bear is a threatened species. Even though the practice of capturing and training the sloth bears has been banned, about 100 cubs are taken illegally each year.

Aardvark genes closest to common mammal ancestor

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BBC Online reports about a new study which indicates the aardvark, of all modern mammals, may be the closest, genetically, to the common ancestor of all placental mammals. As the story says, this isn't to say that the common ancestor looked like an aardvark, but rather, it appears that the aardvark's genome has had "fewer shuffles" than any other species.

FC2003 : January Newsletter - Final Edition

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Index

1. From the Head MadHatters
2. Pocket Guide, Dealers' Room Map and PreCon Final Schedule Available
3. Weather Forecast for Further Confusion 2003
4. New Pre-Registration and Room Night Record
5. Important Rooms and Times
6. Rabbit Tracks Call for Submissions
7. Call for Volunteers
8. Events Items

Obituary: Lance Pope 1965-2002

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Lance Pope spread his time throughout the costuming, horror, were and animal welfare communities. He was a marvelous person, always ready to help the little guy, and it's with great sadness we present this obituary. The delay was required to have it cleared and approved, but it's still timely, as I know many readers have had the pleasure of meeting Lance in one of his incarnations, at furry conventions, on mail lists, or just stopping by Thrillvania.

From Mel White:
"LANCE POPE (1/27/65 - 12/17/2002)

Lance Pope, the multi-talented, energetic Texan who created Verdun Manor, one of the most celebrated commercial haunted houses in America, died December 17,
2002. He was 37 years old. He was an entrepreneur and businessman and a renowned craftsman with a keen eye for detail and a good understanding of how to create a memorable evening of spooky fun.

His fascination with haunted houses began early, when Haunted Cannon Manor became an attraction at the annual State Fair of Texas. Lance persuaded the owner to let him help around the attraction and started out sweeping the floors and cleaning up after the crowds left. He moved from that to acting in the scenes and eventually to creating scenes for the house.

In 1981, at the age of 16, Lance took $1,000 and built his first haunted house. The 400 foot square walk-through house was called Haunted Verdun Manor; the beginnings of what would become one of the most notable haunted houses in America.
...

To fly, or not to fly?

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Two articles talk about taking flight today:
First, yet another theory on how dinosaurs might have evolved wings and ended up at our birdfeeders. This one involves trying to go uphill a bit faster.
And challanging the idea that something as complex as flight doesn't 're-evolve' after a creature evolved away from its use is a story of the indecisive stick insect. DNA testing implies that it can't decide if it wants wings or not, evolving them, then evolving them away, 4 or 5 times, over the millions of years of the insect's evolution.
Both were recently published in Science.

AAE, Inc announces Further Confusion 2004 winning bid

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AAE, Inc. is pleased to announce that the chair and vice chair for FC2004 have been selected. Michael Sawyer, Aetobatus and Jeremy Doran, Francisco, have been appointed to lead the team for FC2004. Both have many years of experience with Further Confusion and we expec them to do a wonderful job for the attendees. Until they officially take over the reins, they can be reached at fc2004@furtherconfusion.org. Expect more news on FC2004 to be announced on Sunday at FC2003.

The Board of Directors of Anthropomorphic Arts and Education, Inc.

Zookeepers Perplexed by Penguins swimming in circles

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A few penguins swimming leisurely at the San Francisco Zoo is nothing new. But dozens of them doing laps in unison for hours has zookeepers perplexed. The article here

Harry Potter's 5th book finally finished

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It seems hard to believe the last installment of this sucessful series came out just around Anthrocon 2000, but three years later, 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' is finished and in for editing, and is planned for release on June 21st. A third longer than the previous hefty volume, children, and the adults which are suspected to make up a half of the Harry Potter books readership, eagerly await this next installment. It is even going to be printed in two covers, an adult version, and a children's one. At $43, it's certainly an adult level price.

Elephant festival tries to bring peace

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Wild asian elephants are very common in Assam, with half of India's wild population living there. But that means elephants are being attacked and poisoned, from farmers trying to protect fields from the roaming herds.
An elephant festival was held last week to try and raise local awareness of the beauty and value of elephants. Almost 300 domestic elephants were present, playing soccer, performing and allowing people to touch them. Organizers hope the festival will increase tourism to the area and encourage locals to preserve the elephants.

PETA cages "tiger" in protest

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PETA activist Holly Fraser protested the treatment of circus animals by painting herself up as a tiger and sitting outside in a cage. It seems being half-naked seemed to help increase public awareness.

Giant squid attacks racing sailor's yacht

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Veteran yachtsman Olivier De Kersauson, taking part in the around the world Jules Verne Trophy claims his boat was slowed down when a giant squid attached itself to the hull. Luckly, the squid disengaged when the boat was slowed. "... I don't know what we would have done if it hadn't let go," Mr de Kersauson said."We weren't going to attack it with our penknives."

The Second Genesis: Engineering Art and Life

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You may recall the creation of the glowing neon bunny "Alba" two years ago. This article in The Guardian discusses her and many other varied projects in conceptual transgenic work.
Is the creation of new species (or the resurrection of old ones) engineering or art? A little of both?

From the Yerf Archive