"Impossible Creatures" on your PC

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A long time in coming, the computer strategy game Impossible Creatures offers the chance to combine over fifty animal species to create combat-ready hybrids.

According to a Reuters news release: "Impossible Creatures" makes it easy to combine a coyote with a skunk to create a coyunk, or a lobster and a hippopotamus to get the lobstopotamus."

Official game site here

Strange Horizons

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Strange Horizons is an internet Semi Prozine that amongst other high quality short stories and articles regularly publishes articles and stories with an Animal or Anthropomorphic bent. Some of the recent gems are Jack's House, and Why The Elders Bare Their Throats. Strange Horizons provides a regularly updated site for free, while also paying its contributors at professional rates. The running costs are paid by donations from readers, so if you can, please donate.

How Squirrels took over the World

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Are you (or is someone you love) a squirrel? Then you might want to read this article. It shows how squirrels started out 36 million years ago in Western North America and spread outwards fairly quickly.

It's an interesting article, showing how archaeology, geology and genetics can cooperate in giving us a better understanding of the current animal world.

Copyrighting your Muck Characters?

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Often I see on people's websites, and on popular art galleries pictures of their or others muck or role-play characters. And in most instances they are followed by descriptions similar to 'FluffyWuffieBunniekins Copyright Me, Art Copyright Some Guy I Met Online!!!'. Well, sometimes with real names. But do most people understand what copyright means? Lets answer a few common questions...

Dog fight Nike ad upsets dog owners, law alike

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It's so quick, you might blink and miss it. As part of a plethora of 'fight' images for a new commercial for Nike, called "The Battle", mixes up the imagry of youth aggression, sports players, and two fighting dogs.
The Rottie snaps, the pitbull lunges, jaws gape and snap, and it's over. But that's too much, says a variety of groups ranging from dog groups, rottie and pit bull breed rescues to dogfight investigators. "What they're showing is classic street fighting."noted an investigator, agast."...We were going for an edgier, racier ad." says a Nike spokeswomen, but dog groups say that sort of image makes the wrong people want to own 'mean' breeds, and makes the right sort of owner afraid of them. "With this three-second clip, they just told millions of people it's OK to fight dogs, and . . . wear our Nikes while you do it."
Dogfighting is illegal in all 50 states.

Furry novel news

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"Firewing", by Kenneth Oppel, the third novel in "The Silverwing Saga" which was published in Canada in April 2002, was published in February in the U.S.: Simon & Schuster, $16.95. "Silverwing" is also due to become a TV cartoon series, animated by Bardel Entertainment in Vancouver, on Canada's Teletoon channel in September.

"Cat Seeing Double: A Joe Grey Mystery", by Shirley Rousseau Murphy, the latest (eighth) in the series about talking cat detectives, was published in January: HarperCollins, $24.95.

"Rancher Ferrets on the Range", by Richard Bach, the fourth of his "The Ferret Chronicles" set in a world of anthropomorphic ferrets, was published in February: Scribner, $15.00. Vol. 5, "Teacher Ferrets in the Classroom", is scheduled for September publication.

"Between Darkness and Light", by Lisanne Norman, the latest installment of her "Sholan Alliance" novel, was published in January: DAW Books, $6.99.

"Snowball's Chance", by John Reed, a "revisionist" version of "Animal Farm" that has the George Orwell estate threatening legal action, was published in November 2002: Roof Books, $19.95.

Artists' 'instinct' for how vision works charted by science

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DaVinci's enigmatic 'Mona Lisa' smile is a work of genius, as is the intense colours of a Monet. But both show an instinctive understanding of how the human eye works, one science is only starting to glean. Wonder why the Mona Lisa seems to smile more when you're in different parts of a room? Low spatial frequencies, of course, which means it's best seen by our peripheral vision. How about the amazing colours of a Monet, playing of the dichotomy of colour and luminance. It's all science to Professor Margaret Livingstone of the Harvard Medical School, but it's beauty in the eye of the human beholder.

Special gene seperates man from beast?

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There really is somthing odd about humans, and now with the Human Genome Project, science is finding out why.The newly-discovered gene, known as Tre2, is only found in humans and a few higher primates, and scientists think that it might have be the seed that caused much of the genetic change in humans, duplicating, mutating, and making them so very different from any other primate.

Alien 'abductees' show real trauma

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Though alien abduction events are often explained by the frightening mental state of sleep paralysis, 'abductees' believe strongly enough that their encounter is real that they suffer post traumatic stress disorder. Researchers from Harvard say it's not enough for people to know it's all in their mind, the experiences feel very real to the person going through them. "This underscores the power of emotional belief," Professor Richard McNally, from Harvard University, said, noting that most of the abductees studied had prior new-age beliefs that might have lead to this interpetation of their frightening sleep paralysis experience.

600 rare animals freeze to death in flight

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A tragic news story from Switzerland today about miscommunication resulting in the deaths of hundreds of members of rare or endangered species. Reptiles, amphibians and mammals were among the dead, while some insects managed to survive but are not doing well.

Very sad.

New guests at ConFurence 2003: The Furry West

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We just got permission to announce: Joining us at ConFurence 2003 will be CHARLES ZEMBILLAS.
Charles is the founder of The Animation Academy, a school for aspiring animators and cartoonists in Burbank. Previously, Mr. Z worked as a game designer for Sony -- where he designed the characters of Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and Jak & Daxter.

Horses robbed of manes and tails

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Police are trying to find out who is stealing (and why) the mane and tail hair from horses in Edmonton, Canada. While the horses have been left unharmed by their shear-wielding assailants, authorities are most confused as to the motive for the thefts.

"There is speculation that it (the hair) is being used for jewelry, to make flies for fly fishing, for makeup brushes or for violin bows. But none of that seems to make much sense. It could also be just senseless vandalism."

Welcome to The Jungle! Nerd persecution explained

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If you stop there, what you're describing is literally a prison, albeit a part-time one. The problem is, many schools practically do stop there. The stated purpose of schools is to educate the kids. But there is no external pressure to do this well. And so most schools do such a bad job of teaching that the kids don't really take it seriously-- not even the smart kids. Much of the time we were all, students and teachers both, just going through the motions.

Camp Feral! 2003 Registration Opens!

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Short and sweet: Registration for Feral! 2003 is now open!

Go to http://www.campferal.org/register.shtml to register.

See you there!

Anthrocon 2003 Charity Auction Information (2/03)

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Anthrocon 2003 is coming soon! The charity for Anthrocon 2003 is Support Our Shelters (www.supportourshelters.org), a ferret rescue organization. You can read more about them in the Charity Auction FAQ on the Anthrocon website (www.anthrocon.org) in the FAQs section. If you would like to participate by donating merchandise, artwork, or legal services to the Anthrocon Charity Auction, follow the steps below:

1. Visit Anthrocon 2003's homepage for convention details ( 3. Contact me at charity@anthrocon.org to confirm your participation or to sign onto the informational mailing list.

Once signed up, you will be added to a mailing list which will receive information about the Charity Auction up through contime, how to donate, and how the Charity Auction will work.

If you have any questions about the Anthrocon 2003 Charity Auction, you can also send them to charity@anthrocon.org for a prompt reply.

Hope to hear from you!

From the Yerf Archive