Friday, March 7, 2008

Brotherhood of the Wolf

I loved this movie. It's the strangest sci fi kung fu movie ever made. The story is that a giant wolf is attacking villagers and the protagonist is sent to kill it. Well, really, you want to find out what it is. It's a scary movie and really really really cool. I was stumbling, and I came across this Wikipedia article. It was a real legend! Here's a summary:

The Beast of Gévaudan (French: La bête du Gévaudan) was a mysterious wolf-like creature that terrorised the former province of Gévaudan (modern day Lozère département), in the Margeride Mountains in south-central France from about 1764 to 1767. Many attacks took place - between 60 and 123 humans were killed – and debate continues as to the Beast's true identity. The story is a popular subject for cryptozoologists and conspiracy theorists.

The first attack that provided a description of the creature took place on 1st June of 1764. A woman from Langogne saw a large, lupine animal emerge from the trees and charge directly toward her, but it was driven away by the farm's bulls.

On the 30th of June the first official victim of the Beast was Jeanne Boulet, killed near the village of Les Hubacs, not far from Langogne.

The creature's reported method of killing was unusual for a predator, often targeting the head, and ignoring the usual areas targeted by predators, including the legs and throat. Often the head was crushed or removed. It also seemed to target people over farm animals, reportedly having an aversion to cattle; many times it would attack someone while cattle were in the same field.

There were some reports that the beast was seen with another such animal, or with young. No recorded testimony implies the presence of a man nearby.

Though it is difficult to establish an exact number of victims, an estimate based on official documents gives over 198 attacks, including 36 wounded and 88 dead. Other sources could expand these results to over 306 attacks, including 51 wounded and 123 dead. The Beast's preference towards women and children is perhaps due to their working the country-side farms in pairs or even alone, making themselves easier targets. Men, however, tended to have objects that could be used as weapons, such as sickles and scythes, and often worked the fields in large groups.

Various explanations were offered at the time of the attacks. They ranged from exaggerated accounts of wolf attacks, to a loup-garou (werewolf) all the way to the beast being a punishment from God, or perhaps an unholy creature summoned by a sorcerer.

Though wolves in the wild usually avoid contact with humans, they will attack livestock when their natural prey runs out. Conversely, the Beast itself was said to have taken exclusively human victims, ignoring the livestock present in the area. Some experts, however, state that wolves at the time may have been more aggressive than their modern-day counterparts, saying that today's generation of shy wolves is the result of natural selection favouring animals which were less prone to attacking humans with firearms. The areas in the world today where wolf attacks are still a common occurrence are usually poverty-stricken with a general lack of predator control technology.

Other theories say the beast may have been an escaped captive exotic animal such as a hyena. Two species have been known to attack humans: the striped hyena of Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan and western India and the larger spotted hyena of Africa. Hyenas are known to inflict injuries similar to the Beast of Gevaudan, primarily biting the facial regions when attacking humans; however hyenas do not have the smooth running gait ascribed to the Beast, and are not good at jumping. According to Loren Coleman's Cryptozoology A to Z, page 35, a taxidermist at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, Franz Jullien by name, discovered that an animal similar to the description and listed as shot by Jean Chastel, had been stuffed and was on display from 1766 to 1819. It had been definitely identified as an African striped hyena.

Another explanation is that the beast was some form of domestic dog or hybrid. This theory has found support from, among many others, naturalist Michel Louis, author of the book La bête du Gévaudan: L'innocence des loups (The Beast of Gévaudan: The innocence of wolves). The beast may have been a wolfdog, according to the TV show Animal X . Wolf-dog hybrids were usually noted as not sharing their wolf parent's fear of man and it would have also been quite trainable, perhaps lending further credence to the reports that the Beast was seen in the company of a human.

Some have suggested that a male lion imported from Africa was responsible, and this was the explanation used in the film Brotherhood of the Wolf. Proponents of this theory have noted how there are similarities between a male lion and contemporary drawings of the beast. Critics have argued that the local people would have recognized and identified a lion, due to the fact that lions had appeared on various coat of arms at the time.

I think it's really interesting.

Wayne's World

So, though a recommendation, I tried something new today. In my office, I listened to a movie! It was tres awesome! I listened to Wayne's world. It was party time as well as excellent. Check it out at

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Where have I been?

Okay, I know I haven't posted as much lately, but with no relief from snow and yuck in the backyard, I haven't had any progress on the vegetable garden. I've also put off barbeque sauce stuff because we can't grill much yet. So, what should I write about? PLEASE TELL ME! I'll totally do it.

The kitten cometh

So, I left you with a short introduction to a post that's going to have a LOT of pictures. Because as any new parents would be, we were quite shutter happy with little Danica. When we left, I couldn't walk away (really) from a sweet little tortoiseshell kitten. We had decided to foster her, and not get attached. To that end, we didn't give her a name. We called her "catface" She had a big box with a bed, toys and a litterbox. Being such a tiny kitten we thought it was enough space for her. She disagreed. Note: That box is at least 2 feet tall...

That is what we brought home. She was adorable, but she was a street kitten. We didn't know if she was healthy enough to make it. She was away from her mother too early and we weren't sure if she had any kitty instincts either. The pet store told us that the earliest they could get her into the vet was the next week. We were getting attached, that was too long. So, we called our vet (okay, our cats' vet) and got her an appointment for the next day. She had to be presentable you know, so:
She had a bath. She wasn't too happy about it, but she was clean now. Ready for the vet. We took her in, wrapped up in a towel. We were both really nervous. The vet weighed her, she came in an .6 pounds. Note the decimal there folks, less than a pound. Just over half. She had ear mites, and so did our other cats now, but she was okay! We proudly christened her "Danica Catrick. Come back next time for more of her. If I don't stop now, this post will take up an entire page!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Introductions are in Order

As I hope I am getting more readers here, I think some introductions are in order. Hi!

I'm Annemarie, author of this blog's blogginess. I'm a Children's librarian, and that means I get to cut stuff out and paste it together, and read for money. I'd post a picture of me here, but you're getting tired of seeing my face already, I'm sure. Look around. If there's a red haired girl in a picture, chances are that's me. Okay, I know I have redhead friends too, but is shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

My new husband (be sure to read all about our wedding and planning of said wedding) is Jason. He's wonderful beyond all belief. If there's a dark haired handsome man in the picture with me, that's him. He has a job he hates in the IT field. If anyone out there knows of IT jobs around indy, let me know!

Our cats. Aww, they are our fake children. We have 3. It didn't start off to be that way, but it is. Before Jason and I met, we each had a cat. I had Diana:
She's awesome and mean. She's the biggest of our cats, and the oldest. She gives everyone a dirty look. She bites the vet. We love her, and she is a big snuggler, believe it or not. She knows not to bite me (we call it the cat contract), and loves being the boss. Her turn ons include crab with a k, cheese, and laser pointers. I found her in the parking lot of my old job, when she was a kitten. I took her home and made her mine!

Jason had Tabby Cattenhousen:

Tabby was rescued by Jason from some kids who would rather play with their dog. He's much happier now. Despite his small appearance, he's a Maine Coon. He's very, very fluffy. He likes to lie in the middle of the floor on his back and practice being adorable. He's really a sweet cat but has somehow been put in charge of waking us up every morning, by pestering Jason, or eating the lampshade (which also pesters Jason). His turn ons include (you know, it was funny the first time, but is just strange now) stretching, chasing, and being cute.

Jason and I got together and instantly loved each others' cats. We hadn't moved in together yet, but it was coming up soon, when we took a trip to the pet store. There in a cage was this tiny ball of fur. It was one of the smallest kittens I had ever seen. Her fur was all colors, a tortoiseshell. The people there said that someone had wrapped her up in newspaper and left her by the front door. My heart melted. I reached my hand into the cage to pet her. She purred and snuggled up close. When I thought it was time for me to take my hand out, she wasn't having any of it. She held on for dear life. She was leaving long scratch marks in my hand. I decided she must be right, and just kept petting her. It was too late. She was my kitten.

He name is Danica Catrick, though for the first few days when we didn't know if we would keep her, or if the vet would give her a clean bill of health, we called her catface. Tune in next time for her whole story.

Danica Patrick is so tired

So, last night I dreamt that I was Danica Patrick, but still married to Jason. We lived in this weird place, and a Christmas tree (a ceramic one) kept catching fire. That, and I kept going to the hair salon. It was strange. I woke up incredibly tired. I don't know if it she dream or what, but I feel like there are weights on my eyelids this morning.

This weekend we had fun though. Sunday, the weather was gorgeous. So, we chopped up more tree. I got to use the chainsaw this time, Yay! I did actually like it. The yard was so wet though, that we didn't do it all. We retreated to grill land. We invited over 2 of Jason's friends, and we cooked out. It was good. Nothing overly spectacular this time. The most complicated thing was probably the lime shrimp. Those were good.

I love making a fire in that fire pit. I don't know why I'm such a pyro. I did one thing for any of you blog readers you there, I made a video. To be uploaded soon, Annemarie's easy way to core a jalepeno. Yum. Look for it soon!