Is it the Year of the Sheep, the Goat, or the Ram? February 19 marks the Chinese New Year (and simultaneously Lunar New Year holidays in Vietnam, Tibet, Mongolia and Korea). As many people know, there is a 12-year animal zodiac cycle in the traditional Chinese calendar: the Year of the Horse has just ended. But what exactly is the animal sign for the year that is just now beginning? [more inside]
Sweden's annual Straw Christmas Goat was revealed on November 30. A regular target for arson, 2013's incarnation survived nearly until Christmas Day. This year, steps are being taken that are hoped to keep the goat in place until the end of the holiday season. The Goat has an oddly encouraging (yet still a bit existential) twitter account you can follow, and also a webcam so you can keep watch no matter where you are. (Previously)
Meet Frostie the Snow Goat, who suffers from joint/navel ill and has to borrow a quadruped wheelchair from Leon Trotsky the piglet. Both critters are residents of Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary, a “a not for profit sanctuary for rescued farmed animals”.
Visualize a comic book, in your language, and imagine what would be written in the text balloon coming from the mouth of an animal. Now translate it. Derek Abbott of The University of Adelaide (previously) has compiled "the world’s biggest multilingual list" of animal sounds, commands, and pet names.
What do you get when you cross a goat and a sheep? Two weeks ago, Paddy Murphy, who also owns Murphy’s pub in Ballymore Eustace, saw that an unusual looking lamb had landed from a ewe. [more inside]
Goat Simulator is a small, broken and stupid game. It was made in a couple of weeks so don’t expect a game in the size and scope of GTA with goats. In fact, you’re better off not expecting anything at all actually. [WARNING: virtual goats, violence]
Grindcore fan that happened to be a goat passes away. Star of an unlikely web meme dies young due to leading a metal lifestyle.
The Gävle Goat is a house-sized Swedish Yule Goat made of straw erected at the start of Advent each year and sponsored by merchants from the southern half of Gävle. While the 2013 incarnation is currently unharmed, the goat is a magnet for vandalism and 22 of 37 goats since 1966 have been destroyed, usually by burning. Some burn just days after construction even with ice coats and fire-proofing. The event is frequent enough that there are bookmaking odds on whether this year's goat will survive. [more inside]
It is Goat Week over at Modern Farmer! Come for the live GoatCam, stay for the goat taxonomy, rules for raising a goat in the city, and a story about the effort to make goats that produced spider silk (previously).
In southern Sweden, scene of recent sheep-killing incidents perpetrated by wolves, llamas are being introduced to see if they will kick wolf-butt and protect the sheep. In the US, the guard llama is becoming a more common "first line of defense" on ranches. [more inside]
The Goat Slaughter
When the first goat was killed, it took me by surprise. My husband Jorge and I had been invited by one of Jorge’s photojournalist friends to this nondescript compound in La Mixteca, the most impoverished region of Oaxaca, Mexico’s most impoverished state, to watch the annual slaughter of thousands of goats.[more inside]
Sorry, but Kanye is the GOAT (slVV).
Teeth of the Sea are a quartet of clean-cut young men from North London. They work in shops. Together, they make a near indescribable noise, a bit like Sketches of Spain-era Miles Davis recordings reimagined by slightly scary, 30-something metalheads with a thing for Euro-sleaze cinema, cheap lager, philosophy and noise rock. They are, genuinely, not like other bands. [more inside]
The festive season is approaching, so it's time for everyone's favorite giant Swedish straw caprid to suffer from repeated attacks. Already ("The front hoof smells of petrol") this year's goat at Gävle has been attacked. Of the 76 goats to date, 33 have been burnt (includes goats burnt down more than once and goats only partially burnt), 7 vandalised (includes goats thrown in the river), 1 run over and 1 stolen, giving a survival rate of 45%. The goat attracts international attention and attacks; in 2001 a tourist from Cleveland, Ohio was jailed for 18 days [Swedish] [English] for igniting the goat. Last year's goat survived to December 2nd (traumatic video). Gävlebocken is 13 metres tall and consists of 3.6 tonnes of straw. While intact it tweets, and blogs in Swedish and English. [more inside]
According to a study done at the university of Hiroshima, watching pictures of cute animals makes you more productive. Considering the state many Americans might be in on Monday following a long weekend of turkey and pumkin pie, perhaps watching a few cute videos might be a good idea to get America's productivity up to par. [more inside]
Buttermilk the goat is very excited. All signs point to Buttermilk being an actual goat, and not a person.
This years Gavle Goat has already been set ablaze. The Gävle Goat was mentioned on the blue a few years ago. The Gävle Goat is a 13-meter (42+ feet) tall straw structure that’s built in the center of Gävle, Sweden at Christmastime every year. And every year somebody has tried to burn this giant Yuletide Goat to the ground. Often successfully. Well, it happened again today at 2:54 am. This year there is film of the fire as well as a live webcam of its charred remains.
The Legend of The Goatriders (Bokkenrijders): In the Limburg region at the end of the 18th century, between 300 and 600 individuals were tortured, tried and executed, accused of being members of a notorious and heretical band of robbers (who rode across the night sky on the backs of goats). But were they devil-worshipping hoodlums or the product of the economic and class pressures of their time? Regardless they have made their way into legend on TV and the printed page. (PDF link, from the European Ghost Literary Project) [more inside]
Here's the conceit: Build a single wood fire and, over the course of 30-plus hours, use it to roast, braise, bake, simmer and grill as many different dishes as possible — for lunch, dinner, breakfast and lunch again. The 36-Hour Dinner Party by Michael Pollan
Every Christmas since 1966, the Swedish town of Gävle has built an enormous traditional Yule goat of straw. And almost every Christmas, someone tries to set fire to him. [more inside]
Cheezborger cheezborger cheezborger TM!! (ad infinitum) is one of the sounds you're likely to hear upon descending the stairs down to Lower Michigan Avenue and walking through a big fireman-red door (perhaps for the monthly Chicago meetup?) into the Billy Goat Tavern and Grill, where the bathrooms are confusingly named but not unisex, and where you can get a "cheezborger" or any one of a number of vegetarian-unfriendly menu options. [more inside]
In 2000, the Spanish Pyrenean Ibex (a type of mountain goat) went extinct. In early 2009 it was brought back to life, the first time an extinct species has been "successfully" cloned. The newborn bucardo died of respiratory failure minutes after birth, setting a second extinction record.
"Goat Gland" referred to a completed silent film in which one or more talking sequences/musical numbers were added in an attempt to make the film more marketable to talkie-crazed filmgoers. [more inside]
The "Most Beautiful Goat" competition. SIx pictures from the Mazayen al-Maaz this year in Riyad.
Goat Mountain appeared on my radar screen last September.
Lupercalia is a festival that probably pre-dates Rome, and which later became known as St. Valentine's day. It had everything; sacrifice, cake, nudity, spanking and a love lottery. What do we get? A card. If we are lucky. But, who was Valentine? Did Chaucer make the whole thing up? [more inside]
It’s not the big fat radio collar around your neck that’s so bad. It’s not even being painted bright colors. It’s that every time you make a new bunch of friends, they all tend to die (146k PDF). Welcome to the life of a Judas goat (89k PDF), one of the worst jobs in the animal kingdom. Your naturally sociable nature make you ideal for leading sheep to slaughter or helping animal-control specialists find groups of your compatriots in rugged environments, where they proceed to shoot them—everyone but you—from helicopters. Of course, you then get lonely, so you go off and find another bunch and the process begins again.
The tradition of the Regimental Goat extends as far back as 1775 and the Battle of Bunker Hill, if not earlier. Canada's own Batisse IX is said to be a direct descendant of Tibetan goats presented by the Shah of Persia to Queen Victoria in 1884. Ask any regimental goat and they will tell you they are well respected, but military discipline can be severe when the regimental goat steps out of line.
Members of AGR planned on making new members believe they had to have sex with the animal, but weren't actually going to make them do it.
Northwestern University has suspended its girl's soccer team indefinitely, stemming from hazing photos surfacing online. The photos seem tame when compared with some other disgusting incidents. Does the punishment fit the crime?
Goat on a pole: Institute for the study of The Goat, The Pole, Their Relative Positions