Thursday, 30 April 2015

When Bears Attack - How to defend against a bear attack

How to survive a bear attack.
Most animals don't attack humans. We're not their natural food source. Most attack humans because they're starving or startled. If attacked, sometimes it's good to run as fast as you can, hoping they can't catch you. Other times, it's sensible to play dead. But, at the end of the day, it's better not to be in the situation in the first place.

Brown Bears, or Grizzly Bears.
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These are the most widespread species of bear. They can be found in Europe and North America. And they're pretty big, and aggressive. First, make a load of noise. As much as you can. Most bears don't want to be surprised. They hate it. Surprise birthday parties are the worst. But in the forests, they want to know you're there. And, for the most part, they'll give you a wide birth.

If you startle them, they'll attack. And attack big. If this happens, don't run. You may find this hard to do, as running and screaming would be perfectly natural in this situation. Peeing of pants would be, too.

With a Grizzly, stand as tall as you can and raise your arms above your head. Especially if they have a gun. "I give up, don't shoot me." Whilst still looking big, back away slowly, without making eye-contact. This will be seen as a challenge, and they are likely to slam-dunk your butt into the ground if they think they're being challenged.

If the bear follows you, panic! You're going to die. Nah, only kidding. Although I'm not. Stop and stand your ground. At this point, they may make a charge. Again, stand your ground. It's probably a fake just to test you. If it isn't, you're going to die. Nah, only kidding. Although I'm not.

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If they continue charging, lying flat on the ground on your belly, legs straight and together, arms tucked in your side, is the way to go. Don't curl into a ball. They'll probably just flip you over and eat your face off. Stay still. It'll assume you're dead, sniff you, nudge you, pull your pants down, and will then probably wander off. Keep playing dead for about twenty minutes, though. Brown bears will linger, or look over their shoulder to make sure they're not being tricked.

If all this fails, fight back. At this stage you've nothing to lose. Throw rocks, punch its nose, kick it in the nuts, throw a few well placed insults. Anything.

Black Bears are smaller than the Brown Bear
Image result for how to defend against bear attackAlthough they still weight a good 300 pounds. They will occasionally attack humans, but it's not common. They are smaller, quicker, and unlike the Brown Bear, they are much better climbers. They'd usually rather flee than attack. However, the Asiatic black bears are extremely aggressive, and are a lot more likely to attack humans.

If attacked by a Black Bear, the same procedures apply as with the Brown Bear above. If you do fancy trying to run, just don't climb a tree to try and escape. The Black Bear is quite adept at climbing trees, and much better at it than you. And they like to chase anything that runs away from them.

With Black Bears it's actually better to fight back, rather than to play dead. Make a huge amount of noise, look as big as you can, and try to grab a large stick to beat it off. If not, aim for it's nose. That's pretty sensitive for a bear.

If a Polar Bear attacks, then you've basically had it
Image result for polar bearThese creatures are the largest bears around. They're aggressive and will attack, whether startled or not. And they will see you as a possible food source. Playing dead or fighting back probably won't make much of a difference. It's not about neutralising you as a threat for them. It's about eating you. Polar bears are always hungry, and finding food for them is getting harder and harder. So you look like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Try to avoid them at all costs. Maybe holiday in the Caribbean instead.

And remember, Polar bears can run faster than a human, reaching speeds of over 25 miles per hour. So, if you're stuck in the Arctic with your friend, and there is a polar bear chasing you, then you can't outrun it and escape. However, the good news is, you don't need to outrun the polar bear. You just need to outrun your friend. Alternatively, take off your clothes. Polar bears are very inquisitive. They'll stop at each item of clothing and give it a thorough examination, giving you time to escape. Perhaps. Although I'm not sure where you'd go. You're in the middle of  nowhere surrounded by ice. You might escape the polar bear, but you're going to freeze to death. Especially if you're naked.

Related Posts
5 Fun Facts About Polar Bears
5 Fun Facts About Tigers
5 Fun Facts About Lions
5 Fun Facts About The Brontosaurus

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

5 Fun Facts About Tigers

5 Fun Facts About Tigers
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1. Tigers are the largest members of the cat family, measuring up to 3 meters in length and weighing a staggering 800 pounds. Almost as much as my grandmother. Love her to bits, but, oh boy, she was a big lady. And, like my grandmother, a tiger is capable of killing animals over twice its size. With huge paws, powerful teeth, and a diet of deer, antelope, buffalo and wild boar, my grandmother was a weird old lady. And, like tigers, she'd also eat small elephants, rhinos, rats, birds, and a Big Mac.

Image result for tigers2. Don't let a tiger lick you. They have a purr similar to a kitten, are as cute as something that is cute, and they have one of the most awesome tongues going. But it's covered in papillae. They are small, sharp, rear-facing protrusions. Their tongue is like sandpaper. A tiger can literally lick your skin right off you.

Image result for tiger paws3. Don't let a tiger give you a high-five. Even if you've just won a basketball game and custom dictates you jump in the air and slam each other's hands together. Tempting as it might be, just don't do it. They have massive paws, powerful legs, and they live by the philosophy of One Strike Kills. Their front paw is so powerful, one swipe is enough to smash a bear's skull and break its spine. Just with one strike. Holy wowser, Dougie Howser.

4. If you're being chased by a tiger, then don't jump in the water thinking you're safe, because you think cats don't like water. For starters, the chances you're going to outrun it are slim to nothing. These things can sprint at speeds of 40mph. And secondly, tigers love the water, and they are superb swimmers. You will often find them at your local pool cooling off from the scorching summer heat.

Image result for tigers5. If you look a tiger in the eye it's less likely to kill you. It may fall deeply madly in love with you, instead. And it may still kill you either way. Tigers are generally unpredictable. But it's worth a shot. Just don't come running to me to complain after you've been eaten. Tigers are solitary hunters and do most of their shopping at night. There is generally no Wi-Fi signal, so they can't order their food online. They have to do it the old fashioned way -- going out and hunting for it. They do this by sneaking up on their prey and ambushing them before they realise what the heck just happed, why is there a tiger stuck to my face?

Because they creep up on their prey and ambush them, if you look them in the eye, it shows him, or her, that they've lost the element of surprise. And tigers do like surprises, so, when it's ruined, they sigh and leave, off to catch someone else unawares.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

5 Fun Facts About Loki

5 Fun Facts About Loki
Image result for loki1. In Norse mythology, Loki is the god of mischief and making the Avengers movies awesome as the adopted brother and archenemy of I've-Got-Really-Thor-Arms-From-Lifting-Weights. Loki was a trickster and loved to cause trouble for the other Gods of Asgard. His ability to shape-shift helped him tremendously in this regard.

2. The mythical home of the Norse gods is Asgard. When it was being built, Loki offered to help Odin, King of the Gods, by hiring a Giant to build the wall that surrounds it. The Giant asked for the Sun, Moon, the new iPhone 7 when it came out, and Freya as payment. The first three were not a problem. Odin had some sway with Apple, as he had given them the technology to make the phone bendier than the 6, and had all ready secured himself a few. The problem was, that Freya just happened to be the wife of Odin. And giving up the Queen of Asgard to a Giant was out of the question. Or, so you'd think. Loki, ever the trickster, and pretty adept at manipulation, told Odin the Giant would never be able to complete the wall in the time allotted, especially working alone, and they would never have to pay him. Freya would be safe.

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It turns out the Giant had some help in the form of an unbelievably strong stallion called, Svaoilfari. With the both of them hard at work, the wall was running to schedule. They even had time to take a break for a hedgehog sandwich, the favourite snacks of Giants. Not including children whose names begin with the letter "S", of course. 

Odin, Thor, and to some degree, Freya, who wasn't adverse to a bit of Giant fun when Odin wasn't looking, began to worry. Loki told them not to, though. He had a cunning plan.

Loki prevented the wall from being completed by distracting the stallion. He transformed himself into a mare and led the stallion into the woods for a bit of hanky panky. The mare, who was Loki, which isn't at all disturbing, gave birth to an eight-legged horse called Sleipnir, which he offered as a gift to Odin.

Image result for throwing stones3. Loki's mischief would turn to anger, and anger to evil. And with evil, comes resentment. And resentment turned into vengeance. 

For a bit of fun, the Gods were tossing stones and boulders at one of Odin's sons, Balder. Don't worry, it was fun. These were gods. Balder was invincible. But Loki had discovered he was vulnerable to mistletoe. He tricked the blind God Hod into throwing the mistletoe at Balder, and it killed him. Not a good plan. Not even a good evil plan. To say the Gods were miffed would be an understatement.

4. Enough was enough. Loki had to be punished. Odin decreed he would be the evil guy that people made fun of in the Avengers films, always a supporting role, never to get his own movie. Plus, the gods captured his sons, Narfi and Vali, turning Vali into a wolf and make him tear his brother to shreds. Talk about a cruel and horrifying punishment only a god could come up with. But that wasn't enough for them.

Image result for loki viking god5. The Gods captured Loki and took Narfi's intestines and bound him to a rock inside a cave. They then had a Giantess called Skadi hang a snake over Loki's head, the snake dripping with highly potent venom. Loki's wife, Sigyn, had to hold a bowl over her husband's head to catch the venom. When she went to empty the bowl, the venom would drip on Loki's head, causing him great pain. He thrashed about and, in Norse mythology, this is what caused the earthquakes.

Monday, 27 April 2015

5 Fun Facts About Marathon Controversies

5 Fun Facts About Marathon Controversies, Cheats and Cheaters
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1. The rules are the rules. And you can't break the rules.
In the 1908 Olympic Marathon event, a rather gangly Italian runner called Dorando Pietri ran his heart out for twenty six miles and entered the stadium in first place.
It had been an extraordinarily hot and humid day, and the guy was spent. He was only a few hundred yards from winning the race of his life, but he struggled to continue. He collapsed with exhaustion four times, but was helped to his feet by the British officials.
He made it over the finishing line and won the gold medal. But American Johnny Hayes, who finished just behind him in second place, had issue. He complained to the judges that Pietri was unfairly given assistance.
They stripped Pietri of his gold medal and gave it to Hayes. However, Queen Alexandra had been so moved by the Italian's determination and courage, she awarded him a special gold cup.
2. Well, if it was only a joke, then that's fine. In the 1904 marathon in St Louis, American athlete, Fred Lorz, did his almost best to complete the race, but apparently suffered from serious stomach cramps.
Instead of pulling out of the event and seeking some medical attention, he flagged down a car and got driven for the remaining 11 miles.
With the cramps gone, and him feeling a lot fresher than any of the other runners who slogged it out for the full 26 miles, he sprinted into the stadium and won the gold medal and was crowned Olympic champion.
It didn't take long for suspicions to arise, and he was disqualified, his title revoked, the medal yanked from his hands amid a fit of intense crying, and he was banned for life.
But, wait for it, the ban was lifted. Yep, he claimed he did it as a joke. It was funny. Everyone laughed. Such fun. Cheating little scumbag.
3. Fastest Pensioner Alive: In the 2010 London Marathon, Jason Stockland-Williams entered the record books when he completed the marathon in just over three hours.
The guy was 69 at the time. His world record was the fastest recorded time of anyone over the age of 65. It was an impressive feat of fitness and will power.
He was to receive a special plaque to mark this outstanding achievement, but then a careful review revealed he completed the second half of the marathon in under an hour.
Even the current world record holder didn't match that spectacular pace. A month and half after the race his "Fastest Pensioner" titles was stripped from him when he admitted he took a short cut.
As the runners pass Tower Bridge, the marathon doubles back on itself. He simply slipped under a barrier, cutting ten miles from the course.
4. But there are easier and less exhausting ways to cheat. In 2011, Rob Sloan competed in the Kielder Marathon in Northumberland, and got a bit tired after running the first few miles. But, what to do?
He slipped away from the other runners, flagged down a bus, and was driven the remaining miles to the finishing line. He hopped off the bus, waited behind a tree until the other runners were sighted, and re-joined the race.
He finished the race in two hours and fifty one minutes, crossing the line in 3rd place. In a post-marathon interview, he told reporters, "It was exhausting. I gave it everything I could."
He later admitted cheating when he was found out. His medal was reclaimed and awarded to the rightful bronze-medallist.
5. I will stress, this last Fun Fact about marathon controversies has nothing to do with cheating. 
In the 1967 Boston Marathon, Kathrine Switzer completed the entire race in a time of 4 hours and 20 minutes. However, she was never allowed to compete, so her time doesn't stand.
During the marathon officials chased her down and tried to remove her from the race. All because Kathrine Switzer was a woman.
Back in the sixties, women weren't allowed to enter marathons. She registered her entry under the gender neutral name of KW Switzer. The officials didn't scrutinize it and let her race, thinking she was a he. At some point during the marathon, she was discovered and the shouting and pushing started.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

This Week In History: 18th April - 24th April

This Week In History - A round up of interesting things that happened during this week in history.
Saturday 18th April - 1930
The BBC reported that there was no news, and then played out with piano music. Really? No news? Yippee! Go home early.

Sunday 19th April - 1770
Image result for starship enterprise
Captain James Cook, not the one in command of the Enterprise, cheats at I-spy when he thinks he is going to lose to his crew. It was a day like any other. The first round went well for the crew. B is for Barnacle. They congratulate each other. Captain Cook guessed correctly in the next round. M is for Mast. It was time for the decider. Captain Cook picks up his I-spy-glass, looks around the ocean, and says, "I spy with my little eye, something beginning with A." The crew took it in turns to guess. A is for Apple. Nope. A is for Apple. Nope, you just said that. Anyone else wanna guess? Spock pipes up, "Is A for Apple, Captain?" Captain Kirk, I mean Cook, shakes his head. "No, Commander, A is for Australia." The crew are aghast. What the heck was Australia? Blow me down with a gassy hedgehog if it wasn't the first time any European had encountered the land mass. They had no idea it was there. So, why would they even try to guess Australia? It should have been Apple. Captain Cook definitely cheated.

Monday 20th April - 1912
Bram Stoker was brutally killed by a vampire today, whilst trying to get to sleep. Five minutes before his death, he was heard whispering, "One sheep. Two sheeps. Three sheepies? Two sheep. Three sheeps. Three sheps? Ships? Oh, sod it. I'll Count Dracula instead." His body was found in the morning completely drained of blood.

Tuesday 21st April - 1509
Image result for henry viiiThe King is Dead. Long live the King. Okay, that phrase is still really confusing. Henry-The-Father-Of-The-famous-One, seventh of his name, died today after swallowing a hedgehog dipped in ear wax. Henry VII was the last king to win the crown on the field of battle. That field of battle was The Battle of Bosworth Field, both a battle, and an actual field, against the child and nephew killer, Richard III. Because of his death, the son of Henry-The-Seventh-Not-The-Last, called Henry-Of-The-Many-Numbers, became King of England. Wow, that's like fifteen Henrys. Upon ascending to the kinglyshop of the land of Eng, Henry climbed on top of the tallest pauper and sang, "I'm Henry the 8th I am. Henry the 8th, I am I am. I've been married to the girl next door, she's been married seven times before. But I'll only be married once, as I'm a loyal and trustworthy husband."

Wednesday 22nd April - 1970
The first Earth day was held today to celebrate ... I'm going to say the Earth. Okay dokey, that's boring, skip to the next one.

Thursday 23rd April - 303
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After many hours of tedious torture, St George, not actually a saint at time of death, had his head chopped off. For some reason this guy is a hero and the Patron Saint of England. But lest we forget, this is the man who killed a dragon. And killing dragons is wrong. It should never be rewarded by being canonised by the Pope. Unless it really does involve being shot out of one. And they really shouldn't be awarded a Patron of stupid Sainthood. Arggh, it makes my blood boil. I hate this guy. Dragons are awesome. We need more dragons. Go read 5 Fun Facts About St George-Is-A-Git if you want to know more. He's dead to me.

Friday 24th April - 1953
Image result for winston churchillAnd, as we watch, the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, is walking slowly down the aisle of the throne room at Buckingham Palace. To be honest, the geezer doesn't look well. But what should we expect, he's getting on a bit. And fighting the Second World War almost single-handedly can't have been easy. He is passing the half-way point now. He is unsteady on his feet. He isn't walking in a straight line. He's leaning to the right, and his legs are following. And straight into the chairs. Oopsie daisy. There's a small commotion. But we're all British, so we pretend like nothing has happened.

He's back on his feet, and continues towards the throne where the young, new Queen Elizabeth II is waiting to receive him. After an hour, he makes it, and kneels at the queen's feet in preparation to be Knighted. She raises her sword to perform the dubbing, to the music of Dubstep. OH MY GOD. Winston Churchill sneezed as the Queen lowered her sword onto his shoulder. It's sliced right through his neck. His head is rolling across the floor towards the seated spectators. That is totally gruesome.

Luckily, the Queen has the finest seamstresses at her disposal. They were able to sew Churchill's head back on and he was knighted correctly. That was a heck of a close shave, though. All's well that ends well.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

5 Ancient Myths About Earthquakes

5 Ancient Myths About Earthquakes
Image result for namazu1. In Japanese mythology, earthquakes were caused by a giant catfish called Namazu. He lives in the mud beneath Japan and the god, Kashima, restrains him with a stone. When Kashima is distracted, Namazu thrashes about and causes an earthquake. The Japan Meteorological Agency has a logo of a catfish for their Earthquake Early Warning devices.

Image result for poseidon2. In ancient Greece, it was Poseidon, the god of the sea, who caused earthquakes and, as such, his nickname was "Earth-Shaker". When Poseidon got angry, he'd strike the ground with his trident, the result being an earthquake.

Image result for hindu mythology earthquakes3. In Hindu mythology, the Earth is held in place by eight massive elephants. These elephants are balanced on the back of a giant turtle, and the turtle stands on the coils of a snake. When any of these creatures moves a bit, the balance is upset, and an earthquake occurs.

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4. In Peru mythology, they believed when a god visited Earth to count how many people there were, his footsteps would cause an earthquake. So, to shorten the amount of time he would visit, the people would run from their homes shouting, "I'm here. I'm here."

Image result for loki5. In Norse mythology, it was Loki, the Asgard god of mischief, who caused the earthquakes. When Loki killed Baldr, the god of light and purity, his punishment was to be bound inside a cave. A poisonous snake was hung over his head, dripping venom. Loki's wife, Sigyn, had to catch the venom inside a bowl, but when it was full, she had to empty it. Whilst she was gone, the venom dripped on Loki's face and he thrashed against his bonds, which caused the earthquakes.