… brains …

Archive for the ‘Camelids’ Category

Camel Beauty Contests

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

On judging camel beauty:

“We are looking for camels with big heads, firm ears, broad cheeks and big whiskers. There is no single important thing – the neck and body should be long, the hump and the back should be big, and we also look at the colour and posture of the camel.”

Personally, I have trouble with the concepts of Beauty and Camels in the same meme. On the other hand, it looks like winning camels are netting 7 figures.

(Via the BBC .)

Camel-milk Chocolates

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

A Dubai company plans to expand its line of camel-milk chocolates into the US, Europe, and Japan.

Llama fetus ritual to help Bolivia’s Morales?

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

A “witch doctor” burns dried llama fetuses to support Morales in the Bolivian recall election. I boggle at the fact fact that there is a market for dried llama fetuses in the first place.

Boy, George would be proud

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Cama cama cama cama cama chameleon

(might need a camelid++ category now. Or is that camelid–?)

Party Animal

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

Irish camels have quite the party instinct.

Israeli War Llamas

Monday, July 31st, 2006

The Israeli military is using llamas in Lebanon.
They can carry 27kg, don’t make noise, and only need to be fed every couple of days.

Bolivian Llama Sacrafice

Saturday, February 25th, 2006

Apparently Bolivian miners kick off Carnival with a ritual llama sacrifice. Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in the Americas. The miners have a pretty rough life. The llama sacrifice is a ritual of giving thanks–for surviving another year.

The llama llama llama song

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

All you lovers of South American camelids, I point you to: the llama song.

Viollence in America

Tuesday, July 19th, 2005

This just makes me sick.

Daring Llama Rescue

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005

I can’t believe it! I beat Adam in posting a llama related news story!

Sharks Can’t Get Cancer, Llamas Can’t Get Dandruff

Saturday, January 15th, 2005

Apparently, most dandruff in humans is caused by the presence of a specific fungus (malassezia furfur). You may have noticed, for example, that the active ingredient in Nizoral is ketoconazole — which, when taken orally, is a systemic antifungal. You’ll notice the similarity to the name of omniprazole (Prilosec); they’re in the same family. Unfortunately, their similarities cause them to interact in a way that increases the chances of liver damage when used together. From what I’ve been able to find, the same sort of interaction occurs between ketoconazole and the popular histamine blockers used to treat heartburn and alergies (largely, the drugs ending in -dine). I’ve gone looking for research data regarding the interaction between H2 blockers/proton pump inhibitors and topical ketoconazole before, but there don’t appear to be any such studies. After discussing this with a physician, the prudent course of action seems to be to avoid using them at the same time until such studies are made. Now, there are plenty of other active ingredients that have been FDA approved to treat dandruff (selenium sulfide, coal tar, salicylic acid, and zinc pyrithione). Unfortunately, most of these aren’t very effective. My understanding is that most, if not all, of these active ingredients simply mask the symptoms without having significant antifungal properties.

As usual, it’s llamas to the rescue. Researchers have discovered that llamas produce an antibody which specifically targets and kills malassezia furfur. The implication is that this discovery could be used to make a more specifically targeted dandruff shampoo that has much, much lower chances of interacting with other medication. I wonder if this could even lead to the developent of an oral dandruff solution…

Bethlehem in the Andes?

Friday, December 24th, 2004

I came across an article that discusses the interesting experiences one has hosting a live nativity scene. There a a few endearing bit in there about things like sheep eating the manger and donkeys running amok, but this passage really stuck out:

One of this year’s performers found it a little more difficult to stand so still, however, when she found herself face–to–face with a curious llama who was becoming a little too friendly.

“(It) reached out and sniffed the angel,” McHugh recalled. “And the angel was trying to be still while the llama was sniffing her face.”

A llama? In Bethlehem? 2,000 years ago? I mean, I know there was a lot going on at the time, what with new stars appearing in the sky and angels bringing messages to shepherds and whatnot, but you’d think that the appearance of heretofore unseen animals from continents not yet discovered would at least get a passing mention in one of the gospels…

“Sir, a group of well-dressed men on camels have arrived, and they… what the hell is that?!?

The Llama/Deer Double Standard

Friday, December 17th, 2004

It’s never funny when a llama gets killed by accident, but this story points out an interesting discrepancy in how we feel about livestock versus wild animals.

Deer hunting is legal, and even encouraged in most states. It’s seen as a necessary population control technique. However, apparently, if you perform the exact same act on a llama — even using the same equipment — it suddenly becomes a misdemeanor charge of “mistreatment of animals,” with penalties ranging up to a fine of $10,000 and a nine-month jail term (at least, in Madison, Wisconson).

How on earth can it be mistreatment to shoot a llama, when it’s not mistreatment to shoot a deer? Does the technique lead to significantly more pain for the llama? The trespassing charge, I understand. There is certainly some economic damage here, and that’s worth reimbursement (using the civil court system if necessary). Pain and suffering on the part of the owners? Probably not so much. Once you get up to 150 llamas, you’ve moved beyond the “pet” category. You might be able to make a case for poaching, since the accused almost certainly didn’t have a llama hunters license. But mistreatment of animals? That makes no sense unless you’re going to level the same charges against anyone who shoots deer, ducks, or geese.

“Hemingway, you want to breed?”

Saturday, November 27th, 2004

The New York Times has an article on the increasing popularity of alpacas. The stunning thing is the prices these animals can fetch: $400,000 for a prize winning alpaca stud?

I’ll just wait for the bubble to burst and pick up a couple of alpacas on the cheap.

Reporter Tactics

Friday, November 5th, 2004

I’m sorry I missed this when it first came out…

But what better way to lead off an article about post-debate vitriol than with a screen-filling picture of a llama’s face?

I think American reporters have a lot to learn from Chinese journalism. They know what really matters in politics.

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