Podcast: Super Bowl Predicting Animals, Mink Sonar, and Hangovers, So Please Listen Quietly.

Hey guys, welcome to Animal News: The Hangover-cast.  We’re pretty hung over today, so we’re softly, slowly, holding you closer, tiny dancer.  Enjoy!


Podcast: Jake’s Attacking Headlines, Jake’s History, and Kristin’s Anti-plug (Matt didn’t do anything.)

ANTP is looking at animal attacks, and some insane animal history.  Hope you enjoy it!

The State of The Podcast

Hello readers, listeners, and friends!

If you’re reading this, we’ve probably just passed some important milestones.  I just wanted to talk to you guys for a minute, and hopefully let you know how the podcast is going.  First off, a little look back.

About nine months ago, the idea came into my head that Kristin and I should do a podcast.  We had been talking on the phone, and Kristin, as usual, was making me laugh.  I had been listening to a lot of The Nerdist, Sklarbro Country, WTF with Marc Maron, and Comedy Bang Bang.  I thought that Kristin and I had some good chemistry, and could look at things an interesting way.

It seemed that for months, Kristin and I would talk about animal news every time we were on the phone.  We started just talking about doing a podcast, calling it Animal News, and having silly conversations about animals.  The first time that she made me die laughing, I knew that we would have to do it at some point.

At first, I thought that it would just be Kristin and I on the podcast.  We were looking to emulate our conversations, but once we mentioned it to Jake, he came up immediately with “This Week In Animal History” and I knew that he had to be on the podcast.  We started putting stuff together for our first show, I started dragging stuff together to record us, and we set a date.

In July, our first episode was made.  It was way too long, but we didn’t know how long the show needed to be.  Listening to it now, I understand that we should have stopped ourselves a little earlier, we didn’t have enough to fill up the time, and I caused it to be too long.  This is a theme of the podcast, I go on and on, and Kristin and Jake try to wrap it up.

After our first episode, I got in contact with Sound Cloud, an internet audio hosting site.  They were trying out a beta for podcasters, and allowed me to get into it.  If they had not provided us hosting, we would be unable to bring the podcast to you every week.  We sincerely appreciate their help.  If you do anything with audio online, please consider supporting them.  They are amazing.

Over the last six months, we’ve had around 1000 listens to our podcast.  We have had 3000 page views on this blog.  I got to interview a Zookeeper, have my family on the podcast, go to Jeju-do, see lots of things, and talk about my experiences with animals.  I’ve been able to do this with two of my best friends in the world, and there is nothing better than that.  It’s been awesome so far.

We’re celebrating our six month anniversary on the podcast this week, but we are also looking forward to the next six months.  I just wanted to share with you some of the things we are looking to in the next six months.

  • Continue putting out a podcast every week.  Without fail.
  • Keep making the podcast more and more relevant, making it more timely and more entertaining
  • Get more guests, and have more guests return to talk about animals on the podcast
  • Try to get more expert interviews
  • Work on our website, to bring better and better content to you
  • Continue growing, getting more listeners and readers
  • Connect with our listeners and readers more

So, with those goals in mind.  I wanted to say thank you.  Thank you for listening to our podcast and reading our blog.  Thank you for sharing it on facebook.  Thank you for making the effort to seek out new things.  I also want to say thank you to Kristin and Jake for doing incredible work on the podcast, and making this website fun and entertaining to be on.

I’ll talk to you guys again in six months.  As we grow, I hope you’ll keep following us, and I hope we can get you involved more.

Once again,  thank you.


P.S.  just in case you were wondering.

بيض خلد الماء

is how you write platypus eggs in Arabic.


PODCAST: Chuck Darwin, English Type Man, and His Boat, The Beagle

Chuck Darwin wrote a book.  We’ll tell you about the book, about evolution, about what we think and how we feel, and you will listen… if you know what is good for you.

Thanks for listening… or else!

Happy Mousiversry

As you know from our last podcast, the Disney Corporation just celebrated the 83rd anniversary of the theatrical release of Steamboat Willie. American copyright law has been amended several times when Steamboat Willie was on the verge of entering the public domain. The most recent copyright extension is referred to as the “Mickey Mouse Protection Act.”

As our personal response to intellectual property rights: we present Steamboat Willie (complete with tobacco chewing and animal abusing) without the express written permission of Disney. Watch Steamboat Willie and enjoy!

This Week in Animal History: September 7

While Matt and his family “hunkered down” for Hurricane Irene, the rest of the Animal News Team has been on assignment. Kristin has been walking around, glaring at cartoon chickens that love fried chicken. Meanwhile, I have been diligently working on a second edition of Animal History: The Pop-up Book and doing google image searches for the babe Matt interviewed at the zoo.

Speaking of zoos:

This Week in Animal History

On September 7, 1936, the last Tasmanian tiger in captivity died at the Hobart Zoo. The largest carnivorous marsupial of modern times, the Tasmanian tiger was an interesting little predator. However, the Tasmanian tiger’s demise as a species was a long time coming. For quite a while, the Tassie tiger was the largest predator in Australia. But some 2,000 years ago, dingos started taking over Australia and eventually drove the tigers off the mainland. Limited to the island of Tasmania, the tigers were soon in a bad way due to the arrival of Europeans, their dogs and a viral disease (although it is not clear that the Europeans brought the virus with them.)

By the time conservation efforts were started in the early 1900’s, the Tasmanian tiger was all but finished. Apparently, breeding programs at zoos were unsuccessful or nonexistent and the wild population was already in such decline that there was scarcely any chance of a rebound in the population. The employees of the Hobart Zoo, less diligent and less caring than the lovely people at the Maryland Zoo, left the very last captive Tasmanian tiger locked out of its shelter. Left exposed to the elements, the very last Tasmanian tiger died.

Sometimes history is sad.

This Week in Animal History: August 29

This Week in Animal History is trying to track down Matt as he tours America without his co-hosts. We’ve followed him as far as Ellicott City, Maryland. When we heard that he was visiting the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, we hopped on the Baltimore & Ohio railroad. Then we noticed that it was no longer in operation.

This Week in Animal History

On August 28, 1830, the B&O’s experimental steam locomotive Tom Thumb raced against a horse-drawn cart, proving to the world that steam engines are better than animals. That is, until they break down. Which is exactly what the Tom Thumb did.

While testing the Tom Thumb on the rails between Ellicott City and Baltimore, the engineer was challenged to the impromptu race by the driver of a horse-drawn passenger car. The steam engine got off to a commanding lead before throwing a belt or something and losing power. With the Tom Thumb stranded the horses casually strolled to victory. This shallow victory marked the end of the horse’s monopoly on transportation. Wikipedia informs us that in subsequent horse v. locomotive races “horse victories were extremely rare, if there were any at all.” Although there is no evidence to suggest that the horses from this race became horse folk-heroes à la John Henry, they probably should have.

This Week in Animal History: August 22

Matt ran off to the USA and took the podcast with him. What he didn’t take was the leather-bound first edition of Jake’s Complete Guide to Animal History. So if you listened to this week’s podcast and felt like something was missing, it was probably This Week in Animal History! (Although Matt’s assessment of biological warfare in the middle ages was historical, he left out the part where they also hurled dead livestock into besieged cities.)

So without further ado:

This Week in Animal History

On August 22, 565 AD, St. Columba was ambling along in Scotland and he came across a couple of gentlemen who were burying a body. The deceased, Columba was informed, had been killed by a monster in a nearby loch. Subsequently, as Columba stood alongside the River Ness, he spied a swimmer in peril. The poor soul was under attack from a vicious creature of the deep. St. Columba, no doubt a certified life guard, followed standard life-saving protocol; he made a sign of the cross and told the monster “You shall not pass!”* Like all bullies, the monster was absolutely shocked that anybody would stand up to him and quickly retreated. The witnesses/survivors all converted to Christianity and Columba went on to become the patron saint of bookbinders and poets.

If you have not already guessed, this story is the oldest recorded account of one of the world’s most famous monsters: Bigfoot. I mean, Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.

*”You shall not pass!” is not exactly what he said, since he presumably didn’t speak English. The story as related by Adomnan of Iona is in Latin. In it Columba says “Noles ultra progredi” which actually does mean (more or less… or much less) “You shall not pass!”