Animals

Kill it, Stuff it, and Put it on Display. The Olympics of Taxidermy.

I’ve always had a bizarre fascination with taxidermy. I think it is one of the strangest things people do, and yet I’m kind of drawn to it. I think the fascination started when I was a kid and I visited the natural history museum where they had all of these insane dioramas featuring dead stuffed animals. It was the antithesis of the zoo, or being at a national park where you would see the animals alive, and out in their natural environment. I just didn’t get the concept of, kill it, stuff it, put it on display frozen in time. (at the time I didn’t realize that taxidermied animals aren’t really stuffed carcasses).

So, the video below is a 20-minute look into the world of taxidermy. More specifically, it is a look into the Olympics of taxidermy, and it’s actually a pretty interesting documentary short. It’s well shot, edited, and the production value is very solid. And the story line is really solid. It draws you in and holds your attention. Well at least it did with me, but then again I do have a morbid attraction to this subject.

Back in the first world.

photoAfter 14 days in South Africa, I have a few observations. Before I list them I am going to say this. I had a great trip. The team was amazing, and we got tons of footage for the film. In addition we built playground equipment for school children that have absolutely nothing. I mean nothing, they are beyond impoverished. I’m glad I went and I feel like I made a difference even if it was in the smallest of ways. Now here are some things I took note of, some funny, some interesting, and some that just pissed me off.

They have meat flavored potato chips. yes meat flavored and they are surprisingly good.

They eat loads of meat, potatoes, and pasta. not much in the way of salads. If you are a vegetarian, South Africa will be tough for you.

The drivers are insane.

The country has an unemployment rate of over 30 percent. This means many people are desperate for money and the like. This is why Johannesburg is the most dangerous city in the world.

Apartheid might be over, but little has changed for people of color in South Africa. The law might say you have equal rights but chances are you won’t be treated that way.

There is a HIV positive rate of 47% amongst women in South Africa, yet the government thinks it is a good idea to legalize prostitution for the World cup soccer games next year. This is so they can tax the prostitutes. What the hell are they thinking? Hey let’s make it legal so 150 thousand plus tourists can be exposed to a 47 percent chance of getting infected.

The country is absolutely beautiful.

Wild animals in the game parks are really wild and they will eat you or maul you if you get to close. No, I did not find this out first hand.

36 hours of travel time to get to South Africa is really really rough.

The announcement on the flights was punctuated with this phrase, “PAIN PROGRESS” it should read PA IN PROGRESS. I think PAIN PROGRESS is more accurate.

There is no high speed internet in South Africa

Afrikaans is one messed up language

Did I mention meat flavored potato chips?

There are rich people and poor people in South Africa. There is hardly any middle class at all.

South Africa is really huge. It takes for ever to get from point A to B because it is a massive country. We drove no less than 4 hours between all the cities we travelled to. Twice it was over 9 hours.photo(2)