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My Benjamin Netanyahu Story March 8, 2012

Posted by judylobo in Jewish Stuff, Photography, Politics, Religion, wildlife, Zoos.
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My friends are now rolling their eyes and saying ‘Nooooo – not the Benjamin Netanyahu story AGAIN!’ But since he is back in the news as the Prime Minister of Israel some stories just need to resurface. So here goes –

Time: March 2001

Place: The Central Park Zoo

Background: As a long time volunteer Zoo Guide in the education department at the Central Park Zoo I was asked ‘if I minded’ giving a tour to the recently ousted Prime Minister of Israel and his young family. Did I mind? Did I mind? (We Jews like to repeat ourselves). Heck, no.  I was thrilled.

Story: So after the formal introductions, Bibi, his wife, their two young sons, two undercover Israeli agents, two under cover NYPD officers and the head of security at the Central Park Zoo and I took off for an informal tour of the Zoo. The boys were excited, the Netanyahu parents seemed relaxed and the under cover officers were tense. I was trying to look cool, calm and collected. The only Hebrew I could recall was ‘shalom’ and how often can you say that on a zoo tour?

Meat of the story: As we toured the upstairs close-up gallery in the tropical rain forest we stopped at the tarantula exhibit. I spoke for a very short while about tarantulas. The boys and Bibi were fascinated by the creepy crawly critters.

I say to Bibi – “Do you have tarantulas in Israel?”

Without skipping a beat, looking straight into my eyes, Bibi replied – ‘”Only in politics”.

Oh yes, he was good. Very good. I just wish he were not such a hawk. Oh well. That is my Benjamin Netanyahu story. The above photo was taken of us by Tom,  the head of Zoo Security. I told Tom at the time that if the photo did not come out – I would have to kill him.

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Net Neutrality, Shmet Neutrality April 7, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Animal Videos, Photography, Politics, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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Oh oh – you think the Tea Partiers are CRAZY?  Wait until the people rise up when they learn (and understand) that their Internet provider could some day, in the very near future, decide which websites will be fast or slow to view.

“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacks authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks. That was a big victory for Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest cable company, which had challenged the FCC’s authority to impose such “network neutrality” obligations on broadband providers.”

So, if I understand this correctly, The FCC, which is supposed to be in charge of the nation’s infrastructure system has NO authority to regulate broadband?  Oy vey. We are so screwed.  Raise your hand if you think that a win for Comcast can possibly be good for you.

In other news – a recent poll stated that 18% of the country had never heard of the Tea Party.  What could this possibly mean?  Where have these people been?  What do they watch?  What do they read?

This is the sound I made when I heard the above news:

An Unsettled Base (that would be us) April 1, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Animal Videos, Links, Photography, Politics, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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–  President Obama’s base (that would be us) is unsettled. Yes, we are happy that heath care reform was passed, but boy oh boy, it sure was a messy process and we almost gave away the kitchen sink.

It seems that the Obama team, complete with a forest full of olive branches to  offer to the ‘party of NO,’ is confident that no matter what cockamamie idea is offered – we will still vote for the ‘team.’  The sad part of that political position is that they are probably right.  What other choice do we have?  We have seen the other side and it sure ain’t pretty.

So now we are presented with the idea of some offshore drilling. Huh? A big sigh can be heard throughout Blue Land.  I understand what the ‘team’ is doing but it sure is not pretty. The Repugnants are already screaming that it is not enough and it will be interesting to see if any of the Repugnants step out on line when a vote comes to the floor on Energy.

–  Along with the messy upcoming fight on energy we have the ongoing fight on Financial Reform.  This one might be fun to watch as the Repugnants shout from the roof tops in favor of the big banks and against a Consumer Protection Agency and regulatory laws.

I see the Obama team, with all of their olive branches, veering further to the right with each ‘victory.’  Before you know it, President Obama will be the second best Republican President ever (after of course, Bill Clinton).

–  Yesterday’s news about the federal judge’s ruling that government investigators illegally wiretapped the phone conversations of an Islamic charity and two American lawyers without a search warrant was a BIG thing.  Basically the ruling says that the Bush Administration program of illegal wiretapping (without FISA) was unconstitutional. “The ruling came after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the lawsuit threatened to expose ongoing intelligence work and must be thrown out. In making the argument, the Obama administration agreed with the Bush administration’s position on the case but insisted it came to the decision differently. Holder’s effort to stop the lawsuit marked the first time the administration has tried to invoke the state secrets privilege. Under the strategy, the government can have a lawsuit dismissed if hearing the case would jeopardize national security. Holder said Judge Walker had been given a classified description of why the case must be dismissed so the court could “conduct its own independent assessment of our claim.” That was a departure from the Bush administration, which resisted providing specifics to judges handling such cases about what the national security concerns were. Holder previously said the administration would respect the outcome of Walker’s review’.

–  And just for fun watch this little Cotton Top Tamarin lick his window clean at the Central Park Zoo.

The Great White Ugly March 28, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Animal Videos, art, Dogs and cats, Links, Photography, Politics, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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– The great white anger of the day is ugly to watch and baffling to those of us who live in diverse communities. Living in NYC is a bit like living near the Tower of Babel.  I hear different languages, see different colors, races and cultures everyday and like to believe I am richer for that privilege. The anger out there is all about fear. The United States these crazies used to know (or believe they knew) is fading into the distance. You think it is a coincidence that these same angry people do not want to fulfill the Constitutional obligation of a Census?  They are afraid the numbers will be even worse than they think.  Nobody says it better than Frank Rich.  Check out his column today for the real reason those very angry white people are hurling invectives and making overt threats.
‘That a tsunami of anger is gathering today is illogical, given that what the right calls “Obamacare” is less provocative than either the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Medicare, an epic entitlement that actually did precipitate a government takeover of a sizable chunk of American health care. But the explanation is plain: the health care bill is not the main source of this anger and never has been. It’s merely a handy excuse. The real source of the over-the-top rage of 2010 is the same kind of national existential reordering that roiled America in 1964.’

– Yesterday President Obama did what many Presidents do (for the record, when Bush did the same thing it made me crazy)- he made recess appointments. He cleared 15 nominees to assume posts that have remained vacant for months due to insurmountable congressional roadblocks. Among the 15 named just days before the Senate departs for Easter recess are Craig Becker and Mark Pearce, the White House’s two, hotly contested nominees for the National Labor Relations Board.  Check out the article from THE HILL for the other names and details.

–  Check out Antony Gormley’s 31 life size sculptures in the Madison Square Park neighborhood through August 15, 2010. It is a great way to enjoy my neighborhood with its rich history and great architecture. See if you can  find all 31 sculptures and you never know – you might catch me and my dog Benny sniffing around.  Yes, that is Benny in the above photo doing his ‘art critic’ thing once again.

–  My latest video features one minute of the fabulous new penguin feeding regimen at the Central Park Zoo. You can see our new King Penguins along with the Gentoo and the Chinstraps. It’s a fish frenzy of fun!

Zoos and Bold Faced Names February 15, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Animal Stories, Photography, wildlife, Zoos.
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Zoos are a great place for spotting bold faced names.  Having been a volunteer at the Central Park Zoo for over 20 years I can attest to that fact. There is an anonymity about a zoo that works for a celebrity because most of the people are looking at the animals and not at the other zoo visitors.

Anyway, while out walking my dog, Benny around 7PM last night I missed a phone call from my nephew in-law. (Anyone know what you actually call a guy who is married to one’s niece)?  It was Mike, excitedly calling from his car on the way home from the Oakland Zoo, that he just e-mailed me a photo of someone he met at the zoo. I immediately opened my trusty MacBook Pro to find the above photo of Mike smiling along with  Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos.

MIke told me when I phoned that the family, after completing their Zoo visit, was taking advantage of the kiddy rides directly adjacent to the zoo, when he spotted what he thought was someone he knew.  After a closer inspection he realized in was Markos Moulitsas and uncharacteristically approached him.  He acknowledged the fact that it, indeed, was the Daily Kos guy, and Mike’s sister, Jen took this photo.  Mike, his sister Jen and I are big fans of Markos. Very, very cool.

FYI – Markos used to be a Republican but changed his allegiance after a stint in the army.

My own favorite Zoo happenstance was a few years ago when I spotted a scruffy looking Keith Olbermann and his lady friend by the polar bear habitat.  I took a photo through the glass at the other side of the exhibit and then approached them.  We had a long chit chat about our polar bears, Gus and ida, and then I told him I was a BIG fan and thanked him for his work.

Snow Day in the Big Apple February 10, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Animal Stories, Animal Videos, Dogs and cats, Photography, Politics, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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It is a snow day in the Big Apple.  School’s are closed, all of the City Zoo’s are closed and the streets are very quiet. It has been snowing for about eight hours and so far, it is not a big to do. The photo above is of my dog Benny as art critic.  He sniffed the half built snowman and then chose to pee right on it. Good job!

–  Now that corporations can buy any politician they might want to own, here is a list of the 50 Richest Members of Congress.  Why does that matter?  It will be interesting to see if the 50 richest are effected from this latest Un-Supreme decision. Check out Rollcall.com‘s list. Just click column headers to resort the chart; click Members’ names to see descriptions of their assets. FYI – My Rep., Carolyn Maloney is #20.

Here are some photos of a really BIG snow storm in 2006.

Last year, during one of our major snow storms I took photos of some of the gargoyle’s, creatures and beasties around the neighborhood.  Let’s revisit these spooky guys.


Newest Kid on the Block January 24, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Animal Stories, Animal Videos, Photography, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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The Central Park Zoo welcomed its newest addition on January 12th. Little Abe is a cross between a Nigerian dwarf goat and a Nubian goat and joins the other four mini-Nubian goats, Ace, the male, and females Angel (Abe’s mother), Monique, and Spirit. They live in the Tisch Children’s Zoo alongside the pygmy goats and Newman, the zoo’s famous full-sized Nubian.

Watch little Abe as he romps around his new home.

Crime and Punishment November 17, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Animal Stories, Photography, Politics, wildlife, Zoos.
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I went to see House of the Dead at the Metropolitan Opera last night.  Yes, the opera.  I like to fill my life with a bit of highbrow culture to balance out the lowbrow stuff that fills my life. To clarify, an opera loving friend (yes, one of those Ring Nuts you hear about) chooses the operas for me each year.  She knows I only like operas that are dark, depressing where lots of people suffer and/or die. No fluffy stuff for me. The House of the Dead is based on the writings of Dostoyevsky, a guy who knew a lot about crime and punishment.

There is much ado about bringing the masterminds of the 9/11 attacks to the Big Apple to stand trial.  For a change, I scratch my heard at the fuss. Has our Constitution been so shredded that people do not think that the legal system can stand on its own and mete out justice according to our laws?

As soon as motor mouth Rudy Giuliani starts banging the drum I know it is time to see what’s going on.  Rudy still lives with a 2001 calendar. He is one annoying dude who refuses to move along.  He has made a fortune off his moments of 9/11 fame and sounds the drum of ‘Danger, Will Robinson, Danger’ whenever someone will listen.

I am going to watch this trial (which might take two years to get to court) closely.  I only hope that it is not my turn to serve on the Jury.  Or then again, maybe that would be a good thing.

He will not wake up and see that the country is trying to move along.  His disastrous run for Repugnant nominee in the last round should be proof enough.  But, alas, he just cannot help himself.  He forgets that in 2009 we have video of his double speak.

Watch Jon Stewart skewers Rudy here. “We’ve all heard that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed will be tried in New York. Would you believe that Rudy Giuliani expressed conflicting opinions about trying terrorists on American soil before and after he learned he would never be president”?

Speaking of loudmouths – Stephen Colbert says ‘adios’ to Lou Dobbs: http://rawstory.com/rawreplay/?p=4294

If you missed my Sunday photo montage, check out the Central Park Zoo  snow monkeys. They were given a mirror as part of the Zoo’s ongoing enrichment program.  I happened to be at the habitat when they discovered this new addition to their home and watched their reactions.

Sprint or Marathon? November 1, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Animal Stories, Animal Videos, Dogs and cats, Photography, Politics, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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Halloween09Talk about strange overlaps.  While walking my dog Benny  (who does not yet acknowledge the fact that we turned the clock back an hour last night), I noticed the Halloween revelers were still walking home while the NYC Marathon buses filled with anxious runners, were headed to Staten Island to await the start later this morning.  I guess that there are both party marathoners and running marathoners, right?

medals–  Since people are taking part in both activities at the same time I decided I can write about the Marathon and still be celebrating Halloween.  So, the above photo of Benny is my little Halloween greeting to you and yours.

–  The medals featured on the left are all about my Marathon days.

–  The New York Times had a front page story this rainy Marathon morning about cheating while Marathoning. I know from my five NYC  Marathons that it is uber-tempting to cheat.  When you enter Manhattan at mile 17 you can practically smell Central Park but you still have to lumber north on first Avenue through the Bronx, turn around and then head south to the finish line. Shame, shame, shame on the cheaters.

–  My memories of those five Marathon are some of the sweetest in this addled brain.  After hanging up my running shoes six years ago, I hung up my five medals and look at them almost every day (especially when these old bones begin to ache).  Completing a marathon is like nothing else.  It is a feeling of accomplishment and empowerment.  The down side are blisters and black toes.  Those things go away – but the sweet memories linger. Benny and I waved to all of those anxious Marathoners this morning and I will be watching and cheering for them both a the gym this morning and form my couch.

–  To the Halloween revelers that are stumbling home, I say – do not forget to turn your clocks back an hour.

–  Speaking of Marathons, the seemingly never ending November elections slog on.

–  Jon Stewart joins in the chat about NYC Mayoral race.  It is all about term limits.  Must watch.

–  Jon Stewart also looks at how the Fox opinion shows influence Fox “news” reporting. “See the Fox opinion guy’s outrage becomes the ’some say’ source for the newsside. It’s a perpetual rerevulsion machine,” explained Stewart.

–  Last week’s visit to the Philadelphia provided some great images and this funny 33 second video I shot of an orangutan playing doctor with a gibbon.

-Boo at the Central Park Zoo for you:

BooBlog09

Sunday Fun August 16, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Animal Videos, Photography, wildlife, Zoos.
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Taking a break from politics today to enjoy some fabulous faces from the Central Park Zoo.

CPZ8.14.09blog

–  So what kind of toy do you give a 600 pound baby elephant? How about a 2-foot round blue plastic ball? Enrichment items such as Boomer balls are commonplace in zoos today. These toys and activities add variety and exercise to the animals lives and help to encourage their natural behaviors. As for Beco and his Boomer Ball that enrichment has double benefits it also helps mom Phoebe get a break from looking after 600 pounds of bouncing baby elephant energy.