April 03, 2017

An important note and thank you to the readers of this blog

Dear readers and friends,

It is with much sadness that we must let you know that the author of this blog, Rosie, passed away a few days ago, 3 months after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

Rosie bravely underwent the recommended  chemotherapy and radiation treatment, as well as some adjunct alternative therapies, alas this type of tumour is rarely survived.

Rosie was a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, and will be lovingly remembered by many friends and relatives.

We thank you for your readership, it has meant a great deal to Rosie - she loved doing this blog - and hope we can continue this blog in a special way, in Rosie's memory.

Thank you,
George, 4 April 2017

January 05, 2017

Oldest Known Member Of Southern B.C. Killer Whale Pod Believed Dead

                                         Hamilton Spectator


VANCOUVER — The death of a whale considered the oldest in the West Coast's southern resident population could particularly affect one animal who may have lost yet another adoptive mother, a wildlife biologist says. 

Brad Hanson of the Seattle-based Northwest Fisheries Science Center said an orca dubbed J2 and also known as Granny has not been spotted since mid-October and is believed to have died. 

He said that while some estimates put Granny's age at over 100, researchers determined through a biopsy sample nearly two years ago that she was between her mid-60s and early 80s. 

She was considered a matriarch of the J-pod, which is one of three family groups of southern resident killer whales.

J-pod now has about 24 members, including L87, who joined the clan about two years ago, Hanson said. 

"L87 is actually an L-pod member but he lost his mom a number of years ago and he gravitated over to K-pod and hung out with an older female there until she passed," Hanson said Tuesday from Seattle. "Ironically, he went to J-pod so it'll be interesting to see what L87 does now because these adult males are used to staying with their mother their entire life." 

Hanson said male whales sometimes die soon after their mother's death and that females tend to outlive them by up to three decades.

The movement of the entire J-pod will be of interest to scientists because Granny was seen as leading the group since the 1970s, he said. 

"These animals are so long-lived relative to a lot of other wildlife populations that it's an unprecedented situation. And I expect that we may learn some new things about how killer whale societies adjust to these changes." 

At least two other females in the J-pod, including J16 and J19, were also born in the 1970s and could take on the matriarch role, Hanson said, adding J14 died last summer and that the number of older female whales is dwindling. 

"We believe these older females are the keepers of corporate knowledge, if you will, so where (the pod) goes and when they go there, somebody has to make that initial decision." 

Hanson said the J-pod spends most of its time in the northern Strait of Georgia or the western part of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and don't trek very far south to the Washington coast, unlike the K and L pods, which also venture as far as California. 

The Center for Whale Research in Washington state said in a statement on its website that it does not know what killed Granny and that she was the eldest within the three family pods of endangered southern resident whales. 

The centre said the total number of southern resident whales has fallen to 78. 

The loss of Granny comes less than a month after J34, an 18-year-old male member of J-pod, was found washed up on a Sechelt beach after apparently being hit by something, and the October death of J28, a female with a one-year-old calf. 

Southern resident killer whales, which almost exclusively eat salmon, were listed as endangered in 2005.

The Canadian Press

Whale-watching in Australia 
Blue Whales Numbers Recover To Pre-hunting Days Says Study

January 01, 2017

Patsy Cline’s I Fall to Pieces: The Tragic Tale Of A Country Idol


Sadly not unique. A very talented singer who unfortunately was but one of the few who had to struggle like this.
The postwar country music scene was a frontier land of drunks, swindlers and scammers.
There were thousands of venues and as many bands and singers entertaining Americans before televisions flickered in every home. These were mostly poor people, and the entertainers and their audiences would travel hundreds of kilometres for a show. 

The performers were a tight- knit community working in a brutal trade of gruelling tours and thieving promoters. It was a cash business and they were sometimes robbed. It was common for performers to carry a gun — like Buddy Holly, whose .22 pistol was found near his plane’s crash site. The Holly crash also claimed the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens.

Driving to gigs could be equally perilous: country singers Johnny Horton and Betty Jack Davis were both killed travelling between shows.

This was the world over which Patsy Cline briefly ruled with a short run of beautifully produced country crossover hits driven by her pure contralto. Pioneering a movement later dubbed “countrypolitan”, Cline led a revival of sorts as more traditional music was sidelined by the rock ’n’ roll phenomenon.

Virginia Patterson Hensley was named after the state in which she was born in 1932. Her parents were working poor and after her father left home she dropped out of school for a series of menial jobs before asking the local disc jockey if she could sing on his show. It went well and the soon-to-be-renamed Patsy started performing around the state and coming to the attention of rising country star Jimmy Dean. About the same time she married Gerald Cline.

Like many stars of the era, and lacking confidence, Patsy Cline signed a hopelessly restrictive contract and found she could record only material also published by her record company. After a series of honky-tonk duds, she chanced on a Kay Starr reject — Walkin’ After Midnight. It took off, reaching No 12 in January 1957 on what by the end of the year would be renamed Billboard’s Hot 100.

But it was a false dawn, and Cline remained shackled by her contract until 1960. Signing with Decca, she quickly relaunched her career with the glorious ballad I Fall to Pieces, one of the most distinctive hits of the era. It went to No 1 on the country charts and glanced Billboard’s top 10.

But as I Fall to Pieces made its way to the top, Cline did just that: on June 14, 1960 she was almost killed in a head-on car crash in Nashville. Cline was in hospital for a month and shaken by the near-death experience that left scarring on her forehead but, on crutches, she returned to touring almost immediately.

She soon scored another hit with one of Willie Nelson’s first compositions, Crazy, and became the first female country star to headline her own shows. She had a full book of them when, on January 25, 1963, disc jockey Cactus Jack Call, an old friend, was killed in a Missouri car crash, setting off an extraordinary series of events.

On March 2, Cline played a concert with Tex Ritter and Jerry Lee Lewis. She and others on the bill agreed to perform at a fundraiser in Kansas City the following day to help out Call’s widow. Cline gave three performances, finally appearing in a white chiffon gown and singing I Fall to Pieces.

With the airport fogged in, they stayed the night, but her manager and pilot, the recently licensed Randy Hughes, who had less than 50 hours’ flying experience, decided to take off into the poor weather the next day. “Don’t worry about me,” Cline told her friend Dottie West, who was driving back. “When it’s my time to go, it’s my time.”

Unable to read the instruments in the heavy weather, Hughes lost control and the plane went down outside Camden, Tennessee. Cline and Hughes were killed alongside Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins.

One of the first on the scene the next morning was singer Roger Miller, a friend of all on board. He found the Piper Cherokee crashed nose down and everyone dead. “Oh my god, there they were. It was ghastly,” he said years later.

After the bodies were removed, local looters stole personal effects from the scattered wreckage, including the chiffon dress and Cline’s concert payment.

Cline was 30 and left a son and daughter by her second marriage, to Charles Dick, who died last year aged 81.

Not long after setting out from his home in Tennessee to attend Cline’s funeral, her old friend and label mate from those days on the road, singer-guitarist Jack Anglin, rounded a bend at high speed, lost control of his car and was killed instantly.

Below: Dwight Yoakam
Long White Cadillac

Allegedly about  Hank Williams.

The Blasters song by Mister Yoakam, a tribute the father of Country Music, Hank Williams
Enjoy and please visit http://www.dwightyoakam.com/
Live version by the Blasters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb2xyj...
By Alan Howe

Dwight Yoakam Plots 'Revival' - New Album Out This Year

Gram Parsons - "Return of the Grievous Angel" - Another Favourite Song

Dwight Yoakam: New Album 'Second Hand Heart"

Dwight Yoakam: Another Favourite Singer of Mine - Still Blurring the Lines 

Gram Parsons - "Return of the Grievous Angel" - Another Favourite Song

Dwight Yoakam: Meandering Through The Americana Camp
Dwight Yoakam’s Rock Roots
Dwight Yoakam Names His Top Five David Bowie Songs

Gram Parsons And Rick Nelson: Early Pioneers of 'California Dreaming'

Dwight Yoakam to Release Special Edition Vinyl

 Dixie: Elvis Presley — An Anthem Of The American South

Edith Piaf: In search of La Vie en Rose

100 Greatest Movie Characters 

The African Queen Sails Again

George Hurrell: Stars of the Silver Screen Immortalized By Master of the Hollywood Glamor Photo 

Daniel Day-Lewis Receives A Knighthood 

Frank Sinatra: 100 Years of Great Music - December 12th

Oscar Winners 2016: The Full List

How Sergio Leone’s Westerns Changed Cinema 

Top 10 Movie Twists of All Time

Joni Mitchell: Why She Blocked Taylor Swift For Biopic Role 

Burt Bacharach Brings Back The Hits: From Marlene Dietrich to Glastonbury 

Rick Nelson Validated

How Los Angeles and Hollywood Took Rock ‘N’ Roll Around The World

Rock Around the Clock: B-side Find Accidentally Launched Rock Anthem 

Tina Turner: What’s Age Got To Do With It? 

Sylvester Stallone: Not Feeling Old!

Hedy Lamarr - Beauty And Brains in Abundance

Charlie Chaplin: The Birth Of The Tramp

Carlos Gardel And The Tango In Movies 

"Rush" - An Under-rated Ron Howard Movie

Audrey Hepburn Quotes 

John Lennon Born 75 Years Ago Today 

From New York to Las Vegas: How the Rat Pack Influenced Modern American Culture

A Look at a Legend: Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor Quotes

Top 10 Best Actress Oscar Winners Ever? 

Some Like It Hot - Still!

Robert Mitchum: Film Noir Legend 

Clint Eastwood - A True "Renaissance Man" - Updated

John Wayne 7th Most Popular Star - Still!

How Marlon Brando Almost Missed His Defining Role

Top 10 Best Actress Oscar Winners Ever?
The Book Every Movie Lover Should Own:David Thomson’s New Biographical Dictionary of Film

Hollywood's 100 Favorite Films

Paul Newman - Hollywood Legend 

Rita Hayworth - The Dancing Queen

Orry-Kelly:The untold story Of A Hollywood legend - "Women He's Undressed" Review

The Latest James Bond Movie - SPECTRE And How The End Of The Cold War Changed Spy Fiction - Updated

Top 10 Movie Sets Ever Built

A Look at a Legend: Rita Hayworth

The Importance of Costume in Films: Some Iconic Images of our Culture

A Look at a Legend: James Dean
Dolly Parton: A Biography Movie And A Time Capsule For Her 100th Birthday

Maggie Smith: Michael Coveney’s Biography 

The Best Movies of 2015

Sophia Loren Quotes 

Michael Douglas: The Hemsworth Brothers And Hugh Jackman Are Hollywood Gold 

After Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, The Hemsworths, Where Are The Men Of The Movies? 
Alfred Hitchcock: Mysteries Of The Master Of Suspense

How Groucho Marx Invented Modern Comedy

Marilyn Monroe: Fashioning The Myth And The Reality

Loretta Lynn

Gregory Peck: Hollywood Legend 
A History Of Mick Jagger On Film

Florence Foster Jenkins: Meryl Streep's Latest Biopic

Citizen Kane: Orson Welles’s Masterpiece, As A 1941 NYT Critic Saw It

"The Man Who Knew Infinity" Review - Jeremy Irons And Dev Patel

New Book: Mom In The Movies By Richard Corliss

The 100 Greatest American Films

Loving Vincent: The World's First Fully Painted Film 

The Lasting Legacy Of The Good, The Bad And the Ugly

Are These The Top 10 Songs Named After Famous People?

Dean Martin: 99 Years Of His Music and Movies

Judy Garland: Happy Birthday!
Marilyn Monroe: Her Secret Diary

The Rolling Stones: A New Movie About The Making of 'Exile on Main Street'

Jennifer Saunders And Joanna Lumley Return In Absolutely Fabulous The Movie 

Biopics Now Focus On Key Moments Rather Than A Whole Life 

Clint Eastwood's Latest Biopic - Sully

10 Historical Movies That Mostly Get It Right

Long-Lost Peter Sellers Films Found In Rubbish Skip

Are These The Top 10 Comedy Actors of All Time?

Happy Birthday, Julie Andrews! 

Happy Birthday Dame Angela Lansbury!

Happy Birthday Grace Kelly!

December 23, 2016

Merry Chrismas and a Happy New Year!

Another year gone, another on the way.

Hopefully this one will be even better!

There are some adults in charge again!                                                                       


December 16, 2016

Sabrina:A Sumatran/Bengal tiger,



Sabrina, a Sumatran/Bengal tiger, was born in 1998.  She was clinging to life when authorities found her and two other tigers in the backyard of a rural Texas home.  Sabrina and her two sons were left to fend for themselves after their owner passed away.  It was ten days before anyone knew the owner had passed or that three tigers were baking in the Texas heat with no food and little water.  Sabrina had somehow escaped her enclosure and authorities had to sedate her to get her into a travel trailer.

See photos from Sabrina’s rescue here.
Unfortunately, her story doesn’t end there.  Sabrina was then left in the trailer for over a week before being brought to Pride Rock Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Here Sabrina got some much needed food and water as she was severely dehydrated and very malnourished.  After hearing Sabrina’s triumphant story of survival, we knew we had a place for her here at the Sanctuary.

Why Wild Animals Shouldn’t Be Pets: A ManageMyLife.com article mentioning Sabrina’s story.

Sabrina arrived in the spring of 2010 very frightened and confused.  She had lost the only home she knew and was very nervous around new people.  After months of working with Sabrina, she finally came out of her shell.  It was a group effort to rescue Sabrina and her two sons and we thank Pride Rock Wildlife Refuge for their immediate help in the rescue, Peace River Refuge who provided a home for Sabrina’s sons and donors who provided support so we could help Sabrina.

Today, Sabrina is a totally different cat than when she first arrived.  She chuffs to her tiger neighbors and can sleep peacefully even when strangers are around.  She enjoys getting new enrichment and likes to shred any boxes.  She really likes snowmen and even made a huge snowball herself after rolling one of the segments around her habitat.  In the summer, she soaks in her pool and takes long naps on her perch.  Her amazing transformation inspires us all and reminds us that we can make a difference.

You can help provide daily care for Sabrina by becoming her sponsor.  

Your help will be greatly appreciated.

With many thanks to Wildcat Sanctuary 


Some related posts: 
Surprising Facts About Our Favorite Big Cats

Earliest Big Cat Fossil Found in Tibet

The Serengeti Lion: An Exquisite National Geographic Project 

Buddhist Monks and The "Tiger Temple" of Kanchanaburi

Lion Cub Triplets Raise Hope for The Endangered Asiatic Lion

The Siberian Tiger

Bornean Marbled Cat: An Ultra-rare Cat Species Captured On Camera

Iranian Cheetah Sighting Gives Hope To Conservation Efforts

Cincinnati Zoo Cheetah Sets New World Speed Record!

Snow Leopard and Cubs at Magdeburg Zoo

Swimming Tigers at Australia Zoo

Another Chance for Three Orphaned Tiger Cubs

Golden Tabby Tigers

Lion Protector, Shivani Bhalla Helps Big Cats and People Coexist 

Asher Jay: Art Of The Matter

India’s Wild Tiger Population Has Increased 30% Since 2010

A Tiger Sets Out For Independence

World Lion Day: Some Stunning Images Of The King Of The Jungle

Two Snow Leopard Cubs Born at Brookfield Zoo

White Lions - A Royal Family 

Lions Gain New Endangered Species Protections

Leopard Hunting Banned in South Africa For Remainder of 2016

Africa’s Big Five Animals

A Hidden Population Of Up To 200 Lions Has Been Found In Ethiopia

Tigers Are Coming Back!

Russia Builds A Huge Tunnel To Save A Near-Extinct Group of Leopards

Tracking Sumatran Tigers

30 Tiger Zoos In Thailand Face Nationwide Checks

The Black Panther

Russia's 'Extinct' Persian Leopards Reintroduced To Black Sea Mountains

Why Big Cat Rescue Doesn’t Have Cheetah or Jaguars 

 The Best Big Cat Videos Come From The Wild

Pallas's Cats To Get Their Own 'Palace' In Siberian Mountains

Amur Tiger Release

Over 100 Tigers Killed And Trafficked Each Year

Last Wild Ocelots In Texas Get New Paths To Safety