Hot Air: The Primest Of Primates

Here’s Jane Goodall on the COVID-19 crisis:

[ h/t to Renaldo Migaldi for this. ]

Goodall raises a point not many of us have considered during this mess. Lots of these dangerous viruses arise from wild animals — specifically, humans hunting, trafficking in, and eating them. Acc’d’g to Goodall, China has banned the importing, breeding, and selling of wild animals for food across the nation in response to COVID-19. She says the novel coronavirus may well have arisen from the selling of a pangolin, or scaly anteater, in the “wet market” in Wuhan. Wet markets are collections of open-air stalls where live wild animals are sold for food in China.

Goodall & Pal.

Wild animals develop immunities to microorganisms that we may not (and vice versa). So any virus or similar bug that jumps from another species to us (or, again, vice versa) might well be dangerous or even fatal.

Jane Goodall is the long-time primatologist and anthropologist. She’s been known as an ace in the primate field since she started studying chimps in Tanzania some 60 years ago. She was 26 years old when she first traveled to what was then regarded as a savage, dangerous place. (Most of the world’s view of Africa was informed by Tarzan movies.) She sure as hell had a lot more guts than I ever would at any age.

The story goes that as a little kid, Goodall was given a stuffed chimp rather than a teddy bear. Apparently, she still keeps that stuffed chimp in her bedroom.

Anyway, Goodall is known around the world and has been named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. BTW: the UN Messenger of Peace designation, initiated in 1997, originally was a part of the UNICEF goodwill ambassadors program. And the very first UN goodwill ambassador was… Danny Kaye.

Danny Kaye, Time Magazine’s March 11, 1946 Coverboy.

Just another example of fun stuff you can discover while looking something else up.

10-Year-Old Oatmeal

The guy who writes and draws The Oatmeal recently marked his 10th anniversary putting out that fabulously funny website. His name is Matthew Inman. He lives in Seattle and, acc’d’g to a 2012 story in The Guardian, he raked in a half million bucks a year from it, a wad he richly deserves.

His takes on the relationships between dogs and people, as well as those between dogs and cats, are inspired.

In any case, as an anniversary gift to his loyal readers — and I sure as hell am one — he’s drawn up a list of ten (well, sorta ten) things he learned about making art in the past decade.

At least three times a week I make sure I don’t go to bed w/o clicking the Random button a few times on his comics page.

The World In A Roll

This is from a fellow named Mike DiGioia, with whom I used to work at a an artsy little magazine called Third Coast. It was a weird operation and people came and went like browsers at a resale shop. On a positive note I did get to be able to write a piece for it on the original Kartemquin Films boys who produced and directed the acclaimed documentary Hoop Dreams, though, so it wasn’t a total loss. Mike was pretty cool — he found a big stray dog and named it Joe — but otherwise it was a forgettable experience.

Anyway, here’s his take on the Great TP Wars and how they relate, surprisingly (or not), to what our world’s economic system has become:

There’s a finite amount of toilet paper at any given time, yet it’s enough for all of us. A minority of people bought it all up and are hoarding it and now the rest of us are looking at empty shelves. Now just scale that up to everything and that should help you understand our society in general.

Yep, That about sizes it up.

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