Watching Our Water Ways

Environmental reporter Christopher Dunagan discusses the challenges of protecting Puget Sound and all things water-related.
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Posts Tagged ‘Humor’

Amusing Monday: Between polar bears and penguins

Monday, August 1st, 2011

In searching for amusing material, I came to realize that polar bears and penguins have developed an amazing friendship — at least in cartoons and amusing videos.

The examples are numerous, and I’ll share some of my favorites with you now:

1. A dancing bear who has moved in with a penguin angers the bird with his wasteful use of water. This video was produced for Environment Agency UK. (Click on the video player at right. And, of course, the “full screen” version is available.)

2. Apparently, a male polar bear can develop a close cross-species relationship with a female penguin, but he’d better watch what he says. The second video on this page is from 4Mations, another UK website dedicated to interesting and funny cartoons.

3. Friendship. Did I mention friendship? Check out this shocking promo for King Pundit.

4. Who can forget the Coke commercial in which the polar bear family accidentally invades a Christmas party being held by a large group of penguins?

5. Here’s one called “Cold Friendship,” but I have to admit that its subtle message runs a little too deep for me to locate.

6. Animal Planet’s series called “Animals Save the Planet” includes a cartoon about the benefits of energy-saving light bulbs. I’m not sure if the penguin is a slave or just enjoys a lot of exercise.

7. Someone put a couple of wildlife videos together to demonstrate the different lifestyles of penguins and polar bears. (By the way, I’ve heard that polar bears crawl along thin ice to reduce the risk of breaking through.)

While I enjoy all this paring of polar bears and penguins, I have to wonder how they ever got together. Polar bears live in the Arctic on the top side of the world, while penguins live in the Antarctic on the bottom.

Copyright David Farley. Used with permission of the artist.

Cartoonist Dave Farley has his own vision about what would happen if these two species ever got together. See cartoon at right. Check out Dave’s complete archive of cartoons at the Dr. Fun website.

Now on a more serious note, an online magazine called “Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears” has been written for elementary school teachers who wish to integrate science and literature. It’s a good place for anyone to learn about the polar regions of the Earth. According to the website’s creators, the first step toward understanding the two poles is to “develop a sense of place,” realizing that the Arctic and Antarctic are very different environments.


Amusing Monday: The fear of seafood

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Seattle chef Becky Selengut, an expert in Northwest seafood, has been promoting her new book “Good Fish” about how to select and prepare seafood.

For a reporter, it would be obvious to interview her about the methods of cooking, unique dishes from the sea or “sustainable” seafood. I was amused by the approach taken by KUOW’s Megan Sukys, who talked with Selengut about how she overcame her early fears of eating seafood. Check out the report on KUOW, which includes an account of Becky’s uncle, who frightened a young girl as she tried unsuccessfully to chew up a clam for the first time.

The story reminded me of an incident involving my seafood-shy wife Sue, who never has been able to embrace the richness of Northwest seafood the way I do. If you ask Sue to try a bite of fish or shellfish, she demands to know, “Does it taste fishy?”

I never know how to answer this. If it tasted like chicken or steak, it would not be seafood. But I know what she means. Fish that is fresh always tastes better than the same item left on the shelf too long. The trouble is my tolerance for “fishy” is higher than hers.

Sue generally avoids shellfish as well, because — like a young Becky Selengut — she can’t stomach anything she can’t thoroughly chew up.

In 1992, Sue accompanied me to an awards ceremony in Olympia, where the book “Hood Canal: Splendor at Risk” was being recognized with a Governor’s Writing Award. Gov. Booth Gardner, who was in office at the time, presented the awards and invited everyone to a reception at the Washington Governor’s Mansion.

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Amusing Monday: A few Navy, Coast Guard jokes

Monday, January 17th, 2011

I thought it would be great to pass along some water-related jokes linked to the Navy or Coast Guard. In searching the Internet, I found a few good ones, some clean and some dirty. It seems that most of the good jokes have simply been revised and recycled again and again through the years. There are plenty of bad jokes I would just as well forget.

Here are my favorites that seem suitable for general audiences. If you have heard a good joke about the military that you can share in good conscience, please feel free to write it down in the comments section below. If you know the source or remember where you first heard the joke, please mention that as well.
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Amusing Monday: Pictorial twists on words

Monday, November 15th, 2010

This week I’m offering a bunch of visual puns, which use photos or drawings to help formulate special plays on words.

I bring these to you from the website somuchpun.com, where I found some amusing pictures last June and featured them in an “Amusing Monday” June 14 in Water Ways.

Besides the picture/word play, it is sometimes fun to read what people say in comments below each item. (Click on the picture.) Needless to say, some people are better than others with their punny comments.

funny puns - Thanks for the Advice Nemo!
see more So Much Pun

So that’s how you tuna fish

funny puns-So THAT's How You Tuna Fish!
see more So Much Pun
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Amusing Monday: Do these videos float your boat?

Monday, November 1st, 2010

This week’s “Amusing Monday” is an experiment of sorts. It’s well understood that we humans often laugh when things surprise us. If the people involved recover from an unexpected event, we call it humor. If they don’t, we call it tragedy.

Hooked while jumping / From funnyhub.com

Some people find the following videos involving boat accidents quite funny, as revealed in the comments that follow on YouTube. Some people express concern for the people who were caught unaware.

I hope you find these amusing, since it appears that few of the people in the videos were seriously injured. But I would be interested to hear your viewpoints about what makes accidents humorous — or not.

Restored ship launched with great excitement.

He forgot to slow down.

Not all boats are built the same.

Watch out for that first step!

They don’t make boats like they used to.

I didn’t know that boats could fly.


Amusing Monday: When a joke becomes a graph

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Are you familiar with the website Graph Jam?

It turns out that a graph or a diagram can be a brilliant way to tell a joke or drive home a point of view. Since it takes a moment to analyze the graph, the punchline is delayed. I suppose the joke is lost on those totally unable to read a graph.

Gayle Leonard, who features water humor in her offbeat blog “Thirsty in Suburbia,” found some fun with images related to water. I’ve added a few others. Click on any image to jump over to the original post, or visit the latest entries at Graph Jam, where you will discover plenty of funny graphs unrelated to water issues.

Funny graphs and charts
see more Funny Graphs

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Amusing Monday: The word play is the thing

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Are you a person who likes puns? Personally, I’ve found that some people are far more punny than others.

I’m kind of in the middle. Some of my friends have laughed hysterically at certain kinds of word play, as I sit there wondering why I’m not amused.

I do enjoy some of the structured stories in which the punch line is a familiar phrase turned backward. According to Wikipedia, these punny stories are called feghoots. Here’s one:

Fishermen on the lake: Two fishermen were out on the lake when one of them dropped his wallet. As they watched the wallet float down to the depths of the lake, a carp came along and snatched up the wallet. Soon came another carp who stole it away and then a third joined in. Remarked one of the fisherman, “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen carp-to-carp walleting.”

I know there are better ones. I encourage you to share your favorites.

One kind of pun uses drawings or photographs to create the play. The Internet has become a great way to share these image-based ideas. I’ve borrowed a few of these from somuchpun.com.

One amusing feature of the site is that each entry contains comments from people struggling to use puns to contribute to the discussion.

Finding water on Mars

Here are some more image-based puns from the site

Mug shots

Ask Nietzsche

Fruit cocktail

Censorship

T-Mobile

I shot the serif


Amusing Monday: Joking about the environment

Monday, March 29th, 2010

After poking fun at business and technology for years, “cyber-satirist” Bob Hirschfeld takes aim at the environmental movement. Although he supports the “green lifestyle,” he is able to point out humor that results from the bureaucracy and everyday chores involved in trying to save the environment.

That’s not as easy as you might think.

The 10-minute video at right presents excerpts recorded during a Hirschfeld presentation before a business group. I usually don’t offer videos of this length in “Amusing Monday,” but I found his humor to be rather engaging.

(Skip over the first minute of testimonials if you want to get into his standup routine.)

Water-related jokes from the video:
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"In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught."Baba Dioum, Senegalese conservationist

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