Penguin Pale Ale IPA

November 1, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that today is the release of Penguin Hops! This new beer was made to showcase the unknown hop varietals grown  at Chicago’s own Shedd Aquarium.

page0001_445_286_c1_center_topThe hops were steeped in the kettle at the end of the boil to impart a suppleness of their flavor and aroma to the brew. This Pale Ale style is both lighter in color and malt presence than our Iron Fist, which makes it enticing to both the craft brew enthusiast as well as the newly intrigued beer drinker. $1 from each beer sold will also be donated to the Shedd Aquarium.  Unfortunately, it’s only being sold locally in Chicago.  Of course as it’s called Penguin Hops the logo is an adorable Penguin Rockhopper!


Penguin Meats Is Not What You Think

October 30, 2014

First, let’s get this out of the way: Penguin Meat Supply Ltd. does not sell penguin meat. The company, which has been operated by the Michaluk family since 1964, processes and distributes just about every other kind of meat, however.

The Penguin Post has learned of a five decade old business in British Columbia, Canada called Penguin Meats and like we said, it’s not what you think. It’s long been a family affair at Penguin Meats in White Rock, B.C.. Run by four generations of the Michaluk family, Penguin Meats was first established by brothers Vic and Walt Michaluk and father Terry in October 1964 in Whalley, B.C. before moving to White Rock, at 1554 Johnston Rd., where it has flourished over the years.

This Saturday, the store will mark 50 years with a celebration at the retail store recognizing their longstanding staff and loyal customers. The meat shop, with the signature green awning, is where Vic and wife, Irene, raised their children, including Toni, who has worked at the shop since she was a young girl. It was there that Toni met Doug Charles, while in high school. They’ve been married for 38 years. “He was working (there) after school,” Irene explained. “Doug went to school in White Rock and at that time, we lived in North Surrey, and that’s where Toni went to school.” Decades later, Penguin is now where Toni’s sons, Ryan and Brody, work – in the Langley warehouse and the retail office, respectively. The meat shop had humble beginnings, Vic said, when it was just himself, his father and his brother running a country grocery store or milking cows on the family farm where Nicowynd Golf Course is now located. “My dad bought the farm because the Korean War had just started up, and if the Korean War was anything like Second World War or the First World War was – because he was in both – he knew the only people who had everything they needed was farmers,” he said. “The only thing they needed was sugar and coffee, the rest they had. And the sugar was used to make moonshine – very important stuff.” Buying milking cows, however, was expensive in 1952, with one cow costing upwards of $700. Then, when they became too old to milk, the cows were sold for a fraction of that amount. “So (my dad) said, ‘well, I know I can make better if I can make it into a sausage,’ so he bought a meat shop,” Vic laughed. “It was difficult at that time, because we were on a shoestring. “He had a number of businesses, but his passion was food from the old country – Ukraine. A lot of the things they used to do over there, they brought with him.” Soon, Vic’s father was introduced to two brothers who ran Penguin Delivery, and seeing the potential, invested. However, a series of events led to Vic’s father breaking off the partnership. “So he told them to pay him back or he’d take the property, and he ended up with the property, which he sold to Safeway (in Whalley),” Vic said. During that transition, Vic continued to work as a pedal-truck driver for Penguin Delivery, until his father approached him with a new offer.


After acquiring a property in White Rock through a business transaction, he was hoping to open a meat shop across the street where cement bricks were being put up, and he wanted his sons to run it with him. “I said, well, we’re doing quite well, I don’t think I want to do something like that,” Vic said. “But then he asked, what would happen if I broke my leg? Would Irene go out and look after the customers?” “I might have,” Irene laughed. And with that, Penguin Meats was established on what was then King George Highway. In 1972, Vic bought out his brother, and a year later, his father. “But (dad) still hung around. On the weekend he was the collector, ‘til the day he passed away in 1983,” Toni said. “He was actually looking at another meat-delivery endeavour,” Vic added, laughing. Over the decades, while food trends have changed, the team at Penguin Meats has stayed the same for the most part, with staffers spending decades serving customers or working in the warehouse. “We’ve had our ups and downs with the economy, but we still persevered,” Irene said. “I keep preaching to my grandchildren, people need to eat. If you look after them, they’ll always come back,” Vic added. Taking care of their customers has extended to caring for their community, with Irene noting that many times staff have played the role of directory when the phone rings with inquiries about nearby shops. “They may not know the name of the store, but they know we’ll know,” Irene laughed. The family also supports local sports, including minor baseball and minor hockey, as well as the Surrey Eagles.“We do what we can. And we want to thank everyone in the community for supporting us,” Irene said.


International Penguin Lovers FYI

October 30, 2014

Word to the penguin wise.  if you are an international penguin lover or know one, and you’re thinking about placing a holiday order with Penguin Gift Shop, please order early.  As it usually takes a week or two for international order to arrive once we ship it, as we get further into the season not only does the volume slow down packages, but they get slowed down at customs as well.  So, what may be a week or two in the off season can be two to four weeks during the holidays.  So, order early and get some penguin piece of mind.


Blessing The Penguin

October 29, 2014
A four-month-old Humboldt penguin named "Kaya" is blessed by a Catholic priest prior to its first swim Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 at the country's largest oceanarium, the Manila Ocean Park in Manila, Philippines. Kaya, born July 8, 2014, becomes the first penguin to be born in the country.

A four-month-old Humboldt penguin named “Kaya” is blessed by a Catholic priest prior to its first swim Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 at the country’s largest oceanarium, the Manila Ocean Park in Manila, Philippines. Kaya, born July 8, 2014, becomes the first penguin to be born in the country.

In this photo by Bullit Marquez, Roman Catholic priest Jacob Gomes blesses a 4-month-old Humboldt penguin before it takes its first swim at the Manila Ocean Park in the Philippines. The park launched its baby penguin attraction Wednesday and announced the winner of a contest to choose the baby’s name, Kaya, meaning competence or ability in Tagalog. Before the penguin’s first swim, it was placed in one side of a pool, separated from its penguin parents by a net. During the blessing, Gomes stressed the importance of environmental conservation and the need for people to protect all species of marine life, which are “a creation of God.” Kaya was born July 8 and is the first penguin to be born in the country. Its gender is not yet known.

World’s First Test Tube Penguin

October 29, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that a Chinstrap penguin chick which has the unglamorous title of ‘184’ until it is given a name, was hatched at SeaWorld in San Diego 12 weeks ago, though the first images of her were only made public this week.

Penguin 184’s success could help scientists restore threatened penguin populations in future

Penguin 184’s success could help scientists restore threatened penguin populations in future

184, who is the first penguin to be born via artificial insemination, represents a huge step for researchers in helping to diversify captive penguin populations and aid their studies.

Yellow-Eyed Penguin Count

October 27, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that teacher Christina Greenwood, of Wanaka, New Zealand leaves next month on an expedition to the Auckland Islands to count yellow-eyed penguins. And, she says, if previous counts are anything to go by, she will have somewhere between none and ”heaps” of penguins to count.

Ms Greenwood, who teaches geography, tourism and social studies at Cromwell College, and another teacher, Frazer Dale, from Auckland, were selected by the Sir Peter Blake Trust to join eight Department of Conservation staff and volunteers carrying out the survey at various nesting sites around the islands. The team leaves Bluff, aboard the yacht Evohe, on November 17. Ms Greenwood said she hoped the trip would benefit her pupils by increasing their awareness of the ”amazing resources” New Zealand has guardianship of and by creating connections with the trust.


Originally from the north of England, Ms Greenwood has sailed with her husband and two young daughters through the Pacific Islands but has not been south of New Zealand before. ”It might be quite a rough passage to get there and then I think we are just expecting fairly wet and windy conditions.” Ms Greenwood is a fully qualified sailing, climbing, kayaking and mountaineering instructor. Before dawn each morning, she and other team members will be dropped at points around the islands. ”We’ll end up going ashore in the dark and then walking to our counting sites. ”Because [the penguins] go out to sea at dawn, you have got to be in place before they get up.” The last estimate was done in 1989 and since 2009 Doc and the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust have been gathering data to calculate a revised population.

The penguin counting team will return to Bluff on November 30, weather permitting.

The Penguin Tango (A Review)

October 27, 2014

Why are we so fascinated by penguins? They all look alike (to us), dress well, and seem happy to bobble along across a frozen landscape as part of a more or less orderly society. Okay, so their habits bear a passing resemblance to ours — except for the orderly society part. “The Penguin Tango” the current Redhouse, in Syracuse NY exploits the similarities between us and them to delightful effect.

Inspired by the reports of bonded male penguin couples as observed in zoos around the world, Redhouse Executive Artistic Director Stephen Svoboda has used the stories of real-life penguin partners to create “The Penguin Tango,” which premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2006. He transfers all their stories to the Bremerhaven Zoo in Germany, where a few years back actual attempts to break up gay penguin couples to foster breeding resulted in vociferous protests from LGBT advocacy groups.

Happily, “The Penguin Tango” keeps the social engineering humans out of the picture so we can concentrate on the birds themselves, here portrayed as classic clown types. The focus is on happy partners Royale and Silo. Royale broods over a rock which he imagines is his egg, which he calls Tango. Silo humors him and practices his juggling act, hoping to be discovered by Seaworld. The trouble begins with the zoo’s attempts to mate Royale with a breeding female. They change his name to Roy and engage in an especially cruel (and hilarious) type of aversion therapy.

When the group figures out the gender differences between humans, whom they call suits and dresses, the next step is to understand what the word ‘homosexual’ means to those creatures on the other side of the fence. Roy’s forced epiphany has caused such chaos in the penguin exhibit that his friends stage an intervention.


“The Penguin Tango” really flies (unlike penguins. They don’t.) when the clowns are waddle-racing about the enclosure freaked out by the way their ordered gay lifestyle has been thrown into chaos. The cast is impeccable (sorry), and Svoboda gives them great bits to play with. Steve Hayes plays Wendell, the flamboyant penguin house master of ceremonies, who preens for the zoo’s visitors and attempts undercover work in a trench coat and fedora. As Cass, Wendell’s entrepreneurial partner, Jason Timothy shows the bearing and befuddlement of a classic clown with a touch of Beckett about him. John Bixler carries most of the thematic weight as the confused and often sadsack Roy. Adam Perabo is his partner Silo, who has the soul of an entertainer, but the skills of a penguin.

The featherless doofus Curly (Chris Coffey), alternately slack-jawed or illuminated by an idiot grin, vibrates with joy, discovery, or just for the heck of it. The ungainly but ready-to-mate female Gomez (Brittany Melendez) reads Cosmo to figure out how to get and keep her bird. Her target, lothario Giovanni (Jonathan Wells), struts about offering advice and snippets of poetry. Swedish temptress Dia (Laura Austin), looking like Heidi gone bad, tries every trick in the book to heat things up with Roy. Chad Tallon is marvelous as a “fishitarian” gay polar bear.

Svoboda directs his loose-limbed cast to work at a breakneck pace. If you miss one joke, another is very close behind. Tim Brown’s stage design suggests both a zoo enclosure and the door-slamming setting for classic farce. The costumes by Nikki Dehomme, imaginative variations on penguins’ famous formalwear are terrific and in some cases one might say fabulous.

For all the glorious clowning, the sometimes preachy “The Penguin Tango” goes on a bit too long. There’s a spectacular slightly shorter play nesting somewhere in the already funny but overstuffed two and a half hour show.

The Details:
What: “The Penguin Tango” at the Redhouse.
Where: Redhouse Arts Center, 201 S. West Street, Syracuse.
When seen: October 24
Length: Two and a half hours with intermission.
Attendance: approximately 95 (near capacity)
Family Guide: good for mature teens. Younger kids might enjoy the clowning but need explanations.
Runs to: November 1
Information: (315) 362-2785,

Noodles & Albie Wins Award!

October 25, 2014

Noodles & Albie by Eric Bennett with illustrations by Liz Bannish has won a Silver Mom’s Choice Award in the Children’s Picture Book category. The book about a lovable lost penguin and the fish that helps his find his way has been well received and garnered wonderful reviews. This is their first award for Noodles, Albie, Eric or Liz.


African Penguin Chicks Get A Helping Hand

October 25, 2014

Abandoned African penguin chicks are easy to spot. Their flippers are too long for their bodies. Their chest bones are visible through their newborn plumage. They haven’t been fed by their parents for weeks because the adult birds are molting and unable to hunt in the ocean.

While adult penguins can survive 21 days without food, baby chicks cannot. Under normal conditions, the chicks would be out of their nests and able to survive the fast. But sparse fish populations around the South African shore limit chick’s growth and keep them nesting when adults reach the critical point when they must molt.

Group of African Penguins near Boulders Beach, South Africa.

Group of African Penguins near Boulders Beach, South Africa.

In response, researchers from the University of Cape Town head-reared hundreds of malnourished chicks from penguin colonies Dyer Island, Robben Island and Stony Point at the South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds in Cape Town. The researchers admitted over 800 penguins in 2006 and nearly 500 in 2007.

“Often, the abandoned chicks we’re bringing up look quite sad for themselves,” lead researcher Richard Sherley said.

Most of the chicks were underweight for their age; researchers fed them a formula of liquidized fish and vitamins.

The penguins were marked with flipped bands then released back into the wild after an average month and a half of human care. The hand-raised chicks were just as likely to survive as their naturally-raised counterparts.

This success is promising for other seabird species facing dwindling populations. So long as the birds don’t attach to their surrogate human parents and can cope with living in captivity, humans raising baby birds could be a solution.

African penguin populations have shrunk by more than 70 percent since 2011, and the species has been classified as endangered since 2012.

Map of Western Cape, South Africa. Black circles depict the location of main African penguin breeding colonies. Chart by Richard B. Sherley, Lauren J. Waller, Venessa Strauss, Deon Geldenhuys, Les G. Underhill and Nola J. Parsons.

Map of Western Cape, South Africa. Black circles depict the location of main African penguin breeding colonies. Chart by Richard B. Sherley, Lauren J. Waller, Venessa Strauss, Deon Geldenhuys, Les G. Underhill and Nola J. Parsons.

“Hand-rearing of African penguin chicks is a valuable conservation tool in light of the declining population,” the researchers conclude in the full study, “Hand-Rearing, Release and Survival of African Penguin Chicks Abandoned Before Independence by Moulting Parents,” which was published Tuesday.

In the South African ecosystem, the baby penguins’ problems can be traced back to fish populations. Sardines and anchovies are African penguins’ main food source. Between rising sea temperatures and overfishing, especially of sardines, there aren’t as many fish to feast on as there were in previous decades.

Less fish means smaller or less frequent meals for the fledgling penguins. As a result, the baby birds are growing slower and are still chicks when their parents begin to molt. Unlike some birds, who shed a few feathers at a time, penguins must replace all their feathers at once. Since they don’t have waterproof feathers while molting, they stay on land and don’t hunt for the entire process.

Hand-rearing the chicks could help conserve the species in the short term, but the current colonies can only support so many penguins.

“We’re putting them back out into the colonies from where they came,” he said. “We’re trying to slow down the decline of colonies that are disappearing very rapidly.”

Sherley is curious how the human-raised penguins would fare if they were released as pioneers of new colonies on different parts of the South African shore.

The South African government is also experimenting with fishing regulations. The now-defunct South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism closed fishing around two pairs of islands. The penguin chicks around St. Croix and Bird islands were , and the area will soon be off-limits for fishing permanently. However, data for Robben and Dassen Island were inconclusive, and there is ongoing debate about whether to allow or halt fishing around the second pair of islands.

“Penguins” Get New Vests

October 25, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that the fluorescent vests sewn by penguin fans for the penguin loving  volunteers are designed to help keep these folks keep the penguins safe on New Zealand’s Timaru’s coastline. Little blue penguin support group member Margaret McPherson designed the bright green vests for members to wear while on penguin duty on the beach at dusk.

HI-VIS VESTS: Little blue penguin support group members in their new vests, which they wear when responding to questions from penguin viewers on the beach. Greg Adams and his mother Alwyn (right) and Margaret McPherson (center).

HI-VIS VESTS: Little blue penguin support group members in their new vests, which they wear when responding to questions from penguin viewers on the beach. Greg Adams and his mother Alwyn (right) and Margaret McPherson (center).

“It’s so people know who to talk to or ask questions,” McPherson said.The $160 cost of material for the 21 vests was sponsored by a group member’s business and McPherson got help with sewing from friends and fellow group member Alwyn Adams. Made to fit all shapes and sizes, the vests have a reflective strip along the back and a pocket in the front to hold information pamphlets which, when printed, the members will distribute to penguin viewers. Group member Greg Adams said visitors to the district were really impressed that viewing the penguins was free and he hoped they could keep it that way. Educating the public helped to “stop idiots” disturbing the penguins, he said.It was also a way of sharing information. Recently a group member was made aware of where some chicks were, thanks to an eagle-eyed member of the public. Eggs are laid between August and December.


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