Archive for May, 2010

Penguin Gentoo Chicks Born in Edinburgh

May 18, 2010

Edinburgh Zoo celebrated the hatching of its first Gentoo Penguin chicks of the year this weekend.  Photographer Debbie Grant snapped these little ones on Saturday. Gentoos are known for their unique circular nests that they build out of piles of stones. Some penguins give each other stones as gifts, typically to curry favor with the opposite sex. Kind of a makes for a penguin Valentine’s Day every day.

Penguin Missle Launcher

May 16, 2010

U.S. helicopter developer Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. has selected CPI Aerostructures Inc. to support its Seahawk program for the Navy with launcher technologies.

New York’s CPI Aero said Thursday it will deliver its Penguin Missile Launcher assemblies for integration with the S-70B Seahawk anti-submarine warfare helicopter.

CPI Aero, an engineering and technical services provider for several U.S. helicopter and fix-wing aircraft programs including the E-2D Hawkeye aircraft and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, says the contract from Sikorsky is for approximately $680,000.

The S-70B Seahawk is the Navy’s twin engine multi-mission helicopter based on the Black Hawk airframe.

CPI Aero said in a release it will deliver its Penguin Missile Launcher assemblies beginning “in early 2011”.

Penguin Helps Pop The Question

May 14, 2010

In a romantic penguin story that trumps the famous Penguin Place proposal from 2 years ago a West Edmonton Mall penguin – featured in a movie starring Jessica Alba and commercial with David Suzuki – took a break from Hollywood to pop a penguin proposal.  Tweeblik, an 11-year-old African black-footed penguin, bared a shiny ring around her bow-tied neck for Corey Tinkess to propose to his animal-loving girlfriend Thursday.  “I’m shaking,” said Amanda Timmers, 22, as she tearfully accepted the diamond ring at the mall.  “Didn’t expect that did ya?” Tinkess said.  She didn’t suspect a thing.  Tinkess, 23, a high-school teacher in Ingleside, Ont., began planning the unique proposal to his girlfriend of five years in October. He coincided a week-long trip from their home province of Ontario to Edmonton with a penguin class at the mall to learn more about the critters.  The couple sat down, ready to watch a penguin create them a painting, when Tweeblik waddled in the room with an engagement ring.  “I do love penguins,” said Timmers, who is working toward a career in psychology. “I love them because they are so awkward, the way they walk.” Tweeblick was selected by her caregivers for the special task thanks to her friendly and outgoing demeanour, said trainer Jill Young. “(She) is very comfortable working with the cameras,” Young said. Gnome-sized Tweeblick ¬ the smallest of the West Edmonton mall penguins ¬ starred in the 2007 romantic comedy Good Luck Chuck with Alba and Dane Cook. Born and raised at the mall, Tweeblick has also been in Telus commercials and a power-conservation commercial with Suzuki. This wasn’t the only time Tweeblick has helped in the romance department.  Last year the tiny penguin was the ring bearer at an Edmonton wedding.  “I had to walk down the aisle (with the penguin),” Young said with a smile. But this was the two-legged creature’s first marriage proposal. “It’s so creative. It’s such a great idea,” said Lori Reinholt, Marine Life education supervisor, who helped plan the secret proposal. After the question was popped, Tweeblick’s trainer dip the animal’s feet in blue and white paint to create a picture for the newly-engaged couple. “Penguins (have the same) mate for life and that’s really symbolic of how I feel about her,” Tinkess said. Strangely, this wasn’t the only penguin proposal recently. Last month, a U.S. couple were engaged in the penguin exhibit at an Ohio zoo.

Xorey Tinkess proposed to his girlfriend Amanda Timmers after Tweeblik , a 12 year African Penguin carries in the engagement ring into the room around her neck

Penguins Upset In Last Game At Igloo

May 13, 2010

They don't make 'em like this anymore. The Igloo as view by a bird with the power of flight.

In the last game ever played at their beloved Igloo the defending Stanley Cup champ Pittsburgh Penguins were upset by the Montreal Canadians in game 7 of their semi-final playoff series ending the Penguins season.  The stunning loss not only eliminated the Penguins, but it also marked the final game to be played at their legendary home, the Igloo.   Although officially known as the Mellon Arena the Penguins home has throughout its history  been fondly referred to simply as The Igloo by hockey fans the world over.

The Igloo

The Igloo was the world’s first major indoor sports stadium with a retractable roof, and if you’ve never witnessed a game here you don’t know what you missed.  The sight lines and intimacy for hockey is unsurpassed, but alas because of its small size (only seating 16,490 for hockey) and lack of corporate luxury boxes doomed the arena as the Penguins had threatened to leave the city of Pittsburgh unless a new arena was constructed.     A new downtown arena to be called the Consol Energy Center (that sadly is not in the shape of an igloo) has been built and will be ready for the start of the Penguins 2010 – 1011 season and the Igloo is slated for the wrecking ball in the near future.

Panoramic view of Mellon Arena from D-Level in October 2007. The balconies on either end of this photo were not part of the original structure. They were added prior to the 1990-91 season to extend seating capacity.

Scientists Tracking Penguins

May 13, 2010

Do Antarctic penguins  have time to chill out in the winter, or must they swim miles to forage for food? Do their travels resemble the depictions in movies like “Happy Feet”?  The Penguin Post has learned that now you can track the animals’ movements, thanks to the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla.  Scientists from the facility have attached satellite tags to 61 of the creatures. They and the public will be able to see the results on an online map.  Gentoo and chinstrap penguins recently were outfitted with cell phone-sized transmitters that send information to satellites whenever the animals surface. The researchers will process information on the species’ range of movement, the places they frequent most and the temperatures and salinity levels of those areas.  “No one has ever done this many species from one location and see how they disperse over the winter,” said Mike Goebel, a researcher for the fisheries center, which is run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  “Prior to doing this study, we had no idea which species remain in the Antarctic (for the winter) and which species migrate.”  Federal researchers typically monitor the Antarctic ecosystem from October through March, which is summertime there. “Our research has led us to believe that the winter activities of these animals are important to their reproductive success,” said biologist Amy Van Cise from the center. “For example, their ability to forage during the winter is linked to their ability to reproduce and raise offspring the following summer.”

Chinstraps like this little guy are one of the species being tracked.

Penguin Prison Invades NYC

May 12, 2010
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    Photo Abbey Braden

    It’s nice to see someone finally bothering to become a pop star. Saturday night at Brooklyn Bowl marked the second time  Penguin Prison have played New York City (the first was last month at Mercury Lounge, also PP’s premiere performance and the night we officially fell in love with the band). In an age where slathering your Garageband demos with tons of reverb is considered Best New Music, we can barely contain ourselves when a bright young thing actually picks up an instrument and writes a song with the sole objective of getting heard by the most people possible. Chris Glover, the charismatic leading force behind Penguin Prison, is doing just that: setting the bar high, taking a deep breath, and pole-vaulting that shit into the stratosphere. Chris only has a handful of songs to the Penguin Prison name–the summer fun vibes of “Multi-Millionaire”, the hypnotic catchiness of “A Funny Thing”–but if this first smattering of material is anything to go by, he’ll be headlining festivals and selling out arenas before his career comes to an end.

    It’s become clear to all Penguin Prison’s early supporters that while all their tunes are solid, the real strength of what this band could become lies in “Don’t Fuck With My Money”, an incendiary-yet-amusing song dedicated to all the (prospective) haters, that musically belies PP’s roots in the Prince/Michael/Sting trifecta of ’80s pop perfection. It’s truly a sight to behold, especially when, at the song’s climax, Chris launches into a freestyle vocal run so epic The Artist Formerly Known As himself would raise a perfectly sculpted eyebrow in awed respect. “The Worse It Gets”, another fan favorite, takes the concept of pop abandon even further, with a chorus that boasts “I’ve got a car/her name is Jenny/She’s always there/To take me anywhere that I want.” It’s as is Ferris Beuller stopped being such a dick for a second and decided to try and top the charts instead.

    In short, there are no bad things about Penguin Prison, at all, ever. It’s bound to be a huge year for Chris and we just hope he’ll take us along for the ride.

    Name That Penguin Baby Competition in Upstate N.Y.

    May 12, 2010

    Hatched on March 27, this Humboldt penguin still has no name. The Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park is holding a contest to name the penguin, one of nine hatched at the zoo this spring.

    Syracuse, NY — There’s a baby penguin at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park and the Penguin Post has learned that he needs a name.  If you’ve got an idea for one, you’ve got until May 20 to send your suggestion to the zoo.  For the second time in two years, the zoo is offering the public a chance to name a penguin. The firstborn of this year’s nine penguin hatchlings is a male, said zoo spokeswoman Lorrell Walter.Same penguin, displaying dancing ability.Last year, the zoo got 379 suggestions. Already on Tuesday, hours after the contest had been announced, entries were flooding into the zoo, Walter said.  Last year, the winning name came from Ashley Redhead of Bridgeport. The 15-year-old suggested “Marisol,” a combination of Spanish words that translates to “sunny sea,” Walter said.  Walter said contestants would do well to consider a Spanish name again this year. The nine new Humboldt penguins are native to Spanish-speaking Chile and Peru. All the Humboldts born at the zoo have Spanish, or Latin-derived names, said Walter. There’s a Jake, but he – and the name – came from another zoo.  “If people want a shot at winning,” Walter said, “they really should make sure it has a Latin influence.” Plus, she said, “be a little creative.”  Suggestions can be e-mailed to contest@rosamondgiffordzoo.org. They’ll be whittled to five by a zoo committee. Those five will be posted online for voting from May 24 to May 31.   A winner will be announced at the June 3 and the winner will be named the adoptive parent of the penguin for a year and receive a VIP tour of the zoo.

    Iceberg of Vintage Penguins at P-Bay

    May 12, 2010

    Since it’s inception about 2 years ago the P-Bay section of Penguin Place has been quite a popular destination for penguin lovers the world over.  Although it is not set up as an auction site like e-bay, the P-Bay section is a way for penguin lovers to offer other penguin collectors their used and vintage penguins without the pressure or risk of having your items under bid or not sold within the time constraints on e-bay.  Vintage Millie & Willie salt and pepper shakers

    After a rousing start the first few months that consistently featured an inventory of usually a 100 or so penguins being offered in the p-bay section the inventory level slacked off a bit during late 2009 into early 2010 with only a few dozen penguins on the section at any given time, but in the past few weeks dozens of cool new vintage, collectible and one of a kind penguins have been added to the P-Bay swelling the fun icy inventory to nearly 120 penguins including lots of ceramic and glass figurines from the 60’s and 70’s, Carved Ox Horn Penguins, a Wood Penguin Comb, a Penguin Tea Pot, as well as some classic old  Millie & Willie penguins from the Kool Cigarette campaign from the 1950’s.

    Hand carved wooden penguin comb.

    There’s also a rumor that a real live taxidermy Adelie Penguin might be put up for sale if the owner can find an appraiser that can tell them what its worth.

    This beautiful blue glass penguin sculpture is an example as what you'll find in P-Bay

    Penguin Mating Season At The Edinburgh Zoo

    May 3, 2010

    Mating season has started for the Gentoo penguins at Edinburgh Zoo and the hunt for the best nest and the perfect pebbles to fill it has begun… The popular penguin parade features all three penguin species and is enjoyed by visitors of all ages. It’s the first zoo in the world to exhibit the king penguins, which is why the king penguin is on the zoo logo, and they are always very popular with the public particularly when they come out on parade. Funnily enough, the parade was actually started by mistake in 1951 when the penguins went for a walk then returned to their enclosure after a gate was left open. The Gentoo breeding season is the busiest time for the penguin keepers and it is definitely their favorite time of year when they get the chance to see the penguins busy working to welcome their new chicks. Now the public can see the special event too as the zoo have installed a webcam into the nesting area which captures all the goings on.”