Archive for February, 2009

Recent Middletown CT Photographs

February 23, 2009

Seen lately around the city:

(mouse over for titles, click for full size and description)

Middletown Alms House (sign) R

Middletown Alms House (1814) R

Middletown Alms House (1814) R

Middletown CT Alms House (1814)
Indian Hill Cemetery Chapel, Middletown CT

Laurel Grove Rd, Middletown CT

Coginchaug River  (Winter)

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The Horror of Chimpanzee Attacks

February 22, 2009

(Caution: this story contains graphic and disturbing details of chimpanzee attacks)

Charla Nash was nearly eaten alive by a pet chimpanzee named Travis owned by Sandra Herold of Stamford CT. She was so close to death and so terribly mangled that first responders could not tell the sex of the victim lying face down on the ground. Medical personnel and police officers needed post-traumatic  counseling to help ease their experience with the tragedy. We learn now that Ms. Nash has been transferred to The Cleveland Clinic face transplant department providing some hope that, in their skilled hands (they performed the first U.S. face transplant) she may be returned to some semblance of normalcy.

(Update June 11, 2011: Charla Nash has received a full face transplant at Brigham and  Women’s Hospital in Boston and is expected to regain facial movement and sense of taste and smell. However  efforts to transplant new hands to replace those destroyed in the attack failed due to complications.)

In a remarkably similar event four years ago St/.James Davis, a California man,  was attacked by a chimp at a wildlife sanctuary. Davis  has never fully recovered from the attack, and most likely never will. Some 60 surgeries were needed for his massive injuries described in the NY Daily News:

….his nose and mouth were ripped off, an eye was gouged out, his left foot was mangled and most of his fingers and buttocks were devoured….He was in a medically induced coma for months….

Almost four years later, Davis said the news of Nash’s attack last week hit him hard.

The Connecticut woman was visiting friend Sandra Herold in Stamford on Monday when Herold’s pet chimp, Travis, suddenly went wild. Nash was badly mauled before cops shot and killed Travis. Nash has been transferred to an Ohio hospital for extensive reconstruction.

“It’s so much like my story,” Davis said.

“I hoped it would never happen again,” he said, sitting on an electric wheelchair with a prosthetic nose hanging lopsided over two thin red cavities where his own nose used to be. “She probably can’t talk. I couldn’t even grunt. But she needs to hear voices she knows.”

h/t Pat Dollard

St. James Davis

St. James Davis

Chimp Story Has Legs: Now Sharpton Weighs In

February 19, 2009

She fed him filet mignon and lobster tails. They shared cozy glasses of wine. They bathed and slept together. He tenderly brushed her hair. She gave him gifts and sweet kisses. He drew her pictures…But this was no ordinary affair of the heart. Sandra Herold was engaging in these loving acts with a 200-pound pet ape.Her human friends said they were always leery of the interspecies intimacy.

We wrote a few days ago about the horrific chimp attack in Stamford CT in which a woman was nearly killed by an enraged pet chimpanzee. The story has gone viral; the NY Post has been running with it all week. This Sean Delonas NY Post cartoon yesterday brought publicity hound Al Sharpton and New York governor David Patterson into the fray:

NY Post, Sean Delonas

NY Post, Sean Delonas

Sharpton is quoted in Newsday saying the cartoon is “troubling at best” while Patterson meanwhile, having been briefed with a verbal description of the cartoon, said “Images of black people portrayed as primates do feed a kind of negative and stereotypical way that some people think.”

NY Post Editor Col Allan’s response: “The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit, the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut. It broadly mocks Washington’s efforts to revive the economy,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs declined comment on the controversy saying he, like Gov Patterson, had not seen the cartoon but used the opportunity to diss the NY Post as unnewsworthy. Predictably, protests began (photo gallery); below New York state senator Eric Adams protests at the NY Post headquarters:

State Senator Eric Adams, Newsday Photo

State Senator Eric Adams, Newsday Photo

The chimpanzee attack and public response has revived the old stereotype of white folks thinking of black folks in simian terms. While there can be a racist aspect to such characterizations, it depends after all, on the context as is the case with the NY Post cartoon. The American Bush hating Left had no hesitation in depicting Geroge W. Bush as a chimp when they pleased: (the following appeared at Steady Habits, 5/19/08)

Bush Chimp vs Obama Chimp….

How come this is OK…..

…But this isn’t….

A bunch of people in Marietta, Georgia were protesting this one; it is a tee shirt sold by a bar owner who says he has no racist intent, merely thinks the resemblance between Obama and Curious George is humorous. I agree, the big ears, the big smile, uncanny! Look what “W” had to put up with going on 8 years. What do you think?

Video here, “how African-Americans have been deplicted
Funny video here where TV interviewer tries to get seller to admit he’s racist. It doesn’t work!

More about this at:

Wizbang, Doctor Bullldog & Ronin

Sandra Herold & Travis: A Happier time

Sandra Herold & Travis: A Happier time

Who’s Nuts, The Chimp or the Owners?

February 16, 2009

Travis, the 200 lb celebrity chimpanzee was toilet trained, dressed himself, took his own bath, ate at the table and drank wine from a stemmed glass. Totally bizarre situation in Stamford CT, 15 year old pet chimp attacks female visitor!

Updates added Tuesday 2/17: Gruesome details at Gateway Pundit and Threats Against Pet Owner WCBS-TV


Stamford CT February 16, 2009: (Hartford Courant)

Officers were called to a house on Rockrimmon Road after the owner lost control of the 175-pound primate, which was shot and killed by a responding officer when it tried to get into his cruiser, police said….. the owner called 911 and tried to stop the attack by stabbing the chimpanzee with a butcher knife…As emergency crews arrived to treat the victim, the chimpanzee… revived and opened the door of one of the police cruisers. The officer inside fired several shots, killing the chimp…The 15-year-old chimpanzee was well-known around Stamford because he rode around in trucks belonging to the towing company operated by his owners. Police have dealt with him in the past, including an incident in 2003 when he escaped from his owners’ vehicle in downtown Stamford for two hours.

What is going on with these pet owners? There is no shortage of incidents involving persons harboring large exotic pets. Here, at least, the public and the police knew of this hazard and allowed it to continue. Photo below shows Travis opening the police car door.

Chimp Nuts? No, the Owners

Uganda Echo at Willimantic Co-Op Feb 14 2009

February 15, 2009

29 Cakes for Willi Co-Op Birthday

Valentine’s Day 2009 was also a birthday celebration at the Willimantic Food Co-Op in Willimantic (CT). This is their 29th year and the organization appears healthy and active. The February 14 shindig featured food displays and sampling, music and dancing, and 29 special cakes. We were able only to catch the first hour or so of the party but had fun photographing the crowd and making the following video:

Below is an earlier video with most of the same personnel:

Let Them Eat Cake....

Let Them Eat Cake....

Global Cooling in the Offing?

February 9, 2009


A new book, Sun Cycle 24, just out by Australian scientist David Archibald

“….details how the Sun, not carbon dioxide, controls climate and predicts a significant cooling for the next two decades. At the same time, the heating effect of carbon dioxide will be minuscule. Combined with its positive effect on plant growth, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is shown to be wholly beneficial….

Source: John Ray-Stop the ACLU

In a 2008 paper,Warming or Cooling?, Archibald writes:

“If carbon dioxide didn’t cause the warming of the 20th century, what did? Well, a good place to start is the sun. In the 20th century, the sun was more active than at any time inthe previous 8,000 years…..The way that Solar Cycle 23 is declining, combined with the very weak ramp-up of
Solar Cycle 24 sunspot activity, suggests that the month of solar cycle minimum will be July 2009. If that transpires, the cooling will amount to over 2 degrees….

That last time that something like this happened was a period called the Dalton Minimum from 1796 to 1820.”

Ken Tapping, a Canadian scientist writes in Popular Mechanics:

“If the sun remains this quiet for another a year or two, it may indicate the star has entered a downturn that, if history is any precedent, could trigger a planetary cold spell that could bring massive snowfall and severe weather to the Northern Hemisphere..”

David Archibald and Prof, David Bellamy

David Archibald and Prof, David Bellamy