Welcome to Walrus Island! Amazing pictures…

Copyright Solent/Steven Kazlowski/SeaPics
Copyright Solent/Steven Kazlowski/SeaPics

You have to check out the amazing article that is accompanied by the above picture, and several more, over on http://www.dailymail.co.uk. Taken from a plane about 20 miles out over the Chukchi Sea- which is pretty much walrus central. It must have been an unbelievable experience to see this in real life. I mean, look at all those freakin’ walruses!!

Here’s the link to the full article:

Welcome to Walrus Island: Scores of marine mammals turn iceberg in the ocean off Alaska into floating ‘houseboat’

 

The Walrus Exercise

When I got home form work the other day, my girlfriend announced with a smile that Dr. Oz had featured the “walrus exercise” on his show. Now, I’m not familiar with this particular exercise, so a demo was in order. Sadly, I was not thinking ahead fast enough, or I would have captured this on video. On second thought, had I done so, I might be looking for a new place to live right now, so perhaps it’s best I wasn’t recording…

Anyway – I have been unable to locate video of the actual walrus exercise, but here’s a description:

The Walrus Exercise

The Walrus exercise boosts your metabolism and stretches out your back muscles. (Oh, c’mon, you knew Doctor Oz was going to sneak in exercise somehow!)

To do The Walrus:

-Lean forward
-Lie on the ground
-Place arms to your side
-Put hands on top of you like you’re swimming
-Pull yourself up into a walrus move

Repeat several times.

This is cribbed from http://www.drozfans.com/.

Now, I’m not sure about the whole “boosts your metabolism” thing. Personally, I’ll stick with Tae Kwon Do forms. Actually, upon further reflection – an ACTUAL walrus workout would be more like this well-known video:

Medieval Walrus Ivory Chess Pieces on Display at the Cloisters, in New York

Photograph © Andrew Dunn, 3 December 2004.

I miss New York. I was born in New Jersey and spent my young childhood there. We spent a lot of time in New York City and I really miss having quick access to things like the Natural History Museum and in my more recent years the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Articles about events like this one don’t make living on the west coast any easier…

The Cloisters: ‘The Game of Kings: Medieval Ivory Chessmen From the Isle of Lewis’ (through April 22) In 1831, a farmer on the Isle of Lewis, the largest island of the Outer Hebrides, discovered a lost cache of medieval chess pieces. Today, thanks to “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” in which Harry and Ron play with magically animated replicas of them, the Lewis Chessmen are world famous. On tour from the British Museum, these adorable, bug-eyed little kings, queens, bishops, knights and warders, each beautifully carved from walrus ivory, are wonderful to examine up close. You don’t have to be a chess player or a Harry Potter fan to love them. 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, Washington Heights, (212) 923-3700, metmuseum.org.

Here is the website of The Cloisters. I highly recommend a visit, walrus ivory or no.

Here’s the Wikipedia entry on the Lewis Chessmen.

Cab Calloway as a Ghost Walrus in old Betty Boop cartoon

This one’s cool on a couple of levels. First off, the video begins with Cab Calloway dancing to “Minnie the Moocher” in front of his band, busting some serious moves. The 1931 precursor to the moonwalk, the Crip walk, and James Brown’s dance moves all in one. This must have blown people’s minds back in the 30’s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaZOXF83zBg

The ghost walrus appears at 4:21. Kids today, they have no idea how surreal old cartoons were.

Great Migrations: Pacific Walrus

I have posted about this program before, when it first aired, in this post. This embedded clip is a minute or so from the “behind the scenes” episode – this one is from a larger ABC News piece about the Great Migrations program. There’s some great walrus footage in here – it’s worth a look.

I really wish I could find a way to watch this entire program online, but neither Hulu nor Netflix has it for streaming. I’m not paying Comcast even MORE money per month just to get National Geographic Channel. Guess I might have to hunt down the DVD. Oh no wait, check that, Amazon has it for download/streaming through Amazon Prime. $19.99 though!

Amazing walrus chair

Walrus Chair Front View
www.maximoriera.com

Spanish Artist Máximo Riera has created a very dramatic piece of art in his “Walrus Chair”, part of a larger series of animal-inspired art chairs which includes a rhino and a truly amazing Octopus. I would love to see this chair (well chaise lounge, actually) in real life. The scale of it and the apparent realism must be very striking indeed.

The piece sure speaks for itself, but Maximo’s promotional material for this piece contains the following…

The Walrus was drafted to accommodate the seats upon its back, merging into the animal, with a flawless compatibility. This fact gives a uniqueness to the composition. The artist wanted to preserve the real elevation of the animal, making the person who sits on it, share the same perspective. One of the most challenging aspects in this work, was the skin’s texture and consistency. The Walrus owns a natural volume and magnitude, attributes that makes him recognizable and distinct from any other species. It’s thick skin wrinkles and rests along its surface, this was a key element to have in consideration to prevent an artificial result.

http://www.maximoriera.com/html/projects.php?pid=2

According to the silhouettes on Maxim’s press page – there are more animal chairs coming in the series. The page shows a place for a lion, a whale and a rhinoceros stag beetle! The sculptural elements of the chairs seem to be carved out of compressed foam.

Walrus chair rear view
www.maximoriera.com

Learn more at http://www.maximoriera.com

The site contains beautiful hi-res imagery of all of the chairs, as well as a well-designed PDF document about the entire series.

Horkers: The War Walruses of Skyrim

Like many many other people, I’ve been playing Skyrim lately. I got my copy for Christmas, so I haven’t played through the game too far, but I am looking forward to (well, not really, until I level up some more) running into a Horker! As you can see above, the Horker is a sort of walrus-beast and exists in the world of Skyrim as a wild random encounter. The Skyrim Wiki explains..

Horkers are passive-aggressive creatures usually found near water, particularly the ocean and cold areas. They are often encountered in groups and are highly social…

As in real life – Horkers are valuable for their meat and tusks. More information about their in-game stats is available here: http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Horker

Update: I ran into my first Horkers last night. They must have recognized me a a friend of the walrus, for they did not attack, and I left them alone.

Fus-Ro-Dah!

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