Dec. 9, 2013
: In Windy City, religion confronts a gust of cold air
Dec. 2, 2013
Rabbi Moshe Grylak: Attack on Chanukah's scholar-warriors an affront to all people of faith
U.S. boxes in Israel, not Iran: Surrender in Geneva
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Vanessa Bayer & Jacob, the Bar Mitzvah Boy; Adam Levine, nickname "the Bear Jew," is People's Sexiest; Eastwoods Need to Say "Kinehora!"
The Kosher Gourmet by Kim Ode:
Fried and gone to heaven: Dense, fried Slovenian doughnut-like rolls, krofi, on Chanukah is a treat you'll want to eat all year long
: Tracking babies' eyes, scientists find signs of autism in 2-month-olds
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Hunger Games: Jewish Connections; A 'Minyan'of Jewish Celebs Recite the Gettysburg Address On-line; Walter Matthau's Reaction to JFK's Death
Nancy A. Youssef :
Christians too afraid to complain as treatment in new 'democracy' worsens
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Jewish MLB managers; Past and Present; Movie News and Dancing W/the Stars Shocker; Paula Abdul's Israeli bat mitzvah and bio facts rarely reported
Jewish World Review
May 7, 2007
/ 19 Iyar, 5767
Please don't feed the tourists
It's time for Part Two of my two-part series on the exciting, dramatic and above all tax-deductible Alaskan Adventure trip I took earlier this spring. As you recall, in Part One I recounted the events of my first day in Alaska, during which virtually nothing happened. This leads us to:
DAY TWO: I woke up in a nervous mood because I knew this was the day that I would boldly leave the hotel altogether and armed with nothing stronger than Certs-brand breath mints face a polar bear. This can be extremely dangerous. Polar bears are fiercely aggressive meat-eating hunters that weigh upwards of 1,000 pounds and can run down a horse. The only real hope I had for surviving this encounter was the fact that this particular polar bear lives in the Anchorage Zoo.
Frankly, it struck me as pretty strange that Anchorage even bothers to have a zoo, seeing as how, as I noted in Part One of this series, there are already plenty of large and sometimes hostile animals wandering around the city. You could easily have a situation where you'd be unable to go to the zoo to see the moose or bears because there was a non-zoo, free-lance moose or bear standing on your patio.
Fortunately, I had no trouble getting to the zoo, and I soon found myself face to face with the zoo's star polar bear, Binky, who, in terms of size, is basically a Winnebago motor home with teeth. Binky became a major news story in Alaska last year when, on separate occasions a few weeks apart, he attempted to eat two people. The victims, both of whom survived, had climbed over two fences to get close to Binky's cage. One of them was an Australian tourist, who said she climbed the fences because she wanted to take a close-up photograph; she wound up with her leg in Binky's mouth. I saw a videotape of the attack, taken by another zoo visitor, showing several men beating on Binky with sticks through the cage bars, trying to make him let the woman go. You can tell that the woman was thinking, "Next time, I am definitely going to Disney World."
If there is one fundamental unifying principle of human psychology, it is that everyone, everywhere, regardless of age, gender, religion or ethnic origin, hates tourists. So when Binky chewed on one, he instantly became a major celebrity, like Kato Kaelin, but with a higher IQ. Alaskans fell in love with a freeze-frame video picture, taken by a local TV news cameraman, showing Binky wandering around his cage, looking a little wistful with the Australian woman's sneaker in his mouth. Entrepreneurs put this image on T-shirts, which still sell by the thousands, along with all kinds of other Binky merchandise (one woman showed me a pin she was wearing a little white polar bear with a little silver sneaker in its mouth).
Binky was sleeping when I arrived at his cage, but after a few minutes he got up and started engaging in routine bear behavior such as yawning, pacing around, diving in his pool, phoning his agent, etc. I could not help but notice that Binky's cage still is not particularly well protected. It would be pretty easy for a tourist to hop over the two low fences, get to the cage and become Purina Bear Chow. It's almost as though the zoo wants this to happen (NEXT TOURIST FEEDING: 3 p.m.).
I myself did not get anywhere near Binky, because I wanted to stay in peak, non-mauled physical condition for the strenuous activities scheduled for the final day of my Alaskan Adventure, also known as:
DAY THREE: The big event of Day Three was a helicopter tour of some glaciers, arranged by speaking of getting chomped by bears Anchorage Daily News columnist Craig Medred, who, as you recall from Part One of this series, is an outdoorsperson so rugged that he makes Davy Crockett look like Martha Stewart.
After receiving a safety briefing from our pilot, Lambert DeGavere, we took off from the Anchorage airport and headed for the mountains. I am not a religious person, but as I viewed the spectacular panorama of breathtaking scenery below, I could not help but ask myself, "What the heck kind of pilot is named 'Lambert'?"
An excellent pilot, as it turned out. Lambert gave us a terrific tour, swooping along mountain peaks and valleys, giving us all kinds of fascinating information about glaciers, which are forgive me if I get technical for a moment giant wads of ice caused by geology. At one point, we landed on a rocky outcrop next to a particularly scenic glacier, and there, many miles from the nearest convenience store, we had lunch. As we sat there, contemplating one of the most overwhelmingly beautiful views I've ever seen, Craig said something call it an insight; call it a revelation that struck a responsive chord deep in my soul.
"I had this flight billed to The Anchorage Daily News," he said, "but they don't know it yet."
That's the kind of bold, "can-do" spirit that makes Alaska what it is today, and if you're the kind of person who enjoys nature, I urge you to visit "The Land of the Midnight Sun" so that you can experience, firsthand, the mountains, the glaciers, the rivers and above all the zoo. Binky's getting hungry.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment by clicking here.
Land of the Frozen Earwax
The birth of wail
Honk if you're married and can't cope with anger
Rabbit ears get poor reception
Percentage of frogs in food jumps
Night of the living roach
Mr. Language Person: Some words of wisdomality
Mind your P's and Q's and teas
Loose lips sink sequels
NOW WE'RE COOKIN'!
The right to Bear clubs
Science: It's just not fair
Road warrior specials
Where's the beef? (Low fat)
There is nothing like a male (guys)
MOTIVATE! THEN FAIL! NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Rooting for the midgets of the Midway
Revolt of the rodents
He can drive any truck named Tonka
All bets are off
How do you spell S-A-T?
Sour grapes and mud
Pro golf: A game of non-stop boredom
Guard-dog vigilance is nothing to sniff at
Warm and fuzzy Cold War memories
The funny side of Beowulf
HOLY HEAT WAVE, BATMAN!
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness
© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
David Ray Skinner
Ask Doctor K