Review: Death at SeaWorld

Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in CaptivityDeath at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity by David Kirby

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the end, I took a long time to read this book. But it’s heavy, and kind of depressing. But it is a topic that was well worth reading more about and making my way through the book. I felt like it was well researched and covered the subject of Orcas at Seaworld well. I have yet to read a counterpoint work, so at this time I can’t speak to if the book is biased in an unfair way or not. The anti-capitivity point of view of the book is prevalent, but I have to do some further reading before I’ll know what was fair and what wasn’t. (a single book from a specific point of view shouldn’t make up a person’s entire view on a subject).

I do know one thing from this book: Tilikum is emotionally damaged. He needs help, and the captive situation for him at Seaworld isn’t healthy. There is little reason to continue keeping him in captivity (he brings nothing to the breeding program any longer, after all) and the time has come to examine a retirement situation for him. Seaworld should prove that conversation and animal wellbeing are on the agenda beside creating entertaining shows.

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Hobby Farms November/December 2012

HF1212_160 I decided that another Magazine Review was due after I found the November/December 2012 Issue of Hobby Farms on the shelf at my local library. I had to read it not because of the lovely beats on the cover, but because of the “Small stock with a huge return” article.

In the end, that did end up my favorite article of the issue, featuring creatures such as the Miniature Zebu, which is a tiny cow akin to a miniature horse in addition to the minis themselves and a number of other small stock options.

All in all, however, the entire magazine was enjoyable. it featured a lot of information on what amounts to my dream way of living. If I had more disposable income for magazines, I’d even consider a subscription, and I think once I get to realize my dream it will become an invaluable resource… But until then, I think I’m going to continue perusing my library’s collection and continue to enjoy the magazine!

Oh! Don’t miss the wonderful question about spring fed ponds on page 20, or the beautiful editorial by Hayden Hainsworth about her life choices that led her to the Hobby Farming lifestyle. There’s a ton of great stuff in this issue, and it’s really worth a read!

Skeptic Magazine Vol.17 No.2

skeptic redesignI got ahold of an Issue of Skeptic Magazine at the Library this week and finally got time to read it. It’s Volume #17 Issue Number 2. I’ve been listening to Skepticality, the official podcast of Skeptic Magazine for awhile now. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give Randi’s magazine a read over.

And I figured it would give me a fun thing to talk about. I turned out to be wrong. Not because the magazine was bad, because it is rather good, but because it’s a dry and serious publication. If you’re going to read it, I suggest that you make yourself ready for some dryer reading. I know I get into kicks where I want to learn something, and this is a great way to learn something.

I had figured the article on Foo Fighters would catch my interest the most, or maybe the one on EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon), but I’m pleasantly surprised to have been wrong. There’s an incredibly interesting article by Bruce E. Levin called “Depression Treatment: What works and how we know” going over the effectivity of anti-depressants. As someone who has friends who suffer at the claws of depression, I’m always curious to know what might help them out. I’m shocked to have been taught that the drugs are nowhere near as effective as you would think given the widespread usage! And doctors are largely unaware of this! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see this as a reason for pulling antidepressants from the market, but it does mean that doctors need to approach things carefully, and make sure patients are more aware of the fail-rates with medications with more dangerous side effects.

All in all, I’ll be picking up other issues. It’s always nice to learn something new, afterall. And it’s a rare treat to have things be fully and clearly cited. Citations are good! If you read skeptic you will not be disappointed.

Unless you wanted them to tell you Foo Fighters are aliens and EVPs are ghosts…

Young Adult Lit

I read a lot of young adult literature even though I’m an adult. Keep in Mind that I also read a lot of adult books and the odd volume strait out of a section far “too young” for me.

I am not ashamed of this!

I never will be, either. Good stuff lies in those sections, some that connects with my youth and some of it that just gives me hope because kids read this stuff.

Tamara Peirce, for example, is amazing. I love tortall and have no plans to leave it anytime soon. I don’t understand why she hasn’t gotten the attention that J. K. Rowlings got for Harry Potter. She has good plots and rounder characters than jk does.

Meg Cabot is another good example. I had a rough time in middle and high school. The kind of time that makes me act crazy during movies like the Breakfast Club that make believe that cliques are good for us even when we’re “all the same”. I felt like Mia a lot back then. Sometimes even in my day to day life. I think it’s healthy for me to find a character that helps me work through all of those negative emotions and find a positive spin for that part of my life.

And finally, a nostalgia author for me. Everyone should read Erickson’s Hank the Cowdog books when they’re 10 or younger, and then revisit them at 30. I want a kid to read these to. They’re incredible fun and beg to be read aloud.

In short: Don’t let a shelf classification keep you from reading anything, ever. Sometimes you don’t want 1000 pages of dancing dragons. Sometimes you only want 100 pages where the dragon dosent turn anybody into a cinder (calling on dragons, perhaps, when you need a break from Martin’s epic A Dance of Dragons). They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but don’t judge it by its page count, either!