This being the season of awards I am giving the Lifetime Award for Stupid ideas to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) .  I read about their latest in the Christian Science Monitor.  They want to replace Punxsutawney Phil with a robot groundhog:

Any award winning stupid ideas you would like to submit?

Any animal behavior stories?

Link to article by Chris Gaylord:

http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Horizons/2010/0201/Groundhog-Day-PETA-wants-to-replace-Punxsutawney-Phil-with-a-robot

Unfortunately Phil saw his shadow so we could see another six weeks of winter.  Of course I crawled back under my covers this morning too.  I’ll also take my bursitis pains over any Weather Channel predictions.

Five Punxsutawney Phil Facts.

Punxsutawney Phil is immortal. Well, practically. According to folklore, the furry oracle was born in 1887, making him 123 years old. The average groundhog lives less than 10 years, making Phil a statistical anomaly … or not Phil (remember when Daddy came home from the vet with Harry the hamster, only Harry looked different?). Fans of Punxsutawney Phil insist a magical “elixir of life” keep Phil looking youthful.

Phil’s about as accurate as your average meteorologist. That is to say, not very. The US National Climatic

Data Center estimates Phil’s forecast is correct only about 40 percent of the time. (Perhaps he could find a job at the Weather Channel.)

Phil’s got competition. Watch out, Phil: prognostication is popular among the rodent set. New York’s got Staten Island Chuck, Ohio’s got Buckeye Chuck, and Georgia’s got good ol’ General Beauregard Lee. There’s more. Wiarton Willie, Dunkirk Dave, Shubenacadie Sam, French Creek Freddie, Balzac Billy, the list goes on.

Phil’s gone high-tech. He may hail from the 19th century, but Phil’s getting word out in a decidedly 21st century way: he’s texting. And YouTubing. Phil text messaged fans his forecast Tuesday morning (followers signed up in advance by texting ‘Groundhog’ to 247365), and he has his own YouTube channel. And like everyone else and their mother, he’s on Facebook.

There’s no Groundhog Day in Alaska. For which we can thank Sarah Palin. There aren’t many groundhogs in Alaska, so then-Gov. Sarah Palin signed a bill last year officially designating February 2 as Marmot Day. The marmot can’t forecast the weather, but he may be the only rodent that can see Russia from his burrow.

More Animal Forcasters from the CSM:

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-News/2010/0202/Groundhog-Day-Top-five-animal-forecasters

1. Birds on a telephone wire signal a rainstorm. (Think Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”)

2. When dogs eat grass, expect a severe storm. (Or, you forgot to feed your dog.)

3. Squirrels are busier gathering nuts before a bad winter. (But who really has time to count nuts?)

4. If rats in the hold climb out on deck, it will be a fair day. (Or maybe tanning machine below deck is broken.)

“In England, it’s said that rain is on the way when the woodpecker laughs, and that frost is coming if a cat sits with its back to the fire. Plants and trees, too, evidently have the knack: frost is ended when mulberry tree put out shoots, but if the Ash buds before the Oak, then it’ll be “a regular soak.” And in lower Canada and America’s northeast, Woolly Bear Caterpillars are said to show a wider middle brown section if the coming winter will be mild.

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