Monday, 20 June 2011


Features of the Omega brands
Omega is a leading name in the watch industry. Out there in the market, the brand is a common phenomenon. Omega watches are used in fashion parades, Olympic Games and during great events of the world.
Omega watches are highly water resistant. They are made of gold, silver or stainless steel in each category as the case may be. Some are built with pure gold chains; other are 100% silver; while others are built with stainless steel.
Omega watches are very good in time keeping. Most of them give you the opportunity to have four to five different time zones available at your beck and call. Hence, you can be in New York and still know what the time is saying about other part of the globe such as Rome, Paris, and Beijing and so on.
Omega special brand include among others popular nomenclatures such as Seamaster, Constelllation and Speedmaster. These are the best brands of the Omega family.
The best place to purchase a quality Omega watch is to go online or to renowned boutiques and super markets in your area. If online, you stand the chance of getting the original one form Omega web site itself.
In all; Omega Watches are very outlandish. They are among the best gift you can give to someone you love. They can be used as wedding presents, anniversary presents and even as gifts for birthday celebrations. Be careful where you buy Omega watches. This is because its replica type abounds in the market today.

Omega Man

Following up a couple of recent posts (by recent I mean in the past 6 months) on the subject of masculinity in today’s culture, I found a pretty interesting article posted atSlate that has associations with both “Tales of a Dying Superman” and “The Stuff of Super Heroes.” These have two posts have been two of the most-read over that same time period and both come close to addressing the state of mascunity in the 21st Century.
The post uses a recent Ben Stiller movie Greenberg as a jumping off point—or maybe it is the entire impetus behind the piece—into a description of today’s omega male. On the other end of spectrum from the alpha male, the omega man has for the most part abdicated the traditional roles and expectations of a man. Now contrary to what the Slate post may suggest, or maybe what I Am Agonistes readers may be quick to conclude, I’m not convinced that our world hasn’t at least acted like that this omega man isn’t what it wants from masculinity. It’s certainly no excuse, but worth pondering, that our current “everybody-be-cool-and-for-heaven’s-sake-don’t-DEMAND-anything-from-anybody culture hasn’t breathed a great deal of life into this cultural enigma. The writer defines 4 types of omegas: The Liberal Arts Layabout, The Mimbo, Beer Guy, and the Game Boy. All are fairly easy to recognize. You can read the post in its entirety by clicking here.

Omega Central Tourbillon

Competition breeds excellence
During the late 19th and early 20th century, manufacturers and their master watchmakers expended significant amounts of time and resources in preparation for Observatory trials held throughout Europe. Unlike today's annual watch fairs, these events were not intended to showcase new products. Instead the Observatory trials focused on the science of Chronometry and the ability to make chronometers measure time precisely.
Geneva observatory trials were exclusive for companies in the Canton of Geneva, whilst Neuenburg (French: Neuchâtel) competitions were open to all manufacturers. That is why Omega and Longines set up branches in Geneva – they wanted to take part in prestigious Geneva competitions. Geneva Observatory results are recorded under Omega Genève SA.
These trials were rigorous and they were the most exacting for the watch industry. The precision controls from the Observatories pushed everybody involved in the manufacturing process to achieve perfection because they were based solely on scientific and technical standards. Only timing mechanisms of proven design, perfect technical finish and expert regulation were chosen and given a chance to compete. After 44 days of testing with 5-positional and 3-temperature changes, the most precise chronometer won immense publicity for its manufacturer and acclaim among its peers in the horological community. Only movements were supplied for testing, as still practiced with COSC testing today. Movements were set in aluminum or wooden transport cases and fixed in square blocks for easy positional timing. The crown/stem were recessed in the transport cases so that they could be placed in any required position.
The Observatory trials were the "crown jewels" of Chronometry. The associated financial benefits gained by marketing these timing triumphs attracted large manufacturers as well as independent professional watchmakers throughout Europe. Even Japan was successfully represented by Seiko in some of these trials in the 1960s. Interestingly, only Patek Philippe and Omega participated every year in the Observatory trials. Omega's performances at these competitions garnered the company a reputation of precision and innovation. Following their repeated success in observatory trials, Omega utilized their expertise in COSC certified models until they headed the annual list of certified chronometers. For more than a decade (1958 – 1969), Omega was by far the largest manufacturer of COSC chronometers – mainly with their famous Constellation models. Never satisfied with their past achievements, Omega's quest for precision continues today with their development and incorporation of the co-axial escapement and adjustable inertial mass balance.

Great Moments in Omega Constellation History

As Ryan Rooney noted here in his blog, it’s generally acknowledged that the Omega mid-500 series chronometer calibres (551, 561, 564 and 751) were the finest family of production movements ever made. He also identified the movement serial numbers that were part of one of the most famous events in production watch history – the straight run of one hundred thousand certified chronometers.

Click here for a follow-up on Ryan’s post and a definitive list, pictures of the official BO certificates and serial numbers of the three ‘great moments’ in Omega’s production history – straight runs of 1,000, 20,000 and 100,000 certified chronometers. The file is large and may take some moments to download.

Omega Company - Everlasting Success

First Pages of History
The first pages of the Omega history were written in 1848 when established a watch assembly workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds. In 1877 Louis Brandt's business was joined by his eldest son. Together they founded Louis Brandt and Fils.

One of important moments in the early history of the company took place in 1894 when it introduced the Omega 19' caliber. The mechanism was based on the innovative principle of interchangeable parts that was then gradually adopted by other watch manufacturers.

The brand's Omega name was officially registered in 1894. In 1903 it was added to the company's name that became called Societe Anonyme Louis Brandt and Frere - Omega Watch C. Since 1982 the company was simply named Omega S.A.

The story of the Omega Company's development was marked by a lot of highlights. It introduced numerous innovative horological decisions and achievements that significantly influenced the entire world of matchmaking. Look through the brand's historical outline:

1892: Omega developed the first minute-repeater wristwatch.

1900: The horology world witnessed the appearance of the first wristwatches manufactured industrially under the Omega brand name.

1909: Omega provided timing for its first sporting event.

1932: The company debuted as the Olympic Games' official timekeeper. Since then, the company has become responsible for timing the foremost sporting events in the world.

1948: The initial models of iconic Omega Seamaster watcheswere introduced.

1952: Omega revealed its first Constellation self-winding chronometers.

1957: The brand developed its legendary Speedmaster wrist chronograph. In 1965 the timepiece was officially flight-qualified by the NASA and chosen to accompany astronauts during all manned space missions. The timepiece was renamed into Omega Speedmaster Professional in 1966. Neil Armstrong had the Omega Speedmaster on the wrist when, on July 21st, 1969, he set foot on the moon.

1960: The Omega watch family was joined by the Seamaster De Ville, the model that inspired other De Ville fashion watches created by the brand.

1974: An Omega Megaquartz 2400 received official marine chronometer certification, a one-of-a-kind award in the horology history.

1985: The Omega Company joined the SMH group, presently Swatch Group.

Today Omega holds the reputation of the Swiss watch brand that develops timekeeping creations highly demanded around the world. The company has established partnership with most prestigious sport events.

All Omega watches are created in the spirit of facing new challenges and striving for new victories. These timepieces are created for those who love to win and strive for success.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Another black panther sighting

For many years there have been rumors of black panthers or black mountain lions being spotted from as far away as Point Reyes National Seashore to Dublin, California.
The majority of the sightings have been in the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness by San Ramon, California.
While mountain lion sightings in this region are common, claims for black panther sightings cause a bit of a stir considering that cats like these in any habitat are extremely rare.
Some biologists believe that black mountain lions don’t exist, and that if there are black panthers out there, they would be either leopards or jaguars. Others claim that melanistic (black) cougars have absolutely been born albeit as an extreme rarity.
In the recent past there have been deer kills found up in trees at Las Trampas, which is the behavioral habit of an old world cat such as a leopard, as opposed to the mountain lion who buries its kill with loose soil on the ground.
Most of the reported sightings by the general public have proven to be something other than what the witnesses claim. Sometimes they have been house cats spotted form far away, or a cougar seen in bad lighting. Other sightings have gone neither proven nor dis-proven, such as these sightings below:
"I was curious about EBMUD's protected watershed off Redwood Road in Castro Valley, so I obtained a permit and checked it out . . . I decided to navigate into the gully, walked maybe 30 or 40 feet to the east and suddenly found myself locked eyes with this big black cat. It was roughly 50 feet from me, through several barriers of logs and overgrowth. The first thought is that it looked like a panther, but the weird thing is that sort of animal should be in Africa, not the East Bay. It was so out of place."
- Larz Sherer, Berkeley
"We came up a short rise through a grassy swale (near Tomales Point), and then, looking up, saw a large, jet-black mountain lion calmly sitting, eyes half asleep looking out at us from about 30 yards away. This lion was not darkish, not a brownish-tawny like some I've seen since, but jet black. My friend (Burke Richardson) and I stood there, stunned. It then started to slink away from us in a large semi-circle, attempting to hide in the grass. We were sadly without a camera, which was not like us at all, but, oh well."
- John Balawejder, Santa Cruz 
Perhaps the most credible and compelling black panther sighting was the one at the Laborer’s Training Camp a couple of months ago. A labor trainee reported to his supervisor that he had just seen a big black mountain lion. Several employees including the training director went back over to the spot where the cat was seen and sure enough, there he was watching three deer. The big cat paid no attention to the observers as he stalked the deer up the hill.
It was hard to believe that they were looking at a live black mountain lion, so in an effort to prove what they believed they were seeing; they set up a transit that’s used like binoculars. All the men looked into the lens and confirmed what they had witnessed – a big black lion’s face filled the lens. The men said he had yellow eyes and looked like he may have been anywhere between 100-135 pounds.
The guys had the forethought to call the San Ramon Valley Police Department. When I spoke to the training director at the Laborer’s Camp, he mentioned that the officer who was dispatched to their camp had the same smile on his face that he suspected everybody had when mentioning that they had seen a black panther in San Ramon.
But when the officer looked into the viewing lens of the transit he gasped, “That is one hell of a big cat!” There were 7 witnesses to the black panther that day.
One explanation that’s been offered is that about 30 years ago, a man had raised a couple of black leopards at his home in the Las Trampas regional wilderness. People who knew this man said he had let them go when they became too big. Certainly, those original cats wouldn’t still be alive today, but could there have had offspring? Could they have bred with local mountain lions? Could it be that like the big cats in Arizona, there are actually jaguars around – and they’re black? At this point, there’s no way to know.
One thing is for sure, the legend of the black mountain lion is a legend no more. The men who last saw this big cat know he’s out there and realize they have seen something that few people believe. I say, keep your eyes peeled and always carry a camera.

Authors Note:
 I have been personally following this rumor since I heard about it some years ago. I live right next to the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness so wildlife is always on my mind. I have always had a feeling that the black cats were a strong possibility and would like nothing more than to spot one of these legendary animals myself. Until then, the eyewitness accounts of others will have to do.
Cautionary Note: Another point I would like to mention is while it's terribly exciting to imagine witnessing such a magnificent creature the goal is never to end up face-to-face with a predator. Wild animals (even the smaller ones) can be extremely dangerous and using good judgement with a healthy dose of common sense is paramount.

Black Lions in America

The White Lion: World’s Most Expensive Pet

If you’re looking to invest in an exotic pet, but can’t be bothered with run-of-the-mill monkeys, chimps, and reptiles, you may find yourself in the market for a pet lion. White lion cubs are some of the rarest and most expensive pets in the world, and are sure to impress (and perhaps terrify) even the most luxury-jaded of your friends.
These adorable balls of fluff run about $140,000 as cubs. They aren’t your everyday lion, and they aren’t albino, either. Their condition is known as leucism, and their color ranges from pure snow white to blonde to even red, but their eyes retain the prized golden-green of other cats.
These beautiful cats, which are native to Africa have a hard time in the wild, because they are so easy for predators to spot. It is partially for this reason, and partly because of poaching that white lions like these are extinct in the wild and currently live only in captivity.
If you are considering this type of luxury pet, you’re going to have to invest in more than a simple kennel. Adult lions get as big as 550 pounds, and need an enormous amount of space. They eat only mammals, and prefer live prey, so you might want to keep a flock of sheep handy for snacks. They are also notoriously stubborn to domestication and you can just forget about trying to catch your pet lion if she gets out of the yard, as they run at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.

Interspecies Revelation OF WHITELIONS

Mystery of the White Lions by Linda Tucker. Npenvu Press, Mapumulanga, South Africa, 2003.

In November 1991 some guests at a game lodge in the Timbavati region of South Africa became stranded at night in the bush, deep in lion country. The Land Rover driven by their guide was lodged in a ditch with a broken steering column. Around them it was pitch dark and the presence of lions, animals who see perfectly in the dark, was announced by ominous growls. With several tawny lions situated near the vehicle, the primal terror of being eaten by a predator gripped the group and paralyzed them with fear.
Then, suddenly, human figures emerged out of the darkness – a native woman of an advanced age with a baby on her back, a young girl around ten, and a slightly older boy. Walking in a slow, trance-like state and keeping closely together, they made their way between the pack of lions that had gathered around the Land Rover. One of the stranded group ventured to exit the shelter of the vehicle. He and the young boy then departed for camp to find a rescue vehicle, while the woman with the baby and the young girl stayed close to the others. The rescue took place in a kind of dreamlike calm, largely due to the serene, commanding attitude of the black woman.
The group later learned that the woman had been able to walk safely among the agitated lions because she went into twasa, shamanic trance.

Endangered Species
Linda Tucker, one of the people rescued that evening, has written a wonderful book, destined to become a classic on interspecies communication that will rank with he works of Farley Mowatt, Jane Goodall, and Barry Lopez. Subsequent to that adventure, Tucker became a student of Sangaan shaman Maria Khosa, the woman who saved the group, and later, of Credo Mutwa, the well-known Zulu shaman who advised John Mack (Passport to the Cosmos) on predation by alien entities. In a spiritual journey of ten years, Linda Tucker acquired a working knowledge of lion shamanism known only to a handful of people in Africa. Mystery of the White Lions is both an account of her personal quest and the record of a precious legacy that belongs to all humankind.
If her discoveries are anywhere close to the truth, the fate of the white lions may reflect, or even determine, the fate of another endangered species: humanity.
Linda Tucker was educated in Cape Town and Cambridge, England, where she majored in Jungian psychology and medieval symbolism. In 2002 she founded the Global White Lion Protection Trust to preserve white lions and the race shamanic cultural wisdom connected to them.
The address of the Trust:
Their contact address is:

The Lion Identity

Mystery of the White Lions is a book of many revelations, on many levels. First and foremost, it is the compelling story of a rare genetic anomaly, blue-eyed and amber-eyed lions who are genuinely white, not albinos. It appears that the white lion cannot be a chance mutation, otherwise it would have spread regionally, which it has not. These specimens remain confined to the sacred region of Timbavati. In their case, the white recessive gene does not produce albinos and may involve a distinct set of feline genes not yet understood. (Tucker, p. 133ff, interview with geneticist Ted Sohn) The “very rare and novel set of mutations” required to produce the white lions awaits a scientific explanation, but a shamanic legend recounted by Credo Mutwa provides an explanation of sorts.

Although the first sighting of a white lion by a European witness occurred in 1938, the Zulu shaman relates their appearance to the fall of a meteor in Timbavati around 1600. Around that time natives observed that “all the animals that stayed within that area where the mysterious object had settled on the ground were giving birth to snow-white offspring” (p. 132). Are these snow-white, amber-eyed felines the result of a chance mutation produced by the meteoric fall? Or are they an emissary from the starry realms sent to guide humanity as it plunges toward the verge of extinction, as Linda Tucker comes to believe?
As Her quest unfolds, Tucker realizes that the identity of the white lions carries an evolutionary lesson that stretches far back into the past and ahead into the future: “This unique lion strain declared itself some four hundred years ago in this precise spot on the globe as precursors of a new epoch” (p. 135). Their identity cannot be understood apart from the place where they appear. Timbavati, which means “the place of coming down to the ground,” was a sacred site for the black natives long before it was declared a game preserve by white South African president Paul Kruger. Sangaan shamans known for their expertise in lion lore traditionally forbade hunting in the Timbavati area. Credo Mutva, a shaman of mixed Zulu and Bushman heritage, taught Linda Tucker that the white lions of Timbavati carry the eternal essence of native African wisdom and a message of crucial importance for all humanity. The purpose of Tucker’s book is to convey that message, to the best of her understanding.

Interspecies Contract

“The real art of shamanism is the respectful exchange between two species” (p. 295).
Timbavati lies on a great meridian, a line running north-south from pole to pole, but not just any great meridian. It occupies the Nilotic meridian (31 East longitude) which runs through the Giza plateau where, in times of undetermined antiquity, a massive stone lion was carved: the Sphinx. Tucker points out that the Nile is the only great river in the world that runs due north, and it does so in a straight line, corresponding to the geographical meridian. Southward into the depths of Africa, the meridian passes through Laetoli, Tanzania, and the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, a massive megalithic site associated with lion lore. At its terminus, it reaches the Sterkfontein caves of South Africa, not far from where the white lions have appeared. The Nilotic meridian is connected with the most important sites of archeological discovery concerning the current theory of human evolution.
Leotoli and the Olduvai Gorge where the primate skeleton called Lucy was discovered lie in the Rift Valley, a massive landseam formed by seismic upheavals in the earth’s mantle. Following shamanic lore imparted to her by Credo Mutwa, Tucker suggests that the phenomenon of the white lions is deeply related with what we know, and have yet to lean, about the origins of our own species and our survival over the long term. She connects the Nilotic meridian with the Zulu legend of an underground stream corresponding to the Nile that runs all the way to the tip of Africa, and this in turn with the reversal of the North-South magnetism of the Earth, immanently due to reverse its poles, if scientists and geologists are not mistaken. Tucker speculates:

    Given that virtually all our great hominid sites have been found near, or in, this erupting continental seam, the question arises: Might the rifting process itself, or rather the seismic energies operative in this fault line, be considered factors prompting genetic mutations- the adaptations that also led to the modern human line? (p. 274)

Here, as in several other points in the book, the author is stretching her thesis to the max, and the connections she strings together risk credulity - but like the taut string of a lute, what resonance she produces. The impact of her book lies as much in this resonance as in the vivid and detailed information she packs into it.
At Sterkfontain near Timbavati archeologists have found an unusual number of austropithecine fossils showing signs of violent death, possibly by animal predators. Australopithicus is the name for a hominid or proto-human animal thought to have lived as long ago as 2.5 million years, during a massive glaciation. Tucker carefully considers the archeological and anthropological evidence suggesting that hominids lived in close proximity with Dinofelis, the long extinct sabre-toothed tiger. She relates an arresting thought of travel writer Bruce Chatwin, who wondered if “Dinofelis was a specialist predator on the primates” (p. 77). In the complex picture she draws, the sabre-toothed tiger emerges as an ally to the human species who preyed on hominids, yes, but also allowed humans to become predators themselves.
What Tucker calls the “hominide-Dinofelis hypothesis” involves a human-lion contract that afforded a huge evolutionary leap for our species, because it enabled us to become meat-eaters. Without exception, current theories of evolution based on African archeology assume that humans learned to hunt by necessity and purely by trial-and-error, but Tucker’s hypothesis, closely supported by the shamanic teachings of Credo Mutwa, suggests that we became meat-eaters by a sacred contract with a lion species, Dinofelis.
In support of her case, Tucker presents Bushman rock paintings showing human-feline interactions. Credo Mutwa told her that these paintings “act as a visual counterpart to the ancient memory carried by African initiates” (p. 91) The carvings do not show fanciful events, or even symbolic events, but they are detailed depictions of crucial moments of human-animal exchange. Among these moments, one of the most decisive was when humans took on the role of predators and killed the very animals that had previously preyed on them. The sacred contract behind predation was violated when human beings exceeded the proper bounds of the kill. Our excessive consumption “desecrates natural law,” Tucker says, and because we allowed ourselves to become excessive in predation on other animals, we do the same in every area of life (p. 299). She believes that the white lions have returned to remind us of the predator-prey contract and bring us to our senses, thus saving us from our own mad excess.

Hunting MythologyFor the people of Africa, the skies are full of life; yes, even the origin of life may be attributed to the stars! For the African mind, the living animals of the Serengeti plains are reflections of their heavenly cousins. The herds of Eternity are really in the stars; there also is to be found the origin and destiny of humanity. (p. 279)
The hominid-Dinofelis hypothesis is one of the richest, most carefully argued themes inMystery of the White Lions. In a series of brilliant metaphoric links, Tucker weaves her anthropological argument with mythological lore from Africa and elsewhere in the world. Early in the book she points out that the Great Goddess in many cultures is associated with lions. Atamgatis, Cybele, and Rhea are among the Near Eastern goddesses shown flanked by lions. In Germanic lore, Freya rides a great cat, and her Babylonian counterpart, Ishtar, does the same. In Japan, the mother of the Buddhas, Monjubosatsu, also rides a lion. In Buddhism, the lion’s roar denotes the ultimate realization of enlightenment. The Egyptian divinities Shu and Tefnut are born as lion cubs. Also in Egyptian myth, the lion goddess Sekmet destroys humanity when it has become too degenerated to partake of the miracle of all sentient life.
Credo Mutwa adds oral African lore to the comparative evidence:

    The Earth Mother asked the Exiled Lion, Imbudebingile, to send down great carnivores to the earth – lions, leopards and wild cats – to protect humankind from negative entities. Man was too scared to live with the lions, so he chose the wild cats to tame and live with him in his houses. (p. 212)

The "Exiled Lion" in this legend is the constellation of Leo. African shamanism is replete with star lore relating the various species of animals to different zones of the Zodiac, but the Leonine star-pattern is paramount. “We are told that the lions came from the sky-lion constellation,” the shaman told Linda Tucker. All through her book, she interweaves the stellar motif with the other elements of her argument.
The constellation lore of the white lions is closely associated with Orion, the Hunter, known as Matseing to the Bushman. In Greek myth, Orion was condemned by Artemis, the goddess who guarded non-human animal life on earth, for exceeding the quota allowed for his kill. Tucker does not relate this mythic anecdote, but it fits beautifully into her thesis about humanity’s unrestricted consumption of nature due to breaking the prey-predator contract. The lesson here is: without reverence for the interspecies bond, our species cannot keep to to its proper boundaries in the natural world.

The Great Memory

In a fascinating twist, Tucker connects the appearance of the white lions of Simbavati to the possibility of an Ice Age. Far back in prehistory, hominids may have cohabited in caves with lions during glaciations. In the near future we may need to heed the presence of the white lions to understand massive global changes that now face the human species. Tucker proposes the idea that “a unique white gene might make an appearance in anticipation of a radical climatic change,” and indeed, “in respect of Mutwa’s view of the White Lions as prophetic messengers, this makes absolute sense” (p. 288).
She points out that in Zodiacal terms we are in fact entering the Age of Leo, and with a shift in the cosmic timeframe we could be facing massive Earth changes. Her chapter entitled “Ice Ages and Snow Lions” contains far-reaching speculations about this prospect, again stretching her argument to its limits. Yet there remains something irrefutably right about the direction she is takng with her speculations (if one can call them that). The sweep of associations she invokes is truly huge. It seems that we must understand the while lions in a cosmic perspective, or not at all. Tucker cites Laurens Van der Post on the skylore of the Kalahari Bushmen for whom "the song of the stars is cosmic language" (p. 210). In The Lost World of the Kalahari, Van der Post proposed the term "Great Memory" for the capacity of indigenous peoples to remember events in the life of the human species. Credo Mutwa uses the equivalent term "shamanic recall." (I proposed these term in Sharing the Gaia Mythos, before encountering it in Tucker's book.)
Van de Post said that the Great Memory involves more than the oral tradition of story-telling, which is a cultural outgrowth of it. It is a shamanic faculty "synonymous with a heightened, or deepened level of consciousnesss" (72). "Heightened awareness" was the term introduced by Carlos Castaneda the paranormal perception in shamanic states. It is worth noting as well that one of Castaneda's early shamanic tests involved an encounter with a saber-toothed tiger. The Great Memory belongs to the entire human species, but it only becomes active in the special case of shamans who explore paranormal states of awareness. Yet Tucker's book suggests that the Great memory may also be realized more universally whenever the interspecies bond is honored.
Mystery of the White Lions is not just another book on interspecies bonding: it is an interspecies revelation.

Canned Lions
In addition to its sublime moments, which are rich and varied, Tucker's book carries some gruesome material. We learn that the cause of the white lions has become known globally through the glitzy Las Vegas burlesque of animal trainers Siegfried and Roy. The brutal truth is, no white lions today live free in the wild. They are raised in captivity under the risk of being marketed as "canned lions," the vulgar term for lions bred to be hunted and killed under closely controlled conditions - a commercial parody of the sacred hunt. So far one white lion has been killed in this way, as a trophy. Needless to day, this is a magnificent trophy animal that commands a heady price because its rarity. The breeding of future white lions may depend fate on those few animals now living in Timbavati, because the price they command as trophies can pay for the cost of raising them. How's that for a paradox?
Linda Tucker believes that the current situation of the white lions is exemplary: the choice we make regarding them is the choice we make about ourselves. The dilemma of their survival is comparable to our own: life is nothing but commerce. The way we treat them represents our judgement on ourselves as a species. Is this true or not? Read her book , dip into the mystery, and decide for yourself.
Linda Tucker and White Lion Konkoela
jll: Flanders NOV 2005

White Lion

Jurques, France, May 23, 2007—A French zoo is celebrating the arrival of four white lions this week—and not because the late '80s glam rock band made an unscheduled stop on their 2007 tour.
Three female cubs and one male were born on May 20 to the zoo's adult lion Nyala, adding to the roughly 30 white lions that live in captivity worldwide.
The cubs had to be taken from their mother at birth because she showed a lack of parenting skills, zoo officials said.
The four cubs, each weighing in at 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms), "are in full health, and we are thrilled," Bernadette Oury, director of the Jurques Zoological Park, told the AFP news service.
White lions, which originated in South Africa, are not a separate species. The unusual animals are the result of a recessive gene that grants them snowy white coats instead of the normal golden fur.

Mountain Lion

parable of the mountain lion

A mountain lion began his day thinking about what he would eat.  As he prowled the mountainside looking for prey, he heard a rustling noise and soon began following the scent of a deer.  His mouth watered, his heart-rate increased as he began contemplating the chase and the kill.  Soon the scent of the deer mixed with another scent, that of a rabbit.  Realizing he was extremely hungry, the lion decided a quick meal of a rabbit would give him more strength to stalk and catch the deer.  He follows the rabbit until he finds a new scent.  Why does this scent of mouse have hints of human food?  Had a mouse found an empty cabin?  That would be quick food indeed, then he could go back to the deer.  Following the mouse he begins to imagine all the delicacies man leaves around cabins; partial carcases, whole chickens, and sometimes pinned-up hog.  Who needs to chase a deer, when prey is as easy as a hog in a fence?  Indeed, the mouse does lead him toward a cabin, this will be an easy meal. As the mouse nears the cabin the lion notices carrion lying on the ground, taking a careful look around he decides no human is near.  He grabs the bait and finds himself trapped in a snare.
How many times are we like the mountain lion?  How many times do we allow the distractions of the easy way prevent us from reaching our goal?!
The apostle Paul says, “This one thing I do?” (Phil 4:10-16).  His one thing is focusing on Christ and the reward of heaven.
How do you stay focused?

Carried Away Mountain Lions


Mountain lions are big, scary cats, kind of like tigers, except without the stripes. They eat deer and elk and sheep and cows and basenjis and even greyhounds. So that is why I was alarmed to learn that two mountain lions have been seen right here in Missouri during January. And by "seen," I mean "shot and killed," so there is no question about whether they were really mountain lions. Also, besides the two that were shot, another one was photographed this month near St. Louis by using one of those special cameras that goes off if something walks past it. And another mountain lion was photographed in the same way last November in the county where the Kansas City airport is.Back in the old days, mountain lions used to live all over North and South America, including in Missouri.  This was when there were just Indians living here.  But after the European settlers came, they shot the mountain lions and also the deer that the mountain lions ate.  So the mountain lions moved more to the west, which is where they mostly live today.

An adult mountain lion can be anywhere from 60 to 102 inches long, and its tail is 21 to 35 inches long.  Males weigh 140 to 160 pounds, and females weigh 90 to 110 pounds.  There are 2 or 3 kittens in a litter, and they have cute little spots on them.  They hang out with their mom until they are about 18 months old, and then they go off to find a territory of their very own, especially if they are boys.

The places mountain lions like to live are either where the land is rough and rocky, or else where there are thick swamps.  They don't like to live near people, and they mostly only come out at night to slink around and hunt.  It's pretty rare for a mountain lion to attack a person, but sometimes they kill livestock or pets, and that's why people don't like to have them around.

In Missouri, it is illegal to kill a mountain lion, unless it is a danger to your livestock or to your life.  The lion that got killed on January 2 was in Ray County, which is just a little ways north of Kansas City.  Some men treed this mountain lion while they were hunting raccoons, and then they called the man who owned the land they were hunting on.  He came and shot the mountain lion because it had been eating his livestock, and it was legal for him to kill it.

Then this past Saturday, in northeast Missouri, some farmers who were hunting for coyotes were shocked when a mountain lion suddenly came out from under a cedar tree.  So they shot it.  This mountain lion weighed 128 pounds and measured more than 6 feet from head to tail.

Both of these animals were young males, and they were probably just here trying to make a territory for themselves because older males won't let them hang around.  The wildlife scientists are going to use DNA to find out where the dead mountain lions came from, but they think it was from North Dakota, South Dakota, or Texas.  People have been seeing mountain lions in Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma, so these are all probably young males looking for mates.

The people at the Missouri Department of Conservation say that there are no mountain lions breeding in the state, and there are no plans to bring any here to start a new population of mountain lions.  The reason they don't want to do this is because they decided there would be too much danger to people and livestock here if we had a whole bunch of mountain lions.  So the ones that come to Missouri are probably just passing through.  It's kind of sad when they get shot, though.  I think it would be better just to give them a nice bus ticket so they could go back out west someplace to live.

I'm glad we won't have a whole bunch of mountain lions moving in around here because I don't want to worry about getting eaten by one whenever I go out in the back yard.  Of course, if there was a mountain lion in our back yard, it would be legal for Mom to shoot it, but she wouldn't because (1) she doesn't have a gun, and (2) she doesn't know how to shoot a gun -- except that her dad let her shoot a rifle a few times when she was a kid, and (3) she would probably be too busy running into the house to get away from the mountain lion, and (4) if she and all of us dogs were already safe in the house, Mom would probably feel sorry for the mountain lion and wouldn't want to kill it anyway.

Okay, so that's pretty much all I have to say on the subject of mountain lions in Missouri.  Except I will just add that if there are any mountain lions reading this, you should be warned that farmers shoot mountain lions here, so maybe you had better stay away!