Competition Music!

Friday, September 26, 2008

'The most random thing...cont.

Blogger is being retarded and won't let me make a long post, so you'll have to read this in installments...

So, this film crew were running around the zoo, interviewing Dominic and film various animal species. Keith continued to question me about all my research. I explained my volunteer study and, after noting that this obviously wasn't what he was looking for, I volunteered information on my other work. I began by mentioning the study that I conducted looking at the behaviour of chimps in single-sex groups. At this point Keith's face lit up and he said something along the lines of, 'That's just what we are looking for!'

He proceeded to explain that the theme for that episode of said talk show was, what he called, the Patriarchy VS Matriarchy debate. He further explained that he would like to interview me along with Dominic on the topic.

Not thinking, I assumed that he meant, perhaps, at some stage in the future, we could organise it and he'd let me know. But this was not to be. Moments later the cameras were on, there was a mircophone and boom in my crotch and Dominic and Keith were practicing their entrance walk. Meanwhile, Athena had gacefully and cunningly darted inbetween the film crew and was standing behind them all grinning at me.

So, completely unprepared and, to a degree, in a state of shock, I was interviewed. Part of the interview was asking about bonobos, which are a species of chimp with a notorious sex life. It was really awkward being asked, and I quote, 'Who do you think has the better deal? Bonobos, or chimpanzees?' I responded with, 'I'd have to say, bonobos...'

Overall, it was quite fun, but definitely the most random thing that has happened to me in a long time!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The most random thing...

So I've not posted in a very long time, but I've been very busy, learning to Scuba dive, writing up my masters dissertation, going on 60km cycle races without any training...that sort of thing. But this post isn't about that. No, this post is about something that happened to me yesterday while I engaged in the seemingly benign act of chimpanzee observations at the zoo...

I was observing with a friend who is also one of my volunteers, Athena. It wasn't a fantastic observation day as there were countless numbers of irritating school children running amok in the zoo, hurtling food items whily-nilly at the chimpanzees, which always puts a dampener on things. None the less, we had been observing for about 20 min, not counting all the times I had to stop to shout at children. Suddenly, I felt a hand slap my side and a voice said, 'Howzit Bud'?'

As one may have guessed, this doesn't happen very often when one is doing chimpanzee observations...

I finished marking the behaviour I had just observed, being a scientist data collection comes first, and turned around. I was surprised but relieved to see that the slapper was Dominic, the curator for carnivores at the zoo. He's a really nice guy, who I've never really met but always insists on smiling and being very friendly towards me. Better that than the alternative I figure...

So I greeted him and we chatted a bit about how annoying the little children are. Then, he turned around and spoke to some people behind him. 'Don't you want to speak to him instead,' he said, referring to me. 'After all, he studies chimps...'

The small gathering behind him concluded that this was a good idea and a tall individual with an...interesting beard, approached me. He introduced himself (anyone who knows me knows that I am hopeless with names, so for the purposes of this post, he shall be called Keith - it's really just to protect the innocent...) and began asking me about my research and what I did. It was at this point that Dominic explained that they were a film crew who were shooting a small insert for a talk show and that they had been around the zoo looking at the different animals.