Thursday, January 09, 2020

As you know if you made it through, the 1980s were weird.

In 1980, the first 1 GB hard drive cost $40,000 and weighed more than 500 pounds. In the mid 80s, Pablo Escobar’s Medellin Cartel was spending $2,500 a month on rubber bands, just to hold all their cash. And Domino’s Pizza had a campaign centered around “The Noid” – It was discontinued in 1989 after a mentally ill man named Kenneth Noid took Domino’s Pizza workers hostage after he thought the ads were a personal attack on him.

And a gi-clad Russian animal trainer and a trained circus bear named Asya appeared on a local morning television show. For undetermined reasons, with speculation pointing to smell, the bear then attacked a seated woman, and then a man who came to her assistance.

The trainer and the bear first pose in seemingly friendly fashion, when the bear looks over and sees … what? A startling potential predator? Lunch? A better question is why was the bear brought there in the first place.

The man then tries two shuto strikes, to no avail. The bear then turns on one of her rescuers, pinning him to the floor. The trainer in a gi then attempts a guillotine of sorts, while the man on bottom clings to the trainer with a sort of quarter guard and three wriggle about.

Eventually the bear is separated from the man, careens into a studio camera nearly toppling it, and comes to rest by a wall, looking far more startled, even frightened, than aggressive.

The bear was declawed and muzzled, so the pair suffered only scrapes, bruising, and fear. As too often happens in human-animal interactions, it was the bear who ended up harmed – it was put down. If a bear attacks a human, it makes international news. But if a bear is pulled into the human world and acts like a bear, it is put down.

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Polar Bear Family & Me presenter Gordon Buchanan sat in the box, known as the “Ice Cube”, which attracted a bears’ curiosity. The BBC team had covered the bear and her two cubs for a year.

She was hungry, and in search of food for her young. Buchanan presumably looked nutritious.

The show’s producer, Jason Roberts, caused controversy for use of the perspex box. The “Ice Cube” broke Svalbard’s strict environmental regulations, causing an “administrative offence”. Svalbard Deputy Governor Lars Erik Alfheim finded Roberts 50,000 Norwegian krona (about $6,000).

The polar bears are protected on the archipelago, but if they attack humans they are killed. According to this rule, if a polar bear broke into and attacked Buchanan, it would have to be killed.

“When you make a cage with a man inside and a polar bear attacks it, that is a disturbance,” said Mr Alfheim.

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Last year a video was leaked on Liveleak that is rumored to be a trailer for a new upcoming Japanese TV show.

Japanese TV show makes the 1980s seem like Mr. Rogers neighborhood. Much of what happens can’t even be politely written about. So all things considered, this one is maybe middle of the road.

But it is bizarre.

All in all, it appears that bears would be better served without humans interfering in their lives.