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2278.  Thu Nov 27, 2003 5:20 pm Reply with quote

China, North Korea and South Korea are now farming bears for their bile in order to meet the needs of its traditional medicine industry. The bears on the farms are milked for their bile by placing a surgically implanted catheter into their gallbladders. As many as 8,000 bears live on these farms in China alone.
Although the milking process is not painful to the bears it is stressful due to the fact that the bears spend their entire lives in small cramped cages.

2279.  Thu Nov 27, 2003 5:22 pm Reply with quote

One German mountaineer says the Tibetan moon bear (better known as the Asiatic black bear) is the creature behind the Abominable Snowman myth. After a close encounter with a 'Yeti' in Tibet in 1986, Reinhold Messner began devoting all of his time researching the question. He's decided that the monster is not a humanoid ape but a bear, and thinks there are about 1,000 of them prowling the slopes of Tibet and Nepal.

2281.  Thu Nov 27, 2003 5:25 pm Reply with quote

Bears have some kind of homing function which allows them to find their way home even after being flown over 300 km by helicopter. This causes difficulties when people are trying to relocate them.

2282.  Thu Nov 27, 2003 5:31 pm Reply with quote

In late 19th-century California grizzly bears were made to fight bulls as a spectacle and as a gambling activity. The bears always won, so the gamblers went to the expense of importing some lions. The bears still always won. They would crush the lion's skull with a single blow before the lion had the opportunity to deploy its own speciality, which is blocking the wind pipe. Cats have low-density bones and rely on muscle so they can dish it out but they can't take it.

2353.  Fri Nov 28, 2003 1:02 pm Reply with quote

Urban Black Bears Becoming Couch Potatoes, Study Says

NEW YORK (Nov. 24) -- Black bears living in and around urban areas are up to a third less active and weigh up to thirty percent more than bears living in wild areas, according to a recent study by scientists from the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

The study, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Zoology says that black bears are spending less time hunting for natural food [...] Instead, they are choosing to forage in dumpsters behind fast-food restaurants, shopping centers, and suburban homes, often eating their fill in far less time than it would take to forage or hunt prey.

"Black bears in urban areas are putting on weight and doing less strenuous activities," said WCS biologist Dr. Jon Beckmann, the lead author of the study. "They're hitting the local dumpster for dinner, then calling it a day." [....abridged...]

Frederick The Monk
2356.  Fri Nov 28, 2003 1:41 pm Reply with quote

Black bears may be becomming lazy BUT they don't suffer from osteoporosis so they probably don't care.

Most hibernating animals loose bone-mass whilst they hibernate as they don't move, indeed the same is true with any animal that doesn't get out much - like myself for instance. But black bears have a way of recycling calcium into their bones so they wake up just as strong as when they nodded off. This phenomenon is now being studied n the hope it may offer a cure for human osteoporosis and help with long term exposure to weightlessness.

They are also the only bear that doesn't urinate or defecate whilst hibernating - which might have something to do with it, as they could be laying excess calcium back down in their bones instead of excreting it.

s: The Journal of Experimental Biology, vol 206, p.4233
New Scientist, 29th Nov. 2003

2373.  Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:10 pm Reply with quote

A useful Chinese recipe for Bear's Paw:

1 bear's paw, some pigeon eggs, 1 red cherry, salt, Shaoxing wine, chicken fat, ham, chives, ginger, delicious soup, water chestnut powder


1. Clean the bear's paw in soda water, remove the hair, crust and bones after boiling, wrap it in a cloth, braise it together with chicken & duck sternums, ham, chives, ginger, Shaoxing wine, delicious soup, after boiling, stew them for 2 hours, change the soup water 3 times during the while to eliminate odour, then steam it with delicious soup, wine, ginger in a food steamer for 2 hours.
2. Put the shelled pigeon eggs, chives, ginger, wine in the delicious soup for late use.
3. Braise the bear's paw, chives, ginger, delicious soup and necessary seasonings to boiling, stew them for 5 minutes, then put in water chestnut powder to make paste over a strong fire, turn the bear's paw over, pour chicken fat on it, move it into a dish.
4. Put the water chestnut powder in 2 to braise them into paste, pour chicken fat on, then place the pigeon eggs around the bear's paw, put the red cherry on it.

2382.  Fri Nov 28, 2003 8:31 pm Reply with quote

If you've already got some delicious soup handy, why on earth would you bother?

2390.  Sat Nov 29, 2003 4:20 am Reply with quote

I found it while looking for decent cannibal recipes for the burial string but found none

2391.  Sat Nov 29, 2003 4:33 am Reply with quote

[still giggling over the "delicious soup"]

I have found some cannibal recipes that I can post, but they all involve infants. So I had some questions:

1) They are in (no pun intended) very poor taste, and highly likely to offend. Should I provide a warning, or what?
2) They might also be legally dubious (I have no idea, but as far as I am aware the author has faced no action), but in these fearful times could they get the site into trouble?

On reflection, I think the simplest solution is to just provide the link on the other thread, with no quoting, but with a warning about the content that will be viewed if the link is clicked, so I shall go and do that.

[EDIT: on reflection, I'm not sure why I thought eating children was automatically worse than eating adults]

Last edited by ryewacket on Sat Nov 29, 2003 2:30 pm; edited 1 time in total

2404.  Sat Nov 29, 2003 8:53 am Reply with quote

One legend about the origin of the bear, widespread in regions occupied by the Voguls and Ostiaks, has been compared with the myth of Prometheus. According to this tradition the bear was the son of the sky-god. At first he lived in the firmament , .but he was seized with an irresistible desire to go down and see what was happening on earth, which he could just see behind cloud, sometimes covered in a white carpet of snow, and sometimes completely green. Weary of his requests, the sky-god allowed him to go down, fastened to the end of a chain. Once on earth the bear nearly died because he did not know how to hunt. So his father' the god, put a bow and arrow into his hands. He also taught him how to make a fire so that he would not die of cold. But at the same time he forbade him to attack animals friendly to men or men of good conscience. Nor did he have permission to touch the corpse of a man or animal. On the contrary, his mission in his capacity of son of the sky-god was to see that honesty and justice reigned among men. He was instructed to punish the wicked, perjurers, liars and rogues. That is why but a short time ago, as Lehtisalo recounts, Samoyed Yuraks swore by the hair of a bear's head when they had to take oaths. It did not take the bear long to forget the words pronounced by his father. He was not afraid to attack men. So they killed him, and from that moment on men had the right to kill the bear. At the same time they took possession of fire and the bear's bow and arrow. From that time onwards men knew how to shoot with the bow and they had knowledge of fire.
-Larousse World Mythology

Frederick The Monk
2411.  Sat Nov 29, 2003 1:46 pm Reply with quote

The constellation Ursa Major (the great bear) is thought to resemble a bear in two cultures - ancient Greek (and hence western Europe) and Native American Indian. Considering that most constellations look highly fanciful to me - just a collection of mad dot-to-dots that could frankly be made to look like anything, I find this rather surprising. The only difference between how the two groups joined up the dots is that what the Greeks saw as the three stars of the tail, American indians saw as three hunters chasing the bear. The middle hunter is seen to be carrying a pot to cook the bear in when they catch it.

2415.  Sat Nov 29, 2003 8:02 pm Reply with quote

I think this may be to do with the idea that the bear was the only creature which could live that far north - the Arctic is precisely that, the Region of the Bear (Arctos).

2554.  Tue Dec 02, 2003 7:32 am Reply with quote

In stock market parlance a bear is someone who sells shares he doesn't own in order to profit from a falling market (ie who "goes short"). This usage derives from the saying that you shouldn't sell a bearskin till you've shot the bear.

2555.  Tue Dec 02, 2003 7:44 am Reply with quote

How can you sell something you don't own? (She said, betraying total financial ignorance.) I've heard of bull and bear markets but know nothing at all about them. Am I alone in this ignorance (I am, aren't I?) or is there a QI question in here somewhere?


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