Happy Hippo



Pictured above is the smallest of the three hippos that are lodged in the Saint Louis Zoo’s million gallon hippo tank. The fish in the background are tilapia. The stuff floating in the water is poop, hippo poop. The tilapia live off of this poop. This little link in the food chain is replicated in nature. This is a symbiotic relationship that was first established in African rivers. You should have seen the water when the exhibit was opened and before the tilapia had adequately established themselves. You could hardly see the hippos for all of their organic flotsam and jetsam. This dining choice on the part of the tilapia puts in a new light their delectability as a fine dining entrée. I’m reminded of the old saw, you are what you eat.

A full-grown male hippo weighs-in at about three tons and is capable of speeds of thirty miles-per-hour. Add to this their notorious territoriality and you have the prescription for a very dangerous animal. The above photo, while taken only inches away, was shot through very thick glass. Years ago, when my parents were touring southern Africa, they stayed at a resort. This resort featured a golf course and like most golf courses this one had water hazards. These water hazards were especially dangerous, because they doubled as hippo habitat. Guests were warned to never go near them. But for one duffer, this warning fell on deaf ears. Sure enough, soon after he drove his ball close to a hazard and we went down there to retrieve it, a charging hippo erupted from the water. He turned and ran, across the fairways. The hippo followed on the run. Remember the hippo’s 30 MPH top speed? Think of this hippo as a very large and angry SUV that was bearing down upon him quickly. Fortunately for him, at the last minute he zigged while the hippo zagged and the fool was spared.

In other news, I ended up purchasing and installing a Google Chromecast device for our new TV. I wanted to use our iPad that we never use as the remote for this endeavor. So, I first went to the local Apple store to enquire about a solution the nice young man at the genius bar advised me to get the Chromecast. On the way home, I stopped at Target and picked up one. Now, in addition to regular broadcast television, we can now also stream video from YouTube, Netflix and HBO, but not Amazon. Apparently, Google, Amazon and Apple cannot play nice with each other, at least not at the corporate level. Except for Amazon everything works fine. I’ll probably soon migrate everything to the iPhones, because the iPad is just too bulky to deal with and it’s even a mini. This will relegate the iPad to sitting on the shelf again, gathering dust.

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