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oldognewtrick 06-08-2010 09:36 PM

Hey Nestor
O.K Eskimos, I know they don't like being called Eskimos but i forget what they like to be called, do the ones who live in igloos have their igloos melt each summer? Seems that if they do, they would be the quintessential DIYers, always redoing their house. Guess they would have to do it their selves cause I doubt there are any commercial Igloos building business, or are they like the Amish and build as a community? Have you ever been in an Igloo? I always wondered about bathroom facilities, do they simply dig a hole in the ice? What if the ice freezes back before they got the sports page read?

And whats this about the polar bears leaving Manitoba? Where are they going to? Hope they don't come to Tennessee. We have enough aliens here now.

Oh well just wondering...

TxBuilder 06-09-2010 09:44 AM

Inuit. The rest I'm going to leave to Nestor. I did a Fifth grade history report on the Igloo, so what ever he's wrong about I will correct.

Nestor_Kelebay 06-09-2010 09:10 PM


No, I think the Inuit have house insurance to cover them if their igloos melt. And, of course, the policy would cover any water damage to the igloo from the melt water just as the fire insurance policy on your house covers water damage caused by putting the fire out. ;) I think All State offers a fire insurance policy on igloos as well.

I've never been in an igloo, but I'm told that they're surprisingly warm inside. I guess the reason why is that snow is a very good insulator. Hard, clear ice is a lousy insulator, but igloos are made from hard packed snow; the white opaque stuff. And that kind of snow has an awful lot of air inside it, which I guess is why it works well as an insulator.

Can't say about the washroom facilities in an igloo, but I expect it's basically an outhouse without any wood.

oldognewtrick 06-10-2010 04:47 PM

Ok, but where are the Polar bears going? I heard they are leaving Manitoba.

Nestor_Kelebay 06-11-2010 02:01 PM

Where are the polar bears going? They're basically going extinct. And the cause is global warming.

Polar bears spend most of their lives on the ice up north. They hunt seals by digging a hole in shallow ice with their sharp claws and waiting patiently for a seal to come up through that hole for a breath of air. When one does, they quickly grab the seal and pull him out of the water for dinner. How the polar bears know where to dig their holes is something that still isn't understood, but they are good swimmers and they learn where the fish are in their area of the arctic ocean. Since seals eat fish, the polar bears presumably dig holes where they think seals will be feeding on fish. This method of hunting is the normal way that polar bears feed themselves and their cubs. If this method fails, a hungry polar bear will chase down a person for dinner. They are the only bear that will hunt people.

The problem is that with global warming, the ice in the arctic is disappearing, and in open water a seal can swim circles around a polar bear. Consequently, the method that these bears have relied on to survive in the north is gradually becoming impossible for them to use. There are still plenty of seals, but polar bears simply cannot catch them in open water.

So, as global warming continues, and the arctic ice melts, the polar bear's only means of feeding themselves will disappear, and these bears will gradually become extinct through starvation. It's a tragedy, but there simply is no alternative to continued global warming over the forseeable future, and that's what's making the ice disappear. Some people have suggested just plain outright leaving meat out for the polar bears to eat, but that's not a good solution either. You'd just encourage the bears to stay in areas where the food is distributed, and if that's close to where people live, then there's going to be human/polar bear encounters that'll result in dead people and pets. And, of course, polar bears are very territorial, and they'll be fighting each other because they'll all "claim" the area where the food is distributed as their own. So, only the strongest polar bears will get the food, and will chase the others away.

I expect there will be polar bears in zedoos, though. The Winnipeg Zedoo had a polar bear by the name of Debbie who was over 42 years old when she died a year or two ago now. Debbie was well known in Winnipeg because most of the people in Winnipeg went to see her many times as they were growing up, so most of the people in Winnipeg knew who Debbie the polar bear was. When Debbie died there was a memorial service for her at the Winnipeg Zoo, and they raised money for the service by selling stuff that people donated (kinda like an auction).

My oldest sister makes quilts for a hobby, and she made a "Debbie" quilt in a polar bear theme and donated it to the Zoo to raise money for Debbie's cremation. (My sister is a social worker and runs a pet loss support group for people that are mourning the loss of animals (horses and dogs, mostly) and she knows some of the people that work at the Zoo (like Gord Glover) and in the Winnipeg Police and locla rural RCMP through that group. The policemen that work with trained dogs actually live with their dogs as pets and become very attached to them. And, it turns out that it's the strength of the emotional connection a person has that determines the amount they grieve when that connection is broken, not what the emotional connection was with. Obviously, a strong emotional bond will develop between a policeman and a dog that works with him and might have saved his life. People will often grieve more over the loss of a pet that they had a strong emotional connection with than they will over the death of a close relative they haven't seen for years.) Anyhow, my sister knew several people at the Zoo, and the quilt she made for Debbie sold for $250.

The polar bear exhibit at the Winnipeg Zoo is one of the prime attractions in our zoo because unlike most of the animals, the polar bears are active in the Winter, so it's one of the few things that you can do outside in Winnipeg in winter. During the summer polar bears just lie around in shady spots and sleep, but during the winter you can watch them swim and often the young ones will play fight with each other.

Anyhow, it's kinda sad, but there doesn't seem to be any good solution to the problem. It's not just Manitoba that the polar bears are disappearing from, they're basically disappearing from everywhere. As the polar bears have progressively more difficulty feeding themselves in the wild, they come further south and end up scavanging in the garbage dumps of small towns in the north like Churchill. And, that's very dangerous because they will attack people and dogs if they're hungry enough. The RCMP trap polar bears that come into small towns in search of food, and release them back into the wild, but sometimes polar bears will get into the habit of scavanging for food in people's garbage and they have to be destroyed because they present a danger to the people living in those small towns.

oldognewtrick 06-11-2010 10:19 PM

Nestor, I did not know that, interesting.

inspectorD 06-12-2010 07:07 AM

wait? There are no southern cap polar bears? and if there are they listen to Jimmy Buffet...or are we the buffet?? I'm still confused, I only thought the ice was melting in my glass....and don't grizzlies eat folks too??

Nestor_Kelebay 06-12-2010 06:01 PM

Grizzlies will maul a person if they see them as a threat. Or, if you turn and run from a grizzly bear, it will instinctively give chase and maul you when it catches you. But even if a grizzly bear mauls you to death, it will leave your dead body alone. It won't eat it.

A hungry polar bear will hunt down a person and eat the body after it kills them. It will intentionally kill a person to make a meal out of them. No other bear will do that.

oldognewtrick 06-12-2010 06:40 PM

[QUOTE=Nestor_Kelebay;45656]Grizzlies will maul a person if they see them as a threat. Or, if you turn and run from a grizzly bear, QUOTE]

Reminds me of the story about the 2 guys who were out hiking and ran up on a charging bear, the one fellow stopped and started to tie his sneakers a little tighter. The other guy says you can't outrun that bear and the first guys says "I don't have to out run the bear... just you."

Always go hiking with a friend.

Nestor_Kelebay 06-12-2010 10:09 PM


Originally Posted by oldog/newtrick (Post 45657)
Always go hiking with a friend.

Preferably a slow friend? :)

Seriously, if you do hike, remember to talk loud, sing or whistle when you hike. Bears will try to avoid contact with people, and if they hear you coming, they'll get out of the way. And, that's best for all concerned.

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