Fiona was born six weeks premature on January 24 and was unable to stand and nurse from her mother, Bibi. After Bibi ignored her tiny baby, keepers decided to care for the baby in the zoo’s nursery. Under the expert care of the zoo’s staff, Fiona has grown from a mere 29 pounds (less than half the normal weight for a Hippo calf) to more than 100 pounds today.
The zoo’s nursery staff has helped Fiona overcome several health hurdles, including underdeveloped lungs, finding the right milk formula for her, regulating her body temperature, and keeping her hydrated. No other zoo has raised a premature baby Hippo before.
Fiona has learned to walk, including up a ramp leading into her exercise pool. She has learned to swim and exhibits all the normal behaviors of a Hippo.
Keepers hope to reunite Fiona with Bibi and Henry, Fiona’s father. Bibi and Fiona were separated during the normal bonding time between mother and calf, so it is unlikely that Bibi will recognize Fiona as her offspring. However, the staff expects Bibi and Henry to welcome Fiona into the bloat just as they would any other new Hippo.
Eventually, Fiona will become too large to be cared for in a hands-on manner by keepers. For now, Fiona and her parents can see and hear each other, but they are separated by a protective barrier. The staff will begin working to transition Fiona to the bloat so she can become a well-adjusted Hippo.
According to the video description:
Following a serious car accident, Jim spent 2 weeks in intensive care battling multiple broken bones and collapsed lungs. Today he was able to get into a wheelchair and was taken outside the hospital to be reunited with his dog 'Mr Kippy', who was with Jim at the time of the accident.
Submitted by: (via Jim Tavare)
I was lucky enough to have my colleagues Alex Fernandez and Rhea Friesen along this year. Both of them were first-timers on the JoCo Cruise ("New Monkeys"). They seemed to have a nice time, although you'd have to ask them to be sure. Unfortunately, Steve and Monica weren't able to make it this year, so we didn't have any specific scheduled events, but I did a lot of talking about the Munchkin Shakespeare Kickstarter. (In fact, I was obsessed, since the Kickstarter ended while I was on the cruise and the shipboard Internet for the first half of the week was sporadic and slow. Thanks to everyone who had to put up with my refreshing my phone every few minutes.) I ran into lots of people playing our games over the course of the cruise: plenty of Munchkin, of course, but also Chez Geek, Castellan, Revolution!, and Ogre Sixth Edition (and those are just the ones I saw!). The ship had a very well-stocked game library, between the JoCo permanent game collection and all the games brought by the Sea Monkeys themselves, and games were being played around the clock in just about every space with a table or two to cluster around.
There were plenty of things to do besides play games, of course: sleep, eat, watch the dolphins and whales and seals, and if we got bored with all of that, there was a full slate of events both small and large to keep us occupied. As always, I had a great time! (I also contracted a cold that didn't hit me until I was in Vegas, but that's another, much sadder story.)
If this sounds like fun and you have a week to spare next February, you might think about looking into the JoCo Cruise. I've already booked my cabin!
– Andrew Hackard
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If it does happen on roll20, I might ask for players to help fund a gamemaster's membership for me to help make for the best experience. This would allow me to get all the goodies that make online tabletop games great. Based on my current experiences with roll20, I'd probably want to use Skype for communications.
But I do have a complaint. "D&D meets Twilight: 2000" was a way of giving a quick analogy for the game's setting, not a promise to mash two entirely dissimilar games and settings together. The setting I'm planning is a take on the Battle of Manzikert, fought in 1071 between the Byzantine Empire under the Emperor Romanos IV against the Seljuk Turks under Arp Arslan. In the real battle, Romanos was betrayed and captured. Arp Arslan asked his royal captive what he would do if their roles were reversed. "Kill you, more than likely." was the reply. The Turkish warlord told Romanos that he was going to something much worse: let him go.
Historians point to that battle as the point where the Roman Empire began its long slide into ruin. It's also a great setting for the type of game I want to run, a game where the characters are already established, and have an immediate, pressing, need to work as a team to survive.
Thinking about it, the campaign could take several paths, all of which could run into each other with some meta-plots running in the background.
First of all we have The Long Road Home. This is the most basic concept. The characters, after coming together in the wake of the rout, decide to work their way back to civilized lands. It's a reasonable goal, and would make for a fine episodic campaign. The push is obvious, survive to reach home. The pull could be a desire to expose Constans Logios as a traitor, or to raise a new army, or to just get back to normalcy. All sorts of fun roadblocks to throw here, and a recurring foe in the agent of the enemy sent to hunt them down.
Secondly, the players could decided to be the Merry Men of Cappadocia. They steal from the evil and give to the good. The area where the battle took place still has many humans, now enslaved and forced to farm and labor for the enemy. They need heroes to save them! Again, this would a good episodic game. The characters would need to find a safe hide-out, gain allies, and then begin striking the enemy where it hurts. This would also lend itself to a running villain. I like boss fights at the end of a campaign. This one would require a more detailed map of the area the players will be operating in.
Next, is the Lawrence of Cappadocia option. Forget raiding, raise an army among the locals and wage guerrilla war against the oppressor! I think in this case a more constant style would work as the characters work to recruit their army from local nomads and lead them to victory. While fun sounding, this one might bog down into a wargame, and I haven't read the mass combat rules yet. But still, it would appeal to players who want to change things on a larger scale.
Then there's the "Run In The Wrong Direction" possibility. Like the first, it involves getting away from the battlefield and heading home, but in this case, the characters are forced further and further into unknown territory until they have a much longer road. I really like this concept, because it gives me a chance to really do so world building on a grand scale in a fantasy realm. Keep pushing east and you come to places like India, Southeast Asia, China, and beyond. How do you ever get home? Admittedly, this option is the hardest for me as a game master, as it would require a ton of creative work. Plus, the players have to agree to a railroad for the first couple of adventures. Still, if you like road trips. . .
I can absolutely see these ideas merging. The campaign might start off with trying to get home, then coming to the defense of a small village and sticking around to protect the locals, who eventually form the nucleus of a resistance. If that resistance is shattered, the crew might find themselves many leagues from any known landmark and hunted by an army.
All good stuff. I'd be interested in seeing what people like from these ideas.
Date: March 25, 2017
Greek Independence Day, observed on March 25th, celebrates the country gaining independence from the Ottoman Empire after 400 years of rule. The national holiday is marked by great parades, patriotic speeches, and demonstrations by Greek armed forces. Towns throughout Greece hold a school flag parade, during which children march in traditional costumes and carry Greek flags. Lots of families also celebrate with a lunch of bakaliaros (batter-fried salted cod) and skordalia (garlic and potato dip), and if the weather is good, their first ice cream of the season.
Happy Independence Day!