Sunday, December 24, 2006

Put your penguin clothes on

Penguins and pullovers are a fitting combo, as beautiful as placebo and Katz. While you surely agree on such statement you may still be puzzled why a penguin should wear a sweater. As Pablo Gazpachot kindly explains: "Ocean oil spills are one of the ugliest tricks us humans are capable of, especially when your consider the collateral damage to innocent lives. The toxic mess wreaks havoc on the entire ecosystem, often killing and injuring countless thousands of sea dependent creatures. In particular, Phillip Island Penguins, aka Little Penguins, who live along the coastal waters of Australia, get it bad. Their breeding grounds are typically lost in the spills, thus causing them to spread out, not mate, and loose precious group body heat. Oil gets all over their shiny feathers destroying the natural oils that keep them warm. They try to preen the sticky crude oil from their feathers, swallowing much of it, which is fatal.

So, how do you stop a penguin from freezing and eating toxic oil? You knit little sweaters for Little Penguins to wear while they are in Penguin Hospital of course. Little Penguins are the smallest of the penguin family, and they take a size extra small: about four inches across and nine inches tall with appropriate openings for the head and flippers. See here and here.

But before you start feeling too jolly about saving the planet, there's a twist to this wooly yarn. Unfortunately, it seems there are more lonely penguin sweater knitters than there are oil-covered penguins in the world. Thousands of tiny sweaters are sent to trouble spots each year with nary a penguin to don them. No matter, these places are stockpiling penguin "jumpers" for any future oil spills."

While we are assured by now that there´s a warm little jumper for every little penguin to jump in there´s still something missing. Yip, what about shoes? Wouldn´t it be strange to see all the fluffy dressed penguins walking along the streets barefoot?

Again, help is at hand, as this pic of "Elvis" shows. 'Elvis,' a blue penguin gets his new shoes checked from Penguin minder Bob Morgan at the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand. The innovative shoe has been designed to fit over the feet of Little Blue penguins to keep them dry and free from infection after suffering problems when they moved to a new exhibit.

As you see, there´s good hope that every little penguin will always be a well dressed little penguin.

Time to dedicate your knitting efforts to other beings in need.
What about our floral friends?

pullover via gazpachot
shoes via petistic

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