Whaleoil readership survey results: The animal that most readers prefer



And the winner is……drum roll……

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Photo Of The Day

Rick Smolan?s photo of Robyn Davidson was featured on the cover of the May 1978 issue of National Geographic.

Rick Smolan?s photo of Robyn Davidson was featured on the cover of the May 1978 issue of National Geographic.

One Woman, Four Camels and a Dog

Amazing Vintage images from 1970s of woman who walked 1,700 miles across?Australia

Photographer Rick Smolan was travelling in Australia on assignment for Time?magazine when he encountered an angry woman in the small town of Alice Springs.

?I was sent to do a story on Aborigines,? Smolan says. ?I walked out of my hotel, and I looked up and saw Robyn washing the windows. I took some pictures and she got really pissed off and started yelling at me: ?Put your damn cameras down!? I went to explain what I was doing, and she said, ?Oh, you?re American?What are you, some kind of journalistic parasite here photographing the Aborigines?’?

The woman was Robyn Davidson?the so-called ?camel-lady? who undertook a 1,700-mile trek from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean on foot with four camels and a dog as her companions.

When Davidson embarked on her ambitious walk across the Australian Outback she didn?t think it was that big of a deal. She didn?t tell anybody why she was going, and she mostly wanted to be left alone. But she also needed money, so Smolan helped introduce her to editors at?National Geographic?who offered funding in exchange for her story. In turn, 28-year-old Smolan was assigned to photograph her trip for the magazine. Davidson just wished he would go away.

?She told me ?I only want you to come out once,? and I said ?No, I have to come a number of times,?? says Smolan. The problem was, although Davidson had been training her camels and preparing for the trip for years, Smolan had no experience in the outback.

?I went to Alice Springs and bought way too much stuff. I was such a rube. I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn?t even a boy scout,? Smolan cheerfully recounted. ?My friends in New York thought it was really funny that I was assigned to the outback. I was so completely clueless.?

Over Davidson?s nine-month trek, Smolan visited her five times. While she initially resisted his presence, eventually they became friends, then started a brief romance. Smolan didn?t tell his editors about the affair?the relationship would have been frowned upon. But as he continued to document Davidson?s journey he became an inextricable part of her story.

?I had to decide whether my allegiances were with her or the?Geographic,? says Smolan. ?Even with her fierceness there was something about her that was very vulnerable. I felt very protective of her, even though she didn?t want to be protected. Every time I left her, I wondered if it was the last time I would ever see her again. She could have died out there.?

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Photo Of The Day

Conroy and Stubby?s formal portrait.Sergeant Stubby and J. Robert Conroy, March 1919. Courtesy of Division of Armed Forces/Smithsonian National Museum of America History.

Conroy and Stubby?s formal portrait.Sergeant Stubby and J. Robert Conroy, March 1919. Courtesy of Division of Armed Forces/Smithsonian National Museum of America History.

The Drool Sergeant of World War I

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.?
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? -?Mark Twain

?Sergeant Stubby, the ?Hero Dog of WWI,? once caught a German soldier by the seat of his pants and held him until American soldiers came. He also served in 17 battles, saved his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks, and helped locate wounded soldiers.

On April 6th 1917 the U.S. Congress declared war on Germany officially entering a conflict that over the course of three years would become World War I or ?The Great War?. In the following months all men between the ages of 21 and 30 that were eligible for military service were traveling to various locations including Yale University who was lending their athletic fields to the training effort beginning in July 1917.

One of the soldiers training at Yale, 25-year old J. Robert Conroy of the 102nd?Infantry Regiment 26th??Yankee Division?, quickly caught the eye of one campus resident in particular, a small brown and white dog with stub for a tail.

No one is entirely sure when the pup first arrived on the grounds of Yale but he definitely made a good impression in a short amount of time while visiting students and getting some friendly scraps to eat. Even though he was no stranger to everyone on campus, it was Conroy that he attached himself too and he gave his new friend the name ?Stubby?.

The furry little guy became an instant companion but after a short amount of time he also became a training partner. While the men practiced their drills Stubby marched alongside them memorizing the various commands. He also learned the bugle calls that set the daily schedule and, in a move that further endeared him to everyone, Stubby learned to stand on his hind legs and raise his right paw in a salute that he would not break until answered. He trained, slept, ate, and relaxed with the men and before long Stubby was considered not just a friendly pup, but a fellow soldier.

As the days moved on and the situation overseas intensified the atmosphere at Yale became markedly more serious as the men began to accept that they were moving closer and closer to facing actual combat. Letters written by Conroy jokingly talk about his telling Stubby he would not be allowed to move on with him but that the dog simply “could not understand that?. When the men marched to a railway depot and boarded a train for Newport News in Virginia, Stubby was still by Conroy?s side and no one stopped their four-legged friend from boarding the train with them.

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Photo Of The Day

Pep ?The Cat-Murdering Dog?, 1924.

Pep ?The Cat-Murdering Dog?, 1924.

Why ‘Pep’ The Prison Dog Got Such A Bum Rap

Showing absolutely no remorse for his despicable crimes, Pep was sent down for life with no chance of parole.

In 1924, Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot allegedly sentenced Pep ?The Cat-Murdering Dog? (an actual dog) to a life sentence at Eastern State. Pep allegedly murdered the governor?s wife?s cherished cat. Prison records reflect that Pep was assigned an inmate number (no. C2559), which is seen in his mug shot. However, the reason for Pep?s incarceration remains a subject of some debate.

Eastern State’s most famous inmate may not be gangster Al Capone. And it may not be human.

Pep, “the Cat-Murdering Dog,” was was processed on Aug. 12, 1924. Legend contends then- Pennsylvania Gov. Gifford Pinchot sentenced the black Labrador retriever to life in prison without parole.

Pep was paw-printed and given an inmate number, C-2559, which is skipped in prison intake logs and records.

The governor said Pep can be kept in the deputy warden’s quarters, and he would have a yard and get plenty of exercise.

A 1925 article in?The Boston Daily Globe?featured a photo of a dog at a radio microphone for a special remote broadcast from a Pennsylvania prison.

He looks like a friendly, dark-haired Labrador. Two prison officers on either side have a hand on his back.

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Photo Of The Day

In 1946 the British government awarded Judy the Dickin Medal, which honors the extraordinary wartime service of animals. PHOTOGRAPH BY TOPICAL PRESS AGENCY/HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY

In 1946 the British government awarded Judy the Dickin Medal, which honors the extraordinary wartime service of animals.

Judy, the Only Canine POW

in World War II

Judy, a beautiful liver and white English pointer, and the only animal POW of WWII, truly was a dog in a million. Whether she was dragging men to safety from the wreckage of a torpedoed ship, scavenging food to help feed the starving inmates of a hellish Japanese POW camp, or by her presence alone bringing inspiration and hope to men living through the 20th century’s darkest days, she was cherished and adored by the British, Australian, American and other Allied servicemen who fought to survive alongside her.

Viewed largely as human by those who shared her extraordinary life, Judy’s uncanny ability to sense danger, matched with her quick-thinking and impossible daring saved countless lives. She was a close companion to men who became like a family to her, sharing in both the tragedies and joys they faced. It was in recognition of the extraordinary friendship and protection she offered amidst the unforgiving and savage environment of a Japanese prison camp in Indonesia that she gained her formal status as a POW.

Judy’s unique combination of courage, kindness, and fun repaid that honour a thousand times over.

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Face of the day

A loyal dog waits.

A loyal dog waits. -Source: AP Photo


Their noses glumly peek out from under the fence as Nathan Cirillo’s dogs await the return of their master, unaware that he will never being coming home.

The 24-year-old Canadian soldier and single father was gunned down outside the National War Memorial in Ottawa yesterday.

24 hours later and his forlorn dogs have been pictured peering under the fences at his family’s Ontario home.

Cirillo was a devoted animal lover and regularly posted photos with his pets on Instagram.

Friends also described how he had recently discovered an abandoned, starving puppy, which he brought back to health before finding it a home.

“Found him a pretty home, hope he has a good life,” Cirillo wrote of the puppy just a month ago.

Cirillo, who was killed as he stood guard outside the war memorial, also leaves behind six-year-old son Marcus.

Cirillo was bringing up the boy alone, with help from his mother, after the boy?s mother was no longer in the picture.

“He stepped up. Definitely admirable.” Cirillo?s former girlfriend Randi Lotsberg told The Star.

“I feel so bad right now for his kid. Now his son doesn’t have a dad.”


Why do dogs want to sniff your balls? … to detect cancer of course


The old joke about why do dogs lick their balls…because they can…now has new meaning…they could in fact be sniffing out cancer.

Researcher have found that dogs sniffing blokes nutsacks can detect prostate cancer 98% of the time.

I don’t know about you guys but a dog sniffing my nuts is a whole lot better than a doctor?losing his watch up my rectum. It is still better than a jab in the arm for blood tests.

The power of dogs? noses is well documented, and that reputation continues to improve. Researchers have discovered that our canine companions? snouts may be more accurate than advanced laboratory procedures when it comes to detecting certain forms of cancer.

Researchers at the Istituto Clinico Humanitas in Italy?have trained two dogs that can sniff out the scent of prostate cancer in urine samples?with a success rate of 98 percent, a new study reports. The pool of over 600 subjects makes this the largest study ever conducted using cancer-sniffing dogs. ? Read more »

I guessed half of it


Everyone’s a critic


Another dense German