Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Dog shaved to look like lion sparks 911 call in Norfolk Virginia -

Dog shaved to look like lion sparks 911 call in Norfolk Virginia - 

The 911 caller reported that the baby lion was walking down Colley Avenue, possibly looking for food, near 50th Street. So police called the Virginia Zoo around 10:15 a.m. to make sure the lions were all accounted for, said Winfield Danielson, a zoo spokesman.

Mramba, the male lion, and Zola, the female, were in their habitats.

As it turns out, it was Charles the Monarch that was out and about.

Neighborhood regulars know Charles, who hangs out with his owner at Daniel Painter's business, Daniel's Lawn & Garden Center, on Colley Avenue.

Charles is a cross of Labrador retriever and poodle shaved to look like the mascot of Old Dominion University.

He likes to dine at University Pizza.

"He has a thousand-and-200-some friends on Facebook," Painter said Tuesday.

By evening, with the media attention, his fan base was growing.

Police spokesman Chris Amos said he did a double-take when he first saw Charles at an ODU game. On Tuesday, a Talbot Park Civic League official emailed people to tell them the "lion" was just a dog.

It wasn't the first time Charles had generated a police call.

Painter said police have told him several times that his dog has been mistaken for a lion. He said he's taken his dog from his Riverview home to Lafayette Park near the zoo and seen people run to their cars in shock.

"I tell people he's a Lab-a-lion, and half the people believe that."

But really, Painter said, Charles the Monarch loves people, children and tailgating at ODU with the official school mascot, Big Blue.


EU launches public consultation on aspartame... -

EU launches public consultation on aspartame... - 

The EU's food safety agency on Tuesday launched a public consultation on its draft scientific opinion regarding the safety of the artificial sweetener aspartame.

"All stakeholders and interested parties are invited to comment on the draft opinion through the online public consultation by 15 February 2013," the European Food Safety Agency said in a statement.

EFSA experts, using available information on aspartame and its breakdown products, has concluded in a draft opinion that they were safe at levels currently set in Europe.

The experts looked at the possible adverse effects of phenylalanine, one of aspartame's breakdown products, on the developing fetus. Phenylalanine is known to be toxic at high intake levels.

Read more -