Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 24th
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film chimpanzeeDisneynature is back with its annual Earth Day Weekend wildlife documentary. Shot on location in the rainforests of Tanzania, Chimpanzee is presented as a narrative tale about an adorable baby chimp growing up within the support group of his community, working, playing, and feasting together. Made in association with the Jane Goodall Institute and shot by painstaking camera crews over a period of months as the story-in-progress gradually emerged, it's directed by Disneynature series veterans Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield.

Narrated by Tim Allen, the film chronicles 3-year-old Oscar. Like human toddlers, he still depends on his mother for food and protection. They live in a small tribe whose dominate male is a grizzled, 50-year-old called Freddy, wandering their region in pursuit of various nuts and fruits in season, using sticks to eat termites and ants, stealing honey. But another tribe wants to muscle in on their turf, under a leader referred to as "Scar." (His followers—apparently devoid of females or babies—are variously called "thugs," or "his mob.") After a clash between the two groups, Oscar's mother goes missing; when no other nursing female will take him in, an extraordinary bond begins to unfold between orphan Oscar and alpha male Freddy. Now here's the problem with that narration. If you're going to anthropomorphize the chimp tribe in this scenario—that is, present them with human-like personalities—then it becomes difficult for the audience to view other similar jungle creatures as, well, food. Evidently, a principal meat source in the chimp's diet is other, smaller monkeys, and we see Freddy and another couple of males hunt and capture one, followed by a spontaneous feast. Nothing gory is shown onscreen, of course, but the monkey victim has just as poignant a little face as baby Oscar. Aren't there loving mothers and adorable babies in the monkey tribe too? There was no particular outcry from the children in the audience, but I was a wreck. For a family film, they could have chosen not to include the monkey hunt. Or they could have chosen to stay true to nature with a more informational narration (like Morgan Freeman in March of the Penguins) that presents the facts without straining to portray the animals as virtuous or villainous. That said, the movie is an amazing glimpse under the rainforest canopy, from the minutiae of primate society to astonishing flora like phosphorescent fungi that glow neon green in the middle of the night. And stick around for the closing credits, where the camera crew members discuss the shoot—swarming bees, surprise snakes, and all. It's fascinating. Rated G. 78 minutes. ★★★  | LJ

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written by Lanaiyah james, May 01, 2012
Im working on a project on chimpanzee's i love chimpanzee's so much

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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.


Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.


Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.


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