Alexei Tikhonov, director of the Saint Petersburg-based Zoological Museum, announced that an 11-year old Russian found what is the best preserved mammoth in over a century. Yevgeny Salinder found the 500-kilogram beast in the tundra of the Taymyr peninsula in northern Russia. It was named Zhenya, from the boy’s nickname. Tikhonov told AFP that the mammal had died aged 15-16 around 30,000 years ago in what is now Siberia.
Certain characteristics of the mammoth allowed scientists to make conclusions about what happened to the beast:
– The mammoth had a huge hump so the animal probably died during the summer (the hump fat wasn’t used up during winter).
– It was missing its left tusk, so this might made it an easier target for foes (human or animal), thus the early death in its teens.
– “His one-metre-long penis is also intact” according to Tikhonov, so maybe, the scientists think, he was probably male. Talk about mammoth.
In related news, alleged pedophile and ivory
smuggler icon aficionado Msgr. Cristobal Garcia (sacked from his positions in the Archdiocese of Cebu in connection with the Vatican investigation on child molestation charges in the USA; he is also being investigated for dealing in “blood” ivory) denies having anything to do with the teen-age mammoth, its penis, or its left tusk for that matter.
Holy molly! An 80-year old woman has caused an uproar when she disfigures an old fresco of Jesus Christ in a church in Borja, northeastern Spain. Cecilia Giménez appeared on Spanish television, saying that she was trying to restore the painting, which had large areas of damaged and flaked off paint accumulated over the decades. Titled Ecce Homo (Behold the Man), the original was not exactly a masterpiece nor valuable (aside from its sentimental value). It is said to have been painted in about two hours in 1910 by a certain Elias Garcia Martinez directly on a column in the church.
Mother of God! Lesser humans would have invoked the devil, but this super lola claimed that a priest at the church housing the painting had given his blessing for her to restore it. Some Internet pundits have renamed the painting “Behold, the monkey.”
Gadzooks! Another instance of truth being stranger than fiction. I am reminded of that Mr. Bean movie where he ruins “Whistler’s Mother”:
In the movie, Mr. Bean sneezes on the painting and tries to clean it up by, unfortunately, using lacquer thinner, and “restoring” the 1871 masterpiece into this monstrosity:
Jesus H. Christ! At least Mr. Bean’s obra maestra was an accident, sort of.
The good news is, attendance at the church is at an all time high. A team of art restoration professional experts is being organized to assess the damage done, and to determine if it is worthwhile restoring the fresco to its original state. However, there is a social media drive to keep the botched repair work as it is, preserving it for the hordes of tourists that will surely come. Maybe the priest did give his blessings for the fresco makeover, wink wink.
As for Cecilia Giménez, she is now, of course, a viral Internet meme.