Warning: Zombie cats terrorize Hawaii!

First meth and now this!

The zombie craze was such a dang thing two-ish years ago, wasn’t it though. From television shows like The Walking Dead to books like Guide to The Zombie Survival Guide to the dead-in-the-not-so-distant-future-of-some-flesh-eating-disease chic that made its way down Parisian runways zombies were totally everywhere.

Of course I don’t believe in zombies in real life but the wonderful Hawaiian islands are beginning to challenge my prejudices. The chain, as you know, has many methamphetamine enthusiasts and while not officially “zombies” they sure do act the part. And now Hawaii is home to cats carrying some brain eating protozoan (called “toxo”) that essentially zombifies them. Let us read a snippet from Outside magazine:

There was something else about toxo that made it especially creepy, in a Walking Dead kind of way. For starters, the perpetrating protozoa, T. gondii, can sexually reproduce only in the gut of a felid, a member of the cat family. An infected felid excretes the protozoa in the form of microscopic oocysts, and a single felid can poop out hundreds of millions of oocysts, although only one is needed to infect another animal. If a rat then consumes an oocyst, the protozoa can take over the rat’s brain and make it lose all fear of cats. Studies report toxo-infected rats cavorting in cat urine. Cats consume such rats easily, enabling T. gondii to replicate again.

While not having fear and cavorting in cat urine may seem like a wonderful vacation it is very dangerous I think. In short, the disease spreads to all sorts of seals, pigs, dogs, birds etc. mostly from these wild zombie cats. A bill was introduced in the state legislature to outlaw the feeding of feral cats, thus culling the population but cat people got all crazy and killed it in committee and now there is a war between cat people and non-cat people and the zombie cats are going nuts everywhere.

Very strange times and do the zombie cats make you re-think your next Hawaiian vacation? If the World Surf League does not, in fact, secure a permit for the 2019 season do you imagine the zombie cats could pull off the Pipeline Masters? Who would they invite to participate?


Watch: Mark Healey in “My Secret Garden!”

"Villainising GM foods is asinine," says filmmaker Cyrus Sutton.

Women of a certain advanced age will get the title of this story. It refers, as none of you know or me until recently, to the Nancy Friday book My Secret Garden, an explosive collection of female sexual fantasies that was released in 1973.

Let’s read a couple of quotes for context:

“Rape does for a woman’s sexual fantasy what the first martini does for her in reality: both relieve her of responsibility and guilt.”

“Who said “ladies” don’t use words like “fuck” and “cunt,” or that one doesn’t use them around “ladies”? Maybe not when you’re having lunch with a lady, but when a lady’s fucking, she’s not having lunch.”

And the compelling fantasy?

Madge is a married woman, who has a very detailed fantasy she eagerly shares with Friday.

“I find myself at the door of a big house,” she begins.

 A black man, and a ‘buxom’ black woman invite her into their home. She is dragged into a room with a large male dog and a young man.

“I am ordered to strip naked,” Madge recounts, and the man says “Let’s see what you’ve got.”

(Read the long-form version of that here: Friday Nancy – My secret garden)

But we come not for Nancy nor the erotic liberation of women, but the liberation of big-waver Mark Healey’s garden in the hills behind the North Shore. The filmmaker and #vanlife doyen, Cyrus Sutton, has made this short about Healey’s little garden being transformed by a group called “Permablitz.”

“The past three years I was making a documentary about food sovereignty in Hawaii called Island Earth,” says Cyrus. “The project took me away from beach culture and introduced me to the backyard farming movement across the islands. A group called ‘Permablitz’ on Oahu really impressed me. It’s a reciprocal gardening network that combines hands-on small-scale farming education with a party. If you participate in three events flush with local food, music and garden building, you become eligible for the ‘party’ to come to your house. At the end of the day you’ll walk away with a new garden in your backyard and a working knowledge of how maintain it and cultivate food for yourself and your neighbors. I gardening is typically seen as a menial task and I like these folks were breathing some fun into it.”

Is it a rail against the evils of genetically modified foods?

“It’s not exactly railing against genetically modified foods,” says Cyrus.

I know you’re a realist as much as an idealist. Some GM foods are good, yes? Increased yields etc? What’s the bad side o’ things?

“GM foods are a technology, villainising any technology is asinine,” says Cyrus. “I have issues with how the technology is being used right now but I think GMO’s have potential to solve some problems.”

Describe Healey (last seen on these pages pushing his barrow in a feud against Depactus founder Luke Egan).

“He’s just a no-bullshit, hard working guy who like to fish, hunt and surf. He cares about self-reliance and thinks the world would be a better place if everyone took stake in their realities and endeavored to improve them.”

And the take-out from the film?

“A lot of the food we eat is imported from a long ways away. We can work together to improve the quality and impact of our food by coming together to learn, share and reap the nutritious rewards in a fun way.”

Enter: The big wave contest for us!

Your plus-sized dreams are about to come true!

Have you ever fantasized about entering a big wave contest? Maybe it’s late at night and you’ve had many drinks/much cocaine and you think, “You know what? I could do it. I could totally enter Maverick’s/Jaws/The Eddie/Belharra etc. I can paddle, I can go straight and I ain’t afraid of nothing.” Maybe it’s midday and you happen to catch a round of Nazaré action at your local pizza place and you think, “Look at that mushburger. I could take it.”

But let’s be honest. You and I are not really cut out for big wave surfing. We can’t hold our breaths very long and our shoulders pop out of socket when we try and paddle with force. Am I right? Well I was right until this very moment and all thanks to Florida.

The Sunshine State is proudly hosting the Salt Life Food Shack Florida Big Wave Challenge and we’ve got a shot!

The rules are simple per the contest website.

Challenge Dates: July 15 – November 1, 2018
Participants must Register to win.
Teams consist of one surfer and one photographer.
Winners will be announced at the Awards Party at Salt Life Food Shack in Jacksonville Beach, FL on November 18, 2017. Must be present to win.

Got that? So you just have to go bag a sick wave in Florida this coming summer/autumn and get the shot to prove it. I think good. I think we could win. I think next time it’s late at night and you’ve had many drinks/much cocaine you could tell everyone that you are a big wave champion and everyone will be impressed.

Register here!

Gimme: The velvety pipes of Todd Richards!

Snowboarding's Todd Richards is the answer to WSL commentary woes!

The World Surf League’s 2018 season will commence next month and, before last night, I had completely given up on any changes to the announcing crew. Oh you’ve read the gentle prodding directed toward the booth here for years. Like when the great surf historian Matt Warshaw wrote: “Martin Potter’s jaw-grinding voice sounds as if its been filtered through six espresso shots and a migraine headache.” And “Turpel hurts me on a both a professional and personal level.”

But what are we going to do? Every season the prodding gets less and less and less because I’ve lost hope. Complete and utter hope. The WSL is not going to change the lineup and, what’s even worse, before last night I couldn’t even imagine who they could/should introduce. Sal Masekela is too satisfied with his pro surfer friendships, Wassel too hyped, Todd Kline has gone fishing and Trippie Redd is busy leaning. Cote might be great but as a color man not the anchor that holds it all down.

There is no anchor to hold it all down. No savior.

Until last night.

I was watching Olympic snowboarding, you see, and into my ears flooded the velvety pipes of Todd Richards. He is NBC’s “man on the mountain” and was knowledgeable, authoritative, intelligent. He mixed the exact right amount of insider information with helpful beginner explanation all in a rich baritone. He knew when to talk and knew when to shut his mouth, letting the moment breathe.

And he’s handsome. Like, a more masculine/less pudgy Mexican nativity cherub version of Joe Turpel.

“So what?” you say. “Todd Richards ain’t no surfer…”

And I almost lunge across the coffee table right at you because yes he is. Todd Richards lives very near to me in bucolic North County San Diego, surfs often and well. He knows all the grabs, he knows all the jams off the top and squirts off the bottom. He knows it all and I don’t know how this very obvious solution had not become obvious to me before last night.

Todd Richards is the answer to all our surf commentary problems and we should all email the World Surf League’s Santa Monica office today and demand his inclusion. Maybe let’s try [email protected] and if that doesn’t work I’ll give you Dave Prodan’s phone number.

No stressed sharks in Australia. There's a population boom! | Photo: What Youth

12,000 Great Whites Off Oz East Coast!

Glamorous apex predator bounces back from "near extinction"!

Few things give me more pleasure than watching the increasing abundance, the health as they say, of Australia’s Great White population.

I remember in the late nineties when Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s kid, Jean-Michel, the frumpy one and not the glamorous pilot Philippe, came to South Australia, said “Oowee, ain’t no Whites left”, put the government in a panic and shortly after, Whites were off the fishing list.

Now, a one-and-a-half-million-dollar survey by the Australian government agency the CSIRO puts the population of adult Great Whites off the Australian east coast at 5460, give or take a few, and you can add another seven thousand or so if you put the juveniles in there.

Off Margs and so forth, there are 1460 adults and an indeterminate number of juveniles.

From the Sydney Morning Herald,

The project is part of the federal government’s National Environmental Science Programme Marine Biodiversity Hub.

In recent years, shark attacks off the north coast of NSW prompted the deployment of “smart” drumlines and a shark net trial, raising conservation fears.

Shark nets operate at more than 50 NSW beaches in the warmer months, and have been known to kill great whites and other species.

Queensland also deploys nets and drumlines covering 85 beaches.

In Western Australia in 2014, the former Liberal government established “kill zones” near beaches and surf breaks, allowing sharks to be caught and destroyed. The policy was dumped after a public outcry and advice from environment officials.

Humane Society International marine scientist Jessica Morris said up to a decade of research was needed to determine how white sharks were being affected by overfishing, habitat degradation and shark control programs before decisions could be made about removing protections.

“Sharks are incredibly important for healthy ecosystems, and our government needs to be informed about the nature and necessity of these species,” she said.

“There are many studies showing killing sharks does not make our beaches safer.”

West Australian senator Linda Reynolds said the larger west coast white shark population meant “there must be an honest and informed discussion about whether great whites still need to be considered a protected species”.

She said sharks had killed 15 people in her state since 2000, compared to one death at protected beaches in NSW and Queensland in 50 years.

A suite of measures including nets and drum lines should be considered for the west coast, Senator Reynolds said.

“Environmental ideology has been allowed to take over … Human lives must come before fish,” she said.

Now, this is a slight digression, but I’m not veering too far off the topic. Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s first movie was called Le Monde du Silence and it thrilled the world with its sharks, dolphins etc.

But, watch! He dynamites fish, stabs sharks and so many other fun things which are certainly not kosher today.

Watch here.