So there I was in Dublin, interviewing someone about something all economic and serious, when the interviewee said, "I googled you to find out who was coming to interview me. I came across your blog. I didn't see much about [the subject we were talking about], but I did see that you have a healthy interest in goats." Not only did he then give me a print-out of the worlds to Paddy McGinty's Goat, but he told me about the Puck Fair, Ireland's oldest fair, the highlight of which is the coronation of a goat.
If it hadn't been for the global financial crisis, I'd never have found that out.
1) A mosaic of Michael Jackson composed of 230,000 brown and black paintbrushes by Albanian artist Saimir Strati has been recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world's largest paintbrush mosaic. Strati toured his work around Albania before taking it to the centre of Tirana. "All the time I was being guided by his music and made a silent deal with him to help me find the secrets of his great singing," Strati told Reuters.
He has also created the world's largest mosaics with nails, toothpicks and bottle corks. The cork mosaic, 'Romeo with a crown of grapes playing the guitar while dancing with the sea and the sun' is at the Sheraton Hotel in Tirana. "I love mosaics, they are a dying genre," says Strati. "I follow the same technique used 3,000 years ago."
2) Albania's "Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu" Brandy won the Bronze Medal at the 1970 Plovdiv International Fair and the 1972 International Competition of wines and cognacs, both in Bulgaria.
3) Goat population in 2006: 940,000 (source: World Resources Institute)
Here are eight proverbs in which goats have a starring role. I have listed them subjectively in order from most to least fathomable.
Do not mistake a goat's beard for a fine stallion's tail (Ireland). If you put a silk dress on a goat, he is a goat still (Ireland). The goat which has many owners will be left to die in the sun (Haiti). When the big tree falls, the goat eats its leaves. What sweet nanny goat a go run him belly (Jamaica). Oculos caprearum talpa contemnat. The mole would scorn the eyesight of the goats. (More like this here). If the goat had a longer tail, he could wipe the stars clean ( Czech). The goat that stayed with a deer learned farting (Ethiopia).
...and I could go on and on. There are loads out there, but I'm sure we've all got places to go, people to see...
A man has been taken to court after catching two wild goat kids on Mt. Ağrı (Ararat), one of the few natural habitats of the endangered animals, and keeping them in captivity; he faces a fine of up to YTL 15,000.
Receiving information that someone living in the village of Yaygınyurt in the Doğubeyazıt district of Ağrı, had caught two wild goat kids, teams from the Environment and Forestry Directorate took immediate action and carried out an operation to save the kids. During the search conducted in a barn in the village in question, the two kids were found alive, and a lawsuit for likely damages was filed against R.A,, 30, who had caught the kids....
An adult West Caucasian Tur goat stands up to one meter tall at the shoulder and weighs around 65 kilograms. They have large bodies and short legs. They also have a chestnut-colored coat with a yellow underbelly and darker legs. The horns are scimitar-shaped and heavily ridged. In males these horns are around 70 centimeters long while in females they are much smaller.
They live in rough mountainous terrain between 800 and 4,000 meters above sea level, where they eat mainly grasses and leaves and are preyed upon by wolves and lynxes. West Caucasian Turs are nocturnal, eating in the open at night and taking shelter during the day. Females live in herds of around 10, while males are solitary.
The Philippines is emerging as a market of exciting potential for Australian Boer goats and Thoroughbreds. With economic growth in the Philippines forecast to hit 6pc this year, a push is on to increase the quality and size of the country’s goat meat industry, according to Austrade’s Philippines-based senior trade commissioner, Alan Morrell...Mr Morrell predicts that Philippine demand will outpace supply for at least another three years.
Demand for dairy goats was also rising to supply the Philippines’ sophisticated cheese market...“We think the main opportunity is going to be in the next three to five years in terms of animals to improve goat herds,” Mr Morrell said. "Then we see a secondary opportunity on the genetic side to export frozen semen and embryos. “If we don’t supply it out of Australia they will get it from other countries.”
Behind-the-scenes work with the Philippines’ expanding horse racing industry has also helped Australian Thoroughbreds to gain the inside running over competitors from the US and New Zealand in the market.
If you've come to this post by accident and were, in fact, looking for information on goat racing in Uganda, this is where you need to be.
Romania: The role of goats in national welfare restructuring for the 21st Century
News that Romanian skivers will be paid in goats rather than cash in a bid to get them off benefits by encouraging their entrepreneurial spirit opens up a world of possibilities that new UK prime minister Gordon Brown should not pass up. Families in Romania will receive up to 10 goats which they will be expected to look after, gaining an income from selling their milk and cheese.
Namibia: Relief for goat owners; comeuppance for bad guys
A police investigation into the theft of 149 goats from a farm at Aroab has resulted in the arrest of a Namibian resident in South Africa two weeks ago. Police recovered 77 of the stolen goats. The theft was reported at the farm Skanskolk near the Klein-Menasse Border Post, and the goats were reportedly taken across the South African border.
Credit for the arrest and recovery was given to both the Namibian Police and the South African Police Service.
It is probably a mistake to generalise about goats in the military. On the one hand, there is this hot-off-the-press 'Goat demoted for acting like a goat' story. Not only did Lance Corporal William Windsor fail to march correctly but
"was trying to head-butt the waist and nether regions of the drummers."
On the other hand, Ben is in charge of grass management in Al Amarah camp in Southern Iraq.
This post, one might argue, only barely scratches the surface of the whole issue of goats in the military and one would be right.