Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Pam Burke 

View from the North 40: It's called self-isolation not hide and do nothing


Whether you are still trying to fill the void of things canceled or postponed because the the pandemic, you are still being strict about self-isolating, or you just long for those weird and wacky stay-at-home days of yore, I have a list of activities to fill the need.

Are you a horse racing or betting nut suffering withdrawals over the loss of this spring’s Kentucky Horse Derby which should have been running this weekend? Well, dust off your big bonnet and whip up some mint juleps because the derby folks are resurrecting a race not seen since 1945 when World War II postponed the derby for a month: The great Kentucky Turtle Derby.

Sponsored by Old Forester Kentucky bourbon whiskey, the race will air at 7 p.m. Saturday on https://www.YouTube.com/OldForester, The Associated Press said.

This year’s event will be a much simpler Kentucky Turtle Race than was run in 1945 when, the AP says, 167 turtles ran in seven qualifying heats, and the winners went on to compete in the final race of 20 feet.

The 2020 turtle race, already dubbed the slowest eight minutes in sport, will have its own excitement with Triple Crown announcer Larry Collmus calling the race and legendary bugler Steve Buttleman sounding the traditional derby pre-race tune with his bugle.

I wonder if the bugler is going to play that iconic Kentucky Derby tune four times slower than normal in honor of the turtles’ pace.

I also wonder if some wiseacre is going to enter a rabbit in the derby. Now that race I’d watch.


If participation is more your thing, then consider breaking some Guinness World Records like David Rush and Jonathan Hannon have been doing while self-isolating in Idaho, UPI says.

The latest record that the duo has crushed in their “hallway series” is the number of times a beach ball can be tossed back and forth in 30 seconds. Their number? 84, annihilating the previous record of 68.

Rush has broken more than 100 records so far.

I wonder if the folks at the Guinness World Record office are just a little annoyed that they have to break their stay-at-home orders to come in to verify these records?

On the other hand, if those people are going to be in the office anyway, maybe we could all try to complete a record-breaking feat if we get sent home again.


AFP News reported that Sumida Aquarium in Tokyo has a tank full of eels going rogue because they don’t have human interaction, and their handlers’ solution is to put out a request to people of the world to make video calls to their eels.

“Creatures in the aquarium don’t see humans except keepers and they have started forgetting about humans,” the aquarium’s Twitter account said this week.

The eels will hide every time the keepers pass by, the message said, and this is making it hard for keepers to check on the health of the eels. The solution is that they are setting up five computer stations for people to call in to for a “face-showing festival” scheduled for May 3-5.

AFP said that the request is getting lots of support under the Japanese hashtag #PleaseRememberHumans. This is particularly good for the garden eels which the article says are very sensitive and wary by nature and have begun burying themselves in the sand at the site of a human.

“They need training to learn humans are not a threat!” someone wrote. “Interesting.”

What I find interesting is that it’s clear to me now that in a past life, I was a garden eel.


If I come home one day and find five computers set up around my desk waiting for callers to log in, I’ll know my husband read this column at [email protected] .


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