Giant Rabbits in North Korea

Back in in February 2006, an East German named Karl Szmolinsky won a prize for breeding Germany’s largest rabbit, a 23 pound “German Gray Giant” named “Robert”. It sounds like something from a science fiction film, but when you consider the fact that these creatures are the size of dogs and that they breed like, well — rabbits, you can easily begin to see how farming them could help to solve part of the world’s hunger problem.

North Korea has a population of 23 million, many of whom, according to the United Nations Food Program, are suffering from widespread food shortages and sustain themselves on a diet lacking critical proteins and fats. When the communist country heard about these huge rabbits, they wasted no time in asking Szmolinsky to help them set up a rabbit farm to help relieve the country’s hunger problems.

“I’ll be travelling to North Korea in April to advise them on how to set up a breeding farm. A delegation was here and I’ve already given them a book of tips”, Szmolinsky said back in January. Recently he sent them 12 of the huge bunnies, but when he went to arrange his visit, he was told that the Government had canceled his trip because it was unhappy with news coverage of the sale.

While North Korea denies it, Szmolinsky suspects that the animals have already been sold and eaten. It’s a shame that they most likely ended up on the tables of some rich people who fancied the novelty of it all rather than helping to provide nutrition to the poor and starving.

German Kite Skates Across Australia

Via TreeHugger

I got all excited to learn that a German fellow named Dirk Gion has gathered up a mountain board and some kitesurfing gear and taken to windskating across Austraila. I’ve always thought that the wind was an underutilized source of power. I’ve raced sailboats since high school, and I’m aware of certain iceboats exceeding 75mph and more than 10X wind speed, but I have to admit to being surprised that Dirk has managed to exceed 30mph powered only by a kite.

Aparently he has been pulled over by the police a couple of times, but had no real problems with them. I’m sure this has just been out of curiosity for the most part. I mean, I would pull him over if I was a cop just to pick his brain. I can only imagine, however, that if he was doing this in the US, the oil lobby would have had their neo-conservative buddies pass some kind of law against it, and poor Dirk would be sitting in prison now.

Anti-authroity mentality aside, however, you just have to admire a guy who tackles a 3000 + kilometer journey with only a skateboard and a kite, and it’s not like this is his only ambitious journey. At 19 he crossed Germany and France on horseback, and he has managed some pretty impressive rock climbing accomplishments as well.