The other day, this adorable baby penguin waddled her way to Sun City Peachtree and somehow managed to hop up onto the bench for a rest.  She had come a long way, after all!

Here’s a little fun fact about penguins:  They are incredibly fast swimmers!  Their wings function like wheels in the water, and they can have a speed of up to 15 mph.  On land, however, they’re not so fast.  They walk (or waddle!) at a speed range between 1.7 mph to 2.4 mph.

If you compare the swimming speed of penguins to Olympic gold medalists such as Caeleb Dressel or Michael Phelps, they race at less than a third the speed of penguins.

Yesterday, this kangaroo hopped with her joey all the way from Australia to join us up here in Georgia.  I wonder if they stowed away on a ship to get here?  Nah, they probably escaped from the Atlanta Zoo instead.  What a couple of cuties!

Have you ever wondered why Australia has a sporting flag of a kangaroo in boxing gloves?  The idea of a boxing kangaroo originates from the animal’s defensive behavior, in which it will use its small forelegs (its arms) to hold an attacker in place while using the claws on its larger hind legs to try to kick, slash or disembowel them.  This stance gives the impression that the kangaroo appears to be boxing with its attacker. 

The boxing kangaroo is a national symbol of Australia, and is often displayed prominently by Australian spectators at sporting events.  It rose to prominence in 1983 when the Australia II team won the America’s Cup, and the crew raised the Boxing Kangaroo (“BK”) as their sporting battle flag.  The image, a red-gloved golden kangaroo on a green background, was owned by Alan Bond (owner of the Australia II yacht) who licensed it for mass production.

The next animal to visit was Scooby-Doo, the pet and lifelong companion of Shaggy Rogers.  Although he’s a Great Dane, Scooby-Doo and Shaggy share several personality traits, mostly being fearful and perpetually hungry.  The pooch doesn’t say much, but every word he does manage to utter has an “R” at the front of it, due to a speech impediment.  One of his catch phrases is “Ruh-roh, Raggy” (Uh-oh, Shaggy).  He also howls at the end of every episode, “Scooby-Dooby-Doo!” or “Rooby-Rooby-Roo!”

A Hanna-Barbera creation, Scooby-Doo was a children’s cartoon on CBS.  Fred Silverman, the children’s programming director, came up with the character’s name from the syllables “doo-be-doo-be-doo” in Frank Sinatra’s hit song Strangers in the Night. Artist Iwao Takamoto took it from there and designed the character after first speaking to a Great Dane Breeder, who described to him the desirable characteristics of a pedigree dog.  Takamoto then drew Scooby as the opposite of this.  He said, “I decided to go the opposite [way] and gave him a hump back, bowed legs, small chin and such.  Even his colour is wrong.”  That’s what makes him so cute and loveable, I think!


We’re going back to the future this holiday weekend with The Jetsons, an animated sitcom that’s as old as I am.  It was created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera of Hanna-Barbera Productions, and it ran for three seasons.  I remember my brother watching the repeats that appeared later on in the 1960’s, though.

The Jetsons were the opposite end of the timeline from The Flinstones, taking place one century into the future, whereas The Flinstones were from the Stone Age. 

Robots, aliens, holograms, and whimsical inventions were what The Jetson’s world was all about.  They even had a robot as a member of the family!  Her name was Rosie, and she assisted George, Jane, Judy, Elroy, and my favorite, Astro the dog. 

The family resided in Orbit City where all homes and businesses are raised high above the ground on adjustable columns.  They lived in the Skypad Apartments and got around town in an aerocar with a transparent bubble top.  The vehicle and their home were outfitted with all sorts of labor-saving devices, which occasionally broke down with humorous results.

Life was easy for George and his family.  He only worked for an hour a day, two days a week at Spacely Space Sprockets and was in charge of turning the Referential Universal Digital Indexer (R.U.D.I.) on and off.  Besides his dog, Astro, R.U.D.I. was George’s best friend.  Although it was a computer, it had a human personality and was a member of the Society for Preventing Cruelty to Humans.

Other than his bombastic boss, Cosmo Spacely, George didn’t have much to stress about at work, except for the company’s rival, Cogswell Cogs, which was run by Mr. Cogswell.

George Jetson, 40, was a loving family man and was married to Jane.  They had two children, Judy and Elroy.  (We’ll have to see if they make an appearance on the Sun City Peachtree bench.)

The interesting thing about The Jetsons was just how accurately it predicted the future.  Much of the technology in the 1960’s show is commonplace today.  People now communicate via video chat on flat screens; robots have taken over many jobs; push-button food provides fast and high-quality products such as Keurig coffee and upscale vending machine meals; and various high-tech devices are used for leisure (Apple Watch, Fitbit, cell phones, etc.)  Will aerocars be next in the real world?  We already have self-driving cars, an invention I hope never gets off the ground…

Stay tuned for the next painted rock adventure, and have a happy July 4th!