September 19 - Slimey the Worm's Birthday
Slimey is Oscar's pet worm. Originally, Slimey was a silent character who communicated with squeaks and gestures. Later, he has developed a voice provided by Marty Robinson (which is digitally manipulated in post-production to achieve a higher pitch). Slimey shows skill at playing the tuba and the clarinet, and has the distinction of being the first worm on the moon.
Slimey's earliest known appearance is in a second season Sesame Street episode in which Oscar enters Slimey in a Sesame Street Pet Show.
September 3rd week - Farm Animals Awareness Week
National Farm Animals Awareness Week is designed to educate the public about the nature of farm animals, including cows, chickens, pigs and other animals raised for food. Dr. Michael Appleby, senior vice president of farm animals and sustainable agriculture for The HSUS notes, “More and more farm animals are being raised on huge factory farms, where the conditions make it impossible for them to express their natural behaviors. We are hoping that educating people about the socially complex and intelligent nature of animals raised for food will increase concern about their welfare.” Some little known facts about farm animals:
- Pigs have a highly developed sense of smell and can be trained, much like dogs, to detect certain scents. In France, pigs are used to find truffles; police have used them to detect drugs; and they have been put in to service finding landmines during wartime.
- Cattle are very social. They are able to recognize more than 100 individual herd members and have definite preferences about who they choose to interact with, forming close bonds with some and avoiding others. The bond between cow and calf is especially strong. Mothers will become distressed if separated from their calves, even refusing to move or eat until reunited.
- Mother hens pass on lessons on life to their chicks, teaching them what to eat, how to drink, where to roost, and how to avoid enemies.
- Goats have been known to make clever use of their horns, using them to open gates and feed bins and to batter down boards in their enclosures.