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A Day in the Life of a Hamster Athlete
Straits Times ^ | JUN 23, 2014 | Fabian Koh

Posted on 06/23/2014 11:21:33 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Spain and their tiki taka might be out of the World Cup, but The Straits Times' Tiki and Taka are still going strong in the Straits Times Hamster Cup.

The two hamsters have so far gone head-to-head to predict two fixtures, and even more incredibly, got both results right. They first played out a Uruguayan victory over England, and then a draw for the fixture between Portugal and USA.

Sure, they might not have got the scores spot on, but cut them some slack. They are hamsters after all. They are supposed to just eat their seeds and nuts, go for a run on their wheels and sleep whenever they feel like.

Instead, here they are rolling around in plastic balls predicting the outcome of matches in the biggest sporting event on the planet, all under the watchful gaze of the Internet.

Talk about pressure.

Living conditions

Our star athletes Tiki and Taka live under superb conditions in the comfort of our newsroom.

They have individual private "suites", with Tiki living in a white cage filled with cotton and tissue, and Taka in a red cage. Both living areas have excellent amenities including water bottles, food bowls, powder baths, huts for shelter and running wheels.

These "five-star double-storey suites" also have ropes and slides for the rodent residents to play with.

They are fed a highly nutritious diet of dried food such as diced apples, pumpkin seeds and mixed vegetables.

However none of them really like the vegetables.

(Ed's note: Kids reading this, you are not hamsters - eat your vegetables.)

Every match day, the hamsters are transported from their living quarters in the newsroom to Stadio Straits Times, where they undergo security checks for any weapons or dangerous objects in their cheek pouches.

Tiki and Taka are exempt from Fifa-level drug tests, since they are hamsters and are extremely cute, and hence definitely honest beings.

Tiki the media darling

As a self-professed Tiki and Taka fanboy, the first thing I do upon entering the office every morning is to say hi to our little stars.

Tiki, the three-month-old winter-white pearl-coloured female, absolutely adores her fans, and never fails to go to the side of her cage to greet visitors. She is extremely friendly, and will stick her paws out through the fence and even have a sniff of your hand.

I got to shake hands with her on numerous occasions, and every single time was equally memorable. She stares at you with such sincere eyes, and you can tell she really appreciates the support from her fans.

The cutie also really loves fan mail, or in her case, fan meal - hold out a piece of dried apple, her favourite snack, and she will gently take it from you.

Little Miss Tiki's gotta watch her diet though. If you remember, she fell asleep halfway through the Portugal-USA showdown, something that could be due to a bad case of food coma.

This is not at all surprising as Tiki would rather work on her nest of cotton and tissue paper than get on the wheel for some exercise.

Once I looked into her cage, and there was no sign of Tiki at all. My initial thought was; "Oh no, has Tiki been kidnapped!?" But then, a pile of cotton in the corner started moving, and tiny Tiki emerged sleepily.

Typical lazy Tiki. Loves her fans, hates exercise.

Taka the focused competitor

Tiki's adversary, brown-backed white-faced male Taka, is the more serious athlete of the two.

The four-month-old spends most of his time on his wheel, hopefully with the idea of keeping in shape for the next match.

He even grooms himself on the wheel when not running. Kinda like the uber metrosexual Cristiano Ronaldo - he plays hard, but he also works hard to look good too.

There have been occasions when he is so tired out from all the running and the grooming, that he falls asleep at the wheel, and wakes up suddenly when he tumbles off the wheel while deep in slumber.

Despite behaving like the Portuguese peacock, Taka's finishing is more like the Spanish team. Going by the last two matches, Taka tends to run all the way to the goal-line, only to stop and then U-turn, as if to test out the newly introduced goal-line technology.

Taka is also the more timid and reserved of the two, and does not like to interact when people come visiting his cage. Obviously more comfortable letting his skills do the talking on the pitch, he will shy away when you try to pet him.

Match day

On match days, both hamsters are usually raring to go, with Tiki being more alert than usual. The matches take place once every week, so as to give our star athletes sufficient rest and preparation time.

Upon arrival at the Stadio Straits Times, both competitors go about their pre-match rituals - of running around excitedly.

Taka is a picture of focus, having his eyes on the goal as he goes about with his warm up routine of stretching those tiny muscles. Tiki does the same, seemingly unfazed that she is nowhere near her beloved cotton nest.

When the matches end, there is none of the usual shows of sportsmanship or exchange of jerseys for Tiki and Taka. It's back to the cages for the hamster stars - Tiki to her cotton-filled haven and Taka running happily on his hamster wheel. No matter who the victor, they are both rewarded with dried snacks.

Bring on the next match - and see if they can get it right again.


TOPICS: Pets/Animals; Sports
KEYWORDS: football; hamsters; soccer


1 posted on 06/23/2014 11:21:34 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Aww! This is too cute for words!


2 posted on 06/24/2014 1:41:43 AM PDT by Gefn (More cowbell)
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To: Slings and Arrows; CatherineofAragon; TheOldLady

Too cute not to ping!

Any other animal lovers want to feel happy looking at adorable picture?


3 posted on 06/24/2014 1:45:03 AM PDT by Gefn (More cowbell)
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To: Gefn

What darling little sweeties. Little rodents are so cute. Bryan used to keep guinea pigs when he was
a boy. They’re really cute, too. They don’t have long life spans, but they make up for that with cute.


4 posted on 06/24/2014 5:20:53 AM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: Gefn; CatherineofAragon; TheOldLady

Don’t tell Richard Gere!


5 posted on 06/24/2014 10:35:56 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows; Gefn; CatherineofAragon

Come on, Slings. We’re not talking gerbils here.


6 posted on 06/24/2014 11:13:32 AM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: TheOldLady; Slings and Arrows

Yes, these cuties are not Lemmiwinks.

For being bad, I’m going to make you listen to the hamster dance!

http://youtu.be/p3G5IXn0K7A


7 posted on 06/24/2014 11:25:53 AM PDT by Gefn (More cowbell)
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To: Gefn; TheOldLady
Dancing Satan photo satan.gif
8 posted on 06/24/2014 11:42:11 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Gefn
Yes, these cuties are not Lemmiwinks.

For being bad, I’m going to make you listen to the hamster dance!

http://youtu.be/p3G5IXn0K7A

Catchy! I had forgotten how much the hamster dance makes me giggle.

9 posted on 06/24/2014 11:57:49 AM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: Slings and Arrows

Ah, the evil one is stylin’ there.


10 posted on 06/24/2014 12:04:15 PM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: TheOldLady

The Devil has all the best tunes.


11 posted on 06/24/2014 12:09:07 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

Until the music stops and the lake of fire opens.


12 posted on 06/24/2014 12:16:12 PM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: TheOldLady; Gefn

You just reminded me of a GREAT Twilight Zone episode.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neIUJg-d3Vs


13 posted on 06/24/2014 12:29:41 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: nickcarraway
Do they have a FRAMILY Plan?


14 posted on 06/24/2014 12:56:28 PM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: Slings and Arrows

It has been a very long time since I watched the Twilight Zone, and I
have forgotten most of the stories. That was a strange one, certainly.


15 posted on 06/24/2014 1:34:38 PM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: TheOldLady; Slings and Arrows; Gefn

You know, I have a feeling no rodent is completely safe around that guy.

Nutrias, maybe...


16 posted on 06/24/2014 1:57:10 PM PDT by CatherineofAragon ((Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization).)
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To: CatherineofAragon

It would have to be the size of a Nutria to be safe, certainly.

Gere looks a bit rodentish himself.


17 posted on 06/24/2014 2:01:35 PM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: TheOldLady

I never got the fascination, myself.

I watched part of “Resident Evil” last night. You want to talk male hotness? See Oded Fehr.


18 posted on 06/24/2014 2:06:17 PM PDT by CatherineofAragon ((Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization).)
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To: CatherineofAragon

Oded Fehr is not only swoon worthy, but he is also a children’s humanitarian and does charity work.
He’s a wonderful fellow IRL, and a very attractive actor as well, which you have, of course, already noticed. ;-)

Richard Gere drops points from my ratings every time he opens his leftist mouth, not that he was
ever up there very high anyway.


19 posted on 06/24/2014 2:16:02 PM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: CatherineofAragon

Capybaras, no problem. All others: You’re on your own.


20 posted on 06/24/2014 2:21:52 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: TheOldLady

I thought it was extremely well-done, for several reasons: Bedaker was a selfish, petty man, and David Wayne (who played him) made it clear exactly how he was destroyed by his own selfishness and pettiness. Cadwallader’s scenery-chewing was magnificent, and the episode made a strong point that one who longs for immortality may have no idea what it means or what to do with it.

I also admire the way that this (very) short story handles it: http://ficly.com/stories/1456


21 posted on 06/24/2014 2:29:41 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: TheOldLady
"Oded Fehr is not only swoon worthy, but he is also a children’s humanitarian and does charity work. He’s a wonderful fellow IRL, and a very attractive actor as well, which you have, of course, already noticed. ;-)"

Yes, you haz good taste. :) I loved him in the Mummy movies. It's nice to hear he's a standup guy. Being Israeli doesn't hurt, either.

"Richard Gere drops points from my ratings every time he opens his leftist mouth, not that he was ever up there very high anyway."

Do you remember that idiot at the Concert for NYC, right after 9-11? Urging people to respond with tolerance and love instead of vengeance? I was NEVER so happy to hear someone booed.

22 posted on 06/24/2014 2:58:24 PM PDT by CatherineofAragon ((Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization).)
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To: Slings and Arrows

LOL

Hey, they ARE larger than nutrias! You’re a smart guy. *Joe Pesci voice*


23 posted on 06/24/2014 3:00:43 PM PDT by CatherineofAragon ((Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization).)
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To: CatherineofAragon
Do you remember that idiot at the Concert for NYC, right after 9-11? Urging people to respond
with tolerance and love instead of vengeance? I was NEVER so happy to hear someone booed.


Happy? I was furious with him and admired those who booed him. Wish I could have been there
to yell at him as well. Not very charitable to a retarded person (Gere) am I... May God forgive me.
24 posted on 06/24/2014 4:13:14 PM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: TheOldLady

Well, he acts like one.

I would have cheered if those cops and firefighters had scrambled up over the stage and dragged him off it. I’ve detested him since then.


25 posted on 06/24/2014 4:47:37 PM PDT by CatherineofAragon ((Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization).)
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To: nickcarraway
she fell asleep halfway through the Portugal-USA showdown, something that could be due to a bad case of food coma.

Or soccer boredom..........With that being said, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.

26 posted on 06/24/2014 4:55:18 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (By now, everyone should know that you shoot a zombie in the head. Don't try to reason with them...)
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To: CatherineofAragon

Bryan knows better than to queue up a movie on Netflix with Gere in it.

He knows I won’t watch it.


27 posted on 06/24/2014 5:06:28 PM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: TheOldLady

BTW, do you still do the movie reviews?


28 posted on 06/24/2014 5:33:36 PM PDT by CatherineofAragon ((Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization).)
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To: CatherineofAragon

No. Not that many people were interested in them, so I just quit doing them.

I suppose I could list the movies that Bryan and I watched and how many
stars we gave them.

I wouldn’t know where to post them, though. I don’t work the FReepathon
anymore and don’t go on the UT, so there’s really nowhere for me to post
them.


29 posted on 06/24/2014 5:46:42 PM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: TheOldLady

Well, shoot. If you ever decide to do a thread or pinglist, let me know. I’m always looking for movie ideas.


30 posted on 06/24/2014 5:52:18 PM PDT by CatherineofAragon ((Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization).)
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To: CatherineofAragon

Will do. ;-)


31 posted on 06/24/2014 6:10:10 PM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: Slings and Arrows

It is definitely a cautionary tale. The short story you linked is very similar and also cautionary.

If you’re immortal, at the end of time, there is no one left but you.

There is no worse Hell than that.


32 posted on 06/24/2014 6:17:05 PM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: TheOldLady

Very true. A terrible way to learn the meaning of deep time.


33 posted on 06/24/2014 7:22:28 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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