Starvoice • 04.08.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYholcomb

Steve Holcomb turns 31 on Thursday. Holcomb led his 4-man bobsled team to  the first U.S. gold medal in that race since 1948 at the 2006 Winter Olympics. In doing so, he won the hearts of bears everywhere. Soon after his rise to fame, the Facebook group “Bears for Steve Holcomb” was started.

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THIS WEEK

The sun is aligning with Eris stoking competition and identity issues. Venus in Pisces is in semi-sextile with both helping to show keys to cooperation and conciliation. Consider how your own achievements can raise not just your stature, but others’ also.

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ARIES Mar 20-Apr 19
Take care of yourself first, so you can be in service to those around you who need help. When you’re clear on who you are, you can be the most generous star in the sky.

TAURUS Apr 20-May 20
Think about your last will and testament as an exercise in who and what is important. When you’re gone, what will be left? The real question: What do you want to achieve before then?

GEMINI May 21-Jun 20
Your social goals are clearer than your personal ambitions. Feeling vague about your career signals a transition that leads to greater clarity. Talk about it with your friends for help.

CANCER Jun 21-Jul 22
Work and accomplishment are keys to fulfillment. A personal best is more meaningful than competition. Share work and credit to get more done and learn from others how to do a better job.

LEO Jul 23-Aug 22
Be as loud and outspoken as you like. If that gets you into arguments, treat them as a game. Playfulness is sexier than conquest, although you don’t need help in that department either.

VIRGO Aug 23-Sep 22
An erotic competition with your lover helps you come together in more ways than one. Sharing ideas, even if you don’t act on them, can build intimacy, laying the foundation of a happy home.

LIBRA Sep 23-Oct 22
Be clear about whom you’re competing with and competing against. Empathizing with colleagues helps, but clear verbal communication is more reliable than warm, fuzzy feelings.

SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 21
Take responsibility for boosting morale at work. Small competitive games bring people together. Reevaluate your health regimen. You’re out for a personal best, not to outdo others.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 22-Dec 20
Push for your best performance but trying to best others is secondary. If that becomes your goal you can cause rancor among people in your family or community.

CAPRICORN Dec 21-Jan 19
Empathetic communication diffuses a lot of the trouble. Practical techniques, sensible logic and the “tried and true” aren’t really helping. Trust more in your intuition.

AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18
If being more clever than your friends is important, you need new friends — or maybe they do. Who really does count in your life and why? Tell them — not for their sake, but for your own.

PISCES Feb 19-Mar 19
Sweetness and empathy are your best traits when they’re not a cover for codependency. Cultivate traits that drive you to success. If you want to help others, do it from a position of strength.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 1, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Ex-gay treatment for vultures? Gay groups protest forced separation of gay avian couple

Griffon Vulture

Gay groups in Germany are upset that officials at the Allwetter Zoo in Munster, Germany, have separated two male vultures who had set up nest-keeping together and were obviously a couple.

The two Griffon vultures, Guido and Detlef, have been a couple since March, according to U.K. news site The Register. They build a nest together, defended it from the other vultures, and spent most of their time together grooming each other.

But zoo curator Dirk Wewers apparently believed Detlef and Guido’s relationship was what I call situational homosexuality, like men in prison who have sex with other men because no women are available. Wewers said: “A suitable female was missing and in such a case vultures look for companionship from the next best thing, even if it is a male. Detlef looked for a bird of the opposite sex but settled with Guido.”

So the zoo decided to give the two other options by breaking up their happy home and sending Guido to a zoo in Ostrava, Czech Republic, where he would have access to female Griffon vultures. Meanwhile, Detlef, back in Munster, has been set up with a mail-order bride from the Czech Republic.

According to reports, Detlef’s “ex-gay therapy” appears to be working. But over in Ostrava, Guido is having none of it. Reports are he won’t have anything to do with the female vultures.

Both male vultures are 14 years old, which means both are still relative youngsters, since their lifespan in the wild is estimated at 50 to 70 years old. The oldest known Griffon vulture — or Great Vulture — in captivity died at the age of 118.

According to Wikipedia, Griffon vultures are on the brink of dying out, although there have been resurgent populations in some areas of Europe. In Germany, Griffon vultures in the wild died out in the mid-18th century, but, “Some 200 vagrant birds, probably from the Pyrenees, were sighted in 2006, and several dozen of the vagrants sighted in Belgium the following year crossed into Germany in search for food.”

So, OK — the idea of creating breeding pairs and replenishing the Griffon vulture population has merit. But still, it just doesn’t seem right to me to separate what was obviously a loving couple for the sake of making some baby vultures. I am sure there are plenty of other hetero male Griffon vultures available more than willing to take care of the breeding needs.

Either way, it gives new meaning to the old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together,” huh?

—  admin