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14 August 2005

Sorry Guys...


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ou're stuck with yesterdays posting. I'm just way too tired to even think about a post for today. I'll be back tomorrow morning bright and early.

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J

ust when I thought, I've been around the world a few times and I've heard just about everything... but this really had me shaking my head. It seems that two former caretakers for Koko, the famous gorilla who communicates with humans using sign language, say they were continually pressured to show Koko their breasts or face the consequences. Yes folks, Koko was harassing the help... sexual intimidation in the work place.

Nancy Alperin and Kendra Keller are suing Koko's primary caretaker, Dr. Francine "Penny" Patterson, because she allegedly asked them to "perform bizarre sexual acts with Koko" — namely, taking off their tops — to bond with the five-foot-tall, 280-pound female gorilla.

"Patterson would interpret certain hand movements made by Koko as a 'demand' to see exposed human nipples," the suit alleges. "Patterson made it known to Keller and Alperin that if they did not indulge Koko's nipple fetish, their employment with the Gorilla Foundation would suffer."

They are seeking more than $1 million in damages for sexual discrimination and wrongful termination. The women were expected to file a second amended complaint this week, emphasizing details of Koko's alleged "nipple fetish" and Patterson's indulgence of the ape's sexually aggressive behavior.

It's not known how these developments will affect the separate case of former Foundation administrative assistant Iris Rivera, who filed suit a week after Alperin and Keller, claiming she acquiesced to Koko's alleged demands seven or eight times over a two-month period last summer. According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, when Rivera grudgingly lifted her T-shirt and bra for the ape, Patterson exclaimed, "Oh look, Koko, she has big nipples." Rivera quit her job in January.

Patterson began to teach Koko sign language as part of her master's thesis on the potential for "interspecies communication." The experience developed into a lifelong bond with Koko, whom she hand-raised.

Alperin was hired in April 2004 to be a research assistant and gorilla caregiver at the Foundation. On at least three occasions, she claims, Patterson pressured her to show Koko her nipples as a way to bond with the gorilla.

According to the complaint, Patterson would communicate to Koko, saying, "Oh yes, Koko, Nancy has nipples. Nancy can show you her nipples," or, "Oh Koko, why don't you and Nancy have a visit? I will go and do some other things. I wouldn't want anything to impede the relationship between you two."

Keller, who was hired as a research associate and gorilla caregiver in March 2004, claims she was twice asked to show Koko her breasts, alleging that Patterson once told the gorilla, "Koko, you see my nipples all the time. You are probably bored with my nipples. You need to see new nipples. I will turn my back so Kendra can show you her nipples."

Observations and Questions
Should Koko be punished for sexual harassment? Does this mean that Koko is gay or at least bi?

Birth Announcements and Death Notices

In 1903, John Ringling North, circus director. And rounding out the death notices we have in 1958, Gladys L Presley, mom of Elvis, dies at 46.

Gentle Reminder of the Day

Still time :) Come on, you know you wanna send in your picture.

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