Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I was just outside...

But I need to catch up a bit-- hope I still have some readers. The stress of finding illustrations for Eagle (not to mention paying for them!)-- has been acute, and I have needed large doses of dog- running and hunting to keep me sane. I think things are getting under control.

Let's see, bloggish links-- mostly science- themed first. Patrick has a post on "Cool Sites" all of which are worth a look. I was particularly taken by Bioephemera, an amazing compendium of biological art, old and new. I'm getting the beautifully illustrated Darwin book for kids.

A somewhat similar compendium, but of books, can be viewed at the online bookstore of the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Some must- haves there, too.

The Camera Trap Codger posts on a dead whale that washed up on the coast near Ventura, where Libby used to work, and wonders if there are enough big scavengers in the sea? I know that when the bones arrive on the sea bed they still attract hagfish, but i think he means BIG scavengers. ??

(UPDATE: Forgot another good BioBlog I wanted to point you at: Neurophilosophy.)

From the NYT: a story by a slightly clueless, apparently rich, and very "Green" guy who wanted to build a family retreat in the Massachusetts Berkshires but was stopped by rare salamander. Money quote: "To make matters worse, we were a family of composting, recycling, eco-lodge-visiting, Al Gore-loving liberals. How was it that we were readying for battle with the environmentalists? Yet it wasn’t long before some members of the family had turned into the sort of grouchy, libertarian champions of private property that I usually associated with the panhandle of Idaho. On one family outing, when we all walked the land together, I can remember someone saying, “If you see a spring salamander — step on it!” On the street, if I saw a car with an “I Earth” bumper sticker, my gut would tighten. What was happening to us? I soon realized that it was one thing to endorse environmentalism and perhaps even to donate a few hundred tax-deductible dollars in its name but that it was quite another thing to surrender a dream."

He finally came up with the money-- apparently as much as a house!-- to build two environmentally sound footbridges over the creek in question. I'm happy for the salamander-- and I guess for the writer (selfish rich navel gazing !@#$%). But I do wonder once again at rich folks thinking there are two standards-- one for them and one for everybody else. As a character in one of my friend Peter Bowen's Montana mysteries says, "Poor folks act like folks, rich folks act like government".

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