Friday, February 08, 2008

Bear with me..

Two weeks of agent & publisher hell, slowly receding. Blogging may be light for a bit yet but here are some links, and there will be photoblogging of various creatures later.

Nature and science. Carel blogs on an extremely odd, newly discovered snake that apparently has evolved a "lure" on the end of its tail. Too bad it is in Iran-- that doesn't make it easy to study.

Bar tailed godwits, a kind of shorebird, make the longest nonstop migration of any bird (over 7000 miles, from Alaska to New Zealand.) HT Walter Hingley.

"The six cutest animals that can still kill you." A bit over the top, and I don't think I'd include the dingo, but still funny. Check the link at the bottom to killer insects-- that Japanese giant hornet is intimidating. HT "Batwrangler" Sheila.

This one slides from nature to Central Asia.Andrew, who is going to Mongolia to stay with the Tsataan reindeer riders next week (lucky man) sent me a link to his sister- in- law Ulaana's blog. It is full of good things, including a report on an eagle hunters' festival near UB. If you scroll down to the pic of the former Lenin Museum you can almost see our regular UB base, the Bishkek "Very Good Hotel", which stands just outside the photo to the right. Makes me nostalgic!

Mike Spies sends another good contribution to our ongoing discussion on dog breeding. I disagree with the writer's handling of the Dalmatian controversy but it is an interesting and accessible essay.

Doom and Gloom. I'm not even going to link to the LA county dog breeding ban (and neutering at four months!) pushed through by Lloyd Levine-- too depressing. Goodbye California I think. Eric at Classical Values addresses the issue again, and as always has some sharp observations.

Dogs banned in Iran. HT Annie Hocker, who says: "Listen to what the vet in Iran says about ancient breeds, salukis, and Persian history. Pet dogs are now illegal in Iran and if one touches you or your prayer rug, you must clean yourself seven times. Not to mention the arrests, confiscation, etc.."

This is especially tragic as Persian and Kurdish tazis/ salukis from Iran are among the best in the world, and have traditionally been exempt from what are really ARAB anti- dog tribal prejudices (and most Arabs considered salukis exempt also.) What kind of minds spawn this poison? It might be worth observing that the mullahs are anti- pigeon too, just like the Taliban (see "Talibanning Pigeons" in the sidebar.)

I'm sorry, but mandating lightbulbs full of toxic waste that I can't throw away without driving at least thirty miles does not seem an environmentally sound solution to carbon use.

The inevitable English Doom entry (shall we just pass on the Archbishop of Canterbury's acceptance of Sharia law?): a driver faces fines of 20,000 pounds and six months in jail for throwing away an apple core. Her "crime" is described as "knowingly causing the deposit of controlled waste, namely an apple core, on land which did not have a waste management licence".

"A British novelist has been awarded legal damages in excess of £100,000 because she writes thrillers, not literary masterpieces. What's at fault? She's been inhaling fumes from a nearby shoe factory." Read the whole thing! Do you think I could get $200,000 for being poor because I drink Magdalena water? Of course there may not be that amount of money loose in Magdalena. HT Pluvialis.

General & random weirdness. When Peculiar was in high school we concocted a joking "meme" for the perfect PC pet: the tapeworm. I forget a lot (and perhaps he can remind me) but three features were that you kept in in its natural habitat, that it cost nothing to feed it; and that it kept you thin. Well, according to the Yankee bloggers at Maggie's Farm, somebody thought of it before we did.

Annie D sends a link to a hilarious mural. May be slightly NSFW.

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks. I particularly liked ""Cautions" slipperly" but there are other gems.

Pics coming later, and more on dog issues...


Nightmare said...

Interesting dog breeding article but the author's comments on the Dalmatian/Pointer project are incorrect: only one Pointer was ever used, the project was not abandoned (they call them low uric acid Dalmatians now), and the AKC doesn't register them because the DCA changed it's mind. I think the UKC registers the descendants now.

Steve Bodio said...

Agree completely. Any organization that won't let you breed out to get rid of lethal mutations has no claim on our respect.

Moro Rogers said...

For the six deadliest cute animals, I would have left out the dingo and put in blue ringed octopus instead.
(Also...swans...? Has anyone ever been killed by a swan? If a human actually stood up to an aggressive swan, I bet the swan would come out second best. As long as the human refused to be intimidated.=p)

Neutrino said...

The Iranian snake reminded me of this:

Which was discovered several years back.

Given their cryptic bauplan and ambush habits, snakes seem cut out for evolving lures.

-R. A. Wilderson

Mike Spies said...

The bit on fluorescent lights provoked a thought -- Assemblyman Lloyd Levine of Van Nuys, CA introduced a bill to ban all incandescent bulbs statewide. Huh?

He is the SAME Lloyd Levine that is responsible for the statewide and LA County mandatory Spay and Neuter bill. Also a bill to mandate how captive elephants should be treated.

Thank you Lloyd! We can all rest easier knowing you are on the job, tackling the tough issues.