Monday, February 07, 2011

MANY links

Unseasonal cold weather (down to nearly - 30 or as people are suddenly all saying "NEGATIVE" 30 F at night) has curtailed outdoor activity but there have been everything from house emergencies to deadlines to unexpected trips to Santa Fe, all taking their toll on the blog. I hope regular service can resume-- I have a ridiculous amount of linkage saved and will never catch up soon. Onward!

A video of the galgo hare coursing championship, from a Spanish hunting and fishing show (see opening clips), courtesy of Gail Goodman. Can you imagine such a show in the US?

Cultivation of the bird's- nest soup bird, courtesy of Arthur Wilderson, who writes: "I wonder what might be done to further enhance the productivity of such sites. A ban on the use of pesticides in the immediate area might increase insect densities and so support more birds. I could see some sort of anti-predator campaign too, if the native birds of prey haven't been long since wiped out... Then you'd start selectively breeding the swiftlets for maximum nest production, and the cycle of domestication would begin anew."

Maybe such efforts are the reason you can get authentic "nest" as an ingredient in soft drinks-- in Albuquerque!

Nabokov was right! 65 years ago, working solely by close observation of morphology, he predicted we would find that New World "blue" butterflies invaded in five successive waves from Siberia and radiated out, evolving into many new species, all the way down the Andes...

DNA has just proved him 100% correct, in both theory and detail. The story is both a triumphant vindication of Nabokov, who was often sniffed at by entomologists as a dilettante, and a classic demonstration of close observation and traditional taxonomic methods-- one that shows that, done right, they still work.

NOT the Onion: "food" recall; HT John McLoughlin.

$200,000 racing pigeons going to China, where they seem to want to exceed our excesses. My father and his business partner, a banker, spent what then seemed like a literal fortune to bring a winning strain from Europe in the early 60's, but this seems crazy. As Betsy Huntington used to say (adjust for inflation): "Never pay more than one thousand dollars for anything that can DIE."

It appears that bacon is a gateway drug for vegetarians.

Screw the political correctitude of the moment: as Carl Zimmer says, Pere David and his ilk were heroes. (And sorry, science as we know it is western. As Pat Hemingway says, Islamists use jets, not flying carpets).

They have made a movie out of The Long Walk. I don't really care if the story is 100% true or not.

Tom Russell sings Tonight we Ride on Letterman, and even that smug bastard likes it. Bonus: Paul Schaeffer plays Mexican accordion!

Coyote- hunting longdogs from Kansas, from a good blog new to me. I'll be checking it more.

Medieval falconry video: somewhere in eastern Europe, a gyr (gyr hybrid?) kills a heron dead in the air with one blow. There is rumored to be more including cheetahs...

Next, dog & bird; tomorrow, more birds among other things...?


Chas S. Clifton said...

I have not heard anyone say Negative-degrees, but then I don't see much network TV.

It's probably the same half-educated love of the multisyllabic that causes them to say "precipitation event" instead of "rain."

WV: terst. TV weatherpeople should be more terst.

Lisa said...

Tried Bird Nest soup last year from like . Tastes really good... yeah, I thought it was gross at first, but wow, you won't regret it.

Falconer said...

Steve, I'm a coal miner's son and I see the video of the Spanish hare coursing as a bunch of rich pricks and a flock of rich prick groupies butchering hares. Kind of like the falconers who take a brace or more of Harrises and a line of drivers across a field and call themselves rabbit hunters. Give me a brush filled field with some trees or better yet an oak forest full of squirrels and a good honest Redtail and take game and then I'm impressed.