Sunday, July 13, 2014


What we have been looking at online...

First and most importantly: if you care about the Animal "Rights" issue, and how its proponents plan to do away with all the ways we work and play with animals, you best pay attention to the impending ban of the Central Park horses. No one has done a better job covering it than Jon Katz at Bedlam Farm Journal , even through his open heart surgery last week.

This may be the single most appalling and dictatorial example of what these ignorant, fascistic (yeah, I know mayor Di Blasio is a  Marxist-- and what did New Yorkers think they would get when they elected a mayor who honeymooned in Cuba?) hysterical know- nothings are hoping to do everywhere. From Jon's latest post:

"If the mayor heard or saw any of those comments – 66 per cent of New Yorkers oppose the ban, along with the Central Park Conservancy, The Chamber of Commerce, The Teamsters Union, the New York Post, New York Daily News, and New York Times  – he has never acknowledged it, discussed it, reflected upon it."

" The mayor speaks of the issue only in short and inarticulate blurbs like those at this week's press conference. He refuses to speak with the carriage owners, visit the drivers or the stables, or even recognize the people in the carriage trade as human beings who deserve consultation about the loss of their livelihood,  their fate and future. The dehumanization of the carriage trade people is one of the ugliest and most disturbing elements in the campaign against the horses, especially from a mayor who labels himself a progressive.

"It seems the mayor is also determined to push ahead with a plan to replace the horses with vintage electric cars, which will cost about $160,000 apiece. If New Yorkers are united behind the idea of keeping the horses, they are even more horrified at the thought of flooding Central Park with more cars. Only the mayor seems to think cars are more eco-friendly than horses.

"There are also plans, according to the media, to take the horses away from the carriage owners and require that they only be sold to farms and preserves where it is guaranteed that they will never work...."

"It is known that the mayor's teenage daughter first awakened him to the carriage horse issue after viewing animal rights websites online, and that the mayor has never lived with an animal, not even a dog or a cat...."

"They have broken no law, violated no regulation, committed no crimes. If their work and way of life are to be taken from them, they are entitled to talk about it with their elected officials."

Read also here. You know the true cliche: "first they came for the carriage horses..."

Now, some cheerful stuff-- I do not want to wreck your weekend...

Also from New York: great piece on chef & writer Tony Bourdain, one that recognizes what I always thought was the deep truth behind the gonzo humor: "American writers rarely write about work anymore. Not tech work, quant work, digital work, but real work, manual work, crew work, often skilled but sweaty. Bourdain’s depiction of the kitchen crews he worked on, their mad camaraderie and the kind of inspired improvisational feats of high-heat athleticism they performed are tours de force."
Libby with a younger Bourdain

The beauty of book endpapers. Someday I should scan just the endpapers of my William Beebe collection.

Flight  might have evolved many times amidst the small feathered dinos. Dinosaurs are birds!

Did Tibetans get their high altitude genes from Denisovans? Our lineage becomes ever more complex...

The Passenger pigeon's extinction might have been more complex than "mere" extermination. I have been getting some grief for saying so in Living Bird. History will absolve me!


Roxane B. Salonen said...

Hi Steve, I can put you in touch with Tim, but need to do so privately. If you follow me on Twitter I can send a direct message. Or email me:

Anonymous said...

Boy, lots I'd like to discuss on all these subjects! But(sigh), I'll try to be mercifully brief. To do such subjects justice, they properly should be discussed for hours around a campfire(on a full belly)....Carriage horses in New York--WHAAAA? Do those city folk want to totally isolate themselves from all other forms of life?(well apparently 66% DON'T!)NO DOUBT there ARE abuses to some carriage horses sometimes--PUNISH THOSE ABUSERS and leave the rest alone! Next ban attempt will probably be ANY kind of "pet" people try to keep. Even the animal rights novel "Black Beauty" was about trying to IMPROVE treatment of horses--not ELIMINATE them!.....On the feathers-for-flight subject--surprised they didn't mention all the well-feathered flightless birds(ostriches, emus, rheas, cassowaries, kiwis, penguins, dodos, etc, etc.) where feathers certainly serve other survival purposes, as they likely did for feathered, flightless dinosaurs--and NEWS FLASH! Some valuable info(ahem!) for your sighthound history book! I have just discovered fossil evidence(North Carolina having once been part of Africa before the big split, and, as we all know EVERYTHING originated in Africa! Ahem!) that my Tazis are FAR MORE ANCIENT than even the AKC saluki people say salukis are! Not only are Tazis OLDER BY FAR than mere salukis, but they have an unbroken line back to dinosaur days(take THAT purebred saluki folks!), and is why I now refer to my two(sometimes) as Tazi-a-sauruses! Ahem!......And fascinating about the Denisovans--reminds me of another study I read where Andean natives have more capillaries in their digits(to help prevent frostbite), as an adaption to the severe cold and altitude--although some idiots get real riled if you DARE suggest we humans might be products of different evolving types.......And Passenger Pigeons--always fascinating(if sad) subject--I've always thought introduced disease might have also contributed something to the swift, mass extinction--disease able to reach the birds even at their most isolated territories--as I think it did for the thylacines(sigh) in Australia. Such animal epidemics were not often noticed or diagnosed in those days, but with all manner of domestic and exotic fowl brought to the new world, it MIGHT have had some effect on Passenger Pigeons......L.B.