Category Archives: Science

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Last week, a semi tractor belonging to the moving company hauled a big cargo container into our driveway.  Five guys came in and filled our house and the workshop and office buildings up with boxes and various appurtenances. 

On the one hand, it’s great to have this done, and it feels even more real now that all our stuff is here.

On the other hand, it’s going to take months to get everything unpacked and organized.

But it’s done; we can take our time setting stuff up, but the hard part of the move is complete.  The only way I’m moving from this house is in a body bag.  We’re home, here in the Great Land, to stay.

And so…

On To the Links!

Yes, your cat might eat you.

Science!

Anthony Fauci:  “I AM SCIENCE!”

Lauren Boebert continues being Lauren Boebert, and nobody does it better.

Florida mom destroys state school board over racist Critical Race Theory. And Florida has banned the teaching of racist Critical Race Theory, so that’s a win.

As Job Openings Soar, Gov’t Pays Us To Not Work.

The Democrats’ Filibuster Con.

Dammit, Bill Maher!  Stop making me agree with you!

No shit, Sherlock.

Missouri tells the Imperial City to take their gun laws and shove ’em.

News Flash: Trump Was Right.

Don’t Make Econ. Policy If You Haven’t Been Dancing Chicken.

It Feels A Lot Like 1977.

Eww.

Rifles and Miniguns Adapted to Fire Longer-Range 6.8mm Ammo.

I sure hope this is wrong, because Europe is looking pretty hosed these days.

Well, this doesn’t look good.  The Chinese are assuring us nothing is wrong.  Uh, where have we heard that before?

Ladies and gentlemen, the leader of the free world!  (We are so hosed.)

This Week’s Idiots:

Paul Krugman is a partisan hack, and an idiot. (Repeat Offender Alert)

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown is an idiot.

Robert Reich is an idiot.  (Repeat Offender Alert)

The Week‘s Ryan Cooper is an idiot.

Vox‘s Jariel Arvin is an idiot. 

Vox‘s Rob Arthur is also an idiot.

MSNBC’s Dean Obeidallah is an idiot.

Is this the blind leading the stupid, or the other way around?

The New York Times’ Bill McKibben is an idiot.

Idiots gonna idiot, or:  Fools and their money, Part 3,490,201.

Seriously, do these idiots have nothing better to do?

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Any of you True Believers who have been reading these virtual pages for any time, and who have been paying attention to my cultural offerings, already know that I have wide and varied tastes in music.  And while I watch very little television, I do confess a fondness for the Canadian production Letterkenny, an irreverent look at life in a small town in Ontario that translates well into small-town life most places.  They make fun of almost every social issue at one point or another, and it’s refreshing to see a show where the main character is an unabashed “good ol’ boy” who doesn’t shy away from solving confrontations with his fists.  And who wouldn’t love a show with characters named Squirrely Dan, Joint-Boy and Jivin’ Pete?

Anyway – one of the things I enjoy about the show is the soundtrack, where you will find clips from a variety of artists; some I don’t care for, some I find I enjoy, and I through the show I have discovered some Canadian indy acts I enjoy quite a bit.  One of those is the show’s opening theme, which takes a few bars from the beginning of the song Who Needs A Girl Like You from the group Indian Wars.  Here, for your enjoyment, is that song.

Animal’s Daily Zebra News

Ever wondered why you can’t find saddle zebras for sale?  Here may be the answer.  Excerpt:

Like horses and donkeys, zebras belong to the Equidae family (known as equids). The three species are so closely related that they can interbreed and form hybrids such as a zedonk (a cross between a male zebra and a female donkey), a zorse (the offspring of a male zebra and a female horse), and zonie (hybrid between a zebras and ponies). But unlike their cousins, zebras resisted submitting to humans. Why is that? After all, zebras are native to Africa, the cradle of humanity.

It may all have to do with natural selection. Zebras and horses diverged from a common ancestor around 4-4.7 million years ago, and each became adapted to their particular environments. Herds of wild horses in North America and Europe were initially kept as food animals, but later became accustomed to humans. After the advent of agriculture 12,000 years ago, horses proved their worth in transportation and warfare, which prompted humans to invest time and effort into domesticating them by selectively breeding the tamest individuals.

But unlike wild horses, zebras in the open African savanna had many more predators to worry about, including fierce lions, lightning-fast cheetahs, and cunning hyenas. As such, natural selection forged zebras into very reactive animals that are ready to leap at the slightest sign of danger. Zebras are particularly feisty and will greatly resist getting captured.

Despite their poney-like size, some zebras have managed to kill attacking lions with a single back kick. They’re not less menacing from the front either, as they’re known to pack a savage bite. Zebras also have a hardwired ducking reflex, which greatly hinders their capture by lasso or other methods. Finally, zebras have no family structure and no hierarchy, unlike wild horses that live in herds and have a structured order.

I suspect that last may have a lot to do with it.

Look at dogs.  Wolves, from which domestic dogs descended, live in a rather looser social order than most folks think, but they are still social animals.  Cattle are herd animals, and wild bovine herds generally follow a matriarch.  Horses likewise.  But zebra herds aren’t really “herds” so much as just big gangs, sticking together for mutual protection.  From what little I’ve read about them (full disclosure, I studied Biology with a strong emphasis on behavior in college) they don’t have a herd matriarch (or patriarch, for that matter) and are no more a structured herd than a school of fish.

It’s an interesting little behavioral phenomenon, when two animals are close enough to produce offspring, albeit sterile offspring, and yet so different behaviorally.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

With a national debt crisis looking on the horizon, I’m seeing a fair amount of talk about selling Imperial assets (like the vast tracts of National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands in the West) to pay off the national debt.  I’m not in favor of this, for one selfish reason and two practical reasons.

First, the selfish reason:  I have and do spend a lot of time on those public lands, which are at the moment mostly wide-open for recreational use including hunting, fishing and camping.  If these lands went to private owners, I have no doubt that they would immediately be closed off to such use.

Second and third, the practical reasons:  Placing land on the market at such a massive scale would drop prices, quite possibly to the point where the proceeds wouldn’t be nearly enough to get us out of the twenty-three trillion hole we’re in, and bear in mind that the Imperial government isn’t about to stop digging.  Any deduction of the debt from such a sale would be temporary unless we could find a way to cancel Congress’ credit card.

And finally, most of all, I have precisely zero faith that the House of Representatives, who are responsible for spending government revenues, would use one penny of that money to address the Imperial debt.  They would use that money as they use all money:  Buying votes.

And so…

On To the Links!

From national treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson:  Never Let A Plague Go to Waste.

I’ll tell you what this will look like:  Putin will eat Biden’s lunch.

AntiFa thug hit squads pursue a journalist.  Blackshirts instead of Brownshirts, but you get the idea.

More people need to hear this guy.

Not fat-shaming, but blob-shaming, and accepting reality.  I like this outlook.

California’s “assault weapons” ban struck down.  Now this will only lead to more legal wrangling, but it’s still a win.  For now.

Actual headline:  Woman Does Karate In Walmart Parking Lot, Kicks Out Police Car Window While Son Strips Naked Inside & Dog Steals Cornbread.  Wisconsin, not Florida.

Heels-Up Harris greeted in Guatemala with jeers, pro-Trump signs.  The schadenfreude, it is strong with this one.

Human hibernation is possible.  Hell, I do it every winter.

Canadians see UFOs, too.  Must be something in the poutine.

Oh, for fuck’s sake, could Heels-Up be any more full of herself?  (And is that better or worse than her being full of Willie Brown?)  Also, Heels-Up blows a fuse when a reporter has the temerity to question her never having once visited the southern border that she’s supposedly the czar of.  This harpy is in so far over her head that she can’t even see the surface.

Chicago continues its meltdown.

Is Biden Setting Harris Up for Failure in 2024?  No, Harris is setting Harris up for failure in 2024.  Biden doesn’t know where his after-nap snacks are coming from.

No Shit, Sherlock.

California:  “Let’s double down on our green energy lunacy!”  New York:  “Hold my beer.”

This Week’s Idiots:

Boy howdy, they’re coming out of the woodwork this week.

“Notice: if I see you in a public indoor space not wearing a mask, I’m judging you.”  My reaction:

California continues to produce idiots.  Watch for California housing prices to rise to even more insane levels.

Some idiots are concerned about birds with racist names.  Honestly, some people have way too much time on their hands.

The Nation‘s Elie Mystal (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

CNN’s John Blake and author Carol Anderson are both idiots.

The Guardian brings us more from idiot Carol Anderson.

Barack Obama beclowns himself again.

The New Yorker‘s Sue Halpern is an idiot.

The Hill‘s Michael Hopkins is an idiot.  Seriously, a mandate, Hopkins, you stupid fuck?  A dead tie in the Senate and a razor thin majority in the House is a mandate?  OK, sure, ahead Tard Factor Eight!

Jimmy Kimmel is an idiot.

CNN’s Mari Aponte is an idiot.

NY Magazine‘s Jonathan Chait is an idiot.

CNN’s Dean Obeidallah is an idiot.

CNN’s Brian Stelter, preparing for his second career as an actual potato, asks Press Secretary Jen Psaki:  “How far can we journalists insert our tongues into your ass?”

Al Franken is an idiot.

Whichever one of President Biden’s handlers wrote this is an idiot.

The New York Times’ Mara Gay is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Remember when at least some of our conversations regarding race were all about uniting, about our common humanity, how bonds of love should overcome differences of skin tone, religion or national origins?  The O’Jays do.  Take a listen to their 1972 hit Love Train.  This was originally cast as an anti-war song (not unusual in 1972) but it had another message as well.  Listen to the lyrics.  Tell me how that song would fly with today’s race hustlers.  Plus, it’s just a pretty good tune.

We could frankly use a little more of this kind of message.

Animal’s Daily Chinese Defector News

Don’t miss the latest installment of the Allamakee County Chronicles over at Glibertarians!

Now then: This is interesting.  Excerpt:

A person believed to be among the highest-ranking defectors ever to the United States from the People’s Republic of China has been working with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) for months, sources inside the intelligence community have told RedState on condition of anonymity. The defector has direct knowledge of special weapons programs in China, including bioweapons programs, those sources say.

The information provided to RedState corroborates and clarifies Thursday evening’s reporting by journalist Adam Housley.

RedState’s sources say that’s partially true. FBI Director Christopher Wray was “ambushed” with the information, they say, and Langley was also unaware. Sources say DIA leadership kept the defector within their Clandestine Services network to prevent Langley and the State Department from accessing the person, whose existence was kept from other agencies because DIA leadership believes there are Chinese spies or sources inside the FBI, CIA, and several other federal agencies.

Did you get that last?

Here, in case you missed it:  Sources say DIA leadership kept the defector within their Clandestine Services network to prevent Langley and the State Department from accessing the person, whose existence was kept from other agencies because DIA leadership believes there are Chinese spies or sources inside the FBI, CIA, and several other federal agencies.

Yes, that’s right.  We are now at a juncture where our Imperial intelligence-gathering agencies don’t trust each other.

Granted, it has always been the standard practice to compartmentalize sensitive information like this.  “Need-to-know” applies, after all.  But the stated reason here – if it’s corroborated, so far this is all hearsay from an anonymous source – is that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) didn’t trust the other alphabet soup agencies specifically because they were worried about Chinese spies or sources inside those agencies.

Normally I would think that this all sounded a bit paranoid, but we just had a Congressman who was found to have been sleeping with an actual by-gosh Chinese agent for some time, and not only is he still in office but still holds all his privileged committee assignments.  If that doesn’t show how deep the rot has gone in the Imperial City, I don’t know what does.

It’s still early on this latest business.  But it will be interesting to see what develops.

Animal’s Daily Infrastructure News

President Biden(‘s handlers) have an infrastructure plan.  But there’s a problem:  It’s utter horseshit.  Excerpt:

After two painful recessions and ever greater national discord, there is considerable support for a new beginning, even if it takes massive federal spending. The question we must ask now is what kind of spending makes sense given the character of the country, its geography, and its economic challenges. America remains a vast and diverse place, and decisions that make sense for one locale do not necessarily make any sense in others. A dispersed country needs dispersed decision-making, not edicts issued from on high by the D.C. nomenklatura.

Unfortunately, Joe Biden’s ballyhooed “infrastructure” plan, coupled with unprecedented stimulus spending, is cast by the obliging media as being about the middle class but seems oddly detached from how the overwhelming majority of the middle class lives, which is in lower-density, automobile-dependent neighborhoods. This dynamic was intensifying even before the pandemic. But Biden’s plan seems mostly about serving the relatively small sliver of transit-riding apartment dwellers living in denser neighborhoods. Overall, dense residential areas accommodate no more than 10 percent of the nation’s population.

Rather than emulate Roosevelt’s New Deal, as Biden’s handlers insist, the plan renounces much of what drove it. The New Deal, whatever one thinks of it, was about improving the material quality of life for most Americans, such as by spreading the benefits of homeownership to an ever-broader part of the population. In contrast, the Biden plan focuses on permanent redistribution through ever more entitlements and dependency — something Roosevelt opposed. It is likely to reduce our competitiveness by boosting energy and regulatory costs as well as taxes.

In other words, these people have no idea what they’re doing.  You can rely on the political class for that:  When faced with a failure of government, usually in an area where government has no business being involved, the political class’s response is predictable:  Government harder. 

Here’s the onion:

Historically, both parties have looked with favor on suburbs and the notion of a country where most people own their own home. Franklin Roosevelt insisted that a “nation of homeowners” would be “unconquerable.” But this view began to change under President Obama, who decided that suburbs needed to become denser and home to more poor people. Many Democrats, reading the mainstream media, assumed they were riding a “back to the city” wave that would transform American geography as well as politics. Some deep-blue jurisdictions — Minneapolis, California, Oregon — have moved toward eliminating single-family zoning. At the same time, in deepest-blue California, a citizens’ movement with determined support from minority neighborhoods has so far thwarted such heavy-handedness from Sacramento.

The Left’s embrace of forced density reveals a serious misreading of demographic and geographic trends. Despite what you might read in the New York Times, Americans on the whole never went “back to the city.” In fact, in not one year since 2000 have more people moved into the urban-core counties than moved into suburban and exurban counties. Between 2010 and 2020, some of the largest metro areas — including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia, Miami, Boston, and San Francisco — lost domestic migrants, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. Critically, as new research shows, the people most likely to move are the educated young, previously thought to be permanently urbanistas.

I’m sure the fact that many of our major cities have become riotous, crime-ridden shitholes have nothing to do with it.  Right?

It’s been a popular talking point for some time now among the political Left to favor policies pushing increasing urbanization.  And their infrastructure plans, such as they are, as well as their energy policies, seem to be intended to make rural dwellers (like yr. obdt.) lives more difficult.

These policy proposals are, actually, a good argument for federalism.  What works for Connecticut won’t work for Wyoming – or Alaska – and that’s something that the GOP should run on.  Infrastructure is properly a State, not an Imperial, matter.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Spring at the Casa de Animal.

Spring doesn’t last long up here in the Great Land.  Summer doesn’t, either.  But it’s great while it’s here.  Right now the birches and poplars are fully leafed out, with that bright green so characteristic of late spring and early summer.  We have ferns and wildflowers coming up all over, along with some irises and various other plants around the yard.  The greenhouse won’t get much use this year, as we don’t have seeds and equipment in time to get things started, but next year we’ll be making use of it.

After thirty years in semi-arid Colorado, it’s amazing how green everything is here in the Susitna Valley.  There’s a lot more moisture, obviously, what with all the snowfall and the frequency of wet, drippy days.  Still, like the old saying about April showers bringing May flowers, in Alaska it may be May showers bringing June flowers but it still holds true.  Things are pretty here now but in a few more weeks they’ll be really gorgeous.

There’s always something, though.  This shook the house for the better part of a minute.  No damage to the Casa de Animal or the surroundings.  My reaction to the possibility of future tremors?  Worth it.

And so…

On To the Links!

Corruption?  In New Jersey?  Really!?

Nobody’s going to watch your melodrama after you’ve killed off the villain.

What do you expect from a self-professed Socialist who owns three mansions?

Plastic-Driven Sperm Apocalypse May Not Be Nigh.  Also:  “Plastic-Driven Sperm Apocalypse” would be a great indy rock band name.

Florida Man Strikes Again.

A graduate of the Anthony Wiener School of Commercial Airline Pilots.

 Yeah, we’re fucked.

Water.

Here’s the problem with big proposals like this; if it were economically viable, someone would have already done it.  If government has to pay for it, we shouldn’t be doing it.  This one doesn’t pass the bullshit test.

Speaker Trump?  I’d like to see that, just to watch leftist heads explode.  Imagine President Biden mumbling and maundering his way through a State of the Union with Donald Trump sitting right behind him.  If that wouldn’t bring the lulz, I don’t know what will.

Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, presents us with the latest in a lifetime of whoppers.

It’s only wrong when Republicans do it.

Fuck off, slaver!

I love a happy ending.

Chicago continues its ongoing meltdown.

No shit, Sherlock.

Ever wondered what the hardest language is for English-speakers to learn?  Turns out Japanese is one of the toughest, which doesn’t surprise me at all.

Guess which states have the lowest unemployment rates. 

The Hunter Biden saga ain’t over yet.  Not by a long shot.

This Week’s Idiots:

CNN’s Chris Cillizza is an idiot.

The Week’s Ryan Cooper is an idiot.

CNN’s Eli Zupnick is an idiot.

The Nation’s John Nichols is an idiot.

Heels-Up Harris steps on a rake.

Juan Williams is an idiot.  I used to like Juan Williams; he seemed like a guy with principles, as opposed to politics, and I respect people with principles even if I don’t agree with them.  But these days Juan seems to have devolved into just another partisan hack.  That’s too bad.

Salon‘s Michael Camp is an idiot.

The New York Times’ Charlotte Alter is an idiot.

This “artist” is a con man, and the people who fell for it are all idiots.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Very few bands have ever matched the immortal Led Zeppelin.  This is one of the greatest of their works, one in fact used to great effect by director Taika Waititi in Marvel’s tongue-in-cheek Thor:  Ragnarok.

In 1978 or 79 – the exact year is a little fuzzy at this distance in time – I had the pleasure of seeing Zep live.  My buddies and I managed to work our way up pretty close to the stage and at one point were about twenty feet from Robert Plant, who was on stage, hair flying, wailing in his best Seventies rock-band fashion.  It was a neat experience.  Here’s The Immigrant Song.  Enjoy.

Rule Five White Man’s Burden Friday

In a staggering bit of First World paternalism, EU nations are effectively denying African nations access to technologies that could make them prosperous.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow:

In the bizarre maze of modern cultural geopolitics, European progressives spend a lot of time rending garments about their history of colonialism, slavery, and exploitation while engaging in it – using financial blockades if former colonies do not comply.

If a small trading partner wants to export food to Europe, it cannot use any science that Europe bans, and European progressives have a level of control over science that American activists only wish they could attain.

There’s one big big problem with that; it cripples small countries. They are already at a disadvantage that science can fix. Europe prevents them from using it.

Well, of course.  Then thinking of Africa, it’s common for Westerners to think of tropical jungles, dry savannas or deserts, but Africa is a huge damn place, and contains a lot of excellent farmland.  But African farmers are effectively locked out of the world markets by this and other stupid policies.

For those not lucky enough to be born in Europe, science is the great equalizer. It can help land prone to drought or previously only suitable for grazing grow enough to feed people, and even grow enough to export it. Unless European activists use logic like ‘science we paid to get banned in Europe is still used in other countries and it should not be imported here.'(1)

Despite knowing how important it is, affordable food is what Europe is against for developing nations. How much does it cripple other countries? Up to $4 trillion a year – just from invasive species.

That’s 150 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of all African countries combined – lost. The tangible losses due to food being choked out are obvious; things like corn, maize, cassava, and mango. The real killer in productivity is labor. With unchecked invasive species that aren’t allowed to be killed by chemicals, laborers must do it by hand.

The one thing not mentioned in this article:  Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

Speaking as a biologist:  Every food crop grown by humans today is genetically modified; only the techniques have changed.  And already, today, in Africa and Asia, modern GMO crops like insect-resistant cotton and insect-resistant and drought-tolerant corn and rice are changing the way Africa and Asian farmers produce.  But ignorant activists in the EU and North America still work tirelessly to shut these crops out of world markets, and in so doing condemn these nations to permanent Third World status.

For a nation’s economy to develop into modernity, the first thing that must happen is for modern agricultural technology to greatly reduce the portion of each person’s resources required for food.  This happened in the U.S. and Europe a century ago, and now well-meaning but stupid policies are preventing it from happening elsewhere.  Another major step is entry into global markets, and idiots in Europe are now preventing that as well.

It’s funny.  I thought we were supposed to ‘follow the science,’ but in this case as in many others, that’s clearly not the case.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Welcome to our 350th Hump Day News!

I started this Wednesday tradition with nothing more than the mid-week application of suitably-themed and totally gratuitous Rule Five totty, then expanded it to a links post, very shortly thereafter adding the “This Week’s Idiots” section and the cultural edification at the end, until, well, here we are.  350 posts in – that’s almost seven years of Hump Day News. I think that Wednesday posts have now achieved their final form.  Hope you all like it.

And so…

On To the Links!

Meanwhile, in Russia…

Ford is making an all-electric F-150.  Fine, but it won’t work out too well out here.

Tucker nails it.

Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.

If you need a dose of horrifying, now we have sex-crazed zombie cicadas with disintegrating asses.

Tardigrades can survive an 1,825 mph impacts.  These are pretty amazing little critters.

Only government can coerce.

More than a third of California’s restaurants are never coming back.

The ‘Wuhan Lab Leak’ Theory Looks More Credible Than Ever.

FL’s DeSantis: Critical Race Theory Teaches Kids to Hate Their Country.  No shit, Sherlock.

Robert Gates Sees “Very Little Prospect” Of Peace Between Israel And Palestinians.  No shit, Sherlock, Part Deux.

Making nuclear power even safer.

Who didn’t see this coming?  Well, anyone with enough brains to pound sand saw it coming, which I think is the author’s point.

Empathy, compassion and tolerance!

Dokumenty, pozhaluysta!

Papiere, bitte!

“You’re not the right minority.”

This Week’s Idiots:

Chicago Mayor Beetlejuice is a racist cunte, and an idiot.  Seriously, put this shoe on the other foot – say, the white mayor of a major city granting one-on-one interviews only to white journalists.  The media would (rightly) be outraged.  That’s the difference between politics and principles.  Mayor Beetlejuice and the complicit Chicago media has the former, not the latter.

Vox‘s Emily Stewart is an idiot.

USAToday‘s Jill Lawrence is an idiot.

The Nation‘s Elie Mystal is an idiot.

Robert Reich is still an idiot.

The Guardian‘s Jonathan Freedland is an idiot.

George Will is an idiot.

CNN’s John Harwood is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

We’ll always have Lou Reed, right?  Imagine his 1972 tune Walk on the Wild Side being released today.  Here are the first two verses:

Holly came from Miami, F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She says, “Hey, babe,
Take a walk on the wild side.”
Said, “Hey, honey,
Take a walk on the wild side.”

Candy came from out on the Island
In the back room she was everybody’s darling
But she never lost her head
Even when she was giving head
She says, “Hey, babe,
Take a walk on the wild side.”
Said, “Hey, babe,
Take a walk on the wild side.”
And the colored girls go
“Doo do doo do doo do do doo…”

It would almost be worth it to hear the RHEEEEEE from the SJW crowd, wouldn’t it?  Here’s the entire song; enjoy.

Animal’s Daily For The Birds News

Fortunately none of these are still around.

There are a lot of birds around.  Excerpt:

Through a combination of citizen science and big data analytics, researchers have estimated the entire global population of birds. There are roughly 50 billion individual birds chirping and flapping across the world, about six birds for every human.

“Humans have spent a great deal of effort counting the members of our own species – all 7.8 billion of us,” says Associate Professor Will Cornwell, an ecologist at the University of New South Wales and co-senior author of the study.

“This is the first comprehensive effort to count a suite of other species.”

And:

There are over 9,700 different bird species that we know of, and the eBird catalog covers 92% of these species. The remaining 8% of species are very rare species that are rarely sighted, meaning their numbers are very low so their exclusion from the analysis shouldn’t have much impact on the overall estimate.

While some species are threatened with extinction others are incredibly abundant. In fact, four bird species are in what researchers call ‘the billionaire club’, due to having an estimated population of over a billion. These include the house sparrow (1.6 billion), followed by the European starling (1.3 billion), ring-billed gull (1.2 billion), and barn swallow (1.1 billion).

Having been brought up by parents who were involved in the local Audubon Society, I’ve always been a bit of a bird nut.  I like having them around, and now here, in the Great Land, we have a wide range of avian residents ranging from chickadees to eagles.  Their presence adds a lot to the landscape.

And here’s the thing:  I occasionally have occasion to raise the eyebrows of non-biologist types when they refer to something being “as dead as a dinosaur” by telling them that dinosaurs aren’t extinct; there are more dinosaurs alive today than mammals.  We call them birds, and while it’s the general practice among paleontologists and biologists to refer to “non-avian dinosaurs” as a distinction, the clade Aves (modern birds) are part of the larger group Theropoda, which includes most of the bipedal predatory dinos like allosaurus, the various raptors, and the infamous tyrannosaurs.

While that’s cool to reflect on, mostly, I just like having birds around.  At this time of year, every morning when I leave the house to walk to the office, I’m surrounded by a concert of morning bird song – another reminder of why we chose to move to this wondrous place.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

I’ve been toying around some with “alternative” social media, mostly Parler and Gab, and I’m ready to give up on both.  Here’s why:

First, Gab.  The layout is generally OK and I like the “Groups” feature, but the “batshit-crazy” ratio is a little too high to suit me.  Anyone who claims that aren’t nutbars on the Right just as there are on the Left clearly isn’t paying attention, although the Right doesn’t seem as willing to elect them to office.  (But only just.)

Second, Parler.  Parler was a little more sane, with again, a decent layout but no “groups” or sub-fora that I was able to find.  But then Parler re-did their login procedure from an annoying “click every panel that contains a bicycle” CAPTCHA to the even-more-annoying “enter the code we sent to your cell phone.”  I never provided them a phone number and refuse to do so, so now I’m not able to log in to Parler at all.  Repeated requests to their customer service folks have gone unanswered.

So, by way of conclusion:  Sure, we have alternatives to Derpbook and Twatter now.  Big deal.  I decided early on to ignore those platforms because the terrible noise-to-signal ratio, and from what I’ve seen, those two new alternatives are no better.

I hate discussion by bumper sticker, and I’ll be damned if I’ll engage in it.  So, True Believers, I guess if you give a damn about my thoughts on anything, you’ll just have to come here Monday through Saturday and read them.

Well, for that and the occasional Rule Five imagery, too.

And so…

On To the Links!

Ferry from Twatt in the Orkneys to Scotland, and then you can drive south down through Cock Bridge, Dick Place, Cockermouth, move through Penistone and Cock Alley, slide east into Slutshole Lane, down through Fingringhoe, and end up on the south coast at Ass Hill and Shitterton.

That guy in the Imperial Mansion continues to improve his impression of an actual potato.

Also:  President Biden(‘s handlers) are off to a bad start.  If you ask me, I’m guessing it’s gonna get worse.  Maybe even worse than the Carter years.

Answers you didn’t want to questions you never asked.

Hard pounding, this.  Let’s see who pounds longest.

Everybody’s different, but I sleep a lot better with my own dear Mrs. Animal beside me.

Some folks want to bring jaguars back to the United States.  I doubt they’ll make it as far north as the Susitna Valley, so, meh.

Humans in apartment fire:  “We are all gonna die!”  Cat in apartment fire:  “What’s this we shit, Kemosabe?”

I’m not a fan of “doxxing” anyone, but it is possible to push someone too far.

Fuck off, slaver.

This kind of shit is why we left Colorado.

You know, maybe some people are ‘rona ‘vaccine-hesitant’ because assholes in government keep telling them they’ll still have to wear face-diapers and socially distance afterwards.

Good guy with gun stops bad guy with gun.  Sad that one innocent person died, but many more could have if not for a good guy with a rifle, and if you look around, the legacy media is ignoring this.  The Narrative must persist.

Dammit, Piers Morgan, stop making me agree with you!

This Week’s Idiots:

The Nation’s John Nichols and Senator Chuck Schumer (Sanctimonious Prick – NY ) are both idiots.

NBC’s David Mark is an idiot.

Slate‘s Dahlia Lithwick is an idiot.  Amazing how often her name pops up in this section.

Maxine Waters (Crazy Old Bat – CA) is an idiot as well as a serial abuser of government employees.

“Pothole Pete” Buttigieg is an idiot.

Apparently everyone at CNN are idiots.

The Squad’s Rep. Cori Bush is an idiot.

USAToday‘s Ross Wiener is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

There never will be another Frank Sinatra.  Nobody since has even come close.  While his fellow Rat Pack members were all possessed of tremendous talent, even in that company Mr. Sinatra stood out.  Here, from 1966, is the Chairman, performing Luck, Be A Lady.  Enjoy.