Tuesday, September 26, 2006

lord god, birdbrains

Amidst news of more circumstantial evidence of the continued existence of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker is conclusive proof of the continued idiocy of humanity as residents of a coastal North Carolina town rush to destroy the habitat of the red cockaded woodpecker in a frantic effort to avoid becoming designated as home to the endangered species. It makes a certain sense, "If you raze it, they won't come, and we can build as many freaking houses and strip malls as we want."

Then again,

Along the roadsides, scattered brown bark is all that's left of once majestic pine stands. Mayor Joan Kinney has watched with dismay as waterfront lots across from her home on Big Lake have been gradually stripped to sandy, denuded wasteland.

"Well, it's ruined the beauty of our city," says Kinney.

Oh, can't we all just get along?

(in other news-- yes, it's run-on sentence day. now leave me alone!)

Monday, July 10, 2006

The New Adventures of Mr. Toad (Updated Millenium Version)

Image from CDC website on emerging infectious disease

Also via boingboing today, news regarding a fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) that is killing frogs and other amphibians around the world. The fungus causes severe skin infections in every amphibian species it attacks, and the high mortality rate may lead to extinction for many species. Of course, the more mundane threats to amphibian populations still apply:

While the spread of the disease is a major new threat to all amphibians, the scientists reported that the greatest current danger to every threatened species is still the loss of habitat as cities and suburbs expand, streams and ponds and wetlands give way to the needs of farmers, and forest lands are destroyed.

It is further reported that global warming and the attendant lowering of immune response in amphibians may exacerbate the fungus-related problems. See the article "Widespread amphibian extinctions from epidemic disease driven by global warming" published in Nature on 12 January 2006.

also see:

San Francisco Chronicle article

boingboing article

Waiter, there's a mayfly in my beer cheese soup.

Reported on boingboing today:

In Wisconsin, the mayflies are so thick that they are actually showing up on local weather radar as a rainstorm.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Oh, THAT'S brilliant.

Hey everybody, Tennessee Senator Bill Frist (R, natch) is offering you a "bold package that will give consumers some relief"! (His words, not mine.) Move over Bob Dole, there's a new man in town.

Hot on the heels of Bush's equally brilliant announcement that he would like to waive Clean Air provisions with regard to gasoline fuel additives in an effort to reduce soaring gas prices, Senate Republicans come up with this doozy-- $100 rebate checks for everyone! That'll buy a tank of gas for my new Excursion! Oh, and while we're at it, we'll start drilling in ANWR! Wait, look over here-- don't pay any attention to the men behind the remarkably American flag-like curtain who voted for over $2 BILLION in tax breaks for oil companies just last year-- which the oil executives now say they don't need.

Meanwhile, oil companies post record profits, as do manufacturers of pharmaceuticals that promise "bold packages that will give . . . relief." Whoa!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

We're Number One!!!

It was revealed this past Monday (4/17) that the United States produced more greenhouse gases in 2004 than at any time in history. How much of an increase is that? +110 million tons of CO2-- now that's impressive! But not as impressive as the total output of 6,300 million tons. What percentage of the world's total do we emit? Oh, about a quarter. 25%-- burn, baby, burn! Disco inferno!

Meanwhile, everyone's asking, "Will Tom Cruise's new baby girl grow up to be as creepy as her dad?"

Friday, March 31, 2006

Wet Lands : Wetlands :: Rhetoric : Politics

Add this to the steadily accumulating pile of concrete evidence that the Bush Administration consists almost entirely of scholars of Doublespeak.

Outgoing Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton has proudly announced -- without a hint of irony -- that there has been a massive gain in US wetlands between 1998 and 2004. At first glance, that's excellent news. Unfortunately, most will stop at the first glance. A deeper look will reveal that this report depends entirely on rhetoric and semantics-- specifically, how does one define a wetland?

Does a watertrap on a golf course constitute a wetland?
Do retention ponds that collect runoff from parking lots constitute wetlands?
Do shallow, man-made ponds constitute wetlands?
Does a mine reclamation pond constitute a wetland?

In short, does the mere presence of a certain depth of water a wetland make?

According to the Bush Administration, it does. Go forth and be astonished:

The only thing that's wet here is the logic.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Four-eyed trouser snake?

"We expect the sale of We to be on the same level of demand as a priceless art object," he said.
Read more about the two-headed, one-stomached albino rat snake here.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The issue of the so-called global warmings.

"It seems that liberals and godless tax-raisers are trying to make me look bad by using such things as 'facts' and 'scientific data.'"

Will Ferrell does a hilarious send-up of Bush on global warming at TransBuddha.com. Watch it here.

"We just need to get nature to cooperate with us. We don't need to listen to nature, nature needs to listen to us."