Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Birds Evolving Short Wingspans To Dodge Traffic

They are mutating and evolving to surpass our technologies! The revolution is happening it only we have eyes to see it. "Longer-winged swallows sitting on a road probably can't take off as quickly, or gain altitude as quickly, as shorter-winged birds, and thus the former are more likely to collide with an oncoming vehicle," study co-author Dr. Charles Brown.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

We come frome the Stars

"It is fascinating to consider that the most basic biochemical building blocks that led to life on Earth may well have had an extraterrestrial origin"

Meet the nonhumans. Meet Ourselves.

I have mentioned this before but here is a good overview via NPR on humans having sex with neanderthals. The title is wonderfully provocative: "What Happened When Humans Met An 'Alien' Intelligence? Sex Happened" 
Some suspenseful and imaginative moments throughout the article including:
We were more recently up from Africa, still dark skinned. They'd been 200,000 years in Europe, had grown fair, freckled and some of them had red or blond hair. And while you wouldn't know it from looking, their brains were even bigger than ours, at over 1700 cubic centimeters. "That's about 300 ccs larger than your brain or mine," says Walter.

Anthropologists differ on what happened. There is some evidence, but not a lot, that we regularly attacked and eventually annihilated the Neanderthals. There's evidence too, that we crowded them out of the best hunting sites, making it harder for them to earn a living (and they needed to eat more than we do to stay alive). But the third possibility, writes Chip Walter, is that "if we killed them at all, we killed them with kindness. We neither murdered them nor outcompeted them. We mated with them and, in time, simply folded them into our species until they disappeared." 

Thursday, March 7, 2013


2 million brown snakes on Guam originating as stowaways on WWII ships from Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. They eat native birds and have no natural predators on the island... indeed, they have taken over. (Allegory for human weighing on the earth!)

The "solution" "About 2,000 mice filled with acetaminophen will be dropped in the newest test". As the DoD says "No one's ever attempted anything on this scale". So, hey, what could ever go wrong? (Allegory number 2: unintended consequences of poisons and how animals and toxins will create a line of flight from the intended teleological vectors).