Thursday, November 26, 2009
Coffee and Provocation
The Dog Show Game:
In the past, people have been able to buy dogs that they did not breed or work themselves, and then pay professional "handlers" to drive these same dogs around the country to compete for ribbons at dog shows. This is called a "sport." Now comes the good news: the "sport" of dog showing has gone the next logical step -- doing away with all those pesky dogs altogether. At The Show Dog Game you will find "an online game that gives you the chance to manage a kennel of show dogs." You can choose from any of 180 different breeds and "watch and manage them as they grow from a puppy to a national champion." You can enter your dogs in all-breed shows, specialty shows, or both, choose the judge you want to compete under, use a handler to show your dog, or show your dog yourself. As the web site notes, "How well your kennel performs is up to you and the decisions you make."
South African Hunting Dog Web Site:
Jonathan in South Africa, has produced a nice new web site on Hunting Dogs in Southern Africa. Check it out!
Bodio on Darwin's Pigeons:
Steve Bodio has a piece up on the Cornell Lab's Ornithology site about "Darwin's Other Birds", i.e. pigeons. Check it out.
Much of the real work behind The Origin of Species was actually done at dog, chicken, cattle and pigeon shows, and the information gleaned here was used, by analogy, to make sense of what Darwin had seen on his travels on The Beagle. For more on all this, see Darwin's Dogs: How Darwin's Pets Helped Form a World-Changing Theory of Evolution
Monkeying Around With Outside Genes:
It seems that when Mandrils (a type of ape) mate, they have the good sense to seek out genetic diversity. Opposites really do attract!
Bison and Viral Immuno-Contaception:
There are very few things that worry me, but one of them is viral immuno-contraception, which is what they are now using to control the non-native Bison on Catalina Island. Bison are not native to Catalina, and only got there due to the movie industry. They are now breeding like rats and destroying the native plants and landscape. Moving excess Bison off the island cost $100,000 a year, and is not what is needed. What is needed are sharp-shooters to clean the herd out once and for all. Why am I worried about viral immuno-conctraception? Simple: We really have no idea where we are going with this stuff, as I explain here. When you start bio-engineering microbes in order to make animals infertile, it does not take too much imagination to see how this could very easily lead to "the end of the game."
Tales of a Bobolink:
A Bobolink tagged by Dr. Rosalind Renfrew in Bolivia, was rediscovered in Vermont just 12 miles from her home -- in the mouth of a cat. The three-year old bird had logged at least 35,000 miles migrating between South America and North America before succumbing to feline predation.
Fish at Flood:
What happens to fish during floods? A heck of a lot of them die.
The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception:
Once thought lost, it has been refound, and is now available on Amazon, just in time for Christmas.
Camera Trap at an American Badger Sette:
Camera Trap Codger has set up a camera at an American Badger hole, and so far he has filmed a knock-down fight and death that comes from the air. James Marchington has set up his own game camera and take a few pics of the local fox. Excellent all around!
Birds of Prey Mostly Squeeze to Kill Their Small Prey:
How do birds of prey kill with their talons? Mostly, it turns out, but by strangulation and asphyxiation.
Labels: coffee and provocation