Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Coffee and Provocation

Natural Christmas Trees are Better for the Environment:
There are about 400 million Christmas trees growing on tree farms in the United States. These trees not only generate oxygen and recapture carbon, they also slow erosion, provide some habitat for birds and animals, preserve farmland and green space, are easily recycled into mulch, and provide American jobs. In contrast, artificial trees are almost exclusively manufactured in Asia from plastic and metal, and cannot be recycled by most recycling programs due to their composite materials. After six to 10 years of use, most will end up in a landfill.

A Very Old Red-tail Hawk:
The oldest wild Red-tailed Hawk in the world is probably the bird caught in New York last month. We know this one is 27 years and 9 months old based on a band placed on her left leg when she was 6 or 7 months old.

Camera Trap Autopsies a Beer Can:
Read the whole story.  Nice!

Ostrich Egg Compared to Elephant Bird Egg:
Have you ever cracked open a fresh Ostrich egg to make an omelet? I have, and the number to remember is this: the contents of one Ostrich eggs is equal to about 24 chicken eggs. The contents of one egg from an extinct Elephant Bird, however, would have been equal to about 180 chicken eggs, according to Sir David Attenborough, who says egg predation by humans is probably what drove the Elephant Bird extinct.

A Hermaphrodite Dog Got a Sex Change?
Really? This dog needed a sex change and not a neuter and spay?   Or is this one more case of stunt surgery by an attention-seeking veterinarian and owner?

Don’t Need to Ask, Don’t Need To Tell:
In 2008, 634 military personnel were discharged for transgressing “don't ask, don't tell,” but that same year, 4,555 were discharged for failing to meet military weight standards. Big Mac really IS a threat to national security.   Someone tell John McCain.

Giant Tortoise in the Arizona Desert:
The Arizona Fish and Game Department recently discovered a 100-pound African Spurred Tortoise living in the Sonoran Desert, apparently a released pet, the second discovered this year. Because Spurred Tortoises are native to the southern edge of the Sahara desert, they feel right at home in the very similar environment of southern Arizona. This tortoise had been out in the desert long enough to have established at least two burrows, including one that was 9-feet deep. These giant tortoises can grow to 150 pounds, making them the largest mainland tortoise species in the world.


The Dog House said...

Congrats to all of my US friends for today's official repeal of DADT.

I was one of those people who thought it was going to have to be brought down in the courts, but props to the senate for getting SOMETHING right.

Viatecio said...

Loved the beer can autopsy! Sounds like something not too many people get to do, at least choose to do voluntarily.

Someone actually posted a letter to the editor about the weight issue in the military just today ( ). It's an interesting subject, and unfortunately it's probably going to just get worse, if diabetes predictions are true. I'm just intrigued that the guy in my local paper claims obesity as "discrimination," since--unless it's caused by a DOCUMENTED MEDICAL ISSUE--it's usually more of a choice than that whole sexuality issue is.

Oh, and isn't body fat percentage a bit different than the oft-flawed BMI, to which some refer as the "gold standard" for health? My brother is probably obese by BMI standards, except that it's MUSCLE, not fat...

seeker said...

As for the Spurred Tortoise, is it a threat to any native wildlife? Is it a challenge for the existing Tortoises (if there are any) or will they interbreed? I can't imagine what would be its natural enemy.

As for DADT vrs Big Macs, the Macs are definately more dangerous to the fighting forces of America, for both heteros and gays.

Debi and the TX JRTs