Monday, February 16, 2015

Coffee and Provocation


The High Cost of Ignoring Your Dog
Seattle resident Denise Norton’s neighbor was awarded a half million dollars in a default judgment when she failed to show up in court over a dispute dealing with  her dog’s barking. Denise said the barking cas was "all bunk” -- a position she maintained right up to the point where the sheriff’s office arrived to serve her with a writ of execution for her house. Her neighbor, Woodrow Thompson, stated in his thirty six page complaint that Norton's dog barked so loudly it could be measured at 128 decibels -- a sound equal to a chainsaw -- through double-paned windows. Ms Norton said in an interview that “In my head, everything was so bogus that he’d been doing, I don’t know why, I just didn’t think it was real or something.”

Left Hand Ignores Right Hand
After Britain's parliament passed legislation requiring everyone to microchip their pets, the U.K. Department of Transportation is now trying to pass "cost saving" legislation so they can dispose of road-killed dogs without having to check tags, scan for a chip, take pictures, or or file a report with police and dog wardens to help identification.

Kids, Guns and Parents in Denial
Another report from The Darwin Project for Making the World Smarter by Culling Out the Stupid, this one reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association. It seems "children younger than 10 years were as likely as older children to report knowing the storage location (73% vs 79%, respectively) and to report having handled a household gun (36% vs 36%, respectively). Thirty-nine percent of parents who reported that their children did not know the storage location of household guns and 22% of parents who reported that their children had never handled a household gun were contradicted by their children's reports." Bang. They're dead. Forever.

A Laptop for $160
Amazon is selling an Acer Chromebook 11 CB3-111-C670 (11.6-inch HD, 2GB, 16GB) for $160, which is about as low as you can go.  The wife and I have been using Acer notebooks for years -- largest computer maker in the world.

The Genome of Darwin's Finches Have Been Sequenced
It turns out beak development is all about the ALX1 gene. Who knew? Individuals from a species with a highly variable beak shape — the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis) — had a mixture of the blunt and pointed gene variants. One gene variant or another "wins" or "loses" during times of drought.

Oil Eating Microbes Have Their Own Global Pathways
Mother Nature made sure she has a plan to set things right after we kill ourselves off.

Mexican Grey Wolves Claw Back
The population of Mexican gray wolves climbed to 109 in 2014, the fourth year the population has risen by at least 10 percent.

No drama Obama.

1 comment:

Gaddy Bergmann said...

I really worry about the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi). There's no excuse for how this oldest of the North American gray wolf subspecies has been persecuted to near extinction. I'm glad they are recovering, but now that they are so few in number, I wonder if inbreeding depression will keep even this resourceful animal from making a comeback. As we've seen in domesticated wolves (like Dalmatians, Skye terriers, and Cavalier King Charles spaniels, to name a few) inbreeding depression is a slow death sentence, with outcrossing being the only remedy. I do hope that 109 is enough to avoid genetic disorders, but if not, I hope conservationists will set their purism aside and let these wolves mix with those from other subspecies so they can survive. Oh yeah, and if people would only stop shooting them, that would be a big help, too.