Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Online tool launched to find aliens in US custody


First thought on the headline was: ' How stupid, everybody knows all the aliens are sequestered, questioned, studied and dismembered somewhere within the secret confines of Area 51 near Groom Lake, Nevada. I'm guessing at dismembered as it is realistic to surmise aliens may not have members of any kind and may just be levitating eggs. But I surmise it is just 'tit for tat' as all our extraterrestrial visitors seem to indulge their curiosity by performing weird medical procedures on western cattle. Hearsay would have us believe these experiments have also been completed on human abductees; however, it may be noted that the two legged ones always live to tell the tale while the four legged are summarily dispatched. Shades of Animal Farm!
Wanting to move on to other news, me not the story,  the story was dispatched to Evernote for closer perusal at three in the morning when my screen turns the appropriate shade of green and my eyes have the glassed over vision necessary to focus on the supernatural.
Of course, as soon as I click on the link and the full web page opens up, I realize the article refers to the other kind of alien and my thoughts plunge immediately back to earth. So much for a foray into the unknown and the ultimate search for the truth out there.  Then I'm left to contemplate the meaning of online tool. Quickly punch that one into Urban Dictionary.  Ah yes!  Obviously one of the new requirements for Arizona state law enforcement officials.

Photo by Flickr user Nachiket  Kapre under Creative Commons

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Beware the Giant Marmot


Just when you thought it was 'relatively' safe to hike and scramble up in the high country,  thanks to global warming  a new hazard looms behind every rock and boulder.  Stealthily, summer after longer summer marmota flaviventris packs on the grams and quite likely develops beaver sized incisors for bone gnawing. Up until now keeping one eye open for the big furry things on the ground - bears, grizzly or brown or the odd albino - and the other for the big furry thing in the trees - cougars - was sufficient to avoid danger from wilderness beings. Not to discount the dire consequences of enraging mother moose or deer by strolling too close to their offspring.

Okay, an 11 % gain in mass over 33 years to now average out at 3433 grams or about 7.6 pounds has yet to turn them into ferocious predators, but what happens once all the snow is gone and they no longer have to hibernate. Won't sitting around year long in the sun accelerate the weight gaining process? Now I have never run into marmota flaviventris:  however, I have had many chance encounters with its cousin the marmota caligata who lives further north,  at slightly less altitude and who averages out at three times the size. Let us assume  a four month summer - that means eight months curled up not getting bigger - dramatically changes to a full year running around eating, sunning and procreating non-stop. Once they hit the forty to fifty pound mark with chisel incisors and run around in small herds, will we all be so quick to attempt to entice them into cute posing situations for the camera?