Happy Birthday Ellen (9), Eric (7), Derrick (6) and Paul (8). Paul's group will be starring in some of Graham's new Biomes movies for our website. He took the rough footage today and we should have them up in a few weeks. Click to see his first batch done last year.
(Can anybody see this? I think my flash player is broken.)
My 15 year old son, Graham, asked if he could guest blog today. At the risk of damaging my hard-earned reputation as a dignified and tasteful blogger, I decided to hand him the reigns for one day. Hold on to your hat.
Chomp, chomp, chomp, zap, bap, ka-boom!
Today we are going to United Skates of America, but I'm not going to skate. I'm going to eat and play video games the whole time. I hope they have Pac-Man, I'm going to eat and play Pac-Man. Last time I was there they had a cool Star Wars game, I hope they still have that. There should be a United Skate-dom, or Great Skate-in, honestly, people in America are so anti-british, and anti-european! Hey, I think I'll write about that!
Brits and other Europeans are soooo much cooler than us stupid Americans! Our problem is we are so selfish. We think that Europeans owe us. Maybe they do, maybe they don't, but that dosen't mean that they have to support EVERY thing we do. For example, France didn't support the war in Iraq. They're probably the smarter ones (Afterall, they don't have a leader like Bush). France knew that the war was wrong, so they didn't support it. Oh my god, that must be evil-ness! (That was sarcasm.) I just hate the American attitude, it's the "We're the best bloody country in the world" attitude. We must be the best country because we have the smartest leader ever, who never does anything wrong! (that was more sarcasm.) Another American attitude is "Any country who dosen't support us must be a product of Satan, or some other evil force". That must mean France is a land of Satan. (even more sarcasm.) It just kills me how we think this way. It's so stupid! "Land of the free, and the home of the strange", that's what I say.
Another attitude is "We are the holy country of God". I am not religious, but I do respect religion, but this is just the stupidest thing ever (along with Harry Potter being evil). Which brings me to part 3 of my entry: "Why Harry Potter is not evil" First let's say why Harry Potter is considered evil. In many religions magic, witches, etc. are considered Satanical. The reason why is beyond me. Now let's say why it is not evil. Let us take the main villian, Voldemort, for example. Voldemort is an evil, foul, non-human thing, wizards don't even speak his name. He is portrayed as such, in a negative way. Harry Potter, and the wizards at Hogwarts, are considered to be good, not evil, totally human. (except for the fact that they're magical). They are portrayed as such, in a positive way. So JK Rowling portrays evil as evil and good as good. Therefore Harry Potter can't possibly be evil. Now, for every one who thinks Harry Potter is evil, read the bloody books for God's sake! Wait, was that a statement of irony? Why would you read a book that's evil for the sake of God? Because it's not evil, you fools. Thank you for your attention.
Doing a little work around the house. I put fake brick wallpaper over a real brick wall, just so I'd be the only one who knew. When people come over I'm gonna say, "Go ahead, touch it...it feels real." -- Steven Wright
Animal of the Week: Red-Bellied Slider.
This species is not native to New England, although they can sometimes be found in local ponds. These are pet turtles that have been released and managed to survive the winter. Please don't do this. Non-native pet animals should never be released into the wild. It's cruel to the pet since it will rarely survive long, and if they do survive and breed they can wreak havoc among local populations. Our slider (pictured above) was obtained when one of our staff talked someone out of releasing it and he donated it to Biomes instead. We've had him for two years but have yet to name him.
Here's a good site on the effects of introducing non-native animals. If you have a pet turtle, learn to properly care for it at sites like this and this.
Movie Review: The Hunting of the President.
Based on the book by Conason and Lyons, this documentary details the ins and outs of Whitewater and the witch hunt that followed. I only made it through 3/4 of the film, it disgusted me so much. I can’t rate it yet, but so far it’s highly recommended if you can stomach the moral depths which wingnuts can sink to.
Who knew Lieberman had a sense of humor? Thanks again to the great work of Norm at Onegoodmove. I still hope some Connecticut Dem crushes Joe when he’s up for reelection.
So, now that Buy Blue tells me I need to patronize Starbucks, I had to find a site to translate all their foolish terms. I ask for a “large” coffee. Simple enough, right? No, I had to spend five minutes trying to distinguish between a “Tall” a “Grande” and a “Venti”. “I just want a freakin’ large coffee”, he says in his best Cartman voice.
If you are thinking about getting a pet tortoise, this site is an absolute must.
For those tasteful sites blogrolling me under my older, longer and uncut URL, please update your links to www.biomesblog.typepad.com. Thanks.
Movie Review: Monster.
Based on a true story, this film was extremely well done. However they mistakenly credit Charlize Theron in the starring role of serial killer and messed-up chick, Aileen Wuornos. That was not Charlize. But Not-Charlize was brilliant and I can’t believe she was passed over for an Oscar. Not-Bruce did a good job as well in a minor role. 4.2 starfish out of 5
For my birthday I got a humidifier and a de-humidifier...I put them in the same room and let them fight it out. -- Steven Wright
A Chip Off the Old Block
In honor of the emperor's coronation, the boy made this today with photoshop. He calls it "Darth Bush". You know your son is going to turn out ok when he recognizes fascism at the age of 15.
Movie Review: Hands on a Hard Body.
I love documentaries and this one is top notch. 23 Texas yokels compete for a new Nissan pickup by standing next to the truck with one hand on it at all times. No leaning, squatting or sleeping. Five minute breaks every hour. The last person standing drives that baby home. For the record, I picked the winner from the beginning. Yay for me. 4.4 starfish out of 5.
This is a deer lamp. It signals the end of civilization as we know it.
[UPDATE:] I know I'm always kicking poor Fox News, but how pathetic are they? Watch the meltdown of the anchor on the left side of the screen when she gets blindsided by someone with common sense (thanks Oliver Willis).
Animal of the Week: Summer Flounder.
It's hard to tell from this picture, but our five year old summer flounder is close to two feet long (click for full size view). They are fairly common but this individual has an interesting story behind it. Back in 1999 a group of aquaculturists in Massachusetts decided to take advantage of a food fad in Japan where you go into a restaurant and pick out the live fish you want for dinner. It's killed and cooked right at your table and costs a bundle.
So these folks rounded up investors, rented out a huge warehouse and stocked it with thousands of gallons of sea water tanks. They obtained about 40,000 summer flounder fry (about 1/2 inch long). Their plan was to raise these fish in captivity until they were about a foot long and then move them to a fenced-in estuary on Long Island, NY (leased from the state) to mature in a more natural setting. When they reached three feet in length the plan was then to net them out individually, pack them in styrofoam with oxygen enriched water and ship them overnight to Japan. Each fish would net approximately $60 a piece.
Anyway, I visited one of their holding facilities when they first got started and they were nice enough to give me a little two inch specimen for the Biomes Center. About a month later a viral disease wiped out all 40,000 of the little one year old fish and my friends and their financiers lost their collective shirts. Sad story, but the little guy in the picture above is the lone survivor of that experiment.
Here’s the “Camelot” scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Done with Legos.
Today’s long read: You know, when an atheist knows more about the bible than three quarters of Americans... Here’s the killer quote that had me rolling: 12% of american adults believe that Noah’s wife was Joan of Arc.
Make them stop.
Search Results: Someone found the Biomes Blog by Yahooing “rusty the narcoleptic dog”. It brought them here.
Pharyngula has a post on tool-using New Caladonian crows. He argues that tool use in these birds may not be instinctive, but may in fact involve some level of abstract reasoning. Be sure to watch the short video and see for yourself. I vote for at least some component of abstract reasoning being involved here. Like the ravens in Canada I posted about last year that learned to turn on street lamps during the day for warmth.
Majikthise and a bunch of other bloggers are taking part in the “ipod shuffle” craze, where you randomize your ipod and post the first ten songs that appear. Here’s mine:
1. “Tangled up in Blue”, Bob Dylan
2. “Sarah”, Bob Dylan
3. “Visions of Johanna”, Bob Dylan
4. “Mississippi”, Bob Dylan
5. “Cold Irons Bound”, Bob Dylan
6. “Hurricane”, Bob Dylan
7. “Seven Curses”, Bob Dylan
8. “Foot of Pride”, Bob Dylan
9. “Idiot Wind”, Bob Dylan
10.”I don’t own an iPod”, Mark H
Movie Review: Supersize me.
This is a must see documentary and I can assure you I have eaten my last bit of fast food for a good long time. Especially enlightening was learning how Chicken McNuggets are made. McGross. 4.4 McStarfish out of 5.
Animal of the Week: Boa constrictor.
Yesterday I gave a link to an old post about these South American snakes. That entry was in reference to "old" Reggie, who we rescued from an abusive home (school, actually) about 8 years ago. After nursing him back to health and having him educate thousands of kids over the years, he sadly died last winter of lymph cancer. The photo above is "new" Reggie, and this guy's a handful. He eats about four frozen rats a week and is strong as an ox.
That's him in his ready-to-strike pose. He doesn't bite as long as you're not holding a paper towel in your hand (which makes cleaning his cage an adventure). Reggie likes paper towels.