Through Thick and Thin
Another week gone, Armageddon another week closer. Or the fall election, whichever comes first. Considering how ugly the election campaign is getting, maybe Armageddon sooner would be a relief. I’ll attack the increasingly ugly GOP War on Women next week, it’s really out of the closet at this point. They, or at least some they, now want to punish women who have sex out of marriage. It’s gotten that blatant in some states. Sigh.
And in another depressing observation I couldn’t help but notice that news coverage of the Afghanistan massacre and the bus accident in Switzerland differed. In both cases children died horribly, but the bus crash victims got vastly more sympathetic coverage with endless coverage of the grief stricken families. The coverage of the Afghan massacre was far less sympathetic, and the grieving survivors were only mentioned in passing. Granted, the two events are different, and maybe there was some confirmation bias on my part, but I’m still pretty sure the difference was real. I’ll leave it to the gentle reader to come to whatever conclusion they want.
Speaking of gentle readers, one of them has apparently concluded that whales should be the next topic, inspired by my last post. I don’t see what, if anything, the post had to do with whales. I’m guessing it was some sort of robocomment by the Japanese whaling industry, though to what end I’m not sure. The only reason I didn’t just delete it is because it was so incongruous I figured readers might find it entertaining. I might even respond to it, since some of the logic was execrable.
Speaking of whales, in science news scientists (who else?) have determined why giant squids have giant eyes. (And it’s not just becasue they are giant squid.) Giant squids have eyes that are vastly disproportional to their size, some of the largest eyes in the animal kingdom in fact. A study showed that the only thing such huge eyes would be good for in the ocean depths would be spotting very large moving objects. And what hunts and eats giant squid in the ocean depths? Very large whales. With their huge eyes squids can spot them coming over 100 metres away even in the pitch darkness of the ocean depths (they can see the faint bioluminescence of tiny marine organisms disturbed by the whale’s passing.) The also explains why the extinct mosasaur also sported unusually large eyes, to avoid the larger fiercer pliosaur.
I other exciting science news another new species of human may have been found, called Red Deer Man for now. This is in addition to Denosovian man, discovered just a few years back from DNA analysis of a single finger bone. Granted it’s not yet a slam dunk that Red Deer Man is a separate human species, since the DNA has yet to be analyzed. Still, pretty exciting, the human lineage gets richer and more complicated every day. All false trails seeded by Satan though, as any non-thinking person knows, humans were created, as is, in the image of God.
Moving right along, in the bad news department, a new study shows that Jupiter doesn’t protect Earth from wayward comets. Granted most people probably didn’t know that Jupiter protected Earth from comets, but that’s what a 1994 study concluded. For those who did though, the relief was short lived, now it turns out that Jupiter sightly increases our risk of impacts. It could be worse though, the study showed that if Jupiter was 1/5th of its current size, it would wildly increase the number of comets that hit Earth. That sounds counter-intuitive, but scientific results are often counter-intuitive. Read about the study here to get all the juicy details.
So comet and asteroid impact has to be added to this summer’s looming perils. Maybe one will hit Iran or Israel and forestall the war between them, one apocalypse cancels out another! Is there a Conservation of Apocalypses law? Have a great weekend everyone!
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. Image credit: Frank Glaw. It came from this National Geographic site. It’s a juvenile Brookesia micra, one of four new species of chameleon just discovered on Madagascar. The average adult is just over an inch long, so they are among the smallest known reptiles. It was just a cute picture, no other reason than that for posting it. To find even smaller reptiles, scientists are building the MRC (Miniature Reptile Collider) in Switzerland. At a cost of $27 billion, it will come on line in 2016.)