American Elephants


This is ‘Wisdom’ Returned to Midway at Age 64, to Lay Another Egg. by The Elephant's Child

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This is a Laysan albatross who has returned once again to Midway Atoll, where she is expected to lay another egg.  What is notable about her is that she was first tagged in 1956 and has raised at least 36 chicks since then. Her name is Wisdom, and she is 64 years old. The oldest known tracked bird. More pictures at the link.

The nesting ground for the albatrosses is protected habitat. The birds typically lay an egg a year, spending six months rearing and feeding their young. They are giants in the air, with a seven-foot wingspan, that helps them forage far out to sea.

Kind of a neat story for a Monday morning.



Christmas is Coming: The Geese Are Getting Fat… by The Elephant's Child

A mysterious light switch allows unsuspecting New Yorkers to turn on over 50,000 Christmas lights. From Improv Everywhere:

For our latest mission, we placed a 7-foot-tall light switch in New York City’s Father Demo Square. When a random New Yorker flipped the switch, the entire square lit up with Christmas lights. In addition to lights on the trees, benches, and fences around the park, a mob of performers wearing lights wrapped around their clothes lit up as well. The performers were instructed to turn on their lights and freeze in place when the switch was flipped on.

(h/t: AmericanDigest)



A Smart Bandage Signals Infection by Turning Fluoresent Green by The Elephant's Child

smart.bandages.1x519From the MIT Technology Review: A smart bandage signals infection by turning a fluorescent color. Researchers have developed a new kind of wound dressing that could serve as an early-detection system for infections. This could not only save lives, but reduce the need for antibiotics.

Bacterial infection is a fairly common and potentially dangerous complication of wound healing, but a new “intelligent” dressing that turns fluorescent green to signal the onset of an infection could provide physicians a valuable early-detection system.

Researchers in the United Kingdom recently unveiled a prototype of the color-changing bandage, which contains a gel-like material infused with tiny capsules that release nontoxic fluorescent dye in response to contact with populations of bacteria that commonly cause wound infections.

Led by Toby Jenkins, a professor of biophysical chemistry at the University of Bath, the inventors of the new bandage, which has not yet been tested in humans, say it could be used to alert health-care professionals to an infection early enough to prevent the patient from getting sick. In some cases it may even be able help avoid the need for antibiotics, says Jenkins.

Battlefield wounds are often dirty, infection, gangrene all too often led to amputation or death. I’m re-reading my way through the Patrick O’Brien Aubrey/ Maturin series of 18th Century sea stories, and there are plenty of shipboard wounds, and amputations,  usually successful because Stephen Maturin was an excellent 18the century physician. But in the real world, it is a real problem. Our current military provides wonderful care, compared to their forebears. My family lost a young uncle on each side of the civil war to a battlefield wound and sepsis.

The article reminds us that caring for infected wounds costs billions of dollars annually. This is early on, but very promising.



A Comment on Today’s Culture: Historically Inaccurate, but Pointed. by The Elephant's Child

Totanic-selfie-copy



Sympathy, Compassion, Empathy, Toleration, Confusion and Civilization.. by The Elephant's Child

September_17_2001Murder is not a mystery. Its harbinger is the police car, the plane flying low, the smiling man who opens his coat. Evil is not a mystery either. It is moral courage tuned to the destruction of civilization. The murderer can be courageous, but not creative. The ends of evil are power and ruination.

Liberalism is all too often the cult of the poor murderer. The thug who kills over inequality. The terrorist who bombs over bigotry. And it is outrage at the victims of its own Utopian crimes.

Utopia is another name for power. It is an absolute good that negates the humanity of every person on earth. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Islamic Caliphate of ISIS or the Socialist gulag. The destruction of the individual is not only necessary, but celebrated as evidence of the triumph of the ideology. Destroying people shows the absolute power and total importance of the creed.

That is the force that destroys civilizations. It’s a moral force, but it’s the moral force of evil.

Civilization is the moral force that resists destruction. It is the speech that dares to name murderers, murderers. As civilization dwindles, streets darken and savages and their lawyers hunt the night. Murderers become victims, destroyers become the future and good is invoked in the name of evil.

Sometimes upholding civilization is a difficult thing. It can mean being a soldier on the front lines or a police officer sitting in a car waiting for a terrorist to strike.

Or sometimes it can simply mean speaking the truth. And that is something that any of us can do.

Even at the best of times, civilization is a fragile thing. At the worst of times, it can be held up with a few words, with a few people reminding each other that truth is worth fighting for.

From Sultan Knish (Daniel Greenfield) Sunday November 22, 2915



I’m Sorry, So Sorry, by The Elephant's Child
October 19, 2015, 6:33 am
Filed under: Blogging, Domestic Policy, Education, Humor | Tags: , ,

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Sorry about the missing blogging. My elderly car gave up the ghost, and I am trying to buy a new one.  We no longer have an auto-row here, but sort of  four scattered ones, and some dealers are in adjacent towns, All very complicated. I haven’t done this for a long time.  I have to read up, study up and make decisions.

There are lots of good things in the archives. Just click on something in the category cloud.



Artisanal Firewood by The Elephant's Child

This is That profiles Smoke & Flame, a Vancouver artisanal firewood company that is selling bundles of kindling for $1,000 a bundle. For more, visit http://www.cbc.ca/thisisthat  Craftsmanship!

(Well-crafted joke)




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