Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Lives of Birds

I don't normally like to just post links to things without adding some substantive commentary of my own (although I did do that some in the early days of the blog).  But I can't help sharing a fascinating site that I came across a few days ago.  (I found it fascinating; other people might not.)  It presents the maximum recorded lifespans for all species of North American birds, as derived from bird banding data.  

Say, for example, that you are wondering how long a Barred Owl (Strix varia) can live.  Simply go to the site, select the species, and find that a Barred Owl was recorded to have lived an astounding 24 years.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Super Bowl, Again

The Super Bowl was Sunday.  I am not a sports fan, and thus I did not watch it.  I used to try to watch it just for the commercials, but the commercials were never all that great.

I once read that "Super Bowl" was the best term to generate hits for one's blog.  I can believe it;  the pointless and very silly blog post that I wrote on the spur of the moment about the 2011 Super Bowl has received 57 page views, more than twice the number of any other individual post on my blog.  

From what I can remember of Super Bowl history, which covers maybe the last thirty years or so, the game has gradually become more of a holiday than an athletic event.  I wonder how many people who watch the Super Bowl have no real interest in the game itself, and instead just want to go to a party, eat too much, and then spend the next day complaining about having eaten too much. 

But then, that's probably not a profound or novel insight on my part.  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Prehistoric Polchaete Rock

I've blogged before about prehistoric animals named after rock stars, specifically the dinosaur Masiakasaurus knopfleri, named after Mark Knopfler, and a set of trilobites named after various Eighties alternative musicians.

Now I've learned of two new instances, thanks to a December article in the Washington Times.  In 2006, paleontologist Mats E. Eriksson named Kalloprion kilmisteri, a Silurian polychaete worm, after Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead.   Then in 2012, Eriksson named another Silurian polychaete, Kingnites diamondi, after King Diamond.  

(This is just my personal opinion, but I think that naming something after King Diamond is taking things too far.)

Anyway, here is a video of Lemmy and Mark Knopfler, in their pre-fossiliferous days,  performing (along with many others, including David Gilmour) in a BBC comedy sketch.