Dr. Karl cracks a funny

Dr Karl from ABC radio is a funny, clever man. One of his recent podcasts/radio segments was called “Pluck for Luck,” and discussed four-leaf clovers. The funny thing he said almost slipped past my attention the first time around:

Stressors can come in a variety of forms. Drought, rain, aphids, Leprechauns, …

I had to listen to it again, just to see if I’d heard it right!

Insect Closeups

I’m not sure where I read about this, but these images are awesome: Photos by Igor Siwanowicz

Agressive Local Fauna

I live in the foothills to the south of Adelaide, and see many birds, and other occasional animals due to the almost rural nature of the environment. It probably helps that I am relatively near a couple of major parks, including Belair National Park. Most mornings, I see several dozen native pigeons, some crested pigeons, and a flock of galahs that are perched on power lines on the way to the train station, and in the afternoons I see many magpies, piping shrikes, and what I take to be Musk Lorikeets. I sometimes see these lorikeets in the mornings as well, but not always. The murder of crows that used to live in the Cypress Pines that we removed from our backyard have moved on, thank goodness. They freak me out. Growing up as a child in the country, I saw, and was swooped by magpies on a regular basis. I still duck and weave when I hear that familiar “whoosh whoosh whoosh” that these aggressive birds make as they dive towards your head.

Musk Lorikeet

What has surprised me where I live now is that the lorikkets I was describing earlier themselves are quite aggressive. This time last year I was being swooped, although that’s a bit of a misnomer, it was more like a “flyby” almost every morning as I walked to the train. Eventually this stopped - I suspect it has a fair bit to do with the season. Well, it must be hatching time again, because today as I was minding my own business walking up the hill (late for the train, which didn’t matter, as “contaminants” on the track in turn made the trains about 15 mintues behind schedule. I wonder if it was millipedes again), I felt something, or someone (as I thought then) hit me in the leg, just above the knee and from the left-rear. I jumped, and swore quite loudly, before realising that it was a musk lorikeet, and it had just crashed into my leg with a fair amount of force. It was apparently unharmed, and flew off. I don’t know if it was just attempting to swoop me, and misjudged how fast I was moving (I was trying to catch a train, so was walking quite fast), or whether it thought the string attached to my phone, and hanging out of my pocket was a worm.

Creationist Nutcases

Radaractive: Darwin is Dead-The Carnival!!! Aargh! I could only read about two of the Creationist bullshit-filled comments, and my head nearly exploded. Hardly what I’d call Critical Thinking, chaps.

Heart Shaped Soap

F e M a l e d i c t i o n s That’s whay I like. Anatomically correct heart-shaped soap. How romantic: Heart Shaped Soap

New Scientist News - Baby comes with brain repair kit for mum

New Scientist News - Baby comes with brain repair kit for mum Excellent. Does it fix ‘Mummy Mind’, or the tendency of new mothers to make inane comments?

Bigger Babies.

The ‘Tiser had a story on page 3 today (17/12/4) about older Mums & bigger birth weights. I know older chooks lay larger eggs - I wonder if it’s a general pattern.