- Expurgation considered harmful: What’s Lost When Censors Tamper With Classic Films, by Niela Orr.
- Still trucking: Against all odds, the rare Devils Hole pupfish keeps on swimming, by Nell Greenfieldboyce.
- And still trucking: The Comic Strip That Explains the Evolution of American Parenting, by Julie Beck. Perfect button on the end of the piece.
- Ted Williams puts in a good word for—euyurrgh—sea lampreys.
In their native habitat, marine lampreys are “keystone species” supporting vast aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems….
Environmental consultant Stephen Gephard, formerly Connecticut’s anadromous-fish chief, calls lampreys “environmental engineers” as important to native ecosystems as beavers.
- Rhitu Chatterjee reports on a low tech-low cost (less than two bucks) intervention that can dramatically reduce maternal deaths due to postpartum hemorrhage.
- May Truong’s photos, Sarah Lyall’s words: Striker, the Samoyed who never won Westminster’s best in show. But he still pauses to strike a pose.
- This is why I leave little notes: T. Rex reckons with the afterlife.
- One more bit of the hot type era is gone: the New York Times is dispensing with datelines. Hanaa’ Tameez has the writeup.
- Mr. and Mrs. Pickles have three baby tortoises! Cuter than cute.
- They were gone before I knew what to call them: David W. Dunlap of The New York Times remembers reader ads.
- “I can’t define it, but I’m against it.” Also from the Times, Nate Cohn attempts a definition of woke and what it portends.
… much of what woke is grasping toward: a word to describe a new brand of righteous, identity-conscious, new left activists eager to tackle oppression, including in everyday life and even at the expense of some liberal values.
* * *
In the most extreme case for Democrats, the backlash against the new left could end in a repeat of how New Left politics in the 1960s facilitated the marriage of neoconservatives and the religious right in the 1970s. Back then, opposition to the counterculture helped unify Republicans against a new class of highly educated liberals, allowing Southern opponents of civil rights to join old-school liberal intellectuals who opposed Communism and grew skeptical of the Great Society. The parallels are imperfect, but striking.
- Isobel Novick stans webbing clothes moths (Tineola bisselliella).
These moths, unfortunately for those with infestations, have other behaviors that contribute to their indestructibility. They can metabolize their own water as a byproduct of keratin digestion, so access to water is not a dealbreaker for survival. What kind of organism can create its own water? This moth has evolved to be an efficient, dynamic, super-survival machine. They are incredibly temperature tolerant, with the ability to survive as eggs or larvae for several days at broiling temperatures as high as 95 degrees F and as far below freezing as 5 degrees F. They are attracted to the smell of woolens, and once established, send pheromonal signals to nearby moths to invite them to party. To add to their tank-like nature, webbing clothes moths can digest toxic metals like arsenic, mercury, and lead. They have no problem metabolizing synthetic materials or chewing through soft plastics. They have even been found on mummified human remains and have been around long enough to be mentioned in the Bible.
- 17th-18th century tomfoolery: dummy boards.
The report for last Sunday:
Box #68 hatched out — Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus). This was the box with 10 eggs on 7 March that I suspected was a carryover from last year. But 15 of the 16 eggs hatched, so it would seem the bird just got started very early this spring.
We’re watching 9 boxes with active clutches. I expect that many of them will be hatched by our next work day on 9 May.
We saw an Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) carrying nesting material to the new platform, and several incidents of Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) chasing off crows.
C has reported wet chips in box #67. We’ll take a look to see whether we can improve the waterproofing for that box.
We’ll work again on 9 May and then 23 May. Depending on what we find, that might be all for the season.
The weather looks peachy this weekend! Take an hour and snap some pics for the City Nature Challenge.
I’ve seen a few exit holes, but no cicada adults yet.
I found myself reading this piece by Jack Nicas in the Style section… because words, I guess. Anyway, I’m glad that I did, because I found this candidate for pull quote of the year:
There appear to be three main men behind Astoria Enterprises, and two of them are ex-convicts.
Mr. [Ralph] Frengel, the salesman, was convicted in 1992 for stealing a $100,000 pearl necklace from a jewelry store. “It’s not as bad as it sounds,” he said.
The next time I’m in Connecticut, I gotta check out Stew Leonard’s.
Coventry Cathedral keeps its doors open.
We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, widowed, straight, gay, confused, well-heeled or down-at-heel. We especially welcome wailing babies and excited toddlers…. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down their throats as kids or got lost on the Ring Road and wound up here by mistake. We welcome pilgrims, tourists, seekers, doubters and you.
What a great idea: there’s a growing movement (partly imported from Japan) of sport fishing to maximize the number of species caught, rather than the size of the individuals. Anglers go after shiners and darters rather than bass and trout.
“Micro-fishing, you’re using the smallest-size hook you can find at your local tackle stores, so your fly fishing hooks and things like that,” [Michael] Moore says. “And instead of casting, like you would with regular fishing, it feels really weird, but you’re usually just dangling the bait in front of fish that you can see.”
Some successful fishers have a species list that numbers in the 400s. There aren’t a lot of birders that have a list that long.
Already widely linked, and even parodied, Jonathan Franzen’s op ed piece, adapted from a commencement address, is still highly linkable. Franzen’s like/love distinction reminds me of another excellent piece from the Times, Russell Baker’s “Why Being Serious Is Hard.” (My clipping of Baker’s column has, alas, gone missing.) Baker made a similar distinction between passionate commitment to something, even to the point of looking silly (“being serious”), and merely going along with the flow (“being solemn”).