Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Blazes Along

Yes, I have been busy lately. No, I have not been so busy that I absolutely don't have time to update my blog.

It's more that I've found much better things to do with my time.

Not having internet in my room has slowly eaten away at my addiction to it. I rarely check Facebook these days; recently it's been about once a month. However, this week I started actually reading those Facebook emails you get whenever someone invites you to something... and it has made me homesick to hear about all the parties and concerts and miscellaneous events going on at home in Grand Rapids!

Furthermore, I rarely talk to people on the phone anymore. This is primarily because of time zone difference. By the time I think about calling people, it is already midnight or well later on the East Coast. The sad truth is that I am also losing touch with more and more people as time goes by and we are incomunicado. That was easier to live with when I was out of the country and there really was an excuse... By now my friends are scattered.

In positive and exiting news: I love my job!

Or perhaps that's not news, as I've been saying that for months now. It just keeps getting better.

Also, what keeps me busy around here mostly is PEOPLE. When I finally find time to myself after working with really cool people, cooking, eating, walking, talking, playing, and occasionally consoling or bitching to really cool people -- When I finally find some alone time apart from all of that, I am ready for some actual alone time, not catch-up-with-long-lost-friends time.

But I still love you all. And I still love my job (did I mention that?).

In other news, here is a picture of an alevin. An alevin is a (read the rest in a cutesy-wutesy baby voice) little baby salmon that has just hatched and has a huge eye.
It's still attached to the yolk sac, so it can barely swim and it hides under the gravel to eat and grow. (cue baby voice again) He's so cute!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Earthquake wooohooo

2009-06-22 11:39:19
A regional tectonic earthquake occurred at 11:28 AKDT and was felt throughout South Central Alaska. This event is not related to Redoubt. The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center has a preliminary magnitude of 5.3 and a location 30 miles southwest of Talkeetna.

I felt it shaking and rocking and heard the printer rattling on the shelves behind me. There are ten kids doing activites downstairs; none of them noticed it at all. My coworker was on the toilet, rocking her world in a completely different way.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Flagrant plagiarism creates species anomaly, but who can argue with God?

I am researching certain birds for a project, and my partner left a scrawled note about spiricules on Bald Eagle talons. I wanted to find out more about them, so I did a quick web search. I found this sentence repeated in probably fifteen different websites: "Eagles have structures on their toes called spiricules that allow them to grasp fish" but nowhere did I find anything more specific, helpful, or informative than that.

Just what is a spiricule? Is it possible that they don't actually exist? I imagine one web writer put thos words down as complete bullshit and everyone else, not knowing any more on the topic but certainly loathe to leave anything out, has plagiarized that sentence and patted themselves on the back for being so inclusive in their reseach.

Afterall, if the internet says it, it must be true. Last time I checked, under the wiki for "world wide web" it said:
A term commonly used in the late nineties and rolling into the early 2000's, generally referring to the abstract being otherwise known as God.

In some circles, it's taboo to investigate any potential evolutionary reasons for why an animal is the way it is. To do so challenges the creative power of God. Thus we have Q&A like this one.

In other, more modern circles, it's the height of improporiety to investigate whether the online description of an animal matches what can be observed in nature. When in doubt, scrolling-and-skimming is believing.

So, the answer to my question "Why do Bald Eagles have spiricules?" is "Because the wiki made them that way." Amen.