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September 26, 2014

invasive species

Kinda threw my back out a bit and then had a big massage yesterday, during which I swear I was tripping, and now this morning I'm a big meatbag full of toxins looking for the exit sign.  To wit: whee.

But I did find this specific paragraph from a story about lionfish invading the waters of Florida equivalently trippy:

There is little likelihood of extinction. When one dies, gazillions more take their place. Female lionfish are built for spawning; they each release two million eggs a year. By the time scientists here sorted all this out, their numbers were headed toward infinity.

It starts out with the flinty taste of THAT IS NOT A WORD YOU ARE THE NEW YORK TIMES COME ON over "gazillion," which evaporates into the dazed contemplation of an infinity of lionfish.

And while we are all familiar with geometric progressions, let me assure the more easily-spooked of you (lionfish are some ugly fish, yo) that nature generally abhors infinity and does its best to make it not so.

And let's make it a two-fer for invasive species stories: this bit on the efforts to combat mile-a-minute in Connecticut is well worth your time.  Damn you unintended consequences!

Posted by mrbrent at 9:51 AM

September 23, 2014

hippies gardening naked!

Try to guess when these paragraphs were published:
At Chatham Industrial Supply, a hardware store here, its owner, Richard Kernodle, grumbled recently about what he called the "liberal artists" who have moved to this city of 8,100 -- opening galleries, throwing pottery and generally bringing the kind of lifestyle and politics one might expect 45 minutes away in the progressive college town of Chapel Hill.

Mr. Kernodle, 56, said that some of the newcomers wanted to paint murals on downtown buildings without securing the proper permits. They want gay rights taught in the schools. And he has heard a rumor that some of them tend their gardens in the nude.

You are correct: 1977.

No wait sorry that's from this morning!

It's from a story about the impossible, impossible state of North Carolina, existing both as a vibrant purple state with voters who are sane people and as one of the most dastardly laboratories of bad democracy in the country (behind Kansas and Wisconsin, I guess?)

So if you were one of those types in 1977 who were convinced that all the straights would eventually age themselves out of the demographics (i.e., die without replenishing), now might be a good time to look up "smdh" in an Internet dictionary.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:25 AM