Sunday, November 28, 2010

S.Korean Civilian perspective on Incheon shelling

Qoute: “We shouldn’t attack them, because we have become a democracy, and I can still remember when we were still like them, poor and eating out of cans. But if we give them any more money, they’ll use it to kill us.” - Choi Byung-soo from South Korean Island of Incheon that was shelled by North Korea.

Here's a good article from S.Korean civilian perspective from those on the island.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I came across these cool series of images on the BBC website - well worth a look

Landscape Photography

Odd Architecture

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Why do zebras have stripes?

I was watching a TV show today prior to football with Bill Hanna and got to wondering why zebras had stripes. If anything to me it seems like they make the animals stand out / more obvious to predators.

From what I can tell from brief reading on several websites there aren't many explanations that make good sense to me, but some of the leading ideas include.
1. Form of recognition between animals in the herd. My thought is this is plausible, but why would such outlandish stripe displays be so rare amoungst herbivores - most are just brown?
2. At key point when lions pounce on the zebra herd the swirling stripes can cause just enough confusion to help survival - especially to make it harder to find/track the younger zebras as prey. This to me seems plausible - although wikipedia notes that field observers don't notice any particular confusion amoung lions in the hunt.
2a. In a tight herd it makes it difficult to isolate individual animals, they all blend together.
3. Simple camoflauge. Apparently lions are color blind and the white black stripes would not be noticed (Like orange hats and deer), and the striking black/white color isn't such a big deal for primary hunting times of lions - dusk/dawn/and at night. I can't speak to this other than no other animals have adopted coloring close.
4. thermal effects - black absorbs heat, white repels heat, and the difference in the coat colors creates micro-air-currents around the body creating a cooling effect. Net effect a large amount of heat is deflected, and cooling current produced near the body. I would've never thought of that potential. Who knows - kindof strange idea, but maybe?
5. Visually the stripes serve to confuse the tse-tse fly. I guess if it reduces the load of flies on the animals it might have some merit, but would it be enough?

None of the answers are really very satisfying if for no other reason than no other similar animals seem to find much value in such crazy coats.

Part of me wonders if the stripes are a by-product of something else going on, or a byproduct of something that used to be advantageous that now is just leftover from history.

Heres some links with ideas:
story 1
story 2
story 3

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Obligatory post

I haven't posted here in a while.... Not much interesting happening I guess. Mind in neutral. Eyes glazed with slobber slowly dripping from the edge of my mouth.

Things of note:
- I turned 40. In hindsight that probably wasn't a good idea. That's way too long to be taking up space and not getting much good or interesting done. Gotta try to do better in that regard. Maybe I need a new career.
- The Microsoft trade seems like it's working against me at the moment. The stock looks so cheap to me right now, but the action is not favorable. Gotta keep an eye on it. I don't understand the the selling, but clearly more sellers than buyers right now.
- Need to check on how to do some concrete. My driveway is busted up from where a tree root grew up under it. I'll get to play red-neck in the city and see how bad I can mess that up while embarrassing my wife. Maybe there's a youtube video explaining how to properly mix and pour concrete to repair a small section of driveway.
- Have you noticed Diet Mountain Dews are really expensive in the stores right now? I'm having withdrawal waiting for prices to come back down.
- It sure does get dark early now.

Well, that's about all for the excitement now.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Constitutional" Amendment

I went to vote today and we had what I considered a strange amendment on the ballot. The amendment passed and put the right to hunt and fish into the state constitution. Not that I have anything against hunting and fishing, subject to reasonable restrictions (ie no hunting on main street in rush hour). But really? Do you put this in the constitution?

At the next election I would like to offer my own "constitutional" amendment guaranteeing all citizens the right to take a dump and a leak - of course subject to local sanitary and decency laws. You know, just so that it's understood. I want free and ungoverned bowel and bladder movements - well not _too_ free, but free within reasonable bodily control. And I want the right to flush included in that amendment.