We are not the milky ones?

Recently I heard a segment on NPR about just this subject.

What is a mammal?  Fur.  Hair.  Special Ear-bones.  Neocortex.  Diaphragm.  Red blood cells.  MILK!

But males don't make milk.  In humans they have nipples and shriveled mammary glands, but no milk.  Horses, rats, and mice don't even have that.

So why mammal?  It seems the least appropriate of all our distinctive characteristics.

Carl Linaeus named the mammal because was obsessed with breasts.  More specifically he was opposed to the practice of wet-nursing.  By naming the mammal (before him our class was just the quadrupeds) he promoted the feeding of ones own children and elevated women to caring mothers.

Perhaps it would have been more accurate to name ourselves after our hair?

How about:  We are Pelosa!  The hirsute ones!

Blogged with Flock

What I observed one evening while I was reading in my room.

From my room I have a fantastic view of the small walled in patio where laundry hangs out to dry like so many bits of our personal lives flapping in the wind.  As evening approaches I can begin to see the sun reflected off the wall five meters away on the other side of an identical patio to the one outside my window.  It creeps languidly along until it begins to invade the first window (where my window would be if I was on that side) and the clotheslines that occupy the sides of all the residential buildings here.  As the evening arrives, the sun turns down as if unsure that is should be allowed to transgress into our lives and fades away so that what was once a sharp line dividing light and shadow becomes a monochromatic sheet of yellow gray.  And then night falls.

Blogged with Flock

Pickle surprise!!

Possibly one of the scariest things I have seen in a long time. Revealed to me by b.miller at The New Dark Ages. Enjoy.


Happy Easter

Gotta love Wyoming.

Blogged with Flock


Latest News in Climate Change

Actually this is kinda old news.  I read a nice comment on it in the February 12th New Yorker, but I'm just getting around to posting a link now.  Anyway here's a summary of the IPCC report on world climate released this year in February (and approved just last week in Brussels).

Blogged with Flock


San Javier

I have now officially had my first adventure:

This weekend is a long weekend here in Spain, for Easter. I decided to take advantage by traveling south to Murcia and Cartagena for a day and then continue inland to Madrid, where my friend Vasco lives. For a while my plans were on the brink of disaster.

Yesterday I managed to leave my trusty Crestone 75 pack on the bus from Murcia central bus station to San Javier (a coastal town where I am staying tonight). Due to the holidays (holy week, big deal here) the LatBus offices are closed. I know because I´ve been up since 0800 trying to reach them. Ready to give up hope I decided to intercept the bus on it´s route back to Murcia today at 1030. I´m not sure what divine will was working in my favor but the bus today turned out to be the same bus as last night and lo and behold my pack was sitting right where I left it! The bus driver said that he was on his way to lock it up at the home office where I wouldn´t have retrieved it till at least monday. Disaster averted and I feel somehow closer to my pack now that we´ve been separated and reunited.


Ojos de Brujo

Last night I went to see the reasonably well known (especially in Spain) band Ojos de Brujo perform in Montcada, a small town just outside of Valencia. They play flamenco derived music that has been described by them as "hip hop flamenkillo." True to the description there is a core of flamenco to most of their songs (compás, guitar, utilization of the flamenco mode, and canto) melded with a whirlwind of influences from afro-Cuban to hip-hop and electronica. They were great!

Blogged with Flock