My friend Fred gave me this advice: If asked in an interview what kind of animal you are, the only proper answer is Honey Badger because they stick their face right into the bee hive and eat the honey, not caring how many times they get stung – they take the punishment and keep coming back for more. Sounded like good advice to me, but first I thought I’d better make sure there actually is such a creature.
Do honey badgers emasculate their prey? Honey badgers are reputed to go for the scrotum when attacking large animals. The first published record of this behaviour was a circumstantial account by Stevenson- Hamilton (1947) where a badger reportedly castrated an adult Buffalo. Other animals alleged to have been emasculated by honey badgers include wildebeest, waterbuck, kudu, zebra and man. (I wonder if the man was a lawyer?) This has also been reported by other African tribes, but no direct evidence exists to support this behaviour.
Can honey badgers "fumigate" a beehive with their scent glands? It is often suggested that badgers release scent from their anal glands to subdue bees or cause them to vacate the hive (Attenborough 1998; Kingdon 1989). The anal secretion is said to be "unendurable" and acts "like an anaesthetic, causing some bees to flee and others to become moribund" (Neal & heeseman 1996). Others suggest that honey badgers empty a hive by repeatedly holding their tail in front of the hive entrance. The disturbed bees attach themselves to the tail, whereupon the badger transports them away and returns to the unguarded honey (Kigatiira 1984). African hunters also say that badgers perform handstands while fumigating the hive (Kingdon 1987). Observations in the southern Kalahari and the Zambezi valley (Mana Pools) do not support any of these stories and on many occasions badgers were very cautious when raiding wild beehives.
I so fully understand and agree with this sentiment:
We who stand in awe of his accomplishments cannot be grieved when someone of his stature is taken from us in the fullness of time, but rather grateful that such men walked ever among us when we needed them.
Nope. I'm not granting them the shield of good intentions anymore. Greens don't care whom they hurt in the pursuit of their idea of religious perfection any more than Islamic fascists do. Case in point:
Tonight, PBS will air "Gold Futures," a film by Hungary's Tibor Kocsis. The film focuses on residents in Romania's Rosia Montana, a rural Transylvanian town, who are divided over the benefits of a proposed gold mine. It also features Gabriel Resources, the Canadian mining company trying to convince them to relocate so it can dig for a huge gold deposit estimated at 14.6 million ounces, worth almost $10 billion. PBS describes the film as a "David-and-Goliath story."
While the film gives time to supporters and opponents of the mine, it leaves unsaid that half of the villagers voicing opposition have now either sold their homes or will not have to move, because they live in a protected area where the village's historic structures and churches will be preserved. Viewers who see pristine shots of the Rosia valley won't realize the hills hide a huge, abandoned communist-era mine, leaking toxic heavy metals into local streams--or that while the modern mining project will level four hills to create an open pit, it will also clean up the old mess at no cost to the Romanian treasury. ...
There's plenty of typical Lefty manipulation -- fake but accurate -- in the story:
Mr. McAleer, a former Financial Times journalist who has followed the mine battle for seven years, says he "found that everything the environmentalists were saying about the project was misleading, exaggerated or quite simply false." He produced his film on a shoestring $230,000 budget largely provided by Gabriel Resources, but says he was given complete editorial control.
The Gabriel funding caused environmental groups to label the film "propaganda" and demand the National Geographic Society cancel plans to rent its Washington, D.C., theater to the free-market Moving Picture Institute for a screening. The Institute notes opponents rarely challenge the film's facts. As for Mr. Kocsis's documentary, his Flora Film corporate Web site lists as its partners Greenpeace, the Hungarian Ministry of Environment and the George Soros-backed Energy Club of Hungary, all of which oppose the Romanian project on either environmental or nationalistic grounds (Transylvania used to be part of Hungary). ...
"Local opposition to the mine is strong and organized" says a statement signed by 80 environmental groups in January.
80 environmental groups opposing one little mine! Talk about a gold rush...
In his letter, Mr. Soros cites a recent poll organized by some members of Romania's parliament that "found 90% of respondents rejecting the project." But the poll turns out to be an unscientific Internet survey, and one of the environmental groups Mr. Soros funds urged people outside Romania to participate in it. What is clear: Two-thirds of Rosia Montana's people have accepted Gabriel's voluntary offer to buy their homes at above market rates....
Mr. McAleer tells me such encounters should wake up people "who, like myself, unquestionably believed environmentalists were a force for good in the world."... (emphasis added)
If the gold mine goes ahead, then the toxic mess from the old communist mine will be cleaned up. If not, then it won't be. Yet those labeled Greens oppose the mine. Why do you think that is?
The creator of this map has had the interesting idea to break down that gigantic US GDP into the GDPs of individual states, and compare those to other countries’ GDP. What follows, is this slightly misleading map – misleading, because the economies both of the US states and of the countries they are compared with are not weighted for their respective populations.
Pakistan, for example, has a GDP that’s slightly higher than Israel’s – but Pakistan has a population of about 170 million, while Israel is only 7 million people strong. The US states those economies are compared with (Arkansas and Oregon, respectively) are much closer to each other in population: 2,7 million and 3,4 million.
And yet, wile a per capita GDP might give a good indication of the average wealth of citizens, a ranking of the economies on this map does serve two interesting purposes: it shows the size of US states’ economies relative to each other (California is the biggest, Wyoming the smallest), and it links those sizes with foreign economies (which are therefore also ranked: Mexico’s and Russia’s economies are about equal size, Ireland’s is twice as big as New Zealand’s). Here’s a run-down of the 50 states, plus DC:
Lots of fun facts there for the geographically minded. Such as: Mexico's GDP is about the same as Russia's? I had no idea. France is as big, GDP-wise, as California? I'd thought California much bigger than that. Florida = South Korea? I guess we do get a little work done down here in the Sunshine State.
Hummingbird Finally, my first hummingbirds. Saw them on a fire bush in Crystal Beach, FL. My rental's neighbor's yard is all xeriscaped, which is ugly to me but just fine with the little hummers. At first, I thought they were the biggest hornets I'd ever seen.
Flamingo! One of these dudes flew right over my house. I couldn't believe it. And please don't tell me it was a roseated spoonbill because it was a frickin' flamingo, dude! Huge and pink and right there above me. I was like so freaking out, you know?
Falcon! Don't see these guys too often. Wish we did. Bet the morning doves don't.
Black Skimmer These beauties are getting scarce, but one flew by yesterday at low tide on the hunt for minnows.
Dead sea turtle cool, but smelly
Reddish Egret These have been hanging out around the pool quite a bit lately. Must be a new group of adolesent birds -- the youngsters like to hunt where the water is clear, and it takes them a day to figure out there are not now and never will be fish in the swimming pool no matter how clear the water.
Brown Pelican I saw a flock of about 200 of these at Disappearing Island yesterday, just south of Anclote Island on the west coast of FL. Good to see such a large flock.
Wood Pecker They've developed a sudden interest in the orange tree, which just went into bloom.