Is climate change the new gay marijuana?

The most important thing about this graph (source) is that it signifies not an increase in the general public’s understanding of climate science, but a trend toward greater trust in science and scientists as a whole. The former is not vital but the latter clearly is.


This is good news, but — and forgive me for my glass-half-shattered outlook here — it only further exposes just how foolish the many remaining holdouts are.

I have a degree in a physical science, and I try to keep current on important (or sometimes simply interesting) scientific issues. But I don’t pretend to have more than a passing knowledge of what climate scientists do in terms of information gathering and data analysis and computer modeling. What I do know for certain is that their conclusions are not whimsical or capricious or, worse yet, products of influence-peddling or part of a conspiracy aimed at making a few climate scientists rich. Yet we live in a country rife with “bloggers” who apparently think that climate-change data is the result of a few guys from NCAR sticking a ruler and a thermometer into the Antarctic ice shelf once a year and bleating “Owned, Inhofe!” as they scribble bullshit into their little notebooks. They are the ones who aren’t joking when they point at May snowfall in Colorado or a sub-freezing day in Tallahassee as proof that human-caused climate change — or hell, global warming, period — is an elaborate hoax.
Continue reading “Is climate change the new gay marijuana?”

The world of the calico cat

The creature below is Puzzle, a cat of indeterminate age and size. It is a calico cat and like virtually all such cats is female — coat color in cats is X-linked, and since males have only one X chromosome and females have two, males (except for the very rare XXY ones) cannot exhibit the mosaic patterns of fur coloration.

I haven’t seen anything about calico cats tending to be overweight, and there’s no reason I would since “calico” describes a color, not a breed. But almost all of them I’ve encountered have been felines of size, and Puzzle’s no exceptions. She sounds like she has sleep apnea and when awake tends to make some unusual noises.

A nature video stream-u might enjoy

I shot this short, moving film at the Briley Farm in Orange County, Florida during a ten-mile run yesterday. My primary motive was playing with a friend’s new camera, but I also like checking out the animals at the farm.

The first time I ran past the place it was just past dusk and when I spotted was a was fairly certain were the silhouettes of an African antelope and a five-foot-tall bird side by side, I was pretty sure I was imagining things, since I was nowhere near the Animal Kingdom. But I was right — the place is a funky little preserve of sorts and is right next to a running/rec path that extends for at least 20 miles with few road crossings.

Rocky’s road

I’m still not sure what’s going to happen to Rocky. Earlier today I was fairly certain he might be gone by nightfall in the form of an Animal Control paddy-wagon, but they didn’t come for him today and upon reconsideration we’ll take him someplace ourselves even if AC does show up on Tuesday. It is possible that he will wind up in the care of the Central Florida SPCA, assuming we can skate on a couple of their requirements. I also posted this, and while there are no takers as of 9:30 EDT, I did get some good advice about what shelters to bring him and what ones to avoid.

There is some chance that I will be able to keep Rocky myself, but it may take a few days to clarify this. He now knows how to sit, at least for treats, which is pretty cool since he came into my life full of love and knowing no commands at all. He does seem to be housebroken. He loves to be around people — his whining when he has to be behind a closed door without me because of the cats is heartbreaking — and enjoys jogging and eating grass. He’s handsome, sweet, not neutered, has great teeth, eats with surprising delicacy, and by Christ if this isn’t starting to read like the profile of a demented person.

So, nothing new to report, really, so in lieu of information here are some more photos.

He’s Rocky, for now

On Friday afternoon, I and my training partner set off for a run. I say “partner” in the sense that we start our runs at the same time but, per her preference, do not actually run together much of the time. And I say “training” as though the ambitious limping I do for about an hour at a pop these days represents anything greater than a rehearsal for the even more ugly limping I’ll be lucky to do as I skate further into my fifth decade.

Anyway, I set out toward the east on this trail while my partner-of-sorts headed west, each of us planning to do 30 minutes out and 30 back. I turned around a little early out of boredom, and as I drew within a half-mile of the starting point a young-looking dog ambled hesitantly out of a nearby thicket and started toward me. I immediately pegged him as homeless, and not just because we were near the equivalent of this city’s ‘hood. He was thin (but not slat-sided), not neutered, collarless, and trusting in that “someone who looked kind of like that gave me a bite to eat recently” way. So I switched off my MP3 player, which had been playing “Rocky Mountain Way” by Joe Walsh, and greeted him formally. Continue reading “He’s Rocky, for now”