Daily Archives: April 16, 2013

The horror of this event …

We watch these events unfold through a veil of tears. And over time, it only gets worse as we learn the identities of some of the victims, and learn of the horrors of this particular kind of bomb attack. We wonder if the bomber knew that few would die but many would lose their legs, or if families of living vibrant people, standing together to watch other family members finish their run for some worthy cause, would be turned into a collection of news stories about the dead and the maimed. We also wonder why this target was chosen. Timothy McVeigh attacked a Federal office building to strike a blow against the government. The day care center he blew up was incidental to his goal. Seung-Hui Cho, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold slaughtered people in their classrooms, acts that are impossible to fathom but that at least fit the larger pattern of school shootings. Did this attack happen because it is April, when these things (such as all those just mentioned) tend to happen? Because it was Tax Day? Because it was Patriots’ Day? Was this bomber against runners? Was Boston the target? Was this merely a convenient gathering of Americans to use as targets to make some international terrorist statement? Was this angry white males from the woods of Michigan or the mountains of Idaho striking out against a liberal enclave?

Was it just some kid who thought this would be an outrageoius thing to do? Continue reading The horror of this event …

Feed me or I’ll die, and possibly take you with me!

Years ago it was pointed out by somebody, probably Tinbergen or Lack or Wynn-Edwards or one of the other great bird-savvy ethologists of the day, that young Pelicans would blackmail their parents by biting their own wings, a very self defeating activity for a bird with a huge and powerful beak. “If you don’t feed me right way, I’m taking off this wing and your reproductive success is done!” they seemed to be saying.

More recently a study of Babblers in South Africa may have demonstrated a similar kind of extortion….

Read the rest of my monthly contribution to 10,000 birds HERE.

The rest of my stuff at 10,000 Birds is HERE.