Naan Better

Yesterday was a near perfect day. My morning began with a highly anticipated package finally arriving, (Gary’s Valentine ‘s Day present). The huge box is stashed in our bedroom closet so shhhhh…

Then my much-needed chinchilla shelves arrived via UPS. I spent the next two hours happily constructing my chin’s extreme new condo. I spent the next 30 minutes sipping tea in front of his cage and watching him explore his new digs. Then my boss at the Nature Center called. He bought me a Merauke blue tongue skink! I rushed over to see her and she is a looker. I named her Meredith. Gary was due home soon so I jetted back and made him drive me back out to the Nature Center to see and photograph Meredith. Afterwards I picked up my new glasses and contacts. I look so smart now.

After a wee rest, (it was my day off after all,) I helped Gary make dinner. He made me Indian food, (chicken korma to be precise). It was perfect but I distracted him at one point so the bread got burned beyond recognition. We watched TV and looked at pics of Meredith before we settled down to sleep. After our customary “I love you”s I turned to my beloved and said- “Bar naan, it was a perfect day.” His response? Sine Qua naan.

Ah- you gotta love him.

Fossil Day!

News from several fronts on fossils today.

First, there’s a great skeleton of a pre-whale about to give birth, fossilized with the fetus’s head facing out, which means the animal probably gave birth on land, even though the body is blatantly aquatic. Maiacetus must have been clumsy on land, but a great find. This was found in Pakistan, and is published in the Open Science journal PLOS.

Second, the remains of a 42-foot long snake dating from 60 million years ago, which would have weighed around 2500 pounds. This is the largest snake to ever be discovered; the titanoboa could swallow a cow. The snake was found in Colombia, the oldest rain forest on the planet.

Finally, sponges left fossil evidence as far back as 635 million years ago. This is 100 million years prior to the so-called Cambrian Explosion (an explosion that took tens of millions of years), and is the oldest fossil evidence so far. The fossils were found in Oman.

These last two stories are from the Feb 5 issue of Nature, a really expensive journal for professional working scientists. Wish I could afford the subscription some days.

Defense Budget “decrease” is not

You know how the right-wing pundits have been crying about the stimulus package including too much money for poor people? Compassionate conservative my…

Anyway, those same pundits have been crying about the President’s budget proposal containing a 10% reduction in the defense budget. The proposal is for 527 billion dollars, which is actually the exact same number that former President Bush had projected for 2010. If you look at the numbers, this represents an increase in the military budget from 2009 of over 30 billion dollars. Somehow, the wingers didn’t notice the actual real-life decrease in defense spending from 2006 through 2008, yet they have invented a decrease for 2010 that doesn’t exist in any logical way. Oh, and by the way, we still spend almost as much on our military as the entire rest of the planet combined. I doubt anyone will think we’ve become weak and vulnerable any time soon.

As I may have said before, think for yourself and never believe pundits without research.