Sunday, August 19, 2012
WHALE SHARKS, ANTS, PANDAS, WHITE BUFFALO AND THE STANFORD TREE
For reasons I don't really understand, all my postings on whale sharks attract readers. So, to begin, from Indonesia, here is a clip.
Something you've always wanted to know, I'm sure, but there are 10,000 trillion ants, meaning there are a million ants for each person on Planet Earth. They weigh more than all of us humans. The largest is the Camponotus gigas (left). For the record, there are 7 billion of us and 24 billion chickens. On the extinction end: 200 California condors and 2,000 giant pandas, of which 300 are in zoos, including, above, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian at the National Zoo in D.C.
A white buffalo (for our purposes, same as bison) was born in Connecticut a few weeks ago. The timing was ideal, as a group of tribes is lobbying Congress to place the bison alongside the eagle as our national symbols. Why countries, high schools, states and other entities seem to mostly select an animal approaching extinction for this distinction is also something I don't understand. I predict some new university bestowing this selection to their students end up with something like quack grass or E. Coli. Stanford University gave up on Indians in 1972, so students picked Robber Barons, no doubt in reference to founder Leland Stanford. The University declined, and now, the color Cardinal is used, with an unofficial mascot, a member of their marching band, a redwood tree:
Wow, Typhoon Tembin, now at 85 MPH, is scheduled to crash into the middle of Taiwan as a Category 4 storm by Friday.