Archive for March, 2009

Bear Flag Republic

23 March 2009

gorda-bear-2Don’t know about you, but I find it terribly difficult to stay on task while visiting museum collections.  Sure, I’ve got the 20 page print-out of specimens I’m supposed to measure.  And, sure I deeply want to look at Lobodon and Kogia and Lissodelphis and Hydrodamalis. I mean, truthfully, I really want to bring the sea cow skull down to the table and well, you know, cuddle for a while.


All of which I did, except for the whole sketchy sirenian molestation bit.  But…I also, of course, peeked at the babirusa and popped open the giraffe braincase (hey, it was already sectioned man).

babiesAnd I couldn’t help but admire the shelf of California grizzlies, several of which had interesting dates attached to them but that’s another story.


gorda-bear-3_1Note the bullet hole.  See you after the wedding.

How I lost a sawbuck

11 March 2009
Gaza, 1957 - Photo taken by James Whitmore courtesy

Gaza, 1957 - Photo taken by James Whitmore courtesy

We had just finished lunch and were just about to leave when a perky sorority girl came striding across the quad with a sign-up sheet, making a beeline for us.

“Um….do you have a minute?”

“Uh, okay sure, really quick.”

“How do you feel about the children of Gaza, of any religion?”

“Can you just explain what you’re raising money for?”

“Oh, um, okay we’re doing ‘dollars for dumps.’  We’re divided the parking lot into squares, and, uh you buy a square for five dollars, and, uh, if the animal poos in your square you win a hundred dollars, and uh, all the money goes to a hospital that treats both Palestinian and Israeli children”

“Hm.  Here’s ten dollars.”

“Oh, I can get you change.”

“Just take it.  I don’t want a square.”

The Idles of March

9 March 2009

geocheloneLooks like another slow march around these parts, well, more of dirge really.  Hence the carrion which seems as reasonable a metaphor for the rancid stench that’s been lately gathering on the blog (except for the jumping spider of course, that was delightful!)

Believe it or don’t there is some inspiration here actually: Dr. Vector’s hilarious post about the curious case of a snapping turtle carcass, which in turn was inspired by Darren’s incredibly informative tutorial on the fine art of skeletonization.

All of which recalled this large Geochelone (probably G. sulcata) tortoise I stumbled upon last year in the hills above greater Los Angeles.  How the poor bloke wound up like this I suppose I will never know although most likely somebody dumped it, hopefully post-mortem.  It would have been nice to salvage the thing (Matt’s suggestion of strapping it to the university van roof would have made for an entertaining spectacle), or perhaps I could have buried it on the spot and retrieved it later but, no such luck.

C’est la mort, I suppose.



7 March 2009