Archive for November, 2010

Grin without a cat (- grin) (+ smile)

27 November 2010

This is what happens when I am amused by modern day marginalia, sorry.

I saw the Felids open for the Nimravids back in the early Oligocene.  It was crazy.  Nobody knew what was going on.  We all came out, tie-dyed, ready to groove to the mellow, mental vibes of Holophoneus. Frankly, we were blazed.  Then there were these crazy cats tearing shit up, pouncing, retracting their claws.  It was nuts.  No one knew what to say.

Anyway though, it seems like everyone is totally into cats these days and hardly anyone (not, of course, to say no one) remembers those crazy psychedelic crusaders, the Nimravids.  But we here, doff our bizarrely elongate post-orbital vaults to the pioneers, to the sparkling technicolor carnivores that were catty before catty was cool.

and here’s the part where I sneak in a Fall clip:

Oh, Hey Burma

14 November 2010

I mean Myanmar.

Update: Alright, we can argue about the Kouprey but anway, dude:


11 November 2010



Yo Gabba Gabba:

Photo from Flickr PixelManiatiK / cc2.0


To wit,


Ligands which contribute to receptor activation typically have anxiolyticanticonvulsantamnesicsedativehypnotic,euphoriant, and muscle relaxant properties. Some such as muscimol may also be hallucinogenic.

…from Wikipedia’s GABAA receptor entry.

I mean. Just sayin’.

OK, back to work.

Election Day Special Edition: Which U.S. Congressional districts look like salamanders

2 November 2010

The apparently inevitable “yes we can’t” pendulum swing promises to radically transform the spirit of the U.S. Congress from hand-wringing tooth-pulling incremental CHANGE to blustery obstinance-only unchange.

But arguably what happens at the state level could be of even greater lasting consequence since (in most cases) the state governments elected today will be using the results of this year’s census to redraw congressional districts following reapportionment.  Or something.

Anyway this seems as good a time as any to try to draw out the urodelan affinities of some of the slipperier districts at least as they now stand.

Of course the original ‘Gerrymander’ (which, if you want to be pedantic I guess, should be pronounced “gary-mander”) was a salamander in the mythological, rather than zoological, sense.  But whatever.

First off, we have Illinois’s 4th Congressional District which is truly a thing of beauty:

It doesn’t not look like a Slender SalamanderBatrachoseps.  I guess.

These dudes don’t have lungs! Which helps when you want to maintain your contiguity when slithering along the interstate.

Sticking with the Praire State, the chunky build of IL 17 is more reminiscent of the handsome and fearful Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum.

Heading down to Upper Cackleackle the serpentine grace of NC 12 recalls of course the anguilline Greater Siren (Siren lacertina)

Texas’s 29th District looks sort of like the original Gerrymander

but is a good excuse to plug the Texas Blind Salamander (Eurycea rathburni):

Here’s Maryland’s 4th District

whose pasty orientation earns it a passing resemblance to the charming Four-toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum) at least in ventral view.

Finally, what do we got?

Oh yeah, California’s 38th District

Which doesn’t really look that much like the California Newt, (Taricha torosa), except perhaps for the bloated belly of La Punte (too many donuts?) but, anyway, I’m off to bed.  Rock on Nevada.

p.s. All images courtesy USGS, USFWS, and USFS … nice knowing you guys.