Thursday, September 27, 2012

Element 113

In August, Japanese researchers produced the latest, nearly-largest element, 113 on the periodic table. Chances are, they will have the privilege, earned, of naming it. Here are the top ten suggested names, put forward by your humble author:

10. Newelementium
9. Herecomestroublium
8. Onethirteenium
1. Godzillium

Well, it turned out to be harder than I had thought. What, I have nothing better to do with my time than think up nuclear jokes about the Japanese?  Nagasakium?  Puh-leeez. I just hope it's not something totally lame, like, uh, Tokyoium. That's what they did with 105,  Dubnium -- Dubna, a town in Russia. How dull.

Speaking of whom, the Russians have bred a liliger, a cross between a liger, a cross between and lion and a tiger, and a lion. Freakin hall of mirrors, dude, but ubercool. Primal. Urcool. Waiting for a ligerger.  Sweet.

Craig Packer, director of the Lion Research Center at the University of Minnesota, and a National Geographic Society/Waitt Foundation grantee, "can't imagine why zoos would breed liligers and other such hybrids. 'In terms of conservation,' he said, 'it's so far away from anything, it's kind of pointless to even say it's irrelevant.'"  But of course. Conservationists of this ilk are extremely, one might say radically, conservative. In the Environmentalist sense -- not at all conservative, but reaction in their adherence to Gaia. Perhaps I'm unfair in the peculiar particular of Packer.

 There is however a prevailing view that species are fixed. Says one commenter to this article, "Dogs are all the same species which have been unnaturally bred to have certain attributes and features (which is a problem in itself), but at least they are from the same relatives. However, both Lions and Tigers are different species and it is totally unnatural for them to breed in the wild. The health problems and issues which arise from this breeding is beyond understanding."  Very conservative.  Must be totally opposed to gay, um, unions.  

Brushing aside the dogmatic assertions about the health and issues of Lions and Tigers and Dogs and Nature and whatnot, let us examine what the very word species means. Related to inspect and spectacle and spectral. It's about appearance. Well, dogs and coyotes and even foxes are all the same species then: corgis and alsatians are much different looking than wolves and alsatians.  When we get into more exotic phyla, males and females of certain sea creatures don't even look like members of the same, uh, phylum.  The details have faded with the passing of the decades.  I'm very old.

Species are not fixed.  Kinds are fixed, mir, kinds, as in the pairs that went on to Noah's Ark.  If they are interfertile, they are the same species.  A mutation or two that has isolated breeding strains is not Evolution, it's degeneration, as with zebras and horses.  Size matters, of course, practically speaking -- my go-to example is great danes and chihuahuas. Take your pick though, big and little chickens, big and little cats -- we can discover if they are the same species via artificial insemination.  Extinct species can be resurrected via back-breeding, just as new can be created by cross-breeding.  Reshuffling existing genetic material is not Evolution.

These Environmentalists.  So inconsistent.  So reactionary.  Clinging to their, uh, traditions and conventions.

Dumbass, it's not about conservation of your wrong ideas about speciation -- it's about learning something about reality.  Not pointless.  Not irrelevant.  Not appearance.  I love it when they talk about co-evolution, but cannot abide cross breeding.  Nerts.

From Google Maps, a blood-red lake, unexplained, outside Sadr City in Iraq, 33.396157° N, 44.486926° E.
There's something fishy here.

Perilous times.  We need a hero.  Ah, here's one:
Biggest guns in the world,dude.  Man that's strength!

Someone, save us!
Um, next.

Americans just can't handle these hard times.

Gets me down.

Here's your Evolution: First, many.  Then, from many, one -- you know, Americanism.  Then, "Progressivism": from one, many.  Now, from many, zero.
Nine stripes, zero stars.  Fundamental change.  Obama, man, he's the One!  

I know I'm being incoherent here.  So?


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