Mullet Over #487

In 2010, there were more than 53,000 people living in the U.S. who were at least 100 years old. The average lifespan worldwide when the country was founded was 30 years.

In Malaysia there resides a 5 inch mammal with a 7 inch tail and huge eyes. This creature is called the Western Tarsier and a single one of its eyeballs is larger than its brain. An exceptional jumper, the W. Tarsier can cover a distance 40 times its body length in one leap. Boing!

The New Year’s favorite, Auld Lang Syne, features an ancient melody; but there is an interesting feature with respect to the song’s lyrics. Those words were penned by none other than the poet Robert Burns (1788).

Washington State’s Rialto Beach is referred to as “the most musical beach in the world.” This evaluation is according to an audio ecologist. Some visitors claim they can feel the vibrations and hear the “violin spruces.” Others hear what is described as “wind and some splashing water.”

Approximately 50 million people were victims of The Plague or Black Death. There are a couple of strange facts concerning the deadly bacterium (a strain of Yersina pestis). The first peculiarity is that the plague seemed to spring out of nowhere in 1353. There is no known record of any outbreak previous to that date. The second strange datum is that according to modern researchers (as of August, 2011) that particular strain died out hundreds of years ago. The Yersina pestis is still around, but the specific strain that proved so terribly lethal has apparently evolved into oblivion. I feel sorry for oblivion.

Biologists studying packs of chimpanzees in the Ngogo (rhymes with Mgogo) in Uganda have confirmed some disturbing local reports. Chimps in the region have targeted and eaten smaller primates called red colobus monkeys, thusly almost eliminating the entire colobus population in that region. An estimated 90% of the red monkeys have been killed by packs of chimpanzees who actively hunt the colobus as a food source.

Those hearty souls who will be living on the International Space Station shall be in need of fresh fruits and vegetables. Plants here on earth have the benefits of sun, rain, gravity and nutrient-rich soils. None of those features will be  available in large quantities on a space station. However, recent experimental crops have successfully produced tomatoes, peas and mustard greens sans gravity, rain, etc. For safety reasons, none of those foods have yet been eaten by humans. I would not object to feeding the produce to congress. Well, I suggest that you do not wear a colobus costume while hiking in the Ngogo regions and that you have a great week.