Monday, December 20, 2010

If birds get covered in oil from an oil spill, what probably killed them was being too hot or too cold.

Feathers in their natural form on birds provide insulation. Then oil covered, the insulation is often gone. So the birds, they of little bodies even when they are big for birds, get too cold in the night or too cold by day.

The National Geographic special issue on the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill has a photograph of pelicans, natually white, brown with oil, grooming themselves. I don't know how they did in terms of percentage in that picture who lived.

In that same issue, October 2010, is a tribute to Jane Goodall 50 years after she started studying chimps.

It points out that she made two big discoveries in her first six months of noticing. Chimps use tools, and chimps make tools.

Used to be people who thought about it thought only humans did that.

BP oil spill one of the things that makes it look that higher primates, the highest, aren't so very good at using tools. Eleven people on the platform dead, just for starters.

On one side of Market Street it's First Street, and on the other it's Bush Street. There's a marker there saying this is where the San Francisco Bay started when gold was discovered in 1848. It's maybe seven blocks from where the Bay starts now. They didn't need elaborate tools to fill it.

Near, a few steps from, the marker of where the Bay used to start is a stature in honor of the mechanics, which would mean in general men who did skilled manual labor, and specifically, guys who work with stuff with gears.

They look willing to use tools to do whatever is happening. Fill the bay, whatever. We need to think better than chimps.