April 13th, 2008

Extinction Distinctions

I love this headline:

    "Extinct" plants found in remote Australia.

If it weren't for those scare quotes, this would be a miracle.

We only thinked
they were extinct.

Hmm.  Suppose some plants became extinct... but we still had some seeds on hand.  Would they be extinct in that case?

One extinction no one knocks
Is small pox.

I just hope there aren't any little hibernating copies of the smallpox virus around, sitting forgotten in some lab drawer.

Pox, big or small
Is no fun at all.

Happy Birthday Thomas Jefferson

Gen LaGreca has a great column wishing Happy Birthday to Thomas Jefferson in today's OC Register.  Here's a snippet that struck me:
Life requires productive work and effort to sustain it, a fact that Jefferson considered to be our glory. When his Monticello farm fell on hard times, he began producing nails and did so proudly because "every honest employment is deemed honorable [in America]. … My new trade of nail-making is to me in this country what an additional title of nobility … [is]in Europe."
How could he stoop
to churning nails out?

Clearly he needed
a government bail out!

Monozygotic Peril

Some people have an identical twin and don't know it. 

It usually happens because they were adopted by separate families.  Makes for cool scientific studies, and great human interest stories when they find out. 

But...

What if don't know you have
An evil identical twin
Who leaves DNA at crime scenes -
Think of the trouble you're in!

With luck your twin will be gloveless.
That's your best hope, since,
Despite identical DNA
You've different fingerprints.