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The comic about Noah's Ark, and why kangaroos live in Florida.
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Animal Tracks

animal mapIf you ever find yourself in the unhappy position of arguing with a creationist there are 100%-accepted-by-everyone-with-a-functioning-brainstem facts that would come in really handy. Like the following, courtesy of Richard Dawkins:

"The geographic distribution of species is exactly as we would predict through evolution:

The pattern of geographical distribution of animals and plants is exactly as it should be, on the assumption that slow, gradual evolution has taken place on slowly drifting (plate tectonics) continents and islands. Archipelagoes such as Galapagos and Hawaii are textbook examples, but the same kind of pattern is seen the world over. Species are distributed exactly where evolutionists would expect them to be (the pattern of distribution is not what you’d expect if they had dispersed from Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat!)"

The belief among the faithful is, I suppose, that God sent a magic taxi for each little lemur and snail and tortoise and gave them a lift back to their native land, or the muddy, barren wasteland that was left after a year's inundation. Yes, the waters didn't instantly recede after 40 days and nights. They lasted, according to scriptire, for over a year. So under any kind of scrutiny the story of the Great Flood is complete and utter nonsense.

If you're interested Mr. Dawkins offers more argumental ammunition on this subject, which you can find here.


ernest and celestineThis past weekend I got my hands on a sort of advance copy (wink-wink) of a French-Belgium animated film called "Ernest and Celestine". It has yet to be released in the U.S. even though it just received an Oscar nomination for best animated film and has already won the prestigious César Award. (It will open in this country on March 14th)

In a word, it's wonderful. (Here's a 3-minute except).

The story is adapted from Gabrielle Vincent's charming children's books and, in this production, centers on a young orphan mouse named Celestine whose job it is to collect the teeth of bears. (In France, where this story takes place, mice are the local equivalent of our Tooth Fairy. What she does with the teeth shan't be revealed here.) Even though bears and mice are adversaries in this fantasy world Celestine eventually meets and befriends Ernest, a bear with a very sweet tooth and some very bad luck.

The animation is hand-drawn and has a delightful watercolor feel to it. The story is in turn funny and sad and sweet and, in the end, enchanting. I hope you'll look for it when it opens in your area in March.


end rant

More information on water and how we use it, and misuse it. (Click image for larger version.)
water data


I love this. Teacher Al Levie very publicly rebukes congressman Paul Ryan as lackey for the 1% at this award ceremony.

(To spare you right-wingnuttery all comments are moderated.)
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Male and female kangaroo, just off Noah's Ark.

Female kangaroo: Say, here's a wild idea. Instead of hopping 12,000 miles back to an arid wasteland how about we go someplace with a temperate climate and some nice beaches?

Caption: And that's why kangaroos can be found in Florida and nowhere else.

Overturn Citizens United