• ↓
  • ↑
  • ⇑
 
Записи с темой: eng (список заголовков)
00:45 

sweet sugar
*sobs through the movie*

@темы: eng, бла

04:24 

sweet sugar
god why did you give me these biases how do i live whith my feelings how
====

@темы: бла, eng

17:47 

Sea otters

sweet sugar
As you potter round the garden this Sunday, doing little jobs here and there, pollarding the cyclamen or deadheading the arboretum (I'm not much of a gardener) I bring a helpful tip for any of you who are having trouble with algae in your seagrass meadow. What you need is a sea otter. Now, to some extent, to say "you need a sea otter" is simply to state a fact about the human condition. We all need a sea otter, because sea otters are terrific. I mean, come on: they hold hands at night to stop themselves drifting away from one another. That is my second favourite fact about sea otters. My favourite fact about sea otters, thanks for asking, is not that they use rocks as tools to break open shellfish on their chests, but that they then put this tool back in their pocket. Sea otters have loose pouches of skin in their armpits, and they store food and tools in them. How can you fail to admire an animal that not only uses tools, but has evolved itself a tool belt?

So, this is why sea otters are generally great. But why they are specifically great if you have algae on your seagrass was revealed this week in a study by Brent Hughes of the University of California, Santa Cruz. Since the hunting of them has been banned, sea otters have returned to the Pacific coast in greater numbers, no doubt wiping the sweat from their brows, before replacing their hankies neatly in their pockets. And one unpredicted consequence of this, Hughes has discovered, is that the decline of endangered seagrasses in the region has been reversed. How did the sea otters achieve this? Well, by a fairly roundabout route.

Humans have stopped hunting sea otters (mostly), and this is good news for sea otters. But wait! This is terrible news for the local crabs, which sea otters eat, in adorable fashion, as discussed. But hold on! This decrease in crabs is great news for sea slugs, which crabs eat. But not so fast! This is terrible news for algae, which is what sea slugs eat. But hang on a minute! This is great news for seagrass, which is what algae live on; and this in turn is great news for fish, which like living in seagrass. "God bless you, sea-otters!" the fish must think "Truly, the enemy of the enemy of the enemy of my enemy is my friend." (Although, in doing so, they are forgetting that in a rather less complex food chain another thing sea otters eat is fish. So, in fact I imagine the fish's welcome of the seagrass-improving sea otters is a little muted; like if a new family moved into an impoverished village and instantly donated all the money needed to repair the church roof, but also shot the vicar.)

Marine biologist Brian Silliman, about whose name I intend to heroically resist making a cheap joke, responded to the news by saying: "Would this happen with other habitats? That's what gets me excited." Let me say straight away that I stand four-square behind Mr Silliman in his excitement, and I cannot wait to find out which other habitats he has in mind. Sea otters in the jungle? Sea otters in the desert? Sea otters in Paris? Certainly, those are three films I'd love to see.

What I find most interesting about this story is that the effect was unpredicted, and perhaps unpredictable. When we were merrily hunting the sea otter to the brink of extinction a hundred years ago, I imagine there were some people who thought this was a bit rough on the sea otters, but no one was sucking their teeth and saying: "Mind you, we'd better keep a few of them around, or the sea meadows'll go straight up the spout." Nor, once they started to, did anyone say: "Tell you what will sort this right out – sea otters." Hughes's report came only after studying 50 years' worth of data, and illustrates just how much we still don't know about the intricacies of the natural world. After all, it was only a fortnight ago that the Smithsonian Institution announced the classification of an entirely new animal, the olinguito. And not a beetle or a bacterium, but a largish furry mammal – the sort you might put in a zoo or on a T-shirt – which has been quietly doing its thing, which is apparently dividing its time between eating figs and jumping between trees, all the way through to 2013 before anyone got round to saying: "Oh look. See that thing jumping between those trees with fig juice all over its snout? Let's call it an olinguito."

This makes me grateful to both the sea otter and the olinguito, because they give me an excuse not to like the badger cull. I already don't like it, but I'm guiltily aware that my reason for not liking it is a knee-jerk distaste for the idea of shooting badgers; and that that distaste is based less on my reading of Defra's report into TB incidence in British cattle, which I wouldn't understand anyway; and more on my reading of The Wind in the Willows. Which I definitely understood. It was about a frog who had a car.

But the sea otter story makes me wonder if Defra can really know what the effect of the badger cull will be. I don't mean that I predict a similar chain of consequences that will somehow leave Somerset covered in algae, or Gloucestershire stalked by giant herons. But there certainly seems to be a great deal of disagreement among experts about whether a badger cull would slow the spread of bovine TB, leave it unaffected, or indeed make it worse. All the more reason, you might argue, to conduct a small local trial. But we already did that, for an entire decade from 1997; and Lord Krebs, the scientist who designed and led these trials – and therefore presumably a man we can trust to remain unmoved by the mental image of kindly Mr Badger's shattered pince-nez lying in a hedgerow – has said: "The scientific case is as clear as it can be: this cull is not the answer to TB in cattle."

Who knows what that answer will turn out to be – I fear no one does, any more than until recently they knew how to restore seagrass, or what an olinguito looked like. But I suspect I know what Brian Silliman would suggest we try… and surely it's worth a shot. The campaign to introduce sea otters to Somerset starts here.

@настроение: John Finnemore is love-love-love

@темы: eng

05:12 

sweet sugar
AND SOME BAFTAS FOR LOU BREALEY, TOO

@темы: Sherlock, eng, сериалы

04:45 

sweet sugar
MORE. BAFTAS. RIGHT NOW. FUCK.

@темы: Sherlock, eng, сериалы

04:43 

sweet sugar
GIVE MARTIN FREEMAN MORE FUCKING BAFTAS

@темы: eng

04:41 

sweet sugar
SCREAMING SO FUCKING LOUD RN

@темы: Sherlock, eng

04:29 

sweet sugar
Acting is reacting.

@темы: eng, q

05:58 

sweet sugar
04:35 

sweet sugar
There are moments in life when your little funny exaggerations become real, and you literally drool on your lap.

:ghost:

@темы: eng

04:00 

sweet sugar

@темы: eng

03:59 

sweet sugar
People are fucking nuts okay.

@темы: eng, video

02:31 

sweet sugar
ohmygod benedict cumberbatch is fucking unbelievable why doesn't he have all the globes and oscars and baftas in the world

@темы: eng, Cucumber

18:07 

sweet sugar
Просматривала записи в поисках "открытого рта", много чувств у меня. Решила сделать репост кой-каких записей, потому что ычарылвпжд :alles:

читать дальше

@темы: video, img, gifs, eng

14:09 

sweet sugar
CHO MAMA AND CHO ALL KISSY KISSY AGHHH



@темы: eng, gifs

how long is a piece of string

главная