Daily Archives: February 19, 2009

To Cull or Not to Cull (02/19)

I was struck by this image

 	 Kruger National Park, South Africa. A view of an elephant fetus from a culled female

Kruger National Park, South Africa. A view of an elephant fetus from a culled female

and its caption. What is a culled female?

cull |kəl|
verb [ trans. ] (usu. be culled)
• reduce the population of (a wild animal) by selective slaughter : he sees culling deer as a necessity | [as n. ] ( culling) elephant culling.

As you might imagine, it is a highly controversial topic.

Here is brief take on the issues in Kruger National Park:

On one hand, the increased South African population of elephants is a good thing. It means that conservation efforts are working and poaching for ivory is on the decline. On the other hand, the repopulation has been so dramatic that  it threatens other species.

In fact, since culling was brought to a stop in 1994 the elephant population in Kruger National Park has nearly doubled (from 7,000 to 13,000).

(according to a 2005 article on the BBC’s website)

Culling is also an issue in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. Here the issue is not elephants (naturally), but elk. The reason being that biologists believe the elk population is decimating new growth aspen trees and willows.

(read more)

I won’t go into my opinion about this matter, but  I will say this – it does remind me of the ‘old lady who swallowed the fly’. You know the song, she swallowed the spider to catch the fly, I don’t know why she swallowed the fly…etc)

(maybe we should start a new version “she culled the elk to save the trees, I don’t know why she culled the elk…)

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Q.E.D (02/18)

Middle of Q.E.D – I can not begin to tell you how many times this shows up in a crossword. However, I can tell you that I never remember what it stands for.

(Perhaps by posting it here I will never forget again.)

Q.E.D. is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase quod erat demonstrandum,which literally means “that which was to be demonstrated”

(it also means that 2 DOWN is erat)

Here are some other acronyms solved:

FREDDIE MAC Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation

FANNIE MAE Federal National Mortgage Association

GUDD Gold up, Dollar Down

NASDAQ National Association Of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation

SOP Standard Operating Procedure

LOL Laugh out Loud (Hey, I know some people who have thought otherwise)

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The Clanking of Pots & Pans (02/17)

Amusia: The inability to recognize musical tones or to reproduce them. Amusia can be congenital (present at birth) or be acquired sometime later in life (as from brain damage).

It isn’t a problem of the ears – they can understand other sounds perfectly well – but when it comes to music, all tunes sound the same. While most of us are sensitive to small changes in pitch, amusic people need two notes to be very far apart before they hear them as different. It’s no surprise, then, that music, which tends to move in small steps, is literally “lost” on them.

Test yourself.

Read more.

Or just listen to the expert, Dr. Oliver Sacks…

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