- Iran claims to have lobbed a monkey 75 miles high
- Iran says they recovered it safely
- Iran says it’s a prelude to sending their own astronauts into orbit in 5 to 8 years
- Nobody seems to have seen Iran launch a large missile lately
Here’s an idea I doubt would have worked: a rocket powered war cat from the 1585 German manuscript “Feuer Buech,” kept in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the University of Pennsylvania.
No, I don’t think that would’ve worked at all. I don’t even know what the goal was here (it’s a book on blowin’ stuff up, so I guess these were to be rocket-powered Kamikazicritters), but there’s no chance that a rocket powered cat or bird would’ve gone in anything like a straight line. If, instead, these are just *bombs* drawn kinda strangely… nope. I’m not sure what the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow is, but I do know that no little cheep-cheep bird is going to be able to carry a gunpowder bomb worth the effort of cobbling together.
Rocket powered cats will just have to wait.
Here’s a heck of a thing. A recent video of some divers at night off Hawaii observing manta rays, when a bottlenose dolphin swims up to them. it had a fishing hook in its left pectoral fin, and a bunch of fishing line wrapped around that fin and into its mouth reducing range of motion. It swam directly up to one of the divers who proceeded to remove the fishing line with a multi-tool. The dolphin tolerated the procedure, then swam away.
It’s always unwise to anthropomorphize non-human critters, but this sure does look like the dolphin came to humans for help. Luckily for the dolphin, it found the right humans.
Starting earlier this year I started to notice evidence of mice in the house (not uncommonly by catching sight of one of my cats – generally Raedthinn – dashing off with a captured mouse). But things apparently really took off after the cats and I left here for a few weeks. Upon return, it was obvious that the little rodenty monsters had decided to move in and take over the place. Since I’ve been back, cleanup operations and mouse combat have consumed way too much of my time – and may well have had a role in my recent, fortunately rather brief, illness.
So I’ve been contemplating the possibility that I have been failing Civilization 101… Step One, Get Rid Of The Mice. I’ve been here 8 years and never had anything remotely resembling this sort of problem before. So clearly I’ve been failing in *something,* right?
Well… maybe not. I’ve been asking around, and every neighbor I’ve talked to has noticed a *massive* increase in rodents in the last year, both inside and outside. One farmer now has to contend with large numbers of full-up *rats* which he’s never even seen before. So what’s up here?
This is farm country. As far as I can tell, the farmers have been doing what they’ve been doing for decades, without substantial change. Except for things relating to weather. Last winter was warm and dry… not as much snow as usual. Summer was hot and dry… almost no rain. One consequence of that is that a standard farm practice was greatly curtailed until very late in the season: the burning of the fields. It is my hypothesis that in normal years, the rodents live their furry, plague-bearing lives out in the fields… until all of a sudden a wall of fire comes along and roasts a fair number of them, and burns up the food for the rest, limiting the population. But this year… no fires. At least not near as many, and much later than usual (IIRC, they’re generally in July; this year, September). So, the rodent populations were able to expand without getting roasted, and had more to gnaw on for longer. Thus, there was a huge population of them when the fires did eventually come, driving them out of the burnt fields into other unburnt fields, barns, feed lots and houses.
Something Yellowstone National Park and environs has in abundance is ravens. Where other places are overrun with seagulls, pigeons and other assorted brainless skyrats, Yellowstone has large and personality-filled ravens. They remind me greatly of cats, although, and I hate to say it, much smarter (and certainly more inventive) than cats.