Skulls and squiggly things

Back in February, we went to the Beaty Biodiveristy museum (pro tip – free admission for UBC employees and students) and here are some pictures. Warning, there are dead squiggly things in jars in this post (and even more at the Flickr Set).

Display: Red, Green, Dead Birds
Sea snake in a jar
Sea snake in a jar. Perfect Seal
Mountain Goat, Reflection
Mountain Goat, Reflection
Squiggly things
The Owls are Judging You
The Owls are Judging You
Life Matrix
The matrix of life, from Day 0 on.
Black Tailed Deer
Black Tailed Deer
Blue Whale Skeleton
Blue Whale Skeleton


Bring back the Bee!

Bring back the Bee!

It saddens me that Translink has moved away from the Bee iconography on the 99 B-Line cross-town route. I think more of our transit routes should have an animal mascot.

Like the Condor Canada Line.

Or the Marmot Main Street bus.

Or the Sea Lion Skytrain.

Or even the Tortoise 84 (you had to know that was coming.)

What animal would you attach to each route?


Ha! on twitter, Translink pitched in with the 97 Eagle Line, which is an excellent idea. If we’re going to name cards things like Compass or Starfish, why not?

Canada Day 2011 Long Weekend

The number of unfinished posts in my Dashboard is truly sad. Here’s one now.

Looking back, I tend to do a thing on Canada Day (2008, 2010). This year, I made a weekend of it.


On Friday (an overcast day), I biked around the Richmond Dyke. One word: Noseeums.

This thistle was the only sign of colour for miles.
Belted Galloway cattle grazing on the Richmond Dyke
Then then there’s this dude who grazes his Belted Galloway cattle on the Richmond Dyke. How’s that for random?
Caution Banded Cows
He even has a WARNING BELTED COWS warning sign on the path.


Hark, a Red Thing
Then in Steveston, there is this on a hill


Up Close with "Olas de Viento"
Up Close and Red

I ended the day on the False Creek seawall.

Urban Gardening
Tree in a bag


Then in Saturday, I took the Seabus to the North Shore. Because. Not a lot of interesting shots.

Exit This Side
Exit This Side

And Sunday. I went downtown.

Abandoned Pants
Abandoned Pants
Danger Sharks
Downtown Alley
Sun over Alley

Science! Salmon boom after underwater volcano boom

I love science, because it makes sense. here’s a story that makes science sense:

CBC:  Volcanic eruption led to B.C. salmon boom: scientist

A volcanic eruption might have helped produce B.C.’s largest sockeye salmon run since 1913.

The 34 million salmon that returned to B.C.’s Fraser River this year were “adolescents” in the Gulf of Alaska when the underwater Kasatochi volcano erupted there in 2008, said Tim Parsons, a research scientist at the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney, B.C.

The ash from that eruption fertilized the ocean, leading to a massive bloom of special phytoplankton called diatoms — an unusually rich source of food for the growing salmon.

Read more:

The funnest thing about this story is that it makes such total sense if you have an understanding of the fundamentals of oceanography. One of the limiting factors in phytoplankton growth in all oceans (where there is sufficient oxygen – O is the ultimate limiting factor with life on earth (except when it’s not)) is iron and other nutrients that are found in great grand quantity in volcanic ash.

Sun on the Water
This way lies the ocean.

Forget Bears

They made some movies about this. I think it involved Val Kilmer in some way…

CTV: Man-eating lions consumed 35 people in 1898

The nightly attacks by two man-eating lions terrified railway workers and brought construction to a halt in one of east Africa’s most notorious onslaughts more than a hundred years ago. But the death toll, scientists now say, wasn’t as high as previously thought.

Over nine months the two voracious hunters claimed 35 lives — no small figure, but much less than some accounts of as many as 135 victims. [more]

Turkey Flu

Great. Now it’s in turkeys. Birds on an Ontario turkey farm have the H1N1 flu, infected by a sick worker. This isn’t the first time H1N1 has jumped to animals on a farm – the same thing happened in Chile in August.

“The only symptom in the affected Ontario flock was a decrease in egg production with no associated illness or mortality. The flock is showing normal feed and water consumption and is expected to fully recover, consistent with other flus that are more common in turkeys,” the company added.

“Influenza is not transmissible from hatching eggs nor through the consumption of turkey meat which continues to be a safe, healthy product.”

Bloggy Victory! plus SNAKES

I’ve moved the blog from a sub directory to the top-level of this domain (where you’re now seeing it). This just goes to prove that the only thing closer to Godliness than cleanliness, is proper documentation.

The daily round-up:
Updated Olympic Transportation Plan unveiled: Road closures, parking restrictions, recommended driving times
Road closures, severe parking and stopping restrictions on Vancouver streets, and recommended travel times will be part of the Olympic experience. The plan requires reducing vehicle traffic by at least 30 per cent in downtown Vancouver, the Lions Gate Bridge and Iron Workers’ Memorial Bridge, the Sea to Sky Highway, and in Whistler.

Youth ‘cannot live’ without web: A survey of 16 to 24 year olds has found that 75% of them feel they “couldn’t live” without the internet. The report, published by online charity YouthNet, also found that four out of five young people used the web to look for advice. About one third added that they felt no need to talk to a person face to face about their problems because of the resources available online.

Complete retirement ‘bad for you’: Giving up work completely on retirement could be bad for your health, US research suggests. The study of 12,189 people found retirees who take on temporary or part-time work have fewer major diseases, and function better day to day. The findings were significant even after considering people’s physical and mental health before retirement.

Report Documents Risks Of Giant Invasive Snakes In The United States: Five giant non-native snake species would pose high risks to the health of ecosystems in the United States should they become established here, according to a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report.

The USGS report details the risks of nine non-native boa, anaconda and python species that are invasive or potentially invasive in the United States. Because all nine species share characteristics associated with greater risks, none was found to be a low ecological risk. Two of these species are documented as reproducing in the wild in South Florida, with population estimates for Burmese pythons in the tens of thousands.