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Old 2009-01-16, 11:09   #1
cheesehead
 
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"Richard B. Woods"
Aug 2002
Wisconsin USA

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Default Once in a while, strange meetings occur ...

So, this afternoon, I'm clicking on a link to an article about that plane crash in the Hudson River ... then one click leads to another and ...

I'm reading about "snarge" (http://www.wired.com/science/discove.../2005/09/68937) ... and eventually

http://infamyorpraise.blogspot.com/2...ay-snarge.html

"Infamy or Praise: Word of the Day: Snarge"

Quote:
It's a new one for me, at least. As Wired explains, "Bird Plus Plane Equals Snarge":
Each day, the Smithsonian Institution's Feather Identification Laboratory receives about a dozen packages from around the country, each containing tissue swabs from bird/plane collisions.

The lab's scientists have dubbed this bloody goo "snarge," and it is usually all that is left when bird meets plane. Scientists are analyzing snarge DNA to track airplane bird strikes, with the hope of decreasing hazardous collisions.

"It's bird ick," said Smithsonian snarge expert Carla Dove, who heads the lab. Technicians identify the snarge DNA using sequencing technology, then enter the sequences into a national database. Scientists can then tell what kinds of birds are commonly smashing into America's airplanes, something of intense interest to both the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. military.
A bird-strike expert named "Dove" heads the Feather Identification Laboratory? I suppose some of us are just destined for a particular occupation.

The article also contains these bonus factoids:
  • "Jet engines must now be able to withstand the ingestion of an 8-pound waterfowl without failing (this is tested in the lab by firing a chicken from a cannon at point-blank range)."
  • "'We've had frogs, turtles, snakes. We had a cat once that was struck at some high altitude,' said the Smithsonian's Dove. She says birds like hawks and herons will occasionally drop their quarries into oncoming planes. 'The other day we had a bird strike. We sent the sample to the DNA lab and it came back as rabbit. How do you explain to the FAA that we had a rabbit strike at 1,800 feet?'"
A cat, hunh? See, Fluffy? -- You shouldn't chase hawks or herons.

Later . . .

I'm searching back through Ernst's "Global Financial Crisis" thread for something-or-other, and stumble upon

http://www.mersenneforum.org/showpos...&postcount=782

Quote:
...

Moron-of-the-Week Award: For a change of pace this week, I decided to award the coveted MotWee to someone not deeply involved in the global financial crisis:

Wasting Enough Rice to Feed 184 Million Is Worldwide Habit Only Rats Love: Inside his northern Philippines granary, Marlon Ventura stirs gray zinc phosphide into a bowl of boiled rice, making a garlicky, toxic meal for rats.

Quote:

He puts the bowl on a dirt floor dotted with grain spilled from vermin-gnawed sacks. Each year, rats steal or foul almost three-quarters of a metric ton (1,654 pounds) of his rice. The cost -- 12,240 pesos ($250) -- equals 7.8 percent of his farm’s net income.

“I’m frustrated because we’ve not got any support from the government,” says Ventura, 28, who farms with his three brothers and spends 900 pesos a month on rat bait. “When you have very little money, every grain you can save matters.”

My Comment: Dude, ever thought of getting a couple of cats? Or do you need a government subsidy for that, as well? Dumbass.
... to which xilman replied

http://www.mersenneforum.org/showpos...&postcount=783

Quote:
Perhaps he has thought about getting a couple of cats but rejected the idea. Perhaps he has a couple of cats but the rats are causing damage despite their attentions.

In some areas cats don't live long because they're prey for larger predators.
No kidding.

Quote:
In some areas, it's better practice to encourage snakes rather than cats. There are doubtless many other considerations.
... but high-altitude snake snarge probably looks a lot like high-altitude cat snarge.
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Old 2009-01-16, 16:31   #2
ewmayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
... but high-altitude snake snarge probably looks a lot like high-altitude cat snarge.
I dispute that - the former goop would have snakeskin and scales admixed, whereas the latter would have fur, claws and ther occasional nametag saying "Mittens" or "Fluffy" or "PussPuss".

Now the potentially very confusing scenario would be if a large snake ingested a cat and was subsequently caught by a large raptor, taken to altitude and then dropped into the path of an oncoming plane. Perhaps the cat - before its demise - might have ingested a small fowl, and perhaps also a mouse or rat. The bird, before having been eaten by dear PussPuss, might have eaten a frog, which in turn had just finished feasting on a banquet of insects. Perhaps the bird carrying the snake dropped it because another member of its own species was trying to wrest it away - perhaps one of the two competing raptors, having won the prize but not yet steadied its flight, got sucked into the engine along with its booty - a fowl end, indeed. The potential for a blob of snarge representing the entire food chain clearly exists. I wager even CSI's Gil Grissom would be sorely tested by such a case.

As to our beloved moronic Filipino poison-spreader ... a small initial investment in a shotgun would take care of the occasional ambitious raptor. I knew a fellow in Alaska once, a grizzled old Vietnam vet who lived by himself in a trailer in the backwoods and made a modest living by breeding wolf-husky mixes for use as sled dogs. Well, bald eagles are plentiful (and not at all endangered in the local-population sense) in Alaska, and the young pups were often preyed upon by the baldies. So once one of the local eagles developed a taste for wolf-husky-pup meat, he'd have little choice but to shoot the bird - at that point the letter of the law was trumped by his need to not have his livelihood threatened.

As to the precise brand of shotgun our buddy Marlon should invest in? I defer to my buddy Ash on that point:
Quote:
Alright you Primitive Screwheads, listen up! You see this? This... is my boomstick! The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That's right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about a hundred and nine, ninety five. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2009-01-16 at 16:41
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Old 2009-01-16, 16:38   #3
Mini-Geek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
on a banquet of insects.
...some of which were, in fact, mosquitoes full of the blood of people and animals (and dinosaurs) who had eaten much more, continuing the food chain.
There could be DNA of hundreds of different creatures in that snarge just from the insects!

Last fiddled with by Mini-Geek on 2009-01-16 at 16:40
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Old 2009-01-16, 17:04   #4
cheesehead
 
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"Richard B. Woods"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
... but high-altitude snake snarge probably looks a lot like high-altitude cat snarge.
I dispute that - the former < snip >
I meant: ... to the untrained eye, at first glance.

Remember, they may both look like just an icky smear, with no identifying scales, feathers, etc. to the naked eye.
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Old 2009-01-16, 17:06   #5
cheesehead
 
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"Richard B. Woods"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mini-Geek View Post
There could be DNA of hundreds of different creatures in that snarge just from the insects!
Try explaining to the FAA that your plane had a Noah's Ark strike ...

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2009-01-16 at 17:08
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