Skepchick Quickies 7.3

On July 3, 1844, the last pair of Great Auks were killed and the bird species is now presumed to be extinct. The birds had been dying off, but then a small colony was discovered. Unfortunately, museums took this opportunity to kill off the colony so that they could mount specimens for display. Seriously, some jerk killed off the last pair of birds and stomped on the egg they were incubating. What the, I don’t even know!

BONUS: Gifs of babies experiencing things for the first time! Awww! (From Heina). Also, for fans of Gaiman, SANDMAN IS COMING BACK.



Mary Brock works as an Immunology scientist by day and takes care of a pink-loving princess child by night. She likes cloudy days, crafting, cooking, and Fall weather in New England.

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  1. Scavenger hunts are fun…too bad this one had to involve Goldman Sachs.

    I think this would be an awesome event as well: The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen (GISHWHES) http://gishwhes.com/ hosted by Misha Collins of the tv show Supernatural.

  2. Well, at least they used it to raise money for charity. Also, I totally did not understand that sample puzzle that was posted.

    1. It took me a while, but if you press the buttons on a phone keypad according to the letters of the words within each 9×9 grid, you will be pressing the squares that you would gray out. 1 is always blacked out.

  3. I don’t know about “arrived” but Houston is far more diverse than any place I’ve ever visited, with the exception of Washington DC. Many cultures /are/ represented here (which is part of the reason we have something like one restaurant for every thousand people and huge festivals year round.) The University of Houston draws quite a few students from out of the States as well. We definitely have very large — I don’t know — culturally distinct areas? though.

    I didn’t check to see which areas were included in the breakdown of population, but white rich people have moved to the very outskirts (Fulshear, Conroe, out beyond Clear Lake, etc.) of Houston and just commute into the city limits for work. We do have a few districts with questionable boundaries, if anyone wants to know….

    1. I had culture shock when we moved from Houston out here north of everything (Montgomery county). It’s like another country. I love the woods and the roads and the privacy of our semi-rural neighborhood, but holy fuck I learned to avoid the people. It’s a shame. You never know when your kid’s teacher or one of their friend’s parents are going to go off on a rant about ‘obamacare’ or ‘baby killers’ or ‘stupid liberals’ or the ‘homosexual agenda’ or start with the pointed questions and comments about Jesus.

  4. I wish I hadn’t seen that picture of the Great Auk. What a character! I wanted to hug him. That story of how that guy murdered the last one ever in this world literally had me in tears. The poor thing didn’t even make a noise My little grandson adores penguins and his favorite thing is to feed them at the zoo. Fuck this stupid world.

    1. I remember some years back Milton Friedman wrote a letter to The Times on the subject of whaling. His argument being that there was no need for anti-whaling treaties as the free market would ensure that whales survived if people wanted them around.

      It was at that point that I realized that the UK had been run for almost three years according to the economic policies of a crank.

      Talking of which, the WSJ had an editorial the other day suggesting that the Egyptians would be lucky if someone like Pinochet would take over. Pinochet being the military dictator and mass murderer that Milton Friedman worked for.

  5. I have a feeling that a Galactic Civilisation, if it ever encountered us, might judge us rather harshly for our cruel and wanton extermination of other species. Especially if, by a coincidence of convergent evolution, some members of that Civilisation were birdlike or whalelike.

    As you know, Australia right now is challenging the Japanese in the International Court at The Hague regarding the legality of their bogus “scientific whaling”. It will be interesting to see how that goes. I am glad that the international community disagrees with Friedman, preferring the rule of Law to protect a threatened (and sentient!) species.

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