Sunday, February 14, 2010

Weird Bird News

How convenient for my blogs that this week in “News of the Weird,” by columnist Chuck Shepherd, there should be a story about ”bugs” and a story about birds. The headline “Slut Birds” was enough to start me laughing before I read another word:

”A team of researchers led by a University of Connecticut professor, writing recently in the ornithology journal The Auk, declared the local saltmarsh sparrow to be America’s most promiscuous bird, in that 95 percent of the females hook up with more than one male during a mating season. The likelihood that any two chicks in a nest had the same father was only 23 percent, and in one-third of the nests, all chicks had different fathers. The researchers hypothesized that the frequent flooding of Connecticut’s marshes destroys so many nests that non-choosy females have gained an evolutionary advantage. (A wren in Australia and a parrot in Madagascar are said to be comparably promiscuous.)

Hm-m-m, I wonder what excuses the slut wren and parrot were using, since "flooded nests” is already taken.

Actually, I don’t know if thatstory is as weird as the one I saw tonight on 60 Minutes that included a story on Arlan Galbraith, former president of Pigeon King, International. Galbraith touted the future of pigeon farming, claiming that pigeons would replace chickens in our collective poultry diet. He was persuasive enough to get plenty of investors and farmers on board in Canada and the United States, before “fear mongers” brought PKI to bankruptcy in June, 2008. Those “fear mongers” were people like David J. Thornton of CrimeBustersNow who saw through the charade and revealed PKI for the Ponzi scheme it truly was.

It never ceases to amaze me how gullible people can be or, on the other hand, how incredibly convincing con artists can be. Maybe folks should have gotten a clue from the PKI headquarters being in Waterloo (Ontario), or that Galbraith was targeting the Amish in particular. Well, until my credit union is exposed as a con game, that is where all my “investments” will be.

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