If Blanche Devereaux were a bird: 62-year-old Albatross has a baby

The Washington Post had a report yesterday that a 62-year-old Albatross on Midway Atoll produced a healthy chick that hatched a few days ago.

Wisdom’s feat makes her the oldest known bird to reproduce, beating the more aptly-named Grandma, who unfortunately hasn’t been seen in a few years and is presumed dead. Wisdom’s feat has all sorts of implications not only for scientists’ knowledge of the Albatross, but also provide new insights on the health of the oceans.

One interesting tidbit from the article reveals that Wisdom is a bit of a cougar who may also enjoy dancing. Per the Washington Post:

Albatrosses mate for life, suggesting that Wisdom probably had to find a new, younger mate maybe twice down the line. They work at a relationship, first by getting their groove on. “They dance together,” said Chandler Robbins, a retired senior scientist at USGS.

Although my vacation to Midway last summer was cancelled, stories like this make me even more determined to find a way to eventually make it there.

Hell, if a bird can have offspring at age 62, surely I can find a way to Midway.


Seating the non-states at the GOP Convention

A recently-published map of the convention floor provided by Politico shows that the non-states have snagged some precious real estate at the Republican National Convention this week.

(click for larger) Continue reading

The Northwest Ordinance…in space?

With the GOP Presidential Primaries behind us and the candidates no longer courting votes from the US Territories in their quest for the nomination, the issue of statehood will probably disappear again from the campaign trail for another four years.

That is, unless, Mitt Romney bucks common sense and for some reason selects former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as his running mate.

You may remember that Gingrich made headlines when the primaries were in full swing for some remarks he made on statehood. It wasn’t his comments on Puerto Rico that grabbed headlines—that honor went to Rick Santorum who falsely claimed that the territory would have to adopt English (and only English) as its official language for Statehood to be a legal possibility.

Instead, Gingrich made headlines for his grandiose plan to colonize the moon and then admit Earth’s celestial cousin to the Union as the 51st state. Continue reading

You didn’t build that – Midway Atoll edition

Well there must be a presidential election on this summer, because the media has been sensationalizing something other than shark attacks and missing white women.

Political Washington has spun itself dizzy in the last few weeks over some clumsy remarks that President Obama made in July on the role that government plays in supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses.

In a campaign event in Virginia, Obama remarked that government and the American people “helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed [small busineses] to thrive.” Pointing to the existence of roads, bridges, and even the Internet, Obama proclaimed that “If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Republicans have seized on the remarks by launching the “you didn’t build that” campaign meme, along with adds featuring American business icons like Henry Ford and Steve Jobs. Continue reading