Yesterday’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is a cool multiple exposure time lapse of the retrograde motion of Mars. Check it out.
So I got into a discussion last night about bird flu. The topic was sparked by yesterday’s conference about island pandemic preparedness that featured the Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Richard Carmona.
The basic gist of it was how Guam is a migratory stop off for Asiatic birds. The transiting birds, infected with avian flu, pass it along to the myriad feral chickens on the island. Those chickens in turn pass it to the scores of fighting gamecocks ensconced around the island. The rooster handlers live in close proximity to the birds and the jump to humans will occur there, with 100% fatality.
Huh. That’s an interesting chain of events. Can’t say I’ve ever seen flocks of migratory birds on Guam though.
PS – I know what the H5N1 in H5N1 avian flu stands for. Do you? Here’s a hint; the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918 was H1N1 influenza virus.
Last Thursday was the birthday of Spanish painter Joan Miró (okay Catalan, not Spanish) and Google decided to honor his birthday with a custom Google logo. This did not go over well with the family of Miró, and they demanded the internet search company take down the image. The family alleged copyright infringement with the logo, and while Google did not believe it was a copyright violation, they agreed to the family’s wishes and removed the offending logo.
I wouldn’t be a good blogger if I didn’t slap it up here myself, and I will, but I won’t show it on the page. Click here to see the offending image.
I don’t think it’s a copyright violation either. Fair use. Besides, it’s not like Joan Miró is on everybody’s lips, they ought to be thanking Google for the honor and the boost in art sales this will cause.
One final bit about Miró; he was apparently great friends with Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Ape and a longtime British TV personality. I never knew that, just like I never knew Morris is an accomplished painter in his own right, whose surrealist paintings sell for thousands in auctions. The Naked Ape was one of the critical books I read in high school. Once you got past all the titillating parts about sexual behavior, it really prompted me to study anthropology in college. And while I didn’t take the path through life that I expected, I still retain my love of anthropology and art.