Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King--Conservation Biologist

"There is no human circumstance more tragic than the persisting existence of a harmful condition for which a remedy is readily available. Family planning, to relate population to world resources, is possible, practical, and necessary. Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not yet understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we possess."--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., May 5, 1966.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010--An Assessment

Although only one day has passed, the recent spate of year-end assessments has convinced me that it's never too early to get started on assessing the year.  So, here's my assessment of 2010 so far.

1.  Category One--Archaeopteryx's posting in 2010.  Only one post so far.  Contains some form of the word "assessment" four five six times.  Clearly, this rates a negative score:  -4.

2.  Category Two--Archaeopteryx's meals in 2010.  Breakfast, January 1--Two small banana nut bran muffins, a container of yogurt, one pear.  Score:  -2.  Lunch, January 1--All-you-can-eat buffet at Mazzio's.  Pizza crust was too thick and chewy, accidentally picked up "hamburger" pizza thinking it was sausage, none of the varieties had mushrooms, salad bar mixed greens were wilted.  Score:  -5.  Dinner, January 1--meal at friends' house included grilled andouille sausages (yum!) but also weird, flavorless beef sausages.  Mrs. Friend made unfortunately named "Pea Pie" which contained chorizo sausage, spinach, and mushrooms, as well as otherwise inedible but traditionally required black-eyed peas.  It was delightful.  Mrs. Arch made her always-fantastic potato casserole.  Score:  +8.  Overall food score:  +1.

3.  Category Three--Archaeopteryx's football watching in 2010.  Archaeopteryx's alma mater Auburn prevails in wild overtime victory over Northwestern in the Mazzio's Pizza Bowl.  +5.  However, in the Pea Pie Bowl, Florida, led by Jesus-Loving Crybaby Tim Tebow, stomps Cincinnati, thus vindicating the BCS selection committee and setting back by several years the fight for a college football playoff, and increasing the possibility of having to watch Tebow burst into tears every time whichever NFL team is foolish enough to draft him is walloped by the Colts.   -4, with an extra -3 penalty for the convoluted structure of that last sentence.   Overall football score:  -2.

4.  Category Four--Archaeopteryx's birdwatching in 2010.  A trip to a nearby lake yielded sightings of ring-necked ducks, a pair of hooded mergansers, numerous buffleheads, and a winter-plumage common loon.  Nothing but good here; Score:  +5.

5.  Category Five--Miscellaneous.  Beautiful, but cold, weather allowed some yard work; however two hours of raking leaves caused soreness in recently broken arm.  Playing with new iPod was fun, but cut into valuable internet-time-wasting.  One incident of cat vomit, but this was discovered by Mrs. Arch, who then, according to house rules, had to clean it up.  Score: 0. 

Adding the scores together gives an overall score  So, on balance, 2010 has been, um, balanced.  Perhaps further assesment of the year is warranted.  Check back with me day after tomorrow.