Dolphins are our mammal cousins that got tired of the land and evolved back into the sea. They’re generally pretty cool and/or cheeky and quite intelligent. Hence it is appalling to hear that around 50 dolphins were massacred in the Kalpitiya area, apparently with dynamite. In the video above you can see dolphins in Brazil actually helping fishermen by herding fish and communicating. Around Kalpitiya dolphins are quite happy to swim with passing boats because they’re not scared of us. And they shouldn’t be. What a terrible and senseless thing.
Archive for the 'Nature' Category
There’s been this ship stuck off the coast of Panadura for the past four years, for legal reasons (Daily Mirror). I remember thinking that this was a bad idea and I remember people complaining about it. Now it’s sunk, releasing 70 metric tons of crude oil into the ocean. Gossip Lanka has the best photos. This is insane.
This video by Isabella Rossellini shows the trauma of bed bug sex. Sri Lanka’s been talking about the horrors of rape, and Reddit’s had accounts from actual rapists. This is one example of how things could be worse. Bed bug males mate not by connecting genitals but by stabbing the female with their penis, inserting sperm via the bloodstream. This is called traumatic insemination. I’m not making a point here, it’s just weird.
Sri Lankan researchers have identified a new genus of fish and named it Dawkinsia, after scientists Richard Dawkins. Richard Dawkins visited Sri Lanka this year, speaking at the Galle Literary Festival. This freshwater fish is being branched off the existing Puntius species. I feel like I’ve eaten this fish but probably not.
The blog Dance In A Triangle has been covering the deforestation of Wijerama Mawatha well. All the trees are now gone. While roads need to be expanded, one should ask what roads need to be expanded, and what can be preserved. Destroying these proud old trees is really a shame, and may not be the best investment for future generations.
A lot of people have been talking about the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development. I have been finding it hard to care, or even quite understand. AFAIK, Rio+20 is at least partly an attempt to implement what nations agreed on 20 years ago. And never quite did. That said Rio+20 has made some strides, including allocating 175 billion USD for public transit. However, our reporter on the ground Amantha Perera is now quoting the head of Greenpeace saying “Within the context of lack of specific commitments with appropriate resources, we declare the outcome as an epic failure” (IPS).
I don’t know exactly what this means. Can Sri Lanka get a few mill for public transit? Cause we need it. Everybody needs it. Here’s a quote from intrepid reporter Amantha Perera, from Rio – “Experts here say that Rio’s summit-related traffic woes are yet another example of decades of planning that prioritised cars over efficient public transport networks” (IPS). So basically, not only is traffic bad in the world, it’s bad at the conference where they’re debating this issue.
I’ve been boycotting pants for the past few months. They’re oppressing me. Colombo is too damn hot. Seriously, you step out of the shower and you’re in a bath of sweat within 20 minutes. Walk for a mile and your shirt is soaked. Wearing jeans these days makes me want to go all Kony 2012 through the streets. It’s rough out there, tempered only by the evening rains, and it’s simply too hot for northern attire.
Cool. Soon there will be 15 hydrogen-powered ‘green’ trishaws plying the Galle Fort (where trishaws are currently banned, apparently, though I’ve seen them there). This is funded by UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Dev) and I’m assuming the trishaws are Mahindra HyAlfas, which have previously debuted in Delhi. This is only a test in Sri Lanka, but a damn cool one.
This is a guest post by my mother about the five planets currently visible in the night sky. This is a rare moment where most of the solar system is visible to the naked eye. I’ve seen Mars blazing away as well. There are some more details at earthsky.org. These are my mothers comments on the scene: