Archive for October, 2010

Ursa Majority

October 29, 2010

Not so long ago, Lunghu was lamenting the sad fate of Comrade Wolf, whose population has been rapidly diminishing in Finland.   Well, bad news gets worse:   Comrade Bear is teetering on the ropes as well.   Not so very far away from Finland, in the Komi Region of the Russian Federation (that’s Komi with one ‘m’ for those of you unfamiliar with the Roman alphabet), starving bears are exhuming human corpses in a desperate struggle to maintain their requisite pre-hibernation caloric intake.  Russia’s hottest summer on record  –as well as those vast forest fires that never actually occurred–  has severely limited the availability of fish, mushrooms and berries on which bears usually depend for survival.

 

So, in addition to the 40,000+ Russian humans who are believed to have perished during the season of heat and fire, untold thousands of bears appear doomed to follow.   Not good news for the creature revered as “master of the forest” and “considered to be the embodiment of justice on earth” by generations of Siberian natives.

Related News:

RF President Vladimir Putin received unwanted attention yesterday in Kiev when he appeared at a meeting with Ukrainian officials while sporting what appeared to be a black eye.   Although the Eastern European press speculated about the possibility of plastic surgery or a no-holds-barred judo match, no one has yet determined whether a certain Lyudmila Shkrebneva was recently treated and released from a Russian hospital for injuries including contused knuckles and lacerated fingers.

 

 

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Back in the USSR

October 19, 2010

When Lunghu was in Grozny three weeks ago, the moon was waning along with the final stages of the pre-operational phase.   Lunghu doesn’t know whose skin he was walkin’ in during those dreamy autumn nights, but he’s pretty sure the guy is nowhere near Chechnya right now.   Maybe back in Arizona …

Knocked for a Loup

October 16, 2010

It’s sad to see the inexorable decline of Comrade Wolf:  not only is he doing poorly in the United States and its slowly dwindling sphere of influence, but news from Finland indicates that he’s no longer thriving in the boreal forest that has been his ancestral home.

Any mammalian biologist worth her salt lick will probably tell you that this has a lot to do with the shrinking size of reindeer herds in the White Sea littoral, but it’s certainly not encouraging to learn that wolves are no longer migrating from Russia to the west.   I guess Nokia just isn’t hiring these days.

The Bad News:

The size of the Kainuu wolf population was estimated at 29–37 animals, a decrease of about 50% compared with the previous year.

The Good News:

The population size of the lynx was estimated at 140–190 individuals, including 23–31 litters. This estimation is over 40% higher than the 2007 estimate.

Related News:

Mountain hare populations have declined in most of Finland.  The normal population cycles seem to remain only in the game management districts of Lappi, Oulu, Kainuu and Keski-Suomi.  In all other areas the population has significantly decreased (mean 42%) from 1989–1993 to 2003–2007 …  Mortality rate of hares was highest and reproduction rate rather high in a declining population.  Therefore the high mortality rate seems to be responsible for the decline in hare numbers.

Takeaway Lesson:

Comrade Wolf needs an increase in populations of docile reindeer and timid hares in order to prosper.  That doesn’t seem to be happening in Finland, or in the United States either.


Hi & Dry

October 13, 2010

Here’s a hearty hip-hip shoutout to my peeps on Diego Garcia:  if you know the significance of this-day-in-history, you’ll be ramping up the PM on your desalination plant.   Nuff said, nome sane?

Weather or not

October 6, 2010

Back at the beginning of September, Lunghu was rash enough to remark within the earshot of witnesses that he expected a cool, wet autumn (rainy, showery, foggy) to follow the hot, dry summer experienced in his region of North America.   Lunghu didn’t write anything in his blog at the time, because he doesn’t really enjoy rainy weather and didn’t want to jinx anything.

Oh, well.  It’s just a couple of months until that cold-but-not-particularly-snowy winter season that Lunghu is predicting for 2010-2011 (sorta like what we had for 2008-2009, but even colder).

Eeey!! Abre los ojos!

October 3, 2010

When Lunghu remarked a six weeks ago that “armed rebellion counts as a democratic expression of the People’s Will,” his intention was to be ironic, sarcastic, and acerbic rather than prescriptive.   Let’s not forget that he was using Kyrgyzstan as an example of Russian-style democracy in action, not pointing out a timeless model of the political form itself.

Therefore, Quito’s recent Golpe de Canteros should not, in Lunghu’s eyes, be considered as anything other than an all-too-traditional armed intervention inspired by entrenched economic interests.   With a little help from their friends.

Comenza la busca por los delantales enlodados y las llanas sucias.