Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The "Talk of The Town" - Further Conversations

Am I the only one that finds myself maddened by these blurbs in the front of the New Yorker? They tend to titillate with amusing bits of information, leaving just enough questions unanswered to send me running to Google. So, here, so you don't have to, is the research I've done on this week's articles.

1.One blurb is about an albino clawed frog housed in the offices of Bloomberg, LP. In it you'll find:

Xenopus (“strange foot”) laevis, native to southern Africa... on occasion, will eat its young; it was the first vertebrate to be cloned and has flown aboard the space shuttle. For decades, it was used to detect pregnancy (a pregnant woman’s urine, injected into a female frog, would induce the frog to lay eggs).
What you will NOT find is an illustrative photo, so here's one now.


The article also does not mention the fact that "the ease of manipulation in amphibian embryos has given them an important place in both historical and modern developmental biology", nor that this frog eats by shoving food into its mouth with its "hands" because, unlike your common fly-catcher, it has no tongue!

Another article is a light-hearted piece about carriage horse drivers. Although it mentioned the recent terrible accident involving a carriage horse and a car, it, like most heartlessly human-centric articles, doesn't even mention what happened to the horse. Well, here's what happened to the horse: it died!

Although my curiosity was piqued by the spotty description of how one becomes a carriage horse driver, it was not satisfied. Alas, I'm having trouble finding more on this on the Web (just how much does a carriage driver make, for instance?).

I will say that I am highly skeptical and concerned about just how humane the practice of exposing horses to cold, long days, heavy weights and NYC traffic can be. However, if you really want about the most twee wedding ever, go ahead and hire that glass Cinderella-style baby.

And finally, if you didn't know the Willis Avenue bridge over the Harlem River was for sale, it is. If you want pictures or more information than you can shake a stick at about the bridge however, don't look at the article. Look here and here.

You're welcome.

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