It’s a tricky subject. What do you think?

Recently, I listened to a series of five TED talks regarding de-extinction. Here are some interesting tidbits that I picked up.

The biotechnology exists to bring back extinct species, such as the Passenger Pigeon, by using the DNA of these creatures that can be found in museum samples, and splicing them with the more intact genes of similar, still living animals. This technology is being improved upon with each passing day.

Now, the question is, even if we can de-extinct an animal, should we? We need to think long and hard about this. There are several factors to consider.

First of all, if we are going to recreate a creature, we need to be sure that the habitat it needs to survive still exists. Given our penchant for taking over and spreading our parking lots as far as the eye can see, the answer could very well be no. There’s no point in recreating a species if it then has no way to survive.

Another question is, will these reintroduced animals overwhelm plants and animals that are currently thriving on this planet? We need to keep in mind that there may be unintended consequences. We’ve all seen what non-native species can do to a landscape. If something has been gone for centuries, and other animals have stepped into their ecological niche, are these extinct animals really native anymore?

Third, what came first, the chicken or the egg? If you de-extinct a Passenger Pigeon, for example, it will have no parents to teach it how to behave like a Passenger Pigeon. The current thinking on this is that we’d introduce the chicks to similar birds in hopes that they’ll teach them what they need to know. But of course, there are no guarantees.

I have mixed emotions about de-extinction. I think nature has a way of taking care of itself. So, for example, I don’t think we should reintroduce the Woolly Mammoth. It experienced a natural extinction long before you or I came along. The last thing we need is the equivalent of a Jurassic Park.

But on the other hand, there are plenty of animals that are extinct simply due to the callousness of Man. For example, if we didn’t kill Passenger Pigeons by the millions, simply because they were the most easily obtainable source of protein at the time, those birds would still exist.

If we are capable of repairing the damage that we caused in the first place, shouldn’t we do so? It’s a tricky subject. What do you think?


Like this quirky little blog? Then You’ll love my book!



True Facts about Ze Frank

Every now and then I can’t sleep, and rather than toss and turn and get frustrated as the clock ticks past 4 a.m., I log on to Youtube and watch videos by Ze Frank. Not that they put me to sleep, mind you. Far from it. They make me laugh hysterically and forget whatever I had been mind-grinding about in the first place. If I’m going to lose sleep, I may as well do it with a smile on my face.

If you spend any time on Facebook, you probably have encountered the work of Mr. Frank without even realizing it. He’s the president of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, which produces hilarious viral videos.

The first Ze Frank video I ever saw was Sad Dog Diary. How can you not love a dog that says “Dear Diary, it’s not so much that I miss my testicles. I know it’s a rite of passage in our pack, and I’m sure that my dearest human has had his removed as well, but when that one bulldog comes to the dog park and parades his testicles around, I can’t help but notice how Ginger looks at them. I love Ginger. To be fair, I will admit he has a fine smelling butt hole.”

From there I moved on to his True Facts series. True facts about the Octopus. True Facts about the Armadillo, and so on. These are not only a laugh riot, but they actually teach you some really fascinating things about nature. I’ll never look at a duck again without remembering that the males have a long, corkscrew-shaped penis, for example, or that the cuttlefish is color blind despite the fact that it can change colors for camouflage, or that the mantis has five eyes. Ze, if you read this, I hope you’ll make True Facts about the Coelacanth some day. I think it would be epic.

He also has a website that I’ve only briefly explored, and can tell it will result in hours of smiles. In addition, he’s given some of the most entertaining TED talks I’ve ever seen. This is a man with talent and humor and a great deal of heart. And dimples. I’m a sucker for dimples.

And if you’re ever feeling sad, just listen to his song, Chillout, which he created with the help of total strangers from all over the world. I dare you not to feel comforted.

If I’m introducing you to Ze Frank for the first time, then I’ve given you quite a gift. Remember that, next time my birthday rolls around. You forgot it this time. I was crushed.

ze Frank
Ze Frank. [Image credit]

Thirsty for Knowledge?

My God, why isn’t everybody doing this? There are lectures out there by experts, on every subject in the known universe, and they’re FREE. They’re called TED talks, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. And I’ve yet to come across one that wasn’t a pleasure to watch.

Who needs higher education? You can learn everything you need to know while playing FreeCell on your laptop. When I think of how people have sacrificed everything for education, how knowledge is, theoretically, power, and how money is so often the impediment to advancement, I want to scream TEEEEEED!

I’ll be watching you. I’ll know if you’ve clicked through to the link above. So what’s it going to be? Ignorance or enlightenment? Come on, people! Join me as I sip from the font of all human erudition!


This is what you get when you type “font” into Google Images, thus proving that Google is NOT the font of all knowledge.