June 14th, 2006

Annoyances of introduced species

As my kiwi friends know all too well, introduced species can be a huge problem for an established ecology. While my current moan isn't anything on the scale of the thousands of tonnes of vegetation the possums in NZ eat every day, it's an issue that will probably soon affect many Londoners.

I've mentioned south-west London's ever growing parrot (well, to be precise, ring-necked parakeet) population many times before, but this year, after a couple of good breeding seasons they've become a regular feature of our local skies. I'm pretty sure there's at least one pair nesting in the trees across the railway cutting behind the house. They've adapted really well to the climate and to the habitat; too well, perhaps, considering that their numbers are rising at over 30% per year...

And now they've become part of the dawn chorus.

Which would be fine, if (a) the dawn chorus didn't start at 4.30am, and (b) the parrots weren't at least as twice as loud as everything else out there.

I'm still fondest of the theory that the're all descended from Jimi Hendrix's pets, released after his death. Of course it's not true, but it's still a nice story...

Ill in bed reading

One thing about spending a couple of days ill in bed, you get plenty of time to read stuff, in this case another six books (with a couple more well under way)...

As usual, this is an export from Readerware, with my usual star rating - from * (thrown at the wall), to ***** (why haven't you read this one yet?).

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Strange Realisations...

...from some of my recent travels.



JAL Cargo 747s are mostly unpainted. Now, I know there are good economic reasons for this, in terms of increased fuel economy, and reduced air conditioning requirements, but...

...is it just that they're shiny because they'll be full of shiny high-value high-tech toys?

Perhaps they really should plaster them in blue LEDs as well...