You think YOUR weather report sucks?

Weekend forecast for Australia

New South Wales residents should also be on alert for funnel web spiders, according to Australia’s Reptile Park, which issued a warning that the wet weather conditions and warm temperatures create “perfect conditions” for the deadly spiders to breed and “thrive” in gardens and homes in Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast.

Meanwhile, in Western Australia, the weather bureau issued a catastrophic fire warning for the state’s interior state on Thursday, while the risk level in the East Pilbara was extreme…

…Jake Meney, a reptiles and spider keeper at the Australian Reptile Park, said cool, damp places including laundry, clothes and shoes will attract funnel web spiders…

Meney also encouraged anyone who can safely catch a funnel web spider to donate it to the reptile park, so it can be milked and antivenom produced ahead of a summer of warm and wet weather – conditions which draw male funnel webs out in search of a mate to breed with…

The impact of La Niña on Australia’s wildlife is also being considered by shark experts, as they look to explain predatory behaviour that has seen more Australians killed in unprovoked shark attacks this year than in any year since 1934.

And please, please, keep your eyes open for irukandji jellyfish and eastern brown snakes.

Thanks, Honeyman.

“Our Father” knows best

[William] Barr’s path into the apparatus of the state is one on which he followed his father’s footsteps. Donald had worked at the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor of the Central Intelligence Agency. While William was still a student at Columbia, where his father had also enjoyed a distinguished career as a teacher and administrator, he worked as a summer intern at the CIA and in 1973, took up his first full-time job there as an analyst.

That same year Donald Barr published an atrocious science fiction novel called Space Relations and dedicated it to his wife as a token of “thirty years’ love.” It is a probe launched from conservative, white, male America into the strange inner worlds of its own psyche in the Nixon years. As literature, it is excruciating. But it deals in a usefully unguarded way with themes that bear heavily on William Barr’s present position as Trump’s most formidable enabler: the legacy of slavery, Catholic sexual dogma, the proper response to revolt from below…

…Space Relations is really a thinly disguised plantation novel in which (Planet} Kossar serves as the Old South. Readers are being pointed in the direction of some allegory of American history…”

“The literary sins of the father—especially ones as grave as Space Relations—should not be visited on the son. There is, however, a very strong connection between Donald Barr’s hard-line Catholicism and William Barr’s present position as the main (perhaps the sole) intellectual buttress of Trump’s presidency. That connection lies in the idea of authority.”

And so it goes…

The Age of Microevolution is now…

A new study published in the Journal of Anatomy found that humans are increasingly being born without wisdom teeth. Researchers also found that the median artery in the forearm, which used to form in the womb but disappear after birth, is sticking around more often after birth. These changes are showing up far more often than typical human evolution would suggest — and indicates that the human race may be evolving faster than it has at any point in the last 250 years.

“This is what we call ‘microevolution of modern humans,’” said Dr. Teghan Lucas, a professor at the College of Medicine and Public Health at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, who worked on the study. Lucas, along with University of Adelaide professors Maciej Henneberg and Dr. Jaliya Kumaratilake, found that as human faces have gotten shorter, our mouths have consequently become smaller — thus, less room for wisdom teeth. Humankind’s increased ability to chew food, along with the rise in processed foods, also seems to have accelerated this evolutionary trait.

The article moves on to note other anatomical features that would have been classed as uncommon just a few centuries ago. That, my friends, is the blink of an eye in classic evolutionary time.