Check this out: some good news, for a change. The British Virgin Islands Art Reef project just sunk an 80-foot steel kraken hugging a rusted out WWII-era fuel ship into the Caribbean. Its creators anticipate this badass marriage of art and conservation will encourage new coral ecosystem growth, attracting a myriad of sea creatures, researchers, and eco-tourists. And I, for one, would obviously visit there in a hot minute. Look at how cool this is! And then check out the very short film about the project at the bottom of Colossal’s post, here. (Photographs by Owen Buggy.)
It’s Valentine’s Day again. I got something for you.
No kisses. No chocolates. No flowers this year. Just a few of my other favorite things: poetry, animal trivia, and science. Really, they make the best gifts.
Offering #1: A fabulous poem by Tony Hoagland.
Rose read it at our wedding because, on principle, I’m always in favor of squeezing talk of penguin vomit and peacock butts into a formal occasion.
Romantic Moment By Tony Hoagland
After the nature documentary we walk down,
into the plaza of art galleries and high end clothing stores
where the mock orange is fragrant in the summer night
and the smooth adobe walls glow fleshlike in the dark.
It is just our second date, and we sit down on a rock,
holding hands, not looking at each other,
and if I were a bull penguin right now I would lean over and vomit softly into the mouth of my beloved
and if I were a peacock I’d flex my gluteal muscles to
erect and spread the quills of my cinemax tail.
If she were a female walkingstick bug she might
insert her hypodermic proboscis delicately into my neck
and inject me with a rich hormonal sedative
before attaching her egg sac to my thoracic undercarriage,
and if I were a young chimpanzee I would break off a nearby tree limb
and smash all the windows in the plaza jewelry stores.
And if she was a Brazilian leopard frog she would wrap her impressive
tongue three times around my right thigh and
pummel me lightly against the surface of our pond and I would know her feelings were sincere.
Instead we sit awhile in silence, until
she remarks that in the relative context of tortoises and iguanas,
human males seem to be actually rather expressive.
And I say that female crocodiles really don’t receive
enough credit for their gentleness.
Then she suggests that it is time for us to go
to get some ice cream cones and eat them.
Offering #2: A trifecta of Valentine-related scripts I wrote for SciShow this week. Here I bestow upon you the science of pheromones and love brain, and offer a gentle reminder that no matter how bad your dating scene might be, you are still 100 times better off than a poor lady bed bug.
The first of what will likely be over fifty installments in our newest Crash Course series on Anatomy and Physiology — all doled out week by week, for free, all year, bursting with facts, figures, and witty animation.
Check it out and learn a thing of two about your body and yourself!