For this week’s Video Lunch, we are going back to school. I grew up near Dover, PA. If you’ve heard of this sleepy little town, it is most likely because of the lawsuit Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. The short version is: school board includes intelligent design (alongside evolution) in the curriculum, ACLU sues claiming that teaching ID violates the establishment clause, tax payers are ordered to pay over a million dollars.
I wanted to talk about the specifics of the case and the arguments for and against including ID in school curricula, but that $1,000,000+ bill just overwhelms me. Keep in mind, that is just what they paid to the plaintiffs and their attorneys; that doesn’t include the substantial bills for their own counsel. Everybody involved should have had enough sense to not take this so far. How could either side justify bankrupting the school district over this issue? Everybody would have been better off (especially the children) if they replaced all the science requirements with episodes of South Park.
South Park even teaches evolution:
For this week’s Video Lunch, we bring you a python that keeps Kosher.
A while ago, Israeli model Orit Fox did a photo shoot with a python. Things took a dramatic turn when the snake decided that he’d had enough of that shit and tried to take a bite out of Fox’s oversized chest. According to some outlets, the snake died of silicone poisoning. Frankly, I don’t believe that part. But the snake totally did bite her on the boob and we have video to prove it. Enjoy!
For this week’s Video Lunch, we bring you a cute little rodent with a side of “oh no!” This video has been floating around the internet and even became popular enough that The Mail Online did an article about it.
I don’t have anything more to say about it except that it could be viewed as an allegory for the perils of freedom and an illustration of the similarities between love and hate.
“If you love it, set it free. If you hate it and want to see it eaten by a hawk, also set it free.”
If you listened to the most recent podcast, you know that a new species of eyeless springtails has been discovered in caves around 6,500 feet (nearly 2 kilometers) below the Earth’s surface. What we didn’t tell you is how springtails got their name or the fact that they are found almost everywhere. We also didn’t tell you that the researchers in the Krubera Cave used cheese as bait to catch them. Now that sounds like a delicious Video Lunch!
When we originally reported the story, we referred to the springtails as insects. We were wrong. (That’s the last time we trust an article from MSNBC.) Springtails do have six legs, but there are a few small differences from insects. Insect abdomens are divided into eleven sections, but springtails have six or fewer abdominal sections. Also, springtails’ mouthparts are internal but insect mouthparts are external (as anybody who has ever been bitten by an ant may have observed if they were not too busy cursing their faces off.)
Also, springtails don’t only live in caves; they live all over the world. Almost everywhere there is decaying plant matter, there are springtails. According to Wikipedia (which is apparently more reliable than MSNBC,) springtails are one of the most numerous of all macroscopic animals, with as many as 100,000 individuals per cubic meter of top soil. So if you know where to find topsoil, moss beds, tufts of grass or woodlands, you should be able to find springtails. But many of them are less than half a millimeter long, so you just have to look REALLY closely.
Oh, and why are they called springtails? Let’s have a look. (And watch for the face-plant at the 1:40 mark.)
For this week’s Video Lunch, we bring you the sunflower starfish, a creature that we mentioned briefly in an earlier podfast. This predatory sea star is over a meter across and would be terrifying if it weren’t so slow. Or perhaps it’s slowness is part of what makes it scary. At any rate, speeding up the film doesn’t make them any scarier since it simply evokes images of Benny Hill. However, the video also shows some pretty intense close-ups of a sea urchin’s disturbing little mouth and it’s five self-sharpening teeth. Seriously, five is a creepy number of teeth to have. Enjoy!