Commentary meme science

Monday/Memeday: Mormon Crickets


A week from now, we’ll be hitting Utah.  If you’ve never seen Mormon Crickets, this is going to blow your mind. They’re big, they swarm, and when the get smashed on the road it gets worse because they’re cannibals, and the more that die and get mushed on the highway,


the more of these bad boys that gather to feast on the smashed corpses of their comrades. When we were last in Utah, we crossed patches so slippery with dead bugs that the car skated on the highway, like one expects to experience in snow.  If you’re traveling, make sure to work a car washing into your schedule.

Commentary science

Introducing the “Demon Hell-Chicken O’Saurus”

TvyamNb-BivtNwpvn7Sct0VFDulyAfA9wBcU0gVHVnqC5ghpxwCm4toNBf-29LtGiGU28bF0u4Gjkzw752cSometimes I post stuff just because I can, and there’s no way I’m not posting this.  Some paleontologists recently announced the discovery of a new type of Big_BIrddinosaur they’ve affectionately titled “the chicken from hell.”  Well, not so much a discovery but more a new perspective on a species they’ve know about for a while. Described as a feathered, 7-foot tall monster that looks “like a cross between a reptile and an emu,” its official name is “Anzu wyliei” but those crazy scientists are sticking with “chicken from hell” as the colloquial.  I have to admit–there’s something familiar about this bad boy, something I just can’t put my finger on.  Hmmmm…what can it be?

Okay, not all that funny, right.  I’m not lying about this feathery titan, however.  It’s the real damn deal.  They’ve got bones and everything, in this little museum right down the road from us called, er, The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, which is fairly awesome, by the way–plan your vacation now–it’s connected to the Carnegie Museum of Art and there’s a great noodle shop half a block up the street.

chicken-hellBut I digress.  This giant bird thing is (was) real, and it’s totally badass (notice my penchant for fitting that word into every blog entry I write?*).  Like Kevin Costner, it was known to stalk the plains,particularly the Dakotas, back when they were swampy and humid.

I’m unabashedly in love with this beast–it’s that cool, but the big brain guys down in Pittsburgh need to shrug off this foreign-sounding “Anzu wyliei” stuff and give it a good, old-fashioned tradtional hyperbolic name–working forward on the “chicken from hell” theme I’m going to go with Demon Hell-Chicken O’Saurus.  Has a ring to it, don’t you think?

*I am not-so-quietly advocating for the acceptance of this word in the connected, non-hyphenated form:  not “bad ass” or “bad-ass,” just badass.  It can be both a noun or adjective, but “badassed” is also an acceptable adjective form.  The act of being a continual badass is “badassery,” and trough habitual–and preferably unintentional, un-self-conscious badassery one may eventually reach that heightened state of being known as “badassness.”