The Water’s Full of Sharks!

Holy moly, the water’s full of sharks! I mean chock-full. I don’t think I’ll go swimming in the ocean anymore.

The good news is, the sharks mostly mind their own business and the people don’t even know they’re there. The bad news is “mostly.”

This video is a little long (11 minutes), but it’s something I haven’t seen before (not often, I mean) and I thought you might find it fascinating… in an edgy sort of way.

The Disappearing Toad

I’ve always liked toads; they have a lot of personality and make pretty good pets. Here’s a toad demonstrating one of the secret techniques of Toad-Jitsu–burying himself in sand to elude a predator.

The biggest, fattest toad I ever saw was camped out under the electric bug zapper by night at the Sea Spray Motel, Beach Haven–snapping up every bug that fell onto the shuffleboard court. Did he have it made, or what?

The second-biggest were the ones in Aunt Louise’s garden: “hoptoads,” she called them. Something about her garden really drew the toads. Well, she was an awfully nice lady. Toads pick up on that.

‘Jurassic World: Dominion’… Three Cheers!

30+ Jurassic World: Dominion HD Wallpapers and Backgrounds

Well, we love this movie! Really, all you have to do is provide a lot of realistic dinosaurs, and not go overboard with the human characters, and you’re home free. Dominion does all that and a bit more. I’m already looking forward to the next one! (Dinosaurs break loose, descend on Davos, gobble up the self-anointed elites right down to the last Rolex…)

Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum are back in their original roles–and I do enjoy listening to Ian Malcolm (Goldblum) philosophize. In between chase scenes, he has the best lines in the script. I admit they probably could have done with shorter or fewer chase scenes. Or else let the dinos catch up to famous liberals and eat them. Stand up and cheer: like when the T. rex devours the sleazy lawyer in the first movie.

The theme of the story is the same Jurassic Park theme that’s been up there for us all long: scientific hubris kills. This time out we have a Big Science screw-up that threatens to wipe out human life altogether. Gee… does that sound kind of familiar? The difference between the movie and real life is that in the movie it’s Big Tech that’s going to make us extinct, and in real life it’s “gain of function” research perpetrated by Big Government. Although there’s so much overlap between the two, the distinction may not be as important as I thought.

There are a great many “quotes” from other dinosaur movies; which, if you are into dinosaur movies (like I am!), you’ll have a lot of fun spotting. Movies like The Valley of Gwangi, The Land Unknown, the original Jurassic Park, King Kong–see how many you can spot.

So many dinosaur discoveries are being made today that it’s difficult to keep up. I recognized most of the dinosaurs in Dominion, but not all of then. Every now and then I had a “What the hell was that?” moment. But that’s a small criticism.

You knew I’d dig this movie, didn’t you?

Zoo Wants Your Cardboard Boxes

Roger Williams Park Zoo asks for cardboard boxes for big cats | WJAR

A snow leopard (I think) delves into his fascinating cardboard box.

The Roger Williams Park Zoo, in Rhode Island, is reaching out in the social media for cardboard boxes.

No, it’s not for eccentric human beings. It’s for the big cats ( It turns out lions and tigers and panthers like cardboard boxes just as much as our domestic kitties do.They can turn ’em into confetti pretty quick, though, so they’ll need a steady supply of cardboard boxes.

I wonder if jaguars like squeaky-toys.

Mr. Nature: Do Fish Sleep?

Curious Kids: how do fish sleep?

“How the dickens should I know?” growls an irritable Mr. Nature. He’s been working on this blog, too, and it has made him cranky. In a few minutes he calms down.

The answer to the question is, “Well, they sort of sleep, but not like we do.” That is, they rest. They might find a cranny in a coral reef, or an old tin can, and hole up there for a while–where they can breathe more slowly and not have to exert themselves. The hard part of being a fish is there’s always something or someone trying to eat you. So just floating around or lying on the bottom fast asleep is a pretty sure way to wind up out of the saga.

Watch your goldfish carefully and see if they have down time. That’s them sleeping. Sort of.

‘A Mystery: Fiji Island Iguanas’ (2017)

Image result for fiji island iguana

You can’t get much farther away from the Caribbean than Fiji Island in the South Pacific. Like, they’re only separated by the widest ocean in the world.

So how does Fiji wind up with two iguana species?

A Mystery: Fiji Island Iguanas

These lizards have gotten kind of rare, so the Fiji government protects them.

You’d think there’d be some iguanas living on islands between Central America and Fiji, but no one’s ever seen any.

Just another mystery of Creation.

‘Another Mystery of God’s Creation’ (2015)

Some of us have heard “lake guns” and some of us haven’t. You might not know you’ve heard them: they might easily be mistaken for thunder or something else.

Another Mystery of God’s Creation

You don’t hear them at every body of water and you don’t hear them all the time. We simply don’t know what makes these sounds. Patty and I used to hear them occasionally on Barnegat Bay–always on extremely calm days.

They do sound like cannon-fire, sometimes.

Take That, Bugs!

I love the little American anoles, often called “chameleons,” which they’re not. They don’t have the magic tongues. They’ve got to sneak up on insects and quickly grab ’em before the bug can assess the danger.

All it takes is keen eyesight, patience, and superb muscular coordination.

Note: I passed up video of a savannah monitor lizard eating a rattlesnake. I had a savannah monitor once and I wouldn’t dream of feeding her rattlesnakes.

The best lizards to feed are iguanas. They can eat whatever you’re having for supper. Polish off a bowl of raspberries in seconds flat.

I wonder how many anoles you’d need to patrol your house and keep it bug-free.

What Are ‘the Heavens’?

How Many Galaxies Can You Count in This Picture? - The Atlantic

(Those are galaxies, folks–each one consisting of countless stars.)

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. (Psalm 19: 1-2)

Is the universe just a bunch of nothing? Atoms bumping into other atoms to form molecules, molecules bumping into molecules, no rhyme nor reason to any of it, no active creation involved… “Life,” as we call it, being an illusion.

We teach that in our schools every day. We preach it on TV. We call it Science.

But what if it’s wrong?

God is a Person, and He made us in His image. That’s why we are persons, too. But He also made everything else. Everything in the universe, all the work of His hands.

What if it’s not random? What if the presumed emptiness of “space” only looks that way to us because of our many limitations–and our Science-based presuppositions? What if what we think we “see” is only there because we don’t know how to see? Any stage magician can demonstrate that.

When we view “space” through our newest telescopes, it doesn’t look empty at all. In fact, it looks kind of crowded. The vast emptiness of interstellar space only seems like vast emptiness because we’re so small.

Surely God had a purpose for creating all of it. We don’t know what His purpose was in sowing the heavens with stars, planets, and galaxies. He hasn’t told us. We can never see it as He sees it.

Shouldn’t we stand in awe, reflecting on the Person whose work this is?

And He sent His Son… to us. Here on earth, to us. To win salvation and eternal life–for us.

Christ and all those galaxies go together.

Someday we’ll know how. When we’re wiser.

God’s Stuff: The Goldfinch

203 Female And Male Goldfinch Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images  - iStock

Our state bird of New Jersey, the goldfinch, isn’t seen too often. But when I looked out my upstairs window at the start of this day, there they were–a pair of them, visiting the sunflowers next door. The male’s bright yellow plumage immediately caught my eye.

It can’t be a bad day when it starts like this!

No, I didn’t take it as an omen or a sign: just a welcome display of God’s creation. Thank you for that, Lord. It was much appreciated.