Man Without Qualities

Monday, October 03, 2005

March Of The Puffins!

March of the Penguins has kicked up a surprising amount of political snow with the New York Times honking and squealing at itself in unison across the supposedly inviolate news/opinion membrane to lament the embrace of this movie by some conservatives for its supposedly family friendly, pro-life messages. Conservatives have pointed out penguin hypocrisy of the left. Battle is joined!

Well, whatever side of this new cold bird war one is on, there is the issue of penguin monogamy. Or, rather, the lack of it - or much of it, anyway. The fact is that after all those unspeakably cute mating rituals and rearing of the young depicted in the movie, most penguin parents go their own separate ways after just one mating season. Emperors are the most unfaithful of all penguins: 78 percent of mating pairs go their separate ways after only one year! After that, its back to the singles bar on whatever ice floe comes by for next year's mate. This is a model for traditional marriage? We need a better bird! The problem is, all those conservatives have been looking in the wrong hemisphere!

Have I got a cold climate bird for social conservatives on the look out for incredibly cute cold water fowl that come with a fine moral message attached: Not penguins - Puffins!

Puffins actually have similar coloring, and most of the cute features, of penguins. But puffins can also fly 48 to 55 mph (77 to 88 km/hr). The puffin beats its wings rapidly to achieve this speed reaching up to 400 beats a minute. The wings can move so fast that they become a blur, giving a flying puffin the appearance of a black and white football. How cute is that?!

Like their antipodal analogs, puffins lay 1 egg per year. But, unlike socially flighty penguins, puffins usually keep the same mate every season and use the same burrow as in previous years! And the male and female share the duties of incubating the egg and rearing the chick.

Puffins, I tell you. Puffins.

The jewish order of books in the old testament
Then God called to Adam and said, "Where art thou?" Before this, Adam and Eve had been happy when God was near, now they were afraid. Why? Because they knew they had done wrong. So sin makes us afraid of God.
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