Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Eagle, Er, Blue Crane Has Landed - Etosha National Park, Namibia


The Blue Crane (Anthropoides paradisea), Etosha.

Birds R cool. Yes, you heard it here. In terms of biodiversity, they wack the number of mammalian species in the Park.

There are approximately 280 species of birds found in Etosha. Few are more majestic or graceful than the Blue Crane. Adults grow to a height of 100 to 120 cm and up to 6.2 kg in mass.

I like that crane's bulbous head...

Unfortunately, the numbers of Blue Cranes is dwindling. The ICUN Red List classifies the species as vulnerable, meaning eventual extinction if mitigating factors such as habitat destructions aren't dealt with.

The Blue Crane population in the Park is around 70 breeding individuals.

As we were watching these cranes, I couldn't believe cars were whizzing by without stopping for a look...

Blue Crane Factoid of the Day...

The Blue Crane is the National Bird of South Africa.

The Eagle Has Landed...

If you know me, and most of my loyal readers do, you know that I'm a NASA-outer space exploration-astronomy junkie.

Well, this week marks the 40th Anniversary of Neil Armstrong stepping onto the surface of the Moon.

If you missed this inspirational moment back in 1969, surf to We Choose the Moon, a really neat website that is "replaying" the events that transpired in "real time", complete with the original soundtrack of the mission. If you're into twitter, the website will send you "tweets" to keep you up-to-date with mission happenings.

As of writing, the crew is 90 hr. 18 min and 15 sec from landing on the moon.

NASA has posted new digitally enhanced Apollo footage on it's site. The footage is crystal clear, as if it was filmed in a Hollywood sound stage just yesterday. Oops. Forget about that last comment.

If you haven't signed it out of the local public library, or rented it, make sure you watch the documentary In the Shadow of the Moon.

Or, else.

I guarantee it will make you cry like a little baby...

I did.

Finally, as a tribute to both the moon landing and Michael Jackson, I leave you with this link.

MJ, I know you're up there somewhere...doing the eternal moonwalk with the rest of us...

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