It's not that we Earthlings are being coy about our nature. We have enough
communication satellites and spy satellites and weapon satellites that space aliens who
stop by to check on us can tell that we are social, suspicious, and touchy.
Well, we are also full of soul.
NASA has a new e-book that has brought together 25 years of satellite photos, showing that
we give the solar system a little more brightness during our holidays.
The link below shows major US cities looking 20 to 50 percent brighter (actually, the brightness is greater in
the suburbs), and the e-book shows some Middle Eastern cities looking brighter during Ramadan.
For those of us who will be in space this spring, Ramadan in 2020 will be April 24 to May 23.
So, while you are perched precariously on a rickety ladder with half-frozen fingers, stringing those lights,
think of the REALLY BIG picture...and that you aren't doing it just to impress the neighbors. You MAY be in the
running for a Solar System prize.
The link below shows actual photos. Spoiler alert: the pix of the Pacific Northwest look dark. Probably due to cloud
Speaking of appearances, why are zebras striped?
Using logic, we can ixnay a few theories.
NOT to confuse predators. A zebra herd simply REEKS
of Your Basic Zebra. Your Basic Predator is not that stupid.
NOT to regulate temperatures. Any pollster hanging out on Rodeo
Drive will see that the Privileged Shopping Class wearing zebra stripes
looks just as warm, or cold, as the meter readers and UPS delivery people.
NOT for camouflage. These are grassland, savannah, and woodlands diners.
If the stripes were greenish, or tan, or in the yellow-brown band, okay. But they aren't.
NOT for social interaction. Zebras recently produced a rare SPOTTED
baby. (Link below.) It has not been shunned.
Zebras do migrate—a route of about 155 miles. To better sources of
water. It is, perhaps, a way of keeping an eye on their loved ones as
the migrating herd spreads out.
But scientists from UC Davis have discovered that zebras
in areas that host LOTS of biting flies tend to have more
stripes. Apparently this uber-striping offends the artistic sensibilities of
flies that bite. Perhaps the flies know that the blood of a
VERY striped zebra is not as tasty as the blood of a MODESTLY
You know-- the old adage... “Everything in the front window, nothing in the storeroom.”