Newt Gingrich is currently the leading anybody-but-Romney choice of far-right Republican extremists.
At first it was Donald Trump who held this position.
Then Michelle Bachmann.
Then Rick Perry.
Then Herman Cain.
And now, as mentioned above, it is Mr. Gingrich’s turn.
This all reminds me of the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.
At the La Brea Tar Pits back in Ice Age times, a creature would fall in the sticky tar and start to sink.
Another creature would see this vulnerability and leap in expecting an easy meal.
That predatory beast would sink as well.
They are all leaping in—One after another after another.
If Governor Romney is nominated by Republicans , how will he be able to withstand the pressures within his party to govern from the extreme right? Mr. Romney rarely score above 25% in polls. What will he have to do to win over a voter base that will support anybody at all to avoid backing Mr. Romney? Already Mr. Romney has gone back on his own health care plan from Massachusetts.
(At the top of the post—A 1921 illustration of the Tar Pits by Charles R. Knight. A Giant Sloth has been trapped in the pit while foolish snarling Sabre Tooth Tigers think they are going to get fed. Above are some California Condors who can maybe –blissfully unaware of how rough a future they are going to have— swoop down for some sinking flesh. )
(Below–Elephants–of one kind or another–have been lured into a pit of no return for many years. Here is a post I wrote in 2009 about a big fossil find at the Tar Pits and about if the DNA of Ice Age beasts should be used to someday bring them back.)
A big find of ice age fossils has been discovered in Los Angeles. These fossils are near the La Brea Tar Pit.
( Above–Los Angeles!)
(Above–Bubbly La Brea Tar Pit. )
“Workers excavating an underground garage on the site of an old May Co. parking structure in Los Angeles’ Hancock Park got more than just a couple hundred new parking spaces. They found the largest known cache of fossils from the last ice age, an assemblage that has flabbergasted paleontologists.”
Below is a LA Times photo of the fossil dig–
Can these Ice Age beasts be brought back to life with DNA? If they could be brought back to life, maybe they could be taught tricks and be shown off at some type of Ice Age World theme park.
According the magazine New Scientist the following things will be needed to bring an extinct ice age beast back to life—
* Well-preserved DNA.
* Several billion DNA building blocks.
* A suitable surrogate species
* Some seriously advanced technology.
(Here is the full New Scientist article on this subject. This magazine is available on many newsstands and for online subscription. Nothing is free in the end.)
From the New Scientist article, here are the steps that need to be taken to bring back an extinct animal—
1. Extract the DNA from your extinct species, sequence the fragments and assemble to obtain a complete genome.
2. Now take your DNA building blocks and recreate the DNA of your extinct beast, in the correct number of chromosomes.
3. Package the chromosomes up into an artificial nucleus and pop it in an egg collected from your suitable surrogate species. This should then develop into an embryo, which will be a clone of a long-dead animal.
4. Grow a baby animal from the embryo. For mammals, implant the embryo in the womb of a compatible surrogate mother. For a reptile or bird, incubate embryo using yet-to-be-developed techniques. For an amphibian or fish where fertilisation takes place outside the body, just sit back and watch.
It is not certain to me that these creatures should be brought back to existence even if possible.
First, there is the prospect that they could come back as some sort of vampire creatures if raised from the dead.
It’s possible these creatures would harbor an “Ice Age Pox” that would wipe out half our population.
Also, these revived beasts would be seen as nothing but freaks. Theme parks and zoos would bid for them and they would become no more than modern day Shamus.
I say let these creatures rest.
(Below–Irish Elk skeleton.)
I was flipping channels tonight and came across CNN.
The listing at the bottom of my screen said CNN would be broadcasting Mississippi primary coverage for two hours.
I wondered what they could possibly say about the Mississippi primary for two hours.
Barack Obama was near-certain to win, it was the only primary today and Mississippi is a small state.
Of course, I knew they had nothing of any note to say.
I watched for 15 minutes. Those are 15 minutes I won’t get back.
Flash–Obama wins as expected and Governor Spitzer likes hookers.
Coverage of any House or Senate races? Maybe a Governor’s race? Coverage of relevant issues?
I can’t imagine it is six weeks to the Pennsylvania primary.
What will the cable news networks talk about for six weeks?
Daily political coverage is like the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.
Sometimes the ice-age beasts would just fall in and sink away.
That was me just flipping channels tonight.
Other times a vicious predator would see a creature that had fallen in and pounce in expectation of a meal.
That’s when you think you’ll find something interesting, but its the same old long-winded junk.
I’m not a reflexive media-basher.
But this coverage, especially on the cable news networks, is endless and a waste of your time.
Even for the newspapers, which for the most part do try to do a good job and do try to be fair, something new in the Obama–Clinton–McCain triangle does not happen every day.
If you don’t already, read the international pages of the paper!
At bottom is a picture of the political coverage bubbling up from below and trying to lure you in.
Resist it with a book or by talking to people you care about.
Don’t fall in—at least not every day.