Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Wow, I've been memed,

Thanks Mark for taking me with my first meme. I'm thankful it's a small one. I do wonder how these things start, do they reproduce, recombine, mutate, and evolve? What are the selection pressures acting on a blog meme? Is extinction forever or are they periodically revivified? Will the far right Christian lobby try to prevent meme evolution being taught in favor of meme design? I'm sure somebody studying meme fitness will investigate it one day? This meme has a name - "Animeme". Is it common to name a meme or are they more like the Gary Larson Commic book I have that had an index that was empty for every letter except for the letter 'T' which has all the cartoones indexed under their respective titles "The one about ......."

The meme:

An interesting animal I had
As a boy living on the edge of a National Park in Sydney's north I enjoyed almost daily interaction with the snakes, spiders, goanas, owls and all the other critters that invaded my space much as I was invading theirs. I kept a tank of red crowned toadlets for a few years. When I learned that they were endangered I carried their spawn, which they always created in vast quantities in my fish tank, back out into the bush whenever it rained. I hope I have helped this little species on the brink to hold on for a while longer.

An interesting animal I ate
As a geologist doing exploration work in the remote outback I had the opportunity to do a bush survival course where we mostly learned how to fix a broken 4x4, do remote first aid, fix a broken radio, burn spinafex to get attention, build a shelter and collect some water we did get to try some of the spiders, ants, and delicious Witchetty grubs.
The most memorable bush tucker was a meal around the camp fire prepared by an aboriginal camp hand. Over a few beers and what I thought was an unusually flaky but somewhat tough smoked fish One of the drillers asked him, "Hay cookie - you didn't eat that goanna you were feading at lunch did ya?" "Nah mate", replied the cook, "you eat him now".
On a less exotic note, depending on your perspective, you can roll up to the Australian Hotel, right next to the approach to the Harbor Bridge in Sydney and have kangaroo, emu & crocadile on a pizza - now that's Aussie.

An interesting animal in the museum
That would have to be Ekaltadeta the flesh eating kangaroo but it's a close competition. Check out some of the competitors

An interesting thing I did with or to an animal
I would not could not with a goat, I would not could not in a boat...
If using conodonts to date rocks around Parks doesn't cut it then I think that, when I was working as an environmental scientist and I used nematodes to characterize soil environments in and around one of Australia's most toxic polluted sites that that was pretty interesting. No?

An interesting animal in its natural habitat
Having one of these on you shoe right outside the front door is pretty interesting but I think that the female form of homo sapiens australes in it's native habitat at the beach is more so.

I'm tagging Rowena, andLeesha.


Mark Lawrence said...

conodonts and nematodes? Sure beats snorkeling with animals one can barely see!

I've never had goanna. Were you glad you didn't know what it was before you started eating it?

That was very quick, Steve. Nice one. Or five.

unique_stephen said...

You need a microscope to see both conodonts and nematodes but conodonts look awesome under a SEM.

I would have been happier to have eaten one I had not hand fed.

Anonymous said...

You old interesting bugger you. I love hearing stories like all this, and I live in Australia! (though you wouldn't know it due to my aversion to anyplace resembling natural bushland or nature or hopping things)

unique_stephen said...

Betty - I've never been called an old bugger before. You can't know just how delighted I am by that. I'm trying to work my way up to 'cantankerous old fart' - but that may take a few years yet.

Leesha said...

WHY ME??????
How am i going to top yours???

unique_stephen said...

Surly you've eaten a Weater

Marika said...

Oh dear lord, that photo of the things with fangs has just made me involuntarily retch.

Top of the class to you, good sir, for a great first meme.

Mike Bogle said...

Bugger, this just reminded me that I've been remiss in responding to Mark's animeme :( Must remedy that...