Wednesday, April 29, 2009

In which I know Nothing about Birds*

*this is a terrible post, the one below it is much better, maybe you should read that instead

Today my mother went to a lecture about Large Flightless Birds. Here are some things she told me when she got home.

Did you know the Dodo was a pigeon? A big fat flightless pigeon? No, me neither. Also penguins were originally over 6ft tall! 6ft tall! No idea how tall they are now but 6ft is pretty big.

More importantly, birds do not have lungs. NO LUNGS HOW DO THEY BREATHE? THROUGH THEIR ARSE LIKE A TURTLE? Well, no. They do have lungs, sort of, but they also have tons of air sacs throughout the body and also some of the air they breathe in goes straight into their bones. I am a little sketchy on the details, but basically it takes birds 2 breaths for air to go right round their system. Also they are descended from dinosaurs but everyone knows that! Breath 1 in: air comes in through beak-mounted nostrils, is taken straight to an air sac. Breath 1 out: same air goes into the 'bird-lungs.' Breath 2 in: new air into air sac, old air into different air sac (and bones?) Breath 2 out: new air goes into the bird-lungs, old air goes out, um, bird mouth? Beak end. Bottom of bill. I know pretty much fuck all about birds, in case you hadn't come to that rather obvious conclusion on your own, but I was interested by the whole birds-don't-have-lungs thing. Got over-excited and asked with some concern if the dog has lungs - if I'd stopped to think about it I would've realised I knew the answer, but I was all panicked by the birds-no-lungs revelation. He does. Thank God. If he didn't have lungs either my entire world would have been turned on its head. Do you have lungs?

Moving away from birds - their flu was so last year - there is swine flu in my city. Not only does this mean that David Bain/Swine Flu situation is even more likely (whee), it also means that if there is a zombie apocalypse we're going to need to be prepared. The old plan (steal boat, live on boat/oil rig, fish) has been supplanted by the much more sophisticated New Plan (steal cruise liner, sail across indian ocean, join Somalian pirates using cruise liner as bargaining tool, shoot zombies with extensive pirate ammo supplies, fish). It is a good plan apart from two What Ifs. 1) What If... there is no cruise liner in port when the zompocalypse comes? Steal the next boat down, I guess. Note to self: in case of zompocalypse, find someone who can drive a boat, or buy manual in advance (when am buying water purifier and small still.) Must also remember which way the Indian Ocean is. Left at Stewart Island? 2) What If...Somalian pirates are zombies by the time we get there? This is pretty unlikely because they seem fairly badass. Is much more likely that they'll think we are zombies & start shooting but hey if that happens it'll be ok, we'll just ram them with our cruise liner (which no-one has prevented us stealing because the armed forces are busy dealing with the zompocalypse & the general populace are doing silly things like holing up in a supermarket.) The New Plan is the Plan of Andrea and I. You're welcome to join - meet us at the Carlton Corner pub when the zompocalypse - I simply cannot use this word enough - befalls us.

EDIT: The Somalian Pirates Cruise Ship idea was Andrea's. I did not give credit where it was due and I am very sorry.

Date on Sunday with NRT, who is fine with me blogging about it* (what a good sport! he's going to regret that) except that he wants a more mysterious alias. Personally I think he should be grateful that I'm blogging about him at all NRT is kind of catchy, but I'd be open to suggestions. The comments field is your oyster.

I realise I did the two-post-in-one-day thing again, but god damn it zombies are important. Birds maybe not so much.

*What he actually said was "I don't mind you blogging about anything to do with me in which we are clothed" :P


Jennifer said...

Turtles breathe through their arses? Really?

Haha Zompocalypse. Do you have a soundtrack planned? Can't fight off zombies without suitably awesome music.

(My word verification is 'cousting' - couch jousting anyone?)

IT IS ALLY said...

Yes! Not all of them, but some turtles do in fact breathe through their butts. It's SCIENCE.

I am currently re-programming my iPod with suitable tunez for the Zompocalyspe - takin' suggestions!

Gary said...

My vote, and I do love to vote, is Maniac by Michael Sembello.

That should be on your Ipod.

During any apocalypse be it zombie or giant penguin, its not only rhythmically appropriate, It puts you in a tally-ho, Hit them from out of the sun, last one back buys the drinks adrenaline boost.

But don’t abuse the power it brings, it is only for emergencies, I mean that, emergencies only.

Baglady said...

[What he actually said was "I don't mind you blogging about anything to do with me in which we are clothed"]

What about when half clothed? DOes that mean you can tell us half of it? Every other word or letter?

amisorm - a Russian word for that feeling when you realise you've missed the last bus/train home.

Anonymous said...
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a cat of impossible colour said...

Hey, I demand to be credited for the zombie-apocalypse-epidemic-pirate idea! I might patent it.

I wonder if when you bend over and your bottom sort of takes a breath it is thinking it has lungs?

Anonymous said...

I can see I'm going to have to provide a long list of qualifications to my statement, hmm.

IT IS ALLY said...

Baglady - brilliant idea! I'll just type every second word and you can figure it out from there. Whee! Also I think I might actually adopt that word verification word and try to pass it off as actual Russian.

Gary - I don't know that song! But I will very shortly, thanks to the powers of youtube.

a cat of impossible colour said...

Also I think NRT should be known as Captain Emo and have a band of black-clad, eyeliner wearing acolytes called the Emoteers.

IT IS ALLY said...

'Anonymous' - I totally saw the bit where you forgot and commented from your regular account.

Andrea - yes! The idea was yours! Sorry. I will edit the post accordingly!

I think maybe my butt has air sacs, like a bird.

Josh said...

Bird's respiration fascinates me as well. They are super-efficient at breathing and absorb oxygen on inhalation and exhalation. Kicks our primitive mammalian lungs that's for sure!

Insects breath through their skin!

Have you ever seen a creature with external gills? Look up axolotl on google image search - it looks like a cute little alien!

I'm probably boring you now aren't I? Oh well. Coffee sometime?

IT IS ALLY said...

Josh - yes coffee sometime! And you can tell me about how insects breathe through their skin!

a cat of impossible colour said...

Aw, wasn't really cross, was just kidding! But thanks. :)