A Few Things That Captured My Interest
GAUHATI, India – A killer elephant named after
Osama bin Laden by fearful villagers was killed by sharpshooters, officials said Sunday. The animal was blamed for 14 deaths in the northeastern state of Assam.
…..In the past five years, more than 250 people have been killed in Assam by elephants, while angry villagers killed 268 elephants during the same period, officials said.
“Professor,” I asked, cautiously, “are we looking for some particular manuscript?”
He didn’t answer right away. Eventually he said, seemingly to himself, “Oh anything. There is one thing … but, no, anything.”
“One thing?” I pressed.
He finally looked back at me. “Well, I have some rough evidence that the 98th book of Havel Havalim is supposed to be in this area. But perhaps that’s all part of this seemingly elaborate joke!”
“Havel Havalim? What’s that?” asked Julie, saving me from having to do so.”
“Dr. Christopher J. Raxworthy, the associate curator of herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History, says the liver, lungs and kidneys of a centenarian turtle are virtually indistinguishable from those of its teenage counterpart, a Ponce de Leonic quality that has inspired investigators to begin examining the turtle genome for novel longevity genes.
â€œTurtles donâ€™t really die of old age,â€ Dr. Raxworthy said. In fact, if turtles didnâ€™t get eaten, crushed by an automobile or fall prey to a disease, he said, they might just live indefinitely.
Turtles have the power to almost stop the ticking of their personal clock. â€œTheir heart isnâ€™t necessarily stimulated by nerves, and it doesnâ€™t need to beat constantly,â€ said Dr. George Zug, curator of herpetology at the Smithsonian Institution. â€œThey can turn it on and off essentially at will.â€
Slow and steady wins the race.