Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Giant Panda

Officially speaking, there's no such thing as a panda.  The animal that you were certainly picturing when I blew your mind just then is actually known as the "giant panda."  Giant?  Really?  I mean, granted... they're pretty big.  It would take a few minutes and some clever packing to squeeze one into your carry-on, but "giant" may be a bit of an over-sell for a bear that tops out at between 200 and 250 pounds.  That weight range may qualify something to be a giant chipmunk, a giant toad, or a giant bacon cheeseburger, but we're talking about a bear here.  For the sake of comparison, the Kodiak bear can weigh up to 1,500 pounds, and that's just the basic, non-giant Kodiak.  I feel like we're potentially disappointing zoo-goers and cheapening the word "giant" with this misleading terminology.  It's troubling.

I did a little research into the matter and learned that the term "giant panda" is meant to distinguish this bear from the completely non-related red panda.  Non-related?  Why did we use the word "panda" for two non-related animals?  Was every other possible word already taken?  Because I just Googled "shormshoo" and nothing came up.  It's not being used for anything.  And there are hundreds of other words just like it that, though stupid, could easily be attached to something like a reddish, raccoon-sized thing or a not-so-giant bear.  Non-related animals should have non-related names.

I don't mean to suggest that we should start randomly changing the established names of existing animals.  That would get confusing.  Obviously the better solution is to force the world's entire populations of giant pandas and red pandas into a coliseum-style battle to the death... the winning species becoming the sole heir of the coveted title of "panda."  If you're the gambling type, you would be wise to bet against the little red raccoons, because these bears are freaking giants!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Evolution's Next Step

You may have noticed that my blog has been fairly dormant for quite some time.  Perhaps you assumed that I had given up on blogging or that some grudge-holding killer whale had murdered me in my sleep, but no… I’m still here.  I’ve actually been working on something that ended up taking a lot more time than you’d think it would:  evolution.

It all began with a simple question:  What would happen if a bear was bred with a shark?  Great white bear?  Grizzly shark?  In a perfect world, one of those would certainly be the result, but trying to get a bear and a shark to breed posed a set of problems I wasn’t prepared to deal with and led to the deaths of at least seven unpaid, entry-level interns.

I recently came to the life-altering realization that breeding two animals together causes you to effectively forfeit half of each animal.  How do you know which elements of which animal your final product will exhibit?  I could end up with a grizzly shark that only has a single row of flesh-tearing teeth or a great white bear without its signature, flesh-tearing claws?  Why lose elements of each animal when you could just tape the two of them together and keep all parts of both?  It's simple, common sense!  And as long as we’re taping animals together, why stop at just a bear and a shark?

This new, advanced creature I’m developing is not completely free of problems.  For instance, how does it get around?  Does it swim?  Does it fly?  If it’s going to fly, I’m going to need to tape a penguin to it… and also tape the penguin to some kind of flying bird.  This creature is going to happen, though, and when it does, you’ll remember that you heard about it here first!  And YOU can be a part of it!  I’m currently hiring interns… no experience or expectations of payment necessary.