Day 543 – The birds and the bees

Yes, yes. We’re all adults here. We know how this works. Well, apart from the size difference. I mean, I’ve never really understood… ah… never mind. Another time.

But this is a whole different “the birds and the bees” tale.
It doesn’t end up in any sort of procreation – in fact, quite the opposite.

We’re always “beeing” told to look after the honey bees by Big Apiculture. There are news articles, puff pieces and even a film (allegedly featuring some hints of iffy inter-species naughtiness).

It’s superb PR. The cult is hard at work.

They won’t tell you about the dead penguins, though. Oh no.

The absolute buzzy bastards.

The penguins were transported to SANCCOB for post-mortems, and biological samples were sent for disease and toxicology testing. No external injuries were found on the birds, and post-mortems revealed that the penguins suffered multiple bee stings, with many dead bees found at the site of death.
Thus far, the preliminary investigations suggest that the penguins died after being stung by Cape honey bees. A dead penguin was also found on Fish Hoek beach on Saturday, having also sustained multiple bee stings.

There are just 13,000 breeding pairs of these gorgeous, comical, endangered birds left in the entire country, and then some swarm of angry, stripy scumbags knocks off over 3% of the Boulders Beach population in a single, unnecessary hour-long stinging frenzy, ostensibly just for shits and giggles.

Absolute carnage.

You might think that this would be the end of the story, but only if you weren’t aware that penguins are actually rather well-known for two things: waddling and eating fish their absolute lack of forgiveness, and their cold, abiding bloodlust when it comes to avenging their dead brethren.

Who amongst us could forget the great Muizenberg Herring Massacre of 1978?

Exactly.

This now seems almost certain to escalate way beyond a simple local dispute. Already, there are rumours of calls being made by the survivors of this heinous attack to their less monochrome cousins up north, to assist with retaliatory strikes on hives around the Simonstown area. And it seems unlikely to end there, with the prospect of an all-out World War between birds and insects surely very much on the cards, given each sides’ well-recognised aggression towards the other.

Ostriches vs Termites
Chickens taking on Wasps
Pigeons against Beetles

Overall, my money is on the birds. Not so much the penguins – which, while clearly adorable, are also clearly a bit shit at fighting bees (see above) – but overall, the size and maneuverability of the Aves class will surely outdo the sheer numbers of the six-legged warriors, despite their ferocious reputation for organisation and aggression (and killing penguins).

So… are you Team Honey or Team Egg?

Kies jou kant Choose your side wisely, just in case we humans should get dragged into this conflict.

You think the pro-vax/anti-vax thing is getting nasty?
You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Day 538 – Two Top Tunes

Bit busy today, so herewith a bit of music that I’ve been enjoying more than other music I’ve been listening to recently. (Not that that other music was particularly bad – these are just two top tunes).

First off, The War On Drugs title track to their upcoming album, I Don’t Want To Live Here Anymore.

More of the same same. Perfect.

And then this: The Mauritian Badminton Doubles Champion, 1973. Yes, really.

It’s so, so good. And what a title! Look out for Calls To Tiree from earlier in the year, as well.

Definitely echoes of Dry The River (RIP) in there.

Day 537 – Lee Hurst says that I’m a moron

Oh dear.

[clutches pearls]

But then again, Lee Hurst says that Lee Hurst is a comedian.

And he describes vaccination as [clutches pearls again] the “death lottery”:

So maybe we shouldn’t actually care what he thinks.

I really can’t be insulted by someone when I have zero respect for any of their opinions.

Day 534 – Oh no, too late!

Argh! Now they tell me!

Seems legit. But then some thoughts…

  1. “It will alter your DNA once they insert the microchip”? Surely just avoid them inserting the microchip then. Simples.
  2. I’m popping a reminder into Google calendar for two years time so I can review the accuracy of his predictions.
  3. People like this would almost certainly benefit from having their DNA altered.
  4. This new era of US/SA relations in the fields of biomedical science, technology and biomedical technology science is to be welcomed, mostly because they’ve got shedloads of money and it will really annoy the EFF.
  5. They walk amongst us.

But perhaps most worryingly of all, I’m double-vaxxed and I typed this whole post just by thinking it.

#BuyMicrosoft

Day 530 – Swiss cheese has holes because of Proprionibacterium, obviously.

Other 6000 miles… Cheese posts

2011: Andile Lungisa threatens us all
2017: Incoming from Jesse Miller (features a terrible Cheese rap)
2019: Posh cheese at a ridiculous price

But. On with today’s cheesy offering.

Long story short, Mrs 6000 bought some Swiss cheese from a cheese shop near Hermanus and it was full of holes. The kids wanted to know why.

Obviously, this was an Emmentaller cheese – the traditional one with the holes. Emmentaller isn’t like Champagne (which, if you think about it, is also full of (very small) holes), in that to be Emmetaller cheese, it doesn’t actually have to be made in Emmental. So although it’s not Swiss, it’s still street-legal holey cheese.
But why? Well, it’s thanks to a Proprionibacterium – this one:

Propionibacterium freudenrichii subspecies shermanii

Easy for you to say.

Like many other cheeses, Swiss cheese is made with cow’s milk and contains bacteria that help convert the milk into a solid.

So why does Swiss cheese have holes? Also called “eyes,” they’re so essential to Swiss cheese that when they’re missing, the cheesemakers say the batch is “blind.”

Under the specific conditions that Swiss cheese is made, the P. shermanii produce a gas: carbon dioxide.

Because Swiss cheese is made at a warm temperature – around 70 degrees Fahrenheit – the cheese is soft and malleable. So as the bacteria grow, the gases they emit end up creating round openings. 

But when a bubble has formed inside a hunk of warm cheese – and then that cheese is cooled to around 40°F – the hole stays in place. The cheese now has its eyes.

Unless you’re in the cheese industry, or you’ve only heard of Proprionibacterium from what you’ve read above, then Proprionibacterium is best known for causing acne.

But don’t let that put you off your cheese.

________

P.S. Yes, beagle-eyed reader, you’re right. I had to do a quick renumbering of posts from the last couple of weeks after I saw that today was day 530 of lockdown on a TV screen in a Radiology Department Waiting Room (more on that another time). I’d done two 513s.
This sort of thing happens. It’s rectified. It’s all ok.