I am reading a book on Buddhism.
In light of that, I had to go out and learn some things today. I mean… I HAD to. Just to get my brain back down to the sidewalk. I learned some good things today. Random-Facty kinds of things.
So I will just jump into it. Randomly.
The first fact astounded me:
The oldest recorded wild American Crow was at least 16 years and 4 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during a banding operation in New York. Amazing. But get this. A captive crow in New York lived to be 59 years old. NOW… that is one tough old bird. Fifty Nine. I love Crows.
Chipmunks are basically tiny squirrels that have adapted to burrowing. We watched a little Chippy this morning. Most every morning really. But here is the other deal of this factoid. Other members of the squirrel family include woodchucks, prairie dogs, various ground squirrels and, of course, tree squirrels. North America is home to 21 chipmunk species. Who knew.
Alvin and the Chipmunks are now 53 years old. Wild chipmunks, on average, live two to three years; captive specimens have lasted eight. Apparently…. Old crows can outlive chipmunks, including Alvin, Theodore, and Simon. By a lot.
Sea Otters are not in the squirrel family. They look like swimming squirrels… but they are not. They are weasels.
Fatty weasels. They are the heaviest members of that weasel family. Sea otters are also the second smallest marine mammals. I am not sure who is number one.
Most marine mammals have a layer of blubber to help them keep warm. Sea Otters don’t. Instead, they have the densest fur in the animal kingdom, ranging from 250,000 to a million hairs per square inch, which insulates them. Swimming weasels live about 15-20 years.
But seriously. Sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don’t drift away from each other. Good thing. It accounts for the longer life span, I think.
AND. As I mentioned…. I’m reading a book on Buddhism. It says a lot of different things. Some of the concepts I can get my head around, and then there are others which are too great for me to comprehend.
Like. There is no birth and there is no death. That one, has been hard for me to understand. So I had to ground myself with life expectancy facts, I guess. You know… It is kind of like watching Pokemon Movies with a four year old all day long. When you get home at night, you have to watch all the Godfather Movies, back to back.
But back to the book. Here is the most troubling part. For me, at least. If there is no birth and no death…
- Do I have to give back all my birthday presents.
- Where is my Dad?
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. H. P. Lovecraft
There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception. Aldous Huxley
We have found a strange footprint on the shores of the unknown. Arthur Eddington