Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fish! Superheroes! Superherofish!

There are some kinds of news stories that appear with almost clockwork regularity. "Scores dead in Iraq," sadly, is a daily occurrence. "Famous female exposes self" happens every month or so, usually coupled with tasteful reportage and grainy paparazzi photos with superimposed "oopsies" stars over nipples. "(Insert celebrity here) mates with (insert celebrity here)" is a perennial favorite, followed by the inevitable "Check out these famous humanoid offspring!" photos in US Weekly. You can count on news about how rich people store their money, one of myriad slightly pudgy tyrants spewing invective, and some story claiming I'm fat or you're fat or our children are fat and, by the end, you just throw away that hamburger you're eating and cry for an hour.

I hate all those stories. I know Iraq is bad looking worse. I know celebrities have genitals. I know I shouldn't be eating this croissant. The only story we get constantly that I truly enjoy is "Scientists discover new species of (whathaveyou)." I love those. I like reading about how whatever they've found is barely different than this other kind of cactus or how the jaw bone of the dinosaur they've uncovered is slightly more angular than that of an Apatosaurus, so some scientist, hitherto shrouded in obscurity, gets to trumpet some new find and, best of all, gets to name it for posterity. Take that, Britney Spears's crotch.

Which brings us to Batfish. Nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nah-nah-nah-nah, Batfish!





Pablo Lehmann, I salute you. I salute that you discovered a new catfish and, noticing that there's a black smudge on its tail that looks vaguely like the Bat logo, named your discovery "Otocinclus batmani." Anytime you try and Latinize a superhero name, you're alright by me. Next up: Equus Caballus Mister Fantasticus. At least you'd hope so.

-----------------------------------------------------------
You think there's a website where they compile these new species? I hope there is. I'd go there. Daily. Hourly. I mean, when faced with the horrible sadness of war stories and the risible sadness of celebrities, I'll take a brand new plant any day of the week. Let's go find one.

13 comments:

blue-tongued skink said...

There IS such a website! Or at least a section of one, devoted to new species news. Look: http://www.sciencedaily.com/news/plants_animals/new_species/

birdmonster said...

Ask and ye shall receive. Thank you immensely blue-tongued skink. I have a new homepage.

Katie L. Thompson said...

Thanks, dude! I'm totally hanging the batman fish article up at work; the kids will big that.

birdmonster said...

If kids don't like a fish named Batman, I don't think I can go on living in a world like that.

Sabrina said...

creepy little fish..

I can't believe people actually get paid to find these new species. I think I have the wrong job?
& some people say there are no jobs out there...

elvette said...

Also on the wacky news circuit today,
Momofuku Ando, the inventor of ramen is dead. A moment, please.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/09/opinion/09tue3.html

birdmonster said...

Sabrina: You should become an archeologist. Added bonuses: cool hats, understood relationship with Indiana Jones, lots of dinosaurs.

Elvette: He touched so many of us. Probably the best thing I learned all day. Why thank you.

Sabrina said...

yes cool hats and khaki shorts with lots of pockets, hiking, the smell of sun sweat! If this current job falls through I'm there.

Sabrina said...

It's Tuesday...
& the winners are??????????

Peter V said...

Years ago, REM used to do secret small venue shows in random places, using code names like "Stump Monkey." Only the innermost core of fans would know the code name.

Someday, Birdmonster should do secret shows under the name "Batfish."

Sabrina said...

if this happens can we dress in theme, and use our spam names?

Anonymous said...

the batman fish is called an otocinclus. it eats algae/plant matter and comes from central/south america.
-mr. science rocks the ice age baby

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