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on the first day, we had everything we could stand


I saw Stop Making Sense (for the umpteenth time) at the Brattle tonight. All the art school kids thought it was...hilarious. I mean, they were laughing at pretty much everything. It's a great movie, but I never considered it funny.

Also: if you're going to get up to go to the can 4 times during a movie, why not just stay home and watch it?

I'm overdue on writing about the rest of my Florida/racing school vision quest experience, but I wanted to write a quick summary of a talk Deb and I went to on Tuesday afternoon, discussing the role of declining biodiversity in increased rates of infectious disease in humans. Dr. Richard Ostfeld of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in NY, showed that in the case of Lyme disease (caused by Borrelia burgdorferi), the most efficient reservoir host (white footed mouse) happens to be one that tolerates the fragmentation of its habitat and close proximity of humans better than its competitors and predators (foxes, deer, possums, squirrels).

So as forested plots become smaller (due to encroaching development), larger animals, which such favorable hosts for Borrelia disappear in favor of mice, which actually thrive (rather than merely survive) in such circumstances. That means nymphal and adult deer ticks are more likely to feed on an infected host, which in turn makes any given tick more likely to become a carrier, and thus any given deer tick bite of a human is more likely to infect us with Lyme disease. Yikes.

Really fascinating and well-presented (though Deb correctly pointed out that the tone had been brought wayyyy down for the non- and pseudo-scientists in the crowd).

And it's a whole new reason to be mad about the loss of fox habitat.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on 2008-03-13 at 23:23.

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