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Peruvian Walking Whale, 4/9/19, “Peruvian Walking Whale” [Excerpts]: A recent journal article published by Current Biology, features the discovery of a fossil (MUSM 3580) touted as a “walking whale,” in the Pisco Basin, located in the desert of the southern coast of Peru, South America.

The paper mentions that the newly-discovered Peregocetus [“traveling whale”] was a quadruped and the fossil reconstruction shows hips that are attached to its vertebral column. It has been interpreted as a semi-aquatic mammal, like an otter or a beaver. 

The paper also astutely mentions that the animal was fully capable of walking on land and had hooves. But of course, the researchers have to interpret the skeleton as being that of a walking whale.

Despite admitting that Peregocetus had hooves, the paper then goes on to affirm that they likely consider it to have webbed fore and hind-paws. This seems an unlikely anatomical pairing—there are no living hooved, yet web-footed semi-aquatic mammals.

While this is not an entirely implausible still is a tentative hypothesis, and all the more so since the animal was hooved.... Despite all the hoopla, we don’t have a walking whale here. What we have is a terrestrial or semi-aquatic mammal that has gone extinct probably during or at the end of the ice age.


Baby Boomers and Their ‘Buddy’ Children

IntellectualTakeout, 4/22/19, “Baby Boomers and Their ‘Buddy’ Children” [Excerpts]: Baby boomers love the idea of being best buddies with their kids. The Wall Street Journal in a recent article [explained] that parents in the 21st century offer nearly twice as much counsel and practical support as those in the 1980s. There are some good reasons for this. And some bad ones.

My parents, like others from the Greatest Generation, had a thick network of friends from church, service clubs, and [other] organizations. They did not need my friendship because they had their own friends. Since divorce was almost unknown then, this friend network remained virtually intact until their deaths. 

The boomers inherited these social networks from their parents but made a mess of things, cutting connections to church and service clubs. They also allowed divorce to wreak havoc upon these social bonds. In the past four decades I have watched countless friends and colleagues divorce. Even though my wife and I always try to maintain some contact with at least one member of a divorced couple, we generally lost contact with both.... It creates a lot of unconnected, lonely people.

No wonder boomers want to be “buddies” with their children. They may be the only friends they have. 

But is all friendship between boomer parents and their children bad? Of course not. The WSJ article discusses boomers who are not divorced and whose children are financially independent. The experts quoted suggest that both sides create some distance to keep the relationship healthy... 

Distance can help, but there’s something even better. The arrival of grandchildren, in my experience, has a very positive effect on the relationship between boomer parents and their adult children. 


Planned Parenthood: How Great Abortion Is, 5/3/19, “Planned Parenthood supporters mock Students for Life display by chanting about how great abortion is [Excerpts]: A group of Planned Parenthood supporters hijacked a Students for Life display [crosses representing aborted babies] chanting phrases like “When I say aborted, you say fetuses!” on the campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio. 

Caleb Hull, former creative director for Turning Point USA, posted a video of the Planned Parenthood supporters on his Twitter account with the caption, “This is one of the most infuriating things I’ve ever seen.

One activist in the video is seen walking through the fetus graveyard and pointing at one of the crosses, saying sarcastically, “That one’s mine.”

“I had an abortion,” another said loudly. An individual off-camera asked, “And you’re proud of it?” to which the activist responded, “Yes, I’m super proud of it.”

They also chanted, “Stop, hey, hey, what’s that sound? All the fetuses are in the ground!”