Natural History Update 2017

by Richard L. Howey, Wyoming, USA


We have reached a point in history when scientific and technological advances are taking place at such an incredibly rapid rate that it's virtually impossible to keep track of them. As a consequence we must rely on summaries and “news flashes” to maintain even a minimum informational orientation. However, it is important to attempt to remain informed and in 2017 a staggering number of new developments and expansions took place and so I am going to take it upon myself to provide a few summaries of my own here.

1) A major development was the discovery that a relatively recent avian species has reproduced at an incomprehensible rate and is now about to overwhelm us. It might be described as the flip side of an “endangered species” and is rather an “endangering species.” I am, of course, referring to the infamous “Tweet”. This reminds one of the sort of thing that took place with the infamous Passenger Pigeon which at its peak is estimated to have reached 3 to 5 billion. The number of “Tweets” recorded these days is estimated to be around 200 billion a year! Tweets might well be regarded as the Messenger Pigeons of today. Their song is that of the “twitter”. Recently some techno-geneticists have been considering that possibility of altering a significant characteristic of Tweets. When originally conceived, Tweets all had an upper limit in terms of size growth, but now there are those who are proposing that this limit be doubled. The troubling question here is: Will this result in a new species?

Another major problem is feeding the Tweets as they have a highly eccentric form of metabolism that consists of devouring energy “seeds”. Recently the COOTOO (Current Occupant Of The Oval Office) decided that solar, and winds seeds are insufficient and has decided to make many more coal seeds available. Unfortunately, these latter produce a kind of smoky orange flatulence from the Tweets that contaminates virtually everything.

2) A potentially sad and outrageous disaster looms for some of our most impressive companions on the planet, namely, the elephants (or as COOTOO spells it “ephelants”). The importation of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia have been put on hold while that policy is being reviewed. Inside sources have revealed that this is not out of any ecological concern, but rather that someone reminded COOTOO that the elephant is the mascot of the Republican Party. Since that reminder, his position has oscillated almost daily depending on his attitudes toward Turtle McConnell and Frat Rat Ryan. On anti-Republican days, he considers issuing an executive order to have all members of Congress shot and, on the other days, to have all elephants shot or vice versa. So, offer up a little Tweet for the elephants (and incidentally the lions and other trophy species as well).

3) A critical event in England and Europe that has massive implications for the entire global economic scene is that unexpected appearance of what was by many thought to be a long extinct being, the Brexisaurus. The Brexisaurus detests being held captive or constricted or constrained in any way. Eventually, it hopes to surpass the glory of its predecessor, the Rajisaurus. All of this is to be accomplished following the directives of Donald Truss and Mike (2) Ha’penny aided by the British politician, Nigel Farrago who is related to two old French families, the Pennes and the Gaullmaufries.

4) It has now been officially confirmed that Googles have been sighted in every country on earth. Their fungal-like filaments have been detected in 77% of households and businesses. The rate of spread is exponential and experts are increasingly alarmed that the sensory devices of the Googles are beginning to shape human behavior by the use of elaborate feedback mechanisms and now with Automatic Acquisition algorithms, the system can order for you when ever you get low on any given commodity.

5) CRISPR is for those of us who have retro tastes. Remember how good grandmother’s fried chicken used to taste. Well, now fried chicken is usually mushy and greasy. However, using this new very high tech means, you can once again have crisp, juicy, flavorful chicken. Researchers have spend extraordinary amounts of time and money working to achieve that mouth-watering perfection by doing genetic editing. The results will clearly benefit all mankind.

However, as with most new scientific and technological breakthroughs, there is a darker side. As a consequence of the recent wide-scale revelations of sexual abuse a new movement has formed. A radical group of women researchers, who have spent years studying species of Cladocera (“water fleas”) which have no males and reproduce entirely parthenogenetically are hoping to apply these techniques to human embryos and entirely eliminate the need for males. So, men had better start reassessing their roles in human societies if they wish to survive. (There is even a rumor that these women are trying to take over AMAZON.COM!)

6) Politics and particle physics have achieved new forms of interaction through the Mueller Collusion Collider Detector. It has become crucial that electronic “alliances” and disruptions be carefully tracked and made known. For example, China has been selling smog-infected steel to the United States and Russia has been getting the good stuff.

7) eBay

I refer to this enterprise as the Global Auction and Garage Sale. Here you can find everything from condominium rentals to condoms.

A lunch with Warren Buffet sold for $2.3 million in 2015. The chairman of Chinese gaming company Da Lian Zeus Entertainment placed the winning bid, and proceeds went to charity.

A grilled cheese sandwich, which purportedly bore a portrait of the Virgin Mary, sold for $28,000 in 2004. The Florida woman who had made it 10 years earlier said it never went moldy.

Clippings of Justin Bieber’s hair fetched $40,668 in 2011. The pop star had gifted his hair to Ellen DeGeneres, who decided to put them up for auction. The proceeds went to an animal rescue organization.

A New Species of Sea Urchin


Starting Price: $9.50

Sold For: $138.00

Draped in warm hues of cream and purple, the Coelopleurus exquisitus urchin is a dazzling animal. But incredibly, marine biologists didn’t discover it by exploring the open sea. Instead, they found it on eBay. Simon Coppard of the Natural History museum in London, along with a colleague, determined that a specimen being sold there by one collector did, in fact, hail from a species previously unknown to science.

And, of course, the really important stuff–microscopes and accessories, antique slides, minerals, sea urchin tests, fossils–can be found in abundance

8) Global Climate Change

A Chinese hoax contrived to distract Western countries from cyber-hacking.

9) Political Corruption

This is also known as the aesthetics of diplomacy and depends heavily on creative accounting. Frequently, the rewards for this activity take the form of enormous retirement accounts in countries noted for secrecy in banking.

10) Money Laundering

This is a subject that appears frequently in the news these days. Enterprises which engage in this practice have been given many humanitarian awards for providing suitable employment to many impoverished people. They take large canvas bags of cash down to the side of the stream and there pound the bills with rocks until they are soft and smooth and look and smell clean. These sites are located in many third-world countries.

11) Fake News

A disconcerting revolution has taken place in epistemology as a consequence from COOTOO’s declarations that truth is a relative and unreliable concept and we can now depend only on alternative facts and forever be on the lookout for fake news such as the kind shown here and here.

and some real gnus:

Happy New Year

All comments to the author Richard Howey are welcomed.

Editor's note: Visit Richard Howey's new website at where he plans to share aspects of his wide interests.


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Published in the December 2017 edition of Micscape Magazine.

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