George Bush and Poison and Cheetahs, Oh My!

Okay, one normal post today, because I couldn’t resist. May’s National Geographic has a story entitled “Poison: 12 Toxic Tales”. In tale twelve we find the following “The Japanese emperor hasn’t used a food taster in years, though President George W. Bush has used Navy mess specialists to handle the job.(emphasis mine)” WTF? The President uses food tasters to check his food for poison? Is it me or is this just a little bit paranoid. You’d think they’ed vet the kitchen help…but maybe not.

We also have this statement from a letter to the editor:

“I was shocked to learn only about 5% of cheetah cubs…ever reach adulthood…. I would have expected the world’s fastest land mammal to be a champion survivor.”

Anybody out there care to tell me what the mistakes in the above quote are? (I’ll give my answer tomorrow)

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3 Responses

  1. Cheetah’s not the fastest land mammal?
    Food taster? Yeah, I agree… WTF?

  2. I can think of three things wrong with the sentence. Adult cheetahs may be the fastest land animals but baby cheetahs are not – and are subject to predation. Also due to the rapid decrease in population size in the last 20 years or so cheetahs are facing some serious genetic issues. Finally, and most importantly, being able to run 60 mph doesn’t necessarily mean you will leave more offspring (i.e doesn’t necessarily mean you are more fit in the Darwinian sense).

  3. I can think of three things wrong with the sentence. Adult cheetahs may be the fastest land animals but baby cheetahs are not – and are subject to predation. Also due to the rapid decrease in population size in the last 20 years or so cheetahs are facing some serious genetic issues. Finally, and most importantly, being able to run 60 mph doesn’t necessarily mean you will leave more offspring (i.e doesn’t necessarily mean you are more fit in the Darwinian sense).

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