A big win for the platypus, oh and people
Be honest. How many times a year do you think about the platypus? If you’re anything like us it’s been quite a while since the mental image of the duck-billed mammal has waddled across your brain.
It’s one of those animals that is easy to make up facts about because nobody knows enough to correct you. But weirdly enough, you don’t have to make up any facts about the platypus, because it is a amalgamation of weird. The kind of animal created from the brain of a 6 year old: “Make him have the bill and webbed feet of a duck, the tail of a beaver and the body of an otter. Oh and put some stingers on their… feet! But just the ones in the back. And yeah, the male ones are venomous, because that would be neat.”
Well, it turns out, nature’s happy accident could be a key to treating a worldwide disease. Researchers in Australia have discovered evolutionary changes to the regulation of insulin in, you guessed it, the platypus. The same discovery has also been found in the echidna, a hedgehog-armadillo-looking creature, who was surely created from the same 6-year-old brain. Their findings could mean new treatments for patients with type 2 diabetes. Now while these studies are in their early stages, and there’s still more research to be done, the most important information gleaned from the research is clear: The platypus is not an entirely useless animal! It’s your typical high school situation, never discount the nerd. They might grow up to cure diabetes, and you’ll regret not inviting them to your party.
And there you go. Feel free not to think about platypuses until 2018.
Batshit crazy defined
So pretend you are the president of some country like the USA and you have just been tasked with hiring the person whose job it will be to make sure that all the citizens have clean air, clean water and a world free of toxic pollution aka the head of the EPA.
So you start going through the resumes and the first one looks pretty good but then you see that the applicant doesn’t believe in global warming even going so far as to say the science isn’t settled even though 98 percent of the scientific community says it is. So you move to the next resume only to find that this person is actually in a lawsuit against the very agency you wanted him to run because the agency wanted to stop burning coal to make electricity because we will all be dead in a hundred years if we continue this environmentally stupid practice. So you throw that resume in the trash and grab the next one. Maybe… maybe… nope this flawed candidate also just sued the same agency because it passed laws to try and curtail methane emissions because it’s 82 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2. And then you look at the last resume and the first sentence boasts that this applicant considers himself “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.”
Bummer. So what do you do? Keep looking?
Not if you are President-elect Donald Trump. If you’re Trump you hire all four. Or in Trump’s case, you hire Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt because he has all four of the flaws mentioned above on his resume. No kidding. Trump really did make this climate-denying, oil and gas industry shill, turd ball of a human the next head of the EPA. It is the new definition of batshit crazy.