Sunday Roast: Lichen


Lichens on basalt, Skinner Butter, Eugene, OR

Photo by Zooey

From the Wikipedia:

Lichens occur in some of the most extreme environments on Earth—arctic tundra, hot deserts, rocky coasts, and toxic slag heaps. However, they are also abundant as epiphytes on leaves and branches in rain forests and temperate woodland, on bare rock, including walls and gravestones, and on exposed soil surfaces (e.g., Collema) in otherwise mesic habitats. The roofs of many buildings have lichens growing on them. Lichens are widespread and may be long-lived; however, many are also vulnerable to environmental disturbance, and may be useful to scientists in assessing the effects of air pollution, ozone depletion, and metal contamination. Lichens have also been used in making dyes and perfumes, as well as in traditional medicines. It has been estimated that 6% of Earth’s land surface is covered by lichen.

This is our very, very, very, very late daily open thread — I blame DST!!

36 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: Lichen

    • That is exactly what they do (50 times, so far).
      I’m only sorry the intelligent, caring elephant is associated with the vapid Repugnant party.

  1. Urban birding. It is the time of the season for loving: “Clara” (our local wild falcon) and Fernando (her mate) have four eggs. Hard incubation has begun and in about 30 days, if the eggs are fertile, there will four fluffy white Falco peregrinus!

    • huh, mock if you must – look at his straw poll numbers, from CPAC//:

      …Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who came in with 11 percent.
      Rounding out of the top finishers in the poll, which was voted on by 2,459 CPAC attendees, were former neurosurgeon Ben Carson (9 percent) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (8 percent).

      11% of the audience were going right along with his delusion.

      Butter or jam on that toast, Christie?

      • 2,459 paid attendees? That’s like saying we need to have ABBA as president because their fan club says so. Actually, I think ABBA fans would outnumber them.

  2. Not a great day for Stewart-Haas at Las Vegas, but Danica led the team home in 21st place. Kurt Busch was 26th, owner Tony Stewart was 33rd, and Kevin Harvick burnt up a left front wheel bearing, ending up 41st. Harvick had run top five until his misfortune.

  3. A reminder: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey premieres tonight on Fox and NatGeo channels. Intro from President Obama too.

    “The show deploys blockbuster-quality visual effects, triumphant orchestral music by Alan Silvestri (who scored Robert Zemeckis’s Contact, which is based on Sagan’s novel), and cartoon interludes rendered in the handmade style of a graphic novel to make the Big Bang, the rise of Copernican astronomy, and the basic principles of evolution seem as Hollywood-­magnificent as the latest Marvel opus. But its greatest special effect is the laid-back charisma of its host, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Affable, plainspoken, and charming without seeming full of himself, Tyson might have seemed like Sagan’s obvious successor even if the master hadn’t mentored him as a teen (a tale movingly recounted in the first episode’s final moments). He lacks Sagan’s Vulcan-like vibe but compensates with a self-­deprecating average-guyness that often morphs, delightfully, into Danny Ocean cool. (It’s hard to imagine Sagan getting away with donning shades to watch the Big Bang, as Tyson does here.)”

    • Putin could handle allathat. But Obama? Nah. As Sarah Palin noted, Putin wrestles bears and drills for oil. Obama wears mom pants.

      (On the ‘mom pants’ issue I had to ask around, had no idea what they are. Apparently they’re blue jeans that do NOT have a potato stitched inside the fly — Sarah wears them, obviously; Dubya, however, apparently chose the tater “moose knuckle” option). Screwy world, this one.

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