In late July and August, something remarkable happens in the air above Lake Murray, South Carolina. Around sunset, hundreds of thousands of purple martins come streaming towards the center of the lake from every direction, swirling together in a massive flock that darkens the sky. After an hour of wheeling and singing they settle down on a small island.
For the past 25 years, Lake Murray has boasted the largest purple martin roost in the United States. The birds gather there in the hundreds of thousands before beginning their epic migration to South America. Every year hundreds of boats full of purple martin admirers crowd the waters around the island. Every year 500,000 birds put on a breathtaking aerial performance.
But not this year.
This year, the boats went out as usual. But the birds didn’t show up.
And so Skunk Bear (NPR’s science tumblr) has gone mobile in search of the missing martins. We – that’s photojournalist Maggie Starbard and science reporter Adam Cole – have vowed not to return to HQ until we’ve located the errant flock … or until Tuesday morning. Whichever comes first.
We’re starting our search where the birds were last seen: in American backyards. Purple martins on the east coast rely entirely on human-built dwellings to breed, and thousands of humans have taken it upon themselves to provide these nesting colonies. We’re hoping this slightly crazy fellowship of purple martin “landlords” (that’s what they call themselves) can point us in the right direction.
Maybe we’ll find out where the birds went. Maybe we’ll find out why they are so dependent on humans. And maybe we’ll find out why all these people are so invested in their survival. Stay tuned.
Beautiful Diana, blond Phoebe, lovely Isis, charming Astarte, Queen of the nights…
Émile Bayard, from Autour de la lune (All around the moon), by Jules Verne, Paris (Hetzel), circa 1870 (?).
Waiting a month for a comic is pure hell I’ve now realized
Moo ha ha ha.
I bet charmingpplincardigans & somuchpotential can give you something to look at in the meantime.
Pick your poison, baby. I gots what you need. (By which I mean ‘UGH WHY ISN’T THE NEXT WIC DIV OUT NOW?’)
Kieren Walker in #8 for Anon
7/26 Maryland Heights, MO @ 105.7 The Point’s Big Summer Show (photos by Hoeg)
So I did a quick photoshoot as Blue from The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys while I was at Dashcon. Getting ready for it was a bit of a pain in the ass since it was on Friday afternoon before any of the hotel rooms were ready, leaving me to get ready for it in the convention center bathroom with the garter belt and the bobby pins I swore I packed going missing. That was all personal shit though, so don’t add that to the list of con issues.
A few of my fellow cosplayers were really helpful though in helping me acquire some bobby pins and Madi was an awesome photographer. If our paths cross again, I would love to work with her again as she builds up her cosplay photography skills.
Also, Becky Cloonan thinks I’m cool. (I kept my glasses on in a few in reference to the time she got excited for me being a Blue with glasses at Dragon Con.)
Series: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys by Gerard Way, Shaun Simon, and Becky Cloonan
Photographer: Madeline Sibon
In another big win for Universal Pictures, Lucy
took first place with over $44 million… Lucy
's success can be attributed to a few factors. First, the movie had an intriguing premise (what if we could use more than 10% of our brains?) that was front-and-center in action-packed, visually-stunning advertisements. It helped that actress Scarlett Johansson's lead role here seemed like a natural extension of the butt-kicking brand she's built as Black Widow in The Avengers
and Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Ray Subers, Box Office Mojo
I’m not saying Lucy is a feminist triumph or a good movie, I’m saying it made Universal Pictures a lot of money this weekend. The action-stuffed trailers were totally deceptive but capitalized on action star appeal Johansson has created as Black Widow. Universal stuck that Marvel Studios brand onto its French artsy sci-fi flick and spun it into millions of dollars Marvel won’t get to see. Because Marvel maybe doesn’t believe a Black Widow movie could make money. Because Hollywood is still afraid of superheroines.
Look: Marvel says we should vote with our voices, if we yell and we yell one day they’ll hear us, probably, some time after Ant-Man 2: Still No Janet Van Dyne. What happens, though, if someone else takes the niche they’ve created and ignored, and makes that money first?
How does that work? There’s a big cosmic firebird that represents all of creation and destruction on a purely conceptual level, I’m gonna build a robot suit and I’m gonna punch it!