Thursday, April 14, 2005

Plates vs. Scales

While it was novel for me as a beginning blogger, I wasn't all that surprised when I got a bunch of hits from Google and Yahoo searches about the Schiavo case. I didn't really expect, though, I'd get hits from people searching on "Shrimp vs. Prawns." I just posted about it because it interested me. So I was surprised and delighted when I got hits from two different people searching for precisely that.

It makes perfect sense, though, considering my coworker Eric's (Clamberto on the web, apparently) insight that people love stuff with "vs." in the title. In a discussion referencing "Alien vs. Predator" and "Freddy vs. Jason," he declared that what we need are more movies that have someone vs. someone else. People love that stuff, he said, and offered from his fertile mind "Alien vs. the AFL/CIO" and "Drop Dead Freddy vs. Jason and the Argonauts."

His point began to resonate when, within a day or two, I discovered through Epitonic Radio songs entitled "Amelia Earhart vs. The Dancing Bear" and "Stephen Hawking vs. the Galactons."

I found Clamberto's theory further borne out upon my discovery of Fametracker and its Celebrity vs. Thing feature, in the form of Catherine Zeta-Jones vs. Bagels. (Incidentally, Eric and I both disagree with its author--we'd each take the bagels.)

After that bit of which-would-you-rather-do-without, I was naturally taken aback when, on my recent trip to visit my friend Christian Scales in San Antonio and to enjoy the hell out of New Orelans in general, I discovered a display in the seahorse exhibit at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas that included a paragraph entitled "Plates vs. Scales."

"Uh-oh," I thought, "this is troubling. I really like Scales. He's one of my best friends. But, dammit, I appreciate plates, too. They're just damn handy to eat off of."

Fortunately, the text turned out to read as follows:
Most fish have a covering of thin transparent scales, but seahorses have interlocking bony plates beneath their skin. These plates protect them like a coat of armor. Because these plates are semi-rigid, a seahorse's mobility is restricted, making it a slow swimmer.
Whew. Just a sensibly-placed little lesson in marine biology. Finally, a world in which Christian Scales and helpful dinnerware can coexist peacefully.

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