Saturday, April 30, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How to Bring Back Dinosaurs

You may not realize this, but for years now I've been plotting to bring back the dinosaurs. Back in the 90's, things seemed hopeful with the whole "DNA in mosquitoes trapped in amber" ploy, as seen in Jurassic Park. But that idea was short lived, and for the last decade, it has seemed that the only way we would ever see dinosaurs would be with the aid of a time machine.

Cloning dinosaurs from preserved DNA may be an impossibility, but I have found another solution. Once again, I am determined to make the modern dinosaur into a reality. My solution has three steps.

1. Selective Breeding

Instead of searching for ancient preserved DNA and utilizing unreliable cloning techniques, why not breed back the dinosaurs from their modern equivalent; birds.






People have used selective breeding to "breed back" certain types of animals to their ancestral form.

The ancestors of modern domestic cattle, the aurochs, have been extinct for quite some time now. Through selective breeding, hex cattle has been bred in order to restore cattle to its original form.

The tamascan dog is a breed of canine which has had the ancestral wolf traits bred back into it (minus the wanting to eat you trait) without using wolves in the breeding. Now families can effectively own a wolf as the family dog without getting eaten, which is the drawback to owning standard wolves.



I figure that using selective breeding, I can breed back birds to a more primitive species, such as the archaeopteryx.




I will begin with the hoatzin, an ancient breed of bird which is still alive today. Hoatzin chicks have claws at the end of their wings, used for climbing, which they lose into adulthood. I will breed hoatzins for the ability to retain their claws longer into their lives, until I have a breed which maintains its claws throughout adulthood. I will also look for genetic anomolies, such as three claws rather than the standard two claws, and breed these traits into the species.

I will breed for other achaeopteryx-like traits, too. As well, I will include other bird species into the breeding mix which have other such needed traits. Eventually I will have a new species of archaeopteryx-like bird.

2. Gene Splicing

Now, breeding birds back to a primitive bird species is one thing, but breeding birds back to dinosaurs presents several problems. For one, there are several dinosaur traits that birds just don't have anymore.

Another major problem, is that dinosaurs are descended from reptiles and birds from dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are closely related to reptiles whereas our new species of bird is that much further removed from reptiles.

Obviously, we can't breed the reptile back into these animals, so we'll have to look to gene splicing. Using reptile species related to those which dinosaurs descended from, I will splice back those reptilian traits such as the long tail and the reptilian teeth.

Using a combination of selective breeding and gene splicing, I can take the archaeopteryx back to the pterosaurs and from there breed back to the raptors. From that point, I can breed back to many other species of dinosaur.



3. Dinosaur DNA

So, now we've created a species which is kind of related to the dinosaurs and has the same bone structure. But there's still one problem; they're not actually dinosaurs.

This is where we incorporate actual dinosaur DNA. Instead of looking for complete strands of DNA from which to clone a full fledged dinosaur, we can just use the DNA scraps that we find and splice that into the animals just like we did with the reptilian DNA. Now we have our new species of dinosaur.

So, the formula is:

selective avian breeding + reptilian gene splicing + dino DNA
= neo dinosaurs



Saturday, April 16, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

RIP KUFO

The Final Demise of Portland's 101 KUFO

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post called, The Day the Radio Died. In this post, I discussed how the company, Alpha Broadcasting, acquired several Portland radio stations including 101 KUFO. Shortly after, the new management fired the iconic personalities of that station and replaced them with grab bag shock jocks in order to conform the station to a "by the book" demographic, rather than conducting actual market research.

I haven't paid any attention to, or even thought much about KUFO since that time. This is why, after a month, I have just now learned that KUFO has been taken off the air and replaced with a news/ talk radio station called KXL FM. I decided to cover this on J-Dubb's Theatre as a follow up to my previous coverage.

I dug around the web for stories and found that, interestingly, there hasn't been nearly as much coverage on the station's plug being pulled as there was on the firing of the personalities one and a half years ago. It seems that the city, for the most part, lost interest in the station after that, with the exception of a few niche hard core rockers.

At first, I was glad to learn that Alpha Broadcasting's arrogant attempt at "fixing" the station had failed. But as I read on, I began to feel kind of sad about it. KUFO has been around for a long time. I used to listen to it as a kid. In fact, I have kind of a history with the station.

I remember being a kid playing in my room with the radio tuned to KUFO.

After separating from the military, I worked security. For two years, I came in to work, sat down at the lobby desk, and changed the station to 101 KUFO, which I would listen to from 4pm to midnight. In the beginning, I would catch the end of the Cort and Boomer Show and then listen to the Tim Savage Show.

When I first began this very blog, my writing voice was inspired by Tim Savage. One could say that J-Dubb's Theatre, as it lives and breathes today, owes something to KUFO. I even had a link to KUFO's website in my sidebar.

Eventually, a guy calling himself, "Fatboy", began talking on the Cort and Boomer Show. At the time, I didn't know who he was or where he came from, but I thought he was funny. Before long, he replaced Boomer, and the show became The Cort and Fatboy Show.

KUFO brought in controversial DJ, Marconi, and The Marconi Show pushed The Tim Savage Experience later into the evening. In the beginning, I enjoyed The Marconi Show, and I listened to it for the remainder of my time working security. But as I transitioned into my late twenties, I grew tired of listening to a creepy 40-something trying to act like a frat-boy. I eventually removed the KUFO link from this blog.

When I started going to school full time, I listened to The Adam Corolla Show in the mornings on the way to school. This lasted for about a year, and then I began listening to just CDs.

In 2009, several things happened. For one, KUFO's Cort and Fatboy presented the last season of Battlestar Galactica at Portlands Baghdad Theatre, which I attended. Around the same time, one day, I decided to tune in to The Adam Corolla Show for old time's sake, only to find that it had been replaced by the Rick Emerson Show. I became a regular listener.

I also discovered that Marconi was no longer with KUFO and that Cort and Fatboy had taken over his old slot. At this point, I became heavily involved with KUFO. I even put their link back into my sidebar. I became interested in Portland media and for a while, this replaced YouTube as the main focus of J-Dubb's Theatre.

Then, in October of that year, Alpha Broadcasting fired the entire KUFO staff. For about a week, the station aired a mysterious count-down while intermittently announcing "mother ship refueling." After this, KUFO introduced their new staff, including a rehired Marconi, Kidd Chris, formerly of The Howard Stern Show, and a piece of work from Seattle named "Ricker." The KUFO link came back down from my sidebar.

J-Dubb's Theatre served as a supporter of Cort and Fatboy and of PDX.FM (now Cascadia.FM), the podcasting network which picked up the new Cort and Fatboy show and eventually the new Rick Emerson show.

For a year and a half after this, KUFO rarely crossed my mind. Then, March 15, 2011, KUFO's plug was pulled. Alpha Broadcasting's shotgun blast had been fatal, and KUFO had slowly bled to death. I learned of this April 10th.

RIP KUFO


On the plus side, perhaps I'll start using this blog for actual blogging again instead of just a port for my YouTube videos. Stay tuned...

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Rich Munnich


The first edition of my new channel review segment.