Walden gets a cameo on ABC’s Brothers & Sisters

Near the end of the October 3rd episode of Brothers and Sisters (one of my favorite guilty, soapy TV pleasures), Nora (Sally Fields) gives her daughter Kitty (Calista Flockhart) a copy of Thoreau’s Walden that she’s marked up just for the heart-to-heart occasion. Kitty then reads the passage aloud, and we see both the inside and outside of the book… which looked awfully familiar to me! It turns out that the Walkers prefer the PUP edition of this American classic.

As you can see, progressive Nora took some liberties with Thoreau’s masculine pronouns–a move that even potential RNC chairman Kitty can get behind.

You can watch the whole scene here.

Short-toed Treecreepers Do Not Exist? PUP gets to the bottom of this scandal

On April 1, as the northeast began to recover from record rainfall, a dark cloud was forming over the birding world. It began when Corey of 10,000 Birds supposedly broke a major story: Short-toed Treecreepers Do Not Exist! He claims that this species (scientific name Certhia brachydactyla), though listed in hundreds of identification guides including PUP’s own Birds of Europe, is actually a practical joke. In fact, several birders have now admitted to adding the short-toed creeper to their life lists despite being  unable to definitively tell the difference between Certhia brachydactyla and its “cousin,” the Eurasian creeper (Certhia familiaris). Corey claims that the two are in fact one and the same species.

Plate showing “both” treecreepers from the first edition of Birds of Europe
used by Corey as evidence in this conspiracy

Corey does provide some journalistic balance in the form of quotes from other international birders—some of whom believe in the conspiracy, and others who dismiss it as classic American paranoia. But can we even trust Corey, a man whose link to a “video of both species side-by-side” leads one to be Rick-rolled?!

Jochen of Bell Tower Birding certainly doesn’t think so—though he isn’t disputing the reality of the conspiracy. He derides Corey for exposing the myth, labeling him “a traitor amongst our ranks, a person who has put his personal benefit above the Greater Good of bird and birder’s welfare.” He even threatens that Corey will be “deleted as a birder” (I’m not sure what that means, but it sounds fairly menacing).

Now, I’m not a birder myself, so I have no opinion on the status of the species in question. But what do you think: Is this a case of true ornithological deviance or merely an April Fools’ Joke?