Running Commentary 4/19/2021
3 min read

Running Commentary 4/19/2021

Bear Guide, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Episode 5), American Goldfinch


Bears are hard to identify, as the editors of SFGate well know. Good thing I’m here to clear things up.

Bear Guide

  • There are two kinds of bears, brown bears and black bears.
  • Both bears have black skin, so bald bears are black bears, whether they are brown bears or black bears.
  • Black-and-white bears are all black bears.
  • White bears are brown bears except those on the west coast of Canada, which are black bears.
  • Bears in trees are black bears unless something has gone horribly wrong with a brown bear.
  • The word “bear” comes from an old Germanic word for “brown”, and the word “brown” comes from an old Germanic word that meant either brown or black, depending on context.
  • The Arctic Ocean is home to white brown bears and was named after bears in the sky that are black with white spots.
  • Antarctica means “not the bear place” and has no bears, although the people who named it didn’t know that at the time.
  • All black bears are black bears unless they are, in fact, very dark brown bears which may be brown bears or black bears.

I hope that helps



The Falcon and the Winter Soldier had its penultimate episode release last Friday. Here are my notes: SPOILERS

  • This episode was better than the last few, but I’m not convinced this show works in an episodic format the way WandaVision or The Mandalorian did.
  • I had figured Walker would be on some sort of rampage for this episode and only would lose the shield in the finale. They seem to be doing something else.
  • There was a lot of heart this episode, but not a lot of forward motion for the story. Seems like we get one or the other on this show.
  • With major government officials under threat, we’ve encountered the “where are the other Avengers?” problem. Although this time, granted, a lot of the main ones are dead.

Bird of the Week

This week we have the American Goldfinch. This is not to be confused with the European Goldfinch, which is barely gold at all. American goldfinches are small birds, but the male is easily spotted in the summer due to his bright lemon-yellow feathers. In the winter, they turn a dull olive color, though they can still be identified by their small size and black-and-white wings. The females are a duller yellow, brighter in the summer than the winter, but never as bright as the male.

Goldfinches favor thistle seeds, which they find in open fields or, more recently, in bird feeders. You can attract them to your own yard (presuming you live in North America), though I’d recommend giving them their own feeder away from the main one, as they are easily bullied by larger birds.

Their binomial is Spinus tristis. As we’ve seen before, “Spinus” was taken from old Greek bird lists by Linnaeus, and we don’t know what bird the term originally referred to. Linnaeus applied it to the siskins, the smallest of the finches. “Tristis” means “sorrowful” in Latin, though I’m not sure what about this chipper, yellow bird struck Linnaeus as sad.

The Cats and Dogs Who Eat Cats and Dogs | Clinton Crockett Peters,

Post-War America became focused on suburbs, communities where people could live a city life while keeping closer to nature. But part of nature is animals, like bobcats and coyotes. These wild creatures are prone to attacking pets who encroach on their territory, which can reach right up to your front door.

The Brotherhood of the Very Expensive Pants | Steven Rinella, Outside Online

At any given time, roughly half of the people on earth are wearing denim clothing. It’s comfortable, versatile, and durable. So durable that some of the first denim articles, those worn by workers in the Old West, can still be found somewhat intact. For Outside, Steven Rinella meets up with Brit Eaton, a finder and seller of the most vintage of vintage jeans.

Cosmic Crust | Alex Sherman,

[FICTION] “In an apocalyptic, depopulated city, a young man named Bhu struggles to feed his ailing dog Lucy. Phan, the local pizza parlor owner, takes pity on Bhu and provides the meat Lucy needs so she can survive. But what exactly is in the meat? And how far is Bhu willing to go to save his dog?”