Summit Up 9-29-11: Worried about the eels |

Summit Up 9-29-11: Worried about the eels

Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column worried about the eels. Yep, we just received word that the American Eel is in trouble and may warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act, according to this press release we received from the US Fish & Wildlife Service.MILLIONS OF SUMMIT UP READERS: Awwww! Poor eels! But is an eel a fish or a, a … wildlife?SU: Eels are fish, members of the Anguilliformes order, as any fool knows. But get this: electric eels are part of the genus Electrophorus, so they’re a bit different. Wanna know how electric eels work? Do ya? Huh? Huh?MSUR: I thought we were talking about the endangered American Eel, but OK:SU: Here goes: “The electric eel has three abdominal pairs of organs that produce electricity. These organs are made of electrocytes, lined up so that the current flows through them and produces an electrical charge. When the eel locates its prey, the brain sends a signal through the nervous system to the electric cells. This opens the ion channel, allowing positively-charged sodium to flow through, reversing the charges momentarily. By causing a sudden difference in voltage, it generates a current” … and zaps the critter it wants for lunch, we guess.Crazy, huh? And just another weird example of how some dumb critter can do stuff we can’t. Just look at the birds! If only we could fly … It’s so unfair. Our only solace: unagi. Yum!Anyway, back to the American Eel: They’re in trouble due to reduced habitat from dams built in the 60s, and they’ve also had some run-ins with turbines (“turbine morbidity.”) So if you see an American Eel (you can tell by the arrogant attitude and sidearm), give it a hug. But not too tight! They’ll go shooting up into the stratosphere if you squeeze ’em too hard!***OK, here’s a Scum Alert! Scum Alert! from Amy J. Russo in Breck, who writes thusly:”I was in Food Kingdom in Breck yesterday afternoon (Monday) and accidentally left my VERY expensive Smith Optics prescription sunglasses on the check-out counter. Five minutes later, when I realized I had left them behind, I returned to the store to retrieve them. Apparently the girl in line behind me picked them up and told the clerk she would run them out to me. I have yet to see my glasses or the girl. She also has not returned the sunglasses to the store.”What the heck? Repent, O Rx sunglass-horkin’ chick! They won’t fit you anyway. It’s like taking someone’s full cart at the grocery store saying, “Hey, this collection of stuff is exactly what I need!” It just won’t work, so return them to the Kingdom and restore your karma!We out.

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