Two More Things I Wonder About

It’s a fifth Friday, but I am sadly lacking in amusing photos. However, we can still have some fun. Here’s another installment of “things I wonder about.” If you missed my earlier list, check out my post from May 31,2011.

Senseless Traffic Lights
Colorado Springs has some of the most annoying traffic lights of any place I’ve ever been. Not only are they not synchronized, not only do they make you wait for ages while the intersection stays empty, but they turn red for no perceivable reason. It’s no surprise that we also have a significant problem with people running red lights.

powers mapMy favorite gripe was for an intersection where a one-way street T’d off of a straight highway. We often drove down that highway and got stuck at a red light. Sure, it made total sense to stop oncoming traffic so cars that had piled up on the highway could turn left onto the one-way street. What we couldn’t fathom, however, was why they stopped traffic in the other direction as well! No one could possibly turn in front of those cars. It took about five years before the traffic gurus figured it out and made a correction.

Pete and I have wondered for years why things are so bad. Well, driving home the other day we finally figured it out. Colorado Springs has ghost cars! It’s obvious, and explains everything. Consider….

We’re sitting at a red light, watching nobody drive past. Why doesn’t the light change? Ghost cars! The intersection is actually full, it’s just that we can’t see it.

The light turns red for no apparent reason. Why? Ghost cars! They’ve been waiting at the cross street for their turn to go. The traffic sensor knows they’re there. It’s just us that can’t see them.

Of course, the corollary to this is ghost pedestrians. That would explain why lights turn red at intersections where no traffic is permitted.

I wish we had figured this out years ago!

Why are rabbits so notoriously prolific?
Eastern Cottontail_ColoSpgs_PLH_4029Lots of small animals have lots of babies at a time, but we always say, “They breed like rabbits!”  Why? What’s so special about rabbits?  Do they have larger litters than other animals? Do they breed more often? Why do we compare rapid multiplication to rabbits breeding?

Given the internet and Google, this one was easy to answer. It turns out that rabbits are rather special. In most mammals, the females come into heat at some point and are then able to breed. The rest of the time they’re neither interested in nor capable of getting pregnant.

Rabbits, however, come into heat on demand. Any time the male and female have a furry little romp in the grass (which happens pretty much whenever they run into one another), it triggers ovulation. The result is yet another litter of bunnies. Let’s just say that the “rhythm method” would never work for Mr. and Mrs. Rabbit.

Rabbits reach sexual maturity at the tender age of three to eight months and continue to breed throughout their lives, although their fertility tapers off a bit after age three. (Rabbits in captivity can live to age nine, or even longer; wild ones are usually eaten much sooner.) Gestation only takes thirty days, and litters contain an average for four to eight babies. Momma rabbit is ready to repeat the whole process the day after she gives birth. They don’t waste time!

Given all that, it’s truly a wonder that we aren’t chin deep in rabbits.

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