It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another Bunny Story

I hate to scoop Dr Rabett on his home turf again, but he's on vacation and this from the New York Times is certainly deserving of note.
The rabbit-proof fence — or bunny fence — in Western Australia was completed in 1907 and stretches about 2,000 miles. It acts as a boundary separating native vegetation from farmland. Within the fence area, scientists have observed a strange phenomenon: above the native vegetation, the sky is rich in rain-producing clouds. But the sky on the farmland side is clear.



Update: an image from the UAH Bunny Experiment Website. Eli beware; there seems to be some talk of a bunny fence blog...

5 comments:

Mak said...

The NY Times article contains at least two questionable facts which will no doubt be propagated ad infinitum through cyberspace regardless, but in the interests of accuracy:
a) I've lived in Western Australia for nearly 30 years and have never heard the fence referred to as the "Bunny Fence"; and
b) it defies logic for the fence to have been "built to prevent rabbits from entering the Australian outback" and "failed to prevent rabbits from entering the farmland".
More accurate description here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit-proof_fence

Michael Tobis said...

Dr Rabett, who is of course well apprised of bunny related materials, informs me in a personal communication that more information is available here.

The scientists in question use the expression "bunny fence"; their effort is called BuFex or "bunny fence experiment".

inel said...

I like the way they successfully prevented kangaroos and emus crossing that so-called rabbit-proof fence!

You might enjoy this paper on Rabbits and Climate.

I wonder why the NYT is telling us this rabbit tale now

Sparrow (in the coal mine) said...

I've lived in Western Australia for nearly 30 years and have never heard the fence referred to as the "Bunny Fence"

In the first sentence of the second paragraph of the wikipidia article you link to it discusses a movie, made by an Australian and released in Australia, called "Rabbit-Proof Fence". So unless you've never heard of the word "bunny" which means "rabbit" I'm having a tough time seeing how wiki disproves the name in question.

Mak said...

Thank you for Dr Rabett's link. It is immediately obvious to the sensitive reader that Bu-fex is a far better name for a scientific project than Ra-fex, so the inaccuracy is completely justified and I unreservedly retract my criticism.
Sparrow commented "I'm having a tough time seeing how wiki disproves the name in question."
I'm not in the least surprised you are having difficulty. I offered the article as a "More accurate description" of the fence, not of its name. I can recommend the movie, too.