The Weekly Recap and Sunday Nature Chat

This entire past week consisted of Mark, Reptilionnaire (sic), and Aparna driving their eco-friendly (and slow) car to Cricket Bro’s house to put their so-called plan into action. Well, it seems they were still working out some minor details along the way, such as figuring out how long it would take to get into the office holding Cricket Bro’s laptop containing the air quality app supposedly taken by Cricket Bro. As I’ve already noted, it appears that Cricket Bro may already be legally entitled to it, since he paid Aparna and other programmers to develop their apps in the first place. But Mark seems to have missed that legal point. We also noted the silliness of this entire operation, as any programmer would have made backups. For that matter, so could Cricket Bro, making this Mission Impossible plan pointless.

But Rivera throws a curve ball by having Professor Bee and his female assistant chase our protagonists down while en route. But why? Surely, not for Cricket Bro’s apparent feelings toward Mark, nor for such a pointless application. Something else is afoot. At the very least, Rivera gives us some good old-fashioned drama and action that leaves us puzzled. Is Cricket Bro the head villain or Professor Bee? Or are they the real good guys and Mark’s associates the bad guys who have apparently misled Mark?

Today, we focus on the Peregrine falcon, a popular species, even here in Minnesota. A family of Peregrines were the much-observed and reported-on focus of local TV station WCCO several years ago. The DNR had added a live webcam to a nesting box placed by the Midwest Peregrine Society atop a building in downtown St. Paul. Nearly daily reports on WCCO News showed mommy and daddy Peregrine nursing the eggs that eventually became a family of chicks. Problematic grammar aside (e.g. the caption in the penultimate panel), today’s nature strip is interesting, though the art doesn’t seem up to Rivera’s usual standard. Of course, other critics will quickly remark that none of her art is up to the standards of the old Mark Trail strips. But that is a false comparison, as I have noted before. Rivera is not trying to emulate that quaint style that had become as much a trademark of Mark Trail as the characters, themselves.

But what’s with the superfluous text in panel two: “Faster than any bird…on earth!” Well, where else would we expect to compare avian speeds!? Did NASA discover Martian falcons and forget to tell us?

Speaking of speed, Rivera’s comment about the influence on jet engine development looks correct. But it is important to note that she was not talking about the original creation of jet engines, but later developments, when jets attained supersonic speeds (Jet engine evolution inspired by the Peregrine Falcon – zackandscottkarmachameleons (wordpress.com)).

Finally, I like the fact that Rivera takes the trouble to dress Mark in clothing appropriate to the elevated height. Good attention to detail!