I’m scrambling to catch up after the whirlwind Florida jaunt, so today’s polymathism shall consist of a mere reference back to an oldie-but-goodie: My 2003 Slate piece about the veracity of Eric Rudolph‘s nutritional claims. The serial bomber stated that he managed to live on the lam for five-plus years by dining on North Carolina’s cornucopia of lizards. But the calorie math just doesn’t add up:
The region’s most abundant species are classified as skinks and include the five-lined skink. These slender critters rarely grow longer than a man’s hand and can weigh as little as a tenth of an ounce. Lizard meat provides about 50 calories per ounce, putting it on par with chicken. Assuming that Rudolph needed to consume a bare minimum of 1,500 calories per day—a very generous assumption, since winter survival is particularly grueling—he’d need to dine on nearly two pounds’ worth of lizards each day. That’s somewhere between 100 and 300 skinks, which means he’d have to spend virtually every waking moment turning over rocks and peering into rotted logs.
Back soon with posts on coin counterfeiting, Tongan politics, and the world’s most dangerous airports.
(Image via Ryan Photographic)