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On Music: The Evolution of Phil Collins

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It's been about 5 years since we've had a new album from Phil Collins. In case you've been wondering where he's been and what he's been up to, his Web site has this recent quote from him on the subject: "In 2004 I came to a major decision in my life. I decided to stop my seemingly endless days of touring. I had been on the road for the last 30 years, and now with 2 young children I decided that enough was enough. It was time to say goodnight."

True, 30 years is a long time in the music business. Here's a few soundbites that track Phil's evolution from Genesis drummer, to Genesis vocalist/drummer/songwriter, on up to some of his big hit singles as a soloist. What's most interesting about this stroll down Collins' lane is this: with each clip you're about to hear, Collins became more famous, more popular, and his albums were consumed by more and more people. (Obviously he made more money, as well.)

The question is, and I open this post to debate now in the comments below, did the music get better or worse? More interesting as time went on, or less? More engaging or less? You be the judge:

phil_01a.jpg"In the Cage" "“ This is a clip of Phil singing a song off Genesis' 1974 album, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Peter Gabriel was still the lead singer of Genesis in those days, and Phil was the band's drummer (and a damn good one, at that). But once Gabriel left, Phil took over as the lead singer, often singing while playing drums simultaneously.
"Squonk" "“ This clip comes from Genesis' 1976 album, A Trick of the Tail, the first studio album with Phil as lead vocalist.phil_01b.jpg
collins1.jpg "Follow You, Follow Me" "“ A short clip from Genesis' 1978 album called And Then There Were Three.
"That's All" "“ In 1983, Genesis released an album simply called Genesis, which yielded this clip.
"One More Night" "“ By 1985, in addition to his work with Genesis, Phil had released his third solo album, No Jacket Required, which yielded this clip.
"Invisible Touch" "“ This was Genesis in 1986 off an album with the same name. Can't argue with a catchy tune, can you?
The debate starts now!collins_4.jpg

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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images
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Animals
Fisherman Catches Rare Blue Lobster, Donates It to Science
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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Live lobsters caught off the New England coast are typically brown, olive-green, or gray—which is why one New Hampshire fisherman was stunned when he snagged a blue one in mid-July.

As The Independent reports, Greg Ward, from Rye, New Hampshire, discovered the unusual lobster while examining his catch near the New Hampshire-Maine border. Ward initially thought the pale crustacean was an albino lobster, which some experts estimate to be a one-in-100-million discovery. However, a closer inspection revealed that the lobster's hard shell was blue and cream.

"This one was not all the way white and not all the way blue," Ward told The Portsmouth Herald. "I've never seen anything like it."

While not as rare as an albino lobster, blue lobsters are still a famously elusive catch: It's said that the odds of their occurrence are an estimated one in two million, although nobody knows the exact numbers.

Instead of eating the blue lobster, Ward decided to donate it to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye. There, it will be studied and displayed in a lobster tank with other unusually colored critters, including a second blue lobster, a bright orange lobster, and a calico-spotted lobster.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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Courtesy Murdoch University
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Animals
Australian Scientists Discover First New Species of Sunfish in 125 Years
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Courtesy Murdoch University

Scientists have pinpointed a whole new species of the largest bony fish in the world, the massive sunfish, as we learned from Smithsonian magazine. It's the first new species of sunfish proposed in more than 125 years.

As the researchers report in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, the genetic differences between the newly named hoodwinker sunfish (Mola tecta) and its other sunfish brethren was confirmed by data on 27 different samples of the species collected over the course of three years. Since sunfish are so massive—the biggest can weigh as much as 5000 pounds—they pose a challenge to preserve and store, even for museums with large research collections. Lead author Marianne Nyegaard of Murdoch University in Australia traveled thousands of miles to find and collected genetic data on sunfish stranded on beaches. At one point, she was asked if she would be bringing her own crane to collect one.

Nyegaard also went back through scientific literature dating back to the 1500s, sorting through descriptions of sea monsters and mermen to see if any of the documentation sounded like observations of the hoodwinker. "We retraced the steps of early naturalists and taxonomists to understand how such a large fish could have evaded discovery all this time," she said in a press statement. "Overall, we felt science had been repeatedly tricked by this cheeky species, which is why we named it the 'hoodwinker.'"

Japanese researchers first detected genetic differences between previously known sunfish and a new, unknown species 10 years ago, and this confirms the existence of a whole different type from species like the Mola mola or Mola ramsayi.

Mola tecta looks a little different from other sunfish, with a more slender body. As it grows, it doesn't develop the protruding snout or bumps that other sunfish exhibit. Similarly to the others, though, it can reach a length of 8 feet or more. 

Based on the stomach contents of some of the specimens studied, the hoodwinker likely feeds on salps, a jellyfish-like creature that it probably chomps on (yes, sunfish have teeth) during deep dives. The species has been found near New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and southern Chile.

[h/t Smithsonian]

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