Thursday, September 04, 2008

Fun Stuff plus

From Annie H: the new duck stamp, because of a mistake (?) by the contractor tells you to call a phone sex line.

Camera trap codger finds himself attacked as a threat to wildlife. No, really!

Mrs Peculiar links to the trailer for new Chthulhu movie (though the gay romantic subplot probably has the omni- phobic Lovecraft spinning in his grave!)

Not really funny if it spreads-- but in their continuing efforts to be the most Animal Rights- ist place on earth, the Swiss have banned catch and release fishing, flushing goldfish down toilets (they have to be hit on the head first) and live bait. You also have to take a class to own a dog. Some of these even may be sensible, but to make them LAWS? HT Annie H again.

Biology: LabRat at Atomic Nerds unpacks the whole Komodo dragon post first published here. Excellent comments too. Carel says the original article had many faults. As he is the only naturalist I know with Southeast Asia field experience I hope he finds time to blog on it soon.

At Slate, Heather Smith argues that the disappearance of the honeybee may be a good thing, leading to more use of natives. I still see honeybees down here-- wild, that is-- but I suspect they are Africanized and therefore somewhat immune to the diseases killing the commercial bees.

Are Doom and Gloom, Decline and Fall, "fun" things? To certain minds they are. Here the ever cheerful and always gloomy (yes, you can be) John Derbyshire, who I sometimes think is the last true conservative in the US, tells us why, although he likes Sarah Palin, he doesn't think much will happen either way.
Derb is so funny I can't resist quoting at some length:

"Blimey, you go take a few days off (and "off," to a true reactionary, includes off the TV and computer, and squinting carefully at the display on the phone to see if the caller is someone I want to be bothered with, answers breaking no/yes about 99/1) and the GOP goes and puts a human being on the ticket. Whatever next? Heck, the gal hasn't even been to law school!

"Calm down, everybody, please. It's only politics, for goodness sake."[emphasis mine-- SB]


"As for Rick's noise about being at war: Which nations are we at war with? When shall we exclude nationals of those nations from our territory? Or, if we are at war with some ideology, why are we not excluding adherents of that ideology from our shores, as we excluded communists (correctly, in my opinion)? War, fiddlesticks. Who feels himself to be at war? Where can I buy my gas mask and my War Bonds?

"All right, all right, the Palin pick. At random:

Good choice? Terrific choice. Adds youth, beauty, executive experience (slight by universal standards, but enormous by the standards of these campaign tickets …), and un-DC-ness.

Annie Oakley or Calamity Jane? Who knows? We'll find out. I'm betting on Annie.

Creationist? Couldn't care less. [Derb is a well- known agnostic evolutionist BTW--SB]

Knowingly bore a Down Syndrome child? Same answer. Nobody's business but their own. (And same answer if she'd aborted the fetus, as I and my wife would have — sorry, Rich — though acknowledging of course that she would not then be on the GOP ticket!)

Foreign policy experience? Would someone please define the phrase "foreign policy experience" for me? Thank you.

Daughter named Bristol? Prolly best not to send her for a study year in England."

(If you don't know Cockney rhyming slang the last won't make sense.)


LabRat said...

Yeah, I suspected there were probably a few things wrong with the article- this cartoon sums up my feelings on the usual state of science reporting. I'm eager to hear from someone who knows what they're talking about.

I do think my central point- that it's illogical and dangerous to assume that complete separation of humans and wildlife is "natural" on a small island that the humans have been on for centuries- stands, though.

Steve Bodio said...

I agree-- with your and Matt's points.

I love the cartoon. I'll make an exception for at least one journalist: Carl Zimmer.

icr said...

I thought most law in Switzerland was enacted at the canton level and Switzerland was a true federalist state-kind of like the US before the War of Northern Aggression.Assuming that's the case, it's kind of hard to believe that extreme AR legislation could be imposed nationwide.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Yep, I bought my duck stamp today, and saw that the ordering number is printed twice, as 1-800-STAMP24, which is the Postal Service, and as the equivalent digits to 1-800-TRAMP24. Oops.