=v= Seagulls, penguins, White House "news" correspondents/escorts, who's next?
... cows become excited when one of the herd comes into heat and start trying to mount her. "Cows look calm, but really they are gay nymphomaniacs," ...
A scientist from the US Agricultural Research Service performed a nutrition experiment in Africa.
The 544 children studied had been raised on diets chiefly consisting of starchy, low-nutrition corn and bean staples lacking these micronutrients. This meant they were already malnourished. Over two years, some of the children were given 2oz supplements of meat each day, equivalent to about two spoonfuls of mince.
These children grew more and performed better on problem-solving and intelligence tests than any of the other children at the end of the two years.
She came to the only logical conclusion… when your funding comes from the National Cattleman’s Beef Association: There’s absolutely no question that it’s unethical for parents to bring up their children as strict vegans.
1. Do fight demons. Don’t fight only inner demons.
2. Do play well with others. Don’t shun human society.
3. Do exhibit self-control. Don’t exhibit mental disorders.
4. Do wear trendy clothes. Don’t wear fetish clothes.
5. Do embrace girl power. Don’t cling to man hatred.
6. Do help hapless men. Don’t try to kill your boyfriend.
7. Do toss off witty remarks. Don’t look perpetually sullen.
In other words, it might be wise to sidestep Catwoman’s decision to latch onto a female mentor who lives alone with three dozen cats and complains, “I was a professor for 20 years, until I was denied tenure—male academia.” Or to follow her lead in shrinking from society, telling your beau, “You’re a good man, Tom, but you live in a world that has no place for someone like me.”
As usual, there are a lot of interesting things in this Paul Graham essay, What the Bubble Got Right.
If you’re a nerd, you can understand how important clothes are by asking yourself how you’d feel about a company that made you wear a suit and tie to work. The idea sounds horrible, doesn’t it? In fact, horrible far out of proportion to the mere discomfort of wearing such clothes. A company that made programmers wear suits would have something deeply wrong with it.
And what would be wrong would be that how one presented oneself counted more than the quality of one’s ideas. That’s the problem with formality. Dressing up is not so much bad in itself. The problem is the receptor it binds to: dressing up is inevitably a substitute for good ideas. It is no coincidence that technically inept business types are known as “suits.”
Nerds don’t just happen to dress informally. They do it too consistently. Consciously or not, they dress informally as a prophylactic measure against stupidity. […]
A nerd, in other words, is someone who concentrates on substance. So what’s the connection between nerds and technology? Roughly that you can’t fool mother nature. In technical matters, you have to get the right answers. If your software miscalculates the path of a space probe, you can’t finesse your way out of trouble by saying that your code is patriotic, or avant-garde, or any of the other dodges people use in nontechnical fields.
The blogosphere was all over the story of the kid arrested as a terrorist for writing a story about zombies taking over his high school.
The cops’ version was that he had been planning to recruit a gang to take over his high school and kill everyone; their version mentioned no zombies.
I was waiting for more information — clearly, someone’s account was wrong.
Now I wonder if maybe both versions are.
Poole claimed his story was about zombies, and had been part of a school report. The testimony seems to indicate these were lies.
Part of it sounds actionable.
Throughout his writings, Poole makes numerous references to a “brotherhood,” such as in an overview, in which Poole wrote, “We will make the brotherhood known throughout the high school.” It continues with a three-part plan: 1) Recruit new soldiers, 2) Get everyone in ranks, and 3) get the numbers to 100.
Caudill testified that at least seven acquaintances of Poole’s reported that Poole had attempted to recruit them into a gang, but that none of them were interested.
In his writings, Poole makes references to four geographic zones. Zone Two refers to Clark County, according to Caudill. The other three zones mentioned in Poole’s journal are Barbourville, South Carolina and New York City.
Caudill also read from a letter sent by an unnamed person who was referred to as a “colonel” in the Barbourville organization, promising to aid Poole with weapons and money. In one passage, Caudill testified the person in Barbourville admitted breaking into homes and said he had thousands of dollars and 50 guns at his disposal.
“You know what I mean, man. We will handle things if you want us to,” the individual wrote Poole, who referred to himself in the journal as “Nappy Boy,” the head of the Clark County organization, according to Caudill.
And part of it doesn’t.
A separate story, titled “War” was described by Caudill as “futuristic,” and referred to a group of people sitting down at a kitchen table, where they plan a takeover of a school, determining how long it will take for police to arrive on the scene. “They will all die together,” Poole wrote.
Another excerpt, read by Caudill, states, “All the boys sit down at the kitchen table and start planning it out. They wrote down how many teachers, students and guards were at the high school. Also, how long it would take police to get there. They wrote down what was needed and how they was going to do it. They agreed right there they they would all die together.”
He continued, “They yelled, ‘kill them,’ and all the soldiers of Zone 2 started shooting. They are dropping every one of them. After five minutes, all the people are laying on the ground dead.”
Something that was clearly written as fiction is being submitted as evidence in his preliminary hearing for second-degree terroristic threatening.
And the rest of it is still an 18-year-old’s journal plus one letter. Was it really a plan? Or just a power fantasy that never would have gone beyond posturing?
How many thousands of kill-the-high-school stories have teenagers written over the past fifty years? (No, I don’t mean me — my fiction featuring sociopaths came much later.)
When does the War on Terrorism become the War on Thoughtcrime?
Man shoots cat, that’s not news.
The 48-year-old firefighter from La Crosse has proposed that hunters in Wisconsin make free-roaming domestic cats an “unprotected species” that could be shot at will by anyone with a small-game license.
Cat shoots man, now that’s news.
A man cooking in his kitchen was shot after one of his cats knocked his 9mm handgun onto the floor, discharging the weapon.
(Via Vegan Porn)
In the Great State of Kansas, teaching evolution was optional for a couple of years recently, and now they’re trying to worm creationism into the curriculum as Intelligent Design.
With that sort of commitment to the biological sciences, is it any wonder that greyhounds are legally not dogs there?
Richard Hoagland’s Moon with a View, or, What Did Arthur Know and When Did He Know It? is a fascinating examination of the preliminary photos of Iapetus, one of Saturn’s moons. Everything he sees is evidence for Iapetus being an artifact, fitting in with his thesis of there having been an ancient civilization on Mars (he’s probably best known for popularizing the Face on Mars.)
Reading it, I was reminded of a passage in Illuminatus! (I’m not going to try to find it in a 900 page trilogy I read over twenty years ago.) A character is discussing numerological coincidences so incredible they start to sound convincing… and then the authors, Wilson and Shea, quickly took it over the top. The character was similarly blown away by meaningless coincidences — he first thought of this when he was 23! And he was living on Smith Street, which has 5 letters in it! As they did through much of the book, they were simultaneously advancing weird theories, and making fun of them.
Hoagland’s article mixes things that sound convincing with things that go over the top. Only he, apparently, is equally convinced of all of it.
Still, though, that incredibly straight mountain ridge along the equator is awfully striking. I’ll be looking forward to September 10, 2007, when Cassini gives us our closest view yet.
But, c’mon! Nancy Kress’ Probability Moon in 2000 as first citation for xenolinguist? According to the ISFDB, Sheila Finch’s Xenolinguist Guild stories date to 1989. Sheri Tepper’s Raising the Stones was 1990. And I’ll be very surprised if those are particularly early.
(And if I had original editions on me, I’d do something useful and submit citations. I do have a ‘97 reprint of a ‘96 Finch story, though…)
Despite my expectation that 1942 should be easy to beat for extraterrestrial as a noun, it looks like so far they’ve only pushed it back to 1941.
In the comments to this entry of last Thursday, on greyhounds not being considered dogs under Kansas law, Ron called my attention to the National Greyhound Association’s response (a PR Newswire story, i.e., one bought and paid for by the NGA.)
An officer of Grey2K, a national organization whose sole purpose is to abolish greyhound racing nationwide, testified that the NGA and the State of Kansas did not consider greyhounds to be dogs. Inexplicably, some media reported this as a fact. In truth, neither the NGA nor the State of Kansas has ever made the ridiculous claim that greyhounds are not dogs. The activist’s statement was immediately corrected by NGA Executive Director Gary Guccione. […] “As to whether greyhounds are dogs, the media and Grey2K seem to be the only people confused on that point.”
From The Kansas Pet Animal Act, Article 17:
“Dog” means any animal which is wholly or in part of the species Canis familiaris but does not include any greyhound, as defined by K.S.A. 74-8802 and amendments thereto.