Saturday, January 31, 2009

Coffee and Provocation

Hawaiian Hawks are Soaring
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering removing the Hawaiian Hawk ('Io) from the federal Endangered Species List. Since there is so little good news about Hawaiian birds, this one goes on top.

Petland Blames HSUS for Buying from Puppy Mills
Gina at Pet Connection gets out her screw gun to put it to Petland for trying to blame HSUS for the fact that Petland buys dogs from puppy mills. Eh? How's that work? Not well. As Gina notes: "[T]he chain seemingly can’t figure out which of their high-volume puppy-pumpers keep their animals in hideous, crap-filled, exposed-to-the-elements conditions — as opposed to merely miserable, lonely and nerve-jarringly loud ones for all their sad, deprived and empty lives — because …wait for it … Petland says the HSUS won’t turn over its reports." Unbelievable. Read the whole thing. And remember, the American Kennel Club not only profits from the whole thing, but they want to expand their business with commercial high-volume breeders selling to pet shops and on the Internet.

Fishing Museum Salutes Fish Poisoner
The American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vt., asked Dick Cheney to be a guest of honor at their spring 2009 meeting. Ted Williams (see blog roll at right) ripped a new one into the museum, noting that Cheney is "arguably the most dangerous enemy of fish in our generation" and that he "angles for trout in Wyoming in one of the rivers he hasn't ruined with gas and oil extraction (which just happens to run through his ranch)."

Brilliant Messaging
The Surfrider Foundation has joined forces with Saatchi & Saatchi LA to produce the "Catch of the Day" guerrilla ad campaign in which trash is collected from beaches across the U.S., then sorted, packaged like seafood, and strategically placed around local farmers’ markets. Check out what's fresh. Mmmmm ... old condoms. And if you like that bit of ninja advertising, you'll probably love Barbie Liberation Day.

Surgery and Your Dog
When it comes to crucitate ligament injuries, is your vet presenting all of the facts and all of the options, or is there a real conflict of interest at work here? I have written in the past about this (see here and here). For folks who want to read more, check out Treating Canine Ligament Injury: Looking Deeper Into A Recommendation For Surgery which has been together by Max . I particularly like the long quote from Veterinarian Mike Richards who notes that: "There is an old joke about a man walking around the city banging two sticks together. When asked why, he replies 'I'm keeping elephants away.' When told that there aren't any elephants in the city, the man replies 'See, it's working!' . . . I feel a little like I'm talking to this man when I ask veterinarians about the results they get when they attempt to stabilize a dog's stifle joint after cranial cruciate ligament ruptures occur. Most veterinarians strongly advise surgery. Most dogs who have surgery eventually walk pretty well. However, most dogs who don't have surgery eventually walk pretty well, too." Read the whole web site at Treating Canine Ligament Injury.

God Bless Claire McCaskill
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has just introduced a bill to cap the pay of any CEO whose company accepts federal bailout money. Under the terms of the bill, no employee of a bailed-out company would be allowed to make more than $400,000 -- the salary of the president of the United States. Said McCasskill in explaining the need for legislation: "We have a bunch of idiots on Wall Street that are kicking sand in the face of the American taxpayer .... They don’t get it. These people are idiots. You can’t use taxpayer money to pay out $18 billion in bonuses." well actually, you can. They did. And that's the problem. She's already got my vote.

Wisconsin is Neck Deep in Bears
It seems that a two-year study has found that the black bear population in Wisconsin is two to three times larger than previously thought. As a result, the bear-kill quota will increase by 55 percent to 4,585 bears for the state, and the number of hunting permits will be increased by 57 percent. For more data on bear population growth in the U.S., see this older post from this blog.

Deer Racing: It's All About Proper Motivation
I have come across a real rabbit-hole of a web site called English-Russia, and for starters, I will send you here which is a post about reindeer races among the Sami people. Notes the web site in its wonderful fractured English: "These days is a great day for the dwellers of Northern regions of Russia. The polar night lasting many days before when the Sun didn’t come above the horizon and the land was covered with the darkness ends. People come from all the regions to celebrate. The main fun during celebration is the deer race. People bring their best deers and race, race, race. The looser deers are being eaten then, like, they did not satisfy the expectations, giving the big meals to everyone." Check it out!

Keeping the Kids Too Safe
I had a toy chemisty set when I was a kid. Whatever happend to those? Well, it turns out they have been more-or-less banned. The current versions have no glass tubes or beakers, no alcohol or Bunsen burner, no lithium, no red phosphorus, no sodium and no potassium, as these chemicals might be used by meth heads. Current sets also have no sulphur, no potassium nitrate, and no magnesium strips, as that suff might help someone make fireworks ... or be used by the terrorists! Basically, all you do now is make perfume and colored water. Read all about it here.

Was It All Just a Small Change in Lighting?

Thank God, no. There is a brain inside the one on the right.

Bosco, the Mayor of Sunol, California
Patti S. sent me a link to the delightful story of Bosco the dog, who was the mayor of Sunol, California in the late 1970's through 1994. This is a dog that was so beloved, that after his death he became a statue, a bar, and then a beer dispenser. Check it out!

Shenandoah Mountain Cur Rescued from Extinction!
Luisa has managed to find one of the very last pure-blood Shenandoaha Mountain Curs, and is nursing it back to health. This breed made its way west with Custer and was thought lost forever. A historical find of a much-storied breed.

Math Problems
I am a victim of "the new math" -- that absurd teaching fad that left an entire generation poisoned and wrecked to the point we would rather lose our life's savings than actually balance a check book. Now someone has made a video that seems to actually show the new math as I remember it being taught. Priceless.

Dwarf Rapes Nun, Flees in Flying Saucer
The Healthcareblog reminded us that fear sells newpapers, even if it is entirely contrived. And nowhere is that more true than in the area of health care: "If you’ve just read a health-related headline that’s caused you to spit out your morning coffee ('Coffee causes cancer' usually does the trick) it’s always best to follow the Blitz slogan: 'Keep Calm and Carry On.' On reading further you’ll often find the headline has left out something important, like 'Injecting five rats with really highly concentrated coffee solution caused some changes in cells that might lead to tumors eventually.' (Not to mention that the study was funded by The Association of Tea Marketing).The most important rule to remember: 'Don’t automatically believe the headline.' It is there to draw you into buying the paper and reading the story. Would you read an article called 'Coffee pretty unlikely to cause cancer, but you never know?' Probably not."

Pinups for Pitbulls
It all started with an old lady's gardening club which stripped down to their knickers for a charity calendar in England somewhere. Now everyone is doing it, and so we have the Pinups for Pitbulls calendars with proceeds to go to bully rescues. Good and excellent, but sadly there appears to be no actual nudity in this one. Bummer. Some nice trucks though. Am I the only one that thinks a Pinup for Pitbulls calendar should maybe have a few pitbulls in poodle skirts thrown in? Come on -- show us some leg!

That's Funny

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

I think McCaskill was being kind.
Substitute the word "thieves" for "idiots."

"We have a bunch of idiots on Wall Street that are kicking sand in the face of the American taxpayer .... They don’t get it. These people are idiots.