Sunday, January 29, 2006
One of my carpool mates went up to Utah on MLK and brought back some of this beer. Its actually pretty good and the label is funny. I like the wife on the end, curiously there's a mirror image of her on the other end. I don't know why they have wings. Actually I think some of the wives are actually angels.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
those handles. Funny article.
'Panda porn' to encourage mating
By CNN's Narunart Prapanya
Wednesday, January 25, 2006; Posted: 6:51 a.m. EST (11:51 GMT)
BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) -- After Thailand's most popular animal couple failed to mate, zoo officials are gearing up for plan B -- a DVD they hope will get Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui in the mood for love.
The pandas' first mating season -- a three-day window -- came last week. Despite a widely-publicized encounter between Chuang Chuang, a 6-year-old male, and 5-year-old Lin Hui, the mating apparently was unsuccessful.
Zoo administrator Prasertsak Puttrakul, who leads a team taking care of the pandas, noted they tend to live in isolation in the wild, and do not witness other pandas mating. "That's why they are bound to extinction should there be no help," he said.
Recent panda reproduction in the United States and Japan stemmed from artificial breeding, he said.
Because of that, Prasertsak has prepared a DVD of pandas having sexual intercourse to show the couple, hoping the demonstration -- call it panda porn -- will inspire them to make a love connection.
The pandas are on a 10-year loan from China to Thailand's Chieng Mai Zoo, about 700 kilometers (435 miles) north of Bangkok.
They have proved enormously popular -- in the past two years, the number of visitors to the zoo has doubled from 600,000 to 1.2 million people. Of those, three-fourths come to see the panda couple, paying an extra 50 baht ($1.50) on top of the zoo entrance fee.
The Thai government pays $250,000 a year to Wulong Panda Research Institute in China to rent Chuang Chuang -- whose name means "clever" -- and Lin Hui, whose name means "beautiful forest."
I had kind of a weird dream. It was actually a feel good dream, I think what made it good was that it was completely illogical and fantastic. It was the middle of the night and I was coasting on a bike down Foothill Blvd. with my stomach on the seat and hands on the handlebars, as if I was Superman, but on a bike and no cape. I also had a stack of books with me for some reason, but they must have been balanced on one of my legs because my hands were tied. Anyway I was heading home when a pack of cyclists pass me, all women in usual cycling get up. They turn down the street, and what do you know, they're headed to my house. Don't worry this isn't turning pornographic, my alarm clock woke me up before that happened. I arrive right after they all do and they're running around drinking water from my hose and tidying up my yard. They don't really notice me, I guess the riders are in a hurry, maybe they're in the middle of a race. At this point I probably paused to comprehend things then look around again but they were gone, vanished like fairies. Nothing left but three beat up Winnebagos parked in front of my house. I though maybe they went in there, but that can't be cause that where the gypsies live.
So while I was showering I was thinking about how that can be, surely someone would have woken up with all those bike shoes clicking on the cement. And it was the middle of the night, how can they not be cold? And what are we all doing riding in the middle of the night? Where was I riding from?
Maybe I ate something weird, but all I had for dinner was steamed crabs. Maybe the crabs ate something weird.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Thursday, January 12, 2006
By ALEXANDRA ZAVIS, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 45 minutes ago
A South African anthropologist said Thursday his research into the death nearly 2 million years ago of an ape-man shows human ancestors were hunted by birds.
"These types of discoveries give us real insight into the past lives of these human ancestors, the world they lived in and the things they feared," Lee Berger, a paleo-anthropologist at Johannesburg's University of Witwatersrand, said as he presented his conclusions about a mystery that has been debated since the remains of the possible human ancestor known as the Taung child were discovered in 1924.
The Taung child's discovery led to the search for human origins in Africa, instead of in Asia or Europe as once theorized. Researchers regard the fossil of the ape-man, or australopethicus africanus, as evidence of the "missing link" in human evolution.
Researchers had speculated the Taung child was killed by a leopard or saber-toothed feline. But 10 years ago, Berger and fellow researcher Ron Clarke submitted the theory the hunter was a large predatory bird, based on the fact most of the other fossils found at the same site were small monkeys that showed signs of having been killed by a predatory bird.
Berger and Clarke had until now been unable to show damage on the child's skull that could have been done by a bird.
Five months ago, Berger read an Ohio State University study of the hunting abilities of modern eagles in West Africa believed similar to predatory birds of the Taung child's era.
The Ohio State study determined that eagles would swoop down, pierce monkey skulls with their thumb-like back talons, then hover while their prey died before returning to tear at the skull. Examination of thousands of monkey remains produced a pattern of damage done by birds, including holes and ragged cuts in the shallow bones behind the eye sockets.
Berger went back to the Taung skull, and found traces of the ragged cuts behind the eye sockets. He said none of the researchers who had for decades been debating how the child died had noticed the eye socket damage before.
Berger concluded man's ancestors had to survive not just being hunted from the ground, but from the air. Such discoveries are "key to understanding why we humans today view the world they way we do," he said.
Berger's research has been reviewed by others and is due to appear in the February edition of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
>On 2006-01-12,15:18:49 Blaise wrote:
>>Most terrifying news all day.