Wednesday, January 31, 2007

RIP Molly Ivins

A gifted writer, who will be missed.

Web Notes, Blog Finds ...

I'm not so sure in W's case, although this may simply result from Bush's position outside the bell curve of normal human stupid-variation. He's always talked nonsense about Iraq. "It's the central front in the war on terror," "we fight them there so we don't have to fight them here," and so on. Always, always I get the sense that Bush, confined as he is to the emotional age he achieved before descending to the bottom of countless whiskey bottles, thinks like a 9 year old, and not like a precocious 9 year old. More precisely, like a 9 year old cribbing a social studies paper on Iraq from the I-J volume of the World Book Encyclopedia, circa 1955. What distinguishes the truly simple mind from the discerning mind is the inability of the former to think in terms of simultaneous complex variables, and the tendency of the simpleton to use "concepts" instead of "facts." Facts are hard to deal with, because you have to read, think and synthesize them into a pattern with other facts you have learned the same way. This is what really smart people instinctively know, and always do. They know there are never any shortcuts to understanding anything. Bush doesn't do things like that. He grabs at the broadest generalities he can find and settles there, permanently.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Giant Panda News

Giant Pandas
Chuang Chuang & Lin Hui (photo from China Daily)

From China Daily:

Bangkok - Chuang Chuang the Panda is just too heavy to have sex. Thai authorities have put him on a strict diet as part of a long-running campaign to get him to mate with female partner Lin Hui at the Chiang Mai Zoo in northern Thailand.

"Chuang Chuang is gaining weight too fast and we found Lin Hui is no longer comfortable with having sex with him," said the zoo's chief veterinarian, Kanika Limtrakul, adding that Chuang Chuang weighed 331 pounds while Lin Hui is only 253 pounds.

As a result, zoo authorities are cutting out bamboo shoots in the daily meal for Chuang Chuang and giving the obese bear only bamboo leaves, Kanika said.

The diet plan is the latest in an unsuccessful and often strange campaign by zoo officials to get the two bears to mate.

They have held a mock wedding, announced plans to separate the two to spark a little romance and even talked of introducing panda porn, videos of other pandas mating, to get the pair in the mood.

Thailand rented Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui from China for $250,000 in October 2003 for 10 years. They are expected to generate millions of dollars in revenues from Thai and foreign tourists.

There are as few as 1,600 giant pandas in the mountain forests of central China, according to the zoo. An additional 120 are in Chinese breeding facilities and zoos, and about 20 live in zoos outside China.

Pandas are threatened by loss of habitat, poaching and a low reproduction rate. Females in the wild normally have a cub once every two to three years.

Friday, January 05, 2007

At Least Bush Got Saddam's Gun

Naturally there is no question that justice and justice alone was behind the totally legal execution of Saddam Hussein.

KUWAIT CITY: A well-known Kuwaiti businessman is negotiating hard to own the noose which hung ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to death.

Reliable sources say the businessman's representatives have asked the Iraqi Ministry of Interior Affairs to sell the rope to them.

The businessman is apparently ready to pay any amount of money for the noose. According to sources, it is with Shiite leader Muqtada Al-Sadr and the businessman's representatives are negotiating with him.

The businessman had earlier purchased the vandalized statue of Saddam Hussein which stood at Al-Firdous Square in Baghdad. Sources say he obtained the statue through American representatives and exhibits the head of the statue in his diwaniya (sitting room).

Tuesday, January 02, 2007