November 22, 2006
Reuters: Blood tests debunk cat-puppy claim
SAO PAULO, Brazil (Reuters) - Brazil's cat-puppy mystery has been solved.
Blood tests refute a Brazilian woman's claim that her cat had given birth to three puppies, geneticist Adil Pacheco said Tuesday.
Cassia Aparecida de Souza, 18, from a poor neighborhood of Passo Fundo in southern Brazil, said last Friday that her cat Mimi had given birth to the three puppies as well as three kittens, which did not survive.
"People who aren't experts often imagine things," said Pacheco, director of the Institute of Biological Sciences of the University of Passo Fundo. "All the facts contradict her."
Pacheco, who was asked by a local newspaper to conduct a chromosome test to check the spectacular claim which gained wide media attention, said mammals sometimes nursed the young from another species.
This claim is false on its very face. There is absolutely no reason to test these animals. There is no way a cat could naturally bear puppies. It doesn't happen.
I'm not an expert and I don't imagine stupid things like that.
Even the Bible knows this.
Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so [can] no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
(Although, if you're familiar with that passage, it is actually in the context of an admonition for people to practice the virtue of integrity. On a broad level, the principle is the same.)
One time when I was in fifth grade, a girl on the school bus told me that her boyfriend had sex with a dog and it had a half-human half-dog creature that was stillborn. I told her right then that her story was completely false.
Anyway, everyone knows that cats give birth to cats and dogs give birth to dogs. People give birth to people.
So, unless this poor woman in southern Brazil has a fancy animal husbandry and in vitro fertilization clinic there in Passa Fundo, there is absolutely no reason to waste time or money testing these puppies to see if they came from a cat.
It is absurd from the very start.
November 13, 2006
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- New Zealand's high school students will be able to use "text-speak" -- the mobile phone text message language beloved of teenagers -- in national exams this year, officials said.
Text-speak, a second language for thousands of teens, uses abbreviated words and phrases such as "txt" for "text", "lol" for "laughing out loud" or "lots of love," and "CU" for "see you."
The move has already divided students and educators who fear it could damage the English language.
Internet blogger Phil Stevens was not amused by the announcement. "nzqa[New Zealand Qualifications Authority]: u mst b joking," Stevens wrote. "or r u smoking sumthg?
Y'all know I hate text speak. I am the person who writes full sentences in my cell phone and IM's. I don't do it because I'm concerned about the English language, I do it because I'm concerned about being understood.
When I read, I do not spend very much time looking at the words. I recognize the words by their general shape and that's about it. When something is misspelled, that's when I have problems and my reading speed slows down.
Text speak is nothing but misspellings. I waste more time and energy just trying to figure out what the words are than I do digesting the overall meaning of the message.
The same can be said for l33t and tHoSe ObNoXiOuS pEoPlE who don't use standard capitalization. (I couldn't keep it up.)
We use standard spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc. so that we can understand one another, so that we can move beyond the mechanical act of making shapes on paper or noises with our mouths to the intellectual act of communicating ideas and concepts.
When, like, people use, like, words that aren't, like, regular, you know. You can't, like, be sure, right? You know, like, you might say something and then, like, your friend will, like, hear what you said, but, like, she won't know, like, what you mean. And, like, what's the point, you know?
It's no surprise that what passes for conversation these days is so vague.
I included the part about the blogger in the excerpt above because I think it's neat that the news regarded him as a worthy and interesting commentator on the issue.
Hey, Associated Press! I'm over here!
November 12, 2006
MADRID (Reuters) - A Spanish town council has vowed to banish sexism from street signage by demanding half of all road signs and traffic lights show female figures with skirts and ponytails.
Fuenlabrada, which lies south of the capital Madrid, will replace old and damaged road signs and traffic lights with new stock within a year.
"In this way the sexism which until now has seen only masculine figures appear in traffic signals will be brought to an end," the town council said in a statement.
The council, which said it would ask manufacturers to incorporate female figures in their signs, would not cost taxpayers a penny.
Apparently the people of Fuenlabrada think it's ok to reinforce the idea that women have to wear dresses and have long hair in order to be seen as female. Apparently the people of Fuenlabrada think we're all stupid enough to believe that this is actually a move to ban feminism and that we're too dumb to see the oppressive hand of the patriarchy at play here.
Hear me now, Fuenlabrada! I am on to you. We're all on to you and you won't get away with this. Maybe some of the signs could have ponytails but no dresses and dresses but no ponytails.
I would like to call for an immediate, worldwide boycott of Fuenlabrada, until such time as they find a means of making gender-neutral signs.
November 07, 2006
- Voters designing next Congress
- Britney Spears files for divorce | Sex tape lawsuit
- CNNMoney: Wall Street rallies for Election Day
- Time.com: Democrats could trip over Maryland
- The Ticker: Chelsea Clinton's voting problems
- Jeff Greenfield: What to watch for -- hour by hour
- Man jailed for putting puppy in warm oven
- CNNMoney: Pope, Bono buy bonds for kids' vaccines
- Orthodox Jews set fires, stab to stop gay parade
- Suit: Burger King sold pot burgers to cops
- Family's dogs kill 2-year-old in front yard Video
- Faith Hill on 'angry' CMA reaction: Just joking
- 'Real Borat' seeks apology
Some people have commented on how sad it is that Britney Spears' divorce is so high on the list when we have an election going on.
First of all, an election going on is not a story. It's stupid. Election RESULTS are a story and those won't happen until later. So, until they do happen, we need to know what else is happening.
Second, Britney Spears marriage to that asshat K-Fed was one of the most frustrating, heart-breaking, disappointing acts of stupidity in history and it made everyone sad. To know that it is over is huge news and worthy of celebration. The only thing that hurts me now is the thought that her children, Cheetoh and Redbull, are now the products of a broken home.
Third, puppies in the oven and Bono teaming up with the Pope to stab a bunch of children are both feel-good stories to balance national nervousness over the election. Completely justifed being on the list.
Fourth, let me come back to that.
Fifth, the dog attacking children, Faith Hill joking around, and there being someone who is really as stupid as Borat are all silly stories and are clearly ranked much lower than all of those election stories.
Back to number four.
Orthodox Jews set fires, stab to stop gay parade
What the hell?
Apparently, this happened in Israel. Jews have been setting fires and throwing rocks and hurting people. And the gays have been vandalizing synagogues and acting like fools as well.
Can no one in the Middle East act like civilized people?
So, there you have it. Cultural commentary. For good or for baad, this is what matters to people all around you.
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