Friday, December 08, 2006

Conceptual artifacts from my inbox


I am now almost incapable of blogging without putting in some pictures. Since this post is a roundup of random sweetness, here's a B-58 Hustler, an airplane that says, "Scuze me, I'll try not to slap you right in the face with my megaton-yield supersonic penis."

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After a long dry spell, today the e-mail heavens parted and unleashed a torrent of awesome.

For all of you currently on the job market, here's a dynamite rejection rejection letter you may want to crib from. Thanks to Mike for the tip.

Prepare to bow your naked monkey ass down before the slimy ichthyological overlords. Moray eels have been spotted hunting together with groupers (story here, paper here). Can global takeover be far behind? Can you afford not to FREAK OUT RIGHT NOW?

Is PLoS going to hell in a handbasket? I thought so after reading the msnbc version, which states (ahem):
This is the first example of coordinated hunting seen in fish, and the first known instance of cooperative hunting between species seen outside humans, researchers said.

Which is horseshit, at least the second part, because coyotes and badgers sometimes hunt together and papers on this were published as early as 1884 (short summary and list of refs here).

But then I actually read the paper, which starts with the words:
"Cooperative hunting, i.e., the increase in successful prey capture observed when two or more individuals engage in a hunt, has been demonstrated in a wide variety of species."

The authors then go on to parse out exactly how much cooperation there is in the different systems. The fish score very high, and that's the news. So the "this is the FIRST cooperative hunting we've EVER SEEN!!! OMG! w00t! LOL!" b.s. can be chalked up to some dumbass writer simplifying things to the point that they are, er, completely wrong.

Which is, unfortunately, not all that rare.

Thanks to Mike for that one, too.

Not quite finally, Katie put me on to The Big Switch Off, which calls for all of us that love the Earth to not use any energy this weekend. My immediate thought: why is this scheduled for December? Here in the Northern Hemisphere we'ze freezin' our giblets off, whilst in Australia people are beset by raging wildfires and rampant swamp-ass. Wouldn't the spring equinox have been a better target? People all around the world could get nekkid and go run around in the woods and smoke the flora.

AAAAANYWAY, the funny really starts at this blog, where--I'm just guessing here--non-greenie Tim Blair encouraged his readers to "Please offer in comments your own plans for this weekend’s environmental footprintism." A top pick is comment #75, a veritable turducken of Gaia rape:

I’m going to club a baby seal to death with a spotted owl. Then I’m going to freeze the baby seal corpse and launch it from a harpoon gun at a humpback whale. Then I’ll stuff the dead whale full of burning tires and catapult it at the Rainbow Warrior. [link added]

Really finally, just because I haven't been to this site in about a year but remember really digging it, here is Steve, Don't Eat It! The writing here is freakin' great, so you can be grossed out, amazed, informed, and thoroughly entertained all at once.

Everything in the world should be this cool (see, e.g., the photo above).

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