Posts

Showing posts from January, 2006

Old G's

It’s no secret that the costs of aging populations pose an ever increasing threat to the economies of developed countries.1 Now news from Japan suggests that the threat to civilization posed by oldies may be greater than mere economics:TOKYO (Reuters) - Crimes committed by elderly people in Japan have risen sharply in the past 15 years, a trend that has officials worried as the population ages rapidly due to longer lifespans and a falling birth rate.

Police data shows that people aged 65 and older accounted for more than 10 percent of those arrested or taken into custody for crimes other than traffic violations in Japan in 2005, compared with just 2.2 percent in 1990, the Asahi newspaper said on Monday, citing National Police Agency data.

Theft topped the list of crimes committed by the elderly in 2005, while 141 elderly people were arrested for murder -- more than three times the number in 1990, the newspaper said.

Nearly one-third of the victims of crimes committed by the elderly in 20…

Two recent items on smoking

Scent of a woman

I’ve been claiming for years that sometimes I’m able to detect a woman will be receptive to my sexual advances based on her smell. Now science has finally caught up to my nose:

The man's nose knows when a woman is fertile, scientists say

"Men who nose around their partners may detect a special odour emanating from under women's arms during the fertile period of their monthly cycle, Czech scientists report.

A woman's 'most attractive' and 'least intense' armpit odour is emitted during fertility, according to a research team led by anthropologist Jan Havlicek of Prague's Charles University."

Recall that:

"Women are significantly more likely to have sex during the fertile part of their monthly cycle, suggests new research."

Smell ya later.

Monsters mostly Malaysian

Image
The government of the Malaysian state of Johor is attempting to track down the legendary Bigfoot-like animals reputed to stomp about the jungles there (when was the last time your lousy government did something as nice for you?).

Eyewitnesses describe the creatures as being tall, hairy, ape-like bipeds with huge feet. Locals call them Hantu Jarang Gigi. Why locals do this is a mystery in itself, for Hantu Jarang Gigi means “ghosts with widely spaced teeth”.

The chief minister of Johor, Abdul Ghani Othman (remember that name Nobel Prize Committee!) says the expedition will be a “proper scientific” one, that will be careful “not harm or frighten the creatures”. Hopefully expeditions allowed to frighten and harm the beasts will come later.

Sasquatches with dental problems are not the only unusual creatures infesting Malaysia these days. In the resort area of Tuaran a crustacean scientists have been unable to identify, possibly a new species, has been found:

"Characteristic of crayfish i…

Art History

Image
Did human beings have differently shaped skulls, and thus smaller brains, a mere 650 years ago?1 According to new research by a British orthodontist the answer is yes:“The two principal differences discovered were that our ancestors had more prominent features, but their cranial vault - the distance measured from the eyes to the top of the skull - was smaller. Dr Peter Rock, lead author of the study and director of orthodontistry at Birmingham University, told the BBC News website: "The astonishing finding is the increased cranial vault heights.

"The increase is very considerable. For example, the vault height of the plague skulls were 80mm, and the modern ones were 95mm - that's in the order of 20% bigger, which is really rather a lot."

He suggests that the increase in size may be due to an increase in mental capacity over the ages.”I did some research of my own, and found that there are many pictures from around slightly after the era discussed illustrating exactly …

Liberty, drollery, reality

Over at Reason’s Hit and Run I injected the following bit of drollery into a libertarianoid fantasia on the theme of marriage:

"Forbidding polygyny is inconsistent with libertarianism. But libertarianism is incompatible with polygyny. It’s quite a conundrum, but after giving it much thought libertarians have devised a solution to the paradox: legalizing pot."

(And now I seem to be blocked from posting further comments. But that may only be a technical difficulty.)

Tell me who is to blame the wind or the lady. More masterful prose and intelligent insights from the Tide Online

A poetic interlude in a controversial essay:Here is an incident I witnessed. I was walking down a street in Lagos one day where out of nowhere came this tall, fair lady in micro mini grey small body-hugging top and knee- length boots ally blew my mind, I tell you. Suddenly, it started to drizzle and the wind began to howl, picking everything that stood in its way (this was going to be one of those dark, wet days). Suddenly, up went the lady’s skirt, exposing everything that was marked “private”.

You could actually touch the screams and jeers that followed this scene. Tell me who is to blame the wind or the lady. As ladies, you can dress up responsibly and still be highly fashionable. (Why some ladies are raped)You know, as they say:Husband snatchers are still in the business of snatching husbands...

...The situation was so serious, it looked like getting out of hand, you know, as they say, “when hand-shake don reach elbow, e don pass be careful.” (Woman snatches church member’s husband

Nude yogurt happening

It’s not just America where freedom is on the wane: The Supreme Court of South Korea has upheld the conviction of a businessman who staged a “nude yogurt happening” at a Seoul art gallery in which three nude models covered themselves in flour and then “squirted each other with yogurt to reveal their bare bodies”. For this ‘crime’ the businessman was fined $5,000. While each day seems to bring news of yet another jurisdiction where squirting yogurt on the writhing, naked bodies of nubile Korean girls is illegal, eating the disgusting stuff continues to be encouraged by the medical establishment nearly everywhere. What misguided and pathetic times we live in.

Fellow travelers and useful idiots

Who said it: George Bush, the Democrats, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, or the Communist Party USA?

“[Whereas] restrictive, discriminatory, and punitive laws and practices are designed to make migrant labor more vulnerable…

[We call for]:

The rapid legalization, without discrimination or onerous conditions, of all undocumented workers and their relatives living in the United States.

The creation of mechanisms whereby immigrant workers in the future can come to the United States legally and safely with full rights.

An end to discrimination against immigrants with or without papers in the issuance of drivers licenses, and no restriction on the right of immigrants to use consular
ID cards or other country-of-origin IDs to open bank and credit accounts or to deal with government agencies.

All workers and their family members, with or without documents, to have full access to all public services paid for by their taxes and labor, including Social Security and Medicare and affordabl…

Evolution or bumble?

Our friends at The American Prospect, normally acutely sensitive when it comes to racial matters, recently published an article praising the author of this essay. Have the TAPunists views on race evolved (to borrow one of their own terms), or was it a bumble?

Life imitates Vile Bodies - in Estonia.

Sad news from the UK, the stupid whale which swam up the Thames in hopes of seeing the Queen has died. Oh well. De balena vero sufficit, si rex habeat caput, et regina caudam.

In sadder news from the UK, scientists there found cell phones do not cause brain cancer.

In other science news, biologists discovered 27 new species of repulsive and uninteresting creatures living in caves beneath Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, “some of them, to a single room in one cave.” In an attempt at one-upmanship American scientist Stuart Poss claims to have discovered a new species of fish that lives in a single bottle in Grahamstown, South Africa.

Cryptozoologists discovered a sculpture of the elusiv…

This may sound incredible, but it happened

My God, just what is going on in Nigeria? According to Nigeria’s finest newspaper The Tide (motto: “A commitiment to truth”), a middle aged woman working as a street sweeper in the city of Port Harcourt was killed when a “strange cow suddenly emerged from no where and strangled the woman to death.” Then, “after the cow had accomplished the havoc, it mysteriously disappeared the way it came since no one could trace it after thoroughly searching the area.”

I’m not sure what this incident portends, but I plan on avoiding Nigeria as long as this murderous cow with ninja skills is roaming free. I also think I'll have a hamburger for lunch.

Base football player

Seattle Seahawks President Tim Ruskell is an interesting guy. His first job in the NFL was ballboy, he once worked as a DJ, now it is likely he will be named NFL Executive of the Year. At one time he was a visiting team’s locker-room manager for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During this time, according to Ruskell:“We were playing Buffalo, and O.J. Simpson comes walking in about five hours before the game,” Ruskell said. “He befriends us. He’s talking to us and he’s practicing something for NBC. He’s going to be Othello.

“So he asks us, my guys and us, if we could read some parts. He had all these little scripts because he’s practicing his lines. We’re a bunch of idiots, don’t know what the hell we’re doing, and he is doing his lines.

“It was quick and then it was over. Didn’t think anything of it. But as I look back, doing Shakespeare with O.J. … that was a bizarre one.”I can’t find a listing of O.J. playing Othello. Is Ruskell’s memory wrong? Not necessarily. O.J. may have been cast in th…

About a newspaper read on Saturday

In the Jan. 7 Wall Street Journal is a letter from Kenneth S. Hoyt of Tampa, FL. Mr Hoyt claims to oppose illegal immigration, but opposes building a security fence on the US-Mexico border. He writes: “Ronald Reagan demanded freedom for East Berlin when he said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Could you imagine someday those words being hurled against America, land of liberty?”Well, no - because a wall built by the United States to keep Mexicans out of the United States is in no way like the Berlin Wall, which was built by the Soviet Army to enclose East Germans, and keep them from the rest of their own country. How Mr. Hoyt could confuse two so disimilar projects, merely because both are walls is beyond me. Does Mr. Hoyt think the insides of his local Wal-Mart and Wallgreens’ also resemble East Berlin? He might.

Where, I wondered, could Mr. Hoyt aquire such a strange idea? I think I have found the source: in Phoenix, Arizona last December 24-year-old Ali R. Warrayat, a Jordania…

Justice renders to every one his due

The Bush Crimes Commission (BCC) is an independent committee which has taken upon itself the duty of indicting the current President for his various atrocities. Its members include such notables as the president of the National Lawyers Guild and compulsive filer of frivolous lawsuits Michael Avery, unpopular rapper Cornel West, The Reverend Doctor Earl Kooperkamp (his name is my name too), hairy former television actor Edward Asner, Eve Ensler (famous authoress of the play ‘Chatting With Snatches’), the great Belgian moralist Patrick Deboosere, the Maoist C. Clark Kissinger (who bears the burden of his unfortunate surname with the utmost dignity if you ask me), and, of course, Gore Vidal (one of these without Vidal is like mashed potatoes without gravy).

One of the crimes against humanity the Commission promises to investigate is Bush’s failure to “emphasize safe sex and the use of condoms”. If they find him guilty I wonder what his sentence will be. I’m sure the BCC opposes the deat…

A blog goes inside inside the blogs on TV

I made the mistake of watching the news on television the other day. It was even worse than news in the newspaper. On CNN they had a segment called “Inside the Blogs”, where they show blogs...on TV. Seriously, some lady came out and talked about what she read on “the blogs” that day. Is there a single person seeing blogs on TV who says “Finally, somebody gets it right, blogs on TV”? What will they show next, some guy talking about what he’s been listening to on AM radio?

I asked a fellow at the bar everyone calls Sarge because he spent the latter part of the 80’s serving our great country in the military what he thought about blogs on TV. “I’ve never seen blogs on TV,” he said, “and I hope I never do. I didn’t go to hell and back in Korea so they could put blogs on TV.” Indeed, Sarge, indeed. Also none of the blogs featured were mine.

Brokeback Revisited

Can you guess the author of the following ‘hate speech’?:“I haven't seen "Brokeback Mountain," nor do I have any intention of seeing it. In fact, cowboys would have to lasso me, drag me into the theater and tie me to the seat, and even then I would make every effort to close my eyes and cover my ears….I just don't want to watch two straight men, alone on the prairie, fall in love and kiss and hug and hold hands and whatnot.”No, not me. It was Larry David, writing a brief review in the New York Times of a movie he hasn't seen.

Imagine the reaction if those same words were written by Mel Gibson, for example, in another newspaper. The New York Times would probably publish an editorial condemning him as a ‘homophobe’ and demand he be re-educated via diversity training. It’s a double standard, but we should be happy that someone got to say it.

Another double standard brought to mind by David’s essay: why is it acceptable to have straight actors play homosexualists? Wo…