Monkey hates you

March 9th, 2009

A canny chimpanzee who calmly collected a stash of rocks and then hurled them at zoo visitors in fits of rage has confirmed that apes can plan ahead just like humans, a Swedish study said Monday

Is this really all that shocking? They're close relatives, after all.

"It is normal behavior for alpha males to want to influence their surroundings ... It is extremely frustrating for him that there are people out of his reach who are pointing at him and laughing," Osvath said. "It cannot be good to be so furious all the time."

So the monkey decides to take his high-and-mighty hairless relatives down a peg or two. Especially those bastards who keep calling him a "monkey." He probably saves the pointiest rocks for them.

Fortunately, this tale has a happy ending:

For a while, zoo keepers tried locking Santino up in the morning so he couldn't collect ammunition for his assaults, but he remained aggressive. They ultimately decided to castrate him in the autumn last year...

Yeah, I'm sure that having his 'nads chopped off will make him forget about his desire to bash in our heads. I guess it prevents him from fathering any more superintelligent planning monkeys.

Yes, apes, whatever. I'm content to be part of the problem.


March 3rd, 2009

It's impossible to read ad copy that says "MASSIVE BY DESIGN" and not immediately think, "Yeah, well, so's my..."

Random Music Recommendation

February 18th, 2009

I really like this band right now, but I'm a bit afraid that I'll turn on them in the near future. I often feel that way, though, so I'll just go with the recommendation: Ume, who apparently everyone else is just discovering, too.

(Ok, yes, that is almost certainly why I have reservations.)

But damned if they don't do a good job of revamping mid-90s thrashing indie rock music. And with a crushworthy, guitar-shredding manic pixie dream girl material lead singer/guitarist, too.

Now that I've listened to the EP, I have to admit that I really like it. It's really painful to jump on the bandwagon like this, but they've got a really good, polished sound that's almost surprising coming from a three-member band. But the three just work really well together, with lots of loud, somewhat swirly guitars (does it ever hurt to add Shoegaze to Indie Rock! No, it does not), and the lead singer has an appealingly husky, raspy voice that reminds me of...someone. I haven't placed it yet. Not Kim Gordon, although that's an obvious comparison. Ok, maybe a bit like Kim Gordon. But I'm thinking of someone else. I just can't remember who at the moment.

Food, poisonous food...

February 15th, 2009

Apparently, taking a loss by destroying tainted products and not poisoning people would be better for the long-term success of a company.

Although, to be fair, after the criminally incompetent regulation we've seen over the last eight years (when we saw any at all), it probably seemed like a pretty safe bet.

"It's regrettable, but it's inevitable with the events of last month," said Andrew S. Goldstein, a bankruptcy lawyer in Roanoke, Va., who filed the petition.

No, it's not at all regrettable, and yes, it damn well should be inevitable.

"We kicked the tires on trying to reorganize, but the fact of the matter is they've absolutely closed down," Goldstein said. "They're prevented from carrying on business. There didn't seem like there would be any prospects."

YES. I'm pretty sure that's the entire point: When you sell peanut butter that kills people, you shouldn't be too surprised when people refuse to trust your product. When you knowingly sell peanut butter that kills people, you shouldn't be too surprised to see an angry mob erecting a scaffold outside your window.

"They're prevented from carrying on business." No, to hell with that: Peanut Corp. isn't the victim, not in any conceivable way. Maybe some employees, sure, but when the CEO said, "Screw it, toss those contaminated nuts into the batch," he made a deliberate decision, and that decision killed the company.

Is that decision, between "post a loss for this quarter" and "sell a product that could possibly kill people," really that difficult? Like my fellow blogger on this site, I ask, rhetorically: How many lives is a corporation worth?

Conservative welfare

February 6th, 2009

I need to stop talking about politics for a while. It just annoys me. But sometimes I just can't resist, and I have a question: Why the hell are conservative pundits still getting work?

Millions of people losing their jobs, and yet there's still a bunch of idiots who receive regular paychecks, for no reason that I can discern.

Take Robert J. Samuelson, of the Washington Post. I'm no economist, but I've read far too many of his columns...actually, I could stop there, and you could pity me for that. But, continuing...I've read far too many of his columns, and then immediately wondered what the damned hell he's talking about. He once claimed that economists just cannot figure out why people would pay more for an original painting than they would for a reproduction.

No, really, he did. Which means that either he only knows the stupidest economists on Earth, or else he's a complete, blithering idiot. Or both. But definitely the latter.

I took ONE course in econ in college, but I do remember something about "supply" and "demand," and how they're related in some way.

(That column, by the way, is one of the reasons why I finally stopped reading Newsweek.)

Then there's Ben Stein. If I know more than economics than Robert Samuelson, then a concussed gerbil knows more about economics than Ben Stein. The man has done one thing well in his life, and that involved about, what? A minute of screen time?

The man has been wrong, just massively wrong in his economic predictions. Obviously, howlingly wrong, with a failure rate that would've had anyone fired from a normal job many, many years ago, and utterly and completely blacklisted.

Then, of course, you have someone like Bill Kristol. He doesn't even rise to the level of "concussed gerbil." If you picked any policy matter and flipped a coin, you'd have a success rate at least 50% greater than his. And yet, even after he gets fired, he's hired again in a matter of hours. Even though basing every decision on a coin toss would be far, far better than taking his advice, he still has a job.

Either these people know that they're lying, in which case they're evil, mendacious bastards, or they don't know, in which case they're criminally stupid.

Yes, I know: This stuff has been hashed over again and again. But why do we still need to hear from them? When the Republicans were in power, we were told that of course we needed to hear from the Conservative viewpoint! And now that they're out of power, of course we need to hear from them!

All of which might lead one to think that the bad old Liberal Media is doing a really bad job of being even remotely liberal. But since people with a vested interest in having us believe that that's true case keep telling us that it's true, then, obviously, it must be true.

And Bill Kristol is bound to be right about something, someday.