Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Polarized Viewpoints

Rollo's noticed that there are several research expeditions who are tracking the habits and habitat of the polar bear. Rollo's been watching the polar bear watchers.

Polar bears are very cool, and not just because they live in the Arctic Circle. They always walk with confidence, not easy to do when you appear to be the albino mutation of your ferocious grizzly cousins. Polar bears are ferocious too, it's just that since they made the Coke commercial we all see them as wanting to teach the world to sing. Not to mention the fact that most of those nature shows have such great footage of fluffy white bears frolicking across frosty ice floes. It looks like a great life.

Not so, say researchers. One group of researchers up in Alaska have been reporting polar cannibalism. Seems they are finding instances of bears attacking each other. Never mind that other kinds of bears in other climates also occasionally attack each other and eat each other. Polar Bears do it because of... da da da dum.... yep, Global Warming.

Global warming is making food hard to find, say the completely unbiased researchers, and it's turning polar bears into heartless carnivores who operate without conscience. The ice floes where seals normally breed are melting. Usually the polar bears eat the seals, probably in a conscientous effort to control the seal population. Maybe all the barking gets to them. Who knows? But if there's no ice, there's no seals.

Now circle around the arctic to Greenland where another group of scientists with a penchant for polar bears has determined through the hazardous taking of precise measurements that the genitalia of Greenlandic polar bears are shrinking. And why is this happening?

Okay, this is the part where you have to pay attention. Greenland's polar bears are suffering from shrunken genitals because they eat too many seals who live in polluted waters. Notice that there's no mention of lack of seals here. Yet just around the corner in the same Arctic Circle, there aren't enough seals.

The scientists say these polar bears are the most polluted species because of the animals they eat and because their bodies contain huge amounts of fat and blubber where pollutants get stored. The strange thing is that seals are just balls of fat and blubber with tiny flippers attached and yet the scientists have not remarked on the size of their genitals.

I know, it's confusing. The problem with research scientists is that they have to come up with something that makes happy the people who are funding the research. The scientists in Alaska are busy trying to prove global warming while those in Greenland are being paid to find horror stories of the effects of pollution on natural environments.

Regardless of whether there are too few seals, or only poisonous seals, it seems there may be only one clear way to save both populations of polar bears. They should just start eating the scientists.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Saddam is Hunger Struck

Saddam Hussein, on his third hunger strike since October, has been hospitalized. At the hospital, Hussein has been given nutrition through a feeding tube with his consent. But all along he has been taking sugar and water with added nutrients, and just refusing meals. What kind of hunger strike is that?

On the other hand, we never heard of Martha Stewart staging a hunger strike and let's face it, she was used to much better food and so prison food must have been quite a shocker. And what about the sorry state of the table settings, the lack of garnishes and the incorrect folding of the napkins? No sir, you never heard so much as a whimper out of her, she was far more stoic than Saddam ever could be.

I think if a man wants to go on a hunger strike, let him. If he wishes to starve himself to death... well, although he's a prisoner he does have certain rights. It would be cruelly depriving him of his rights as a human being to force feed him. But Saddam doesn't even have the moxie to stage a convincing hunger strike. First, he doesn't abstain from all nutrition and then when he feels a bit faint, he's off to the hospital.

I guess when you don't have a cause aside from your own insane obstructiveness, then it's impossible to put your actions where your mouth is, especially when your mouth runs the sort of tripe Saddam's does.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

An Inconvenient Post

It's so hard to pull a good bank job these days. Video cameras, secret alarms and dye in the stacks of money make bank robbery a very difficult profession. Charmaine Williams Stein thought she had all the bugs worked out, right down to having a bank teller as an accomplice. She made a clean get-away, netting $22,000 tax-free dollars. Well, it was a clean get away until they read the hold-up note.

Stein had written her note demanding money on the back of a bulk mail advertisement with her address clearly printed on the back. She is being held on $20,000 bail which she no longer has the funds to pay.

Saddam Hussein's wife has made the most-wanted list. Rollo imagines it's the first time she has made a list of wanted women since Saddam came a-courting.

Scientists predict that a large asteroid will miss the earth tomorrow, coming only about as close as the distance that the moon is from the planet. They had originally planned to have the asteroid strike earth sometime this century but apparently that's off and it's going to give us a miss. Phew, Rollo didn't want to miss the 4th of July cookout.

Over at Gone Away, Clive Allen has posted a very thoughtful piece on how intelligent people often arrive at different conclusions based on the same evidence. He has also posted a link to an interesting article about Al Gore's documentary on global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth". Go on over and have a read. In addition to the link he has posted, Rollo found this article by an MIT professor on the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, which also disputes the "science" Al Gore cites as support for his alarmism

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Blurring the Lines - Which side of the road are you on?

The psycho-babblers are at it again. Their newest conclusion? Road rage is actually a physical disorder and those who "suffer" from road rage (yes, they actually used the word "suffer", c'mon, these poor people are the real victims) are actually experiencing an episode of IED, intermittent explosive disorder.

So that guy who flips you the finger, the driver who tries to muscle you off the road, the maniac who chases for miles a car he thinks cut him off just so he can retaliate, is only a victim of a chemical brain imbalance.

Tell the guy in Santa Monica to feel sorry for his assailant. The guy who went so far as to pull over to let his tailgater pass only to find the other driver refused this offer and instead followed him for blocks, leaning on his horn. When he got out of his car, the poor IED sufferer ran him over with his SUV, sending him to the hospital with serious injuries.

The interesting thing to Rollo is that one article on "road rage" only interviewed female victims of IED. It's very important when trying to excuse what amounts to violent behaviour that we make sure you understand it isn't just a "male" thing.

Another article attributes all the shootings at schools, including Columbine, to intermittent explosive disorder. As I remember it, Columbine was pretty carefully planned by Harris and Klebold. In what way does this qualify as intermittent or explosive. These acts are generally planned and not the result of a sudden explosion of anger.

They say that they can now treat IED with medication and therapy. We used to call this "anger management". When will we face the facts and realize it is the incivility in our own society, the way the younger generation is being allowed to grow up without rules for behaviour and no consequences for bad behaviour that causes the upswing in violence in our society and the disappearance of empathy?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

This time it's not my fault

"We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown." T.S. Eliot

Israeli scientists have identified 8 previously unknown and unique species in a heretofore undiscovered cave. Some of the creatures resemble shrimp and scorpions. The cave is a closed ecosystem, with warm, sulphuric water and is not dependent on the photosynthesis food chain but is completely self-sustaining. The cave had been covered by a layer of chalk that made it impenetrable to water and external nutrients and was completely cut off from the outside world for millions of years. It was, anyway, till the scientists dug their way in.

Israel Naaman, the member of the team that made the discovery, admits that the exposure to oxygen caused by their expedition could endanger the ecosystem.

Rollo would like that noted so that when these "new" species go belly-up and extinct, the blame isn't put on the usual suspects. These creatures were not endangered by cigarette smokers, the consumption of fossil fuels, the fur trade or the war in Iraq.

Allen G. Collins, a research fellow at the Smithsonian Institution stated that this important find shows how little we know about our planet and how important it is to keep looking.

Disappointing however, is the fact that they still haven't found Nessie.

The story can be found here.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Smoke if you got 'em *

There has been a third fatal shooting at a Denny's restaurant in California. The strange thing is, it wasn't because of the food. Why only at Denny's? And why only at California Denny's?

And in other big news in California, the town of Calabasas has banned all public smoking. You may not smoke anywhere that people congregate or where they might be exposed to your smoke and generally not within twenty feet of anyone who might not smoke or might object. You can still smoke in your home though, as long as you aren't in an apartment that is adjacent to a public area or have a balcony that is adjacent to a public area. I hope they don't have a Denny's in Calabasas, that's all they need. Can you imagine the carnage a restaurant full of nicotine-deprived, coffee-injected, Denny's patrons could cause?

Ireland has banned all smoking in pubs. You can't go in for a smoke and a pint anymore. Owners of pubs are vocal in their opposition to the ban, fearing a loss of business and of alienating customers. Proponents cite 150 workers' deaths last year from passive smoking (that's what they call it...really). But Con Denehy, an owner of such an establishment is quoted by the BBC as saying:
"There are pubs, particularly in rural Ireland, where you have old folk coming in who have been sitting in the same seats for 30, 40 or even 50 years. It's going to be very difficult for publicans to ask those people who have been so loyal to them over the years to desist from smoking."

I can understand that. What I don't understand is how these patrons manage to still be alive after 50 years of smoking and drinking and yet 150 non-smokers died from even being in the same room with them. The answer is clear. Non-smokers aren't very healthy. A smoker can live in a room where the air is blue for years, but according to the new law in Calabasas CA, a non-smoker will succumb at a distance of twenty feet from even the wafting, diluted smoke of just one cigarette. They will develop asthma, allergies, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and one of those pinched faces that always displays a look of great disapproval and disdain. Ugh, terrible.

So the lessons of today are:
1. Quit being so cheap and spend a little more for dinner and you won't be killed over the bottomless cup of coffee at Denny's.
2. Don't quit smoking. Second hand smoke kills. Get it firsthand.

* Rollo is not responsible for the overreactions of pinched faces to his tongue in cheek

Saturday, February 25, 2006

He's no Baghdad Bob but....

An advisor to Iran's Revolutionary Guard, one Dr. Abasi, has stated that if the U.S. launches an attack on Iran that Iran will retaliate by attacking Israel's main nuclear facility.

Huh? Okay, let's forget for a moment that this makes no sense at all and that Dr. Abasi is just too afraid to threaten the United States directly. Let's concentrate on the missing information in Dr. Abasi's history lesson.

Remember Entebbe? Let me tell you, if I am ever on a plane that is taken hostage I hope it is a plane chock full of Israelis. Listen, they don't sit around and wring their hands, they take action. Remember how France built Saddam Hussein that lovely nuclear reactor? Oh yeah, well it was for the purpose of supplying energy only. I mean, just because the man walked around on billions of dollars worth of oil doesn't mean he wasn't concerned about becoming too reliant on fossil fuels. Well, Israel had one good look at that, all shiny and new, then flew right in and destroyed it. It's no good Dr. Abasi, with the state of your military, you better find someone else to threaten.

Now, if you want that sort of threat to work, you get Al Gore elected President. Then you threaten to blow up some endangered whales or something if we don't immediately meet your demands. But Rollo thinks you have about the same grasp on reality as the former Iraqi Information Minister - except you're not as funny. Getting there, though. Work on it.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Oh sama these days, you're gonna miss me baby...

An audio tape posted on a militant web site Monday contains the voice of Bin Laden vowing the following:

"I have sworn to only live free. Even if I find bitter the taste of death, I don't want to die humiliated or deceived".

Osama would rather taste of death than be captured alive.

Works for me.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Here and There

Rollo was pleased to hear that legendary superhero BATMAN is being called in to track down Osama Bin Laden. That's the premise of the new graphic novel by Frank Miller, HOLY TERROR! BATMAN. Rollo's idea was to somehow find a way to count all the training Bin Laden received from the CIA as a government student loan that's been defaulted or even just tax him for the monetary value of that training and send the IRS after him. Nobody gets away from the IRS.

In other news, Rollo is watching the new diet techniques of Saddam Hussein. Rollo did think that prison food was making him pudgy, and maybe even a little cranky. Rollo wonders how effective it is for a man on trial for war crimes for which he could get the death penalty, to threaten to starve himself. What's the big reaction to that? Ho, hum.

Anti Mohammed cartoon protestors are still at it, rioting erupted in Lahore, Pakistan. The rioters vandalized buildings and burned some down, including Kentucky Fried Chicken. Guess they wanted extra crispy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

GAO report tracks victim's spending

While the focus on the fraudulent use of those debit cards issued to evacuees after Hurricane Katrina has been on the use of false or multiple social security numbers, the GAO has filed an interesting report on just where some of that money was spent. Purchases tracked to the cards include porn, strip clubs and tattoos.

An abstract of the report can be found here.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Victimizing America

This has got to be the best story of the week:

Millions of Katrina aid wasted, review finds

After Katrina, there was a hue and cry that the federal government didn't care, didn't act fast enough, didn't do enough. In fact, FEMA appeared to be a branch of government specifically set up to ensure that victims of disasters did not survive.

So, FEMA rushes down to Louisiana and one of the first things they do is hand out $2000.00 debit cards to victims of Katrina so they can purchase basic necessities. But it seems that a good many of those debit cards were obtained with false social security numbers, addresses and names.

What? Someone other than the federal government taking advantage and stealing from victims of disaster?

Who would have believed it?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

From Dust to Dust

I noticed a news article about the space capsule that recently came back down to earth. NASA sent it out to collect dust particles from a comet. It worked well, which is why we know about it and the other day it crashed, I mean landed, in a desert in Utah.

Space dust. Very interesting stuff, I imagine. Or is it? They say this is really, really old dust.
Is there such a thing as new dust? Is there anything new? Maybe this is dust from the formation of the universe, which means it is as old as the universe. But since the universe is all made up of basically the same stuff, how is it any older? In fact, since I am made up of earth stuff and earth is made up of universe stuff, I figure my dust is just as important.

Anyway, NASA spends billions of dollars collecting dust in space and then brings it down in a very fitting place, the desert. Where are you going to find a dustier spot? Which I think should clue them in. They probably don't even see the comical side to that, scientists are not known for humor. But I think of a capsule costing billions of dollars, full of imported dust sitting in the desert and I realize, Hey! we have a lot of dust here already.

Of course, I am not a scientist so the point probably escapes me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Rare Rollo

Yeah, well I don't know why I am doing this. My sister has this blog and she says "Hey Rollo, this blogging is great". Now my sister, she's very smart. I think it's cause Mom always gave her the Wilma vitamins out of the Flintstones vitamin jar. I think I mostly got Fred and Barney, and you know how dumb they are. I always thought if I had got Dino or maybe even Bam Bam, I would have been smart too. But Fred? C'mon, he used to get locked out of the house by the saber-toothed cat. If you can be outsmarted by a cat that eventually becomes extinct then you can't be too bright.

Oh yeah, the blog. Well, it's new, just started. I meant to write something more interesting than a dissertation on children's chewable vitamins but it's supposed to be ramblings, right?

So anyway, I listened to my sister and started this blog. I always listen to her, since she has a better education, a lot of net savvy, and that Wilma vitamin advantage.

I haven't figured out yet what my niche is, I guess. Everyone is supposed to have a niche, but I don't think I fit into any at the moment.

So, I guess you will get all Rollo, all the time. Yeah, I wouldn't come back either. But hey, maybe my sister will.