Category Archives: Odd

Vice Now As Unscrupulous As Any Mainstream Media

I have been annoyed for some time now by Vice. I remember it several years ago as being some new, edgy thing with some great stories. It was incredibly alternative and a ‘breath of fresh air.’ I thought of it less as ‘journalism’ or ‘documenting’ things and more as a website or group that focused on documenting and hosting videos of people’s adventures to great places.

This is where the whole informal feeling to it started, but naturally this informal feeling was gradually polished. But when you polish informality, it is like polishing a Turd and hoping that it will shine. It is now just a juvenile, “alt media” portal that caters to the immature.

There seems to be more stories now about “dude smoke weed” “This rapper is crazy and click here to see why,” “Interview with a terrorist ZOMG.” “In Brazil: Drugs & Sex, Oh Yeah.”  The fact that they have a whole new outlet devoted to music should be enough to tip you off that this is going to be some glorified and slightly more serious version of a humor website.

But if you wanted the evidence that they are essentially just Mainstream Media with an “edge,” here it is:

By all accounts, the brief tenure of Charles Davis as an associate editor working out of the Los Angeles bureau for Vice Media was not a happy one.

He showed promise when he was hired in July, after having written a couple of successful stories for the company as a freelancer, the first one dating back to late 2012.

But he was dismissed less than two months later, and shortly afterward, Davis went public with a series of accusations against his former employer, backed up by screenshots of emails he posted this week to Twitter, suggesting that the company had killed articles he’d written because of potential conflicts with advertisers and “brand partners” of the company.

Today, some of those tweets were published by Gawker, where in late May a piece was published citing a number of anonymous sources and former Vice Media staffers who said that Vice had edited stories to make them more palatable to sponsors, citing several specific incidents. At the time, Vice denied the story categorically.

Davis’ accusations, if true, complicate that denial. And Davis, who to be sure is a motivated source, told Capital that he believes he was fired after repeatedly writing stories that offended brands, and for his greenlighting of an anti-N.F.L. story from an independent journalist without first “running it up the flagpole” to get it approved by officers of the company.

Davis, now 30, had his first freelance story for Vice.com published on Dec. 21, 2012. On Dec. 2, 2013, Vice published a story of his about unpaid labor among liberal media organizations. In January, he followed that up with a story about unpaid labor at the South by Southwest festival. At this year’s festival, which took place in March, Vice Media co-sponsored an event venue with AT&T.

etc.

Capital New York

Vice protects its corporate sponsors and advertisers just like anyone else, and we can certainly guess that they are doing their best to grow all of that just like anybody else.

Next time you go and look at some amazing story over there, remember the only thing that separates them from mainstream media these days is scale & target audience.

Just watch the BBC ,National Geographic, Journeyman Productions, etc. and you will be able to get quality reporting and stories but without some douchey hipster hosting the debacle in a contrived unprofessional way.

Feudal Communists Unwinding & Softening Image

It is as if North Korea has become aware under the new leadership of Kim Jong-eun that they are regarded for what they rightfully are: the creepy old Stalinist charisma dictatorship that also lends itself well to the stereotype of the average citizen being a soulless automaton.

In efforts to soften this image that we have of them, the North Koreans have made these events & videos that only serve to lend themselves further to the very stereotype that I assume they are trying to break.

These dances were held to mark the anniversary of the start of the career of the late Kim Jong-il. Because you aren’t living in an overbearing authoritarian state when the father of your current leader (and son of your nation’s founder) has a Holiday marking the day that he began his “career” (a career in continuing the destruction & enslavement of your country):

Now don’t have too much fun now, kids!

God, so much bliss — and check out those highly choreographed dance moves! I bet that they all came in early or stayed late at work to practice their organized dancing before the cameras. Just to illustrate what a free & light hearted nation we are, let’s all do matching dances to commemorate our leader’s career…

Not only this, but they have held a creepy Day for the Disabled event in what looks like a High School gym just to show us that the disabled also get their opportunity to participate in the Cult of Kim Jong-eun:

Events included the famous keep a balloon afloat while moving forward in a wheel chair, which was greeted with applause by the audience because everyone knows that seeing this sort of thing is just wildly entertaining. Something tells me stereotypes of the disabled in North Korea must be strong enough that they are surprised they can do anything at all.

… Of course, blind singers & deaf dancers also appear, and one of the dancers is there to insure us she only wishes she could do her routine in front of KJE.

What an unceasing freak show the North is.

‘The Politics of Denunciation’ : a look into the radical feminist movement

Thomas Paine Cox posted this article somewhere, and thank you very much for it. I find it to be an interesting look into what is all too often an incomprehensible far leftist movement that is so hard for many people who aren’t involved to relate to. Perhaps because of reasons that my good friend Jan has pointed out time & time again: in these organizations the Left is not actually attempting to create real, meaningful change but is more focused on creating an environment where they can compete for the ultimate prize of King of the Politically Correct Social Justice Warriors.

Such a precedent, of course, points out the glaring flaw of many of the revolutionary movements: that they are not even really working towards an end goal but they are merely forming their own community and their perceived networking is nothing more than being active in a social club.

Not to mention all of the below article will illustrate just how foreign & bourgeois they end up becoming to even the people who might normally express interest in membership in a leftist organization working for their betterment:

A year ago, on February 28, 2013, at an event titled “Patriarchy and the Movement,” I watched as a friend of mine attempted to pose several questions based on her experience trying to address domestic violence and other abuse in the context of radical organizing.

“Why have the forms of accountability processes that we’ve seen in radical subcultures so regularly failed?” she asked.  “Is there a tension between supporting a survivor’s healing and holding perpetrators accountable?”  

At that point she was, quite literally, shouted down. An angry roar came up from the crowd, from both the audience and the panelists.  It quickly became impossible to hear her and, after a few seconds, she simply stopped trying to speak.

The weeks that followed produced an atmosphere of distrust and recrimination unlike anything I had experienced in more than twenty years of radical organizing.  A few people were blamed for specific transgressions.  (My friend was one: she was accused of violating the venue’s “Safer Space” policy, “triggering” audience members, and employing “patriarchal mechanisms” in her statement.)  Others were called out for unspecified abusive or sexist behavior.  And a great many more were alleged to have supported or defended or coddled those guilty of such offenses.

Keep reading for the explanation of this particularly confusing twist in the plot. It is surprising for all of us who do not live in a world where easy & resolute denunciations of people for wanting to have a political discussion come in.

I kind of chuckle reading this and imagine that some of the major conflicts within the Soviet Union or Mao’s China were not unlike this — ideological veterans speaking a language that they can only readily access bantering over a million silly abstractions:

The ensuing controversy destroyed at least one political organization, and an astonishing number of activists––many with more than a decade of experience––talked about quitting politics altogether.  I know people who lost friends and lovers, often not because of anything they had done, but because of how they felt about the situation. Several people––mostly women, interestingly––told me they were afraid to say anything about the controversy, lest they go “off-script” and find themselves denounced as bad feminists.

 

Questioning

 

One might expect that in the midst of conflict questions about how we address abusive behavior and hold each other accountable would seem particularly relevant.  Instead, in a statement released after the event, the unnamed “Patriarchy and the Movement” organizers tried to bar such questions from being raised at all. They wrote:

“We also feel that framing the discourse around survivor’s needs as ‘political disagreements’ or ‘political arguments’ is in of itself sexist––as it pretends that this conversation should be emptied of subjective narrative, or that there is an equal playing ground in the conversation because the conversation itself isn’t about real power, or that this conversation itself isn’t already racialized and gendered. It is also problematic, in that it suggests that there is a neutral or objective rationality in this debate, rather than the possibility that the debate itself and the content of the debate is a socially contingent result of prevailing power dynamics.”

If political framing does all that––assumes objectivity, equality, ahistoriocity, race and gender neutrality, and an absence of power––then it becomes hard to see how political discussion is possible, not only about gender, but at all.  On the other hand, if political discussion relies on those conditions, then not only would it be impossible, it would also be unnecessary.  For it is precisely the disputes over truth, the contested facts of history, identity, inequality, and power that give politics its shape, its content, and its significance.  The second sentence of the above quotation contradicts the first:  the argument runs that this discussion cannot be political, because it is necessarily political.  

           

Their statement continues:

“There are direct consequences to these ‘debates’, and there [are] physical bodies involved. As survivors and feminists, we must become cautious when our bodies[,] our safety, and our well-being, as well as our needs around our bodies, safety, and well beings, become the subject of ‘political debate’. For us, there is more at stake here than just the merits of a ‘debate’. Our bodies, safety, health, personal autonomy, and well-beings are at stake. We do not agree with people having a ‘political argument’ at our expense. The outcome could be life or death for us.”

That is true: There are serious consequences to the debate about accountability.  There are lives, and not merely principles, at stake.  But rather than being a reason not to argue these issues, that is precisely the reason that we must.  

If politics means anything, it means that there are consequences––sometimes, literally, life or death consequences––to the decisions we make.  When it comes to war, climate change, immigration, policing, health care, working conditions––in all of these areas, as with gender, “bodies, safety, health, personal autonomy, and well-beings are at stake.”  That is why politics matters.

Fallacies

While attempting to elevate feminism to a place above politics, the organizers’ statement in fact advances a very specific kind of politics.  Speaking authoritatively but anonymously, the “Patriarchy and the Movement” organizers declare certain questions off-limits, not only (retroactively) for their own event, but seemingly altogether. These questions cannot be asked because, it is assumed, there is only one answer, and the answer is already known. The answer is, in practice, whatever the survivor says that it is.

Under this theory, the survivor, and the survivor alone, has the right to make demands, while the rest of us are duty-bound to enact sanctions without question.  One obvious implication is that all allegations are treated as fact.  And often, specific allegations are not even necessary.  It may be enough to characterize someone’s behavior ––or even his fundamental character––as “sexist,” “misogynist,” “patriarchal,” “silencing,” “triggering,” “unsafe,” or “abusive.”  And on the principle that bad does not allow for better or worse, all of these terms can be used more or less interchangeably.  After all, the point is not really to make an accusation, which could be proved or disproved; the point is to offer a judgment.  Thus it is possible for large groups of people to dislike and even punish some maligned person without even pretending to know what it is, specifically, he is supposed to have done.  He has been “called out” as a perpetrator; nothing else matters.

Under this schema, it is taken for granted that no survivor is ever also an abuser, and no abuser is the survivor of someone else’s violence.  Naturally, no past victimization can justify or excuse present abuse, but the strict dichotomy implied here too neatly defines the past away; by the same reasoning, it also forestalls the potential for future healing or growth.  

What it offers, instead, is a reassuring dualism in which survivors and abusers exist, not only as roles we sometimes fill or positions we sometimes hold, but as particular types of people who are essentially those things, locked forever into one or the other of these categories, and (not incidentally) gendered in a conventional, stereotyped binary.  Each person is assigned a role and, to some degree, reduced to their position in this story.  One is only a perpetrator/abuser; the other is only a victim/survivor.  They are each defined by the suffering they have caused, or the suffering they have endured––but never by both.

A double transformation occurs.  Patriarchy ceases to be a mode of power and system of social stratification and becomes, instead, identified with the behavior of an individual man and is even thought to be personified by him.  At the same time, both perpetrator and survivor are depersonalized, abstracted from the context and the narratives of their lives, and cast instead as symbolic figures in a kind of morality play.  

Our scrutiny shifts, then, from the abuse to the abuser, from the act to the actor. Instead of seeking out ways to heal the harm that has been done, we invest our collective energy in judging the character of the man responsible.  

(The article by Kristian Williams continues at the link below)

Toward Freedom

Williams writes a good criticism of what happens when overzealous people cease to have functioning minds and instead seek to only uphold  static party line that is beyond question.

The party line itself, of course, was created after decades of feminist movements trying to stir themselves to go to greater lengths beyond the sixties feminism. No longer is it about attaining some grounds of equality and being liberated from an antiquated view of women’s role in society that was still very much alive in the sixties, but it has moved on to radicalize and attempt to keep itself relevant in our lives today. In order to this it has to create a narrative where the masculine repression of the feminine is still a relevant theme.

Something fun to potentially look at further than this that illustrates an interesting divide: I had recently asked a group of Communists how they feel about these sorts of famous identity politics, and the response was emphatically negative towards these groups. Negative, of course, because these do not address the real issues facing a legitimate struggle from a leftist perspective but are, as we just pointed out, clawing at the culture around them in an attempt to stay relevant by radicalizing and shifting their positions…

All of this, of course, while major issues of income inequality and exploitation of workers in third world countries grows more dire. Yet, the view of identity politics is that there are major issues that need to be answered in Portland or Seattle or San Francisco more than they need to be confronted in Nepal, Nigeria or Colombia.Thereby a veritable comedy of radical identity politics organizations that are doing nothing to help any leftist cause.

… I am not even a leftist and I see why people find this annoying…

What the article also importantly points out is how vicious and pointless these identity politics become when they are as tools of political assassination within these minor, blips not-even-on-the-radar groups. It is really nothing less than social groups doing in-fighting. And the irony is that they have suspended all reason and rationality to maintain some preconceived concept of victimhood (because their ideology is chiefly concerned with their own or their target audiences statuses as victims).

The whole thing is always apt to climax into a an orgy of perplexing yelling:

All of this happened because Kristian Williams was speaking and is because, apparently, she supports the idea of questioning the continued practice of rote denunciation and branding, and would actually like to hold some political dialog on a topic.

… What do you even say to people who equate open discussion with violence?

I think these people are perfect illustrations of what happens when ideology is left utterly unchecked and fanaticism is encouraged.

Korean Birthday Sends Rodman to Rehab (Obviously…)

A bit of non-news for anyone who has lived or partied in Korea: if you have any substance abuse issue, a Korean birthday party is probably not the place to be as it may exacerbate your alcoholism and drive you towards gross substance abuse…

(Reuters) – Retired basketball star Dennis Rodman has checked himself into an alcohol treatment program, his spokesman said Saturday, just days after returning to the United States fromNorth Korea, where he ignited a furor over comments he made about an American citizen held prisoner there.

Rodman voluntarily entered an alcohol rehabilitation facility several days ago, according to agent Darren Prince. The location of the facility was not disclosed.

Rodman returned to the United States this week after a trip to North Korea where he attended the birthday party of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“It had been a very stressful day,” Rodman said earlier this month. “My dreams of basketball diplomacy were quickly falling apart. I had been drinking. It’s not an excuse but by time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed.”

 

Reuters

What makes this all delightfully silly is the ‘basketball diplomacy’ comment.

I enjoy how there is always this feeling that people think we can overcome great differences through a relatively superficial aspect (sports, music, film)… One would have thought Rodman would only get this idea while drinking alcohol.

Obviously, though, while it was not spelled out… We can be quite sure that Rodman was drunk as a skunk for quite some time in north Korea if there is any similarities between north and south.

Rodman is just another one of the many Westerners who ventured to Korea and had their alcoholism elevated  new heights.

Corpses Of Red Haired Giants in Nevada?

I stumbled across this blogpost when perusing Varg Vikernes’ Thulean perspective. I am not sure how accurate it is but apparently some of this evidence is even on display in Nevada.

Basically, some Native American tribes has a legend about red haired giants which they had fought and killed. They were fierce warriors and apparently cannibals, and they stood as tall as twelve feet (according to the Natives). In their legends they are listed as red haired but apparently there is no evidence of that that has been confirmed scientifically.

Rather, this blogpost says that there is evidence that they were, indeed, quite giant and that they potentially had knowledge of calendars (and thus, by default, astronomy) that is generally more advanced than the Native American peoples. This is all quite a mystery but, again, apparently these giant skeletons have been found and even put on display in Nevada though this is simply from a blogpost so I cannot really tell the veracity of it.

Look for yourself at the Ironlight post here.  

Glad I’m Not Part Of This Mess

I’ve been involved in the local punk scene since… forever. Naturally, this has afforded me the opportunity, over the years to associate with a lot of interesting and awesome people — but sometimes my Facebook ‘news feed’ (as if any of this is somehow comparable to news) gets some golden nuggets of shit that makes me feel so goddamned good that I didn’t somehow end up like the political-left punks.

What I am about to post I do not think that some of our more proper far left elements would approve of:

link

Basically, this is coming down to the idea that:

– Liberal bullshit that white guy says to a black guy in a suit is Wrong, because it is stereotyping non-whites
– It is clear that the original intent of the dialog was not meant to be specific to minorities
– An Asian user responds by talking about how he feels discriminated against and stereotyped by white liberals who think he is an ‘automaton’ because he is Asian.

My favorite quotation out of this:

Quote:People who say these things can usually only speak English, wear shoes and sweater vests made in China, have never known life without plumbing and electricity, and can’t catch and cook their own breakfast. Whereas the Asian man in a suit just might live with a free-wheeling cosmic consciousness unbounded by the English language and the constrictions of Eurocentrism, does whatever his fluttering human heart desires when you’re not looking, spent the weekend transcending mundane consciousness itself in orgiastic rapture or sitting next to a waterfall or running naked through the forest howling at the moon.

As someone who knows many Asian Americans, I can tell you this:
– The majority of Korean-Americans that I’ve met who say they can speak Korean mean that they are capable of basic greetings and the smallest of small talk.
– The overwhelming majority of Koreans do not know how to ‘catch their own food,’ and I’ve never met anyone under the age of 40 who has any story about no plumbing, no electricity.
– ‘Constrictions of eurocentrism’ is comical in the sense that the average Asian is not growing up with some sort of amazing education in Buddhist or Confucian classics, just as such the average white does not grow up having their parents inundate them with Greek philosophy or some such.

Basically, these guys took a situation where someone is trying to be left wing and turned it into some race-based dialog. I don’t get it…

 

Basically, it is not OK for white people to tell anyone who is not white anything that might be critical because it would mean that we are buying itno a stereotype — not that we are engaging in some sort of dialog.

 

I do not agree with any of this, to say the least, and posted it merely to show just how bloody comical the left wing can be when it comes to these things.

Highschools Help FB Reach Its Natural Conclusion

This is just too good of a story to ignore:

In the annals of middle-school mischief, the Facebook page Let’s Start Drama deserves an entry. The creator of the page—no one knew her name, but everyone was sure she was a girl—had a diabolical knack for sowing conflict among students at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Middletown, Connecticut. “Drama Queen,” as I came to think of her in the months I spent reporting at the school to write a book about bullying, knew exactly how to use the Internet to rile her audience. She hovered over them in cyberspace like a bad fairy, with the power to needle kids into ending friendships and starting feuds and fistfights.

In contrast with some other social networks, like Twitter, Facebook requires its users to sign up with their real names. Drama Queen easily got around this rule, however, by setting up Let’s Start Drama with a specially created e-mail address that didn’t reveal her identity. Wrapped in her cloak of anonymity, she was free to pass along cruel gossip without personal consequences. She started by posting a few idle rumors, and when that gained her followers, she asked them to send her private messages relaying more gossip, promising not to disclose the source. Which girl had just lost her virginity? Which boy had asked a girl to sext him a nude photo? As Drama Queen posted the tantalizing tidbits she gathered, more kids signed up to follow her exploits—a real-life version of Gossip Girl. She soon had an audience of 500, many drawn from Woodrow Wilson’s 750 students, plus a smattering from the local high school and a nearby Catholic school.

Drama Queen was particularly ingenious at pitting kids against each other in contests of her own creation. She regularly posted photographs of two girls side by side, with the caption “WHOS PRETTIERRR?!” Below the pictures, commenters would heckle and vote. One such contest drew 109 comments over three days. When it became clear which contestant was losing, that girl wrote that she didn’t care: “nt even tryinqq to b funny or smart.” The rival who beat her answered, “juss mad you losss ok ppl voted me ! If you really loooked better they wouldve said you but THEY DIDNT sooo sucks for you.” This exchange nearly led to blows outside of school, other students told me. And they said a fight did break out between two boys who were featured on Let’s Start Drama, in dueling photos, above the caption “Who would win in a fight?” They reportedly ended up pummeling each other off school grounds one day after classes.

Melissa Robinson, who was a social worker for the Middletown Youth Services Bureau, quickly got wind of Let’s Start Drama because, she says, “it was causing tons of conflict.” Robinson worked out of an office at Woodrow Wilson with Justin Carbonella, the bureau’s director, trying to fill gaps in city services to help students stay out of trouble. Their connecting suite of small rooms served as a kind of oasis at the school: the two adults didn’t work for the principal, so they could arbitrate conflict without the threat of official discipline. I often saw kids stop by just to talk, and they had a lot to say about the aggression on Let’s Start Drama and the way it was spilling over into real life. “We’d go on Facebook to look at the page, and it was pretty egregious,” Carbonella told me. Surfing around on Facebook, they found more anonymous voting pages, with names like Middletown Hos, Middletown Trash Talk, and Middletown Too Real. Let’s Start Drama had the largest audience, but it had spawned about two dozen imitators.

Carbonella figured that all of these pages had to be breaking Facebook’s rules, and he was right. The site has built its brand by holding users to a relatively high standard of decency. “You will not bully, intimidate, or harass any user,” Facebook requires people to pledge when they sign up. Users also agree not to fake their identities or to post content that is hateful or pornographic, or that contains nudity or graphic violence. In other words, Facebook does not style itself as the public square, where people can say anything they want, short of libel or slander. It’s much more like a mall, where private security guards can throw you out.

Carbonella followed Facebook’s procedure for filing a report, clicking through the screens that allow you to complain to the site about content that you think violates a rule. He clicked the bubbles to report bullying and fake identity. And then he waited. And waited. “It felt like putting a note in a bottle and throwing it into the ocean,” Carbonella said. “There was no way to know if anyone was out there on the other end. For me, this wasn’t a situation where I knew which student was involved and could easily give it to a school guidance counselor. It was completely anonymous, so we really needed Facebook to intervene.” But, to Carbonella’s frustration, Let’s Start Drama stayed up. He filed another report. Like the first one, it seemed to sink to the bottom of the ocean.

And for a description as to how they operate:

In an attempt to impose order on a frustratingly subjective universe, User Operations has developed one rule of thumb: if you complain to Facebook that you are being harassed or bullied, the site takes your word for it. “If the content is about you, and you’re not famous, we don’t try to decide whether it’s actually mean,” Willner said. “We just take it down.”

All other complaints, however, are treated as “third-party reports” that the teams have to do their best to referee. These include reports from parents saying their children are being bullied, or from advocates like Justin Carbonella.

After a quick search by Sullivan, the blurry photos I’d seen many times at the top of the Let’s Start Drama page appeared on the screen. Sullivan scrolled through some recent “Who’s hotter?” comparisons and clicked on the behind-the-scenes history of the page, which the Common Review Tool allowed him to call up. A window opened on the right side of the screen, showing that multiple reports had been made. Sullivan checked to see whether the reports had failed to indicate that Let’s Start Drama was administered by a fake user profile. But that wasn’t the problem: the bubbles had been clicked correctly. Yet next to this history was a note indicating that future reports about the content would be ignored.

We sat and stared at the screen.

Willner broke the silence. “Someone made a mistake,” he said. “This profile should have been disabled.” He leaned in and peered at the screen. “Actually, two different reps made the same mistake, two different times.”

There was another long pause. Sullivan clicked on Let’s Start Drama to delete it.

The Atlantic

Very interesting report — I never heard any description of how the moderation at Facebook works. I had no clue that it was literally this superficial. However, one could imagine so as it is such a high volume website. Regardless, it would be nice if there was more action meant to properly moderate the site but at the end of the day this is a profit driven website.

It would also be smart to not particularly invest much time in these ridiculous websites but telling this to children is like trying to fill in the ocean with dirt.  It should probably come down to good parenting on how children behave on the internet.

Cats: Great Killing Machines

I would have never expected this — very interesting reading:

Cats kill billions of birds every year and even more tiny rodents and other mammals in the United States, a new study finds.

According to the research, published on Jan. 29 in the journal Nature Communications, cats kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds and between 6.9 billion and 20.7 billion small mammals, such as meadow voles and chipmunks.

Though it’s hard to know exactly how many birds live in the United States, the staggering number of bird deaths may account for as much as 15 percent of the total bird population, said study co-author Pete Marra, an animal ecologist with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Staggering toll

Marra and his colleagues are looking at human-related causes for bird and wildlife deaths in the country, from windmills and glass windows to pesticides.

But first, Marra and his team looked at the impact of the feline population, one of the biggest putative causes of bird demise in the country.

While past studies had used critter cams or owner reports to estimate the number of birds killed by cats, those studies were usually small and not applicable to the entire country, Marra told LiveScience.

For this broader analysis, the team first looked at all prior studies on bird deaths and estimated that around 84 million owned-cats live in the country, many of which are allowed outdoors. [In Photos: America’s Favorite Pets]

“A lot of these cats may go outside and go to 10 different houses, but they go back to their house and cuddle up on Mr. Smith’s lap at night,” Marra said.

Based on an analysis of past studies, the researchers estimated that each of those felines killed between four and 18 birds a year, and between eight and 21 small mammals per year.

But the major scourges for wildlife were not those free-ranging, owned-cats, but instead feral and un-owned cats that survive on the streets. Each of those kitties — and the team estimates between 30 million and 80 million of them live in the United States — kills between 23 and 46 birds a year, and between 129 and 338 small mammals, Marra said.

And, it seems, the small rodents taken by felines aren’t Norway rats or apartment vermin, but native rodent species such as meadow voles and chipmunks, he added.

Mother Nature Network

I’d never suspect that this was the case.

PC Brigade Debating Humanitarian Law & Online Games

On the eve of a fun, Battlefield Online party, I woke up and saw the most ridiculous thing I possibly could imagine. Apparently, the PC Brigade no longer desires to distinguish between ‘game’ and ‘real life,’ between ‘fiction’ and ‘reality.’ Everyone loves pointing fingers at the moral conservatives as being overbearing in some way, but talk about killing fun? Conservatives just don’t want schools to give your kids condoms and don’t want to legally sanction gay marriage…

These guys want to ban violent video games and investigate it as a violation of international humanitarian law. LOL?

Earlier this year, game maker Activision counted up that 62 billion people had been ‘killed’ virtually in online games of Call of Duty: Black Ops – including 242 million stabbed to death at close range.

That’s just one title among hundreds of modern war games – most of which lack any kind of ‘surrender’ button bar switching the machine off.

Now, a committee of the Red Cross is debating if gamers might be violating the International Humanitarian Law as they slaughter each other online.

Daily Mail  — thanks Zagadka on PoliticsForum.org for introducing me to this article.

I would like to get these guys on a map on Battlefield Online and shoot them with my digital gun 100 times, and they can watch their digital character die over and over again… And realize… It’s quite boring if you suck and have no chance, and isn’t any outrage.

Lung Cancer Defeated By Cuba?

When I read this I was quite intrigued as to what this little, Communist (빨갱이 씹세들아!!!…) were up to.

Apparently, if this is true, we’ve really come a long way and we do owe a large pat on the back to the Reds of Cuba — of course, I am unsure if this is actually a true breakthrough, but we can hope so as Lung Cancer effects so many people:

HAVANA, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) — Cuban medical authorities have launched the sales of the world’s first therapeutic vaccine against lung cancer, local officials said on Tuesday.

The CimaVax-EGF vaccine, as a result of a 25-year research into diseases related to tobacco smoking, has been developed by researchers and scientists at the centre of Molecular Immunology (CIM) in Havana.

The active drug ingredient in the vaccine is based on “a protein we all have when cancer is uncontrolled.” “The epidermal growth factor is related to all cell proliferation,” said Gisela Gonzalez, head researcher of the project.

“The drug could turn the cancer into a manageable, chronic disease by generating antibodies against the proteins which triggered the uncontrolled cell proliferation,” she said.

The immunogenic vaccine is appropriate to patients with advanced lung cancer in stages of three and four, showing no positive response to other kinds of treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the expert said.

“It is not possible to prevent the disease but this vaccine improves significantly the status of the critically ill patients,” she added.

Xinhua

Congrats and let’s hope it is a functioning vaccine that is spread throughout the world to prevent unnecessary death.