pallas_athena: (Default)
So by this point, we've all read about the spread of invasive Burmese pythons in southern Florida leading to the decline of native mammals, particularly those of appropriate size for pythonic convenience food. Fans of Pogo will be particularly dismayed that the scaled invaders have all but wiped out the opossum from the swamps there. Thankfully, it looked as though the creatures were too cold-sensitive to spread as far north as the Okefenokee, but then this happened:

Burmese pythons: Could the snakes move north?

During two cold snaps that hit Florida in winters that started in 2009 and 2010, many pythons survived by burrowing into the earth and by finding deeper, warmer water to ride out the low temperatures. Dozens of snakes perished and were disposed of by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but what didn’t kill those that survived might have made them stronger, Dorcas said.

“We just had a major selection event for cold-tolerant pythons,” Dorcas said. Fish and Wildlife predicted that a new generation of Burmese pythons on the edge of their non-native range can adapt and “expand to colder climates.”


Two excellent things about this story:

1. The reporter's surname is "Fears."

2. It talks about natural selection. And evolution. In Florida. Silly, everyone knows they don't have evolution there. (They don't have climate change either, which is a relief, given the potential consequences in a state whose highest point is 345 feet above sea level.)

So if natural selection isn't affecting the snakes, what is? The obvious answer lies with God, Whose intention moves all things. Having created the Burmese python milennia ago, He has recently provided them with an exodus from the land of Burma. It is written that this involved one of the pythons throwing down its staff which immediately turned into a bearded Jewish guy. The Lord then brought about its importation to the US as a pet, dividing the Atlantic ocean en route. When the pythons had completed their time in servitude, God divinely inspired the owners to abandon them in the wilderness. After some years of wandering and subsisting on manna in various furry forms, their Creator has hearkened unto their prayers and armoured them in righteous resistance to the elements.

The theological implications of this development are, frankly, staggering. Apart from anything else, it is now evident just who God's chosen species are. If this seems far-fetched, ask yourself this: who was the only person in Eden who didn't eat the forbidden fruit? Sure, the Serpent invited the gullible humans to chow down, but in no source does it say that the reptile itself ingested any. A fruit-eating snake would be kind of weird in any case, right? God's subsequent curse upon the Serpent is strangely harmless [King James version, here we go]:

--Upon thy belly shalt thou go: Snakes do this anyway

--and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: This happens when you're crawling around on your belly. Note that God does not prohibit the Serpent from eating any others of His creations it happens to find tasty in addition to dust.

--and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Well, given what just happened they were hardly going to be future BFF, were they?

Less of a curse, more of a pat on the scaly back for a job well done. In any case, it would seem that the Creator Of The Universe has now amended this last clause to "He shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt crush him into an easily-ingestible lump within thy coils thus to swallow him, and then thou shalt have a bit of a nap the while his brethren do make an B-movie about thee."

And who does that B-movie feature? That's right. Ice Cube. Ice Cube... cold-resistant serpents... At least now we know what God was smiting us for.

So what can we, the faithful, learn from this dire peril into which our Maker has cast us? The lesson is clear, for it is written:

Upon that day when a film crew be gathered together in My name, and J.Lo be among them, yea and Jon Voight also, and he that was in The Royal Tenenbaums, you know, the blond guy, and the script doth verily suck worse than the special effects, such that the result be a two-hour abomination unto My sight: and I do send unto thee My warning, saying,
O Man, release not this piece of shit where it may afflict the eyes of filmgoers, for even My prophet Liam Neeson could not save this trainwreck, seriously, thou shalt DAMN WELL LISTEN. Else shall that state which most resembleth an detumescent wang be smitten with fearful plagues of superevolved cold-resistant Burmese pythons, yea, and also tempests, Jeb Bush and mosquitoes the size of chickens. Thus saith the LORD.


Well, I've done my part in spreading the word... HAVE YOU???
pallas_athena: (Default)
My sewing machine's broken, when I was so close to finishing a new outfit for Leipzig. Unfortunately it's broken in a way I can't repair, and to finish the outfit by hand would take more time than I have before I leave.

Obviously there are worse problems in the world, but I'm kind of annoyed that the hours and the stress I've put in trying to meet this deadline have been wasted.

But on the positive side, I get to spend the weekend swanning around a comfortable German city hearing good music in the company of some of my favourite people, including, for the first time, [livejournal.com profile] speedlime. So that's cool. And the annoyance will help me feel properly Goth. I want to hear some savage goddamn dissonant shit with emo poetry declaimed gutturally over the top of it right the hell NOW, dammit.

Tonight: frenzied packing and last-minute wig repair. Fortunately the kickass new wig Speedy made me will still go with that tired old red-and-gold Baroque ensemble that I'll have to wheel out for the fourth year running...

Over breakfast I said to Speedy, "I love our problems."
pallas_athena: (Default)
For the past few days, I've been in Vienna at a very fancy hotel. This hotel is so fancy that among the drinks at the breakfast buffet are 4 pitchers of water with crystals in them. This morning there were little notes in English beside each one, detailing the effects that drinking the water will have on you.

Which one would you like? Photos below )

Not cricket

Jan. 8th, 2011 07:42 pm
pallas_athena: (Default)
Looking back on it, yesterday's poem seems like a lazily obvious choice. Anyone know any better cricket-related poems?

Also, I should confess that I really hate Henry Newbolt. This is not entirely Newbolt's fault (though his tendency towards horrible sub-Kipling bombast doesn't help.)

I fucking loathe Newbolt largely because of the guy who introduced me to his work.
A tale of relationship horror lurks below )

Burned

Sep. 12th, 2010 11:35 pm
pallas_athena: (Default)
It has come to my attention that my nation, despite finally having elected a cool President, is still afflicted with a tragic case of The Stupid. There was the ongoing theatre-of-ugh involving certain sectors getting unnecessarily exercised about the "Ground Zero mosque" (note: not at "Ground Zero"; not a mosque). Then some dickbag in Florida posts one sentence's worth of idiocy on Facebook about burning the Koran, and the media fall for it and give him airtime, and the government gets involved and suddenly Rev. Dickbag is headline news. Well done, ladies and gents, your Pulitzers are in the post.

So it gives me great joy finally to have something positive to report on the state of religious relations in my homeland. Namely, that last Saturday in Amarillo, Texas, a Koran-burning was prevented by a 23-year-old skateboarder who yoinked the holy volume away while the burner (head of a local group best known for harassing swingers) wasn't looking.

“He said something about burning the Qur’an. Then I snuck up behind him and told him, ‘Dude, you have no Qur’an,’ and ran off.”


I know it's a small victory, but it's a sweet one.

Why?

Feb. 22nd, 2010 07:25 pm
pallas_athena: (Default)
Typing "why" into my browser's Google search window currently yields the following suggestions:
why do men have nipples
why are black people so loud
why is the sky blue
why can't i own a canadian
why is my poop green
why did i get married too
why do dogs eat poop
why are people posting colors on facebook
why do cats purr
why did the chicken cross the road

Obviously these are all questions that need answers, so once I finished clutching my head and going "What!?!?" I thought I would employ my superior knowledge and resolve these matters once and for all.
All shall be revealed )

If anyone has any further insights into these burning questions, then the world demands that you post them. Thank you.
pallas_athena: (Default)
The mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, has forbidden a planned gay pride march to take place this Saturday-- the same day Moscow hosts the Eurovision Song Contest final. He has, however, permitted an anti-gay protest to go ahead on that day.

Moscow's police chief, Vladimir Pronin, said “It’s unacceptable – gay pride parades shouldn’t be allowed.” Of course, that was before he got sacked when one of his senior officers went on a killing spree. This Times article suggests Luzhkov's head may be next on the block. Not a moment too soon, methinks.

The Dutch Eurovision entry has threatened to boycott the final if violence is used against gay marchers, as has happened in the previous two years.

The organisers of Slavic Pride speak up here.

Meanwhile, someone needs to sit the Moscow mayor down and explain a bit of history to him:

Tchaikovsky
Diaghilev
Nijinsky
Nureyev
Eisenstein
and more.
pallas_athena: (Default)
The mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, has forbidden a planned gay pride march to take place this Saturday-- the same day Moscow hosts the Eurovision Song Contest final. He has, however, permitted an anti-gay protest to go ahead on that day.

Moscow's police chief, Vladimir Pronin, said “It’s unacceptable – gay pride parades shouldn’t be allowed.” Of course, that was before he got sacked when one of his senior officers went on a killing spree. This Times article suggests Luzhkov's head may be next on the block. Not a moment too soon, methinks.

The Dutch Eurovision entry has threatened to boycott the final if violence is used against gay marchers, as has happened in the previous two years.

The organisers of Slavic Pride speak up here.

Meanwhile, someone needs to sit the Moscow mayor down and explain a bit of history to him:

Tchaikovsky
Diaghilev
Nijinsky
Nureyev
Eisenstein
and more.
pallas_athena: (Default)
WTF. Rocky Horror Picture Show to be remade!?!?!?!?!?

Okay, everyone: fantasy casting time, clearly.
pallas_athena: (Default)
WTF. Rocky Horror Picture Show to be remade!?!?!?!?!?

Okay, everyone: fantasy casting time, clearly.
pallas_athena: (Default)
Over on Corsetmakers, they've linked to the cover picture of what's apparently a major fashion magazine, though I'd never heard of it.

1) You do not put oil all over someone you're going to put in an antique corset. Seriously, it looks like they're planning to deep-fry her.

2) That's a breastfeeding corset. On a teenaged model.

3) It doesn't fit her.

4) She's wearing it UPSIDE DOWN.

Oh, don't sack the stylist-- we need more laughs like this.
pallas_athena: (Default)
Over on Corsetmakers, they've linked to the cover picture of what's apparently a major fashion magazine, though I'd never heard of it.

1) You do not put oil all over someone you're going to put in an antique corset. Seriously, it looks like they're planning to deep-fry her.

2) That's a breastfeeding corset. On a teenaged model.

3) It doesn't fit her.

4) She's wearing it UPSIDE DOWN.

Oh, don't sack the stylist-- we need more laughs like this.
pallas_athena: (Default)
Dear Universe,

Please accept my thanks for your acknowledgement of my celibate status and prompt response. Received this evening between the hours of 2300 and 0030: Two (2) propositions from random guys on buses. Returning said guys unused for the following reasons:

Guy #1: Positive points: Fairly intelligent, sensitive and an actor with a small role in the upcoming Batman film.
Negatives: Inability to STFU, esp. on subject of himself. Also, had bad cold and kept sniffing wetly.
Method of escape: Repeated verbal refusals, decreasing rapidly in tact.

Guy #2: Positive points: Own teeth (gold). Gainful employment driving buses.
Negatives: "I respect you! Why you don't respect me? Give me you number!" not swiftest way to a woman's heart.
Method of escape: Got off bus.

I am fully aware that declining these two offers may result in my being relegated to the back of the Guy Queue and deprioritised for future available guys, as well as immediate loss of bitching privileges re: celibacy. Enclosed please find two (2) receipts for abovementioned unused guys. Urgently request speedy exchange for one (1) life of happy bachelorhood, which suddenly looks a lot better now.

Many thanks,

A. N. Ho
pallas_athena: (Default)
Dear Universe,

Please accept my thanks for your acknowledgement of my celibate status and prompt response. Received this evening between the hours of 2300 and 0030: Two (2) propositions from random guys on buses. Returning said guys unused for the following reasons:

Guy #1: Positive points: Fairly intelligent, sensitive and an actor with a small role in the upcoming Batman film.
Negatives: Inability to STFU, esp. on subject of himself. Also, had bad cold and kept sniffing wetly.
Method of escape: Repeated verbal refusals, decreasing rapidly in tact.

Guy #2: Positive points: Own teeth (gold). Gainful employment driving buses.
Negatives: "I respect you! Why you don't respect me? Give me you number!" not swiftest way to a woman's heart.
Method of escape: Got off bus.

I am fully aware that declining these two offers may result in my being relegated to the back of the Guy Queue and deprioritised for future available guys, as well as immediate loss of bitching privileges re: celibacy. Enclosed please find two (2) receipts for abovementioned unused guys. Urgently request speedy exchange for one (1) life of happy bachelorhood, which suddenly looks a lot better now.

Many thanks,

A. N. Ho

In flight

Sep. 14th, 2007 09:42 pm
pallas_athena: (Default)
It's a warm night in DC. It rained today, and the humid air is full of just-rained-smell. The crickets are singing.

On the flight here, I sat next to a woman who told me all about how she'd just left her son in London to start university, about the university, about her son's various aptitudes and difficulties, about her daughter back in DC, about her own belief in reincarnation even though she's C of E really...

At one point we were talking about the Internet and I asked her "Do you blog?"

"Oh no! I'm far too private a person for that."

Silence, but for the "thud" of my head hitting the tray table.

In flight

Sep. 14th, 2007 09:42 pm
pallas_athena: (Default)
It's a warm night in DC. It rained today, and the humid air is full of just-rained-smell. The crickets are singing.

On the flight here, I sat next to a woman who told me all about how she'd just left her son in London to start university, about the university, about her son's various aptitudes and difficulties, about her daughter back in DC, about her own belief in reincarnation even though she's C of E really...

At one point we were talking about the Internet and I asked her "Do you blog?"

"Oh no! I'm far too private a person for that."

Silence, but for the "thud" of my head hitting the tray table.
pallas_athena: (Default)
The US Naval Safety Center's website is very serious.... except for their Photo Of The Week page.

Featuring the killer combination of idiots and heavy equipment. Yeah! Now that's entertainment!

Don't forget the caption competition! So far, this one's my favourite.

Via MoFi
pallas_athena: (Default)
The US Naval Safety Center's website is very serious.... except for their Photo Of The Week page.

Featuring the killer combination of idiots and heavy equipment. Yeah! Now that's entertainment!

Don't forget the caption competition! So far, this one's my favourite.

Via MoFi
pallas_athena: (Default)
12 communities, and 442 (count them: four hundred and forty-two) LJ users, list poerty as one of their interests.

By contrast, the number of LJ users listing poetry as an interest is 455.

That's right... poets have poerts outnumbered by ONLY 13. The future of literature hangs in the balance.

Editing to add: Interest searches are fun. I've just altered my interest in "Anglo-Saxon" to "Old English" after discovering that an interest in "anglo-saxon" lands you with some verrrrrrry strange bedfellows. Yeeesh.

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