Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I Don't Need No Man/And I Don't Need No Lovin'

Female Sharks in Captivity Give Birth - sans Male Intervention.

A research team from Northern Ireland and the US at first thought she mated before capture, and then somehow stored the sperm for over three years before finally fertilising her eggs in the aquarium or that the shark had mated with a different species in the tank.

But tests confirmed
the newborn's DNA only matched up with the mother's - there was none of any male origin.

Excellent. Let's get some people on this right now.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

HappyNews.Com has been Medusaheaded and deservedly so.

It suddenly occured (well, nothing suddenly occurs to me really but ...) to me that bad news is the only news these days. That Bad News is Good News. It's much like the state of political discourse in the United States today i.e. both sides feel that if you're not toeing the party line - and every line of that, at that - you're automatically the enemy. We'll disregard the fact that I actually have to say "both sides" because that's all there is.

But WHY is this the case? Elementary, my dear Watson, purely elementary. Extremes cannot be opposed without becoming an extremist onself. Consider Women's Rights, Civil Rights, Civil War. You can't fight fire with fire, that just creates more fire. Steam doesn't do much good either. Only *water* can fight fire. Or sand, if you really want to think laterally.

I believe, in the news, they call this phenomenon "polarizing effects". Point is, the "Right" oppose abortion, the "Left" must condone it. The "Right" want more guns, the "Left" want them all melted down and thrown into the sun. In the process, anyone with moderate opinions or who, heaven forfend, thinks abortion is a terrible idea but guns are a blight on humanity -- well, they're just shit out of luck, no?

But enough meta. I was talking about news. Good news, bad news and how people will eat shit if it's all you give them.

In that vein, I went looking for someone or somefolks who didn't believe Bad News = The Only News and sure enough, I found them:

It does a body good.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Yep. You're living in the future now. God help ye, my son.

When even battle-hardened Army colonels (of all people!) decide they just can't stand to watch poor mine-clearing robots get blown halfway to hell for the protection and safety of the Human Overlords, you know you're damn well living in the future, flying car or no.

The article goes on to talk about soldiers in the field growing attached to their Predators and camera drones and even granting them promotions and awards :D "This is my rifle/there are many others like it but this one is mine" ain't got shit on that. Is there nothing humans won't anthromorphize? That same hyperactive aphophenia that lead our ancestors to worship the winds and sun and call them gods now leads us to name our Roombas. What really gets my goat about this little glitch in the human machine is that aforementioned robots are still under the control of twitch-gamers back at home base! I mean, what's going to happen when they start becoming more and more autonomous? Neural nets, expert systems, rat brains (emulated or organic); the how doesn't matter as much as the what.

This shit is hot, people. Pay attention.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Item: Peter Watts has moved his newscrawl to Blogger. May the internet gods protect him.


Item: The word is Probiotics. Apparently, the Western WorldTM has been so eager to sterilize itself, it's started to hurt the balance of useful bacteria in their/our guts. Hence probiotics, the attempt to reverse this phenomenon by ingesting bacteria in order to give yours a kickstart.


Random query into the ether: What's the next extra-Caucasian country Ian McDonald will set a book in? I'm betting on China myself.