Two New Primate Species Discovered:
I am no scientist, but I love these cute monkeys. Here and here are some more pictures of them. They probably eat praying mantis, though.
FRANKENFISH in Maryland!!!!!
More on the new spinoff of PwC Consulting, Monday.
Kathryn Lively reminds me that I have a fever ... and the only prescription is more cowbell!
For once, telephone solicitors are good for something.
Old Oligarch wants to *alter* the Chinese pandas at the National Zoo. Maybe we should get some cute animal from Afghanistan instead.
O.O. says, "Like a toothless trailer-park resident trying to eat a pickle, I tried again."
I wanted to create an index that showed how much more likely your company is to fail if its name is on a prominent stadium or complex. A few people have saved me the trouble: Chris Isidore of CNN, Scott Thurm of WSJ, and BW's Sam Jaffe.
I've been enjoying this blog: A Religion of Sanity.
I enjoyed this post on the Supreme Court's recent death penalty rulings by Cacciaguida. As he notes, the main question that pops into my head whenever I learn of a supposedly conservative political victory is "what did we concede to accomplish this that will be used against us by liberals in the next fight?"
I got a 35 out of 40 on The Political Quiz, represented (for example) by Bob Dole. O.O. got a 36, so I'm the liberal one, I suppose.
"Avoid all needle drugs. The only dope worth shooting is Richard Nixon."
- Abbie Hoffman

Essays on the numerous problems with this statement should be sent to my e-mail address. Don't all jump at once . . .
Eve has included John Donne's poem, "Batter my Heart, Three-personed God" on her blog, which means I am forced, at gunpoint, to tell my funny story about this poem. My English teacher in high school, like most of the "star" teachers at the (public) school, taught both the AP English classes (in which I was a student) and the slowest-tracked classes in English. The race differential was, as with most public schools, mostly white and middle-upper class in the AP course and mostly black and middle-lower class in the basic course. My teacher would always talk to us about the conversations in the other course because he enjoyed the fact that the students there did not know the "right" answers and always viewed the material from a very straightforward perspective. A story that he particularly cherished occurred the day the basic class was studying Donne's "Batter my Heart, Three-personed God." To begin the discussion, he began by reading the poem aloud to the class. However, before he could get past the title phrase, one of the students piped up, "Roll it up in cornmeal and fry that sucker!" I don't think he felt his lecture could follow that quip.
Hell: Frozen Over?

O.O. has recently blogged on history, the number of shopping days until Christmas, and a trendy NYT best-seller. Maybe it's the full moon.
Hurrah for me, I finally got my right-click blogger bookmark to work. Expect a return to normal amounts of blogging.
Fun Stuff:

RNC Targets Liberal Interest Groups ( The Republican National Committee has issued subpoenas to a wide range of liberal and Democratic-leaning interest groups, demanding detailed financial records, internal communications and strategic political documents as part of its battle against the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.
Groups that received the subpoenas, which were issued last week, include the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, the National Education Association, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and EMILY's List.
"William Topaz McGonagall, poet and tragedian of Dundee, Scotland, has been widely hailed as the writer of the worst poetry in the English language.
A self-educated handloom weaver, he discovered his discordant muse in 1877 and embarked upon a 25-year career as a working poet, delighting and appalling audiences across Scotland and beyond."

The Tay Bridge Disaster
Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

'Twas about seven o'clock at night,
And the wind it blew with all its might,
And the rain came pouring down,
And the dark clouds seem'd to frown,
And the Demon of the air seem'd to say-
"I'll blow down the Bridge of Tay."

When the train left Edinburgh
The passengers' hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
Which made their hearts for to quail,
And many of the passengers with fear did say-
"I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay."

But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,
Boreas he did loud and angry bray,
And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

So the train sped on with all its might,
And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sught,
And the passengers' hearts felt light,
Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,
With their friends at home they lov'd most dear,
And wish them all a happy New Year.

So the train mov'd slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
Until it was about midway,
Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
Because ninety lives had been taken away,
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

As soon as the catastrophe came to be known
The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,
And the cry rang out all o'er the town,
Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,
And a passenger train from Edinburgh,
Which fill'd all the peoples hearts with sorrow,
And made them for to turn pale,
Because none of the passengers were sav'd to tell the tale
How the disaster happen'd on the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.
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Well, as long as I can call any time of day - if I had to take up my lunch break to earn my doctorate, that would really be inconvenient.
Guardian Unlimited | Quiz | Quiz English : Results How English are you?
The epitome of Middle England, you prefer your Hovis to ciabatta and believe that England can win the cup this time round. You still feel frequent stirrings of patriotism, but deep down you know the world has moved on from the Empire and warm beer on village greens.
What I'm listening to on Launchcast: Weezer, Moby, Stevie Nicks, Beck, Beastie Boys, Led Zeppelin, U2, Fleetwood Mac, R.E.M., The Smiths
More on my hero and Shamed's, R. Kelly. (from E!)
Two weeks following his humiliating arrest on child-pornography charges in his hometown of Chicago, R. Kelly is taking to song to defend himself.
The R&B singer and his label, Jive Records, have released a new tune titled "Heaven, I Need a Hug" to radio stations around the country in attempt to earn some sympathy for the beleagured artist, whose career many believe may be irreparably damaged by the sex-tape scandal.
The track, which debuted Tuesday night on Chicago radio station WGCI-FM, features Kelly singing about his life as a celebrity and seems to directly address the allegations that he videotaped himself engaging in lewd sex acts with a minor.
"I've given 13 years of my life to this industry/Hit song or not, I've given all of me/You smile in my face and tell me you love me/But then before you know the truth you're so quick to judge me," a plaintive Kelly sings.
"It's all because I'm famous/You know what I'm sayin'/I mean if I wasn't famous/then all this wouldn't be happening."

I do know what you're sayin', "R." You're sayin' that you "don't see nothin' (or is it nuthin' these days?) wrong with a little bump n' grind." Maybe her parents do, but why let that stop you? You can fly!
O.O. says: "A dolphin is basically just a shiny long grey monkey."
Ok, so I tried to post reader responses to my last Israel post, and the new post didn't take. I'm not emotionally prepared to type the whole thing in again, so we'll all just have to wait for enlightenment at bit longer.
Winners of the Worst Pop Song Lyrics Ever contest:

(Subtext: This contest was too hard to judge because there are so many bad, bad pop lyrics out there, but hey. Also, my work has been completely nuts lately, and work unfortunately comes before blogging.)


The Steve Miller Band's "Take the Money and Run" - submitted by Mike

Bon Jovi's "Never Say Goodbye" - submitted by Kairos

Wang Chung's "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" - submitted by The Cranky Professor, who comments: "from its hyperbolic beginning and casual claim that the words they were singing were creating reality to oh, the incoherent indistinction between 'all the world' 'Babylon' and 'love'. I dunno. It's bad."

Van Halen's "Love Walks In" - submitted by Kairos

Sweet's "Love is Like Oxygen" - submitted by Kairos

B.J. Thomas' "Hooked on a Feeling" - submitted by Don McLane

Smashmouth's "Allstar" - submitted by Joseph Montgomery

Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" - submitted by Joseph Montgomery, who comments: "I used to have the lyrics printed out and posted on my cubicle wall because they are fall-down hilarious. (The song is) notable not only for its lame and incomprehensible (I still don't know what it means) title, and not just for its hideous similies and twisted masochistic bent, but for having 7 writers take credit! If it were a poor attempt at English by latino Ricardo, I would understand, but there is just no excuse for this."

Songs I like, while guiltily admitting that the lyrics are bad

America's "A Horse with No Name" - submitted by Kathleen Wagner - (I give America a little credit for at least being creative, instead of just rhyming terribly just to make a verse fit the way some other nominees have)

Scandal's "The Warrior" - submitted by Susan B., who comments: "It deserves the title just for having a line like 'follow me stereo jungle child.'"

Poison's "Every Rose Has its Thorn" - submitted by Kairos

A-Ha's "Take On Me" - submitted by Joseph Montgomery

Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl" - submitted by Kairos

The Token's "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" - submitted by Kathryn Lively

Songs I haven't heard, but I'm sure they are bad if my reliable readers say so:

Donna Summer's "MacArthur Park" - submitted by Kathryn Lively

Hotlegs' "Neanderthal Man" - submitted by Don McLane

Bob Dylan's "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest" - submitted by Don McLane

Sigue Sigue Sputnik's "Love Missle F1-11" - submitted by Kathryn Lively

Westlife's "Seasons in the Sun" - submitted by Mike
Chickpea Eater's Bookblog, with commentaries on recent readings. Right now, that means Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff. Hoping for commentaries on chickpeas also.
Good Stuff: The Dewey Legend in American Education
Prayer for the Daily Acceptance of Death by Father John Hardon, S.J.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I accept from your hands, whatever kind of death it may please you to send me today (tonight), with all its pains, penalties and sorrows, in reparation for my sins, for the conversion of sinners, for all those who will die today (tonight), and for your greater glory. Amen.
Two good links on the Jewish Origins of Catholicism:
1: Fr. John Hardon, discussing The Nazarene by Israel Zolli
2: Israelite Origins of the Catholic Faith
Ritchie Vergona spent months clearing World Trade Center rubble. Too bad growing a little pot earned him one to five years in prison.
When the madmen came and crashed and left New York shaken and sobbing, most legs headed for the hills -- or at least as far from Lower Manhattan as they could trot, cycle, or cadge a ride. But as the cloud of toxic dust and debris and incinerated citizens began to settle, others instinctively turned in the opposite direction. Back to what would come to be called Ground Zero.

Along with the Bravest of the NYFD and the Finest of the NYPD, rushing south were a pack of roughnecks stamped indelibly with union labels. At first it was a trickle and then a beer-gutted, ham-fisted, cursing wave of hard hats. And among their earliest numbers was a big-hearted, slightly offbeat, recovering hippie named Ritchie Vergona. ...

Ritchie is a crane operator and by all accounts, one of the best in the New York-New Jersey arc of construction. But when he got to the surreal mountain of destruction that once was the World Trade Center, there were no cranes to lift girders twisted like pipe cleaners and none of the claw machines that would soon be ripping away at the carnage. So he joined the bucket brigades gingerly removing debris and searching for survivors. ...

No one ever said Ritchie was an angel. Cherubs and seraphim are hard to find on any construction site, where the hours are early, the work is honest, the steel is hard, and the drinking and drugs are harder. But the truth is, Ritchie is a gentle soul -- a guitar player, an animal lover, a guy who likes to fire up a joint after work.

What Ritchie didn't know was the law. And in the Garden State, as Flood explains, if you are found growing more than 50 marijuana plants, even for your personal use, you're looking at a potential 20 years in the slammer. Last summer was particularly good weather for Mary Jane horticulture, and Ritchie raised 71 weeds.

Thomas J. Reed, the assistant Sussex County (N.J.) prosecutor who handled the case, says Ritchie was caught on videotape watering and pruning his doobie garden. Reed could have knocked the charges down to a piddling offense, but he says he wasn't prepared to give Ritchie any bigger break than he got. A trip to Ground Zero right after September 11 might have changed his mind, but he did let Ritchie plead to a lesser crime.

At Ritchie's sentencing, his boss spoke out on his behalf. And, according to Flood, letters came in from police and fire officials with whom he had worked at Ground Zero. The mayor of Ritchie's hometown, where he had been a star athlete and coach, also wrote to the judge.

Superior Court Judge N. Peter Conforti declined to comment on the case -- just as he had declined to make any waves in sentencing Ritchie. He stuck to the guidelines and handed out up to five years in prison with the possibility of parole in a year and five days.

Formal and informal ceremonies at the site of the World Trade Center massacre two weeks ago signaled the end of the cleanup. Ritchie Vergona, nice guy, father, Ground Zero hero should have been there, and he should have had a good cry with the other hard hats and gone home.

Instead, he sits in a cage in New Jersey, not knowing he's a three-time poster boy: For the inanity of the nation's marijuana laws. For the wrongheadedness of mandatory sentencing. And for the gritty nobility of the American working man.
Glad They Funded this Study #234524566:
Not naming any names, but I know a number of people who think that homophobia is not a "true" phobia. 'Nuff said.
Miss Manners Rocks Again:
She's so funny, and manages to put obnoxious writers in their place without becoming obnoxious herself. Here's an example of funny:
Dear Miss Manners:
Which side of your body is the proper place to wear name tags and/or jewelry? We have heard that it is "proper" to wear them on the right side, and yet any time we see anyone of importance, i.e., the Queen, Laura Bush and others who should know, they always have their jewelry on the left side. Can you clarify this for us?
Also, can you instruct us on when executives should and should not wear name tags?

Nametags on the right, jewelry on the left. Miss Manners is disappointed that you neglected to take up the question of whether the Queen and Mrs. Bush should wear name tags, and if so, what they should say.

"HELLO! I'M/ Your Majesty"?

"MY NAME IS/ Laura (not Barbara)"?
More on bad company names like Monday: "For starters, the consultants have pulled off a miniature coup of sorts simply by finding a word in the English dictionary that's not already been taken. 'Just about every English word in the English dictionary including the word 'Yes' has been registered,' said John Lister, chairman of New York-based branding firm Lister Butler Consulting. 'And a vast majority of the business world actually understands the word.'"
N.Y. Jews to Start Armed Patrols.
Yes, I know, I am very bad. Did not post Worst Pop Lyrics Ever contest results yet. Work is nuts, life is somewhat nuts, will post them soon.
Of the fairy tale characters, I am Rumpelstiltskin! That's a bit depressing.

Which of the Seven Deadly Sins am I?
What Seven Deadly Sin Are YOU? [?]

You're GLUTTONY! Food is good. You love to stuff yourself, and you may become overweight, if you already aren't. You like to indulge. You're represented by the color orange.

It was a battle to the death between gluttony and sloth. The main reason I'm not fatter is that I can't eat while I'm napping.
Here's an Australian article on James Brown, lifelong Republican.
Knew this we all did:

How jedi are you?
O.O. says, "I don't have that many different feelings. There's 'hunting' and "being hunted.'"
Chinese Newspaper Reprints "News" Story from The Onion: This is good.
From Launch Music News: If you're sick of celebrities using their status to lecture us about their "causes du jour" from the esteemed pulpit of Capitol Hill, you're not alone. Ohio Senator George Voinovich is looking to limit the time celebrities have been getting in Washington lately. The proverbial last straw for Voinovich was Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson's planned testimony before a Senate Environment And Public Works Clean Air Subcommittee hearing dealing with mining. According to The Washington Post, Voinovich announced that he'd boycott the Backstreet Boy's testimony, saying, "It's just a joke to think that this witness can provide members of the United States Senate with information on important geological and water-quality issues."
Is there really a demand for praying mantis puppets?
Today is the last day to send nominations for the Worst Pop Song Lyrics Ever. Also, I will post on U.S. support of Israel over the weekend, in response to the posts/e-mails I've received.
Did you know that in nature, the rat and the mantis have the closest of alliances? The rat stalks and corners the prey (often a small bird or frog), and "marks" it with its scent glands. After following the scent with its large, powerful nose, the mantis' uses its long adhesive tongue to quickly "tie up" the prey while the rat sucks out its insides. Finally, the mantis digests the "leftover" bones and skin using its four stomachs.
Anyway, a similar mutuality occurs in the Blogosphere, when a mantis links to the blog of a rat, especially one that has scent-marked several items of interest already.
Wow, it's a positive article on the priesthood! I'm in shock. Link via Father Jim.
Eve's "when life gives you lemons" contest results are awesome. My favorite:
Before the IMF gives you lemons,

1) you have sell the furniture in all your buildings to the working-class pot-bangers out in the street,

2) you must dispatch of your holdings by selling them to the Spanish for 20 centavos on the peso,

and 3) you must ensure that both the public and private distribution managers living in the estancias aren't asking as much for "lemon
handling fee" as they did the last time the lemon boat arrived in the port.

When the IMF gives you the lemons, you have 15 months to give them full documentation concerning how those lemons were used -- including that ones that were "mishandled" by the distributors who live in the estancias.

You also have 18 months to pay back the IMF in lemons even if you don't have access to citrus trees, but the IMF does, so they'll cut you a deal.
Here's a shout-out to the six overweight divorcees in their fifties who have stumbled upon this site while Google-searching for "Ya Ya Name."
UPDATE: Ok, make that 30 overweight divorcees. Who all read Redbook.
The Real Dope on whether today's marijuana is stronger than that of several decades ago. The answer: yes, it is. I'll be a jerk and suggest that this is a good thing, as it means people don't have to smoke as much to get high, and therefore inhale fewer carcinogens in the process.
O.O. mentioned the look of death I gave to the kook who was the only obstacle between me and the ice cream I had just bought at the 7-11. Thought you'd all like to see it.

BTW, it's the 75th anniversary of 7-11.
Don't forget about the Worst Pop Song Lyrics Ever contest. So far, Jon Bon Jovi lyrics are well represented. Surely, there are worse - send 'em in. To further inspire you, here's a lovely snippet from the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Give it Away:"
My mom I love her 'cause she love me
Long gone are the times when she scrub me
Feelin' good my brother gonna hug me
Drink my juice young love chug-a-lug me

I can't refrain from offering another horrible bit from the Steve Miller Band's "The Joker:"
Some people call me the space cowboy, yeah
Some call me the gangster of love
Some people call me Maurice
Cause I speak of the pompitous of love

(That's right folks, pompitous is a made-up word.)

Even worse, however, are the lyrics to Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back To Me Now:"
I finished crying in the instant that you left
And I can't remember where or when or how
And I banished every memory you and I had ever made

But when you touch me like this
And you hold me like that
I just have to admit
That it's all coming back to me
When I touch you like this
And I hold you like that
It's so hard to believe but
It's all coming back to me

Wow, Celine. Lust makes you think a bad relationship can work? This song is just disgusting.

Also, sorry about the post below. Blogger wants it that way.
Kairos announces the winning entries of his "Alternative Meanings for 'NFP'" contest. Of course (wink) I am a winner. My entries included:
No Foul Play
Never Fear Procreation
No Forgetting Pills
Need for Prayer
Necessary for Piety
Not for "Partners"
Dr. Weevil is a fellow bug blogger. I wiggle my antennae at thee, Doctor!
Did anyone see hip-hop producer Russell Simmons being interviewed by a blond woman on MSNBC, CNBC or FOX recently? (All those channels look the same to me ...) I did, and would like to blog about it, but can't find the transcript anywhere. Rapper Jay-Z was one of the subjects discussed.
Thanks to the Goliard Blog for the link to the hysterically funny, if insensitively named Too funny to read at work. Try the "recent discoveries" page.
Tyson might have bonded with Elvis: can't summarize this one. Maybe O.O. will blog about Elvis sometime.
Cool idea: a map of the blogosphere from N.Z. Bear.
Interesting survey of Tennessee's brightest high school grads on the state of schools and life in general. Link via DailyPundit.
Daily Pundit gets it right:
"There is a general feeling that our intelligence agencies have let us down. They're too sloppy, too politically correct, too afraid of offending or stepping on tender toes, just too...nice. We need tough, ruthless, bulldog people who aren't afraid to hunt and crush their prey. But where can we find them in our diversity-conscious government today?
Reader Howard Veit emails in the obvious answer: The Internal Revenue Service."

Glad they funded this study #24524528:
Nationwide Survey Suggests Kids Ignore Sun-Safety Advice. What, you mean kids don't rigorously slather on sunscreen each time they play outside? Teenage girls visit tanning booths to make themselves more attractive? Next, they're going to tell me kids actually _like_ this "Britney Spears" character.

Funded by your tax dollars, folks!
Is Hip-Hop Ready For A Gay Rapper?: An interview with "Caushun."
From the interview:
MSNBC: "Tell me about some of the tracks on your album."
Caushun: "'Ooh, Who Dat Be' is like an anthem, I would say."

Do you think he reads Ayn Rand?
Contest: Worst Pop Song Lyrics Ever
Ok people, I'm looking for nominations for the worst popular song lyrics ever. (This means no writing your own bad songs, at least not for the purposes of this contest.) Winner receives fame, a hyperlink, and maybe something else if I get creative. Contest ends Saturday, 6/8/02. To inspire you, here are some horrible lyrics from the Steve Miller Band's "Wide River":

Come on baby
Let's run in circles
Come on darling let's circle each other
And find the love, all the love that we need

Come on baby, let's circle each other
Well, we can do, do for each other
I'll do for you, and you'll do for me

And we can run like a river to the setting sun
Run like a river that has never been won
Run like a river that will always be free

Yes, that was painful, but it built character. I promise.
Ooh: DC Bloggers. I'm one! Maybe it's because everything closes at 6 pm downtown.
Moviefone offers this charming Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Ya-Ya name generator. My name is Viscountess Still Night. Don't laugh - my mother LOVES this book, unfortunately, which means I _know_ I'm going to have to see the movie at some point. She tried to get me to read the book a few years ago, and it was so awful that I "forgot it on the airplane."
From News of the Weird:
Albuquerque, N.M., police arrested Amadeo Salguero, 21, in May and charged him with carjacking three people at gunpoint and making off with their Acura, which, according to a detective, contained one of the best stereo systems in town. Salguero was busted after he later called one of the victims and asked (according to police), "I don't want there to be hard feelings, but, hey, how do you hook up your amp?" The call was traced to the cell phone of Salguero, who happens to live across the street from the scene of the carjacking. [Albuquerque Journal, 5-17-02]
So what do you think of the color scheme here? Need reader feedback.
Straight Talk
O.O.'s father describes the Peace Corps as "digging latrines in Africa for nothing." Also, according to O.O.'s father, O.O. is allowed to be anything he wants in life, except "a toe dancer or a trash collector." Not that I'm going to blog about O.O.'s parents. They are both concrete sequentials while I am a concrete random. This means that I seem impulsive and irrational to them and they seem uncritical and incapable of adapting to new information to me. :)
(O.O. is an abstract sequential. Read more about Gregorc's learning styles here or here.)
O.O. says: "Of course I'm well in the head. I draw water from that well. It's where I get my ideas."
I've entered Kairos' Alternative Meanings of "NFP" Contest. I'm gonna win, too!