Open thread

I bet you never thought a bat could be cute!

And for more bat-ilicious entertainment, take a look at these photos that should have been called “Bringing Up Bat” (its a bat rescue organization).  Just check out some of those pictures (had you ever before seen a bat suckling on a pacifier? huh? huh? had you?).  I could go on because there are a lot of great pictures, but instead I’ll suggest you look through all of them.

But we’re not done yet.  What about tiny white bats?  Since that’s a video (you can download and watch it; it’s quite cool), here’s a larger photo of the white bats (aka Honduran Fruit Bat [Ectophylla alba]).  Aren’t they just so cute?

Okay, enough with the bats already.

Since the military coup d’état in Thailand was successful, the government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was overthrown, and martial law has been enacted, it will be interesting to see how things work out in that country.  The last similar coup was in 1991 and didn’t go over well with the people (the new government then was overthrown by violent protests in the streets).  Yesterday’s action has been followed by announcements from the ‘provisional’ government that control would be returned to the citizens as quickly as possible, and that the coup itself was in response to widespread corruption and deception in the government.  We shall see…

Yesterday, Bush told “Syrians that their government’s support of Hamas and Hezbollah is ‘turning your country into a tool of Iran.'”  And what precisely was America doing with Syria when our government sent an innocent Canadian over there to be tortured for almost a year?

This is cool in all the wrong ways:

Satellite images acquired from 23 to 25 August 2006 have shown for the first time dramatic openings – over a geographic extent larger than the size of the British Isles – in the Arctic’s perennial sea ice pack north of Svalbard, and extending into the Russian Arctic all the way to the North Pole.


Mark Drinkwater of ESA’s Oceans/Ice Unit said: “This situation is unlike anything observed in previous record low ice seasons. It is highly imaginable that a ship could have passed from Spitzbergen or Northern Siberia through what is normally pack ice to reach the North Pole without difficulty.”

“If this anomaly trend continues, the North-East Passage or ‘Northern Sea Route’ between Europe and Asia will be open over longer intervals of time, and it is conceivable we might see attempts at sailing around the world directly across the summer Arctic Ocean within the next 10-20 years.”

Keep telling yourself global warming is not real and climate change is not a threat.  Repeated often enough, it could drown out all the evidence to the contrary, or at least burn a rut in your brain that causes such evidence to drain away unnoticed.

If you use AIM (AOL Instant Messenger), stop at once.  The new virus that is spreading does so via a graphic file that is actually a program, but the AIM client is too stupid to realize that.  Researches now believe it’s building a massive “botnet” from infected machines (i.e., turning the computers into zombies that can be controlled remotely without the owners knowing about it).

Here’s what we know: chickens chicken hawks hawks in the US support torture and convicting terrorism suspects in mock trials where they don’t get to see the evidence against them and are convicted based solely on accusations.  Apparently, however, they only support those actions when we’re talking about Muslims being the accused and America being the accuser.  They really don’t like it when we’re talking about Christian terrorists tried and convicted in Indonesia.  Odd how the tables turning caused a complete reversal of attitudes.  Double standard?  You decide.

If you were going to hide a gun somewhere on your person, where would you put it?  Your vaginal vault?  Warning: x-rays prove removing that thing could pose a real problem, like an unfortunate discharge (pun intended).  “An uneventful removal was followed by a moment of letdown when they realized that the device was not, in fact, a gun, but rather a butane torch/cigarette lighter shaped like a gun. This actually makes sense when you look at the X-ray and realize that the other item in her vagina is a glass crack pipe and its rubber tubing. What good is a crack pipe without a lighter?”  [via Kevin, M.D.]

Finally, something funny and disappointingly true.  It’s a comment at Slashdot pointed out by Chris Clarke:

Back in the 1980s, Yosemite National Park was having a serious problem with bears: They would wander into campgrounds and break into the garbage bins. This put both bears and people at risk. So the Park Service started installing armored garbage cans that were tricky to open — you had to swing a latch, align two bits of handle, that sort of thing. But it turns out it’s actually quite tricky to get the design of these cans just right. Make it too complex and people can’t get them open to put away their garbage in the first place. Said one park ranger, “There is considerable overlap between the intelligence of the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists.”

True that.

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