Friday, April 13, 2007

Tastes Like Chicken

This Week’s News Round-Up:

Scientists recently performed genetic testing on a bit of protein retrieved from the thigh bone of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and have determined that the mighty predator is actually a distant cousin to the barnyard chicken. How the mighty have fallen. Inevitably one wonders what the darn thing tasted like and whether those little arms would have taken the place of Hot Wings on a Hooters menu had the chain been around 500 million years ago. I think you would almost be compelled to order them extra spicy.

Speaking of science, Dubya recently reiterated his opposition to easing restrictions on federally funded embryonic stem cell research saying that “In our day there is a temptation to manipulate life in ways that do not respect the humanity of the person," Bush said Friday. "When that happens, the most vulnerable among us can be valued for their utility to others instead of their own inherent worth." Clearly Bush reserves the bulk of his somewhat dubious conceptualization of compassion for cell clusters while excluding, say, the soldiers in Iraq from similar consideration.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that the US Government has pressed local law enforcement into service in the endless war against “terror”, now they’re going outside the species. For several years the Navy has been using marine mammals, mostly bottlenose dolphins, to locate mines and drop flashing beacons around targets. The Navy says animals like dolphins and sea lions are its best line of defense against attacks from the sea. "Biologically, they are better than anything we have ever made," said Mike Rothe, head of science for the Navy's marine mammal program. Is it just me or are you a little put off by the fact that the United States Navy thinks that our cousins from the water world are more effective than the ridiculously expensive Trident submarines? I suppose we can ex those out of the budget now.

In entertainment news, the managers of Lincoln theater in Nebraska say Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham's "diva-like behavior" doomed his concert there this week. Hey Lindsay, if my career was on such a downward spiral that I were playing the Lincoln theatre in Omaha I wouldn’t be too bitchy about the crudite selection in the dressing room. (Pssst, people really want to see Stevie Nicks more than you anyway).

And finally from the world of sports: Earlier this month a commercial fishing boat hauled in a giant rockfish estimated to be about a century old. The 44-inch, 60-pound female shortraker rockfish was caught last month by the catcher-processor Kodiak Enterprise as it trawled for pollock 2,100 feet below the surface, south of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea. That poor bastard fish. 90 years swimming around in the Bering Sea only to be hauled ignomously out of the water by the guys from the Deadliest Catch and displayed like a museum piece. I suppose a joke about tartar sauce would be sadly inappropriate here.
Have a nice week-end everyone.

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