I’m Sold

If I were Australian, I think I just might have to vote for the Australian Sex Party. When you come out with a campaign video like this, I’m sold.

 

It’s not just the hilarious musical parody, or their message to get religion out of government. I can actually get behind every single one of the issues they care about. As they put it:

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They might as well be the FtB party. I’m loving these guys.

Instructions on how to vote for the Sex Party in Australia can be found here.

Any Australians out there who could give a little more context and background on the Australian elections, feel free to dominate the comments section!

Too Dark For TV?

There is a new clip released by Comedy Central, which was apparently supposed to air as part of Amy Schumer’s gun episode, but was deemed to dark and cut. Now, perhaps in light of recent events. It has been posted online.

Unfortunately, I can currently only find it hosted on Comedy Central itself, which means that you have to be in the States (or, at least, the site has to think you’re in the States) to watch it. With that being said, here it is:

THat was too dark? Really? It just seemed to be stating the facts to me.

Too Little, Too Late, Too Victim-Blamey

Everyone is raving about this new Pope, aren’t they? Wow, he actually said let’s try to shift the focus away from hating on people, round of applause on that one. Oh, and priests, please try to stop raping the kiddies, mmkay?

In response to the latter request, the Catholic Church in Montreal has issued a decree banning priests from being left alone with children.

According to the decree, the move was to “ensure the safety and integrity of the people to whom we bring the Gospel message and offer our pastoral care”

In an accompanying letter, Lepine said: “Recent events brought to light the horrific reality of abuse of minors and vulnerable people by members of the church. These intolerable situations have shocked and shaken the Universal Church as well as the entire population.”

 

That almost sounds like an admission of guilt, right? Except it wouldn’t be the Catholic Church if it didn’t add some victim blaming into the mix.

 

But, it added, it was also “to preserve the integrity, security and good reputation of God’s people”.

“Imagine if you are alone in a room and a child accuses you of hitting them, how will you react?” Sarrazin said. “Whether it’s true or not, you need a witness. Not being in the room alone with someone who is vulnerable is simply being prudent.”

 

In the grand scheme of things, regardless of the language, not letting the priests be alone with kids is overall a good idea. Even better would be to get rid of the raping priests, have accountability and transparency, and eventually have the entire institution wither away into oblivion. But hey, here’s hoping. Good luck with that band-aid over that gaping wound, in the meantime.

Oh Noes! Not The Otters!

Ever since I worked in an aquarium which had a strong focus on conservation, I’ve been trying to get people to stop being afraid of sharks. Their bad rep is largely to due with movies like Jaws, where in reality they only kill 2-3 people a year, that’s far less than alligators, dogs, even coke machines kill, whereas humans kill between 40 and 100 million sharks a year. Not to mention the fact that there are hundreds of species of shark out there, and there are only really 3 you need to worry about when it comes to shark attacks.

But when I see stories like this, I feel my audience slipping away and back to their original notion that sharks are the bad guy. It seems as though the white sharks in California are murdering sea otters. I say murdered, because they don’t seem to be eating them, or killing them for any particuar reason.

 

Scientists in California have been left perplexed by a wave of fatal shark attacks on sea otters, despite the fact that the predators have no interest in actually feeding on their furry victims. Talking to National Geographic, Tim Tinker of the US Geological Survey’s Western Ecological Research Center explained that “as far as we can tell, a white shark has never eaten a sea otter,” and whenever a deadly attack takes place “we always get the whole animal back.”

While the odd shark taking out its aggression on another animal probably wouldn’t arouse too much confusion, the number of otters currently being massacred by Californian sharks is skyrocketing at a bafflingly sharp pace. According to Tinker, “shark-bitten animals now account for more than half of the [otter] carcasses we find,” and “exceeds all other sources of death combined.”

 

Dammit white sharks. Otters are one of the cutest animals on the planet. You are not helping your rep in the slightest by massacring the little fur balls.

So, you may ask, if they’re not eating the otters, why are they just killing them? The fact is, no one really knows for sure. There are a couple of theories floating around, though

 

One theory is that the sharks are simply mistaking otters for more nutritious prey like seals and sea lions, which are packed with calorific blubber. Only after biting them, however, do the sharks realize their mistake, and therefore leave their hairy leftovers to simply float away.

One potential explanation could be that successful conservation in recent years has led to increases in both white shark and otter populations, making encounters between the two more likely. An alternative theory, however, is that climate change is driving sharks further north, leading to increasing excursions into the otters’ habitat.

 

It could well be a combination of multiple factors, I guess. Although, if they are simply mistaking otters for sea lions, I hope they figure it out soon. It would be excellent irony if successful conservation campaigns of the two species simply results in one species killing off the other.

 

 

Ah, That One Is Different

Yesterday, I basically summed up my post on how people can get very judgy about entertainment to someone who was, once again, being very snide about our current involvement in the EURO2016. When I was done, someone else piped up “OK Crys, I see your point. So, I presume that you also don’t judge people for watching shows like Jersey Shore? It’s all just entertainment, right? No one is superior to the other, it’s just a matter of opinion?” To which, someone else responded “Wait she said talent! There is no talent in reality TV!” and they started chatting on about that, the conversation taking a bit of a devil’s advocate turn about whether or not game shows like Jeopardy qualify as reality TV.

Game shows aside, it got me thinking a little bit. I do have a different knee-jerk reaction to reality TV, and why is that?

For the purposes of this post, I will narrow my definition of what reality TV is. I am referring specifically to the kind of reality TV whose popularity most people complain about and judge: shows like Jersey Shore, Honey Boo Boo or the Real Housewives of Wherever. I am not referring to game shows, talent shows, mini documentary shows, or any kind of competition show. I am referring specifically to the kinds of shows which, supposedly, follow certain people in their “everyday lives”.

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I’ve Been Saying This For Years

When I was living in Ireland, I had a roommate who worked as a waiter in a hotel. He told me how many people would come in leaving CVs in the hopes of a job. He told me how his manager would trash the Irish CVs, because he knew he could get away with underpaying the non-Irish job workers. He also told me about when the manager made the mistake of hiring a foreigner who knew her rights, and how the manager told her that if he had any intention of paying an employee their full salary, he’d hire an Irish person, not a foreigner. My roommate told me this, in the context of why the Irish were feeling frustrated with the influx of immigrants. He agreed that it was too bad, and that racism was wrong, but surely I could understand where the unemployed Irish were coming from, right?

I just looked at him. “Hang on”, I said, “why aren’t you all pissed at the people who are doing the underpaying? Trust me, as far as the immigrants are concerned, they would much rather be paid properly. Instead of getting mad at the people who are just as bad off as you in this economy, if not worse, why aren’t you directing your ire at those who are taking advantage of poor, desperate, hard-working people?”

Now I’ve come across this meme, and I have to say, my opinion has not changed since my college days.

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Following the Rules Part V: Your Kid Is A Narc

There is a technician in the lab who is quintessentially German. She knows this, she is proud of it, but she feels the cultural differences between herself and the Mediterraneans with whom she works starkly. We speak often of the differences between our cultures over lunch, grinning at how differently we react to certain situations, but the other day she told us a story attempting to illustrate how, in this one respect, she and her husband defied their culture and were actually more similar to ours. Unwittingly, she actually demonstrated that the difference she referred to was greater than she had anticipated.

She has a three year old daughter, who is in nursery school. She told us how her teachers praised her to her father. “She is a model child”, they told him. “She follows every rule, and cares deeply about them. If she sees another child breaking a rule, she will scold him, and then call our attention to it, telling us immediately if one of her peers breaks a rule. You should be so proud to have such an obedient and well behaved child!” She told us how her husband was not so happy to hear this, and how funny it was that he did not find her behavior to be as praise-worthy as her culture deemed it to be. She laughed at how disappointed he was to have a daughter who would be so bossy.

I, and the Greek woman she told this story to, were unimpressed. “It’s not that she’s bossy”, we said, “it’s that she’s a narc. Your kid is a narc, and that is not good”.

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This Week in Zoology: Manta Rays

Another video is circling in my feed, and so another inspiration for a This Week in Zoology was born. Like the last one, this one is also beautiful to watch. Also like the last one, it seems to be sparking a question: what are those silly rays doing?

 

Those are manta rays, seemingly doing a series of belly flops. And no, that’s not because they lose all grace and coordination in the air, they are actually belly flopping on purpose.

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OK, Last One

For someone who wasn’t going to talk about Brexit, I sure am posting quite a bit about it, aren’t I?

But I can’t resist this one. Just when I think FOX News has gotten so vile that I can’t stand it, they come out with a comedic gem that makes me remember why it can be fun to keep them around, so long as everyone knows and remembers that they are a joke, of course.

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Come on. That’s just… that’s just great