Calvin & Hobbes: Still Relevant

In the ongoing catastrophe in which we live, one week away from no-deal Brexit, TERFs ignoring how humans actually interact with other humans, the majority of the US denying climate change as they blindly follow fossil-fuel based energy companies off the cliff, the work of Bill Watterson is still frightfully relevant:

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Quote of the day

So, in the grand tradition of never having done this before, I offer you this quote of the day. In large part because I don’t want to lose track of it again:

“The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”

– James D. Nicoll

My BFF just asked me about Nicoll a minute ago, so later today I might read some about him and add that here, but for now I ask you to simply enjoy the beauty of a well-turned metaphor.

 

 

Steve Bannon Engaged in Sex Robot Congress, But Pulls Out Early

I’m not sure which that headline evoked more: fun or emesis. Nonetheless, Bannon was engaged as a speaker for the 4th annual Sex & Love with Robots Congress or something like that. However, the notoriety of the event was costing Bannon other speaking gigs. Bannon will not now be speaking, and the entire “Congress” has been canceled. However, it has been suggested that Bannon pulled out even before the cancelation.

In any case, quite a number of people are now talking about this – frequently tittering as they do. One take is at RawStory.

Priorities

Recently, an 8-year old girl found a sword in a Swedish lake. While heavily corroded, scientists were able to determine that it was 1,500 years old-ish. That’s pre-Viking era, and steel swords from the time would have been very rare in Sweden. But while the science is nice and all, some people are having a bit of fun calling this girl the Rightwise-Queen-of-All-Sweden because of some loose parallels with the Arthurian legends. Fortunately, the Guardian is on the case, and dispatched interviewer Moya Sarner to record the girl, Saga Vanecek, describing the experience and its importance in her own words.

There is much to love about the interview, but perhaps the best part is that this is a kid who clearly has a good sense of her own priorities. Asked about her claim to the throne, Vanecek says

I wouldn’t mind being queen for a day, but when I grow up I want to be a vet. Or an actor in Paris.

Any mammal, bird or reptile would be lucky to have you, Saga, whether they’re directing productions in Paris or not.

Classic Contributions to Science Journalism #2.1mya

In the coverage of recently published research revealing that stone tools in China – which research suggests were crafted by individual members of Homo erectus – date back 2.1 million-fucking-years, we get this gem contributing to our understanding of why this finding is so important in understanding the habits and abilities of our ancestors and not just their birth dates:

Another key finding is that the new dates show that “already before 2 million years, hominins were able to cope with a range of environmental conditions,” says archaeologist Wil Roebroeks of Leiden University in the Netherlands, who is not a member of the team. During the long span of occupations at Shangchen, which is about the same latitude as Kabul, the climate fluctuated from warm and wet to cold and dry. “They must have been freezing their buns off,” adds paleoanthropologist Rick Potts of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

That’s right, just try reading that entire last sentence out loud and in one take without interrupting yourself laughing. Pure brilliance.