Question: Besides bamboo, are pandas capable of killing anything?
Answer: Yes! Other pandas.
BEIJING – The first panda to be released into bamboo forests after being bred in captivity has died, and a Chinese nature preserve official said Thursday it may have fallen from trees while being chased by wild pandas.
The body of Xiang Xiang was found Feb. 19 on snow-covered ground in the forests of Sichuan province in China’s southwest, the Xinhua News Agency said. He survived less than a year in the wild after nearly three years of training in survival techniques and defense tactics.
“Xiang Xiang died of serious internal injuries in the left side of his chest and stomach by falling from a high place,” Heng Yi, an official from the Wolong Giant Panda Research Center in Sichuan, said in a telephone interview.
“The scratches and other minor injuries caused by other wild pandas were found on his body,” he said. “So Xiang Xiang may have fallen from trees when being chased by those pandas.”
Heng said the long delay in announcing Xiang Xiang’s death was attributed to the need for a full investigation.
On another note, my Uncle Iorek looks cool (if a bit small) in the new Golden Compass trailer.
Knut posted this at 7:43 PM CDT on Thursday, May 31st, 2007 as Animal Kingdom Strikes Back
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As usual Thomas Sowell exposes the irrationality of the arm-flapping over the price of gas. How does he do it? By explaining basic economics:
Get Some Control
You could gouge your eyes out listening to some congressmen.
By Thomas Sowell
With gasoline prices rising, political rhetoric is rising even faster. Liberals in Congress and in the media have launched a war of words, whose net result may well be a demand for some form of price control.
Price controls are not a new idea. There have been price controls in countries around the world. There were price controls during ancient times in Babylon and in the Roman Empire.
Whatever the hopes that may have inspired price controls, economists have studied their actual consequences, which have been remarkably similar from one place to another and from one time to another — and almost invariably bad.
That history has even included higher prices in places with price controls. For example, New York and San Francisco have severe rent-control laws — and some of the highest average rents in the country.
But those pushing for price controls on gasoline are not likely to go into facts about the consequences of price controls, much less go into the economics that explains why such bad consequences have repeatedly followed price controls.
This issue, like so many others, is likely to be settled on the basis of rhetoric. And, on that basis, the left has always had the advantage.
As former House Majority Leader Dick Armey — an economist by trade — has put it: “Demagoguery beats data” in political battles.
It never ceases to amaze me how a basic understanding of economics shines a bright spotlight onto the bunk that is liberal demagoguery. For anyone that didn’t go to CMC, please read Sowell’s Basic Economics. It provides a very basic understanding of economics that even the the layest of the layman could understand. Another fantastic read is Marxism: Philosophy and Economics which my dad gave me to read back in high school. This book gave me a better understanding of Marxism than 4 years of college political philosophy.
Jamie posted this at 4:17 PM CDT on Thursday, May 31st, 2007 as The Conservative Sowell
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Seriously, is Trey Parker a genius or what?
Jamie posted this at 2:54 PM CDT on Thursday, May 31st, 2007 as Edjamacation, Humor, The Melting Pot Boils Over
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In keeping with our series of Star Trek related inventions, I give you the Universal Translator:
Translation device aims to help UK troops
By staff and agencies
Last Updated: 10:58am BST 31/05/2007
A translation device worn like a wristwatch has been designed by a student from Baghdad to help British soldiers overcome language barriers in potentially life-threatening situations in Iraq.
|Mr Ismail: ‘It was my way of thanking British soldiers for their honourable work’
Voice recognition-based technology would aid troops and civilians in high-risk and “hot zone” situations by translating buzz phrases such as “Don’t shoot”, “Stay back” and “Help will be here soon”.
The device is still a work-in-progress but research found an enthusiastic response from the front line. Funding and a patent are now needed to produce the equipment, unveiled today at the University of Derby by inventor Amin Ismail.
The student, who fled Iraq before the war, came up with the idea with product design senior lecturer Karl Hurn for his final year project.
Mr Ismail said: “One reason I wanted to undertake this project was because it was my way of thanking British soldiers for their honourable work, people who are abandoning themselves from their loved ones to bring freedom to Iraqi people.
“Secondly, it is to improve the communication between soldiers and Iraqi people in high-risk situations where any misunderstandings might lead to a tragedy.
“If this device can help save innocent lives in a conflict situation then that has to be good.”
1) How cool is it that an Iraqi student is helping British Soldiers overcome the dangers of defeating terrorists in his home country?
2) When will it teach me how to swear at people in Klingon.
Jamie posted this at 2:38 PM CDT on Thursday, May 31st, 2007 as Nerdom
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NR vs. WSJ:
This should be an offer that the Wall Street Journal can’t refuse — debate the editors of National Review on the immigration bill.
We hereby challenge the Journal’s editors to debate the immigration bill in a neutral venue with a moderator of their choosing — two or three of us versus any two or three of them. We propose to do it in Washington next week so it will have the maximum impact on the Senate’s consideration of the most sweeping immigration reform in decades (time and place to be worked out in a mutually satisfactory fashion).
It shouldn’t be a problem for the Journal’s editors to take up this challenge, since opponents of the bill aren’t “rational” on the question, have no arguments, and are “foaming at the mouth,” as they explained in a videotaped session of one of their editorial meetings last week. Click here to watch — you have to see it to believe it.
We urge them to come out of the shadows, and hope defending the bill in this forum is not another one of those jobs that no American will do. (We would challenge President Bush himself to a debate on behalf of the conservatives he has maligned, but we fear he hasn’t read the bill.)
So who at the Journal is willing to debate the merits of the legislation rather than cast aspersions from afar? We await the answer. To keep us posted in the meantime, we hope they videotape their consideration of this challenge.
Meanwhile, Hugh Hewitt eggs them on:
I offer an entire show, pretaped if necessary for the convenience of the east coasters. Next Wednesday or Thursday anyone?
(I am the perfect moderator as I have actually read the bill, interviewed the key players about it, and would support it but for the flaws on the enforcement side. If it could be made to work –we’d have to pretape before his show, or conduct the debate live from 6 to 9 PM– I’d also invite Michael Medved to pose questions, and he’s a supporter of the bill as written.)
Looks like fun!
Hubbard posted this at 1:19 PM CDT on Thursday, May 31st, 2007 as The Melting Pot Boils Over
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A friend once puckishly suggested the following t-shirt design—
On the front: Thank you Ralph Nader! On the back: College Republicans.
Now it looks like Cynthia McKinney (H/T) might be jumping into the 2008 race. I wonder if McKinney will get Cindy Sheehan’s endorsement?
Hubbard posted this at 12:56 PM CDT on Thursday, May 31st, 2007 as Audacity of Hype, Running with the antelope
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A recent post that got a fair amount of traffic was Tom’s criticism of the Republicans skeptical of evolution. Today, Sam Brownback responds in the NYT:
People of faith should be rational, using the gift of reason that God has given us. At the same time, reason itself cannot answer every question. Faith seeks to purify reason so that we might be able to see more clearly, not less. Faith supplements the scientific method by providing an understanding of values, meaning and purpose. More than that, faith — not science — can help us understand the breadth of human suffering or the depth of human love. Faith and science should go together, not be driven apart.
The question of evolution goes to the heart of this issue. If belief in evolution means simply assenting to microevolution, small changes over time within a species, I am happy to say, as I have in the past, that I believe it to be true. If, on the other hand, it means assenting to an exclusively materialistic, deterministic vision of the world that holds no place for a guiding intelligence, then I reject it.
Since I’m relatively indifferent to the intelligent design vs. evolution vs. creationism debate, I’ll leave it to the rest of the blog to determine how good Brownback’s defense of raising his hand is.
Hubbard posted this at 11:19 AM CDT on Thursday, May 31st, 2007 as Uncategorized
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Hillel Halkin discuss Bibi Netanyahu, the once and future prime minister of Israel, and makes a remarkable admission:
As will be remembered, Mr. Netanyahu, after a long period of fence-sitting, came out against disengagement and resigned from Ariel Sharon’s cabinet because of it, thus helping to precipitate the split in the Likud that led Kadima’s creation.
At the time he seemed to many Israelis who agreed with him about other things to be wrong both strategically and tactically: Strategically, because the Gaza disengagement was in itself a good thing, and tactically, because splitting the Likud was a bad thing. And indeed, splitting the Likud was a bad thing. But so, it is necessary to say two years later, was disengagement. Those who were for it, like myself, were wrong. Those who were against it, like Mr. Netanyahu, were right.
And not only was he right, he was right for the right reasons — which is to say, not because he was ideologically opposed to any Israeli retreat from any part of “the land of Israel” (he wasn’t and isn’t), and not because he thought Israel should remain in Gaza forever (he didn’t and doesn’t), but because he thought the timing and manner of Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan was misconceived.
Kudos to Mr. Halkin for an honesty rarely seen in the press. The other parts of the essay—such as Netanyahu’s Reaganite fiscal policy—are also worth looking at.
Hubbard posted this at 3:49 PM CDT on Wednesday, May 30th, 2007 as Journalism, Those Wacky Foreigners
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Hello, Pot? Yeah, this is Kettle. You’re Black.
Affleck: Clean-cut Romney GOP pick in ‘08
By Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa
Wednesday, May 30, 2007 – Updated: 01:11 AM EST
“Gone, Baby, Gone” director Ben Affleck, who tried mightily – but unsuccessfully – to get Sen. John Kerry elected to the White House, said he expects ex-Gov. Mitt Romney to be the Republican nominee in 2008.
Chatting about the upcoming presidential race on the season finale of “Real Time with Bill Maher,” the Cambridge homey said he thinks the GOP will end up with Romney because the ex-gov looks good, has nice hair – and the Republicans really don’t have anyone else.
“He says he doesn’t like abortion and he’s all clean-cut and he looks like a Ken doll,” said Affleck who was doing a rather amusing imitation of our ex-gov during the Romney rant.
“The Mormonism thing is really suspect,” he added, “but they’ll take it at this point. I mean, who else do they have? Crazy (Rudy) Giuliani and (John) McCain who’s completely insane? They don’t have any other options.”
Ben Affleck calls Romney “a Ken doll”, “all clean-cut” and “has nice hair”. In other news Paris Hilton calls Hillary a “whore” and “a bitch” and George Lucas says Obama is “over-hyped”.
On a side note: remember when Bill Maher called himself a Libertarian. That was the funniest thing he said since…well…ever.
Jamie posted this at 2:21 PM CDT on Wednesday, May 30th, 2007 as Audacity of Hype, Buffoon Watch
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Literally. Let’s cheer on the pro-fox hunting contingent!
Hubbard posted this at 12:50 PM CDT on Wednesday, May 30th, 2007 as Animal Kingdom Strikes Back
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- I’ve often thought a key reason why Libertarians, despite having many good ideas and anywhere from 10-20% of the populace on their side, were often strikingly unsuccessful at electing their own candidates was that they were so insistent on adherence to their do-your-own thing party line that nobody could pass everybody’s muster. In short, they tend to make the perfect the mortal enemy of the good. David Boaz, vice president of Cato, makes the case against Giuliani today. If a pro-choice, pro-gay rights guy—about as libertarian as the Republicans are likely to nominate—isn’t good enough, they’ll deserve to be stuck in the Ron Paul wilderness.
- Jonah Goldberg smacks down John Edwards, whom I’m beginning to think of as the weakest of the major Democratic presidential hopefuls. Sharpest quote:
Earlier this month, it was reported that despite the fact he denounces “predatory lending” and sub-prime mortgages for the poor, Edwards made nearly $500,000 as a consultant to a hedge fund involved in that business.
The former senator defended his gig on the grounds that he took the job to learn how financial markets relate to poverty. This is a bit like saying you frequent brothels so you can learn where babies come from. But here’s the hilarious part: Edwards said he didn’t know the fund was involved in sub-prime lending. If he was there to learn about poverty and finance, how did he miss this salient fact? He must be a very slow learner. No wonder his former political consultant, Bob Shrum, calls him “a Clinton who hadn’t read the books.”
- Fred Thompson has entered the race. This is the way the world ends—not with a bang but a conference call. That way of spreading the word grates on me for some reason.
Some free analysis: The Republican field right now seems to be Giuliani versus everybody else. If Thompson can unite the anti-Giuliani forces, he’ll get the nomination. McCain has stuck it to the base too regularly, and Romney has changed his colors too often. So long as nothing muddies the waters any more (we’re looking at you, Newt Gingrich), Thompson has a chance.
Hubbard posted this at 11:03 AM CDT on Wednesday, May 30th, 2007 as Audacity of Hype, There Is Only One God And Jonah Goldberg Is His Prophet
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If you want to kill the bill, if you don’t want to do what’s right for America, you can pick one little aspect out of it. You can use it to frighten people. Or you can show leadership and solve this problem once and for all.
And there we have it. I guess I now hate America as well.
Is there anyone against whom he has yet to use this sort of rhetoric? A quick google search didn’t turn up instances of him saying that Laura hates America, but she did want a woman to replace O’Connor on the Court, which is a sure sign of hating America.
Apollo posted this at 4:23 PM CDT on Tuesday, May 29th, 2007 as George Bush Sucks!
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See The Anchoress on Venezuela.
The initial headlines are either unclear or they’re working at happy spin:
Chavez launches new Venezuela TV station.
That sounds merry, doesn’t it – as though Hugo Chavez is happily launching a new enterprise and celebrating! The story is a bit different, though:
CARACAS, Venezuela –Venezuela’s oldest private television station was pushed off the air as President Hugo Chavez’s government replaced the popular opposition-aligned network with a new state-funded channel on Monday. Radio Caracas Television shut down just before midnight Sunday as its broadcast license expired. Chavez refused to renew its license, accusing the channel of “subversive” activities. The new channel, TVES, launched its transmissions with artists singing pro-Chavez music…
It really is possible to stretch, spin, and shade the truth beyond all recognition. My Pet Jawa documents something similar over at Kos:
I was curious whether the Kossacks had anything to say on Chavez’ media crackdown in Venezuela. This is what I found:
It is therefore, as I say, extraordinary to see the mainstream media in the U.S. and Britain insinuating that this move by Chavez somehow represents an attack on democracy and freedom. In fact, the move – totally constitutional – may well result in a media that is more pluralistic, not less…
[Fear of a successful socialist Venezuela] is the true explanation for the hysterical anti-Chavez propaganda. It has nothing to do with concern for human rights in Venezuela, or a fear that Venezuelan freedom of speech is under threat. That is totally irrelevant to the corporate media, as evidenced on countless other occasions. The problem for the U.S. establishment (and hence the establishment media) is that Chavez represents an alternative to U.S.-imposed neo-liberalism and a direct challenge to U.S. domination. He, like Castro’s Cuba, represents the “threat of a good example”. The deepest fear of U.S. planners is that if states like Cuba are permitted to follow a path of independence unchallenged, other states might start getting similar ideas. Hence the decades long American campaign of economic warfare and terrorism against Cuba.
Wow. Just… wow
If President Bush forced CNN off the air, I’d guess that the university types would take to the streets—and they would be right to.
But if a President Obama reenacted the Fairness Doctrine and forced all talk radio to be silent, I’d guess there’d be very few street protestors.
Hubbard posted this at 1:43 PM CDT on Tuesday, May 29th, 2007 as Politics and the English Language, Those Wacky Foreigners
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While observing a variety of straight and gay couples one Valentine’s day, I worked out a theory about attraction:
- If you want to date a man, you must take care of yourself and dress well. Hence, the hordes of straight women and gay men at gyms and dressed well at work.
- But if you want to date a woman, you can be slovenly, ambulatory bacon. Hence, straight men and lesbians.
I dubbed this “The men are picky” theory of attraction. Women tend to look the way their men want them to look. (I suspect that the unsubtle dominance of gay men in women’s fashion is a way for queer men to live vicariously through women, who use their fabulous designs to land straight men.) Only once safely coupled do women attempt, usually unsuccessfully, to change how their men look.
Amber disapproves of the movie Knocked up; specifically, she doesn’t like the slovenly guy getting the hot girl. The hot guy sticking with the blowsy chick simply doesn’t happen often enough in real life; it’s asking audiences to suspend too much disbelief, so it’s not going to happen in Hollywood anytime soon. Movies are mirrors of reality, but there’s only so much a funhouse mirror can distort things.
Hubbard posted this at 12:23 PM CDT on Tuesday, May 29th, 2007 as I don't know--but it's a Tradition
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I’m not a fan of the flag-burning amendments, but if people keep doing this garbage (H/T), I won’t mind much if they pass:
Vandals burned dozens of small American flags that decorated veterans’ graves for Memorial Day and replaced many of them with hand-drawn swastikas, authorities said Monday.
Charred flag tatters were found still attached to 33 small flag standards at Woodlawn Cemetery, while 46 of the standards were found empty Sunday, authorities said.
Sheets of paper bearing swastikas drawn with what appeared to be red and black felt-tipped pens had been taped to 14 of the vandalized flag standards, Sheriff Bill Cumming said.
Members of the American Legion on this island in the San Juan Islands replaced the burned flags with new ones Sunday afternoon.
The vandals repeated their actions on Memorial Day after a guard left at dawn, replacing 33 of the small flags with more hand-drawn swastikas, the sheriff’s office said.
Investigators believe there’s more than one culprit, based on the number of flags vandalized, but they have no leads on any possible suspects, Cumming said by telephone.
The sheriff said deputies were trying to lift fingerprints off what little physical evidence they were able to recover and were asking people on this bucolic island to contact the sheriff’s office.
“We don’t view this as free speech,” Cumming said. “We view this as a hate crime.”
Hubbard posted this at 11:39 AM CDT on Tuesday, May 29th, 2007 as Dirty Hippies
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