The gender of Rudolph and his or her sleigh-hauling friends -- the subject of goofy Internet chatter every year around this time -- is now being pondered by renowned wildlife experts at Texas A & M University.
"Santa's reindeers were really females, most likely," said Alice Blue-McLendon, a veterinary medicine professor specializing in deer who cites the depictions of Santa's helpers with antlers as the primary evidence. It turns out reindeer grow antlers regardless of gender, and most bulls typically shed their fuzzy protrusions before Christmas.
But Santa's sleigh helpers might also be castrated males, known as steers, said Greg Finstad, who manages the Reindeer Research Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
I'm a fan pimping those that warrant pimpage. And no one warrants more pimpage than my best friend's sister.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Say hello to the "water bear". Or rather tardigrades, as they are more commonly known (by who, I don't know, cause for most I guarantee they have heard of neither term).
Thursday, September 04, 2008
For shame Cleveland.
The folks over at Ordinary People Change The World are trying to rectify this situation. Brad Meltzer and Mike San Giacomo are spearheading the Siegel and Shuster Society in order to try to raise money to restore and save the Siegel house. The house where Superman was created.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
During the night of 28 April, General Wenck reported that his Twelfth Army had been forced back along the entire front. Wenck noted that no further attacks towards Berlin were possible. General Alfred Jodl (Supreme Army Command) did not provide this information to Hans Krebs in Berlin until early in the morning of 30 April.
On 29 April, Hans Krebs, Wilhelm Burgdorf, Joseph Goebbels, and Martin Bormann witnessed and signed the last will and testament of Adolf Hitler. Hitler dictated the document to his private secretary, Traudl Junge. Hitler was also that day informed of the violent death of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on 28 April, which is presumed to have increased his determination to avoid capture.
On 30 April 1945, after intense street-to-street combat, when Soviet troops were within a block or two of the Reich Chancellory, Hitler committed suicide, shooting himself while simultaneously biting into a cyanide capsule. Hitler's body and that of Eva Braun (his mistress whom he had married the day before) were put in a bomb crater, doused in gasoline by Otto Günsche and other Führerbunker aides, and set alight as the Red Army advanced and shelling continued. Hitler also poisoned his dog Blondi to test the poison he and Eva Braun were going to take.Those were the last three days of Hitler's life.
I wonder, if at any time, did he think to himself, "Maybe this was not the way to go?"
I have to think that for however evil a man is, there's gotta be a moment of questioning, it's only human. But maybe I've answered my own question. He wasn't human. He walked, talked, and shat as a human, but his humanity left him a long time before the bite into a cyanide pill.
Here's what I find hilarious, though. Hitler's whole concept of racial hygiene was based on the ideas of Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau, who became famous for developing the racialist theory of the Aryan master race.
Now here begins the irony. His father was a government official and staunch royalist, his mother, Anne-Louise Magdeleine de Gercy, was the daughter of a royal tax official and a Creole woman from Santo Domingo. When he was fourteen his mother eloped with another man and brought Josef with her to Switzerland for a few years. It was in Switzerland that he began his interest in Orientalism.
Obviously this was the catalyst of his hatred towards other races. He came to believe that race created culture, arguing that distinctions between the three "black", "white", and "yellow" races were natural barriers, and that "race-mixing" breaks those barriers and leads to chaos.
Gobineau believed the white race was superior to the others. He thought it corresponded to the ancient Indo-European culture, also known as "Aryan"(Indo-Iranian race). Gobineau originally wrote that white race miscegenation was inevitable. He attributed much of the economic turmoils in France to pollution of races. Later on in his life, he altered his opinion to believe that the white race could be saved.
Here's the kicker. Gobineau saw Jews as intelligent people who were very much a part of the superior race and who, if anything, stimulated industry and culture.
Hitler and Nazism borrowed much of Gobineau's ideology, though Gobineau himself was not particularly anti-Semitic. When the Nazis adopted Gobineau's theories, they were forced to edit his work extensively to make it conform to their views, much as they did in the case of Nietzsche.
So a guy, who was part Jewish himself, decides to base his ideology of hatred and murder, on another guy who actually includes Jews in the superior race demographic.
Nothing about Hitler screams winner. Hell, even at the end of his life, he had to kill a woman and dog, he just couldn't be man enough to end it on his own.
The world is better off without him. 63 years ago today, the world got a little less evil. The only good thing he did.
Monday, April 14, 2008
If I'm awake it means that I've either been writing and didn't realize the time to stop. Or, I tried to go to sleep early, but I'm so used to waking up at this hour, my body's an idiot.
I love the smell of very early morning, merely an hour before the sun starts to warm things up. Of course I'm heading right to bed after this post. It's just such an interesting feeling to be up at this time.
Mind me not, I'm off to sleep.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
- When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
- The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
- Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
It was Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World that introduced me to the man. True I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey when I was a kid (didn't understand it then, obviously), but it was Mysterious World that captivated me. I've always had a love for sci-fi, but it was Clarke's shows that cemented my love for the sci, not just the fi.
Arthur had a way of showing the optimistic side of science in the future, as opposed to the bleak, dismal downfall of humanity. The way Arthur talked about technology, space, and the human ability to explore wonders in themselves and beyond always gave me hope, even to this day, that humanity with all of its flaws, can overcome their ignorance on the precipice of their destruction and salvation.
I could go into his contributions to the world, but if you don't know, look it up. It's worth to know what the man has done. Instead, I'd like to take a moment here and recognize that the World has become some degree dumber and less creative, now that Arthur has passed away.
On his 90th Birthday video, Arthur quotes Rudyard Kipling for what he would most like to be remembered for.
If I have given you delight
By aught that I have done,
Let me lie quiet in that night
Which shall be yours anon:
And for that little, little span
The dead are borne in mind
Seek not to question other than
The books I leave behind.
From the man who said, "Life is just one big banana. Science fiction allows us all to peel open the reality and discover the yellow truth inside." Believe us Arthur, you will be remembered for the writer that you are.
In his 1999 revision of Profiles of the Future, published in London by Indigo, Clarke added his Fourth Law: "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert."
That's one more than Newton, Arthur. Which conveniently fits into the second law. I promise you, Sir, the few of us who know, will continue to push forward, and we'll do our best to make each orbit around the Sun count.
Thank you, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, for 90 amazing orbits. You will be missed.
Friday, March 07, 2008
I've been doing a whole lot of reading lately, and not just comic books and literary work of yesteryear, but I've ventured into contemporary writers of today.
Now I've never been a fan of contemporary writers, specifically books of fiction. I just never really felt they've been able to grasp what classical writers were so adept at doing. Masters of the English language, as opposed to the pow, bam, and kablammos that most of these new guys tend to heavily rely on.
A snobbish point of view? Possibly. But I've asked people to show me evidence to the contrary. And so they have.
Recently read Stardust. Thought it was incredibly well written and a very interesting take on the typical fairy tale that we're used to. Personally I think the fact that Neil Gaiman is a comic book writer put him in a unique category, but it does indeed instill some piece of mind for me to think that the art isn't lost.
Of course, it's no Lord of The Rings. But then again, will anything ever be?
Thursday, February 21, 2008
I remember watching Robin Williams' "Toys" with my little brother. I can guarantee you, years later no one would have figured that he'd open up his own toy store.
Grand Opening is this weekend. I wish him the best, and can't wait to check it out for myself.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
In life, it's the little things that get you through the day, that make you sit up and realize, "Good God, it's great to be alive."
I've got a girl (that in of itself is something to be excited about), she loves me, she's awesome, and she goes and gets a xbox 360 so that she can play with me.
Yeah, she's uber awesome.