Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Fraudulent Review of KGB Killer Inflames Elephant Appetites

See item 7 for image explanation and attribution.

Sometimes things hang together and some days they all fall apart. Today is one of those where I'll offload without collation the collection of odd and interesting (to me) items I've accumulated.

1) In reviewing the book Slam Dunks and No-Brainers, P.J. O'Rourke demonstrates why a bad review by a good reviewer can be so much fun. I'd prefer to read less buttering and more well-deserved lambasting.

2) You may not be shocked by this, but lack of government transparency, interagency coordination, and the web-based technological sophistication a consumer would expect in buying a CD are all making it difficult to protect the vast mounds of Katrina cash from fraud.

3) If you're fascinated by espionage stories, here's a doozy about the KGB agent who infiltrated Latin America and became a coffee baron in Costa Rica during the Cold War. (ht: bccy blog) Okay, you'll have to register to read the article, which I hate doing. However, this registration isn't quite as intrusive as some, and I believe you'll have access to all these surfworthy publications in the network, which is good efficiency for one registration.

4) Some of the elephants at the damaged New Orleans Zoo are clearing fallen tree debris by eating it. What interested me most was:

Most of the zoo's residents and a dozen or so key staff members stayed put for Katrina. The caretakers hunkered down in the reptile house, a building designed to withstand a hurricane and serve as a shelter. Food for animals and humans alike had been stockpiled. "We have been planning for this for years," zoo spokeswoman Sarah Burnette said, adding that Audubon had picked up survival tips from the Miami zoo after Hurricane Andrew.

They did have a few casualties and the sea lions had to be moved because of their special environmental needs, but does it occur to you that the zoo handled its responsibilities for stewardship and planning better than a few others we might mention? And what about learning from Florida's experiences? How often have you read that? Bravo zookeepers!

5) Because I am- I don't know what I am- I took myself to see the new Wallace and Gromit movie a couple of days ago, and I really liked it. Not being a big W&G fan to date, I hadn't noticed before the fingerprints in the clay faces and forms before which were wonderful to see pop in and out during the stop motion. The whole thing was charming and beautifully realized. I am a fan of world creation as an art form, and this created a place I'd love to have tea, toast, and a salad of the local veggies. It also had some genuine pathos mixed in which I think all lasting and beloved "fairy tales" do. The fearful parts, not terribly frightening to an adult, were caused mainly by overreactions or misunderstandings by characters and coincidences of dark and weather, so I don't think the movie harbors any new bogeymen to linger under the bed, which is a skillful thing to manage in spooky storytelling for children.

So I was saddened to read on the Gray Monk's blog that the W&G warehouse including archives, models, and awards was destroyed by fire. He didn't post the news link, so here's one. From another story, Nick Park, who created the popular characters, says while the loss hurts, it "isn't a big deal" in comparison to recent natural disasters hitting the world.

6) I found this through Samatha Burns who found it through someone else in the viral way such things propogate. Anyway, she kills for revenge, while I discovered- no suprise, really- that I am an Assassin. Take the quiz and learn what kind of killer you are and see your own trading card of death if you're mature.

7) Another linky-daisy chain led me to Wendy McClure's Candyboots with her Weight Watchers recipe cards from the 1970's. If you loved Lilek's Gallery of Regrettable Food, you'll love this.

Would you believe I've got more, Chief? But I'll stop here. Why should you have to carry all my garbage to the curb in one trip? The rest of the recycling can wait.

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