As you might have heard, True/Slant has been acquired by Forbes and should be integrated with the company by July. I have about 10 days to post whatever the hell I want, so I will try to post at least once a day and, finish all the posts I started but never completed. First up on the agenda:
The below video is making the rounds on the internet (somewhat graphic, be warned):
Video from part of the incident later was posted on YouTube, but it shows fewer than 10 minutes of the 68 minutes that Howell and Officer Jason Powell were on the scene.
LaGrange dog owner vows to fight for law changes via Hannibal.net
The video is approximately 7 minutes long, so here is a summary. Two cops show up, and try to put a nuzzle on a dog hesitantly. The dog is afraid of the cops and their long stick, so runs around to the best of its ability (it is chained up) in an effort to avoid the strange cops. When the cops leave the dog alone for a while, the dog lays down. The dog does not bark, or make threatening motions. The only time the dog tries to bite is when the pole is attached to its neck and it tries to bite the pole.
Near the end of the video, the cops succeed in getting the noose on, and instead of using their electro-shock weapons, decide to shoot the dog. Whether or not the dog should have been put down, for growling at passerby or chasing away people (a guard dog doing that? unheard of!), these two police officers are royal idiots.
First and foremost, you never ever approach an animal while being nervous or hesitant. Animals can read your body language and will react aggressively. If you are frightened, they think there is something to be frightened of. I am willing to bet that if any of these officers walked up to the dog is a firm, steady and nonchalant manner, they could have easily put the noose on the dogs head.
Second, why were these cops so frightened of a dog already restrained, that they had to shoot it twice? In the head? This dog showed no signs of rabies. Dogs don’t just vocalize/growl when they want to kill you, they also do it when they are scared or excited. The dog obviously cannot bite any of the officers with the noose on its neck, so this excessive use of force just shows how utterly inept the officers are.
Third, why didn’t these police officers wait for animal control to arrive? Last I checked, police should only use their weapons when their lives are in danger. I didn’t see an officer down with an angry dog tearing at his neck, or an officer bitten.
Fourth, don’t waste taxpayer money on “dog training” :
McNelly said his department is working with the Humane Society of Missouri on additional training in dealing with unruly dogs.
LaGrange dog owner vows to fight for law changes via Hannibal.net
A single class will do. If I can approach large guard dogs that are loose, restrain them to check their tags, and hold them while I call their owners, then a large male with a gun and a taser should be able to do it too. Or do these officers need some confidence and common sense training?
Oh great. I have gone the whole winter without seeing a mutant dog dressed up like a human, until today, when for god knows what reason I was browsing the ChicagoNOW blogs:
When the weather gets cold, what’s a dog to do? Bundle up, of course! …what are Chicago’s dogs wearing to stay warm? We want to know! E-mail a picture of your pooch in his or her winter outfit to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “winterdog” in the subject line.
via Show off your dog in RedEye! – RedEye. (click the link to see the infuriating picture)
First off, if this dog were a real dog and not a mutant dog…. (and by mutant I mean genetically altered to change their size, fur type, jaw structure, etc but in exchange cause floating knee caps, a skull that is too small for their brain, twisted spines for curled tails, a lifetime of pain, depression, organ problems, seizures, brain tumors and other ailments that affect dogs that are not mutts) … the animal wouldn’t need any clothes to keep warm.
Second, dogs are not dolls, just like how they are not products. Don’t dress them up like they are dolls, and please don’t buy them designer clothes, or I will have to cut you. (In my mind only, of course)
Third, if vegans and vegatarians, PETA, and Jonathan Safran Foer really cared about animals, they would be calling for the end of designer and purebred dogs. Or for Congress to regulate their breeding, at least. We hated everything else about Hitler, why is this still around? (Oh right, because they’re soooooo cute!)
So STFU and GTFO RedEye. Please.
Rebecca Beachy became a mini-celebrity when she wore her skinned feral kitten hat to the September 11th gallery openings. Gapers Block interviewed her a couple days ago, where Beachy said:
Most of my art was already concerned with material and I started thinking about the mythology of cats. I have been thinking about puns. You know, the cat in the hat. The cheshire cat. And then the LOLcat website which is such an obsession of people in our generation. So I thought it would be interesting to re-purpose the cat body to make connections between the body and the image and the mythology of the cat. The cat hat was my first project along those lines.
via Gapers Block
The idea of wearing a dead kitten on the head makes sense in a pun sort of way; we all have cat on the brain. Humanity has always been obsessed with felines on one level or another. Cultures around the world all have their own cat folklore and mythology, from the Egyptians, Greeks, Norsemen, Scottish, to even the Chinese. Did you know that the prophet Mohammed had a beloved cat named Muezza, and one day, instead of disturbing his sleeping cat to attend the call to prayer, Mohammed cut his own robe?
On the other side of the cat obsession, during the Dark Ages the Church believed cats were the agents of the Devil and would organize massive cat burning parties. Gerina Dunwich outlines cat torture methods the Church employed in her book “Your Magickal Cat: Feline Magick, Lore and Worship” (starting on page 60). This cat burning craze had dire consequences. When the feline population in Europe came close to zero the rats ran amuck and spread the Plague.
So Fruzsi, what’s your point about Beachy’s kitten hat and cats being our overlords? (Wait for it…)
I was listening to a Radiolab podcast the other day, and they had a great episode about parasites. The very last segment titled “The Scratch” (starting at minute 47) deals with a little parasite in cats called toxoplasma gondii and its ability to effect and control the brain of the host animal. Toxoplasma gondii can be carried by a variety of animals, but really only wants to live in cat stomachs. Robert Sapolsky, the neuroscientist on the show, goes on to explain the effects of toxoplasma gondii on rats; toxoplasma gondii travels to the rat’s brain and messes around with the circuitry to make the cat attractive to the rat. The end result has the rat approaching the cat to be eaten. Sapolsky goes on to mention that it is not “speculative” to think that Toxoplasma gondii might be doing the same thing in humans. Research done on toxoplasmosis in humans has revealed a link between toxoplasma gondii and schizophrenia. Dr Fuller Torrey explains during the show how rates of schizophrenia “exploded” around the same time humans began keeping cats indoors as pets.
A study published in 2007 by the Oxford University Press hypothesizes toxoplasmosis effects dopamine and testosterone levels in the brain. Men with toxoplasmosis
“were more likely to disregard rules and were more expedient, suspicious, jealous, and dogmatic”
while women infected with toxoplasmosis
“were more warm hearted, outgoing, conscientious, persistent, and moralistic“.
Either way, that’s some serious mind-altering power right there.
According to the CDC, 60 million people are infected with toxoplasma gondii and most don’t even know it because our immune system keeps us healthy. That means 1 in 4 Americans have it. The wiki entry on Toxoplasmosis says one third of the worlds population has been infected at some point.
Does this mean the prophet Mohammed had toxoplasma gondii in his brain? He is said to have drank from the same water vessel as his cat. The Pope’s cat Chico has his own Twitter account. Does this mean the feline-obsessed Pope has it too? How long have humans had this parasite in our brains and not even known about it? Do I love my cat of my own free will? Am I really a warm-hearted and outgoing person, or is this the parasite talking?
Even if Rebecca Beachy wasn’t thinking about toxoplasma gondii when she made her fashion piece, her kitten hat has a whole new meaning.