Archive | June 1, 2014

Should Pets Be Granted Personhood?

Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 3.54.26 PM“BARK! BARK! MEOW! MEOW! EQUALITY FOR PETS RIGHT NOW!”

– Traditional activist street chant, Cat and Dog Union, Local #932

Cats and dogs have become furry little children in the eyes of many Americans. Pet owners call themselves “mom” or “dad.” Some celebrate their animals’ birthdays and spend thousands of dollars on toys, food and veterinary care. Others even risk their lives for pets, as when owners refused to enter shelters that wouldn’t take in animals before Hurricane Katrina.

And now pets appear to be on the path to full citizenship, writes Grimm, a science journalist. “Dogs and cats have reached a critical juncture in their social evolution: As they inch towards personhood, we must decide whether to embrace them as fellow members of society or limit them to being mere pets.”

Grimm spends much of his book tracing the history of dogs and cats from wild animals to humans’ tools and on to beloved pets.

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Mysterious Blob On Radar Turns Out To Be Massive Grasshopper Swarm

…and in our extended weather forecast, we’ve looking at partly cloudy with a chance of frogs Tuesday morning…Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 4.02.30 PM

Weather officials in Albuquerque say a mysterious presence that showed up on its radar the last few nights has turned out to be of the insect variety.

The National Weather Service says a swarm of grasshoppers were detected over Albuquerque’s West Mesa for the fourth night in a row on Friday.

Meteorologist Chuck Jones says the swarm got caught up in winds heading southwest and is being carried as high as 1,000 feet.

via Radar Picks Up Grasshopper Swarm Over Albuquerque.

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Slate’s Brian Levinson: I Could Have Been Elliot Rodger

Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 3.43.23 PMWriter and editor Brian Levinson draws parallels between his adolescence and the life of Elliot Rodger

Anyone can find plenty to hate in the 141-page manifesto by Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old who killed six people and wounded 13 more last week in Isla Vista, California. The manifesto’s blend of misogyny, racism, self-pity, entitlement, and violent fantasy would make Patrick Bateman blanch.

Of course, I’ve got my own reason to hate the manifesto: Elliot Rodger could have been me.

I could’ve written an identical screed as a teenager or college student. In fact, I did write crappy stories about popular jocks getting pushed off cliffs by vengeful nerds, and sad sacks who commit suicide after whining about the happy couples slow-dancing at junior prom. So after I finished Rodger’s opus, I started reflecting on the boy I used to be: a boy whose emotional pendulum swung constantly between misery and anger; a boy who thought all his problems would be solved if he got a girlfriend; a boy who took grotesque pleasure in unleashing his rage against the girls he could never have and the boys he could never be.

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Women Having Sex In Bedroom Interrupted By Home Intruder Presumably Hoping For Threesome

I think that this guy has watched way too many porn films. I’m surprised that he didn’t show up wearing a tool belt or carrying a pizza. Maybe there is something to that study about porn-watching and loss of grey matter.

Two super-creepy stories of apartment living from my own life after the jump. Share some of your own in the comment section.

Wednesday morning the women were having sex. They realized someone was watching.

“I had never seen this man before and he did not belong,” said Willis. “My initial reaction, I just got up as fast as possible and pushed him out of the room.”

Willis said before the intruder ran away he told her he’d heard them from the floor below and wanted to see what was happening. She believes he was trying to get in bed with them.

“I think he was definitely intent on joining, and becoming a part of it and placing himself in our position,” said Willis.

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EU Countries To Include Drugs, Sex & Other Illegal Activities In GDP

Red Light District, Amsterdam (2168145535)Well that’s one way to boost your country’s reported economic output. One wonders whether or not each European Union nation will break down the vice trade by component so that we can see growth trends in, say, prostitution. From Bloomberg News:

Europe has a new source of economic growth. In the next few months all European Union countries that do not already include drugs, prostitution, and other illegal and gray-market businesses in their gross domestic product calculations will have to do so.

The 2010 version of the European System of Accounts becomes obligatory for GDP reporting by EU member states in September. It states unequivocally that “illegal economic actions shall be considered as transactions when all units involved enter the actions by mutual agreement. Thus, purchases, sales or barters of illegal drugs or stolen property are transactions, while theft is not.”

The ostensible goal is to make countries’ economic data comparable.

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