Monthly Archives: February 2007

So a Woman-Horse-Chicken Walks Into a Bar…

I read yesterday in the Times Online that British scientists are up in arms because they want to make human-animal hybrids and the politicians didn’t want to let them.

Scientists triumph in battle over ban on hybrid embryos

Plans to outlaw the creation of human-animal hybrid embryos for potentially life-saving stem cell research are to be dropped after a revolt by scientists.

The proposed government ban on fusing human DNA with animal eggs, which promises insights into incurable conditions such as Alzheimer’s and motor neuron disease, will be abandoned because of concerns among senior ministers that it will damage British science.

I remember reading back in the 80s about how, if we weren’t careful, we’d be creating some kind of grotesque man-animal hybrids with all this new genetic technology we were making. That we should think about what we were doing. There was even a great book (and lousy movie) called the Island of Dr. Moreau about this same subject.

Now scientists aren’t going as far as to create living creatures, but they are taking the first steps. And from the article, the reason seems clear: If they don’t do it, British science will look bad.

That’s right, nothing less than the reputation of British science is at stake, and something must be done (or prevented from being done). After all, we all know what it’s like when scientists lose the respect of their peers. At the conferences, the step on your shoes, flick your ears, give you wedgies, and tape signs to your back that say “British Scientists Are Man-Weasles, NOT!” It’s a sad sight.

I’m glad they’ve worked all that out. And I want to take a definite stand right now in favor of hybrid research. After all, in just a few minutes, a friend and I thought of some great jokes that are only possible because of these dedicated men and women.

So a man-lion-horse hybrid walks into a bar. The bartender says “why the long face?”

The man-lion-horse hybrid replies “I have 2 mane reasons”.


So a lizard-woman walks into a bar by the shipyard. Says, “You know where I can find any frogmen?”


So a guy walks into a veterinarian’s office. “I’ve got a chicken-elephant-duck in this bag,” he says

“How’d you get all of that into that little sack?” The doctor asks.

“Some parts fell off” he responds, “and I put the rest in the trunk”

“Here’s your bill,” the vet says

“Can you get that down?”

The doc holds the bill lower.

“Quack!”

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Aviation Moments

I’m driving to work feeling pretty good this morning, probably because I took the day off from exercising. As I drove in, I kept thinking of happy things in my life. It occurred to me that there are experiences I’ve had in aviation that I will remember for the rest of my life. If you’ve ever thought about flying or learning to fly, you should read this.

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Finding the Fun in Technology

If this is your first time visitng the blog, here are some funny and insightful articles about technology and technology management. I think you’ll like them. If you’re a technology person, they are bound to ring true. And if you like them, do us a favor and pass the link around, okay?

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Iraq: The Lexical Tar-Baby

“…Howdy, Brer Rabbit,” says Brer Fox, says he. “You look sort of stuck up this morning,” says he. And he rolled on the ground and laughed and laughed until he couldn’t laugh anymore.

By and by he said, “Well, I expect I got you this time, Brer Rabbit,” says he. “Maybe I don’t, but I expect I do. You’ve been around here sassing after me a mighty long time, but now it’s the end.

And then you’re always getting into something that’s none of your business,” says Brer Fox, says he. “Who asked you to come and strike up a conversation with this Tar-Baby? And who stuck you up the way you are? Nobody in the round world. You just jammed yourself into that Tar-Baby without waiting for an invitation,” says Brer Fox, says he. “There you are and there you’ll stay until I fix up a brushpile and fire it up, “cause I’m going to barbecue you today, for sure,” says Brer Fox, says he.

Then Brer Rabbit started talking mighty humble.

“I don’t care what you do with me, Brer Fox, says he, “Just so you don’t fling me in that briar patch. Roast me, Brer Fox, says he, “But don’t fling me in that briar patch…” — Traditional

I’m sick of hearing about Iraq. Every week, on every news show, it’s Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. It’s driving me nuts. We’re stuck in some kind of endless loop with no way out; not because of the situation on the ground, but our language. Our language is preventing progress towards consensus.

Politicians love to use rhetoric to change political reality, but lately with Iraq it has gotten way out of hand and the stakes are very serious. Looks like we’ve got ourselves in quite a lexical Chinese finger puzzle. We’re stuck fast to a rhetorical tar-baby.

As a libertarian, my viewpoint is from the middle, and I’m telling you that the terms are killing the debaters. in fact, it’s a wonder the political parties are able to talk to each other about Iraq at all without using interpreters or hand signals.

Here are some definitions based on common sense. Nationally-known commentators won’t agree with me — but of course nationally-known commentators are the ones that have gotten us into this mess in the first place. Somebody needs to mind the store while the managers play politics.

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My Problem with the Global Warming Debate

I believe in man-caused climate change.

I understand that for many of you reading this, there is no debate on Global Warming: perhaps you are reading this fifty years in the future and the science is settled. Perhaps you’ve completely made your mind up about it. For you guys, this isn’t about science per se. This is not an article about “Why there isn’t Global Warming”, this is an article about how the discussion of the issue is a piece of dog doody. Maybe Global Warming is real, maybe we cause it, and maybe we’ll all be growing fur and turning into flying monkeys in the next hundred years. I don’t understand the science, so any claim seems as reasonable to me as another. I understand debate and discussion, and what I’m here to say is that this is no way to have a reasonable discussion about it.

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