Postcard of an actual item for sale at garypanter.com.
Three lovely links to point to today:
First, check out Howard Hallis' Dr. Strange Custom Covers Project, just completed this month. The original Steve Ditko issues of Strange Tales featuring Doc, shared covers with a second feature. Howard has redesigned them to feature Dr. Strange. Be sure to click on the thumbnails - you can see notes, and what he put on the inside covers as well!
These are grim times, and sometimes even the snarky need a little visual cuddle. Neat New Stuff On The Net points us to the wonderful Cute Overload, which is WAY better than it sounds. While there, check out "The Rules of Cuteness".
See you at ConFusion!
The mind boggles. For the past few years, things seem to be getting worse and worse, with no end in sight. The fate of poor residents of New Orleans is the latest and most horrific outrage, a horror which unfolds daily. As i write this, incredibly, after over five days the first relief convoys are reaching citizens stranded in the city. i have nothing to say others aren't saying better (NOLA mayor Ray Nagin says a mouthful here), but must point out Amy's Robot, where parallels are drawn between the chaos in the city, and Dawn of the Dead. Don't overlook this post from yesterday, which captures the outrage of the nation.
i was going to single out a few Boing Boing links, but there is so much interesting and valuable information, links for in-kind supporters and people looking for temporary disaster recovery jobs, and much more. so just go.
In case you haven't donated to disaster relief yet, there is a big link on the banner roll on the right side of this blog, or just go to The Red Cross or Mercy Corps. When you've done that, please consider a donation to Noah's Wish or the Humane Society to assist the animal rescuers. A great deal of much needed assistance cash will be raised in the next several days, but i have to ask this administration and its supporters: just what IS the purpose of a federal government?
If you've lived half a century, you can remember a continuous parade of breeds that well meaning but ignorant people thought should be singled out for ostracism or oblivion. i've seen German Shepherd, Doberman, and Rottweiler scares and laws over the years, and when we're over the pit bull thing, people will single out another breed to blame. When a larger sized breed of dog, capable of inflicting more damage becomes popular, dog bites and fatal attacks by that breed rise accordingly.
Make no mistake, dog bites are on the rise, but pit bulls (which aren't a breed per se, but a category for any bully or part bully breeds when attack reports are filed) are not as much the problem as the desire of humans to own creatures they don't understand and are poorly equipped to care for. The tougher the neighborhood (or the dog owner), the more appealing having a big bad on the end of a leash becomes. Put aside for a moment those who starve, fight train, or otherwise abuse their dogs; too few decent people realize the commitment and responsibility canine custody entails. Folks who birth and raise children they don't love, control or teach create much more death and havoc in the world than dog owners, but we can't address that in the land of freedom. Teaching children, who are naturally attracted to animals, to fear or threaten dogs increases the danger.
Everywhere you go in this country, laws are already on the books to control dogs and their owners. The problem is, they largely work only after the fact, when someone has been hurt or killed, and a dog is destroyed. But singling out a breed will not make much of a difference in the 20 fatalities and less in the over 4 million bites reported annually. Another big 'protection' breed will just fill in the vacuum. Bull breeds have the equipment to be more efficient attackers than some others, but the only way to address this is on the human end.
i haven't had a dog in many years, and hope to take a pup or rescue dog when we move up north. i see dogs i want to take in all the time, but i know dogs need time, space, and training. i'm the queen of instant gratification, and if i can wait until i can make a good home... well, i lose patience with others who can't.
The only thing Sorry Again should be sorry about is that so few of their contributors know how to spell vicious. But then, considering the kind of company they keep, why should that surprise me?
It's about a month too soon to start making a BFD about being a Leo, but i can't resist a good animal rescue story any time of year. You may have heard about it - three lions interrupted seven men beating a 12-year-old girl they had abducted to force into marriage. i chose Jason Miller's piece as the first link on this subject because he points out :
The United Nations estimates that over 70% of Ethiopian marriages are the result of the abduction and beating method, still widely practiced in the rural areas.
Seventy percent. Just in case you might feel like your life sucks today, consider that you could have been born an Ethiopian girl.
A more fun, or at least not so sad, aspect of this story is looking at how papers and websites around the world spun this pretty bare bones AP/AFP story. the BBC gave its usual comprehensive all, including pictures (though none exist of the actual lions, who cheezedit when the cops showed). Adopting a more skeptical tone than other sources, they included a quote from a game hunter who speculated that the lions were just about to eat her. Um, dude, a 12-year-old who's been kidnapped and held for a week and badly beaten isn't much of a challenge. If they took her from the men for food, she would have been just that. Instead, they guarded her for at least half a day, according to the Hindustan Times, which is as usually as credulous as the BBC is prosaic. Mexico's El Diario has a well rounded piece with a little info on Ethiopian lions. The Quiet Woman at HalifaxLive has a good opinion piece here.
And then Mike Rudas emailed me the 10 ft. liger story. You may know that there really are ligers. Maybe you knew they have skills in magic. But did you know they are HUGE? If you're sick of lions, ligers, and me, perhaps you should check out the Anti-Liger Alliance. Peace out.
i've always leaned toward the allies-had-to-try-ANYthing opinion about the Second World War. But there's always a limit. Via Gizmodo, here is an incredibly detailed plan to use live bats as bombers during WWII! Poor little guys ... but they got the desperate humans back. They managed to burn down a new air base in New Mexico before the plan was scrapped. Really.
This is Shadowspawn. She lives with my brother and sister-in-law. i'm there every week taking care of my father, so i see quite a bit of the old girl. She's the most fun to play with of any cat i know.
And this is Ghoblyn. Gobby is tired out from stealing socks.