Was your Thanksgiving meal boring (I had a gas station hot dog, hold your applause)? Well, here’s an idea for next time. Maybe even Christmas. Mythos up your turkey a notch by fusing it with crabs and an octopus. And some bacon.
I can’t imagine why someone thought of this, but they did. Here is Jerry Seinfeld’s “Bee Movie,” but slightly sped up anytime someone says “bee.” As with all exponential entertainment, it really picks up in the last few seconds.
Some hours ago, when it was only slightly after midnight, I went outside to check on some things and noticed that the air was *really* dusty. I noticed this artistic imprint in the dust on the back window of my car:
It’s now just about 5:30 AM, the cars are starting to zip by carrying people to their jobs. Let it never be said that I don’t put in the hours to get my work done. But I suspect it might be about time to crash.
It’s fun to watch the Bernie Sanders fans tear into Hillary… but it’s *terrifying* to realize that a sizable fraction of the US electorate actually wants the guy and his policies. Policies that are, at their core, every bit as delusional as those that have brought Venezuela low.
This poor critter lived a pretty hellish existence, and was driven insane by it. The video below shows that fairly clearly. And… you might not want to watch it. It’s not uplifting. This, by the way, is not some reverse psychology to *make* you watch it; it’s like, some years ago, when I told people “don’t Google image search ‘goatse’,” and they did anyway and got all pissy about it. When I say you might not want to watch the sad video of the majestic polar bear that has been driven mad by loneliness and a bad environment… you really might not wanna watch.
When I was a kid, I loved zoos. Since sometime in the mid 1990’s… I freakin’ hate ’em. You’d have to pay me to go. This came about after I visited the National Zoo in D.C. and saw some lonely male rhino that had lost it’s mind… all it did, all day every day, was pace out a path around it’s little dirt yard. It had ground a groove into the ground several inches deep and a couple feet wide. Just… nope. Done.
There are two exceptions to this. One is exemplified by the Monterrey Bay Aquarium, which is several shades of awesome. But then, it’s full of fish, and fish ain’t mammals. Second, the type of zoo I’d build.
Instead of the animals being in small enclosures surrounded by walls and gawking goobers, the animals would be in *large* enclosures. The visitors would be *in* the enclosures, not *around* the enclosures. This would be done by having the visitors walking through tunnels criss-crossing the enclosure; the tunnels would be armored and camouflaged concrete and steel structures that would randomly dip underground, and when above ground would be equipped with big, thick, armored windows. The outside of the tunnels would be equipped with good microphones, the inside with good speakers, so visitors could hear the critters… but the critters wouldn’t hear the hairless apes and their screeching offspring. Bang on the window all you want, you’re not going to annoy the tiger or the bear or the T-Rex because it can’t hear you.
Really good zoo designers could have an entirely underground human infrastructure, with above-ground observation posts built into the trunks of fake trees. The trees could even have narrow elevators taking people a few stories up to overhead observation posts.
The irony is that at the same time I bemoan the loss of stores that sell interesting stuff, more and more interesting stuff is being made. When I was a kid, a “dinosaur toy” was a cheap, stiff hunk of plastic. Nothing moved; it was merely an immobile statue… and not a very accurate one. Half my lifetime ago, the movie Jurassic Park came out and the marketing juggernaut that came with it produced a vast pile of new dinosaur toys… these were more accurate, had more moving bits. And now with the combination of rapid prototyping and the rise of nerd culture (specifically the rise of people willing to spend a whole lot of money for “toys” that are incredibly detailed and complex, filled with features, that will probably not leave the box but instead will be put on a shelf and never played with), there seem to be some damn fine dinosaur toys out there. Behold:
Twenty years ago, I thought it was pretty neat to find a toy of *one* type of raptor, in no particular scale, certainly not in scale with anything else. Now… a whole range of 1/6 scale raptors are in development.