This and That from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (19 Joseph 0001) January 8, 2012

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:
(See: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Publications/ZooGoer/2002/3/nakedmolerats.cfm for more
about H. Glaber.
“And so it begins, a historic departure, the Voyage of the HMS Bagel, in search of further documentation of this next evolutionary tour de force.”
Peter G.

–1. Chronicles: The Queen:

Unlike most of the societies created by the Naked Apes ( us), that of H. Glaber is matriarchal. The tall, crazed Queen stalks the well-built tunnels in which the community lives, rapes one more males and drives almost all testosterone but her own out of the community leaving it happily free of sexual competition and any compulsion to watch reruns of Jersey Shore. With her consorts, she rules her domain like a fussy but iron fisted dowager, constantly checking to see if things are in order, tunnels in good repair, food sources properly tended, nursery staffed, soldiers on duty, workers working, attackers repulsed and competitors crushed. Satisfied that all is shipshape (or more appropriately tunnel-shape), she returns to her quarters, nibbles on some tubers and if she feels up to it, rapes one or another of her consorts again. It is good to be Queen of the Glabers.

–2. Heterocephalus G awards: Awarded to the person who most contributes to paving the way for the rise of The Naked Mole Rat.

To David Barton of Focus on the Family who in opposing proposed laws to protect infants from mercury poisoning said:

“According to the EEN, one of every six American babies is born with harmful blood mercury levels, “which causes permanent brain damage in the unborn and infants.”
Therefore, the 12 federal legislators EEN is thanking with radio, TV and billboard ads for supporting the EPA restrictions are “pro-life.” In truth, only one in every 1,000 American babies is exposed to harmful doses of mercury, and the slight delays in cognitive development it may cause generally disappear by age 7, says Beisner. Moreover, all 12 of the federal legislators EEN is supporting are among the most pro-abortion Congress has to offer.”

(Way to go Dave, congratulations.)

–3. H. Glaber fellow travelers:

Listen to the music of the punk rock band appropriately named, The Naked Mole Rats. http:// http://www.nakedmoleratsband.com/

–4. Correspondences:

Peter reports the following headline: Naked Mole Rat scat found in Kern County. Zoologists camped out waiting to see if they will come to snack.

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

–1. 9th-10th Century, The Vikings in Ireland

838, a large Viking fleet under the Norwegian sea-king Turgeis (Thorgils) entered the River Liffey and
established a land base for their operations.
840, the Vikings were spending the winter on the island and establishing permanent bases along the coasts.
840, Turgeis established a Hiberno-Norse Kingdom at Dublin. He not only imposed order on the Norse settlers, but he also arranged marriages and alliances with the Irish rulers. However, a large Danish fleet arrived in Ireland and there was conflict between the Danes and Norwegians regarding who should have the rights to plunder Ireland.
851, the Danes, with the aid of Irish allies, defeated the Norwegians at the naval battle of Carlingford Lough.

852, a large Norwegian fleet under Olaf the White arrived in Ireland. Olaf defeated the Danes and sealed an alliance with the Irish royal family of Meath. Olaf and his brother Ivar consolidated an effective Scandinavian kingdom in Dublin. This ew kingdom was focused primarily on sea trade and did not expand inland. At this time the primary exports from Ireland were hides, salted meat, and slaves.
902, the Irish successfully drove the Norse out of Ireland. However, the Vikings returned with a large fleet
914-915, They defeated the Irish and retook Dublin.
967, Irish warriors sacked Limerick and began a military campaign against the Vikings.
999, the Viking king of Dublin, Sitric Silkenbeard, surrendered to Brian Boru.
1014, High King Brian Boru of Munster defeated the allied army of the Vikings and the King of Leinster at Clontarf. Thus ends Irelandʼs Viking Era.


BRIAN BORU

–2. Your Brain:

“A lesion in one spot leaves you unable to tell a Jack Russell from a badger (not that there is much difference), and with damage in another spot, the toaster is unrecognizable. There are even people with certain brain lesions who specifically cannot recognize fruit. Harvard researchers Alfonso Caramazza and Jennifer Shelton claim that the brain has specific knowledge systems (modules) for animate and inanimate categories that have distinct neural mechanisms. These domain-specific knowledge systems arenʼt actually the knowledge itself, but systems that make you pay attention to particular aspects of situations, and by doing so, increase your survival chances. For example, there may be quite specific detectors for certain classes of predatory animals such as snakes and big cats…”

Michael S. Gazzaniga: “Who’s in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain*

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

–1. Army Chief appears to back off opposition to Lese majesté provision constitutional change:

Additional evidence of my speculation that there has been some political accommodation between the General Staff and the administration of Prime Minister Princess Lucky Girl is provided in the reports that the Military Chief of Staff, less that a week after stating that it was a prime function of the military to protect the honor of the Royal Family and asserting his firm opposition to any proposed change to that section of the Constitution, announced that changes in the constitution were not important, since the military alone could not effectively police disrespect of the Royal Institution without the public willingness to socially shun those who insult their Majesties. He also mentioned the King own criticisms of the laws supposedly designed to protect his honor.

–2. More Floods:

Southern Thailand is suffering a repeat of the floods that wracked the North and Central parts of the country last month, but instead of damage caused by relatively slowly rising water inundating the flood plain following storms in the mountains overwhelming normal drainage infrastructure, the damage here is relatively worse due to the greater velocity of the rushing waters flowing directly from storm run off.

–3. Constitutional Benefits:

Recent reports regarding the drafting, by governmental employees of constitutional changes have expressed concern that they seem to be being written for the ease and benefit of existing governmental agencies.

(While employed as Chief Council of the California Coastal Commission, I was in charge of drafting the commissions regulations. As that time I observed that regulations drafted by an entity of any sort, inevitably are drafted for the benefit and ease of the employees of that entity and not for its customers, applicants or the public in general. That observation was followed by the one that assures that the drafters will steadfastly deny that it is so).

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Occasionally, during my morning walks along Soi Nana to the health club, I am accosted by a number of smiling (it is Thailand after all) individuals importuning me to buy something. When I am in one of my bad moods, I generally respond by ignoring them and walking on in silence, or by either growling or uttering, soto voce, go screw yourself or its functional equivalent.

When I am in one of my manic moods, however, I sometimes stop and respond with a polite “no thank you.” Once however, to a taxi hustler selling rides from BKK to Pattaya, I responded:
“Yes, I agree that that is a handsome taxi and its color is stunning, but no thank you, I am not in the mood for a trip to Pattaya today.”

Another time, when one of the delightful, smiling ladies, who I am certain all work for a single mega corporation called “Massages Are Us,” invited “Papa” to enjoy a special massage, I replied:
“Ah, you are quite beautiful and undoubtedly your fingers can work magic. I am sure the multitude of ways you have to drive me to ecstasy, are more varied and less expensive than anywhere else in Thailand, but I think that today I will spend the next few hours drinking coffee and reading the newspaper.”

I found, in both cases, my little attempts at humor were received with silence and a cold stare, but since this is Thailand happily the smiles with which they approached me remained frozen in place.

I have received a slightly better response from the male touts hustling me for tuk-tuk rides or trips to the massage parlor of my dreams, who approach with their hand extended, inviting a good old American handshake. I, holding back my hand, say, “30 baht.” They stop perplexed and ask, “What mean 30 baht.” I answer, “30 baht to shake my hand.” Most of them do not think that is funny either, but now and then one laughs and indulges me with a snide comment in Thai that I am sure means something like “asshole.”

PETRILLOʼS COMMENTARY:

It has been suggested at times by those of you that actually read this thing, that reminisces about my professional and personal experiences may be more interesting than things like the factoids I pluck off the internet.

While, it may be so to the reader, to me I have always found voyages of the mind to be every bit as fascinating and exciting as physical or professional journeys.

Take Brian Boru’s expulsion of the Vikings from Ireland. It reminded me that the Irish, like the Armenians, Basques, Jews and others who for thousands of years inhabited a land, suffered pogroms and persecutions and diaspora and yet survived with their culture intact. The Jews, however, driven from their homeland, scattered throughout the world, survived by faithfully holding on to their cultural and religious inheritance and an abiding longing for their lost homeland. Stateless nations like The Nestorian and the Gypsies, on the other hand, during their almost thousand-year or more diaspora, like the Jews, thrived also due to a unified religious and cultural ethos, but absent any sense of a real or idealized lost homeland. The Nestorian lacking little more that their religion, eventually succumbed and disappeared from the pages of history. The Gypsies, on the other hand although bereft of a longed for homeland and suffering comparable and at times even more extreme persecution than almost any other group, still have managed to retain their culture mostly intact.

The Irish, endured 500 years of occupation, brutal oppression and continuous attempts by their overlords to extirpate them physically and drive their culture into extinction. Remember, it was Cromwell that drove the Irish onto the bleak moors of Connaught to exterminate them so that the Island could be repopulated by an English ascendency. It was only that ascendency’s need for serfs and slaves to work the land that saved the Irish from destruction. Despite this and the unrelieved assaults on their cultural heritage, the Irish, unlike the Scots, Bretons, and the Gauls and Galicians before them, preserved their cultural heritage virtually intact.

The Sicilians on the other hand are neither an ethnic group, religion, nation or race but after twenty-five hundred years of brutal foreign oppression they emerged with neither nation, culture nor homeland but, for a few generations at least, with a single unifying idea: “The Law is simply oppression by another means.” In other words, whoever believes that fewer people have been slaughtered under the rule of law than have been slaughtered during the rule of lawlessness is a fool.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:
See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

MOPEY JOEʼS MEMORIES:

Several of you who have urged me to write more about those things that only I have knowledge of, such as the early days of the development of California’s Coastal Program. In response, I have decided to add new subsections to my periodic reminisces (Alas, the last refuge of old men). The one about the Coastal Program will be called something like, On the Edge: Stories about the Creation and Early Years of California’s Monumental Coastal Protection Program.

However, in my many, varied and, more often than not, lackluster professional careers there have been many things that no one else could write about, and so, if there is any interest, or even it there is not, I may now and then add additional sections such as:

From Freedom to Homelessness: Stories of the NY Mental Health Information Service and the changes in the treatment of the severely mentally ill in the 1960s that went awry.

So you Think You Know the Facts: Insights, tales and secrets about amassing one of the longest consecutive jury trial victory streaks in NYC history. (What always surprised me was that I could almost never win before a judge alone, even the simplest of contested motions, but I usually won before a jury. It amused me when after a trial inquiring of members of a jury about what it was that I said that persuaded them to vote for my client, they would inevitably tell me that they believed nothing that I said or did, but that it was obvious that the facts were on my clients side.)

Why you Should not do Business in a Foreign Country: Confessions of an attorney in an American law firm in Rome.

From Bucky to Bat-shit: Anecdotes regarding the almost successful Buckminster Fuller World Games Workshop in San Francisco and the rise and subsequent deflation of the counter-culture.

Turning Tricks for the Trade: Adventures in developing educational systems from learning a foreign language to geometry for slow learners. (Hint on teaching a foreign language; diction. No one speaks his own language well enough to teach it. When we speak our language, we depend upon the listeners brain to assemble meaning from syntactical and other vocal cues. As a result we, even the best actors, slur our words and drop their endings. The brain acts, in spoken speech the same as it does in those examples of paragraphs written with every word misspelled except to the first and last letter that we native speakers understand and comprehend almost as well as if spelled correctly. Yet to a non native speaking person, even if he or she is a student of the language, it is incomprehensible.)

An Ecological Staircase to Anywhere: The story of the preservation of a natural resource that only a mother could love.

On the edge: See above

To Conserve and Forget: The saga of how to create a successful innovative and effective agency and how that success and innovation made it irrelevant. (I wrote a book on how to do Conservancy projects and gave the draft to Peter for his comments. He lost it. I now try to make copies of everything.)

From Blind Greed to Greed with Corrective Lenses: How a smallish middle-sized law firm teetering on the edge of dissolution grew stronger, larger and more successful.

From Plenty to Penury: How a relatively successful professional man went from spending every dime he made as quickly as he could to living below the poverty line and liking it.

And, much much more.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Escape (continued):

Arm and arm, Vince and Isabella rushed from the car across the sidewalk, past the casually saluting doorman and into the buildings. Another police vehicle soon followed by an ambulance, their lights and sirens blaring raced past the building toward the sirens and flickering lights in the distance.

They quickly crossed the lobby. Got into an empty elevator. Isabella produced from somewhere a plastic key card and swiped it past a flashing red light. The elevator rose, stopped and its doors opened onto a small lobby with four doors ranged along the wall opposite. There was a small round table in the center of the lobby supporting a large vase containing freshly cut flowers. On the wall a large oval mirror hung in the center between the doors and on each of the side walls was hung above two small low dark wood cabinets a large abstract painting in red, black and yellow.

Just to the right of the oval table stood a man and a woman, both casually dressed in jeans and tee shirts and both armed with small pistols in holsters hung at their waist.

“Carlos,” said Isabella upon exiting the elevator, “check downstairs.”

The man nodded, picked a jacket off a coat tree standing next to the door on the right and walked into the elevator.

To the woman, Isabella said as she continued toward the door to the farthest left, “Lina, please something warm. Your relaxing drink will do.” “ Stronger for him,” she added with a smile, nodding over her shoulder at Vince who was following her across the lobby.

She again swiped the card and opened the door. They passed through a small vestibule with doors one each side and then through a short hallway into a large room with floor to ceiling glass along one wall. The furniture, in balloon like plump modern was mostly a few dashes of grey and brown less than blazing white.

The windows faced east across downtown towards the Bay. Even at this height the flashing lights of the prowl cars and emergency vehicles could be seen far below.

Isabella threw herself down on one of the overstuffed sofaʼs, kicked off her shoes, observed for a moment Vince standing there clearly undecided and uncomfortable and said, “OK you can take off those clothes now.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

–1. You may be smarter than you think you are:

The new five-year study of more than 2,200 adults claims to have found a link between obesity and the decline in a person’s cognitive function. The research, conducted by French scientists, involved men and women aged between 32 and 62 taking four mental ability tests that were then repeated five years later.

The researchers found that people with a Body Mass Index – a measure of body fat — of 20 or less could recall 56 per cent of words in a vocabulary test, while those who were obese, with a BMI of 30 or higher, could remember only 44 per cent.

“The fatter subjects also showed a higher rate of cognitive decline when they were retested five years later: their recall dropped to 37.5 per cent, whereas those with a healthy weight retained their level of recall.”
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/signs-you-are-smart-2011-12#youre-skinny-20#ixzz1huUhNO11

–2. : What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:

a. Government should encourage domestic investment.

“This recession is marked by a massive investment drought in the U.S., which will have long-term negative consequences. The proof: In the latest quarter, net domestic investment was only 3.3% of net national product, compared to 8.0% in 2007. There’s been a rebound in investment since 2009, but it’s been very mild–far less than the country needs.”
—Michael Mandel, chief economist, Progressive Policy Institute

b. Increases in average wages should bear some equivalent relationship with rises in productivity.

(While productivity has risen significantly, most Americans have seen their wages stagnate, at best. If the median household income had kept up with economic growth since 1970, Mother Jones magazine calculates it would now be nearly $92,000, not $50,000.)

3. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

In my most recent post, I mentioned, the 10-16 degree rise in temperature 300 million years ago that killed of 75% of all living things on earth, and that most peer-reviewed estimates of the extent of worldwide temperature rise by the end of this century predict a rise of about 6 or 7 degrees Fahrenheit. I was wrong. The International Energy Agency, in November 2011 predicted as much as 11 degree Fahrenheit temperature rise. I apologize for the error. On the other hand their estimate may simply be an outlier and my statement would then stand as correct.
“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”:
Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/

1. The state of political discourse in the US:

“Barack Hussein Obama, our president, is a traitor. Finally, his hatred for our nation and his plan to destroy it are crystal clear. He must be forced from office — legally — before our entire country goes down the drain for the final count!
Much has gone on in the last three years to show Obamaʼs true colors, sympathetic not to Judeo-Christian values and culture, but Islam and its surrogate-controlled states.”

Larry Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch and the current head of Freedom Watch.

2. Made in America:

The International House of Prayerʼs (IHOP) Mike Bickle, who emceed Rick Perryʼs prayer rally The Response, claims that Christians who are gay are opening themselves up to attacks from Satan. Bickle, who is best known for claiming that Oprah Winfrey is the harbinger of the Antichrist and arguing that the “gay marriage agenda” is “rooted in the depths of Hell,” recently said in an interview about homosexuality that gays and lesbians must “declare war” against their sexual orientation or will face “flaming missiles of the Evil One.” He warned that gays and lesbians, along with heterosexuals who have sex before marriage, who “give up and give in” will ultimately begin “denying the faith,” which “opens the door to the demonic realm to touch them.”

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Most of us 99-percenters couldnʼt even let our dogs leave a dump on the sidewalk without feeling ashamed before our neighbors. Itʼs called having a conscience: even though there are plenty of things most of us could get away with doing, we just donʼt do them, because, well, we live here. Most of us wouldnʼt take a million dollars to swindle the local school system, or put our next door neighbors out on the street with a robosigned foreclosure, or steal the lifeʼs savings of some old pensioner down the block by selling him a bunch of worthless securities. But our Too-Big-To-Fail banks unhesitatingly take billions in bailout money and then turn right around and finance the export of jobs to new locations in China and India. They defraud the pension funds of state workers into buying billions of their crap mortgage assets. They take zero-interest loans from the state and then lend that same money back to us at interest. Or, like Chase, they bribe the politicians serving countries and states and cities and even school boards to take on crippling debt deals. Nobody with real skin in the game, who had any kind of stake in our collective future, would do any of those things. Or, if a person did do those things, youʼd at least expect him to have enough shame not to whine to a Bloomberg reporter when the rest of us complained about it.”

Matt Taibii Rolling Stone

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON”

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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Categories: January 2012 through March 2012, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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