Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A non-"Moment of Dad" entry b/c there's a lot of stuff to make fun of...

Another unanswered question of the universe:

The headline reads: Malawian claims Madonna adopted his son.

Apparently, this guy is quite happy that Madonna rescued his son from a life of poverty. However, Madonna's camp is saying NOTHING. Why?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Well...what's Sudiegirl been doing besides writing about her dad?

Oh, a little of this and a little of that. Since it's NaBloWriMo this month (click on the link in my sidebar for details), I've been trying to keep up my end of the bargain. So for a little variety, the regular Sudiegirl chaos will now re-convene.

First of all...this country is caught up in:
Apparently, "Foley Fever" has struck this country, and struck hard.

Click here if you're the only person in the world that HASN'T read the transcripts. (Note: bring barf bag if necessary)

Click here to read Pat Buchanan's viewpoint (not to be confused with Pat Robertson, who hasn't woken up from his last Thorazine shot yet). Click here to see how Buchanan also blames Oprah (unlike Mr. Fabulous, who blames Tony Danza.)

Click here for Dan Savage and his way of thinking, and Savage's defense of the advice column he writes.

Click here to read about the ethics panel solution. BTW, I know the question on the tip of my tongue is this: does that contradict the entire concept of American politics?

Click here to see Newsweek's take on it...

Here's a conservative view (and I agree with ONLY very very minute portions of it, BTW)...

Finally, a Floridian BTW, Boehlert makes the point quite quote the article:

The reason it matters is there is a direct link between the Foley events of 2003, 2005, and 2006. And because the Herald, among others, did not report honestly about Foley in 2003. By deciding then that his homosexuality wasn't newsworthy, the Herald appears to have failed to consider its relevance in assessing the newsworthiness of the alleged email exchange that surfaced in 2005. And not being upfront in 2003 made broaching the topic of Foley's private life as a news story in 2005 that much more uncomfortable. This is not to say that he was more likely to be a pedophile because he's gay. The point is that had the Herald not dismissed his homosexuality as irrelevant, it would have been more likely to read the alleged email exchange -- written to a young man -- as the sexual overture it apparently was, in the same way that such an exchange between a heterosexual congressman and a female page should also have raised red flags.


Next, since I haven't given an award of this nature in a while, I give you...
Rancho Sudiegirl, Inc., is proud to present today's "Blinded Me With Science" award to Dr. Mark Setter, head vet at the Disney Animal Kingdom.

Why? His controversial five-foot apparatus designed to give elephants vasectomies.

AAAAGGGHHHH! There's an exploitation film for ya..."Dumbo Gets a Clipping".

To quote the article, here's the scientific explanation and the procedure from start to finish:

The vasectomies plan was devised to help solve problems with culling and transplanting elephants, which can adversely affect the animals' families.

With a three-year, $60,000 grant from Disney's Conservation Fund, Stetter developed his procedure with help from an animal anesthesiology expert from the San Diego Zoo and a laparoscopic horse surgeon from Colorado State University. Stetter trained several African vets in the procedure this summer.

The two biggest challenges: elephants are the size of semi-trucks, and their testicles — the size of a "respectable cantaloupe," Stetter said — are behind 2 inches of skin, a foot of muscle and 4 inches of fat.

"What we want to do is get to the middle of something that's in that semi-truck, and we want to do it without emptying out everything that's in the truck," Stetter explains.

Using the tools doctors use for arthroscopic knee surgeries on humans — a laparoscope and a video monitor — Stetter can perform what he says is a two-hour procedure to sterilize male elephants without disrupting their important testosterone production.

The elephant must first be shot from a helicopter with an anesthesia dart, guided to an open area, and propped up by a crane truck so that he can stand while sleeping.

Of course, there are arguments against the big snip procedures, and here they are in a nutshell (if you'll pardon the pun...)

But Jason Bell, southern Africa director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, wrote in an e-mail he is concerned about the practicality and safety of vasectomies.

"This is only viable in small, confined and thus easily monitored populations," Bell wrote.

Why didn't the dude include the fact that the elephant might wake up and stomp the surgeon into oblivion? They always leave that part out.

Judge's comments:

Now...let me break it down for ya.

1. The procedure is justified so elephant herds will remain together. But what if they don't like each other in the first place? I mean, what if they bicker about who gets more leaves or grass or something? What if there's infidelity, or loud neighbors? I mean, maybe separation of herds isn't such a bad thing when you think about it.

2. An elephant's nads are huge, and it's damned hard to get to them...that is, unless you're another elephant and you know all the tricks.

3. Lots o' equipment is apparently necessary. However, the doc forgot the one element neccessary to keep the surgeon calm - one of those plastic hats people wear to ball games and stick two cans of beer in, then drink from the attached straw. I don't know the technical term, but you know what I mean.

4. I don't think I would want the job of directing an elephant to an open area while said pachyderm is quacked out on an anesthesia dart. I can think of countless people that I would deem worthy of the job, but I'm not gonna get into that today.

Next, I've gotta mention this quote:

Experts say younger elephants who grow up without discipline from their dominant fathers can suffer developmentally. An increase in elephant attacks on humans has been seen in parts of Africa where they live side-by-side.

The notion of elephant delinquents makes me giggle. I mean, seriously...I can imagine elephant gangs developing throughout Africa with their little gang colors, challenging each other to rumbles and establishing street cred. Work with me'll be laughing too!

What would elephant gangs be called? "The Trunks" and "The Tusks"? What would their gang colors be? Would they dance around like the gangs did in "West Side Story"?

Furthermore, where would poor Dumbo fit in?

Think about it, won't you?

(whose concern for animal gangs is really quite touching when you think about it)