Angry Rats

From a year end compilation of scientific photos:

Rats don’t deserve their bad name, but this ball of fury won’t win over many murophobes. Russian scientists bred this aggressive rat strain to compare it with more docile creatures in a study on domestication that has teased out several genetic regions linked to tame traits.

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I was always taught that before you criticize someone else, you should look at yourself. So let me admit up front that I’m completely disgusting: there’s not much worse than a cockroach. You know what is worse? The emerald cockroach wasp. They have what some people would call an interesting appearance, with a metallic blue body and red legs, but they reproduce by stinging us and using us as hosts for their larvae, which then consume our internal organs in such a matter that we stay alive just long enough to give them life. That kind of behavior demonstrates a real lack of respect for private property rights, and is also unthinkably gross.

Dear Clusterflock

Here I was having a terrible morning, and then I logged in to my work computer and got on here. I just noticed my stress headache is gone. Why didn’t someone tell me about all y’all when I was in rehab or when I felt like dying? I’m glad someone told me about clusterflock or I just don’t know where I would be right now.

Got any good jokes?


So: for three years I live with a dude who claps, hoots, and hollers at anything resembling a sport on TV. I finally get my own place in a different city, I am excited at the relative peace and quiet, and guess what kind of person I live under.



Please disregard my recent emails. Forget about the phone messages, too. I know I sounded angry and excited, but I’ve had a chance to think things over and I don’t feel the same as I did when I said all of those hurtful words. I won’t apologize for the basis of my comments—I have a right to my own opinions, especially because they are correct—but regret your exposure to that barrage of toxicity. And the physical threats. You’ll notice I did not say “sorry.” That word is for the weak.

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in a haze

seeing isn’t necessary, running is. so say the limbs to the eyes.
screams echo in a haze but there is no body.

Police fire tear gas at protesters in Oakland

(thanks, Sarah)

I ain’t a cyclo-facist

but Bikesnob nails it:

It’s fascinating how readily we’ve come accept this notion that we must have respect for a car’s “power,” as though it’s some force of nature beyond all human control. Sure, someone who goes into the wilderness, starts poking grizzlys with a stick, and then gets eaten should maybe have a little more respect for the power of the bear, but that’s a different scenario. Oddly though, if a bear is just doing its bear thing and kills somebody we’ll go out of our way to destroy the bear. Yet if a human being kills somebody with a car we just charge them $42 and blame the victim.

How a reporter was arrested at #OWS for standing lawfully

Naomi Wolf in the Guardian:

I went over to the sidewalk at issue and identified myself as a NYC citizen and a reporter, and asked to see the permit in question or to locate the source on the police or event side that claimed it forbade citizen access to a public sidewalk. Finally a tall man, who seemed to be with the event, confessed that while it did have a permit, the permit did allow for protest so long as we did not block pedestrian passage.

I thanked him, returned to the protesters, and said: “The permit allows us to walk on the other side of the street if we don’t block access. I am now going to walk on the public sidewalk and not block it. It is legal to do so. Please join me if you wish.” My partner and I then returned to the event-side sidewalk and began to walk peacefully arm in arm, while about 30 or 40 people walked with us in single file, not blocking access.

Then a phalanx of perhaps 40 white-shirted senior offices descended out of seemingly nowhere and, with a megaphone (which was supposedly illegal for citizens to use), one said: “You are unlawfully creating a disruption. You are ordered to disperse.” I approached him peacefully, slowly, gently and respectfully and said: “I am confused. I was told that the permit in question allows us to walk if we don’t block pedestrian access and as you see we are complying with the permit.”

A Few Remarks

I sat next to him for almost two years. Inches apart, in fact, but there was a wall of sorts between us. Blue tweed-looking stuff stretched over a metal frame and filled with a thin layer of sound deadening material. It was not enough to prevent my hearing his chronic wheezing and throat-clearing.

The first week was not too bad. I was kind enough to welcome him into our little dysfunctional family. Show him how to do things and avoid the obvious rookie mistakes. He was slow to pick up departmental procedures and obstinate about what he thought he knew.

At what point did I stop trying to help him? It was when he took credit for projects that were not his own, compounded by a reluctance to admit he never knew what the fuck he was talking about. He couldn’t support an opinion or back up an assertion based on his own experience–Googling an answer was his method of showing how smart he was.

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A reflection on #Occupywallstreet by a twenty-something hipster-ish business owner:

To make ends meet while my business grows, I work at a wine shop and that nets me a whopping $12.50 an hour. As a bonus for my ears, I am privy to humoring whatever bat-shit crazy political stance my customers offer up as they wait for me to ring up their booze. Lately, I’ve been getting customers buying hooch on their way to Occupy Wall Street. Funny, because I don’t recall seeing any of the Little Rock Nine being armed with flasks of Evan Williams. Anyhoo, today this British girl with legs that nearly scraped the ceiling strutted into the shop wearing a see-thru dress. She was particularly amped because she was on her way to the protest and asked if I would like to go. I said no thanks. Without skipping a beat she asks, “Why not? Don’t you hate the banks?”

And there my friends lies the problem with Occupy Wall Street. There is a considerable lack of education on what caused the economic crises and therefore we are playing the blame game. To make matters worse, there seems to be no clear resolution being offered by the protest’s organizers. And if you are reading this and saying, “Well, the giant corporations could just give us the money,” then you sir are a jackass. That mode of thought is reserved for friends of successful rappers who thought that they’d be getting a free ride out of the hood.

I don’t think people shouldn’t be angry, but this feels more like a mood than a movement.

This cuts to the bone

John Doe and Cindy Wasserman performing Never Enough. Sound Fix. NYC. 09.07.11.

So I can’t sleep

It’s probably because of a variety of internal and external stimuli, but I suspect one of the larger factors might be the dude who is always yelling at a Bobby I’ve never met. This neighbor has the strange habit of screaming “fuck you you you you you you you you” around two in the morning. This repetition somehow finds the nexus of hypnotic, tragic, hilarious, and enraging.

Related news: I now have the Kansas City Police phone number in my favorites on my iPhone.

headline of the day

Los Altos Woman Wore Bubble Wrap Under Jumpsuit When She Attacked Husband

Three for Today (Day Two)

Troy Davis died yesterday by the hand of justice. Many factions fought both sides. When does truth lie?

Parallel universes In which Netflix becoming Qwikster makes sense

Internet friend and minecraft comrade, Sarah Pavis, over at The Idler:

Doing Two Things Is Confusing
The year is 2000, Amazon, the burgoning internet book seller, splits off their new music department into a website called By 2011 every river has a .com address and is a commerce portal operated by Over the next 10 years the internet is entirely dominated by single-serving sites. Subdomains don’t exist and more than 8 characters after the .com is considered obscene. As Netflix’s streaming catalog threatens to overshadow its classic DVD by mail program a bewildered public and confused stock market force Netflix to spin off its flagship productline into a new company for clarity’s sake.

“cause that’s how science works”

via, of all people, Justin Timberlake

everything you thought about creative thinking is wrong?

Their first experiment was straightforward, demonstrating that anger was better at promoting “unstructured thinking” on a creativity task, at least when compared to sadness or a neutral mood. The second experiment elicited anger directly in the subjects, before asking them to brainstorm on ways to improve the condition of the natural environment. Once again, people who felt angry generated more ideas. These ideas were also deemed more original, as they were thought of by less than 1 percent of the subjects.

The larger picture is more nuanced, and slightly more subtle, but you better get over there and fucking read it if you want to do well on your next project, slack ass.

For 24 hours…

our internet connection, at the house, has been off. It just came back on 20 minutes ago. I’m FULL of shit to share. (Well, sort of full.) I feel like I lost the feeling in both my arms and got it back.

Mike Leigh’s Meantime (1983)

Meantime is a 1983 film directed by Mike Leigh, produced by Central Television for Channel 4. It was shown at the London Film Festival in 1983 and on Channel 4 a few weeks later, on 1 December. According to the critic Michael Coveney: “The sapping, debilitating and demeaning state of unemployment, the futile sense of waste, has not been more poignantly, or poetically, expressed in any other film of the period.”

How do I feel about this damage to my car?

Pissed off.

I know it’s nothing that I did. I’m curious, though. Any ideas as to how?

“I want you to hold it between your knees” (Pa’ Cindita) [For Cindy]

“Yeah, well, I didn’t get it, did I?”

That’s the part people tend to forget.

don’t park in bike lanes in Lithuania

The mayor (above) finds it irksome.

headline of the day

Fast-food manager accused of punching mom with service dog

Don’t Forget the Motor City Lawndale

I was looking at pictures of Detroit (from my Flickr friend Jan Normandale and from the archives of the Reuther Library at Wayne State University), and now I have to stop looking for a while.

I’ve visited Detroit a couple of times, and in truth there’s a lot I like about it, but I can’t think about it anymore. This afternoon I’m recollecting a blisteringly hot afternoon in Chicago, late July, when I thought to avoid the expressway and take a parallel route down Roosevelt Road to where I was going.
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