Wednesday Reads: Tuktuks, “Closet Cases” and Coke Heads

Indian-Coffee-PosterGood Morning

Eeek….more doctor appointments today. I can’t wait until all these things are over and done with, the family had to put off follow-up and re-check appointments because of the last few weeks of the kid’s school. So now these doctor visits or lab work or ct scans etc., seem to be scheduled every other day…it is exhausting.

Real weird news items for you today, check this out: Mammoth find: Preserved Ice Age giant found with flowing blood in Siberia

Russian scientists discovered a fully-grown female mammoth with blood and well-preserved muscle tissue trapped in ice in Siberia. The findings come amid debates on whether the extinct species should be resurrected using DNA.

Scientists say they have managed to find mammoth blood during the excavation of a grown female animal on the Lyakhovsky Islands, the southernmost group of the New Siberian Islands in the Arctic seas of northeastern Russia.
The dark blood was found in ice cavities below the belly of the animal. When researchers broke the cavities with a poll pick, the blood came flowing out. The fact surprised them because the temperature was 10C below zero.

It can be assumed that the blood of mammoths had some cryo-protective properties,” said Semyon Grigoriev, head of the Museum of Mammoths of the Institute of Applied Ecology of the North at the North Eastern Federal University as cited by Interfax news agency.

The blood was placed in a test tube and a bacteriological analysis of the sample is expected soon.
The muscle tissue of the animal was also well-preserved and had a natural red color of fresh meat, added the scientist. Such preservation can be explained by the fact that the lower part of the mammoth’s body was trapped in pure ice, while the upper part was discovered in the middle of the tundra. The trunk was found separately from the carcass.

The female mammoth was between 50 and 60 years old when she died…but dark blood flowing out? Wow, isn’t that amazing?  I wonder if this lower part of the mammoth will be preserved well enough to obtain better or complete DNA, then we can get to cloning these babies. I’d love to try spinning some of the fiber from a woolly mammoth.

Milton from Office Space

Milton from Office Space

More news of the “odd” variety, I guess even Al Qaeda has their own version of Milton: The Shortcomings of Al Qaeda’s Worst Employee

Al Qaeda’s mission may be “overthrowing godless regimes” and replacing them with Islamic ones, according to its handbook, but even that is still a tangible goal, and the group has corporate-style protocols for achieving it. And just like any corporation, Al Qaeda has to deal with personnel problems. On Tuesday, the Associated Press told the story of the group’s biggest human resources headache yet, in the form of Moktar Belmoktar, an ambitious regional commander in Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb who bridled under the group’s strict structure and, after AQIM sent him a letter detailing his shortcomings, split off to form his own organization. That scolding letter, which sounds remarkably like a corporate communique rebuking an out-of-line middle manager, was Belmoktar’s last straw. And the AP found a copy.

After he split from AQIM, Belmoktar went on to take credit for January’s hostage crisis at an Algerian gas field, and an attack on a French uranium mine in Nigeria this month, attacks he apparently carried out to show up his former AQIM managers and rivals. The AP found the copy of the letter to Belmoktar in a building in Mali formerly occupied by Al Qaeda fighters. It details his faults, from failing to file his expense reports to a lack of teamwork. The highlights, below:

Does not work well with others: “Abu Abbas is not willing to follow anyone,” AQIM wrote, referring to Belmoktar by his nom de guerre, Khaled Abu Abbas. “He is only willing to be followed and obeyed.”

Oh, that does not sound like Milton at all! No…that sounds more like, Nurse Ratchet.

Poor allocation of resources: AQIM’s Osama bin Laden-approved business model was to kidnap tourists and aid workers, hold them for ransom, then use the money to buy arms and carry out attacks. But Belmoktar didn’t manage his resources to their satisfaction, per the letter: “(The chapter) gave Abu Abbas a considerable amount of money to buy military material, despite its own great need for money at the time. … Abu Abbas didn’t participate in stepping up to buy weapons,” it says. “So whose performance deserves to be called poor in this case, I wonder?”

Not “stepping up” eh? Yes poor performance indeed…can’t argue with that.

Failure to achieve performance goals: “Any observer of the armed actions (carried out) in the Sahara will clearly notice the failure of The Masked Brigade to carry out spectacular operations, despite the region’s vast possibilities — there are plenty of mujahedeen, funding is available, weapons are widespread and strategic targets are within reach,” AP quotes from the letter. “Your brigade did not achieve a single spectacular operation targeting the crusader alliance.”

Wait, maybe that is more like Glenn Gary, Glenn Ross?

In other far out news stories: Mount Everest base jump marks 60th anniversary of first ascent

An extreme sport star from Russia has successfully completed the world’s highest base jump – leaping off the north face of Mount Everest.

Valery Rozov made the jump from a point 7,220m (23,680ft) above sea level.

The stunt took more than two years to plan and marked almost 60 years to the day the anniversary of the first ascent up Mount Everest.

Video at the link.

Remember that Egyptian Revolution from a couple of years ago? Egypt’s youths feel disenfranchised after revolution

Young activists who helped topple Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak say they have been politically sidelined by a society that favors the older generation.

Egypt‘s 2011 uprising was often referred to as a youth revolution, but two years after longtime President Hosni Mubarak was forced out of office, many in the younger generation say they feel more politically isolated than ever.

The country is beset by severe political and social divisions as the struggle between the ruling Muslim Brotherhood and its opponents persists.

Young activists across the political spectrum say they have been sidelined, prevented from participating in the leadership and management of post-Mubarak Egypt by a patriarchal culture that favors the older and supposedly more experienced.

“We received nothing of what we fought for and what some of us died for,” said Mostafa Sherif, 29, an unemployed mechanical engineer. “We did not get our freedoms, the rights for which people died, the economy is doing much worse than ever, and it seems like we’re in need of a new revolution.”

Joblessness among the young has been one of Egypt’s main and persistent issues for years. But with the economy’s steady decline since the 2011 uprising, job opportunities have dwindled further.

Officially, the unemployment rate rose to nearly 13% in the last quarter of 2012, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics said in its latest report. That’s up from 9% in a 2010 census. Many believe, however, that the true unemployment rate is much higher.

Pushed out of both the job market and the political sphere, many young people in Egypt are exploring alternatives.

“A lot of my friends are either looking for ways out of the country or have already left,” Sherif said. “We fought hard for too long and nothing came of it, so now we feel unwelcome, like there’s no space for us anymore.”

That is a long read, so click the link to the LA Times article and read the rest.

This next video from BBC is about a woman who drives a tuktuk… India’s Trailblazers: The female tuktuk driver

India and the country’s attitude towards women have been in the spotlight for some months, following a series of violent assaults.

But far from seeing themselves as potential victims, some Indian women are breaking into industries usually dominated by men.

As part of its series on India’s Trailblazers, BBC News spoke to one woman, who works as a tuktuk driver in Delhi.

That job takes guts. I tell you… thing though, those tuktuks are cute. My dad is always going on about these little tuktuk things, that he would one day like to have a fleet of these cars/bikes/motorcycles that would drive people around Banjoville. It won’t work around here, not the kind geography or urban setting to keep a tuktuk busy.

Alright, almost done with the post, before I get to the final story…you may find this link interesting. The future of news, as viewed from 1993: What we got right, and very wrong – GeekWire

CompuServe logoTwenty years ago, we sat at the dawn of the web age (Mosaic, the first image-friendly, general-use web browser, was introduced later the same year). It was a time before widespread broadband, smartphones, social media, Google or Chat Roulette.

Reviewing the transcript from JForum’s Future Media board (written as individual email-like posts strung together over several weeks under the common subject line, “Are Newspapers Dead?”), the messages reveal impassioned predictions and obligatory snipes, and retroactively show how prognosticators could wind up off track, sometimes wildly so.

I’ve also been wrong. In a lengthy 1992 essay for Analog Science Fiction and Fact (later excerpted in the Seattle Times), I predicted that the coming plethora of news channels and “online” news would lead to a renaissance in original reporting to fill the increased news hole. It never occurred to me that the extra time would instead largely be filled by talking heads commenting on the reporting of others, an oversight that makes anything I wrote that did turn out to be correct (such as the democratization of information and the use of smart filters to select news) pale in comparison.

Here are historical views of the future of news from 1993, along with thoughts on where, and perhaps why, some went sideways:

Go see what was being kicked around on the CompuServe’s JForum (a.k.a. Journalism Forum) — dated May, 1993. You may find yourself laughing and shaking your head…

Okay, now let’s end with this:

5/29 Luckovich cartoon: Scandal | Mike Luckovich


And what goes for news these days? Publishes Then Deletes an Unbelievably Deranged Wingnut Conspiracy Fantasy – Little Green Footballs

They’ve deleted it from their site now, but if you hurry you can still see’s freaky anti-Obama conspiracy fantasy in the Google web cache: Was President Obama High on Coke While Benghazi Burned? – Arlington Conservative |

“Arlington Conservative” is Dean Chambers, the delusional nutbag responsible for one of the funnier websites in recent memory, Unskewed Polls. And he based his crazed hallucinatory article on something he read at, where they’re even more unhinged than Dean Chambers.

It’s an absolute classic in the annals of whacked out right wing gay-sex-and-drugs fantasizing, bubbling up from the sub-Alex Jones far right. It has everything; homophobia mixed with a simultaneous sick fascination with gay sex, thinly buried racism, sheer insanity inspired by blind hatred turned up to 99.

That link to LGF has the full text typed out and quoted, here is just a little nugget to tempt you, go to the link to read the rest… seriously, go read the rest of this thing you won’t be disappointed:

While our consulate in Benghazi was attacked during the night of September 11 of last year, our fearless leader was allegedly hiding away somewhere getting “high as a kite” on cocaine. This is the speculation of Kevin DuJan, a self-described “gay conservative political analyst” writing for a publication called HillBuzz.


“If you’ve ever known anyone who is a drug addict, you’d see it’s obvious that Barack Obama was high on cocaine the night of Benghazi; it is the only logical explanation for his disappearance and the White House’s refusal to comment on what he was doing at the time. Since this was a night of great crisis for our country, the only logical reason that the White House won’t explain where the president was is if this man was high as a kite on illegal narcotics at the time.”

I’ll just end it on that note, but any “news” article that has this statement regarding the expertise of DuJuan’s fellow nut theorist named Justine, and I quote:

…ran in the same circles as friends of closeted gay men like Rock Hudson…

Uh, you know it will be…”juicy.”

What’s going on in your neck of the woods? If you have time, leave a comment below!

32 Comments on “Wednesday Reads: Tuktuks, “Closet Cases” and Coke Heads”

  1. ecocatwoman says:

    I have to get ready for my doctor’s appt too, so I am just going to share this from PBS last night: It’s the Gershwin Prize for Carole King at the White House. I’m going to listen to Tapestry on my way to & from the appt.

    See ya’ll later in the comments.

    • Good luck with Dr…let us know how it turns out. Oh, sorry haven’t emailed you back yet Connie. Will try later on today. 😉

      • ecocatwoman says:

        My doc was pleased with my progress, although he wants to check it again next Wednesday. I told him how reassured I’ve been having him as my surgeon again and that I appreciate how cautious he’s been. I called my home health care nurse when I got home & asked her to call the infectious disease doctor to allow the PICC line to remain in until Monday. I want to make sure the oral antibiotics work before pulling the line & then having to go back to the hospital to have another “installed.” I’m truly tired of having it in my arm, but I don’t want to pull one & then have it replaced within a week. Been there, done that!

    • Beata says:

      Thank you for that link, Connie. Carole King has been one of my idols since elementary school. I never get tired of listening to the Tapestry album.

  2. RalphB says:

    WaPo: Circling the media wagons

    When will journalists take responsibility for what they do without circling the wagons and shouting that the First Amendment is under attack?

    I’m talking about the case of Fox News correspondent James Rosen.

    The case should be described as a State Department contract worker who signed a non-disclosure agreement, yet is alleged to have leaked Top Secret/Special Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) in violation of criminal law. He also is alleged to have lied to the FBI.

    Search for a story analyzing damage to intelligence collection caused by the leak and what will emerge are stories about the threat to the First Amendment and journalists.

    Some background: On June 11, 2009, Rosen published a scoop on Fox News’s Web site that disclosed how North Korean officials planned to hold another nuclear test in response to an expected U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Pyongyang for recent tests of nuclear and ballistic missiles.

    It wasn’t the substance of the leaked info that most deeply concerned the intelligence community. Rather it was that Rosen’s story alerted the North Koreans that the United States had penetrated their leadership circle. A second concern was how quickly someone with access to TS/SCI information — a limited, top-level security classification applied primarily to electronically intercepted messages — had leaked it.

    As Rosen noted in his article, the CIA had “only learned of North Korea’s plans this week” and from “sources inside North Korea.” In short, the story warned Pyongyang’s counterintelligence specialists that the United States had probably obtained conversations or messages of top-level North Korean officials by electronic intercepts or through agents.

    When First Amendment advocates say Rosen was “falsely” characterized as a co-conspirator, they do not understand the law. When others claim this investigation is “intimidating a growing number of government sources,” they don’t understand history.

    The person or persons who told the Associated Press about the CIA operation that infiltrated al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and Kim — or someone else — who informed Rosen about North Korea, were not whistleblowers exposing government misdeeds. They harmed national security and broke the law.

    The White House Correspondents’ Association board issued a statement May 21 saying, “Reporters should never be threatened with prosecution for the simple act of doing their jobs.” But it admitted, “We do not know all of the facts in these cases.” The board added: “Our country was founded on the principle of freedom of the press and nothing is more sacred to our profession.”

    I worry that many other journalists think that last phrase should be “nothing is more sacred than our profession.”

    walter Pincus is one of the very best and is dead right in this case.

    • Also, with respect to Rosen, I think the key difference here is that Rosen was caught in writing saying he wanted to purposely do something to affect US foreign policy and force the Obama admin to move in what he thought was the “right direction.” That does not sound like journalism to me…

  3. RalphB says:

    Michelle Bachmann is not running in 2014. 🙂

    • Oh darn, I was really looking forward to her Swiss candidacy

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Despite her comment to the contrary, Michelle Bachmann is running away from an imminent ass kicking.

    • Fannie says:

      All of a sudden my muscles are totally relaxed, and I feel so much better.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      I commented about this early this morning on last night’s link. Apparently her finances for her 2012 run for prez are being investigated, however, she denies that’s the reason she’s not running. She said since a prez only serves for 8 years, she thinks all legislators should only serve 8 years. I’d be skeptical even if she told me the sun rises in the East.

  4. ANonOMouse says:

    Thank you for the good reads this morning JJ. I hope your Dr. appts go smoothly and quickly. I’ve been to the doctor more in the past 6-9 months than all of the rest of my life put together.

    BTW. I read the Kevin Dujan delusion piece over at Joe My God a few days ago. Dujan is a RF’er of the highest order and the guy who cranked up the blog called HillBuzz (supposedly a disaffected Hillary supporter blog) In that blog he claimed regularly to have info that Barack was a secret gay man in Chicago. Dujan himself lives a gay life in Chicago so he should know that the statement “Secret Gay man in Chicago” is an oxymoron. Joe @ Joe my god gives Dujan “the business” on a regular basis, Joe has labeled Dujan a HomoCon. For the record, John Smart had Dujan as a guest on his internet radio show. What a sad commentary about both men

    • Mouse! Missed you…hope that you are feeling better. Did the shingles clear up?

      Today dr went well, the girl has normal hearing. Tomorrow my daddy goes down to ATL for his recheck, if the prostate cancer levels have risen again he may have to start chemo. Like I said, it has been one shit thing after another.

      And about HomoCon, I could not resist. I mean, I know the dude pushes stuff like that on a normal basis, but for the Examiner to pick it up and post it on it’s site as, cough…news…cough, that was a riot.

      Oh, here is something to give y’all a laugh, BB check this shit out:

      CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson And ABC’s Jonathan Karl Unfairly Smeared Over Benghazi Reporting | Mediaite

      I think that Noah Rothman should be fired…

      …some of the president’s supporters have actively sought to discredit the reputations of both Attkisson and Karl – two of the nation’s finest and most credentialed reporters – for misquoting the actual email account. I have examined the claims that Attkisson acted in bad faith or was overly credulous and determined them to be disingenuous. But Karl, too, has been unfairly smeared by supporters of the White House’s narrative regarding the Benghazi talking points.

      Like Attkisson, Karl’s reporting on the emails was almost entirely accurate. He, too, had access to a misquoted handwritten note which he reported in the 16th paragraph of his initial ABC News online report. Karl expressed his regret that he had not made it clearer in his initial report that what he was privy to were only summaries of the email exchange, but the exchange itself validated his reporting when it was released by the White House. The nut of his original report – that the talking points were edited 12 times in order to obfuscate the politically inconvenient truth that a coordinated, Islamist terror attack had been conducted in North Africa just weeks before a presidential election – was entirely true.

      The strategy being employed by the president’s supporters is a rather transparent one. Elevate the small misstatement in order to discredit an entire narrative – or, at least, cast doubt on every legitimate question surrounding the administration’s response to Benghazi. In spite of the fact that reporters and Republican staffers have been cleared of disseminating “doctored” emails, that myth persists. Like all conspiracy theories, it will live on in the darkest corners of the internet. Know, however, that there is no truth to it and those who perpetuate that rumor are advancing a partisan narrative designed to protect the occupant of the highest office in the land.

      The first part of this post is funny and filled with shit too, go to the link to read it…Some of the comments are funny as well.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        JJ….I’ve missed you too girl. I posted back a few weeks ago, then I had another sinking spell, so I mostly limited my internet time to reading. BTW…After my first post this morning I went into moderation. ???? I guess I screwed up somehow.

        The shingles have basically cleared up, except for the scarring, which is on my face and so very lovely. I’m having some residual nerve pain and weird skin sensations on my face & scalp. According to docs that happens to a lot and sometimes it takes a year to shake all the weird shingle symptoms. Old age sucks because the bounce backs are slow, but I’m getting better everyday.

        I’m glad today’s DR. visit went well for ya’ll. I hope your dad has a good result tomorrow. I went through the chemo with both of my parents and it is difficult. I hope he’s able to avoid that. At least now they have better meds for the nausea and the other side effects. They didn’t have those when my folks were being treated. I hope your health is ok and I’ve missed you all. I’m just now getting back into to my daily routines including my daily internet reads, even though I’ve peeked in on the Sky Dancers from time to time just to make sure y’all were still here because I’ve missed you all so much.

        Peace to everyone

        • bostonboomer says:

          Hi Mouse!

          It’s so good to see you! The shingles sound so awful. Please take care, and don’t be a stranger.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            I think I’m back on track now BB, I love Sky Dancing and the writing done by you, JJ, Dak and others. This blog is superior to any other blog on my blogroll. The only thing that shot me down from my reading and commenting was that damned LINGERING illness. But I’m better now and look forward to reading all of the front-pager’s great posts.

          • bostonboomer says:

            I’m really looking forward to being able to read your incisive thoughts!

        • NW Luna says:

          Hope everything clears up soon. Scarring often fades with time, and in less than a year too.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Hey, I’ve missed you too!!! I know just how painful the shingles can be & that it seems like the pain NEVER goes away. It’s awful. Fortunately, at least for me, once the pain is gone it’s mostly forgotten. Hope you get to that point soon.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Thank you eco

        • Beata says:

          Mouse, I have missed you so much! When I saw your name on the blog today, it brought tears to my eyes. I’m so sorry you have been ill. Sending healing thoughts your way. xoxo.

          • Beata says:

            Healing thoughts as well to Connie, JJ and her family, and all Sky Dancers who are struggling with health issues. I love this community. Each one of you are precious.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            Thank you Beata! You are so kind, XOXO right back at you.

  5. ecocatwoman says:

    Needless to say jj, I love the mammoth bit. Now I’m curious why there was so much blood outside her body & why her trunk was separated from her body. Mysterious. Was she killed by hunters? If so, why did they leave her behind, mostly intact? Personally I don’t want to see them cloned. We humans will just annihilate them all over again. Stupid humans. You can see what I mean here: A$$holes cannonball off a dock on top of manatee mother & young calf. You can imagine where I would love to attach some battery cables to these idiots.

    • bostonboomer says:


      • ecocatwoman says:

        I honestly don’t understand people like these guys. You are the expert, not I but the only logical explanation I can come up with is that their brains are missing normal connections. They are wired wrong.

    • I don’t think there was blood outside her body, it was when they poked her with the spike. The article says she must have been chased after predators and fell into the pool of water. The scientist think the predators may have eaten some of her upper body included the trunk. Her lower body was under the water which became solid ice.

  6. NW Luna says:

    I’d love to try spinning some of the fiber from a woolly mammoth.

    Wonder if mammoth fiber would be soft and warmth as quivit (the down from Arctic musk oxen) is supposed to be? I’ve never spun quivit; it’s beyond my budget — and realistically, my spinning ability until I get more experience. They are called wooly mammoths, so I’d expect their fiber to be wonderously warm.