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I attend auctions primarily to study the behavior of the kill buyer, whose main client is a slaughterhouse, and to provide more transparency to this aspect of the horse industry. Occasionally I buy a horse. — “The Path to Slaughter at a Horse Auction,” Alex Brown, The New York Times
[Primatologist Chris] Beard was also puzzled that the authors did not compare Darwinius to an important early anthropoid fossil Beard found, known as Eosimias. In fact, he was underwhelmed by the entire comparison of Darwinius to other primates (a phylogenetic analysis): “The phylogenetic analysis is not very complete, and I would certainly interpret many of the characters they do cite very differently than they do. But one of the most shocking things of all about the technical paper is that they found room to cite 89 references, but there is not one mention of Eosimias to be found there. This is bizarre indeed. In a paper that purports to tell us something about anthropoid origins, the authors have conveniently ignored the single most significant fossil that has been published to date. Incomprehensible.” — “Darwinius: It delivers a pizza, and it lengthens, and it strengthens, and it finds that slipper that’s been at large under the chaise lounge for several weeks…” Carl Zimmer, Discover/The Loom
The Squid, a lightweight disc about the size of a manhole cover, lies on the road and ejects rubbery tentacles on command to ensnare fleeing vehicles and drag them to a stop. –“In the Spirit of Spider-Man, the Border Patrol Casts Its Web,” Stephanie Simon, The Wall Street Journal
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Average number of bacteria living in a pound of U.S. mud:
Canadian doctors saved a baby from drowning in his own drool by using Botox on his salivary glands.
In North Korea, a missile capable of striking U.S. bases overseas blew up immediately after a test launch, and in North Carolina, a G.O.P. headquarters was firebombed.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”