Links — May 7, 2009, 1:08 pm

Links

1923-01-0132

From the Web

This conflict has very little to do with Stanford and gender-neutral housing. It has everything to do with my parents having a hard time adjusting to the fact that I’m out of the house (I’m the oldest), I’m 3,000 miles away, and -especially- that I’m a liberal agnostic while they are conservative Catholics. [The National Review] really should have looked into this situation a little bit before publishing that article.”

Catholic mother yells at son (YouTube, profanity)

Afghanistan’s only known pig has been locked in a room, away from visitors to Kabul zoo where it normally grazes beside deer and goats, because people are worried it could infect them with the virus popularly known as swine flu. The pig is a curiosity in Muslim Afghanistan, where pork and pig products are illegal because they are considered irreligious, and has been in quarantine since Sunday after visitors expressed alarm it could spread the new flu strain. ‘For now the pig is under quarantine, we built it a room because of swine influenza,’ Aziz Gul Saqib, director of Kabul Zoo, told Reuters. ‘We’ve done this because people are worried about getting the flu… most people don’t have enough knowledge. When they see the pig in the cage they get worried and think that they could get ill,’ Saqib said.”

The strip of a pillowcase stained with the blood of Abraham Lincoln is usually locked away in a display case or safe at the Grand Army of the Republic Museum and Library in the city’s Frankford section. But last night it was brought out as Exhibit A during a debate among members of the museum’s board over whether to allow DNA testing of the relic to solve a medical mystery. Was the 16th president dying of cancer, with less than a year to live, when he was shot by assassin John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre? John Sotos, cardiologist and consultant for the television series House, asked to test the artifact to prove Lincoln had a rare genetic cancer syndrome called multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B (MEN2B).” (via)

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Discussed in this essay:

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.

The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:

“The triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), “the rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversity” — what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.

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“Now may be the unlikeliest time for us to grow a conscience about how our rapacity is endangering other species, since we’re now aware of how frightfully our rapacity is endangering us.”
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Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:

2:1

Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.

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