The chambered nautilus isn’t protected?

Silly me. I would have thought that the unique biological status of the chambered nautilus as the irreplaceable last example of the shelled cephalopods that cruised the Devonian seas would have given it protection. I was wrong. Our penchant for making beautiful ornaments out of its murdered shells is soooo much more important! Loving the chambered nautilus to death. I mean, hell! There are all of six known populations.


Wierd underwater statues

I’m not sure what the point is, but I like the statues. Jason DeCaires Taylor makes them by taking life moulds of ordinary people, then using the moulds to make statues of special, alkaline concrete that encourages the growth of corals. You can find them off the coast of Mexico. Environmental statement or tourist attraction?

Word of the day: petroliana

I learned a new word today: petroliana.


It’s collectible petrol-industry stuff. It seems to include automobile service signs.

Gambling ban could reverse recession

Research, summarized in a hefty book,  is showing that gambling is a drag on the economy. Our governments have become addicted to lottery winnings. Small, authorized lotteries were once a mainstay of local charities; but since the Ontario government has gotten into gambling in a big way, that souce of funds has been reduced to a trickle. Meanwhile, the people who gamble are often those who can least afford it, and the money they spend moves out of the community.

The report refers to international gambling in the U.S., which takes money out of the country; and to crime spawned by gambling. Perhaps that’s the crime of fixing competitions; legalizing gambling was supposed to cure the crime of violence against defaulting gamblers.

The report observes that Russia has improved its economy since it banned most forms of gambling in 2006 – 2007.

Perhaps it’s time to go back to the old system, where if you wanted to bet on the horses you had to go to the race track. It could bring back a lot of the smaller tracks and improve employment options.

In related news, researchers have found that a drug used to control alcoholism also reduces the urge to gamble. So some of the people gambling the rent money perhaps simply can’t help it.

Scam letter 1

Barrister Egon John []

Urgent Reply Needed

John Chambers Lagos/ Nigeria


I am  Barrister Egon John, principal Attorney to Engr. Tony Douglas a director, project implementation with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation x-udd in Warri, Delta state.In November 2005, my client received gratification of Ten Million, US Dollars ($10,000,000.00) from the contract awarded to foreign firms for the construction and maintenance of 250 Million (LPG) gas plant at Warri Refinery, Hence the Funds is under the custody of a Security and Finance Company for safe-keeping, I have been mandated by my client (Engr.Tony Douglas) to seek assistance of a trustworthy foreign company or an individual who could help to receive the money for investment without any hitch.  However, my client has agreed to will 30% of the total sum to you, 10% is set aside for expenses.  Note that the fund will be brought to you in your country for easy claims through diplomatic courier means upon the acceptance of this business proposal Please strictly get in touch with me by my alterna
tive E-mail address:(egon99john@y
1. Your full house address
2. Your identity such as, international passport
or driver’s license
3. Your contact phone numbers, The Diplomatic attached will travel with this required information’s For the delivery of your fund. He will call you immediately he arrives Your country’s airport. I hope you understand me. I will let you know when these consignments will be lifted, and Note: The diplomat does not know the original contents of the boxes.What declared to them as the contents is Sensitive Photographic Film Material. I did not declare money to them please. If they call you and Ask you the contents please tell them the same thing ok. Confirm the receipt of this message and send the requirements to me Immediately you receive this message.Please I need your urgent reply because the boxes are schedule to airlift as soon as we hear from you. Call me immediately you receive this message.  I look forward to be hearing from you soon.
Best Regards,
Barrister Egon John.

From: The Desk of
Barrister Egon John


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“Calling in gay”

Some opponents of California’s Proposition H8 in the U.S., which passed and thus took away the right of gays to marry the consenting adult of their choice, are organizing a protest called “Day without a gay.” They are asking gay people to take one day off work and demonstrate that they’d be missed. Naturally, some wit has named the phenomenon, “Calling in gay.”

That inevitably reminds me of the old joke, “I’ve used up my sick days so I’m calling in dead.”

Good luck to them.

Economic woes

The Toronto Stock Exchange lost 9% of its value today.  Thanks to Wonkette for the succinct explanation:

the current global recession… was caused by unmitigated over-leveragingof fanciful mortgage-based securities whose existence was encouraged by artificially cheap and unscrutinized credit and the resulting collapse of those securities’ values and the resulting credit crunch combined with the deeply intertwined decline of the real estate, construction, mortgage, investment and commodity markets, which was the primary and undisputed cause of the halt in consumer spending which has unarguably created a feedback loop of unemployment, debt default, foreclosures and negative economic activity all over the planet Earth

They said they weren’t going to do that any more, after the last one in 1929.

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