Babyfight Dispensing goo since 1999

29Jan/15Off

11 Gross Things About Cute Animals

Note: I made this to submit to a list site for money and they rejected it, very nicely. I thought it would be fun to post. 

Nature is gross. You kind of expect a spider or eel or parasite to do something horrifying or disgusting. But when it comes to adorable animals like koalas, manatees, sloths, and otters, you kind of expect to get a bit of a break. You know, let's just snuggle and be pals, right?

Wrong. So wrong. Some of the cutest animals in the world, and a few that maybe are not traditionally cute, but get some love nowadays, have some disgusting habits, and occasionally do some real damage to the environment, human health, or property. It just goes to show that sometimes you can judge a book by its cover, but other times that cover conceals something really awful.

1. Dolphins are sexual predators. Most people have heard about some of the awful things dolphins can do to humans, and the general attraction dolphins can have for human ladies, but they’re awful to dolphin ladies too, often ganging up and forcing themselves on lone females. Gangs of basically teen dolphins will surround and assault isolated females, driving them to the edge of exhaustion with their constant barrage of rape.

Dolphins have also been known to attack and kill baby animals of various species as well. Add to that: they never sleep. So you have unsleeping, baby-killing, gang-raping monsters patrolling every ocean in the world, and some rivers.  Why are people worried about sharks, again? If you see a pod of dolphins, swim for your life.

2. Dr. George Murray Levick was so grossed out by the penguins he observed that he suppressed his own research paper. The penguins he observed engaged in all sorts of things that offended a biologist of the early 20th century, including a generous interpretation of “willing” as far as the ladies were concerned, and a laissez-faire attitude towards what gender they happened to be going to town on.Though honestly, I have to question Dr. Levick a little when, after being totally grossed out by these penguins, he response was to get a dead female and freeze it in the “receptive position”. He basically set up a penguin-sicle like a Real Doll. That's more than a little skeevy, Dr. Levick. The results of this experiment of dubious scientific value? The male penguins found the lady-pop “irresistable”. Penguins, you should not be so ghoulish in a tuxedo. Leave that to the vampires. By the way, the paper was finally released after 100 years.

3. Sea otters rape baby seals to death. Really. Apparently the otters get so worked up they’ll chase down the seal pups and for lack of a better term go to town on them. One of the many incidents was noted to have ended after 105 minutes, at which point the otter released the dead seal pup and began grooming. I bet that seal’s mom wish some Russian trapper had made that otter into a hat. I know I did after reading this.No amount of cracking open shells on their bellies or sleeping holding hands can erase the image of seal pup rape from my cortex.

4. Horned lizards may not be what everyone thinks of as cute, but they have a certain flair. They have a defensive manuever they use when threatened by a snake; the lizard turns on its side and gulps in air to inflate itself and look like too large a prey item for whatever terrifying venomous snake is eyeing them as lunch. Pretty clever huh? They also like ants, but will eat other bugs.

Oh, yeah, they also can shoot blood out of their eyes up to three feet. Blood. Out of their eyes. Thanks to the theory of evolution, we know that for this trait to have survived in this species it must have increased fitness for them somehow. Be glad that our species went in another direction.

5. Manatees shut down beaches with feces. From a related article:

“We did a feel and smell test, and based on the description we gave to Florida Fish and Wildlife, they told us it was manatee droppings,” environmental health specialist Charles Vogt said. “I’ve never followed a manatee closely enough to know otherwise.”

So, you’re at your job, and you’re thinking, “Man, what a crappy job this is.” You know what? You don’t have to ever do a “feel and smell test” (which I fear is described exactly) on a beach full of manatee poop. So fill out your TPS report and feel a little better about yourself.

6. The adorable koala gets on this list twice. First, because koalas feed their babies poop. You just read that horrible sentence correctly. Those adorable little koala faces, with their big rectangle noses and tiny beady eyes? Poop-eaters. Why?

Well, they eat disgusting eucalyptus leaves, which are so low in nutrients they sleep twenty two hours out of the day. But the leaves are so very toxic that baby koalas can’t eat them, and need a shot of gut biota to get the required enzymatic action jump started. The best place to get that gut flora and fauna? Mom’s b-hole. Not only are koalas disgusting for that, they’re disgusting for making me type that out.

Thanks for nothing, koalas.

7. Cows are basically methane bombs destroying everything in their path. Grass is also terrible food (see koalas, #6 above) and causes cattle to basically fart 100% of the time. Well to be fair sometimes it’s a burp. This constant gassiness is actually contributing to global climate change, given the approximately one and a half billion cows in the world. So they’re destroying barns AND the planet. I do not feel guilty for that veal. Cows are monsters.

In at least one instance, as well, they actually caused such a buildup of gas in a barn that, combined with a static spark somewhere in the building they caused a fire, some places listed as "an explosion". While I'm not positive they are the most destructive known farters, I'm willing to go out on a limb and say yes, yes they are.

8. Did I mention koalas were gross? They’re totally gross. I can’t even look at them the same anymore. The reason they show up twice on this list is first, the coprophagia (don’t look it up), and second, their dirty dirty sex lives. Koala bears are reported to be simply riddled with STD’s, with chlamydia taking the lead. I suppose since they’re koala bears it’s super snuggly cute chalmydia, but it’s still a terrible disease. Can we call it “koala klap”? Please? Gross.

Let’s really bury any affection you had for koalas, though. Since they are dirty awful creatures, they do not care where, or upon whom, they urinate. Thus people picking up koalas are often mistaken for a toilet, and as an added bonus, they catch a nice strain of the koala klap (I’m making this work. It will be a thing). That’s what you get for trusting koalas. Have you ever seen one wet?  They are nightmares.

9. The sloth is not only adorably slow, with its have-a-hit-from-the-honey-bear smile, they also cleverly allow algae and fungus to grow on their fur for a nice snack. No wait, that’s not clever, that’s horrible.

Science discovered that the three-toed sloth seemed to have a single redeeming quality: it climbs down to the forest floor, digs a little hole, and has a poop there, then buries it, like a painfully slow and stupid cat. During its descent it's extremely vulnerable to predation, and I think in a moment you'll join me in saying "Predators, get busy on these guys, please."

While doing their business, a certain moth, the pyralid moth, lays its eggs in the sloth’s excrement. The larva grows up in that smelly nursery and pupates, then flies up to the canopy looking for a sloth with a nice gross coat to live in, depositing nutrient-rich dung back into its fur, thus completing the yecchy life cycle. Sloths are like the online gaming basement dweller of the forest canopy. Basically their mangy coat is an algae and fungi filled moth flop house that they eat from time to time. Just...just awful.

10. Giraffes don’t even try to hide it when they stick their tongues up their own nostrils. There’s lots of reasons to avoid giraffes. They can kick you hard enough to kill you. They will devastate your ornamental acacia. They have huge, long, purple tongues that they will definitely lay right upside your head if you give them half a chance.

And when they feel an obstruction in their nose, they will take that tongue and stick it straight up their nostrils. Just digging around in there in front of man and god and lapping it up. Be happy that gross kid in your child’s preschool doesn’t have a foot-long prehensile tongue.

11. The adorable Fulmar. So you’re a biologist. You’re studying cliff dwelling seabirds. You’ve hiked up rocky crags looking for nests to examine. You come upon, in a rocky depression, a nest lined with plant matter, and a fluffy, white hatchling nestled into it. “Eureka!” you think, “now I’ll just get out my handy notebook to take a look. Perhaps I should edge a little closer, perhaps nine feet away. Hm, the hatchling appears to be feeling threatened.”

Then to quote from the linked article: “If they are threatened while on their nest, fulmars have a rather nasty defense strategy. They can projectile vomit a jet of fishy oil over any intruder from a distance of ten feet.” This fishy oil will also cause feathers to stick together and, in one final disgusting twist, also can double as a nutritious snack for baby and adult fulmars. It’s basically as if I just grabbed my pepper spray and blasted an omelette with it. These birds are just the worst.

21Jan/15Off

More reddit thievery

Whatever!

Man one hard thing about just reposting reposts is when it's genuinely not funny or interesting or clever and all of reddit (maybe all of the world! the universe!) disagrees with you. It makes you feel small and dumb, like a tiny republican.

This shit straight dun blu mah mand. Hee yuk.

If you look at this baby hedgehog long enough it appears to be spiraling out of the page at you. Troubling if true.

This homeless guy actually went so far as to have the ring dropped, accidentally, in his cup appraised, and instead of selling it for the 4 G's he said it appraised for (WHERE?) he gave it back to the couple who lost it. They ended up raising nearly 200K for him, helping him clean up, get a home, reconnect with family. Cray-zee.

Every time a meme gets popular, there's backlash, and someone ends up ultimately making a meta-meme of the meme about memes being irritating. Every. Time. So huh.

Moot is retiring from 4chan. Adios dude.

Owl. I'm out.

15Jan/15Off

Thursday: Front page on reddit

OK, let's see what's what on reddit today. Everything here is unabashedly stolen from posters on reddit, who stole it from somewhere else generally.

The top post on r/all as of ten til ten PST is a Guardian article on David O Russell's favorite comedy of all time, Groundhog Day. Rotten Tomatoes agrees, with a 97% "Fresh" rating...oddly enough one of the films that had pretty broad popular appeal but a lower audience rating than critic aggregate (87% from the audience). I think this guy really made the film.

Here's an Imgur gallery of white people having trouble.

Here's Gizmodo promulgating a terrible myth in regards to a terrible piece of legislation (the awful CISPA zombie laws). And no, that's not the definition of insanity, dammit.

Here's the widely shared story of a local government realizing that the separation clause means what it means. Dopes.

I like gifs.

15Jan/15Off

Shit

So officially I went a year without an update. There's posts I took down for various reasons.

Bizarre. Could this be the end of Babyfight? I guess not. Here I am posting.

7Dec/13Off

The Hotness Judge

It takes a while, but eventually you can appreciate certain types of internet commenter for their inner beauty, their style, their utter poetic ridiculousness.

One that struck me today was the hotness judge. People who prattle on endlessly about how "hot" various celebrities are. "Yeah, she wasn't that hot, I wouldn't do her" they pronounce, sadly, as if a great tragedy has occurred. As if the twitching of their trousersnake is somehow important in the vastness of the universe, and, damn it, people need to know. As if successful, young, attractive, wealthy actors need their genital's approval.

These people are useful in long comment threads as punctuation. Often they snap me out of a reading trance and let me move on to other pastures. They are also handy if I need to, for whatever reason, shake my head in amused dismay.

There's other types, of course. Perhaps a taxonomic breakdown will come in handy. There's quite a few related types to the hotness judge, people who weigh in on what they like about anything solemnly, from cars to planets, jewelry to yachts, but primarily things they a) have zero chance of ever acquiring and 2) were not, indeed, asked for their opinion in regards to. I'll see if I have the wherewithal to do so.

Filed under: assholes, awesome Comments Off
15Nov/13Off

Holy fuck I’m slow on the updates

Well, in the last few weeks I got a job, diverticulitis, and a girl baby. I saw her ultrasound-represented face a couple days ago. Early signs point to "cute baby".

Being on antibiotics has kept me from drinking, and I've gone to bed earlier as a result. I'm interested in what will happen that first night I feel okay to have a beer again. I'm doing okay not drinking.

My kid came home from school for her 21st birthday party. Indicative of my recent life: I was hired, celebrated a birthday milestone, had a baby shower, and was hospitalized all in less than 20 days. Quite a run.

I'm enjoying a song by the band Deer Tick right now. Quite good.

29Jul/13Off

Long weeks

The house renovation is slow since I basically have one day a week of skilled labor, the rest of the time is just me and Des. But it's happening. This week is "no sink week" in the kitchen. I don't think it's as catchy as "Shark Week" but it may take off. Perhaps a viral video is in order.

I don't take enough videos. I bet I could do something fun with them, and it's good practice to keep my editing skills up to snuff. This week will also be "video week". Sinkless video week.

Fringe is quite a good show. They manage to convey quite a complex set of motivations and emotions for characters, without a lot of the typical blank spots TV characters must have to make a season work. I'm sad it's over. I guess there may be a movie?

I keep getting scratches and cuts at an amazing rate.

22Jul/13Off

Deeeeyeerp

I'm in a state. I quit smoking. My glands and other parts are all aquiver. I tore my house to bits and am slowly reconstructing it from leftover bodyparts and Lowes delivery vans. There's wood on my floors. Something shed like a million leaves behind my oven. I'm not even kidding, I wish my withdrawal-addled mind had been working better and I'd taken a photo. It's almost as weird as the approx. billion bees behind my grandpa's microwave.

I swam in a lake recently, in Arizona. I suppose I may have drifted into California while in the lake.

A furniture delivery guy banged on my door at midnight. I didn't answer. That's just not cool, furniture delivery guy. You scared me.

I feel like sores are not healing as quickly on me.

There's a 15 week old fetus growing in the other room. Little booger. It has developed recognizable junk, and we'll be able to say "girl" or "boy" next week or the week after. I'm curious.

I'll be 60 when this kid is 20 and my kid will be 40.

!!!!

Life is weird and weirder and I'm just a damn lens it is blasting through. Maybe I can flex a little and alter its pattern & patter.

10Jun/13Off

The Kings are dead…long live the Kings

My boys went down in a blaze, losing in five games to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals of the NHL, three wins shy of returning to the series they won last year for their first ever Stanley Cup. It's always bittersweet when your team flames out, short of the goal. I used to have a far more emotional attachment to sports teams, perhaps a reaction to my own weird inability to truly emotionally connect with humans in front of me, or at least my own lack of understanding of that connection, and fear of it. But I've mellowed a lot over the years in that regards. Fandom is a bizarre thing, this attachment to people you actually don't know, probably never will. It's all messed up in tribalism and star worship and escapism and a bunch of other weird shit. After long years of living and dying and frankly inappropriately acting out for the teams I followed I finally figured out that not only am I not really willing to spend that kind of emotional currency on strangers playing a game, but that it doesn't really gain me much. Except the Kings.

For whatever reason I can't let go of my hockey team. They're a screwy thing in a screwy sport, a team that plays a Canadian game in Los Angeles, which is notably lacking in frozen lakes at the best of times (or any lakes at all, ask the Lakers). They have been around since 1967 and I've rooted for them since 1987, when I met my step-dad and the native New Yorker introduced me to this wholly alien sport. Since then I've become a screwy thing myself, a relative hockey expert who can't skate, and has never played the game. I've personally played all of the other sports I've gotten intensely into other than hockey. But man, there's nothing like it. Go to a game if you don't believe me. It's astonishingly good in person. It's not as good on TV for non-fans, which is why it's not as popular as some sports in the US. That and the fact that outside of northern climes few people play it, relatively speaking. The cost of entry is high, compared to basketball and even baseball. You have to have a rink, which puts it out of reach of a lot of kids. But damn it's exciting.

Last year the boys captured the championship for the first time, and I didn't really believe they were going to do it until they actually sounded the horn ending the last game against my second-favorite team, the New Jersey Devils (the NHL has Eastern and Western conferences, the champions of which play each other in a best-of-seven series to determine the Stanley Cup winner). The Kings didn't just win it, they absolutely dominated the playoffs from start to finish, and in so doing were the lowest-seeded team to ever take home the hardware. The NHL seeds 8 teams from each conference 1 through 8, with 1 playing 8, 2 playing 7, etc. The Kings beat the #1 team, the #2 team, and the #3 team in the west, leading each best of seven series 3-0, and did the same in the Finals. It was an absolute demolishing of the competition and came out of nowhere.

But that was last year, however glorious it was. They played almost completely opposite in this year's playoffs, after an abbreviated season due to labor strife and a management lockout. They ended up with a higher seed, but couldn't win on the road, going 1-8. They were nearly unbeatable at home, and their sublime goalie Jonathan Quick was a wall on his home ice, yielding only one loss. Sadly it was critical given they couldn't win on the road this year, and ended up putting them in a 3-1 hole against the Blackhawks heading back to Chicago. Ultimately they Kings managed to score an amazing game-tying goal with less than ten seconds left in the game, forcing overtime, but fell in the second overtime period on a two-on-one breakaway.

All in all I'm impressed by the fortitude and willpower the Kings showed. Midway through the shortened season I was pretty sure they'd miss the playoffs. They turned things up and ended up grabbing a decent #5 seed, and won through to the third round in two gritty, defensive, hard fought series against the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks. But a repeat wasn't in the cards...the Hawks played too well in their own zone, and seemed to disrupt the Kings every time they tried to get it out of their end. They were hardly blown out in any game this postseason, losing by more than one goal in only a single game out of 18 played.

I hope they come back hungry next season, and I plan on rooting for them as avidly as I have this year, and for the last 26 or so years I've followed the guys. They've got a good young core of players, not yet in their 30s, and could conceivably put together another championship run, though that's never a clear thing with an 80 game season and four rounds of playoff hockey. Congratulations for a heck of a season all the same, boys, and heal up for next year. I'll be there.

Filed under: hockey Comments Off
21May/13Off

Losing friends to quackery and conspiracies

Recently I had a vaguely friendish person on facebook post a "question", the kind of leading BS question where you already know the answer and you're trying to inculcate your ideas in others, in regards to water fluoridation. It was something along the lines of "Does anyone know if this is true?" and then a link to a conspiracy site claiming that "government" is poisoning people by "dumping toxic waste" into our water supply. It had all the conspiracy bullshit flags...fringe sources, misunderstanding of the topic, misrepresentation of science, implications of shilling for "big something something", in this case, "big chemical". I responded briefly, and politely, that water fluoridation is no big deal, and often involves removing fluoride that occurs naturally. I provided source links to scientific sites.

The friendish person replied with, in hindsight, predictable vitriol, claiming I was mocking him, and that I was ignoring the evidence. He then went on a nearly page-long rant about how scientists are all in the pocket of industry and using "toxic waste" to keep the sheeple placid and accepting, and that I was indeed a sheep myself for believing their lies. Of course I at that point had realized my mistake, and responded very briefly that I was simply pointing out facts, never attacked him personally (like he was doing right then), and referenced the science again. Then I unfollowed the post. Shortly after that he began messaging me angrily, accusing me of everything under the sun, after two of which I blocked him. I won't accept personal attacks on FB or anywhere else.

I've got friends who believe all sorts of screwy stuff, and in general I just let it go. I'm not the thought police, and I'll generally only respond to things I perceive as harmful to the humanity, and even then sparingly. As Mr. Anti-fluoride proved, most people hold these crackpot beliefs dear to their hearts, and will defend them with vigor, despite their inherent stupidity. Anti-fluoridators, anti-vaxers, pro-"alternate medicine" people, and a list of others are pretty much all I'll respond to, and for very good reasons. A lot of those stances actually kill people (anti-fluoridation people aren't responsible for death generally, just making life a little worse for poor people). I'm not, however, a genius who somehow knows everything about everything, and don't intend to browbeat people over anything that doesn't violate my personal space. I'll try to engage people gently on some subjects, and sometimes it pays off.

One such time a friend posted something about homeopathy. Homeopathy is straight-up garbage and quackery, and many people don't actually know what it is...which is charging outrageous prices for completely pure water that has no clinical effect other than slightly greater hydration. I posted something along the lines of "Hey [friend], homeopathy doesn't really do anything, don't waste your money", and got a slightly irritated response. I figured that he didn't know what it was, and posted links explaining homeopathy. Indeed, he was thinking more of herbal remedies and naturopathy, which is completely separate, and responded with thanks. So a gentle engagement gave an opportunity to spread a little knowledge, and was well-received.

Most people I know will respond to logic and evidence. The thing I've learned which, looking back to my own more vitriolic past seems now obvious, is that not many people like to be insulted or bullied. While I've had to cut ties with some folks over various personal beliefs in the past, such as the Prop 8 fight here in California, and anti-vaccination stances, I'm generally more easy-going these days.

Our time is so brief.