May 9th, 2004

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Endangered? Hell, just breed them indoors, then they're safe

Think the Bush administration can't think up something more harmful to the environment and at the same time "pro business"? Ugh, think again:

Shift on Salmon Reignites Fight on Species Law
NY Times

Three years ago, Mark C. Rutzick was the timber industry's top lawyer trying to overturn fish and wildlife protections that loggers viewed as overly restrictive. Back then, he outlined to his clients a new strategy for dealing with diminishing salmon runs. By counting hatchery fish along with wild salmon, the government would help the timber industry by getting salmon off the endangered species list, Mr. Rutzick wrote.

Now, as a high-ranking political appointee in the Bush administration who is a legal adviser to the National Marine Fisheries Service, Mr. Rutzick is helping to shape government policy on endangered Pacific salmon. And in an abrupt change, the Bush administration has decided for the first time to consider counting fish raised in hatcheries when determining if some species are going extinct...

To most biologists, salmon that are born and raised in a cement tank are no replacement for wild fish, even if they share a common genetic makeup. The new approach, which was contained in a single-page draft, dated March 25 and leaked to reporters last month, ignores the findings of the Bush administration's own panel of outside scientific experts, as well as long-held views within the fisheries service.

These biologists say that including hatchery salmon in the calculation for when a fish can be listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act is akin to counting animals in a zoo. By this reasoning, river or forest habitats of a rare species will never be protected, so long as the animal can be reproduced by artificial means.


Like why the HELL does this whole bunch of people just act like total contrarian IDIOTS??!! It's like they go and find out what scientists or experts in world peace or doctors DON'T recommend and go do it. WTF?!
  • Current Music
    "Better Future," David Bowie
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Raising rank

I just spent about an hour and a half working through this week's assignment for the Search Engine Marketing course I'm signed up for, and I'm feeling very accomplished since I really seem to be having great success improving the search engine ranking of my test case (an actual client of mine).

I'm also excited that I've managed to submit my homework on time every week but one and keep up with it; the first class I took, in ASP, I basically had to give up after 3 weeks because it got me over my head way too fast, and then I felt bad b/c I had wasted money. The second course I took (CSS) was extremely challenging as far as homework went but I managed to keep up with it.

But for $100, this search engine course (through IWA/HWG, www.eclasses.org), I'm getting knowledge of search engines that I simply didn't have. At one time I knew enough to get all my sites really good ranking without trying all that hard, but in the past couple of years things have gotten really hard and I'd started to feel like a liar when I told my clients I could help them out. Now I feel like I can actually do what I say I can and have it not just be a hope.

Note: Eclasses.org didn't pay me to write this.
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished
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Belt tightening!

I'm wearing shorts that are TOO BIG for me! Granted, these are some short green army shorts that have ALWAYS fit me, but I know at times that's been just barely and now they are definitely roomier than needed. He ho!
  • Current Music
    Gemini Spaceship, Bowie
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A few party pics

I promised a few people I'd post pictures from Caleb's l'il party last night, so here they are.

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Oh, and FYI about the party, it was fun, food was eaten, drinks imbibed, lots of talking. In the end it was Caleb, Daniel, Enrique and I talking until like 2 a.m. :)
  • Current Mood
    amused amused
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Books

I have a lot of stuff to do this week and a lot of stuff to do in general. Yet, when I just now received a copy of the MS of that book I'm going to edit, I was happy for more work -- because that editing's not going to be work, it's going to be pleasure. Not that I won't be fixing and commenting and criticizing, but the book is a real read and I'm looking forward to immersing myself in it.

Meanwhile, today I finished up a rather mediocre book called A Face Without A Heart by Rick Reed. It's basically a flat out rewrite of Wilde Picture of Dorian Gray, set in modern-day Chicago with a hologram instead of a painting and the "Dorian" character indulging in anonymous sex, major drug use, and being a real evil SOB circuit boy. This was one of those book group reads (like Mistress of Dragons) that I never would have read on my own and I guess while rising way above the very crappy Vampire Vow (another of our horror picks), it just wasn't very good.

One of the main things that we talked about in the book group today was whether there is really any point to the author doing this retelling. The story is done pretty much a a point-for-point copy, with names different and of course the time and place updated and transformed, so it's not like there's anything really original in it. I think the biggest "reason" for the book, we all said, was that possibly this book would be a way for errant "scenesters" and circuit boys to latch on to a story they wouldn't read if it was the real Wilde, because it's a lot easier to read and with a modern setting they might be able to relate to better. In fact, I'd have to say that the book is a dumned down sort of Cliff's Notes version of Dorian Gray because the language sure isn't complicated and it is really so unsubtle at times (moreso than Wilde, who wasn't going for subtle either, I don't think).

Overall, grade C, average. (Vampire Vow was a D- I guess.)
  • Current Mood
    content content
firstgrade

A Frightened Boy

I was just now going through my IE bookmarks and came across this...

A Frightened Boy*

It's from RatherGood.com (the source of WAY too much fun), and I swear, I still think this is one of the funniest cartoons EVER! Like, makes me laugh and cry as much as the South Park movie. I think really one of the reasons I like it (besides it being INSANE) is that it strongly resembles what I would do if I had enough talent in Flash and time to do it. (I think cracicotus will back me up; remember the cannibal pigeon movie?)

Meanwhile, for a really SHORT RatherGood movie: Pavarotti. The end part where his eyes bug out is the part that cracks me up. (Why, I don't know... it just does.)

* You really need the sound for the full effect, FYI :)
  • Current Mood
    amused amused