January 10th, 2008

Honey Badger


I like, by checking out the local newspaper websites, to keep track of what's going on in my old stomping grounds in Sheffield and North-East Derbyshire, and today I saw this in the Derbyshire Times.
Quite apart from the disgusting nature of the attack itself, what really disturbed me was the quote by the prosecution from the seventeen-year-old. If I was his parents, I'd be really cautious about welcoming him back home.
Sadly, this is not uncommon, and it seems to be happening more and more often. I saw this story over at the Sheffield Star.
What these stories, and other stories like them, seem to me to have in common is not so much the savagery or the complete lack of respect for life, but that these animals were important to someone. I've seen stories of animals mutilated in petting zoos and children's school pets slaughtered. It's as if the main purpose is not to kill the animals so much as to cause as much emotional pain as possible to the people these animals are important to. And getting your rocks off by stomping a pigeon to death is a handy side-effect.
The seventeen-year-old, I suspect, may be another story altogether.
I hate to come over all right-wing, but these brave and shining chaps attacked and killed perfectly harmless animals. Instead of sentencing them to community service or fining them, perhaps they should be locked in a small room with half a dozen hungry foxes and a couple of really pissed-off badgers and then they can show us what they're really made of.
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Honey Badger

schadenfreude corner

So, it turns out that in the campaign to be elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Peter Hain, the Work And Pensions Secretary, forgot to declare £130,000 in donations and has been bitch-slapped by the Electoral Commission for it, with more slapping possibly to come. He's believed to have raised around £200,000 for his campaign. And much good it did him. He didn't win. Harriett Harman - who herself is not out of the woods yet - only raised about £90,000.
And I note an article from The Times, which I missed when it originally came out in December, telling us that Labour received a £180,000 grant from public funds to train staff about the new donations laws. So, that was money well spent, then.
I'm not even sure why I'm bothering being annoyed any more. These people have the morals of a junkyard dog and expecting anything else from them is like standing in the Arrivals hall at Heathrow and waiting for Elvis to arrive for his first UK tour.
Now these youthful anti-nuclear demonstrators, these student marchers for CND, are about to usher in a new age of nuclear power in this country. Bless `em.
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he stood on the roof of the world and looked out over all of us

I've no idea what kind of man Edmund Hillary was, but to paraphrase a line from Firefly, he did the impossible, and that made him mighty. Everest is still a killer of a mountain, but these days it's like Piccadilly Circus up there. Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first human beings ever to set foot on its summit, at a time when no one was even sure it was physically possible.
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a new aye aye is among us...

This is Raz, a baby Aye Aye who has just been born at Bristol Zoo.

The Aye Aye is, of course, the presiding spirit of the villages, and they're outlandishly endangered. I read somewhere there may be only about a thousand of them left in the wild, mostly in Madagascar.
Welcome, Raz. It's a tough old world.
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