Morning Ed: Creatures {2016.09.19.M}


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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48 Responses

  1. fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

    Given what I remember of my Douglas Adams, the dolphins may be discussing their exit plans.

    (Wouldn’t be at all surprised. 2016, after all).Report

  2. Avatar Damon says:

    Flying Catfish: Pfft. That’s a small catfish. Wait until the really big ones learn to fly. I welcome our new aquatic fish overlords. They may be the only creatures willing to eat our current presidential candidates and be able to survive. They do routinely eat foul things.

    Crows: I think ravens are smarter. I’ve heard stories of them working together to open garbage cans in national parks to get the food out. I’ve seen them “posing” at road pull offs in the hopes of getting fed. All kinds of examples. Clever bastards.

    Tortoise: Just goes to show you that they can be horndogs like humans. That’s an alpha tortoise. Go Diego!Report

  3. Avatar J_A says:

    Last year I heard a very interesting NPR program on dolphin communication in the wild. The scientists were provided with machines that could create dolphin like click sounds. The scientist started diving with a sort of cloth toy that wax of great interest to the dolphins, and when dolphins approached the toy used a click sequence that the area dolphins were not recorded as using. After several days they recorded the dolphins starting using that click sequence when they were playing with the cloth toy. The conclusion was that they had incorporated that sequence to their vocabulary to describe the toy.

    Pretty exciting, uhm?Report

  4. Avatar J_A says:

    The ants methylation article was interesting (once you were able to go past the jargon) in the context of the discussion that genetic information does not all get expressed in the same way, even if the genome itself is identical (see twins, gay)Report

  5. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    All this worrying and not a word about cephalopods? The tentacled bastards have already gotten to Will.Report

  6. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Dolphins probably talk about what type of fish they are getting for dinner tonight.

    There are reasons crows and ravens are tricksters in mythology.

    I wonder if bisons have an age of majority.Report

  7. Avatar Chris says:

    Mice > dolphins > humanscrows > humans.Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    If we can figure out how to hack ants, we should be able to hack lab rats. Then move up to hacking lab chimps/apes.

    Then, finally, we can start hacking ourselves.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Paul Combetta just got immunity.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Oh, and it looks like Christie knew about Bridgegate as it was happening.Report

      • Avatar Pillsy says:

        Chris Christie has disgraced the great state of New Jersey. Not, of course, by engaging in corruption, but by engaging in really pitiful penny-ante corruption and getting caught anyway.

        Also, it sounds like they just caught the world’s second dumbest terrorist [1] one town over from me.

        [1] The Undiebomber has yet to be dethroned.Report

        • Avatar greginak says:

          It’s amazing the dude didn’t blow himself up in his garage. There are 13 year old kids who would have known out to get burner phones instead of using his own.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            Always build bombs with gloves on, leaves fewer fingerprints and you don’t have to worry about the oils on your skin messing things up.

            Leave the personal cellphone at home when engaging in shenanigans, don’t risk getting confused during stressful periods and mixing up which phone is anonymous and which has all your porn on it.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              The main thing I’ve always noticed about Engineers is that in any given terrorism discussion, the topic of “now, here’s what *I* would do if *I* wanted to be a terrorist” pops up.

              And most of those ideas are usually pretty good.

              Even above and beyond the common sense ones.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                It’s only bad when you get into the “here’s what I’ve done” sort of stuff.
                That gets kinda… creepy.

                MERP! MERP! MERP!

                [[if you are a fan of Archer, the above line ought to read as a joke. It involves Swat Teams, ICE, and loaded dice.]]Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I know I’ve said this, and I think Mr. Cain has as alluded to the idea as well, but if the US was serious about national security, they’d have every engineer and scientist under constant surveillance.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                Of late, I’ve been fascinated with what could be done with a couple hundred road flares and igniters equipped with either a real-time clock or wireless control link…Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Lots of heat, generated quickly, tightly closed spaces, a bit of fragmentation…Report

            • Avatar greginak says:

              No white bomb making gloves after Labor Day or else you end up in Kazzy’s bad etiquette post.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I can get gloves in all the colors of the rainbow and grey scale, why would I settle on white?

                About the only time I would specifically chose a color was if I was doing a Firefly cosplay, and then it would be a bright blue.Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog says:

          I was so hoping they would follow the “put your shoes through the X-ray machine” logic they did with the shoe bomber, after the gitch bomber got caught.

          Maybe it would have finally put an end to the ever-dumber rules very tightly targeted to last month’s news headlines, that don’t make anyone safer but make traveling ever more miserable.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Okay. This is getting weirder.

      Looks like he asked Reddit for tips on how to delete stuff out of .pst files.

      This might not turn into anything, but I think that immunity translates into an inability to plead the 5th… right?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        My NAL understanding is that immunity sorta requires that the recipient not take the fifth. Functionally speaking anyway. I mean, that’s the point of the offer.

        Man, Hillary’s having a bad month….Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        From the NYT, this seems to be the crux of the issue, a classic “who hit who and when”-style caper.

        Mr. Fallon [Clinton’s spokesperson] said, “neither Hillary Clinton nor her attorneys had knowledge of the Platte River Network employee’s actions. It appears he acted on his own and against guidance given by both Clinton’s and Platte River’s attorneys to retain all data in compliance with a congressional preservation request.”

        Their argument, apparently, is that Combetta ‘went rogue’ by violating DOJ (edit: or was it congressional?) requirements to preserve the remaining emails. SAD!Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        Well, immunity is generally given for one of two reasons:

        1) You got a lawyer, who — like a good lawyer — wants a deal even if he knows you’ve done nothing wrong, because you’re talking to cops and all it takes is one prosecutor with political ambitions and your life gets expensive.
        2) The cops want to talk to you, and don’t want you to use the Fifth. Immunity means you can’t plead the Fifth, so they can compel testimony. (As you noted).

        Now if he lied, they can claim perjury (which is a new crime, and not covered by an immunity deal).

        However, given the way all the REST of the Clinton email scandals turned out, thinking this is anything at all is a losing play. (Especially since he wasn’t asking how to delete stuff, but mask email addresses for privacy concerns. Neither the FBI nor the FOIA really care if you turn over reams of emails where the email addresses are replaced with “PERSON’S FULL NAME (Private/Work/Government)” for instance.

        Especially since the FBI combed through all the emails by hand, collated them with all the records at State, and would have kind of noticed if HRC’s email address was suddenly just “HRC’s private address”.

        Unfortunately, the brain trusts of reddits politics forums are….not very bright, prone to conspiracy theorizing, and frankly lacking a lot in common sense and experience. (I’ve read multiple idiots explaining that Clinton was the State’s classification originator and authority — true, therefore she should have known anytime she saw anything even lightly classified because that was HER JOB.

        Which is…not how it works. The President is the ultimate executive classification authority, and can deem things classified or not at whim. However, he not only doesn’t spend his day doing that, he’s also not fully versed in what is and isn’t classified. There are actual experts who both classify things and audit for mis-marked stuff, whose job it is to do that. The President just reads the marker labels and, if whim strikes him, might offhandedly say “We need to release this” or “We need to classify this” and then someone else handles it.

        I don’t even know how your theory of how government works has the Secretary of State spending her day classifying things, or even spending a lot of time tracking what is and isn’t classified. That’s like expecting the CTO to spend his day fiddling with the server settings, or even knowing what software it’s running. He’s only going to know that you’re running Software X version Y if there’s a problem with Software X version Y that’s causing high-level headaches.

        It’s not the kind of thing that even holds up if you stop and think for 30 seconds.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck says:

          “I don’t even know how your theory of how government works has the Secretary of State spending her day classifying things, or even spending a lot of time tracking what is and isn’t classified.”

          That was not at issue here. The materials in question were already marked with the appropriate classification, and even the unclassified information came from a classified system, and Clinton would have been well aware of this.

          “That’s like expecting the CTO to spend his day fiddling with the server settings, or even knowing what software it’s running.”

          uhhhhhhhh no it ain’t, bro, this is more like expecting the doctor to know why she shouldn’t sneeze directly into an open wound.Report

  10. Avatar Dave says:

    Chris Christie has disgraced the great state of New Jersey. Not, of course, by engaging in corruption, but by engaging in really pitiful penny-ante corruption and getting caught anyway.

    Also, it sounds like they just caught the world’s second dumbest terrorist [1] one town over from me.

    [1] The Undiebomber has yet to be dethroned.

    A fellow Jerseyan, eh?Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      That is a pretty epic chain of corrupt stupid by the cops. We can also see the morally upright legacy that led to Jean-Luc and his command of the Enterprise.

      The state troopers have typically seemed far more professional that local cops in my experience. But not in Conn i guess.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      Don’t worry, they will all get additional training (make sure you aren’t being recorded, dummy) and keep their jobs.Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Good news!

    Why Her Poll Decline Could Be Good News for Clinton

    The rhythm of the campaign is such that news cycles are almost guaranteed to swing the other way, and, well, Trump has a history of giving them an assist. The bad news cycle can also cause Republicans to break through likely-voter screens while Democrats become less likely to answer the polls; this “differential response” issue explains a lot of the ebb and flow of campaigns. But we have to wonder: If this didn’t catapult Trump to an electoral lead, what could?


    • Avatar Mo says:

      Written by noted liberal and Trump skeptic, Sean Trende. Oh wait, no he’s a Republican that has been banging the, “Trump has a good chance of winning and you ignore him at your own peril,” drum for quite a while. His article is the political equivalent, “If your offense and defense played very poorly during the first half and you’re still up by a field goal headed into the locker room, then you’re in a good position to win the game.” No one would question that statement from a sportscaster.Report

  12. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Not related to creatures in nature, but certainly a creature that has ruled our world – the car.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      Does online course content that is free somehow fall under public accommodation? I can totally understand if the material is required for a paid course, but if it’s free?

      Now, closed captions should be doable pretty easily, because voice recognition software is getting damn good, but what about the visually impaired? Will universities have to provide free written course material in braille, or is clear audio sufficient?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        I think it’s one of those things where if they get less static from pulling the free courses than from making them available, they’ll pull them.

        That way, they don’t even have to worry about all sorts of accommodation crap.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      Its the 2012 Poolmageddon Incident all over again, and I think we all remember how that turned out.Report