More evidence of the mass extinction

There are a number of books out referring to how we’re in the midst of another mass extinction. I’ve recently finished reading “Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction,” and have just picked up “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.”

As the promotional material for “The Sixth Extinction” explains:

Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.

(First of all, to the creationists: Yes, the Earth is billions of years old.)

That’s the theme of both books. We regularly see stories about disappearing bees, millions of dying bats and regular mysterious deaths of sea creatures.

But let’s look at what this really means. This is a chart of the total weight of land animals on Earth (via XKCD):

land_mammals

There aren’t that many wild animals left. Human behavior is killing everything. Mass extinctions take thousands of years. None of us will be around when the one we’re currently in is over, but more important, the way things are going, the human species may not exist when this mass extinction runs its course.

Les vaches qui rient

OK, so that’s French and this video is in German, but the point’s the same. A laughing cow is a jumping cow:

Just another example of animals fully aware of their surroundings. They’ve been cooped up in a barn forever, and they probably knew they were set for slaughter. (And animals are aware when they’re about to be turned into meat. Stand outside an abattoir sometime, and listen to the screams.)

This is like watching a prisoner being released into the world after being stuck forever in solitary confinement.

Or like Tommy when he gets his senses back:

Cheerios are good for your heart: The baby and the puppy

Less than nine months ago, Cheerios ran an ad in which a little girl asked her mother “Are Cheerios good for your heart.” Mom said yes, and the girl dumped a box of cereal on her sleeping father’s chest (see that ad here). Pretty innocuous, but Cheerios had to disable comments when the ad showed up on YouTube, because a bunch of people went apoplectic because the ad featured a mixed race family.

So that was it, right? Cheerios runs an ad, racists respond, but Cheerios kept running the ad. And now it’s got this one.

This one’s called “Cheerios 2014 Game Day Ad.” Sounds like it’s going to run during the Super Bowl, the biggest advertising day of the year. Right now, it has almost a million hits on YouTube, and the comments are on. Let’s see how long that lasts.

The ad, though is still pretty innocuous. I’m totally with mom’s “Are you nuts?!?!!” reaction to the puppy deal.

But given the time between the first ad and the presentation of this one, the underlying message is: “See! Cheerios were REALLY good for dad’s heart.”

The lion whisperer

A long, long time ago, when I was young and stupid, I visited a guy in Florida who raised wild animals that performed in television shows and movies. So, as part of the story I was writing, I went into a cage with a lion and with a tiger.

The thing I learned was to make sure the animals had already been fed, and to keep the guy who owned the animals between me and the “pet” at all times.

With that in mind, I still think the guy in this video does not want to be out and about in the wild on a day when these animals are hungry.

The Wall Street Journal’s expert on health care

According to Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, Suzanne Somers is an expert on the Affordable Care Act and its impact on retirees.

Yes, that Suzanne Somers.

She says the health-care law is “a Socialist Ponzi scheme.”

You can judge by reading the column here, but I feel the following is the most important part of the opinion piece. It was tacked onto the end after publication:

CORRECTIONS AND AMPLIFICATIONS:

An earlier version of this post contained a quotation attributed to Lenin (“Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state”) that has been widely disputed. And it included a quotation attributed to Churchill (“Control your citizens’ health care and you control your citizens“) that the Journal has been unable to confirm.

Also, the cover of a Maclean’s magazine issue in 2008 showed a picture of a dog on an examining table with the headline “Your Dog Can Get Better Health Care Than You.” An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the photo showed and headline referred to a horse.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion (no matter how air headed it may be). But no one is entitled to back up their opinion with their own facts. And, unless it was a photo of a great dane, I don’t know how you confuse a horse with a dog.

may12-08-cover-204x273

Yep. That’s a dog. Horses aren’t allowed to sit on exam tables. That … and the word “dog” in the headline … should have been a giveaway.