Saturday, May 16, 2009

Around The Horn

"All the Hits the Nits Missed."

Hello Sports Racers, it's time for another edition of Around The Horn, or as Coovo likes to call it, "Roller's News Nits Nockoff".

South Korean scientists have cloned dogs. That glow red in the dark. No kidding. When I first heard of this, it reminded me of a trick we computer geeks use to spin our defects as "features".

User: Why was there an "H" appended to all the information I entered?
Geek: Uh, that's our new "Info+H" feature. Do you like it?
User: Can I fix it by rebooting?

The scientist have inserted "fluorescent genes" into the dogs (this is actually similar to another computer science pattern known as Dependency Injection). The success of this experiment suggests that scientists could inject other types of genes. Said South Korean scientist Jin Fong-du, "Having proven that we can inject genes into a living animal, we can now expand our research to include injecting other types of genes. By 2011, we could have dogs that glow blue, or possibly purple." OK, I made that quote up. Pretty cool, though.

Religious fanatics have denounced the testing, noting that if you spell "glowing dog" backwards, you get "god gniwolg". It's hard to argue with that.

This isn't the most recent of news, but has been on my plate for a while. A little over a month ago, AT&T network lines were vandalized in the San Franscisco Bay area. In two separate locations, someone opened a manhole, climbed down 10 feet and cut some network cables. For most of the next day, there were outages to cell phone, internet, land line and even 911 Emergency access.

Conspiracy theorists were quick to paint this as a terrorist rehearsal for a major nation-wide coordinated attack. But I don't think that adds up, as terrorists most likely would have blown themselves up to sever the network cables.

Lending even less credence to the terrorist theory is the fact that the AT&T's contract with the Communications Workers of America expired about 5 days prior to the "attack". Union leadership downplayed the notion that a union member could have been involved. Right. Because everyone knows which manhole covers lead to AT&T's network cables, and which lead to secret Craigslist parties.

Maybe AT&T should follow Texas' lead in equipment protection. Texas fire ants can inflict up to $1 billion a year in damages to electrical equipment (and those are non-arsen related numbers). The solution? As described in a recent US News article, introduce a South American phorid fly that somehow lays eggs inside the ant. Then when a maggot hatches from an egg it eats the ant's brain. The ant still wanders around for a couple weeks like a zombie, before its head falls off and the fly pops out and goes after another ant.

Awesome! Until next time...


Roller said...

Sports Racers... I finally realized who I ripped off... that was killing me.

Marty said...

Well, I must ask...there's a flourescent gene?? I'm all for stem cell research and modern medicine, but I have to say the idea of cloning or even altering someone's DNA by injecting a gene, is more than a little bit unsettling. I don't have a solid argument, I'm not even saying that it wouldn't be so needed down the line that it would save the human race...its just unsettling...That dog is lighting up.

Ryan said...

Great call on the Sports racers. Ahhh, those were the dayz.

So, do those dogs really glow in the dark? It looks more like they reflect a certain kind of light, like a flashlight is shining on the dog in the dark picture. Why aren't the other white spots on the dog glowing too?

Cool report about the snipped cables. Definitely sounds unionish, definitely does not sound terroristy. Reminded me of when like 4 of the main 5 under ocean cables going into and out of the middle and near east got snipped or damaged within about a 2 week span. Sounds intelligenchish to me.

P.S. Is fluorescent gene a cousin of webster gene? Did Geno give his permission to be injected into a dog anyway? I mean, I've seen Geno turn a little red after a good night of drinking, but never fluorescent.

Coovo said...

I don't really know where to begin.

I have no idea what you mean by sports racer.

If they can make the dog light up, why don't they just put in a homing signal so dogs never run away from home and i don't have to look at stupid flyers lamenting the loss of a dog. Sorry.

Fire ants . . . How did you find your way to fire ants?

Marty said...

I also did not get the sports racer reference, but its good to know that after months of 20 something comments that its back to normal with me and the three authors of the blog commenting...maybe its time for a ryan political post, so a few commenters get fired up....and tim, how could you not find your way to fire ants?? they're everywhere..

Roller said...

Sports Racers was the term that zeFrank used to greet his audience when he did his incredibly awesome daily "The Show with Ze Frank".

Here is one of my favorites... browse his site and you can definitely kill some time laughing...

Coovo, any dog you get from the humane society now has a chip implanted in him, so that if he's lost and returned to the humane society, they know who the owners are. In 2015, we'll have GPS implanted in our kids.

Marty said...

you guys are slacking...come on, I'm trying to kill a Friday afternoon here...