Yost Sticks His Neck Out
To Defend Danish Giraffe
WASHINGTON – Signaling a technological leap forward for the auto industry and a boon to Silicon Valley, the federal government announced Monday it will take steps to require all new cars and light trucks to communicate with each other, a move aimed at significantly reducing the more than 30,000 vehicle deaths each year …
The technology, known as “vehicle-to-vehicle,” or “V2V,” lets cars “talk” to each other and exchange safety data, such as speed and position. If a nearby car abruptly changes lanes and moves into another car’s blind spot, the car would be alerted.
– San Jose Mercury News Feb. 3, 2014
Well, the Super Bowl is well behind us now, and I enjoyed watching it this year, but, if it were up to me, there are a few things I would change about the game and about Super Bowl Sunday in general.
For one thing, I wish they had more pregame show. I think that, when something is a real big national event like the Super Bowl, they shouldn’t just jump right into it – instead, it wouldn’t hurt to build it up a little. You know, they should hype the game some before the kickoff.
Anyway, there’s a lot to talk about this week, so let’s get to it …
Speaking of the Super Bowl, I don’t always get to watch a lot of football, but, while watching the game this year, one thing that I realized absolutely floored me. I mean, it’s something I would never have guessed in a million years: I’m a better quarterback than Peyton Manning.
It’s the first time I’ve really sat down and watched him play, but given everything I’d heard about him, I never would have guessed in a million years that I could throw the football better than Peyton Manning. But there it is.
That is astonishing to me because I’m not really even very good at football.
If you think this fast-paced life we live in this modern world is getting to everyone and driving them batty, I would probably agree with you. But if you thought it was just human beings who had that problem – well, guess again.
The other day, I was sitting in the park in Kirkwood and I saw the craziest thing ever. I even took some iPhone video of it in case someone didn’t believe me. Here’s what happened …
While I was shooting basketball, this red-headed bird flew up and landed on the side of a tree. At first, I thought it must have seen some sort of bug on the tree that looked delicious to him or whatever, but then I was stunned by what happened next: The bird just started banging its head repeatedly on the tree. “Whap! Whap! Whap! Whap! Whap!” in a rapid-fire motion. It was just one head bang after another.
I have some days where I feel like that too – I just didn’t know that birds ever felt the same way.
I have been kind of laughing at the news about the “futuristic” vehicle-to-vehicle communication that’s coming soon. The story I saw said that, in the cars of the future, if someone cuts in front of you quickly or is following too closely, the driver of that car will be alerted. I guess it’s fine if they want to develop the technology to do that – but listen, in my case anyway, whenever a car is following too closely or cuts me off suddenly, I already have a very effective way that I use to instantly communicate with the driver of that car.
Recently, on the Daily Mail website, I saw the following headline: “Miley Cyrus offers advice to her troubled friend Justin Bieber.”
What could possibly go wrong there?
Now that the 2016 presidential race has been decided, it’s time to take a hard look ahead to the 2020 race, which is currently heating up. It goes without saying that, after President Hillary Clinton’s tumultuous first four years in office, the challengers are going to come on strong – but who will those challengers be?
I think we can say that, after the country got the first black president in 2008, and its first female president in 2016, the electorate in 2020 will be looking for the first black female president. There are a number of national figures who could fill that slot, but my money right now is on Condoleezza Rice in 2020.
If you’d like to join the debate about the 2020 presidential election, please send your comments to Scott@rhinotimes.com.
As for the 2024 election, I will just say that a decade should give Chris Christie plenty of time to get Bridgegate behind him once and for all, which should allow him to finally make a solid run in the 2024 race.
In 2028, I think the country will be primed for its first openly gay president – and I’m putting my money on North Carolina’s longtime Congressman Clay Aiken. However, in 2028, it’s also possible that our new alien overlords from the Planet Zorton will disallow presidential elections after the alien invasion and the period of the Great Dark Times that follows.
As for the 2032 presidential elections, after mankind has overthrown its cruel alien rulers – well, that one is a little far out to speculate about at the present time. I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
This was the graphic for a story on Fox 8 news recently: “Experts warn drivers to be careful on black ice.”
OK, that’s good to know. I had always been under the impression that, whenever you were driving on black ice, that was the time you really wanted to take your big chances with your automobile.
This is from the Associated Press: “The Copenhagen Zoo killed a 2-year-old giraffe and fed its remains to lions as visitors watched, ignoring a petition signed by thousands and offers from other zoos and a private individual to save the animal … Marius, a healthy male, was put down Sunday using a bolt pistol, said zoo spokesman Tobias Stenbaek Bro. Visitors, including children, were invited to watch while the giraffe was then skinned and fed to the lions.”
Now, I’m not a zoo expert or anything, but, just from that one excerpt of the article right there, to me it doesn’t sound like a very good zoo.
OK, let me read that again to make sure I’m getting it right. Because I can’t imagine that I am. So, let me just make sure I read this story correctly and that I didn’t imagine it in my head or anything.
Yep, I read it right.
My very favorite quote from the story is the following quote from the zoo spokesman: “I’m actually proud because I think we have given children a huge understanding of the anatomy of a giraffe that they wouldn’t have had from watching a giraffe in a photo.”
Now, forget for a second the 20,000 other things wrong with all this, and just focus on this one: Despite the optimistic claims by the zoo official, I’m not sure that this is really a good way to learn about giraffe biology. I mean, if you watched the video that they made of the whole incident, they didn’t dissect the giraffe like you do in biology class, but rather just hacked it to pieces and threw the parts to the lions.
Frankly, to me it sounds very much as though some insane people have somehow found themselves in charge of running a zoo. You know how they say that the inmates have taken over the asylum, well this seems kind of like that, except instead of an asylum it’s a zoo. On the video, the guy responsible has the same creepy serial killer smile on his face the Manson girls had when they were on trial for the Tate-LaBianca murders.
But the really crazy part – again, I am not joking; this was in the Associated Press story – is that some nice person offered $680,000 to buy the giraffe so it wouldn’t be slaughtered, but zoo officials turned them down. So, however badly the zoo workers wanted to kill a giraffe and feed it to lions, they wanted to do it more than $680,000 worth.
They also got an offer from another zoo, but it wasn’t a member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA).
“Copenhagen Zoo also turned down an offer from a zoo in northern Sweden, because it was not an EAZA member and didn’t want to comply with the same high standards,” a spokesman for the zoo said.
Yes, God knows what might happen to the poor giraffe if it fell into the hands of a zoo without the same lofty standards of the Copenhagen Zoo.
BY Scott D. Yost
February 13, 2014
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