Category Archives: Science

Treehuggers Checkmate Hunters In Bizarre, Awesome Act Of Melodrama

perhapshowjasongotthedeersheadFor some time we’ve been following the little flap over deer-eradication in Shawnee Mission Park, where the ungulates have outgrown their suburban constraints and are bothering pretty much everyone. Both sides have been a little careless with their rhetoric, with the pro-death crowd hiring a squad of weekend warrior mercenaries, and the pro-deer crowd erecting billboards to persuade passersby that Bambi should live. But that was all child’s play — because a man named Jason Miller has trumped anything and everything with one act of perplexing, amazing, gutsy defiance. He took it to a Lord of the Flies level, and now we say: game, set, match.

Yes, it’s the severed head of a deer.

Jason Miller, an animal rights activist, got the deer head from a meat processor and brought it to Shawnee Mission Park today.

He wanted to graphically demonstate what is about to happen to 75 percent of a herd of deer in Shawnee Mission Park that is estimated to be about 700.

Oh, sweet lord. Who goes to a meat processor and asks for a deer’s head? And who places said head in a basket and leaves it for officials? Insanity, thy name is Jason Miller. But it gets so much better.

Miller referred to the deer head as Victoria and said that if the “planned slaughter” goes forward, “I (Victoria) will be the future face of Shawnee Mission Park, which would in turn come to be known as Death Park.”

Um. You f’ing named it? You… you do realize it’s just a severed head, right? And not an actual living creature? We do like the part about “Death Park,” though. Kind of catchy, and it would probably clear out the jogging trails a bit. The bottom line here, though, is a) environmentalists know no dramatic bounds, and b) Jason Miller’s mind works in odd ways.

Your move, park officials.

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Filed under Animals, City Government, Oddities, Science, The Arts

Star‘s Toilet Story Dabbles In Puns, Scatalogical Humor, Populism

theyinventedsomethingslightlymoreadvancedthanthisSo apparently there’s a manufacturing company HQ’d in Lee’s Summit that makes toilets. Like, awesome toilets. The kind of toilet whose innovation and sheer technological genius will bring tears to your eyes. The city’s paper of record, rightfully so, has opted to showcase this font of waste-centric brilliance with a glowing front-page article. But all of that takes a back seat to another, more important exercise: allowing the paper’s staff to have a little fun with the subject — starting with the headline: “Lee’s Summit inventor flush with pride.” Oh, I see what you did there. The fun continues, though:

Murphy didn’t go to MIT or any other hoity-toity technology school. He went to Metropolitan Community College-Longview. But mainly he grew up in Independence a curious boy who liked to take things apart and put them back together.

Huh? How did pseudo-populist rage sneak into a front-page article? You couldn’t have gone with “didn’t go to an engineering school” or something similar? You really had to slam MIT (which is far more than a mere “technology school”) just to provide further evidence of the massive chip on this city’s shoulder? Odd. More:

“You’re going to see something you’ve never seen before,” he said.

He put 35 golf balls into the bowl and pushed the flush button. The balls danced about before shooting down the drain.

Next, he placed five units of artificial debris — shaped pretty much like you would expect — into the bowl. He thought a moment and added five more.

“That’s double the load,” he said.

A-hem. Pretty much like you would expect, eh? And “double the load”? Was this story written at a Sigma Chi party, perchance?

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Filed under Local Business, Science, Technology

Crazy Star Blogger Walter Winch Declares End Of Modern World; Claim Falls Into Unread Internet Ether

walterwinchhasamessageforyoukansascityTracking the asinine online ramblings of Star blogger Walter Winch (though please note that the paper takes care to separate itself from his opinions on the KC Earth Notes blog) has long been a peculiar passion of ours. Where else can one find the sprawling diatribes of a man committed to the cause of environmental fundamentalism — in the venue of a totally unread and widely ignored online forum? The answer, quite simply, is “nowhere.” That’s why we were somewhat alarmed to see that Walter has gone ahead and declared the end of the whole structure of industrial capitalism; after all, doesn’t this mean we’re in a bit of trouble? Have we plum tuckered out the system? Is Walter right? Does this transcend mere Earth-caretaking and point to something larger within our nature? Let’s let him explain it.

Our global economic system that has been unfolding over the past one-hundred years or so will, I think, slowly (maybe not so slowly) creak to a halt. It’s unsustainable, especially if another two billion people believe they’re entitled to the same standard of living as much of the West has had over at least the last 60 years…

If we Americans can take our blinders off fairly soon (being optimistic), we just might be able to adapt better and faster than anyone else to the changes that are rapidly approaching. No motherhood, apple pie, and free-market blather will stop what’s coming our way.

NOOO! According to Walter — who truly boasts one of the worst photos anywhere on the Star‘s site; he looks like an extra from The Last Starfighter — we need to make some serious changes, and fast. So, how was this bold prediction greeted on the Earth Notes blog? Um… crickets. No comments. No angry emails or letters to the editor. In a word: yawn. Come on, people! Do ye not realize that Walter is like a modern-day shrouded prophet? One day soon, our global system will indeed fall — and Walter will be there laughing at your lamentations. Of course, no one will hear him then, either. Alas.

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Filed under Media, Oddities, Science

Fox 4 Offers Advice On How To Stop Worrying And Love The Living Dead

thrillerIt’s not enough to worry about terrorists potentially moving in the neighborhood, now we should concern ourselves with the living dead?

Could Mankind Survive a Zombie Attack?

It’s a question that many people, typically after a drink or two, have asked themselves, and now some scientists in Canada say that they have found an answer but it may not be the one we want to hear.

Could civilization survive an attack by zombies?

Uh…this is Fox 4, local news outlet, correct? Have we gotten this mixed up with Fangoria‘s Web site?

Yes, they’re serious, and, alarmingly, the answer is no, unless zombies are dealt with quickly and aggressively, according to researchers with the Universities of Ottawa and Carleton in Canada, who published the paper in a book dealing with the spread of infectious disease, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

In movie and video game lore, zombies can infect the living through a bite. The premise of the study may seem silly, but researchers say that the intent of the report is a serious look at how an infectious disease can quickly overtake a population.

“We introduce a basic model for zombie infection and illustrate the outcome with numerical solutions,” Professor Robert Smith? told the BBC. According to the school’s website, Smith uses the question mark in his name to differentiate himself from rock singer Robert Smith of the band The Cure.

That last paragraph may be the singularly best group of phrases in the history of writing.

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Filed under Health, In the News, Oddities, Science, Strange news

Lone Warrior-King Sam Brownback Leads Crusade Against Coming Mythical Creatures

sambrownbacksworstnightmareProfessional holy person and occasional U.S. senator Sam “Jesus” Brownback — who is also almost certainly your next governor, Sunflower Staters — has a warning for you: the future is dark, cold, and packed with unimaginable menace. And why is his vision of the future so dark? Silly heathens! It’s because President Hopechange is funding a secret government cabal working to create human-animal hybrids! NOOOO! Ray Bradbury’s worst nightmares have been realized, and Brownback is the only one who gets it.

“This legislation works to ensure that our society recognizes the dignity and sacredness of human life,” said Brownback. “Creating human-animal hybrids, which permanently alter the genetic makeup of an organism, will challenge the very definition of what it means to be human and is a violation of human dignity and a grave injustice.”


The Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act would ban the creation of human-animal hybrids. Human-animal hybrids are defined as those part-human, part-animal creatures, which are created in laboratories, and blur the line between species.

Exactly. Thank god for Sam Brownback — is there no one else willing to take a stand against the pervasive influence of “part-human, part-animal creatures”? And you’ll be glad to know that Sammy’s reasoning for this bill is on very firm ground indeed:

Brownback continued, “This legislation is both philosophical and practical as it has a direct bearing upon the very essence of what it means to be human, and it draws a bright line with respect to how far we can go in attempting to create new creatures made with genes from both humans and animals.”

You know, Sam, simply declaring something “philosophical” doesn’t carry much weight. In fact, all it means is “of or pertaining to philosophy.” It’s hardly something you use to convince someone of the gravity of your arguments — especially when that argument is, um, questionable.

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Filed under In the News, Law, Politics, Science