This is my last working camera, and it just takes infrared, which is not what I really want.
Time to order another color camera. Sigh.
On Tuesday, Michael Brown’s parents, Lezley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., received a $1.5 million settlement after filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Ferguson, former Police Chief Thomas Jackson and former police officer Darren Wilson. ...
The settlement was... on par with one particular shooting in Maryland ― except, in this case, the family was white and the victim was their pet dog.
In May, a jury awarded $1.26 million to a family whose pet was shot and killed by Anne Arundel County police Officer Rodney Price in February 2014. Price, who was confronted by the dog in the homeowner’s front yard, was investigating a burglary in the neighborhood and claimed he was attacked by the nearly 5-year-old Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Vern.
The day is almost upon us when canoe travel will consist in paddling up the noisy wake of a motor launch and portaging through the back yard of a summer cottage. When that day comes canoe travel will be dead, and dead too will be a part of our Americanism. Joliet and LaSalle will be words in a book, Champlain will be a spot on a map, and canoes will be merely things of wood and canvas, with a connotation of white duck pants and bathing "beauties."
The time is almost upon us when a pack-train must wind it’s way up a graveled highway and turn it’s bell-mare in the pasture of a summer hotel. When that day comes, the pack-train will be dead, the diamond hitch will be merely rope, and Kit Carson and Jim Bridger will be names in a history lesson. And thenceforth the march of empire will be a matter of gasoline and four wheel brakes.
European outdoor recreation is largely devoid of the thing that wilderness areas would be the means of preserving in this country. Europeans do not camp, cook or pack in the woods for pleasure. They hunt and fish when they can afford to, but their hunting and fishing is merely hunting and fishing, staged in a set of ready-made hunting lodges, elaborate fare, and hired beaters. The whole thing carries the atmosphere of a picnic, rather than that of a pack trip. The test of skill is confined almost entirely to the act of killing, itself. Its value as a human experience is reduced accordingly.
There is a strong movement in this country to preserve the distinctive democracy of our field sports by preserving free hunting and fishing, as distinguished from the European condition of commercialized hunting and fishing privileges. Public shooting grounds and organized cooperative relations between sportsmen and landowners are the means proposed for keeping these sports within reach of the American of moderate means. Free hunting and fishing is a most worthy objective, but it deals with only one of the distinctive characteristics of American sport. The other characteristic is that our test of skill is primarily the act of living in the open, and only secondarily the act of killing game. It is to preserve this primary characteristic that public wilderness playgrounds are necessary."
|A New York City possum vendor, just 100 years ago.|
Tell someone that everything will be great and they’re likely to either shrug you off or offer a skeptical eye. Tell someone they’re in danger and you have their undivided attention.
Hearing that the world is going to hell is more interesting than forecasting that things will gradually get better over time, even if the latter is accurate for most people most of the time. Pessimism can be hard to distinguish from critical thinking and is often taken more seriously than optimism, which can be hard to distinguish from salesmanship and aloofness.
Y2K got more media attention than any individual tech company.
SARS got more attention than the massive decline in HIV mortality.
Forecasting $250 a barrel oil in 2008 sparked immediate congressional hearings. Forecasting the bankruptcy of oil giants as electric cars proliferate sparks immediate giggles
The difference between pessimism and optimism often comes down to time horizon. If a recession or downturn is the end of your show, you should be pessimistic. If it’s a bad commercial during an otherwise great episode, you should be optimistic.
Since short-term shocks are more frequent and recent than long-term gains, pessimism usually sounds smarter than optimism because it’s easier to recall.
Optimists are often ridiculed as being oblivious to how risky the world is. I’ve found this to be a bad reading. They’re often quite aware of risks, but equally aware of risks being the soil optimism eventually grows out of.
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.
Marrying Maude in 1938 -- several weeks after hiring her as his live-in housekeeper for 25 cents a week – this boorish, barely verbal fish peddler expects his wife to know, and to keep, her place: As he puts it, oh so romantically, that place comes right after him, his two dogs and his chickens
My name is Boffer Bings. I was born of honest parents in one of the humbler walks of life, my father being a manufacturer of dog-oil and my mother having a small studio in the shadow of the village church, where she disposed of unwelcome babes. In my boyhood I was trained to habits of industry; I not only assisted my father in procuring dogs for his vats, but was frequently employed by my mother to carry away the debris of her work in the studio. In performance of this duty I sometimes had need of all my natural intelligence for all the law officers of the vicinity were opposed to my mother's business. They were not elected on an opposition ticket, and the matter had never been made a political issue; it just happened so. My father's business of making dog-oil was, naturally, less unpopular, though the owners of missing dogs sometimes regarded him with suspicion, which was reflected, to some extent, upon me. My father had, as silent partners, all the physicians of the town, who seldom wrote a prescription which did not contain what they were pleased to designate as "Ol. can". It is really the most valuable medicine ever discovered. But most persons are unwilling to make personal sacrifices for the afflicted, and it was evident that many of the fattest dogs in town had been forbidden to play with me -- a fact which pained my young sensibilities, and at one time came near driving me to become a pirate.
Tail docking is a very minor procedure and does no harm to the dog. It is largely aesthetic and historical with certain breeds. That said, some terriers and other breeds have long thin tails that can be damaged when whipped in brush, worked in rock, etc. so they may benefit, medically, if they are docked. How often an over-thin and fragile tail is a real medical problem depends on the breed, the dog, how it works, where it works (and if it is worked at all).
A terrier's tail, of course, is an essential part of the dog, and I consider it a very stupid thing to dock a terrier tail too short. I always advise people to err on the side of leaving the tail too long. You do not want to lose a good handle on the rear end of a working terrier by being too quick or aggressive with a pair of tail nippers....
People circumcise their children, women get themselves nipped for child birth (it's called an episiotomy), and every third teenager has a pierced tongue, nipple, eyebrow or navel.
Whole TV shows are devoted to full-body tattoos.
Women are getting breast implants or breast reductions, and men are getting hair transplants and scalp reductions.
Noses are bobbed, fat is sucked out, teeth are capped, botox is injected, and ears are being pierced, ringed, barbelled, and pinned.
Ever been to a PETA rally? If you look around, you will see a lot of metal hanging out of nostrils, off of eye brows, or rammed through tongues. Every other girl will be showing off her "tramp stamp" tattoo on the small of her back. God only knows what you might find ringed, belled and pierced if you were foolish enough to ever see one of these PETA lunatics standing before you naked. The mind shudders.
Consider PETA spokes-idiot Pamela Anderson, who not only married the walking Erector Set known as Tommy Lee, but who also got her own body repeatedly tucked, sucked, injected, lifted, dyed, bobbed, and implanted. And these people are worried about a ten-second tail nip? What on earth for?
There are real problems in the world, and this is NOT one of them.
The anti-tail docking people have no sensible rationale to oppose tail docking -- it is a ten-second thing done when the dog is one or two days old, and it is over with very little fuss or pain. People who love dogs more than their own lives have been doing it for generations -- proof alone that it is a small thing and does no damage to the dog while sometimes serving a health function in the field.
Here are some real things to worry about with dogs:
- Closed genetic registries which mean that the genetic diversity of dogs is dramatically reduced in time, and with it the health of every breed with a closed registry (i.e. all Kennel Club breeds);
- Fat dogs which do not see exercise and which have sad and shortened lives (about 1/3 of all dogs);
- Slick floors in kitchens which increases the chance of hip dysplasia for all large canines (a serious and sad thing);
- Poor fencing, poor obedience training, and the complete absence of tags and microchipping which means dogs are easily lost and frequently struck by cars.
These are REAL dog problems. Tail docking does not even come close to making the list of things to be concerned about -- in the world of working dogs or otherwise.
Not everything in the world needs to be legislated, and this is something that fits under the umbrella of "leave it alone and let freedom ring."
If a breeder of nonworking dogs wants to leave the tails on their dog long, so what? If a breeder wants a sensible working dog with a properly docked tail, so what?
What interest, business or concern is it of society?
The tail docking debate is really about a very small but vocal sector of society wanting to be nannies to the rest of us.
As a general rule these people know very little about dogs, know nothing about working dogs, and do not give a rat's behind about honest animal welfare -- if they did, they would pick a real issue to take action on.
And there are a LOT of real animal welfare issues. How about habitat protection? How about disease control in wild animal populations (rabies, distemper, mange, tuberculosis, chronic wasting disease, West Nile)? How about pushing to lower the price of veterinary care and improving access to it as well? These are real issues.
Fair warning, however -- making a change in these arenas might involve actually going out into the environment with mud, bugs, rain, and cold (Ugh!).
In addition, a real problem might be inconveniently complex and serious (God forbid!), and actually involve something more involved than self-righteous bullying of ignorant legislators and dog owners.
But of course, the tail-docking debate is not really about dogs, is it? It's about people who want to feel smarter and superior to others. These people will always be with us and I suggest they simply find something new to feel smarter and superior about.
If, faced with all the issues and problems in the world (hunger, violence, hurricanes, disease, lack of health insurance, war, poverty, illiteracy, racism, deforestation, violence against women, animal extinctions, loss of global fisheries, pollution, child abuse, etc.), someone thinks tail docking of well-loved pets and working dogs is a major concern worthy of time and energy, they are idiots.
The number of Vermin-Destroyers and Rat-Catchers who ply their avocation in London has of late years become greatly diminished. One cause which I heard assigned for this was that many ruinous old buildings and old streets had been removed, and whole colonies of rats had been thereby extirpated. Another was that the race of rat-catchers had become distrusted, and had either sought some other mode of subsistence, or had resorted to other fields for the exercise of their professional labours.
The rat-catcher's dress is usually a velveteen jacket, strong corduroy trousers, and laced boots. Round his shoulder he wears an oil-skin belt, on which are painted the figures of huge rats, with fierce-looking eyes and formidable whiskers. His hat is usually glazed and sometimes painted after the manner of his belt. Occasionally — and in the country far more than in town — he carries in his hand an iron cage in which are ferrets, while two or three crop-eared terriers dog his footsteps. Sometimes a tamed rat runs about his shoulders and arms, or nestles in his bosom or in the large pockets of his coat. When a rat-catcher is thus accompanied, there is generally a strong aromatic odour about him, far from agreeable; this is owing to his clothes being rubbed with oil of thyme and oil of aniseed, mixed together. This composition is said to be so attractive to the sense of the rats (when used by a man who understands its due apportionment and proper application) that the vermin have left their holes and crawled to the master of the powerful spell. I heard of one man (not a rat-catcher professionally) who had in this way tamed a rat so effectually that the animal would eat out of his mouth, crawl upon his shoulder to be fed, and then 'smuggle into his bosom' (the words of my informant) 'and sleep there for hours.' The rat-catchers have many wonderful stories of the sagacity of the rat, and though in reciting their own feats, these men may not be the most trustworthy of narrators, any work on natural history will avouch that rats are sagacious may be trained to be very docile, and are naturally animals of great resources in all straits and difficulties.
One great source of the rat-catcher's employment and emolument thirty years ago, or even to a later period, is now comparatively a nonentity. At that time the rat-catcher or killer sometimes received a yearly or quarterly stipend to keep a London granary clear of rats. I was told by a man who has for twenty-eight years been employed about London granaries, that he had never known a rat-catcher employed in one except about twenty or twenty-two years ago, and that was in a granary by the river-side. The professional man, he told me, certainly poisoned many rats, 'which stunk so,' continued my informant — but then all evil odours in old buildings are attributed to dead rats — 'that it was enough to infect the corn.
He poisoned two fine cats as well. But I believe he was a young hand and a bungler.' The rats, after these measures had been taken, seem to have deserted the place for three weeks or a month, when they returned in as great numbers as ever; nor were their ravages and annoyances checked until the drains were altered and rebuilt. It is in the better disposition of the drains of a corn-magazine, I am assured, that the great check upon the inroads of these 'varmint' is attained — by strong mason work and by such a series and arrangement of grates, as defy even the perseverance of a rat. Otherwise the hordes which prey upon the garbage in the common sewers, are certain to find their way into the granary along the drains and channels communicating with those sewers, and will increase rapidly despite the measures of the rat-catcher.
The same man told me that he had been five or six times applied to by rat-catchers, and with liberal offers of beer, to allow them to try and capture the black rats in the granary. One of these traders declared he wanted them 'for a gent as vas curous in them there hinteresting warmint'; but from the representations of the other applicants, my informant was convinced that they were wanted for rat-hunts, the Dog Billy being backed for 100 pounds. to kill so many rats in so many minutes. 'You see, sir,' the corn merchant's man continued, 'ours is an old concern, and there's black rats in it, great big fellows; some of 'em must be old, for they're as white about the muzzle as is the Duke of Wellington, and they have the character of being very strong and very fierce. One of the catchers asked me if I knew what a stunning big black rat would weigh, as if I weighed rats! I always told them that I cared nothing about rat-hunts and that I knew our people wouldn't like to be bothered; and they was gentlemen that didn't admire sporting characters.'
The rat-catchers are also rat-killers. They destroy the animals I sometimes by giving them what is called in the trade 'an alluring poison.' Every professional destroyer, or capturer, of rats will pretend that as to poison he has his own particular method — his
secret — his discovery. But there is no doubt that arsenic is the basis of all their poisons.
If the rats have to be taken alive, they are either trapped, so as not to injure them for a rat-hunt (or the procedure in the pit would be accounted 'foul'), or if driven out of their holes by ferrets, they can only run into some cask, or other contrivance, where they can be secured for the 'sportman's' purposes.
The grand consumption of rats, is in Bunhill-row, at a public-house kept by a pugilist. A rat-seller told me that from 200 to 500 rats were killed there weekly, the weekly average being, however, only the former number; while at Easter and other holidays, it is not uncommon to see bills posted announcing the destruction of 500 rats on the same day and in a given time. Dogs are matched at these and similar places, as to which kills the greatest number of these animals in the shortest time. I am told that there are forty such places in London, but in some only the holiday times are celebrated in this small imitation of the beast combats of the ancients.
To show the nature of the sport of rat- catching, I print the following bill, of which I procured two copies. The words and type are precisely the same in each, but one bill is printed on good and the other on very indifferent paper, as if for distribution among distinct classes. The concluding announcement, as to the precise moment at which killing will commence, reads supremely business-like:
RATTING FOR THE MILLION!A Sporting Gentleman,Who is a Staunch Supporter of the destruction of these Vermin will GIVE A
GOLD REPEATER WATCH,TO BE KILLED FOR BY DOGS
Under 13£Kw. Wt.15 RATS EACH!TO COME OFF AT JEMMY MASSEY'S,KING'S HEADCOMPTON ST., SOHO,On Tuesday, May 20, 1851To be killed in a Large Wire Pit. A chalkCircle to be drawn in the centre for the Second.—Any man touching Dog or Rats, or acting in anyway unfair his dog will be disqualified.To go to Scale at Half past7 Killing to Commence At Half past 8 Precisely.