Scientific Killings

Commercial whaling is making a comeback – Iceland kills whale, breaking international ban:

Iceland’s Fisheries Ministry has estimated there are more than 43,000 minke whales and 25,000 fin whales in Iceland’s coastal waters. A limited commercial hunt, it has said, would be “consistent with the principle of sustainable development.”
Iceland stopped commercial whaling in 1986 and scientific whaling in 1989. It resumed scientific whaling in 2003.

Japan has been using that excuse for decades, of course.

It’s sad seeing such huge, magnificent creatures slaughtered for our consumption; but like most resources, if there’s money to be had…

At least sealers don’t have the gall to call their harvest “scientific sealing”.

Anyone want to do some scientific cowing?

Think Before You Steal

think pink signAs I reported previously, Tommyboy is looking to get voted on his town’s council; however, his pink election signs are being stolen:

They’ve been disappearing at an alarming rate since the first ones went up Saturday night, he said.
“If it keeps up, he’ll have none left long before election day.”
Pink figures it must be people collecting the unusual signs, rather than anyone trying to damage his campaign. The eight inch by 48-inch signs simply say “Think” against a solid pink background.
“All I’m saying is think. You don’t have to vote for me. Vote for someone else if you want, just think about it.”

Update (Oct. 28, 2006): Tom told me he found the sign while googling for tom pink political sign. It’s from It’s the one on the right. Click it for a large version of it (from the original photographer).

Update (Nov. 14, 2006): Tommyboy won. To quote him:

What the fuck have I done….I got on…last spot…beat the incumbent by 250 votes…only new guy to get on..

An Abandoned Book

Don’t you hate it when you can’t finish a book?

I recently began reading Pilgrim by Timothy Findley. I read his novel, The Piano Man’s Daughter, when it came out years ago and enjoyed it, though I don’t remember much about it except a sentence that went something like: “She had the kind of smile that told the world to go to hell.” I picked Pilgrim randomly from my bookshelf.

It’s about a guy, Pilgrim, who doesn’t want to live, but he comes back to life every time he tries to kill himself. He’s declared officially dead, but then he somehow starts breathing again. The story takes place in a mental hospital after his latest suicide attempt. Carl Jung is his doctor. A large portion of the novel consists of a journal written by Pilgrim and read by Jung who’s trying to figure this guy out.

I gave up on the novel about halfway through it (page 250 or so). Timothy Findley’s writing is finely-crafted, and the story is interesting. But I had ten years of interesting as an undergrad and graduate student. After a while, interesting just doesn’t cut it. I was also bored by the company of Findley’s writing. I can understand why he’s so popular with academics; his writing is very proper and polite and ripe for analysis. After 250 pages of that and not much happening, I couldn’t take it anymore.

What books have you had to give up on?