Monday, May 22, 2006

Tiktaalik lick my ...

For those of you in the Freaky Fish scene you’ve probably heard enough Tiktaalik roseae by now. (Tiktaalic is a newly discovered fishapod that represents an evolutionary bridge between land tetrapods and fish for those of you living in caves.) Neil Shubin and Ted Daeschler discovered Tiktaalik in northern Canada and reported their finding in the April 6, 2006 issue of Nature. The NY Times did a story on Tiktaalik shortly after, I saw the NY Times, and then I did a story on Tiktaalik for Bluefishcanoe (only narrowly missing scooping the Times). However, blogger failed to publish the story and it was lost to Internet oblivion.

First I assumed the loss of my Tiktaalik story resulted from the usual technological fowl ups that occur when you don’t really know how to make a website. Then I took a closer look at Tiktaalik. Here she is:

Tiktaalik looks exactly like a papier-mâché alligator Mike Murphy and I made (my mom made) in a third grade science fair (papier-mâché alligator not shown). We won third place. But it doesn’t stop there. Maybe the Establishment in the Tiktaalik discovery and reporting scene didn’t want our team consisting for 1986 versions of myself, Mike Murphy and my mom to get the credit we deserve. Using a combination of intuition, luck, and brilliance we predicted the Tiktaalik find without even knowing it, and now They are trying to keep us down. Isn’t it obvious?

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Bluefish Canoe rejoins the masses

I took a Greyhound bus ride from NYC to Worcester last week. While I waited in line to board the bus a long metal pole fell through a hole in the ceiling and landed about 8 feet in front of me. I later learned this pole was called a “strut”. The crash, which nearly killed about ten people, rattled the crazies in the line to the bus to Worcester out of their peaceful mumbling to their shoes. Crazy people love action like this, and they started buzzing around recounting the incident, each time placing themselves closer to falling strut. I began imagining things that could fall from the ceiling and takeout an organ or limb of high enough importance for a healthy cash payout, but low enough to not hinder sexual prowess or cause loss of life. (Note to self: make list of such organs for another blog. Preliminary list: appendix, left little finger, brain.)

The bus to Hartford was uneventful with the usual Greyhound stock characters including: college student male, college student female, maternally built Latina on cell phone for 3 hours, Asian senior citizen female able to sleep for the entire ride despite Latina on phone, obese Americans (many and of any/unknown gender).

Things naturally got worse as we got on the bus from Hartford to Worcester declining steadily as Worcester neared. A self-described Old Hippie guy in full rubber raingear sat next to a young African American man. At first glance it seemed they may have little in common, but they proved false another stereotype as they were united in the common bond of being fall down drunk at noon. Two overlapping monologues in ensued. Old Hippie eventually out talked young African American waxing at great length about how Old Hippie shut down Seabrook nuclear power plant and how his mother’s boyfriend was trying to kill him. It wasn’t annoying as much as it was powerfully depressing. I’ll leave you on that note.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Bluefish Canoe Goes Cannibal

The Smoked Salmon and I went to Nobu to celebrate the anniversary of her hatching. Nobu, one of NYC’s fanciest restaurants, requires one make a reservation weeks in advance; then the day before the potential diner is required to call confirming his/her reservation. I didn’t confirm my reservation in time, and Nobu authorities called me. They asked me my name (having already known it: they called me). They then acted as if I had no reservation and was some lunatic scamming my way into Nobu (again after having called me to confirm the reservation). I guess they figure their customers couldn’t bare with losing that moment at a fancy restaurant where the hostess can’t find your reservation and acts like you botched the plans. We eventually got there and the food was really good.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Brand new pair of Sox

I’ve done an about-face on the new Red Sox after they took 2 of 3 games from the Yankees at “The Stadium” and won the first Sox -Yankees game at Fenway. We've been rained out for a few days, but we'll still be hot. Against the Yankees, Lowell and Loretta were awesome Willy Mo was fine and Papelbon is reaching “I wouldn’t be mad at my girlfriend for sleeping with him” status at a meteoric rate.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

RNC in NYC 04

At the Republican National Convention in NYC two years ago, there was this long controversy because protestors wanted to rally at Central Park, but the city wouldn't let them. Mayor Bloomberg made two arguments against using the park that were so inane, they were demeaning. Argument 1) protests will hurt the grass. Argument 2) terrorists will be able to get to protestors more easily in the Park than on the city streets where the mayor intended to confine all demonstrations. It always hurts when the mayor puts fancy horticulture above 1st amendment rights, but I found the second "we're doing this for your own good" reason particularly vile. At the time, there were rumors that Bush did not want protestors to amass at Central Park because it would make clear how large their numbers were. It’s possible Bloomberg kept protestors out of Central Park partially as a favor to Bush, and partially because he spent a lot of his personal millions to restore grass at the Park (the security issue was a joke).

The protests in the streets happened. It’s no secret that police dislike protestors. Some protestors may deserve this sentiment; for example Critical Mass is stupid. From what I can tell it’s a protest that protests the last Critical Mass protest. Even outside Critical Mass, if you’re a punk kid and you want to yell at the cops, throw stuff at them, set off smoke bombs, and generally ask to get arrested at demonstrations, then the NYC Police Department will happily accommodate your wishes. I imagine, you will be an easy arrest. That type of punk kid was not who was protesting during the Republican National Convention. It was moms and dads, grandparents, a few vets, and students of all colors from every demographic in NYC and beyond. And the cops treated everyone like punk kids. I was there and I didn’t see one person break a law or disrespect a cop. Still 240 people were arrested. As part of this, newspapers are now reporting on incidents where people were arrested at Fulton Street and Herald Square possibly without getting intelligible instructions on how to avoid arrest. Cops didn’t use bullhorns, but yelled at the crowds. Protestors may not have heard them, responded in a manner unsatisfying to police, and got arrested. All the police commissioner Raymond Kelly had to say was that cops don’t need to warn protestors before arresting them. This may be a violation of the First Amendment. Let’s look at the entire amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

What’s that next to freedom of the press (I see nothing about permits)? Does Ray Kelly mean to argue that failure to respond quickly to possibly inaudible directions from a cop constitutes a non-peaceable assembly? All you have to be is peaceful at a protest. Slow or confused responses to an officer’s orders which some may not have clearly heard is in my mind peaceful.

If by some chance you’re still reading and you’re interested in writing a polite email to Bloomberg expressing your thoughts on this or any other issue you can do so through this link.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sex in the City Is My Least Favorite TV Show Ever

I watched Memoirs of a Geisha the other day and as with all Hollywood movies pretending to be something other than the end product of a cliché blender, all cultural themes in the film were hammered on the audience’s heads sometimes by a mad narrator carpenter. In Memoirs of a Geisha the narrator/carpenter continually reminded us that the best hope a Geisha had of happiness and success was to attach herself to a wealthy powerful married man and live as his personal concubine. The audience oos and awes over how terribly unfair 20th century gender dynamics in Japan were and then knowingly concludes things aren’t so different here—are they?

To answer that question, I submit Sex in the City. It’s the same show narrator and all. In both shows women need men. Women spend all day talking about men and bitching each other in attempts to acquire men—almost entrap them if needed. And all my sophisticated female friends love the show. Does a smugly self aware red headed character somehow make reinforcing a male dominated world okay? What I hate most about Sex in the City has little to do with it’s anti-feminism I must admit. What I really hate is the contrived cuteness of it all. They’re glamorous and they know it, but everything is expressed with little diminutives, “on a tiny little island we call Manhattan I met my little friends for brunchie,” or “in the tiny cutesy Soho club scene bla, bla, bla…” You are cool, just admit it. Anything else is a modesty so false I may puke.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Round 1

It's the first Sox v. Yankees game tonight, and here at Blue Fish Canoe we typically advocate for peace and prosperity. However tonight, we have the exception that proves the rule. If this game is lopsided by 3 runs or more, I say we send in Julian Tavares to hit Yankee batters (first Damon, the Jeter) until an old fashion bench clearer breaks out. And Willie Mo Pena better lead the charge or I'm going to have trouble accepting this years Sox team as anything but candy-ass pretenders. After losing a series to the D-rays, I just can't warm up to these new Sox.