The Darwin Exception

because it's not always survival of the fittest – sometimes the idiots get through

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I Learned it in AFCA 05/11/07 – 05/17/07

Posted by thedarwinexception on May 25, 2007

I’m still behind in AFCA. I blame it on Phil Spector and Rainman – and Veronique, because she has a whole 1,000 post thread in AFCA devoted to her.


Sheep aren’t big on personal hygeine

Netflix figures that the envelopes are going to be returned at about 100% and so has always paid for returns at the single piece first class rate, which today is .41.  The problem with the envelopes is that prepaid returns didn’t really exist until Netflix came up with the idea, so the USPS didn’t have an envelope prototype that indicated that.  They got around that by using a Business Reply Envelope and, in effect, telling any employees that cared to not charge Netflix, they had already paid.  It took until last year to design and implement the Permit Reply Envelope.

In Australia there are only three days now where shops etc. are closed by law. They are Christmas day, Good Friday, and the morning of Anzac day.

Gelatin is the new gateway drug

“In 1642, seventeen-year-old Thomas Granger, a servant to ‘an honest man of Duxbury’, was convicted of having sexual relations with ‘a mare, a cow, two goats, five sheep, two calves, and a turkey.’ Taking their lead from Leviticus, Bradford and his fellow magistrates executed Granger on September 8, 1642, but not until the boy had witnessed the killing of his animal paramours, which were all buried in a pit.”

Several studies conducted in Europe on about 2,000 smokers and presented in November at an American Heart Association conference showed that a year after initial treatment with varenicline, abstinence rates were 22 percent, versus 16 percent among those given Zyban. Just 8 percent of those given dummy medicines had stopped after a year.

Put a CFL in place of a 60-watt incandescent bulb, and you save about $30 in electrical costs over the life of the CFL.  More important, you avoid over 80 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually.  And if every household in the country made the switch in just one socket, it would be the global warming equivalent of yanking 800,000 cars off the road, according to Richard Karney, an official with the federal EnergyStar program, which promotes energy efficiency.

Fortunately, a simple test exists to determine if an egg is as edible as it looks. There is a small air pocket in the large end of an egg. When the egg is fresh, the pocket is only about 1/8th of an inch deep and about as large around as a dime. As the egg ages, it loses both moisture and carbon dioxide so that the size of the air space increases, making the egg (among other things) more buoyant. So, if you submerge a very fresh egg in water, it will lie on the bottom. An egg that is a week or so old will lie on the bottom but bob slightly. An egg that is three weeks or so old will balance on its small end. And a bad egg will float.”

the position of the toilet paper on the holder is the origin of the greeting expression, “How are they hanging?”.


In the beginning, there were kings.  The king is not the government. The government works for the king.  In those days the government consisted of people with quaint titles:  Keeper of the Privy Seal, Master of Horse, Wiper of the Royal Bum, and so on.  Since these people worked for the king, he could hire and fire at whim.

The king paid for this in various ways.  There were traditional taxes and duties, there was income from the king’s own lands, there were financial gimmicks such as selling monopolies on stuff like the right to import wine, and so on.  This worked reasonably well in normal times, but from time to time the king had to spend real money:  going to war, or meeting with another king, for example.  When the king needed extra cash he would have to call a parliament and ask for it: very degrading!  Worse, parliament had a habit of demanding concessions:  irrational stuff life they would only vote a grant of money if the king agreed to pull the troops out of Iraq after six more months:  outrageous!

Naturally, the king hated meddling by his inferiors.  But what to do? Charles I tried simply refusing to call a parliament, instead trying to economize, and fudging a bit with the legalities of taxation.  That sort of worked for a while, until it didn’t and he had to call a parliament after all, and boy were they pissed!

A civil war, a beheading, and an invitation to the Dutch to invade later, and England had a modified system.  There still was a king, and the government still in theory worked for him, but Parliament now got to make the appointments.  At first the king still got to do some pretty cool stuff, like commanding the army and vetoing legislation, but gradually Parliament took more and more of that away, until nowadays the queen gets to open supermarkets and breed horses.

The reason Americans find this system confusing is that when the founding fathers wrote the constitution they created a new position, that of President, and more or less gave him the cool jobs that in England still went to the king.  Since we didn’t actually want to have a king they made the Presidential term last only four years, but the job descriptions were otherwise pretty similar.  In some respects the President is stronger:  he needs the Senate to sign off on his cabinet ministers, er, secretaries, but the Senate doesn’t get to undo it once they approve the guy.

So, parliaments?  We pretty much do have that, but we call it “Congress”.  We don’t have votes of no confidence any more than the Brits get to decide they are tired of the current monarch and want a new one.  We don’t dissolve the government because the founding fathers didn’t give Congress the right to call for a do-over.

The key to understanding the difference between the two systems is that ours has seperatation of powers consciously built into it.  The English system does not.  It is the result of centuries of power struggles between the monarch and Parliament, with Parliament winning a complete victory.  Our system can be regarded as a fossilized approximation of the 18th century British status.


It’s raining here in Tucson; I hope you’re happy.

I ran across this while googling feces:

I lift ours up for special occasions. Like, when I have to go.

He practiced animal husbandry until they caught him at it.

Think you’ll be able to rest in peace, with the cat wanting to go out all the time?

If I’d cheated on you and you took everything but my toothbrush, I would NOT use it.

If I lived 30,000 years ago, I’d be dead by now.

Well, look at it this way:  you spelled it correctly.

Shows that you have to be careful to whom you grant tenure.


I do have the maturity and emotional development of a 14 year old

I’m really not that deep, actually

The number of odd facts I have tied up in old infatuations is impressive.

I’ve had a soft spot for Bo Diddley ever since he helped my mother find her tooth.

I have a two year old. It doesn’t matter which way it hangs.

I’m no longer a lawyer, so I’m done with being dishonest and unethical.

I’m proud to be a pointy-end up atheist.

 I’m a lacto/ovo/pork-chop vegetarian

I have a face that’s just perfect for radio.

I’m more than two-dimensional.

I tried to reason that out before posting it, and did a horrible job of it.

You know, I’m not happy unless I’m not happy.

I’ve known women who had icy fingers

I made it up, based on something I read somewhere.

My left hand types faster than my right.

Hey, not only have I never voted for a winner, nobody I voted for has even gotten a single electoral vote.

I have pull with a lot of the restauranteurs around here. All I have to do is give them some money, and they’ll drop what they’re doing and make food for me.

I’ve always been comfortable sneaking into other people’s demographics.


Note the extra-snotty way I spelled “premiss”.


Women. Can’t live with ’em, can’t run ’em through the chipper-shredder

I blame the corkscrew stairs.

I don’t know what it is, but that ain’t it.

at some point the whirling blades have to come into it

This doesn’t make as much sense to me as it seems like it ought to.

You can never get into the mind of a son of a diplomat to the Chilean embassy

So sorry to break with tradition and post relevant information.

Most of us don’t store much fat in our heads.

if you can’t drift in AFCA, where the hell can you drift?

 I have a two year old. It doesn’t matter which way it hangs

If we do nothing else here, we brag well.

I don’t remember what I had in mind. Let’s assume it was the general discussion thing.

Things were a lot simpler when I just had one towel.


You’re not supposed to know technical terms such as “sheath skirt’, you’re a guy.

Maybe you don’t intend to come off the way you do.  But you do sometimes.

you need to associate with a better caliber of loon.


How come he gets <applause> and I get claps?

Which came first, the justification or the ingrainity?

Can you provide a source for that without dropping trou?

How old were they when they stopped using the sink for a toilet?

I’ve known two people who were evidently not happy unless they were bitching about something. It seemed that was what they lived for. Zat you?

What is the environment of a dead twin?

Were they willing to sacrifice your love?

There’s got to be some kind of liquor that involves fish, right?

That makes him look witty, not dumb. Where’s the fun in that?

I don’t want to hire a hit man who can’t pay for his own wireless connection.  How good a shot can he be if he can’t afford $30 a month for DSL?

How many more children have to die before we get tougher gum control?

So, under Coase’s Theorem, do I only have to pay the person actually pissing on my head to stop pissing on my head, or do I have to pay that person, plus everyone else who is physically capable of pissing on my head but hasn’t yet chosen to do so?

Have you ever seen Beckett’s “Happy Days”? The Fonz is nowhere to be seen, I’ll say that.


You are me, and you have my utmost sympathy.


.model trains are intrinsically cool

It’s been awhile since we had any shaggy baboon stories.

It’s always special when someone says I love a man in cuneiform.

Swing is in the inner ear of the beholder.


pink-nosed fish

Evolutionary Behaviorist Zombies – opening for – Unnatural Selection

Satan’s Incompetent Nephew

Sodium Stalkers

Homocidal Stairway

movin’ to Maui

Fighting Profanities

outburst of emtion


Genital Numbness


At the apt. complex I lived at recently there was a Great blue that often made the habit of flying up to a particular neighbors chimney to crap in it.  I never could quite figure out how this person offended the bird but it seemed to be holding a grudge.


There once was a fellow named Brent…
Whose prick was so long that it bent
   Instead of a lass
   he fucked his own ass
But abstained every year during Lent.


Things That Are Self-Wiping


One Response to “I Learned it in AFCA 05/11/07 – 05/17/07”

  1. Opus the Penguin said

    You should skip the 1,000 post thread devoted to Veronique. It’s not very devoted.

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