Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Jungle cat



The jungle cat is a medium-sized cat native to Asia from southern China in the east through Southeast and Central Asia to the Nile Valley in the west. It is listed as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as it is widespread and common particularly in India. Population declines and range contraction are of concern, particularly in Egypt, in the Caucasus, and in southwestern, Central and Southeast Asia.

Geographic variation in the jungle cat is quite considerable. Due to the small tuft on the ears it is also called the jungle lynx, though it is not a member of the Lynx genus.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Asplenium


Asplenium is a genus of about 700 species of ferns, often treated as the only genus in the family Aspleniaceae, though other authors consider Hymenasplenium separate, based on molecular phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequences, a different chromosome count, and structural differences in the rhizomes. The type species for the genus is Asplenium marinum.

Many groups of species have been separated from Asplenium as segregate genera. These include Camptosorus, Ceterach, Phyllitis, and Tarachia, but these species can form hybrids with other Asplenium species and because of this are usually included in a more broadly defined Asplenium.

Some of the older classifications elevate the Aspleniaceae to the taxonomic rank of order as Aspleniales. The newer classifications place it in the subordinal group called eupolypods within the order Polypodiales. Within the eupolypods, Aspleniaceae belongs to a clade informally and provisionally known as eupolypods II.

It has been found that in some species, the chloroplast genome has evolved in complex and highly unusual ways. This makes standard cladistic analyses unsuited to resolve the phylogeny of that particular group of ferns, and even very sophisticated computational phylogenetics methods yield little information. In addition to hybridization running rampant in parts of this genus, there are also some species like the mother spleenwort (A. bulbiferum) or A.

viviparum which mainly reproduce asexually, essentially cloning themselves over and over again. While most are diploid or tetraploid, some species (e.g. A. shuttleworthianum) are octoploid.

The most common vernacular name is spleenworts, applied to the more "typical" species. A. nidus and several similar species are called bird's-nest ferns, the Camptosorus group is known as walking ferns, and distinct names are applied to some other particularly well-known species.

Tuesday, 13 December 2005

Does someone smell something burning? Oh its just Tookie.


Sorry I haven’t posted in a long time, but I have been waging a personal battle against whether or not to continue saying controversial things on this blog. Alas this death penalty talk has smoked me out of my cave, but first a disclaimer.

The opinions put forth by Jungle Cat, and/or Devi’ls Advocate are not necessarily the opinions of the authors of this blog, rather they are carefully calculated to be controversial, offensive, and downright dastardly. Too much non-critical parroting of the popular opinion right or wrong makes me physically ill. This blog is my tums.

That being said, on with the show . . .

The death penalty is a just and proper punishment, at least in theory. I believe that the death penalty is truly deserved for some crimes, and by some people. The only problem I have with the death penalty is how it is currently meted out. The idea of reserving the death penalty only for murderers, and only for those murders committed with special circumstances is right on, the problem is that the current character of “special circumstances” isn’t so special. I challenge you to look at the special circumstances in the code, and to think up a hypo where a first degree murder is committed, but where there aren’t any death qualifying special circumstances. Any hypo you come up with is sure to be ridiculous. If the special circumstances were indeed special such as murder involving torture, or other particularly heinous acts than I would whole heartedly support the death penalty.

As for Tookie the man deserved what he got. He shot a man lying face down on the floor with a shotgun . . . twice. Moreover, he founded the crips. Whatever cleansing he has accomplished with his immortal soul over the past decade is for the afterlife to deal with, but the social damage he caused by founding the crips was for California to deal with.

Now for the controversial part. Repentant or unashamed, good man or bad, Tookie’s death was beneficial for California. The media circus surrounding Tookie, and his high profile execution meant that his execution had to go forward. The message to would be wrong doers, that repentance after the fact is insufficient to escape the cold clammy hands of justice, was essential.

If Tookies knee jerk supporters (Yeah right like he was an innocent man. Free Mumia free Mumia, er. . . Tookie.) realy wanted him to receive clemency, they should have kept the static down. Instead they painted Schwarzenegger into a corner. Sometimes I think that liberals are their own worst enemies. Maybe someday I will spearhead the liberal resurgence, I already have a plan. All I need to do is start placing Machievelli’s “The Prince” in every hotel room. I can be the Anti-Gideon. That way when the liberal elite are done having sex with their mistresses they can brush up on power politics and maybe learn how to win a few fights.

Wednesday, 9 November 2005

I propose you all shut the #&^@ up!!!


I propose you all shut the #&^@ up!!!
Well, as most of you already know, none of Arnold’s propositions passed. I find myself quite conflicted by this outcome. The proposition system in California is an abomination, and if I had my way all current and future propositions would be sunsetted. On the other hand I whole heartedly supported most of Arnold’s propositions. It is not that I think that they were brilliant policy so much as I thought that they were necessary.

The unions (which I hate and will rail against at a later date) have too much political power nowadays, and I liked that Arnold was slapping their wrists. They would have quickly found a loophole in Prop 74 and would have continued interfering, but they would have been on notice. Also, I detest protectionism in any form so I was pleased that tenure was being made more elusive. Let’s face it; teachers who are not at the graduate, undergraduate, or research level do not need tenure. We don’t want them deviating from the curriculum and so we don’t need them to have intellectual freedom. They are and should be merely tools of the state. Finally, I find it horribly hypocritical that most Californians criticize Bush for his borrow and spend tendencies, and then support those exact same tendencies (which on a proportional basis are much worse) here in California. Any proposition, even one which gives more power to the governor, is better than the current situation. Arnold is right, California is addicted to spending money, and the habit needs to be controlled by someone.

Back to why I detest the proposition system. The way I see it there are three major failings of the proposition system;


People are generally incompetent.

We don’t have a direct democracy for precisely this reason. People don’t have the time, inclination, or the intellectual horsepower to really consider all of the effects of the propositions that they are asked to vote on. Legislators are barely competent to make the decisions that they make, and they theoretically spend all of their time thinking about policy. Also consider the fact that most citizens today lack a quality education, or the ability to think critically, and yet have enormous power to control all of our destinies.

Because our society is made up of cognitive misers (see above), special interest groups have vastly disproportionate power through propaganda. For an example of this, see any commercial run by the teachers, firemen, and nurse’s union in the past 4 months. These commercials were nonsensical emotional appeals based purely upon the proven fact that most people place a great deal of faith in workers in these categories. Like it or not, the proposition system is the closest thing in our society to paying for policy.

Propositions last long beyond the time that they have become obsolete. Essentially Californians are carrying an ever growing stone around their necks. Currently 80% of the state budget is spent before the government ever gets to start making policy. 80 fucking percent!!! This is ludicrous. How can we blame any government in this state for our problems when 80% of the spending decisions were mismanaged not by the government but by voters (many of whom have been dead for a generation or more)? Fuck fucking fuckity fuck!!! I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.


Monday, 31 October 2005

Child Molesters are just unlucky


I hate self-aggrandizing, holier than thou public interest law students. I find that these people feel superior to those of us following the biglaw route, and chasing the biglaw money. It’s as though they assume that serving the poor or disenfranchised is in some way morally superior to serving big corporations. I am of the opinion that no one is for any reason ever truly morally superior to another.

A child molester for instance is not morally inferior to some hippy member of the Berkeley law foundation. My reasoning for the foregoing statement is that nobody does anything that they don’t want to do, unless they are actually coerced into acting. Public service oriented people do public service because that is what makes them happy. They are lucky that they have been programmed to enjoy an activity which society deems to be admirable. Child molesters, on the other hand, are cursed with a compulsion to act in a way which society deems (rightfully so) to be illegal and repulsive. Child molesters are doomed to live life sexually unfulfilled. Who is the superior being? The law student who does public service because that is how they get their jollies, or the child molester who manages to control their urges, thereby living an incomplete life? What about the child molester who once succumbs to his urges, and then never again? Can that person be deemed morally superior to the law student who compulsively helps others like a crack addicted rat in a cage? I think that he might. There are no moral absolutes; just because I am programmed to like plasma televisions, fast cars, and fine vintage port does not make me less of a person.

My point is that you can wipe that superior smile right off your fucking face. You know who you are.

Monday, 10 October 2005

The Pillory


The Pillory
          Ever since I was an undergraduate I’ve thought that it would be a good idea to reinstitute the pillory. Before we get into that discussion let me back up a little bit.

As this is a new blog I feel like I should provide at least some minimal insight into the cornucopia of brilliance that is my mind. To that end I will provide two insights.
The thing I most despise in all of life is philosophically inconsistent people. (You can look forward to posts ridiculing the anti-globalization movement, affirmative action supporters, religious extremists, and some environmentalist groups.)

I worship efficiency. Efficiency is the highest goal to which we should all aspire. Some would argue that enlightenment is in fact the highest goal, but having reached enlightenment long ago I can say with certainty that it is not. (I urge all of you to simply accept that I am right about this. You can’t possible win in an argument with me because until you reach the stage of enlightenment you can’t possibly understand what exists beyond enlightenment.)

Back to the pillory.

     One afternoon, approximately 5 years ago, I found myself sitting in an undergraduate class minding my own business and trying to ignore the inane lecture as best as I could. The class I was taking was taught by a professor who was worshipped by all of the Birkenstock wearing shower fearing hippy losers, and stupid comments were not an uncommon occurrence. Suddenly I was hit with the feeling that I had been struck in the back of the head. I felt disoriented, dizzy, and ill. But friends this was no ordinary physical attack, oh no I had been pistol whipped by quite possibly the dumbest comment I had ever heard. Some anti-globalization shit head had just made some comment suggesting that the 3rd world would be better off without any contact with the civilized peoples of the world. His comment specifically included an immediate end to all food aid. Now frankly I don’t care about most 3rd world countries. Their inefficiencies make them a drain on all of proper society, but even I would not have been so stupid as to suggest that food aid be cut off. It was while I was recovering from this idiocy that I first came upon the solution of the pillory.

     I propose that whenever a particularly stupid comment is made in class, an all too common occurrence at Boalt, very large men in very dark colored suits with even darker sun glasses should drag the offender away. The offender should be marched to Sproul plaza where their quote will be painted on a sign to be hung about their neck. The perpetrator will be placed in the stocks for a variable period of time depending upon the severity of the offence, and whether or not they are a repeat offender.

There are several benefits to such a proposal.
Stupid and distracting comments will be deterred. Deterrence is achieved both through shaming, and through temporary incapacitation.

Class discussion will be more efficient. Permissive professors will no longer be able to allow a single idiot to derail an entire class for ten minutes.

Students can actively engage in the shaming of their peers thereby channeling any hostility or frustration that they may have in a constructive manner.

Finally, and most importantly humor. Who wouldn’t find the stupid quotes funny once they have been taken out of their potentially destructive classroom context.

Several of my readers are probably mildly upset at this modest proposal. “But Jungle Cat surely this will have a chilling effect on class discussion” you whine. True, true, all true. However, while some of you see lemons I see lemonade. It is total cliché bullshit that students benefit from discussion initiated by their fellow students. I have never learned anything of import or substance from my peers, and it’s not because I haven’t listened. There is a reason most professors come from Harvard or Yale and were at the top of their class, and that is because most of your peers are downright frauds.  

I NEED YOUR HELP!!!        

Now I recognize that this proposal will never work no matter how many people might find themselves agreeing with me that it would make their experiences at Boalt so much better. Therefore, I would like this blog to become a virtual pillory. Please feel free to post the stupidity of your peers along with a few choice comments of your own. You might even feel that some of the things that I say are, gasp improper, if that is the case than feel free to try your hand at shaming me. Good luck with that one.        

One last note, feel free to post quotes that you find amusing, offensive, stupid, or particularly telling, but do not post the name of the individual who uttered them. It is my preference that at least in this forum we should stick to private shaming.

Saturday, 8 October 2005

Filthy luddites


Does anyone listening to my ranting have any special words or phrases that they like to use on a regular basis, but which are uncommon?

The other day, as I was walking through the long narrow hallway which connects the east and west wings of Boalt, I started calling all of the people who were slowing me down “filthy luddites.” Of course I was doing this under my breath as I am generally non-confrontational. (This blog is anonymous after all). The genius of calling someone a  filthy luddite is that it implies that you are “progress”. Nothing appeals to me more than to think of myself as progress. Calling someone a luddite then is multi-tasking, it is both an insult, and a mid-day affirmation. Try it yourself, I think you will find it to be incredibly refreshing.

Please post any special words or phrases you have to offer.