Dream of the Dragon

Category: jokes

Eating Cartoons

by Justin

Even in my more carnivorous days the practice of anthropomorphizing the source animals never made sense to me, especially since it usually took the form of a joyous cartoon character.

The last neighborhood I lived in was largely Latin American, and the local carnicerias often had some winking cow or top-hat tipping pig on the awning. When I ate meat, part of the joy in eating came from the ease in ignoring the animal slaughtered to provide the food. But going to a Carolina BBQ restaurant and seeing Porky grinning up, even as a kid that was a little unsettling.

Maybe the idea, not necessarily unsuccessful for most of its audience, is to present the animal as an enthusiastic participant and even an advocate for the consumption of his or her species. You know, if a cow threw a comic grin at me and pleaded that I eat his brethren (or him) maybe I’d oblige. As I consider it, those cartoon icons may in reality (?!) be a dark cannibalistic element in the ranks of other pigs, cows, and chickens. Read the rest of this entry »

Real Shenanigans

by Justin

I wonder if this thing will boil down to a bizarre fluke, underhanded politics, or straight up criminal manipulation.

This past Tuesday Alvin Greene, an unemployed Army veteran with no political background, won South Carolina’s Democrat nomination for the U.S. Senate. In this age of internet campaigning and the sudden celebrity possible through YouTube that kind of success isn’t all that outlandish. Mr. Greene doesn’t need the edge of sharing the name of a recently deceased long time Senator – these are strange days for traditional publicity building.

What’s remarkable, though, is that Alvin Greene produced not one advertisement, gave no speeches, and spent no more money than the $10,400 required to get your name on the ballot. The man’s nothing but a question mark and he won the Senate nomination. He has no cell phone and only checks his email two or three times a week at the local library in the 4000 strong town of Manning, S.C.  I can’t pin down, and it doesn’t seem like informed analysts can either, how he managed to wrangle 59% of the vote. Read the rest of this entry »

Resurrecting Mammoths

by Justin

Hold on to your butts. University of Manitoba professor Kevin Campbell has ushered in an era of “virtual scientific time travel” by recreating the hemoglobin of the long extinct woolly mammoth. And if that immediately reminds you of Jurassic Park, it’s only going to get more uncanny:

Campbell and his team were able to extract DNA from three woolly mammoths preserved in the Siberian permafrost. And because mammoths are so similar to elephants, he was able to modify living elephant DNA, letter by letter, to make working mammoth genes. He inserted those genes into e. coli bacteria.

Then, Campbell says, “the e.coli simply followed the recipe” and made mammoth hemoglobin that did “everything it would have done if it had been inside a mammoth.”

That’s taken from the NPR All Things Considered story about this latest bit of science fiction. Read the rest of this entry »