Sunday, July 18, 2021

Dingoes: making cattle farms more profitable

 A Brisbane man with no formal medical qualifications who filmed himself performing “backyard” consensual castration surgeries on two men has been handed a suspended sentence and will be released from jail on probation.

Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend

What people in other forums are saying about public policy...

The Diary Review: In search of water.

For some of his expeditions at least, Allan Cunningham kept journals and these appeared in print for the first time in Early Explorers in Australia. From the log-books and journals published by Lee Methuen & Co in 1925. Both The Allan Cunningham Project and Gutenberg of Australiahave the full text freely available online. Here are a few extracts from Cunningham’s diary of his early expedition through the Blue Mountains.

What is the nature of German discrimination against Muslims?

Best Action Reel during Lick Down

“Our findings. “I’m a libertarian, so it’s usually obvious to me what’s awful about both parties.”  This piece is about the book world.  Best Slate article in ages.

When is a secret meeting for lobbying not a secret meeting?

ICAC urges ban on secret meetings with lobbyists.  In other words, ICAC practitioners imagine a new system for governing…or do they?   What is ‘their system’s’ purpose and how might it work out in the long run?  Some general features pertain.... 

Winter blooms

Controlling lobbyists is needed to increase trust in government

Good and bad government behaviour, the management of crises, lack of accountability, preferencing of mates, the favouring of powerful interests, undue influence and lobbying, they all impact on people’s trust in government.... 

Dingoes: making cattle farms more profitable
July 7, 2021 1:10 AM    Subscribe

Dingoes are considered a non-native wild dog in Western Australia. A giant fence through the country has been designed to prevent dingoes from entering the state. However, studies have shown that they are effective at controlling the feral foxes and cats that are destroying native wildlife. Now pastoralists who have seen massive benefits from allowing dingoes to return to their ranches are campaigning for a broader restoration program.

Have you ever written a full paper for a subject without much effort at all? Alternatively, have you defended your position (whether in a personal conversation or in a more academic setting) through purposefully convoluted arguments that really aren’t that good? Well, it seems that our ability to bullshit through real life events is a sign of intelligence. The proof lies in a study published in Evolutionary Psychology

The researchers measured respondents’ intelligence through a cognitive ability test, and tested their ability to bullshit through a verbal exercise that required them to explain 10 concepts (like general relativity), only the catch was that some concepts didn’t even exist. The researchers found the skilled bullshitters who satisfyingly and persuasively tried to explain completely made up theories 

Bullshitting Your Way In Life Is A Sign Of Intelligence 

To be born with an odd or funny-sounding name seems at first like a curse, but for the strong and irony-minded it turns into a blessing. My paternal grandfather, whom I never knew, probably didn’t look at it that way. When he emigrated from Poland early in the twentieth century, his surname was Kurpiewski, an ungainly mouthful for most Americans. Late in the teens, after serving in the U.S. Army in Europe, he shortened the name to Kurp, a mere four letters, and yet it’s remarkable how often the word is misspelled and mispronounced. I’ve often been mistaken for an heir to the German arms manufacturing fortune. Nor do I make espresso machines. 

We learned early as kids that Kurp rhymes with burp. And the not-unrelated slurp. And chirp and usurp. Nothing flattering. Later, we added Earp(as in Wyatt and Virgil) to the poetic stockpile. KURP looks like a radio station’s call letters. It’s a blunt name suited for hollering, as by a drill instructor. My middle son came up with Kurpelicious  to describe toothsome foodstuffs, and his boarding-school friends coined Kurpies(rhymes with herpes). Last week, in the Albany, N.Y., airport, my oldest son met a female Kurp whose daughter is the assonantly named Katie Kurp. (Nice to meet you, Katie! Be strong.) The effect of all this linguistic vulnerability is to make Kurps proud and secure in their inheritance. 


Thanks to John David Cochran, a Marine Corps veteran and convict, I’ve learned there’s even more rhyming fun to be had. In the summer 2021 issue of The Threepenny Review you’ll find his essay titled “Gurp.” His etymology of the word is rather involved and Kurpeliciously distasteful, but worth reading. Let him explain:


“Leaving the pill line, inmates are required to open their mouths, lift their tongues, and run their fingers around their gums while a guard examines with a flashlight. Makes it tough to hide a pill. The solution: swallow the pill and don’t take any water with it. After leaving the pill line and making it several feet around the corner of the building . . . gurp . . . up comes the pill. They puke it out.”