Silflay Hraka

6/29/2002




So, Arsenal fans can go beat the crap out of him, come home and claim to have single-handedly beaten Manchester United.

Yes, I know that was a piss-poor joke, but I worked on it too long not to post it.


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A Korean Naval Battle.

North Korean fishing boats have entered South Korean territorial waters four times this year.

And when there's a clash, as there was in 1999, North Korea fires first. I wonder how the South Korean Sailors feel, knowing that the other guys are always going to get the first shot, thanks to the Korean Chamberlain.

And just so you won't have to google it, here's a listing of the ships in the North Korean Navy. It looks like the two ships involved in the battler were SO-1 class patrol boats.

It doesn't appear to have been at the same time as the South Korean soccer match against Turkey, but I wonder if the North Koreans weren't trying to insert agents by doing something similar to what these guys are doing.


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William Buckley thinks what capitalism needs right now is some punishment.

In the late l930s, no less a figure than a former president of the New York Stock Exchange went to jail for the misuse of funds. This is not a call to the denial of due process, but a call to the legitimate use of public punishment as a retributive act.

In the public-school lore of Great Britain there is the story of the senior boy nailed for public indecorum and had up for a flogging. He pleads, in deference to his seniority, to be punished outside the view of voyeuristic fellow students. Permission denied, on the grounds that the public humiliation was an essential part of the punishment.

Richard Whitney was sent to jail in l938. We need his successors to go to jail in 2002. The alternative is to sit by, supine in the gestation of a managerial class that violates the very idea of a capitalist class bound by laws and practices which make it a proud part of a free economy, whose leaders in large enterprises have done their best to discredit.


He's right, but the problem is, once a person has enough money, they can delay justice long enough so that when it does come, the populace no longer cares. We've got to get in the shame right at the start, and the media seems to do a decent job of that, though if you actually do turn out to be innocent, there's no way to really erase the tapes.

Also, Richard Whitney went to Sing-Sing. Do you really think that Ken Lay or Scott Sullivan will end up in our equivalent?


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"If you love Me, keep My commandments." John 14:15


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6/28/2002




Elizabeth Smart isn't dead, she's just partaking in that ancient Mormon ritual, the white slave trade.
Link via Vodka.

This is, what, the 472nd entry in our "offending the religious series"? I'm perfectly prepared to believe the Mormon Church is this spooky. It makes the world a much more interesting place, and I'm too old for Sasquatch now.



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Soccer. A boring sport, until it's refereed by the living dead.


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Yep, he's a dumbass.

On the eve of our great national birthday party and in the aftermath of Sept. 11, when millions of us turned to God and prayed for forgiveness of individual and corporate sins and asked for His protection against future attacks, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has inflicted on this nation what many will conclude is a greater injury than that caused by the terrorists.

I didn't really care. Putting "under god" into a pledge written by socialist Baptist (there's a good oxymoron) minister is probably as unconstitutional as putting "In God we trust" on the coinage. It's pretty damn harmless, though. Now, screw it. I want it gone. I also want all the nickels recalled and good Christians like Cal Thomas forced to scrape "God" off them with their teeth.


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Make your own crayons, out of your old crayons.


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Don't ever accuse me of not going back to the well. Little Bastard Yasser has drawn all sorts of attention. Typical. I'll spend hours on things that sink into the depths with nary a ripple, and the dashed-off-just-to-take-up-space-throwaway-stuff gets all the hits. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. Hits is hits. Anyway, some of you (Clover) will recognize this as a variation of something long ago and far away. For the rest, it's to the tune of the seasonal hymn, "Angels We Have Heard on High". Let's hope they're singing it in Baghdad come December.

An Iraqi Christmas Carol

Airplanes we have heard on high.
Bombs are falling from the sky!
Look! there drops one overhead.
Pray it lands in Saddam's bed.

Refrain:
Hey, bomb Baghdad today, don't refrain today, won't you please, America? We could sell the shrapnel.

F-16's and Harriers
from their aircraft carriers
Please, noisy big birds of prey
Bomb the crap out of Uday.

Hey, bomb without delay, Saddam we'll betray, just to please America! We could sell the shrapnel.

(And the ladies sing)
Send Marines and Paratroops
We'll greet them in our birthday suits.
Get them drunk on cheap red wine,
Show them all a real good time.

Hey, open the bomb bay, hurry start the fray, come on now America. We could sell the shrapnel.

(Now the men sing)
What they said applies to us
We won't kick up any fuss.
It's a real small price to pay
To make sure Saddam's wiped away

Hey, bomb Bagdhad today, don't refrain today, won't you please, America? We could sell the shrapnel.


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Here's a Richard Rodgers link for the musicals freaks that make up my in-laws, in Washington this week for the Sondheim Festival. For the rest of you, here's a little quote to sell you on it.

"Some Enchanted Evening

You may see a stranger

You may see a stranger

Across a crowded room ..."

And you walk up to her and say "Do you want to fuck?"


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Well, they can drink in D.C., but they'd best stay out of Georgia.

Links via the Obscure Store


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Meryl's wondering if Laurence Simon and I were separated at birth. This reminds me a friend of mine, Dave, who was known for years as "The Buffalo" at the summer camp we worked at for reasons that made other males green with envy. One night, the girl that had blessed him with this sobriquet accidentally walked in on me while I was changing, in the dark. After about 10 seconds of mutual yet not unwelcome confusion (at least on my part) she said

"Oh, I thought you were Dave!", shrieked, and vacated the premises.

In spite of the obvious fact of her temporary blindess, and the, frankly, over-exaggerated eye-rolling on the part of my friends, I referred to myself as "Buffalo Jr." for the rest of the summer.

So, in answer to your question, Meryl? Yes, yes we were, and every single one of the 33,451 visitors to Amish Tech Support need to be told this.





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So, I'm only going to get worse. Exxxxxxxxxxcellent.

The reasoning behind looks to be flawed, however.

"The tendency to be a little odd or eccentric can often be kept under control in younger people, as they modify their behaviour to social norms," says Peter Tyrer, professor of public mental health at Imperial College, who led the study.

"But as people get older there is evidence of reduced plasticity of the nervous system, which makes them less adaptable and increases expression of their odd personality traits," he says.


I'd say it's more probable that, the older you get, the less likely it is that you give a rat's ass about social norms.


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I don't need to link to this picture, it'll be all over the blogosphere in an hour or so, if it's not already. It's not like it's even a surprise, Palestinians do this all the time. You don't see Tibetans doing this, the East Timorese seemed to have resisted the pressure to celebrate the idea of killing their own children. The Tamil Tigers? Nope. Basque Seperatists? Seems not. The only explanation that makes any sense is that they're just insane.


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Pelted with jelly, rolled in peanut butter, and ridden out of town on a rail.


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6/27/2002




This is why I'm ok with her eating out of the cat's bowl.


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Crooked AND slutty! I think this will probably go down as the greatest challenge in the history of airbrushing.


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Modern Journalism

Blogging Goes Legit. This article hits home for me because of my work for the newspaper. We have been looking at ways to make our news sites more interactive for years, and with sites like SlashDot.org hitting the big time, and the current interest in blogs, it looks like incorporating blog/rants from readers into the content we provide will be the way of the future. We feel that in order for newspaper and news sites to be truly successful, they will have to make readers feel that they are part of the news and the news process.


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6/26/2002

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The Ngnat's current Number #1 bedtime hit is Little Rabbit Foo-Foo, which I am almightily tired of, despite the fact that it was me who taught it to her. So tonight, I made up a new version.

"Little Bastard Yasser"

Little Bastard Yasser
Trying to be like Nasser
Rolling in his blood money
and making war on Jews

Down came the President
And He said;

"Little Bastard Yasser
there's no more laissez passer
Your reign of terror's at an end
Stop making war on Jews!

I've told you once,
I'll tell you two more times
Then I'll, blow you
All the way to the moon!"

The next day.

Little Bastard Yasser
Trying to be like Nasser
Said "That Yankee didn't mean it
I'll go make war on Jews."

Down came the President
And He said;
"Little Bastard Yasser
I didn't go to Vassar
I will no longer be your bitch,
Wake up and read the news."

I've told you once,
I've told you twice,
I'll tell you one more time
Then I'll, smack you,
All the way to Rangoon!"

The next day.

Little Bastard Yasser
Trying to be like Nasser
"To myself be true I must,
I'll go make war on Jews."

Down came the President
And He said;
"Little Bastard Yasser
Your time has come at last, sir
And now you're going to pay the price
for making war on Jews"

I've told you once.
I've told you twice.
I've told you three times.
Now I'm, gonna turn you
into red goo!

And he did.

And the moral of this story is;
Never negotiate with terrorists.

Then there's the alternate ending, which is probably more likely.

I've told you once.
I've told you twice.
I've told you three times.
Now I'm, gonna tell you
a few more times!

And he does.

And the moral of this story is;
If you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself.

I'm hoping she'll stop singing "Lila bassa assa" before her mother comes home.




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In school, you learn penmanship. In Sunday school, you learn penismanship.

A Sunday school teacher who asked a 16-year-old boy to write "What would Jesus do?" on his penis will spend a month on work release, according to the sentencing agreement reached Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court.

"What would Jesus do?" What size font? Anything above a 4 and that kid'll be pretty popular in later life.


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At last! Another use for my army of trained silverfish!


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It's late, it's so late. I've decided we need a way to hold chat sessions over our blog......I want my whole existence to begin and end with this blog.....my God, where is my family?


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6/25/2002





Illogical Continuum

America executes dangerous geniuses.
America executes dangerous dogs.
Why are the dangerous retards being given a free pass?


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Uncle Sam Wants You! To touch him in his secret place.

Link via fellow North Carolinian Cold Fury


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More questions that keep me awake at night

Still pondering Spam. We've already dealt with Ham Spam ("Spam") and Turkey Spam ("Spurkey"). They also make "Lite" Spam and "Smoked" Spam. I ask myself: what about other types of Spam Meat? They could have Beef Spam: "Speef". (Speef...it's what's for dinner, if you can't afford real beef.) What about Chicken Spam? Spicken. Fish Spam? Spish. Or maybe they have a particular type of fish, like Salmon. Spalmon. Or Tuna: Spuna. What about Lamb Spam? Would you call it Spamb? Or Sputton? Vegitarian Spam? Speggie? Maybe it's made of beans. Speans. Maybe it's made of Soy. Spoy.

My friend asked this of me today: if you made a cake from Spam, what kind of icing would you use? I suspect that chocolate is right out. Maybe some kind of mayonnaise or mustard based icing? I dunno. The whole thought disturbed me a little.

Yes, these are the questions with which I occupy my time. You guys can have your serious political discussions. I'll ponder Spam, thank you very much.


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World Cup apathy

I just heard the commercial for the World Cup on television. The slogan? 32 countries. One goal.

32 countries. One goal?

No wonder nobody gives a flying f*ck about soccer around here. All those countries and only one lousy goal between them. Talk about low scoring hell.



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Ok, I spend hours making up insulting Middle Eastern Birds, then I find out that the Egyptian Vulture snacks on its own turds.


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The little engine that couldn't.


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Jonesing For Our Blog

I have to admit that I am getting a little frightened. I am going on vacation for over a week and will most likely not be able to blog during that time. The thought chills me. When Bigwig first mentioned the blog to me I was hesitant, not truly understanding the nature of the beast, or the addictive qualities it would possess. I started blogging and was hooked within minutes. I was absorbed by the possibilities and intoxicated by the lack of boundaries. I inhaled the freedom this blog provided and embarked on a literary journey the end of which I can not imagine.

Still, I recognize my abilities or lack thereof. I understand that my skills as a writer do not challenge those of Harper Lee or Clyde Edgerton, and my knowledge of current events begins with CNN and MSNBC, but I still love to blog. My ideas tend to focus mostly on pop culture or sports, sometimes dabbling in world events or current news stories, areas of which I have few facts but many opinions. Since helping to give birth to the blog I have not been away for more than a weekend. Just enough time to recharge my batteries and reflect on stories that mean something to me. This trip will be very different.

I realize that I will be on vacation, but my mind has now been trained for this blog and will most likely not slow on that front. While lying on the beach, playing in the Ocracoke sand, or showing my daughter the joys of fishing (she is too young to care but I will try), I am sure to be thinking of what I can blog about upon my return. Silflay Hraka is now our blessing and our curse. It is the extra child that none of us planned for, the child that unexpectedly gets dropped off at your house with strict instructions for you to take care of it. Just as a child, without constant attention, Silflay Hraka will most likely weaken and die, and we (Bigwig, Keehar, Fiver and myself) will be solely responsible for its demise. We took this challenge on and we will continue it, however, for a week I will not be a part of its lifeforce.

The blog is the mistress that keeps us working late, the final report that makes us push ourselves. It is our child, and like any good father when he is away for any amount of time…………I will miss her. It is not that I feel that I am the important member of this team, the one who must be present for the blog to continue, I am not. But I am a member of a small team who relishes the opportunity for free speech. A place to put our musings. It is not small to us. I realize I am babbling, but isn't that the point? Goodbye, girl. Take care. See you in a week.


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Taking the 5th

I am not saying that I saw a downloaded version of the movie Mr. Deeds , but if I did, I would say that it is funny and worth seeing.


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I've bought earthworms off the Internet. I can shop here without batting an eye.
Link via dangerousmeta.


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Come get some

Speaking of Brotherhood of the Wolf and classic cinema, have you seen the new Bruce Campbell film-in-the-making? Bubba Ho-Tep. You might remember Bruce Campbell from the Evil Dead trilogy of movies. Words can't describe how excited I am about this movie. If the Web site is any indication, this movie is going to be a real blockbuster.


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House For Sale

Selling a house and moving has got to be one of the worst experiences in the history of life. It causes nothing but stress and creates nothing but work. That stress is compounded when a person moves from state to state and the need to sell the house become crucial and not just convenient. There are a number of avenues you can take in this process. First, you try to sell the house by yourself. This appears to be nothing more than an invitation for all the losers and axe murderers in your city to come by and try to steal your house from you. The following are actual statements made by people on the phone who called in reference to the house:

1. Do I need to have all the money at once?

2. Would I go to a bank to get that kind of money or do you loan it to us?

3. Whew, that is a lot of money………….(silence, caller is waiting for us to immediately realize the error of our pricing)………….sure is a lot…………(more silence)…………yep…………(you guessed it, more silence)……………okay then…………..”CLICK” (I hung up).

People who want to buy your house suck, it is that simple. Granted, we don’t live in a mansion, but does the fact that nobody put an offer on our house (2 came VERY close) suggest that our house is not fit for anyone other than us to live in? Time passes and I begin to look at the house and think, “Yeah, this house does suck, why the hell did we ever buy it?” Of course, it really isn’t that bad, but there is a bit of depression that sets in and the thought that we may NEVER, EVER sell the house begins to fill my mind. So, we quickly move into PLAN B.

This plan involves the hiring of a realtor and the listing of our home. Obviously when you list your home more people come to visit, right? To quote Hertz, “Not Exactly.” I thought that would be the case, but so far that isn’t true. I expected to see someone walk in with a briefcase full of money, put an offer on the house, offer us coffee just before Cal Ripkin shows up to throw baseball with the new occupant’s kid. Unfortunately, none of those things have happened. So, what choices do I have? If I lower the price then I may end up paying someone to buy the house, if I don’t then I may be stuck with a vacation home in a city that I may never visit again. I have been through this experience before and it never is very pleasant, but I have realized that it is simply one of those things that is intended to suck, regardless of how the process unfolds.

Things You Can Count On
1. Death
2. Taxes
3. Men loving porno
4. Selling a house sucks


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Here's a little something to put in the collection plate next Sunday.


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Public Nuisance argues that the Islamic reformation is ongoing. Well, okay. I can buy that argument, but I'd feel better if I could point to an Islamic Erasmus.


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Weblogs, James Gleick's "flavor of the minute".

I'm pretty sure the wife agrees with him, at least as far as I am concerned. She's convinced I have the attention span of an 8 year old who has consumed 2 liters of Mountain Dew and and entire box of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs, now with caffeine!


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I've eaten at most of the places reviewed here. They're definitely the places to take out of town guests. When ya'll leave, though, we return to our first love.


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Questions that keep me up at night

If they call Ham Spam "Spam", why don't they call Turkey Spam "Spurkey"?


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Now that I've passed those two teaming chunks of essay, I can now return to my passion for linking to vicious ephemera


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6/24/2002





The Siflay Hraka Guide to the Birds of the Middle East, Part 1.

The European MynaSturnidae repetitiva - The European Myna is a transient in the area, usually a visitor from Belgium. Though most often found in its natural habitat, European government and press offices, this Myna has successfully been introduced to certain areas of New York City and Atlanta in the US. A species with no call of its own, the European Myna adopts the simplest call arising from the environment around it, typically that of the Palestinian Ring Necked Peasant or the Yellow-Bellied FundSucker in the Middle East, or the Cheese Eating Surrender Parrot in its native environment. It repeats the call incessantly and at a high decibel level until a new call is found. For this reason, the European Myna must be identified visually. Its uncanny accuracy in imitation the cries of other species prevents accurate aural identification

The Yellow-Bellied FundSuckerSphyrapicus arafati - A parasitic species, often found as individuals within a large flock of Ring-Necked Peasants, the FundSucker uses its hypnotic song to wheedle resources from the species that surround it, using them to feather its nest and those of its close relatives. Known past victims of theYellow-Bellied FundSucker include the Israeli Dove and American Contradictory Eagle. As evolutionary pressures have reduced the amount of scratch coming in from the above sources, the Yellow-Bellied FundSucker has switched to a more commensal relationship with the European Myna, which supplies the Yellow-Bellied FundSucker with bread in return for a constant supply of new calls.

Palestinian Ring-Necked Peasant Colchicus retardi - The most common species in the area, and possibly the only one in the world dumber than the domestic American Wrestling Turkey, the Palestinian Ring Necked Peasant is known chiefly for its reluctance to nest in areas not nested in by its precursors. Once driven out of an area, the Palestinian Ring-Necked Peasant will clumsily attempt again and again to regain a previous nesting location, usually unsuccessfully. Nearly every flock of these birds contains a Yellow-Bellied FundSucker, which uses its call and constant chatter to stir up the Ring-Necked Peasants into a flurry of activity and ruffled feathers, after which the FundSucker takes a majority of the flock’s feed, and claims the best nesting locations as its own. Long-term parasitazation of a covey of Peasants by the Yellow Bellied Fund Sucker almost always results in a greater percentage of Palestinian Exploding Shitbirds among the flock. Studies have shown that removal of the Yellow-Bellied FundSucker from the flock will almost immediately result in an improvement in the flock’s general condition, but most attempts to remove the FundSucker are fiercely resisted by the very birds it has parasitized.

The Israeli Dove - Columba zionatica - The Israeli Dove has declined severely in numbers since its heyday in the last decade. Some breeding pairs may still exist in the wild, but most have been captured and are now exhibited at the Meretz Party Zoo, which hopes to breed them when the environment is more congenial to the survival of this highly adapted niche species. The causes of the decline of the Israeli Dove are still being debated, with some ornithologists pointing to the population explosion of the JewHawk, while others note that Israeli doves have been unable to reproduce in the wild when they share an environment with the Exploding Palestinian Shitbird.

The Exploding Palestinian Shitbird Evolutionatica Termini - The Exploding Shitbird is a subspecies of the Palestinian Ring-Necked Peasants, often found in the larger coveys of peasants with who it shares a close familial relationship. Due to its bizarre lifestyle, the habits of the exploding Palestinian Shitbird have been little documented, and only a few wild examples have been captured undamaged. The Exploding Shitbird is normally seen only for a few brief seconds, almost exclusively in flocks of the female and young of other species, or rushing towards such flocks, before it ends its life in a bio-chemical explosion that produces a varying amount of deadly shit. There have been no observed breeding pairs of this bird. Indeed, some avian experts suggest that the exploding shit-bird is particularly good example of the losers in a Darwinian sexual selection of the Ring-Necked Peasant population. The drab plumages and odd smells of this bird lend credibility to this argument. The theory contends that this lack of breeding opportunities force the Shitbird into an extreme example of the altruistic genetic strategy known as kin-sharing. Put simply, the explosion of the Shitbird is an attempt to clear space* for the Palestinian Ring-Necked Peasants in the Shitbird’s family to breed, enabling them to pass on genes closely related to those of the Shitbird. If true, we expect this practice to lead to an evolutionary dead-end as more shit inevitably lands on the Shitbird's close relatives than on the Shitbird's ostensible targets. The Ring-Necked Peasants seem oblivious to this, often greeting the befoulment of their environment with loud musical cries and joyous song reminiscent of the Arabian Warbler, ceasing only upon the appearance of the JewHawk or the American Contradictory Eagle.

The American Contradictory Eagle - Haliaeetus Luecocephalus Conflicticus - Though not native to the Middle East, the American Contradictory Eagle has been seen in the area more and more often, leading many to believe that it may soon establish itself as a permanent resident. When present, the American Contradictory Eagle is the largest predator in the region. The Eagle is named for its calls, which vary in tone and degree from day to day, and are often the exact opposite of its call on a previous day. Numerous observers have also recorded a cacophony of calls on one day, only to see the Eagle lapse into silence for an indefinite period afterwards. When the native species of avifauna first encounter the American Contradictory Eagle, most fall silent, often endeavoring to camouflage themselves in an attempt to avoid notice. In recent times, however, many Jewhawks and Yellow-Bellied FundSuckers have grown accustomed to its presence and now ignore it completely. Arabian Warblers have also been seen trying to harass this giant of the air, often with suicidal results.

The JewHawkButeo zionatica – One of the most feared predators of the region, the JewHawk has become much more numerous in recent years. Though the JewHawk has many enemies, among them the Iraqi Nuthatch and the Syrian Ineffectual Thrasher, it fears only other JewHawks. The mating display of the JewHawk consists of a number of male JewHawks performing for a single female, who inevitably picks the JewHawk furthest to her right to mate with. This leads to a kind of scrum, known locally as a knesset, among the male JewHawks, as each attempts to position himself to the right of his fellows. This continues until the female picks one, the knesset is disbanded, or the explosion of a Palestinian Shitbird attracts their attention.

The Arabian WarblerVermivora schizophrenicus - A resident species, the Arabian Warbler is known the world over and its uncanny ability to sing multiple melodies at the same time. A typical Arabian warbler will sing one song at the American Contradictory Eagle, another, usually in a minor key, to the Yellow FundSucker and its flock of Ring-Necked Peasants, and a third one with martial overtones to other Arabian warblers.

The Cheese Eating Surrender ParrotPsiittacula fromage nomas - Another transient visitor from northern climes, the Cheese Eating Surrender Parrot is a French cousin of the European Myna, noted chiefly for the vicious nature of its calls. The calls are usually directed at the Israeli dove and JewHawk; “shiii-TE-liii-TLE-kun-TRE”, repeated 4 or 5 times a minute. The Surrender Parrot is also know for its habit of adopting a submissive posture whenever another bird looks at it crosswise, after which it calls longingly towards the nearest American Contradictory Eagle, perhaps in an attempt to gain aid.

*This is referred to in older zoological publications as lebensraum, from the documented migration habits of a now extinct variant of German meisterswine.


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The Silflay Hraka Guide to the Birds of the Middle East.
(this is a duplicate post, as Blogger has lost the original, which should appear immediately above.)

The European Myna – Sturnidae repetitiva - The European Myna is a transient in the area, usually a visitor from Belgium. Though most often found in its natural habitat, European government and press offices, this Myna has successfully been introduced to certain areas of New York City and Atlanta in the US. A species with no call of its own, the European Myna adopts the simplest call arising from the environment around it, typically that of the Palestinian Ring Necked Peasant or the Yellow-Bellied FundSucker in the Middle East, or the Cheese Eating Surrender Parrot in its native environment. It repeats the call incessantly and at a high decibel level until a new call is found. For this reason, the European Myna must be identified visually. Its uncanny accuracy in imitation the cries of other species prevents accurate aural identification

The Yellow-Bellied FundSucker – Sphyrapicus arafati - A parasitic species, often found as individuals within a large flock of Ring Necked Peasants, the FundSucker uses its hypnotic song to wheedle resources from the species that surround it, using them to feather its nest and those of its close relatives. Known past victims of the Yellow-Bellied FundSucker include the Israeli Dove and American Contradictory Eagle. As evolutionary pressures have reduced the amount of scratch coming in from the above sources, the Yellow-Bellied FundSucker has switched to a more commensal relationship with the European Myna, which supplies the Yellow-Bellied FundSucker with bread in return for a constant supply of new calls.

Palestinian Ring-Necked Peasant – Colchicus retardi - The most common species in the area, and possibly the only one in the world dumber than the domestic American Wrestling Turkey, the Palestinian Ring Necked Peasant is known chiefly for its reluctance to nest in areas not nested in by its precursors. Once driven out of an area, the Palestinian Ring-Necked Peasant will clumsily attempt again and again to regain a previous nesting location, usually unsuccessfully. Nearly every flock of these birds contains a Yellow-Bellied FundSucker, which uses its call and constant chatter to stir up the Ring-Necked Peasants into a flurry of activity and ruffled feathers, after which the FundSucker takes a majority of the flock’s feed, and claims the best nesting locations as its own. Long-term parasitization of a Peasant flock by the Yellow Bellied Fund Sucker almost always results in a greater percentage of Palestinian Exploding Shitbirds among the flock. Studies have shown that removal of the Yellow-Bellied FundSucker from the flock will almost immediately result in an improvement in the flock’s general condition, but most attempts to remove the FundSucker are fiercely resisted by the very birds it has parasitized.

The Israeli Dove – Columba zionatica - The Israeli Dove has declined severely in numbers since its heyday in the last decade. Some breeding pairs may still exist in the wild, but most have been captured and are now exhibit sat the Meretz Party Zoo, which hopes to breed them when the environment is more congenial to the survival of this highly adapted niche species. The causes of the decline of the Israeli Dove are still being debated, with some ornithologists pointing to the population explosion of the JewHawk, while others note that Israeli doves have been unable to reproduce in the wild when they share an environment with the Exploding Palestinian Shitbird.

The Exploding Palestinian Shitbird – Evolutionatica Termini - The Exploding Shitbird is a subspecies of the Palestinian Ring-Necked Peasants, often found in the larger coveys of peasants with who it shares a close familial relationship. Due to its bizarre lifestyle, the habits of the exploding Palestinian Shitbird have been little documented, and only a few wild examples have been captured undamaged. The Exploding Shitbird is normally seen only for a few brief seconds, almost exclusively in flocks of the female and young of other species, or rushing towards such flocks, before it ends its life in a bio-chemical explosion that produces a varying amount of deadly shit. There have been no observed breeding pairs of this bird. Indeed, some avian experts suggest that the exploding shit-bird is particularly good example of the losers in a Darwinian sexual selection of the Ring-Necked Peasant population. The drab plumages and odd smells of this bird lend credibility to this argument. The theory also contends that this lack of breeding opportunities force the Shitbird into an extreme example of the altruistic genetic strategy known as kin-sharing. Put, simply, the explosion of the Shitbird is an attempt to clear space* for the Palestinian Ring-Necked Peasants in the Shitbird’s family to breed, enabling them to pass on genes closely related to those of the Shitbird If true, we expect this practice to lead to an evolutionary dead-end as more shit inevitably lands on the Shitbird's close relatives than on the Shitbird's ostensible targets. The Ring-Necked Peasants seem oblivious to this, often greeting the befoulment of their environment with loud musical cries and joyous song reminiscent of the Arabian Warbler, ceasing only upon the appearance of the JewHawk or the American Contradictory Eagle.

The American Contradictory Eagle - Haliaeetus Luecocephalus Conflicticus- Though not native to the Middle East, the American Contradictory Eagle has been seen in the area more and more often, leading many to believe that it may soon establish itself as a permanent resident. When present, the American Contradictory Eagle is the largest predator in the region. The Eagle is named for its calls, which vary in tone and degree from day to day, and are often the exact opposite of its call on a previous day. Numerous observers have recorded a cacophony of calls on one day, only to see the Eagle lapse into silence for an indefinite period afterwards. When the native species of avifauna first encounter the American Contradictory Eagle, most fall silent, often endeavoring to camouflage themselves in an attempt to avoid notice. In recent times, however, many Jewhawks and Yellow-Bellied FundSuckers have grown accustomed to its presence and now ignore it completely. Arabian Warblers have also been seen trying to harass this giant of the air, often with suicidal results.

The JewHawk – Buteo zionatica – One of the most feared predators of the region, the JewHawk has become much more numerous in recent years. Though the JewHawk has many enemies, among them the Iraqi Nuthatch and the Syrian Ineffectual Thrasher, it fears only other JewHawks. The mating display of the JewHawk consists of a number of male JewHawks performing for a single female, who inevitably picks the JewHawk furthest to her right to mate with. This leads to a kind of scrum, known locally as a knesset, among the male JewHawks, as each attempts to position himself to the right of his fellows. This continues until the female picks one, the Knesset is disbanded, or the explosion of a Palestinian Shitbird attracts their attention.

The Arabian Warbler – Vermivora schizophrenicus - A resident species, the Arabian Warbler is known the world over and its uncanny ability to sing multiple melodies at the same time. A typical Arabian warbler will sing one song at the American Contradictory Eagle, another, usually in a minor key, to the Yellow FundSucker and its flock of Ring-Necked Peasants, and a third one with martial overtones to other Arabian warblers.

The Cheese Eating Surrender Parrot – Psiittacula fromage nomas - The Cheese Eating Surrender Parrot is a French cousin of the European Myna, noted chiefly for the vicious nature of its calls. The calls are usually directed at the Israeli dove and JewHawk; “shiii-TE-liii-TLE-kun-TRE”, repeated 4 or 5 times a minute. The Surrender Parrot is also know for its habit of adopting a submissive posture whenever another bird looks at it crosswise, after which it calls longingly towards the nearest American Contradictory Eagle, perhaps in an attempt to gain aid.

*This is referred to in older zoological publications as lebensraum, from the documented migration habits of a now extinct variant of German meisterswine.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Left Behind?

Are you Rapture Ready?


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Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.




Flying a Hercules into the flames not crazy enough for you? How about fighting forest fires with a gas-filled blimp, then?

The neat thing about this idea, if it does work, is that you've already got a built-in market for it when fire-fighting season is over. Yes, it's probably expensive, but there's probably a good number of tony developments and golf courses that will pay for a movable rainstorm during a drought.


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Hi Moms.

Here's another link in the rapidly growing Melungeon series.


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6/23/2002




Do you love Mother Gaia? Do you want to protect her? Quit worrying about global warming and go buy yourself an S.U.V.

The first environmental threats that impacted on my childhood, other than the ubiquitous fear of nuclear war, were CFC's degrading the Ozone layer, and the threat of a new Ice Age. The ozone layer seems to be making a slow recovery, even though the CFC theory is still controversial. There's still a good chance that we're entering a new ice age, rather than an endless summer.

The stongest evidence I've seen for global warming is a temperature curve that correlates solar activity with Earth's average temperature since 1860, and there are people who look at the same chart and see a cooling trend rather than a warming one. What pushed me over the edge, though is the fact that Mars is also undergoing global warming, and the last time I checked, John Carter wasn't driving a Expedition on the way to rescue Dejah Thoris. It's not that we don't need to worry, but it's not our fault that Alaska's melting. It's the Sun's fault, and short of blocking it out altogether, there's not a lot we can do about it.

This is why the only environmental group that gets my money is the Nature Conservancy. They don't bother trying to scare the crap out of me with bad science, they just buy land. Plus PETA hates them, which is always a plus.


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See Australia and die.


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I just ordered my Brotherhood of the Wolf DVD from Amazon. It was the most gloriously weird boy movie I've ever seen. It won't get here till October, but maybe this will tide me over.


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International Blog Meetup Day. Umm, so far, in Raleigh/Durham, it's me and and Keeflog, who I used to work with. Surely we're not THIS leading edge, even in the Triangle.


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Woundwort, you get your subscription yet? I bet it'll be ginourmous
Links via PCJM and memepool


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Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.

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