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Star Bjorge
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Have I told you how divinely and utterly happy I am?
Have I told you how divinely and utterly happy I am?

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"Mammoth Cloning is the conservation equivalent of setting up a colony on Mars: For the forseeable future, it is an expensive endeavor full of obstacles that takes as implicit massive increases in technological ability. Given all the problems we face now, it seems like a crazy waste of resources that could be used for real and urgent problems we face.

In the process of pushing for it, though, we can push our understanding of an aspect of the world further than we otherwise would, create some pretty rad technology that could have totally unforseen benefits, and when it does pay off, the human experience will be a little more expanded and more beautiful. Mammoths are probably the toughest option among the dozens of animals we could feasibly resurrect (out of the hundreds we've helped wipe out). Because of this, the challenges we surmount in the process make bringing back some of the lower hanging fruit (Quagga, Auroch, Irish Elk, Pig-Footed Bandicoot, Megalania, Xenicibis, Mekosuchus, Huia, Hobbit, Thylacine, Moas, Aepyornis, Auk, Dodo) that much easier.

I also find arguments about how the resources for things like mammoth resurrection (and space exploration, for that matter) are wasted because they could be spent on [worthy global issue that needs solving] pretty specious. That kind of funding shouldn't be, and isn't really, a zero sum game. To the degree that it is, it's more a problem of prioritizing short term gains (especially of the military nature) generally over long term ones. The solution is to collectively fight for a bigger pie, not fight against each other over how it's sliced." -Colin Bartlett
You may have heard news stories about Japanese scientists who claim they'll be able to clone a mammoth within five years. The same claim has been parroted by news orgs around the world with little in the way of critical assessment.

Five years? Don't hold your breath.

Here's a short and suitably skeptical take from Discover, which also explains the new story: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/discoblog/2011/12/06/woolly-mammoth-cloned-within-five-years-well-believe-it-when-we-ride-it/

But you should really read this long feature from 2009, in which Henry Nicholls explains exactly why cloning a mammoth would be so damn hard

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Not enough people have seen this. It is a chopped chicken liver snowman, made by the great artist, Mario Martinez. 
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For the first time since 2009, an endangered jaguar has been found roaming the wilds of southern Arizona.

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This is the state we live in:

"New York cops have arrested, punched, whacked, shoved to the ground and tossed a barrier at reporters and photographers covering protests. Reporters were asked by NYPD to raise their hands to prove they had credentials: when many dutifully did so, they were taken, upon threat of arrest, away from the story they were covering, and penned far from the site in which the news was unfolding. Other reporters wearing press passes were arrested and roughed up by cops, after being – falsely – informed by police that 'It is illegal to take pictures on the sidewalk.'
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"The mainstream media was declaring continually 'OWS has no message'. Frustrated, I simply asked them. I began soliciting online 'What is it you want?' answers from Occupy. In the first 15 minutes, I received 100 answers. These were truly eye-opening.
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"No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.
When I saw this list – and especially the last agenda item – the scales fell from my eyes. Of course, these unarmed people would be having the shit kicked out of them."

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Happy D.B. Cooper Day! It's been 40 years!

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When you get to the point I have, you are glad for programmers who spend their time making things like this.

Even mollusks have weddin's though solemn and leaden but you dirge for the dead and take no jam on your bread! just a supper of salt and a waltz through your empty bed

MY NOSE SMELLS LIKE MANGO MILK TEA. Luckily I spend the next two days at Kornblatt's New York Delicatessen and I will smell like bleach and pastrami. FML

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