Maggie’s Wednesday Links

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

I was honestly tempted to call this “Maggie’s Hump Day Links”, but I just couldn’t do it.

Plus, here’s a video of a live clam eating salt on a kitchen table.  Really.

(Thanks to Radley for the last two items, via Twitter).

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30 Responses to “Maggie’s Wednesday Links”

  1. #1 |  Les | 

    I hate to be a bummer, but actually the clam is just trying to move into water/dig under the sand with its foot.

  2. #2 |  elcid1390 | 

    Heads up;the woman in the fourth link who was arrested and beaten for the prostitution warrant may not have in fact been pregnant, per the station that carried the story originally.

  3. #3 |  Stephen | 

    The 76-yr old nun story has a little bit of “I’m old so you should respect me while I disobey your lawful orders” to it. I have had old people try to steamroll me before based on their age. Being old doesn’t give you permission to break the law.

  4. #4 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    …that recommends that every university hire a full-time “Gender Equity Specialist” with a staff that would monitor science departments and labs for bias.

    That’s right, a Gender Equity Specialist. Because males and females
    are EXACTLY the same, in all respects. Hey, stop snickering.
    Now mind you,there are already a TON of women and minorities (from all over the world) in (science) graduate schools in the US, but by some bizarre machination, they are still upping the ante because Political Correctness is the new religion and they won’t be happy until they’ve poked you in the eye with it.

  5. #5 |  The Late Andy Rooney | 

    I admire Amy Alkon, but the link on her blog fails to convince me there’s a real danger Title IX will be expanded in an effort to create gender parity in science and engineering classes.

    If such an attempt were made, would the Supreme Court (given its recent rulings in the New Haven firefighters case and the Seattle public schools case) be likely to overrule the Department of Education?

  6. #6 |  Stormy Dragon | 


    Yeah, that clam is assphyxiating because it’s out of the water, so it’s desperately trying to get back into water, but is being thwarted because everything it touches is causing chemical burns because it’s covered with salt.

    Have any other videos of animals being tortured for laughs you’d like to share, Maggie?

  7. #7 |  Stephen | 

    I guess the DEA wants to be more like Iran,

    Where 70% of technology students are women.

  8. #8 |  awp | 

    If you want to fight “obvious” “discrimination” Title IX enforcers should be looking at education and women studies programs. Or hell, at overall University enrollment seeing as how women are now over represented among university students.

    If all this “discrimination” fighting stuff gets stupid enough will it become easier to get rid of it.

    Look at disproportionate effect, a seeming mainstay of discrimination law. In Ricci, New Haven was screwed. The test had a disproportionate negative effect on the advancement of the black fire fighters, so New Haven dropped the results of the test, which had a disproportionate negative effect on the non-black fire fighters. It is illegal to attempt to fight racism (don’t actually think the test was racist, but lets say it was) because changing your racist ways would have a disproportionate effect on the races that you previously favored.

  9. #9 |  nickcharles | 

    @3: And being a cop doesn’t give you permission to tackle old ladies and make them piss themselves. What a fucking douche…

  10. #10 |  Vertov | 

    How legit is that Great Pyramids story? It gives off the same vibes as the supposed story about Egyptian MPs musing about a bill to legalize necrophilia if the body’s fresh enough.

    Even the original seems to state its a statement from a Saudi cleric. There’s a bit of friction in Egypt about Saudi influence.

    I’m not saying this as a fan of religious fundamentalists, but it sounds like another aren’t-the-Muslims-crazy bit.

  11. #11 |  Brian V. | 


    It matters not. The Overton window has been moved.

  12. #12 |  noseeum | 

    Your take on the Title IX story is BS. Clicking through the links, and all you find is “enhanced data collection” and “improved guidelines.”

    There are plenty of ways the government intrudes on our lives. You don’t need to make up new ones.

    Dig a little deeper next time before you post something so paranoid, thank you.

  13. #13 |  Stephen | 

    #9 | nickcharles |

    I agree about the tackling part. But it does smell a little like she was not acting properly herself and probably deserved a MUCH less violent arrest.

  14. #14 |  Other Sean | 

    Stormy Dragon @6,

    You’ve set a new record for priggishness on the internet. With a bundle of nerves that sits just this side of a central nervous system, clams are incapable of being tortured.

    But guess what can be tortured? Moral arguments made on behalf of mollusks.

  15. #15 |  noseeum | 

    There is no mention of clams in the Geneva Convention. They’re not human, so unless they’re wearing an enemy uniform, I think clam torturers are in the clear here.

  16. #16 |  Delta | 

    Lest we forget that libertarians are just a half step from “Torture? G’head” all the time anyway.

  17. #17 |  V | 

    “The growth of the Internet will slow drastically, as the flaw in “Metcalfe’s law”–which states that the number of potential connections in a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants–becomes apparent: most people have nothing to say to each other!”

    His conclusion is obviously wrong, but I can’t doubt his reasoning.

  18. #18 |  el coronado | 

    “The ‘destroy the Pyramids’ story gives off a bad vibe”?? LOL

    Look into the story of the destruction of the 1500-year old Bamiyan Buddha Statues sometime. in 1999, the Taliban announced they were gonna do it. The whole world gasped! Called ’em ignorant savages! UNESCO with all its awesome might and influence jumped into the fray! Every member of the 54 nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference howled in protest, and appeared to joined the protest!!! Surely, _surely_ reason would prevail! These were unique, iconic historical TREASURES!!!

    Then the 7th century fundy islamists running Afghanistan at the time gave *everybody* the finger, and blew ’em up anyway. First they used artillery, then anti-tank mines, and finally essentially blew ’em up by – of course – by hand. Afterwards, when the heat of the moment had subsided, the Taliban – spiritual brethren to the (non-military) guys now running Egypt – had this to say about the whole thing: “Moslems should be *proud* of smashing” (priceless, irreplacable, millenia-old) “idols!” and this gem, “We are destroying the statues in accordance with islamic law” – you know, the same law that calls for stoning [female] adulterers and hanging homosexuals – “and it is purely a religious issue.”

    So yeah, precedent schmecedent! There ain’t no reason whatsoever to think the ‘destroy the pyramids’ story is anything but right-wing ‘aren’t the moslems crazy’ bullshit, right?

  19. #19 |  Rojo | 

    One Saudi kook does not equal the Taliban taking over Egypt.

  20. #20 |  J | 

    That’s a foot not a tongue. The clam is trying to feel around for a place to move to/dig into. Salt is an irritant for clams, not food.

  21. #21 |  Goober | 

    Yup, the clam is actually being tortured. it’s trying to get back into a moist, wet environment so it can survive. It does so by using it’s foot (that’s not it’s tongue) to dig into the sand until it finds water, then buries itself to avoid predators.

    As it is trying to dig itself back in, all it is finding is salt on a hard surface. The concertration of salt is far too saline for it, even though it is a saltwater creature, and it is probably burning it, whcih is why it retracts it’s foot whenever it hits the salt, making it look like it is “eating” it.

    What we have here is an animal that is suffering, if a clam can, indeed suffer. What we need is to throw it into the pot and cook it and eat it, because clams are tasty and good to eat. Not to torture.

  22. #22 |  Goober | 

    The nun story is interesting. She was trespassing and wouldn’t leave. The property owner has the right to use force tog et her to leave should she refuse.

    I’m usually against this escalate at all costs, respect mah authoritah! attitude of the cops, but in this case, what was he going to do? She refused to leave. The property owner wanted her gone. He can’t leave her alone, she won’t cooperate, and the property owner won’t let her stay.

    At some point in time, handcuffs were going to come out unless she cooperated and left. She had no right to be there once the owner told her to leave.

    That being said, if he really did charge her and get rough with her, then shame on him. However, since she didn’t file a complaint, and there was no investigation, all we’ve heard is her side of the story. More to follow, hopefully, but I’m going to wait to condemn the cop in this one until he gets his chance to tell the story.

  23. #23 |  Maggie McNeill | 

    Thanks to those who pointed out that what’s going on with the clam is not what the video’s poster and I thought was going on; I commented on it in today’s post.

  24. #24 |  Xenocles | 

    I’m confused, Goober. We shouldn’t torture the clam with salt, but boiling it alive is good?

  25. #25 |  Quiet Desperation | 

    “We shouldn’t torture the clam with salt, but boiling it alive is good?”

    There’s a fine line between torture and dinner.

  26. #26 |  Xenocles | 

    I don’t disagree, but I put down a mammal with a bullet to its forebrain (and a quick bleed from the throat), not a steam bath. I guess if I cared enough about the clam to spare it from the salt I wouldn’t dispatch it over the course of a few minutes of searing burns either. Then again, I suppose there’s a lot to be said for the idea of not inflicting pain on an animal without some useful purpose.

  27. #27 |  Other Sean | 

    Maggie is very gracious to her critics.

    But as a mater of science, that video shows nothing more than a chemical reaction with mildly amusing zoomorphic results. A clam is no more equipped to feel pain than a grain of salt or the table it sits on.

    One does not further the decent treatment of animals by posturing in self-righteous ignorance of their biology. To use the word “torture” in this context is to debase it.

  28. #28 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @27 – And Humans are animals. Uh-huh. Pardon me while I roll my eyes at you again.

  29. #29 |  c andrew | 

    I’m just human enough to roll them back to you so you can go on seeing the world through them.

  30. #30 |  J | 

    @Xenocles (#26): Molluscs are not generally thought to be capable of feeling pain. They do demonstrate the habit of “fleeing” aversive stimuli (like the salt), but this is not enough to establish that they actually feel pain.

    Molluscs, like most invertebrates, lack a complex central nervous system. They do not have “brains.” This is why they do not exhibit social behaviors, and why clams, lobsters, insects, etc are excluded from most animal cruelty legislation.


    This is not absolutely conclusive. If you’d still rather employ a more humane method of killing them, toss your clams/etc in the freezer for ~20 minutes prior to boiling.