Comic for July 27, 2017

Jul. 27th, 2017 11:59 pm
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toys artist bread Cats - 2862341

Rato Kim is a toy artist from Seoul, South Korea who makes mainly cat themed toys. One of his latest creations is this BreadCat toy. He planned this item for a long time and was inspired by the image of cats sitting with their paws hidden so he created a cute toy of that shape. Rato Kim said: 'The most difficult thing ctreating this Breadcat was to decide what facial expression they'll have. Cats have various expressions so I chose to show few of them on Breadcats and not to go with only one face".

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Tagged: toys , artist , bread , Cats
[syndicated profile] icanhascheezburger_feed
ancient cat paw prints were found in New England

The prints on the 2,000-year-old Roman roof tile proves cats were kept as pets -- and sometimes got in the way. 
Paw prints made by a cat 2,000 years ago have been found on a Roman roof tile kept at a museum in south west England. Dug up in Gloucester in 1969, the tile fragment had long lain unnoticed at Gloucester City Museum. Only recently, a researcher spotted the cat's paw on the tile while going through the finds from the 1969 archaeological excavation. Not surprisingly, the cat is thought to have run across the wet clay tile when it was left out to dry in about AD100. It is possible the cat was a Roman army cat, the pet of a Roman soldier who stationed at the site.




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[syndicated profile] icanhascheezburger_feed
19 photos of two maine coon brothers

Tamara Rouwendal is a Dutch illustrator, graphic designer, photomanipulator and photographer best known for her whimsical, colorful and enchanting styled work. Since a young age she has been passionate about art. At a later age her interest extended to photography, where she specializes in animal and nature themed photographs. Here are some beautiful photos of her two maine coon brothers, Bink and Pip. Enjoy!

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Tagged: art , maine coon , photos , Cats

We Resist: Day 188 + Programming Note

Jul. 26th, 2017 12:00 pm
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

I've got some offline life stuff happening today and tomorrow which will keep me away until Friday morning. So, here is a thread for sharing and discussion of political news this afternoon and tomorrow.

I will be on Twitter as I'm able.

See you back here Friday.

Daily Dose of Cute

Jul. 26th, 2017 11:00 am
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

image of Zelda the Black and Tan Mutt lying on the floor under my desk, her chin resting on her paws, looking up at me
Zelly peeping at me from underneath my desk.

I love it when she lies with her chin on her paws like this, and her shar pei inherited neck rolls pooch out and make her look like she's got chipmunk cheeks. She is so freaking cute. ♥

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.
[syndicated profile] pharyngula_feed

Posted by PZ Myers

Trump made a major policy announcement via Twitter (of course!).

Well, gosh. I guess Laci Green has some really high-level support. Does it feel good to have President Trump at your back?

It’s been irritating me for while now when people flatly declare that there are only two genders, or talk about “biological” males, as if there is some scientific justification for dividing the depth of complex behavior in the world into only two categories. There is a legitimate context for modifying “male” and “female” with the prefix “biological”: it’s when we care about what kind of gametes they produce. That’s the only time it makes sense, and it’s certainly important in a genetic and evolutionary context.

But then, what do you do with sterile males and females? Do they no longer have a “biological” sex? In insect groups with caste specializations, nominally female members of the species are effectively neutered, and they acquire specific roles as workers or soldiers. Do we just ignore the complexities of their genetics and morphologies?

Some organisms have more than two sexes: Tetrahymena has seven mating types. The properties of meiosis entail a fusion of only two at a time, so at that level, there is a real kind of binary, but clearly as a population there are other properties that distinguish more than two types. Do we just ignore those?

Trump and Green do something even more devious. Humans have two interfertile mating types, but that only refers to the kind of gametes they produce, not the equipment they use to make babies. After all, if a human female cannot bear children, but can produce eggs, we can now use a surrogate to host the embryo for her, but it doesn’t mean she’s no true female. As it turns out, throughout their maturation, humans develop gender signifiers, both cultural and biological, that have nothing at all to do with reproduction.

It’s weird. Little kids who will not be able to reproduce for a decade or two are assigned a reproductive role — that’s what “biological sex” implies — and given a whole bunch of standards that have nothing to do with making babies to which they must adhere or face serious social ostracism. A fondness for pink is not at all relevant to making babies, yet it’s foisted off on children from a ridiculously early age.

You don’t even have to acquire any lust for a different sex other than your own. Sexual behavior is primarily used for social and personal desires that are completely independent of reproduction. In the best of all possible circumstances (which I agree, don’t always occur), human reproduction is a conscious decision, made with due deliberation. Gay people have babies all the time. Transgender people have babies, too. And straight-up heterosexual couples who could make babies together often decide not to have any children (my god, what is that man doing with his useless penis?).

So why decide that ability to fight in the modern military is defined by whether you wear a dress, make sperm, or take estrogen pills? It’s all bullshit, all the way through.

Yes, I know, Trump framed it as a financial concern, that this is just too costly for a military that will drop $3 million on a single cruise missile. But we know how much transgender health care will cost the military.

To determine the budgetary implications of gender transition-related treatment for Military Health System (MHS) health care costs, we again used data from the private health insurance system on the cost of extending coverage for this care to the transgender personnel population. We estimate that AC MHS health care costs will increase by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually.

In other words, the savings Trump wants to obtain by cutting this service is in the ballpark of what one of his weekend golf trips costs us.

Meanwhile…

According to the Military Times, data from the Defense Health Agency indicate the U.S. Department of Defense spent $41.6 million on Viagra and $84.24 million total on drugs for erectile dysfunction in 2014.

If sporting an erection is a prerequisite for combat, it seems to me that we ought to be encouraging those virile transgender individuals who can accomplish that, while discharging (dishonorably, obviously), all those weak men who need pills to get it up. We’d save a lot of money!

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