Artificially Produced Animal Behavior

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“A striking example of artificially produced animal behavior has come about as a by-product of drug research. Pharmacologist Peter Witt discovered that spiders spin strange, misshapen webs when they are under the influence of drugs. Each drug compels the spider to produce a different type of web, and in its behavior the spider shows an eerie resemblance to disorientations experienced by human beings under the same drug. The graphlike webs can accurately identify the type of drug much more quickly than the usual lengthy laboratory analysis could.

Pervitin, Benzedrinelike stimulant, makes the spider too impatient to circle the center. It spins only in one small area.

Choral hydrate, the barman’s “Mickey Finn,” puts the spider to sleep after it has completed only a small part of its web.

Caffeine produces the arachnid equivalent to human coffee nerves, making the spider spin a haphazard tangle of threads.

Lysergic acid induces acute concentration, the spider zealously weaves a perfect web, greatly improving on nature.”

Animal Behavior, LIFE Nature Library, by Niko Tinbergen and The Editors of LIFE, Time Incorporated, New York, 1965.

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The Great She Elephant from Across the Big Water

queen-victoriaAccording to Kitty Kelley’s The Royals, Queen Victoria was known in Africa as The Great She Elephant from Across the Big Water. It is amusing to rechristen London landmarks with her African sobriquet: Let’s meet on the Mall at The Great She Elephant from Across the Big Water Memorial. We took The Great She Elephant from Across the Big Water line to Brixton. Have you seen the Botticelli exhibition at The Great She Elephant from Across the Big Water and Albert Museum?

The Soviet Ambassador Comments on Reagan’s Interview with ABC, 1985

reagan“25 September 1985
WASHINGTON             SOVIET AMBASSADOR

In his recent appearances, the head of the White House has frequently falsified quotes that he attributed to V.I. Lenin. For example, during Reagan’s interview with ABC on September 18, 1985 the president of the U.S.A. acknowledged that ‘he often quotes Lenin’s statements,’ which allegedly speak of seizing Eastern Europe, organizing East Asian hordes, taking over Latin America and the United States. Grossly distorting the history and politics of the Soviet State, the American president attempted and continues to cast a shadow on the external and internal politics of the Soviet state. As is known, there are no such statements by V.I. Lenin.

This is not the first time that such allegations have been made. Such a practice is unacceptable in relations between countries. It creates justifiable indignation in the Soviet Union, as an insult to the Soviet people, a premeditated distortion of the Soviet state.

The Soviet Union demands the American side end such practices which are incompatible with normal relations between countries.

[signature illegible]”

Revelations from the Russian Archives: Documents in English translation, edited by Diane P. Koenker and Ronald D. Bachman, Library of Congress, Washington, 1997.

Hear Jan Brewer Talk Dirty!

screenshot-2148In 1990, future Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was a state senator who introduced legislation to require labeling of albums with offensive lyrics. “Donny Osmond, who was trying to toughen his image at the time, flew in from Utah to testify against the bill,” Brewer recalled in her memoirs, Scorpions for Breakfast. “He arrived at the committee hearing wearing a black leather jacket and black pants.” When the legislation was pending, Brewer was the victim of a hoax.

“A writer from a small weekly publication in Phoenix began calling me, posing as Doug MacEachern, who was then a reporter from the Arizona Republic and today is one of their editorial writers. Under the pretext of talking about the bill, this ‘reporter’ encouraged me to recite some of the offensive lyrics we were complaining about. I should have known better, I guess. But I was not then, and am not now, a distrustful person, and I believed in the cause of safeguarding our kids from this garbage. So I recited the lyrics–including the four-letter words and all of the awful, misogynistic things that were polluting our children’s minds. The deceitful reporter had secretly recorded our phone conversations, and a couple of days later he showed up at the State Capitol with an 800-watt sound system on a flatbed truck with signs proclaiming, HEAR JAN BREWER TALK DIRTY! He then blared over the loudspeakers all the four-letter words and horrible lyrics I had read to him. Everyone at the Capitol heard me repeating these lyrics over and over again. It was embarrassing for me, but it was even more embarrassing to to the profession of journalism. Classes on journalism started using it as an example of bad, unethical journalism– a wonderful example of why journalists rank below members of Congress in American public opinion surveys.”

Governor Jan Brewer, Scorpions for Breakfast: My Fight Against Special Interests, Liberal Media, and Cynical Politicos to Secure America’s Border, Broadside Books, 2011.