Russia’s zombie pigeons, and more: An open thread

Hello friends,

Time for another open thread round-up:

  • Man working on the Creation Museum in Kentucky is struck by lightning. Hard to read something like that and not think there’s a message in there somewhere. (Don’t worry, he was only injured.) Meanwhile, another Creationist demonstrates again there’s no cure for stupid, or the lack of a decent science education.)
  • Zombie pigeons fall from the Russian sky. No, I did not make that up. Honest! Apparently it may be caused by a disease that causes lethargy, apathy, and foaming at the beak. Either that, or the pigeons all suddenly realized they were living in Russia.
Zombie pigeons in Russia. Really!

Zombie pigeons in Russia. Really!

  • In a serious note — as of the time I write this, the same-sex marriages in Doña Ana county, New Mexico continue. In the linked story, the final remark is “At this point no one has stepped forward to stop the Dona Ana County clerk from issuing marriage licenses, so they will continue to be handed out.” In related news, a lesbian couple living near Santa Fe has filed an emergency court petition to be granted the right to a license there, because one of them, Jen Roper, is dying. (That’s what I mean when I keep harping on the fact we can’t just keep waiting for justice and equality.)
  • In semi-related news, Javier Gonzales came out in a blog post in which he talks about the challenges of growing up as a gay person, making him the second of two openly gay candidates for mayor of Santa Fe, NM. (John? Yes, he’s as hot as his name makes him sound. If you don’t believe me, check out the linked story.)
  • Speaking of mayors, this repulsive piece of work appears finally to be crawling back under the slimy rock where he belongs. Bob Filner, soon to be former mayor of San Diego: Good riddance. Here’s hoping the rest of your life is full of expensive civil lawsuits. I thought about labeling this post with a photo of an exceedingly gross banana slug, but the zombie pigeons won the coin toss.
  • The Spawn of Cheney is held to account for lying on a Montana fishing license application. Liz Cheney’s crime? Claiming to be a resident of Montana for over a year so she’d only have to pay $24 instead of the $92 fee charged for non-residents. (There’s been some speculation it was also a ham-handed attempt to seem like less of a blatant carpetbagger in her not-secret plans to run for the Senate.) She’s had to post a $202 bond in the 9th Circuit Court in Teton County for her act of filing a false statement on an official state form. Sometimes the 0.01% really do let their arrogance and greed hang right out there.
  • And finally in this edition of random open-thread news, helpful instructions for folks down my way when we’re shipping this year’s crop of Hatch chiles to friends out of state. The advice: Be sure to label packages with, “Contents: Pungent Capsicum Peppers. Origin: New Mexico.” Honestly though, I don’t know why we’re sharing our magnificent chile peppers with anyone. C’mon, read my bio blurb and you’ll see why I had no choice but to include this item.

Until next time…

Late update: About two dozen NM GOP (are we at all surprised at this?) state legislators have announced they plan to file suit as early as Friday (8/23/13) afternoon to stop Doña Ana county from issuing any more marriage licenses, and to prevent any other county from doing the same. State Senator William Sharer, R-Farmington says he feels it’s up to the Legislature to decide this, not the county clerks. (Actually, right now it’s up to the courts…)

As of Thursday evening, 82 marriage licenses had been issued to same-sex couples.

Published professional writer and poet, Becca had a three decade career in technical writing and consulting before selling off most of her possessions in 2006 to go live at an ashram in India for 3 years. She loves literature (especially science fiction), technology and science, progressive politics, cool electronic gadgets, and perfecting Hatch green chile recipes. Fortunately for this last, Becca and her wife currently live in New Mexico. @BeccaMorn

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34 Responses to “Russia’s zombie pigeons, and more: An open thread”

  1. BeccaM says:

    I rather like the Genesis mythos, too. It reminds me a great deal of Tolkein’s repeated recasting of his fictional myths of the Valar.

  2. BeccaM says:

    A guilty pleasure, for sure. ;-)

  3. Zorba says:

    LOL! Depends upon if you believe a long-dead Russian mystic who was an obsessive nut-case. ;-)

  4. Monoceros Forth says:

    Somewhere–I wish I could remember where–G. K. Chesterton suggests that creation and origin myths might not necessarily have been meant to be taken literally when they were composed. I’ve been searching Chesterton’s works online and I think this is the passage I’m half-remembering:

    The god was never a symbol or hieroglyph representing the sun. The sun was a hieroglyph representing the god. Primitive man…went out with his head full of gods and heroes, because that is the chief use of having a head. Then he saw the sun in some glorious crisis of the dominance of noon on the distress of nightfall, and he said, “That is how the face of the god would shine when he had slain the dragon,” [a reference to the story of Apollo slaying Python] or “That is how the whole world would bleed to westward, if the god were slain at last.”

    Now I’m not saying that Chesterton is right about this; he was a polemicist, a brilliant and witty polemicist to be sure, but not an authoritative scholar on ancient literature and history. Yet I think he has a point here. We tend to assume these days that creation myths were intended from the start to be a sort of natural science, that (for instance) the long-dead Greeks were somehow baffled by the luminosity of the Sun and therefore felt it must be explained as really due to the radiance of Apollo. Chesterton proposes rather that the creation myths were intended from the start to be not physics but poetry; the Greeks needed a poetic analogy to describe the radiance of Apollo and therefore compared his radiance to a real and commonplace thing, the luminosity of the Sun.

    I’m going to risk saying this, too, about the creation story of Genesis: I rather like it. Its clarity and straightforwardness contrasts favorably in my mind with the dreary generational squabbles of the gods of the Theogony or the Enuma Elish.

  5. Bomer says:

    Is it wrong of me to, every time I hear about those snake handlers, root for the snakes?

  6. woodroad34 says:

    Newcastle Maggie…it has a ring: bloated, bloviating, and bovine.

  7. BeccaM says:

    I once hit a ground-hog while driving a motorcycle.

    I didn’t kill it, nor did I fall off the bike. However, you would not believe how pissed off and annoyed a ground-hog can look.

  8. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I woUld much rather handle snakes than be around some Christianists.

  9. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I just had a delightful visual of a t-rex frolicking.

  10. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Maggie is probably carrier of the disease.

  11. woodroad34 says:

    Zombie Pigeons? Newcastle disease–something that’s transmittable to humans…could that be the reason the Russian Duma and that hideous drag of a woman passed the anti-gay legislation under the paper-thin mantle of “protecting the children”? They had no choice? Their brains were so mutilated by an avian, nay, feather-brained disease? Ah, the rich intellectual Russian philosophical heritage reduced to a malignancy. Perhaps Maggie Gallagher should wear a mask or better yet a masochistic gag to protect herself.

  12. BeccaM says:

    Yeah, I know… a bunch of bronze age people who didn’t understand much of anything about, well, anything, decide to make up a bunch of myths and enforce the general belief in them.

    Thousands of years later, we have people insisting these myths remain true, even though they make no sense logically or scientifically or rationally.

    Let’s not forget that some have interpreted certain Bible passages as a divine commandment to handle snakes.

  13. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I might as well start charging everything. I won’t have to pay the bills, will I?

  14. Hue-Man says:

    The RCMP released this video today from B.C.’s Fraser Valley with the message that if you’re going to wear a helmet-cam, you still need to pay attention to the road when you’re driving your motorcycle at 140 km/h. (42 seconds)

  15. Indigo says:

    The Apocalypse is tomorrow? You promise? I think I’ll sleep in.

  16. Monoceros Forth says:

    Ack :( See, I was never raised with this stuff and most of what I know about the Bible comes from spotty and casual reading, plus having translated some small bits of it from the Latin Vulgate and from the koine Greek New Testament. Hence many of these fine details are unknown to me. I suppose the statement could be construed as not being exclusive; that is to say, just because the Lord provided plants for all beasts to eat doesn’t necessarily exclude the possibility that they mightn’t feast on other foodstuffs. Ugh. What a stupid thing to nitpick about, anyway. I wonder if there are other people from other cultures with other creation stories that are as obsessed with rationalizing every word of them.

  17. BeccaM says:

    Lovely. Just frickin’ lovely.

    Even worse, apparently he’s an Immigrations and Customs employee, although they say ‘acquisitions’ — which means he’s just a buyer for the department. Cue the Conservative Waaambulence in 3, 2, 1…

  18. BeccaM says:

    Neat! Good to know that about Newcastle, too. It looks nasty.

    And here’s hoping the DOJ can actually accomplish something.

  19. BeccaM says:


    And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
    – Genesis 1:30

    Back in the early 80s, when I was harassing our on-campus God-botherer, I used to use that quote to assert that Christianity was inherently pro-marijuana.

  20. BeccaM says:

    Thanks Dave. I’ll be wearing a double-layer of tin foil, just to be safe.

  21. Naja pallida says:

    Actually, he died in 1916, a year before Russia adopted the current modern calendar. So, we still have time, quick, go shopping!

  22. Zorba says:

    Well, if he was using Old Style, we have 13 more days. Whew! That’s a load off my mind! ;-)

  23. nicho says:

    Was he using the Old Style or the New Style date? That would make a big difference.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I would like to believe that ignorance and propaganda fuel the hate. This is a country where a pundit believes that the heart can be “infected” by gay emotions. It’s probably worse than America when AIDS hit, really. It’s just completely ignorant and wants to quarantine and ignore the problem.

  25. Dave of the Jungle says:

    Rasputin predicted that the Apocalypse will be tomorrow?

    Best regards to John, Becca and all AMERICAblog people.

  26. JayRandal says:

    Might be the water or vodka causing pigeons in Russia to act drunk and die afterwards. Putin has hoof
    and mouth disease. Russian homophobes are eating or drinking something causing brain damage lol.

  27. Monoceros Forth says:

    Oh, man, the vegetarian T-rex story…literal six-day creationism is bad enough but this bizarre insistence that every one of God’s creatures, predator and prey species alike, were frolicking happily in a golden age of prelapsarian vegetarianism just makes the whole idea even sillier. Where does that notion even come from anyway? I don’t remember any pertinent line from Genesis (either their Peter Gabriel prog-rock or their Phil Collins pop-rock material). The implications of this notion are truly bizarre: so Adam and Eve’s disobedience didn’t merely doom mankind to mortality, but transformed the entire natural world as well? Did the T-rex suddenly and inexplicably lose his taste for leaves and gain a new taste for fresh dinosaur meat the moment Eve bit into that apple? Why is it even necessary to postulate such a ridiculous idea? What’s so horrible about an Eden where animals behave the same way they do now? Why is this even an issue? Why, why, why?

    My brain hurts.

    I suppose it’s of a piece with the blockheaded notion that all mentions of wine in the Gospels really refer to grape juice or something because of course Jesus and his buddies would never have touched alcohol.

    As for Bob Filner, I sort of remember him as a Democratic congressman in the ’90s before I moved away from San Diego. He really wasn’t that bad as a congressman as I recall and certainly miles ahead of the Republican scumbag who replaced him, Duke Cunningham.

  28. Naja pallida says:

    I drive up to New Mexico to pick up my own pepper supply every year… though, I have grown a bunch of different peppers of my own this year, and was intending to ship some to friends in New York, so thanks for the heads up.

    Newcastle disease is transmissible to humans, while not considered life-threatening, it’s still something to be concerned about in areas with large bird populations and lots of bird droppings around. It’s pretty nasty and can wipe out entire flocks in short order.

    In other news, the Justice Department is showing a little spine and suing Texas for it’s blatantly discriminatory redistricting and voter suppression efforts.

    NASDAQ market had to halt trading today because of a ‘technical glitch’, that they can’t seem to explain.

    And to much relief, they’ve developed a scientific test to tell if your coffee labeled as Kopi Luwak has actually properly passed through the digestive tract of a palm civet! The best cup of coffee I have ever had was Kopi Luwak… strong enough to pour itself, but not the least bit bitter.

  29. nicho says:

    DHS employee runs racist website — advocating racial war and the killing of “a lot of whites — more than our Christian hearts can possibly count.”

    Well, I feel safer.

  30. docsterx says:

    Yes, but HIV has been in Russia for more than 20 years. And, as nicho said, it’s a matter of hate. Also, the US didn’t persecute those trying to help people with HIV/AIDS as the Russian government is doing. There is data that the Russian government should be aware of, funds that they can use to promote education, safer-sex, treatment, other forms of international assistance, they just refuse. Russians seem to be cursed with a sense of stubborn pride – once they make a decision, it’s RIGHT, by God, and they’ll stand by it as their ship sinks. Then, after the disaster occurs, they’ll spin it to try to make it look like they were right. They just become a laughingstock.

    Look at what their two outspoken female athletes said. Both said something like, “You must respect us.” No, we DON’T have to respect idiots making idiotic decisions. 2. They don’t seem to realize that, they demand respect, yet they suppress their LGBTQ brothers and sisters, thereby not showing them respect. Also, as visitors to their country, LGBTQs and all people competing in, organizing, viewing the Olympics (or Miss Universe, or FIFA) should be extended the same respect the Russians demand. But they chose to not see this.

  31. nicho says:

    The big difference is that in the early stages of the epidemic in the US, people didn’t know what it was, what caused it, and how it was spread. That ignorance caused fear. Also, there were no tests for it and no treatment — beyond a death watch. The Russians have no such excuses. For them, it’s just hate.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I think the Zombie Pigeon should be the official mascot of the Olympics campaign.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Like America when AIDS was new…

  34. docsterx says:

    Here’s a great piece on the (non-)treatment of HIV in Russia, who gets it, how quickly it’s spreading and the Russian government and Russian peoples’ attitudes on it (sin vs. disease). from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. It gives some perspective on just why the anti-LGBTQ “laws’ got passed.

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