08 February 2006

Conservation, Texas-style

I've always thought of Texas as a truly alien land, possibly biased from an early age from watching those odd "dream" episodes of Dallas. But this takes the biscuit. Something I've learned since arriving here is that the American male is always right. This seems to be a country built on the alpha male (not that there aren't alpha males in other societies, they just bug me more here). And it doesn't matter what experience or knowledge you have here, if you cannot shout as loud as the alpha male, no one will pay any attention to you. The alpha male will find his viewpoint to be absolutely correct and infallible, failing to take into consideration any obvious logical and moral flaws it may have.

"What species has the Humane Society ever saved?" [Erice White] asks.

"They just want to save one animal - perhaps called Bambi - but we have a long-standing record of saving entire species and entire habitats. Hunting is the only way to generate enough dollars to do it."

Several things jar about this quote. For one, the point of a "Humane Society" is to seek out and prevent undue cruelty to animals. It's besides the point to accuse them of not saving a species; it's not their mandate. And to say so is to throw in a red herring. And I'm not sure these ranch safaris can accurately claim to save "entire species" nor "entire habitats", as what they must have are small breeding colonies, which will eventually (soon) result in a highly inbred population, plus I wouldn't call an American ranch a natural habitat of species such as the antelope.

Besides, as humans have advanced beyond the rest of the animal kingdom and no longer need to fear starvation or death-by-bear, what does such hunting satisfy other than the craving to kill?

05 February 2006

I cannae believe it: Scotland scored the *first* try against France!

And as I post this, it's 10-0...

It's been near impossible to catch any of the 6 Nations here.

Update: It's noo 13-3. Chicken-counter P is a wee bit upset that France managed to claw back 3 points before half-time. Him and the other pre-hatch numerators are going to jinx us!

Update: We're sitting in stunned silence. Can't quite believe our ears. The last ten minutes were too tense!

This is the best start to a Six Nations campaign in at least a decade. Could it finally be the payoff of having three pro Scottish teams? The maturation of what was a young side a couple of years ago? Change in management style? Certainly, the game sounded less negative than it's looked for the last three 6 Nations. And relieving Chris Paterson of too many responsibilities sounds like it's improved his kicking accuracy. Then again, it's like when Gregor Townsend was playing: when Paterson has a good game, Scotland has a good chance of winning. And having a few fast feet pushing the game forward changes the way the rest of the team plays. This doesn't change the way Scotland seems to tire towards the end; this time, they could at least play 20 good minutes in the 2nd half, where before they'd be too knackered to defend. France gained a lot of ground and scuppered their chances with two missed conversions, which places some doubt on their chances this year.

Count your chickens all you like; this victory is enough for me.