Archive for October 15th, 2008

John Cleese is one of the smartest people on the planet. Here’s what he’s got to say on the Alaskan governor:

As for Tina Fey, here’s what she really thinks:


If only  politicians nowadays had a better sense of perspective regarding their own capabilities, we wouldn’t have to deal with the possibility of someone so blatantly unready becoming another world leader. More to the point, if the public had a better sense of perspective, they wouldn’t be taken in by Palin’s rhetorics in the first place.

So how DO you get off planet Earth?

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As a population of West African chimpanzees dwindles to critically endangered levels, scientists are calling for a definition of personhood that includes our close evolutionary cousins.

Just two decades ago, the Ivory Coast boasted a 10,000-strong chimpanzee population, accounting for half of the world’s population. According to a new survey, that number has fallen to just a few thousand.

News of such a decline, published today in Current Biology, would be saddening in any species. But should we feel more concern for the chimpanzees than for another animal — as much concern, perhaps, as we might feel for other people?

“They are a people. Non-human, but definitely persons,” said Deborah Fouts, co-director of the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute. “They haven’t built a rocket ship to the moon. But we’re not that different.”


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