Re: I Think We Can Take Them

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A fun experiment would be to drop a Coke bottle on them, and see if it fucks with their society. Like in that movie...


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:24 AM
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That's pretty cool.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:28 AM
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Leave them alone!

You know there's some zillionaire adventure traveler type looking at those photos and scheming to get himself smuggled in to visit.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:34 AM
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The story says there are estimated to be around 100 uncontacted tribes in the world (a lot more than I would have guessed), half of them in the Amazon. Most of them will likely make contact or die out at some point; you have to figure the ones that haven't been contacted yet are pretty remote.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:38 AM
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Fascinating, moreso because I have Lost on the brain.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:39 AM
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I support the OLPUC programme: One Laptop Per Uncontacted Child!


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:41 AM
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because I have Lost on the brain.

I was a little bit underwhelmed by last night's season finale.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:42 AM
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If you're going to do a flyover of an uncontacted tribe, shouldn't you at least bring the hi-res camera equipment? Why are these pictures so grainy?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:44 AM
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7: Don't go there, I haven't watched it on Tivo yet...


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:44 AM
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I think I loved it.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:44 AM
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3: And never be heard from again. Perhaps someone could arrange a tour for zillionaire adventure-travel types.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:44 AM
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3: You know there's some zillionaire adventure traveler type Starbucks representative looking at those photos and scheming to get himself smuggled in to visit.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:44 AM
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The flyover was done by a recently contacted tribe.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:44 AM
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How can you be sure that they're uncontacted when you're in the air?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:46 AM
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14: The only way to really know is to contact them and ask.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:49 AM
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Seems like FUNAI does a pretty thorough job of knowing who is where and protecting their rights to remain uncontacted.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:49 AM
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8-13 have the same timestamp. That's kind of disturbing.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:49 AM
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re: 8

Presumably they aren't actually flying that low? The close-ups are actually blow-ups of photo 2 in the BBC set. Which shows the plane was pretty high-up.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:50 AM
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But then what are the criteria for distinguishing one uncontacted tribe from another? I suppose I should look this up but I'm lazy.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:51 AM
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17: It has something to with the time portal in the orchid.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:52 AM
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14: Because e-mails to them always get rejected with reply code 421 .


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:55 AM
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But then what are the criteria for distinguishing one uncontacted tribe from another?

Isn't it probably just geography? It doesn't look like this tribe is very big.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:55 AM
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But then what are the criteria for distinguishing one uncontacted tribe from another?

You think it's all the same tribe, just bopping around to fool us into thinking there are more of them? Perhaps, like a panoramic picture of a group where one jokester pops up three times in the photo.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:57 AM
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It doesn't look like this tribe is very big.

IANAA, but there's a size threshhold for a self-sustaining hunter/gatherer unit, and it's not very large.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:58 AM
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18: then what's getting the tribe all riled up?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:59 AM
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No. I think "uncontacted" probably means "not much contact" or "only authorized contact at some point in the past."


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 10:59 AM
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The fact that they were shooting arrows at the plane suggests that the plane was pretty close.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:00 AM
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I think it is geography. They are very small tribes. Apparently, most uncontacted tribes in South American have b/n 75-200 members.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:01 AM
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I think "uncontacted" probably means "not much contact" or "only authorized contact at some point in the past."

Why do you think that?

The fact that they were shooting arrows at the plane suggests that the plane was pretty close.

Why do you think that?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:01 AM
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I really loved the shrunken heads and pagan masks in the basement of the St Louis Art Museum.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:01 AM
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For a well-written, depressing (but with some dark humor) novel based on contact with Amazonian tribes, I recommend At Play in the Fields of the Lord by Peter Mathiessen. If you want to get into a state of mind where Tripp and stras look like optimists, read his Far Tortuga.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:02 AM
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Because e-mails to them always get rejected with reply code 421.

Their voicemail message is that annoying phone number default, and their mailbox is always full because they haven't checked it yet.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:02 AM
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Regardless, they seem mighty unfriendly. I wonder what about their experiences has made them so hostile towards unidentified things in the sky?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:03 AM
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unidentified things in the sky

Really big, really loud unidentified things in the sky. Doesn't seem so strange.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:05 AM
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I remember after the tsunami the Indian military sent helicopters to check up on the Andamamese tribes and were met with spears and arrows, which they took as an encouraging sign.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:05 AM
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Regardless, they seem mighty unfriendly.

Probably because they don't yet know about the Bible.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:05 AM
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33: They're the mythical lost tribe of Guernica.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:05 AM
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24, 28: Yeah, I believe pre-agricultural tribes were typically around 150 members, so 75-200 members is probably the real variance one can expect. Can't remember the source for this number, but it's probably pulled from anthropologist accounts of initial contacts with hunter-gatherer tribes.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:05 AM
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35: "Andamese."


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:05 AM
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is it me, or did it just get a little bit racist in here?


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:05 AM
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Why do you think that?

Again, you have to have some knowledge to be able to determine who is a member of which tribe. Otherwise what you've got is uncontacted people, which isn't quite the same thing. Maybe it's all based on aerial surveillance and geographic location. And the assumption that everyone you see in the same area is a member of the same tribe.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:06 AM
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36 -> 31


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:06 AM
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I really loved the shrunken heads and pagan masks in the basement of the St Louis Art Museum.

When they say that Cardinals fans are the most dedicated in baseball, I believe them.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:06 AM
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Wikipedia has a pretty elaborate chart of the tribes in South America. It does seem like FUNAI goes into most of those tribes semi-regularly with vaccines.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:07 AM
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re: 27

It's clear that those are the same photo [2 and 4]. Even assuming the use of a fairly short focal length lens the plane must still be reasonably high [where by reasonably high I mean a hundred feet or more]. You'd be surprised how long a lens you need to take good photos of people from distance and long lenses are hard to use when you're in motion.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:07 AM
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We must go and bring Christ to them. Who had Him last?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:07 AM
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Unsurprisingly, wikipedia - which might not be the best authority on this, I know - says:

Uncontacted peoples are peoples who, either by choice or chance, live without significant contact with the larger civilizations of the world.

Right - "without significant contact."


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:09 AM
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There's a lot of anthropological literature about the mystique of the pristine uncontacted savage and how disappointing it usually is when you find one. In some cases they have transistor radios or Tshirts.

This comes from an official group of some sort and I'd imagine that "uncontacted" has a prosaic bureaucratic meaning.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:11 AM
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Uncontacted peoples are peoples who, either by choice or chance, live without significant contact with the larger civilizations of the world.

E.g., the grad students in the big office at the other end of my building.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:13 AM
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I wonder what about their experiences has made them so hostile towards unidentified things in the sky?

Who wouldn't feel defensive/suspicious toward unidentified things in the sky?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:13 AM
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is it me, or did it just get a little bit racist in here?

And I haven't yet compared them to the grizzlies who made threatening motions to our plane over the North Slope.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:13 AM
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The Landersians, obviously. Of course, most of them have died out.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:14 AM
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50: They could be a little less nasty, and a little more worshipful.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:15 AM
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is it me, or did it just get a little bit racist in here?

Are you kidding or being serious? What was racist?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:15 AM
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They could be a little less nasty, and a little more worshipful.

Spoken like a lady in a nineteenth century novel of exploration and adventure (King Solomon's Mines, The Lost World, etc., etc.). More tea?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:16 AM
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If you can't be racist against genuine spear-chuckers, who can you be racist against anymore? Let me guess, Iranians?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:17 AM
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We must launch an expedition immediately to gather their IQ statistics.


Posted by: Posting For James until he gets here | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:18 AM
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Iranians should be prevented from having the knowledge necessary to build spears.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:18 AM
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I feel kinda weird about a government conspiring to keep a distinct group of peopleuneducated, unserved, and living at a subsistence level. We wouldn't stand for the American government making a museum out of some of us.


Posted by: ed bowlinger | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:18 AM
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I want to know is why the women went and hid and made the med get all painted up to confront the plane? What is this, some kind of strange matriarchal society?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:19 AM
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50: They could be a little less nasty, and a little more worshipful.

But isn't that just like them, the ungrateful things!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:19 AM
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I feel kinda weird about a government conspiring to keep a distinct group of peopleuneducated, unserved, and living at a subsistence level.

Really? You don't think that "educating and serving them" would be an explosive genie out of the bottle? You can't undo that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:20 AM
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There's a lot of anthropological literature about the mystique of the pristine uncontacted savage and how disappointing it usually is when you find one

Remember the Tasaday?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:20 AM
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It is a known fact that 90% of spears thrown at our boys in Iraq were manufactured in Iran. We must bomb the Iranian spear manufacturing facilities.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:21 AM
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58: The British government has learned that Iran recently sought significant quantities of wood from Africa


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:21 AM
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We wouldn't stand for the American government making a museum out of some of us.

This is true. We'd insist that they be wiped out and the land used for development.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:21 AM
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There's a lot of anthropological literature about the mystique of the pristine uncontacted savage and how disappointing it usually is when you find one.

Ask Michael Rockefeller about that one.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:21 AM
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58: The British government has learned that Iran recently sought significant quantities of wood from Africa

And black paint. It's for a BMW cargo cult.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:22 AM
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A little OT, but interesting recent Jared Diamond article about life among "primitive" (pre-state) tribes. Story is from New Guinea. Makes you see why pulling out the weaponry is the first response to strangers.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:22 AM
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I want to know is why the women went and hid and made the med get all painted up to confront the plane?

Just the thought of a matriarchy and Ogged gets all tongue-tied and twitchy.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:23 AM
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We wouldn't stand for the American government making a museum out of some of us.

But we do stand for the American government making impoverished, dislocated societies out of some of us.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:24 AM
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First, if they're throwing spears--which they aren't buying by the carton down at Wal-Mart, mind you--they presumably think they have some reasonable chance of hitting the target, or at least of getting close enough to the target to scare it in some way. And they presumably throw spears often enough to know they can't throw them for miles. So if they're throwing spears at the plane, it seems to me like the plane was presumably pretty close.

Second, yeah, worship. Or, more likely, at least initially, simple curiosity. Or possibly just plain fear. Any of these seem reasonable. They instead chose unabashed hostility. Do they throw spears at every new thing they encounter in life? That's no way to expand one's horizons.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:24 AM
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But the real question is: What is their Walk Score?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:25 AM
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people uneducated, unserved, and living at a subsistence level.

I devoutly hope these people never have to experience modern "education" or "social services".


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:25 AM
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59, 62: This is a really interesting conversation in development communities. Both of my parents do a lot of work with USAID and foreign medical aid groups with pretty undeveloped countries, and this question always provokes interesting responses from people drawn to foreign aid work. If a group is given the choice through greater education and wealth, and they choose to give up something people see as part of their "culture", is that really a loss?

I lean very far to the 59 side of things. Loss of culture is a great thing, if that "culture" is intrinsically bound to a sustenance hunter-gatherer or agricultural existance with all the accompanying hardships.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:25 AM
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if they're throwing spears-

Did they actually throw them? Or are they just pre-emptively cocked and loaded?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:26 AM
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First contact.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:27 AM
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75: I actually find this view rather horrific. It's a form of genocide. For proof, look at the great majority of the hunter-gatherer societies Western civilization has attempted to "rescue".


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:28 AM
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Good grief, Brock. Presumably they don't think quite the way we do.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:28 AM
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Or are they just pre-emptively cocked and loaded?

I think that's it; they have the bows ready, but there's no sign that they shot any arrows. Planes are scary up close, even when you know what they are.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:28 AM
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Throwing spears, shooting arrows, what's the damn difference heebie? The point: hostile.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:28 AM
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Okay, on re-reading, it's possible they didn't actually shoot any arrows. But I thought they did, which only reinforces my point.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:31 AM
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they don't think quite the way we do

Racist.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:31 AM
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They all look like happy campers to me. Happy campers they are, happy campers they have been, and, as far as I am concerned, happy campers they will always be.


Posted by: Dan Quayle | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:31 AM
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Do they throw spears at every new thing they encounter in life? That's no way to expand one's horizons.

PGD's link in 69 is pretty good on inter-tribal relations, but also, these people are in the middle of the damn Amazon. Anything bigger than a human is probably higher on the food chain, a situation that most humans haven't had to deal with for a few thousand years. In that case, you can damn well bet I'd be rallying my crew to shoot at anything big that approached us.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:31 AM
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Throwing spears, shooting arrows, what's the damn difference heebie? The point: hostile.

Now who's being hostile!

I was saying that the plane wasn't necessarily flying low, because they weren't necessarily already throwing spears at it. They were just ready, in case it should come closer.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:31 AM
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I want to know is why the women went and hid

probably doing their makeup and pushing the vacuum around, since they've got visitors coming.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:32 AM
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75: Totally with you, Po-Mo. I think the other attitude is well-meaning but obscene. "The Civil Rights Act was great, obviously, but modern blues music kind of sucks."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:33 AM
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In their culture throwing a spear at someone is regarded as a respectful form of greeting. It's insulting not to throw spears or shoot arrows at a stranger, because it means that you have no respect for them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:34 AM
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Brock does have a point. We don't shoot arrows at UFOs. We usually take pictures, and that's even knowing that the UFO would like to give us an anal probe. Maybe these Amazonians should treat UFOs the way they'd like to be treated, and maybe if everything is trying to eat them, they should look in the mirror, IF THEY CAN EVEN AFFORD ONE.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:36 AM
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For what it's worth, I recall reading in the TLS a while ago that the main stricture of FUNAI's first director to his field operators was "Die if you must, but never kill," which suggests that some spears get thrown from time to time.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:36 AM
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they have the bows ready, but there's no sign that they shot any arrows

Right, like waving your arms and shouting to frighten away a threatening animal. And that display was then followed by the plane flying away, so evidence that it worked.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:38 AM
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88: are you seriously comparing uncontacted hunter-gatherer societies to the situation of black Americans desiring greater rights within the society they had already lived in for three centuries?

Try the American Indian comparison, it might be more illuminating.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:38 AM
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Apo knows how to think like a native.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:39 AM
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Maybe these Amazonians should treat UFOs the way they'd like to be treated, and maybe if everything is trying to eat them, they should look in the mirror, IF THEY CAN EVEN AFFORD ONE.

Do they even know it's Christmastime at all?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:40 AM
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and maybe if everything is trying to eat them, they should look in the mirror, IF THEY CAN EVEN AFFORD ONE.

"Yes, but have you thought about the jaguar's feelings? And maybe they have a point of their own? Hmm? Our hour's up, but think about that one for next time."


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:41 AM
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Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run.
Mark Twain


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:41 AM
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sorry for the humorless 93. Ignore. Back to the pros and cons of spear-chucking. Also, the terrible underuse of body paint in modern societies.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:41 AM
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First, if they're throwing spears--which they aren't buying by the carton down at Wal-Mart, mind you--they presumably think they have some reasonable chance of hitting the target, or at least of getting close enough to the target to scare it in some way. And they presumably throw spears often enough to know they can't throw them for miles. So if they're throwing spears at the plane, it seems to me like the plane was presumably pretty close.

Assuming a roughly normal focal length lens [which have a roughly 45 degree field of view], the plane has to be at least 150-200ft up and probably more like 300ft. With a telephoto lens, higher even than that. Any closer and they'd have to be using a lens with a pretty wide field of view.

There's simply no way they could be flying low enough for the guys throwing the spears to be in with a realistic chance of hitting them. Even assuming they were using a lens with a wide field of view, the trees themselves are going to basically put any plane flying safely out of spear range.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:42 AM
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Planes are scary up close, even when you know what they are.

You are afraid of airplanes?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:43 AM
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Why are we flying over them at all? Why not use Google Earth to invade their privacy?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:43 AM
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75, etc.: Acculturated primitives seldom are fully inducted into the new culture. They usually end up as destitute peasants, or as welfare dependents, or as shantytown dwellers, or as migrant workers. Or, of course, dead.

Oregon has a considerable population of Mixtec migrant workers from Mexico who don't speak Spanish. This comes up from time to time in trials, or in one case, when a Mixtec died in a mental ward.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:43 AM
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Apo knows how to think like a native.

Because I watched Cannibal Holocaust.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:44 AM
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You are afraid of airplanes?

I fear nothing but dishonor, young Brock, but as I've said, planes are big and loud.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:44 AM
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You are afraid of airplanes?

Have you tried taking a cross-country flight recently?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:45 AM
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"The Civil Rights Act was great, obviously, but modern blues music kind of sucks."

But there situations—not that one, which is asinine—where some justifiable and perhaps inevitable development does have costs and losses. It should be possible to recognise and acknowledge them.

But there are people whose desire to justify a development, like vacination or education or whatnot, lead them to deny that there are any losses at all.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:46 AM
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Given 105, 100 follows from 104.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:46 AM
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Do they even know it's Christmastime at all?

So awesome.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:47 AM
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99: patronizing and racist. With an atalatl they could certainly throw a spear 200 to 300 feet.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:48 AM
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93: I admit it's a harder question to answer than my answer might suggest, and I'm foursquare against giving them smallpox blankets, but I think the failure of various reservation schemes cuts at least as much my way as yours.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:49 AM
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100 follows from 104

Anti-cattleist.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:50 AM
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93 and 102 are both true, which is why this question is much much harder when dealing with primitive pre-agricultural tribes. When an isolated group has never dealt with large numbers of unknown people, there are all kinds of difficulties ranging from lack of immunity to horrendous racism. Aboriginal groups who weren't part of the few tribes that ended up taking over most of the world are probably the most universally discriminated against groups out there. I really can't think of a place in the world that doesn't have a few indigenous minorities it's fucked over royally.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:51 AM
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I'm foursquare against giving them smallpox blankets

I was going to say "mighty white of you," but the historical record argues against it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:52 AM
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re: 109

I know what an atalatl is, dude. I'd still question anyone's ability to hit a plane a couple of hundred feet straight-up with one.

Quoting that self-same wikipedia article:

While the atlatl is capable of casting a dart well over 100 meters, it is most accurately used at distances of 20 meters or less.

And you'd better be fucking kidding about the racism.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:54 AM
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Oregon has a considerable population of Mixtec migrant workers from Mexico who don't speak Spanish.

I think my parents must have hired a couple of these guys to build a wall at their house by the Sound last summer. No wonder I couldn't figure out what the hell they were saying to each other.

I want to know is why the women went and hid and made the med get all painted up to confront the plane?

I'm pretty sure I saw tits on the black-painted one.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:54 AM
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And you'd better be fucking kidding about the racism.

The hair-trigger temper of the Scots.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:56 AM
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I'm pretty sure I saw tits on the black-painted one.

A radical. There's one in every crowd. Human nature, you know.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:58 AM
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Someone better fry up a mars bar, or there'll be trouble.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:59 AM
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114: Also, the quoted range is horizontal. Planes fly above you.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 12:00 PM
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I figured out what bothers me: there's a government policy about contact with these tribes, promulagated for what someone thinks is their own good, that not only did they not consent to, but that they're not even aware of.

Also, the implicit critique of the world's society in that not only might people be better off isolated and sequestered away from it, but that they might be better off not even knowing about it.


Posted by: ed bowlinger | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 12:13 PM
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As far as uncontacted peoples go, I prefer the Sentinelese to Amazonians, as they're on an island and actively keep outsiders off it.

And whaddayaknow, here's a video.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 12:15 PM
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Mm. Deep fried chocolate. The food of peace.


Posted by: Nattargcm ttam | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 12:15 PM
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I'd still question anyone's ability to hit a plane a couple of hundred feet straight-up with one.

*anyone's* ability? Or just a non-white person's ability?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 12:19 PM
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They seem to agree with the Brazilian policy, given their own policy of attacking strangers.

Any policy towards these people would be paternalistic and dominating. The present policy (similar to Denmark's Greenland policy and Australia's New Guinea policy) is protective. Without the government policy, a common informal popular policy is expropriation and massacre.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 12:19 PM
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120: I'm not sure that's entirely clear, if, as eb's wikiresearch showed, 'uncontacted' means 'extremely limited, sporadic contact.'

In any case, I can't think of an option likely to end well.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 12:29 PM
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I know that the "throwing spears" topic is full of a lot of possible trouble spots but I'm going in anyway.

I have had personal experience with throwing javelins and this white man's perspective is that it is a lot frigging harder than it looks. A lot.

Also a good spear is worth a lot because just any old piece of sharpened stick won't fly very well so nobody is gonna want to throw it away and not get it back.

Even so as far as I know no human has been able to throw a spear with escape velocity so unless it hits the plane it is coming back down pretty close by. I wouldn't be throwing it over a cliff but they might throw it as a warning even knowing it wouldn't hit the plane.

And as an interesting side note in order for a javelin throw to 'count' the tip must stick in the ground, and there is a trick to getting the javelin to turn nose-down halfway through the trajectory that I have not totally mastered. Many of my throws simply fly taildown and land that way.

All my javelin learning has been through books so I welcome any advice from someone with real world experience.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed! | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 12:29 PM
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I just use the javelin to distract them and then finish them off with my mace.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 12:31 PM
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124: Especially if there's oil to be piped through. (Warning: depressing)


Posted by: icathing | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 12:31 PM
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You could buy an atlatl, Tripp

http://www.atlatl.com/article1.html


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 12:33 PM
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Which one is Tom Berenger, and which Nick Nolte? Like the Mars & Moon landings, y'all can't fool me. This is probably a stunt for the Next Bond flick.

Those Amazonians are supposed to leave our more primitive culture alone, under the Prime Directive. Their bad influence could prolong Peak Oil and deter global warming.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 12:40 PM
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bob is a funny man! Thanks, man.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 12:44 PM
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I may have said this here before, if only in passing. The story of human kind is: When in doubt, poke it with a stick. (And if it does not respond to your satisfaction, poke it harder.) That impulse, our insatiable curiosity, can result in aggression, frustration, toward those people or things that do not respond satisfactorily. That don't readily give up their secrets.

It's neither good nor bad: it just is our way. A great deal of good has come of it, obviously. But know this about ourselves! For god's sake, desist when we're inflicting damage, distorting the object of inquiry: leave it alone. We have trouble with that, children that we dearly wish we could remain. Our efforts to master the matter at hand can and do become grotesque.

(/earnestness)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 1:09 PM
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Early in his career Sausagely was almost arrested for poking a dead whale on the beach with a stick.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 1:14 PM
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those guys have no social surplus.

http://www.shirky.com/herecomeseverybody/2008/04/looking-for-the-mouse.html


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 1:19 PM
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In their culture throwing a spear at someone is regarded as a respectful form of greeting.

Every good nerd knows the Minbari open their gun ports on greeting a strange ship as a sign of respect for the other's power. Duh.

You know, these days it's a rare gift to watch Brock work. He is a master of trollery. It's like being present at the creation of great art.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 1:19 PM
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Every good nerd knows the Minbari open their gun ports on greeting a strange ship as a sign of respect for the other's power

I am really glad that someone other than me said this since it was the first thing I thought after reading John's comment.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 1:22 PM
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You know, these days it's a rare gift to watch Brock work.

I thought so! Damn, he's good.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 1:23 PM
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It should also be pointed out that the Minbari's policy didn't work out well for anyone involved.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 1:26 PM
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Speaking of nature tooth & claw, as I was sitting here at the computer I felt and itch on my belly, and managed to get the tick before it bit in. Tried to crush it in a kleenex, but those suckers are tough, so just flushed it. The tick had a white head, so probably a Lone Star Tick rather than American Dog Tick. Bummer.

Got to remember to DEET up before walking the dogs. Remember once in the woods the critters attacked me like gnats. Dozens. Haven't gone back there.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 1:29 PM
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The story of human kind is: When in doubt, poke it with a stick.

Sexist.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 1:35 PM
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139: Dude, about ticks. (I found one on my stomach, attached, when I woke up a couple of days ago. Tiny, probably a deer tick, yes: smaller than a sesame seed, as they are. Removed it right away, of course.)

About these things, they need to be attached for over 24 hours before they can transmit Lyme disease. Good news. Take care about that stuff.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 1:38 PM
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I am really glad that someone other than me said this since it was the first thing I thought after reading John's comment.

Nerd power!


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 1:42 PM
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I pulled a tick off of Noah, just behind his ear, when I was giving him a bath the other day. They kinda freak out both my current and ex-wife, but I grew up in the woods and pulling ticks out of one's skin was like brushing dirt off your pants. I'm told Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are unpleasant, but I've never had any ill effects from my many bites.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 1:45 PM
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I pulled a tick as big as a grape off my dog once.

I thought I had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever once, but the doctor explained that if I had had it, I would have been dead for awhile already. Apparently it's a sudden onset, often fatal disease.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 1:50 PM
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True fact. After returning from a hike during which I had responded to "the call of nature" I undressed to take a shower. Sure enough, here was a tick attached to the head of my dick. Removal of the insect did not involve a heated match, needless to say.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 1:53 PM
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You could buy an atlatl, Tripp

Tassled thanks for the pointer. I never knew the name for those. Now I just don't know how to pronounce the name.

Compared to a javelin the atlatl prices are not that bad.

Looking up the prices I discovered javelins had balls. Who knew?

Unfortunately I'd need the atlatl in the Olympics before I would learn it. Bummer.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 1:58 PM
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I pulled a tick as big as a grape off my dog once.

*sob*


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:00 PM
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Large ticks are not a problem. It's the teeny tiny ones that can be.

I've removed ticks from lots of pets, but also friends on occasion -- yeah, no big deal healthwise unless they're really small. And if a really small one that was in a location you might not have noticed for over 24 hours, antibiotics sooner rather than later knock out possible Lyme disease.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:01 PM
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In my life I've managed get to where I can handle leeches and snakes and most any non-insects with no trouble, kill spiders with my bare hands, and eat just about anything but I still have a visceral need to grab a tick with a pair of pliers, set it on an anvil, and pound the bejeesus out of it.


Posted by: Tripp the squemish! | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:02 PM
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Parsimon,

Large ticks are not a problem.

Speak for yourself Bucko! (shudder)


Posted by: Tripp with crawling skin | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:04 PM
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I still have a visceral need to grab a tick with a pair of pliers, set it on an anvil, and pound the bejeesus out of it.

I prefer the satisfying "pop" when ticks are burned.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:05 PM
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re: 123

Don't be a fucking prick.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:05 PM
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I once convinced Mr MC (who was not yet Mr MC) to go to a cottage that was "boat-access only." I wouldn't say it was in the wilds of Canada, exactly (though Mr MC might say differently!), but the area was fairly remote (not to mention sparsely populated). Loading up the boat with food and supplies, we both spent about 10 minutes wading in some swampy water, but for some reason, it was only Mr MC who appealed to the leeches. I used salt to remove them.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:13 PM
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Mary Catherine is insufficiently juicy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:14 PM
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How about you all stop talking about ticks now.

About the policy of noncontact: presumably this is based on lots and lots of eZperience, including some imput from members of formerly noncontacted tribes. Also, as far as I know, if a tribe gets curious about those noises from over the valley or whatever, it's not as though the government shoves the people back into its pristine noncontacted condition and enforces the perimeter. It's all about harm-reduction, again AFAIK.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:15 PM
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Jeez, y'all have made me feel much better. I don't know why, but I have some kinda shame about getting ticks.

Dogs are treated, but occasionally we have to use those slotted tick removers. I wonder sometimes about dabbing myself once a month at neck, back, and butt. I hate those things.

This was big enough, I know the small ones are the most dangerous. As I researched, I read that the males don't engorge when attached and can wait for years for a female to show up. Yeccch.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:15 PM
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In my life I've managed get to where I can handle leeches and snakes and most any non-insects with no trouble, kill spiders with my bare hands

I can't deal with leeches. No way. I get very freaked out, and won't swim in the types of ponds that might have leeches. I don't like slugs much either, but I can pick 'em up and throw them, now.

After you handle a few dozen raisin-sized ticks picked off a pet, there's no pleasure in smashing them. Just a kind of: off with you, stupid thing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:16 PM
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153: Have experienced some good leech action in Alquonquin. Per an experienced paddler after one of my kids came bolting out of the water screaming "Get it off of me! Get it off of me!"", "It's always better if someone else finds the leech.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:19 PM
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In Canadian iconography the leech has a status comparable to that of the loon, but most foreigners are not told this.

Around here there's a leech industry, for use as bait. Only certain leeches are good bait. Leeches are still used medically to drain healing wounds.

My first movie memory is Kathryn Hepburn picking leeches off Humphrey Bogart in "African Queen". I missed the sexual innuendo. A lot of 50s movies and plays were dripping with innuendo. A little T&A is innocuous in comparison. They had the hydraulic pressure built way, way up. Tennessee Williams, etc.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:24 PM
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Sure enough, here was a tick attached to the head of my dick. Removal of the insect did not involve a heated match, needless to say.

Sissy.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:25 PM
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"Get it off of me! Get it off of me!"

Sounds about right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:29 PM
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Need fulfillment and advancement, but don't have the free time? Beat the daily grind with eZperience, new from iMput Technologies. All the experience, with none of the wait.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:36 PM
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A lot of 50s movies and plays were dripping with innuendo. A little T&A is innocuous in comparison. They had the hydraulic pressure built way, way up.

I know. If you have to wait till the third date these days, that's pressure. I can't imagine what it was like then.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:37 PM
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In Canadian iconography the leech has a status comparable to that of the loon, but most foreigners are not told this.

There was even some talk of putting the leech on the one-dollar coin, but some Tory chamber-of-commerce types thought it might damage the Canadian tourism industry.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:37 PM
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160. No G. Gordon Liddy stunts for me, thank you very much.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:41 PM
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Closer to whatever the topic is, as I follow comments here I am reading my Jonathan Israel to figure out what went wrong with that Enlightenment thingy. My early impression, with Leibniz visiting Michelangelo Fardella in Venice and "the Andalusian grandee Don Luis de la Cerda, duke of Medinaceli (viceroy,1696-1702), who had known Queen Christina in Rome and, on arriving in Naples, showed a keen interest in philosophy as well as art, opera, and bordellos" and scholars changing schools like every year...is that people moved around too much and knew too many languages. No wonder it got all mixed up.

I myself haven't been thirty miles from home in twenty years and am trying to forget English.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:41 PM
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Leeches are no problem at all. they are especially easy when in cold water because then they are slower and easier to hold because they are less oozy.

I am willing to believe that I could become desensitized enough to no longer enjoy popping ticks but dang I would really rather not go there. I don't know why ticks are one of my last remaining cringe creatures but they certainly are.

I need to blame someone. Whom may I blame?


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed! | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:44 PM
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re: 166

I started losing the will to live about half way through that. Too much biography, not enough history of ideas. Fun in places, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 2:53 PM
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Whom may I blame?

How about: you may blame something like inorganicism. Or rather fear of, or alienation from, it. Ticks are freaky because they're like damned tiny machines. They don't move. Dogged and determined. Not living on your plane, man.

Actually, moving ticks are truly freaky: I have a fuck you, fuck you, fuck you! Kill kill! response when I find them.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 3:02 PM
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I've heard that the swarming ticks have moved up from Mexico into Texas. They say that thousands of them will attack a jogger all at once and leave nothing but dry bones.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 3:08 PM
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There's a lot of anthropological literature about the mystique of the pristine uncontacted savage and how disappointing it usually is when you find one.

Doesn't Bill Bryson have a story about an Aussie explorer finally making it to the middle of the ginormo desert and running into an Aborigine guy who greeted him with a Mason handshake?

Also, on the shooting-arrows-at-the-plane question, how would they know how far away the plane was? They presumably haven't ever seen a plan so they don't know how big a it is, and since it's against a featureless sky, how would they be able to tell how far away it was?


Posted by: theorajones | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 3:09 PM
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not enough history of ideas.

The history of ideas is nothing if not a social history.
I knew what he was about the minute I started him, as he de-emphasized England & France and was pretty much saying the Enlightenment was already over by the time Diderot, Voltaire and Rousseau started working. His second book on the era may be more substantive.

I just picked it up because it kinda fits with Rorty. Reality is consensus. (Not that Rorty says that). If 70 percent of Americans believe Saddam was responsible for 9/11..aww, never mind for now.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 3:10 PM
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76, 80: Per the caption on one of the photos, "The men, painted red, brandished weapons and fired off some arrows at the aircraft." -- arrows, not spears; much more credible at 300 feet or so.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 3:16 PM
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168: I started losing the will to live about half way through that

I dunno, I thought it was one of bob's more readable comments.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 3:18 PM
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Worked for the Viet Cong

Sometimes this is not very healthy, for the Red guerrillas have developed tactics to counter the copters. In the early days, they tried to shoot them down with homemade shotguns and ancient French rifles; one helicopter even returned to base with an arrow stuck in its fuselage

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,873012-1,00.html


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 4:02 PM
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I am reading my Jonathan Israel to figure out what went wrong with that Enlightenment thingy

From the Telegraph:

Enter Jonathan Israel - once described as the thinking person's Simon Schama

I'm not sure who should be more offended by this, Simon Schama or people who read Simon Schama. But it's kind of hilarious.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 4:13 PM
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Aircraft were surprisingly vulnerable to light ground fire, in WWII and since. It helps to have TOWs and other specific weapons, but rifles and MGs are better than nothing, and have brought down thousands of aircraft. And Soviet doctrine stressed this, and was probably passed to the Vietnamese.

Burt Lancaster firing a MG from the roof of Schofield Barracks, and shooting down a Japanese plane, is not so crazy as it might have looked in the movie.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 4:17 PM
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MG fire and rifle fire, yes. But arrows? Reminds me of the line in the movie "Gardens of Stone" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093073/ In which the private tells the sergeant that we will win because they are shooting arrows, but the sergeant says we will lose, because they think they can win with arrows.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 4:29 PM
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At least a quarter of the posts on this blog could take this post title. Three quarters if you allow for adjustments of the three pronouns for person and number.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 4:44 PM
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I can't believe so many of you people have experience with/opinions about ticks and leeches and other ickies.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:03 PM
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I'm with B on this one. I've never even seen a tic.

Savages.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:05 PM
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Effete, disease-free wussies.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:13 PM
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re: 172

Oh, I know what he was doing and the social history was interesting. But I often felt that the ideas being discussed and propagated by the people in his social history played second fiddle to the other stuff and the other stuff, on it's own, didn't do enough to prove his case [about the role of Spinoza, etc].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:17 PM
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158: Been there! The one and only time I've ever seen a moose. But: I was in a car, so not exactly face-to-face with danger in the forest primeval.

B, I can't believe you've never seen a tick or a leech. Have you never been to a lake?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:21 PM
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The uncontacted tribe made ABC and NBC news tonight.


Posted by: NĂ¡pi | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:25 PM
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I remember bear-feeding, from cars, in Algonquin in the early sixties. I'm sure they've cut that out now, as they have in Yellowstone. I've had Elizabeth-Bishop-like encounters with moose at night.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:26 PM
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You slept with Elizabeth Bishop?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:26 PM
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185: BBC too, and showed an old clip of David Attenborough making a first contact in 1971.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:27 PM
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Hey IDP, did you ever read that novel about the woman who sort of gets involved with a bear? And by "involved" I mean "way too involved for any human to be with a bear." I think it won the Governor-General's award for fiction.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:30 PM
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the woman who sort of gets involved with a bear

Martha Washington?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:32 PM
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No, but my Grade 5 essay prize was a copy of the then just-published Incredible Journey.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:33 PM
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189: You mean the one by I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby?


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:34 PM
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They say that bears are as afraid of you as you are of them. I wouldn't say that I've ever terrified a bear, but I have made three of them very, very uneasy. presumably they left the area as quickly as I did.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:34 PM
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189: I think I remember the punch line: "Lady, something tells me you didn't come here just for the huntin'".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:35 PM
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I wouldn't say that I've ever terrified a bear, but I have made three of them very, very uneasy.

Well, you know, John, sometimes you do get a little bit cranky. I could see how that might scare off a bear.

My mother wouldn't let me read it, but an older cousin lent me her (forbidden) copy:

Bear, by Marian ENGEL (Toronto, 1976), winner of the Governor-General's Award, has been called the most controversial novel ever written in Canada because of its heroine's erotic relationship with a bear.

Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:40 PM
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Oh, wait, it's a work of fiction? Booooring. Timothy Treadwell nearly had sex with bear poo, and we had that guy having sex with dolphins. Canadians, always playing it safe.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:45 PM
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Oh, wait, it's a work of fiction?

So when I said "novel," you thought I meant "new and exciting"? Fair enough.

I guess I was about 17 when I read it, and there's a scene in that work of fiction that I totally did not get. It was only years later, when someone was talking about it, that the penny dropped and I thought, "holy crap!"


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:50 PM
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It was a roman a clef, Ogged. The bear's real name could not be revealed because of privacy concerns and doubts about the possibility of informed consent. The real heroine just barely got escaped a serious pederasty charge when it was ruled that the ursine age of consent is four.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:51 PM
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Yeah yeah, you said "novel" and "award for fiction" but all I saw was BEAR SEX.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:53 PM
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Ironic, isn't it? A four year old bear can have sex with you, and it can maul you and eat you, but it can't sign a release allowing its name to be published in the media. That's the bureaucratic Canadian nanny state for you.

Oddly, I can't remember whether it was a lady bear or a guy bear. I sort of hope it was a lady.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:53 PM
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Please tell me this was the real cover. Also from that page,

Bear is the story of Lou, a female local historian in a backwater area of Canada (i.e. not Toronto or Montreal).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:55 PM
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A more discreet cover, but perhaps open to more lascivious interpretations.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:57 PM
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Pwned on the point about the Canadian bureaucracy.

I had always assumed it was a guy bear. But who am I kidding? there are scenes in that novel that I probably still wouldn't get...

The Incredible Journey is wonderful. And my mother let me read that one.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:58 PM
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That one bear in Ogged's first link (that lean, tall drink of water of a bear) would look great in chaps.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:59 PM
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201: Yes! For real, that was the cover. See why I had to hide it from my mother?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 5:59 PM
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Also, I'm Canadian, but I've never heard of this book. I feel like a man without a country.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 6:00 PM
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The contemporary cover is much less racy.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 6:01 PM
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I feel like a man

Bear is by far Engel's most controversial work. The novel's ending has been hailed by some as a victory over the misogyny of mainstream Canadian society, with which Engel constantly takes issue. At other times Bear has been interpreted as a rather passive gesture of resignation and acceptance of the status quo, not unlike the way some critics have read the closing of fellow Canadian writer Margaret Atwood's Surfacing.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 6:02 PM
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Gary Larson had an "Incredible Journey" cartoon involving a squid and a couple of other improbable migratory beasts.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 6:03 PM
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The heroine screwing a guy bear with a dildo adapter would take care of the anti-feminist problem at the same time that it solved the incommensurability problem.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 6:07 PM
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181,182:Cailfornians. Place ain't natural. When Walt Disney built California of course he left out mosquitoes, leeches and ticks.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 6:08 PM
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They say that bears are as afraid of you as you are of them.

I'll try to remember that if I ever make the error of standing between a mother polar bear and her cub.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 6:09 PM
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If it's a polar bear, their livers are not safe to eat because of vitamin D saturation.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 6:10 PM
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183:Umm, have barely started the books. But if I knew enough Foucault or somebody to say anything, I might say something like an active discourse or discipline is defined and driven by what is excluded from the discourse, by what is impossible or impermissable to speak of. And the Devil is strongest when his existence is most doubted.

So the moderate Enlightenment was moderate entirely because they didn't want to be radical, because the radical was nearly unthinkable. Already in the books I am encountering many Cartesians returning to fervent pietism.

PS:Violent Revolution Now!


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 6:30 PM
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213: And let me add, anybody who wants to try to eat Flocke's liver is going to have to go through me.

214: Bob, have you heard the one about a little learning killing the cat who cried wolf?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 6:32 PM
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181: I'm with B on this one. I've never even seen a tic.

OH YES YOU HAVE.

Seriously, that's weird, though. I don't know how you manage to understand anything, really.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 7:13 PM
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I've known tic-like people. I just fake it from there.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 7:15 PM
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Cute little baby polar bear livers are not toxic.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 7:15 PM
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From the Google Books link in 202:

A lonely woman journeys toward inner freedom and strengths and a sense of communion with all living creatures

All living creatures? Even more enticing. Is there a tick chapter?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 7:32 PM
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Is there a tick chapter?

Doesn't have to be: once you got it, you got it, and even centipedes (shudder) are one with you. As long as they're not on you.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 7:39 PM
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There's quite a literature on "the harmony of nature" + parasitism + predation.

Robert Frost:

I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth--
Assorted characters of death and blight
Mixed ready to begin the morning right,
Like the ingredients of a witches' broth--
A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,
And dead wings carried like a paper kite.

What had that flower to do with being white,
The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?--
If design govern in a thing so small.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 7:42 PM
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and even centipedes (shudder)

O my God, you know what's freaky about centipedes? Apparently they're not even considered insects, but more like small insect-like animals. It is to shudder. Something that slimy and icky should be a damn bug, FFS. We have them in our humble abode, and I try not to mind, because the presence of centipedes means the absence of cockroaches (which freak me out even more: ha! ticks and leeches are as child's play...). But I swear those centipedes have an animal cunning: they will actually, and apparently quite deliberately, hide from you, and then dart out when you least expect it.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 7:55 PM
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moose in my house


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:02 PM
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The centipede is not iconic for the Canadians.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:04 PM
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you know what's freaky about centipedes? Apparently they're not even considered insects, but more like small insect-like animals

Same phylum as the insects, but in their own class.

Chilopoda


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:06 PM
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I appreciate Frost much more than I used to.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:07 PM
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I had to write an essay on Frost's "Design" in order to test into an honors English class in high school. That assignment came in handy once.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:09 PM
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I'm generally unfazed by creepy-crawlies, but I draw the line at centipedes (I dare you to witness this battle of centipede vs. mouse). The house where I lived in Japan had both enormous centipedes and enormous cockroaches. Sometimes you could hear them scuttling across the tatami at night.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:09 PM
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Something that slimy and icky should be a damn bug, FFS

They aren't slimy. I may have said this before, but when I was in the Caribbean I woke up one night with a 7" giant centipede biting my nose. Thing had gumption I have to give it that.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:11 PM
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I can't believe you've never seen a tick or a leech. Have you never been to a lake?

Yes, I've been to a alake. And I think I may have seen a tick once. But I'm not sure. And I haven't seen leeches except in zoos.

We have mosquitoes, Bob, you dork. I've known all about mosquito abatement since I was a child PK's age.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:14 PM
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In high school I was bit by a tick in Tilden Park. At the time I didn't see it and it just felt like a sharp muscle cramp. The tick must have been drinking my blood for a while before I incidentally crushed it because I didn't notice it until it was smashed in a small, flat oval on my calf. We couldn't remove ourselves at home so I ended up in the ER where the doctor pulled out all he could by more conventional means and then used a knife to dig around until he got the rest of it out.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:14 PM
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228: NOOOO.

That said, centipedes aren't slimy. They are kinda freaky, though.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:16 PM
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Eat liver at your own risk.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:21 PM
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They have leech zoos in California. Well I never.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:22 PM
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They have leeches *in* zoos. Or science centers. Or things like that. I know I've seen 'em in little glass aquarium-type thingies, on display.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:24 PM
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There's more than one video out of a mantis killing a mouse.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:26 PM
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NO MOUSE DEATHS. Or I will have to cut you.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:27 PM
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Okay, how about centipede vs. tarantula?

Leeches cling to the underside of logs and such in the winter, and quickly head for the first warm body that enters the water in spring. Don't go into the water. The pond near our house in Vermont was filled with leeches, so I never, ever went in.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:38 PM
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The centipede is not iconic for the Canadians.

I never in my life saw a centipede until I moved south of the 49th parallel. No, never. I don't care what B says, it's safer up there.

CJB, I admire your fortitude.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:40 PM
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I don't think I've ever seen a leech in the wild. I'm not sure I've seen one in an aquarium style tank or other non-wild display.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:42 PM
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Oh, and the first time I ever saw ticks was when the family dog picked up a couple on her neck. We put some kind of powder on them and they fell off after a while.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:44 PM
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239: We had tons of house centipedes in our place in Ontario. Indeed, I have not had them elsewhere.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:50 PM
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It's awesome that there are spiders big enough to eat mice. 45 seconds in is the money shot.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ES50zZnCR34


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:51 PM
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Just saw 237. Tee hee.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:52 PM
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242: You were way south, B. In the tropics of Canada, really.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:54 PM
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B just brings her elite Stockton attitude and centipedes with her wherever she goes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:56 PM
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The first tarantula I ever saw was crossing a highway in Death Valley.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 8:59 PM
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Oh great. The NBA playoffs are about to become totally unwatchable (for me).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 9:13 PM
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I've only seen leeches once. I think JCMcQ is right that it's when the water is coldest that they seem to be omnipresent. But in the height of summer, there are only isolated places (swimming holes, etc.) where they are likely to attach to you, and other places where they will leave you alone. There was one place in particular that we knew they would attach to us.

As for ticks, I have seen them on dogs and cats, but any instance of one on a human was small and non-engorged enough that it could have been something else.

Centipedes are the only terrifying household pest in the temperate zones where I live. Not even the scolopendras. this one. Cockroaches are not scary, they are just beetles.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 9:15 PM
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The first tarantula I ever saw

The first?! Which would seem to imply at least the second, if not the third and fourth...I'm pretty sure the sight of a tarantula would leave me pretty much undone. I'd rather face a polar bear, frankly. At least you could look that beast in the eye before he killed you...


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 9:16 PM
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"Mary Catherine and the Bear": Now playing in a theater near you. Parental guidance due to the eating scene.

My beloved nephew was frightened when Mowgli's beasts in the "Jungle Book" started to eat the horrible British colonials so that Mowgli could bang Lena Headey. So we never did find out whether they got it on.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 9:24 PM
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Parental guidance due to the eating scene.

So me uncle, he ga' me a shotgun, eh? And then didn't he larn me how t'use it? I ex-caped wid me loife, eh, but jes' barely.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 9:46 PM
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250: You've never seen one on a zoo trip, or a "let kids pet the weird animals" thing, or in a pet store??


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 9:51 PM
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The belligerent behavior is easy to explain.

There's good eatin' on a bird that big.


Posted by: Jon H | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:37 PM
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Why are we flying over them at all? Why not use Google Earth to invade their privacy?

It's Google Street that we should be using if we really want to invade their privacy. That and Google Health.


Posted by: wink | Link to this comment | 05-30-08 11:53 PM
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Yeah yeah, you said "novel" and "award for fiction" but all I saw was BEAR SEX.

Perhaps we could recommend some pubs and other establishments at which you could further this interest?

I don't think I've ever seen a leech in the wild.

Some dumbass non-native friends of my evil ex-brother-in-law all went camping when they were in their early 30's (I was in high school at the time) way up the mountain and got about a gazillion ticks and wound up with one of the various tick diseases - Lyme or RMSF or something. I don't remember what they had, I just remember feeling a grim satisfaction that they were all on death's door for an extended period of time.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 12:01 AM
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My beloved nephew was frightened when Mowgli's beasts in the "Jungle Book" started to eat the horrible British colonials so that Mowgli could bang Lena Headey. So we never did find out whether they got it on.

Well, that part of the Jungle Books never came up at summer camp.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 6:41 AM
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I don't think I've ever seen a leech in the wild.

Those cute little pet leeches are really a completely different species. Like Shih-tzus and Shar-peis, they are not viable in the wild.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 8:26 AM
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258: Those cute little pet leeches are really a completely different species.

The leech incident in 158 resulted in a failed attempt to domesticate the leech in question. Immediately upon its removal with salt (Wikipedia says not a good method since it causes the leeches to puke into the wound, they suggest simply peeling and flicking), my son waxed sentimental and insisted that we keep the leech. Dubbed Audrey III, it was duly placed into some water in a small plastic bag and we had a pet leech for a few days. Alas, like many a child's pet he was unwilling to feed it and it succumbed a few days later to some careless negligence on my part.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 11:09 AM
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Gross, JP.

I don't know how many times I've been hanging out with a group of people near a creek and someone says, "Oh, how lovely it would be to wade around in that creek!" and comes out with a dozen leeches on his legs.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 11:13 AM
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And I am also sad that, after reading your comment, I went to the Wikipedia leech page and read of "vaginal attachments." AAAAAAAH.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 11:18 AM
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i've never seen ticks until the last yr too when i got tick bites and got treated with doxicilline for two wks, the lab results were negative for the lyme disease, but it costed me 350 and the insurance covered like 16$ only, useless
i like the chukcha jokes, not all, some are racist and distasteful, but some are pretty funny
so i recalled, a chukcha decided to do some robbery with a gun
-give me your money or else!
-else what?
-or else, don't hit me


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 11:22 AM
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In the spirit of your having asked for corrections where appropriate, read, "costed me" should be "cost me".


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 11:27 AM
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Chukcha jokes


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 11:31 AM
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The link in 264 leads to what may be the funniest site ever, the perfect meeting of weak humor and awkward translation.

A Chinese representative went to Chukchas.
- We will make a war with you, Chukchas. How many people do you have?
- Near one thousand. What about you?
- One billiard.
- However, where we will berry all of you?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 11:38 AM
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261: Yeah, I saw that too. For some reason my reaction was less visceral. I also found this which makes sense, but I had never really considered:

However, bacteria, viruses, and parasites from previous blood sources can survive within a leech for months, and may be retransmitted to humans. A study found both HIV and hepatitis B in African leeches from Cameroon.

I also knew they injected an anti-coagulant, but it seems that they also do the same with an anesthetic.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 11:43 AM
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265: However, where we will berry all of you?

"Baseball... been berry berry good... to me." - Chukcha Escuela


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 11:46 AM
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RFTS, thanks
sure sure cost cost cost


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 11:52 AM
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I try to avoid the Cameroon leeches on party nights, but you know how it is someties.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 11:53 AM
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some jokes were distasteful as expected
ok, another joke
a chukcha took a taxi and he payed 100 rubles instead of 200, when asked for more
-you rode it too


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 12:22 PM
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"paid"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 12:28 PM
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aha, thanks, JE, keep them coming, the corrections :)
coz that way i learn more efficiently, embarrassment is a powerful teacher


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 12:32 PM
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re: 265

There's the same joke in the film 'A Bridge Too Far' [re: Operation Market Garden]. The Germans come out to discuss surrender with the besieged and hugely outnumbered British paratroopers.

"Sorry old chap but I don't think we have the facilities to house you all as prisoners"


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-31-08 12:49 PM
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