‘Fascinatingly ugly’

By skepticlawyer

I stole this from a friend in the Australian Skeptics (thanks, Jayson!) on Facebook, but it comes from a US zoo. Which means the original image has a decent number of comments underneath where people are guessing what they are. Everything from bats to snakes to ‘some sort of weird hybrid’ until someone turns up and points out ‘duck-billed platypus’ (something that’s always made me think, what, there’s another sort of platypus?)

This, of course, is the Weekend chit-chat thread. I understand the result in the Qld state election has been rather decisive…


  1. Posted March 24, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    So you stick a duck’s bill, onto a mutant beaver, make it a mammal but insist it lays eggs… And on the eighth day God discovered acid. And it was goooood!

  2. Posted March 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    It explains the Royal Society when it got a stuffed platypus from Joseph Banks.

    ‘No, Dr Banks, we remember the Canadian Furred Trout. You’ve just glued bits of different animals together and are similarly having a lend of us…’

  3. kvd
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    Open thread? An article about interviewing techniques from The Guardian which gave me a few chuckles last night, particularly the comments thread. One of the paras went as follows:

    “If you were a cartoon character, which one would you be and why?” This is a question that Bank of America has asked aspiring personal bankers. “I said Yogi Bear,” one applicant recalled. “I can’t remember why I said this, but the hiring managers were all applauding it.” He was given the position immediately.

    To which a commenter’s almost immediate response was “No wonder we’re all in the shit.” There’s also some very funny stuff about how to weigh an elephant.

    On the other hand, maybe I need to get out more 😉

  4. Posted March 25, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    On the astonishing wipe-out that is the 2012 Queensland elections, we note that the Greens are oh-so-not the wave of the future. Queensland voters were clearly monumentally pissed off with the incumbents, but not only did the Greens not capture any of that dissatisfaction, their vote share actually declined, from 8.37% in 2009 to 7.34% so far in this one.

    Katter’s Australian Party did significantly better with 11.56% of the vote so far. Of course, ostentatiously parading how much you are in favour of Australians having jobs probably resonates a bit more than virtuously preaching who has to lose theirs. No matter how much economic baloney is involved.

    As for the ALP, this is even a worse wipe out than the 2011 NSW State election. It is beginning to look like a pattern. I do not, however, think having a female Premier is the problem 😉

  5. Posted March 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Queensland is always different (I know this, I grew up there), but it does seem like Labor is just on the nose everywhere.

    Newman was a popular Brisbane Lord Mayor, which no doubt helped him. He may have some future tangles with conservative elements in his own party – I won’t be surprised if he’s already shifted on daylight saving, for example.

  6. Posted March 25, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] A friend of mine who is a long time LNP activist pointed out that Campbell Newman will have lots of MPs who would never have been preselected if folk thought they had any chance of being elected.

  7. Posted March 25, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    [email protected], I was thinking that when I saw the number of seats the LNP won. There’s also the flip side of that point; there’s probably a few that have been elected that might not have had really intended to be an MP.

  8. Movius
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Hope those platypi aren’t male. They pack a nasty sting.

  9. Posted March 26, 2012 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    [email protected] Yes, good point.

  10. Posted March 26, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    What was the original website SL? I’d like to have a look at those comment threads too!

  11. Posted March 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    It’s on Facebook – just click on the graphic on my page to blow it up to full size and the comments are there (I hope that instruction makes sense).

    Also apparently they don’t grow the stinger on the back legs until much later. I have no idea how old these littlies are, apart from the fact that they’re very small!

  12. Posted March 27, 2012 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    [email protected] You can just imagine the conversation with the spouse “honey, guess what I will be doing for the next four years, and four years only …”

  13. Mel
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Whack-job Jo Nova comes out as a Hayekian and recommends all climate skeptics buy gold and read “The Road to Serfdom”.

    Has the whole world gone mad?

  14. Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Thanks SL!

  15. Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] Actually, it is worse than that, since internet ‘Austrians’ endorse all sorts of economic nostrums Hayek moved away from.

    Buying gold may or may not be a good idea: given the soaring Indian and Chinese demand, it might well continue to be a good bet.

    Buying into the gold standard is the Really Bad Idea. And one reason it is a Really Bad Idea is precisely that soaring Indian and Chinese demand for gold.

    David Glasner gets rather nicely stuck into Ben Bernanke for making a meal of explaining why the gold standard is a bad idea.

  16. Posted April 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    A high school student manages to demolish a standard Austrlian claim.

  17. kvd
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] I’m sorry but I don’t agree with that article – in particular the final line

    the surest way to incentivize investment, and to get this market to clear out the massive financial surplus, is to make investment cheaper by further depressing real interest rates

    There is an implication there of market ‘benevolent supervisory control’ which is the exact reason imo why we’ve reached where we are right now. Real people (call them investors, or whatever) quite simply have lost all faith for the moment in the ability of any sort of ‘control system’ to provide an orderly market – and no amount of modelling, or political chicanery will presently cause them to part with what they have.

    I mean, implicit behind his specific words is the ability to deliberately depress real interest rates. You don’t have to be much of a cynic to interpret that as manipulation, with the corollary that, should it be needed, the process could just as easily be reversed.

    For mine, I’d prefer the sticky fingers of the government were kept well away from manipulation, and spent more on ensuring some sort of trust or fidelity in commercial life. And nothing more.

  18. paul walter
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Labor got wiped in QLD?
    Sure did.
    It got wiped because the venal denial- ridden thuggish private contractors, publicans and fish’n chip shop proprietors of QLD voted for it, as well as the serried ranks of TDT and ACA viewers, which we all expected.
    It was joined in the venture by its own long suffering supporters, finally driven to murderous revenge by the ALP’s pathetic attempt at imitating mindless white collar phonies imitating economic rationalists imitating genuine Laborites.
    Queenslanders have, lemming-like, voted to destroy all trace of a healthy environment, above single-digit consciousness and any cultural activity likely to breed it, to ensure that Australia remains a fiefdom of the Koch Bros, XStrata, BHP, Goldman Sachs and a million crass developers.
    Jabba the Hutt impersonators like Palmer,Twiggy Fortescue and the ultimate vulgarian, Gina Rinehart, are ascendant, at least until the the concentrated methane finally gasses them all.
    Humphies-esqe characters like Campbell Newman, Julie Bishop and Scott Morrison, likewise and the senile Ghost of Joh rattles its chains, joined by Russ Hinze, in gleeful anticipation of belated final revenge.
    Seneca (played by Leo Genn), about to suicide on the orders of the emperor Nero, mourns in the movie “The Robe”, “It’s not so much the cruelty I deplore, as the unforgiveable bad taste” (not verbatim).

  19. Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] Given the government is the monopoly supplier of local money, it is going to have an effect on interest rates. Now, whether government should be the monopoly supplier of local money is a fascinating question, on which I am agnostic.

    I would not necessarily put the question in terms of lowering real interest rates (though that would be the effect of my preferred policy), but I agree with our young blogger that an explicitly stimulatory monetary policy is what is required.

  20. Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    [email protected]: So, the voters, the ALP and the LNP are all unworthy of your ethical standards: must make life lonely.

  21. paul walter
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Correction: Genn played Petronius Arbiter.

  22. paul walter
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    No Lorenzo, it actually relieves me that so many others have failed also, when it doesn’t sadden me.

  23. Patrick
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    pw, is there any chance you’ll emigrate after the Federal election?

  24. paul walter
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Yes.Thinking of emigrating to Australia.

  25. Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    On a completely different matter, this being an open thread, SL and LE, do you have any thoughts on this post?

  26. Patrick
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I read the whole series of those posts, Lorenzo, they were most entertaining and I for one find Haidt’s findings utterly believable and entirely consistent with my own dealings with ‘liberals’.

    Even in the narrow field of law which the volokhians are talking about, albeit from a slightly different angle, ‘liberals’ simply don’t even begin to get conservative jurisprudence. Because they are so teleogical themselves they just assume that conservatives are also making it up to suit themselves. For my money this makes law much harder for a lot of liberal-minded students than it heed be!

  27. Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    [email protected]: That sounds like an excellent topic for a post.

  28. Posted April 5, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    As this is an open thread, I see qualified immunity has got another run, along with that American favourite, the crime of driving while black.

  29. Posted April 5, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    The link is here.

  30. Mel
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Another apparent no-no is the act of buying skittles or twinkies from the corner store whilst in a state of culpable blackness …

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