Jan. 26th, 2006

oneirophrenia: (r0b0t)
I found this via BoingBoing, but it looks like somebody over at my second-favorite-site-of-all-time KurzweilAI.net has re-written Gibert and Sullivan's "I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General":

I am the very model of a Singularitarian
I'm combination Transhuman, Immortalist, Extropian,
Aggressively I'm changing all my body's biochemistry
Because my body's heritage is obsolete genetically,
Replacing all the cells each month it's here just temporarily
The pattern of my brain and body's where there's continuity,
I'll try to improve these patterns with optimal biology,
("But how will I do that? I need to be smarter. Ah, yes...")
I'll expand my mental faculties by merging with technology,
Expand his mental faculties by merging with technology,
Expand his mental faculties by merging with technology
Expand his mental faculties by merging with technology


A great improvement over the original, I must say!
oneirophrenia: (El Doctor)
Wait a sec. That whale that got stuck in the Thames river died of dehydration?

How the hell does something that lives in the water die of dehydration?

Oh:

"Whales and dolphins obtain water from their food and Northern bottle-nose whales normally feed on deep water squid in the Atlantic Ocean," Jepson said.

"This animal would not have been able to feed while in the North Sea and so would have become dehydrated."


Now that makes a certain amount of sense, since whales are mammals and, presumably, can't drink seawater like other mammals. So they need to take in non-salty water via other means, such as from water-rich foods. But that's fundamentally stupid, and shows why whales are actually evolutionary dead-ends. The damned things have evolved to live entirely in the ocean....You'd think over the millions of years of their evolution they would've developed the metabolic pathways necessary to deal with ingesting saltwater. But here we have the perfect example of how evolution just selects for behaviors or physical characteristics that work; they might not necessarily be the best adaptation, they just have to WORK.

But that doesn't mean that it isn't fundamentally stupid that an animal that lives IN WATER could die of dehydration. For the sake of cetaceans long-term survival prospects, I think some bionengineers need to get cracking.

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