April 2010

Before you read any of this, please be aware that the Unknown Editor does not pretend to be an "radical" animal activist. He has been known to kick an occasional dog and throw an occasional cat outside. He recently requested a "veggie burger with bacon and cheese" at a local eatery, which raised a lot of questions, including how to price this unusual meal...

Pit bulls

The news bombards us with stories of cruelty to animals, crying to bring the perps to justice. Michael Vick's involvement in dog fighting has cost him millions of dollars and 19 months in jail. Federal attorneys made him cough up a million dollars into a fund to care for his dogs, which were probably adopted by people seeking some of Vick's dough; it's a safe bet that these injured animals aren't going to turn into loving pets. No where in the Constitution are there any rights granted to pets. So why all the fuss over a few dogs who chewed each other up? Lest we forget, Eugene Field's poem The Duel was once taught to elementary school children.

Vick later declared bankruptcy while in jail earning $1/day, and his creditors took a hit for $13M.

Let's review the origin of the species "pit bull". The term pit bull comes from "pit" a place where dogs are placed to fight, and "bull", which brings to mind bull fighting, another full-contact animal sport. Pit bulls were bred over the years to be fight-crazy, and have caused thousands of injuries and ten human deaths per year in the United States. Maybe we all would be better off without this particular species.

Such a good boy!

Tillie the killer whale

On February 24, 2010, Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed at Sea World, by "Tilimkum", a killer whale. A sad situation, but you should never say that "she died doing what she loved". But no one wants to die by drowning. Apparently, orcas being cooped up in a small pond doing tricks for food aren't doing what they love either, and at least one of them is trying to state their case.

Did you see that???

This is the second trainer that Tillie has murdered, in the name of entertainment. You'd think that the company that sponsors this type of act would be called on the carpet for a Congressional hearing. If Sea World was a major electronics manufacturer, all employees would immediately be required to increase their level of safety training, adding to the many wasted hours studying safety, such as how to lift heavy stuff, how to avoid paper cuts, etc.

Isn't it time for Tillie to be "Westinghoused?" (see Topsy, below...) Whoops, Tillie is big business. Sea World lawyers are involved. The victim's family is going to get a fat settlement, no doubt. As for trainers riding killer whales in daily shows, this is such a cash sea-cow there is no stopping it.

Why do people take their kids to Sea World? Let's do an exit interview with a happy family... So what did you like?

Homer: It was really cool, seeing such a large animal jumping all the way out of the water. It was almost like watching sports on my new 54 inch high-def video system! I like sea food, ya know? Say, are you going to eat all of that?

Marge: It was cool seeing something that makes my husband in his bathing suit look small by comparison!

Kids: We got really wet! Let's get more candy and Rock Star energy drinks! Yay!

How can you help prevent this sad American reality from tragically happening to your family? Instead of planning a vacation to Sea World, why don't you try something a little better? If you like wildlife so much, take your kids on a hike and see animals that are not in a cage. Take your kids to the Smithsonian, or Cape Canaveral, or tour a college campus, and maybe they won't end up like average Americans just looking for daily entertainment and waiting for you to die so they can pay off a few more credit cards with their meager inheritance.

Topsy the Elephant

Long ago, in the age of the current wars, there lived an elephant named Topsy. Topsy killed three people, including her abusive trainer (he was rumored to feed her lit cigars). The circus decided that Topsy's liabilities exceeded her assets, so an execution was planned.

Elephant snuff flick

Meanwhile, Thomas Edison, a man totally in love with himself, was staging an all-out war against the Westinghouse company. Edison had been first to capitalize a lighting company, including power generation; lighting was the original reason for electrifying the world, not the soon-to-be side benefit of labor-saving motorized machines. The only problem was that Edison had decided that direct current would be distributed, not that new-fangled AC. Direct current presented a huge problem at the time, it was not possible to step up to high voltage for transmission (reducing I2R losses) and transform down at customer sites. Using Edison's stupid idea would have meant having neighborhood generators instead of a central power company. AC could readily be transformed, if you don't understand why, you have no business visiting this web site. But early on, no one knew how to make an AC motor. Serbian genius Nikola Tesla solved that problem for all time; then it was obvious that AC would rule.

Edison suffered from "not invented here" syndrome, to the maximum extent. He employed Tesla soon after Tesla immigrated to the U. S. , but the two had a falling out, and (thankfully) Tesla made it his life's work to bring about AC power transmission. Enter George Westinghouse, inventor of the air brake, full of railroad money, and smart enough to see The Next Big Thing. He financed Tesla, and the war was on.

Edison waged an smear campaign against high-voltage AC, publicizing its deadly risks. Today no one thinks twice about high voltage transmission and that it can kill you, back then it was all new and scary stuff. Edison coined the verb to "Westinghouse", which meant to be killed by electricity. Then he staged demonstrations using a supply of dogs and cats that mysteriously went missing from their owners near Menlo Park. Edison was serial pet killer.

The ultimate demonstration of being "Westinghoused" was an unfortunate death row inmate who was electrocuted with AC, as arranged by Edison. However, the Topsy demonstration occurred first. Recall that Edison was also involved in the invention of motion pictures. Naturally, he recorded Topsy's final moments for posterity.

Hamid Karzai's hat

Not long ago, we searched far and wide for an acceptable ruler of the new, Taliban-free Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai was chosen, not just for his politics and background, but equally for his looks. Although bald as a cueball, he wears that stylish hat, which speaks volumes about the man. For a pro-western world leader, there are acceptable hats and unacceptable hats, as shown below.

Unacceptable hat

Acceptable hat

What about Karzai's hat? It is known as a karacul, as opposed to the lungee that is known as a turban in the United States. The karacul is made from one or more lamb fetuses. Either a pregnant lamb is slaughtered, or the shepherd waits until the lamb gives birth before he skins the offspring to make this fashion accessory. Buying one might set you back 35 bucks next time you visit Kabul.

The Cowardly Lion's costume

The Wizard of Oz is one of the most beloved movies of all time. Care to guess where MGM studios got that amazing 60 pound costume for the Bert Lahr? They skinned a few lions! Learn more about the history of the costume in this video.

If I were King of the Forest...

So, what's the point of these unrelated stories? It's an opportunity to see how consistent your thoughts are. You should either be outraged by all of them, or none of them. Perhaps your reaction to Michael Vick's crimes is shock and outrage, but you don't have a problem taking your kids to Sea World or any other circus. Maybe you should take a look at your other habits, such as making fun of PETA, laughing at animal extinctions, ridiculing Greenpeace, and planning your next elk bow hunt.

Check out the Unknown Editor's amazing archives when you are looking for a way to screw off for a couple of hours or more!