As you know, there is no better place to keep up with All Animal News than here at the Dept. Also, I feel confident that I keep you abreast of All Things Important Politically as they occur. Allow me to assure you that, should anything else of Major Importance occur in the World Of News In General, I will bring it to you here. Really, there is no need to look anywhere else for your news needs.
Could I be any more Wonderful and Informative? (Not to mention well-dressed and with an impeccable footwear wardrobe?) But I digress.
Item! Citizens of the Boston Metro Area are under a boil alert after a water main break occurred in their area. Here is Valuable News Commentary from the Dept. News Desk:
Nance: Ha! That's what they get for sending their bullshit basketball team to Cleveland.
Rick: Is that what it is?
Nance: Of course. You see what one of their thugs did to Shaquille O'Neal. And they tried to hurt LeBron last night.
Nance: And! They elected a republican to the US Senate to replace Ted Kennedy! KARMA.
Rick: And wasn't Mitt Romney just here?
Nance: That's right! He spoke at Ashland University's commencement this weekend. Holy crap. So, oh well, Boston. You can suck it.
Item! I grew up as the daughter of a union steelworker and I belong to our local teachers' association. I am constantly fighting for the rights of the worker. That's why this item caught my eye immediately, even though its dateline is Copenhagen, Denmark. I don't care where it is, when The Worker is being oppressed, I am on it, that is my vow to you. Workers at the Carlsberg brewery were forced to walk off the job in protest last month when Man den (translation from the Danish: "The Man") suddenly changed policy on them and changed a rule that had been in practice since 1847. (Hey! What would you do?) Here's the deal: Brewery management removed all the beer coolers and demanded that employees limit their beer consumption to their 30-minute lunch period only. What is up with THAT? I mean, how is a hardworking brewery employee supposed to make it through the day? Just to show you how sympathetic others are to the plight of these workers, Carlsberg's truck drivers joined the strike in sympathy — even though they are exempt from the new rules, a spokesman from the brewery said. "The truck drivers are permitted to bring three beers from the canteen because they often don't have time to have lunch there." I'm going to let you think about the Irony of that while I ponder the value (for both me and my students) of having a Martini Bar in the second-floor lounge at The Rock. PS--There is a coffeepot in there as well, so no worries.
Item! File this under "Duh." Stephen Hawking, major Smartypants on all things in the Universe--literally--is advising caution to all those other science eggheads who are all fired up about making contact with alien beings. Hawking, who appears in a new documentary for Discovery, reminds us that the vastness of the universe makes it highly likely that life exists outside our galaxy although most of it is probably microbial or in the form of single-celled or very simple animals. On the chance that other civilizations do exist, however, Dr. Hawking thinks we might not want to extend an open invitation to just anyone. "Reaching out to the stars with our messages of curiosity and peace may only make it easier for an advanced alien mining operation to stake a claim on Earth," Hawking warns. He also makes the analogy to the Native Americans being visited by white European settlers, claiming it "didn't turn out brilliantly for them." To summarize, Discovery comments, "it might be better if we kept our location a secret rather than being so anxious to make contact." I'm with you, Stephen (if I may call you Stephen; you, of course, may call me Nance). I saw "V" the first time around. And "Geronimo."
Item! Allow me just one Cow News Story, and you will be well rewarded. In a deal brokered last year but which just became finalized recently, three-year old Holstein milker Missy Gold was sold for the staggering sum of $1,238,508. This was For A Cow. Missy, described as "long and leggy with perfectly shaped teats for efficient milking...has a big chest that indicates a healthy heart" and can calve as many as 75 offspring and produce 50% more milk than the average cow in her lifetime. If any of those calves are males, each one could sell for upwards of $550,448 US. Now, this article was found in a Kenyan press, so consider the source, but its tone is so admiring and its style is so endearing that you just know they love their cows. Especially wonderful and...informative is this excerpt: "Maybe at one time Kenyan farmers will enjoy a piece of Missy, described by a farm spokesman as having an ego and big personality, since the country is a major consumer of semen from the US." Really, now, after that, what more is there to say?
This has been A Dept. of Nance News Update. Remember to check back here often for Late-Breaking Developments as they occur. Or when I feel like it.