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What it's like to drive off a cliff

  • Blog Post by: James Lileks
  • June 14, 2013 - 11:59 AM

About what you'd expect. Dash-cam winner of the week: Guy drives off a cliff, lives so he can see everyone criticize his driving on YouTube.

 

 

 

LIKE WHALES, BUT DRIER Do elephants have souls? It’s almost more provocative to wonder if their hunters do.

Scientists tell us that elephants have death rituals. They will, for instance, cluster around a dead individual and touch the carcass with their trunks, and then return much later to caress the bones. Mkanga, the first poacher, is asked if he knows that elephants mourn their dead. He shifts in his chair, adjusts his Safari Beer cap, and smirks. "Sometimes when they have a funeral, it's like a party for me," he says. "You shoot one, and before he dies the others come to mourn for the one who is injured. And so I kill another one, and kill another one."

They aim for the legs, to cripple the elephants first, or in large-scale attacks fire indiscriminately into the herd. Invariably, investigators find evidence that tusks, reaching deep into the skull, have been cut out before some of the creatures were even dead. The poachers often leave poison on the carcasses, to kill the vultures whose swirling above might alert rangers. Sometimes they poison the elephants, with laced pumpkins or watermelons set out before the attack, or with poisoned arrows, or nails on boards laid in the brush that prolong the agony but muffle the noise.

Read it all. The author calls for a world-wide ban on ivory sales. Small stumbling block: lots of people who couldn’t care less.

BYGONES I wouldn’t say these insane-asylum-suitcase pictures are chilling, as the headline says. Incredibly sad is more like it. 

WHEW I like malls. That’s why I’m happy that Quartz (who?) has announced that malls will never die, and the reason makes sense: because teenage girls will always exist. It’s a social millieu as well as a shopping experience. Seriously, it is! C’mon, don’t be such a skeptic. It’s possible teen girls go to the mall to see and be seen.

That’s the theory, anyway. But adults like them too. There’s no substitute for looking at something, feeling the fabric between your fingers. I’ve never bought a shirt in a store, got it home, and said “that’s not the same color.” Whereas just about every shirt bought online in a color other than WHITE was different than the picture. Come to think of it, even the whites were different.

 Sorry; that's it today. Busy day. Interesting day. See you around. 

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