Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Peep Is Dead, Long Live the Tasmanian

Tasmanian devils, little fox-like marsupials with powerful jaws that exist only in Tasmania (outside of zoos), are being relocated to an island (Maria Island) off Australia in an effort to thwart possible extinction by virtue of a contagious cancer that creates grotesque facial tumors.

The disease was first noticed in the mid-1990s in northeastern Tasmania, where a startling 90% of the devils have since perished. It is spreading south and west, and scientists estimate that within five years, there will be no disease-free devil population in Tasmania. At this rate, they could be extinct within twenty years.

Scientists looking for solutions hope that if devils are wiped out on the Tasmanian mainland, the disease will die along with them. Subsequently, the devils quarantined in safe havens could then be safely reintroduced back into Tasmania.

The move to quarantine healthy animals is already underway. A long quarantine should ensure that only healthy animals are released on Maria Island. Since the cancer typically shows up a year or two after infection, a long quarantine would serve to avoid relocating sick animals.

Here's my question. Scientists and doctors have been scoffing for years at the very notion that cancer is in any way contagious. So, then, what is this? - Create custom images
preferble - The state of being just prior to becoming ferble.

wierd - All hyped up and jumping around oddly.

extrenme - An unusual (Extreme Sex?!) sex thing someone is requesting.

wellfare - A social program to ensure that recipients fare well.

beer innama - I ain't touching this one.

frolocking - Another one of those weird sex things. Mmm-hmm.

voluptous - One who'd like to be curvy and statuesque but looks more like a velociraptor.

he's not hear - In other words, he's deaf as a post and he can't heeeaaar you. - Create custom images
Dear TWIT,

Why am I banned from the massage boreds? All I did was ask how much the helloclopper costed.

Probubly Devistated
Dear Devistated,

Our official statement is, we do not make a practice of banning our members. This must have been a technical error. We will try to find someone who cares enough to fix the problem. You should be hearing from us shortly.

That was the OFFICIAL response. Now, more accurately:

Listen you inferior being, we will block every attempt to break through the kool-aid induced euphoria we instill on our Authors. We simply cannot allow anyone with common sense on the boards saying bad things about our great company.

It is obvious you said something that upset the message board Queen and she immediately brought it to the attention of Betty, who was in the middle of a bondage session with Uncle BB, who decided it was time to make you go away.

Now, we still expect your apology and any further correspondence from you will go unanswered

I am glad I could be of service,
Annoyance Suppression Team
Dear ASTMan,

Oh, you've done it now, TWIT Boy. You have made me cry! NObody gets away with that! I can take being yelled at, cussed at, ignored, disagreed with, and pecked by chickens. But I did not upset your Queen! You take it back!

Do Betty and Uncle BB like bondage cake with their chicken? I could send them one if they'll let me back on the boreds. I really need my massages. You could have a cake, too, if it would make you go suppress somebody else. I'd even send you some organic Koolade to go with it.

Whaddaya say, TWIT Boy? Am I back in yet?

Make ME Cry, Will Ya
Dear Make Me Cry,

Now listen here girlie, you have continued to post nasty things about us ad nauseam, and we have let you. The end of the story is, we can't let you anymore. You might say something that would make one of our annoying little meaningless authors realize they are unhappy with us. We have enough of that already.

No, You are not "back in" and you never will be. You are nothing to us and you can consider this our final word on the subject.

Agony Spreading Twit
Dear Twit,

Today is my first day as an acquisitions editor. I've been told to throw away all mail unopened. Only problem is that in order to throw email away I have to print it and I don't have a printer. And in order to print email (if I had a printer) I'd have to open it. This job is hard. Is there a training manual?

Recent Art History Graduate
Dear Graduate,

Well, you have a riddle wrapped up in an enigma on your hands, don't you? If you can't figure this out for yourself, why don't we just move you out of Acquisitions and make you a general partner? I believe that position would fit you like a glove. And you wouldn't need a printer. Or a letter opener, not that we allow employees to possess sharp objects, anyway.


R.I.P., Kurt Vonnegut


JL4 said...

voluptous - One who'd like to be curvy and statuesque but looks more like a velociraptor.

he's not hear - In other words, he's deaf as a post and he can't heeeaaar you.

Too much...too damn much.

Roxan said...

Kurt Vonnegut-A truly brilliant man has passed on.
It was because of Mr. Vonnegut's Breakfast Of Champions that I know just what a certain part of the anatomy looks like.

Kanrei said...

Scientists and doctors have been scoffing for years at the very notion that cancer is in any way contagious. So, then, what is this?

Evolution? Cancer cells are alive and, considering the amount of work we are doing to kill them it would make sense for them to evolve some new way to stay alive. That is all evolution is about, right?

Here is my question- why are they trying to save the Devils? How do they know that the Devils are not due to become extinct like so many other speices have naturally? Just because a species disappears does not mean it is a bad thing, sometimes it is even a good thing because that species has over populated an area and other lives are being destroyed because of it.
Global warming and extinction happen- it is very egocentric to believe we can create or stop either one in my opinion.

Kanrei said...

P.S.- RIP Mr. Vonnegut. I was never a big fan, but I have read some of your work. You were original, just not my forte. Good journey and tell Robert Wilson hello for me.

MXI said...

Contagious cancer, yet another reason to hide here in my office and shut out the world!

Anonymous said...

Was it Disney that made the Tasmanian famous? I remember the cartoons, but not who they were made by.

Serena Joy said...

It is a bit much, JL4. Sometimes I wonder if I'm danger of this stuff rotting my brain out.:)

I'm afraid to ask, Roxan. LOL.

I know, Kan. Nature dictates that sometimes species become extinct. I think, though, that if human beings can do something to forestall some animal becoming extinct without upsetting the natural balance, we should do it. And I do love the little Tasmanians.

You're right, Vonnegut was an original. The first novel of his I read, I put it down and said, "WTF?!" Then I read it again and said, "Oooooh."

I don't know, MXI. I don't think we can outrun it. Therefore, I wouldn't hole up in the office. I'd just keep on doing what I'd normally do. Until I couldn't.

It was Warner Brothers's Looney Tunes, Steve.

Kanrei said...

My major issues in life can be summed up in two catchphrases-
The opinion of a hypocrite never counts (not relevant I know)


The path to Hell is paved with good intentions. With saving species from extinction I say unless we know for a fact that we are the reason let them go. The Tasmanian Devils (Warner Brothers Steve G) may be harmless or may be causing problems we will never know about. If nature is breaking a rule by creating contagious cancer I would have to say that it is simply their time. I am cold sometimes I know, but it is a side effect of logic usually.
I mean species go extinct every single day and the Earth is still here and with life on it no less. Perhaps letting them go will kill off this new cancer and stop it before it adapts again and can jump from one species to another. Think Bird Flu.

Serena Joy said...

I know that natural selection exists for a reason, but still, there are species that I would hate to see fade away. The little devils are one of them.

Scary Monster said...

So many things to comment on in today's post.

Me will just pick me favorite line-
"Do Betty and Uncle BB like bondage cake with their chicken?

Girl you just crack me up.

Kinda glad about Vonnegut, though.
He weren't writing anymore, so he dying reminds me to dust off he books and read them again.

A STOMP in time saves nine.

ThatGreenyFlower said...

How 'bout this: the human papilloma virus (HPV), a VERY COMMON and VERY CONTAGIOUS kind of sexually transmitted virus, essentially causes cervical cancer after a period of years. (Maybe anal and penile cancer too--we're not sure about those yet, though.)

Who ever said cancer wasn't contagious? 65-80 percent of people in the US have been infected with HPV at one time or another. Usually we just fight it off. Abnormal pap, anyone? Just thank HPV.

Serena Joy said...

Any day I can crack up Scary Monster is a good day.:)

You're right, Greeny. I wasn't even thinking about HPV. I think there are many more questions than there are answers.

Hale McKay said...

Many times when humans interfere with the natural order of things, like introducing a species into another environment, they end up screwing up the new location and the possible extinction of the native species.

Corn Dog said...

Oncologists tell you that cancer is not contagious. My Dad's oncologist told me that. My Dad was so nauseated from his cancer, he projectile vomited in my face and my eyes and he did it so suddenly I could not get my eyelids shut. At that moment I knew cancer was contagious. It's like a truth you understand regardless of what people tell you and how many people tell you differently. I told my Dad's Hospice worker that I was going to get cancer because my Dad infected me, not once, but several times from the depths of his cancer eaten stomach and intestines right into my eyes. It was the only time he ever apologized to me too. He was an abusive man and I was stunned he even apologized for that. I got cancer. I survived. He did not. My oncologist insists I did not "catch" cancer from my Dad. He says heredity may have played a roll. I think my oncologist's full of bull. I don't let anyone eat or drink after me, except my husband and it's kind of too late for him. I can only hope my husband's body is strong enough to fend off whatever cancer germs I passed to him.

I think it's very tragic what is happening to the Tasmanian Devils but I guess I am all too close to the cancer issue. I am glad that someone did not let me die off when I got cancer because if our planet is relegated to survival of the fitest, I certainly didn't make the grade by any stretch of the imagination.

Lee said...

This cancer that has afflicted the Tasmanian Devils has really got the scientists etc., foxed. Let's hope something can be found to eliminate this disease that's spreading rampantly through these animals. Perhaps, the relocation will help.

cathy said...

Hale Mckay hit the nail right on the head.It sounds like an ecological disaster in the making.

Serena Joy said...

Thanks, you guys, for that rich diversity of thoughts. Corn Dog, your experience in particular provides much food for thought.