Of Gay Sheep, Modern Science and Bad Publicity
Iraq. Afghanistan. Darfur. Gay sheep.
Mark your calendars, people. Remember January 25, 2007. Tell your grandkids so that they may pass it on to their grandchildren. At a time when newspapers are struggling to maintain profit margins, The Times has looked deep within its soul, observed its competitors, consulted with its bean counters and come up with an admirable answer to stem the bloodletting: gay sheep.
I've been writing these NYT Front|Back features for some time now. I'm regularly checking for any story that lands on the front of our Paper of Record that has no reason being there. I've seen a lot. The popularity of hand sanitizer on the campaign trail. The impact of a gym's rigid no-grunting rules. The troubling demise of petite sizes.
But gay sheep?
Is The Times trying to kill satire? Is this a pre-emptive satirical strike by its editors? We'll show them! Getta load of this, you snarky bastards. Ha! That's right. Front page: gay sheep. Beat that. Whaddya gonna do? "Gay Sheep Clubs Rise in Popularity"? Don't think so. "Bloomberg Refuses to March in Gay Sheep Parade?" Fat chance. "Same Sex 'Shouples' Demand Benefits Provided to Heterosexual Sheep." You're livin' in a dream world, pal! No one's gonna buy that...not even as satire.
Dr. Roselli, a researcher at the Oregon Health and Science University, has searched for the past five years for physiological factors that might explain why about 8 percent of rams seek sex exclusively with other rams instead of ewes. The goal, he says, is to understand the fundamental mechanisms of sexual orientation in sheep. Other researchers might some day build on his findings to seek ways to determine which rams are likeliest to breed, he said.
BACK (Page A11):
How many Americans do you think are aware that we're conducting airstrikes inside Somalia? Why you ask? Commenting on the second airstrike yesterday, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said, “We’re going to go after Al Qaeda and the global war on terror, wherever it takes us.” What wander(blood)lust.
That's right. Terrorism has been around since antiquity, yet we're somehow going to defeat it. To paraphrase Gore Vidal, The War on Dandruff continues.
Keep scratching, George.
The United States and other countries are pushing on diplomatic and military fronts to help the newly empowered Somali government build on the gains it made in the war, which enabled it to enter the capital for the first time since it was organized in 2004. On Wednesday, the American ambassador to Kenya, Michael E. Ranneberger, met with an Islamist leader, Sheik Sharif Ahmed, who had fled Somalia and is being held by Kenyan intelligence agents in a hotel on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Even with a still strong Ethiopian military presence in Somalia, attacks continue in Mogadishu. The latest one struck the Mogadishu international airport, witnesses said. A hospital official said five people, including a 10-year-old boy, had been injured. Many blame Islamist remnants for a series of similar attacks .