Literally every goat in the United States

Yes. You read right.
Literally every last one.

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TIL: There are very few goats in Alaska.

America’s goat population is heavily concentrated in the Southwest, Texas in particular. Nearly 80 percent of America’s goats are raised for meat. Sixteen percent are raised for milk, with the remaining 6 percent is comprised of Angora goats raised for mohair.

Now we know (that there are 102% of goats in the USA).

More here.

Serious implications

Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich once said of France’s economic prowess: “When France sneezes, Europe catches a cold”. This was later adapted to reflect the USA’s global influence: “When America sneezes, the world catches a cold”. While that may no longer be as relevant as it once was (much like the USA, I suppose), the Federal Government shutdown over there may well have implications for the rest of the world.

I’m obviously not talking about the whole National Parks thing, or the fact that the zoos and museums aren’t open. I’m not even talking about the economic impact.

Oh no, I’m talking about a much bigger impact than that:

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Wait the what now? While they might not have the funding to be scanning the skies for mankind’s impending doom, mankind’s impending doom has no such governmental squabbling to delay it. Mankind’s impending doom remains untroubled by the federal shutdown and it also remains (possibly, anyway) on a collision course with Earth.

We’re all going to die a horrible fiery death because of their silly playground politics.

“So, what’s it going to be?”

Bashar Al-Assad taunts US and allies in new web article.

With the world on tenterhooks over the situation in his country, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has written an open letter to the West taunting them over their seeming lack of options with regard to intervention (or not) in Syria:

Well, here we are. It’s been two years of fighting, over 100,000 people are dead, there are no signs of this war ending, and a week ago I used chemical weapons on my own people. If you don’t do anything about it, thousands of Syrians are going to die. If you do something about it, thousands of Syrians are going to die. Morally speaking, you’re on the hook for those deaths no matter how you look at it.

So, it’s your move, America. What’s it going to be?

I’ve looked at your options, and I’m going to be honest here, I feel for you. Not exactly an embarrassment of riches you’ve got to choose from, strategy-wise. I mean, my God, there are just so many variables to consider, so many possible paths to choose, each fraught with incredible peril, and each leading back to the very real, very likely possibility that no matter what you do it’s going to backfire in a big, big way. It’s a good old-fashioned mess, is what this is! And now, you have to make some sort of decision that you can live with.

And he’s right, of course. This a complete no win situation for the West. And with Russia and China strongly backing Al-Assad regime, there’s the danger of things going all sorts of Taylor Swift if the US and chums move in.
Here in SA, we’re tucked away from the military side of things, but we’re still economically involved (as a developing economy, we’re the first to get shafted by this sort of unrest) and, of course, politically. Basically, the SA government will side strongly against the US on anything it can. So that means that tacitly, we’re fully in support of Syria using chemical weapons on its own men, women and children.

Nice.

It’s also interesting to note how politicians have dealt with the situation: UK opposition leader Ed Milliband, for example, has said this week that his party would back military action and also that his party would not back military action. So that’s fairly clear then.

Al-Assad leaves us with this chilling warning:

Long story short, I’m going to keep doing my best to hold on to my country no matter what the cost. If that means bombing entire towns, murdering small children, or shooting at UN weapons inspectors, so be it. I’m in this for the long haul. And you will do…whatever it is you’re going to do, which is totally up to you. Your call.

The man’s a cold, calm, calculated nutter.

No easy way out of this, and sadly there’ll be no good news coming out of Syria any time soon.

Oh, and for those of you who have been bothered to read this far down, yes, I’m completely aware that it’s a satirical article from a satirical website.

Really?

Horrible, horrible reading about the tragic (is that really the right word?) events in Sandy Hook, especially as a parent of two young children. But in this piece from The Telegraph, a couple of quotes stood out:

“We told them to sit down and be quiet. We do drills so it was doing what we normally do in those.”

And:

Parents had already received an automated telephone call with the news that a shooting was under way at the school.

Exactly how bad are things in America that they actually run through practices on what to do when a crazed gunman with a semi automatic rifle enters their school?
And then someone presses a button and the parents get a call informing them what is going on? Wow.

It sounds like the former approach actually saved many lives, which is fantastic, but something has gone very wrong with your society when you feel the need to prepare for an event like this.

Bafana Bafana v USA – Photos

As promised here, some few photos of the Nelson Mandela Challenge at the Cape Town Stadium last night, to brighten up your day.

And while Cape Town put on a great show, Bafana were less impressive and went down to a (probably undeserved) 1-0 defeat after a 85th minute debut goal from 17 year old Juan Agudelo.

Of particular disappointment to me was the much-vaunted debut striker Davide Somma, who had promised to “destroy” the United States (presumably merely in a footballing sense) in a press conference earlier in the week and then did… nothing.
True, the service to him from the rest of the team was pretty woeful, but he looked confused by the passing game of Bafana and offered very little.
Still – apparently Pitso Mosimane was delighted with his performance – ?!? – and the fans loved him. Apart from those sitting around me, that is: they thought he was rubbish as well.

It was a good night out though – even if the football wasn’t of the highest quality – and you can relive bits of it by having a look at this Flickr set.