Saturday, November 28, 2015

Furry Taxonomy

A "furry taxonomy" for reference.

This could be a handy starting point for surveys. Basically, collapsing the tree of life into anthropomorphic chunks that I've seen identified as "different things" by furries.
  • Arthropods (insects, spiders, shrimp, etc)
  • Cephalopods (octopi, etc)
  • Piscines (fishes, etc)
  • Amphibians (newts, etc)
  • Reptiles (maybe split off dragons here)
  • Avians (birds)
And that gets to where things start getting tricky, the mammals:
  • Monotremes (spiny anteater, platypus)
  • Macropods (your basic kangaroo)
  • Other Australasian marsupials (there's quite a lot of variety here, but I'm trying to be minimal)
  • Opossums (new world possums)
  • Other new world marsupials (Yapok, etc)
  • Lagomorphs (rabbits, etc)
  • Rodents (maybe include shrews and hedgehogs here, though it's taxonomically iffy)
  • Bats
  • Primates (maybe split off lemurs, they seem more popular than other primates)
  • Elephants, rhinos, hippos (this is iffy too, but people lump them together, so do eet)
  • Manatees
  • Whales and dolphins (which are definitely not manatees)
  • Pangolins, sloths, armadillos, giant anteaters, stuff like that. (Pangolins don't technically go here but they look like they should, so whatevers.)
  • Cervines (deer, antelopes)
  • Sheep and goats (again, we're being slack because furry logic)
  • Equines (horses and zebras)
  • Miscellaneous artiodactyls (camels, stuff like that)
And finally, we're ready to take on the carnivores. Take a deep breath. There's two main divisions, feliformia (cat-like) and caniformia (dog-like). We'll do feliformia first.
  • Domestic cats
  • Small wild cats (the ones that go meow)
  • Big cats (the ones that go roar - lions and tigers but no bears)
  • Civets (actually a couple of groups go in here)
  • Linsangs, genets, and other cat-like viverrids
  • Hyena and aardwolf
  • Fossa (Really, all by their lonesome, the other Madagascar carnivores look like covets and mongooses so we'll leave them in with those groups)
  • Mongooses (actually about three groups of viverrids)
  • Meerkats (actually a kind of mongoose)
  • Other viverrids like the binturong.
And now we get the canoid carnivores. This group is full of surprises.
  • Bears (including giant panda, for the moment, but you might split that off)
  • Red Panda (all by its lonesome, or you can mix it in with the raccoons and kin)
  • Obvious procyonids (raccoons, ringtail cats, Coati)
  • Non-obvious procyonids (Kinkajou, Olingo)
  • Seals (seals, sea-lions, etc... yes, really)
  • Skunks
  • Badgers
  • Weasels (and kin, but probably not otters. This includes ferrets and weasels and stoats and martens and wolverines...)
  • Otters (because water weasels seem to have their own fanclub)
  • Domestic dogs
  • Wolves (and coyotes and golden jackals and a few other basically wolves of different sizes)
  • True jackals
  • Red foxes and grey foxes (though they're not actually related, they get lumped together)
  • Fennecs (because cute)
  • Tanuki (Raccoon-dog, the ones from Pompoko)
  • Cape hunting dogs and dholes (and I think that actually does it for true canines)
  • South American foxes, including the maned wolf
  • Other miscellaneous foxes

Anything I missed?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Four hours of sleep loss = a six-pack of beer?

This one is all over the net. People claiming that missing four hours of sleep is the equivalent of drinking a six-pack of beer.

If I drink a six-pack of beer, I'm unconscious.

So I did some looking, and I haven't found an original source to this quote. The earliest sources claim that missing four hours of sleep for four or five days in a row is equivalent to staying awake 24 hours, and that is equivalent to being legally drunk. I can see how that got conflated by the usual game of telephone into missing sleep one night having that effect, and thence to someone's idea of what "legally drunk" entails.

There is also a US Army document that claims "On 4 hours sleep, 1 beer can have the impact of a six-pack" (the image below). Again, a much less strident claim and a more credible one.

Surprisingly, a perusal of Snopes fails to reward me with an article on the subject. I would have thought they would be all over this one.

Gentle Readers, can you find me a source for this claim?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Welcome to the Ergocene.

In the early days of the universe, before the stars and galaxies burned out, there was ample free energy. You could create an entropy gradient and extract useful work from it just by putting a heat engine in the shadow of a reflective surface. It was a wonderful time to be alive.

In the modern era, where we survive on reversible computation driven by quantum fluctuations in space-time, we refer to the youth of the universe as the "ergocene": The era of work.

The simulation you are experiencing is the best approximation we have been able to create to what it must have been like to live in these heady times.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

50 Shades of Grey

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About Me

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I'm just this shapeshifting simulation of a critter originally from a little planet in the Slow Zone that you've probably never heard of.