Six In The Morning: Cash-Poor Schools, Cash-Poor Countries, Declining Sperm Counts, and Monkeys (of course).

6-in-the-morning 1  WE’RE RICH! NOW WE CAN DEFUND THE SCHOOLS!  The University of Saskatchewan says they’re facing a $44 million shortfall in their operating budget and expect more cuts in the New Year. Boy, this province is doing everything right, isn’t it?

2  GO UTAH!  Researchers at Utah State University have come up with an electric bus that charges as it goes. No gas backup needed. Based on technology developed by Nikola Tesla in 1891, the bus recharges its batteries every time it brakes. How cool is that? And what took so long?

3  TAKE THE HINT  Italian stocks have fallen in value following news that Prime Minister Mario Monti will step down… and Silvio Berlusconi is going to run again! Has anyone else noticed that Italy seems to do absolutely everything better except self-government?

4  FEWER SWIMMERS  According to research coming out of the Institut de Veille Sanitaire, St Maurice (that’s in France), global sperm counts are on the decline.

5  DEPRESSING  Danish scientists have found a higher mortality rate among people who are “involuntarily childless”. The study looked at data from 21,000 couples who sought IVF treatments, and found that the women were four times as likely to “die early compared with women who did conceive.” Men in that situation were twice as likely to die as their procreating peers. The researchers admit there are a lot of variables (rich people live longer, and can also better afford IVF). Anyway, I’d like to know how they define “early”.

6  PICK UP SOME CANDLES AND PLANT POTS FOR ME WHILE YOU’RE AT IT  By now you’ve likely already heard about and seen the Ikea monkey – found running amuck at a Toronto Ikea (they have two, don’t you know). When I first heard this, I imagined the little fella running around inside the store (which I like the idea of much better) – and I was glad he was wearing diapers (all that Ikea white). That he was outside in in parking lot makes me very sad, though. It was 6 degrees there yesterday which, while balmy by Saskatchewan standards, is not the kind of strolling weather a Rhesus monkey is used to. At least he was wearing that fabulous coat. Maybe his owners couldn’t have a baby. I hope someone brought him inside for a plate of meatballs. Not surprisingly, this “story” is tearing up the internet. Expect many variations on this meme today.

Author: Wanda Schmöckel

Wanda Schmockel is just trying to get by without shoving. You may follow her on twitter @vschmo

15 thoughts on “Six In The Morning: Cash-Poor Schools, Cash-Poor Countries, Declining Sperm Counts, and Monkeys (of course).”

  1. 1) So, the original prediction of a $10-$15 million shortfall has grown to $44 million?
    And according to this funding by the prov gov’t was increased…not enough to meet the shortfall?

    2) Brakes should have another purpose than to just slow vehicles to a stop.
    3)Italy should know better than to vote Burlesconi back in.
    4) For global reduced sperm counts, human population is still growing at a large rate.
    5)Depressing for the Danish that is since the study focused on Danish couples only.
    6)Cute monkey in a coat. Too bad the owner was harbouring illegal wildlife as a pet in Ontario.

  2. #5: This makes one wonder how important a sense of purpose is to maintaining health and life.

    #6: Do people still wonder why I’m opposed to keeping exotic pets (not to mention illegal ones)? I’m with mb in his/her earlier comment: with so many homeless domestic animals in the shelters, living under the constant threat of euthanasia to make room for still more, why would anyone acquire a wild animal?

  3. Re: #5 – I wonder how much of that study was based on projection – the assumption that a couple unable to have kids would be terminally depressed over it. Sure, it’s sad, but people grow to live with far worse (the death of a child one has actually grown to know and love, for instance) I would hope that they’d take other factors into account.

    I wonder how much the now wide use of IVF puts added pressure on people who want to have kids. Before IVF and drug therapy, one’s options were pretty much to adopt or get over it. Now, there’s almost an expectation that the same couple will pursue IVF. I know people who went down this road (unsuccessfully), and aside from the astronomical expense (stressful), there was the added profound disappointment when it didn’t work out. It sucked. And it begs the question whether they might not have been happier had they not been given the IVF option.

  4. @#2. Because people are the worst. They ruin everything and then they go and ruin things for other species that were just sitting there, minding their own business. I feel sorry for that monkey. What happens to him now? I think if he hadn’t been wearing that oversized coat (in shearling!), there would be more outrage and fewer laughs.

  5. @4: That was a rhetorical question, actually. While I don’t share what seems to be a disproportionate dislike of human beings (look at how many work long and hard to better the lot of both domestic animals and wildlife), I do deplore the egotistic entitlement disease that so may allow to rule them and to make life tougher for othhers of any species.
    If memory serves, there are several refugia for monkeys, one being Jungle Friends just outside of Gainesville, Florida.

  6. I don’t hate humans either, I just get very angry with us from time to time. And, to be honest, I’m not that outraged by the monkey story. I laughed and laughed at those monkey pictures just like everyone else. I even re-posted the “I was supposed to pick up Carl” one on my fb page. Humans are just fine. And many of the better ones regularly restore my faith in us. But when they make a mess, they really make a mess. Kind of like that monkey, I would guess.

  7. I didn’t watch the video; that would have been collusion. I always remember and agree with a visiting professor of primatology who said that to dress monkeys and apes in human clothing was to degrade those animals.

  8. Sperm Counts! They on the DEE-CLIIINE!!!!

    “In a naked-eye comparison to late-80s-era porno-graphic pictures, scientists were able to conclude that the average, er, c*m shot was a full 1/3 less robust in today’s pictures compared with those of 25 years ago…”

    I just think it’s nature’s savvy way of winding down our abusive species.

  9. On another note, while prehistoric man was probably always a bit of a hoarder (sticks, stones, animal fur, fire), do you think “Capitalism” for lack of a better word, was a wrong turn for civilization? 30,000 years from now, when cosmic storms have wiped out 95% of our species, will we have to adopt a socialist, co-operative society in order to exist, or will we retreat into the hoarding tendencies of then, and now?

  10. @13: Nomadic hunters and gatherers, prehistoric and historic, moving with the seasons and the changing availability of resources, had to restrict their possessions to what they could carry, so where you get this “hoarders” notion is puzzling.

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