News of Note

i Oct 1st by



Killer whale’s mysterious horror gash prompts fresh fury over the treatment of animals at SeaWorld
A performing Killer Whale suffered a horrific injury which left its jawbone exposed at a SeaWorld theme park, prompting fury from animal rights groups.  Pictures showing Nakai, an 11-year-old whale who performs at the San Diego SeaWorld park, with a large gash to its chin were leaked online by a unnamed whistleblower. In a statement, SeaWorld said Nakai’s injury was caused when it ‘came into contact with a portion of the pool environment’.


Orac Lies Again
David Gorski, MD, PhD, has written a 2500+ word blog regarding “mouse “avatars.” I would rebut his position on his own blog site but since I am not allowed to post there, and because my own response will probably be long, I will address his position here.
Dr Gorski starts his supposed scientific analysis of mouse avatars by committing the fallacy of poisoning the well. He relates that some animal rights activists have advocated for, and perhaps participated in, violent activities. While I too have denounced the use of violence in a civilized, democratic society I have not conflated the morally questionable activity of someone with his position on a scientific issue. If Hitler ever said 2+2=4 or “germs cause disease,” he was right, Auschwitz notwithstanding. Considering Dr Gorski’s intelligence, education, and hobby (refuting woo with science-based critical thinking) I can only conclude he used this fallacy on purpose.



Soy, seitan taste great if done right
The lure of the health benefits associated with a vegan diet (no dairy, eggs, meat, fish or poultry) is starting to attract the attention of even carnivores.  Lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity are being seen among people who eat fewer animal foods and rely more on fiber-rich beans, grains, nuts and seeds as a source of protein in their diets. In addition, vegans tend to have lower blood pressure than their meat-eating counterparts.


Illegal feeding may have contributed to famous dolphin’s death
Despite the fact that the Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits feeding or petting wild dolphins, many people in Sarasota, Fla., did just that for years to one dolphin in particular, possibly contributing to his recent death, officials say. The body of the dolphin, named Beggar, was recently found in the waters where he was known to be fed by boaters, and a necropsy revealed fishing line and hooks, fish bait and ulcers in his stomach as well as external injuries from boats. “All of our findings indicate that he was in poor health for a long time and that his interactions with humans played a role,” said Gretchen Lovewell of Mote Marine Laboratory.


Woman’s brain tissue to be tested for disease
Disease investigators have sent a brain tissue sample of a deceased 32-year-old Spokane woman to a national research lab to be tested for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, an incurable condition that has multiple variants, including one called mad cow