It’s an open thread! Pleeeeease feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread… Autumn Sandeen

Bookworm BobSo below is what my cartoon sockpuppet Bookworm Bob & I have been looking at since Tuesday Evening.

CNET NewsWTF? Bloggers cause Wisconsin Tourism Federation to change name:

Sometimes, it’s hard to resist the relentless pressure of bloggers.

Wisconsin Tourism FederationThey make jokes about you. They spawn commenters who make even more jokes about you. Until you finally decide that your are the serf and the bloggerati and commenterati are your whip-wielding masters.

So it has proved for the dedicated and passionately committed staff of the Wisconsin Tourism Federation. Since this Web thing has spread around the world like swine flu, more and more witty folks have made japes about the WTF being, well, you know, I mean, WTF!!!!

So, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the organization sat down around a table–who knows, perhaps in the company of a psychiatrist–and decided to stop being the bloggers’ straight man. At the meeting, the group decided it will henceforth be known as the Tourism Federation of Wisconsin.

Sooooo…WTF?

• From Mara Keisling at the National Center for Transgender Equality‘s (NCTE’s) Kalamazoo, MI is facing an anti-transgender ballot initiative, but we can win this fight.:

Dear Friends,

I know you expect to hear about national policy from me, but today I need to bring your attention to an important local fight for transgender equality.  

Kalamazoo, MI passed a wonderful non-discrimination ordinance that some people want to take away.  And, of course, they are using the most mean-spirited anti-transgender tactics in their attempt to overrule the fair people of Kalamazoo who stand with us.

But the good news is, we can win this fight.  Local community leaders have banded together and formed a strong campaign to defeat the bigotry and preserve their town’s values.  They are advised by an incredibly talented campaign manager, Jon Hoadley, and bolstered by scores of hard-working volunteers who are going door-to-door, and talking with their neighbors.

Unfortunately, their opposition is bringing in outside resources and so OneKalamazoo needs our help now.  You can support the OneKalamazoo Campaign by giving through this link…

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and (especially) transgender people need more financial resources to throw at our issues. The battles even for basic rights can be pretty frequent and harsh.

Los Angeles TimesFossils radically alter ideas about the look of man’s earliest ancestors; Ardipithecus ramidusAnalysis of a near-complete skeleton of a human ancestor found in Ethiopia changes scientists’ thinking about the appearance and behavior of our distant forebears:

A treasure trove of 4.4-million-year-old fossils from the Ethiopian desert is dramatically overturning widely held ideas about the early evolution of humans and how they came to walk upright, even as it paints a remarkably detailed picture of early life in Africa, researchers reported today.

The centerpiece of the diverse collection of primate, animal and plant fossils is the near-complete skeleton of a human ancestor that demonstrates our earliest forebears looked nothing like a chimpanzee or other large primate, as is now commonly believed. Instead, the findings suggest that the last common ancestor of humans and primates, which existed nearly 2 million years earlier, was a primitive creature that shared few traits with modern-day members of either group.

…The discovery of the specimen called Ardipithecus ramidus “is one of the most important discoveries for the study of human evolution,” said paleoanthropologist David Pilbeam of Harvard University, who was not involved in the research. “The find itself is extraordinary, as were the enormous labors that went into the reconstruction of a skeleton shattered almost beyond repair,” he said in an e-mailed statement…

I wonder if these apes were on Noah’s Ark, or if they died out before then.

San Francisco Chronicle‘s Bangladesh awards farmer who killed 83,000 rats:

Bangladesh on Wednesday awarded a farmer who killed more than 83,000 rats and launched a monthlong campaign nationwide to kill millions more, to protect crops and reduce the need for food imports. Mokhairul Islam, 40, won a first prize of a color television for killing some 83,450 rats in the past nine months in Gazipur district near the South Asian country’s capital, Dhaka. He collected their tails for proof.

“I am so happy to get this honor,” Islam told The Associated Press after receiving a 14-inch television and a certificate amid cheers at an official ceremony packed with 500 farmers and officials. “I had no idea that the government gives prizes for this.” …

Do we give prizes for stuff like this in America? I need to know.

• Wiener story of the day: The Telegram of Worcester, Massachusetts’ Mustard earns hot dog thief 18 months in jail:

Eighteen months in prison, that’s the price a man is paying for stealing a hot dog.

Mustard On A WienerPolice reports don’t list the brand of hot dog stolen in August by Antonio J. Judd, but one thing is clear — the tasty treat was slathered in mustard.

Mr. Judd, 35, who last lived at ________, pleaded guilty to larceny from a person and disorderly conduct charges yesterday in Central District Court.

Judge Austin T. Philbin sentenced Mr. Judd to serve 18 months in prison for the larceny charge with another 30 days for disorderly conduct. The sentences will be served concurrently. Mr. Judd received 47 days’ credit…

Eep!

So anywho…It’s an open thread! What are you thinking about today, or what books or articles have you been reading the past few days? Wanna share?

And again, please feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread because…it’s an open thread! Woo-hoo!