linkfest: 06/10/14

Crickets in two places fall silent to survive“To hide themselves from deadly flies, crickets on two Hawaiian islands have evolved an inability to sing. Ten years ago, two years apart, males appeared on Kauai and Oahu with altered wings, which they would normally rub together to chirp and attract females. New findings published in the journal Current Biology show that the wing changes are physically different and arose from separate mutations. This makes the silent crickets a brand new example of ‘convergent evolution’.” – and some really rapid evolution!

Microbes May Drive Evolution of New Animal Species“[S]ymbiosis — a long-term, stable and often beneficial interaction between organisms — could drive two populations apart, the first step in the development of new species. Although the idea has been floating around for nearly a century, it has only recently begun to gain traction in biology. This idea contrasts sharply with the traditional picture of evolution, in which new species emerge either from geological isolation or from a relentless struggle for food and mates. According to this new hypothesis, a host organism’s microbes might trigger changes in mating and reproduction that begin to define two different populations.” – h/t charles!

you gotta read this!: Coincidental Killers“We assume that microbes evolved to attack humans when actually we are just civilian casualties in a much older war…. Many of the pathogens we fear most are mere tourists on the human body. Their real homes are oceans, caves, or soils. To understand them, we need to understand them within their natural ecology. Soil, for example, is an extreme habitat for a microbe: harsh and constantly changing. It can quickly oscillate from flood to drought, from scalding heat to freezing cold, and total darkness to intense solar radiation. It’s rife with other competing microbes, and crawling with hungry predators. We fear lions and tigers and bears; bacteria have to contend with phage viruses, nematode worms, and predatory amoebas. All of these conditions can lead to adaptations that make microbes accidentally suited for life in a human host. We are, after all, just another environment. A thick capsule that shields a microbe from dehydration could also shield it from our immune system. A spore that is adapted for travelling through the air can be easily inhaled into a respiratory tract.”

Genetically identical ants help unlock the secrets of larval fate“A young animal’s genes are not the only genes that determine its fate. The genetic identity of its caretakers matters too…. [A] team led by Serafino Teseo of the University of Paris 13 used the unique aspects of the [clonal] ants’ biology to test the indirect role genes play in shaping the future identity of larvae and whole colonies by looking at the interaction between larvae and adults. They did so by observing the success of two ant clones, A and B, in pure colonies or mixed together into chimeric colonies. They also swapped broods, so A adults raised B larvae and vice versa. It turned out that A and B larvae developed differently depending on whether A or B nurses raised them. Left alone, pure A colonies produced the most young after six generations, making them more successful than B. However, in mixed colonies, B did better because its larvae more frequently turned into large adults that specialize in egg-laying rather than smaller, foraging-focused individuals….” – h/t rolf muertter!

Mitochondrial DNA of first Near Eastern farmers is sequenced for the first time“According to conclusions, genetic affinities have been observed between the mitochondrial DNA of first Neolithic populations and the DNA of first Catalan and German farmers. This suggests that probably Neolithic expansion took place through pioneer migrations of small groups of population. Moreover, the two main migration routes — Mediterranean and European — might have been genetically linked. ‘The most significant conclusion — highlights Eva Fernández — is that the degree of genetic similarity between the populations of the Fertile Crescent and the ones of Cyprus an Crete supports the hypothesis that Neolithic spread in Europe took place through pioneer seafaring colonization, not through a land-mediated expansion through Anatolia, as it was thought until now….’ Other scientific studies had already provided signs of an alternative scenario of Neolithic spread in Europe different from the one through Anatolia. According to Turbón, ‘recent archaeological finds have proved that the Neolithic arrived to Cyprus around 10,600 years ago, some years after the first documentation of agricultural practices in the Near East.’ Architecture and burial models found in Cyprus’ sites are similar to the ones found in the Middle Euphrates basin, ‘that indicates a direct colonisation of these territories,’ highlights the author. ‘Besides, spatial interpolation of radiocarbon dates from different Neolithic sites in the Near East and Europe also suggests a first seafaring expansion through Cyprus,’ he concludes.” – orginal research article.

The Giant Rat of Sumatra and Sardinia and No True Sardinian – from greg cochran.

A twist in Austronesian origins“The Taiwanese origin of Austronesians is widely accepted. A new preprint confirms this theory, but adds a new twist to the story of Austronesian dispersals, as it seems that in their western expansion, Austronesians picked up some Austroasiatic ancestry. This means either that Austroasiatic speakers preceded them in islands where Austronesian languages are now spoken, or that the Austronesians picked up this kind of ancestry in the mainland before settling in the islands.” – from dienekes.

A new allele for blond hair“There is a widespread belief that whatever made Europeans fair-skinned also gave them their unique palette of hair and eye colors. In reality, fair skin has only a weak genetic linkage with either non-black hair or non-brown eyes.” – from peter frost. see also: A molecular basis for classic blond hair color in Europeans.

A Genetic Map of Fireworks in Time“French Canadians and Slavs are both cases of populations which were once relatively modest and began in a narrow delimited region, but now are quite expansive and numerous. In the case of the East Slavs the demographic expansion also entailed the absorption of numerous Uralic tribes, as well as later Turks. And this illustrates one of the major details which I think has characterized the genetic turnover of human populations: phase shifts from a relatively static one defined by isolation by distance gene flow across clinal gradiants, to a rapid expansion of a small subset, and the overlay of this component as a palimpsest over the underlying variation. In some cases the replacement is nearly total, as in the modern United States. In other cases, as among Great Russians, the Slavic affinities of this population, and its association with Poles and other groups are clear, but there was a non-trivial uptake of exogenous segments which might allow for a reconstruction of the prior genetic landscape. These changes occur over short periods, and are bright fireworks against the comparatively static firmament.” – from razib.

Male faces ‘buttressed against punches’ by evolution“A new theory suggests that our male ancestors evolved beefy facial features as a defence against fist fights. The bones most commonly broken in human punch-ups also gained the most strength in early “hominin” evolution. They are also the bones that show most divergence between males and females.” – h/t darwin evolution! – original research article.

Faster eye responses in Chinese people not down to culture“New research from University of Liverpool scientists has cast doubt on the theory that neurological behaviour is a product of culture in people of Chinese origin. Scientists tested three groups – students from mainland China, British people with Chinese parents and white British people – to see how quickly their eyes reacted to dots appearing in the periphery of their vision…. The findings, published in the journal PLoS One, revealed that similar numbers of the British Chinese and mainland Chinese participants made high numbers express saccades, with the white British participants made far fewer. Culturally the British Chinese participants were similar to their white British counterparts and different to the mainland Chinese students.”

Cultural differences in human brain activity: A quantitative meta-analysis“East Asians show enhanced activity underlying mentalizing and emotion regulation. Westerners show enhanced activity underlying self-reflection and emotional responses.”

Race could be a factor in head, neck cancer survival rates“The national survival rates for African-Americans diagnosed with head and neck cancer have not improved in the last 40 years despite advances in the treatment and management of the disease, researchers have found. The researchers suggest that inherent genetic factors in African-Americans may make some tumors resistant to treatments.”

Severe intellectual disability diagnosed by analysis of entire genome“[A]lmost all mental impairments are caused by new mutations that have not yet occurred in father or mother.” – h/t mr. robert ford!

New genes involved in food preferences will revolutionize diets and improve health“The researchers undertook genome wide association studies (GWAS) to try to unravel the genetic basis for certain food preferences. 2311 Italian subjects participated in the discovery step, while 1755 from other European countries and from Central Asia were used in order to further verify the findings. They uncovered 17 independent genes related to liking for certain foods, including artichokes, bacon, coffee, chicory, dark chocolate, blue cheese, ice cream, liver, oil or butter on bread, orange juice, plain yoghurt, white wine and mushrooms. Surprisingly, none of the genes thus identified belonged to the category of taste or smell receptors…. In a second study, the researchers amassed the response of around 900 healthy adults from North Eastern Italy to salt, and related this to a DNA sequence variation found on the KCNA5 gene, known to be related to taste pathways in mammals.”

First direct evidence for human sex pheromones“‘By using dynamic point-light displays that portray the gaits of walkers whose gender is digitally morphed from male to female, we show that smelling androstadienone systematically biases heterosexual females, but not males, toward perceiving the walkers as more masculine. By contrast, smelling estratetraenol systematically biases heterosexual males, but not females, toward perceiving the walkers as more feminine. Homosexual males exhibit a response pattern akin to that of heterosexual females, whereas bisexual or homosexual females fall in between heterosexual males and females. These effects are obtained despite that the olfactory stimuli are not explicitly discriminable. The results provide the first direct evidence that the two human steroids communicate opposite gender information that is differentially effective to the two sex groups based on their sexual orientation.'” – @deric bownds’ mindblog.

Genetic relatedness predicts contact frequencies with siblings, nieces and nephews: Results from the Generational Transmissions in Finland surveys“Individuals have more contacts with full than with half siblings. Individuals have more contacts with nieces/nephews via full than via half siblings. Individuals have more contacts with nieces/nephews via sisters than via brothers.” – h/t jayman!

Beware Armchair Psychoanalysis“‘Behavioral genetic studies have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that heredity is responsible for a sizable portion of the variations in people’s personalities. Some people are more hot-tempered or outgoing or meticulous than others, and these variations are a function of the genes they were born with as well as the experiences they had after they were born. The exact proportion— how much is due to the genes, how much to the experiences—is not important; the point is that heredity cannot be ignored.'” – from jayman (quoting judith rich harris there).

SD-IE and other differentiation effects in Italy and Spain [pdf] – “SD–IE [strategic differentiation–integration effort] is a strategic differentiation effect present amongst indices of life history (LH), such that persons and populations of slow LH are more differentiated compared to those of fast LH. We found that this phenomenon is present amongst provinces in Italy and Spain, similarly to demonstrations among US states and Japanese prefectures. The average effect size of SD–IE was found to be bigger in Spain and Italy….. In the present study, we test SD–IE using regional-level data for counties in Spain and Italy.”

Is the smart fraction as valuable as previously thought?“‘Consistent with the intellectual class theory advocated by Rindermann and Thompson (2011) and Rindermann et al. (2009), our research findings showed strong evidence that those people that have high IQ are the most relevant influence on economic development. Although our results suggested that all three examined IQ categories promote higher economic growth, the intellectual class has the highest impact followed by the mean ability and non-intellectual classifications. Similarly, the intellectual class also has a highly significant effect on generating technological progress, whereas the influence of the other two groups is immaterial.'” – @dr. james thompson’s blog.

HVGIQ: Burma and HVGIQ: U.S. Virgin Islands – from jason malloy.

Life unworthy of life – post about, as jayman put it, who supports eugenics. – from the awesome epigone.

The Biology of Risk“The state of your body predicts your appetite for financial risk just as it predicts an athlete’s performance. If we understand how a person’s body influences risk taking, we can learn how to better manage risk takers. We can also recognize that mistakes governments have made have contributed to excessive risk taking.”

We can’t ignore the evidence: genes affect social mobility“Why do so many people fail to accept the overwhelming evidence that genes contribute to academic achievement and thereby social status?” – h/t hbd bibliography!

India’s Feudal Rapists

Old chaps? 3,300-year-old trousers found in China may be world’s oldest“Animal-fur menswear found on the bodies of two mummies in Xinjiang province ‘almost the same shape as today’s trousers'”

Grave find may be Western Europe’s earliest false tooth“Archaeologists have identified what could be remains of the earliest false tooth found in Western Europe. The dental implant comes from the richly-furnished timber burial chamber of an Iron Age woman that was excavated in Le Chene, northern France.”

Cat People Are Smarter Than Dog People, New Study Shows – (~_^) – ftr, i like both. i’m not a speciesist!

bonus: Blind cavefish are able to ‘count’“Blind cave-dwelling fish are able to discriminate between different quantities, scientists say…. Researchers say it is the first time non-visual numerical abilities have been shown in fish.” – h/t mo costandi!

bonus bonus: Bees build mental maps to get home“Study suggests the insects do not rely solely on the Sun as a compass…. ‘The surprise comes for many people that such a tiny little brain is able to form such a rich memory described as a cognitive map,’ says co-author Randolf Menzel, a neurobiologist at the Free University of Berlin.”

bonus bonus bonus: Nemo’s Dad Should Have Become His Mom, And Other Lies Children’s Movies Told You – h/t steve stewart williams!

(note: comments do not require an email. “i wandered lonely as a cloud….”)

12 Comments

  1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I understand that there are two factions in the US with strong feelings about evolution. (i) A churchy mob, who refuse to believe in evolution at all, and (ii) a lefty mob, who claim to believe that human evolution stopped abruptly some 50k-100k years ago.

    May I assume that Americans who belong to neither faction take much the same view of evolution as the rest of the advanced world?

    Reply

  2. “The bones most commonly broken in human punch-ups also gained the most strength in early “hominin” evolution. They are also the bones that show most divergence between males and females.”

    It’s good to know that our ancestors were such gentlemen as not to punch their ladies.

    Reply

  3. “The researchers suggest that inherent genetic factors in African-Americans …”

    I have found that you can sing “Race is just a social construct” to the tune of “Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles”. Quite appropriate, really.

    Reply

  4. Ha! I’m a dog person, largely because I’ve always been hugely allergic to cats. I think it’s been good for me too. If there’s one deficit I’ve always had it’s being regimented about my behavior. So I’ve learned to see dog walking, feeding, bathing, brushing, ball throwing and petting as a necessary evil.

    Reply

  5. “Male faces ‘buttressed against punches’ by evolution ” – Another blow to the ‘noble savage’ theory..

    “Faster eye responses in Chinese people not down to culture” – Who would have thought. Perhaps Usain Bolt runs so fast not only as a result of “cultural conditioning”?

    “Race could be a factor in head, neck cancer survival rates” – There appears to be some interaction between Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection, HLA class I and II expression [differentiated within and between races], and Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma clinical outcome.

    “Genetic relatedness predicts contact frequencies with siblings, nieces and nephews: Results from the Generational Transmissions in Finland surveys” – I have first hand experience of this and have suspected that this is the case for some time.

    “We can’t ignore the evidence: genes affect social mobility – “Why do so many people fail to accept the overwhelming evidence that genes contribute to academic achievement and thereby social status?”” – Indeed. Too many blank-slaters out there.

    “Cat People Are Smarter Than Dog People, New Study Shows ” – Hmm.. I personally hate cats, find them irritating. Definitely a dog person. Someone ought to do a study on digit ratios of cat people vs dog people, that might be interesting.

    Reply

  6. Re: “India’s Feudal Rapists” When all you have is a Marxist hammer everything is
    a feudal nail but the reality maybe I hope more interesting for your theories.

    * It’s not about “Feudalism”

    The article says that “Much of the caste-based sexual violence emerges out of a feudal sense of entitlement among some upper-caste men” But neither of the groups involved — Yadavas and Shakyas can be called “upper-caste” in any meaningful cultural sense. This is also true of those involved in most of the high-profile rape cases recently.” Even the “land-owning Jats” a supposed example of feudal mindset are admitted by this article to “being relatively low caste themselves” (In fact the Jats are descended from nomads and only became landowners relatively recently c. 18th century.)

    * Both the Yadavas and Shakyas are of modern, synthetic origin.

    From the wikipedia entry on Yadav (The Hindi pronounciation of the Sanskrit Yadava.)

    “Yādav refers to a grouping of traditionally non-elite, pastoral communities, or castes, in India and Nepal that has claimed descent from the mythological King Yadu as a part of a movement of social and political resurgence.”

    “The term ‘Yadav’ now covers many traditional pastoral castes such as Ahirs of the Hindi belt, the Gavli of Maharashtra,[8] the Goala of Andhra and the Konar of Tamil Nadu. In the Hindi belt, “Ahir,” “Gwala,” and “Yadav” are often used synonymously. The Yadav are included in the category Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in many Indian states.”

    “Traditionally, Yadav groups were linked to cattle raising and, as such, were outside the formal caste system.[So much for the narrative ! -J] Since the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Yadav movement has worked to improve the social standing of its constituents, through Sanskritisation, active participation in the Indian and British armed forces, expansion of economic opportunities to include other, more prestigious business fields, and active participation in politics.”

    Wikipedia has not entry for these particular Shakyas but this site: http://www.shakyasamaj.com/History/AboutShakyas.aspx suggests that they are a Buddhist offshoot or re-formation of the North Indian castes known as Kurmi, Kushwaha, and Koli. (Shakya is the traditional name of the Buddhas people.) The famous untouchable leader and architect of the Indian constitution B.R. Ambedkar invented the idea that lower castes and untouchable were the descendents of persecuted Buddhists but this movement has as much to do with actual historical Buddhism as the Nation of Islam has to do with actual, historical Islam. Thus I think the use of the name Shakya is probably no older than him (mid-20th century.) It should be noted that despite the insinuation in the Times article none of these groups actually seem to be untouchables either by traditional standards or according to the Indian legal system.

    Some of the constituent castes of the Shakyas have wikipedia pages with interesting observations

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koli_people

    “During the later period of the Raj, the Gujarati Kolis became involved in the process of what has subsequently been termed sanskritisation. At that time, in the 1930s, they represented around 20 per cent of the region’s population and members of the local Rajput [the feudal nobility -J] community were seeking to extend their own influence by co-opting other significant groups as claimants to the ritual title of kshatriya. The Rajputs were politically, economically and socially marginalised because their own numbers — around 4 – 5 per cent of the population — were inferior to the dominant Patidars [aka Patels -J], with whom the Kolis were also disenchanted. The Kolis were among those whom the Rajputs targeted because, although classified as a criminal tribe by the British administration, they were among the many communities of that period who had made genealogical claims of descent from the kshatriya. The Rajput leaders preferred to view the Kolis as being kshatriya by dint of military ethos rather than origin but, in whatever terminology, it was a marriage of political expedience.”

    “Christophe Jaffrelot, a historian and political scientist, says that this body, which claimed to represent the Rajputs and Kolis, ‘… is a good example of the way castes, with very different ritual status, join hands to defend their common interests. … The use of the word Kshatriya was largely tactical and the original caste identity was seriously diluted.’”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kushwaha

    “Today, the Kushwaha generally claim descent from Kusha, a son of the mythological Rama, himself an avatar of Vishnu. This enables their claim to be of the Suryavansh dynasty but it is a myth of origin developed in the twentieth century. Prior to that time, the various branches that form the Kushwaha community – the Kachhis, Kachwahas, Koeris, and Muraos – favoured a connection with Shiva and Shakta.” [sic. should be Shakti.]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurmi

    “With the waning of Mughal rule in the early 18th century, the Indian subcontinent’s hinterland dwellers, many of whom were armed and nomadic, began to appear more frequently in settled areas and interact with townspeople and agriculturists. Many new rulers of the 18th century came from such nomadic backgrounds. The effect of this interaction on India’s social organization lasted well into the colonial period. During much of this time, non-elite tillers and pastoralists, such as the Kurmi or Ahirs, were part of a social spectrum that blended only indistinctly into the elite landowning classes at one end, and the menial or ritually polluting classes at the other.”

    “Cross-cultural influences were felt also. Hindu tillers worshipped at Muslim shrines in the small towns founded by their Muslim overlords. The Hindu Kurmis of Chunar and Jaunpur, for instance, took up the Muslim custom of marrying first cousins…”

    “Earlier, in the late eighteenth century, when Asaf-Ud-Dowlah, the fourth Nawab of Awadh, attempted to grant the kshatriya title of Raja to a group of influential landed Ayodhya Kurmis, he was thwarted by a united opposition of Rajputs, who were themselves (as described by Buchanan), ‘a group of newcomers to the court, who had been peasant soldiers only a few years before …’ According to historian William Pinch:
    (The) Rajputs of Awadh, who along with Brahmans constituted the main beneficiaries of what historian Richard Barnett characterizes as ‘Asaf’s permissive program of social mobility,’ were not willing to let that mobility reach beyond certain arbitrary socio-cultural boundaries. … The divergent claims to status in the nineteenth century (and earlier) illustrate the point that for non-Muslims, while varna was generally accepted as the basis for identity, on the whole little agreement prevailed with respect to the place of the individual and the jati within a varna hierarchy.”

    “In 1930, the Kurmis of Bihar joined with the Yadav and Koeri agriculturalists to enter local elections…The organisation also suffered from caste rivalries, notably the superior organisational ability of the higher castes who opposed it, as well as the inability of the Yadavs to renounce their belief that they were natural leaders and that the Kurmi were somehow inferior.”

    “Again in the 1970s, the India Kurmi Kshatriya Sabha attempted to bring the Koeris under their wing, but again a disunity troubled this alliance…Under [Bihar Chief Minister Laloo Prasad] Yadav, the IKSS became less and less advantageous to the Kurmi, favouring instead the priorities of the Yadav caste, and this combined with the competition of the Kurmi-based Samata led to a divide between these intermittently allied castes.”

    * Yadavs are (or were) herders, Shakyas are farmers

    I wonder if surveying the incidence of inter-caste rapes, more of the perpetrators came from a pastoral nomadic background? Certainly the Jats and the Yadavs who are the most flagrant offenders have such an origin. This seems to me to be more explanatory than the old warhorses of “feudalism” or “patriarchy.”

    Reply

  7. Phew sorry for going on and on there but to sum up:

    You cannot understand the caste system simply by looking at what Sanskrit law codes say. In reality there is more flexibility and ambiguity than one might think.

    Neither the Yadavs nor the Shakyas are perpetrators or helpless victims of a rigid system unchanged from the dawn of time. Rather they are confederations of low-status but upwardly mobile groups that use religious imagery and the bureaucratic-political power of the modern Indian state to compete for social status. This competition is not new and is not restricted to them but has been going on for several centuries atleast in many parts of India.

    Although castes are tribal and look to their own interests first, they are not so clannish as to be incapable of forming alliances with outsiders when needed though such alliances are not as stable as that of citizenship in a modern nation-state. But maybe it is enough to keep Indian democracy going. After it has not fallen into anarchy or dictatorship like many other third world countries and that should count for something.

    Unfortunately many of the battles for status are being fought on the bodies of women. Probably the best way to prevent these rapes is to revive Indias decrepit socialist economy so getting your group ahead is not seen as a zero-sum game that requires the supression of others. Keep publicizing each event so social pressure can be brought to bear. And recognize where and with whom the problems really lie instead of politically correct demonization of men who have no connection whatsoever

    Reply

  8. We are the parasites of the earth. Sometimes supervolcanoes and meteors can eliminate us, especially if we are barely making it. The earth also has its immune system and have to defend yourself.

    He-man, save us!!!
    =)

    Reply

  9. People who said they were dog lovers in the study tended to be more lively — meaning they were more energetic and outgoing — and also tended to follow rules closely. Cat lovers, on the other hand, were more introverted, more open-minded and more sensitive than dog lovers. Cat people also tended to be non-conformists, preferring to be expedient rather than follow the rules. And in a finding that’s sure to spark rivalries among pet owners, cat lovers scored higher on intelligence than dog lovers.

    Dogs vary much more than cats, so the “cats vs dogs” comparison is too broad. I bet the owners of some dog-breeds have higher IQs than the cat-owner average. As for me: I’m with H.P. Lovecraft:

    That dogs are dear to the unimaginative peasant-burgher whilst cats appeal to the sensitive poet-aristocrat-philosopher will be clear in a moment when we reflect on the matter of biological association. Practical plebeian folk judge a thing only by its immediate touch, taste, and smell; while more delicate types form their estimates from the linked images and ideas which the object calls up in their minds. Now when dogs and cats are considered, the stolid churl sees only the two animals before him, and bases his favour on their relative capacity to pander to his sloppy, unformed ideas of ethics and friendship and flattering subservience. On the other hand the gentleman and thinker sees each in all its natural affiliations, and cannot fail to notice that in the great symmetries of organic life dogs fall in with slovenly wolves and foxes and jackals and coyotes and dingoes and painted hyaenas, whilst cats walk proudly with the jungle’s lords, and own the haughty lion, the sinuous leopard, the regal tiger, and the shapely panther and jaguar as their kin. Dogs are the hieroglyphs of blind emotion, inferiority, servile attachment, and gregariousness—the attributes of commonplace, stupidly passionate, and intellectually and imaginatively undeveloped men. Cats are the runes of beauty, invincibility, wonder, pride, freedom, coldness, self-sufficiency, and dainty individuality—the qualities of sensitive, enlightened, mentally developed, pagan, cynical, poetic, philosophic, dispassionate, reserved, independent, Nietzschean, unbroken, civilised, master-class men. The dog is a peasant and the cat is a gentleman. Cats and Dogs

    I’m also with Alan Bennett (or one of his characters, at least):

    “That flaming dog has messed on our steps again. It’s the one species I wouldn’t mind seeing disappear from the face of the earth. I wish they were like the White Rhino — six of them left in the Serengeti National Park, and all males. Do you know what dogs are? They’re those beer-sodden soccer fans piling out of coaches in a lay-by, yanking their cocks out without a blush and pissing up against the wall thirty-nine in a row. I can’t stand it.”

    Reply

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