“I have fallen through the side of a whale up to my chest”

Celebrating (no, that’s not the right word) two blue whales washing up on the coast of Newfoundland, The Atlantic has A Brief History of Exploding Whales.

The world now knows that blowing up whales on purpose is best avoided. However, dead whales can still detonate on their own. In 2004, for example, the carcass of a sperm whale was being towed through the streets of Tainan City, Taiwan, when its belly burst, splattering blood and guts on nearby people, cars, and storefronts.

If you’re curious about how much pressure might cause a whale to explode, you’re in luck? Incidentally, The Royal Ontario Museum will be collecting and preserving for study the Blue Whales that washed up on Newfoundland.

“I have fallen through the side of a whale up to my chest”

“The feds saw…a bird go up in flames every two minutes”

Various types of solar energy are great because they reduce the use of fossil fuels, that said, they sometimes create a ‘mega-trap’ cooking entire food chains in the extreme heat they create.

The feds saw what appeared to be a bird go up in flames every two minutes, according to the report. The birds killed at Ivanpah include a peregrine falcon, a red-shouldered hawk and an ash-throated flycatcher.

Via @noahWG

“The feds saw…a bird go up in flames every two minutes”

History of the vibrator

Alexis Madrigal had an exhaustive history of the vibrator in the Atlantic a couple months ago. There is a lot of information in here.

Everyone in the sex toy business whom I spoke with credits “Sex and the City” with profoundly changing the way Americans now talk about sex toys. The Rabbit Pearl became an overnight sensation — “Talk about product placement,” the vibrator’s manufacturer, Dan Martin of Vibratex, told me. With clean, well-lit stores like Good Vibrations and Babeland; the Tupperware-inspired, sex-toy house gatherings for women known as Pleasure Parties (“Where Every Day is Valentine’s Day”); and the Internet — which opened all kinds of new avenues for sexual adventure — women now had safe and discreet places to buy it. The Rabbit Pearl is still the top-selling sex toy, although the original from Vibratex has been knocked off so many times that “the rabbit” has become generic.

And then a couple months later, LA Magazine profiled Chad and Ron Braverman, the father-son team which runs Doc Johnson, the country’s biggest sex toy manufacturer. If you’re a porn star, getting a dildo made that looks like your junk isn’t worth as much as it used to be.

In the past a casting like Deen’s was worth serious money for a star. Doc Johnson molds few male performers, but when the actor Jeff Stryker was casted 20 years ago, his contract guaranteed a fee of $200,000 up front plus royalties. These days that figure is closer to $20,000—the market is saturated with performers—though there are ways to bump a fee.

History of the vibrator

Matt Taibbi vs Goldman Sachs (Full Text)

Matt Taibbi’s recent take down of Goldman Sachs in Rolling Stone, The Great American Bubble Machine, is full of Taibbi’s usual clever turns of phrase and acerbic prose. What I feel differentiates this article from his work is the high pitched response from Goldman Sachs and detractors in the media who are making tons of points about Taibbi’s article, none of which are, ‘It’s not true.’ (PDF and Full Text of article.)

Felix Salmon has a refutation by a Goldman flack.
Taibbi responds to the flack and notes why Goldman’s POV is not represented in the article. They didn’t want to talk.
Time Magazine steps into it in a somewhat ham handed way. Not making many points or adding much substance to the discussion.
Taibbi responds to Time, taking most issue with Time’s ‘everyone was doing it‘ defense of Goldman.
Megan McArdle somehow connects Taibbi’s writing to Sarah Palin, which doesn’t make much sense. Then she hangs out in the comments section saying, “I’m just not down with the idea that there’s some sort of elusive “central point” to stories that permits you to write a bunch of total nonsense as long as the “central point” is good.” Which, as a commenter points out, will probably be posted as a comment on every McArdle piece for the rest of time.
Here’s Obsidian Wings saying the article isn’t as bad as Kevin Drum said it was (though Drum then recanted his statement based on the fact that Rolling Stone confusingly posted excerpts of the article online instead of the full text).

More as it comes in.

Matt Taibbi vs Goldman Sachs (Full Text)