Chinese police ‘salamander banquet’ scandal

Chinese police alleged to have eaten endangered giant salamander at banquet | World news | The Guardian

Via The Guardian: ‘Chinese officials feasting on critically endangered giant salamander turned violent when journalists photographed the luxury banquet, according to media reports.

The 28 diners included senior police officials from the southern city of Shenzhen, the Global Times said in a report which appeared to show a flouting of Beijing’s austerity campaign.

“In my territory, it is my treat,” it quoted a man in the room as saying.

The giant salamander is believed by some Chinese to have anti-ageing properties, but there is no orthodox evidence to back the claim.

The species is classed as “critically endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) red list of threatened species, which says the population has “declined catastrophically over the last 30 years”.

“Commercial over-exploitation for human consumption is the main threat to this species,” the IUCN said.

 

How Lewis Carroll’s Rules of Letter-Writing Can Make Email More Civil

Via Brain Pickings: ‘…(W)hat more humane an act is there than correspondence itself — the art of mutual response — especially amid a culture of knee-jerk reactions that is the hallmark of most communication today? Letters, by their very nature, make us pause to reflect on what the other person is saying and on what we’d like to say to them in response. Only when we step out of the reactive ego, out of the anxious immediacy that text-messaging and email have instilled in us, and contemplate what is being communicated — only then do we stand a chance of being civil to one another, and maybe even kind.’

 

Best Iain M. Banks Tribute Ever

Via io9: ‘Elon Musk tweeted that he’s naming two SpaceX droneships after Culture ships in Banks’ The Player of Games. One drone ship will be called Just Read The Instructions, and the other will be Of Course I Still Love You.’