Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lemmings?

So, if the lemmings (the little guy in the picture to the left is a stuffed lemming) tend to follow the leader, even off the edge of a cliff, then what does the one in front do? I mean, who's he following?

Well, actually, according to the Wikipedia Lemmings article, lemmings aren't really that suicidal, and our common notion of this has been perpetuated by lots of false and/or misleading media. According to the article:
On occasion, and particularly in the case of the Norway lemmings in Scandinavia, large migrating groups will reach a cliff overlooking the ocean. They will stop until the urge to press on causes them to jump off the cliff and start swimming, sometimes to exhaustion and death. Lemmings are also often pushed into the sea as more and more lemmings arrive at the shore.
Yeah, they're not particularly suicidal... just wanting to migrate 'cause they've over-reproduced. Another quote from the Wikipedia article:
The suicide myth was further propagated by Walt Disney documentary White Wilderness in 1958 which includes footage of lemmings migrating and running head-long over a ledge. An investigation in 1983 by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Brian Vallee, showed that the Disney film makers faked the entire sequence using imported lemmings (bought from Inuit children), a snow covered turntable on which a few dozen lemmings were forced to run, and literally throwing lemmings into the sea to show the alleged suicides.[8]
So, they're not really as suicidal as they're made out to be (you might want to read the article, especially if you're a lemming freak). I did enjoy the video game Lemmings, which apparently has as recently as 2006 been ported to a modern system (PSP), even if the subject of its premise doesn't really match the reality of that subject. Anyway, this is another reminder that we shouldn't always simply believe things, but should investigate the truth of the subject matter.


The other day I was eating at O'Charley's, and found my straw had been manufactured upside down (see picture to the right; sorry for the lousy quality, it was a phone-pic - you can click the picture to enlarge, and you'll see the "bendy" part is at the bottom instead of the top of the straw). I had to ask for another one, and fortunately it had been manufactured properly, with the bendy part at the top.

Ok, I have to go get my wife from her job now... we're down to one working vehicle at the moment, and it seems to be trying to join our stable of inoperative vehicles... so if I don't blog again for a while, it's because I'm walking home... :)

2 comments:

Dean Lusk said...

Dude, I thought that lemmings were an invention of the great minds at Apple Computers, specifically for the //e!

http://www.virtualapple.org/lemmingsdisk.html

Tony M said...

Heh-heh... I think I played Lemmings on a PC; you know another fun-but-not-too-familiar game? Worms!

However, I think my favorite ever game was an old Dragon Flight Simulator that I played on my 286-12MHz (a really cool computer, in its time, of course; it was the first computer on which I ran Windows, and thought, wow, this is terrible...). I don't recall the name of the game (maybe Dragon Flight? There's a flash game by that name now that isn't the same thing). You were riding a dragon, and you had a lance, and there were other dragons (sometimes with riders, sometimes without) you had to defeat. You could joust them, or have your dragon breath on them (different dragons had different kinds of breath), or have your dragon claw them. If you got knocked off your dragon in mid-air, you had a slight chance of getting the dragon to rescue you (i.e., fly under you), but if I recall, you were watching yourself fall and had to guide the dragon who was usually off-screen, so it wasn't often that I was able to rescue myself in this scenario.