Simians and Scimitars: The Taliban’s Alleged Monkey Soldiers

This is what we call Slow News Day Gold.  China’s People’s Daily Online reports: Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents are training monkeys to use weapons to attack American troops, according to a recent report by a British-based media agency. Reporters from the media agency spotted and took photos of a few “monkey soldiers” holding AK-47 rifles and Bren light machine guns in the Waziristan tribal region near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The report and photos have been widely spread by media agencies and Web sites across the world. According to the report, American military experts call them “monkey terrorists.” What we have here, gentlemen, is a monkey gap.  And I for one won’t stand around waiting for these furballs to start shooting up Des Moines before I do something about it.  I am hereby requesting $25 million from the Defense Department for the training of patriotic anti-simian sloth soldiers.  Oh […]

The Invisible Simian Labor Force

About a week back I posted a link on Twitter to this article about a Berkeley woman who has been hiring out her pet monkey as a fruit harvester.  For a small free and a cut of the fruit, you can get your trees harvested of all those sweet unreachables. Naturally, it took me until this morning to figure out it was an April Fool’s Day hoax.  What? Fact-checking? However, the basic idea is not too far fetched.  Humans have gotten a days work out of our simian cousins for a long time and continue to do so.  Helper monkeys aid people with mobility problems, giving them back their independence and providing companionship.  The Monkey Business alluded to seems to be merely a mashup between this concept and open fruit map. I was further encouraged to come across a kindred spirit, accused of primate-related gullibility: In the issue of Science […]