Serving Arizona State University Online Since 1995  Current Issue: Thursday, February 07, 2002





Editorial: Bestial birth control problematic, scary
Catholic opossums, beware. Your opossum privates are about to be regulated by ASU researchers.

OK, so we're actually thankful that the brilliant minds of ASU's science department are helping Bob Barker on his daily mission to curb the animal, but their latest discovery has us a little ... well, quite frankly, we're scared.

In an effort to decrease growing numbers of animals such as opossums, kangaroos, deer and "companion animals" such as cats, assistant research professor Amanda Walmsley is working on a new form of edible birth control.

And while she insists that the new-and-improved super duper egg-stopping pellet is the most humane form of birth control for animals, we can't help but contemplate the repercussions of this research and of animal birth control in general.

Prior to Walmsley's research, birth control was administered to animals such as deer by showing them close-up shots of Michael Jackson and his monkey. Oh wait, that's what stops us from having sex.

They actually shot darts into the animals, something as equally unpleasant. And the current method dropping planeloads of poisoned carrots over forests for the little buggers to gobble up isn't exactly science at its best. You know what they say though a carrot a day keeps the fetus away.

Because methods of bestial birth control are relatively new, we'll give scientists credit for being a little slow on the creativity side, but planeloads of carrots? The main problem with this, as Walmsley willingly admits, is that they can't force a certain species of animal to eat the carrot.

So, basically, any unsuspecting animal in the forest could be seduced by the magic carrot, and voila! No more rumpy-pumpy reproduction power.

Not that most groups of animals in our forests couldn't use a little downsizing, but still, should we really be administering tainted carrots to vast areas of land where everything from puppy dogs to lost chubby little German children could be dwelling?

Walmsley's pellets are a plus in that they eliminate the need for the poisonous carrot drops, but how far will this discovery take the practice of controlling our animal population?

Because it's so much less costly and much more effective, will we start choosing which animals should get more pellets or stronger pellets?

Will we decide based on our own human needs which animals we need to keep around more than others (i.e., deer meat good, let them procreate/opossum meat gross, let them waste away in their infertility)?

Will we start having animal birth control clinics where they can pick up their monthly dose of pellets in a stylish yet prudent pink pack?

OK, so this scenario might extend beyond the ridiculous, but you get the point. Aside from these potential problems, we can't help but wonder what this practice will do to the animals' psyche.

Many animals live their lives by their specific mating season schedule, knowing instinctually when and how to acquire their frisky forest lover. They don't do the deed for pleasure (hopefully), and they expect to birth offspring as a result.

So, could animal birth control result in the mass depression of the wild kingdom, forcing us to administer Prozac pellets as a chaser?

We can just see it now ... a kangaroo holding its pouch open with a lost and distant frown, wondering "Where have all the Joeys gone?"

While we commend Walmsley and her team of animal antagonists for their discovery, we can only hope it doesn't lead to drastic measures. At least for now, we'll be avoiding carrots on our strolls through the woods.

Opinion: Bush's Nobel nomination an insult to world peace
The nomination came from Harald Tom Nesvik, a right wing member of the Norwegian Parliament. According to Nesvik, he believed that both George Bush and Tony Blair (the other nominee) deserved the nomination due to their war efforts in Afghanistan.

Opinion: Avoid leaps in logic when debating a point
Have you ever read an article or listened to a speech and thought to yourself, "Something about this just doesn't click."

You were probably right, since neither papers nor orators tend to make clicking sounds.

More to the point, you probably found a logical fallacy, which inhabit all but the very best arguments.

Opinion: Letters to the Editor
Recently I had a very positive brush with our campus Parking Services. I am writing to praise and thank those people who saved me considerable time and trouble last week. Our old, 1960's vintage vehicle was left in Parking Structure 1 with the headlights on early one morning.

Top of the Kee
ASU head football coach Dirk Koetter consummated his relationship with 30 high school and junior college players when they signed national letters of intent Wednesday, but each signing was simply the conclusion of a long, complex dating process.

Sun Devils ink 30 on hectic signing day
Dirk Koetter unveiled ASU's 2002 recruiting class Wednesday night, complete with 22 freshmen signees, the second most in the past seven years. In addition, the Sun Devil head coach also added eight junior college transfers into the mix, bringing the total to 30 players.

ASU's NCAA hopes on line this weekend
Although many do not perceive a single game as being any bigger than the next, this weekend's home series against the Washington schools may be the most important of the season for the ASU men's basketball team.

Devils try to conquer road woes in Pullman
The result of these two variables will be revealed when the Sun Devils travel to the Washington schools this weekend in their final road trip of the season.

ASU blanks Utah in motivational opener
The match began with three solid doubles performances by the Sun Devils. Sophomores Olivier Charroin and Chris Stewart recorded an 8-3 win over freshman Jonathon Engelbrecht and senior Corrie Sheepers.

Sports authority not considering ASU site
The state Tourism and Sports Authority does not plan to consider ASU's Karsten Golf Course as a viable site for the Cardinals' football stadium, officials said.

"We have no authority to consider another site at this time," said Jim Grogan, chairman of the TSA board of members.

Edible birth control created for animals
Amanda Walmsley's birth control, which works by blocking antibodies important for conception, is grown in plants such as carrots, tomatoes and potatoes. Then the plants are freeze dried and crushed into a powder.

Students to spend time with domestic violence victims
Members of the student group SERVE (Students Educating about Rape and Violence Everywhere) will provide dinner and play with children today at a Mesa shelter for victims of domestic violence.

Career Services is hosting a presentation: "Networking The Secrets to Unlocking Career Opportunities" at 2 p.m. in the Memorial Union, Room 212. For more, visit under "Upcoming Events" then "Presentations."

Police Beat
A 51-year-old Mesa man was arrested at 64 E. Broadway Road for forgery and possession of stolen property when he reportedly tried to cash a stolen check for $3,500 at Wells Fargo.

Hollywood Squares features ASU student
Although she isn't allowed to tell how much money she may have won, ASU sophomore Samantha Ferreira says she had a great experience appearing on the game show "Hollywood Squares."

5 ASU professors awarded Regent status
Draped in velvet robes and silver medallions, five ASU professors were awarded the prestigious title of Regents' Professor in a ceremony last Thursday in Katzin Concert Hall.

Classifieds - 2/7/02
Apartments 2BR/ 1BA, $625/mo, large, 4 blocks to campus. Move in special. Call 480-200-7372. A 2BR apt, close to ASU/ down- town. Great move-in special! Only $575/mo. 480-804-0537 ASU 6 BLKS! 1br, a/c, laundry, carport. 1218 S Farmer. $490/ mo. Call John 480-303-6701.

Hazing accusations abound for Sigma Nu
Investigations. Allegations of hazing. They're nothing new to Sigma Nu.

Rumors and allegations of hazing have swirled around ASU's Sigma Nu chapter this semester after a complaint was filed against the organization in December. Since then, university officials have been gathering information about a hazing-related incident at a chapter function.

However, Tempe is only one of several university towns to see their Sigma Nu chapter accused of illegal activities. Since 1997, six other Sigma Nu chapters have been accused of hazing; some chapters have been proven guilty, while others have been wrongfully accused.

Apache's speeding drivers still concern students
Speeding drivers along Apache Boulevard still concern students living on the south end of campus, over six months after the hit-and-run death of freshman Jessica Woodin.

"People seem to be driving faster than usual or sometimes it is just hard to get across," said senior Emily Wydeven, a resident of south campus.

A (chilly) day in the life of a first-time nudist
"I'll do all the interviews naked!" I proclaimed as people laughed, blushed, shuddered and grinned. They admired my prowess and my willingness to experiment.

DJ class puts new spin on study time
Welcome to Club DJ Lessons at Scottsdale Community College (SCC). Instructor Rob Wegner hopes this class will introduce an entirely new genre of record mixing as an art, science and business venture.

Sweet band bleeds life into mangled music scene
For most of its history, Arizona, with Phoenix as its cultural hub, has been to the art and music communities of the world what a second-rate actor is to the orb of great medicine: A joke.

Band shifts into full speed with strange, saucy sound
They're Fivespeed. Relatively unique sounding. Amazingly clean for the local scene. Decent. Really decent. They've played with Jimmy Eat World and Chris Cornell's brother, and they're headed for TRL. (OK, so, maybe they're not headed for Totally Retarded Losers isn't that what TRL really stands for?)

Chart-rising, Cadillac-rolling, Mest, hits Tempe
When the punk band Mest scored a slot to perform on a side stage during a few Blink 182 shows, the musicians thought of a creative way to lure kids over to watch them play.

Music Review
It must be one laugh after the other being a member of Harvette's inner circle. It's obvious the LA-based trio likes poking fun at just about everything, including themselves, as evidenced on the 14-track, self-titled debut.

Band makes peace with desert dwelling sounds
Sometimes a musician has the ability to capture the essence of a locale; their lyrics and music invoke memories of those who have lived there and intrigue those who have yet to visit.

Uncovering the truths about nudism takes more than just taking it off.
Faber, along with her husband, three children and parents, run the clothing-optional resort, which is part of the western chapter of the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR).

Student Production Board shines with second play of season
Well, it hasn't exactly been long awaited, considering that the last show ended Jan. 29th and auditions for this one took place on Jan. 23, but "the recently awaited 20th show" lacks that sense of urgency.

Even dogs know they don't belong in film
Anyway, my significant caretaker (I find the term "master" a tad derogatory), Ashlea, has bestowed on me her creative duty as editor to come up with something worthy to say about independent filmmaking in her absence.

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