March 7th, 2010

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In which the Internet is a superegg

Evidently a couple in Korea allowed their daughter to die of malnutrition and neglect, while they spent most of their time playing an online game ... about raising a child.

A superegg, by the way, is a fake egg designed to appeal to bird instincts more than a live egg.  Seabirds, for instance, prefer eggs that are big, pointy, and spotty.  If you give them a fake egg that is bigger, pointier, and spottier than their own ... they will push the live egg out of the nest and sit on the fake one.

I am creeped out by the Internet behaving like a superegg.  I'm sad for the baby girl.  On the other hoof, I am not sad to see those particular parents failing to procreate, and I hope they don't make any more copies of their uncompromisingly inferior genes.
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Suijin-sama, the Sewage Spirit

I had reason to look up some kappa references for a friend, which meant taking a mosey through pages of Japanese water-spirit lore.  Therein I found something more fascinating than the kappa.  Apparently there is a type of Suijin-sama that specializes in cleaning up sewage.  It manifests as beneficial bacteria.

I'm thinking this would be a really, really useful spirit to befriend.  Most spirits like to be paid attention to.  Living out in the country, we have a septic tank rather than a sewer line, so keeping the beneficial bacteria happy is a Good Thing.  I didn't have any luck turning up a carved Suijin-sama stone, but at least the pictures on the site are clear enough that I can probably copy the writing with a brush.