capybaras off topic open thread

Labor Day Capybara Video Party and Open Thread

It’s labor day here in the US, which is basically a day to relax. So I thought I’d share some videos of perhaps the most relaxed animal in the world: the mighty capybara!

Let’s start with a nice swim:

Having a soak in a barrel:

Remember the capybaras I wrote about a few days ago, the ones who basically reclaimed the territory taken from them by the inhabitants of a fancy new gated community in Buenos Aires? Well, here they are just hanging out.

And if that’s not enough for you, capybara-wise, here’s an entire hour of capybara fun. (The music kind of sucks though.)

So chill, these really remarkably large rodents.

Follow me on Twitter.

Send tips to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.

We Hunted the Mammoth relies entirely on readers like you for its survival. If you appreciate our work, please send a few bucks our way! Thanks!

42 replies on “Labor Day Capybara Video Party and Open Thread”

I was just coming here to ask if anyone had more news of los carpinchos and their reclamation project.

The people and capybaras seem to be getting along all right in that park. Capys are chill, just eating grass and staying off the paths.

The one in the barrel is Maru-worthy. If it fits, it sits.


@Simon: I can only take that HCA subreddit in small doses. Mostly because the screen caps of the “winners” have such hateful content.

Regarding Herr Crying Nazi: Good. I’m sure defending himself will work out fine.
This is an article about ‘link rot’ on the inter webs, where information gets lost and ceases to be accessible. It has massive implications, especially for the legal system, as reference articles and judgements disappear. So much of our knowledge and history is now on the web, and no longer kept in hard copy – this article did freak me out!

There are no capybaras in it, FYI

@ full metal ox

Wow; if his voice was any deeper you’d need sonar to appreciate it. Great rendition though.

That’s such a real classic US labo(u)r vibe. Like those b&w dustbowl photographs or Of Mice and Men.

In reciprocation, I offer this very English take on the job market.

@Alan Robertshaw

A piece of modern art, that song. It’s the atmosphere of a job centre distilled to it’s purest essence.

“Suck on a roll up, pull yer jeans up, FUCK OFF”

Since I initially posted this on the wrong thread, here it goes:

As for the carpinchos… sadly a few of them have been shot, becasue assholes gonna ass >:-( still, they seem to have been isolated incidents… which is a tiny bit less worse, I guess?

The major of Mar del Plata, a seaside district around 400 kms away from Nordelta, has offered to “welcome” the carpinchos to s town that has its own carpincho population.

I suppose it’s not the worst possible outcome, but still very much unfair.

@ full metal ox

Don’t worry; it was a mystery to us over here too!

But as the man himself explains; he used to have a job in a cold store. Every hour he and a co worker would have to check the chickens being delivered by lorry. They had to stick a thermometer into the top and middle of the pallet. If the chickens were over 22’C they had to be sent back.

So he wrote the song whilst he was doing that.

RRG. An old high school friend of mine, who I reconnected with on social media, has an autistic kid. And he’s a good guy who is trying his best (for example, he genuinely wants to prevent as many abortions as possible, so he votes for candidates that support policies that actually reduce abortion rates instead of the “pro-life” candidates that oppose those policies).

He’s considering Applied Behavioral Analysis, which is treated as the “gold standard” in therapy for autistic kids but is, quite simply, gay conversion therapy but with a search-replace for austistic kids. They were both created by the same guy, who described his autistic charges as “not people in the psychological sense.”

Having not experienced ABA myself (I was not diagnosed until adulthood), I directed him to a site dedicated to exposing the truth about ABA. And he’s pretty resistant. It seems he has an issue with being lectured about autism by actually autistic people, in a combination of “I, a neurotypical parent, know my child’s condition better than people who share it” and the “but if you are functional enough to explain why ABA is bad, you aren’t ‘autistic enough’ to speak for all autistics” and HOO BOY have I been patient and holding my tongue over these attitudes. (He’s been trying to shake off Autism Speaks’ propaganda, but it goes deep.)

And he’s trying to reject even reading the sight because the front page “contains false informatioon” because it talks about the “aversion therapy” (aka torture) which ABA’s practioners swear they don’t do any more, no sir, so really there can’t be anything at all wrong with ABA even though the base concept is to train autistic kids into masking because it makes the people who matter more comfortable.


There is unfortunately no legal recourse against filth like that due to the law largely treating children as property of their parents. He’s fixated in his bigotry and won’t listen to reason, nothing will answer but remove the unfortunate child from his custody, and as noted above there’s no framework for that in the US. There’s not much in the way of extralegal recourse either, and if there were the commenting rules would prohibit discussion of it.

My cat is sick again. This is the 3rd time in about a years time she’s had this infection. It’s clearly bacterial because antibiotics get rid of the symptoms pretty much right away, but last time she was sick the vet was stumped because it’s not common for an illness to go away for a few months and come back.

I’m not asking for medical advice, per se unless someone is actually a vet, but if someone has an idea of what could be going on, let me know so I can broach it with the vet when I bring her in.

She’s got a swollen lymph node in her throat. Just on one side. It was biopsied last time she was sick and everything was normal.

Reduced appetite, but it may be due to congestion making the food less appealing than lack of hunger because she’s willing to eat the wet food but only a small amount of kibble. Usually she is a voracious eater of either wet or dry food.

She’s drinking water and using the bathroom normally.

Coughing, sneezing and eye discharge on the side with the swollen lymph node. No nasal discharge that I can see.

Lethargy. She’s not really grooming and sleeping and hiding more than normal.

Maybe a slight fever, but it’s hard to tell because cats are always warm to the touch anyway.

This sound familiar to anyone? She’s an indoor cat, with no contact with other cats. She does however spend a lot of time in the basement and sometimes there are mice down there. I haven’t seen evidence of mice lately, but in the past, she has caught them in her mouth and brought them upstairs to play with. I don’t think she eats them though.

If the cat is suddenly getting bacterial infections she did not used to get, there are two possible causes: a change in the environment or a change in the cat.

A change in the environment could be exposing the cat repeatedly to bacteria she didn’t used to come into contact with. You said mice sometimes appear in your basement: how are they getting in? Installing a mesh across it (if it’s a hole that needs to be there, such as a sewer pipe) or plugging it (otherwise) might keep them out. Tough, metal, so it will stand up to rodent teeth gnawing at it, else the mice will eat a hole through it to get back in eventually.

A change in the cat would be more troubling as it’s less likely you can fix it. It could be behavioral changes that lead to pathogen exposures that didn’t used to happen — new sleeping spot that happens to also be a cool, damp area with bacterial growth, say — but it could be an ailing immune system, due either to age or undiagnosed underlying illness such as FIV. Has she been tested for FIV, or for immune function in general?

If it’s behavioral, then blocking her access to the problem area would be a solution, if of course you can identify the source of the exposures. Or cleaning the area in a way that obliterates the bacteria and prevents their return.

@Weirwood, sympathies for your cat worries! So there’s definitely no tooth issues happening?
If her saliva tastes bad, she’s not going to want to put it on her fur, will she tolerate you wiping her face and her body with a warm damp washcloth? Will she let you brush her? If she will, that’s a psychological help for her as well as a practical one. Although she is an indoor cat, the mice are free-ranging, so it isn’t impossible that she is exposed to poisoned mice periodically, or ones that have been in grass sprayed with weed killer etc.

There is food you can get from the vet that is very strongly flavoured and scented, that it is used for cats who won’t eat after head injuries, anaesthetics etc, it is a temporary thing for short term use. I remember one of my cats had it for a day or so, to kickstart his eating when he had been ill. (It worked well.) Does her breath smell bad? Any stinky spots on her bedding? I am thinking there of an abscess obviously, from a mouse bite or damaged tooth. I once had a cat who somehow got an abscess on the roof of her mouth so there was nothing externally obvious in the beginning to explain her symptoms and her teeth looked fine, and she was swallowing the pus as it developed. First time I have ever written that repulsive phrase!

Heads up, folks:—which a lot of people use to bypass paywalls and preserve incriminating evidence—and its various alternate locations are down. Is a DDoS underway?

So sorry to hear that your cat is not feeling well. Best wishes for a quick recovery.


I’m not sure if this is relevant, not knowing the details of the situation. But if he is a generally nice guy then it may help, if his child requires high levels of support, to find out if he is simply overwhelmed and desperate. An acquaintance of mine has a son who needs constant care and she recently talked about how it completely deconstructs your sense of identity and how it can feel impossible to cope on a day to day basis.

I guess maybe restructuring your argument by pointing him to other therapies, experts and help he could get which supports your point of view could reframe the argument. Instead of “this thing is bad” and taking away a spark of hope of support for him, frame it positively in a “this has been shown to be much better” way. Investigate his feelings and ask if he’s coping, and maybe offer your help (coming over to clean, or cook dinner, to give him a break, for example).

It’s difficult to change people’s minds, and people are especially defensive when it comes to their kids or lived experiences they think other people can’t possibly understand. So coming at it from a more positive, if more circuitous, route may be the best bet.

I have been questioning my gender identity for a little while now. secretly, to myself. I haven’t spoken about it with anyone yet. Not even my husband. I would like to experiment and try out a nonbinary mindset to see how it suits me. If that is alright, I would like one of those places I try it out to be here. I think I am comfortable with female pronouns but for a try out phrase, I would like to be called They/them. possibly ze if that is easier. I would still like to be called Elaine, I like my name after all but I’m just trying to figure out these things I’ve been feeling.

Speaking as someone who was semi-diagnosed as non-neurotypical only last year (and looking at yet another year of waiting until the plague subsides well enough for safe(r) travel again and I can get tested to see what exactly I’m actually dealing with inside my head >:| ), I would have liked to have had something or someone to ask about how normal people did things that they were born already knowing how to do and everything. Like, how to make friends who like the whole person (or at least a good chunk of a person) instead of people who would only be friendly if I showed only a slice of myself; anything more than that slice usually resulted in getting dropped like a hot potato.

Or hell, learning how to understand all the unspoken codes and secret meanings that would let me know when ‘so how was your day?’ means just what it says on the surface and when it really means ‘so when are you going to grow up and move out already?’. You know, stuff normal people can understand via instinct instead of having to be told up front like stupid people need.

(Btw, I know intellectually that’s not how things work in the real world, but that’s not how people around me reacted growing up when I just didn’t know something that everyone else did. Time spent trying to explain certain basic things to me was time wasted that could’ve been spent on something a lot more productive, ya know?)

But I would not have like to be treated like a meat robot that needed ‘reprogramming’ with electroshocks to fit in with other people. Some books that explained how to act in certain situations would have worked better, or at least having someone who I could give the replay to who could tell me what I was doing wrong and telling me how to be better. Be cheaper too.

And now, to create whiplash in folks here…last week we were all discussing the Apostle Paul and how (amongst other things) people were looking over his writings and basically saying ‘uhm, the context to some of those clobber quotes actually give those quotes a totally different meaning to what conservatives say they mean’. Long after that conversation moved on to other threads, I stumbled across this link about what Paul’s ‘thorn in the flesh’ might really have been.

Evidently this isn’t a new theory about him, since it seems to go back at least to the 1930’s. But it is something to think about in relation to certain of his writings and what he was trying to convey with them.

@ Elaine

If it helps, I have a friend who prefers they/them pronouns but has kept their birth name, on the grounds that “it’s not a female name – it’s MY name and I’m keeping it.”


Fortunately it doesn’t sound like that. It’s actually pretty similar to strep throat in humans. I think she’ll be fine. It’s just frustrating that she keeps getting the same illness every few months! Hopefully the vet will have some ideas. Maybe she just needs a stronger antibiotic.

Eddie Izzard still goes by Eddie, no matter how dressed and what pronoun. Mostly she/her.

@Red Silk: I heard that theory a number of years ago — probably when Spong’s book came out — and there’s a lot going for it.

Some of my autistic friends recommend this book:
(the updated edition)


If you find an answer or solution to all of that stuff, could you please let me know? Or better yet, everyone here and any interested person who comes across it via google?

In my 40s I still don’t even know how to have a normal conversation with most people. Unless an actual topic comes up, it just fizzles out.

I also keep running into situations where I end up with no support and lots of harassment somewhere, with no idea why or how to fix it or avoid it occurring in the first place. Examples:

  • University years. On their intranet people singled me out for assorted flaming and name-calling, even if I remained polite. This escalated to spreading overt lies about me of various sorts. Eventually I resorted to reporting the problem to the authorities there, and their response was to revoke my access. Even though I was the victim and the others were, in numerous instances, violating the stated terms of service, which specifically prohibited “harassment”. There was a student ombudsman, whose explicit job description is to go to bat for students vs. the administration in situations like this, who refused to help and explicitly said he was siding with the administration, too.
  • Online games with a multiplayer component. Often at some point I start getting cheated systematically, e.g. losing battles I should easily have won based on relative power of my PC(s) and the opponent — either the game has started systematically lying to me about the opponents’ actual power, or it’s started stacking the deck outright. When I try to explain to teammates that it’s not me magically suddenly sucking but the game misbehaving, do I get sympathy? No. I get more derision and stuff. As far as they are concerned, it is possible for a person to wake up one morning having magically become incompetent at a game they had spent the past several months kicking ass at, but it is not possible for the game to have been rigged against me somehow, perhaps by someone who got jealous of same. Once a game has started cheating against me there seems to be no way to continue correctly: if I remain silent about it they’ll think I suck, and if I don’t they just mock me as a “whiner” or a “complainer”, and they still think I suck. The only way, it seems, to avoid them thinking I suck is to not get cheated, and I don’t know how to do that. I’ve asked, of course, in such instances if anyone knows a defense against the most commonplace cheats I’ve encountered, and each person either doesn’t know or refuses to believe there even is any cheating going on. So, once it starts behaving that way that’s the end. There’s no way to avoid everyone thinking I suddenly am no good any more, so I have little choice but to quit.
  • For some reason, in those same online games someone will often start tampering with my outbound messages. Most of them have some sort of swear filter, but when the message alterer strikes, it’s either to star out something innocuous so it looks like I was swearing when I actually wasn’t, or it’s to insert typos that make me look like I’m not as good a writer as I am, or even to substitute entire words. I know these are not legitimate typos because the substituted letters weren’t adjacent on the keyboard, or even larger changes were made. For example, “its” into “it’s”. I can know, for a fact, that I typed just “i”, “t”, and then “s”. No slip of the finger hitting two keys simultaneously could have put in the apostrophe, which on a PC keyboard is two full inches to the right of the nearest of those three letters, and much farther from either the “t” or the “s”, and on mobile can’t be typed at all without first toggling to a symbol page, which couldn’t happen accidentally without being noticed, and which if it did would have resulted in every subsequent character coming out as a symbol too, so the apostrophe could not have been followed by an “s” in such a scenario. So, if I cannot possibly have typed an apostrophe, intentionally or otherwise, the only logical conclusion is that someone else typed it. As for their goal, making it look like I’m someone who doesn’t know when to use “its” vs. “it’s” as a way of humiliating me and taking me down a peg would seem to be the only possible motive.
  • Most other online communities I at some point run afoul of some clique or group who conspire to force me out. Often one member of the clique engages in an obnoxious behavior of some sort and any calling out of that behavior brings the rest of them down like a swarm of hornets. For instance, there was this one group on an instant messenger app way back in the 1990s, one member of whom was given to wrapping some of their greetings in long sequences of nested parentheses. This was long before the alt-right and the triple parentheses “echo” thing used for antiSemitic dogwhistles, and unrelated to that; the problem instead was that, for some reason, sending deeply nested sets of parentheses caused some clients to freeze for an interval that would get longer and longer the more often it was done. Pointing this out did not, of course, result in the person in question moderating the behavior that was inconveniencing some of the other members of the group, oh no; instead a whole passel of their friends decided on the spot that I was Public Enemy Number One. For asking this one member to limit the amount of parentheses to, say, five at a time, as it was only really long strings of them that caused significant freezes.

In general it seems one pattern is that some people will feel threatened if I display a high degree of competence at anything, including spelling and grammar in chat messages as well as any other salient thing, and will react with acts of covert sabotage, if possible, or by simply spreading lies verbally otherwise. Another is that other people will take the effects of such sabotage, and will take such verbal lies, at face value and regardless of any protestations. And a third is that the above two sets of people tend to be the dominant ones in a group, rather than a lunatic fringe whose opinions won’t matter to anyone else in turn.

There seems to be no way to participate in most groups of people and simply be accepted as, at minimum, their equal … except, perhaps, here, perhaps uniquely among all human communities I’ve encountered thus far. Most groups seem to have members who will try to force any newcomer to be, or to at least appear to be, beneath everyone else in some sense, and the other members will pretty much all go along with this. If I refuse to play my designated role as doormat, comic relief, or similarly and insist on being treated as a member of equal importance (and equal or superior ability, as the case may be), sabotage will be used to try to “put me in my place”. Escalating, if I still don’t acquiesce, to verbal mockery and belittlement, and eventually to getting me banned, and/or to harassment that spills out IRL or otherwise beyond the original context.

Ironically, I’m not even interested in taking over the top of some silly pecking order, as some seem to think and find threatening. I am just not interested in having any position at all in some silly pecking order, since in the top position I’d be a target for ambitious rivals and in any other position I’d sometimes get pecked and I’d much rather be exempted from both …
which is sort of a microcosm of the whole left vs. right thing, in turn.

So, I can’t seem to get on in groups, save this one, without triggering some sort of micro-reactionary faction that invariably has the clout, and soon the desire, to oust me or make participation net-negative-utility for me so my only rational choice is to quit*, and I can’t seem to do much of anything in one-on-one interactions beyond “Hi, how are you. Fine, and you? Fine. What’s with this weather, eh?”

* If they can’t force me out, I will sometimes do the “moralizing punisher” thing for a while by remaining and being purposely obnoxious to the local ruling class members. I won’t stoop to their methods, though, so for example I will point out truthful but negative things about them, or point out when they are going against something they previously said — these micro-right-wings are just as prone to hypocrisy as their big-league counterparts in politics. I’ll be a thorn in their side for a while, if it seems safe to do so (no risk of RL harassment or other consequences spilling beyond the particular group). Don’t know if that will ever accomplish much of anything, but there’s a reason moralizing punishers emerge as a strategy in most iterated game theory scenarios. I may even pop back in at lengthy intervals just to remind them I still exist, lest the clique there ever feel the satisfaction of having gotten rid of me.

(One has to wonder if that motivates some of the repeat trolls that pop up here: they think their side is right, and think that popping up at intervals to deny us any satisfaction in thinking we’ve gotten rid of them is a fitting punishment for being wrong. Hmm.)

@GSS-ex-noob: I don’t suppose you have a non-paywalled link to that, or to a suitable substitute?

@GSS ex-noob,

I now have that book bookmarked for later downloading, once I get a bit of cash to spare for it. And get my Kindle to a wifi network that will actually allow it to download stuff in a timely manner. Though I don’t know (yet) if I’m actually some form of autistic; the doctor who did the first interview with me thought possibly not, but then again, that’s part of what the testing is supposed to uncover, so…. (Is it possible for someone who had a concussion in early childhood to develop autism in later life?)


For the odd word substitutions, try looking at your autocorrect settings. Because that does sound like something autocorrect loves to do to people, even when they’re watching for it.

In the example given, that would not be applicable, since “its” sans apostrophe is a correctly spelled common word and should absolutely be in the spellcheck dictionary, and therefore should not be changed by any autocorrect.

(Edit: checking that “edit” still works for me, since others have been complaining of it no longer working for them.)


@GSS-ex-noob: I don’t suppose you have a non-paywalled link to that, or to a suitable substitute?

Don’t know if it counts as a suitable substitute, but you could maybe check a library? I don’t know anything about the libraries in Canada, but some I’ve looked at previously have online catalogues where you can check what they have, and also a way to inquire about inter-library loans if they don’t have it.

In the example given, that would not be applicable, since “its” sans apostrophe is a correctly spelled common word and should absolutely be in the spellcheck dictionary, and therefore should not be changed by any autocorrect.

I’ve always kind of assumed that autocorrect can make weird substitutions even when you spell things correctly, because it might be trying to guess what you’re going for and guess wrong.

This is heavily coloured by my experience with automatic proofreading in Finnish, though, which is hilarious. Whenever I write emails at work it’ll be telling me to write compound words as separate words, and changing verb conjugations so that it effectively wants to put “we” or “you [singular]” where I wrote “I” or some such.


I’m not sure what I am. I like my name and it doesn’t hurt me when people call me a girl or a woman or she, but it feels the same way when someone has mistakenly called me he or sir or think I’m a boy. It feels the same way, I don’t care if someone thinks I’m a boy or a girl. some days I feel more like a girl and comfortable with being calling that, but then there are days I don’t feel like a girl and would be more comfortable with neutral or male pronouns. I don’t know what that is but I just know it’s how I feel.

@Surplus: It’s probably in lots of libraries — if yours doesn’t have it, they can get it through interlibrary loan.

And yes, it is possible to wake up and suddenly suck at something you were great at. Otherwise we wouldn’t have all the memes of cats who forgot how to cat, nor would Simone Biles have had to pull out of the Olympics. It happens.

@Elaine: You are an Elaine. Or a Witch. Or, since I’m bad with names IRL, “um… you? Yes, you, I forget your name, sorry.” Maybe go with “they”?

Stephen Colbert briefly mentioned La Revolucion de los Carpinchos this week, with fake quote from Marx.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.