1) For years I have lamented the difficulty of finding a substitute for the ever-popular but scientifically ignorant "boiling frog" parable. At last there's hope! In his latest excellent Supreme Court dispatch, Garrett Epps shows the way to use the image, with all its familiar resonance, without doing violence to hundreds of years of development of the scientific method. The item begins as follows as is worth reading in full:

>>As everyone knows, if you put a frog into a pan of cool water and heat the water very very slowly on the stove, there will come a moment when the frog says, "Croak me, this is HOT!" and will hop away--thereby demonstrating again, if further proof was needed, that amphibians are smarter than humans. As for us, during times radical but incremental change, we tend to sit around flipping our lips with our fingers without noticing a thing.<<

2) Last week I mentioned Taiwan's NMA studios as the up-and-coming Asian challengers to Jon Stewart, the Onion, etc in comedy stylings on the news. Their latest installment is a Rap Battle video explaining the oncoming currency negotiations at the G20 meetings. This one pits a gangsta-style Barack Obama against Hu Jintao and a posse of ominous rapping pandas, who contend over the proper valuation of the Chinese RMB, who's really responsible for economic crises, etc. I don't agree with every bit of the economic message -- after all, this is a posse of rapping pandas -- but it's undoubtedly more informative about the basics than most American news items on this topic:

 



Bear in mind (so to speak) that NMA comes from Taiwan, so can afford to be disrespectful to both sides of a US-PRC tussle in a way that its mainland Chinese counterparts could not.

3) Bonus animal point: because this is a family-rated website, I will offer no more than a vague allusion here. If you happened to be following tabloid sports news out of Australia yesterday, especially personnel issues for the Canberra Raiders of the National Rugby League, you could not help but wonder whether Rick Santorum was a prophet ahead of his time. [Update. Le me spell this out, since some readers have written in with hurt feelings: The preceding sentence is written in sarcastic mode, and I did not and do not endorse the Santorum "slippery slope" argument. Sorry to have left any room for misunderstanding in what was just a lame joke. Ah, the language barriers that occur even within one language.]

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