Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
That's right: just follow the money. It all fits together now, doesn't it? Yeah, I smacked my head for not seeing it sooner myself. It's so obvious when you think about it. But keep it under wraps, OK? These aren't people you want to mess with lightly.
Her brutal murder took place last April, and since then a tide of violence against lesbian women in South Africa has continued to rise. Human rights campaigners say it is characterised by what they call "corrective rape" committed by men behind the guise of trying to "cure" lesbian women of their sexual orientation.Yeah. That'll learn 'er good.
You know, I feel guilty for days when I hurt someone's feelings accidentally. When I discovered, an hour after the fact, why my cat had suddenly yowled and spat at me (I had rolled a wheel on my desk chair over some of her fur, which I found later as a fairly substantial tuft), I felt awful, and spent hours lavishing attention on her.
How can anyone treat a human being this way?
No wonder Jesus wept. It makes me feel like crying too.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
From the Telegraph. "The funniest whoopee cushion sounds are long and whiny, according to research..."
So my question to Johnny and Bobby is this: "Do you support earmarks for scientific research that is crucial to our national defense?" Remember the Great War; acquisition of key humor technology at just the right time almost certainly tipped the balance in favor of alliance powers. Those who forget the lessons of humor are doomed to repeat the joke.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
And regarding Granny's political future, the Gov may want to talk to Ann Coulter regarding the republican attitude toward unwed mothers. Or not, you know, I'm just sayin'. And if you haven't been reading Margaret and Helen... well, it doesn't take anything from me if you do. It's not like there's only so many slices, and someone loses out if you get there first. You really ought to be reading that blog. It's almost like Molly Ivins is still with us.
And poor Bristol. That girl is getting "grow up fast" lessons that no one should ever have to face. All snark aside, I do feel bad for that poor kid and her kid.
Well this really is a surprise: Up until this point, I haven't had a "snark" label. I guess that means this is the first snarky piece I've done in this blog. ; )
Monday, March 9, 2009
You will not believe it, but I have been rooting for the GOP. As well deserved
as its recent drubbings have been, the fact is, single-party governance is
invariably a recipe for overreaching, the Bush years proved that inarguably. So
for the sake of the checks and balances that make our system work, I would like
to see the party get off the mat.
Hear, Hear! Leonard Pitts delivers bang on regarding an idea I've been trying to work into a bloggable form. I think many liberals and moderates are in the same position as I: we're relieved to have seen the Republicans get their just desserts over the last two elections, and relieved by the sense that some grown up, intelligent, and yes, elite (in the sense of the best in the field) individuals are shaping national policy and discussion. But we're deeply troubled by the fact that the "loyal opposition" seems to view its role as that of the pissy kid who shouts at his playmates and says "I'm takin' your ball and going home."
My sense is that Republicans nominally support a two or more party system- just as long as they win all the elections. In other words, elections should have more than one party. Governance should be only one party, the party that believes governance is a problem.
Most of those I discuss this issue with agree with my point of view, that any party- including democrats- that has unobstructed, unchallenged power, will ultimately cause great harm. In other words, I want rational opposition; I want to be challenged; I want alternative points of view. Not only that, we need those opposing points of view. I suppose that's a big reason I tend to lean democrat: looking back over that string of wants and needs, it looks very much like a scientist's perspective. The way toward clearer understanding is not through dogma and certainty, it's through a pruning of the less supportable ideas.
The analogy I've used in discussion lately, though, is this: suppose you went out for drinks and appetizers with a colleague. You say, "I want an iced tea and the jalepeno poppers." Your colleague says, "I want to cut the waitress's throat and drink her blood. I'll pass on the appetizers."
Now, your task is to find the compromise position.
Anyone who "honestly" tries to find a compromise here is just as crazy as your colleague. This is why democrats, right now, in addition to trying to find a way forward, need to be courting and encouraging rational conservatives. Because whether you want to admit it or not, our side cannot do it alone. And because what passes for "mainstream" republicanism, as we close the first decade of this new millenium, is certifiably insane.
Followup: Just a few stories later, I came across this. "At the age of 74 and after 53 years, I have finally quit the Republican Party and have re-registered as an independent voter. " The mayor of Waldport, a small coastal town here in Oregon, has sent a Letter to the Editor in the Oregonian, outlining his disillusion with his party. I'd like to hear what he thinks about... well, pretty much anything.
For regular readers, you may remember my post on Sea Lion Caves from near the end of December. This picture is looking north toward that headland, and the building up on the rock may be the shop leading into it. I don't think it actually is, but from this picture I can't convince myself either way.
I say "ho-hum" because growing up in Ohio, this happened all the time. When the Army Corps of Engineers re-routed the Hocking River through Athens, it confused the whale migrations badly. That, and the growing racket from the submarine races. Yeah, I sometimes miss my old stomping grounds on the banks of the mighty Hocking.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
I think Josh was just waking up; he didn't really want to play "pose for a picture," but he did agree to let me use this one. Pilgrim was watching Ayla, another neighborhood goggie- as you can probably see in the photo, he's looking to my right and behind me, not AT me. But Rawley is a frequent commenter and a fun person to chat with, and he was really my target for this edition of IZ people.
An unscripted photo. Rawley is a grad student in material science. I think his research involves testing lab equipment to failure, then repairing it. He also plays in a local band, Lost Tortoise. I've only watched them once; as I've mentioned before, loud music is kind of painful for me, and crowds make me uneasy. As a result I've never really enjoyed live music. But they have some clips and some YouTube videos at the preceeding link.
I didn't notice this when I took the photo- you really can't see anything until you download the image from the camera to the computer- but in a crop from the above picture, your faithful blogger is reflected in the window. Rawley wanted to strike a "pensive" pose. I'm just happy to have an excuse to take photos of my friends, so who am I to say "no?"
I told him he did indeed look awfully pent in this one. I should mention... if anyone whose picture I've posted here wants copies, I'd be happy to e-mail them to you. The standard reduction I use is 15% of vertical and horizontal. Which means the full size versions are about 45 times larger. I personally don't like looking at myself with that kind of resolution. But if you want to see youself 45 times less small, feel free to let me know.
see more Political Pictures
Then we've got Joe Biden, who most of us here at my favorite coffee shop are convinced was added to the ticket as a diversionary tactic. I have to admit I was pretty impressed with Biden when in one of the "debates" last winter, he was asked a simple, straight-forward yes-no question (I don't remember the question). "Yes," he responded, then stopped. After a moment the moderator said, "Sir, you have 90 seconds to answer. Would you like to expand on that?" Biden won my undying respect by saying, "No." Then shutting up.
see more Political Pictures
more music charts
So the question of the moment is, "Is TARP a trap?" Back to Ackbar...Apparently, yes.
I think that if the "Pirates of the Carribean" franchise had been made 25 or 30 years ago, John Travolta would have made a good pirate. Instead he got stuck with "Grease." And Olivia Newton John, so it wasn't a complete loss.
more lol celebs!
Old joke: Michael Jackson and Elton John are covering E.J.'s old song, "Don't Let Your Son Go Down on Me." It's interesting to consider... if MJ had died tragically in the the late 80's, he would forever be considered a hero, a great loss to humanity, and a visionary pioneer of popular music. Instead, his legacy will be as a punchline to raunchy jokes, and as a baseline of physical repulsiveness. If he had been given a choice in, say, 1989, which path do you think he would have chosen? Achilles was given a similar choice; he's remembered, what, 2500, 3000 years later?
more lol celebs!
And because I didn't get up a picture of Ozma for Caturday, here's some LolCats and a video.
Algebra came pretty easy to me, but by the time I got to vector calculus... yeah, that was me.
This next looks like a rat dressed up for Halloween.
And as a person with a BS in geology and a Masters in Science Education, I think these guys' approach to being owned by cats is very insightful. (Hat Tip to John Cole at Balloon Juice)