Friday, December 30, 2005

Online Gender

So I started a post yesterday at work about the media reporting of this PEW research study, looking at how men and women us the internet, and then I got busy. (stupid actually having work to do) Echidne has finished it for me, here and here.

The study focuses on the differences between men and women, so obviously that's what we're hearing about. But the differences are being reported seriously out of proportion to what is actually going on. It is absolutely disgusting. This is an example of how sensationalized reporting completely blows scientific research out of proportion. And now it will become "common wisdom" that men and women use the internet different, because women are touchy feely and into relationships and men like to use ebay and check investments. (Although only 20% of men look at porn? YEAH RIGHT! And 5% of women? Sad, come on people, just be honest no one is going to judge you....Much. )

Some amazing headlines:

Men log on for news, women for the viewsTimes of India, India - 22 hours agoSAN FRANCISCO: Internet users share many common interests, but men are heavier consumers of news, stocks, sports and pornography while more women look for ...

Men want facts, women seek relations on Web -, UK - Dec 28, 2005By Eric Auchard. SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Internet users share many common interests, but men are heavier consumers of news, stocks ...

Gender gap alive and well onlineBBC News, UK - Dec 28, 2005Gender divisions persist online but it is no longer about whether more men or women use the net, research shows. A study by the ...

Men and women even do things differently, TX - 15 hours ago(12/29/05 - NEW YORK) - Anyone who's spent any time seeing men and women interact on any level would agree there are differences between the way the two ... (VOMIT!)

Men surf sleaze, women eye heavenFinancial Express, India - Dec 29, 2005The study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project to be released on Thursday finds men are slightly more intense users of the Web. ...

I think this (partially stolen from Echidne's Post) really points out the absurdity of the headlines and sensationalized reporting:

The only one of those that I find really compelling is the 32% more men looking up sport statistics. But really, I am Shinobi's complete lack of surprise. And supporting health information. But a 10% difference is hardly compelling evidence of a gender gap.

Non Sucky Headline Award Goes to:

Online, genders differ only slightlySan Jose Mercury News, USA - 22 hours agoBy Anick Jesdanun. NEW YORK - Women are now as likely to use the Internet as men -- about two-thirds of both genders do -- yet a ...

But they still used the AP's amazingly sucky article underneath it. At least the headline was right.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Hubris is quitting.

Hubris's blog was the first blog I started reading after Spinsanity and Cabal, and it was where I took my blogging baby steps. Now that I'm in my blogging adolesence as it were I know just barely enough to be sullenly grateful to the people who are indirectly responsible for this blog's existance. So Thanks Hubris.

I think I'm going to stick with denial for now and leave him in my blogroll and hope he changes his mind or starts posting at INDC again. The first stages of grief and all.

Friday, December 23, 2005


Home with the family, my sanity is slowly draining away, actually.... quickly.

Gotta love the holidays.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukah. Also I hope your winter Solstice was good and that your Kwanzaa will be meaningful and awesome. Any holidays I missed, happy that one too.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Intelligent Design

Declared unconstitutional By the US District Court.

There IS a God!

Said the judge: "It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy." -CNN

heh, indeed

Update: Bill at INDC has a good analysis

Monday, December 19, 2005


I got my nipples peirced this weekend. I don't really know what else to say about it. I think the worst part of the whole thing was waiting for the peircer to be not busy, because I seriously almost chickened out. Though partial nakedness in front of a total stranger wasn't too fun either.

I went to The Alley. They did an awesome job, and are very knowledgable. Their website is If you are considering getting anything peirced I would HIGHLY recommend that you go there an no where else. It is a little more expensive but they use all titanium jewlery and have very good sanitation standards. Also they are a free hand shop so they don't use clamps which can cause more pain. Both the peircers I have spoken to there are full of useful information and are very very nice. And they both have enough holes and tatoos to ensure confidence ;-)

The peircing itself wasn't that bad. Though I did forget to finish breathing out on the second one, oops. They hurt more now than they did after I got them peirced, this morning my cat jumped on top of me, that was interesting for her as she found herself flying through the air.

Thanks to E and her boy for going with me and buying me ice cream after.

Monday, December 12, 2005

"Right Now"

CQ has a post on the new poll that shows the numbers Senator Murtha used when calling for withdrawl from Iraq may have been sliiiightly inaccurate. But I have to question this as polls are involved.

Captain's Quarter's :

Another point also demonstrates the lies that Democrats have used in trying to
scare the American public into losing the war. It turns out that 80% of Iraqis
don't want the Americans out "right now", but only 26%. (emphasis mine)

Murtha's Quote: (Via WP)

"I'm absolutely convinced that we're making no progress at all. . . . Until we
turn it over to the Iraqis, we're going to continue to do the fighting. . . .
They'll have to work this out themselves. . . . We have become the enemy; 80
percent of the people in Iraq want us out of there;
45 percent say it's
justified to attack Americans. It's time to change direction." (emphasis mine)

Where does Murtha say "Right Now"? I don't see it? Maybe they cut it out. Or MAAAYBE it was never in there in the first place. I'm not going to go the "evil republican spin" route, but the addition of those two words" Right Now" really changes the meaning of that statistic.

Instead I will just point out that maybe 80% of Iraqi's wanting us to leave eventually isn't sucha far fetched number when compared to the ABC poll numbers. In fact, according to CQ 26% want us out right now and 52% want us out when their security forces are trained, well that's 78% total wanting us out, and I'd bet that's within the margin of error of that 80% number. (usually 2.5%, but I don't know what it is in this case)

Conversely, I found the theoretical source of Murtha's numbers(via media matters), this secret UK military poll. I don't see 80% wanting us to withdraw in there, the only even remotely comparable number from that article is 82% opposed to the presence of coalition troops, which is not the same as calling for immediate withdrawl. (If someone asked me if I was opposed to foreign guys with guns in my country, I'd probably say yes too, so this could have a lot to do with how questiosn were asked.) So it is possible Murtha misused/misspoke the statistic when he spoke, or that there is a more detailed report I don't have access too.

But it seems that neither side is really looking at the numbers carefully or critically in this case.

It Happens.

I stole this from a bboard.

In the Beginning was The Plan
And then came the Assumptions.
And the Assumptions were without form
And the Plan was completely without substance.
And the darkness was upon the face of the workers.
And they spoke among themseves, saying "It is a crock of shit, and it stinketh."
And the workers went unto their Supervisors and sayeth, "It is a pail of dung and none may abide the odor thereof."
And the Supervisors went unto their Managers and sayeth unto them, "It is a container of excrement and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it."
And the Managers went unto their Directors and sayeth, "It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength."
And the Directors spoke amongst themselves, saying to one another, "It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong."
And the Directors went unto the Vice Presidents and sayeth unto them, "It promotes growth and is exceedingly powerful."
And the Vice Presidents went unto the President and sayeth onto him, "This new plan will actively promote the growth and efficiency of this Company, and these Areas in particular." And the President looked upon The Plan, And saw that it was good, and The Plan became Policy.
And this is how Shit happens.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Debt? what Debt?

Remember Porkbusters? And all the budget cuts that were passed through congress recently?

Well guess what, now they are cutting TAXES! What a GREAT IDEA! Why didn't WE think of that. I mean it makes perfect sense, if you cut back on how much you are spending that you cut back on how much you take in, right? Especially when you're already spending on a huge deficit.

I had to read this article (thanks mark) twice to make sure it said what I thought it said.

Maybe we need to get some non rich people into congress that understand what a budget is, and how it is supposed to balance, and how when you have a debt you should be paying it off, not making it bigger.

I'm going to go shopping on my credit card now, I've got at least a grand left before it maxes out, after reading that, I need new shoes. And maybe some jewlery.

Update: Brendan Nyhan debunks an editorial in the WSJ claiming that the tax cuts will generate revenue.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Female Bisexuality

Ryan at Feministe has an article today on the idea of Inherent Female Bisexuality. This is a popular idea at Frat parties where they try to get two straight girls to make out.

As an actual female bisexual (I know, national coming out day was last month, whatever) I find it kindof offensive when others imply that all women are bisexual. Women are no more bisexual than men are. Even though women are generally more attractive than men IMHO that is MY perception and I certainly don't think all women in the world agree with me. (Hence the Society for Future Housewives etc.)

Anyway, I'll be reading these articles, and maybe I will have more to opine on at a later date.

A War I agree with

War has been declared, on Christmas!

Finally a war I can really get behind. Come on people, support the troops, don't let them down by questioning the validity of this mission.

And by the troops, I mean mean me.

And by mission, I mean throwing the radio in the cube next to me out of the window.


How many different people can sing the same 10 songs, seriously. This is eating my soul.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Jon Henke has an amazing post at QandO about corruption in both parties and how neither party is really doing anything to stop it.

Good call Jon.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

WOO South Africa

This is me celebrating the legalization of same sex marriage in South Africa, YAY!

perfectly reasonable reasoning:

Heterosexual married couples in South Africa have numerous rights that are
denied to gay couples, including the ability to make decisions on each other's
behalf in medical emergencies and inheritance rights if a partner dies without a

Judge Albie Sachs, who delivered Thursday's ruling, said laws defining
marriage as a union between a man and a woman are inconsistent with sections of
the constitution "to the extent that they make no provision for same-sex couples
to enjoy the status, entitlements and responsibilities they accord to
heterosexual couples.

"The court instructed Parliament to extend the definitions of marriage
within a year, or else the words "or spouse" would automatically be added by the
courts, the South African Press Association reported.

In the only dissenting opinion, Judge Kate O'Regan argued the 11-member
court should effect the changes immediately, a view shared by gay rights

Finally some people with their priorities in order. I still don't understand this whole destruction of marriage the homophobes are ranting about. I'm glad South Africa has some sense in this regard.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

NRF Shopping Numbers

The Mystery Pollster debunks and looks at the NRF's methodology for their Black weekend shopping numbers.

This is probably only of interest to me because I have been fielding questiosn all week about why my company's numbers are so much lower.

Since the press release is out - We're showing a 0.4% increase in spending over the entire weekend and a 0.9% decrease for Black Friday based on traffic figures and monthly estimates.

Update, here is our mention in the WSJ. Woo hoo:

The most bearish estimate came from ShopperTrak RCT Corp., a Chicago
market-research company with about 40,000 cameras in retail locations,
mostly shopping malls. (For more on the company's methods, see this print
Journal article12 from December 2004.) By counting foot traffic from the camera images and converting that into sales figures, the company reported a sales decrease of 0.9% on Friday, and an increase for the weekend of just 0.4%. As NRF and others have pointed out, ShopperTrak doesn't have cameras in the big
standalone retailers that opened early Friday and offered the biggest
discounts (like Wal-Mart), and therefore may have missed much of the sales
increases. But Bill Martin, ShopperTrak's co-founder and executive vice
president of sales, stood behind his company's estimates, and said that it
has proprietary methods to extrapolate from camera data to the entire retail
industry. He declined to provide details. In response to the NRF estimate,
Mr. Martin told me, "Double-digit increases are beyond any test of reason
that we can see in the marketplace."

Sorry for not posting about anything besides this, but work is eating up my life. Hopefully after the holidays I will have more time for posts about actually interesting things.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Black Friday Shopping

The numbers for this weekend are in (I should know I spent all weekend writing them up.)

Sales figures are down or up depending on who you talk to, the NRF is posting a gain in sales of 22% this year based on national survey data. (4,000 responders or so)

ShopperTrak is showing a 0.5% decline in sales for the total weekend based on traffic and other econometric data. They also reported a 1.4% decline in national retail traffic. This is based on counts of traffic and other econometric data. (full disclosure, I work there)

The NRF numbers are very optimistic, so far however the numbers in their release don't add up. There must be some interesting factoid I am not privy to to make these numbers work. (thanks to my boss for some of this analysis and the press release which I can't find a link to online)

Their press release says we should have seen 145 million shoppers over the weekend, but their numbers don't add up.

60 million on Friday (estimated)
52.8 million on Saturday (estimated)
22 million on Sunday (same as in '04)
Total = 134.8 million.
That is a difference of 10.2 million shoppers (145 million - 134.8 million).

And then their sales figure is 27.1 Billion dollars, and they are saying on average that consumers spent 302.81. But if 134.8 million people spent 302.81 dollars that would put us at 40.8 billion dollars. Which is a big difference. Their is clearly some other factor they look at when calculating spending, I wonder what it is.

Also they seem very high and it is likely that consumers overstated their purchases in the survey. Surveys as I may have mentioned before, are not the best measuring tools available. (Uhh they suck)

It will be interesting to see how the numbers are revised over the week.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Since when is wanting a reasonable work week a women's issue? I guess it is one of the major things frequently brought up when discussing why there are fewer female senior executives. Women want (Horror of Horrors) a family, and a life, and that is just unreasonable if you want to be successful.

But Fortune has an article today that points out that shockingly men would actually like to have lives too:

Our new survey of senior FORTUNE 500 male executives offers surprising
answers. Fully 84% say they'd like job options that let them realize their
professional aspirations while having more time for things outside work; 55% say
they're willing to sacrifice income. Half say they wonder if the sacrifices
they've made for their careers are worth it. In addition, 73% believe it's
possible to restructure senior management jobs in ways that would both increase
productivity and make more time available for life outside the office. And 87%
believe that companies that enable such changes will have a competitive
advantage in attracting talent. Other interviews suggest that the younger a male
executive is, the more likely he is to say he cares about all of this.

Of course there's a roadblock to reform: fear. FORTUNE's survey found
that even though most senior-level men want better options, nearly half believe
that for an executive to take up the matter with his boss will hurt his

Don't know much about this survey, but it isn't exactly a revolutionary concept that people would want time for friends family and extracurriculars. Even Men, The workhorse of the human race don't salivate a the idea of spending 47% of their life (an 80 hour work week) at their job.

But seriously, I am glad that there is a push for a more humane work week. Fortunately I am in touch with my own laziness and would never try for a job that required more than say 50 hours per week. Sadly not all people are so lucky. What's the point of making money, if you never have time to spend it?

It is good to see that Fortune is trying to push the 40 hour week off of the "women's issue" table. Though it is sortof surprising that it was on our table in the first place.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Not just a City in China

MSNBC has this Oh so helpful filler article on tipping today.

I thought I would add some wisdom that I accrued over the weekend via my roommate. The tip for a lap-dance is typically between 10 and 20 dollars.

No wonder stripping is such a popular occupation.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Irony is that they called it Intelligence

Kevin Drum posts about the Intelligence leading up to the Iraq war and how dissent against this intelligence was suppressed. Whether or not it was intentionally suppressed remains to be seen.

But IMHO whether the suppression of dissenting voices was intentional or not is irrellevent. The evidence as shown in Kevin's post points to a deep seated problem within the White House and the surrounding Intelligence community. This problem is the same problem that is has been studied and identified as being responsible for the Challenger Disaster as well as The Bay of Pigs Invasion during the Kennedy administration. It is called Group Think, and has already been identified as a problem within the Intelligence Community at large.

The question that should be asked is how much of the suppression of intelligence and groupthink leading up to the Iraq war was a symptom of attitudes within the White House. Regardless of intentionality intelligence was suppressed and I think there should be a push from outside the White House to show that not only are they making actual improvements to the intelligence community but also to the culture within the White House.

Unfortunately recent events such as the lack of Federal response to Hurricane Katrina did little to alleviate my fears about the level of incompetancy within this administration. So maybe it isn't REALLY their job, but when one of my coworkers doesn't do their job, I do it for them for the good of the company. (And then I point out to my boss that it wasn't really my job.....) And lets not even mention the Harriet Miers debacle. (Though some would argue it was a political move, and it may well have been.)

When it comes down to it, the President is an employee of the citizens of the United States, and he has a responsibility to show that he is doing his job to the best of his ability. We should not be criticized for criticizing him. We hired him to do a job, and he should take pride in doing it well, and showing us what a good job he's doing. And if he isn't doing a good job, well, he should thank his lucky stars it is a contract position.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Shinobi v. Mono

It was a long and arduous battle, but I have emerged, scarred, exhausted, victorious.

My attention span is still too short to blog. I'm back in the office today. I long for sleep.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Holy Crap!

AMAZING New Family Guy Episode.

The episode is all about mocking the FCC. There are no words. This epsidode makes up for the existance of American Dad.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


This message has been brought to you by Halls Defense, citrus flavored.

How is it possible for me to feel this crappy and still not be running a fever? I didn't know that I actually had this many lymph nodes that could swell, this is ridiculous.

I don't actually have anything of value to say at the moment, but the non drowsy sudafed I took wont let me sleep, so I just wanted to share my misery with someone who isn't my roomate cause I'm sure he will be sharing my misery here within a week or so. I wonder how well sudafed mixes with tylenol PM, I'll do some research and get back to you.

Update 3:41AM: Does this mean I'm live blogging my illness? Cause that is sad. The Tylenol PM Sudafed coctail has not worked. I am wide fucking awake and in serious pain. WOO HOOOOOOOO. I don't know how I'm going to go to work tomorrow.

Update 8:07AM: Not actually going to work. Wooooooooooo. Time to go back to sleep. I might actually post something of substance later.

Update Day 2 1:30PM: The doctor is testing me for mono and they gave me painkillers. You can actually see my lymph nodes without even trying to look for them.

Update Day 2 9:16PM: Picked up my laptop from work. I asked the doc if I could work and she said "uhhh... not with people you like." So I'm working from home which will be a new experience for me. I just took my first awesomely cool bright Pink pain pill which my med student friend informs me is also a muscle relaxer. I haven't eaten anything solid in 24 hours so this should be a fun night.

Update Day 3 8:30PM: Officially Mono. Pain pills are amazing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

On Schooling's Failure And Journalism's Doom

Tall Dark and Mysterious posted aboutme to this article from a University Newspaper yesterday. Rather than quote the whole thing here before I expound on its ridiculousness I will request that you go read and then come back. Are you back? Good. Take a deep breath, it will be okay.

So, the problem this fine young writer seems to have with the education system is that it is forcing her to take classes in things unrelated to her career. Her career in journalism. The thing that confuses me about this, is that Journalism isn't really a topic, so much as a set of skills that give one the ability to report information effectively to ones audience. So, if you think about it, is anything REALLY unrelated to journalism? What if you have to write a peice about the guy who won the Nobel Prize in Physics? Wouldn't it behoove you to have at least a HighSchool level grasp of physics? Or Statistics! Which she even mentions in her post. Everyone hates Statistics, I know this, but if you don't understand it how can you effectively report on polls? (Or in her case the wildly innaccurate surveys that people send in to the magazines.)

You can't. I truly think that an effective journalist has to understand their subject matter as well as possible in order to explain it well to the reader. Fortunately since all Stacey with an e y wants is to work at Glamour magazine the most complex concept she will need to grasp is what color eyeshadow looks good on what skin tones. Sadly though I don't think it is uncommon for journalists to become journalists because they are too lazy to learn other subjects and this is reflected in the quality of the reporting we are generally exposed to. (Though there are some truly exceptional reporters out there, unfortunately I think they are a minority.) Thank god the age of the blogger is begining.

But what about non journalists who feel this way about the subjects they are being forced to learn? Well I can relate, sometimes you have to learn stuff in school that is boring. Really boring. Like that class they made me take on writing. I hated it, but I did my best and tried to learn, even though it brought down my GPA. And now I try to remember what I learned in that class every day when I write my blog, and as you can see, I don't. Though it might not be fun to learn some things, I have never really wished I hadn't bothered to learn a thing, though I have frequently wished the opposite.

So while Stacy's desire not to learn stuff is understandable, it isn't really a problem with school as she seems to think it is. It is in fact her own fault for being too lazy to learn things just because she isn't interested in them. Sometimes in life you have to do things you don't want to do, and just trust that someone older and wiser than you thinks you should know this stuff. At the very least it will help you learn how to learn boring stuff, and who knows you might even find it interesting.

Monday, October 24, 2005


To continue with todays apparent Morality theme. Moon has an interesting post discussing the two issues of Creationism and Sex Education in schools. (I will attempt to sum up his points here, but you should really read his post to get the nuance.)

While parents seek to have creationism taught in the (science) classroom based upon their claimed right to have their convictions reinforced at school, manifesting their belief that it's not enough to instil principles of faith outside of school but that their children's godliness requires never being exposed to any competing account of life's origin without immediate strident opposition, so do other parents seek to have (full and candid; perhaps encouraging abstinence, but not turning a blind eye to its widespread eschewal by children) sexual education taught in schools for the same reason, to have what they deem important reinforced in the classroom.

I tend to disagree with Moon on this. Though I think his mind is in the right place. I think the fundemental problem with his argument lies in the fact that we are talking about two different types of education. One type of education presents a student with a series of facts, other types of information and allows the student to use these facts to accomplish goals. (math is like this, 1+1=2, 2+2=?) The other type of education is presenting something and stating that it is true and then the students like good little foot soldiers will believe this until told otherwise.

Sex education is not about indoctrinating students for sex, but about giving them tools to make informed decisions when the time comes.

Creationism on the other hand, if taught well would be a good excersize for students on understanding how the scientific method does not work. (For instance, starting with a conclusion and finding data to back it up, rejecting all other information.) Otherwise it will just be a confusing peice of information that those who go on to college will have to unlearn (There are already SO many of those) and that those who don't go on to college probably wont remember anyway.

But truly, if parents are so concerned about the education of their children then they should educate them. There is nothing preventing any parent from giving their children literature on creationism, or talking about it at the dinner table. Just as there is nothing preventing any parent from discussing sex and its dangers with their kids. In the end, the real problem is that parents want to outsource their jobs to teachers. And if you outsource it, it just never seems to get done right.


Jody over at PolySciFi has a post about the Kansas State Court and its ruling that punishing homosexual coduct more than heterosexual conduct was wrong.

The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday unanimously struck down a state law that punished underage sex more severely if it involved homosexual acts, saying "moral disapproval" of such conduct is not enough to justify the different treatment.

While I would prefer a law that treated sex as sex, it appears to me that the KSC is effectively saying that morals cannot be considered a basis for law. This would represent a serious challenge to my legal philosophy and I dare say Kansans' legal philosophies as well as most of our readership's legal philosophies.

I understand that many people in this country have a strict moral code by which they lead their lives. And I would be lying if I said that I was not one of those people. But my moral code is probably quite different from Jody's moral code. Just as Hitler's moral code was different from Ghandi's. (You might disagree with this, and if you do then I will refer you to Pyrrho's post on Moral relativism and the subsequent debate. It is not a topic I intend to address here in any depth, I will leave that to the wise philosophers.)

While morals will always play some part in the laws of any country, it is important that the courts and the legislature not attempt to force morality onto a free society, because then that society will no longer be free. It is my opinion that the laws of a country exist to protect its citizens from harm, not to force them to be "good" people by someone's standard. Many laws serve important purposes without touching on morality, such as laws that protect individuals from physical harm, (such as laws against dueling or murder) or protect those who cannot protect themselves (such as laws against bestiality or pedophilia). But to base a system of law and judgement on what one group of people considers "moral" is to base it on a moving foundation.

Society has its own way of punishing what it sees as immorality. Gays are still subject to extreme predijuce and hate in some parts of the country. Extra legal persecution of them for their supposedly more immoral actions is unnecessary.

(Also For the Record: I oppose the Miers nomination. Not that anyone will be surprised or even care.)

Friday, October 21, 2005


Charles at Obsidian Wings has a post about what conservatives should be doing. It is good and stuff.

To quote the bum on the corner outside my office building:

"Happy Friday Everybody!"

Thursday, October 20, 2005


I haven't posted much on Miers because I am so disgusted I don't even have the energy to be outraged.

But today Progress For America sent me this little jewel. I have no idea how I got on their mailing list. They were hoping to convince me that Harriet Miers is just as good as John Marshall, Byron White, Clarence Thomas and William Renquist by writing her name next to theirs a bunch of times and showing how similar they are.

Gee. I was sooooo wrong. How could I not have been convinced by their mindless propaganda before this.

(Unrelated Note: Fuck the Astros, Go SOX!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Back to Busch Stadium

My Hero:

Go CARDS!!!!!!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Would Hil be better off without Bill?

Digby pointed out some amazing journalism today. Apparently there is some matrimonal fracas in the Clinton household. Really Shocking.

But it made me wonder, would Hillary have a better chance in 2008 without Bill? I am torn on this, because Pres. Clinton is clearly very popular with Dems and so he might be a useful face on the campaign trail. On the other side of the coin some right wingers hate him with the fire of a thousand suns, and some might equate a vote for Hillary as a vote for another term with Bill as president. (Which may or may not be a good thing depending on who you talk to)Would ridding herself of her hubby give her a better chance to ingratiate herself with the center right? And would it destroy her chances with Value Voters and Clinton lovers?

Also, does a single woman have a better chance at the presidency than a married one? Harriet Miers is unmarried, and Condi Rice's bio says nothing about a husband (does she have one? anybody?). Arguably the reason Miers and (possibly) Rice aren't married could be because they chose to focus on career instead of family. But Mrs. Clinton already has a family, though her daughter is now fully grown. Would splitting up absolutely ruin her chances? Or would she gain some respect for striking out on her own from her filandering husband? Also would being sans-man help the American public deal with the pesky "she's a woman" issue without having to tackle the whole "First Gentleman" issue?

I have no idea. But it is interesting to think about.

Hillary Clinton v. Condi Rice race in 2008: the closest political pundits will ever get to a real catfight. Heh.

Friday, October 14, 2005


Theory: The quality of anything in inversely proportional to the amount of advertising for that thing.

Proof in progress: Elizabethtown

If I could go one day without seeing an ad for this movie, I'd be happy. The first time I saw the preview I was vaguely interested in a "both of those people are attractive enough to distract me for 1.5 hours" kind of way. But after 2 weeks of constant innundation I know there is no way this movie can be good.

Also further proof this movie sucks arrived when every time I tried to close a browser window and brought my mouse too close to my IM window a big picture of Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst swooning at eachother appeared. And if there is an advert for it on my IM, then I KNOW it isn't going to be good. (See Also: America's Next Top Model)

The sad thing is that advertising like this works, I am so brainwashed by this point I will probably go see this stupid movie just so I can say "THAT MOVIE SUCKED" every time I see an ad for it. (which will no doubt be ever 5 minutes for the next week at least, and then every 2 minutes when the DVD comes out in a month)

Milky Statistics

2% approval among black people? 2% is how much fat I like in my milk, not how many black people like the president.

Mystery Pollster debunks this number today with his usual deftness. Apparently the 2% number is based on a sub sample of only 89 African-Americans. Which might actually be a weighted number, meaning they really interviewed less than 89 people and then gave them extra weight so that the sample was consistant with the population of the US. So we might actually be talking about 2% of 40 people. Not exactly compelling evidence that this is representative of of the opinion of the entire population of African-Americans.

His post is worth a read, especially at the end where he points out stupidity at HuffPo. (As if they have anything else there.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Sorry for the sporadic bloggyness.

I am having trouble feeling like posting about things because I mostly don't care. And the stuff I do care about other people are already doing a better job of posting on. So I figure I'll leave it to the experts.

If I stop posting long enough will the number of people reading this blog go negative?

Hopefully we wont find out.

Monday, October 10, 2005


In the unlikely event that you are a reader of this blog and you have not already seen Serenity. here is the first 10 minutes (via Bill at INDC).

Now, Go f-ing see it. It is one of the best movies I've seen in ages, especially of the science fiction variety.

And if you don't go see it, and they don't make the sequels because of you, I'm going to hunt you down and use big swords on you.

Fuck Stanford

We'll get em next year!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Interesting Photo Choice

It is entitled Nice one CNN.
Only on the front page.

Now I get it!

I've never really understood the appeal of pundits like Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter. I don't really see the point in dissmissing out of hand the opinions of anyone who doesn't agree with you. Or saying things like "The essence of being a liberal: “The absolute conviction that there is one set of rules for you, and another, completely different set of rules for everyone else.” Really... no. But if you want to believe that, i'm not going to stop you because you must be an idiot and therefore not worth my time.

But today I finally get it, it is so nice to have sharp wit and rhetoric turned against someone you dislike:

I eagerly await the announcement of President Bush's real nominee to the Supreme Court. If the president meant Harriet Miers seriously, I have to assume Bush
wants to go back to Crawford and let Dick Cheney run the country.
I expect this will be the only time Ann Coulter is quoted on this blog or that I actually utter her name. Because truly, she is evil. But I give her props for standing up and not drinking the kool-aid on this one. And she managed to not make blanket accusations against liberals too, wow. I'll bet some people are pissed.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Phoning it in

Bill at INDC is forced to put up a defense of someone else's hilarious yet apparently offensive blog post. Now who would post something that offensive? Hmmmm.

Echidne points to an absolutely ridiculous law. Aren't republicans supposed to be trying to reduce the power of our government?

Brendan Nyhan of Spinsanity fame (where my introduction to blogging began, thanks Brendan) has a link to an important story about the Bush administration's covert use of Propaganda. As if the overt propaganda wasn't enough.

And really, here is the most important news story of the day. Clearly vital to our nation's survival.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


I hate it when I start to write a post and realize the point I was going to make is actually quite stupid. Lame.

Instead of my not that insightful post I will post my political test results, which change drastically every time I take the test.

You are a

Social Liberal
(68% permissive)

and an...

Economic Moderate
(55% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test


Because blogger LIED to me when it said there was an error. It is evil and manipulative.


Monday, October 03, 2005


I thought the most painful part of the day was going to be the bruises I managed to aquire while falling flat on my drunk ass face in front of a bar on Saturday.

Turns out, I couldn't be more wrong.

Hurbris sums up my thoughts on this subject perfectly.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Asshole Ads

"Makes HDTV History.....Makes HDTV Herstory.... Introducing Bravia, the worlds first television for men and women"

That is my response to this ad. In what way, is television geared towards a gender. I have never felt left out by the large flatness of the TV screen, by its lack of pink lace edging. And I don't think men have felt left out by the television's lack of manly things. It is a fucking television. The thing that gives it gender is what you watch on it, not what it is.
So in what way, is this "NEW" television different from the others in terms of gender? As far as I can tell, None. There is no explaination on their site that I could find. But this article seems to suggest that the new TV was "designed" for women, and that it is pretty or something. Well it looks like every other flat screen TV to me. But supposedly it is sleeker and looks better in a living room. Uhhhhh Okay
And I'm actually offended by these ads, I feel like they are implying that I was in some way discriminated against by my TV before this and I was just too dumb to notice. Even if I had 3k to drop on a flat screen, I wouldn't buy this one because I don't like being patronized. So take your targeted marketing scheme and shove it.
(Maybe I'm the only person who feels this way, that's cool, but it is my blog and I can pitch a fit if I want to. )

Dreamy Democrats

I have such a crush on Barack Obama, this is from his diary on dkos: (Via Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings)

The bottom line is that our job is harder than the conservatives' job. After all, it's easy to articulate a belligerent foreign policy based solely on unilateral military action, a policy that sounds tough and acts dumb; it's harder to craft a foreign policy that's tough and smart. It's easy to dismantle government safety nets; it's harder to transform those safety nets so that they work for people and can be paid for. It's easy to embrace a theological absolutism; it's harder to find the right balance between the legitimate role of faith in our lives and the demands of our civic religion. But that's our job. And I firmly believe that whenever we exaggerate or demonize, or oversimplify or overstate our case, we lose. Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose. A polarized electorate that is turned off of politics, and easily dismisses both parties because of the nasty, dishonest tone of the debate, works perfectly well for those who seek to chip away at the very idea of government because, in the end, a cynical electorate is a selfish electorate.

I don't agree with his characterization of the republican's position entirely. But otherwiseI think he's right, it is harder to do things well than it is to go with the extreme option. Overall it is a good post you should read all of it. It's a well deserved smack on the head to the democrats over in wingnuttia. I hope they take it seriously.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Dave/Female Ratio: Men on Campus

My E-mail response to Glenn Reynold's posts Re the lack of men on college campuses:

I just graduated from university in 2004. Towards the later end of my college career my male housemates (I'm a girl) began evaluating the Dave/Female ratio in their classes. Because the Male to Female ratio was so high it gave no information. But the Dave/Female ratio was usually around 1.

My school was heavily science and engineering driven. Though they also have excellent art programs and their Drama program is well recognized. But there were lots of men. LOTS of men. (the ratio is M/F 6/4 or so)

They played games like "ball ball" in the hallway, which involved two guys sitting with their legs apart in the hall. They would take turns throwing a stress ball at the other's balls, and every time they flinched the other got a point. Though that particular game only lasted about long enough for one or two direct hits.

I loved going to a male dominated schoolbut there were no women's studies for me. I think I had maybe 3 female professors the entire time that I was there. I would note that all of our textbooks were written by men, but as I majored in Statistics that is hardly surprising.

I guess I'm just trying to point out that there are still places full of testasteroney goodness, and places where women who walk into Computer Science classrooms are treated like mentally challenged people. It is unfortunate but I think there has to be kindof a backlash against the male dominated education systems of the last... oh.... millennium. But I am sure things will settle into an equilibrium within the next 100 years or so.

Now if only we could figure out how to get lazy 17 year old boys to fill out college applications. I am sure their parents would be grateful.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit Readers!

No Serenity

For me. I was feeling too crappy to go and not get in, so I just stayed home. Tragic.

I will post about it after this weekend though when I go see it.

Right now all I can say is Michael Brown, why is your face all over CNN?

Friday, September 23, 2005


Head Cases is cancelled. It sucks that I don't have mainstream taste, stuff I like always gets cancelled cause not enough people like it.


Hrun has this post today about academics versus real estate agents.

I am distraught that I came from the same place the blog he linked to is published. But in the comments section I found something that is commonly put forward by faith based types as "proof" of God, or some kind of intervention in the world and I can no longer let it go without comment:

PZ and his accomplices are quibbling about details in order to obscure the
larger picture. The spontaneous and random generation of life from non-life has been shown to so mathematically improbable as to be effectively impossible. They
either know that and won't accept it, or don't know it and aren't as informed as
they think they are.
Improbably is not the same as impossible. Lots of things are highly improbable. But the great thing about improbability is that there is still 1 chance. If the odds are 1/1,000,000 or 1/1,000,000^4 there is still a one in there. And over time, given enough chances that one will eventually happen.

here's a simple example. You go to McDonalds and run into your best friend from Highschool. "Jimmy! What are the odds?" Well actually they are pretty good. How many people go to McDonalds each day? I don't know, but every one of those people is a chance for someone to run into someone they know. Eventually it is going to happen. And if you go to McDonalds enough times, eventually it is going to happen to you.

The classic probability example is rolling a die and seeing what you get. Well every millisecond of every single day the universe is rolling dice, things are exploding, people are moving stars are imploding babies are born, people die, people who should die don't so on and so forth. With enough rolls of the dice you run into your buddy from McDondalds, or someone's untreatable cancer goes into remission, or my mom survives a horrible car accident and then a major stroke. These things could be small miracles, or maybe you just finally rolled a seven on the billion sided die.

The first time my stats prof made this point in class my whole being rebelled against it. How could it be that randomness can account for so much that goes on in life? It goes against the grain, and human nature to think this. But the more I thought about it from a scientific perspective, what is more probable? An all powerful all knowing god, or randomness?

Think whatever you want, but quit waving improbability around like it is proof of something, all that proves is that you don't understand what you're talking about.

A Refresher Course

On what a Controlled Social Experiment is.

Though he is specifically talking about firearms and looting, this could never be looked at as a controlled experiment from any point of view at all. I am disgusted that "professor" Reynolds actually linked this guy.

For an experiment to be controlled both "treatments" in this case the hurricane have to be applied independently. That is there has to be no dependence between the two treatments. They have to be applied to randomly selected groups of people, which this isn't happening in. Also, which group is the control group in this case?

None of these things apply in this case. One hurricane take place less than a month before the other, leaving the memory of the aftermath fresh in our minds and the consequences of not planning ahead fresh in the minds of officials. Also a number of refugees from the first hurricane are now fleeing the second.

Why does this matter? Well though I like guns, I dislike it when people manipulate scientific terms to achieve their own ends. Any conclusions drawn from this Not an Experiment would probably benefit the pro-gun folks as there will certainly be less looting and violence in Houston after Rita. But because there are so many factors involved like, oh... That other hurricane..... What was it called? There is NO WAY you could pinpoint gun control in the different states as a possible explanation for this difference.

But no one will ever read this and they will go forward believing WRONG things about gun control and how it caused the difference between the aftermath of hurricanes. Stupid hurts.

Blogging Perks:Serenity

My first ever blogging related perk!

Thanks to the instapundit and I'm going to an advance screening of Serenity on Monday!!! And my name is on the press list :dies of shock:. If this doesn't work out I'm going to be really upset. Probably it wont when they realize my blog has traffic of -20. But for now I wont let that spoil my joy.

For those of you who don't know what Serenity is it is a movie based on the series Firefly, which is pretty dumb, but dumb in an enjoyable and fun way. It is a space future type thing but it has a western theme. In one episode they actually herd cattle. There is lots of humor and lots of shooting and some hot people, what's not to like? I think it might still be showing on the Sci Fi channel. I was never a fan of Buffy, but this show I like.

My review will be posted on Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

When I grow up......

I wanna kill all the stupid journalists. Thank god for my mad ninja skills, because I think all the stupid journalists is a number not dissimilar to all the journalists.

Why the bloodbath? Well I grow more frustrated daily with the inability of Journalists to critically evaluate a situation from an unbiased perspective. It is possible that articles like this one are a result of an editor saying to a journalist "write me an article about girls in college who just want to be moms." I guess it isn't really there fault that they are forced to draw false conclusions, but y'know whatever.

Echidne has a good post on this article but unsurprisingly I can't resist adding my two cents.

This article uses completely biased interviews. And then it goes on to quote statistics of alum surveys without even questioning for a second that maybe women who both work and have children don't have time to answer a stupid survey! So that maybe these results could be biased to show a higher percentage of non working people. Duuuur.

This quote actually made me vomit a little:
Sarah Currie, a senior at Harvard, said many of the men in her American
Family class last fall approved of women's plans to stay home with their
"A lot of the guys were like, 'I think that's really great,' " Ms.
Currie said. "One of the guys was like, 'I think that's sexy.' Staying
at home with your children isn't as polarizing of an issue as I envision it
is for women who are in their 30's now."
I've got to say, if some guy told me how it gets him hot thinking about me staying home and raising his kids, I'd beat the living shit out of him. And I don't think that I am even a little alone in that. It is true, a lot of women want to raise their own kids, but one has to wonder why that is? I also think it is important to keep in mind that it has really only been 50 years since women were out in the workforce in any real capacity and expecting a complete reversal or neutralizing of gender roles in 50 years is just a little much.

Ms. Ku added that she did not think it was a problem that women usually do most of the work raising kids.

"I accept things how they are," she said. "I don't mind the status quo. I don't see why I have to go against it."

This article accepts this quote at face value but I think that it indicates what the real problem here is, the status quo.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Bad Economic News

I want to publish information about the economy that I get from my job. But I don't want to lose my job. So for now I will stick with a vague indication that people are not spending as much in retail stores the past 3 weeks. So far the average weekly retail sales for September are 10% lower than August.

This is bad news, consumers are not handling the skyrocketing gas prices well especially since a lot of new cars were purchased in the summer, this is bad news for retailers. Which is in turn bad news for the economy. Hopefully holiday spending wont be affected this badly, but if this downward trend continues for so long we may be at risk for inflation and recession.


Finally the strong manly men have come to the aid of the helpless feminists! Explaining to others what our feeble minds could never begin to put into words.

Thanks Hubris.

It is an awesome post, and I second some of the commentors opinions that he will get mad play because of it.

Hot Girl: "Come here baby, talk politics to me some more"

Hubris: "You only love me for my brain!"

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Good Ideas

Ilyka is PISSED:

"This was really just a long preamble to saying that I'm quitting this blog.

I'm getting a sex change. Not in real life, but in internet life. I intend to come back as a man."

And I think she's got the right idea.

I have a bunch of pointless anecdotes that would support the irritatingness of sexism in life blogging and everything, but her posts are way better than mine, so you should read them instead.

But for the record, I agree Ilyka on this, which I'm sure would mean more if I were actually a conservative.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

200 Posts

Since January 24th. Almost 6,000 total page views and an average of 25 visits per day. Wooo hooo! Traffic greater than 3, I am Shinobi's Joy.

Fortunately since I have moved on to my bigger and better life in Chicago I no longer harbor dreams of making money from blogging, as I have a feeling that dream would have gone unfulfilled like so many others. But I will keep blogging as long as I still have the time to waste and people who don't suck around.

(By the way, my new job is fabulous, Chicago is super cool, my lovely lakeview apartment is awesome and my roommate occasionally cleans up after me for no apparant reason. YAY!! I would have posted about it before, but talking about how great my life is would hardly be interesting.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

My near death experience:

I died of shock today when I read this on the front page of CNN:

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government and to the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility," Bush said during a joint news conference with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

And then as I ascended the president said he wanted to find the problems so he could fix them and make things work better. I was in heaven.

Oh wait.. no, here is a pile of work for me to do. So not heaven, reality.

What he said in his statement was the kind of response I've been hoping for. I really hope that it wasn't motivated by politics but by a genuine desire to fix the problem. I hope he gets it right and does a good job of doing what he said he was going to do in his statement. Please.

UPDATE: Heaven has turned to hell. John Cole links to a DKos peice calling for Bush's resignation. Now while I am happy that the President has in some way acknowledged that there were some issues and is planning to have an investigation in order to improve matters. I am revolted that someone could be this stupid. If doing a bad job were a reason for a person to resign, well, there would be a lot more open positions out there, let me tell you. (via PW)


So like... what do you think humans are going to be like, like... In the FUTURE


I seriously think Fortune shoved some people in a room and were like, make some cool shit up about the future. Cause honestly, what woman wants to be fertile her whole life? Yuck, I'm only 23 and I'm ready for a vacation from fertility. And a microchip implanted in your brain to deliver drug doses? Uhm.... aren't we taking this drug use thing a little far?

It reminds me too much of Equilibrium, which was a great movie, but not a future I'm interested in.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Bad Science

Is everywhere in the media. Ben Goldacre examines why in The Gaurdian. (via Mr. Reynolds)

I think he is too harsh on Humanities students. After all, we have to get cheap labor somewhere. But he definetly isn't too harsh on the journalists:

"Statistics are what causes the most fear for reporters, and so they are usually just edited out, with interesting consequences. Because science isn't about something being true or not true: that's a humanities graduate parody. It's about the error bar, statistical significance, it's about how reliable and valid the experiment was, it's about coming to a verdict, about a hypothesis, on the back of lots of bits of evidence."

Sad, but True. Silly Journalists Statistics are for kids.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Gay Marriage

Legal in Azeroth!!

Some people have too much free time.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


are what you make when you spel things rong, or when you do a math problem.

They are not easily recognized when it comes to human behavior. What I may see as a mistake, you may see as an unfortunate incident or you may even disagree as to whether or not the actions taken were wrong.

But the commentors at PW have been requesting a list of mistakes made by FEMA in the rescue effort. Personally I don't think such a list is productive in any way, but I cannot listen to people singing the praises of an organization whose preformance in the face of this disaster has been mediocre.

Has it been mediocre? Really? Well I certainly hope that the most powerful nation in the world is better equipped to rescue and protect its citizens than what we have seen in the past week. I REALLY hope. A lot. I am not willing to accept that this is the best we can do, and so I have some criticsm.

But any criticism needs to have a purpose besides shifting the blame around, we need to use this information to make sure that future indicents are handled in a more effective manner than this one was. If placing blame were a solution to a problem then there would be far fewer problems in this world.

But none the less, here are some links to some shall we say "interesting choices" made by officials that I personally do not agree with.

Interesting FEMA Choices

Firefighters as PR machines (Washingon Post link, or Salt Lake Tribune)

Interesting local Choices:

Maybe they just needed a Map

Gosh I'm glad that I am not there:

First hand account of evacuation (via Echidne)

Live blogging from a doctor

Update: Interesting Choices in Handling the Media:

Scott McClellan (via Moon)

QandO re: DLC response

I would love to update this post with more stuff, but I have a job and junk, so I will do this as I find more links, or if my 2 readers send them to me.

Liberal Dictionaries

I was checking my Gmail and on top it showed a link from demagogue: A leader who obtains power by means of impassioned appeals....

The link brought me to:

demagogue \DEM-uh-gog\, noun:
1. A leader who obtains power by means of impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace.
2. A leader of the common people in ancient times.

I'm not saying this word has any particular significance or anything. Nope. I'm just mentioning it.

Update: Oooooo Demagoguery! Via QandO

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Blame

"No, of course what really matters
Is the blame,
Somebody to blame."

Since the majority of individuals in this roundish world of ours will spend significant portions of their lives trying to avoid beling blamed for their own screw ups, I find it interesting that they are so quick to place blame on other people. If we were half as quick at responding to emergency situations as we are go assign blame when the shit hits the fan then perhaps 80,000 people wouldn't have spent last week trapped in New Orleans.

Maybe what really needs to be happening right now and as the south begins its recovery is a gathering of information about what happend. For instance this timeline at Think Progress is a start (though a VERY biased start) at getting a picture of what happend during the crisis. It would also be interesting to get as much information as possible from first responders and journalists who were on the scene. And perhaps to talk to refugees about what happend. But please note, I said Information, by this I mean facts. Like it is a fact that the Governer of Louisiana declared a state of emergency on Friday August, 26th. So on and so forth. And from there we can try to peice together an accurate picture of what happend.

I think this would be an interesting blog project to start, gathering as much information as possible and maybe getting a group of academics to conduct their own investigation. (Since any investigation by the government is likely to be political... what? politicians political?) Maybe someone who gets more than 2 hits a day could do this.

While it would be really fun to fire a bunch of people , It probably wont prevent the same thing from happening again in 6 months. What having this information could do is help us find out where emergency plans failed, where communications broke down, and to find out a way to make sure that this doesn't happen again. Where does there need to be redundancy to ensure that our officials aren't wandering lost in the dark? How many reservists need to be on American soil in case of a similar incident? How can we get food/water and other necessities to stranded people?

But what I really hope comes of this situation, is that at some point Americans wake up and begin electing real leaders who have the best interests of the country in mind, and who can make tough decisions and take care of the people.

But, we all know that wont happen.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Mayor of New Orleans

Echidne has the link to the interview.

"They're feeding the public a line of bull and they're spinning and people are dying down here."

For the record, I know the difference between a musician and a political offical. I just can't spell.

Open Mouth

Insert Foot. (via Hrun)

I was wrong. It looks like the structural and property damage caused by Katrina may actually be similar to the Tsunami, though thusfar it doesn't seem like the human casualties are as high. (Though they are certainly higher than they were.) Certainly the aftermath of the disaster is claiming still unnumbered lives.

It is breaking my heart to hear these stories of people dying in front of the Superdome and the hospitals without power that are still full of people. It sounds like a living nightmare. I wish I had a humvee and a very large boat so I could get down there and rescue them. But instead I will sit in an office and play with numbers. *twich*

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Age Limits on Sex

For girls, but not for boys?

An FDA official resigned last week over the continued delay of a decision on Plan B's over the counter availability. According to the article on CNN some members of the FDA want to apply an age limit for Plan B. Girls under the age of 17 would require a perscription, where as adult women would not.

"Crawford announced Friday that the agency considered over-the-counter sales to women 17 and older fine, but that younger teens would still need a prescription -- and that the agency was unable to decide how pharmacies could enforce an age limit, or even if it was legal to have such dual sales"

Now, as far as I am aware, there is no age limit on the purchase of condoms without a prescription so my question is, why do we put an age limit on contraception that women control, but not on contraception for men?

Some may say Oh, well condoms aren't the SAME as Plan B because they aren't medication. Well I will say, what other Birth Control methods are available to women without a doctors appointment that are similar? Hmmmm Hmmm........... none. Yeah, that's right, I said it. You have to get fitted by a doctor or nurse for a diaphragm, and birth control requires a gynecological exam. So if a girl wants to have sex an not worry about pregnancy then she has to go to the doctor. Now Plan B is not the kind of thing you want to use a lot as it is very bad for the old hormonal balance and sanity, but it would at least give a girl some emergency options besides prayer, which really isn't all that effective.

Wisdom for the ages

Today I am adding a new Truth to my list of Truths which I began compiling during a literature class.

To date my favorite Truth is: "Nice is Different Than Good"

Today I am adding "Just becaue people agree with it, doesn't make it right."

As evidenced by this Poll linked by Bill Quick (via INDCJournal) which says that 48% of those polled endorse teaching Creationism in the schools.

Now, while I am sensitive to the fact that some people would rather believe a very old book that their parents gave them than a very new book that some scientist wrote, that doesn't mean that I want their stupidity infecting the next generation of potential idiots. Religion belongs in religion class, that's where it goes. If you want your kids to be taught creationism (much like I was) then send them to a Christian school (like I went to). This I think is one of the fatal flaws in our democracy, it relies on the wisdom of the masses, which is really saying that it relies on stupidity. Which is disheartening for those of us who have brains and use them on a semi-regular basis.

So a poll says some people believe something, that's great and all, but all that makes them is stupid. It is wrong to base our teachings on what Americans believe, this is why we are falling behind the rest of the world. We base too many of our decisions as a country on the opinions of people who never graduated from highschool. Yes, there are more of them, but they are still wrong.

This also ties in with a wired article "Swift Boating" Science that my gmail seemed to think I might want to read the other day about a book about how science is being ignored and manipulated by politicians. (Though mostly republicans honestly, I think they are just better at it than the Dems.)

All of this makes me think of something said by Jeanne Garafalo (AHH CRAZY LIBERAL NO) in one of her movies. "Is being an Idiot like being high all the time?" I do wonder.


Waiting For a Leader

I know, I know, crazy liberal NYT, but..... they do kindof have a point.
(Via Echidne)
UPDATE: I keep hearing rightys say how leftys are blaming Bush so I want to clarify my position. I don't blame Bush for the hurricane (Unless President George Bush, is an EVIL SORCERER I don't see how that is his fault). I don't really blame him for any part of this scenario, at all, even the craziness, blame is really a waste of time. I am however critical of the slow reaction and lack of leadership on his part. I would like to have him tell me what I could do to help the people in NO, or tell me what he's doing to fix things, or... well, something, but he didn't and that frustrates me. I don't think he caused this, but I don't think he's doing a great job of fixing it either.

And before the whole Bush is better/worse than Clinton convo starts, I don't care what any other president did in this situation. If they all responded in a less appropriate manor than Bush I still wouldn't care. Even if you are doing a slightly less shitty job than the person who came before you, you are still doing a shitty job and the fact that the person before you was worse doesn't make it better. If we expect to get nothing, then we will recieve nothing.

Katrina is a Bitch

Yeah, I said it, what a bitch.

Instapundit is linking tons of people linking tons of charity's. Go donate to your favorite.

The news coming out of New Orleans of thousands dead and rampant looting and violence is also disturbing. Where is our Government now that they are needed? We can't get rid of it when we don't want it, and now there is lawlessness and rioting in the wake of poor disaster management.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

'This is our tsunami'

yeah, 55-70 dead, or a couple hundred thousand, no difference there.

Americans make me want to vomit sometimes.

While I don't mean to disparage in any way the victims of Hurricane Katrina or the damage to the historic community of New Orleans. The two are really not comparable. If we go with a conservative number of 100,000 deaths in the Tsunami, and estimate 100 deaths from Katrina, we still find that the number dead from Katrina is 0.1% of the Tsunami deaths. To compare the two is revolting.

As far as billions of dollars of damages, well at least New Orleans had some warning.

My thoughts are with the City of New Orleans and the families of the victims. But we are one of the worlds most prosporous nations, lets not play the "victim of horrible catastrophy" card too much, eh?

Update: Hrun and I agree.

Update Heh: Mr. Reynolds's recent posts seem to be implying that the world an the US should be reacting to the current situation similarly to the Tsunami. (maybe I'm just reading too much between the lines though)

"UPDATE: Reader Loren Rueter emails: "Any foreign governments

offering aid?"

None that I've heard of. Should we call 'em stingy?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Less snarkily, The Anchoress emails:

Glenn, remember how Amazon put together
the Honor System for
donations after
the Tsunami? Couldn't something like that

It certainly could. Will it? I guess somebody should ask
Jeff Bezos!

Apparently the difference between 100,000 and 100, or several countries and one city is lost on some parts of the United States. I wonder if this constant comparison thing stems from the human's need for familiarity, maybe they want response to every disaster to be exactly the same.... I don't know.

We have money, and we can donate and take care of our fellow citizens just like we did after 9/11, we don't need to rely on the world for this! Donate to the Red Cross, or Noah's Wish (for animals).

Monday, August 29, 2005

Friday, August 26, 2005

Women's Equality Day

Glenn Reynolds posted this today(Update: on Women's Equality Day, Nice timing guys.). This article discusses the differences between men and women blacks and whites. It is very interesting, but unsurprisingly I have a problem with it.

The intent of this post is not to attempt to prove that women are just as good as men at everything. Personally I'd rather be able to put on matching shoes in the morning than to do quantum physics. Maybe that's because I'm a girl, or maybe that is common sense.

The point I would actually like to make at this point is that there is a reason one does not go around proclaiming from the rooftops that Germans are better drinkers than Irishmen based on their genetic code, or that men are better at math. The reason is in fact that all men are NOT created equal.

When I read this paper, I understand that on average men are better at some things than women, but that these averages are merely representations of a distribution. I know that there will still be extraordinary women who can kick 99% of men's asses at tennis, or who can do quantum physics better faster stronger. But when I was tested in highschool I was in the 95th percentile on everything, so this means that 95% of the population tested lower than me. So at what point do people start being smart enough to understand these things? My generous estimate is that the 70%ile and above understand distributions and outliers and such, and that the rest of the country would read this and go, "Huh? So what is Britney naming her baby again?"

So why is this important, well, it is important because if you say to Mr. Average Joe American guy, "Hey, the average woman is worse at math than the average man", this turns into, "Hey, Women aren't as good at math". It doesn't leave room for understanding that there are still some women who are better at math than most men. Maybe if they thought really hard about it would, but probably not, thinking.... haaard..... Og no like.... Where Grand Theft Auto? Og want shoot things and have sex with hookers.

It is crucial that guard against these conclusions because it is this sort of thinking that leads to prejudice. Understanding the differences between the genders and the races could be very interesting. But it also has potential to re-create the kind of racism and sexism that we fought so hard against in the 20th century. It is generally a bad idea to give people any kind of scientific proof that they are in any way superior to others. Does anyone besides me remember slavery? Or how white conquerors assumed their superiority over other races and slaughtered many of them? (Maybe what white men really have that other races don't is the intrinsic belief that they are better than everyone else? I digress)

Though you and I understand the science, that these are averages, and that there are still girls who want to play sports, Og does not. And if research that proves women are better or worse at some things becomes common knowledge I could eventually lose my job to a guy not because he is better at math than me but because men are better at math than women. And I'd make a really crummy housewife.

What I find interesting is the disdain in the paper and in Mr. Reynold's post for being politically correct, and ignoring supposed differences between demographic groups. Personally I think it must be very easy for white men to look around at people who are struggling and point out that they must not be as smart, or that their ancestors weren't as good at hunting. Where is the intellectual challenge in pointing out that people make less money than you and have one fewer Nobel peace prizes as a group.

It is, in my opinion, much more difficult to show empathy for those in whose shoes we have never walked, and attempt to understand WHY the races or the genders are not equal, if in fact they are not. But while we conduct this research we have to be sensitive to the stupidity of the average person. We have to keep in mind that the average person would LOVE to believe that he/she/it is in some way superior to women, or blacks, or Asians, or white guys, and that arming these people in any way with science is extremely dangerous to the current semi-egalitarian state of affairs.

Meanwhile: John Cole Links to Another Study that will Piss Everyone Off. I'm not pissed, if the men want to be convinced they are smarter than us, I'm okay with that, as long as they don't expect me to go home and start making babies (shudder). This could be fun. I'm moving on wednesday and, well, I'm just so dumb I can't figure out how to carry boxes and drive a U-Haul, are there any big smart men that could help me out?

But seriously, maybe men are just better at IQ tests. Duh.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


I've signed up for googletalk. Just in case you feel like some real time ranting, since I obviously SUCK at blogging. (Clearly because I can't do it and play Worlds of Warcraft simultaneously, why worry about the real world when I can actually kill the people who are causing trouble in Azeroth.)

You can gtalk me at

And if you are a pathetic loser without a gmail address, e-mail me because I have about a thousand invites.

Monday, August 22, 2005


This is my problem with America today, everything we do is half assed. We get to the deadline, look over our current situation and shrug. Eh, Close enough. Sorry kids, close only counts in horseshoes. My family and I have long employed the phrase "Close enough for government work" I wish that it were just funny, and not quite as true.

So what am I talking about right? Oh yeah. I'm talking about the concession to the Islamic fundamentalists in the Iraqi Constitution which may turn into a huge blow for women's rights in Iraq. You should read Echidne's posts and Digby's posts because they are quite good.

My personal take, Why bother to invade a country only to fuck it up? I wasn't pro this invasion, and I think our military is spread to thin, but we got in to this and we might as well do it right. I think it is stupid for politicians to give into pressures to bring our boys home before the mission is accomplished. We did this and now we will only make things WORSE by doing a half assed job. We can't un-invade Iraq, so protesting for peace is just stupid. If anything we should make sure to do a good job this time, so that we don't have to go back. Though it may be too late for that already.

This is only made worse by the fact that media type pundits seem to think it is okay that we do a half assed job:

MR. GERECHT: Actually, I'm not terribly worried about this. I mean, one hopes that the Iraqis protect women's social rights as much as possible. It certainly seems clear that in protecting the political rights, there's no discussion of women not having the right to vote. I think it's important to remember that in the year 1900, for example, in the United States, it was a democracy then. In 1900, women did not have the right to vote. If Iraqis could develop a democracy that resembled America in the 1900s, I think we'd all be thrilled. I mean, women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy. We hope they're there. I think they will be there. But I think we need to put this into perspective. (emphasis mine via Echidne)

Can anyone find this guy's contact info? He makes me want to vomit, so I thought I'd mail him some.

Excuse me, but WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!!!! I'm sorry, I don't even understand how someone could say this out loud without some part of their brain clicking on and realizing they sound like a complete ASSHOLE. All political correctness aside, he has to be kidding! The social rights of half the population of a country are not critical? How can we invade a country only to remove social rights from HALF of the country's population.

Mr. Gerecht seems to think it perfectly reasonable, so I have a proposal. How about we enact legislation here in the US, where everyone flips a coin. Everyone who gets heads, gets the right to make their own decisions, and everyone who gets tails suddenly becomes the ward of their oldest living relative who got heads. And from now on every time a child is born we flip a coin and they become either heads or tails. Heads they get to pick what they study, what they wear, who they marry etc and Tails they can't get a divorce, fight for custody of their children or leave the country without permission, among other things. Sound cool? Because that's what we're talking about here.

How like America to invade a country and then liberate only half of it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Due to the fact that my new job involves me doing actual work I wont be able to post my lengthy rants during work hours. This is tragic because it means that I'm going to have to chose between blogging and World of Warcraft. /cries

But never fear, I plan to try to focus my blog more on the topics I actually intended to post about in the beginning, that is use of statistics and science and how it is manipulated by the media and stupid people. The ranting will be saved for the occasional, "God damn both political parties in this country are so fucking stupid" moments.

In honor of my new found focus I have linkmania:

From the Mystery Pollster: 2008 Presidential Polling in 2005: a REALLY Big Grain of Salt He makes a very good case for most of the presidential polling taking place at this point being a huge waste of time. And I couldn't agree more. Polls are not forecasts, all they tell you is who would win if the election were tomorrow, but much to my chagrin it is not. We still have 3 more years of Mr. Bush to deal with first, and who knows what could happen before 2008................. not that I have anything but confidence in our current administration. (Damn I almost typed that without laughing, so close.)

The second has more to do with science, Bill from INDC has pointed out the clear lack of impartialness to Michelle Malkin's evaluation of the RU-486 pills and the related deaths Bill does a good job of comparing statistics:

So, while 1 in 92,000 women have died from RU-486 side effects since the drug's US approval, 1 in 3,700 American women have died in childbirth during the same period, making actually giving birth 25 times more deadly than having a chemical abortion (the article states "10 to 13 times riskier" than having any type of abortion).

This whole controversy really has to do with people's views on abortion, not problems with the drug, lets talk about the real problem people and stop pussyfooting around. YAY Bill!

Also Instapundit linked to a post written just for me: Advice to the angry young blogger Actually he seems to be targetting complete idiots, which I'm not, but I thought the title was funny anyway. Would be nice if there were actual Advice involved, like can anyone tell me how not to get angry all the time? That'd be nice.

That's all I've got for now, time to go do actual work at my amazing new job! (Today my boss told me "Well.... yeah, you're smart, you can figure it out" it was a clear illustration to me of how my career has made a turn for the better.)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Moving Sucks: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the U-haul.

Moving to Chicago was just another example of how nothing in my life ever works out the way that it should. Nothing. Ever.

The plan was my sister came in Monday night to help me pack up and move Tuesday morning, and then she was going to fly out of Chicago early on Wednesday. As it is now Thursday you can imagine this did not go as planned.

First I'm a shitty packer, I suck at it. So I was barely packed when she showed up. So it took us most of the night and all of the next morning to load the U-haul. Around 11:30am we were done loading so I went to go drop off some stuff and get some McDonalds before we left on our 8 hour trek.

While I was waiting for my much abused boyfriend to bring food out to the car I smelled smoke. And then I SAW smoke coming from the blinker thingy. (Which I later learned is called a Multi-Function switch)

Le sigh, we returned to my mostly empty apartment and after much deliberation I decided that I would not have my little sister driving a car that could possibly catch fire at any time for 8 hours, much to her chagrin.

So we said goodbye to the poor boyfriend and took my car and my U-haul and dropped the car off at the shop. They had implied on the phone that they could fix it that night, but when I dropped it off they said something to the effect of, so are you going to come back in 2 days and get it? I nearly lost it. But they said they would call after they had looked at it and let me know what the situation was. Great, more waiting.

I should mention that we were also accompanied by 2 very upset cats this entire time. So we took the 2 very upset cats and most of the contents of my Explorer and put them in the U-haul. And then we checked in to our 70's tastic Holiday Inn on the top of a hill with a narrow winding drive (YAY U-HAUL!). The much abused boyfriend was forced to help locate aformentioned hotel among other things. I drove the U-haul around all evening for food and shopping, and it Suuuuuuuucked. Especially since we were on one of those divided highways so we kept having to go one way, turn around, come back the other way over and over. If ever I questioned my desire to leave Pittsburgh before this, the question was answered.

The Mechanics called and said they'd have my car fixed the next morning. We went, waited around a lot and eventually, picked it up, shoved completely distraught cats into carriers and went to get gas. We hop into our respective gas guzzling vehicles and start up. The U-Haul goas VROOOM and the Explorer went Click Click Click. Oh my fucking god. I know many times in your life you have asked yourself if employees of gas stations can jump battery's on cars, I now know the answer to this, No. We had to use the U-haul to jump the Explorer, which was just a leeeeetle silly to say the least.

Finally we were off, and to make my final moments in Pittsburgh resemble my entire life there, I got off on the highway going the wrong way and we had to turn around. 8 hours later we arrived in Chicago without too much major damage. I am now here, I can only find one of my cats, but at this point I'm not that picky.