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.