Thursday, December 28, 2006


Many women like taller guys. This sucks, but is true. I like taller guys too, you know why, because I'm tall. 6' tall to be exact. So today when I watched a little video on about height and it's affects in the work place, I thought I might find out about how height affects my life.

Video: Are you tall enough?* (I'm not sure if this link will work, I tried to e-mail it to myself.)

The tagline for the piece was an extra inch is worth $800. Which sounds like an interesting statistic. But the whole piece is ridiculously unscientific. The guy who wrote Blink is on it talking about how it is so unfair that tall guys have the edge. And I'm sure he had more valuable things to say about height than that.

But apparently that's not interesting enough. The piece de reisstance, they take some guys to a speed dating affair and "prove" it by finding that the chicks were more positive about the Tall Guys. They even say it is not scientific, so WHY do it, It's completely retarded. What if the short guys they picked just happened to be gomers, and that's why they got rated lower. And the stereotypes they put on the guys AH! Disgusting! Then they even go out of their way to make the girls feel bad about liking the tall guys more. They call this news?????? Come ON!

And then the piece ends and I'm thinking. So what about the women? Women can't be tall too? I mean we are on average shorter, but height affects our lives too! IF it doesn't matter if women are tall then they should say so. But that seems unlikely, considering the many times I have had people stand next to me and go "Wow, you're taaaaaaaallllll."

To me it seems like they are saying that the affects of height in the workplace and the dating scene ONLY matter to men. Well they matter to me! They only talk about its affects on men's salary, as if women don't have salaries to worry about, nor do women ever date or have to get things off of shelves apparently.

What the fuck CNN? Way to leave half the population out of your completely stupid news piece.

This is me, sticking to print from now on.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Eragon: The book, The film, The horror

There is nothing that fills me with the ranting outrage as much as the holidays, except perhaps, perfectly good books that are made into movies.

I read Eragon a number of years ago, and I was never quite shiny with it being shelved, constantly, in the Children's or Young Adult section. It's a good book, and it being written by a 15 year old doesn't make it any less complex. But publishers do as publishers will.

What I wish they HADN"T done was sign away the movie rights and turn a perfectly good book into whatever the hell THAT was. It was horrible beyond my wildest imaginings. I loved this book, LOVED, and I almost walked out of the movie, the only think that kept me there were the crying 5 year olds to my left and right.

The beginning of the movie was promising. I had hopes, it was pretty, the graphics were good. But I began to doubt when plot points were eradicated for no apparent reason. Alot of the early stuff wasn't like the book, but some of the changes were unnecessary. They sped up the dragon's ageing, totally understandable. But then they changed completely unrelated stuff and added in a whole schtick about people being forced to join the militia, to explain something, that was explained perfectly well in the book.

But after that they just started ommitting things. Some understandable, some not, whole sections of the plot gone. Cities that were described in breathtaking beauty and detail, replaced with some wooden sticks that look like something out of the swiss family robinson. Characters, that had actual character reduced to being just that guy standing there for five minutes. They removed all of this to make a book that's around 500 pages (I don't have my copy so forgive factual innaccuracy) fit into an hour and a half! That's right an hour and a half! And while they didn't have time for character development, actual sets, or plot, they DID have time for cheesy dialog and a romance that very markedly DOESN"T HAPPEN in the book. Ultimately I'm glad it was too short. I couldn't have stood another 5 minutes, much less another half hour

Which brings me to another point entirely, if you aren't going to do a good job, a la Lord of the Rings, then why bother to make the book into a movie at all? Most Americans are literate, and it would do them some good to read a good book instead of saying "oh I'll just watch the movie." My 17 year old cousin has never read Harry Potter because she can just whatch the movie. And no amount of talking is going to convince her that the book contains a world of detail that the movie cannot even imagine.

I'm not saying that books are a better media, or that no movies should be made from books. But why does EVERY good book have to be made into a movie? Some books are just better as books, and making them a movie is spoiling something amazing. So Hollywood, unless you're going to do a good job, STOP IT! You're ruining a people's chance for actual literacy.

Boxing Day

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Don't Chew on your Pencil

From Think Progress:

“The Bush administration is considering doing away with health standards that cut lead from gasoline, widely regarded as one of the nation’s biggest clean-air accomplishments,” the AP reports. “Battery makers, lead smelters, refiners all have lobbied the administration to do away with the Clean Air Act limits.”

It's hard for me to even begin to understand why we would do away with limits on lead in gasoline. Granted most cars these days only run on unleaded gasoline. But the potential damage from lead poisoning is severe.

From the EPA's own website:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 1978 there were 13.5 million children in the United States with elevated blood lead levels (i.e., 10µg/dl). By 2002, that number had dropped to 310,000 kids.

Note that 1979 was the year the EPA standards forced lead out of gasoline.

It is also worthwhile to note that any exposure to lead, even small exposures has an effect on developing children:

Blood lead levels as low as 10 micrograms per deciliter can impair mental and physical development. EPA's Integrated Risk Information System profile on Lead and Lead Compounds The effects of lead exposure on fetuses and young children can be severe. They include delays in physical and mental development, lower IQ levels, shortened attention spans, and increased behavioral problems.

Now normally I'm not one to cry "the Children, the Children." But lead poisoning is a serious issue. And while the likelihood of people using leaded gasoline again seems slim, I have to wonder if this would also allow refiners, battery makers, and all those groups listed above to release more lead particles into the air as part of their manufacturing processes.

Or it could just be that the regulations are poorly formulated and ridiculous. But, we have no idea at this point. And that makes me a little suspicious.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I will never, NEVER understand people who defend the use of torture. It is disgusting and abhorrent to human nature. Nor is it really that productive. To me it reeks of people who are both afraid and drunk with power simultaneously. (NOt that that makes any sense) Why the outburst, this.

Revolting. And I'm offended that acts like this are being carried out in the name of Americans. I would rather die in a terrorist attack than have to live knowing that any people innocent or guilty were subjected to torture in order to protect me. But honestly I don't think that torturing people really has any affect whatsoever on my chances of being killed by terrorists.


Thursday, November 30, 2006

On Living Together

As some of you may or may not know my boyfriend "The Chef" recently moved in with me. So far my desire to strangle him has been quite minimal. Though my hopes for a cleaner apartment and home Chefed meals so far have not become a reality. It's awesome having him around. And I should point out that not only do we live together, he also work sat my company. Ohhh the togetherness. ::vomit::

So Imagine his mirth when he opened up the Red Eye yesterday to an article entitled "Planning to live together? Only fools rush in." He showed it to me and I was hoping for some really interesting commentary on how living together is hard, and how long most people should wait, some statistics maybe (not that they'd be valid, but y'know... they're kinda factual).

But I should have expected less from a column entitled "Sex Playbook":

"I've grown accustomed to my alone time. I can't imagine a woman moving in with me. Like in the movie "Independence Day": When the aliens invaded, their plan to cohabit Earth didn't work. It wouldn't work if my personal space were invaded, either."

Clearly Jon watched a different version of Independence Day. The Aliens weren't looking to cohabitate with humans, they were looking to exterminate. I know they both end in ate, but surely someone who writes for a newspaper can tell the difference. And if your girlfreind is working on exterminating you...well... then perhaps we need to be a bit more choosy, eh?

He Goes on:

Yes, guys, your past can slowly slip away from you during a live-in situation. I once was exclusive with a woman who never wanted to sleep in my bed because she knew I'd had sex with other women in it. As comfy as the bed was, she said if we ever lived together I'd have to get rid of it. The bed's still here, so you know how that relationship turned out

It seems to me Jon, that your problem isn't so much that you don't want to live with women, it's that you don't want to live with PSYCHO women. This is NOT normal behavior, and that you tolerated it leads me to believe that this woman was either VERY hot, or that you are VERY dumb.

I keep waiting for the part where he talks about how he wouldn't be able to watch porn and jerk it anymore. That part is true. But y'know having a sex partner around all the time is pretty fun.

He ends with some good advice. "If, like me, you are not thrilled with the thought of living with your girlfriend, don't do it. Decline until you're sure you can handle it." This has been an update from the department of DUH! If you don't jump at the chance to spend every spare moment possible with someone, (well maybe not EVERY spare moment, but most of them)then you shouldn't even be considering living together.

The reason, in my opinion that Jon doesn't want to live with a girl, and therefore thinks it is a bad idea for everyone else, is that he hasn't actually dated a girl he really liked as a person. He probably liked them as girls, strange entities with breasts and nice concave parts. But it turns out girls are people too, we have interests and personalities. I know in his strange world where only getting a peice of tail matters this doesn't actually matter.

His view of women seems to be this shrill force that will invade your home and change all your habits. Well I have a few suggestions for him:
1. Date women you actually like as people ( see above) preferalby reality based life forms that understand you have a past and wont manipulate you with it.
2. Get to actually know them as a person before you consider moving in together. This means you have to like them beyond liking nailing them.
3.Don't move them into your house, or you move into theirs, move into a new place together. This way you can both bring your individuality together, to create a space where you will both be comfortable, but neither of you will be on "home" turf.

Or, y'know, keep dating multiple crazy chicks at a time. Sounds like it's workin for ya.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

On Being Overplayed

We're sorry Mr. Timberlake, but you can't bring sexy back without a reciept.

(stolen from a facebook group)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Single Sex Schools

Reading Jill's views against the idea of dividing public schools I see her points. I don't think that either boys or girls will benefit from the dumbing down of subjects to make them "easier to grasp" or "gender friendly" and I don't think that boys and girls should be divided during school because their learning sytles are different. In fact, I don't really buy the whole "making learning fun" thing. Learning, real learning, is hard, and if you aren't expected to do it you aren't going to, regardless of who is in your class.

However do think that they students can benefit from being split up during middle and highschool. Why? Because of sex.

I don't care if teenagers have sex, I'm not a prude. I remember very well that they do, and there is nothing we can do to stop them. In fact, I went to a single sex school. All girls, catholic, uniforms, blah blah naughty male fantasy blah blah. And nobody had any trouble getting laid.

I remember in high school I'd occasionally go out with public school kids, and they'd recoil with horror, "how do you go to single sex school, how BORING what do you DO all day."

Shockingly, we learned stuff.

Without the distraction of flirting during school hours us ladies were able to show up, sans makeup and actually get some actual learning done. This is not to say that it is impossible to learn in a co ed environment, it is demonstrably not. But for some girls I think having the opportunity to focus on school without having to worry about the guy they liked sitting behind them was a big benefit. And I can imagine that guys would reap similar benefits. (Though I am not a guy, so...yeah)

I've heard arguments that single sex school makes it harder for the students to interact with members of the opposite sex. But in my experience, areas with a lot of single sex schools (St. Louis, where I grew up, being one) have a lot of co ed extracurriculars. Tons of events are created simply for the purpose of having different schools get to gether so guys and girls are able to mingle. Theaters open auditions to members of the opposite sex from other schools. There are even cross over classes in some schools, my school offered Latin III with another nearby guys school. And another area girls school had joint group projects with nearby guys schools, making the two genders work together on occasion.

So you go to school, all day and learn, and then AFTER school you flirt. I think this is a good plan. It takes some of the sexual focus away from school. Not that school shouldn't be social, after all, students need to learn to work together, but we all know how distracting having a crush can be, or wanting to flirt with someone, or impress someone. Taking those people away (for the straight folks at least) will help minimize the sex related distractions.

This is mentioned in the slate article Jill links to breifly. But I think it is more important than they realize. I think Most teenagers are distracted by attraction to others. It's a distracting thing, and I presume it has something to do with hormones, but I could be wrong. Another thing they mention breifly:

Proponents of single-sex education would protest that their approach gives
children more latitude to carve out a distinctive identity. Removing "the other"
from the classroom can help kids conceive of themselves as individuals rather
than as members of a gender.

This, to me is very personal. Because that has been my experience. I don't think of myself as a girl, I think of myself as a person, who happens to have female genetalia. I think the biggest effect my gender has on me, is making me a feminist, because I feel (now, I never did in highschool) that I am being pushed into traditional gender roles that I don't identify with. Now maybe that's just because I'm a masculine girl, that could be argued, I suppose. But I think it is because I am independant of gender classifications. I do girly things because I like them, not because I'm supposed to, and I do guy things because I like them, not because I'm trying to be a guy. It's not about gender, it's about doing what you enjoy and being who you are.

But ultimately I think schools should be a choice. A single sex school wont be a better place for a kid if it is a bad single sex school. Parents should be able to evaluate the schools and choose based on a free market type system. They know their child best, and know what kind of environments they will thrive in so they should be the "decider"s when it comes to their kid.

(Edited at 3:30, for content)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Jon Stewart: Jokemaker

An article at town hall (via insty) declares that Jon Stewart was the kingmaker in this election.

But I think that the article couldn't be more wrong. While I agree that Jon Stewart gives voice to liberal frustrations with government through humor, I don't see him as a bastion of liberalism. And nothing he says changes my mind, but it does make me laugh, even when I disagree.

Rusty compares The Daily Show to Rush Limbaugh in the 90s. Seriously... What are you smoking?

What's wrong with Rush Limbaugh you say? Ah yes, I don't like him, this clearly must be because I am a liberal communism loving hippie who's about to go out and preform 1000 abortions. Or it could be because he is close minded and represents no opinions but his own.

Rusty seems to think that this is what Jon Stewart does as well. But he often has right leaning authors and political figures on his show. And while sometimes Jon will strongly and respectfully disagree with these figures, it rarely gets to the point of, lets say The O'Rielly Factor. He lets these people talk and sometimes one even comes away from the interviews finding common ground with the other side.

One of the things that Daily Show segments frequently poke fun at is the partisanship and combativeness of most news shows. (Not to mention some of the TERRIBLE coverage on 24 hour news networks.) The Colbert Report alone is a huge spoof on The O'Rielly Factor, the idea that one man's opinions are all that matters when it comes to news. And there used to be a segment called Steven versus Steven where Steven Colbert and "The guy from 40 year old Virgin" argued about absolutely nothing. This mocking isn't brainwashing college students against network news, or telling them to go vote democrat. It is pointing out how ridiculous our news coverage has be come, and laughing at the ridiculous things the folks in washington do.

The Daily Show is making Jokes, and Rusty has it right, the audience already knows the punchline to all these jokes. The Daily Show is giving vent to a frustrated younger audience who are tired of combative political commentary and ridiculous headlines that don't mean anything. It allows us to laugh at the painful news coverage of other networks, and the cringeworthy stupidity of some of our politicians.

Jon Stewart didn't make the Democrats more popular. He made Jokes. The Democrats were more popular because they haven't been able to screw anything up for the last 6 years.

Maybe the reason the Democrats won is just what it seems like, people were tired of the Republicans.

Below is a quote from a commentor at townhall called FlimFlamman, I'm re-posting it because I can't link it and I think it is a much better rebuttle of Rusty's article than my post was:

flimflamman writes:
Friday, November, 10, 2006 10:45 AM
Same-old, same-old
Even for its great length, this column is just the same tired, specious argument against The Daily Show. For starters, the main thesis -- that Jon Stewart and cohorts scored the election for the Dems -- doesn't even make sense. Shackleford charges that the nation's youth are zonked out on Stewart's anti-GOP yuks. But that didn't help back in 2004, when the show kicked into far higher gear than it did this past month. (Indeed, the Daily Show mocked the importance of midterm elections as recently as Monday night.) Not to mention: have you not read the polling data? It wasn't only the youth who came out, but everyone. Even 1/3 of Evangelicals turned their back on their conservative brethren and voted Dem. Betcha they're not injecting the Daily Show into their veins every night!

But the problem with this column runs far deeper. The Daily Show has a liberal bias?! What a scoop! Shackleford tries to balloon this into a case that Stewart and Rush Limbaugh are one and the same. But he fails to remotely back this up with evidence -- unless you count claiming that both are stumping for one side of the political spectrum is proof of equivalence. If we're going to define partisanship so narrowly, then who isn't an extreme lunatic who mocks and questions the validity of those suffering from major diseases for ratings and attention?

Shackleford asserts that Stewart's attempt at bi-partisanship has failed miserably, but can't cite a single example, or at least one that holds up to scrutiny. He mentions Bill O'Reilly getting booed when he comes on the show. But that wasnt' Stewart encouraging the boos; in fact, if anything it was O'Reilly who was explicitly encouraging the boos, even scolding the audience. Stewart tries to engage those who disagrees with in a debate. His problem is that he's actually too polite, and winds up cowering when his opponent gets worked up. A year or so ago, he had Rick Santorum on the show. Stewart was nothing but polite to him, and sincerely tried to get to the bottom of his extreme beliefs. When Santorum ducked a question and went off on a rant, Stewart all but hid underneath the desk. Just like Rush Limbaugh! Oh wait...

You also cite Dan Rather being on the show Tuesday night, and how Stewart joked with him rather than grilled him on the events that caused him to prematurely retire. But he fails to mention that this wasn't a typical interview -- it was a special, covering the Midterm Elections. They were joking, sure, but they were joking about...the Midterm Elections. It wasn't a typical interview. He was there as a specialist, someone who's covered elections for most of his life.

There's no doubt that Stewart is a little easier on those with whom he agrees. But not by much. Shackleford claims, "Conservatives are lampoon for being conservative, liberals for not being liberal enough" [sic]. But he fails to cite a single example of Stewart and co. being extreme. They mock the democrats for being wimps (like conservatives!), but never for not being extreme.

And then there's the claim that they have it out for Fox News. What Shackleford fails to note is that they back this hatred up with evidence on a near-daily basis. The way Shackleford words it, it's as though they simply mock Fox News for no good reason. But that hatred is well-founded and buttressed by a neverending supply of clips and analysis.

Lastly, there's this sorry claim: that the youth are getting all their news from The Daily Show. To even understand what the Daily Show does (or for that matter, The Daily Kos), one has to have a working knowledge not just of the news that day, but of news history -- news in general. Young people may not be watching CNN, Fox News or the 6:00 network news. But you don't have to these days. The web has many places one can get news, analysis, and so forth. These days, it's next to impossible to remain ignorant of the news.

The saddest part? Had the Dems won in 2004, this column could've come out, with only minor variations. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Shackleford had written it before Election Day '04 and dusted it off after Election Day '06. That's how relevant and trenchant it is.

P.S. Jon Stewart's name is spelled "Jon." It does alternate between having an "h" and not having an "h," as it does serially throughout this column. Not that fact-checking need be applied to soapbox rants.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Update On Anand and Sudeep

The two students are still being charged, but the feds have declined to take the case. Turns out the two bomb hits in the lexus were false positives. (Shocker)

It is now up to the ADA to prosecute. But as far as I know the two are still being held with $1 million dollar bond.

Evidence indicates that they were in fact trying to shoot a music video. Which may in fact be the dumbest idea two seemingly smart kids have ever had.

But if people went to jail for being dumb, lets just say I'd spend a lot less time being pissed off.

CMU students are starting to get organized and have a facebook group put together. (Free Anand and Sudeep!) But no one has been able to get in touch with either of their parents. And as far as we know no hearings have been scheduled to get their bond reduced.

UPDATE: Anand and Sudeep were released on recognizance. I hope the rest of their legal issues are speedily resolved!

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Funny Story

Some kids from my school tried to break into a football stadium from the pittsburgh post gazette:

Heinz Field security officers spotted the men on a security camera trying
to enter the stadium, a Steelers spokesman said. They first opened an exterior
door at Gate B without going inside, police said. They then took a folding chair
to the fence at Gate 5 on Art Rooney Drive, and one student allegedly stepped
up on the chair to scale the fence.

Heinz Field security officers then approached the pair, and as they
tried to walk away, they were apprehended by Pittsburgh police officers who had
been summoned. They told police initially they were trying to check out the
stadium because they had tickets to yesterday's 4:15 p.m. game against the
Denver Broncos, Chief Harper said.

Oh Ha Ha, college prank:

He said they told investigators later that one student was trying to
complete a music video featuring the other, and they intended to do the
last scene inside Heinz Field. A video camera and tripod were found inside the
vehicle, parked nearby, which police towed away.

Both were charged with criminal conspiracy, one with criminal trespass. The $1 million straight bond has to be paid in full for release.

Doesn't this seem just a tad extreme? A little odd that they would arrest some kids for trying and failing to get into a football stadium? I mean I've never tried to break into anything, but I imagine that security would just tell you to get the hell out. I know Pittsburgh loves their football, but listen to the bios on these two kids:

University-related Web sites suggest that both men have been active, involved
students one student is listed as activities director of the Undergraduate
Finance Association, and the other as a committee chairman of the Undergraduate
Entrepreneurship Association. Both also were involved in Carnegie Mellon's Mock
Trial competition, a program in which students take on judicial roles to
practice their speaking and analytical skills.

One student, on his own Web home page, lists his grade point average as 3.7 out of 4.0. He made the dean's list last spring.

They sound like real troublemakers.

Until you find out that these two students are arabic.

I took their names out of the excerpts from the PPG article above. What would have seemed a harmless prank by two white students is now treated as a potential terror threat because of the color of these boy's skin.

I don't know either Sudeep Paul or Shankar Durvasula, they are several years younger than me and in different departments. And I don't know if they are terrorists.

But I do know that they deserve a speedy investigation and bail that reflects the crimes for which they are being held.

The CMU community has started a petition group on face book to free them. And I am posting this here in the hopes that publicising this incident will prevent them from being sent to any "secret prisons." These boys are Americans born and raised and I hope that they are treated as such.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Obvious

John Kerry is not up for reelection this year.

(Oh yeah, and he's not president, nor is he in charge of the DNC)

So why should anyone care what he says? Not to malign a veteran, but by the traditional definition of the word, he's a loser. So why does what a loser say matter?

It doesn't matter what he says except insofar as we can be happy we have a "decider" who uses "the google" on "the internets." Instead of an upper class jerk who thinks soldiers are dumb. (y'know....lesser of two evils)

But an aside, John, seriously you sound like a pompus ass, and that's why you lost. No more talky talky.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Be prepared, I'm pissed off.

I read this at feministe:

“But when it comes to this disaster, who started it? In his literature,
writer al-Rafee says, if I came across a rape crime, I would discipline the man
and order that the woman be jailed for life. Why would you do this, Rafee? He
said because if she had not left the meat uncovered, the cat wouldn’t have
snatched it.”

“If you get a kilo of meat, and you don’t put it in the fridge or in
the pot or in the kitchen but you leave it on a plate in the backyard, and then
you have a fight with the neighbour because his cats eat the meat, you’re crazy.
Isn’t this true?”

And I have a simple solution to this problem. It's time to poison the meat, and by that I mean it's time for "uncovered" women to start carrying machine guns.

Maybe when these "cats" go for the "uncovered meat" and get killed, the other "cats" will learn to stay the fuck away.

“Satan sees women as half his soldiers. You’re my messenger in necessity, Satan
tells women you‘re my weapon to bring down any stubborn man. There are men that I fail with. But you’re the best of my weapons.”

Sometimes I fantasize about getting a group of kickass women wearing nothing but machine guns walking through cities full of devout muslim men. And while they gawk and stare at our hotness, we can mow the fuckers down. Since men are apparently totally unable to control themselves around women it will be an easy victory for us.

Then we will truly be "satan's" best weapons. And I guess by "satan" I mean George Bush, not that I think he's "satan" it's just that we'd really be helping him out, and I don't believe in "satan." So there we go....

I'm not a muslim woman, and perhaps that is why I know that if anyone told me, and I mean anyone, parents, friends, government, anyone that I had to walk around with a veil over my head in order to be a decent person I would shoot the fucker.

There have been some posts at various feminist blogs arguing about the hijab and the veil. Saying that women who are forbidden to wear them are limited from the public sphere. And that women who chose to wear them gain greater rights from their families.

But here is what I think, not that it matters.

If your family or your religion is holding you back, then I think it is time to leave them behind. Obviously I don't think women should kill their parents, or anyone but I do think they should leave their homes, find other options, if they are unhappy. It is a scary step to take, and easier said than done. But I do not think that someone should remain in a situation where they are not valued or trusted or treated as someone with rights and free will.

I understand the lure of not having to make difficult choices, of submitting to another's will. It is safe, there is little responsibility, though it is not always easy because you have to make sacrifices and do what you would rather not. Religion and love of family can make submiting to another's will feel like it is the right think to do. But in the end no matter how much you trust someone else to decide what is best for you or to guide your decisions, they are still not you. They have no rights over you. And while they may THINK they are doing what is best for you, they are only human. And personally if I am going to make a mistake, or be unhappy, or even be happy, I want to do it because of a choice I made, not because of one that was made for me.

So I guess I'm saying that women who cannot work without sheilding themselves from the gaze of others, should leave the religion and culture that says they must hide themselves, and the family that limits their choices.

Easier said than done.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Fall of Reese's

Yes, I mean the candy.

It's Halloween, and that means that my office overflows with candy. And some of the people with candy even have "the good stuff" meaning Reese's, Kit Kats, Twix, Snickers, anything with yummy chocolate.

Reese's are my favorite candy, but I can't help noticing that this year the chocolate seems thinner, and every one I've unwrapped has been warped in some way. The chocolate melts so you can barely get the little cup off the bottom. They changed the packaging, and that I'll overlook, even if I miss the little cardboard peice under the wrapper holding everything together.

But it used to be that you could nibble on the chocolate all the way around the edge of a reese's and it would be satisfyingly crunchy, there would be enough chocolate for two passes. And the rest of the candy wouldn't totally fall apart in your hand.

Now I can't even take a bite of it without getting a little chocolate on my hands (a sign that the chocolate was poorly tempered).

What's up Hershey? What have you done to my Reese's?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Beginning of the End

I've been trying to cook up a post about the habeas corpus thing. But what do you know, Keith Olberman did an amazing speech and he did it on video.

To paraphrase a friend... I miss worrying about blowjobs.

Friday, October 13, 2006

1.67 Billion down the Tube

Google's purchase of YouTube was, in my humble opinion, stupid. In that google fails to recognize what YouTube's biggest attraction is. (At least to me)

You Tube frequently hosts entire episodes of television shows and large quantities of copyrighted material.

Google frequently deletes this material from google video.

So when Google owns YouTube the copyrighted material will actually have to be removed. And I think this is going to drive traffic levels down significantly as viewers find other sites that host the last episode of South Park.

Now, obviously I could be overestimating the amount of copyrighted stuff on YouTube. There are certainly a lot of home movies and such. It would be interesting to see how much traffic was generated by copyrighted items vs. non copyrighted items. I hope Google did that analysis before they made their purchase.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


So no one needs the background on this. Foley, e-mails, Naughty, 16 year old boys. We're all on it by now I'm sure.

So, the question of the day is who is more irresponsible, the Republicans or the Democrats.

At first this looked bad for the republicans, apparently there were members of the party who were aware of it. And now the republicans are accusing the Democrats of sitting on the information until it would give them the most bang for their buck.

And this is where I get really contraversial.

Who gives a Shit? We're talking about 16 year olds. And I know, all the parents are simply "Horrified" because they have 16 year olds. But the CHILDREN.

I'm sorry charlie, but 16 year olds are NOT children. They are young adults. They send eachother naughty IMs all the time, how do I know this? Well I was recently 16, and I did it then, and well before I turned 16. None of them are being corrupted.

The worst part of this situation is that they are in a relatively powerless situation and are being sexually harassed by a superior. This isn't about the Children it is about respect in the workplace.

In other news, CONGRESS JUST RESCINDED THE RIGHT OF HABEAS CORPUS! (Okay okay you have to be declared an "enemy combatant" first.... which requires... y'know... no proof at all, and then you can be imprisoned and tortured by your own government. But hey man, you MIGHT be a terrorist. Interesting about how we keep hearing more about this drugs=terrorism situation........ I wonder how long before an ounce of pot gets you declared an Enemy Combatant.)

And we're seriously concerned about some sexual harassment charges. The government has just given itself the ability to imprison anyone in the world without any proof at all, and we're worried because somebody asked some 16 year olds if they were horny. OF COURSE they're horny, they're 16.

Really America? Is this what you care about? Really?

Monday, October 09, 2006

All I ever wanted


Here are some photos. It ended up taking about 15 hours to get down to florida. I didn't time it exactly, but it turns out the MapQuest directions were not the best. This nice southern guy gave me directions on the way back. Yay nice Southern people, Boo not nice people vacationing in the south.

Anyway... Photos, sortof make me think of corona commercials.

Also we went to this most excellent Irish bar and heard a most eccelent Irish Singer, Bill Craig. He was a great guy with a great voice.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Great map Debate

I'm getting directions for my impending Florida vacation, from somewhere near Chicago to an undisclosed local in florida. Here are my mileage and time estimates from the various map engines available:

Google Maps: 920 mi (about 18 hours 25 mins)

MapQuest: Est. Time: 14 hours, 31 minutes
Total Est. Distance: 873.45 miles

MSN Maps: Total distance: 920.7 mi
Estimated time: 14 Hours, 54 Minutes

Yahoo Maps: 922.1mi 14hrs 38 Minutes

Rand McNally:
EST. DRIVE TIME: 15 hours, 30 minutes
EST. DISTANCE: 911 miles

My boss observes that only huge dorks would be bothered by this. But I am bothered by it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Where's Our Apology?

In reference to Pope Benedict's Recent remarks muslim groups are throwing molotov cocktails and having demonstrations. Now, I'm no big fan of the pope. Really not at all. I liked the last Pope, this one, I could do without. But when the response to his quotations from old writings that were less than flattering to the muslim religion comes to this:

"We tell the worshipper of the cross (the Pope) that you and the West will be defeated, as is the case in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya," said an Internet statement by the Mujahideen Shura Council, an umbrella group led by Iraq's branch of al Qaeda, according to the Reuters news agency.

"We shall break the cross and spill the wine. ... God will (help) Muslims to conquer Rome. ... God enable us to slit their throats, and make their money and descendants the bounty of the mujahideen," from bruneidirect

The group said Muslims would be victorious and addressed the pope as "the worshipper of the cross" saying "you and the West are doomed as you can see from the defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere. ... We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose head tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (killed by) the sword." from cnn

So, where's my apology? Where is my "I'm sorry our group threatened to kill you even though you didn't do anything to us." Why is it the Muslims are the only ones who don't have to be sorry?

And for that matter, why are you proving his point for him? So he reads some junk about islam being 'evil" and "inhuman" and your response is "Convert or Die?" "His apology is not sufficient because he did not say that what he said was wrong," said Uzair Ahmed, from Pasban-e-Hurriyat, a Pakistani political group. (cnn) hmmmmm I wonder why that is Mr. Ahmed.

And I"m sorry that peaceful muslims all over the world had their feelings hurt: "This has gravely hurt the feelings of the Muslims across the world, including those from China," Chen Guangyuan, president of Islamic Association of China, was quoted as saying in an interview with the Xinhua news agency. (cnn) Well, my feelings are hurt too! Hurt by the collapse of the twin towers, and the women in Burkha's.

Where's my apology?

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Pajama's Media is trying to decide what to call voters who don't fit into our Left/right pidgeonholes.

How about.... People.

What a stupid question.

more on this later if I have time

Monday, September 11, 2006

Photographing Mountains

The weather in Chicago is extremely crappy today. Funny how I remember the weather on that Tuesday being extremely beautiful. I remember thinking about how nice it was as I walked to my university center to try and donate blood, after watching news coverage all morning.

I wish I didn't somehow resent all the media coverage, and "memorial" events. I certainly agree that this anniversary needs to be recognized. But to me it feels somehow cheapened by headlines and media footage. It seems like maybe what we really need instead of online streaming repeates of the coverage from that day and corny news segments and miniserieses, is just a little quiet, a little respect. Though, of course the media and others are remembering this day the way they know how. It just doesn't work for me, it seems to cheapen it somehow. I don't know why.

But I guess that's because there is no real way to capture what happend that day in film or words, and the memorials all just seem too small to reflect the tragedy, sortof how a photograph of a mountain can never really capture that mountain. You take the photograph and you look at it on your digital screen and realize that it is just a cheap attempt to capture the vastness of that mountain. In real life the mountain is huge, humbling, it towers over you, but in the photo, it just looks like a scenic photo of a mountain. It almost seems like a shame to keep the picture. I guess that's what the memorial services and movies and other coverage seem like to me. It can never do justice to such a huge tragedy, and it almost seems a shame to try.

I will simply remember what my friends and I agreed that morning sitting in my living room watching CNN. I don't remember who said it, but I remember how it resonated, and still does.

"The world will never be the same again."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Moving Is Hell

So I moved this weekend, for the 6th time in the last 6 years. Hopefully I'll stay there more than a year this time, that'd be nice. Because after this weekend, FUCK MOVING.

I took Thursday and Friday off for the move. On thursday I picked up the moving truck, a 14' long 11' high monstrosity. We loaded it and at about 7pm I parked it in the lot next door, I even went to the trouble of paying for three spots at the automated payment machine. But I couldn't fit my 11' tall truck in the underground lot, so I parked in the adjacent above ground lot. I looked for any signs that would demarcate it as being a separate lot, but I didn't see any at the entrance to the lot, or on the fences along the edge of the lot. I even asked a girl who was parking there if there were assigned spots in the lot. But there weren't.

So we go, clean my apartment. And we come back out at 9:30, and my giant moving truck has been towed. Of course. I can't say I was surprised as things were going much to smoothly. I call the place and find out that it will cost me $900.00 to get it out. That's right, not a typo $900.00, because they do it by weight and my truck was full of all my worldly belongings.

Well after a small fit of crying and yelling I manage to move on. I'm going to take the lot owners to small claims court for not properly labeling their lot.

But my weekend of horror was not yet over, oh no.

My sister asked me to take her to the salvation army to look for a couch. So we go, and get lost trying to find it, and as I'm going down a street in the left lane she says "Hey turn right!!!!" So I glance and I don't see anyone behind me, I try to get over and, of course, what is lurking in my blind spot but a lovely Cadilac.

Fortunately I mangaged to just ding his wheel well and gas tank lid. But of course it's some old asshole, and he gets out of his car yelling things like "What kind of fucking idiot are you" "How stupid can you be" and then we're exchanging information and he keeps it up "Do you at LEAST have a drivers lisence!?" "Who Owns this car?" (Me!) "Who is the owner" (Me!!!!!!) "Yes but who owns it."

So of course being the anal asshole he is he insists on calling the cops and getting apolice report. I think he was hoping I'd get a ticket or something. CaddiAsshole calls, we wait, he harasses me more. So here's the scene, Three old white guys, yelling at me, My sister getting all riled up, her cute blonde friend sitting staring at the pavement, me, sitting in my car trying not to be hysterical. And about a block away there is loud hip hop music and a basketball game going on. We're about 4 blocks from the United Center, not the worst area ever, but also, not the best. So finally we see a cop in the distance, and wave him down, he cruises by and CaddiAsshole asks him about investigating our accident and the cop was AMAZING.

Seriously, Chicago cops, right now, are my favorite ever. (just for now) He just looked at CaddiAsshole and said "We don't investigate accidents, and we're a little short handed so if you wait here you're going to be waiting a while" He clearly thought CaddiAsshole was an asshole too. An this definetly wasn't the kind of area of the city where cops have time to sit around babysitting senile men whose car gets a little beat up. AwesomeCop said we could go down to the police station and file a report if we wanted, but if we'd already exchanged info there was nothing more to do.

He starts to pull away and CaddiAsshole turns to me and starts trying to do the Jedi- Mind-Trick on me. "You are going to get in your car and follow us to the police station." To which I replied that I didn't think it was necessary to involve the cops in this. I was very polite the entire time, I tried to fight his open hostility with polite indifference, but it was quite difficult. And he keeps saying "I want you to follow us to the police station" like he has some kind of power over me, and I keep refusing, really just because I didn't want to go anywhere else with this total ass clown.

So AwesomeCop was still there and he asks "What's the problem?" And CaddiAsshole says we wouldn't go to the station with him, expecting him to force us. And AwesomeCop just looks at him and says "They don't have to, if you've exchanged information then you don't have to do anything else, they have 72 hours to file a police report if they want." At which point us three young chicas pile back into the car and I thank CaddiAsshole and I thank the cop for informing us of the law.

And then I went home after having left the house, gotten in an accident and then gone home again.

Of course, my weekend, not quite over, last night I got home from dinner with Boyfriend2.0's family and while trying to park my car in my new parking spot I ripped the mirror off my car.

Then just for an added bonus, I get to my room and start to get ready for bed and I find that one of my cats has used one of my bra's that was on the floor as a litter box. I think I might have tacos for dinner tonight. And a new fur hat tomorrow.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Active Procrastination

Active Procrastination: n. Procrastinating by inventing other things to do that are seemingly more urgent than the thing you have to do but don't feel like doing right now.

I feel that I have to link this (via Ace) just in case anyone hasn't already seen the video of "green helmet" playing movie director. It is the second video down and it is horribly fucked up.

On a lighter note I would also like to tell my tiny readership about You go here and type in the name of any band whose music you particularly enjoy, or a song that you like and tell it to create a station for you. Then it will play a song from that band, and from there it will go on to play songs with similar sounds to that band and help you discover new music you might like. You can give songs the thumbs up or thumbs down as you wish and guide the music choices on your personal radio station. I have one for Michael Buble, Mindless Self Indulgence, Snake River Conspiracy and A Perfect Circle. You can make up to 100 stations!!

Also awesome for inhabitants of a few select cities is which provides a place to review local businesses, from resturants to physicians. It is great for getting started in a new locale, and for praising places you particularly enjoy.

I guess I'll go do work now.

Monday, August 07, 2006

It's the Research Methods Stupid

My good friend is a newspaper graphics editor, and we occasionally get into it about the MSM and it's inherent stupidity. He'd just sent me this adorable math cheat sheet showing me that some journalists do indeed care about math, when I started reading a simply FABululous article on, entitled:
Well there goes my attempt to make peace with the media. I can tell by the title of this article that I will not be able to maintain my ceasefire.
CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Teens whose iPods are full of music with raunchy, sexual lyrics start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs, a study found.

Whether it's hip-hop, rap, pop or rock, much of popular music aimed at teens contains sexual overtones. Its influence on their behavior appears to depend on how the sex is portrayed, researchers found.

Songs depicting men as "sex-driven studs," women as sex objects and with explicit references to sex acts are more likely to trigger early sexual behavior than those where sexual references are more veiled and relationships appear more committed, the study found.
So finally there is proof, it is in the MUSIC, we have something we can BLAME! YAY! Parents of the world rejoice, researchers of the world sigh with resignation.
This study cannot conclusively prove that the music causes kids to behave a certain way. All it shows is that there is a significant link* between sexy music and kids who have sex early. (But that doesn't sound nearly as sexy.)

How do I know this? Well let us look at their methodology:
The study, based on telephone interviews with 1,461 participants aged 12 to 17, appears in the August issue of Pediatrics, being released Monday.

Most participants were virgins when they were first questioned in 2001. Follow-up interviews were done in 2002 and 2004 to see if music choice had influenced subsequent behavior.
So what we're saying is, teens who like sexy music had sex. I bet we could show the same relationship between a thousand different types of music. Teens who listen to music about drugs, do drugs, teens who listen to music about anarchy, like anarchy, teens who listen to music about racism, like racism, teens who listen to music about Jesus, like Jesus. Is it because of the music? Or is it because they like X and therefore listen to music that they can relate to?
It's a chicken and the egg problem. And this research cannot prove the link because it did not control for outside factors like views that were already formed. If they truly wanted to test this they would have to randomly assign kids to different groups and force these groups to listen to randomly determined types of music for an assigned period of time and see if their preferences changed.
All of us humans have choices about the music that we store on or iPods or we tolerate on our radio, and these choices could actually reflect our personal views more than change them. I am not saying that music can't affect our life choices, I am saying that this study in no way proves that because of the way it was conducted.
The problem I have with the MSM is that they don't understand research methods and they report irresponsibly on things they clearly don't understand. Sorry Pat.
*Significant Link- This is NOT NOT NOT the same thing as saying X causes Y. It just means that X is related to Y. People who prefer Y are more likely to prefer X, people who prefer X are more likely to prefer Y, it works both ways. But neither necessarily determines the other, it could even be caused by force Z that isn't even included in the analysis.
UPDATE: My journalist friend just sent me a PDF or the article from the front page of his paper, my e-mailed response used the f word a lot. I wish someone was actually going to read this post, then maybe I'd feel better having told at least one person that this study is completely full of shit. Alas, too bad my traffic is actually in negative numbers now.
UPDATE II: The guys from Freakonomics posted on this, so did Jeff Jarvis. And thanks to Flashman for the link! I'm very glad this story is getting some visibility!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Republican Nannystate

In the name of "safety from internet predators" a bill is being moved into the Senate to restrict student's use of Social networking sites within schools that are part of the public e-rate plan for internet access. (From yahoo news, thanks Roommate) The bill is unclear about which sites specifically and leaves that to the FCC to determine. Which raises some concern about future censorship of other websites beyond the scope of this law's intention.

At the end of the yahoo article I think they really get to the heart of the problem with this bill:
"The onus will always be on the parents and guardians, explaining to kids how the social network sites can be used in a safe manner," she said.

Banning the sites from schools (while understandable) will not keep students off of them, the law is ineffectual in that it will only protect students while they are in the schools themselves. It wont teach the kids about the dangers of internet predators, or how to protect themselves. It also wont help them learn that any information posted anywhere on the internet is instantly available to people worldwide.

A smarter way to spend our federal governments time would be to institute educational programs to educate youngsters about the dangers of publishing personal information on the internet. We already have programs like DARE and Abstinence education programs, why isn't there a program for this? If we don't trust parents to teach their kids about Drugs or Sex, we certainly shouldn't hope they remember to tell them not to put their full name and phone number on the internet. Especially since most parents have less experience with the net than their kids.

Rather than educate students on the dangers of such sites and enable them to make better decisions to protect themselves, we are just going to forbid them from going there while they are in a safe environment protected from predators.Instead, lets send them home, where they can give their phone numbers out to total strangers who can then mapquest their house and stalk them while there are no teachers to protect them.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Disrespecting the Dead

Is it more believable sounding because I want it to be true? Because... conspiracy theories usually aren't my bag. And here's a similar group of thoughts from a shameless photo op perspective. (warning, graphic photos) (Via Q and O)

Friday, July 28, 2006

How Statistics won WWII

The guy who sells me the forecasting software I use sent me this great article about how statisticians contributed to the final push against ze germans in WWII.

I wonder if we'll be as useful in WWIII?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Intellectual Independence

It try to eschew bias in favor of facts. Though I don't always succeed. (Who does)

But I found this Cato Article on Cognitive Independance a very good read, if more people tried harder maybe we could get past the Liberal v. Conservative grudge match and actually find solutions for a better country.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Abortion Statistics: Lies for Life

This post by Tim Worstall (thanks chez) gives the most biased interpretation of an already biased article I've seen in quite some time.

His post entitled "sex education works" quotes two statistics from a long article in the telegraph about UK abortion rates. I'll get to the statistics, but let me first point out that his "point" about sex education and abortion rates is not justified, as there is NOTHING in either of these articles that says anything about the levels of sex education increasing in the UK. Now, maybe there is some big debate that's ongoing that I don't know about, 'cause I don't live in the UK. But inferring a causal relationship without providing ANY evidence (even corralative evidence) is a bit of a jump.

The two statistics he highlights are as follows:

Abortions have reached record levels, and nearly a third of women who have an abortion have had one or more before.

Department of Health statistics reveal that abortions in England and Wales rose by more than 700 in 2005, from 185,713 in 2004 to 186,416
Some 31 per cent of women had one or more previous abortions, a figure that rises to 43 per cent among black British women.

Now, me being the analytical mind I am, the first thing I did when i saw this was subtract and divide, and guess what kids, 0.4%, that is the increase we are talking about here. UPDATE! It looks like the population of the UK actually increased by .67% from Mid 2004- Mid 2005. So the growth of the population (which was largely from immigration) could account for the current increase. And also, the average population increase since 2001 has been .4%. So the number of abortions is almost flat when compared to the population increases.

And you can go on whatever pro life rant you want, but that doesn't change the following statistics:

-the total number of abortions was 186,400, compared with 185,700 in 2004, a rise of 0.4%

-the total number of abortions was 185,400, compared with 181,600 in 2003, a rise of 2.1%

-the total number of abortions was 181,600, compared with 175,900 in 2002, a rise of 3.2%

Which % increase do you prefer? So instead of celebarating that the RATE of increase is slowing, we're going to be shocked that it continues to increase at all. Looked at this way, it looks like some progress is being made. And maybe that IS the result of Sex-Education. But I still have no idea where that bit came from.

UPDATE 7/06- I WAS just going to let this post sink into the deep black hole as so many of my posts are wont to do. But now I'm pissed. (surprise) My comment on Tim's post was edited as follows:

That's a .4% increase. Not even half a percentage point. And based on the statistics I've been able to locate this is the smallest increase of the last three years.

This is a clearly biased view of these statistics.

Tim adds: Yup, I am biased. You OK with that?

Well NO Tim, actually I'm NOT okay with that. But I'm sorry it is just asking too much for you to look at evidence for something other than confirmation of your opinions. It took me 10 seconds too google all that UK health information. God forbid you (Or even better, the person from the Telegraph who wrote the uberbiased article) actually do a little research.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Why don't we have programs like this in the us?

SENDAI--Tohoku University is to dispatch "Science Angels"--female volunteer students from its graduate school--to primary, middle and high schools in Sendai to attract more females into science.

Instead we sit around debating whether women are really good at science. Well Japan seems to think we are

Prof. Motoko Kotani, who is in charge of the program, said, "An analysis of academic performance by 15-year-olds shows that women are not inferior to men in scientific subjects."

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Perfect Crime

Must be nice if you can re write the law AFTER you break it. Too bad Clinton didn't think of this one.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Study: Virginity linked to Obesity

Duh! Too bad I made it up. (That's the Lies part)

I just wanted Dubya's face off the top of my webpage.

Get ready everyone, Friday is Nekkid Blogging day!! (And by that I mean, find hotter blogger to participate in this.)

Monday, June 05, 2006

Bigots II

Remember last week, when I had a bad morning and then very diplomatically called everyone who was opposed to gay marriage bigots?

Funny Story

President George W. Bush is a bigot.

Not of course that we didn't already know that. (I had hoped it was not true, oh fleeting hope) But now, by my definition (which is of course the only important definition) he is a bigot. Andrew Sullivan has an article in the Times Online which discusses Bush's attitude towards gays in more detail, noting that while he is not personally biggoted against him, his policies often are:

What to make of this? On the one hand it’s good to know that these men are not
personally bigoted or intolerant. On the other hand their alliance with elements
that do consistently rail against illegal immigrants, Hispanics and gay people
in ugly rhetorical broadsides is undeniable.

Does their personal
tolerance make their policies less or more distasteful? I’d say more
distasteful, since they know better. A man with a gay daughter in a loving
relationship should not be campaigning on the idea that such relationships
destroy the family. Whose family? Cheney’s?

So perhaps they personally don't really hate gay people, but that doesn't excuse them advocating policies that pander to those who do. As I am not a personal friend of either Bush or Cheney I am unlikely to ever fully grasp their tolerance for gays beyond their policies. Policies which are, unfortunately biggoted.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (Bigot, plus his state is too) makes a good point about this whole gay marriage amendment. It is one of the least worthwhile things that congress could be spending their time on, especially since we already know it is going to fail. As he said in his speech today:

So for me it is clear the reason for this debate is to divide our society, to
pit one against another. This is another one of the President’s efforts to
frighten, to distort, to distract, and to confuse America. It is this
Administration’s way of avoiding the tough, real problems that American citizens
are confronted with each and every day.

Unfortunately, ChrisB made a good point in chat today, "If congress spends all its time debating this useless amendment, then that's just less time they're spending screwing up the country."

Alas, it's funny 'cause it's true.

Gross Generalizations

Tim F. At Balloon Juice has an excellent post that makes many excellent points about how people on the right marginalized opponents to the invasion of Iraq.

I don't really have any more to say about it than what he already said. So yeah.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Yesterday Washington Times columnist Greg Pierce claimed
that Howard Dean had "suggested that opponents of homosexual 'marriage' are
bigots." This explosive claim that was immediately trumpeted by Matt Drudge, who inflated
to state that "Dem Chair Dean Compares Gay Marriage Opponents To Bigots."

You can read about how that is not actually what Dean said over at Brendan Nyhan's. Because it isn't what he said. AT ALL


Who cares if it was? I seem to recall some conservatives like to criticizing the left for being too Politically Correct. Well, here's a major Democrat, not being so PC, how do you like it now? Because you know what, if Howard Dean had called opponents of Gay Marriage bigots, he was RIGHT!

big·ot -
One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

Lets be honest here people racists, anti gay people are certain religious activists are bigots. They are intolerant of other groups and of other people's actions. So why don't we call them this? Why do we use nice words, and play nice with people who smear entire groups of people and engender hatred? "white supremacists"= Bigots "Neo-Nazis" = Bigots "Jeff Williams" = Bigot(And pedophile), the list goes on and on. Let's call a spade a spade, and a bigot a bigot.

If you don't want gay people to marry and have equal rights under the law, you, are a bigot. You are being partial agains a group that is different than your own and wanting to deny them rights. (Unless you are gay, and don't want gays to marry, and then well... what?) Be honest with yourself, if you really don't think gays should marry, then you must not like gays, and are therefore a bigot. Feel free to disagree, but in this, I am also a bigot.

I'm a bigot against bigots. I HATE people who can't tolerate others, I am intolerant of intolerant people. And that makes me a hypocrite too, so I guess you can just ignore and marginalize me. Have fun with that.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Hillary Clinton Is Too Ambitious To Be The First Female President

Oh I'm so silly, why couldn't I have seen it before. That just makes perfect sense.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Different Way

Jeff at Shape of Days, you may feel like you will lose friends, but you may find that you have more support than you expect. Read It. Via Ilyka

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Modest Proposal

"As Frederick Jackson Turner argued: "The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development."

But why only westward? Why not Northward? Perhaps it is time to unleash our restless frontier spirit. Where better than to Canada? And who better to lead us than Vicente Fox?
After all, Canada is virtually empty. There are less than 30 million Canadians in over 3.9 million square miles. It's bigger than the United States and largely undeveloped. Plus, bin Laden doesn't seem to care about Canada. We will no longer be in the bull's eye. Let the Mexican/New Americans deal with him.

We Americans could build the malls, golf courses and high-tech corridors that Canadians refuse to build. No civilized people care about technical borders anymore. It's so possessive and stingy. Only fussy Canadian nativists and xenophobes will complain that Canada is theirs. Yeah? You and what National Guard? There are 300 million of us and only 30 million of you. Get used to it. Plus, we already speak your language. Or, technically, we both already speak England's language. "

Read the Whole Thing

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Watch what you say on the Internet!

Big brother is Watching!!! (Via Feministe & Pandagon):

When former AT&T technician Mark Klein learned of a secret

room installed in the company's San Francisco internet

switching center, he was certain he had stumbled onto the Total

Information Awareness program, a Defense Department
research project that intended to scour databases across

the country for telltale signs of terrorists.

Here is the full text of the AT&T whistleblower's testimony regarding Secret Rooms in AT&T buildings used to spy on internet messages.

The whistleblower's testimony is based mostly on wiring documents, and also the hardware in the room. One machine called a Narus, is apparently specifically designed to snoop on internet traffic (apparently very popular in the corporate world):

"Anything that comes through (an internet protocol network),

we can record," says Steve Bannerman, marketing vice president

of Narus, a Mountain View, California, company. "We can reconstruct

all of their e-mails along with attachments, see what web pages they

clicked on, we can reconstruct their (voice over internet protocol)

Sooooo why does AT&T need to reroute all their cable through a cabinet, and then into another rooom where one of these machine's resides? And why would no one but NSA cleared staff have access to this room.

I'm a little scared right now. I mean, the phone number storing, fine, but being able to track everything everyone says or looks at on the internet, that is, in my opinion, a clear invasion of privacy. They are indiscriminantly collecting information on individuals without a warrant or any kind of due process and without their knowledge. That has to be at least 2 laws that we are breaking, right?

Which hopefully means that none of the information they collect in this endeavor could be used against an American citizen in a criminal case because it is collected outside the protetcions provided to us. So, what again is the purpose of this program? Besides snooping in a serious way.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Making life easy for predators

Today, as with many days, I was sitting here in the QandO chat room with ChrisB from Texas. All of the other "regulars" were gone for the day. Then our new friend jane1994 dropped in. She greets us, tells us her real name, and she chats breifly with Chris, but I am busy working. Soon she says she has to go, will we be there at 6:30? Of course I say something sarcastic she does not pick up on, and then she GAVE US HER PHONE NUMBER to call her, if we should wish.

I asked her how old she was, and she asked my name, and I told her I don't give my real name out to people on the internet, as they might be stalkers. Chris then posted a google satallite map to her house while I mentioned how EXTREMELY unwise it is to give your phone number out to strangers. And then, for added fun I googled her and found her 4th grade book report. (2003, so yeah) She of course said the phone number was a fake, etc, but I certainly hope she wont be giving out numbers to anyone else anytime soon.

This whole conversation is alarming. If either Chris or I had a strange fascination with 12 year old girls, she could have been at serious risk. But I don't think she had any idea about the kindof information that can be found about a person on the internet. Google makes all of this especially easy, which isn't google's fault, it's job is to help people find information. But this means that everyone should carefully guard what information about them is made publicly available on the internet.

Parents need to talk to their kids about internet safety and explain the idea that anything you put on the internet is available for anyone to get ahold of. Even if parent's don't have the internet in the house, or restrict their access, it is important that kids understand not to give out their real names, phone numbers or other identifying information. If someone asks your name, give them a fake one, they'll never know you're lying, just like you'll never know if they are lying to you.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Since 9/11 security has become a huge political issue. Keeping the citizens of the U.S. safe has become Priority #1 (at least in speeches). And how do they ensure our safety? Some of the protections aren't too inconvenient: airport screening takes longer, and occasionally there are more cops around than normal, oh and we've spent a lot of money what else is new.

But some programs like the NSA wiretapping and provisions of the patriot act that allow for certain invasions of privacy have people like me bridling. I don't really want the government to have access to my library records (I mean do they really need to know about my prediliction for bad fantasy novels?). Also,Torture has become a huge hot button issue, and it seems in some circles that if you don't agree with it, it is because you don't want the safety of Americans. Like the quotes I posted here a few days ago, the government has used our fear of another terrorist attack to justify actions that before 9/11 would never have been tolerated.

But there is a counterargument, from John C. Gannon, former CIA Deputy Director for Intelligence:

"I believe that the hard-won Constitutional freedoms enjoyed by Americans, along with our unparalleled commitment to civil liberties embedded in law, work against the development of domestic terrorist networks that could be exploited by foreigners."..."This is not an academic point for me. It is an observation from a career of watching the domestic consequences of repressive regimes elsewhere in the world--including US-friendly Islamic governments such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt,"

He has a lot of good things to say, read the whole article, here's what he had to say about the NSA program (emphasis mine):

"The NSA warrantless surveillance program--the details of which are mired in secrecy--should not be seen as a tradeoff between security and civil liberties. But, for this to be true, the program must be bound by law and subject to both judicial review and competent Congressional oversight--the latter now in short supply."

I hope that someone, say the democrats maybe, will take his words and follow through. The American people should not have to sacrifice their freedom to protect it. Protecting our civil liberties is not being soft on terrorism. It is protecting what this country stands for even in the face of the enemy. We have to defy their attempts to cow us by standing strong.


Oh Blog Oh blog, wherefore art thou f-ed up?
Deny thy f-ed-up-ness and forsake thy bugs!
Or, if thou wilt not, be but backed up on my hard drive,
And I'll no longer be pissed off.

Update: ahhh, that's better

Monday, May 08, 2006

A Capitalist Approach

to feminism.

Reader's Digest Version: Indian women are in shorter and shorter supply because Indian women are selectively aborting female babies to avoid the financial burden posed by the Dowry's required (and possibly also not to give life to a child who will live a more unpleasant life than her brothers). They want to make this practice illegal. But keeping the practice legal will eventually result in more equality for women, as the supply is limited, and women will have their pick of suitors, it will no longer be the women with the dowrys. Though I think the eventual goal should always be equality, both in numbers and in stature, this seems like a reasonable solution to me. Limit supply to increase demand, right?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Quotes from a friend

"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same in any country."

  • Hermann Goering (1893 - 1946)Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, President of the Reichstag, Prime Minister of Prussia and Hitler's designated successor The second in command of the Third Reich

"These [terrorist] attacks are not inevitable. They are, however, possible, and this very fact underscores the reason we cannot live under the threat of blackmail…The terrorist threat to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed."

  • George W Bush (1946- )

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Brass Balls

Stephen Colbert is my hero.

Thank you for saying what we were all thinking to their faces, where they couldn't ignore you.

Video at Crooks and Liars

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Day Without an Immigrant

Thank god, Finally, a day when someone wont mumble in my general direction in spanish. Oh wait, no, You're going to all come downtown and be rowdy while I'm trying, to you know, work. Fabulous, and then I wont be able to get home because You'll be crowding the streets and causing traffic jams. I really wish it WERE a day without an immigrant. If you want to protest your treatment here in America, oh illegal immigrants who are so crucial to our very being, why don't you GO HOME.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Gender Discrimination

I was reading this post earlier via Ilyka regarding women in america, and the claim made by the objectivist is that gender equality has been achieved in the US and therefore feminism is unneccessary. I know it's about a week old but the points that the objectivist made really pissed me off, his claim, as follows:

On campuses, government offices, and courthouses,

there are still endless discussions of glass ceilings and

old boys’ networks. These parables are then used to

justify preferential treatment in government hiring and
contracts, litigation involving claims of sex

discrimination, women’s studies departments

in academia, and year-of-the-woman articles about

Yup, endless discussions of things that are clearly no longer a problem because some guy wrote a book (which I referenced in an earlier post) claiming the wage gap no longer exists cause some women make more than men. Awesome, so feminism must've worked, quit whining ladies.

Or did it? This afternoon I got an IM from my former boyfriend about his sister. He was looking for information on where to report violations of the Equal Opportunity Employment acts. His little sister it seems had gone to an audio/technology store and requested an application for employment, and the people there laughed at her and informed her that they don't hire women because "its a place for 'grown up guy toys.'" (By the way if anyone (male or female) has similar issues they can report it via the instructions at this site.)

Now I can understand their reluctance to hire a young girl for a technology store, because they may not be confident in her abilities or understanding of the product. But I'm sure not everyone who works there knows everything about stereos when they start, so why not give her the chance to learn. Or if they are only hiring experience employees that is no reason not to give her an app and simply not call her back if she didn't fit their needs. But to make assumptions about her abilities or her ability to learn based soley on gender is so wrong in so many ways.

I feel that while some people are still evaluated based on superficial characteristics like gender or race that activists like the radical feminists still need to exist. One incident like this is one too many.

Monday, April 03, 2006

What Happen's in Vegas....

Is freaking amazing.

I spent last weekend in Vegas for a bachelorette party. We didn't see strippers, we saw Avenue Q and Zumanity which were boht completely amazing shows. We drank a lot and didn't sleep much. I can't even believe I'm at work today, I think I am still hungover.

I was going to write a long post about how stupid people are. But it turns out that I'm too fucking tired.

Work's been crazy sorry for the postlessness.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I'm In the Money

Turns out my occupation is one of 38 identified by an author where women make more than men. Mine is actually the occupation with the second largest pay gap (I'm a Statistician), where the median salary for a woman is 35% higher than the median salary for a man. The occupation with the largest gap, Sales Engineer.

As I look through these occupations I'm finding two distinct catagorizations I would make, without any actual data to back me up, so this is merely conjecture. I see jobs like, statistician, Aerospace engineers, financial Analysts, Tool and Die Makers. These jobs, not jobs one really expects to see a lot of women in. And then I see the reverse Library technicians, Library assistants, clerical, Telephone operators, jobs were one might expect to see a lot of women.

This makes sense, as we're looking at jobs where women make more money, so in jobs where women are rare, they might pay women higher salaries to attract them. (like mine, I make 10K more than the median male in my job, I don't know if that is awesome or disgusting, maybe the men are just mostly government employees ;-) )And in feilds with more women women may move up faster due to bias or their may just be more women at higher levels in the feild.

The information that I want to have about this chart is the percentage of men versus women in each group. And maybe even the mean salary for each gender, to see how it compares to the median. The median is probably a good idea in this instance, because the data is probably skewed. But at the same time it could be affected heavily by sample size. So I'd want to see more information about this analysis because I don't completely trust it given the agenda of the author.

On a more political and less analytical note, while part of me is glad that women are might be getting more recognition in some fields, another part of me is not glad that we are getting MORE recognition than men. The of the game is Equality, I don't want to make more than men (okay, I want to make more than everyone, but still) I want to be payed the same amount for the same job. We're hiring at my company for another one of me, and I sureif we hire a guy he'll get payed the exact same as I did starting, or whatever is fair considering his experience.

Will Ferrell, RIP?

My coworker just forwarded this to me:

Los Angeles -- Actor Will Ferrell accidentally died in

a freak para-gliding accident yesterday in Torey Pines,

Southern California. The accident apparently happened

somewhere near the famed paragliding site after a freak

wind gush basically blew Ferrell and his companion

towards a wooded area where they lost control before

crashing into the dense foilage.

I can't find any other mentions of it anywhere. Hoax? What's going on? One would think the MSM would be all over this were it true. I hope Will Ferrell is not dead, but who knows.

UPDATE: The story is no longer on the above link. Clearly a fake. Jerks.


A Proposal

Okay, go watch this brilliant video.

Brilliant right? Totally going for it.

Okay, so now we all no every time anything bad happens some group of people, typically the muslims, burn some shit, or blow some shit up or all kinds of badness.

Well in response to these protests:

Palestinian protestors set fire to the British Council offices

in Gaza city after Britain was accused of colluding in an

Israeli raid on a jail.

The angry demonstrators, chanting "death to the

Americans, death to the British," set the Council office

ablaze and stormed the EU Commission office.

The protests came after Israeli forces smashed their way

into a prison in Jericho, following the withdrawal of

British and American guards from their posts.

I propose that the Brits should put aside their politeness for a while and burn down some vaguely palestinian related things there in the UK. storm the streets, Death to the Palestinians.

Maybe if we violently protest their violent protest they'll get an idea of how silly they look.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Evil after all- UPDATE

Google has become everyone's favorite tool. I would be lying if I said I wasn't enamored of google, gmail, google talk etc. Because I am.

And when google went to China and began it's censorship, supporting the regime there I tried to be optimistic, at least now the chinese have access to some information, if not all of it. And google might as well get into this market. I googled "Google Censorship" and I yahooed it too, I found some information about government related censorship, like the unavailablility of abu ghraib photos via the image search, or other sites that have been censored at government request. Fine, government, I get it.

But, I'd really really like to know the reasoning behind censoring a random blog. The People's Cube has been removed from google's cache, completely. See their post here.

They have a number of ideas as to why. But have not gotten a response from google with their reasons.

So now my trust in you google is gone. I once relied on your lovely searches, enjoyed your clever graphics and funny responses to the ocasional query. But if I can't rely on you to present an unbiased uncensored view of the internet, then I'm just going to have to cheat on you. That's right, you betrayed my trust, and now I'm going to betray yours, I'll be with Jeeves if you feel like apologizing!

Update: Brendan Nyhan, also Missing from Google- I yahooed it and found This bboard post with a possible explaination from Wail:

This is a known phenomena right now. Sites are blipping in and out of
Google's index. If you know you've kept your nose clean and haven't been
spamming then I would sit tight.You do show the symptoms of this; no 'site:'
search information but a 'cache:' result. There have been seo forums and seo
companies effected by this and therefore drama. I would wait a week and see what
happens. I certainly wouldn't panic yet.

Commentor DeanT at Nyhan's blog said:

The Peoples Cube web site recently complained of a similar problem.
In their
case the issue was hidden spam text. Not spam that a user would notice, but spam
that would normally fool the google robot into giving the site more links than
the visible text justified. (see the link below for

So maybe it is their own fault after all. Oh sweet google, I am so happy to have evidence of your nonevilitude, but our relationship will just never be the same.

Friday, March 10, 2006


From ChrisB this photo was on Yahoo:

Monday, February 27, 2006


The only time I will EVER care about the NCAA championship.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

My Blogcation

I sortof took an impromptu vacation from Blogging cause I was starting to get fed up with all the stupid shit. There just seems to be far too much of it. But I plan to be back soon. I refuse to quit cause I know I will just come back in a few months anyway.

Friday, February 03, 2006

A Laughing Matter

Lately Humor has been a huge political hot button. The Tom Toles Cartoon has everyone in an uproar, especially the state department who is trying to censor him. Muslims are protesting portrayals of the prophet in Danish Cartoons (which have been re printed in a huge F-U by the French ). The US has apparently sided with the Muslims in this case, soooooooo the first amendment is a no then, cool.

And then today the Instapundit's Wife Dr. Helen posted on what she felt is overly partisan/anti American humor on the show Will and Grace.

On this one, Grace mentions the "uppity Canadians, what with their free
health care and gay rights." The message? Americans refuse healthcare to
many and are hung up on homophobia. And the digs about homophobia continue
in another scene, while at a resort of some sort, Jack tells his son not to
hug him on a street corner since one corner is named Murder and the other

She takes a very measured view of things, observing that this might be the reason there are fewer viewers of prime time. Personally I just think it is because people are tired of scheduling their lives around TV. But that's a whole different topic

The same series however is mentioned on CNN in an article about Britney Spears and religious groups protesting an episode involving a cooking show called "Cruci Fixins" hosted by Britney Spears as a Christian and Jack which... Is freaking hilarious, and if they can't see that, I feel bad for them.

Obviously humor is frequently political in nature, but being overly sensitive about it is silly. The point of making jokes is so we can laugh and make certain situations less painful, to make the situation less serious so we can look at it in a different way. We do this by exaggerating, or understating a situation, making the situation funny, so we can laugh about it.

Sometimes, like the Tom Toles cartoon, we might go a little far. The situation in Iraq is painful, but by exaggerating it, and then understating the perceived reaction we get kindof a funny dichotomy. Right now though this situation may be too serious to joke about. Tom Toles was attempting to make a statement about the treatment of soldiers by the state department, and use humor. But it went a little far. That doesn't justify censorship however, he has a right to make that point, even if the situation isn't really funny.

The same goes for the aforementioned Will and Grace incidents, they are exaggerating when they talk about Murder and Homophobia. Let's face it, there ARE places in this country where gays are not welcome. So why not laugh about that and move on? Or we can get all uptight that they are makin digs at America. Maybe they are, but it's funny! And it is political too, because it is unfortunate that there are still places where gays aren't welcome. But we can at least laugh about it if we can't change their minds.

Humor is achieved through exaggeration, through understatement and through reactions to certain situations. It isn't easy, and sometimes you make a joke, and it isn't funny. Sometimes a joke you make will be funny for some people, and go too far for others. This obviously has to do with an individual threshold. But that doesn't change the intent of the joke, to make you laugh!

And we need to laugh, Why? This quote from this WaPo article about a DC area children's entertainer is an interesting take on laughter:

Even before they respond to a tickle, most babies will laugh at peekaboo.It's
their first "joke." They are reacting to a sequence of events that begins with
the presence of a familiar, comforting face. Then, suddenly, the face
disappears, and you can read in the baby's expression momentary puzzlement
and alarm. When the face suddenly reappears, everything isorderly in the
baby's world again. Anxiety is banished, and the baby reacts with her very
first laugh.

At its heart, laughter is a tool to triumph over fear. As
we grow older,our senses of humor become more demanding and refined, but
that basic, hard-wired reflex remains. We need it, because life is scary.
Nature is heartless, people can be cruel, and death and suffering are
inevitable and arbitrary
. We learn to tame our terror by laughing at the absurdity of it all.

Israel has set an amazing example in embracing a production of The Producers which features heavily a musical entitled "Springtime for Hitler" and makes light of the holocaust. This might still touch tender areas for some, but for others laughing about it is probably a welcome relief from the pain.

I know for some groups, and some people it is too soon to laugh, the world is still turned upside down, they are scared or upset. But other people need it. They need to be able to express their relief or cope with their terror through laughing. And it is their right to do so in a free society. If you don't think it is funny, fine, then don't laugh, but don't take the opportunity for laughter away from someone else.

As final note I will refer you to the Bill of no Rights, (via Chez):

ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country
was based upon freedom, and that means freedom for everyone-not just you! You
may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc., but
the world is full of dolts, and probably always will be.