Dec. 16th, 2009
01:31 pm - Banter. (It's better than working)
Mo: Hm, it sounds as if I need to read Twilight, just to be able to tell people that Edward's stalker behavior is not acceptable!
steve: He's a vampire, isn't that unacceptable enough?
Mo: heh :)
steve: What is the opposite of "gilding the lily"? He's a vampire, a jerk, and now a stalker to boot. Any one of these negative traits should be enough to keep a sane woman away!
Mo: I know! And the teens are adoring him! That's what I need to get out. This is not a good man to set your sites for! Not good behavior!
steve: And to top this ALL off, he doesn't come across with the "meat injection" either! Does this guy have any pluses?
Mo: lol. uh, he's saving himself?
steve: He got some kind of vampire promise ring?
Dec. 8th, 2009
02:22 pm - Compromise?
I have a problem with things being done the wrong way.
First Example, Gambling in Ohio:
There have been a number of issues on the ballot here in Ohio over the last few years about legalizing gambling. Personally I think this is a fine idea, put in something resembling the liquor control board: license it, tax it, police it. The people that want to gamble can and they can do so legally, fairly and the state can get some revenue out of it. Everyone wins.
Well the versions of the bills that have been on the ballot are nowhere near that simple. One of the first ones would have setup a monopoly. The latest one (that did finally pass) specifies only a few specific places that a specific type of casino can be built.
I finally voted for the last one. The others were not what I thought would be a "good" or "fair" way to do it. I didn't think the last one was necessarily a good way to do it, but at least it seemed fair.
I am running into the same ideological problem on lots of other political fronts.
( Climate Change and Health Care under here...Collapse )
Nov. 24th, 2009
12:14 pm - The cult of stupid
I just don't get it.
Why is "stupid" popular? Sarah Palin is dimmer than W and that is a good thing? She get elected to a governorship and bails after three years because she would rather promote herself do the work she promised she would do. And this gets spinned into a good thing? People would think this a positive attribute to look for in an elected official?
I just listened to a co-worker in the lunch room say that she thinks that Obama is the worst president that we have ever had.
What makes the coolaid seem so appealing? I know, I know, I hear the people on the other side of the political fence say the same thing about me. But what do they want Obama to do? He took office during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and now things are little better. How is that a bad thing?
Oct. 14th, 2009
11:28 am - Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot"
Excerpted from a commencement address delivered May 11, 1996.
Dr. Carl Sagan's book Pale Blue Dot expands on these ideas.
Image from Voyager 1, 1990
We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.
The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturing, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity - in all this vastness - there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Oct. 9th, 2009
11:47 am - President Obama Wins Peace Prize
Obama Wins Peace Prize, Vows 'Call To Action'
How do I feel about it? I think it a bit facetious but the Nobel Board always goes their own way. Not like I dis-agree with the choice, but I'm not sure President Obama was the number one person on the planet promoting peace, definitely in the top ten though. Perhaps they thought he was was the number one unappreciated peace worker? Most needing of an "atta-boy"?
I do like the fact it will piss off the far right, so that has massive chuckle points there!
Some of the best quotes I've seen so far:
P.Z. Myers on Pharyngula:
"...but I guess all you have to do is follow after Bush and not blow anything up for a year, and presto, you look like Gandhi."
Seen on Facebook:
"Reason for President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize? They couldn't award his predecessor Nobel War Prize."
Jeff Fecke on Alas, a blog:
"I don’t know if Barack Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize quite yet, and I’m actually serious when I say he won it in no small part for simply not being George W. Bush — for seeking to reengage with the world in the sort of way that decent, non-rogue countries do. That said, who cares? What’s fun is that this sets up the sort of massive, overwhelming, out-of-control right-wing freakout that money can’t buy."
Another from Facebook:
"[Friend] thinks that the ORIGINAL plan in Oslo was to mail a Nobel to everyone in the world except George W. Bush. But then they realized they could make the same point, for lots cheaper."
Oct. 7th, 2009
Via this über-good article from Submitted to a Candid World.
It's a bit too long as well as a bit too academic for you to send to your average far-right friend or confused moderate. But it does give you a concise education on the actual meaning of the word "socialism", it's historical uses (& mis-uses).
My favorite part is the enumeration of past president's (and other powerful politician's) nationalization of various private entities. The plum of that group is New York City's Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia's seizure of the subway system from New York Rapid Transit Corporation in 1938. The MTA is wholly owned by the government to this day and is the largest subway system in the world, measured by track mileage.
Sep. 30th, 2009
11:10 am - Blasphemy Day 2009 Flyer
|Okies, just a quick and dirty IP theft from the UB Freethinkers and now you to can have a nice Blasphemy Day 2009 Flyer!|
Sep. 20th, 2009
Have all your rabid Republican friends sign this!
Sep. 17th, 2009
02:23 am - An open letter to Audible.Com
Please stop using DRM.
I was linked to your site from amazon.com and was delighted to see that the audio book that I wanted was available in digital format and for less than what the physical media version sells for!
I was sad to learn that your format is infected with DRM.
None of the devices that I would use to listen to Audio books support your DRM scheme. Even if they did I would not support a business plan that makes it difficult for the customer to use his purchase.
Yes, I know I could burn my audio books to CD and then rip them again and have DRM free MP3 files. This fact is not lost on me, why is it lost on you? You basically document and support a method of subverting your own DRM! Why not just provide the files in MP3 format? Then instead of your files working on 500 players they would work on ALL players.
In the time that it has taken me to write this email I could have gone to a bittorent search engine and downloaded the book I wanted, in the format I wanted! (Hmm, lets see 340MB, ok number of seeds for a three year old book.) Shoot if I wait until tomorrow I could go to the library and get the CD's and rip them from there. So DRM is loosing you a sale in this instance.
I really want to give my money to the authors of the books I read (and listen to) and I don't mind giving some to the publishers and retailers as well. But it is really hard to when it is more CONVENIENT to steal it. It is obviously cheaper to steal something, but it sad when a business plan literally makes it easier to use the stolen version of the product than the purchased one. It is hard for me to want to reward a company that is only subtracting value from my purchase experience.
I will probably end up downloading that MP3 version from that torrent site and then buy a CD version of it off of eBay to keep my collection all legal. Just as fast as using your service, no DRM worries, and probably about the same price. I would pay more, if I could get what I wanted from your service. I appreciate convenience and am glad to pay for it!
I am sorry for ranting at you I imagine it is the copyright holders that want you to continue using DRM. It is just an added cost to you. But please try to make the copyright holders know that the "Genie is already out of the bottle". They are not going to save ANYTHING with DRM.
Sep. 8th, 2009
Now I realize that "the black man" is a mighty terrifying thing to some white folk. But I really didn't think I would hear some of the people I consider friends refer to Obama as Hitler! I can appreciate not agreeing with policy, but to equate him to a mass-murdering-fuckhead is quite another level of "dislike".
Here is a letter that I had to write to our school district this morning:
Disappointed on decision NOT to show the President's address
I received the automated phone call Monday night stating that Kimpton would not be airing "The President's Back-To-School Message To America's Students" on Tuesday. I was greatly disappointed by this.
The "controversy" surrounding this simple speech to try to motivate & inspire our school age children has saddened me greatly. I cannot fathom the hate and fear that a portion of our population has towards our President.
I understand it is not the school district's nor the individual school's place to further any particular political agenda. But I fear that NOT showing the speech is the MORE political choice of the two.
The President's message is one of "stay in school" & "education is what will allow you to succeed in life". Not very political nor controversial.
The message sent by caving into the pressure to not show the speech is to validate the fear that our highest ranking government official is not to be trusted to address our youth!
Which of these two choices sounds more "political" to you?
The rationalization that it is against policy to show any program that has not been pre-viewed by school officials is laughable. Not only is the text of the speech available online for anyone to read, but the idea that a Presidential speech, written specifically for school age children must be vetted in any way is repugnant. What possible higher authority is there in the United States than the President? Not to belittle anyone working for our school district but I would hold the President's opinion in higher regard on just about any topic.
In closing I would like to say that I do sympathize that you are put in this sort of predicament. Educating our children is a hard enough job without having to navigate the minefield of parental opinions. That is why I would ask you to look at this decision in a purely educational context: "Is validating the opinion that any sort of speech is dangerous and it is proper to quash the expression of it a lesson that you as an educator really want to teach?"
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