Friday, July 29, 2005

Frist Flop

Frist backs increased federal stem cell funding

It turns out Bill Frist might remember what it's like to be a doctor.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on Friday threw his support behind House-passed legislation to expand federal financing for human embryonic stem cell research, breaking with President Bush and religious conservatives in a move that could impact his prospects for seeking the White House in 2008.

Of course, the religious right is pretty upset:
"Sen. Frist should not expect support and endorsement from the pro-life community if he votes for embryonic research funding," the Christian Defense Coalition said in a statement as Frist finished his speech.

"Senator Frist cannot have it both ways. He cannot be pro-life and pro-embryonic stem cell funding," said Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the group. "Nor can he turn around and expect widespread endorsement from the pro-life community if he should decide to run for president in 2008."

But who else are they going to vote for? Are there serious Republican hopefuls that are more to their liking? If not, then... Hillary Clinton? I don't think the religious right are going to vote for a pro-choice CLINTON (a FEMALE one at that!) because they don't like Frist.

Additionally, I think most of the religious right are going to forget about this issue. I can't imagine the Democrats are going to remind them either -- the argument to vote for a Dem just because a Republican got a little too liberal is pretty bizarre.

So, good for Frist. I still don't like the guy, but maybe he's grown a conscience and some morals recently. Or, maybe more realistically, this is just a political move because supporting this research may be politically better than stopping it (despite what the "right" says).

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Canibalism Inside the Womb

So this is fascinating...

Scientists to breed test-tube sharks
SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) -- The endangered grey nurse shark is its own worst enemy, its young eat each other in the womb, so Australian scientists have a radical rescue plan to artificially inseminate and breed the ocean predator in test-tubes.

In a process called intra-uterine cannibalism, grey nurse embryo pups develop a jaw and razor-sharp teeth very early in their development and cannibalize siblings in the womb.

The sharks have two wombs in which a dominant pup will consume its siblings, leaving only two surviving pups every two years when the shark breeds.

In hearing of this very un-Christian like behavior, George W. Bush has decided to bomb all grey nurse sharks. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld believes that this altercation could be over in 1, 2, or 6 months (though he doubts 6 months) or perhaps might take 10 to 15 years.

But in the end, we'll be rid of these creatures, and the world will be a better place.

It's good to know George W. Bush has his priorities straight.

Debate RAGES

So I saw the headline on Google News: Critics mad at Monaco's win. This was one of Google's top headlines. At first I read this and thought that maybe I missed some international event where Monaco won something. I didn't know. So, because it was a slow news day outside of the big IRA news and the CAFTA vote in the house, I decided to look into it...

Critics mad at Monaco's win
Debate rages over Dancing With the Stars judging

...the debate RAGES over DWTS!! It RAGES. If you go back to Google News now, you'll see that Monaco has responded and says that 'Dancing' was fair and square. I'm not quite sure why 'Dancing' is in quotes there. Though I'm not quite sure why the story is even a story. It must be a really slow news day...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Nanoparticles as Vectors for Gene Therapy AND Reactivating Stem Cells

SciAm: Nanoparticles Pass Muster as Vectors for Gene Therapy

Replacing viral vectors with nanoparticles designed to deliver genes:
Paras N. Prasad of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo and his colleagues manufactured nanoparticles using organically modified silicon. The surface of these particles can be tailored to target specific cells. The team used the tiny units to transport a fluorescent marker gene to dopamine neurons in the brains of mice. After injecting the nanoparticles, the researchers observed brain cells fluorescing using a new imaging technique that works on live animals. According to the report, the study is the first in which a nonviral vector has shown efficacy comparable to that of a viral delivery system in an animal model. What is more, a month later none of the animals had experienced adverse effects from the procedure.

Using the nanoparticles to actually switch on adult stem cells to repair neurological damage:
The researchers also investigated the possibility of manipulating the behavior of specific brain cells, instead of solely tagging their presence. In so doing, they discovered that the nanoparticles can be used to reactivate adult stem cells by altering a nuclear growth factor receptor. The team will next test the approach on larger animals. "In the future," says study co-author Earl J. Bergey, also at SUNY Buffalo, "this technology may make it possible to repair neurological damage caused by disease, trauma or stroke."

Bitch Slap

My parents once asked me what a "bitch slap" was. Recently, on on Argonautical Ramblings, I found a link to a video that comes close to my ideal of a bitch slap, though the author refers to it as simply a "cat fight."

Ultimate Cat Fight

As grrrbear points out, it's a wonder why they aren't both beating up the guy who slept with both of them rather than beating up each other. This reminds me of a story of some ground squirrels of some type that live in tunnels but mate and sun with each other out on land. My evolution teacher once watched a male mate with a female, then lay next to each other out on land. Anotehr female came by, and he mated with her too in front of the other female. The three of them laid out and rested by each other, until the male went away. At that point the first female scared the second female into another hole and then literally buried her. The prof then headed out to dig her up, and she got buried five or six times more that day.

Anyway, New York resident Jenn disagrees wiith my definition of bitch slap. She thinks it's specifically a slap with the back of the hand so that women who wear lots of rings can do damage with those rings. While I think that back handed slaps may be involved, "bitch slapping" is more of a whirlwind of arms flying everywhere, with the majority of damage being done by the palms of the hand.

So I've tried to find other examples of a "bitch slap." The author of this next page calls this a "bitch slap," but I think he's being too liberal with his application of the term. It is an interesting video though. What the HECK is going on? Does anyone know what they're SAYING? - Bitch Slap

A comment at this blog agrees with Jenn in defining it as a slap with the back of the hand. I still think this is being too specific and focussing on the wrong PART of the slap.

So finally I found these wonderful "Urban Dictionary" entries that I think settle the argument. I take one of them as an example, but they all seem to work okay:
Contrary to most definitions, the “bitch” is describing the “slap” rather than the destination.

A Bitch Slap is a sharp, openhanded, stinging, yet generally benign slap – similar to being slapped by a bitch. When you “bitch slap” someone, you are slapping him or her like a woman would! Scratching, hair pulling, cursing, and crying generally follow a well-placed bitch slap.

Beware, this oft-confused term has resulted in many pimps calling themselves bitches rather than describing their abuse.

This structure of the descriptor preceding the verb is also used in the “Pimp Slap”. To “Pimp Slap” does NOT mean that you’re slapping someone like you would slap your pimp – rather a pimp slap is to slap like a pimp does.

How to perform:

Imagine some bitch just called out your fake Louis Vuitton shoes and hat just to make your baby’s daddy laugh at your cheap ass.

Raise your right hand above your head, elbow bent, and pretend you are throwing a baseball like a girl. Open palm comes down in a chopping motion to the cheek and jaw of your victim. Twist your shoulders into the attack for maximum effect.

LaFawnda bitch slapped Rico for talkin bout her bunions.

Now, if you look closely, there's a reference to the "Pimp Slap," which CLEARLY is what Jenn is talking about.
slap to the face using the back of the hand. called a pimp slap because the large rings a pimp wears will cut the face when hit with the back of the hand. this is distinct from a bitch slap which is with the palm of the hand.

he didn't get pimp slapped at the restaurant fight, he got bitch slapped.

It turns out that the "pimp slap" is more disciplinary, but the "bitch slap" is more recreational.

Yet again, the "Urban Dictionary" saves the day.

Monkey Business

I found a free repost of the NYTimes article, "Monkey Business," by Dubner and Levitt, the authors of the recently popular Freakonomics. The free copy can be found here, and it's FASCINATING.

The gist is that they train monkeys to use money in exchange for food. It turns out that the monkeys obey classical human microeconomics. On top of that, even though the monkeys are just trading the money for food, when food is given to them in the same shape as the money, the monkeys use the food as money rather than food. Perhaps most interesting is that the monkeys actually start to trade sex for money as well. The monkey receiving the money then immmediately redeems it for food.

It's really interesting stuff.

Six to Eight Black Men

See the comments on Jenn's Blog: Because when it's too good for mass media... for an introduction to this post.

My final comments include:

Even better, Act 2 of Episode 201 of This American Life includes Sedaris actually telling the story.

That man is a genius.

Last Comment: If you go to the "Real Audio" link on that episode 201, you can scroll forward to 24:50 for the start of Act II. If you like, go to 25:28 to skip the introduction.

The Carnegie Hall version is much better, especially because it involves Michigan's gun laws that allow a blind person to go out hunting alone.

It's fun that Jenn writes

So I think it's fun that Jenn writes so much.

Jenn's latest piece of fiction can be found on the Johnny America Zine: Speaking of Funerals.

I made fun of her for being autobiographical. You see, that story was almost identical to an IM she sent me the day it actually happened to her. What's funny is that about a week before that we had a talk about how fiction authors aren't supposed to be autobiographical. Thus, the teasing, which Jenn responded to via e-mail reminding me that she works with bishops, priests, and inmates often all within hours of each other and it's really difficult to separate out reality from fiction. I suppose that's a good argument. Maybe the purpose of Jenn's entire life is just to be an inspiration for good fiction. Wow... that sounds pretty sad when I say it like that.

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Comeback Lyrics

So CD101 has been playing "The Comeback" by the Shout Out Louds lately. It's a very catchy song, but the lyrics are sorta silly. From what I understand, the SOL often have crappy lyrics.

Anyway, it was hard to find the lyrics on-line, so I'm posting them here to help other people out.

i'm kind of tired
cause you wouldn't let me sleep last night
i'm a reasonable man
but i can't believe what's on your mind
and the past three weeks were the saddest weeks
and the words you said oh, made me weak
i'm out of my mind
i'm about to crack, so
let's call this the comeback

i been pushed around
and i'm not gonna get pushed this time
cause the time is mine
but i can't believe what's on your mind
and the past three weeks were the saddest weeks
and the words you said oh, made me weak
i'm out of my mind
i'm about to crack, so
let's call this the comeback

let's call this the comeback again
let's call this the comeback

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My Name is Jokey, Pronounced with a Okey

I was sent these in the e-mail today:


Who's there?

Under the Patriot Act, we don't have to tell you that.

A doctor, a lawyer, and an accountant all die and go to heaven on the same day. When they get to the Pearly Gates, they are greeted by St. Peter. St. Peter says, "Scott McClellan is a lying sack of shit and I'd tell him so myself if he weren't going straight to hell when he dies."

Thursday, July 21, 2005

What can BJ's tell us about Natural Science?

From our favorite Bob Jones University:

Department of Natural Science
Department of Natural Science

The Department of Natural Science strives to develop in the student a Christian philosophy of science in which the Scripture is recognized as the inerrant, infallible Word of God and is authoritative on all issues addressed. Natural science is the product of human observation and interpretation of the physical creation. When properly interpreted, natural science results in an appreciation of the power, glory, and majesty of the Creator (Psalm 19:1).


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Winnie on Wonder Years is Math-mazing!!

I always thought Elsie on The West Wing looked familiar. I didn't realize she was Winnie from Wonder Years! Apparently she also got her BS in mathematics and has been published. Check out her web page for details.

I learned about all of this in a recent NYTimes article.
Her mathematics knowledge extends well beyond calculus. As a math major at the University of California, Los Angeles, she also took more esoteric classes, the ones with names like "complex analysis" and "real analysis," and she pondered making a career move to professional mathematician.

"I love that stuff," Ms. McKellar said last month during a visit to Manhattan after a play-reading in the Hamptons. Her conversation was peppered with terminology like "epsilons" and "limsups" (pronounced "lim soups").

"I love continuous functions and proving if functions are continuous or not," she said.

She may also be the only actress, now or ever, to prove a new mathematical theorem, one that bears her name. Certainly, she is the only theorem prover who appears wearing black lingerie in the July issue of Stuff magazine. Even in that interview, she mentioned math.

[ ahem... I think the NYTimes author meant to put a space between lim and sups, but it doesn't really matter... I also have a problem with the author sayiing that analysis extends beyond Calculus... That's sorta like saying the NBA extends well beyond basketball... ]

So I think that's really friggin' cute!

And a fun little comment that hits close to home...

Ms. McKellar had toyed with the idea of going to graduate school. "She certainly had the capability and talent to do that," Professor Chayes said.

But by then, she had decided to return to acting. The academic world, she said, was too isolating and lonely.

"Double diabetes"

"Double diabetes" puzzles doctors

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Having one type of diabetes is bad enough, but two? Doctors are seeing a new phenomenon dubbed double diabetes that makes it harder to diagnose and treat patients -- especially children.

The mix can strike at any age, and comes in various forms: Children who depend on insulin injections because of Type 1 diabetes gain weight and then get the Type 2 form in which their bodies become insulin resistant, for example.

Or someone with classic Type 2 symptoms isn't responding to therapy, and tests reveal they also are developing the insulin-dependent form of the disease. Or they may not fall clearly into either category.

The labels are important -- different forms require different treatments.

Sexual Harassment

Court rules on sexual office affairs
SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- A manager who has affairs with subordinates can create a work climate that constitutes sexual harassment even for uninvolved employees, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.

Phil Horowitz, of the California Employment Lawyers Association, who submitted a brief to the court in support of a lawsuit filed by two women, called the decision "groundbreaking."

"It's the first major decision saying women can sue if they are treated worse because they're not the paramour of the supervisor," Horowitz said.

An isolated instance of favoritism would not ordinarily constitute sexual harassment, Chief Justice Ronald M. George wrote in the unanimous decision.

But when it is so widespread that "the demeaning message is conveyed to female employees that they are viewed by management as 'sexual playthings' or that the way required for women to get ahead in the workplace is by engaging in sexual conduct," it constitutes harassment, he wrote.


New Periodic Table with Ties to Astronomy

Is it time to revamp the periodic table?

Oxford ecologist Philip Stewart has designed a new periodic table of the elements, and it's a hit. American schools are placing orders daily for Stewart's table, and the Royal Society of Chemists recently sent a copy to every British secondary school. Stewart's is the only remake to achieve widespread adoption since Dmitri Mendeleev invented the original periodic table in a fit of brilliance in 1869.

Take a look at the slide show. Around slide 6 is the new periodic table. It is a spiral that is overlayed on top of a galaxy to show the intimiate connection between chemistry and astronomy. Isn't that fun?

Google Moon Debuts

Google Moon

On July 20, 1969, man first landed on the Moon. A few decades later, we're pleased to cut you in on the action. Google Moon is an extension of Google Maps and Google Earth that, courtesy of NASA imagery (thanks, guys!), enables you to surf the Moon's surface and check out the exact spots that the Apollo astronauts made their landings.


Costco: The Anti-Wal-Mart?

NYTimes: How Costco Became the Anti-Wal-Mart

See BugMeNot for an NYTimes login. Right now I'm using vxg3313 with password sairam786.

This was an interesting article. I didn't realize Costco was so good to its employees.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Possum Kingdom

So "Possum Kingdom" by The Toadies came on CD101 now (side note: "Black and White Town" by Doves is on now; I really like CD101). My good friends know that I have a special place in my heart for early 90's rock, probably due to whatever was going on with me in the early 90's.

"Possum Kingdom" is a bit of a dark and weird song. So I decided to look up what it might actually be about, something I should have done a LONG time ago... You see, it was always just catch to me. However, the lyrics are really really dark and kinda odd. So I found this:

Songfacts: Possum Kingdom by The Toadies

It's a little discussion of the meaning. There are a few people telling their interpretations of the song. I thought this one was oddly romantic:
I always thought it was the vampire thing. If you listen to the lyrics it sounds like hes trying to get her to like him even though hes a vampire. And when he says do you wanna die? i think he means something like do you wanna die and live forever with me. Like if he bites her she'll die but she'll be a vampire. Just my thought but i thought it out pretty well.

Like, in some weird way, that's sorta sweet. If you were a vampire, you don't really have a whole lot of options. "I love you. Die and be with me together. No? Damn... I'm so lonely"

However, a little later someone FROM TEXAS posts:
possum Kingdom, Texas is known for the horrible murders that happened in its state park. The song is the bands interpretation of what happened in those murders. The remains of a boathouse as mentioned in the song were still at the campgrounds as of 2001. The murderer supposedly lured the women to his boathouse, then raped and murdered them...

To me, this really explains the song to me. There should be no question of its meaning. Case closed, right?

But no, as in most discussion boards, it can't ever end there...
the band never did disclose the actual meaning of the song leaving it open. Another interpretation is that it is about incest, the speaker says, "I want you for mine, my flesh and blood." Although there is more than one lake named Possum Kingdom, the band in question is from Texas.

Did you even read the post just before yours that gave all the details about the Possum Kingdom murders and the remains of the boathouse that was involved in those murders? Do you really think it's all that open?

So yeah... "Possum Kingdom" is a weird friggin' song... and I think people are kinda funny.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Honeymoon south of the border

So Mark sent a few of us the story of his recent honeymoon to Mazatlan, Mexico. I thought it was worth retelling not only for humor value but also to pass on some sound advice...
FYI...don't go to Mazatlan, Mexico...especially for a romantic getaway, like say, your honeymoon.

It is my opinion that Mazatlan could very well be the butthole of Mexico. Our first impression was the quaint little airport without AC that was surrounded by severely poor farms with your stereotypical emaciated donkeys and chickens running around. The cab ride into "town" had military checkpoints (that luckily we didn't have to stop at) where uniformed men bore machine guns...quite inviting. Finally the "resort" we stayed at had mildew and moisture issues, faulty AC, and "beds" that pulled out from under shelves...pseudo couches that had nasty stained bedding with stray hairs all over them. It seemed like it may have been nice in the 80's, but on the way down as a city. Noone spoke English hardly, and I think it's more a vacation destination for Mexican residents, not Americans.

Our first full day there we optimistically went for a walk on the beach where Rachel sliced here second-to-biggest toe nail off on a sharp rock. We took a cab back to our hotel where a "doctor's"office was nearby. For $150 cash he cleaned her injury and would not except credit cards...there went the last of our cash.

Fortunately Rachel's parents flew us out of there the next day and we planned a last minute weekend trip to DC...where many languages are spoken, but everyone knows English. Sometimes you want to go where everybody can say your name and credit card use is prolific. Just thought you'd get a kick out of hearing that story. But think twice and do your research before destination vacations south of the border.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

What do ya' know?

So today on "What do you know?" Michael Feldman told this joke, that I thought was particularly funny, while he went over the news of the week.

Hillary compares Bush to Alfred E. Newman. Bush chooses not to worry about it.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Unborn babies soaking in gasoline

Unborn babies carry pollutants, study finds
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Unborn U.S. babies are soaking in a stew of chemicals, including mercury, gasoline byproducts and pesticides, according to a report released on Thursday.

Although the effects on the babies are not clear, the survey prompted several members of Congress to press for legislation that would strengthen controls on chemicals in the environment.

The report by the Environmental Working Group is based on tests of 10 samples of umbilical-cord blood taken by the American Red Cross. They found an average of 287 contaminants in the blood, including mercury, fire retardants, pesticides and the Teflon chemical PFOA.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Silly Hillary

Sen. Clinton seeks 'Grand Theft' sex scene probe

I guess she's trying to appeal to the conservatives. <?>

I suppose this is right up there with her husband's V-chip, huh?

Car racing is stupid, but...

FIA Backs Down in Tire Dispute

Shouldn't the FIA punish the teams for backing out, as is policy, and the teams punish Michelin for giving them bad tires?

Democrats React to Rove

As I already mentioned, I'm pissed that the rest of us who go through the clearance process are told that we could be tried and sentenced to death if we dare leak any classified information even to other people who have clearances and yet do not have a "need to know!" Yet, Karl Rove is able to let his mouth go and go and go to reporters and spies and foreign dignitaries and all he gets is a slap on the wrist!!

The Democrats are taking this opportunity to introduce a measure on a spending bill that says that anyone who leaks the name of an undercover agent automatically loses their security clearance. If the Republicans protest, they'll look weak on national security. If the measure passes, Karl Rove will lose his security clearance after all this is over with.

Rove Uproar Sparks Democratic Plan on Security Clearance

While this is nice... He's still not being prosecuted for his CRIMINAL OFFENSE!!! I don't understand why I can kiss my life goodbye if I do what he does, but all he has to kiss goodbye are the classified doughnuts.

Man Coulter

I saw this posted on a message board somewhere in a topic discussing whether or not Anne Coulter has any redeeming qualities. It's sorta mean, but it's also sorta funny...

Double standard?

CIA officer's husband calls for Rove dismissal

A number of friends of mine and I have gone through the security clearance process, and we all have funny stories about it (most of them unclassified, I think). Common to the thread is the fear that they try to put in you about even the smallest slip of information. They introduce you to all of these names of double agents and what prisons they are still rotting away in. They talk about what awful things have happened to the families of these people. They talk about "treason" quite a bit. They say things like "espionage is real" over and over again.

Before you can even get to this point, they talk to all of your friends and ask them about how you act when you're drunk. They ask about how well you can keep a secret. They ask about fidelity in a relationship. There's also a psychological examination. They study you as you take the test (hundreds of questions about things like, "Is it okay to light animals on fire?" and that same question reworded fifteen times). Then you go and sit with a psychologist. You talk about your family. You talk about loyalty.

And then there's the lie detector test. This, for me, was the worst part of the whole process. You're in a dark room with a veteran NSA agent who has strapped these things to your fingers and around your arms and chest. You're asked to stare at one point in the dark room and DO NOT EVER MOVE. TRY NOT TO BLINK.

Oh, and in between the psych test and the lie detector test they send you to lunch with other people who work at the NSA. You have to sit down next to some of them -- some random people who you have never met -- and they tell you stories about how their friends took three or four times trying to pass the lie detector test. About one friend who just started laughing over and over again and had to leave the room. About another friend who bawled his eyes out. These seem like normal people talking to you. It seems like they're telling you real stories. And all of these real stories have common threads -- people going into that dark room and crapping themselves in fear and anxiety.

After all of this, if and when you get the clearance, there is a "briefing" process where you learn exactly how evil people who tell secrets are and all the bad things that will happen to them. When you exit the job that required the clearance, there is a "debriefing" process where they echo all of this.

And yet after all of this, Karl Rove just goes about his normal day as Deputy Chief of Staff. Was the government lying to me during all of those tests? I was given the impression (and this was explicit) that if I was to do anything like Karl Rove did, I would be tried for TREASON and may be subject to DEATH. Getting *FIRED* would be lucky!! There's no chance I would just get fired without criminal charges and major consequences.

So I think that the government really needs to do something about this man or they are going to set a very bad example for the rest of the intelligence community who currently has the fear of Government in them.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Is it 2008 yet?

First it was the restoration of the global gag rule, and now it's this!

Government places new restrictions on AIDS funding
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. groups fighting AIDS overseas are being given an ultimatum by the government: Pledge your opposition to sex trafficking and prostitution or do without federal funds.

The anti-prostitution pledge rule is a continuation of conservative policy shifts the Bush administration has implemented for non-governmental organizations.

On Bush's first day in office in 2001, he reinstated the "Mexico City policy," which prohibits private, foreign groups that receive federal family planning money from advising or even discussing the possibility of abortions for clients.

The policy, called the "global gag rule" by critics, originated during President Reagan's era but was dropped during President Clinton's.

Besides the pledge, the new rules require AIDS groups to inform clients of condom failure rates. Another requirement is that the federal government must now give equal opportunity to funding applicants that have "a religious or moral objection" to a particular AIDS prevention method or treatment program, such as condoms or needle exchanges.

There's no way you can stop prostitution and sex trafficking around the world. The old policy did NOT ENDORSE either of these things. All this new policy does is cut AIDS funding!

Is it 2008 yet? Please, let it be 2008...

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Why Do All These Homosexuals Keep Sucking My Cock?

The Onion: Why Do All These Homosexuals Keep Sucking My Cock?
Look, I'm not a hateful person or anything—I believe we should all live and let live. But lately, I've been having a real problem with these homosexuals. You see, just about wherever I go these days, one of them approaches me and starts sucking my cock.

Believe me, I have no interest in getting my cock sucked by some queer. But try telling that to the guy at the beach club. Or the one at the video store. Or the one who catered my wedding. Or any of the countless other homos who've come on to me recently. All of them sucked my cock, and there was nothing I could do to stop them.

I tell you, when a homosexual is sucking your cock, a lot of strange thoughts go through your head: How the hell did this happen? Where did this fairy ever get the idea that I was gay? And where did he get those fantastic boots?

It screws with your head at other times, too. Every time a man passes me on the street, I'm afraid he's going to grab me and drag me off to some bathroom to suck my cock. I've even started to visualize these repulsive cock-sucking episodes during the healthy, heterosexual marital relations I enjoy with my wife—even some that haven't actually happened, like the sweaty, post-game locker-room tryst with Vancouver Canucks forward Mark Messier that I can't seem to stop thinking about.

The rest is, well, kinda vulgar.

Apparently there's a CATHOLIC evolution

Leading Cardinal Redefines Church's View on Evolution
The cardinal, Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, a theologian who is close to Pope Benedict XVI, staked out his position in an Op-Ed article in The New York Times on Thursday, writing, "Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense - an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is not."

So apparently there's not only intelligent design, but there are various forms of evolution, and some of them are acceptable to the Catholic Church and some of them are not.

First they rape boys, then they rape science. I guess that's the M.O. of the Catholic Church. (maybe I'm being a little too harsh; Catholics I know say that the Church really isn't being as anti-Darwin as they sound in this particular Op-Ed; I just think it'd be nice if they stayed out of the whole thing entirely)

Friday, July 08, 2005

Protein Confuses Me

The "Protein" row on the Nutrition Facts on foods confuses me.

I'll grab two foods close to me. On them I see:
Protein 10g (20%)
Protein 12g (22%)

However, if I look a little closer at some other foods I see:
Protein 2g
Protein 2g (not a significant source of Protein)
Protein 3g
Protein 4g
Protein 6g

And I KNOW that recently I saw one that had:
Protein 16g

What does it take for a Protein row to earn a percentage?

Is it better to eat proteins from foods where there is a percentage?

It's all very confusing.


Sasser author gets suspended term
BERLIN, Germany (CNN) -- A German court has convicted the teenager who created the Sasser worm that snarled tens of thousands of computers last year and sentenced him to 21 months' probation.

Sven Jaschan, 19, from the northwest town of Waffensen, could have faced five years in prison as an adult but was tried as a minor because the court determined he created the virus when he was 17, said Katharina Kreutzfeldt, spokeswoman for the Verden State Court outside Bremen.

Yeah, that's a good way to convince a 19 year old from being a jackass again. Give him a little probation. Community service -- great idea!

You know what I would think if I made Sasser at 17 and finally got sentenced at 19 to community service? "Phew! I was really worried, but I ended up getting off scott free! SWEET! I'm so going to brag about this to everyone."

What an ass.

Go ahead and die, see if I care; it sounds like you live in the afterlife anyway

Science of life evolving or revolving?

This is yet another article discussing the tension between creationism (more specifically intelligent design) and evolution by natural selection.

Scientists are alarmed at this whole debate. If you're teaching a science class, wouldn't it be nice to teach what scientists say to teach?

I say if these people are so convinced that it's wrong to teach kids in science class science, then these people should stop taking all of their medication. They should stop going to the doctor. They should stop listening to the warnings on the Drano that it shouldn't be drank. They should cease and decist all things that have been informed by science.

Is that a little harsh? How about just cutting out anything that could not have come about without an understanding of evolution? I guess that means that these people should cut all farm grown vegetables out of their diets. I guess that means that, again, they should cut out all medication out of their diets. They might as well not even bother going to the doctor, because there's not much that the doctor will be able to prescribe (or even diagnose) without some "bias" from evolution.

It seems like that's the fair thing to do. Sure, these people will live shorter lives, but they've been horny for God's touch for years now, so it's probably best to put them on the fast track to the big holy screw anyway. See? This is a solution that should make everyone happy. The uneducated folk get short lives and lots of God and the rest of us don't have to hear them whine about things they know nothing about.

Slow walking better than brisk walking?

Slow walking may be prescription for obese

Researchers: Strolling burns more calories, reduces injury risk
Now researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder have better news for walkers: Strolling can help obese adults burn more calories per mile than brisk walking and might even lower the risk of arthritis and injuries to the joints than picking up the pace.

Doctoral student Ray Browning and his colleagues studied 20 men and women of normal weight and 20 considered obese as they walked set distances at different speeds. They found the obese people burned more calories walking at a slower pace for a longer time than walking at a faster speed.

It might be just the incentive needed for people turned off by the traditional advice to take at least five brisk walks, 30 minutes at a time, per week.

I didn't Say Anything like that

In my last post, I commented on a scene from the movie Say Anything.

I just want to point out that I was not commenting on how good or how bad the movie was. I was mainly commenting on my disbelief that someone wouldn't know of the boom box scene with the Peter Gabriel song.

I just wanted to make that clear.

Regardless though, John Cusack is still my hero.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

John Cusack is My Hero

Over the weekend I went to a wedding. During that wedding, I danced with my ex-girlfriend's roommate and best friend. (she may have been trying to keep me from dancing with my ex-girlfriend; it's a little hard to tell)

Anyway, one of the dances was to "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel. During the dance, I made a Say Anything reference. This particular roommate seems pretty hip and cultured. I figured she would get the reference. Apparently not! So I explained the whole scene were John Cusack holds the boom box over his head and blasts the song. To me, this is one of the key movie moments of the late 80's. This was a well crafted moment by Cameron Crowe. How could you not know this moment? Heck, John Cusack is holding the boom box on the cover to the movie!

Anyway, during dinner I watched High Fidelity again. I like to watch High Fidelity periodically because I always get something new from the movie every time I see it. It doesn't seem like it would be such a deep movie... but I think it captures growing up as a boy pretty well, like really most things written by Nick Hornby. This was Hornby's really quintessential boy-growing-up work, and I think it's his best. Anyway, this got me thinking about Cusack again, so I decided to do some research about that fun Say Anything moment that I remember so fondly... I found this, which is referring to "In Your Eyes" and its role in the movie:

This was featured in the movie Say Anything in a scene where John Cusack plays this from a Boom Box he holds over his head to win the heart of Ione Skye. Cameron Crowe, who directed the film, was going to use Billy Idol's "Got To Be A Lover," but it didn't work with the scene. Crowe got the idea to use this when he played a tape from his wedding which had this on it. Because it was a deeply personal song, Gabriel did not want to let him use it, but when Crowe called and sent him a tape of the movie, Gabriel loved it and let him use it.

I think this is a great little tidbit of info! I think it fits well with my wedding dance story too. I also think that since Peter Gabriel was driven by the niftiness of the scene to allow them to use his music, my ex-girlfriend's roommate really should take it upon herself to get a little more culture before she leaves college. I mean, c'mon! The boom box!!! SUCH a good scene! :)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Married men earn more if wives do the chores?

Married men earn more if wives do the chores?
LONDON (Reuters) - Married men earn more than bachelors so long as their wives stay at home doing the housework, according to a report Wednesday from Britain's Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER).

He said analysis suggests there could be two explanations for the results:

A marriage might allow a husband and wife to focus their activities on tasks to which they are most suited. Traditionally, this would result in the man concentrating on paid work enabling him to increase productivity and in consequence his wages.

Taylor said another explanation could be that marriage may increase the amount of time a man has to hone work-related skills which could trigger higher wages.

"We looked at all types of jobs from unskilled up to managers and professionals," Taylor said.

They did not comment on whether or not the trend goes the other way. That is, do married women earn more if husbands do the chores?

I also do not buy their causation argument here. I'm willing to believe that there is some correlation between higher wages and housewives; however, I'm not sure I understand why that has to mean that having a housewife is what gives these working men the advantage. Couldn't working men who already have the advantage attract women who become housewives? Perhaps the women do not need to work because the working men are doing so well? I'm sure there are lots of reasons.

So I think this study is a little bit bunk.

Monday, July 04, 2005


At Mark and Rachel's wedding, the song that they danced to together was the Cure's "Lovesong" (though I think they used 311's cover):
Whenever I’m alone with you you make me feel
Like I am home again whenever I’m alone with
You you make me feel like I am whole again
Whenever I’m alone with you you make me feel
Like I am young again whenever I’m alone with
You you make me feel like I am fun again

However far away I will always love you however
Long I stay I will always love you whatever
Words I say I will always love you I will always
Love you

Whenever I’m alone with you you make me feel
Like I am free again whenever I’m alone with
You you make me feel like I am clean again

However far away I will always love you however
Long I stay I will always love you whatever
Words I say I will always love you I will always
Love you

For some reason, this made me feel old. Were people allowed to use a song by the Cure for their song? Was that right? Could you do that?

Apparently you can. Apparently the music that I traditionally associate with listening to while young and impressionable is now music that I will now start to associate with my generation being married.

"Lovesong" in particular always used to be a song that, to me, represented tension between casual young lovers. It never represented something between two people engaged in very strong commitment. However, now that I rethink it, I'm very much okay with this change. I'm just surprised it happened so quickly.

They Call Me "Dance Fever"

Mark's wedding was Saturday. It was great. There were only about 130 people there. Because the bride and groom were not both Catholic, they skipped the mass and had a short service. The reception was on campus, which made it easy to walk to, and Mark's playlist was all 80's songs. He included the electric slide. He did not include the macarena and instead used the cha-cha slide. He did not include the chicken dance (which may have been a mistake). He did include Clarence Carter's "Strokin'," which apparently has a lot to do with why AV, one of the groomsmen, is now calling me "dance fever."

You see, a lot of people don't realize this about me, but if I spend less than 75% of a wedding doing anything but dancing, then I feel like I've wasted my time there. I just love dancing at weddings. I especially like dancing when I'm IN weddings because then I have nice new shoes that do not have scuffed bottoms, so I can slide easily on the floor.

Thus, many people thought I must have been pretty drunk last night, but I didn't have time to drink. I only had four drinks all night. I just was excited to be there. I also got a chance to start early since Liza let me dance with her.

Well, what I didn't realize is that a video was being made of me dancing to Clarence Carter's "Strokin'." I have a whole presentation. You see, I've been close to this song ever since before I really knew exactly what "strokin'" was. My parents and siblings were very familiar with the song, and so I heard it a lot.

What's so upsetting is that the video looks SO VERY DIFFERENT than how it looks in my head. In my head, I'm pretty proud of what I'm up to. In my head, I'm excited about all the eyes on me. I enjoy the attention. I enjoy being entertaining. However, as a viewer of the video, I'm less entertained and more massively embarassed at my naivete. Apparently everyone loved it though. Apparently it will be on-line available for download soon. MAYBE I'll include a link to it from here... MAYBE.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Still on Hiatus: Panera Style

So why do I feel like every time the woman at Panera asks me for a name to put on my order that she's hitting on me? This isn't something Panera specific. For some reason, this is very often my reaction to the name question. It only gets worse if she happens to brush the palm of my hand while giving me my change back...

Friday, July 01, 2005

Roman Candles Suck

Why do people use "Roman Candles" as their surrogate for "fireworks" when discussing do-it-yourself July 4th activities? A conversation taken from the radio just a moment ago:
DJ: So do you like those Roman candles? I know you're Italian.

Guest DJ: Well, we like to shoot them at each other, but other than that we don't really get into the fireworks stuff.

DJ: Whoa! Shooting Roman candles at each other!

Did she mean BOTTLE ROCKETS? Roman candles are the most BENIGN fireworks available! If you set one up to shoot at someone, all they'd have to do is slowly step out of the way and make sure that they didn't step back into their old spot until the firework was done. You can see them coming because they are bright. They don't go very far. They don't stay in the air very long. They don't get very high. They're very unimpressive.

So, yeah, Roman candles suck. It's too bad they're apparently the figurehead of all fireworks.

On hiatus for a while...

So I'm going to be in hiatus for a while. I'm getting distracted. I really need to do work showing that the Marginal Value Theorem (MVT) is an Ideal Free Distribution (IFD). I'm armed with my Lagrange optimization methods, and now I just need to lock myself into a corner and not think about anything else.

A quick update though...

1. Getting rid of the acute unhappiness

A meeting with my group really picked me up. So, it was a 9am meeting that lasted until 12:30am. Nicanor was giving us a presentation on finite population ESS's and playing "against the field." This was fun partly because I was one of the only other ones in our group who does work with ESS's, so it hit close to home. It was mainly fun because Nicanor couldn't resist inserting a political comment. . .

[ You see, evolutionary game dynamics are very different if you have a finite population, especially if the population is very small. For example, in a Hawk-Dove game that comes to an equilibrium at (1/3,2/3), if you cast it as a finite population problem, you get LOTS more Hawks. The smaller the population, it's more beneficial to be a bully more of the time. Nicanor extrapolated this by looking at games played by all of the nations of the world, and commented on the existence of the G8 (and what the existence of the G10 does to the analysis) ]

. . . After the REALLY FRIGGIN LONG meeting, we went to a lunch from 12:30 to 2:30. This is when Jorge started talking about sex, and how it was related to all of our research.

It was fun. It made me realize again why I'm doing this. The tools we use fit so many interesting contexts... Yeah, sex and politics is fun, but there's a lot more available too. I enjoy what I do. I should do it more!

2. Clothing galore

In a stunning display of mid-20's crisis, I've gone out and bought more new clothing. I spent a lot of time shopping with George. I was actually pretty happy about it. I usually hate shopping with people, but for some reason George's slow pace is okay with me.

3. My Masochism Has a First Name

Women are nothing but trouble.