Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Embarrassing a jerk

Hee...

"Customs officials found a prescription bottle labeled as Viagra in his luggage that didn't have Limbaugh's name on it, but that of two doctors, said Paul Miller, spokesman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

A doctor had prescribed the drug, but it was "labeled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes," Roy Black, Limbaugh's attorney, said in a statement."

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Americans' circle of close friends shrinking

"Ties to a close network of friends create a social safety net that is good for society, and for the individual. Research has linked social support and civic participation to a longer life, Smith-Lovin said.

People were not asked why they had fewer intimate ties, but Smith-Lovin said that part of the cause could be that Americans are working more, marrying later, having fewer children, and commuting longer distances.
The data also show the social isolation trend mirrors other class divides: Non-whites and people
with less education tend to have smaller social networks than white Americans and the highly educated."



My friends and I have often commented on how much harder it would be to navigate life without each other. Stories like this make me glad that I choose to value the things I choose to value.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Apocalypse Soon

"Linking these efforts is a belief that modern technologies and global communications have made it possible to induce completion of God's plan within this generation."


I like crazy people. I feel a bit of a kindred spirit with them really. On the other hand, you have the group of apparently growing # of humans that are just batshit crazy. How do they express their particular craziness? By trying to hasten the Apocalypse. Why, you ask? Because they are batshit crazy. I suggest staring at them uncomfortably if you ever run into one.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How they will win

"'The Chinese are so smart they knock your socks off,' said Andrew Strominger, a Harvard string theorist who visits here often. 'The impression you get when you go over there is that China is going to take over the world soon.'
...
'A lot of people ask for advice but are hesitant to accept it,' Dr. Gross said. 'In China, they are totally open to exploring how other countries do it. They are totally unarrogant about accepting advice.'"

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

hah

"Because shy children appear to be more sensitive to winning and losing, they may experience emotions more strongly than others, putting them at risk for emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression."

I always said some people feel emotions stronger than others. I personally blame my lack of resiliency in certain areas on this. Now I am vindicated by SCIENCE!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Mind blowing

That is what we EHMs do best: we build a global empire. We are an elite group of men and omen who utilize international financial organizations to foment conditions that make other nations subservient to the corporatocracy running our biggest corporations, our government, and our anks. Like our counterparts in the Mafia, EHMs provide favors. These take the form of loans to develop infrastructure —electric generating plants, highways, ports, airports, or industrial parks. A condition of such loans is that engineering and construction companies from our own country must build all these projects. In essence, most of the money never leaves the United States; it is simply transferred from banking offices in Washington to engineering offices in New York, Houston, or San Francisco.Despite the fact that the money is returned almost immediately to corporations that are members of the corporatocracy (the creditor), the recipient country is required to pay it all back, principal plus interest. If an EHM is completely successful, the loans are so large that the debtor is forced to default on its payments after a few years. When this happens, then like the Mafia we demand our pound of flesh. This often includes one or more of the following: control over United Nations votes, the installation of military bases, or access to precious resources such as oil or the Panama Canal. Of course, the debtor still owes us the money—and another country is added to our global empire.


I read a lot. It is one of the main ways I seek to understand the world I live in. Every now and then I read something that actually changes the way I see the world. This is one of those. I recommend highly!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

That Wild Streak? Maybe It Runs in the Family - New York Times

"As genetics comes to rival childhood experience s the favored lens through which to interpret behavior seen as deviant, parents who blamed themselves for their children's disorders are also finding some relief."


Really good discussion on the implications of genetic research on people's perceptions of their identity. I have always been fascinated by this area of science and whether it would lead to a more progressive view of humanity or start seeing humans as just a sum of their parts.

You've just got to read it for yourself

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Seriously, come join

"Who are we? The YearlyKos Convention demonstrated that we are the vanguard of a new Progressive movement built on trust. We are the 'Trust or Bust' movement in an America that has been taken over by a hostile right-wing movement built on fear and deceit. America is getting busy rejecting that right-wing movement and the YearlyKos Convention was the first clear, successful manifestation of the alternative.
Despite all the deceit, despite all the fear, despite all the propaganda, the corruption, the human rights abuse, the assaults on our Constitution, the cronyism, the irresponsible spending--despite all this--Gina Cooper and her team created a place where Americans could stand together and embrace a community built on trust. We are not any of those negative things that right-wing movement has foisted on America in the past decade. We are none of those things and to show to ourselves, the nation, and the world how much we believe in the power of our national ideals, we are all here in this room together. We are the beginning of a new Progressive movement built on trust."

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Walking away with the Treasury

"This is a BIGGIE. Although it is well known that $9 billion in Iraq reconstruction money was never accounted for, it was thought an Inspector General named by the Congress for oversight would produce some kind of audit on the $9 billion, not to mention the $12 billion in cash
supposedly sent to Iraq straight from the Federal Reserve.
Bush, however, whipped up a 'signing statement', one of those 750 Presidential findings that
was revealed in April by the Boston Globe, which neutered the audit by declaring
anything to do with the Pentagon a classified security issue! The GOP Congress enabled Bush all the way on this outrageous signing, essentially covering up the likely theft of the urgently needed Reconstruction Fund."

I remember this story coming out in 2003 and assumed the GAO was investigating and some sort of accountability would be had. I mean, it takes the effort of a lot of crooks to "lose" $9Billion without a trace. As per usual with this administration, the story never went anywhere and there appeared to be no uproar. This has consistently been the most confusing aspect of our current times. People in other countries have toppled the governments over less material corruption. Why is our populace so apathetic?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Instinct - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"It is debatable whether or not living beings are bound absolutely by instinct. Though instinct is what seems to come naturally or perhaps with heredity, general conditioning and environment surrounding a living being play a major role. Predominately, instinct is pre-intellectual, while
intuition is trans-intellectual."


I know that life is inherently uncertain. I understand that life is what happens while you are making plans. Still I plan. I have been in Phoenix for a year now. It has been a year of struggle, alienation, frustration and tremendous growth.

Now I am faced with the very real possibility that I will be out of a job by Christmas. I am again at a cross roads, but initiated by events outside of my control. So I am changing the plan. There will be no plan. I will put out feelers in any city USA and go where the best opportunity is. I am going with instinct and whim. Maybe I was lucky all along, I just never let my instincts bring me to the right places.

social lubricant

Researchers reported on Monday that drinking coffee cuts the risk of cirrhosis of the liver from alcohol -- by 22 percent per cup each day -- but they stopped short of saying doctors should prescribe coffee for that reason.


I went to lunch today with a co-worker who is very pro-active about life in general. She was helping me strategize how to deal with the uncertainty currently facing my business group. She is also very interested in cultural things and gives me tips on how to find cultural events etc in the Phoenix area. One of her suggestions was to take a dancing class. This strikes me as a theoretically good idea, but strikes fear into the deepest recesses of my heart. I am socially awkward even with alcohol. I am terrified of attempting a social outing without alcohol, alone and involving a requirement of physical coordination. Have I always been this much of a wuss?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Modern Sexual Politics

Naomi isn't 100 percent sure what things were like ''a little longer ago'' -- a period she defines as vaguely pre-Bill Clinton -- but she's certain there was less ''sexual equality.'' Today, that topic really isn't up for debate. That men and women play on an even sexual playing field is a given?Or should be. As Naomi sees it, ''It's our decision if we're going to allow ourselves to be subjected to negative treatment. It's all framed by the way girls behave.''



I read this article on Saturday at the gym. I go to a local YMCA which isn't like most gyms, but this one is still a gym with the posturing etc. I left my mp3 player on a plane so now I have to read to distract myself while on the stationary bike. I was disturbed to think that there were so many "autonomous" females who were choosing to be treated badly...still I kept reading


Whatever sex goes on, the girls say, is done in the context of the ''hookup,'' which describes anything from making out to full-on intercourse. Much to the disappointment of many students, female and male, there's no real dating scene at Duke -- true for a lot of colleges. ''I've never been asked out on a date in my entire life -- not once,'' says one stunning brunette. Nor has a guy ever bought her a drink. ''I think that if anybody ever did that, I would ask him if he were on drugs,'' she says. Rather, there's the casual one-night stand, usually bolstered by heavy drinking and followed the next morning by -- well, nothing, usually. ''You'll hook up with a guy, and you know that nothing will come out of it,'' says Anna. The best thing you can hope for, she says, ''is that you'll get to hook up with him again.'' Some girls they know have managed to score a regular hookup -- meaning consistent sex -- but others play the field, bouncing from one guy to the next.



Now call me old fashioned, but if a repeat hook up is the best thing the crowd you are hanging with is offering and this is viewed negatively by you, wouldn't one look outside that crowd?


Among Naomi and her friends, a certain weariness creeps in when discussing the whole scene. ''Girls reduce themselves a lot here in order to be able to have the sexual freedom that I think they don't have by doing that,'' says Naomi. She sighs. ''There's a big difference between the global values and feminist ideals we think we should be subscribing to and the behavior a lot of us exhibit -- and I do it too,'' she admits. But maybe not as much as some of her friends, she adds. ''One of my friends thinks she's the biggest feminist, but to me she is one of the biggest anti-feminists, just because of her sexual behavior'' -- which is hooking up with several guys in the course of a weekend, including one, a ''regular'' who ''really treats her like shit.'' ''But, you know, she's doing it out of fear,'' says Anna, smiling a bit. ''It's like, 'Oh, yes, consistent sex -- that's great. And maybe he'll invite me to this big frat formal that's coming up that everyone wants to go to.' '' She chuckles condescendingly.


And now I'm pissed. this whole article describes the interviewees as these very "intelligent", beautiful ambitous women. I believe it points out several times how academically competitive Duke is and how hard they have to work to make good grades. OK, this is where I get off.
There is a quote in the article which I saw mentioned in a WaPo column once; "Effortless Perfection". That these women think they have to look like "fill in whoever is hot chick of the moment", be successful and be fun or "up" as they refer to it. These are the people at the top of our social structure. People who will theoretically fill in top positions in business, law and science.
The article doesn't give you much insight into the male psyche. (In general when articles are about sex it does seem that the female point of view is the only thing worth examining because you know men, they just want it all the time, no strings attached with the hottest chick possible. Too bad that is wildly untrue.) The men are just caricatures of people who the women are reacting to.
At first I was just mad that no one taught these women it was OK to want whatever it is they wanted. How old do you have to be before you realize that following the crowd and appearing to execute well to their parameters almost never leads to happiness. More than that, there is so little anger displayed. Even their "admissions" that the situation isn't satisfying for them seem defeated. In the meantime, you have supposedly smart motivated people working overtime to eliminate any messy humanity from their interactions with each other. They couldn't figure out the rules of engagement, so they stopped engaging. I get that. It's not as if my dating exploits are about to be turned into a handbook anytime soon, but fuck people try harder. You are supposed to be smarter than that.You are supposed to have more imagination.






Saturday, June 10, 2006

Jack the cat proves his mettle by chasing black bear up tree

"WEST MILFORD, N.J. (AP) -- A black bear picked the wrong New Jersey yard for a jaunt earlier this week, running into a territorial tabby who ran the furry beast up a tree -- twice.
Jack a 15-pound orange-and-white cat, keeps a close vigil on his property, chasing small animals when he can, but his owners and neighbors say his latest escapade was surprising."

Friday, June 09, 2006

What up BIDMC?

"Last March, Cassandra Sampson arrived at the Beth Israel Deaconess medical center to be treated for a migraine headache. When Sampson admitted to 'self destructive impulses,' she was admitted to the psychatric unit, where she was forcibly stripped over her clothing 'for security purposes.' Sampson, a childhood sexual abuse survivor, begged to be allowed to keep her clothing but was ignored. Instead, five male guards held her down."

see no evil

"Today, when the need for information about the planet is more important than ever, this process of building understanding through increasingly powerful observations . . . is at risk of collapse,' said Berrien Moore III, director of the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space at the University of New Hampshire.
Moore is cochairman of a National Research Council committee that will recommend NASA's future earth science agenda later this year. It is unclear, however, whether NASA will follow those recommendations.
``NASA has canceled, scaled back, or delayed all of the planned earth observing missions,' he said."

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Maybe someday I will get here

"Works of art are of an infinite solitude, and no means of approach is so useless as criticism. Only love can touch and hold them and be fair to them. - Always trust yourself and your own feeling, as opposed to argumentations, discussions, or introductions of that sort; if it turns out that you are wrong, then the natural growth of your inner life will eventually guide you to other insights. Allow your judgments their own silent, undisturbed development, which, like all progress, must come from deep within and cannot be forced or hastened. Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this alone is what it means to live as an artist: in understanding as in creating.
In this there is no measuring with time, a year doesn't matter, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn't force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly silent and vast. I learn it every day of my life, learn it with pain I am grateful for: patience is everything! "

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Slavery auctions in airports in London...seriously

"A CPS conference on Monday is to discuss airport crime, and its director in west London, Nazir Afzal, said: 'Criminal activity at the UK's airports is on the increase.
'We are now seeing 'slave auctions' being held in public places at airports where brothel keepers are bidding for women destined for prostitution.'
One auction had taken place outside a coffee shop in the arrivals hall at Gatwick Airport, the CPS said. Others were believed to have been staged at Heathrow, Stansted and other UK airports, it added.
Ministers earlier this year set out proposals to boost action against sex trafficking gangs. "

It feels true

"I'm just hypothesizing here, but as someone who grew up in the shadow of the backlash, I absorbed the message that the odds are against actually finding a man worth marrying when I was old enough to feel ready for it. The hysteria in the 80s that women's independence meant
that there would be huge numbers of independent, unmarried women resulted in people wrapping their minds around the idea that there could be this new creature, the confirmed bachelorette. And the word "if" crept into the vocabulary of straight women of my generation when we spoke of marriage and children in the future. Threatening women with the possibility of never getting married might have worked better if women really had to rely on marriage for a secure future. It'd be interesting to see if there's any proof that the backlash might have just backfired a little. "

I still wonder if I never expected to get married because of ambivalence about marriage or if I was just convinced that women like me don't "get" to get married.

Irony-From a Daily Kos diary

"I actually have no idea what on earth this is. I just love its product description: 'Are you drowning in the sea of comprehensive sex ed? Are you searching for a life preserver? You'll find one in the Abstinence Survival Kit!'
To answer the question that you already answered for me, yes, I do feel like I'm drowning in a sea of comprehensive sex ed. It's everywhere- everywhere, I tell you!
The store also includes great links to 'abstinence bookmarks, buttons, carabiners, posters, mints, stickers, pens, pencils, neck cords,and `virginity vouchers.''
But none are so truly abstinence-tastic as the following:
The Abstinence Sucker.

They make an abstinence sucker.
Not a lollipop. A sucker.
Alas, the sucker is cherry-flavored.
I thought for a long time about a suitable response to this. A long, long time.
So many ideas filled my head that my brain shut down and I fainted from overload.
When a member of the Abstinence Clearinghouse/ NSA joint division (who had been listening through the phone I left on) noticed a lack of typing noises, he came to investigate and found me face down on my keyboard.
After reading the contents of my computer screen, the officer left me unconscious and taped to my computer screen twenty dollars with a note reading, 'Such a pure, moral, Good Girl as yourself has lots to be proud of. I don't know how you ended up on our list of uppity women terrorists, but we just kinda put everyone's name in there. I'd like to provide the first twenty dollars toward your efforts.'
So come on, ya'll. Step up! Only $1,321.77 to go!"

Monday, June 05, 2006

Top Ten Signs you are a Liberal Elitest Idiot

I almost appreciate the straight forwardness...

Balloon teens not dumbest after all

"The man shouted 'God will save me, if he exists', lowered himself by a rope into the enclosure, took his shoes off and went up to the lions,' the official said.
'A lioness went straight for him, knocked him down and severed his carotid artery.'"

How dumb can you be?

"Their bodies were found Saturday partially inside a deflated helium balloon at the entrance of a condominium complex a few miles north of Tampa. The 8-foot-diameter balloon was used to advertise the complex."

Friday, June 02, 2006

Need to Kvetch

So I am trying to complete all the necessary tasks for school. It has been nearly ten years since I "registered" for school. Yes I took those classes at Harvard for awhile, but they just said pay us money and you are in. ASU on the other hand.....

I can not friggin register for classes until I prove that I have gotten two MMR shots. I am 30 goddamn years old. I don't even remember the name of the doctor, who I am sure has long since retired, in Florida who gave us our original boosters. Seriously. I know I am ambivalent about school etc, but immunization shots for an evening program? I won't be around during the day to infect your real students.

later on...Ok apparently I can get a blood test to prove I'm immune. I'm going to be pissed if that comes back negative.

Have an awesome weekend everyone.

Poor diet as bad as smoking for health: Dutch report - Yahoo! News

"The study, which the European Food Safety Authority says it will use when analyzing food and diet risks, concludes that most cases of serious illness and death in the Netherlands is caused by poor diet.
'Taking into account not just deaths but also years spent living with serious disability, unhealthy dietary habits cause as much health loss as does smoking,' said the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)."

Thursday, June 01, 2006

0 is the new 8 - The Boston Globe

"''I tried on a size 0 skirt and it was too big,' said Chao, a 30-year-old graduate student of molecular biology at Harvard University. ''To me, a size 0 is antimatter; it's something devoid of any physical reality.'"

yup so far

"A survey of more than 3,400 women found that 44 percent had experienced intimate partner violence. The more recent the violent incident and the longer it had persisted, the worse the victim's physical and mental health and social network were likely to be, the researchers found.
'This is an epidemic,' Dr. Robert S. Thompson, senior investigator at Group Health Center for Health Studies, said in a prepared statement. 'But it flies under the radar, because of the stigma and shame associated with it -- as well as the fear that many healthcare providers have of opening what some call a 'Pandora's Box' of difficult problems that they are unsure how to address.'"

Ah so good to know how far we have come

"The study, released Wednesday, found that blacks were 29 percent more likely to pay a high interest rate on a fixed-rate home purchase loan. A Hispanic borrower also was more likely to pay a high rate, it found.
'African Americans and Latinos are paying a premium for home loans because of the color of their skin,' said Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP's Washington bureau."