Monday, May 31, 2004

pick me! pick me! 
Happy Memorial Day folks. Tis the day to appreciate not working and to stuff yourself full of hamburgers and hot dogs, right? In case you haven't, be sure to visit the PhotoJournal to see what we have been up to.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

one word: depth 
The depth of the conversation played through their minds. His actions showed his sincerity. The look in her eyes told him exactly what she wanted. "Now," he thought to himself. Now is the time to tell her he loved her.

free association 
[quiz] la ti da...here we go
Lover:: fighter
Ridiculous:: absurd
Oscar:: winner
Tennis:: coach
Account Balance:: oh no!
Hickey:: oh no! (again)
License:: to drive, ill, kill
Breathmints:: altoids
TexMex:: spicy
Stepmother:: wicked
on hickey - that word made me think of a funny story, on license - i am not sure which of those three words popped into my head first, and on stepmother - i was thinking of Cinderella. click 'add your thoughts' and join me.


Friday, May 28, 2004

so sad 
a Baltimore woman arrived home to find one child decapitated and two others with their heads partially cut off. Two men have been arrested. They are cousins and are related to the victims although it was not immediately clear in what way.

unrelated: you gotta see this pic


Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Last night the funniest thing happened. I came home from work and heard a faint meowing from the backyard. I rushed to the edge of the woods, worried that it might be the cat. Sure enough. He was stuck in a tree. He gave me this look that said it all: "What the hell am I doing stuck in a tree? I am a cat! This is what we do!" He appeared to be embarrassed. The best part of this story: Perhaps it was sheer coincidence, but there was a family of mice below. Was my cat really frightened so badly by mice to spend the entire evening in a tree? Maybe...Of course, I helped him down.

(note: this has happened to me, minus the mice) [link]

some teachers suck 
I found this amazing bit of news via DNC: Kicking Ass:
About a week ago, Dear Abby received a letter from a troubled 13 year old girl. The girl told her Health and Human Services class that ever since the fifth grade, she wanted to become the president of the United States
Guess what the teacher said?
But when I said that, my teacher laughed at me. He told me I had very little chance of making it, although he didn't say why. Now, a group of kids at school have started calling me names and spreading rumors about me.
Even the guidance counselor did little to help. John Kerry was one of many who wrote an encouraging letter in response to this. Part of the letter stated:
But remember, doubters never made America a better place. It is people like you — people who dream big and are filled with hope — who make a difference in this world.
Now I am a realist, but one should never squash the dreams of children. And sometimes young women (especially those who want to president) need a little extra encouragement.

euthanasia / assisted suicide 
it was simply the title that caught my eyes on this news article: Bush Administration Blocked on Assisted Suicide. Attorney General John Ashcroft had threatened to revoke prescription writing licenses for physicians and pharmacists who filled life-ending drug orders. But Oregon said 'no, our law stands.'

i had my intro to soc classes do presentations on this topic and it seemed that quite a few people are in favor of it. some facts:
  • the difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide is in who is doing it. with euthanasia, someone else is giving the lethal dose and with assisted suicide, the physician (usually) gives the lethal drugs and the persons administers it themselves. i think too few people realize this difference.
  • those in favor point out that since people have a right to live, then people have a right to die - with dignity, without being a burden to their friends and family (not to mention the state).
  • those against it note that Hitler used euthanasia but he called it 'mercy killings.' no one wants to be like Hitler.
  • Oregon is the only state that allows assisted suicide. The Netherlands do as well.

  • Tuesday, May 25, 2004

    i thought this was all over 
    Apparently, it's not. Utah Lawyer Sues Over Superbowl Halftime Show. "They told me to expect a family show, and it wasn't a family show."

    height does matter 
    i am not alone. I am restating: Six-foot minimum.

    crime stats 
    Violent crime has decreased for the fourth straight year. Actually, all crime categories show either a steady or decrease in crime (except homicide). May I remind you, however, that the UCR measures index offenses, none of which includes white collar crimes. Because there are no national stats on that, we have no idea.


    Monday, May 24, 2004

    lethal injection is challenged 
    The Supreme Court allowed an appeal today for a death row inmate, just days from death. David Nelson (AL) has appealed that lethal injection in his case would be cruel and unusual punishment, violating the 8th Amendment.
    On Oct. 6, 2003, three days before his scheduled execution, David Nelson filed the civil rights lawsuit. He claimed his veins have been damaged by years of drug use and challenged as unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment the proposed 'cut down' procedure that may be used to access his veins.
    If access to a suitable vein cannot be achieved, prison authorities proposed to have a doctor perform the procedure involving use of a local anesthetic and a two-inch incision to insert the intravenous line that carries the lethal drugs.
    This is good for civil rights, but may be bad for the criminal justice system. Especally considering the number of death row inmates who are/were intravenous drug users. If the appeal goes through, it may send the message that to avoid execution, do lots of heroin.


    free association 
    It's Sunday (well, it was), so there's a new Unconscious Mutterings [quiz]
    Finale:: Over
    Martial arts:: Karate
    Flirt:: 'Hee Hee' (batting eyelashes)
    Energy:: Crazy
    Flavor:: Grape
    Guess?:: Who
    Accomplishment:: Conquer
    Prom:: Queen
    Diploma:: Graduate
    Bloody:: Hell
    Hmmm...This one wasn't any fun for some reason. I don't even like 'grape.'


    Friday, May 21, 2004

    must-see website (caution: politics ahead) 
    the next time you have some extra time, point your browser to JohnKerryIsADoucheBagButImVotingForHimAnyway.com. The opening line is: "It almost goes without saying that there are a few things wrong with this country right now. There is one thing in particular, though, that seems to be the root of all of these problems. I'll give you a hint: it starts with a 'G', and ends with an 'eorge W. Bush'."

    But really, this is quality. Here are some some things the site addresses: Bush says Kerry is flip-floppy on the issues. Bush' site (I am not providing that link, find it yourself, genius) points to many issues on which Kerry changed his opinion. But we must be careful of what the politicians say. In some instances, Kerry changed his opinion after many, many years. In others, he did so for just cause.

    Advertising during an election year is oftentimes hideous. Really, it is. The author points out that the Bush campaign distorts the truth in the media (really! I didn't know politicians did that!). For example:
    [An ad] spotted from time to time, as funded and approved by the Bush campaign, goes a little something like this:

    John Kerry voted against funds for increasing our soldier’s paychecks.
    (booming voice) Mr. Kerry
    (TV screen) No.
    John Kerry voted against funds for providing our soldiers with bulletproof vests that could save their lives.
    (booming voice) Mr. Kerry
    (TV screen) No.
    John Kerry voted against funds that would provide our soldiers with the proper first aid supplies they require.
    (booming voice) Mr. Kerry
    (TV screen) No.

    Did John Kerry really vote against Kevlar jackets for our soldiers? Could a person be such a ruthless monster? Technically yes, but in reality, no, not really. All of the issues listed in the advertisement were part of an 87 billion dollar proposition for money to be set aside for the war in Iraq . Kerry supported these provisions that in turn supported our soldiers; what he didn’t support, however, was the method of paying for all of these provisions.
    Oh, there is so much more to this website. You just have to see it. The site is a collection of five essays, only two of which have been published to date. I can't wait for "How Fucked We will be With 4 More Years of George W. Bush."

    Thursday, May 20, 2004

    where were you when... 
    1) ...John F. Kennedy was shot? (11/22/1963)
    Well, my mom was only four...

    2) ...Mt. St. Helen's blew? (5/18/1980)
    I was two, I have no idea...

    3) ...the Challenger exploded? (1/28/1986)
    I remember this one! I was in elementary school (not sure which grade but the date suggests second grade). I was seven years old at the time. I do remember it and I know it made an impact. We all talked about.

    4)...the 7.1 earthquake hit San Francisco? (10/07/1989)
    I was eleven for this one. I remember seeing it on the news.

    5)...the Berlin Wall Fell? (11/07/1989)
    Again eleven. I don't really have a memory of when this happened, but it is in there somewhere...

    6) ... the Gulf War began? (01/16/1991)
    No clue.

    7) ... OJ Simpson was chased in his White Bronco? (06/17/1994)
    Ah, something I do recall. I watched it on the news at my uncle's house. I can still see that footage in my mind...

    8) ... the Afred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed? (04/19/1995)
    I remember there was talk about foreign terrorists. That sure wasn't right now was it.

    9)...Princess Di was killed? (08/31/1997)
    It was a Friday (or maybe Saturday night) and I had just gotten back to my apartment. My second year of college. Bevan and I came back from a party, it was late and night, and turned on the tv and it was everywhere. I (sadly) remember thinking that it wasn't a big deal to me. Well, it sucked that she was killed, but I was never interested in the British Royal Family.

    10) ... Bush was first announced president? (11/07/2000)
    I was in the computer lab working, my first year of grad school. I called my mom and told her I feared for my life.

    11) ... terrorists destroyed the WTC? (09/11/2001)
    I woke up that morning to find my answering machine light blinking. I did not turn on the tv or anything for a while. My mom had been calling to see if I was alright. She thought they may attack Norfolk (navy). I did turn on the tube just in time to see the second tower fall. I called my friend Liz (after mom) and we watched it together for a while. When I finally made it to work (at the computer lab) I spent the day in the Geography department office (they had a tv) wondering what was going to happen next. There were men with guns walking up and down the streets here (again, navy).

    Note: That first Letterman when Dan Rather cried is something that I will never forget either.

    12) ... Columbia disintegrated during re-entry over Texas? (02/01/2003)
    I saw that on the news, too. I was sitting right here in this very chair. [link] [quiz]


    here kitty kitty  
    This guy has a really cool idea: The Infinite Cat Project, although I would love to know dates of how recent this is. I think it is a great way to show off the basic nature of cats. You know, the way they are always on or in whatever it is that you are doing. I found the link via Deborah.

    I found this link via Mike at the Cat Project. It is a news site, but the best is the Boot Bush Countdown. When I looked this morning it was: 245 days, 4 hours, 58 minutes, 52 seconds until Inauguration Day 2005.

    one word: after 
    It was the day after. Everyone always anticipates the big day. But what the hell do you do on the day after? The time spent preparing... now it's over. Done. Finished. Everything is different now, it's a whole new world on the day after.

    Wednesday, May 19, 2004

    who would steal a penguin?

    actor tony randall has died. goodbye felix...

    ODU profs are getting a raise.

    Tuesday, May 18, 2004

    blog blog 
    I want to make a blogroll of local (Virginia) blogs.

    Monday, May 17, 2004

    uh oh - somebody got me going about prisons 
    The New York Times has an opinion article, The Dark Side of America, that brings up the subject of how bad we treat Americans. The article states:
    The sickening pictures of American troops humiliating Iraqi prisoners have led inevitably to questions about the standards of treatment in the corrections system at home...The nearly 12 million people who pass through the corrections system each year are often subject to violent attacks by other inmates, and prisoner-on-prisoner rape is endemic. Drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis, easily transmitted in tight spaces, have become a common problem.
    See, as I said previously, we love to inflict brutal torture whenever we feel we can get away with it. This article has fueled my fire about prisons. You ready?

    Our criminal justice system has many faults, but the correctional system is among the largest. Aside from not protecting our Americans from disease, sentencing is, in many cases, discrimination gone rampant. Three strikes laws make for draconian sentences to be served by non-violent offenders. Incarcerating non-violent offenders only makes things worse for everyone. Taxpayers have to pay. The children of prisoners are at risk for just about everything a child can be at risk for: truancy, teen pregnancy, drug use, gang involvement, crime. Prison breeds violence, too.

    Have I mentioned yet that non-violent drug offenders should not be incarcerated? The war on drugs is a complete failure.
    After 20-plus years of zero-tolerance policies and increasingly harsh criminal penalties, we have over half a million people behind bars on drug charges nationwide -- more than the total prison population in all of Western Europe. We're spending billions of dollars to keep them locked up. Yet the federal government's own research demonstrates that drugs are cheaper, purer, and more readily available than when this war started. Heroin use is up. Ecstasy use is up. Teenagers say that marijuana is easier to get than alcohol. No matter how you slice it, this is no success story.
    Also on the issue of incarcerating non-violent criminals, there is this other thing: The 1998 Higher Education Act restricts eligibility for federal grants, loans, and work study for students with drug convictions.

    Hmmm...we have a kid who is experimenting with drugs and needs direction. Let us make it as difficult as possible for this kid to play it straight. Let's take away all his opportunities so there is nothing left but crime. That makes sense. Remember this phrase?: NOT! This is my biggest problem with this war on terror. Why not fix our problems at home first, before we go fixing the rest of the world.


    Equality for all 
    It is official: After months of anticipation, debate and protest, Massachusetts on Monday became the first and only state to allow same-sex marriage, an election-year milestone likely to fuel legal and political battles nationwide.

    But there is something in this article that certainly caught my eye. A protester asked: "If they're going to allow this, then why not incest?"

    Outrageous! Because two people getting married is obviously the same thing as incest.

    UPDATE (at 5:18 pm): You have to see the slides at Human Rights Campaign website. On the 50th anniversary of the Brown decision, gays are allowed to marry in Massachusetts. Well, we are making progress I guess.

    one word: measure 
    Sometimes we think that we cannot measure up. But measure up to who? Let's say it is Joan. We all have to be like Joan. As thin as Joan. As pretty as Joan. As smart as Joan. How does Joan feel that the world is trying to measure up to her standards? I am Joan. Go ahead and try.

    my IQ 
    my results: "Congratulations, Jessica! Your IQ score is 131. Your Intellectual Type is Word Warrior. This means you have exceptional verbal skills. You can easily make sense of complex issues and take an unusually creative approach to solving problems. Your strengths also make you a visionary. Even without trying you're able to come up with lots of new and creative ideas. "

    Sunday, May 16, 2004

    free association 
    [quiz] from Unconscious Mutterings:
    Playoffs:: games w/ expensive tickets
    Morris:: the cat
    Break up:: dating
    Eggs:: sunny-side up
    Parker:: Louise
    Hardy Boys:: Nancy Drew
    Deluxe:: grand suite
    Protection:: condom
    Girl Scout:: cookie
    Salsa:: Mexican
    :: I don't know who Louise Parker is ::


    Friday, May 14, 2004

    church and state 
    i have no idea if this is true or not. I received the following in an email forward.
    Don't buy Pepsi in the new can. Pepsi has a new "patriotic" can coming out with pictures of the Empire State Bldg. and the Pledge of Allegiance on them. However, Pepsi left out two little words on the pledge, "Under God". Pepsi said they did not want to offend anyone. If this is true, then we don't want to offend anyone at the Pepsi corporate office. If we do not buy any Pepsi product, they will not be offended when they receive our money that has the words "Under God" on it.
    just for giggles, i am buying pepsi today.

    people suck  
    This is exactly what I have been thinking: "One of the most surprising things about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers is that so many Americans are surprised." This is what happens. We can see from our own violent history that human beings jump at a chance to treat their fellow man with abnormal cruelty. "In other wars, these things stayed under wraps." Now we know. Whew.

    Thursday, May 13, 2004

    local news 
    in Newport News, a mother let her ten year old daughter drive (she was in the passenger seat) and the girl struck two other little girls , killing one. the mother is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor...that's it?

    Wednesday, May 12, 2004

    "Our high crime rates persist in the face of this toughening of sentencing and thus suggests that crime persists even though we have a harsh criminal justice system, leading one criminologist to characterize the get-tough approach to crime as a conservative social experiment that has been tested and shown to fail."
    Reiman's The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison


    Tuesday, May 11, 2004

    creative outlet 
    i have created another blog. just what the world needs, right? i have been writing for my own enjoyment from these prompts and i decided that i should share it with the world. there is a link to the new blog 'this and that' on the right. you should give it a whirl.

    Great. I love it when I wake up in the morning only to find the remnants of another failed dinner. Eggs- I don't even like eggs. Flour- is it the same if I use Bisquick? It is a good thing no one eats. [link]

    Sunday, May 09, 2004

    Happy Mother's Day 
    to all you moms. I do think I made all the necessary phone calls this morning. even said it to my dad. Sabrina gave me the sweetest thing. it is a letter that she had made in school (she's seven). Anyhoo, here's what it says:
    Dear Mommy,
    I love you very much. You're the best mom in the whole wide world. I like it when you tuck me in at night and read me a story. I like everything you do for me. I'm always going to be good. I really like it when you give me nice big hug and kiss. I also like it when you teach me so I can be smart. I always get straight A's because of you. Happy Mother's Day!
    Love, Sabrina
    doesn't that make you wanna cry?!

    free association 
    [quiz] Here we go, Unconscious Mutterings:
    Vagina:: woman
    Racism:: absurd
    Mother's Day:: phone call
    Fire alarm:: smoke
    Elvis:: dead
    Pregnant:: woman, again, with big belly
    Vacation:: Vancouver
    Waffles:: pancakes
    Perpendicular:: straight edges
    Hospital:: sick
    We had a bluegrass/klezmer concert to benefit TDP on Thursday. There was a raffle, where you could win one of six really great prize baskets. One of them was two roundtrip tickets to anywhere from SW. I had already decided to go to Vancouver, B.C. if I won. Guess what, I didn't win.


    Wednesday, May 05, 2004

    remember when? 
    do you remember when people answered the phone 'Hello?' - with a question? what was life like before caller id? i can't even remember when i last answered the phone before the second ring.

    ad spots are $2 million for 30 seconds on the 'Friends' finale this week, making it the Super Bowl of sitcoms. 'It's a program that has captured a generation and a lifestyle for 10 years. It's become more than just a television program.'

    Tuesday, May 04, 2004

    jim would love it 
    the staff at Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris (where Jim Morrison lies) want to kick Jim out.
    The fifth most popular attraction in Paris celebrates its 200th anniversary this month rather regretting the pulling power of its better-known residents - and fed up with the behaviour of their fans... [Pere Lachaise], the final resting place for nearly 1 million souls, drew more than 2 million visitors last year, behind only Notre Dame, the Eiffel tower, the Louvre and the Pompidou centre on the city's must-see list... 'We'd like to kick him out, because we don't want him, he causes too many problems...If we could get rid of him, we'd do it straight away.' Unlike many of the tombs, Morrison's is on a perpetual lease.

    advertising at it's best 
    what kind of car do you drive?
    BMW drivers have more sex than owners of any other cars and are much more active than Porsche drivers, a new German car magazine has found.
    anything to sell a product...

    Sunday, May 02, 2004

    free association 
    new week. here we go:
    Sexy:: plexi
    Clique:: girl group
    Pledge:: allegiance
    Carbs:: diet
    Dream Job:: ?
    Sweeps:: week
    Soundtrack:: music
    Hero:: footloose
    Shave:: razor burn
    Christina:: Ricci
    just so you know, 'sexi plexi' is from Jack, a question mark is exactly what came to mind, and 'hero' is a song on the footloose soundtrack.


    you made it down here?

    what? you want a reward?