Saturday, July 30, 2005

do you think god is punishing the boy scouts?

I was gonna post this question yesterday but it slipped my mind. It was just about the first thing Mary asked me this morning. They say lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place but is that true if the "place" is "the boy scouts"?

Friday, July 29, 2005

on walking vs. running, especially when looking a bit foreign

This from Harmesh at the Notting Hill Gate:



well, it's pretty freaky and definitely sad but, well, true.

It's frustrating though to see quotes like this from such a likeble chap:

"Being coloured and male in this city is a nightmare right now"

where to start???

Slim posted about what might be the most offensive thing I've seen recently:

Black Panthers Branded Hot Sauce.

well, sort of.

Specifically Huey P. Newton's widow and former panther David Hilliard are selling "burn baby burn" hot sauce. Covered by the Comical with lines like:

"Children who benefited from the Panthers' free breakfasts in the '60s might reminisce over the taste of a mild, medium or spicy barbecue sauce"

and:

"It's the hip-hop market, and certainly there's people who have a nostalgia for the '60s -- people who are looking for retro clothing, people who are still listening to Bob Dylan," he said. "And most recently, Carly Simon has a retro CD out."

second best part:

They're getting help from Al Green (no relation)

third best part:

WEST OAKLAND BABY!!!


okay okay, what's really sad is that Newton's life fell apart (yeah, even worse than when he was arrested and convicted of shooting a cop) - he basically turned into a neighborhood gang leader, lost control of his life to a major drug problem and was shot and killed by a rival. luckily for the panther legacy his widow hooked up(romantically and financially) with his former party mate, copyrighted his name and image, as well as those of the black panther party (though that's considerably more dubious) and have been "protecting" his image ever since.
in the words of Hilliard himself "Sad."

back from hotlandia

Wow. I was in Austin a day too long, but I sure had a good time.

1) I love Pong. I am going to put some effort into making them hugely popular with people with good taste.

2) I really like architects. Especially Larry. Good times.

3) There are still people I like in Austin

4) Work is only a tiny part of my life, but I spend a solid 1/3 of my time on it. Frequently more.

5) It's really hard being away from Mary for more than a few days.

6) Lunch at Google is good even when it's rushed.

7) The new Korean lunch joint in Mtn Vw makes good coffee drinks

8) The folks at Azul have a pretty amazing product and their data center is bitchin'.

9) That little bird that fell out of the tree and couldn't fly is almost certainly dead.

10) San Jose Airport code is SJC not SJO and, frankly, the airport sucks. It's far too hard to get there from the Santa Clara Caltrain stop (better to take a cab, which should only be 10 bucks or so, rather than wait for the free bus)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

voice from the past

hah. i love when people accidentally get in touch with someone they really shouldn't get in touch with.

last night I received an email from the address of a guy who totally screwed me over after agreeing to sell an fj60 landcruiser. you know, one of those over the internet deals where you go through all the extra steps to be sure the guy isn't a total flake because you've got to go far away to get the damned thing.

like where you send multiple emails saying "are you absolutely sure this is going to happen and you're not going to flake because I'm buying non-refundable one way tickets out there and making all these other plans based on you not flaking" and he responds - yes. buy the tickets and come on out.

and then suddenly stops responding to emails.

really classy white trash move.

well, here's the response I sent to everyone on the stupid email making fun of people from iowa:

>Subject: Re: Iowa's New Tornado Warning System
>Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 01:25:32 -0700 (PDT)
>
>hi joe!
>
>and wow, has it been a long time. come to think of
>it, it's been well, almost ummm...
>
>since early in 2002. man 4 and one half years or so.
>
>yeah, right about during the winter olympics in Salt
>Lake City it was.
>
>wow.
>
>maybe you don't remember.
>
>or...
>
>maybe you didn't mean to send me this email.
>
>In fact, upon some several moments thinking about why
>in the hell I might have received email from you at
>all I remembered - I have tried on several occassions
>to get ahold of you. maybe you don't remember. you
>sold me a landcruiser over the internet. it was blue
>and you had posted it on ebay or some such. there was
>snow in the pictures. According to you the car was,
>like, super cool. AND in good shape. wow. maybe the
>shape was GREAT. double wow.
>
>striking any bells?
>
>I agreed to fly to wisconsin from California to pick
>it up. you agreed to sell it to me. at the very last
>minute, well maybe not within a few minutes but
>certainly after I had purchased non-refundable tickets
>to the milwaukee area (for two so my friend and I
>could split the drive back to the bay area via
>interstate salt lake city on I-80) you backed out of
>the deal and didn't respond any of my phone calls or
>emails.
>
>
>At the time you had been complaining about problems
>with the engine - problems you had just noticed you
>swore - something about a bad seal in engine - the
>details escape me at the moment, an oil pan gasket or
>piston ring I can't remember. in any event, and some
>good time later - I got another land cruier, which
>ironically is having very similar problems at the
>moment (well, despite the dishonesty part) and you
>should know that I consider the dishonesty i
>experienced a very valuable lesson. Also, I'm sure
>the air carrier which benefited from the 600+ american
>dollars I spent on not flying to WI kept that carrier
>out of bankruptcy for all of about 0.03 seconds - that
>part makes me feel especially good. I care about
>government subsidies, especially to overpriced
>industries like, hmmm, the winsconsin dairy industry.
>
>
>Regardless of what I learned, or how I happened to
>stave of the financial ruin of an american air
>carrier, I no longer want to receive emails from you
>for any reason (unless you're willing to repay me for
>the lost monies spent on one way tickets to the fine
>state of wisconsin).
>
>man, funny how that whole experience was. I purchased
>one way tickets after agreeing to purchase the
>landcruier from you AND THEN bought tickets to the
>winter olympics. the original plan was to fly to WI
>and drive back via the olympics but you bailed and
>stopped responding to emails. well, owing to the fact
>that I had purchased tickets to WI for myself and my
>friend (in addition to tickets for salt lake from
>montana, where my girlfriend had been working that
>month) - I ended up having to borrow a car from
>another friend and drive from SF to the olypics on
>short notice - hate to let those olympics tickets go
>to waste - it's lucky that I never fucked anyone over
>like that so that I could depend on people in pinches
>like that to not lose even more money as a result of
>someone else's flakiness. plus I got to boo anyone
>from wisconsin. really loudly. owing to the proximity
>of the whole olympics thing to the bombing of the WTC
>I was NOT allowed to do anything more drastic to
>people (truthful or otherwise) from WI.
>
>oh well.
>
>at least I got to see the winter olympics - man those
>canadian and japanese and scotish and american curlers
>were really good. especially that dude with the beard
>wig who kept jumping up and down when the japanese
>chicks did well. plus I got to see suburbs of salt
>lake city, and I bought a book about the history of
>mormonism or whatever they call it. wow.
>
>what a good time. despite the lack of booze and the
>fact that I dropped my cell phone in the hot tub and
>really only had the whole damned vacation in the first
>place because some total flake in the second best
>dairy state in the union didn't have the decency to
>hold up their end of a bargin. good time yah. makes me
>wanna go drink some beer from stevens point, or maybe
>some sprecher root beer, or listen to some metal at
>metalfest, or go see a vintage movie in west alice, or
>check out riverfest at marquette park, or, oh idunno,
>watch a waterski event at the delles, or really ever
>forgive anyone from winsconsin for your sins again.
>
>Regardless of all of that, I do appreciate your
>somewhat less than timely respone (I was begining to
>think you were ignoring me) - well, anyway, thanks.
>again. really.
>
>at least for not stealing my money directly. I mean,
>that part would have really sucked. like, more than
>the rest of dealing with you did.
>
>maybe. save that I would have had the added incentive
>to come and burn down all of milwaukee in your name
>and shame you and your family in the name of senator
>joseph macarthy.
>
>and gone to mars cheese palace and bought one of those
>waxy cheese cows. the ones with just the cow faces.
>
>wow.
>
>that'd be really cool.
>
>sort of.
>
>except for that whole being lied to and screwed over
>part.
>
>-aram
>
>

now, aside from not being able to count very well (4.5 years?) and forgetting the vermont makes better cheese than winsonsin too, and well, A LOT of run on sentences, I HAD A BLAST WRITING THAT EMAIL. I forgot how much fun that whole trip was. And really, I don't harbor any real anger that long about things that are so unimportant. Mostly I'm just really pleased they accidentally sent me the email because I hadn't received an email from them for so long I thought they had forgotten about me - I'm glad to see they still care enough to share mass emailed spammy bad jokes. it's like i still have friends out there somewhere.

only a coward could kill

man. cousin posted about this totally fucked up shit. Now, silkworm wasn't a band I was ever friends with - I never knew any of the guys in the band or anything (or the dials or the returnables) but for some reason I always thought that I would really like them. I really liked their music (but wouldn't rush out and buy it consistently or anything) but their live shows were pretty much great - the last two times I saw there were here in SF - with Shellac and Mission of Burma as I remember. Plus the guitarist dude went to the U of C law school which I thought was really cool. The band relocated accordingly which I also though was cool. Now the drummer is dead because some total awful bitch tried to kill herself during lunch by ramming her big american car at 70 miles an hour into a little japanese car that was stopped legally at an intersection minding its own business.

Mary had a family member that was almost killed this same way. Apparently this is a way that women sometimes try to kill themselves. here's my advice to you stupid assholes:

Don't kill someone else when you're trying to kill yourself. I recommend you swallow your pills or preferalby something really painful like drinking draino because if you even considered slamming you car into someone elses for one moment you deserve to suffer until the very last moment you die. that should be a fairly long time too.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

very cool speech thingy

now we just need some prosodic controls and we're set.

http://musicthing.blogspot.com/2005/07/how-to-build-cheap-hardware.html

hey look - there really are websites for everything

variation on a theme

http://www.blogger.com/profile/10573605

another way to do it.

link spamming through blogs

wow. every once in a while I click the next blog button on my blog and i am amazed at the number of link spamming blogs.

here's a fun one:

google search for:

Substitute terrorists for aliens and Maple Street becomes the current

and you'll get, among other things an msnbc piece. add the word poker and you get a bunch of link spam blog pages which have snipped the original text and, well, added to it.

smarter than your average bear but still a little easy to clean up once you see it.

Monday, July 25, 2005

almost famous

so i finally saw almost famous. totally awesome. sort of. I think what's great about it as a movie is that it's a great story, not that it's a great movie.

i spent a bit of time trying to figure out what the band really was - no one really mentions that it was real - however fake it was. or if they do they say led zeppelin but I think it was more complicated - so I started looking for more clues to see what made sense. first clue was all the peter frampton references in the credits. second clue was of course the fact that it was on tour with black sabbath at the start - well, that wasn't a clue really but an oportunity to do some fact checking - 1973 black sabbath was on tour (volume four) with a band that coincedentally had peter frampton in it. hmmm. sabbath and led zeppelin DID play a few shows together but obviously it was sabbath opening not the other way around.

I think pretty clearly crowe pulled enough pieces from enough places that he could call the whole thing inspired fiction but the pieces obviously came from places (and not troy michigan).

I really wanna know who did the acid and jumped into the pool though...

best part about the search was this google link at the top of the page:
Scholarly articles for black sabbath on tour 1973

death and texas

I'm ready to go home now.

my new favorite band

my new favorite band is pong.

my new favorite band is pong.

my new favorite band is pong.

they used to be ed hall. SEE, madison is the austin of wisconsin.

Friday, July 22, 2005

on the t-shirt phenomenon

okay, so this is yet another thing we used to do all the time that's suddenly turned into a huge business.

where are my "hello girls" shirts? I still have my "Visualize my pussy" shirt logan made for Julie. Recently lost my blackston bike co-op shirt, but found the colors on a pic from the shop itself (black on yellow, on the shirt the yellow glowed in the dark). It's funny to me that folks are making money doing this now - though it's not that surprising - we did it because if you did it yourself it was pretty damned cheap actually - I guess it only took a bit for folks to figure out that you could make money if you charged more than it cost. gotta love it.

next I guess will be people making custom chef aprons now to move in on my chili cookoff niche...


one thing I've been thinking about doing that I haven't yet done:

The old holiday inn cambodia shirt - pink on black - I've been listening to the dead kennedys quite a bit lately just jonzin' for a picture of JR wearin' that shirt right about now...

i could very well have liked this man

one of the bombers was described as "a shy, simple young man who...spoke of no higher ambitions than to help his father run a fish and chips shop in Leeds."

mmmm...

fish and chips.

big black guns

so, in a country where most cops don't carry guns, England is now kinda freaking out about cops shooting people. welcome to america my friends.

from an article on the cops shooting a dude with a jacket in the summer time:

"There were at least 20 of them (officers) and they were carrying big black guns,"


I susepct we'll have to wait and see if the police susepcted the fleeing man had explosives or if they were just excited by the chance and decided to cap him when he fell. it might have been helpful to get some information from him I'd think.

everything is big in texas

but i'll admit that austin feels less like texas than ever in this, my most recent trip. There are, however, quite a large number of paintings of cows. and some really large paintings of boots in this hotel.

sigh...

I think I've only ever been to austin twice other than this, once was south by southwest in the mid 90s - most noteable for seeing a truly amazing atari teenage riot show, meeting chris green (who I've sadly lost touch with, though I did see him in some outtakes for the wilco movie), missing the parking lot concert with the flaming lips, and realizing that austin is truly an island. The other time was visiting ellen out here, which was pretty weird for a variety of reasons, but did include some good times hangin' with michelle marschesault and eating amy's ice cream which coldstone seems to have capitalized very nicely on...

I wonder if I'll be able to find Lana, my most favorite cocktail waitress in the whole world (RIP Lounge Ax - I miss you).

Thursday, July 21, 2005

and of course Condi doesn't speak arabic

The NYTimes dropped the ball on this bit of "reporting"

"After Ms. Rice entered the meeting with Mr. Bashir, they sat in awkward silence for almost 10 minutes because Mr. Bashir speaks only Arabic and his security guards refused to let Ms. Rice's translator in."

Ummm....Wouldn't there be, like, no problem communicating if Ms. Rice spoke arabic? So why is it the arabic speaker's fault for not speaking english?

whippits for fatties

Psychologist Applies for Probation

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: July 21, 2005
Filed at 4:50 p.m. ET

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- A prominent eating disorder expert who collapsed in a supermarket after allegedly inhaling propellant from whipped cream cans applied for a special form of probation Thursday.

If a judge grants accelerated rehabilitation, Lisa G. Berzins will have her criminal record cleared after she completes probation. The program is reserved for first-time offenders and does not include a formal guilty plea.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, West Hartford police were called to a grocery store May 29 and found Berzins lying on the floor and bleeding from her head. Berzins told police she did not know what happened.

Investigators concluded that Berzins inhaled from three cans of whipped cream containing nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas, the affidavit said.

Berzins was charged with possession of a restricted substance, criminal mischief and creating a public disturbance.

Berzins and her attorney, Bob Ludgin, declined to comment as they left the courtroom Thursday. She is due back in Hartford Superior Court on Sept. 8.

Berzins, 49, has written and lectured on eating disorders, female development, sex roles and self-esteem, according a speaker's biography from the American Psychological Association. She has visited schools in a ''fat suit'' to bring a message to young people about the fear of being overweight.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

what? you mean sting didn't bust him?

Bolsinga posted about the "original policeman" from the village people getting arrested by "real police" for an outstanding warrent, some coke and driving without a license. It's true. and it's funny.

I used to actually kind of like denver

but now I think it sucks.

seriously, Lux - who was technically my roommate's dog - was the best, most well behaved and nicest dog I have ever been around - good with other dogs, friendly with kids and strangers, and really just generally a positive energy to be around. that denver somehow thinks banning all dogs that "look like pitbulls" is okay is proof that they're a bunch of reactionary morons. and their moms dress them funny too.

For the record:

I'm glad your housing market is in the tank and you've got high unemployment. you deserve all the shitty things that happen to you AND YOUR AIRPORT SUCKS!!!!

beam me up goddy

okay so was I more bummed out that scotty died or that he's canadian? well, that he died duh - the accent was enough for me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

toasted ohs

made granola tonight, and scones. blueberries in both. trying to do as much of our own from scratchness for eats - the advantages of breads/grains is that they keep for a good week +

Monday, July 18, 2005

where am I?

37.81659, -122.29

or

37.7802, -122.4215

at least according to google maps.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

awesomely terrible review of willy wonka and the chocolate factory

From the NYTimes - funny how great so many people think the movie is compared to this:

'Chocolate Factory'

HOWARD THOMPSON.
Published: July 1, 1971

The children have so few good films to claim as their own. Much as it pains us to say so, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" is not one of them. Yes, it's clean. It's also tedious and stagy with little sparkle and precious little humor.

The picture, which opened around town yesterday, cries out for animation, not live actors. Broght colorations and a mercurial animated flow could have done wonders to Roald Dahl's story of a little boy allowed to tour a magic chocolate factory, with his character tested by a nimble chocolate impresario.

Most of the picture looks exactly like what it is, a fairly elaborate project shot by an American company inside a Bavarian studio. The three leads, Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson and young Peter Ostrom, are quite appealing, unlike a pedestrian Leslie Bricusse-Anthony Newley score.

Take the youngsters only if they're tired of "Sesame Street," and why should they be?

Thirsty for a higher power

Man Again Drinks Holy Water at Ga. Church

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: July 14, 2005
Filed at 5:46 p.m. ET

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- A man drinking holy water at St. Joseph's Catholic Church was removed from the church by police on Wednesday. The man, Stacy Lamar Bradford, has a history of trespassing at the church, said Tom Rocks, the church's office manager.

On Oct. 15, Bradford was arrested at St. Joe's after he assaulted the church's pastor, broke a processional crucifix and broke the window of a police cruiser, Rocks said.

He was barred from the church for five years, but he continues to come in the church about every two weeks to drink holy water, which is kept for use in baptisms and other sacraments.

''I've called 911 every two weeks for the last six months,'' said Rocks. ''The big question is that we know he has a problem and we don't want to cause any more problems for him, but since he has attacked people before, we're concerned for people's safety.''

Although Rocks has called police several times to have Bradford removed from the premises, the church has not pursued a warrant for his arrest.

spud gun action photos

Lane's pics are up!!!

Her stuff at Fetching.net is pretty great too - I really like the hercules explosives plant night shots.

Some pics I like:

This one with Mary and Amani

This one of me

This one of Mary

This one of Mary

And this one of Mary

blaming the europeans for acting like americans

I find this remarkable:

A one two punch from Chertoff.

1) State's have to pay for terrorist proofing their transit systems. I think this is pretty funny given that California (for example) didn't invade Iraq (specifically) and doesn't set foreign policy. That said, I think it's kind of absurd that the states are looking for handouts on designing transportation systems that are, well, safer. Aren't we at a stage where safety should just be part of the plan. Haven't we really been there since the 70s?

More interesting to me is:

2) Chertoff basically blames Eurpean culture for terrorism. While deftly referring to "continental europe" so it wouldn't appear he was blaming our ally just off the continent, he is saying it's our social mobility that prevents the terrorism in the US. In fact, this is ironically the exact same as what Mssrs. Bin Landen and Churchill are saying - that it's the foreign policy of America that is getting us bombed not the domestic policy. (Chertoff focuses on the domestic side of things, Bin Laden and Churchill focus on the international side of things).

I think the point that Chertoff misses (on point two that is) is that the foreign policy is what creates the anger and that the domestic policy is what creates the opportunity to express that anger domestically. Clearly OBL's success with the 9/11 attacks shows that culturally inclusive domestic agenda's aren't sufficient to prevent domestic terrorism but I think the point that we've not seen isolationism (cultural and economic) create terrorism in the states with the exception of 1) religious nutsos (Jim Jones, the branch dividians etc.) and 2) the millitia freakazoids (mcveigh and nichols). I find it ironic that the increased relationship between church and state (with regard to schooling in particular) ensures this isolationism will increase.

I strongly believe it will be Christians who become the terrorists in the US, not muslims. I think the reason for this is the isolationism, the resouces they're afforded and their general freedom of movement and teachings. If you look at the Army of God nutsos who have multi-state anti-abortion networks it's pretty clear the infrastructure is there already.

Neither of the religions really lend themselves to fanaticism per se, but the fact that they're cannons are so filled with violence and absolutism it's no wonder some people take them to extremes successfully.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

It has stopped being fun

...to mock salim's inability to socialize like a normal person (owing to his job, not some other character flaw) but we did razz him in his absence last night when we needed to know how much the fine for parking had been increased in SF. This question alone would not have helped us win (we did manage to place second all on our own, sort of - thanks alan!) as we were behind by two at the end but whatever. The funny part about it is that today Slim posted about that exact subject!!!

back on the chain gang

Otti, the only person I really "met" while on tour - that I really clicked with - sent me a GREAT LINK on chains.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Surely he must mean Judith Miller...

The headline read: "Bush Calls for Jailed Reporter's Release"

Whoops, no, it turns out it was in Iran. I get confused about freedom of the press sometimes. Most recently where it's supposed to be.

founding things on the internet

ever find something from a long time ago on the internet? I just did. Cousin's post about our trip to death valley. Wow. I dinnit even know he wrote about the trip at all.

jung, and anna freud

All your base are belong to us meets one of Salim's favorites, sort of.

$firstname, I found you a new job.

in checking a spam folder I found this (see title)- very funny to me. i love when mistakes occur that show process. this same sort of thing happens all the time at my job, most frequently as a result of someone not knowing how to do something or trying to take shortcuts.

Monday, July 11, 2005

conflict of interests

so...we really need to move, for the sake of mary surviving her commute - but I really like our building ( not the landlord or anything, but the space itself and the neighbors ). it's not a fun position to be in. this evening we all (seth, sarah, christian, mary and I - felix and carol where there for a few as well) hung out at the grill talkin' smack and eatin' good food. it'll be hard to leave it when we finally do...

a.

is naming someone's husband different than naming them?

Rove, on being slippery:

"I didn't know her name and didn't leak her name."

kitty kitty

I'm not really a pet person, but clearly, me and 186 or so of my friends have been made up for by this lady:

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) -- Animal control officers have removed 187 cats from a house in Mount Vernon, authorities said Monday.

In Mount Vernon, police went to a home on Ludgate Drive, Friday, to find Ruth Knueven, 82, living inside with 187 cats. Officers said the dead bodies of 86 more were left in trash bins outside.

Most of the surviving cats were sent to an animal shelter, but animal control officers said they have to go back and get some cats that are still living in the walls and chimney.

tv for stoned people

Today I heard the saddest story on the way to work:

Rebecca informed me that her roommate stopped smoking weed for 39 days during which she was rather unpleasant to be around. Thirty Nine? that's weird. Why 39? Well, duh, because she wants to be on Survivor (not in Survivor, where I imagine weed smoking is okay) and that show lasts 39 days.

This struck me as incredibly lame on so many fronts I don't even know what to say about it so instead I will spell it out: L-A-M-E.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

on accuracy

Today's stage finish was a testament to the accuracy of timing devices. Only 0.0002 seconds separated Weening and Kloden after 231.5 Km. wow.

(also note the fab moray effect on the spokes)

inside joke for cyclists: bet Kloden wished he had opted for 25s instead of 23s eh?

on being raised by wolves

okay, I frequently tell folks that I was raised by wolves - the few times I went to church growing up were when:
1) I stayed over at the house of a friend who went to church (I think of Kane and the Hibblens)
2) a friend of the family was singing in a church
3) on a two visits to hillel house in oxford, which housed services during my mom's brief affiliation with a unitarian church (she was speaking at one)
4) just randomly exploring my home town (I'm thinking of a particular visit with Jill Jaworski where we both pledged to never get married because it was stupid (yes, Jill, who eventually went to the u of c, stopped being punk rock and started selling Jaguars - yes, really - oh and she's married now too - did so in her early 20s actually)

there is of course one noteable exception:
I went to Saint Xavier Collegiate Preparatory Acadamy for Men (aka St.X). This required going to mass once a quarter or something - the details are fuzzy. I was originally really confused about this choice - it was a great school but I was decidedly NOT Catholic - in the end I opted for quality education (at the commendation of some recent graduates who really, really enjoyed their time there) - it turns out to have been the right decision as significant portions of my peer group in Oxford ended up in jail or the millitary (even the smart ones) plus I got a great education (yes, even from mister Hauk who tried to fail me for a semester for being 12 minutes late on a paper), met some great people (many of whom I'm still in fairly regular touch with after 15 years or so) and was amazed at the tolerance and open minds I found in the Jesuits (in Cincinnati of all places). I even learned a little bit about a variety of religions (mostly about Catholocism of course) - particularly influential was the section on morality and moral conviction, where we read King's letter from a Birmingham jail and some Ghandi - this has had a profound impact on me thoughout my life.

Why am I writing all this?
Becuase I was really amazed and quite disturbed to read that a significant Cardinal in the Catholic church has come out opposed to evolution, saying that randomness is irreconcilable with God as Catholics perceive it. This is not the Catholic church I was educated by and it is certainly not the Catholic church I would ever let my children near (jokes about the child molesters aside, I valued my education at St. X so highly I would have been very happy to send my children there - well the boy ones at least - by the way, I'm seriously in favor of single sex education duing high school)

So let me state a few things for the record:

1) Darwin was mostly right. He probably didn't realize how fast evolutionary change happens as he was operating pretty much on long term things like the fossil record but he got pert near right on given that. Sure genetics gave us random mutations to further develop those ideas and contextualize them but really, he was a great scientist (which means a great observer, recorder, and thinker).
2) creationists are morons. Not for the obvious reason (which is that they're wrong) but because :

a) Their view is fundamentally flawed - you cannot limit the power of observation and the use of logic when it butts up against something you spend time and energy developing the logic of - you have to resolve the conflict. No it's not easy you morons, it's called being logical and seeking answers. I believe it is fundamentally flawed that one could develop a logical support of a faith (one that has logic internal to it's support mechanisms, doctrine etc.) and then stop when you get to a conflict with the internal logic of a conflicting system. - This is the reason I belive questions of faith should move "up" rather than "down". One should not say "because God said" at all the little things that one can't resolve but instead say "what is God if this doesn't make sense?". This is not refutation of the existence of God - I can safely claim to not know the answer to that question.

b) Downward pushing faith-based doctrines produce infantry rather than officers - this is the real problem - the creationist belief system is really flawed because it is blind. Religion is no different than science when the doctrine is developed by developing and teaching the logic behind the religious institution's cannon. If you instead preach unthinking fealty to a doctrine you are not developing people capable of teaching, you are developing people capable of taking orders - this works fine inside an organization (I'm thinking of the army here) but it doesn't work fine when the organization is threatened (I'm thinking of the army in Iraq here - something I shouldn't do given the freakish religious was theme to that conflict) - In Iraq at the moment I think the US army is suffering from a lack of critical thinkers close to the infantry (we call these officers I guess) - this is no different from the creepy religious war elements of the battle going on their either - 90 percent of the soldiers who are religiously motivated in the US army and 90 percent of the resistance that is religiously motivated could not defend their faith with anything other than the weapons of war in their hands. This is the sign of a weak belief system. Both sides suffer from it. Worse, it seems, so do the innocents. The sad reality of the anti-evolutionists in our country is that they're infantrymen, and only ever will be. The sad reality of evolutionists, by corrolary of course, is that they're an army of officers.

Does all of this matter? well, I'm afraid yes it does - but probably not for me. I'm well educated enough to leave this country if it gets too bad to raise children in, but that's kinda cheating - unfortunately I'm called to action by the fact that the barbarians are literally at the gates, messing with the separation of church and state and, more importantly, ruining our already suffering education systems. I don't even have kids yet and I still have to worry about this. This is wrong. Go form your own schools, teach what you want and see how well your kids do in the world (I'm sure they'll be good infantrymen, which is probably what you've doomed them to already) but stay the fuck away from the public schools. Darwinian evolutionary theory is a theory as one defines a theory by science - not as the politicians manipulating your ignorance have lead you to believe theories function. Articles of faith are not theories. You lose by logic, I hope that you lose the battle too.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

my new favorite blog

tapinosis

ta-pi-no'-sis defn: giving a name that diminishes or lessens the importance of the thing named.

for example: calling civilians killed while minding their own business during a "targeted bombing" operation "collateral damage"

Hindi ko siya tatantanan

the quote that is the title of this post is from former senator Loren Legarda.

Me personally, I'm rather enjoying watching arroyo collapse.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

following blogs to that special place

you know the one, the one that makes you bust out laughing. this via kevin (who I do not know) via bolsinga (who I have not seen in what seems like forever (read, a week or so).

remarkably about mix tapes, which have been on my mind lately...

in which salim recounts a rather charming vingette

slim blogged about a rather quaint (in a good way) encounter with a former schoolmate. reading about it put me in a rather good mood.

I am looking forward to Anar's visit.

l'equipe

I was bummed out today that l'equipe was not at delauer's this morning. worse still, online coverage of the tour is terrible. this is decidedly the worst covered event online - there is massive restriction of video highlights, by country which is really irritating. It's sad that my interest in the race is being ruined by people trying to control access to it.

remember how we got so close to castro?

I had a wonderful time at Jonah and Anya's place up in mendo. Hung out with great people (hey Raf!), drank and ate plenty goodness, fired potato guns (duh) built a prototype easterbunny catcher, swam in the river and, importantly - found a piece of property that I'm really interested, now all I need to do is convince Mary it's a good idea to move to the middle of nowhere...

a.