Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Stem cells, Michael J. Fox needs them.

For the record, there are two ways to have a celebrity endorse a cause. The wrong way:

What a turd of a commercial. Who wants to wait 15 years for a cure? Possibly people whose disease takes longer than 15 years to kill them. GRRR.

The right way:

I really only posted on this subject so that that link so I could post a link to an article on Fark entitled, "Rush Limbaugh says Michael J Fox exaggerates his symptoms in commercials. Michael J Fox shakes his fists... accidentally" Is it wrong to laugh at that? Yes, I know if you have to ask, you probably already know the answer. It is wrong to laugh at another's misfortune. Limbaugh is still an asshole. I find laughable the notion that a collection of cells no larger than the head of a pin is causing this much of an uproar. An embryo is not a human. If experimenting on small collections of cells shows promise in curing cancer, spinal cord injuries and diseases of the brain, then go right ahead.

Updated (10/26/2006 8:22 AM): To correct my idiotic grammar.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Late Night Ramblings.

It is late at night and I can't sleep again. There is a lot going on and I should be sleeping, but I can't seem to nod off even though I am yawning as I write this. Things on my mind:

I ran across these pictures and I find them breathtaking:
Shuttle Launch Seen From ISS. Those pictures are taken from 220 miles. That is about 30 times higher than I've ever flown. The discernible horizon and the deep blackness of space above is amazing.

There seems to be quite a bit of furor lately over religious matters. Wired's cover article is about a new breed of atheists who are no longer willing to quietly coexist with people of faith. Here is a quote from the article that sounds eerily familiar, "Contemptuous of the faith of others, its proponents never doubt their own belief. They are fundamentalists." I recall very recently being called one of these fundamentalists. That's OK, I regularly get told that I'm paranoid and that I should be wearing a tinfoil hat. I'm used to it, but I think both are unfair. I will leave the defense of my so called paranoia for another day. For right now let me ramble on about my spiritual side. I believe that I have a soul and that by extension other human beings do too. Kind of a poor man's Cogito Ergo Sum followed by an inarticulate man's rejection of solipsism. I don't know whether our soul has any existence outside of our observable physical existence and by extension I don't know if that soul is immortal. (It is a nice dream to think about sometimes.) I believe that we are an imperfect reflection of the divine. I believe that we are capable of approaching a beautiful perfection, but due to our flawed nature we are destined to fail. What is most beautiful about our souls and our divinity is when we reach for that perfection. That brings me back to the pictures of the shuttle launch that I linked to above. Those pictures, to me, represent what is most divine about humanity. It is our meager yet triumphant attempt to reach beyond our limited environment. Finally, I do have faith. I have faith that humans, while flawed, are a reflection of the divine. Furthermore I have faith that humanity on average wants to be good and that if given the right conditions we are happy to be good and fulfill our potential. It is my sincere hope that we all work for a world where as many people as possible are given that opportunity.

There has been a lot of chatter about atheism lately. It probably has something to do with Richard Dawkins promoting his new book as well as a lot of other authors out there doing the same for theirs. Here is an interesting clip from The Colbert Report. As always, you are never sure who wins the debate in the end. Maybe that is why Colbert is so good.

On a completely tangential note, I spent most of this weekend tearing up carpet and sanding floors in the front part of the second floor of my house. It is surprising how much difference the little work we've done has made. I've probably got another couple of hours of sanding left to do, but I can already see the difference. I will post some pictures when I get a chance.

OK. I might be able to sleep now, so I think I will just run a quick spell check and hope this makes sense.

Good night.

Friday, October 20, 2006

ChildCare Action Project (makes me giggle)

I stumbled upon this site this afternoon and it was the cause of many giggles. I don't dispute their right to review movies for content and I agree with their assessment that the current (G, PG, PG-13, R, NC17) rating system is flawed. What I do have a problem with is their claim of impartiality. Read some of the reviews for yourself and tell me what you think. Here are a few things they find offensive (the parens are my comments and most of the incomplete sentences are theirs):

  • Nacho Libre
    • Impudence/Hate
      • "flatulence, repeatedly"
    • Sex/Homosexuality
      • "man pinching his buttocks together in tights to influence/entice a woman"
      • "attention to posterior"
      • "below navel skin threatening to expose that which follows"
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    • Sex/Homosexuality
      • "sexual innuendo about a little girl not touching a male squirrel's anatomy"
  • Dogma
    • Impudence/Hate
      • "facial piercing" (WTF?)
      • "flatulence"
      • "series of pity me because I'm black"
  • Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
    • Offense to God
      • tale of man not being the most intelligent life on Earth
      • claiming man is an ape descendant, repeatedly
      • Darwinism
  • How To Eat Fried Worms
    • Impudence/Hate
      • lots of energy spent on vomiting
  • It's A Wonderful Life
    • Wanton Violence/Crime
      • near drowning
      • light adult tantrum
      • adult tantrum before children
    • Impudence/Hate (I)
      • meanness
      • mischief
      • lie to keep bad news to self
  • Meet the Fo...s (They can't even spell out Fockers)
    • Impudence/Hate
      • "man on commode"
      • "Always question authority"
  • Monsters Inc
    • Impudence/Hate
      • little white lies to protect
    • Sex/Homosexuality
      • implication of nudity
      • crotch hit (what kind of freak considers this to be sexual?)
  • Napoleon Dynamite
    • Impudence/Hate
      • drawing of flatulence
      • five uses of the euphemism for the most foul of the foul words (WTF does that mean?)
      • two uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary (that statement alone contains two and three of the same)
  • Office Space
    • Wanton Violence/Crime
      • a death to heart attack (How is this violence or crime?)
    • Sex/Homosexuality
      • gamming -- maximizing exposure of upper legs in a dress while sitting (Oh My!)
      • pornographic background music (what makes music pornographic?)
    • Offense to God
      • hypnotherapy to alter character and integrity (WTF?)
  • Abre los ojos (Open Your Eyes) -- Foreign language version of Vanilla Sky
    • The reviewer couldn't be bothered to finish the movie because it was subtitled:
    • Open Your Eyes (R) was a subtitled movie and the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model does not lend itself well to subtitled movies. The CAP Model requires the Investigator to annotate the findings for input to a computer application which generates the scoring and influence density. While this system of recording findings is well suited for non-subtitled movies, in the sometimes incredibly fast pace of presentation of ignominy, the Investigator cannot afford to lose the time or attention it takes to read the subtitles. However, when subtitled movies come out on video tape, which enables pausing of the movie to record findings, the CAP Model can be well applied. I will offer that which I was able to gather in the few minutes I was there. No scoring had been computed.

      The first scene was one of a nude male in bed (covered), followed soon by his nude paramour (partial nudity). Foul language, including the most foul of foul words, was printed to the screen. Constant in the first few minutes was a strong theme of malcontentism. That is all I can tell you about "Open You Eyes."
  • The Passion of the Christ (I include these because the wording makes me laugh)
    • Wanton Violence/Crime
      • continued beatings/whippings of our already mutilated Lord
      • kicking our near-dead Lord
      • hand/foot impalement with spikes (I bet he was surprised to see that)
      • spear impalement with exudates (exudates? blood maybe)
    • Impudence/Hate
      • flash nudity, clearly non-sexual but nudity nonetheless (clearly)

What I find most funny is the notion that flatulence and face piercing are examples of impudence and hatefulness and that nudity while depicting the asskicking that Christ recieved before he died is clearly not sexual when in any other movie it would have been categorized as sexual. How I love the prudes. They make me giggle.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I am the Cheese Weasel

There never was a truer statement than:
"Weasel is a funny word. You can improve the humor value of almost any situation by injecting a weasel into it." -- Dave Barry

This is born out by so many things. Futurama for example. Who wouldn't love a spice weasel. What about an ice weasel?

Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come. -- Matt Groening

or how about

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines. -- John Benfield

it would appear that the weasel is a truely great animal

Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel.Matt Groening

Then there is this classic by Hunter S. Thompson.

Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas ... with the music at top volume and at least a pint of ether. -- Hunter S. Thompson

With HST you never know, did he think that there were really weasels closing in or was it a metaphore for the what J.R "Bob" Dobbs would call pinks. As you can probably tell I'm in a weird mood and my humor is veering into the juvenile. Oh Well. Goodnight all.

Monday, October 02, 2006

An interesting demonstration of the butterfly effect?

This article provides an interesting demonstration of the butterfly effect or rather the notion that remote events can have far reaching and unforeseen consequences. It would appear that the recent breakup of one of the Antarctic glaciers was due to a winter storm in Alaska. The waves from the storm traveled nearly from one pole to the other in order to wiggle a very big chunk of a glacier off into the ocean. It is always interesting to see phenomenon that I've known about since highschool demonstrated some 15 years later on a very large scale. Granted, it was a winter storm and not a butterfly flapping its wings, and the propagation of a wave through water is pretty predictable, but I'm sure a butterfly was involved somewhere in the picture.