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    Monday, May 29, 2006

    Families and Today

    Yep, that's right.  It's Memorial Day.
    Continuing a tradition that I started last year, I believe that I'll post this link to last year's Memorial Day tribute
    But I'm not going to leave you with just that.  No way.  In fact, let me post to this little Memorial Day nugget from the Huffington Post .
    For veterans, Memorial Day has a very different meaning than it does for most Americans. As a veteran of the wars in Kosovo and Iraq, it is a day of reflection and remembrance like every day since I have returned. While many will enjoy the nice weather, have barbeques, and dip into a pool for the first time this year, we Iraq veterans will spend the day thinking about more than our friends we lost in battle, but also about those who survived them.

    Hey, kids, remember: Memorial Day is not just for the veterans!
    Memorial Day is not just about the veterans that died and were injured or returned (healthy) from various wars, but for the families that sacrificed so much to make sure that your happy behind had or has a chance to walk around.  Memorial Day started as a tribute to the Union survivors of the Civil War; since then, it has expanded as a holiday to to honor all of the dead of various wars.  Perhaps you could take just a moment to honor the living and dead soldiers of your country today.  Not that you should emulate me, but I will be doing my best to keep the word out.  Thus this is, for today, my humble offering for both the living and the dead.

    Friday, May 26, 2006

    Update: Then: What?! A Cure For Cancer? Now: Uh Oh....

    Does anyone remember the "What?!  A Cure For Cancer?" post I did a while back dealing with the possibility of a vaccine for cervical cancer?
    Imagine a vaccine that would protect women from a serious gynecological cancer. Wouldn't that be great? Well, both Merck and GlaxoSmithKline recently announced that they have conducted successful trials of vaccines that protect against the human papilloma virus. HPV is not only an incredibly widespread sexually transmitted infection but is responsible for at least 70 percent of cases of cervical cancer, which is diagnosed in 10,000 American women a year and kills 4,000. Wonderful, you are probably thinking, all we need to do is vaccinate girls (and boys too for good measure) before they become sexually active, around puberty, and HPV--and, in thirty or forty years, seven in ten cases of cervical cancer--goes poof. Not so fast: We're living in God's country now. The Christian right doesn't like the sound of this vaccine at all. "Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful," Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council told the British magazine New Scientist, "because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex.
    The Nation.  What a mag.  Found off of Fark.
    Uh.  Well.
    *drumming fingers on desk, obviously needing a moment to compose himself...*
    Surely, surely, you're not telling me that the United State of America is not going to save people's lives, women's lives, because a vaccine that protects against HPV might make it safer to engage in sex?  No, excuse me, premarital sex?
    No, seriously.
    So, then are you saying that there is going to be a political battle over this?
    Oh, really?
    Yeah, right.  My daughter is getting vaccinated.  You just try and stop me.
    Once again, I'm embarrassed for the state of humanity today.  I'd rant and rave about how many people's lives could be saved (approximately 275,000), and spout off a bunch more fact and figures, but I'm tired.  So very tired.  Wake me when the Bird Flu hits.


    Thursday, May 25, 2006

    Pathetically Funny Comics

    I should include this in the Addictive Time Wasters Series.
    But this is actually better.
    the Perry Bible Fellowship - These are good.  Not at all what you'd think from the title.  Believe me when I say this.
    Achewood - hat tip:  ringloss.  Mostly male oriented, but stupid funny, which is probably the correct use of the term.
    Snakes On A Plane - The Comic - I know, I know, I'm obsessed.
    Get Your War On - Actually, might need to be seen in bulk to be believed.  Comic hi jinks in a office setting.  Read more than a few of these.
    My suggestions.  If you've got more leave 'em somewhere that I can find them.

    Wednesday, May 24, 2006


    As you might have been able to tell by the image file of the Hamdog, down below, I'm going to start tossing in a few images onto the site every now and then.
    It's only kind of a pain, but not really.  It will force me to find a decent image host.  Google Pages, while good, is not the solution.
    Suggestions, anyone, besides my hard drive?

    Tuesday, May 23, 2006

    How People Get Large

    Oh, you're going to LOVE this .
    This small storefront restaurant in a black community on the edge of downtown Atlanta is where serious lovers of Southern cuisine have come for their regular fix of comfort foods for more than half a century. It also represents the kind of eateries all over the South that provide the greatest challenge to doctors and nutritionists fighting to change the calorie-laden, fat-filled diets of Southerners.

    Found on Sun  Via, of course, Fark.
    One of the most popular items on the menu at Mulligan's bar in suburban Decatur, Ga., is the ``hamdog,'' a half-pound of hamburger meat wrapped around a hotdog, which is deep-fried and served on a hoagie topped with chili, bacon and a fried egg. The bar also offers the ``Luther,'' a half-pound burger served with bacon and cheese on a Krispy Kreme donut, and, for dessert, fried Twinkies, two deep-fried Kap'n Crunch-coated Twinkies topped with chocolate and cherry sauce.
    Dear God in Heaven!  Can that be true?
    I can feel my arteries harden just be READING that.


    Haven't posted from this site in a while.  Says The Agitator...
    According to new data from the U.S. Department of Justice, one in 136 Americans is behind bars today, including an astounding 12 percent of all black men between the ages of 25 and 29. The United States represents 4.6 percent of the world's population, but houses nearly 23 percent of humanity's prison population.
    Sickening, isn't it?
    Here, let me sicken you some more.
  • Blacks represent about 12 percent of the U.S. population, but 48 percent of the prison population. They represent just 13 percent of drug users, but 38 percent of those arrested for drug crimes, and 59 percent of those convicted.

  • When convicted of the same drug felony, blacks are about 50 percent more likely to be sentenced to prison than whites.
    Yay!  Seriously, go read the whole article.
    Ok.  Let's say this: when you're spending so many of your resources on prisons, instead of something like, say, quality public education, you're having issues as a community.  Paying for private education for your kids is DAMN EXPENSIVE.  Really it is.
    How long until the Revolution starts?
    Buy canned goods and duct tape.


    Monday, May 15, 2006

    The Gift

    Dear Mom:
    This comes a bit late, because I spent most of my day with you yesterday.  However, I'm pretty confident that you'll read this soon.
    I wanted to thank you for being such a great mom.  Sure, we've had disagreements.  I believe that every family does.  But the truth is that you are one of the best, most intellegent, most thoughtful, and best people that I know, period.  Without you, I wouldn't be... me.  I'd be someone else.  I'd probably be a lot darker, a lot more confused, and a little bit scarier. 
    All of my friends think that you are one of the best people that they know. 
    People like to hang out with my family largely because of you. 
    I know that you're not perfect, and no one is, but I can definitely see the sacrifices that you made to make me who I am.  This was your gift to my brother and I, and we know it.  In fact, we know it more than we will ever tell you.
    I love you, Mom, and will always appreciate you.  I can't say that enough.  You are my sister, my mother, my daughter's grandmother, and my friend, and I can't wait to see you again.
    Thank you.  Happy Mother's Day.
    I couldn't possibly be more sincere.

    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    Google Universe?

    Google is in the process of releasing more products for free than is sane. 
    To prove that point, Jonathan Rosenberg, SVP of product management, and Marissa Mayer, VP of search products and user experience, revealed four new software products to enhance the search experience: Google Co-Op, Google Desktop 4, Google Trends, and Google Notebook.
    Here's the part that I thought was particularly interesting:
    For Apple and Microsoft, this has to be a troubling development: More and more of the programs they sell in their operating systems are being offered free by Google. Moreover, these programs are open and they have APIs that developers can build on. And just as Amazon creates book recommendations based on user purchase history, Google plans to leverage its knowledge of its users to pitch programs that dovetail with their interests.
    Google's high stock price in the last year:
    Google's low stock price in the last year:
    Opening this morning at:
    News story found this morning via Google News.
    Stock and financial information found via Google Finance.
    Blog post sent via Gmail.
    To Blogger.  Owned by Google.
    Digest all that, people.


    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    Not Again. Please God, Not Again.

    Uh, no.  Nooooooooooo!
    ORLANDO, Fla. - President Bush suggested Wednesday that he'd like to see his family's White House legacy continue, perhaps with his younger brother Jeb as the chief executive.

    The president said Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is well-suited for another office and would make "a great president."

    Via MSNBC.  Hat tip:  Fark.
    Here's an idea that I can get behind.  No more Bushes, no more Clintons.  Let's just, you know, figure out some decent candidates next time around.  Please?  I'm begging, here.  Please.
    Of course, ideally, the person that should be President is probably way, way too smart to run.
    There's an interesting idea.


    Thursday, May 04, 2006

    Damn It, And I Love Sushi.

    You've got to be kidding.  The Moonies are in the sushi business?
    In the 1970s, Reverend Moon set his sites on creating an elaborate fishing enterprise to fund his church. The now global business does it all, from building the fishing boats to catching, processing, and delivering the fish. True World Foods, a subsidiary of the non-profit Unification Church International, supplies most of the sushi restaurants in the country, about 7,000 restaurants in all.
    Sigh.  I love raw fish.  And I ain't stopping.  No.
    Guess I'll just have to consider the source more often.
    Just goes to show - everyone, and anyone, is into everything.  You can't escape, merely educate.


    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    Welcome To Colorado!

    Let's all give a warm welcome to terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, whose jury (wisely) decided NOT to put to death today!  Congratulations, Zacarias! (props, FoxNews, via Fark).
    Rod, let's tell him what he's won!  Is it Supermax?
    ADX Florence is generally home to between 400 and 500 male prisoners. About 22 percent of inmates have killed fellow prisoners in other correctional facilities; 35 percent have attempted to attack other prisoners or guards. As a result, most individuals are kept for at least 23 hours each day in solitary confinement. They are housed in a 7-by-12 foot ( 3.5-by-2 meter) soundproofed room, built behind a steel door and grate. The remaining free hour is spent exercising alone in a separate concrete chamber. Prisoners rarely see each other, and inmates' only human interaction is limited to that of the prison guards. Religious services are broadcasted in from a small chapel.

    Most cells' furniture is made almost entirely out of poured concrete, including a desk, stool, and bed covered by a thin mattress. Each chamber contains a toilet that shuts off if plugged, a shower that runs on a timer to prevent flooding, and a sink missing a potentially dangerous tap. Rooms may also be fitted with polished steel mirrors bolted to the wall, an electric light, a 13-inch black and white television , and a cigarette lighter. Windows in rooms are small, set high up in the wall, and point towards the sky, confusing the prisoner as to his specific location within the complex.

    The prison as a whole contains countless motion detectors and cameras , 1,400 remote-controlled steel doors, and 12 foot high razor wire fences. Laser beams , pressure pads, and attack dogs guard the area between the prison walls and razor wire. Built into the side of a mountain, visitors and prisoners enter through a heavily-guarded tunnel.


    Many have argued that the psychological effects of long-term solitary confinement can be devastating. Prisoners may suffer from hallucinations, anxiety, problems with impulse control, and self-mutilation. In addition, confinement may encourage anger and rage, resulting in further violence. Depression may set in, with prisoners becoming extremely lethargic, losing memory, and refusing to exercise.
    (hello, Wikipedia.)

    ...and he wins...a fate worse than death.
    Goodnight, funnyman.  Say hi to Ted, Matt, and the...oh, wait.  Guess you can't.

    For The Discriminating Vampire Slayer....

    Dammit!  How did I miss this?  For sale on eBay:
    You are bidding on a 19th century Vampire Killing Kit. No reserve auction !

    The box weights 20.1 lbs., length 16.8 inches, width 17 inches, height 7.9 inches;made of linden tree with maroon velvet inside, six compartments. The items enclosed in the box are as followed: one wooden hammer ( 6.5 inches long), four stakes 6 inches-each) --- the wooden hammer has applied a small holy cross, same as the stakethe lower side containing: prayer book, crucifix, knife and eight bottles with Pamant (holy soil), Agheazma (holy water), Mir (anointing oil), Tamaie (holy incense), Ust(garlic), red serum, blue serum and secret potion. We believe a romanian monk from Transylvania has created this box during the period of 1870-1890 .

    Where did I find this, you ask?  Betuman.  Yeah.  I get around.
    Darn, and that would have made a PERFECT Mother's Day present, although I think my Dad might have dug that more.
    Typically, this is the part where I'd make some crack about Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, and why don't they make shows like that anymore (Vampires?  Pretty girls?  Kung-Fu?  Lesbians?  How is that not the perfect show?), but instead, because I haven't done it in a while, I think that I'll just post a link to these generally safe for work pictures of Alyson Hannigan instead.  Go Willow!

    Monday, May 01, 2006

    The First Communion

    A story for you all.
    Yesterday was Sunday.  Typically, Sundays are really not special.  You know, people go to church, people watch football, people goof around outside.  Some people sleep.  That's Sunday.
    However, yesterday was special.  Why?  Because my ex-girlfriend's daughter had asked me to go to her first communion at her church, and I pledged that I would, in fact, go, for her sake.
    I have no idea if any of you have been to a first communion.  I hadn't.  But it was very interesting.  The idea is that instead of deacons or whatnot, children (all about the same age) read the passages from the Bible.  Now, I must say, I am not a Biblical scholar by any stretch of the imagination.  However, I knew that these cute kids, all dressed up in their Sunday best, had little presentations that they had to give. 
    Now, I had no idea where my ex's daughter was in this whole presentation, but I knew that she had to do something, because I had seen and heard her practice.  I knew she was kind of nervous.
    Imagine my shock when right at the beginning of Mass, she was one of the first to read from the Bible!
    Ok.  Here's something you should know.
    When I first met my ex-girlfriend's daughter, she was not a good reader.  Diligently, as any father would, I would like to think, I worked with her.  Daily.  I bought educational videos.  I read phonics books to her, and lots and lots of Dr. Suess.  After a while, I could see her reading improving.  But not too long after that, her mother and I split up (after 2 plus years).
    So, naturally I was shocked to see her up at the podium reading for the whole congregation.
    I was so proud, I cried.
    She will remember Sunday for the rest of her life, and I will too.  For the rest of my existence on this planet, I can look back on what she did on that podium, and be proud of myself, and of her.  Truly, I have accomplished something important.  Now I know exactly how my parents feel on certain days.

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