Friday, March 31, 2006

birds on the Front Range

With all this talk of bird flu and its arrival here via California, I have gone to city park to watch the ducks and other birds do their spring thing. Nesting and all. I might not be able to watch them do their fall thing, which is mainly leave for warmer climates.

Science themes

Best Science and Nature writing of 2006. Including a piece by Natalie Angier who wrote "Woman - An Intimate geography, the best book I've ever read on my anatomy. (via Robotwisdom)

GROSS science. Wiggly worms wigglin' in someone's colon: a video; (Via Pharyngula)

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Prayer study results show that long distance praying has no affect on outcome of illness. Although many studies have suggested that praying for oneself may reduce stress, research into praying for others who may not know they are the subject of prayers has been much more controversial.Washington Post

Also in the Post full coverage of the immigartion issue with links to most of the pieces written lately, a transcript of Tancredo's interview in the paper as well as a profile of said man.

I am just so happy with the explanation on the killing of baby seals. The Slate enlightens us with a clear description of a pup seal killing. Why do they club seals is the article. Do not read if you are sensitive to this sort of thing. Oh the lovely coats those pelts will be turned into!

"In partitioning the population of the world into those belonging to "the Islamic world," "the Western world," "the Hindu world," "the Buddhist world," the divisive power of classificatory priority is implicitly used to place people firmly inside a unique set of rigid boxes. Other divisions (say, between the rich and the poor, between members of different classes and occupations, between people of different politics, between distinct nationalities and residential locations, between language groups, etc.) are all submerged by this allegedly primal way of seeing the differences between people." In Slate "What Clash of Civilizations".

Keep the text, teach the text, and only then, if you must, deconstruct the text. It's true for literature and it's true for history.

A couple of ads

Switching roles. A world dominated by wheelchairs, libraries in braille and everyone using sign language.
What can happen to men who smoke. With two fingers and a cigarette. Anti smoking campaign at www.stayinghard

spring's first blooms

The first spring bloooms in this neck o'the woods

Mainly on immigration

The daily Koz has an editorial on the immigration issue that starts out saying that, '"When you let the fanatics set the issue, you reduce the debate", meaning Tancredo the cranky xenophobic representative from Colorado that most people wish would go away. But with the typical ego tripping of politicians he just wants his 15 minutes in the sun. And he's getting them at the cost of a lot of good people's anxiety and suffering. Is he a Christian or a misanthrope?
Well, this is disturbing: Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. Harold Ford, Jr., who's running for the Senate, voted for the House bill on final passage.

A description of crucifixions in Jesus' time. Mel Gibson should have read this to get even more gore out of his Passion of the Christ, a horror flick that I have never been able to watch. Anyway, the study claims that men were sometimes nailed to the cross by their genitals! OUCH!!!

This series of photos of Israeli women draftees almost made me want to join the IDF.

Stanton Peele writes on the ineffectiveness of anti drug campaigns. How they can actually be counter productive and attract the teens they are supposed to scare. Montana has just launched such a campaign directed at metamphetamine abuse. It works great on adults though, the ones not using it.

Vegankid tells us why she blogs. A lot of what she says resonates within me.

makes it into academia (via rebecca's pocket)

Can't Live With Them; Can't Landscape Without Them: Racism and the Pastoral Aesthetic in Suburban New York by James Duncan; Nancy Duncan in
Landscape Journal

Landscapes are produced and maintained in ways that are largely unseen by those who happen to drive past, admiring the beauty of the landscape. Deeply embedded in the landscape are human costs invisible to the eye. In this paper we investigate some of the many social and material relations that underlie the pastoral views that characterize one particularly beautiful village. Bedford, a suburb of New York City, is a site of aesthetic consumption practices in which the residents derive pleasure and achieve social status by preserving and enhancing the beauty of their town. We explore the way in which the beautiful landscape of Bedford is internally related to the poor living conditions of Latino day laborers in a neighboring town, Mount Kisco. Global political and economic structures as well as the structure of local zoning, supported by a socio-spatial ideology of local autonomy and home rule, lie beneath Bedford's successful exclusion of its laborers and Mount Kisco's failure to keep out what they see as Bedford's and Latin America's 'negative externalities.' Our argument is that aesthetic concerns dominate social and economic relations between Latino immigrants and receiving communities.”
(via Pruned)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Of this world

For some good cold hard facts on the movements of people everywhere it is worth it to check out the Migration Policy Institute.

A totally cool
sound clip collection. It has film sound clips, tv show clips and theme songs and wacky weird songs from qualifying conditions for redneck status to the Lumber jack song from Monty Python (Thank you sooo much, Blog soup)

A good article from the
Guardian on Dubai, the city that wants to become the Manhattan of the XXI century. At a crossroads between Europe and China with immense cash flow from the oil economies and a "progressive outlook on modernity, it is striving to be "not the modern centre of the Arab world but, more than that, the Arab centre of the modern world." Maybe a new Islamic/Arab renaissance could stem from that.

1985 - is the first registered domain in history
1985 - Earliest domains to be registered -,,,,,,,,,,

Guard the borders and face facts
"And conservatives should favor reducing illegality by putting illegal immigrants on a path out of society's crevices and into citizenship by paying fines and back taxes and learning English. Faux conservatives absurdly call this price tag on legal status "amnesty." Actually, it would prevent the emergence of a sullen, simmering subculture of the permanently marginalized, akin to the Arab ghettos in France. The House-passed bill, making it a felony to be in the country illegally, would make 11 million people permanently ineligible for legal status. To what end?" Geoge Will one of the right's darlings has a very intelligent op-ed piece on immigration in the
Washington Post
Also in the
Post David Broder analysis of the immigration issue. He debunks the myth that legal immigrants resent the illegals, a myth that was disproven with the huge weekend demonstration.
Among other factor unveiled by a survey he had access to was the fact that two-thirds of the legal immigrants believe that anti-immigrant sentiment is growing in the United States, and more than half said it has affected them and their families personally. Racism against Latino and Asian immigrants is blamed by more than six out of 10 for fueling this development.

Link to the transcript of question and answer forum in the Post last week with Noam Chomsky.

In India a doctor was sentenced to two years in jail for disclosing the sex of a fetus, a practice that in India has resulted in the abortion of over 20 million female fetuses. Although the practice of ultrasounds to determine a fetuse's sex is illegal, it is done routinely and with the complacency and even colaboration of the medical profession, as for the most part they are the owners of the clinics. Maybe this will send a message.

A short but great interview with Bonnie Fuller editor of various magazines and tabloids. She insists that women don't have to strive to be perfect.

Cassini photo essay at the Nasa site.

poverty or Abramof?

Thw New Yorker has two excellent articles. Well, they'll all excellent after all it's The New Yorker! An analysis of poverty plus Dwight Macdonald’s 1963 essay, “Our Invisible Poor.”
A book critique of Daniel Dennett's ambitious new book, “Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon”.It's a bit of religion from a natural selection perspective. The one that most satisfy people's needs (originally sought in religion) are the ones that will make it. The best memes will get passed on.

Professional con artist update. Abramoff got almost 6 years, the minimum allowed.

Of space, genes and more earthly matters

The moon's shadow on Earth as seen from the Space Station

At exactly midnight Mountain Time and by coincidence I was about to post an entry when Blogger went out on me. Ah well. "Twas about last night's eclipse of the sun which I've not seen yet. But I do remember seeing one when I was a kid and it was "like totatlly awsome".
From the LA Times a piece by Yossi Klein Halevi, on the Israeli elections. "For a nation that still can't take its survival for granted, an inability to dream is, in its way, as great a threat as the delusional politics of ideological certainty. Arguably no people are required to sacrifice more for their state than are Israelis, who serve three years of compulsory military service, followed by years of reserve duty."
Meg of megnut wonders if and why "Can't we have some unmediated time to ourselves anymore? What's wrong with standing in the line at the bank, just spacing out or day-dreaming about stuff?" Day dreaming? Spacing Out in this day and age? You must be dreaming!
I used to listen to Whitney Houston and get angry at God because he had given her everything and me just a little bit. She had the voice, she had the face, she had that body, she had money but apparently she also had an uncontrolable drug habit that won't go away. I am of the opinion that treatments (any kind: 12 steps, hierarquical, behavioral the list goes on) do not work. She wants to continue doing dope until she dies, she will and she will die like so many others. Recovery rate for any treatment: 5 to 10%. This is real! What the Centers will tell you might be something else entirely different but then again they have a vested interest in better stats.
Lara Logan, reporter for CBS gives us a picture of what things are like in Iraq. Anther courageous woman speaking truth to power.(via Rebecca'a pocket)
WOW! To read the electrical impulses sent from your brain to your throat when you think of words and convert them into speech. Reading our thoughts? It's exactly what is being done by Charles Jorgensen at Nasa. Think of the interesting implications for Br. Bartleby at a Monestary
somewhere in the Southwest. So much for the silence vows!
Tammy Bruce that wacky gay, pro-death right wing blogger is also racist and bigoted. What a nice gal. I wonder what the fellows she runs around with think of her lesbianism, her pro-choice politics and her "feminism". Her Baskin Robbins metaphor is nothing but stupid and a lie. Illegal immigrants might be breaking the law but they sure aren't getting something for nothing. I'm sure that she has benefitted from their something for nothing work. Yeah, Americans would really stand having 10 million people around if it wasn't to their advantage!!UhUh!!
Recording of the conference held in London to celebrate Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene".
A comment on fashion and its sexualization by Philobiblon. It's a complicated issue of 'ho's and sluts and suppression, female sexual suppression.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

hot all around

Every girl should watch Pink's song/video, Stupid Girl.
Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock of Star Trek) does amazing photography. One of the series is called "Full Body Project"

The world and its climate:

As the world turns

Of course by now everyone has seen it but I will post it anyway. The original (clearer picture) is on the author's site Stephanie Mcmillan, and is being auctioned off on e-bay. The bidding is up to about 200 bucks and the author will donate the money for the good cause of helping women.

Woman with perfect memory. Imagine the comments that this will stir up from disgruntled males who complain of women's inability to forget minor details. Is this woman a mutation and a preview of what's to come?

AlJazeera has an extensive article on the "Zionist Conspiracy". Nothing written is new. What stands out is the attribution of WWII to the Zionists who controled Germany and other Western Nations. Boy did that ever backfire! No mention of the Holocaust that caused the death of 6 million of those same Jews, Gypsies, gays and nonconformists. Yeah a lot of Jews control banks and media but so do the English and the Arabs and the Japanese and China is getting up there and so on and so forth. Amazing the power attributed to these Jews. They have to be really good! Oh it's title is "The Five Dancing Jews". Only five? I saw thousands of Arabs dancing on the streets when 9/11 happened!

different way of looking at the world; Immigration destinations:

Other maps are the shift in population in the last 2,00 years and in the next 300.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Immigration Jupiter

Eugene Robinson tackles the immigration conundrum beautifully in a op-ed in the Washington Post. Maybe because he belongs to a group of human beings that were also considered and still are at times "Those people".
He talks of the invisibility of "Those people".
The invisible black and Latina women who get on buses at 5 a.m. spreading through the rich suburbs to do chores no white woman wants or will do no matter what the wage. You see it in public transportation. The dawn minorities and the 9am WASPs. You see it in the restaurants. The white sits at the table the black and the brown running around. You see it in the flow of neighborhoods. The browns and the blacks fill the spaces that the whites vacate during the day. And fill them up again when the whites go home. The timings of work are different. So are the times of leisure.It is as if in a strangely symbiotic co-dependent relationship they occupy parallel universes, aware of the other in his "Other-ness". The Greeks called all foreigners barbarians, which meant, those who do not share our language. We run the risk of all becoming barbarians to each other.
Slate a very good point is made: ...Unpublished Author, the blog of a writer-wannabe from Tennessee, is proud of the marchers. Comparing them to immigrant communities that have held protests in France and Australia recently, he notes, "No matter what you think about amnesty for illegals and border control, it says great things about our country that our immigrants protest not because they want to tear us down, but because they want to be like us."
On other fronts, the Afghan government has declared the Christian they were set to behead for converting, insane.
Pakistan has brothels, those holier than thou "Americans are perverted sex addicted heathen creatures"? See video in
N.Y. Times.
Why is the literacy rate for Nepalese and that new PC country Bhutanese women among the lowest in the world? You would think all the enlightened tourism would have noticed. As long as they get their sherpas to carry their packs so they can play in the eternal snows of the Everest...
What the hell are Zombie raves. I guess I'll Google it!

Strange perspective of Jupiter

Women's education

Taliban at Yale vs feminism continues on the the Wall Street Journal with an article titled "Mr. Levin, Meet Ms. Rohbar". It is well worth reading. Paula Nirschel, who founded the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women in 2002 approached Yale to accept one woman student but they were not interested. The same paper published an op-ed on friday asking why Yale slammed the door on Afghan women.
Schools participating in the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women:
Duke University, N.C.
Juniata College, Pa.
Kennesaw State University, Ga.
Middlebury College, Vt.
Montclair State University, N.J.
Mount Holyoke College, Mass.
Roger Williams University,
R.I.Simmons College, Mass.
University of Montana, Missoula
University of Richmond, Va

immigration laws, senate immigration laws, power of prayer,

Does prayer (the act) help in healing or are people who pray more prone to lead healthier lifestyles that accelerate the onset of the body's response to illness and helps prevent its onset.
Mormons are not healthier because of their religion, but because of the rules dictated by their religion. "notions of distant prayer or distant healing" can be incorporated in "The Butterfly Effect" paradigm, I suppose. There are various studies being done to try to quantify the possible influence of prayer in healing.

Immigration bill being argued today in the Senate. Will the Senate come up with any concrete laws before elections? Will they risk alienating 40 million hispanic potential voters? Will they cave in to the bigotry of a couple of cranks? Can they pass laws that will make it impossible to stay in the US for illegal immigrants and how will 10 million illegals leaving affect the economy. Is it viable. Will the country have to turn into a prison state to enforce such laws. Are the protests helping the immigrant cause or being counter productive? These are all questions that will be on the politicians minds as they tackle this sticky issue.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

marriage, erica jong and futebol/soccer

Today's Washington Post , by force of habit the only paper I read daily, has an interesting article on marriage:"Marriage is for white people" and in fact in another section white Erica Jung of "fear of flying" fame waxes poetic on the beauty of marriage, she of the zipless f*ck.

I'm somewhat of a soccer fan. I enjoy watching a good game and world class players do their magic with the spheric. Pele, Maradona, Eusebio, Maldini and Batistuta for their beauty, the english and germans for sheer raw power. My team, not by choice but by inheritance, is
F.C. Porto. Although I've not followed them recently being far far away, the symbol and the name still evoques powerful emotional images from my past. My dad's suffering, the world championship flag I got from a cousin who commited suicide shortly after they won it and the years I went down to the 5th floor of a Avenida da Liberdade in Porto, across the street from city hall to watch the celebrations of the many years of championship victries in the last decade of the 20th century. Sunday is a day for sports, it's a day for futebol, as is said in my original language and because today is sunday it is a good day for memories.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

a mellow saturday

500,000 march in Los Angeles, 50,000 in Denver. More actions to come. The debate starts Tuesday in the Senate. Instapundit guy, says that it's counter productive and that the sight of so many Mexican flags will just scare people.

A most
fabulous video on VD, done by Disney in 1973. (via Boing Boing)

The Dutch do have original solutions to the little space they occupy on this Earth. The dykes, the gardens on library roofs and now this, semi permanent units.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Boobie envy

I have always believed that Freud was wrong. That if there is any envy, it's not penis envy but breast envy. This story goes in that direction. Everyone's permanent infatuation with boobs (via Robotwisdom).

More immigration protests, most of them denouncing the law that the House passed, and that thanks to Tancredo, is defining the argument in the Senate.

cultural tidbits

The White House and Amnesty International are pressing the Afghan Government to not sentence a man to death for converting to Christianity. It's Sharia, the Koran based set of laws that calls for the killing of those who choose to leave "the fold". Yes, my country of origin did that 500 years ago to the Jews and Muslims. With the same religous fervor. 500 years ago!

"Back in the 1950s, analysis was a status symbol and a mark of sophistication, a role filled in society today by cosmetic surgery." What an interesting insight from Newsweek's cover of Freud.

test. My score is too embarrasing to list here. Ego crush!! I do think that some of the questions and answers are a bit absurd!

Garcia da Orta (a fellow countryman)
Garcia da Orta once owned the island of Bombay and maintained a medicinal herb garden at what is now the Veeramata Jeejabai Bhonsle Udyan (Victoria Gardens) in Byculla (via A Jolly Socratic Science)

For the hiking types: How to survive a cold night out with no tent and prove that you're not a wussy (via swissmiss)

Morning blues

In the Washington Post this morning, it becomes clear what the immigration issue is all about. It's a means for self-serving politicians to get more of the same. There are many classes of people out there and in the lowest rung are those that fall under this category: 'If you're doing a job an American won't do, you're welcome here for a period of time to do that job,'. I don't think most people realize that there is already such a program. If a worker sponsors you and "proves" that no American will do the job, he is free to apply for a work visa. The job that no American wants is of course one that pays miserable wages.

"The revenge of the mommy party"(Supposedly, in the shorthand of political positioning, Democrats are more concerned with nurturing, caring and domestic policy, while the Republicans care more about security.) a New York Times article on women candidates raises some interesting questions; namely if women are "weak" on foreign policy what are we to say of Condi Rice?

William Saletan writes a balanced article in the Slate on the difference between homosexual and poligamous marriage. He focuses the argument on human nature and economics. That is, jealousy is part of human nature and poligamy only exists in cultures where the male's economic power is predominant. I would have to agree except to say that to be fair there are a lot of "de facto" poligamous marriages, that men in our culture are still totally economically dominant. But this is the culture of the trophy wife and the money hungry woman who cares nothing but about her husband's bank account . So why not distribute his wealth a little bit around?

Huge blast rocks French college BBC reports, the cause not yet being known. The French are having a rather hard week!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Minute men is it in the anatomy?

My intelligent significant other likes to play with words. He was wondering today whether the Minutemen were refering to the dimensions of part of their anatomy. You know, minute (tiny) men.

playful dolphins

I just got this drawing in the mail from my daughter who is at present many many miles away

Native american's fight for women's rights

The President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, a former health worker, has vowed to personally open a Planned Parenthood clinic in the reservation, outside of the state of South Dakota jurisdiction. This state has recently banned abortion.

Taliban at Yale

Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi--a former ambassador-at-large of the murderous Afghan Taliban is going to Yale! Isn't that nice!
The former spokesman for the cowards that yanked women's nails out and shot them in stadiums gets to go to one of the most prestigious universities in the country. He has a fourth grade level education and a GED. He was admitted based on his personal curriculun I guess. I would guess that with the kind of reasoning Yale is using, GOebbels would be welcomed there. See story in Wall Street Journal.
See also article in The Boston Globe. From that article we have this preciousness:One striking aspect of this controversy is the reaction from Yale’s liberal community. Della Sentilles, a Yale senior, recently wrote a piece for the Yale Daily News denouncing such manifestations of rampant misogyny at Yale as the shortage of tenured female professors and poor childcare options. On her blog, a reader asked Sentilles about the presence at Yale of a former spokesman for one of the world’s most misogynistic regimes. Her reply: ‘’As a white American feminist, I do not feel comfortable making statements or judgments about other cultures, especially statements that suggest one culture is more sexist and repressive than another. American feminism is often linked to and manipulated by the state in order to further its own imperialist ends.” Ahahaha. Is this representative of what is going on in Academia!? Ms Sentilles, women, oppressed women the world over thank your exemplar cultural relativism. Female mutilation? Female beating and honor killings? Oh why not? Not everything is perfect in America either.
But here you can talk about it and get justice from the courts lady!
As a non WASP born in a fascist and sexist regime I am utterly discusted and ultimately outraged by statements of that nature!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

It's nice to leave Earth once in a while

From the Jet Propulsion Labs, a guided tour of Mars' canyons and valleys.
I am, as of today part of the world SETI (SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) network trying to detect intelligent life outside Earth. It's getting harder to find it here.
Also worth checking out: The Planetary Society Weblog
And meanwhile back here on Earth business as usual...

Mother Earth

How come I've never been picked to be probed by aliens?
Oh the Earth is a thing of beauty!

amnesia, blog gossip, rich housewives, JOGA

The story of the amnesiac on today's Washington Post, a Trip Down Memory Lane, brings to my mind the fact that I have had 3 such episodes, albeit short lived. I remember the first was I was about twenty and after two days in a state of vigil, I fell asleep and woke up presumably hours afterwards with no retrograde memory. I knew my surroundings by their linguistic representation in my head, but was utterly disconnect from the world and even myself. I had no identity, didn't recognize anyone and had no idea where I was. My name and my sense of me slowly started coming back to me and over the next 48 hours I was able to recuperate, but the hours between falling asleep and being found by friends I have no recollection of. This has happened to me twice more, and the feeling is always one of profound anguish. You have a body, you recognize the physical strutures around you, but you have absolutely no afective connection with them. Standing in front of a building that you might have know for years brings you no input except that it is a building. It's as if I maintained the Saussurian concept of language but have no link to the samantic semantic (pragmatic, contextual) concepts in my head. I never did anything about it and it hasn't happened in about 10 years. One more of my strange experiences.

Poor, ethnic children at greater risk for exposure to toxic pollutants says Eureka, and anybody else with any sense. It's the bad schooling, it's the heavy minerals, it's the bad food. The list goes on and America is becoming more fragmented. But I bet most anti-abortion activists don't care. They're only importany when they're in the womb.

My brilliant mate says that the pornography industry is the net version of the old NASA. You know in their search for better graphics, more input and better diversionary tactics, they have helped make the net what it is today, the motivation though being significantly different. They push smut and appeal to our basest impulses whereas NASA wanted to reach for the stars. Interesting analogy.

Inlight of all these shows on housewifes and the lives of the rich I sugest the following poem:

Possessions are Nine Points of Conversation
Some people, and it doesn't matter whether they are paupers or millionaires,
Think that anything they have is the best in the world just because it is theirs.
If they happen to own a 1921 jalopy,
They look at their neighbor's new de luxe convertible like the wearer of a 57th Street gown at a 14th Street copy.
If their seventeen-year-old child is still in the third grade they sneer at the graduation of the seventeen-year-old children of their friends,
Claiming that prodigies always come to bad ends,
And if their roof leaks,It's because the shingles are antiques.
Other people, and if doesn't matter if they are Scandinavians or Celts,
Think that anything is better than theirs just because it belongs to somebody else.
If you congratulate them when their blue-blooded Doberman pinscher wins the obedience championship, they look at you like a martyr,
And say that the garbage man's little Rover is really infinitely smarter;
And if they smoke fifteen-cent cigars they are sure somebody else gets better cigars for a dime.
And if they take a trip to Paris they are sure their friends who went to Old Orchard had a better time.
Yes, they look on their neighbor's ox and ass with covetousness and their own ox and ass with abhorrence,
And if they are wives they want their husband to be like Florence's Freddie, and if they are husbands they want their wives to be like Freddie's Florence.
I think that comparisons are truly odious,
I do not approve of this constant proud or envious to-do;
And furthermore, dear friends, I think that you and yours are delightful and I also think that me and mine are delightful too.
(Ogden Nash) (thanks Abrupto)

New Google Site called JOGA, portuguese word for play, that looks like it's about soccer but I think in reality is about social networking. Should be very popular in the rest of the world. Noticed the Brazilian aura about it! Interesting! Watching german or english soccer is watching brute force and drive, watching brazilians play is like watching a ballet. Beautiful, creative artistic soccer, the best kind there is.
Fun gossipy article on the A list bloggers in the early days of blogging.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Wafa Sultan. The flashlight of Reason

A cartoon. A message. A woman of courage! (via Blasfemias)

blogs by historical figures

Blogs by historical figures:
Geoffrey Chaucer hath a blog answers your question in Chaucer's language.
Under Odysseus battles the Trojans and blogs from the battlefield.
Will keep on the look out for more!

Men, manliness and testosterone

First it's the article on Foreign Affairs about the Patriarchy, now it's a book by a Harvard grand Poobah called Harvey C. Mansfieldor, titled "Manliness". According to a Yale review "This is the first comprehensive study of manliness, a quality both bad and good, mostly male, often intolerant, irrational, and ambitious." And I would take it, very manly. You can go here to get some pointers on how to be more manly.
Men Men Men
If only Patriarchy didn't also signify oppression of women. Because these writers are assuming that men will become more manly, go out and fight wars, bring home the bacon and take care of the children, never talking about the other side of manliness. When they come home and slap the little woman around or invade pillage and rape their enemies. Yeah!! I believe this man stuff! Look around you!
Read Ruth Marcus's op-ed in the Washington Post! 'Nuf said...

Monday, March 20, 2006

Roaming around

Once again Molly makes a very strong point on not only the abortion issue but also the HPV vaccine that the government does not want to give to girls because it will promote "sexual irresponsability".
A different take on the goth scene. Goth today, doctor tomorrow!
In Bro Bartleby's site a different translation of the the expression atributed to Jesus that "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
In an different translation "
Wake up! you who are the poor in spirit ..."This passive into active brings whole new meaning to this Scripture. Here is a Jesus of action. Jesus telling us to "wake up!" and to be active participants in seeking righteousness. Right on!

Spring Equinox

First day of Spring in this neck of the woods!

Happy B-day to my friend Tania in that other country, in that other continent!

The return of the patriarchy?

Kottle links to a site that specializes in crazily overloaded vehicles. But this picture is just to much to pass up. I am against violance to animals and other living creatures, most of whichin this site, have in one sense or another been violated. Dire poverty is a violation of human rights and dignity.

An interesting article on black males plight. Why has incarceration gone up while the crime rates haven't. Is jail a new form of slavery?
A scan of music stations in New York the night John Lennon was shot. I remeber where I was! I turned on the radio that I used as an alarm clock, sat up in bed and softly cried. Later I got dressed and went to school. (via Boing Boing)
A flying carpet, not a persian rug.
People are so silly! Foreign policy article titled The Return of the Patriarchy. Return?????More on this later!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Bonobos, the brain and the minutemen

The Washington Post has lately been doing a series of stories on immigrants, especially Hispanic immigrants. This week in the Magazine a cover story on the Minutemen. We get to know a little bit about this group of inflamed citizens and their motivations. A couple of things stand out in the article. One member is a Canadian immigrant who became a citizen and for some weird reason thinks that her immigrant status is different from the Hispanics she so intently wants to keep out. Another is angry at the immigrants because his job is being outsourced to Mexico. Duh! Me thinks the target of his anger should be the executives who made the decision. But it's easier to vent on some poor and powerless campesino trying to find work here, than taking o the big guys. And finally the kkk and swastika jokes will not win them a lot of friends and ends up revealing the racists that they are. Militia action fed on ignorance is very dangerous.

This mysterious organ we possess but know so little about . Our brain!
Like the Grace Slick used to say You must feed your head, so here is a site with advice on precisely the feeding of your brain. Enjoy!

If I had a choice I would come back as a bonobo, because they have the most pleasant life of any primate or non primate. Check out their social structures. Why do we always use the chimps as reference? I say, let's emulate the bonobos!! They seem a whole lot smarter than the Minutemen.

one snow flake

Simple things

Saturday, March 18, 2006

the earth and life on it

An interview with Robert M. Sapolsky, neurologist on stress on NPR (via Boing boing)

Sliding silvery wings
Through day night light
Barely turning
Edging on to new worlds
Tranquillity on the surface
Anxiety within;
Conquering the mountain of space
Is not for the weak-hearted. Spinning earth in view
Home-plate port
Calls forth the question: Why climb this hill?
Because it's there is not enough.
Compelled by forces Inexorable, yet comprehensible
Like the tick of a clock;
Study the history in rocks
And we learn more
About our own planet
And all the others.
One thing becomes clear
When floating 240,000 miles from home-
God did it all.

Men, religions and the absurd

Don't get me wrong, I deeply respect people's right to worship what or whoever they want. I also respect their right to make fun or criticize my or anybody else's deeply held convictions. Come on! Some people worship Elvis and I find that cooky and I worship the Holy Mary and other people find that even weirder. A woman with a long dress and a head covering. I'm a Marian, that my thing and it has gotten me through some heavy times. We all have a right to our higher power. If it's a door knob, well it's your door knob and your business.
This South Park episode reminds me of a toned and westernized version of the cartoon incidents. So just like I supported Denmark and the media's right to publish the cartoons I think South Park creators should be supported.
Their reaction?
"So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun!" the two said in a statement sent to trade paper Variety.
"Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!"
They signed the statement, "Trey Parker and Matt Stone, servants of the dark lord Xenu."LOL

On the book "Manliness"by Harvey C. MansfieldWashington Post's Hank Stuever does a funny article called A Bicepsual Concept, inventing yet another neologism. Here is my humble contribution to it: "A Croatia lumberjack claims he started 'enjoying housework and knitting' after he was given a female kidney"..and he is which is his wife Radmila added: "If the new femine side to him is confined to housework I am very happy, I only hope he doesn't start looking at other men."
And now to sum it all up, a poem:

Lumberjack Song - Monty Python
I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK
I sleep all night and I work all day.
Chorus: He's a lumberjack and he's OK
He sleeps all night and he works all day.
I cut down trees, I eat my lunch I go to the lavatory.
On Wednesdays I go shopping and have buttered scones for tea
Mounties: He cut down trees, he eat his lunch He go to the lavatory
On Wednesdays he go shopping and has buttered scones for tea.
Chorus: He's a lumberjack and he's OK
He sleeps all night and he works all day.
I cut down trees, I skip and jump I like to press wild flowers.
I put on women's clothing and hang around in bars.
Mounties: He cuts down trees, he skips and jumps
He likes to press wild flowers.
He puts on women's clothing and hangs around in bars?!
Chorus: He's a lumberjack and he's OK
He sleeps all night and he works all day.
I cut down trees, I wear high heels
Suspenders and a bra.
I wish I'd been a girlie, just like my dear papa!
Mounties: He cuts down trees, he wears high heels?!
Suspenders...and a bra?! ...
He's a lumberjack and he's OK
He sleeps all night and he works all day. ...
He's/I'm a lumberjack and he's/
I'm OK He/I sleep all night and he/
I work all day


I have had my epiphany.

And it brought me peace.

Thank you L.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The good, the funny and the ugly

Cosmic DNA

Avian flu has reached Israel where hundreds of thousands of animals have been slaughtered and three people have been hospitalized with possible avian flu.
For someone like me who followed closely the onset of AIDS in the 80's this is cause for some aprehension.(via An Unsealed Room)
Ask is a great site for anal retentive types like me who will loose a couple of hours of sleep over a mispelled word or a badly structured sentence. Upon which you might comment that I probably don't get much sleep...Anyway they have a list of coomonly asked questions on grammar. (via Kokkte)
Another flying cow story (well sort of).
I have just discovered The Old Foodie, a blog for the food history buffs. It has old (really old) recipes and a bit of the usage of unusual products. It's wonderful.
Over at Pharyngula there is a debate going over mating strategies and what they imply. Some interesting comments but by far the best is from Bro. Bartleby who acididly (pun intended) comments:
"Evolution before our eyes.
Evolution in the males of India has produced a most curious behavior. When courting an attractive female, if the female spurns the sexual advances of the male or rejected his proposal of marriage, then male hurls acid into the females face. This instantly reduces this previously attractive female to a disfigured female with little chance of mating or reproducing. Thereby attractive females are not passing on their attractive genes, whereby the "acid throwers" are free to pass on their "acid throwing" genes. I'm surprised none of you scientist have observed this. Perhaps too many hours staring into the microscope?
Oh Thank you Dear Brother, wherever you are!
And finally, Tom Tancredo of Colorado in the good old tradition of demagogues everywhere has discoved that immigration is a trigger issues and the more inflamed the better. He has found that blaming the immigrants, a solid American tradition, will turn you from an obscure and insignificant politician to a nationally recognized bigot. And we are all the worse for it but he's able to push is personal agenda which is to get recognition so as to continue to stay in that lofty space in Capitol Hill. Oh politics yuck!!!
immigration, tancredo, old world recipes

Thursday, March 16, 2006

sandcastles in Haifa

A day at the Israel
A short film about sandcastles, surfing and humanity...

Immigration, gay muslims, lawyers and architecture

The Great Immigration Debate: Getting Beyond Denial is a great article on immigration by Marc Cooper . He talks about the economic issues like the rampant poverty south of the border, the rampant greed north of it and the various proposals floating around. The coments are also pertinent and rational in their output.

Gay-vs.-Muslim Soccer Set in Netherlands. And yes they mention the fact that gay muslims can choose which side to be on. At least they're trying!

In Annie Cheney's book Body Brokers: Inside America's Underground Trade in Human Remains one learns that "In Gainesville, Florida, she takes a tour of a factory where crushed human bone is turned into precision-tooled orthopedic tools." Tools from human parts.Umm! What does that remind me of, now? (Boing Boing)

A love story told in scale format. It's beautiful! It's intelligent design (the story that is) (Pharyngula)

Lawyers can be great sometimes: "On Wednesday, March 1st, 2006, in Annapolis at a hearing on the proposed Constitutional Amendment to prohibit gay marriage, Jamie Raskin, professor of law at AU, was requested to testify.
At the end of his testimony, Republican Senator Nancy Jacobs said: "Mr. Raskin, my Bible says marriage is only between a man and a woman. What do you have to say about that?"
Raskin replied: "Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."
The room erupted into applause." (Again via Pharyngula)

The image on the left is a roof of an University library. Picnic enabling roof. Those Dutch!! (via Pruned)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

vaginal rejunenation ???

So, I start out by going to RobotWisdom and link to a site that has plastic surgery statistics for the US. Lo and behold the article gives us some very interesting numbers. I'll proceed to quote the experts:
"Vaginal rejuvenation, pectoral implants, buttock implants and calf augmentation have been touted in the media recently as the "hot" new procedures taking plastic surgery by storm. According to a statistics report released today in which the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) tracked these procedures for the first time, the reality is quite different from the hype. These unconventional procedures are being done infrequently, when compared to mainstream cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. "
The numbers are as follows: "In 2005, just 793 vaginal rejuvenation procedures were performed, according to ASPS statistics. Other "fringe" plastic surgery procedures tracked for the first time in 2005 were: buttock implants (542), calf augmentation (337) and pectoral implants (206). "
I thought, well what's 800 out of a population of 300 million? It's totally insignificant and not even noteworthy. But the LA Times has another perspective on it. They cite no data, claiming that it isn't available and make the vaginal reconstruction or reshaping or whatever you want to call it sound like it's the hottest new thing and that everyone and their neighbor is doing it. Get real! This is absolute bad jornalism!! It has less credibility than some of the stories of the rags about alien monsters. At least a lot of people claim to have seen them. More than a mere 800. the article, called Intimate Makeover , is once again an example of poorly research and hyped up jornalism. Shame on you LA Times!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

a day in a life

Because Dylan always has the right words...

It ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It don't matter, anyhow
An' it ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe
If you don't know by now
When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window and I'll be gone
You're the reason I'm trav'lin' on
Don't think twice, it's all right
It ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe
That light I never knowed
An' it ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe
I'm on the dark side of the road
Still I wish there was somethin' you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
We never did too much talkin' anyway
So don't think twice, it's all right
It ain't no use in callin' out my name, gal
Like you never did before
It ain't no use in callin' out my name, gal
I can't hear you any more
I'm a-thinkin' and a-wond'rin' all the way down the road
I once loved a woman, a child I'm told
I give her my heart but she wanted my soul
But don't think twice, it's all right
I'm walkin' down that long, lonesome road, babe
Where I'm bound, I can't tell
But goodbye's too good a word, gal
So I'll just say fare thee well
I ain't sayin' you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don't mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don't think twice, it's all right

Dr Wafa Sultan in Israeli radio interview

From the courageous Dr. Wafa Sultan, this interview, in english on Israel National Radio. Via All Things Beautiful whom I thank)
This woman is putting her life on the line for a cause. She knows what happened to Salman Rushtie and she knows what happens to women heretics. It is amazing the strenght, the conviction and the again courage of her message.

On a different note with the religious thematic Jerry Falwel has issued a statement correcting a story from the Jesusalem Post. It is this:
Earlier today, reports began circulating across the
globe that I have recently stated that Jews
can go to heaven without being converted to Jesus Christ.
This is categorically untrue.

disaster map

Amazing World Map of on going and real time disasters. Good place to follow Avian Flu outbrakes. (From Robot Wisdom)

Monday, March 13, 2006

avian flu and language

Avian Flu is coming??"??
Catchword: aaargh plop
Part of Speech: n.
Quotation:Scientists may just be learning what is already common knowledge among Indonesian villagers. Peter Roeder, a consultant for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, says locals have an onomatopoeic name for bird flu “that sounds like ‘plop,’ the sound of a chicken hitting the ground when it falls out of a tree. They also have a name for the cat form of avian flu—’aargh plop’—because cats make a screaming noise before they fall out of the tree.” From Double Tongued Word Wrester Dictionary

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Unstoppable Goolization

Google Mars!
Google Earth
I do bitch about the googglalization (goolization) of cyberspace but then they charm me! With color maps of Mars. And fabulous title art.


Because today is Sunday

My personality DNA

Dynamic Inventor

Thanks World Wide Rant

Saturday, March 11, 2006

immigrant blues

A propos previous post; The Washington Post Magazine does an interesting story on illegal day laborers. With a personal touch, it sidesteps the political issues giving us a personal snap shot of what it's like to be one of those illegals. They are for the most part, simple men who want to feed their families and have had the bad luck of being born in pits of poverty like Nicaragua and El Salvador. They are men who want the same for their children Americans want. And these are the men that for whom the bill the House passed, is targeted. These will be the felons to be chased down for the "crime" of wanting a better life.

Immigrant voices

I am a bit surprised that the only media outlet that covered a massive march against the immigration bill that was passed by the House was the Drudge Report. This was a protest/peaceful march attended by between 100,000 and 300,000 people. Hopefully they will gather momentum and go on to other cities.
What a conumdrum, this immigration stuff. Americans want insourcing of what they can't outsource while at the same time having an easy scapegoat. Blame the foreigners has always worked. The opium smoking chinese, the dirty mafiosi italians, the red jews and now the violent prone, gang banger latinos. It's as if this country was reserved just for the anglo-saxonics...
Who built the railways, who worked in the sweatshops of New York, who is harvesting the fruit and processing the meat Americans eat. Who has been building all those houses that drove the construction boom and working in the heat of the restaurant kitchens throughout this land? Why, the lazy, dirty, criminal and violent prone latinos, of course. It's amazing they get any work done at all, with all those attributes. Why is New Orleans becoming a "brown town"? Certainly not because of its partying Mardi Grass fame, the only thing that seems to concern traditional Americans. No, the lazy latinos have not gone there to party! They've gone there to clean up in the aftermath of a major disaster and because no one else will. And for that, Congress (at least part of it) wants to turn them into felons. What kind people Americans sometimes are!

the code?

Brutal work in the real world

Fellow blogger and countryman JJP at Abrupto has been running what he calls portraits of work, a series of photographs taken from all parts of the globe, of people at work. As he rightly points out, the blogosphere is, like the movies and television, a space where work does not take place.

Wafa Sultan's message

Wafa Sultan's strong opinion on what is going on in the world of Islam has made it onto the New York Times. Although my reluctance to see things in black and white dictates that I listen to all sides, her argument, as stated here before is one of clarity and courage. It is the voice of a woman who speaks from the heart as from experience. Again excerpts from her interview on AL-Jazeera can be seen on . And of course, she is getting death threats! She is only voicing her opinion. Are these guys so insecure that they cannot take criticism.
What I have been taught about criticism throughout my life. If it applies, listen and use it for positive change, if it doesn't, discart it as someone else's issue and get on with your life.
Once again, I believe that in the long run the old aphorism that words are stronger than stones will prevail. No human cause gains from abject ignorance and fanaticism.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

This article plus this one on the ongoing hatred we harbor towards each other, led me to this:

From The Little Prince by A. Saint Exupery

Now there were some terrible seeds on the planet that was the home of the little prince; and these were the seeds of the baobab. The soil of that planet was infested with them. A baobab is something you will never, never be able to get rid of if you attend to it too late. It spreads over the entire planet. It bores clear through it with its roots. And if the planet is too small, and the baobabs are too many, they split it in pieces . . .

Don't worry, it's only got a few leaves (via Rua da Judiaria)

In memory of my high school french teacher, who taught us tolerance along with literature using Saint Exupery's "The Little Prince".

a little bit of something

Thanks to the Daily Kos for this beautiful slide show from this Hubble Space Telescope Collage. Make sure you have the speakers on.
On Roger Waters' concert in Israel. I have always been a huge fan of Roger Waters so this does not surprise me:
Waters told the Guardian newspaper, "I have many fans in Israel, many of whom refuse to serve in the military. I won't cancel my trip to Israel because I don't agree with the government's policies, just as I won't stop performing in Britain simply because I disagree with the policies of Tony Blair.
"People who live in Israel are human beings, just like everyone."(thanks to An Unsealed Room)
A blog by Eurylochus , one of the Greek warriors in the Trojan War! (via kottke)

Finger soccer!!!

Duck! It’s A Flying Chick! How many chicks would a Chicken Chucker chuck if a Chicken Chucker could chuck chicks? At American Science catalog

Here is an interesting scientific perspective on moment of conception and life.

In the Washington Post an article by Richard Morin on the increasing rate of HIV infection in African Americans: "So powerful is the relationship between race, prison and AIDS that it almost completely explains why half of all new AIDS patients in 2002 were African Americans even though only 12 percent of the population is black; in 1982, African Americans made up less than a quarter of new AIDS cases. The link remained strong even after researchers controlled for factors associated with AIDS, including the use of crack cocaine, Raphael said."

Again in the Post a bit of utopian discourse by Mr. Jabari Assim. What is great about the utopian genre is its capacity to present us with a shift of paradigm. Which is what Mr. Assim does beautifully in this article and in the best tradition of Thomas Moore.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Blog against sexism

Yes, yesterday and today I have been blogging against sexism (thanks Philobiblon and Vegankid)
The Independent has a great section on the reality of being woman in this great big world. It is not a pretty picture. Yes, feminists might not be the happiest people on Earth as the Slate among other afirms, but it sure beats getting acid thrown in your face, a serious enough threat in Bangladesh to warrant the death penalty, or being female in Saudi Arabia, with its medieval arcane laws of hand cutting, stone throwing and wife beating, or in India, where girls are regularly aborted, or in most of Africa where more than 80% of the work is done by women or in the US where the standart of beauty is an underfed, overlipped and overbreasted barbie doll on 5 inch heels being fucked in every orifice she has in her body.
In my unhappiness, I'll stick to my feminism, thank you!!

From Gateway pundit some positive news and proof that all is not bad for women in the lands of Islam. Men gather to protest and denounce the practice of throwing acid at women.

On other issues:

The discovery of this animal in itself is interesting, but what I find amusing is the description:
Scientists said the animal, which they named Kiwa hirsuta, was so distinct from other species that they created a new family and genus for it. The animal is white and just shy of 6 inches long — about the size of a salad plate.
They have just discovered it and already they're thinking dinner (it does look vaguely like a albino hairy lobster) via BoingBoing
What Kind of Blogger Are You?