Thursday, April 27, 2006

nukes and sunflowers

This is THE strangest DaVinci Code craze to date yet. The judge presiding on the recent copyright debacle between Dan Brown and authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, embeded his own code which he calls "The Smithy Code" into the ruling, which denied there was any copyright infringement. Part of this code has yet to be decyphered. Here is the link to the ruling, for any code cracker out there.
The faces of poverty and radiation can be seen in this
Magnum photo essay, not recommended for the weak of constitution. To threaten to nuke any area of the world is to condemn not just the living but the yet to be born to lives of despair. Never again!
The Wash Post
article by one of the founders of Green Peace offers the nuclear is safe argument. His defense is the number of deaths ocurring in all the other fuel related industries. But what he is comparing is careful monitorization of an activity (nuclear) versus the reckless managementof the others, not the dangers inherent in the energy source itself. It is like comparing the performance of two cars while one is being driven by a reckless drunk and the other by a cautious defensive driver. It is what I would call pulling wool over my eyes. And why aren't the other industries run with the same safety criteria?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

immigration..but not only

Another take on alcoholism

According to this story Prez Bush favors the legalization of the 10 to 12 illegal immigrants currently in the US. Congress has returned from its recess and is expected to keep trying to work out a viable solution. There are in this issue a few points that seem to me pertinent.
On the immigrant's side:
They have made themselves visible, coming out of the suburban houses, factories and construction sites to the many rallying points across America. They learned the flag lesson. They know that it is virtually impossible to deport 10 to 12 million people. The social disruption it would cause is at this moment hard to grasp. As Jon Steward, in The Daily Show reminded us, let us recall the whole Ellie Kazan conumdrum and multiply that by several million. The sheer logistics of such an endeavor are simply overwhelming.
They, the illegal and legal immigrants have made themselves heard. It is a fact. Now they have the political forces with them and the American population somewhat ambivalent toward the issue.
So why the May Day boycott and new call to rallies? It seems an excess of zeal, the over enthusiasm we atribute to newly discovered liberties and freedoms. It is misplaced here.
Linking the immigration issue to a date that to this day has very negative conotations in the American psyche might raise a few undesirable ghosts. It links it to a left associated with the images of Fidel and Hugo Chavez. It links it to the labor movements of the beginnings of the 20th century, those too instigated by foreigners. It will excessively politicise an issue that at this moment is still focused on human rights, as translated into basic american decency and right to dignity for all peoples. Now more than loud massive demonstrations of people, it is time for the quiet behing the scenes political maneuvering where it matters most.
On the anti immigration side. Yes these people are taking away jobs that Americans would do for 3 times as much. But do we really want to pay 20 dollars for a pound of fruit and 50 bucks for a fast food meal. Has anyone even thought out the logistics that this massive deportation would imply. I think not!
It is a unique problem facing a unique democracy. And the answers will not be resolved by demogoguery or loud shouting.

Frank Zappa on censorship, may his spirit rest in peace but his message not forgotten: Read it at Flickr

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


A roll cloud
Phyllis Shafly thinks the feminists control the Bush administration.According to this old sage of that great group of working women, whose job happens to be that of telling other women to stay home...according to her ..."Is President George W. Bush a feminist, or is he just a typical gentleman who is intimidated by feminists and unable to cope with their unreasonable demands, tantrums and rudeness?" Ahahaah
Here is a wonderful story of a man, Irwin Herman who has spend the last 18 years giving away books to those in need. (via Rebecca's pocket)
The world of addictions:
Alcoholics Anonymous comix from the late 60's to early 70's. "Stop the Madness" music video with among others Whitney Houston, Nancy Reagan on the ravages of drugs. It's a trigger for those weaker of spirit. And B.A. or Bloggers Anonymous, for those of us who's social personal and professional life has started to revolve around that all important activity of blogging. Are you a blogaholic?

25 de Abril

Because it is 25 of April and I was there.
Porque os outros se mascaram mas tu não
Porque os outros usam a virtude
Para comprar o que não tem perdão.
Porque os outros têm medo mas tu não.

Porque os outros são os túmulos caiados
Onde germina calada a podridão.
Porque os outros se calam mas tu não.

Porque os outros se compram e se vendem
E os seus gestos dão sempre dividendo.
Porque os outros são hábeis mas tu não.

Porque os outros vão à sombra dos abrigos
E tu vais de mãos dadas com os perigos.
Porque os outros calculam mas tu não.
Sophia de Mello Breyner Andersen

Monday, April 24, 2006

Noah and global warming

It's a puzzle about the DaVinci Code. I'm going to love this cultural memetic obsession. What secrets does this book hold that has given it such a stronghold on Western civilization? I really haven't a clue. Unless it's the idea of little Jesuses running around presumably running the world. Or the personification of evil within the members of Opus Dei, an extremely wealthy and influencial fringe Catholic semi secret brotherhood. Maybe the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa. Dunno!

Scientists striving to create the perfect warrior are researching the tongue as a superior transmiter. Yes, yes, it helps make the sounds we normally call speech, but what they're focusing on, is sensory augmentation for military uses. I guess like a snake. TZZZZZ

I'm not a scientist so I'm somewhat ignorant but also skeptical of doomsayers who are constantly proclaiming the end of the world. It's global cooling, it's global warming, it's another version of the biblical tale of the flood. These myths are more pervasive than we think!

The diagram at right was taken from a paper that has a nifty explaination for the history of the global warming scare. According to its author, it was created as a tool to help Margaret Tatcher become a more influencial leader. I suppose it took on a life of its own. But one way or another, we all love to see cities submerged and the ocean levels rising. I'm surprised there aren't more Noahs out there.

Gene Robinson of the WasPost tackles the Duke case in its social, class and racial dynamics. He questions why it would be acceptable for students to hire strippers for a party, as well as the strippers' recourse to such a dangerous and psychologically damaging "profession". Because, Mr. Robinson, we are apparently living a culture of smut, where parents find it normal that their children spend hours holed up in their rooms surfing the web for the most outlandish porn sites. Where Lacrosse players' girl friends are called "Lacrossitutes",where Rush Limbaud can make a joke about "them hos". But as seen by this story, the woman in this whole mess isn't the only victim. She is rather the most visible face of a culture that values violent mysogynism in the name of sexual liberation. One cannot disassociate these men's behavior with the white rich male privilege mentality. Les droits du seigner are indeed alive and well.

stormy weather

Cyclone Monica
I would guess that the
chimps attacking people in Sierra Leona are probably doing so as a defensive maneuver. Or as a signal of civilizational stress. Or due to th breakdown of their social structures, due to the destryction of their habitat. Or maybe they just got fed up with people!

Phillip Roth has a new book out called Evryman and the
Statesman does the analysis. I am an avid Roth reader , but i've not read the book. Sounds like an interesting theme that applies to the millions of baby boomers who thought themselves imortal and invincible and are now reaching that age of the last voyage.

Newsweek does the Duke coverage. A few statements, "promoting "a culture of crassness at the expense of a culture of character." " but it is also the product of a widespread college-age culture that proud parents do not wish to examine too closely: future Masters of the Universe who sometimes behave like thugs." It looks like crassness is winning out. Apparently the sales of LAcrosse Team t-shirts have greatly increased. As stated before in this blog, first come the poor black girls, next come the poor black and brown countries. This new version is a lot less "clean'. There are no statements of the woman locking herself in the bathroom to "do her nails", as the defense had stated previously. But we have Rush Limbaud at his best, calling the women "hos".
But wait! It gets better.
Feministing covers a tv show where a Carlton Tucker (I"m really out of sync on mainstream media. I should watch t.v.) individual calls the "alleged" rape victim a crypto-hooker who should not be taken seriously because she, like, sells her body to strangers.

Ron Mueck : (via swissmiss) at [BBlog]

Sunday, April 23, 2006

We are the champions

F.C.P. has done again. National champions!! (my roots)

Another take on the war on drugs. Now that Oxycodin has become a major concern as a black market drug, doctors want to maintain control of what they believe is their responsability to the patient, not the DEA. This WasPost article brings some rationality to the discussion on substance abuse.

"You can't expect people to operate in a vacuum outside of popular culture." Dov Charney of American Apparel on America's cultural schisms in an
article on the N. Y. Times. He conveys the impression that he has been able to fuse popular culture and smut and making it acceptable to a mainstream audience. The American Apparel site is certainly interesting. So are his fair labor practices. But comparing him to Hug Hefner that old perv with a weakness for hot young babesjust makes him tacky. . EW!

N. Y. Times also takes on the complex world of China and the Internet. In a country where a large percentage of its population still lives in dire poverty, it's interesting how it is being turned into the next bogeyman. And can you really have a 1 billion people centrally governed democracy. I would think not! America has a hard enough time and it's been part of its culture for 200 years. A mere century ago, people would get killed for looking directly at the emperor. A whole different world.
Read this
article on the Internet police, trolling chinese screens to keep things in the right perspective. Again how does one centrally control 1 billion people?

Friday, April 21, 2006


Only love let's us see normal things
In an extraordinary way

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ~
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ~

Thursday, April 20, 2006

blogging and t-shirts

How to squash negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. You get the tutorial at Pavlina's site (hmmm..Pavlov..Pavlina)

The Guardian has an article on the impressive influence of bloggers and other web savy users. They claim that they are disporpotionatly influencial both in political and business matters in Europe. And this interesting little piece on Doctorow of Boing Boing and its influence on the blogosphere and beyond. (via Philobiblion)
Robin Givhan, who was recently awarded a Pulitzer for her beautiful chronicles on fashion, produces a meditation in The WasPost on the power of the t-shirt as message. It is a particular American phenomenon, a truly democratic and genderless manifestation. It is ironic that at the State of the Union address, two women were arrested for their non fashion statements. The t-shirt as anti fashion and public billboard however can become too strong of a visual charge so it is only natural that the gay parents who attended the Easter Egg Roll at the White House would choose to wear rainbow colored leis and not some other flagrant display of their sexual orientation. Sometimes it does not do to push your point too agressively. On another note it appears that the 9th circuit or as it is called by some the "cuckoo court" has agreed that a t-shirt worn by a student in a school criticizing homosexuals was not aceptable. Free spech is one thing, hate mongering is another.
And all over cyberspace and beyond an absolute obsession with the name Suri, a poor choice phonetically and otherwise. But it's all good. And senseless and while that is talked about the little miseries and humiliations of daily life are momentarily forgotten.

WTF...the saint whore dichotomy is starting to be too much. You have virgins for Christ on one side and Girls Gone Wild on the other. Or maybe they are one and the same. A case of the double personality. But ladies you can't please greeks and trojans. It all gets blended together in the mediatic microcosm with sex as "the" bargaining tool to which women have access. YUK

fun fun fun

Are we in Afganistan or the United States? A Oklahoma man was offering via a sign in his yard, $1,000 for a virgin between the ages of 12 and 24 that will not turn into a “pig-worshipping, heathen, white-supremacist wife.” I wonder what led him to add that comment. In many states he could legally do it. Marry a 12 year old that is. I would think that soliciting for a minor would be illegal and would land one in a lot of trouble. EW! Ew (via Shakespeare's sister)
Wanting to post this ( CEO's and waiters)for a few days because
1. It's an issue with me
2. I want to be able to have it as a reference which is one of the main, if not the main purpose of my blog. That and force myself to write.

What a great idea: Oh and the fun has just started! Add bubbles to your pictures!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Lisbon massacre of Jews 500 years ago, today

The precursor to Portugal's expultion of the Jews, the Easter Massacre of 1506 is being remembered today in downtown Lisbon with a candlelight vigil. On Easter Sunday on said date in the city of Lisbon, the plague as well as two previous years of inclement weather have taken their toll, claiming many victims in the city. A lot of the government officals as well as part of the royalty are out of town to avoid contagion. There are religious processions and in one service someone notices a strange and singular ray of light shining on a crucifix. The word spreads through the help of Dominican monks, wanting to use it to their advantage. At one of the services, with voices pro and con, that of a skeptical "new christian" rings out claiming it to be nothing but an optical illusion. The mob turns on him, drags him out to the street where they proceed to beat, kill and then burn him. Stired up by the empassioned discourses of said monks, they spread out across the city, killing and throwing to the flames every Jew and "new Christian" they encounter. The first night more than 500 people have perished. In the next three days 4,000 would be victims of the intolerance, mob mentality, greed, lust and anti semitism. Shortly after, the Portuguese king throws out all the Jews, namely the exiles from neighboring Spain, confiscating most of their assets. Most spread out across Europe, to the Netherlands where they founded a great community, but also to Turkey and other Eastern European countries. Some of them made it to Brasil, from where a small group proceeded on to the new colony of New Amsterdam and founded the first community of Jews (Sephardic) of New York.
(in portuguese, rua da judiaria)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

strange days

Well, this is really fantastic! The alleged Duke rape victim was, according to the defense team, polishing her nails in the bathroom, not being raped during the unaccounted for time. But of course, strippers get paid to dance at all male parties and in the middle of said party decide to touch up their nails and disappear for 20 minutes! UhUh! If it wasn't so sick it would be funny!
Washington Post also covers the story. We learn that the Lacrosse team had already been called to attention for innapropriate behavior, and one of the players, as mentioned on a previous post was sentenced to community service for attacking a gay man. What did these kids learning in the Catholic prep schools they both graduated from? Impunity and jock superiority. Wasn't Columbine enough. Does this society want to pay this high a price for its competitive edge? Today they rape a woman, tomorrow the world.

I would like to live in Texas just so I could vote for
Kinky Friedman in the next gubernatorial race. He is according to Mojo Nixon, who is helping the campaign, the last lone star in a sea of mendacity. Yeaah!!

Cervical cancer could soon be a thing of the past, with the marketing of the H(uman) P(apilloma) V(irus) vaccine. Unless the right wing nuts continue their madness (maintaining that its wide spread use would send the wrong message to girls) at the FDA. This is a hugely important issue for women's health.

Little girls or dolls? It's very very creepy. These are not angels with attitude. These are a gross manifestation of a society gone awry on women and girls.
(via Superbabymama)

Carhenge, a replica of Stonehenge made of cars out in Nebraska( via Walter in Denver)

City park in Denver. Spring is in full bloom.

Now to the grimmer realities of the world. Well not yet! First this: the Supreme Court has declined to hear a case where the Falwell (as in Jerry, famous homophobe) Ministries wanted to shut down a site with the domain name of Fallwel, asite that defends gay rights. On the same line, this, the Crosswalk across America, a movement of progressive Christians created to counteract the intolerant, mysogynist, homophobic and just plain mean face of the "christian" fundamentalists. What is grim is the continuing Duke rape saga. The indictement of 2 students, who were able to post bail of almost half a million dollars, comes as a "shock" to their spin doctor lawyers. They are innocent until proven guilty, of course, but isn't it time to stop giving agressive jock behavior impunity? Tales of college jock rapes abound, and although I personaly would not voluntarily direct myself to a hotel room or frat house inhabited by creatures of this sort, women who do so should not be punished with the violence often bestowed upon them. It is also interesting to note that one of the students was charged with assaulting a gay man in DC.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Women, that great selling machine. Beautiful women on the covers, sick women in the articles. What a strange dichotomy. While the covers of magazines use beautiful bodies and faces to sell, the inside stories tell another tale. Women more than men are more prone to worry, to sleep less, to have eating disorders, dimentia, mental distress, stress disorders, health problems in general, anxiety, mental instabilility and the list goes on. Men it seems only have a few things afflicting them: impotente or PED and that's treatable with a nifty little pill, cronic crime and they go to jail and violence and that behavior is encouraged. Women on the other hand have to worry about being too short, too fat, too ugly, too smart, to ambitious, bad skin, bad knees, small breasts or wrongly shaped ones, being a good mother, wage earner, lover, friend, nurturer, caretaker and the list goes on....Yes that above mentioned dichotomy makes full sense. So this week's Newsweek magazine treats us to yet another story on women's health issues. On the "Quest for Rest" yet another absolutely superficial article on yet another female dysfunction. Which gives a good reason to read “Why?” (Princeton; $24.95), the Columbia University scholar Charles Tilly's sociological analysis of conventions.The review in the New Yorker makes for interesting read.

Take a look at UNESCO's list of cultural and natural heritage sites.
Memepool's mention of a book of ebonics to japanese translation. It is delicious and hysterically funny.

Stanton Peele, America's foremost critic of the addiction treatment industry gives an interview in the Guardian. He's very critical of the American Alcoholics Anonymous (twelve step programs) only approach to addiction management. Check out why.

Very riveting artlicle on the Duke rape case in Vegankid. Sad state of affairs.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Easter in Colorado

I love this state!

A man has received a phone bill for £125 trillion. It was actually his demised father's phone. Without wanting to be disrespectful, maybe they were calls to "the other side", and who knows how far in distance or in time that can be.
Superbabymama directed me to a set of basic rules on how to include the poor in community events. Fema should have read the article. These need not be applied to the new socially engineered communities springing up all over this country, and that the Washington Post writes about. Isn't there something creepy about this form of extreme self segregation?
In another
article the economics of the drug trade in Somalia. It focuses on women dealers. ironically and perhaps a key to their success, these women are forbidden to use the plant khat. And also ironically they are supplying the very substance that turns the men users into agressive and irresponsable addicts. I used to see this phenomenon in the gypsy communities of the Iberian peninsula.

Easter:O.E. Eastre (Northumbrian Eostre), from P.Gmc. *Austron, a goddess of fertility and sunrise whose feast was celebrated at the spring equinox, from *austra-, from PIE *aus- "to shine" (especially of the dawn). Bede says Anglo-Saxon Christians adopted her name and many of the celebratory practices for their Mass of Christ's resurrection. Ultimately related to east. Almost all neighboring languages use a variant of L. Pasche to name this holiday.
1427, "of or pertaining to Easter," from L.L. paschalis, from pascha "Passover, Easter," from Gk. pascha "Passover," from Aramaic pasha "pass over," corresponding to Heb. pesah, from pasah "to pass over.

Friday, April 14, 2006

so sad, I prefer visual illusions...

This site is so fun it should be illegal. Optical illusions or as they prefer to call them, visual illusions acumulated over the years by Michael Bach. Fantastic mind benders without the bad side effects. (ahahah) Check it out!

Over at the Daily Kos thoughts of Mexico on Passover.

I find it somewhat strange that in these days of intense spiritual activity, some of my fav sites are talking about; pornography at Molly Saves the Day; oral sex and the damage done to girls at An Unsealed Room, with a reference to the review by Caitlin Flanagan of the book "The Rainbow Party". Is the oral sex craze an urban myth or a reality?
"The question is this: How, exactly, in the course of thirty years, did we get from Katherine to Gin? How did we go from a middle-class teenage girl (fictional but broadly accurate) who will have sex only if it's with her boyfriend, and only if her pleasure is equal to his, to a middle-class teenage girl (a gross media caricature reflective of an admittedly disturbing trend) who wants to kneel down and service a series of boys?"
I would have other questions. How did porn go from back alley dirty to mainstream glamour?
And could it not be that it's just our crumy society's way of mainstreaming Lolita fantasies in an acceptable context.
How do we women go about enpowering ourselves sexually? Certainly not with with the stuff going on at Hooters.

Thursday, April 13, 2006 al

How I miss DC's bursting in color in the Spring!

Gene Robinson at the Washington Post has used the best metaphor I've read yet of the whole immigrant debate:" illegal behavior." Let's be real: We're talking about behavior that our society has encouraged and exploited. It would be like a police officer who flags you down, says it's an emergency, asks you to drive him across town as fast as possible and then writes you a ticket for speeding."
The changing and hardly spoken face of illegal immigration in The N. Y. Times

The benefit Jews could derive from knowledge of "Gospel dynamics". As would Christians, I suppose, benefit from "Talmudic dynamics". We all benefit when we understand our common cultural ancestry.

Ibogaine, one of the many options available for addiction treatment. As valid as any other.

On the Front Range Spring is starting to appear and little have I benefitted from it. Bed ridden for two days with all the symptoms of bad hay fever or someone's cute flu viruses passed onto me. I'm praying I will get better 'cause this is hell.

the confirmation of spring: Easter, Passover

Crocheting a coral reef: a woolly celebration of the intersection of higher geometry and feminine handicraft.

The pope is set to deliver a set of meditations on the evils of modernity. How quaint! Would he prefer us to be still stuck in the idyllic dark ages where the Dominicans ran the Holy Inquisition and threatened Galileo for claiming that the earth went aroun the sun?
" Particular condemnation is reserved for scientific advances in the field of genetic manipulation" according to him “anti-Genesis” described as “a diabolical pride aimed at eliminating the family”.
Warning against the move to “modify the very grammar of life as planned and willed by God”, the Pope will lead prayers against “insane, risky and dangerous” ventures in attempting “to take God’s place without being God”. Isn't that what the Church has always done. The tone seems to be homophobic and retrograde. Nothing you wouldn't expect from the pope who wears Prada loafers. And has such a rich tradition behind him, no pun intended.
Generic engineering is here to stay and will, I believe, improve our lot more than the popes moralizing has ever done.

Cosmic Ordering Service A bit like the bargains made by Fatima worshipers. God you grant me this and I'll walk however many miles. It all makes such sense!

This guy must have used above mentioned service. That is
entrepreneur: started with a paper clip and is up to one year's free rent in the heart of Pheonix. Wow! Great lesson on bartering and pre capitalism.

Feministing a discussion on sexism in the tech world. To me, the argument that women just aren't hard wired to be geeky nerds makes about as much sense as all the ones that kept women from voting, from attending universities, from going out into the streets, blah, blah, blah...The arguments always seem backed up by some irrefutable science of the day theorizing. And they always prove to be wrong. So more o' the same. And 20 to 30 years from now women will dominate the techie field and there will be endless opinions on what is wrong with that, and why are men falling behind and what has to be done about it...blah,blah,blah...

Google calendar. This is becoming scary! But again they are good!!

Still on immigration via
Rebecca's pocket this important article on the economics of the movement. From a fellow that claims will be able to show us how the world works in relation to globalization. We'll see!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Train station in Lisbon Portugal

BLTC RESEARCH it is believed that in fact there can be better life through chemistry. It is argued that generic engineering, nano biotechnologies are the guarantee of a better future for humanity and that we can do a lot better than the self replicating selfish genes. I would have to agree! Various essays on their site elaborate on this fresh perspective. What basically they are saying is that if we look around, we could scarcely do worse. Death, famine, pain are believed to be most of humanity's destiny. As they point out, better to rationaly and intelligently rewire our brains than to have randomized, senseless, DNA do it for us. I totally agree. I think that Prozac is the precursor to a Great New World. A better world is possible, but not through politics and more of the same old but through real generic engineering. Our constant battle against the cruelty of nature will only get more efficient. Pain killers, the Pill, electricity computers are but small contributions for the betterment of humanity. It is a cause for optimism!!

A joke (via
Paul Kedrosky's)
Q: How many people with ADD does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: HEY! Let's ride bikes!!!

article on the New York Times on outsourcing take out orders at McDonalds. Your order of a Happy meal may be taken from thousands of miles away, where labor is cheaper.
Anybody still blaming the immigrant that wages are lower and lower? The labor conditions described are abominable.

Interesting site, with the covers of the most read magazines. It seems to be all about women. Babes all over the covers.

The excellent coverage the
Washington Post has been doing on the immigration issue continues, with editorials, pros and cons and up close and personal stories of the people this issue is most intensely affecting.This article accompanies students from Albert Einstein High School in Kensington, MD, the high school I graduated from, to the April 10 Demonstration on the Mall. The demographics were different back then, and the only foreign languages taught were french and german, both of which I took. The major issues at the time were the crackdown of pot smoking students behind the school and little else that I was aware of. It was a great school, and the teachers were dedicated human beings whom I still remember to this day. My french teacher forever changed the way I looked at the world and had I listened more to her my life would be totally different. Thank you Post for this trip down memory lane. And thank you Albert Einstein High School for commiting to the community issues with as much courage as I remember over 25 years ago.

In the
Guardian an interview with Katherine McKinnon, academitian, lawyer and feminist.Ms. McKinnon's answer to her book's title, Are Women Human? is no. She writes: "If women were human, would we be a cash crop shipped from Thailand in containers into New York's brothels? Would we be sexual and reproductive slaves? Would we be bred, worked without pay our whole lives, burned when our dowry money wasn't enough or when men tired of us, starved as widows when our husbands died (if we survived his funeral pyre)? ..."
I see her point and put the question at another level: that of class differences. For men also get shipped off to get killed throughout the world's killing fields, etc, etc...

A skin cream ad: "a skin good enough to eat" Uhh???!!

cubes and milkmaids

You too could call this home, if you lived in Japan

Feministing "EWW": German warehouse brothels to satisfy World Cup attendees' needs.
In Switzerland they are countering with a Mr. Switzeland campaign for women bored with the World Cup and presumably ignored by their brothel bound companions. We get
this. Hard working men who after all that laboring will probably just want to get a good night's rest. And the guy milking a cow??? How weird is THAT?

Just discovered Metrobloggers but not overly impressed with my city's input. Anyone from Lisbon out there who wants to contribute. I would but I'm too far away.

Yep! That is exactly how I view the city I live in!

Monday, April 10, 2006


How does one pray in this church in Portugal

How does one live in these houses in the Netherlands?

Waiter rant, the blog extremely well written by a New York Waiter, gets better every day.

gold bullion bubble story again. I'm old enough I dare say to have seen it happen a few times already. What goes up must come down and vice versa applies also to the markets, no doubt. attempts to clear up all those urban legends circulating in every city I have ever lived in(quite a few). They are all the same, they all happened to a friend of a friend and I have found myself in situations where I attempted to dismiss them for what they are, just to be told that they are absolute true because this friend of a friend actually exixts and is not a liar. I, on the other hand am a spoil sport. Thank you!

Pro tips for better blogging. My business sense is null but I will read it and maybe I will learn something!

How does a 44 year old woman like myself loose weight? What a maddening f*cking struggle! I run around all day, I eat but two meals a day, I don't sit in front of the TV. I mean, what is it. Does the air I breathe have calories? Do I imbibe calories with each breath I take. I am not striving for waifish Kate Moss profile. Just somethinh I could look at and find more shapely. Awful the abundance of food and the variety and the want to be slimmer. And the european farmer stock and genes can't help I suppose. But damn, all my grandparents became skinnier as their got older. And my father is skeletal. American food has some secret that bloats you. It is not just the quantity, it is also the quality! There! I ranted on my weight!

On the brighter side I have discovered outlaw country music! And Wak the line has become of of my all time favorite movie.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

a day of solidarity

"We've seen a movie a lot like this before -- about 50 years ago. It ended with a country being transformed by a movement that called for it to live up to its founding ideals of equal rights for all. Here's hoping for another happy ending."

"The organized power of the Catholic Church, both as a force in American politics and as the heart of the "sanctuary movement," to protect illegal immigrants from abuse is analogous to the role the black church and its white allies played in the civil rights movement."

"Sadly, anxiety over the increasing Hispanic population has caused some leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus and the NAACP to become tongue-tied on the subject. Privately, these members of Congress point to prison riots in California between blacks and Hispanics and turf fights between black and Hispanic high school students as evidence of rising tension between minority groups. There is a reluctance to counter this fear-mongering with a forward-looking vision of new coalitions among people of color. Instead there has been a lot of pandering to the worst instincts of people who often share with Hispanics the problems of bad schools, high incarceration rates and life at the bottom of the economic ladder."

Juan Wiliams writes an op-ed on this new movement in an excelent article from the Washington Post on this weekend's and today's major demonstrations.

We are all people of color! From pink to yellow to brown, all in our various shades!
words and music by Woody Guthrie
Chorus:This land is your land,
this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest,
to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me
As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and meChorus
I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me
ChorusThe sun comes shining as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me
ChorusAs I was walkin' - I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tress passin'
But on the other side .... it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!
ChorusIn the squares of the city -
In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office -
I see my people
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin'
If this land's still made for you and me.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

the importance of class

She merits a good life
Yes, the myth of the boy crisis is just that, a myth. In an article by Caryl Rivers and Rosalind Chait Barnett in The Washington Post , the theories abounding of the discrimination boys suffer in the present class rooms are debunked one by one. Class, that great divider, has a lot more influence on scholastic achievement than does gender. Rich kids have better results because they attend better schools. Period! As for the major differences in brain architecture, not enough is really known about it, to extract theories from it. Again I say, throughout the ages this present model of learning has been more or less the same. Women, it was said, did not have sufficiently large brains to be able to learn and were barred from universities. A mere 100 years ago, higher education was the realm of rich men. Schooling hasn't changed, mentalities have been slowly forced to it. But the sexism and racism do persist.

Also on the
Post, an article on the Monday March to protest the House Bill that would turn about 12 million illegal immigrants and all those who would in any way aid them into felons. Why Monday, though? The article explores the new found Hispanic activism and unity and compares it to the civil rights explosion of the 60's. We'll see how it goes and what effect it might have.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Tiktaalik, Judas Iscariot, and immigration

Physicist and computer scientist W. Daniel Hillis has noted:
"Notions like Selfish Genes, memes, and extended phenotypes are powerful and exciting. They make me think differently. Unfortunately, I spend a lot of time arguing against people who have overinterpreted these ideas. They're too easily misunderstood as explaining more than they do. So you see, this Dawkins is a dangerous guy. Like Marx. Or Darwin."
30 year commemoration of the publication of Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene". The
transcript and audio transmition to the event with the participation of Speakers: Daniel C Dennett (Tufts), Sir John Krebs, FRS (Zoology, Oxford), Matt Ridley, Ian McEwan, Richard Dawkins, FRS (Oxford); Chair: Melvyn Bragg; Organiser: Helena Cronin.

The gospel according to Judas Iscariot, the manuscript is a Coptic translation, dated about A.D. 300, of a Greek text written 140 years after Jesus died. The transcriber was in a group called the Gnostics. This site has as much information as I could find and an english translation of the Gospel.

Tiktaalik, first fossil of fish that crawled onto land discovered

As predicted, immigration bills fails in the Senate. Story in the Washington Post.

blogs of interest

Astronomy picture of the day: Corona of the sun during solar eclipse
Con't on the history of blogging from
Blogger Buzz
Greg K has started a challenge: Writing poems based on the Fibonacci sequence. For example this:
write a
good poem
with this structuring
or is it too hard to construct

Over at
Pharyngula explaination on the basics of the hormonal control of the menstrual cycle. With a great diagram!


"Who could notice the cheekbones, the nose and the smile with the loaded distractions of that washerwoman crown of braids? " is how Robin Gihvan, fashion editor of the Washington Post ends the article on Cynthia McKinney's bad hair day. Again, questionable. Ms. Gihvan is a very good writer who tends to wax poetic on very politically charged issues, and sometimes it backfires. About Ms. McKinney's hair, all the polemic has very little to do with race or gender and all to do with class. If you want to belong to the "club" you had better look the part. You do not see white congressmen with long or disheveled hair. Ceasar divorced his wife not because he doubted her seriousness, but because she ignored public opinion and the importance of appearance. Lest one forget, pages and pages were written about Abramoff's poor choice of garments, at the time of his first court appearance. Why the Jewish mobster look was the buzz around the issue. One's image is fundamental to emphasize who and where we stand. Disheveled never ever goes over well and that was Ms. Mckinney's appearance. It's fine for lounging around the house but not for press conferences and probably not in the venerable halls of Congress.

Charles Krauthammer, the man I love to hate once again in the simplest language possible offers a clear way out of the immigration conumdrum. The outlines of it are, very much like what he did with Harriet Meyers, (who remembers her?), simple and seemingly plausible. Short and to the point, this admirable writer can convince me of just about anything. His intelectual prowess leaves few loopholes with which to strike back. He is the humane face of the neoconservatives. And it seems to me that when he writes people listen. Either that or his intuitive analysis of the zeitgeist allows him to fullfill that role.

In the Slate , an eery piece, On Patrol with the Minutemen, makes one wonder what kind of people are these m(eye)nutemen.

The ethics of gold in the New York Times: We this Ethical Ring, I thee Wed

It's official, being green is hip! Vanity Fair Hip! No longer the domain of uncombed, hippy types, it has arrived in the fashion salons of New York, and Vanity Fair, publishes the green Gospel according to the beautiful people. A green issue!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

a little of this, a little of that

Of course the immigration bill being discussed in the Senate has been put off. This is an election year, and the theme is hot to explore, in the most awful ways I suppose. The guys on Capitol Hill know that and are just doing their song and dance.

Ann Althouse:

People blog for lots of different reasons, and blogging is still burgeoning and developing. Don't cave into nostalgia for a Golden Age, especially one that got its golden glow from the horror that was 9/11. Things were bound to change and shake around, and some bloggers that you liked then may put you off now. But there are always a million new bloggers, and blogging is a beautifully fruitful format. The great power of blogging is the way it releases the creativity of the individual mind.

A great interview of Rebecca Blood of Rebecca's pocket, my blogging heroine.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

memes and more memes

President Bush is betting $500 million that poor women are better off having a man than holding a job.
Ladies, forget the career, this administration will help you find a man and get you out of the poverty hole!

How sad that we have to once again, go on the offensive about what was assumed to be a basic right! Ripon College is selling these t-shirts to protest the various attempts at banning people's control of procreation.

Google real estate!

About the Open Directory Project

Film: The Toilet

Sleeping Latino Giant Awakens; coverage on the Post of new Latino activism.

According to the N.Y. Times, a deal was kind of reached tonight on the immigratin bill, with several senators implying that no deal will go forward this year. Of course, elections and all, what a handy issue to stir emotions without actually resolving anything. More of the same!

On the Avian flu front: Writing in the journal Nature, the scientists also urge people living in areas where the A(H5N1) virus has infected poultry and other birds to keep their cats indoors. Yeah, it's kind of like herding them!

Musak and the memes it inserts in your brain! In the New Yorker

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The quiz

Have you taken the The ORIGINAL Internet Political quiz?

Texas arresting people in bars for being drunk
"Being in a bar does not exempt one from the state laws against public drunkenness, Beck said. "

Saturn's rings

art and people

Portas de sol
Vieira da Silva, one of my favorite painters

Massachusetts' new move on health insurance could be a precursor to the abyss that is health coverage in this country. Maybe Hillary will win after all!

Paris Hilton as Mother Theresa ought to be interesting. And a challenge to any tall actress to pass for a 4 foot something shriveled up old woman in the streets of New Delhi was it? Now, I think that Paris Hilton gets an awful lot of bad press because she is a woman and has cjallenge society's rules of the good girl image. But nevertheless, it's just plain bad casting. I wonder what all the catholics are thinking now? f there were catholic fatwas. You know, Holy Inquisition for actuality, the promoters would be in deep poop. As it were, it's just a pretty good media campaign.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Read it and weep!

If I had a hammer...

The The Ser-Venn-Ity Prayer
"King Solomon once searched for a cure against depression. He assembled his wise men together. They meditated for a long time and gave him the following advice: Make yourself a ring and have thereon engraved the words "This too will pass."The King carried out the advice. He had the ring made and wore it constantly. Every time he felt sad and depressed, he looked at the ring, whereon his mood would change and he would feel cheerful"
King Solomon's wisdom
(via A Jolly Socratic Science)
Remember this Mr. Delay and Ms McKinnley!

Video-WMP Abramoff wants to be Delay when he grows up!
Video-WMP Delay tribute (if I had a hammer)

Matzah! Passover hip hop! (via An Unsealed Room)

Jamaica's first female prime minister, Portia Simpson-Miller. "her election has brought a whiff of possibility," and the
Pan Collective says that "it is her matronly persona that won over even the most sexist of men, who will always have a soft space in their heart for their mamas."

She doesn't look very matronly to me. Just a dynamic, with it beautiful woman.

Playboy model beats top mutual funds in Q1 in some kind of contest to prove women can't show teir tits and be smart. Not true, whatever that means. Being beuatiful just means you don't have to use your brains to get attention a lot of the times, it doesn't mean you don't have them!

How to smelt metal and create little silver fishes in a microwave. (don't try it at home)

No botox, no silicone. Just Imposing Afros and bell bottoms, and a group of people having fun dancingto Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" on Soul Train.

Calling the beautiful, amazing, brilliant things people create online "user-generated content" is like sliding up to your lady, putting your arm around her and whispering, "Hey baby, let's have intercourse." (via Powazek)

Pin-up interview. Naked science!

Monday, April 03, 2006

people, impulses and apostasy

Astronomy picture of the day

In the Washington Post the top web domains . Biggest increase? Blogger!
"The growth in blogging reminds us the Internet is fulfilling its original promise about participation," said Gary Arlen, a research analyst and president of Arlen Communications Inc. "This medium empowers users in such a way that they can do what they want and be heard."
Myspace, its popularity among teenagers, which I don't really understand!
Other successes are local info sites.

Farik Zakaaria once again does a superb editorial in the
Post on the immigrant experience and the difference between America and Europe. He fails however to notice one small but important factor. Except for Mexican immigrants most others come from far away places that cuts the cultural and family connection sufficently for those people to need to assimilate. The problem, I think America has with the Mexican immigrants is in part the same problem Europe has with the Turkish, Moroccan and Algerian immigrants. Too close to "home" the ties are never severed, the need to assimilate never felt. That creates social pockets of non assimilaton and identity confusion. I can easily imagine that someone in any of the Southwestern states will never have a need to assimilate American cultural values, its language (english) nor the importance of its symbols as means of national cohesion. That is the true tragedy of the immigration conumdrum. To reap the full economic benefits this country has to offer, as well as its cultural ones, assimilation is a prerogative and although I cannot stand bigots, I do not understand the Mexican flag waving going on in protests.
When people do not understand the difference between ethnic pride and nationalism, mutual hatreds arise on all sides. It is one thing to like Mexican food and celebrate some of its cultural traditions, just like the Irish for example do. It is another thing altogether to manifest feelings of nationalism towards Mexico. America is not just about money...It's about a view on the world, unique in its manifestations, sometimes bad, sometimes good.
I was taught that one does not spit on the plate one eats on!

N.Y.Times has an article on impulse issues:
"How and when people apply the brakes is crucial to distinguishing those who can flirt with regular heroin or cocaine use while finishing an Ivy League degree and those who die trying."
Nothing new here. Some is generic, some is adquired. Nurture Vs nature... and that damn serotonin always rearing its beautiful/ugly head. Like the sirens in the Odyssey...

"Why Afghanistan should not have dismissed the apostasy case" an article in the
USNews and World Report, that discusses the tolerant vs extremist views of Islamic rule on such issues as apostasy.

"We are but fleas agitating the hide of a far greater organism." On the Eric Pianka polemic. Big f*ing deal! Nuclear war, locusts, the plague, the avian flu, AIDS, tuberculosis, the end is always near for any one of us. We Will All Die, one person at a time, just like it's always been.

picture of the day

Astronomy picture of the day.

More Monday

Molly Saves the Day's fab ad for the Chevy Tahoe. Yes, I'm a Talking Heads fan.
And the ones over at Autoblog
I guess the challenge that Chevy launched hasn't come out the way they dreamt!
You can still make your own!

Time and again I have inserted the immigration debate within the larger context of International economic politics. Time magazine superficially deals with the harm NAFTA has done and why it increased immigration into the States. Immigration is the cover of this wek's issue.
As is Newsweek 's.
Thanks to Pharyngula, we can have hope for the future of this great nation. Yes, Steven Bennet, a minister, musician and "loving husband and father", was once not only a homosexual, but a drug fiend and bulimic as well, with many homosexual freinds who died of AIDS. He was cured by a Bible thumper who came to his door and showed him the light. And now he thinks that all homos and dope fiends should die! There you go oh men of Christian faith!
To quote his wisdom filled site:
"First and foremost, SBM encourages men and women to successfully and permanently overcome their unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA.) SBM firmly believes no one is born homosexual; that inmost cases, unnatural homosexual attractions tragically develop early on in the childhood; and by biblically dealing with the root cause(s) of one's same-sex attraction, homosexuality can be completely overcome - just as drug addiction, alcoholism or any other sinful behavior. Men and women can then effectively move on to healthy heterosexuality - as part of God's natural, perfect design and plan for man and woman." And I guess never want to do drugs or over eat again because they'll be engaging in so much fun Hetero love!

All this through plenty of Hetero love I suppose!. Dan Savage, you hear?

The Pakistani Daily Times is running a story inicially covered by the N.Y. Times about Mukhtar Mai, a woman who was raped and decided to fight back, inspiring other women in that part of the world to do the same. And of course, like other women of courage, there is a prize on her head!

Flying cows save a planet.

More on the economics of immigration on the Washington Post. How Hispanics are not only changing the demographics of a Georgia town. Can't live with them, can't function without'em...over and over again.

The importance of radio in the hispanic community, also on the Post.

What Kind of Blogger Are You?