|This is my random collection of random thoughts. fnord
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Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.Some of my current reading has included Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters by Kathleen Ragan and From Dawn to Decadence 1500 to the Present 500 Years of Western Cultural Life by Jacques Barzun. I've just started the later, and so don't have much to say about it. (The link goes to the book section of my site if you are interested in reading more.
Tuesday, April 29, 2003
If a woman doesn't vote, she doesn't have a right to complain about anything.You know, I'm beginning to wonder if we are not setting ourselves up for another Iran. I worry about a secular US supported regime in Iraq, unpopular with the people, being a simple replay of the late 1970s. But I also don't see how we can create a secular democracy against the will of the people, which is what it sounds like Rumsfeld and Cheney are doing. Creating a government that is acceptable to the US, despite the opinions and interests of native Iraqis. Didn't we hold up the Shah for oil interests and didn't that come back to haunt us? As a result of this, didn't we then have a push in the US for decreased dependence on oil through conservation and fuel efficiency?
The United States has said that virtually all its troops, except some training personnel, are to be pulled out of Saudi Arabia.From the BBC.
Monday, April 28, 2003
There is a fine line between healthy dissent and arrogant disregard for authority.According to Susan "The cell cycle is exactly like a Russian novel"
Me, I'd like to think life is like a drink,
and I'm hoping that it tastes like bourbon.
You know that I've been drunk a thousand times,
and these should be the best days of my life,
Life, it's not what I thought it was.
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is searching for plumbers to stop the pipes from freezing on its bases and ships near the South Pole.Right.
Workers will be paid a maximum of £18,888 a year, whereas back home an in-demand plumber could earn up to £80,000 annually.
But BAS spokeswoman Athena Dinar said the surroundings made up for the shortfall.
Sunday, April 27, 2003
Responsibility is the price every man must pay for freedomI'm supposed to be studying, which is why I've done all these other interesting things. I made biscotti this morning, because I wanted to try to make it, and I wanted to bake something. It turned out to be very delicious, even if I don't drink coffee, so I'm quite pleased. Although almond biscotti sounded very delicious, I don't have almonds on hand, so I made chocolate biscotti. The recipe called for chocolate chips but 1) I don't care that much for chocolate chippy things and 2) I don't have any chocolate chips, so they were chocolate without the chips, which I think was perfectly delicious. It was actually easier to make than I had expected, so perhaps I'll buy some almonds, and make almond biscotti some time.
"Last summer we were with some friends and their young children in the market in Carjac in the Lot valley when we stumbled across an old beekeeper, dressed in baggy blue shorts and a faded brown trilby hat.
How quaint, we thought, when he offered to tell the children how honey is made.
At first, as he began his often-told tale, I was distracted by his uncanny resemblance to Francois Mitterrand, but then - as I began to pay attention to his words - I realised that these three- and five-year-olds - thankfully, with varying levels of French - were being told about the Queen Bee's pleasure at having a multitude of male partners simultaneously thrusting themselves upon her.
Saturday, April 26, 2003
Plain women know more about men than beautiful ones doIf you came in the long way (i.e. though my main page) you'll notice that I revamped the front page almost completely. I replaced images and made some major rearrangement. The original idea was if the page I loaded to the new hosting service looked different from the old one, I'd immediately know everything had been switched. Realisitcally, removal of the text I posted on the site and the old hosting service would have done perfectly well, but as usual, things got carried away.
Friday, April 25, 2003
Hate is like acid. It can damage the vessel in which it is storedRegarding the move, I am involved, in that it's my site and all, but Michael is doing all the work of dealing with the companies and setting things up, I just get to transfer files when the time comes, and then figure out the new system.
as well as destroy the object on which it is poured.
Thursday, April 24, 2003
None who have always been free can understandRead this on Neil Gaiman's site, which kinda sums up the way I feel about dressing.
the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom
to those who are not free
--Pearl S. Buck
I was a bit put out when they asked which black I wanted. The whole point of picking black is no-one needs to ask you which black you want.
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
If thine enemy wrong thee, buy each of his children a drum.Today's walking music is Never Loved Elvis by The Wonder Stuff. One of the few Wonder Stuff albums I have on tape. The problem is, of course, that I want to skip along to the music as I go. Since people tend to look an askance at those of us who wanted in circles anyway, that would just add another dimension I don't want to consider. But I still got to walk to:
Ohh in another world............
yeah he could wear a dress.
Ohh in another world............
yeah he could wear a dress.
A drive the length of the road shows signs of the war and its aftermath: two bank buildings, both cleaned out; a telephone switching center with a gash in its side; the partially ruined Defense Ministry complex at the street's north end.
Equally eye-catching, though, are the graceful wooden porticoes that poke out from many of the two- and three-story facades. These shuttered overhangs, with their iron balconies, remind an American of New Orleans' French Quarter, but they are a gift of the Turks called shanashils.
This style of design is not seen elsewhere in Baghdad, a sprawling, 1,200-year-old city that is nonetheless crammed with blocky, 1960s-style construction. Adding to the striking effect of the balconies and porticoes are the thick columns, made of brick and covered in decades worth of peeling paint, that support them.
I saw the pictures and wondering why dad has so many egg dippers.She's known him far longer than I have! If she doesn't know the answer, then I certainly can't help!
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee,
and just as hard to sleep after.
--Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Q Why did Cisco decide to build "lawful interception" into its products? What prompted this?Read the full article here (found via BoingBoing).
A Cisco's customers, not just in United States but in many countries, are finding themselves served with subpoenas to mandate lawful intercept functionality. Cisco received requests from its customers for this capability.
Q Do you have any moral problems with helping to make surveillance technology more efficient?
A I have some moral and ethical issues, but I think quite frankly that the place to argue this is in Congress and in the courtroom, not a service provider's machine room when he's staring down the barrel of a subpoena.
Q The current draft does not include an audit trail. Could you do that by having your equipment digitally sign a file that says who's been intercepted and for how long? That could be turned over to a judge. It could indicate whether the cops were or weren't staying within the bounds of the law.
A I'm not entirely sure that the machine we're looking at could make that assurance... In fact, the way lawful interception works, a warrant comes out saying, "We want to look at a person." That's the way it works in Europe, the United States, Australia and in other western countries. The quest then becomes figuring out which equipment a person is reasonably likely to use, and it becomes law enforcement's responsibility to discard any information that's irrelevant to the warrant. That kind of a thing would probably be maintained on the mediation device.
Monday, April 21, 2003
I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy itSo I put up an HTML version of my paper on antibiotic usage in animals and how it effects humans. There is so much more I wanted to add to that paper, but the limit was 8 pages, which I just made, after I decreased my margin size and decreased my font size. But still, there is so much that is so disturbing about the use of antibiotics in food animals, from the sheer pharmaceutical waste, to the fact that the use of antibiotics in cattle is due primarily to the diet of those animals. We feed cattle food that makes them sick! We take an animal that is capable of living on marginalized land, of eating grass which grows free, and we force feed them grain that makes them ill. And unlike grass, which doesn't really require an intensive farming effort, corn and other grains require fertilizer and other chemicals. One of the articles I found mentioned that it takes oil to make a bushel of corn, because the fertilizer is produced from oil....here it is, I'll quote the passage:
--Rita Mae Brown
...in fact, to get the kind of harvest of corn we get and the surpluses, you have to apply vast quantities of fertilizer, which is a fossil fuel. It's ammonium nitrate...We get 130 bushels of corn off an acre where a hundred hears ago we got 20. And all of that fertilizer is made from oil. And, in fact, it takes 1.2 gallons of oil to grow a bushel of corn. So I realized that I was looking at a different kind of system. We had gone from a solar system to a fossil fuel system. And this strikes me as a kind of crazy thing.He also talks about how this effects those who consume the meat.
And one of the most striking things I discovered in doing this research is that...corn-fed meat has got a lot more saturated fat in it than grass-fed meat. It also has all different kinds of fats. It has--grass fed meat has lots of omega-3 and beta carotene and CLA, which is another good fat. And corn-fed meat is full of the kinds of fats that give us heart disease. And you know, a lot of the rap against eating meat, if you look at it closely, science is finding that the problem is not so much with eating beef per se or meat, it's with eating corn-fed beef.He also talks about the use of hormones in cattle ranching, which is something that has also bothered me, but I simply couldn't cover it in this paper. It was entirely too much information.
Sunday, April 20, 2003
Perhaps one has to be very old before one learnsI recently finished The Norse Myths retold by Kevin Crossley-Holland, and I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. Most of the tales were ones with which I was unfamiliar, which made them enjoyable to read, but the retelling was also quite good. The language was made accessible, which is not something that is always common I've noticed. There were tales and themes that were familiar, and some of it reminded me of different series by different authors (which means that the myths may have been the inspiration for the stories or the foundation for the world created. But I could be wrong. The tales that were unfamiliar were quite interesting, especially those where Loki is one of the main characters. Loki is really a much more complex character than one would give a trickster figure credit for, although his change in character is quite substantial, moving from one's typical idea of a trickster:
how to be amused rather than shocked.
--Pearl S. Buck
(This follows Loki changing into a mare and dallying with the stallion of a giant building the wall of Asgard, to keep the giant from winning a bet.)to a creature that deliberately sets out to cause harm and destruction to all those about him:
A number of months passed before Loki the Shape Changer was seen in Asgard again. And when he returned, ambling over Bifrost and blowing a raspberry at Hemidall as he passed Himinbjorg, he had a colt in tow. This horse was rather unusual in that he had eight legs. He was grey and Loki called him Sleipnir.
When Odin saw Sleipnir, he admired the colt greatly.
"Take him!" said Loki. 'I bore him and he'll bear you. You'll find he can outpace Golden and Joyous, Shining and Swift...(etc) No horse will ever be able to keep up with him.'
Odin thanked Loki warmly, and welcomed him back to Asgard.
'On this horse you can go wherever you want,' said Loki. 'He'll gallop over the sea and through the air. What other horse could bear its rider down the long road to the land of the dead, and then bear him back to Asgard again?'
Odin thanked Loki a second time and looked at the Sly One very thoughtfully.
(This occurs after Loki is told that the only thing on the planet that had sworn not to harm the god Balder, and he goes and creates a weapon from mistletoe. The gods have made sport of this and are now throwing items at Balder to see them bounce off without harming him. Loki is speaking to Hod, the blind brother of Balder.)This is, for me, one of the most fascinating parts of the story, Loki's change from jokester to devil. But the other stories, even those not involving Loki, are also well told and interesting, well worth reading in and of themselves. But it's also nice now catch the references to these stories in other works of fiction, especially fantasy. Some of these themes are used in Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionovar Tapestery, as well as Neil Gaiman's American Gods. Not that you need this knowledge to enjoy the books (obviously, since I hadn't read these myths before!) but the knowledge adds further depth and nuance I think. I will say that I wasn't overly enamoured of the tales that were simple recitations of history or knowledge, such as The Lay of Loddfafnir though I supposed that they would be different when recited than when read. Something that surprised me was the fact that Odin hanging on Yggdrasill was a recitation more than it was a tale, because this is a theme that I have read on several other occasions, and I guess I expected it to be filled out instead of the bare bones of an idea, although I suppose that is what has made is irresistible to authors. There is so much detail missing, or not given, so much left unsaid, that the simple recitation leaves you wanting to know much more than you are told. I am curious as to whether there was an oral tradition that fleshed out this tale more, that we simply did not receive.
'Take this twig then,' said Loki, and he put the sharpened mistletoe between Hod's hands. 'I'll show you where he;s standing. I'll stand behind you and guide your hand.'
Loki's eyes were on fire now. His whole body was on fire. His face was ravaged by wolfish evil and hunger.
Hod grasped the mistletoe and lifted his right arm. Guided by Loki, he aimed the dart at his brother Balder.
The mistletoe flew through the hall and it struck Balder. It pierced him and passed right through him. The god fell on his face. He was dead.
Saturday, April 19, 2003
There are no dangerous thoughts;So we went out to my parents house to dye eggs (and of course while we were there, my mom had just a few questions to ask, since I was there and everything.
thinking itself is dangerous
Friday, April 18, 2003
If you just set out to be liked,http://goddessofsarcasm.blogspot.com/
you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time,
and you would achieve nothing
Thursday, April 17, 2003
The very commonplaces of life are components of its eternal mysteryTried to get some pictures of the flowers today--partially because I like flowers and partially because I like to play with the digital camera. (I lucked out on picking the Iris. Not a clue as to what I was getting. This one however is quite pretty.) They turned out only okay, but I have plenty of opportunity to take more pictures!
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
To Live is so startling it leaves little time for anything elseIt should not have been that difficult. I just wanted to print out my resume. That's all. But that process ended up involving sniping back and forth between Michael and me, a lot of crawling behind my computer, more sniping, a trip to Office Despot, changing the black ink cartridge, more fiddling with the printer, and then finally (finally!) printing a nice copy of my resume with associated cover letter so that perhaps I can find get a GA position so that Michael and I will then have no money.
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
The mistake a lot of politicians make is inGot to see Andy and Heather yesterday. As usual the visit was far too short, but it was longer than our last visit, so this was a good thing. We spent more time with Heather, and got to know her better, and I really like her. Andy and I had a rousing discussion about anything having to do with politics, which I, of course, immensely enjoyed. We of course ranged far and wide with our topics, covering everything from the war to welfare.
forgetting they've been appointed and
thinking they've been anointed
--Mildred Webster Pepper
Monday, April 14, 2003
Life isn't a matter of milestones but of moments
--Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy
Sunday, April 13, 2003
Convince an enemy, convince him that he's wrongFrom yesterday's Non-Sequitur:
Is to win a bloodless battle where victory is long
A simple act of faith
In reason over might
To blow up his children will only prove him right
History will teach us nothing
Sting -- History Will Teach Us Nothing (1987)
Saturday, April 12, 2003
Monarchs ought to put to death the authors and instigators of war,Flubtitles website contains the English subtitles to foreign movies. Most of these movies seem to be of the Kung Foo variety, which is unsurprising. "The police suspects that you gamble illegally, assault, cheating, and also stealing old lady's underwear" and "Why am I to stupid? " As for "She said you're Stupid with all the fats in your body " I'm pretty sure I know exactly who that is.
as their sworn enemies and as dangers to their states.
--Queen Elizabeth I
Friday, April 11, 2003Realization: I've been placing books helter-skelter on bookshelves in the living room since the shelves were full. I had to empty the bookshelves to clear out the living room.
Thursday, April 10, 2003
Wednesday, April 09, 2003
In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for;Today's walking music is A Quiet Normal Life, The Best of Warren Zevon
as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.
--Henry Louis Mencken
Tuesday, April 08, 2003
Giving unchecked freedom to one group means denying it to another.A recent study looking at quality of life in obese children found that obese children have significantly impaired quality of life, comparable to that of children with cancer. This fits right into the fact that this is National Public Health week and the focus this year is on obesity and overweight you can find information on public health week on the CDC website and at the World Health Organization website.
Last week John Kerry told an audience that "what we need now is not just a regime change in Saddam Hussein and Iraq, but we need a regime change in the United States." Republicans immediately sought to portray this remark as little short of treason. "Senator Kerry crossed a grave line when he dared to suggest the replacement of America's commander in chief at a time when America is at war," declared Marc Racicot, chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Notice that Mr. Racicot wasn't criticizing Mr. Kerry's choice of words. Instead, he denounced Mr. Kerry because he "dared to suggest the replacement of America's commander in chief" knowing full well that Mr. Kerry was simply talking about the next election. Mr. Racicot, not Mr. Kerry, is the one who crossed a grave line; never in our nation's history has it been considered unpatriotic to oppose an incumbent's re-election.
7 April 2003
Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and theEric Schlosser spoke this evening, it was a great talk, and I took lots of notes, but the talk went quite late, and I'm still not adjusted to daylight savings time, so I'd best save it for tomorrow.
powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.
-- Paulo Freire
6 April 2003"One in three American Christians call themselves evangelicals and many evangelicals believe the second coming of Christ will occur in the Middle East after a titanic battle with the anti-Christ. Does the president believe he is playing a part in the final events of Armageddon? If true, it is an alarming thought."
5 April 2003The bodies recovered with Jessica Lynch were identified today as:
Sgt. George Buggs, 31, Barnwell, South Carolina;My sympathy goes out to their families, as I can only imagine that they had hopes that their loved ones too would also be found alive.
Master Sgt. Robert Dowdy, 38, Cleveland, Ohio;
Pvt. Ruben Estrella-Soto, 18, El Paso, Texas;
Spc. James Kiehl, 22, Comfort, Texas;
Chief Warrant Officer Johnny Villareal Mata, 35, Amarillo, Texas;
Pfc. Lori Ann Piestewa, 23, Tuba City, Arizona;
Pvt. Brandon Sloan, 19, Cleveland, Ohio and
Sgt. Donald Walters, 33, Kansas City, Missouri.
4 April 2003
Main Entry: hu∑brisI can hope that the U.S. will be as generous with the Iraqi civilian responsible for the rescue of Jessica Lynch as they are willing to be with her. " "A person, no matter his nationality, is a human being," the man, a 32-year-old lawyer whose wife was a nurse at the hospital, said in an interview at Marines' headquarters, where he, his wife and daughter are being treated as heroes and guests of honor."
Etymology: Greek hybris
: exaggerated pride or self-confidence
- hu∑bris∑tic /hyŁ-'bris-tik/ adjective
3 April 2003
That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history isSome thing came to mind just now, about all the protesters, yelling about the war and how our government is not following the will of the people, and so on and so forth. I have just this to ask: Who did you vote for in the last presidential election?
the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.
-- Aldous Huxley
|Democratic Party.||Libertarian Party.||Thomas
the U.S. Congress
on the Internet.
|Project Vote Smart||The ACLU|
An article in the NY Times which includes a quote I really liked: ""What she has learned growing up in the country and woods, and by what her brother put her through, that kind of prepared her for a lot," Mr. Lynch said."Okay, all this brings to mind several questions. First, why is it that everyone in West Virginia cares so much about this? I think the reason is multifold. This is a state of 1.8 million. Comparatively, New York city has a population of 7.8 million. This is also a state that has suffered on-going economic hardship for as long as I can remember. When we heard reports that she joined the army because she couldn't find a job and she couldn't afford to go to school, I think that everyone in WV knows someone like that, which brings it close to home. I think the other reason is that there is something about being from West Virginia--having to out up with the redneck jokes, and people who don't understand that we are a separate state, and we aren't near the beach. So those of us who live here, I think we feel a degree of affiliation with her, because even those of us living in the most urban areas have left the state, and gone to "big" cities, and felt overwhelmed (even if we didn't want to admit it) by the sheer numbers of people, and the size of the buildings, and the fact that things there just weren't like home. Even here in Morgantown, where we don't speak with a drawl (but we say y'all) we live in a county of only 81 thousand people. Chances are, that when you meet someone (not a student, but a townie) you'll know someone in common, which I think makes one tend to be more friendly, since you almost know them already.
An in the Washington Post says this: "Pfc. Jessica Lynch, rescued Tuesday from an Iraqi hospital, fought fiercely and shot several enemy soldiers after Iraqi forces ambushed the Army's 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company, firing her weapon until she ran out of ammunition, U.S. officials said yesterday."
And an article in the Baltimore Sun. "The military official said that while special operations soldiers, pilots and some other fighters are trained in how to endure being held by hostile forces, Lynch, as a private in a maintenance brigade, would not have received such training, known as Survival, Escape and Evasion."
2 April 2003
Flowers are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful," and sitting in the shade.Busy day after work. Got home and decided that since it was so beautiful out, and should remain beautiful, this would be a good time to move all the plants out out to the porch (it's certainly warmer outside than in the basement!) So my porch is again full of green plants... though looking at the forecast I'll have to cover everything after the weekend, since I see cold temperatures for next week (sigh). But it is good to get everything outside. The porch (which still needs cleaned unfortunately) looks much better with all the plants out there, and I'm sure the plants much prefer the light and fresh air to being cooped up in the basement. Since we won't be able to do anything else until Sunday, we went to Lowe's after work. Went to get some pots and some seeds (to replace what did not bloom). Came home with" a raspberry bush, tiny day lilies, a lavender plant (to make up for the non-sprouting lavender seeds) some other seeds to plant in the planter boxes that did not have a high sprouting success rate, dirt and the required pots.
1) WVU offers rescued WV POW additional financial assistance to pursue collegeOkay, don't get me wrong, I think it's fantastic that WVU is doing this, especially since it has been stated repeatedly that the reason she joined the military was to help pay for school. I think this is a wonderful thing for WVU to do, but will they do this for other WV residents who are injured in the war and want to go to school? Is it not reasonable that all from WV who serve their country should receive extra opportunities for education?
West Virginia's rescued prisoner of war Jessica Lynch of Palestine, Wirt County, has been offered financial assistance to attend her home state university - West Virginia University, President David C. Hardesty Jr. announced today upon news of Lynch's miraculous and dramatic rescue. "We've been thinking about and praying for U.S. Army Private First Class Jessica Lynch's safe return since her capture on March 23," Hardesty said. "We've read about her reason for joining the military, and along with her love for her country and her concern for the plight of the Iraqis, she wanted to better her life through a college education. West Virginia University wants to provide that opportunity to our West Virginia hero, and will offer Jessica sufficient financial assistance - in coordination with any other assistance she may receive from the Army - to pursue her dream of becoming a kindergarten teacher - when she is ready, of course."
1 April 2003American troops have rescued Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, 19, of Palestine, W.Va!
"But on Tuesday when it became clear this strategy was not working, they began to move residents out to disease quarantine centres set up holiday camps."Okay, holiday camps? That seems a bit of a misnomer. And I didn't realize that there was a lot of tourism in Cambodia, I mean, when I think of Cambodia, vacation is not what first comes to mind. Perhaps they've recovered from the civil war and strife and unrest and I just didn't know about it.
The combined effect of SARS and the conflict in Iraq has led to a 20% fall in tourists travelling to Cambodia.