Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What the Hell?!?!?!

U.S. Rep for Florida, Katherine Harris has really shown her true colors. In a recent interview with the Florida Baptist Witness, Ms. Harris declared that the concept of separation of church and state is a "lie we have been told. (Read: CNN's breakdown.)"

I shudder for the future of our country.

Ultra Conservatives have no place in our democracy. They can't think rationally! Her comments border on religious fundamentalism, and we all know what that leads to...

The best part of the entire episode is the fact that her fellow Florida Rep is a Jewish woman, who said she was disgusted by the comments. And she should be!

Campaign spin artists quickly "clarified" Ms. Harris' comments:
"The comments reflected "her deep grounding in Judeo-Christian values," the statement said, adding that Harris had previously supported pro-Israel legislation and legislation recognizing the Holocaust. (via)"

So it seems values are "Christian" until you offend a Jewish person, then they are "Judeo-Christian values."

Christian Politicians need to reevaluate their role in office soon or we as Americans are looking at a morality war in the future. Politicians are not employed to protect the morals of the country. They are not shepherds protecting the flock by enacting laws which they deem appropriate because we "don’t know better." They must protect the health and livelihood of the people they represent. Abortion laws shouldn't have any moral agenda, they have come about because women were seeking horrible solutions to a problem which they saw no positive end to. The laws allow for healthy solutions to a serious problem for some women. Granted, some believe its not too healthy for the fetus, but that's not for us to decide. If Christian politicians believe so strongly that abortion, gay marriage, or any other morally debatable topic is against God's wishes, then they should also believe God will take care of it. The belief is that God is all powerful and such, maybe Christian politicians should leave it to him instead of acting on his behalf.

A parting quote:

The Bible says we are to be salt and light. And salt and light means not just in the church and not just as a teacher or as a pastor or a banker or a lawyer, but in government and we have to have elected officials in government and we have to have the faithful in government and over time, that lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized, thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers (via, 7th. question).

Well if God chooses our rulers, Ms. Harris, maybe you should sit at home until God casts his vote, otherwise, try respecting values and opinions that are not your own.

(Now I agree that there is some hipocricy to the last statement, but my belief is that as an elected official, you must forgo your own opinions and be a true representative of the people, both majority and minority...)

Monday, August 28, 2006

Growing up is hard to do...

So I'm an idiot...
I never learned how to fold a fitted sheet. I amazingly got through college by simply washing the sheets already in the laundry to replace the "mature" sheets on the bed. So sheets were never clean AND in need of storage. While doing a recent load of laundry for my queen size Aero, I realized my inabilities and did what any god-fearing adult would do: I looked it up on the internet! The results of my search produced a large number of methods/tutorials but my favorite was certainly a Flickr photoseries by catiecake. The cat doesn't wake up as far as I can tell...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Moooo? Are you from Boston by any chance?

Being engaged to a Speech-Language Pathologist has allowed me a better understanding of communication and language and the importance therein. This, however, is just ridiculous.

"Um Yah..." Science

U.C. Berkeley News has an article on their website pertaining to Trap-Jaw Ants. This ant genus of ants from South and Central America can close its mandibles(jaw-like parts) at a speed of up to 145 mph. This is the world record for "the fastest self-powered predatory strike in the animal kingdom." While this is interesting enough, I often wonder who funds these scientists. With the all the disease and mayhem in this world, you think the Ant-Jaw-Speed-Experiment Funds could serve a better purpose in the fields of say Cancer Research, Inexhaustible Fuels, and other clearly more important fields of study - with more far reaching effects. While I am fascinated by ants for their complex society mechanisms and seriously doubt anyone can utilize the knowledge of how fast an ant can cleave a grasshopper for the betterment of our world. (via)

On a lighter note: They did take some great video that shows the ants using their spring loaded jaws of doom as a defensive tool: springing themselve high into the air to avoid predetors!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The end is near...

Single Tear

Cell Phone Etiquette

Reading a recent Techdirt commentary on a NY Times article got me thinking. Both deal with cell phone ettiquette, and I have pretty solidified opinions on the time and place for cell and regular phone use.

The cellphone is a marvel of modern technology. It allows instant communication anywhere on the planet (barring dead zones, like the back left corner of my room of course). Small children are even carrying these devices at a growing, if not alraming rate. When I was young, the only communication avenues available were either a yell from my mother out the front door of my house, or a phone call placed to the house I was playing adjacent to. Cellphones have invaded our culture and are here to stay. Mom's don't have to yell down the street anymore, they can just speed dial Timmy and Suzy to come home for dinner.

This invasion cause problems of course. The cellphone is being used in places where no phone has ever gone before and without any regard for those not involved in the call. Traditionally, the phone was an appliance in the house, and phone calls were limited to when you were at home, or the office. Now phone calls can be placed from anywhere to anywhere, and this needs to stop. Now.

In my head there is a growing list of places in which the cellphone should not be used, and another list in which cellphone use is ok, with rules.

The No-Call List:

  • The Gym(A girl actually had the gaul to plop down on a stairmaster next to me, and proceed to call everyone she knew during her 40 minutes "Hills" session)
  • A Funeral Parlor
  • An Elevator
  • During a Business Meeting
  • In Line/Queue(Those around you are agitated enough by the wait, don't fuel the fire)

The Stop and Think List:

  • At a Restuarant - Never answer your phone unless its from a caller who might have an emergency, like the babysitter or your grandmother. Otherwise, let it go to voice mail and call after dinner. I'm sure your drinkin buddies can wait an hour to hear from you.
  • On the Train/Bus - Never talk on the phone while on the train/bus. Unless you are taking the Acela line and business is to be expected. Otherwise, think of those around you. Most are tired and weary and would rather be jostled around in peace. Furthermore, in most train/bus situations you have to raise your voice to be heard over said jostling, so why bother.
  • In a Movie Theater - I think most people know not to answer their phones during a film, but I feel that the general quiet nature of the room should inhibit calls during the coming attractions and the "Pre-Show Entertainment(Read: Commercials)"
  • At Work - We have desk phones, use them. Otherwise tell your loved ones that you can't talk because you are at work. If its an emergency then call away, but otherwise save it for later.
  • In a Car - In most cases it should be against the rules to use a phone in a car. First off, no one is really that capable of driving while talking on the phone. Even with a handsfree setup, people are still distracted and this is just dangerous to those around you. Its ok to make short calls, like "Be home soon" or "do you need anything at the store," but making or taking calls because you are simply bored should be prohibited. In another situation, one shouldn't take/make calls while in a car with one other person. Again, quick calls are ok, but otherwise try talking to your travel mate. Its just plain rude to talk on the phone while in the car with someone because while you are on the phone haveing a ball, they have to sit in silence because a) their conversation partner is busy and b) you probably had the radio turned down to make the call. The only conselation for the person not on the phone is the act of deciphering the context of the conversation, from only half the words. The only exception to the rule is if three people are in the car and the caller doesn't expect the radio turn-down service.
  • While doing manual labor - If you are helping a friend move or something like that, don't answer you phone. Time is usually of the essence, and things need to get done. Make your calls afterwards or during downtime. Generally speaking, if you being on the phone is causing a someone else to wait for you, then the call probably shouldn't happen.
  • At the beach - Phone calls at the beach are ok by me unless they are loud. The beach is a place of relaxation, I don't need to hear about what you did at the club last night with all your friends. I've been tempted many times to try and "skip" someones clamshell style phone right into the waves.

Now this list doesn't encompass all of the cellphone no-no's but I'll update it as needed.

As a parting note: Anybody who walks around with their bluetooth headset in their ear while NOT on the phone is an idiot. Sure you can answer your calls at the push of a button and continue doin whatever your hands were doing prior to answering. But come on, you look absolutely rediculous filling your gas tank or ordering a drink looking like something out of Star Trek. Put the headset in your pocket and use it when needed. The whole practice is like wearing sunglasses all the time because you might encounter bright light in your travels...

Dr. Carlson's Science Theater

Check out Dr. Carlson's Science Theater. Its a physics teachers blog, in which he vlogs about various science topics! (via)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Magnet Letters

This might be one of the most unique online multiparticipant "games" I have ever seen. What seems to be pointless quickly results in addiction...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

F.C.C. Auctions for A.W.S.

The Advance Wireless Services spectrum recently went up for auction by the F.C.C. This practice has been going on since 1994 and replaces what seems to be a very bureaucratic system of determining "Best public use." My concern, however is the reinforcing aspect of the new system for the dominant telcos. Since the licenses go to the highest bidder, doesn't that mean simply that the telco with the most money can "buy" a license to a specific band and further their dominance over the little guys? This appears to be whats happening in the most recent round of bidding, as satalitte cable providers were the first to bow out of bidding.

Pirates of Sweden

The infamous Pirate Bay draws back the curtain for Wired Reporter Quinn Norton. Check out this great article.

A War even a Quaker can get behind.

Since moving to a laptop at work, I've noticed even more so that I despise the Caps Lock key. It's placement just above the shift key results in me pressing it accidentally a half dozen times a day producing backspace fodder such as SHOUTING and the uPSIDEDOWN tEXT. Blogger Pieter Hintjens has decided to start a revolution against the tyranny of the Caps key. Join up at CAPSoff.

Courtesy of Slashdot

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Dell Battery Pack Recall

Dell has put out a website in which you can check your battery pack for the recall(only some types are recalled). While the overall site asks you a bunch of questions regarding the battery pack, the easiest thing to do is simply remove the battery pack and enter the PPID into one of the fields on this page

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