Monday, February 27, 2006

I don't know what this means...

You are "Noscitur a socii"!
You look to neighboring words to shed light on the meaning of ambiguous words. You're a sociable canon, and always look at everything in context. However, you're useless by yourself.

Which Canon of Statutory Construction are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I'll have to ask my lawyer. Via Feministe.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Yeah, not dead or anything. Just deep in the grips of pregnancy. I have fallen into a sleep-go to work-eat-sleep cycle with bouts of nesting instinct and Olympic Figure Skating-watching (Can you believe Johnny Wier lost? But you gotta love that Sasha Cohen!) inbetween, and haven't really felt the urge to blog.

Most people officially put their blogs on hiatus in times like these, but since I only have like 5 readers anyway I'll post when I please, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, for those poor 5 readers, here's some stuff.

Jeanne at Body and Soul has a post about what it means now that the Al-Askariya shrine in Iraq has been destroyed, along with some heartbreaking before and after pictures of the beautiful golden dome.

This is a huge symbol of all that's wrong in Iraq. Not only does it seem to indicate the country is poised on the brink of civil war, it is yet another piece of the Iraqi cultural heritage that's been damaged. From the Spiral Minaret at Samarra to antiquities looted from the National Museum that are still missing, what will be left?

Maybe I'm just a cold-hearted woman, but this is almost more upsetting to me that loss of life. These buildings and these artifacts have managed to survive just fine until now. Like the destruction of the Parthenon, the burning of the Library of Alexandria, or the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Taliban these are act that will be looked upon with shame by posterity.

Next: Who sucks more, the United States or Europe? Honestly, I can't decide.

I honestly believe those Danish Muhammed cartoons would never be published in America (although maybe I am naive...) and if they were, American Muslims are not as apparently marginalized by society as they are in Europe. (Okay, so maybe I'm taking most of my opinion from the film Dirty Pretty Things.)

But so far, the United States has not had home-grown Islamic terrorism the likes of which has plagued London and Madrid, or riots the likes of which were seen last fall in France. To ask an honest question, why not? Are American Muslims allowed a bigger stake in society than European Muslims? Honestly I don't know, but that's the conclusion I'm drawing. Feel free to criticize.

Then there's this. South Dakota is working to pass a law that would ban all abortion, with no exception for the health of the woman included. That is so barbaric it's unbelievable. Can you imagine being a doctor and having to look a woman in the eye and say, "You're probably going to die/be rendered infertile/give birth to a doomed baby with no brain, and I could save your life/uterus/heartbreak, but by law I can't!" I don't care what your position on abortion is, when you think life starts, but you can't possibly tell me you could do that.

This is yet another example of conservatives not thinking about the consequences of the stupid laws they seek to pass. Or, worse yet, maybe they are. Maybe they really do hate women that much. Is it worse, though, than this recent ruling by the Italian Supreme Court?
The court ruled in favor of a man in his forties, identified only as Marco T., who forced his 14-year old stepdaughter to have oral sex with him after she refused intercourse.

The man, who has been sentenced to three years and four months in jail, lodged an appeal arguing that the fact that his stepdaughter had had sex with men before should have been taken into consideration during his trial as a mitigating factor.

The supreme court agreed, saying that because of her previous sexual experiences, the victim's "personality, from a sexual point of view, is much more developed than what would be normally expected of a girl of her age".

"It is therefore fair to argue that (the damage for the victim) would be lower" if the abused girl was not a virgin, Italian news agencies quoted the court as saying.
Ugh. Truly disgusting. Again maybe I am naive, but I really don't think this would ever happen in the US. (Although it does seem to be somewhat of an unwritten rule here...see the Kobe Bryant case.)

So who sucks more? It's a wash.

Finally: Am I the only one who thinks Willie Nelson's gay cowboy song is a little too cutesy? "Inside every cowboy there's a lady who'd love to slip out.."? I don't know, this seems to be coming from the stereotype that all gay men are effeminate. Although it's great that he went there with (apparently) serious intentions, that lyric in particular seems to have missed the mark and sound a little too 'jokey.'

Well that's all for now. I'll post again when I feel like it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Bush bravely takes anti-Humanimal stand!

My new favorite blogger PZ Myers over at Pharyngula has drawn attention to a particularly hilarious segment of the State-of-the-Union speech.
I didn't listen to the State of the Union Address last night, preferring to maintain my equanimity by attending a talk on quantum physics, but I knew I could trust my readers to email me with choice weird science bits. I'm getting a lot of "WTF?" email about this statement from Bush:
Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research, human cloning in all its forms, creating or implanting embryos for experiments, creating human-animal hybrids, and buying, selling or patenting human embryos.
It's pure political calculus. He throws away the mad scientist and pig-man vote, and wins the religious ignoramus voteƃ?‚…and we know which one has the majority here.
No one is honestly arguing that there shouldn't be some sort of ethics involved on experiments with genetics, the vague, alarmist wording of the president ignores the practical scientific uses of this kind of work.

PZ goes on, explaining better than I could possibly:
We would love to have an animal model of Down syndrome, so that, for example, we could figure out exactly what gene overdose is causing the immune system problems or the heart defects, and develop better treatments for them.

So what scientists have been doing is inserting human genes into mice, to produce similar genetic overdoses in their development.

...These mice are a tool to help us understand a debilitating human problem.

George W. Bush would like to make them illegal.
This seems to be another example of crazy religious conservatives not thinking about the practical, real-world effects of the policies they want to enact.

The classic example, of course is the question of how women who have abortions should be punished if abortion is made illegal. (ADDED***I finally found the video I was thinking of when mentioning this, here.)

Preventing research using human-animal hybrids not only potential medicines undiscovered but would actually prevent the usage of medicines already in use against things like Crohn's Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

It's easy to say you're against the creation of Dr. Moreau-style manimals. Of course you are. No one is for that. But equating *that* with the use of some strands of a molecule inside a cell with some slightly different molecules is stupid, reactionary, and callous towards those who could be helped by it.

Still Alive

Still alive, pregnant, etc. I haven't been posting this much as my house has been turned into the Viking craft sweatshop in preparation for the 2006 Taos Aelthing. Which is this weekend...woo!

I will post some pictures so everyone can see how cool my husband and our friends are.