Saturday, October 27, 2007

Blog begging.

So eh, I'm having a little trouble making the old ends meet, being still unemployed and all.

So I'll just mention, without expectation, that there are many cool items for sale at the following locations.

The Viking Fish Store*.
The Philosopher's Union Store.
The Taos Aelthing Store.

*Which, apropos of recent discussions elsewhere, I feel compelled to explain is meant as a historical joke, and not as any disrespect to Christianity.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Most Annoying Thing in Blogtopia.*

If I never, ever, ever hear anyone accuse another person of making a strawman argument in a comment thread ever again, I will die the happiest woman on the face of the planet.

I know I've complained about this before, albeit in a sort of veiled, ranty way. But it's really really annoying me recently.

Even worse are the hyphenations. "Straw-feminist" is a particularly common one. Even more awkward is "straw-animal rights" or "straw-AR." Somewhat more lyrical are "straw-theist" and "straw-atheist" which kind of sound like the same thing.

And you can totally see them coming, too. You get to a certain number of comments - oh, about 87, I'd say - and you're guaranteed to get a cry of "straw-whateverthefuckitiswe'retalkingaboutthisweek!"

Please, people. There are other logical fallacies you can accuse your opponents of. Whatever happened to good old ad hominem? It's been ages since I've seen that bandied about.

*Yes! skippy coined that phrase!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dear People at ABC

Please do not cancel Pushing Daisies. I love it, and it seems like the sort of thing that you'd cancel.

Thanks,

Vanessa

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Pharyngula Mutating Genre Meme

So Evil Mommy (best blog name ever!) tagged me with this meme that's pretty cool.

--------------------------------

There are a set of questions below that are all of the form, “The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is…”.

Copy the questions, and before answering them, you may modify them in a limited way, carrying out no more than two of these operations:

* You can leave them exactly as is.

* You can delete any one question.

* You can mutate either the genre, medium, or subgenre of any one question. For instance, you could change “The best time travel novel in SF/Fantasy is…” to “The best time travel novel in Westerns is…”, or “The best time travel movie in SF/Fantasy is…”, or “The best romance novel in SF/Fantasy is…”.

* You can add a completely new question of your choice to the end of the list, as long as it is still in the form “The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is…”.

* You must have at least one question in your set, or you’ve gone extinct, and you must be able to answer it yourself, or you’re not viable.

Then answer your possibly mutant set of questions. Please do include a link back to the blog you got them from, to simplify tracing the ancestry, and include these instructions.

Finally, pass it along to any number of your fellow bloggers. Remember, though, your success as a Darwinian replicator is going to be measured by the propagation of your variants, which is going to be a function of both the interest your well-honed questions generate and the number of successful attempts at reproducing them.

My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Pharyngula.
My great-great-great-great-great-great-great--great grandparent is Metamagician and the Hellfire Clubs.
My great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Flying Trilobite.
My great-great-great-great-great-great grandparent is A Blog Around the Clock.
My great-great-great-great-great grandparent is Shakespeare’s Sister.
My great-great-great-great grandparent is Shayera.
My great-great-great grandparent is PoliShifter.
My great-great grandparent is Lizzy.
My great-grandparent is Candace.
My grandparent is Randal.
My parent is Evil Mommy.

1. The best time travel film in SF/Fantasy is: La Jette.

2. The best scary movie in zombie apocalype is: 28 Days Later.

3. The best novel in American period history is: Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut. Does that count?

4. The best writer in American comedy is: Matt Groening.

5. The best silent movie in Russian film is: Man With a Movie Camera.

6. The best English poet in the nineteenth century is: Robert Burns.

7. The best anthem in Punk Rock is: "Shelia is a Punk Rocker" by The Ramones

Now, to tag.

I tag Belledame, Ren, and Daisy, should time allow.

Disaster Areas

I've been following the California fires a little bit.
SAN DIEGO - Faced with unrelenting winds whipping wildfires into a frenzy across Southern California, firefighters conceded defeat on many fronts Tuesday to an unstoppable force that has chased more than 500,000 people away.

...Tentacles of unpredictable, shifting flame have burned across nearly 600 square miles, killing one person, destroying more than 1,800 homes and prompting the biggest evacuation in California history, from north of Los Angeles, through San Diego to the Mexican border.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the flames were threatening 68,000 more homes.
I hope anyone I might know in blogtopia from California is okay. And I'm glad that so far loss of life has been relatively minimal. It's kind of shocking to think that 500,000 people have been evacuated.

However, they've been evacuated. The cynic in me can't help but notice the contrast in response to a natural disaster that's happening in a location where rich white people live and a similar disaster that happened a few years ago, where poor black people lived.

I mean, I'm just saying.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Also, they had necks.

Kind of interesting article about the FOXP2 gene in Neanderthals.
A DNA analysis shows Neanderthals share with humans two key changes in the FOXP2 gene known to be involved in speech, raising the possibility the species possessed some prerequisites for language, the researchers said.

"From the point of this gene at least the Neanderthals could have had language like we do," said Johannes Krause, a biochemist at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, who led the study.
Cool enough. But what's with the illustration accompanying the article? Dude, they were Neanderthals, not mole-men.

I've always had a soft spot for Neanderthals. Something about their giant nasal cavities and football-shaped craniums is somehow endearing. I mean, check out old Mr. La-Chapelle here. Don't you just want to give him a hug?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Nostalgia

Ren's post with Siouxsie Sioux got me thinking about back in the day, when I was listening to music of that ilk on a general basis.

Here I am, circa 1996. God, I miss dressing up like a trashy flapper and going clubbing.
halloween 1996
Also, to think I totally thought of myself as a complete fatass back then. How sad. Now I am a complete fatass, but I love it!

And here I am making out with my mop.

make love to the mop

Hmm. I look totally butch here, despite this being the heyday of sparkly lipstick and excessive eyeshadow. Somewhere there's a really cool picture of me with a mohawk, wearing a babydoll nightie and lots of safetypins, full makeup, giving the camera the finger. But I think this girl I hitchhiked with in Vermont might have it.

Sigh. Youth is wasted on the young.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Please, kill me now.

I have a toothache.

More precisely, invisible pain faeries are driving red-hot nails of sadness into my maxilla with the hopes of making my sinuses explode.

I have no dental insurance.

I'm trying not to think about the raging infection taking up residence in my face-bones, centimeters from my brain.

Seriously, I need my brain. For thinking with.

I have two papers due tomorrow that I have not yet begun.

Calgon, take me away.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Maybe in ten years I'll be able to make lots of money for translating secret Russian documents.

Probably would make more money than the whole Anthropology gig, anyway.
MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin warned President Bush's top two Cabinet officials on Friday to back off U.S. missile defense plans for eastern Europe as high-level talks yielded little more than a pledge to meet again.

Despite presenting new cooperation proposals intended to bring Moscow on board, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates failed in a series of tough meetings to turn around Moscow's opposition to the system and other strategic issues.
I am a total child of the 80s, when we expected nuclear war with the Soviets to occur at any second. So I've always found Vladimir Putin kind of extra scary. Especially in his dictator-lite mode (like when he plants flags at the north pole).

Although I guess to the general public Russians, being technically white people, are somewhat less frightening than scary Arab Muslim Terrorists. Although personally I prefer the Russians as movie bad guys.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

POLE DANCING!

Police in Albuquerque tore down a derelict house with an actual STRIPPER POLE IN IT!!!

Oh, and yeah, well, it was a crack house, too.
Police believe the people who lived in the home were not only into drugs, but also into exotic dancing.

"And there's a strange component to it, there's a dancing pole with mirrors, so there was a lot of activity going on in this house that did not meet the eye. We're delighted to be tearing it down," said Pete Dinelli of the Safe City Strike Force.
Watch the accompanying video for extra laughs (and some shots of cool crack-house graffiti art, actually).

Via Duke City Fix.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

1,000th post.

Hey, neat. Someone buy me a present or something.

Awesome.

I love body modifying science geeks.

"Pro-Life" and "Pro-Marriage" taken to their logical conclusion.

An interesting and sad example regarding honor killings in Iran and Iraq.
Banaz got pregnant in Iran after her boyfriend invited her to a party, and five months later she told one of her four sisters. They asked doctors to abort Banaz's child, but were refused.

Banaz knew the stigma would stain her two married sisters, and make it hard for her unmarried sisters to find husbands.

She tried to commit suicide by throwing herself from the top floor of her home, but a sister restrained her. She overdosed on pills but vomited them up. She considered dousing herself in gasoline.

"Burning was the final option. I was too scared to do it," Banaz said in an interview at the Rewan center. She spoke softly, but with confidence, and smiled easily.

Her father found out and sent her to Iraqi Kurdistan, ostensibly on a study trip, but the doctor she consulted in Sulaimaniyah refused to perform an abortion.
Emphasis mine. This is what happens when your culture becomes completely obsessed with the sanctity of babies and marriage.

Saturday NSFW Glam Rock YouTubing

So, let me pretty much invalidate everything I've been bitching about lately by posting something meaningless and content-free that helps no one. And is Not Safe For Work.

Ladies and Gents, the hottest movie ever, Velvet Goldmine.



This combines three of my favorite things: naked Ewan McGregor, punk rock, and sparkles. I love it. (Except for the sibling incest part, that's icky.)



Although Johnathan Rhys-Myers does not have such a good voice, I really like this. As with all the fey-ish male characters of pop culture, I'm not sure if I want to fuck them or be like them. But, as piny mentioned one time, why does that have to be an either/or thing? I think it's perfectly reasonable to both envy and covet the giant cigarette holder he's smoking out of here.

I think my performance of femininity is much more in line with peacock men like these characters. Maybe that's part of why I just don't comprehend the point of the Great Feminist Fashion and Beauty Debate (TM). Because for me (and I think for a lot of women), it's not so much about looking pretty and delicate for a man, but being a strutting sexy beast for myself. Just like these guys are doing.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I'm sure the cold virus infecting my daughter's nasal cavity is pleased.

I however, couldn't be more pissed.
WASHINGTON - President Bush, in a sharp confrontation with Congress, on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have dramatically expanded children's health insurance.

It was only the fourth veto of Bush's presidency, and one that some Republicans feared could carry steep risks for their party in next year's elections. The Senate approved the bill with enough votes to override the veto, but the margin in the House fell short of the required number.

Democrats unleashed a stream of harsh rhetoric, as they geared up for a battle to both improve their chances of winning a veto override and score political points against Republicans who oppose the expansion.
Meanwhile (heh), I'm waiting to hear (going on two months, now) if we make too much money to get the kid on medicaid. Which I kind of suspect we do.

And really, we don't make that much money, I promise you.