Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Swine Flu death toll approx 160 world wide, 1 in the US
Regular Flu 13,000 dead this year in the US
(UPDATE) Shit.. this story just won't die, just like swine flu victims. According to the WHO (World Health Organization - not the band) only 7 people have been confirmed to have died by swine flu.
(Another Update) The WHO had me feeling better yesterday, today not so much.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
"I personally believe torture is wrong. We shouldn't do it. Even if it means me, my husband, and my two sons get blown up. Seriously, if I had to choose I'd say: Death is common to us all; torture is a choice."
I couldn't agree more, even if I don't have kids, or a husband....
Which reminds me, we really need to go back to the old rules of filibustering, you know where the old gas bags actually had to get up and talk for hours on end. Now they just say, "uh hey by the way we're filibustering, so don't plan on accomplishing anything." Then they would actually have to suffer a little in order to be obstructionists.
Monday, April 27, 2009
The arrested lawmakers are Democratic Reps. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, John Lewis of Georgia, Donna Edwards of Maryland and Lynn Woolsey of California.You all just won my vote.... even though I can't actually vote for any of them. of Minnesota,
On the positive side I can feel the difference in my legs, can even see the difference. So assuming I don't have anymore flats, I'm prepared now so it probably wont happen, I'm really liking the whole no car thing. Just wish the laundromat was a bit closer, not quite sure how I can do that on my bike, either tiny loads or I walk. It is only like 6 blocks. Like I said so far so good with the biking and at this rate my legs are going to be diesel by the end of the summer, hell by the end of next month.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I'm brand new to this so I have basically zero experience to base this off of but damn that bike is quick. I've only gone on a couple five minute rides, one was a test drive and the other way back to work, but wow. As a kid it was the mountain bike craze so I had one, actually I still have that bike, and then I bought that cruiser. I also had a BMX bike that I won which was my first bike that was actually mine. So I've never been on a quick bike before. I will say that I didn't spend MSRP on it, but it wasn't cheap so I really hope I like it. And if my folks read this, yeah I know I could have insured the car for quite a while for what I just spent, but I just really want to go without a car for a little while.
I'll also say that now I'm going to have to buy a helmet, damn. They are fucking ugly. With my slow ass beach cruiser bike I wasn't too worried about crashing. It was slow, a bit of chrome, and an upright seating that easily allowed me to look back to check traffic. This one isn't leaned over like a racing bike, but its far more leaned over than I'm used to, it's flat gray, and will actually go fast enough that I don't want to crash. Plus I'd be willing to go down a hill on this one, the coaster brake on the other was so bad that I was as worried about going down the hills as I was going up them, albeit for different reasons.
I'm a little nervous about the seat, it seems awfully little compared to my ass. It wasn't noticeably uncomfortable, but I've only ridden it for very short runs. New seats are pretty cheap. So are petals which I've been told are pretty flimsy on this model. Some people don't like the handle bars, I've laughed at how many people have mentioned swapping the straight bars for drops or drops for straight. It's available either way, why not just buy the model and not bother with the swap, maybe they like one paint job over the other.
So I have new toy and I'm just a tall little kid, I want to ride bike. I really don't want to be stuck behind this computer.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Basically Monsanto is pissed because of the whole organic food movement, it does imply that organic food is healthier and safer, which of course means non-organic food is less safe and less healthy. Not to mention they can't sell chemicals to organic growers, or at least not as much.
Shit. I ran out of time. I really wanted to work up a good rant about this even though I don't grow a damn thing myself. I guess my favorite argument was that Michelle Obama's garden at the white house she's been showing off would be illegal. Oh and fuck monsanto.
Monday, April 13, 2009
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Maybe thats where.
He is also apparently trying to make it illegal to sue the government for illegally wiretapping, unless the government then makes the wiretapped info public, then you can sue. For some reason it seems to me that this issue was already settled... again by the founding fathers.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
I don't think I'm asking to much for my president to fulfill his campaign promises (ok maybe that is too much), obey the law, and uphold his oath of office. His sworn duty is of course to uphold the constitution, right now I'm not impressed.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
String theory. Crazy shit. Then again once you understand the old theory (and I'm only half sure I do) it isn't that weird. The old theory was that everything is made of 0-dimensional points. That alone is pretty much impossible for me to really grasp. How can it exist yet have no dimensions? So string theory say's no everything is made of one dimensional things, seeing as their one dimensional, they're string like. Of course then these one dimensional strings turn into loops yet somehow that doesn't count as two dimensions. (?) For whatever reason I can just smile and nod through these parts.
The biggest problem I had with it, and again maybe I'm reading it totally wrong not to mention I'm only halfway through the book, is this. Ok everytime we find out that our elementary elements were wrong there was more than one thing below. We thought Atoms were the smallest thing for a long time. Then we found out that all the different types of atoms are made of various combinations of just three things, atoms proton and neutrons. The simplest of which of course has one electron and one proton, the other end has 92 electrons 92 protons and 146 neutrons, ok some get even bigger but on earth uranium is as big as you can expect to find. you get the point anyway. Well then we found out that protons and neutrons aren't even elementary elements, they can be crushed further into several types of quarks. Same book different chapter, neutrons are one arrangement of quarks and protons are a different arrangement, if I recall right each is made of three quarks. So then it's supposed to be a few orders of magnification later and we find strings. And what I had assumed was that considering I've previously heard that the difference in size between an atom and a string is about the same as the difference between an atom and the galaxy. So logically, and I guess I should by now know that what we consider logical on the macro scale has no meaning at this point, I was expecting a whole shit load of strings to make up a quark. Or at least a few. And with all the uncertainty stuff I was expecting all the strings in each quark to being doing its own thing at any given time and only by canceling each other out and does it average out to what we see as a quark. On the up side, reading this stuff does give you the opportunity to say Quark a lot, and Quark is probably the most amusing word to say that I've ever said. You know you want to. Just say it out loud a few times wherever you are, Quark Quark Quark. Nah bitch I'm not a duck don't be simple, this is cutting edge science I'm talking about... try not to giggle at any point in there.
Oh so my problem other than getting funny looks by people who think I have a fetish for ducks is that the book claims there is just one string. Now I realized a long time ago that the entire universe is made up of alomst nothing, but damn. Thats a whole lot of nothing. Again I very well might be reading this wrong, it was fairly late and my brain was probably a little fried after reading half the book yesterday. But if my conclusion is right that would mean that an atom the size of the galaxy is made up of just a like a dozen atom sized strings... Like I said, damn, thats a lot of nothing. I should probably just go ask someone who knows about this shit. I might have to drop a question over at Bad Astronomy.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
The so-called Judeo-Christian consensus of the last millennium has given way to a post-modern, post-Christian, post-Western...OH... wait. He thinks this is a bad thing. You can go check out the article over at newsweek. It's pretty good. It of course focuses on the 10% decline in self identified christians along with the doubling of unaffiliated folks. Mentions that atheists have quadrupled, I like that it then points out there are twice as many atheists as episcopalians, hehe. Being a cynical bastard I can't help but get a chuckle out of this part either.
many Christians are rediscovering the virtues of a separation of church and state that protects what Roger Williams, who founded Rhode Island as a haven for religious dissenters, called "the garden of the church" from "the wilderness of the world."That seems about right, church works best if it's separated from the world. When it's forced to interact with reality if often come across as a bit kooky.
Oh and this is why you have to love editors. Here's what it says in the article.
Let's be clear: while the percentage of Christians may be shrinking, rumors of the death of Christianity are greatly exaggerated.Just one little problem, the name of the article is "The End of Christian America." Then again I did read the article because of it's title so I guess there's two sides to that.
More good shit.
The orthodox tend to try to live their lives in accordance with the general behavioral principles of the Bible (or at least the principles they find there of which they approve)So true. I'm not done reading this but one thing I have to say is that the author notes that conservative religion is gaining ground while religion as a whole is losing, but doesn't draw the connection between them. The moderate religious folks aren't confrontational, they don't challenge science or try to push their views on others. They're more open to asking questions instead of unquestioned obedience. It's that expectation of unquestioned obedience that has probably driven many from the flock and into the realm of simply "spiritual" there is some sort of higher power looking down on me and thats all I need to know. Those that approve of the unquestioned obedience also tend to want to clash with science. They think they will win because they have a really old book. They simply can't understand that it's a battle they cannot win. You can be sworn into court on a bible but thats about the extent to which it has any sway. They don't seem to understand that courts are about evidence, and so are scientists. Which make sense considering both are looking for the truth in a complex world. Also explains why they use somewhat similar methodology. Science works by coming up with a hypothesis then trying to prove it wrong. In the court each side lays out its story and the other side tries to prove it wrong. Yeah thats and over simplification of both but you get the idea. The point is that science is really good at defending it's theories, thats how they became theories in the first place. If a hypothesis couldn't withstand the most brutal skepticism it wouldn't be a theory and sure wouldn't be in a text book. Religion on the other hand, especially the religion of unquestioned obedience is by definition not used to being cross examined and therefore does not hold up very well. So if religion wants to stay relevant it should really avoid attacking science. The last third of the article is about how religion should stay out of the political arena too which is probably good advice. Although I hate to admit it but if they want to push through some stupid shit they'd be much better off trying to do it through legislation than the courts. Courts require evidence, Legislation only requires a majority of like minded people. But they blew that chance. I could probably continue but I've lost my train of thought and it's lunch time, priorities man. Just one last thing. I'm so glad the author included this line.
Religious doubt and diversity have, however, always been quintessentially American.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Since then I met Lois that I mentioned before, haven't seen her since but she's an interesting prospect. Shit I'm not even entirely sure that she's single.
I've hung out with another gal that I had a think for quite a while back, unfortunately she then dated my roommate who was, er is, a womanizing scumbag so she's always been tainted in my head since then. So thats a long shot. Maybe it's fucked up of me to be that judgmental. Then again you trying having a crush on a chick then not seeing her for a while only to come home and find her on your couch with your junkie (ok he was actually clean still at that point, otherwise he wouldn't have been my roommate) roommate. Thanks for twisting that knife while you pull it outta my spine.
And then I was sort of mean to someone who is playing the role I usually do. The old study partner. She really likes me but I'm just not interested in her. We didn't talk for a while after she left for school, then she started texting me again. This saturday I was bored as hell and she kept asking me to come up to her school. So at damn near midnight I said fuck it and headed up there. I didn't realize just how far away it was. About 2:30 I got there. I drank too much once I got there. Damn DOD (delayed onset drunkenness). She always wants too fool around but it never goes too terribly far. Unfortunately every time we do she gets renewed ideas and then I get awkward messages the next day. As I've said before, for once being on this side of things has shown me why desperation is a turn off. Anyway I really need to stop doing anything with her, its just not fair to her.
My only real concern is that when I go back into apathetic mode it's often accompanied by the resurgence of Blackout Kilgore, and that guy is an asshole.