Friday, September 30, 2005

A Word For Everything And Everything With A Word

All languages supposedly have hard-or-impossible-to-translate words and phrases, bits of vocabulary for very specific, even over-specific, things that other culturo-linguistic groups simply don't possess. The Meaning of Tingo: And Other Extraordinary Words from Around the World is another in a long line of such books about weird words from around the world. In it, the Germans once again show themselves to be the masters of weird and wonderful language, with such words as "Putzfimmel" (mania for cleaning) and "Kummerspeck" (weight gain due to emotionally-driven overeating).

However, Lanugage Log and Languagehat, guys with a lot more linguistic expertise than I have, advise to take the information in books of "untranslatable" words with a grain of salt. Apparently, they're not always that accurate.

I Really Am Easily Amused...

Apparently, the current issue of Maxim has some feature or other "decoding" women's magazines. (I'm going to have trust Gawker on the accuracy of this intelligence; I'm not exactly a "lad mag" afficianado. Unless you count Men or Inches... *LOL*)

One of the "translated" terms is absolute genius! Or at least I think it is. "Menage a moi" is another way of saying masturbation! Despite my avowed hatred of all things French, that phrase just tickles me. (No, not there, you dirty-minded readers! I'm talking about an intellectual tickle. Get your minds out of the gutter!). Isn't it great?

Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Murderous

Apparently, those godless furners are on to something. (And here are some graphs and charts to illustrate.) But don't get too riled up, anti-Americans: there may be some problems with the study.

Personally, I'm not sure it actually tells us anything except that the U.S. isn't as great as it wants to believe it is, that the religious don't always act very religiously, and that the "godless" can be much better Christians than some who claim that moniker. Not terribly shocking conclusions, overall.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Russian Literary Crisis

In Mother Russia, Tolstoy and Pushkin are out; potboilers and "Bridget Joneskaya" are in. Of course, there is much gnashing of teeth, but, judging by the article, the gnashing isn't as unfounded and hysterical as it usually is in the West. Russian publishing really isn't doing well at all.

(Via Bookninja)

Sex Lives Of Animals

Not a subject that comes up everyday, does it? Well, it seems male squid inseminate themselves a lot. They may even inseminate each other. And they're really hung, too, with a penis akin to a "high-pressure firehose." Lucky female squid!

And cows are, apparently, raging lesbians!

(Via Pharyngula)

Well, at least their relationship wasn't all for naught. Roy and Silo's adoptive daughter, Tango, is now happily partnered... with another female penguin! Who knew the lives of penguins were so soap opera-y??? Luckily, some kind citizen has created a handy flowchart to help keep everything straight (so to speak).

Advertising Feuilletons

I don't know why, exactly, but the idea of a parade of advertising icons is vaguely disturbing to me.

The guy behind that Tiny House reality spoof Geico ad speaks. He's pretty funny, actually.

(Via Gawker)

Legislative and Judicial Branches Now As F'd Up As The Executive

Final and unequivocal proof that the Democratic Party is insane: the Virginia party is reportedly trying to get Ben Affleck to run for the Senate. Ben fucking Affleck! No wonder the Republicans are in charge.

In other mind-liquifying news, the Supreme Court is going to weigh in on Anna Nicole Smith's golddigging case. I think those old geezer male justices just want a crack at Miss Anna; she's already proven she has a thing for powerful older men, after all!

I suggest we begin preparations for the Apocalypse immediately. The presence of both Affleck and Smith in Washington D.C. is sure to cause a tear in the spacetime continuum connecting our world to a hell dimension populated by cruel, fiendish organisms bent on the destruction of Mozart, puppies, and all that is good in this world.

(Via Defamer)

Geeks United!

Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman come together to fight crime and battle injustice! Or they just talk on the phone with a Time Magazine writer as moderator. But the former sounds much cooler, no?

(Via Bookslut)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


(Note: The title of this post is best spoken, either out loud or internally, in a very snobby British accent. It's just funnier that way. Of course, it's not that funny since I have to explain it. In fact, I practically have to force you to say it that way. Therefore, it is not, in fact, funny at all, really. But you will do as ordered, damnit!!!!!)

This marriage is bound to last. *sigh* And us gays can't get married why, exactly?

From This Seed, A Mighty Oak May Sprout

Scientists are so cute when they get excited!

But I must admit, as a layman science geek I too am rather excited to see Seed, which I enjoyed the first issue of and then steadily lost interest in, reemerge (apparently) better than before. I'll have to wait and get a copy for myself, though, before forming a definite opinion. Signs look very encouraging, though.

Wisdom Can Be Found Anywhere

Mike Stabile of Gay Porn Blog sagely writes in a recent post:

It's funny, in real life I have no desire to go straight -- not only do [I] find it a losing proposition, but I prefer someone who knows their way around -- but on a video it's so painfully awkward as to be hot. Maybe that's what anti-porno peeps don't get -- it's just fantasy. The best thing about porn, perhaps, is that it's not real life.

All in all, I agree with Mike: most fantasies are better off fantasies. I have a lot of very hot fantasies that, as real life, I know would totally not be hot. But as fantasies, they're great.

Zadie, Zadie, Zadie!

A few weeks ago, I noted a now-slightly-infamous interview with the novelist Zadie Smith. Based on that interview, and only that interview (which I noted at the time), I said I thought she sounded like a "raging asshole."

After watching her interview this evening with Charlie Rose, however, I feel compelled to admit that I seem to have been wrong; she doesn't seem to be an asshole at all (or, at least, her moments of assholery are no more frequent than those of anyone else). She was very articulate, self-deprecating, and charming during the interview. It seems Ms. Annie Reid of Maud Newton Blog was right and Ms. Smith is a shy person and a
"candid and honest and interesting" interviewee.

All that said, I must take issue with the opinion of the Beatrice guest editor that "she has great clothes." Uhmmm... whatever, Beatrice Guest Editor.

Ivy League Homophobia

Harvard purged, harassed, and ruined the lives of gay students in the 1920s. Guess that means there wasn't a GSA, then...

Seriously, I'm very, very thankful I live in the era I live in. It's certainly no homosexual utopia, and I hardly lead a very "gay lifestyle," but at least I can be who I am much more easily now than I could have in earlier epochs.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Is The Pope Catholic?

Recent Catholic Church news: academic Inquisitions and the banning of gays from entering the priesthood. Good job so far, Pope Benedict! Nice to see some good old Teutonic efficiency at work in the Church.

(Via Little Professor; Towleroad)

For The Man Who Has Everything

This really is cool: a watch with a Geiger counter built in! It even sounds an alarm when you've taken too high a dose of radiation. It's really pretty, too, sleek and futuristic.

I couldn't have one, though. First, I just can't wear wristwatches; I just don't like how they feel. Second, I'd get all paranoid and keep checking the radiation levels and freaking out. Still, as I said, a very pretty bit of functional adornment.

(Via The Quantum Pontiff)

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Men Are Pigs!

Joe. My. God. recounts the heartwarming tale of a cheating nitwit and his suspicious West Coast girlfriend. The girlfriend, BTW, is just as much of a nitwit as the guy. If she's that convinced he's cheating, why marry him? And the stalkerish Internet surveillance really doesn't reflect well on her character, either.


Scientists have used marine "lice" (actually a sort of crab) to study whale genetic history. It's a fascinating and ingenious way to study cetacean evolutionary history, but the pictures of the whale lice are just... gross!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

What? Who? Huh?

Now I've seen everything: a Da Vinci Code diet based on the Golden Mean. I honestly don't know what to say to this, except that I'm sure it'll be a hit, because people are really, really stupid.

(Via Bookninja)

Turn The Crank

The excerpt below basically says what I said about science and certainty a few days ago, but much more eloquently. Read the whole post, though, because it's very good and has more to say about cranks, specifically the similarities between Intelligent Design advocates and Holocaust revisionists.

Cranks tend to crave certainty, and, usually unintentionally, they often misinterpret weaknesses in current theory as fatal flaws that completely negate the theory. To them, if every hole isn't filled in, if every doubt isn't addressed, if every detail isn't understood, then theory must be invalidated, and, by implication, theirs must be a reasonable alternative. Science doesn't work that way, though, nor does history. For such disciplines, there will always be areas we do not understand in as much detail as we would like, and there will always be areas that current understanding doesn't adequately explain. However, these areas must be examined in light of what we do understand. For example, for evolution we understand a lot. There is an enormous amount of observational and experimental evidence from many disciplines that support current theory.

Unfortunately, science will always be susceptible to this sort of attack, at least in the eyes of nonscientists, because it is the very nature of science that no theory is ever final. Although to become elevated to the level of a "theory," a set of scientific postulates must have an enormouse amount of evidence supporting them, making them the best current understanding of a natural phenomenon that we have, no theory is ever considered to be the final word; every theory is subject to revision (most common) or replacement with a better theory (much less common) when new evidence and experimental results warrant it. To me and most scientists, science would be a boring and unrewarding field indeed if it were otherwise, because we would have very little to study. Much of the excitement of doing science comes from the possibility of discovering something new and unexpected that adds to our understanding of nature. Indeed, contrary to what cranks seem to think, the greatest glory in science is not confirming current theory but modifying it or even overturning it for something new. Unlike scientists, however, cranks don't understand that only pointing out and exaggerating the flaws in current theory is enough. They conveniently forget the part about having to produce strong evidence that supports their ideas, evidence strong enough to convince the vast majority of scientists.

The Tangled Bank # 37)

Friday, September 23, 2005

Ye Olde Englishe Computere Jargone

Haven't we all occasionally asked ourselves, "Could Beowulf have handled modern computer technology?" At last, an answer appears! Using this, he just might have coped. Yet another of life's mysteries solved!

(Via The Bitter Scroll)

Intelligent Design

Of course! It' all makes sense now: the world was created by committee! The platypus and appendix and other oddities of the natural world finally have a reason for their oddity.

(Via Pharyngula)

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Unsurprisingly, but welcomely, Monday's doctor's appointment basically established that my mom worries too much. Now, I still got a blood test, but the chance of diabetes is very, very small, in my doctor's opinion.

Frankly, he said, most diabetics he sees have a crash in weight before they start treatment, not an increase, plus blurry vision and an insane need to drink and pee. Now, I drink and pee a lot, but I've ALWAYS drunk and peed a lot. My eyes are fine. And, objectively, I haven't really gained all that much weight over the past year (like 12 pounds). Also, I'm at an in-between age where I'm too old for juvenile diabetes and too young for adult diabetes (though it's not impossible for a person my age to have the adult). The big stomach is just a function of the fact that men just tend to put on weight in their abdomen, like women on their hips. The doc believes it the kind of deal where just looks like you've gained a lot, but you really haven't. You know, you go over a "tipping point" where just a little more weight suddenly makes you look huge.

He also thinks my Paxil may have something to do with it. We're going to try and wean me off of it and see what happens. I've been on it for like six years now, so it's probably time. If the depression comes back, he said he'd put me on some stuff that came out after I started Paxil that is gentler and has fewer side-effects.

I suspected my mother's fears were unfounded, but it's still a relief to know I was right. We'll see what the blood test says just to be sure, but I'm really not worried.

This Is Something With Which I Can No Longer Put Up!

The New Yorker website is, apparently, written by 19th century schoolmarms. People, this has to stop! English is not Latin, never was Latin, and never will be Latin! We can end sentences in prepositions and split infinitives to our heart's content and still be grammatically correct.

(Apologies to the ghost of Winston Churchill for the paraphrase in this entry's title.)

(Via Languagehat)

Fess Up

Theoretical straight guy readers: what are your not-so-straight (aka soooo-"gay") characteristics?

For myself, I have a number of un-gay (aka "straight") characteristics, including little personal fashion sense (though I tend to know what looks good on other people), a nonexistent green thumb, and a dislike of techno music and showtunes.

(Via Quid nomen illius?)

Deny, Deny, Deny!

Quote of the day: "‘I’m not even gay. I’m just bored.’" Yes, Mr. Closetedman, keep telling that to yourself as you get rimmed out by a trucker.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

You Are a Peacemaker Soul

You strive to please others and compromise anyway you can. War or conflict bothers you, and you would do anything to keep the peace.

You are a good mediator and a true negotiator. Sometimes you do too much, trying so hard to make people happy.

While you keep the peace, you tend to be secretly judgmental. You lose respect for people who don't like to both give and take.

On the flip side, you've got a great sense of humor and wit. You're always dimplomatic and able to give good advice.

Souls you are most compatible with: Warrior Soul, Hunter Soul and Visionary Soul


Every year, the MacArthur Foundation gives a bunch of no-strings-attached money to people from various fields. These fellowships are usually called the "genius grants" because, well, the people that get them are geniuses (or at least are supposed to be). This year's list includes Dr. Terry Belanger, founder of the Rare Book School and all-around book nerd. Congratulations, Dr. Belanger! We fellow bookworms salute you!

On a more shallow note, take a gander at Fazal Sheikh. So, so pretty...

(Via Bookslut)

But No Self-Respecting Drag Queen Would Go Out Like THAT!

Maybe I'm nuts ("Maybe?"), but Doris Roberts looks uncannily like a drag queen in this Emmy picture (scroll down). More specifically, she looks like this drag queen, the indomitable porn directrix Chi Chi LaRue. Ms. Roberts totally doesn't come out ahead in the comparison. But then it is hard to come out ahead in comparison to a fabulous drag queen, even at the best of times.

BTW, Ms. LaRue, if you ever see this (and I seem to be at the top of the Google Image Search results for "Chi Chi LaRue," so you just might), I just want you to know that I love you! I've read your book and everything, and totally think you should do Volume II covering your life and work since then.

(Via Gawker)

Update: I've now met her, and she's even more fabulous in the flesh!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I Just Don't Get Modern Art

Nothing more to say, really.

(Via Towleroad)

Well Get My Smelling Salts!

*gasp* Scientists are human! Thus, "they are completely thoughtless and inconsistent" in their use of such words as "theory," "hypothesis," "model," etc. Even so, at some point, some things, such as evolution or gravitation or whatever, are just true, even if no one can ever be 100% certain of them. It doesn't mean that science is wrong, just that many people have an unreasonable need for a kind of certainty that just doesn't exist. Unfortunately, when science doesn't satisfactorily sate that need, they go kinda nuts and start talking about "Intelligent Design" and crap.

Monday, September 19, 2005

For Authors

Recipes for successful books. It's more complicated than "just add ink," you know.

The Blurb-O-Matic provides instant praise for any occasion! For instance, this blog is not just a bit of stuff and nonsense, but "An expansive jaunt of love, hope, and despair that will leave you gasping!"

(Via Maud Newton)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Say It Ain't So!

Remember that gay penguin couple in Central Park Zoo? It got a lot of media attention; it was even on The Daily Show. Well, sad news. After six years and an adopted chick, Roy and Silo have split up. And Silo's shacked up with a female! The horror! Poor Roy's been left all alone in the world.

Kidding aside, I think the columnist has it right that penguins really can't be used for human political purposes. They're penguins. Silo hasn't "converted" or gone "ex-gay," he's just moved on to a relationship with a female. No need to translate it into some sort of moral victory/defeat for humans. We have to figure out our sexualities for ourselves; the animals dont' care, they just do what they do. The female penguin is still a homewrecking hussy, though!

(Via Towleroad and Thought Not)

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Blast From The Past

I just saw the original Black Power Ranger (who looks a lot like Wayne Brady nowadays) on a PetSmart commercial. I don't really know what to feel. Pity? Shadenfreude? Nostalgia? Old age creeping up on me? I just don't know!

Cat Love

Nothing wrong with some interspecies lovin', baby! You know what they say: once you go tiger, you can't go no higher!

(Via Scribal Terror)

Friday, September 16, 2005

Thanks, Mom!

So two nights ago my mother tells me, "I don't want to worry you, but I think you might have diabetes." She said that the disproportinate size of my stomach and my father's family's history of diabetes has her concerned.

Does the woman not know me? How can I NOT worry about it now? I might not be a hypochondriac, but I could probably play one on TV. Visions of test strips and diets and insulin shots dance through my head. I hate those B.B. King commercials!

I'm going to the doctor on Monday and see what's what. Hopefully, nothing is wrong.

Brawl, Britannia!

If only I had been there to see "two very arrogant men who both have very flawed arguments" debate Iraq! In British accents, no less! It sounds like a rip-roaring time was had by all.

BTW, does Christopher Hitchens have to look like a hobo? I mean, I know he likes the booze, but his trusty valet (what, don't all British guys have one?) should be shot for letting him out of the house like a bum off the cattle train to Hoboken!

(Via Gawker)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Here, Here!

Be a dear, love, and give old Aggie the respect she deserves! Now, I'll just put the kettle on and make us a nice cup of tea.

(Via Bookslut)

Yo, You!

Gawker's right and the AP hit it right on the head: it's "the lack of the second-person singular" that makes the young 'uns not go in for newspaper reading.

The Height Of My Caring Is Staggering

Britney and Kevin have offically spawned. Their bouncing baby piece of white trash is named Preston Michael Spears Federline. May God have mercy on his soul.

Well, Pressie, you're doomed from both the nature and nurture fronts, but at least you can lord it over your two half-siblings that you're not a bastard like they (and your father) are. And you'll totally be able to kick Apple Paltrow-(Whatever-That-Ugly-Guy's-Last-Name-Is)'s ass!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I have incredible parents. They're the most supportive, loving parents a child could want. When I see and hear what most other parents are like, I thank the heavens for mine. I'm especially close to my mom. I'm an admitted, and proud, "momma's boy." That does not mean, however, that she doesn't get to me, as only a mother can get to her child. It's part of the job description. Anyway, lately, the big thing is her pressuring me to get a job.

My mother says she thinks she has to "push me" (since she knows I "don't really want to work," but then WHO THE HELL DOES?) to get a job, but she's "not pressuring [me] at all." (I guess that's some sort of weird parent logic, because pushing and pressure are basically the same thing!) It's not like the pressure is unwarranted, but I just don't handle pressure well. I get all defensive and stubborn, which gets her upset, which gets me upset, and it's all just a big feedback loop of anxiety.

I can't help but feel guilty for getting exasperated at her. I mean, her and my father have just been so great about me not working while I was in school and letting me live
on their dime as the bibliophilic bum I am for so many years. And she just wants to help; she'd do anything to help my sister and me get whatever we wanted. It still can get annoying, though. I'm sorry I can't tell her exactly what I'm looking for so she can network and look in the classifieds, but I DON'T KNOW! It's a shitty answer, but it's the truth. I'll just know the job I want when I see it. At this point in my life, I don't have a firm career path in mind. I just want to see where fate takes me. All I want is something vaguely interesting that I think I'll like. I've watched both of my parents, my mom especially, slave away at jobs they hated. Consequently, like all parents who want to see their children do better than they have, they always told us, "Find a job you like!" I think that piece of advice is coming back to haunt them a bit, though. *hehehe*

Her current catchphrase that she's always repeating is to "get out and pound the pavement." We live in the Jersey suburbs; what pavement is there to pound???? Maybe if we lived in NYC in 1950 I could just march up and down Madison Avenue or wherever until I found some guy in shirtsleeves chomping on a cigar who tells me "I like your moxie, kid!" and gives me a great job, but that ain't here and now! Then she tells me she's just worried that if I don't get a job soon, I WON'T get a job because I don't have much on my resume. Which is all true, but makes me incredibly paranoid, too, since I'm the paranoid type. What if NO ONE WILL EVER HIRE ME and I become a big loser burden who lives with his mother at fifty and is entirely unattractive as a mate, let alone a date???????

Then you have my sister's job situation getting everyone upset. To make a long story short: my sister went straight to grad school after college and got a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice. She then spent at least a year trying to get a job. Finally, she got one in the county prosecutor's office. She likes the detectives and lawyers she works with, but the pay sucks and the women in the office are odious bitches and she just wants to leave. Unfortunately, she can't find another position. "I don't understand," my mother cries, "how she cannot have a job with a Master's degree!" It's all been very stressful. It's a lot of the reason, I think, for my mother's anxiety about my own job prospects; it ain't exactly helping my spirits, either.

All in all, I just ahve to say, "Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!"

*deep breath* Sorry 'bout the rant. I just needed to vent a little. I feel a bit better now. Any advice or tips about jobs from my more worldly and experienced readers would be appreciated.

So True

There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do.

Bill Watterson

(Via Vince)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I Love Anderson Cooper!

And, after his yeomen's job reporting on Hurricane Katrina, so does everyone else, it seems. Even a big old lesbian! *channeling Kathy Griffin* Allegedly!

Won't you be my daddy, Anderson? Yes, I know you like big black men (Allegedly!), but still I'm totally comfortable with an open relationship, just as long as I can gaze into those dreamy blue eyes of yours! *sigh*

(Via Gawker; Perez Hilton)

Good Doggie!

Another reason I love dogs. You just know some old queen trained him or her to do that! And to that queen, I say, "Brava!"

(Via Most Proper)

Monday, September 12, 2005

Sciurus academicus

According to the Campus Squirrel Listing, "The quality of an institution of higher learning can often be determined by the size, health and behavior of the squirrel population on campus." This is a sentiment I couldn't agree with more!

Squirrels (and other critters) are a vital and distinguished part of the college experience. Squirrel-watching was a time-honored pasttime at my alma mater, and, judging by the CSL, many others. (There was also a population of fish and a turtle or two in a pond on my campus. I used to love to go and just watch the fish bobbing just below the surface, looking for insects to grab, or the turtle sunning itself. I found it incredibly relaxing.) There's just something so incongruous, yet so wonderfully natural, about wild animals in an academic setting. (You can supply your own jokes about college-students-as-wild-beasts if you wish!)

To any college-bound readers, a tip you'll not find in any book or from any counselor: check out the squirrels! They tell you a lot about the campus. If you want a gritty, urban experience, look out for what my one friend (who went to school just across from NYC) called, "Nasty, scarred city squirrels who look like rats." If, on the other hand, you're searching for a more genial environment, look for healthy, happy gray squirrels with big, bushy tails.

Oh, Jenny!

This post on Go Fug Yourself is particulary funny to me because I totally and completely hear Jenny McCarthy's voice when I'm reading it; it's like they're actually channeling her persona. I think it's all the "WOOOOOOO"s.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Carnival of Diasporas

J. Otto Pohl is trying to put together a "Carnival of Diasporas" for the 15th of this month and desperately needs some entries. If you know of blogs/blog posts having to do with diasporas, you can email JOP (as I like to call him) via It's a really cool idea and I'd like to see it happen.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Word Verification

Finally fed up with the comment spammers that seem to have bloomed like red algae on Blogger this summer, I have activated the "word verification" feature for my comments. Basically, if you want to comment, you not only have to sign in, you also have duplicate a string of random letters Blogger generates at the bottom of the commenting page. I think it's supposed to stop automated spammer programs or something.

Anyway, I'm sure the spammers are already working on ways around the feature, but for now, hopefully, it'll just be you and me. Not that y'all are saying anything to me...

Shut It, Grandpa Strum und Drang!

Jenna Crispin of Bookslut gives a good old-fashioned eye-roll to the "No one reads anymore! These kids today and their dang iPeds and bloogs and whatnot!" talk that drives me up a wall.

Just An Impression

I've seen the name Zadie Smith bandied about the book blogs as that of a big, important, contemporary novelist, but, honestly, I don't think I've ever even seen a copy of one of her books. I am, therefore, in no position to say anything about the quality or merit of her work. What I can say, however, is that, in this interview at least, she sounds... well, frankly, she sounds like a raging asshole. She seems a right pretentious, artsy-fartsy, faux-depressive git (a species that is a particular object of loathing, for me).

Like the post title says, just an impression. Perhaps she's really a lovely woman.

(Via Bookninja)

UPDATE: I swear I didn't read today's Maud Newton Blog before I wrote the post above! (Honestly! Her blog is much farther down the list than Bookninja!) It's just a happy coincidence, down to the use of the word "git"!

Amazing, isn't it, how you can get two completely different reactions from two different people? But, then, apparently, I'm not alone in my impressions, which is some consolation. (Sad to say, but I'm a bit of a sheep when it comes to opinions.)

I'm sorry, though,
Ms. Annie Reid, if I'm participating in "the cluster bombing potential of the net." I just calls 'em like I sees 'em. And if Ms. Smith is, indeed, just a shy person who's also a "candid and honest and interesting" interviewee, and not just another whiny artiste, I humbly apologize. Either way, I do agree with Ms. Reid that this is a little over the top. Who are you, Daily Mail, Fox News???

Friday, September 09, 2005

Sweet Irony

They're supposed to be the be-all and end-all of society, yet utopias always suck! I suppose they serve a purpose, however, in showing us what we don't want to live like. And, luckily, since utopias don't, can't, and will never exist, we'll never live in them. Thank Buddha!

(Via Bookslut)


(Potentially NSFW)

*shudder* Girl-parts are icky!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Portrait Of The Blogger As An Old Man!

The Bookworm

Damn Candadians...

...and their unintelligible accents! When you come to America, speak American, dagnabit! Furners...

For The Mac Cultists In The Audience

This new iPod nano thing is nifty and all, but all the hipsters who buy them are totally going to lose them. Maybe that's part of some Apple master plan to keep revenues up by making sure you have to replace your iPod every few weeks! I wouldn't put it past them...

(Via Cosmic Variance; Gawker)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Amazingly Useless Factoids

Some things you may not have known...

Chiggers are actually the larva of a type of arthropod related to spiders.

Sweat is actually odorless. The smell comes when the bacteria that live on the skin get in on the action and start digesting the nutritious (for them) liquid. Their wastes are what make us all stinky.

Cat litter is spread on wet baseball fields to suck up the moisture.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


These are various views of the sun and its corona. Pretty, aren't they?

The sun isn't yellow in the pictures because the images are actually "translations" into visible light from the other wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum (X-ray, infrared, etc.) that the pictures are originally taken in.

Monday, September 05, 2005

More Pet Aid

North Shore Animal League, Best Friends Animal Society, American Humane Association, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, and the UAN are all taking donations towards efforts to help the pets affected by Katrina. Give, if you're so inclined.

Cartoon Dinosaur Philosophy

I never pictured myself as having much in common with a Tyrranosaurus rex, but apparently we have many of the same philosophical thoughts.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Pet Aid

The Humane Society, Noah's Wish, the AKC, PetSmart, and the ASPCA are all engaged in finding and rescuing pets affected by Hurricane Katrina. They're also trying to help the human victims by reconnecting them with pets left during evactuation, taking in refugees' animals while they have other needs to attend to, and providing medical care to the animals, thus helping the human health situation. If you would like to donate to any of them, just follow the links.


I don't know how I'd react to this creepy-crawlie. On the one hand, it's big and scary-looking; on the other, I'm quite fascinated by myriopods. Oh, who am I kidding? I'd scream like the nelly queen I am and have my mother kill it! *LOL*

Friday, September 02, 2005

Animal Ethics

I haven't really said much of anything about Hurricane Katrina and the devastation of the Gulf Coast because I really don't know what to say. Certainly nothing I could write on this podunk blog would be of any use to anyone. But I would like to explore an ethical dilemma that comes to the fore after a natural disaster such as Katrina; to whit, is it appropriate to be almost as worried about the pets as the people? I believe it is.

I'm not one of those damn hippy/PETA-type people who seem to think that animal lives are more important than human ones. I eat meat (though I don't approve of the current livestock-raising/meatpacking paradigm) and I support animal testing (when it's appropriate and as humane as possible), for instance.

However, I'm a huge animal lover. It is my firm belief that, especially with regards to domesticated animals, we have a moral responsibility towards them. I see domestication as an implicit contract: animals give up their freedom in exchange for our protection. Domesticated animals get increased fertility, lower infant mortality rates, greater geographical and ecological coverage, and a steady food supply (all big evolutionary advantages). We, in turn, get food, companionship, and so on. This contract obligates us to take care of our animals. Domestication makes animals, who in their wild state are perfectly able to take care of themselves, absolutely dependent on us for food, shelter, and medical care. No dog or cat or ferret or whatever chose to live in New Orleans. (Even if they had, instinct would have saved many of them because they would know to get the hell away from the oncoming hurricane). They have no way of saving themselves; they are simply unable to.

So, while priority should of course be given to finding and rescuing humans in those areas hit by Katrina, efforts
should also be made to find and rescue the animals. It's just the right thing to do.

If you're a utilitarian and think my reasoning is hogwash, then consider it in terms of health and safety. Lots of dead cats and dogs aren't going to make the already-polluted and disease-brewing flood waters any healthier. If we want to prevent epidemics, we have to deal with the animals.

A Capital Idea!

Timothy Burke has a great idea for helping the universities in the New Orleans area affected by Katrina. Something certainly needs to be done for both the students and institutions. The students need the education they paid for and the colleges need the money to rebuild and maintain solvency.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Not that anyone cares, but I feel an inexplicable need to explain why this isn't a terribly personal blog.

I don't go in much for confession or storytelling, like, say, Bill in Exile. It's not that I'm afraid of letting the world know my business; if you've been reading the blog, you know it's not as if I don't tell you guys personal things. It's just that, at this point in my life, there's
nothing to tell. It'd get really boring really quickly if every day was another iteration of "I'm fat, I have no job, I can't find a man, I sleep a lot, I watch TV, I'm addicted to the Internet, blah blah blah." Obviously, I do talk about these things, but it's not the central thrust of the blog. It would be really, really if it were, not just for you, but for me. And, since those topics basically encapsulate my life currently, that's what it would be like.

As for storytelling, well, I suck at telling stories. And, frankly, my getting up at five o'clock in the afternoon isn't much of a tale. I just don't have an interesting job or career that provides lots of story fodder (like Rudbeckia) or lots of interesting tales from my past (like Joe).

So I keep the blog nerdy and lighthearted with inanities, observations, and lots of links I get from other, more creative people. Again, you probably don't care, but I just thought I'd explain myself.

BTW, I haven't been getting much non-spam commentary lately. I feel neglected. I need some love!

Oh, Mr. Darcy!

The A&E/BBC Pride & Prejudice is, to my mind, the definitive film adaptation. This new movie version they have coming out is, therefore, superfluous and almost insulting, in my opinion. Colin Firth is and always will be Mr. Darcy; this Andrew Davies character is... yucky-looking, frankly. And that bitch Keira Knightley ain't got nothing on the divine Jennifer Ehle!

(Via Bookslut)