Archive for May, 2011

2011.05.29

UEFA Champs 2011: Barcelona

Congratulations to football club Barcelona for beating Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League yesterday. Not only did you win 3-1 and simply owned the game, you also had the decency to let Eric Abidal hoist the cup in honor of his beating a liver cancer.

Barça!

Comments Off on UEFA Champs 2011: Barcelona | Catergorized: life

2011.05.25

Magical Conservatism

After reading this article I can’t help but wonder how America would develop if the Republican agenda were to succeed.

Our education system would be in shambles as we cut more and more funding to public education, at least for the majority of students; the rich ones would be able to afford to go to private schools.

The government would shut down as Republicans continue to cut taxes, especially for the rich. The rich will become the phenomenally rich, the middle class will whither and vanish, and the poor will become the majority. Further, following the recent Bush legacy, they would probably increase spending in key areas like the military and private industry subsidies. Meanwhile the so-called entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, programs for unemployment and poverty would be cut entirely. This would have the effect that our deficit wouldn’t grow as quickly as it could, but would still grow.

Religion, at least conservative Christian religion, would flourish. Especially as it, too, would get tacit support from the pathetic government (does anyone remember Bush’s faith based initiatives?). It would further grow as the vanishing middle class joins the abject poor in praying for a solution to their ills. People will no longer ask how they can better themselves and society, they will simply pray to a silent god, “Why?”

Scientific advancement of all sorts would grind to a halt. In fact, it might actually reverse considering the fact that many conservatives deny evolution, that 18% of Americans still believe the sun revolves around the Earth and a good percentage still believe in magic, ESP and ghosts. We’re already shockingly behind in comparison to many other countries. It’s already started with deniers of climate change and the creationism museum. You’ll know science is in trouble when the book burnings begin.

Under a Republican run America, after several decades, the country will be bankrupt. There will be a wealthy elite running things and the rest of us will be grateful for any job that prevents us from starving. Many of these jobs will be in the military, and much of the military action will be policing other Americans. We will be far more religious than at any other time in history, but we will be essentially ignorant of our own religion. As the rest of the world advances in science and technology we will fall way behind, to the point where we won’t even understand how things work and, if you could even afford to travel, visiting a foreign country and seeing how they live would literally be like visiting a magical fairy land. We will be poor, be ruled by the rich, and yet we will still believe in the American myth that we, too, could be rich simply because this is America.

I would have to write another one of these for how America would look if the Democrats vision worked out. It’s different, but also bad. Better than the Republican’s vision, but not by much.

We need a revolution.

1 Comment | Catergorized: grrr  political

2011.05.24

My Sister’s Wedding

Speaking of weddings, my sister got married on Saturday. Rosa and I flew the red eye out (never again!) and got to see tons of family. It was especially nice to spend time with my niece, Karma, and my brother’s family, Lisa, Jake, Tim, Sam and Megan. Too bad Chris couldn’t be there, but hopefully I’ll see him in October. Pictures and Rosa’s speech after the jump.

Congratulations to Heather and Joe! I hope you’re having fun in Jamaica!
Read the rest of this entry…

Comments Off on My Sister’s Wedding | Catergorized: family  life  photos

2011.05.23

Happy First Anniversary!

A little shout out to my wife…

Happy Anniversary, Love! It doesn’t seem it, but one year ago we were married. T’estimo, Amor meu. Sempre.

Comments Off on Happy First Anniversary! | Catergorized: family  life

2011.05.20

US Govt Admits Possible Zombie Apocalypse

This is something I never thought I would see. The CDC is trying to get people disaster prepared, and what could be worse than a zombie apocalypse? Not a whole lot. All I need to add to my disaster kit is something to stop my zombie assailants “by removing the head or destroying the brain“.

I guess the government isn’t so much admitting there are zombies in the world as they are preparing us for a just-in-case scenario. I want to see the page where they help us prepare for dinosaurs!

Comments Off on US Govt Admits Possible Zombie Apocalypse | Catergorized: geek  movies

2011.05.19

Dear Sophie

This is a wonderful idea. Someone came up with the idea of using various Google products to create a sort of active journal for their child, as demonstrated in this video called Dear Sophie. Very touching, and a seriously good idea. I’m just wondering if there’s an easy way to do this without using Google…

Comments Off on Dear Sophie | Catergorized: kids  technology

2011.05.19

Bicycle Drivers License

I’m getting pretty sick of bicycle riders disobeying the rules (and law) of the road. If they were driving in a car as they ride their bikes there would be pandaemonium on the pavement. I’m tired of their excuses. I’ve read that they run red lights and stop signs because it keeps their momentum, no one else can go anyways (at a red light with no current cross traffic) and, in some cases, just because they are on a bike and setting an example for drivers of those terrible automobiles. I understand wanting to ease the burden of oil dependency, to exercise and all that rot. I get it, but that’s not an excuse.

Hey, I have an idea. Let’s make anyone wanting to ride a bike get a drivers license. Let’s make them get insurance, too. Let’s start enforcing the rules of the road. Hell, even pedestrians are supposed to cross at crosswalks and this is why there are jaywalking laws. “But think of the children,” some weepy granola hippie might say. OK, let’s think of the children who might want to ride bikes. Make them get licenses, too.

I will make one single compromise to my desire to see bicycle riders forced to obey the rules of the road. If the road is less than a city block (definitions will vary from city to city, I suppose, but let’s just say 80 meters) and is bounded exclusively by two stop signs (not lights and no breaks in between) then people may ride on that street without a license. The block will be marked by the city to indicate to vehicles and other bicyclists that the block could have unlicensed bicyclists on it. This is my pandering to the “think of the children” issue. Now go play, kids.

Dear Bicyclists,
Do not blame me (or anyone else) when it is my turn to go through an intersection and you get run over because you didn’t even slow down, let alone stop. Get a license, get insurance, obey the rules. Then when you run the intersection and you are injured you can argue with your insurance about how unfair it is you were injured while breaking the law (meanwhile the insurer can pay to have the dents and scratches fixed that you caused) and you can pay for the moving violation and deal with the cops.

5 Comments | Catergorized: grrr  rights  san francisco

2011.05.17

The End is Nigh! Again!

In case you’ve not heard, the end of the world is this Saturday, May 21st, 2011. If this is true then I hope they wait until after my sister’s wedding that afternoon. Yep, my little sister, Heather, is getting married (marriage being the current “disease” in the family lately). While some might say that the end of days is because she is getting married, I disagree.

In fact, there have been so many predictions about the end of the world it amazes me that they still keep popping up. Even that “saint” of science, Sir Isaac Newton, made his own predictions. At least he was clever enough to predict a date beyond his death so he wouldn’t have to deal with side along glances. Personally I don’t believe any of this claptrap and deep in my gut it bothers me that others believe it. Still, I like to have fun at other’s expense so…

Happy Apocalypse Day!

1 Comment | Catergorized: family  science

2011.05.12

The Eigenharp

Someday, when I’m loaded with tons of expendable cash and time, I think I want to get an Eigenharp to play with. For an example of what you can do with this thing check out this video of someone new to the Eigenharp playing a theme from Bear McCreary’s Battlestar Galactica soundtrack. If you search on YouTube for Eigenharp a ton of other videos show up, too.

The only drawback I see is that it is a completely electronic instrument. I suppose the tapping could be considered percussion but otherwise, after an apocalypse, you’re kind of screwed. Still, awesome instrument!

1 Comment | Catergorized: audio  technology

2011.05.10

Child Cannibalism

Last night I was reading one of the many baby books we have in preparation for the Little Monkey arriving in our lives. There are so many things I didn’t know, or simply never thought about. For example, I never knew what the umbilical cord connected to: the placenta. And what exactly is the placenta? It’s an organ, derived from the blastocyst (specifically the trophoblast) that creates the baby, filtering food, waste and blood from the mother.

I remembered hearing that some people eat the placenta after the birth. But if the placenta comes from the blastocyst that means it is made from the same cells that your baby is made of. You are essentially eating your baby. It’s like if the baby’s arm fell off one day and you thought to yourself, “Hey, that looks kind of delicious. I feel like baby steak tonight!”

Some people think there are good reasons to eat the placenta. For example it is supposed to help post-partum blues in the mother and help get the milk flowing. Apparently there is not a lot of evidence to support this and it could simply be the placebo effect. Regardless, just because most other animals are eating it (strangely, camels do not) doesn’t mean we have to. It’s cannibalism! You are eating the genetic material of your child! You’re eating cells that, but for lucky position in the embryo, would have become your child!

Apparently there is a booming business in culinary placenta preparation. I wonder if the FDA is aware of this. I hope they don’t have a recall!

I have to say, I’m kind of glad I’m not the only one kind of weirded out by placentophagy. Happily, Rosa isn’t an ex-hippie so I doubt I’ll have to go through what that poor guy did…

Please note: I did not link to any pictures. I did this deliberately; they can be kind of disgusting. Do so at your own risk. Also note: I get it that many women feel more connected to their babies, spiritually and physically, by eating the placenta. This doesn’t change the fact that it is a form of cannibalism and I, personally, find that mildly disturbing.

1 Comment | Catergorized: kids
« Cdr. Christopher Nerad, DDG 94      The Eigenharp »« Older Entries     Next Page »