Saturday, October 16, 2010

On being a Male feminist - the wrong word?

over at Jezebel
Egalitarianism, for me, means treating people as individuals as much possible, regardless of their group identities. That doesn't necessarily mean treating everyone exactly the same, but it means that I try to consider things like the Golden Rule (pick your version) and John Rawls' 'veil of ignorance.' More importantly, it's about relating to individuals as individuals, rather than as a stand-in for whatever class to which they might belong. Anything else is just collective punishment (or, in some cases, collective reward, which is just as unwarranted).
I quite like this description and think it is my new self-identification in the gender wars

Jesse James continuing to be a douchebag

Radar Online
Janine Lindemulder has refused Jesse James demands that she take an AIDS test as a condition of seeing their daughter Sunny James, can exclusively reveal.

The bike mogul made the request to his former wife following the recent news that a young West Coast based male porn star had tested positive for HIV.

Just another way to punish a former partner. Such a nice man he is ...

Benoit mandelbrot - TED talk

Steve Vai vs Dweezil Zappa

because there is just no such thing as too much

Frank Zappa - Stairway To Heaven

Divine Madness

Bruce Springsteen - Glory Days

Oddly enough, this was inspired by the previous song

Beastie Boys - Three MCs And One DJ

and this is why middle aged white guys shouldn't make videos of themselves rapping

(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)

I am playing this as an excuse to play the next song

Andrew W.K. - Party Hard

Dedicated to the lovely lady in my life who is busy writing away

Randy Bachman - "She's Come Undone" Live at the Commodore Ballroom

Long ago and far away Randy Bachman wrote this wonderful song

Frank Zappa - Dynamo Hum

Since I am a 12 year old boy inside, I love this song.

Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap: How to Play Cannonball Rag

Randy doing a little picking and grinning.

Andrew Sullivan On the Blackberry and Fiction

Andrew Sullivan
Perhaps all the novelists with an accurate understanding of what it's like to constantly check email, Facebook and Twitter never finished their books.

Homosexuals bullying christians

Mike Adams - Townhall
These eight cases are all true except for one thing: The Christians who were bullied by gays and gay activists are all still alive. Not a single one has committed suicide. That is because they have centered their lives around Jesus Christ, rather than their sexual identity. And no amount of bullying can change my mind about that.
Or just maybe it is because it is a little different to be "bullied" by someone with no power over your life.

Put another log on the fire

CBC News
A $208-million plan to burn wood to create electricity in Nova Scotia has been approved with conditions.

Benoit B. Mandelbrot - RIP

Benoit B. Mandelbrot: "Seeks a measure of order in physical, mathematical or social phenomena that are characterized by abundant data but extreme sample variability. The surprising esthetic value of many of his discoveries and their unexpected usefulness in teaching have made him an eloquent spokesman for the 'unity of knowing and feeling.'"

It Gets Better

Bullied Halifax boy gets head start from school

CBC News
The parents of an eight-year-old Halifax boy who say he has been relentlessly bullied want him to be transferred to another school, but officials say that isn't necessary.

Connor Eisenhauer, a Grade 3 student at Rockingstone Heights School in Spryfield, has been the victim of bullies at least twice a week, his parents say.

Once, on the walk home from school, another child 'kicked me in the face and chipped my teeth,' Connor said Tuesday. 'It really hurt.'

But officials at Connor's school say a transfer isn't the answer, his mother, Christina Eisenhauer, said Tuesday after meeting with vice-principal Trina Canavan.

For now, the school is going to allow Connor to leave five minutes early, Eisenhauer said. This will give him a head start so he can get home before bullies reach him.
I have no sensible reaction to this other than WTF

Worst Metaphor of the Day

The world watched in awe and relief as 33 miners were rescued from their safe zone half a mile below the ground, brought one by one to the surface with help from the latest technology.

When will it be time to bring IT workers out of the depths of their data centers? There has been a cave-in of immense proportions, burying these professionals under a mountain of maintenance requirements, fickle business demands, and conflicting and confusing messages from analysts and vendors. They’re even trapped under a mountain of clouds, which carry a great weight for these workers.
Yeah, I get it that the author was trying to be edgy and current and all that. My opinion is that all they managed to do is look really heavy-handed and amazingly insensitive.

Bad Science, Stupider Analysis

The Reference Frame
So the three authors have informed Nature and the Harvard Medical School and they have to check another suspicious paper co-written by Dr Mayack - who, of course, insists that everything was fine. Well, people may have been suspicious already when they saw the Peace T-shirt in January 2010. At the workplace, it doesn't really suggest that its carrier is an impartial scientist.

Whether you like it or not, science may lead you to conclude that a war is a better answer than the peace - or any other answer. Even the T-shirt only says 'Peace' and not 'Youthful Forever', it still shows that too many important answers may have been prepared in advance.
I read The Reference Frame because it often has some nifty commentary on physics and geeky me likes that a lot. Every now and then, ok at least weekly, there is a post that makes me shake my head due to the incredible stupidity that lies therein. This week's example is from an article on what appears to be academic fraud wherein the author is unsurprised that there has been fraud because the researcher wore a "Peace" t-shirt.

electronic bifocals

That unsatisfying solution inspired Ronald Blum, founder and chief executive of PixelOptics in Roanoke, Va., to develop the world's first commercially available electronic eyeglasses. The frames look ordinary, but the arms hide a rechargeable battery, a microchip, and an accelerometer. When a wearer tilts his head down to view an object up close, the accelerometer detects the motion. The microchip sends an electronic signal to the lenses, part of which contains a substance similar to that used in liquid-crystal displays. The current from the battery alters how the liquid crystals refract light, changing the prescription of the lens. Because the wearer doesn't constantly deal with two prescriptions at once, PixelOptics lenses do away with the side effects, says Blum.
I am a wearer of progressive lenses and think that this is a terrific idea. My current glasses were in the neighbourhood of $800 so the pricepoint doesn't have to fall too much to put them on my list for the next pair.

President Obama's Saturday Address - Oct 16, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Real Voter Fraud

Against Absentee Voting, Ctd - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan: "As a Washington state resident, let me tell you that your concern about the effective abandonment of the secret ballot in mail-only voting states is well-merited. My younger brother attends an expensive private college, which my father generously pays for. As a condition of the tuition subsidy, however, my father demands that my brother surrender his signed ballot to him for him to fill out as he chooses. Unsurprisingly, my brother and my father have pretty different political leanings. But my brother has effectively forfeited his right to vote in exchange for $35,000 a year of college tuition."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

President Obama's Folly - Bipartisanship
In the interview, the president predicts he’ll be able to work with Republicans after the election: “It may be that regardless of what happens after this election, they feel more responsible, either because they didn’t do as well as they anticipated, and so the strategy of just saying no to everything and sitting on the sidelines and throwing bombs didn’t work for them, or they did reasonably well, in which case the American people are going to be looking to them to offer serious proposals and work with me in a serious way.”
President Obama is the dumbest smart person that I know of.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Not funny but ...
Authorities have arrested a man who they say used a toilet seat lid to bludgeon an Athens man to death early Sunday, the Athens Banner-Herald has reported.
Remind me not to show this to Maria, she might get ideas the next time I don't put the seat down

i Heart Judge Virgina Phillips

Daily Kos
A U.S. District court judge has ordered that the military halt all enforcement--worldwide--of 'don't ask, don't tell.'
It shall be interesting to see if the White House appeals this.

PZ Meyers has a good test

You know, the drill hasn't quite reached the miners. Maybe we should just shut down the machinery, withdraw all the tools and the laborers, and have Mr Diaz, Mr Quintana, and Mr Soto stand above the men and use their magic to complete the rescue. That would be impressive
Fortunately they stuck with drilling

Stimulus? what Stimulus

Booman Tribune
People need work. And the government is capable of providing them with employment. They can spend on contractors or they can hire people directly, but if they don't hire a lot of people, then we're stuck with very high unemployment. So, it's time to put away childish things and stop asking for simple solutions. The Republicans have no credibility on government spending. And, per usual, they are asking the government to spend less at the very time that it makes the most sense for them to spend more.
Yeah, that Keynes guy was full of hot air

More Stupid People

Zandar Versus The Stupid: Chamber Of Secrets
It also tells me that Congressional staffers are idiots. 'What are we going to do next year if a Republican Congress is making baseless claims about President Obama?' Effing really? What do you think Republicans have been doing for the last two years? Have you knuckleheads learned nothing about how completely ineffective the strategy of 'capitulating to the Republicans so they aren't mean you' is?
I get so tired of Democrats crying and hiding under the table. It is damned near time that they stop being such pussies and hit back. I mean it isn't like there isn't enough ammunition.

I see stupid people - Oct 11, 2010 edition

Trailing badly, Blanche Lincoln hunts for votes - Manu Raju -
Such an argument may attract John Miller, a Democrat and owner of a Civil War-era antique shop, sporting a revolver on his holster. After meeting with Lincoln, he said there isn’t a “nickel’s difference between Republicans and the Democrats” in Washington, but he believes Obama is a “socialist.”

Asked about his vote, Miller said: “I’ll vote for whoever Ted Nugent tells me to vote for.
Personally I wouldn't take Ted's advice on how to tune my guitar

Monday, October 11, 2010

the quest for the perfect employee

via No More Mister Nice Blog
Right now employers are looking for people who are either absolute superstars (who are probably still employed anyway), or people who will devote 120 hours a week to the job and take 40 hours' salary for it (who again, are probably already employed.)

They don't really care about anyone else. Why spend money to hire people when you don't have to? There's no reason for the private sector to do so. If only there were say, a public sector who could put people to work to stimulate the economy and increase aggregate demand...

Water Water Nowhere

Hydraulic Pressures | Foreign Affairs
Three new books about water agree that the world is facing serious water crises but have very different ideas about how to address them, especially when it comes to deciding what roles the public and private sectors have to play.
I currently reside in Georgia

Poor Greg Mankiw

Mother Jones
But aside from the fact that Mankiw plays fast and loose with the actual tax laws, this is only true if (a) you're motivated solely by how much money you leave your children, and (b) you care about income 30 years in the future as much as you do about income right now. This doesn't describe any actual human beings, and I don't think it describes Mankiw. (I doubt very much that he doubled his production of outside writing after the Bush tax cuts went into effect.) If he'd laid out the incentives honestly — a small tax increase might reduce his incentive to write misleading op-eds by a small amount — that would have been OK. But that's not what he did.
But being dishonest is so unlike a Republican.

Citizen's United

via Balloon Juice
That speakers may have influence over or access to elected officials does not mean that those officials are corrupt.
I dunno, I think that it is a pretty good operational definition.

Conrad Black on Carly Fiorina

National Review Online
The latest polls I have seen have them leading all of those races except California, where I think Fiorina will win because she is a more competent and presentable candidate than the incumbent, Barbara Boxer. Senator Boxer is intellectually unimpressive, and Carly Fiorina is an accomplished career woman who will gain votes from having been fired as CEO of Hewlett-Packard — a humbling experience many can identify with in these times — and from being a successful cancer patient.
John Ralston Saul has this to say about Conrad Black
He has only created one thing -- one newspaper (National Post) -- and even that he couldn't hold on to for more than three years. Apart from that, his career has been largely about stripping corporations. Destroying them. As the most visible voice for Canadian capitalism, he has had a negative effect on how most Canadians imagine the marketplace. In fact, I can't think of anyone who has had a more negative effect on how Canadians think of the market.
No wonder Lord Black likes Ms Fiorina so much.

On Job Hunting

I am currently in between contracts and so am having the joy of dealing with recruiters on a daily basis. It is a very interesting experience. Today I got to hang up on a recruiter that had obviously not read even the front page of my resume (it only has 3 pages) because he asked me several questions that were all answerable if he had done so. Lest you think I was too quick in dismissing him I asked if he had read it and he said yes. My last position was as a manager within a BI group, his explanation for not realizing that meant that I experience in leading a team was "well that is MANAGING not LEADING". There is probably a joke there...

Dumbest thing I have read today

There are no bad public schools, there are only bad students, and throwing money at the problem will not help.
But then again it is early