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Month: January 2007

Insert a Trite Metaphor for a Corral #42

Posted on January 30, 2007 in Roundup

square186Hundreds of thousands of people walk up and down the Capitol Mall. The next day, discussion about the war continue to reflect only the views of the pro-war crowd. Where the American people say the question is “whether or not”, policy-makers and pundits ask “How much?” Perhaps we should tell our congressional representatives not to watch television? There’s a campaign for the future.


If you find any articles worthy of mention in these roundups, send the URL to gazissax at best dot com. And feel free to comment!

Insert A Trite Metaphor for a Corral #41

Posted on January 29, 2007 in Roundup

One wonders if the White House did anything over the weekend and if the Congress is still meeting.

Insert A Trite Metaphor for A Corral #40

Posted on January 28, 2007 in Roundup

square184The news is mostly death — suicide bombers and insurgents. News coverage killing of 250 Iraqi rebels near Najaf strikes me as resounding with too much joy in the slaugher. At least they used the words “alleged” when they spoke of the insurgents’ intents. Meanwhile there is very little talk of what Hillary Clinton is up to after her first invasion of Iowa on Friday. Aside from Barack Obama, the media behaves as if there are no other runners for the presidency.

  • Latin — which is spoken only in the Vatican — is dying out as a language following church reforms of the 1960s. “At the Vatican, bishops appointments are still written on [[papyrus]] in Latin as are letters of congratulations from the pope, but many bishops and cardinals write back asking for translations.”
  • Great Britain is taking steps to regulate alternative therapists following concerns about sexual abuse by [[acupuncture|acupuncturists]] and [[hypnotherapy|hypnotherapists]]. ‘The ‘Barefoot Doctor’ – known to millions from his TV career, his range of products stocked by high-street chemists and a form of healing based on Tao philosophy – has been forced to issue an extraordinary statement admitting to having sex with ex-patients in the past.’
  • California is trying to relieve overcrowded prison conditions by enticing convicts to transfer to institutions in other parts of the country. Still, the old gang ties keep jailbirds from accepting the offers: only 600 of a needed 19,000 takers have signed on. Of course, if we decriminalized possession and use of street drugs, this might become less of a problem. But there’s money in building new prisons.
  • Egypt is not happy with a contest to name the [[Seven Wonders of the World]]. Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, argues that the pyramids live “in the hearts of people around the globe, and don’t need a vote to be among the world wonders.” Contest organizers say that it is time to move into a new century. (The New Seven Wonders website)
  • The Mercury News has launched an investigation into the police custody death of a bipolar man with a history of “suicide by cop”.
  • Check out the ads that PETA is using to promote its cause. (Anyone for a little bondage thrill?) One shouldn’t be too surprised by these ads, I think, because the [[Animal Rights]] movement has long had an antagonistic streak about it. At the heart of its message is the implication that human reverence for human life is impossible without granting full rights (voting rights, too?) to animals. Let’s just say that the issues are more complicated than [[PETA]] wishes to acknowledge and that their use of rights models ends up aiding the causes of those who wish to dehumanize others. How many viewers of these PETA ads use them for mastubatory material, I wonder? The only realistic answer that a PETA activist can really give is “that doesn’t matter” and that answer, I retort, damns the movement. If you say “human rights are not important unless animal rights are guaranteed” then this is what you get.

If you find any articles worthy of mention in these roundups, send the URL to gazissax at best dot com. And feel free to comment!


Don’t Dump Baby

Posted on January 28, 2007 in Humor?


This is an actual warning label affixed to the dumpsters at Huntington Beach Memorial Hospital.


Insert A Trite Metaphor for a Corral #39

Posted on January 27, 2007 in Roundup

square183Anti-war rallies attracted tens if not hundreds of thousands across the country. Oh, I remember the days when we opposed the First Gulf War. But how lonely it was in the beginning of this one, when we had the absolute chance to listen to our own CIA and to the UN special investigatory panels. The new batch of war haters is “I supported this war in the beginning but –” and that is supposed to make them more sincere, more real than the opposition of those of us who never supported the war. It’s a bit like the rejection perpetrated by the witch hunters of the 1950s who villified anyone who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War as “being too early”. I am afraid — given the tepid opposition from the Congress that we elected to stop this war — that we’re too late. Next stop: Iran.

If you find any articles worthy of mention in these roundups, send the URL to gazissax at best dot com. And feel free to comment!


I Like Sci Fi….

Posted on January 27, 2007 in Quizzes

I am:

William Gibson

The chief instigator of the “cyberpunk” wave of the 1980s, his razzle-dazzle futuristic intrigues were, for a while, the most imitated work in science fiction.

Which science fiction writer are you?


Insert a Trite Metaphor for a Corral #38

Posted on January 26, 2007 in Roundup

Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha got to go to Iraq on a fact-finding trip. How long will it be before Republicans denounce this as a junket?


Friday Anteater Blogging – Convergent Evolution

Posted on January 26, 2007 in Xenartha

The snout on the [[mormyrid]] greatly resembles that of anteaters, especially the [[echidna]]. A fine example of [[convergent evolution]]!

Who needs cats or squids when anteaters combine the best qualities of both!


Insert a Trite Metaphor for a Corral #37

Posted on January 25, 2007 in Roundup

square181Pundits seem to only want to watch the [[Scooter Libby]] trial out of the corner of their eyes, preferring to spread their focus across a panorama of topics including Bush’s new Iraq plan, the indictment of Israel’s president, and the suddenly visible 2008 presidential campaign:

  • The Washington Post has put up a page where you can get information about the candidates in the 2008 election. “The 2008 presidential race is expected to be the first in decades that won’t include a sitting president or vice president in the field of candidates vying for the White House,” says the header message. It promises to be an interesting two years.
  • What do you think about this web site?
  • The oldest man in the world died in Pueto Rico of all places. He was 115 years old. There’s something to be said for tropical living, if you can avoid the fevers and the parasites.
  • Cambodia’s jungle girl is trying to speak.
  • [[Placido Domingo|Placido Domingo’s]] voice has gone down a few notes, but he will reenter the world of opera once more as a baritone.
  • A recent study uncovered a bevy of anti-Islamic images in the cinema. Among the films promoting “crude and exagerrated stereotypes” are Raiders of the Lost Ark, Aladdin, and The House of Sand and Fog.
  • The strange story of gay sheep continues. Dr. Charles Roselli now faces new opposition to his studies — not from fundamentalists who fear that the example of homosexual rams might inspire their children but from animal rights activists who dread that the sheep might be subjected to prenatal treatments that would eliminate homosexuality from the breeding stock. Even sheep have rights to love as they please, the argument goes.
  • If you are into the latest fashion of disposable clothing, you are adding to [[global warming]]. Did you know: “Sixty percent of the carbon emissions generated by a simple cotton T-shirt comes from the 25 washes and machine dryings it will require.” The solution? Polyester.
  • White students at Texas’ Tarleton State University threw a blackface Martin Luther King Day party. “School officials have launched an investigation into the party and the university’s president, Dennis P. McCabe, has denounced the photos as despicable. In a subsequent post, Pelz–who has yanked the party photos from his Facebook page–stated that the party was not meant to be “racist or discriminating.” Yeah, right, Billy Bob. The sport also seems to have caught on in Connecticut.
  • Princess Lolwah Al-Faisal of the House of Saud said that she would allow women to drive in her country. The princess says that Saudi women can work in many professions once prohibited to them, but that the driving ban necessitates that they hire drivers — a cost that many poorer families just can’t afford.
  • An AP technology writer just doesn’t get (is this surprising?) why it is unethical for big companies to hire people to edit their entries in Wikipedia.
  • A unique biota has been discovered below what used to be Antarctica’s Larson Ice Shelf.
  • There is merit to be found in “security theater: security primarily designed to make you feel more secure.” Some of it is a waste of money, however.
  • A roving microwave is the latest American weapon ready to be deployed on the battlefield. The Guardian calls it “a heat ray gun”. The device looks nothing like the sleek pistols de rigeur ever since [[Buck Rogers]] took to space.
  • 200px-BuckRogersDVD.jpg

    If you find any articles worthy of mention in these roundups, send the URL to gazissax at best dot com. And feel free to comment!


    The Impediments of a Good Night’s Rest

    Posted on January 25, 2007 in Bipolar Disorder

    Was I better off before I started managing my life so closely?


    Insert a Trite Metaphor for a Corral #36

    Posted on January 24, 2007 in Roundup

    Bush hemmed and hawed his way through the State of the Union, which I missed — intentionally. Folks said that the Democrats did better. But you undoubtably saw that.


    Insert a Trite Metaphor for a Corral #35

    Posted on January 23, 2007 in Roundup


    square178A battle over lost cargo is dominating the British media while in the United States the trial of the Cheney aide who allegedly leaked Valerie Plame’s name has begun. Meanwhile the Academy Award nominations have been announced (and Babel received too many), so with that we shall begin:

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