Friday, September 29, 2006

Don't say there's nothing to do in the doldrums.

Things to do (if you are also a dork):

Lee Smolin: ‘The Trouble with Physics’
At Pacific Science Center Eames Imax Theatre

Friday, September 29 at 7:30 pm.

Renowned theoretical physicist Lee Smolin argues that physics—the basis for all other science—has lost its way. The problem is string theory: no part of it has been proven and no one knows how to prove it. Smolin charts its rise and fall and looks at what will replace it. He describes a group of young theorists which has begun to develop new ideas that are, unlike string theory, testable. A former string theorist himself, Smolin delivers this wake-up call in his new book, The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science and What Comes Next.
Tickets are $5 at the door only.

Dead Sea Scrolls: Debates, Questions, and Mysteries
Wednesday, October 4 , 7:30 PM
Pacific Science Center hosts an exhibition featuring the Dead Sea Scrolls from September 23-January 7. Considered by many to be the most significant archeological find of the 20th century, these biblical and sectarian manuscripts date from 250 B.C.E. – 68 B.C.E. Apparently the library of a Jewish sect, they are the earliest known manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), written primarily in Hebrew and Aramaic. A distinguished lecture series presented by Pacific Science Center at Town Hall explores the context and science of this exhibition. Scott Noegel, Professor of Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies and Chair of the Department of Eastern Languages and Civilization at the University of Washington explores the “Debates, Questions, and Mysteries” of the scrolls. $15 Tickets & info
Tickets are $15. Visit for tickets and more information. Tickets also available at Pacific Science Center ticket booths.

Cultural Politics of Race and Rights in Japan
John H. Davis, Jr.
When: Thursday, October 5th, 2006 - 3:30 PM
Where: Thomson 317
John H. Davis, Jr. (Anthropology, Michigan State University) examines the shifting relationship between race, culture, and rights on display in Japan's first human rights museum and argues that the multi-culturalism central to many human rights initiatives around the world have the (unintended) effect of reinforcing the marginalization of minority populations in Japan.

Dead Sea Scrolls: ‘The Stories They Tell’
Wednesday, October 11 , 7:30 PM
Pacific Science Center hosts an exhibition featuring the Dead Sea Scrolls from September 23-January 7. Considered by many to be the most significant archeological find of the 20th century, these biblical and sectarian manuscripts date from 250 B.C.E. – 68 B.C.E. Apparently the library of a Jewish sect, they are the earliest known manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), written primarily in Hebrew and Aramaic. A distinguished lecture series presented by Pacific Science Center at Town Hall explores the context and science of this exhibition. Martin Abegg, Professor and Co-Director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at Trinity Western University, has created a concordance for the sectarian portions of the scrolls. $15 Tickets & info
Tickets are $15. Visit for tickets and more information. Tickets also available at Pacific Science Center ticket booths.

Seattle Follies: Rick Steves' ‘Axis of Evil’
Thursday, October 12 , 7:30 PM Travel authority and TV personality Rick Steves co-hosts Seattle Follies, taking attendees on a whirlwind tour though satirical and topical stories of the day, including visits to the stunning sights and sites of North Korea, Iran, and other “Axis of Evil” countries. He’ll be joined by co-host Mike Egan, voted funniest man on Washington, DC’s Capitol Hill—and he wasn’t even an elected oficial at the time!!! Stephanie Pure, making a first run for elected office as a candidate in the hotly contested 43rd District Democratic primary will talk about the experiences and absurdities of running a political campaign. Providing music will be long-time Seattle cabaret favorite songstress Joanne Klein, and Rob Jones, a Follies regular who will tickle the ivories all evening long. Beer and wine available for purchase. Downstairs at Town Hall, enter on Seneca Street. $15 - $10 Tickets & info
Advance tickets are $12/$10 Town Hall members, seniors & students only at or 1800/838-3006. $15/$13 at the door.

The Moth Story Tour: Out On a Limb-Stories from the Edge
Sunday, October 15 , 7:30 PM
The Moth, “New York’s hottest and hippest literary ticket” (The Wall Street Journal), makes its first appearance in Seattle! The evening features several well-known raconteurs, including Dan Savage, Sherman Alexie, and Jonathan Ames, as well as other favorite storytellers from New York city including Sherman OT Powell (retired pickpocket), Steve Osborne (NYPD lieutenant), and Michaela Murphy (writer and director of Something Blue). Author and storyteller par excellence Jonathan Ames, hosts the evening. Each participant tells a ten-minute, first-person narrative without script or notes. Audience members and storytellers continue swapping stories over beer and wine (available for purchase) after the show. The Moth Story Tour is presented by TNT. Co-presenters are Kiehl's and The Stranger. $12 - $10 Tickets & info
Tickets are $12/$10 Town Hall members, students, and seniors. Town Hall members receive priority seating. Advance tickets only at or 800/838-3006. Visit for more information.

Modern Japan: ‘Shutting Out the Sun’
Monday, October 23 , 7:30 PM
The world’s second-wealthiest country,Japan once seemed poised to overtake America. But in the 1990s Japan entered a period of stagnation from which it has yet to recover. Its fiscal depression has spread to the country’s political system as well as its national consciousness. An extreme example of the problem is the more than one million young men who have given up on school or employment, spending their days in their apartments. Michael Zielenziger, journalist and scholar, presents a portrait of these “hikikomori” and reveals how they are both a symptom of and metaphor for Japan’s ennui. Seven years as Tokyo bureau chief for Knight Rider newspapers gave Zielenziger the necessary access to this closed society and the resulting book, Shutting Out the Sun, is a fascinating story with implications for the rest of the world. Presented with Elliott Bay Book Company. Downstairs at Town Hall, enter on Seneca Street. $5 Tickets & info
Tickets are $5 at the door only. Town Hall members receive priority seating.

I can't make the first one on physics, but I am definitely very desirous to see The Moth.
Let me know if you want to join.

Can you keep a secret?

The Smoking Gun is reporting that Japanese pop princess (and one of my favorite J-Poppers) Utada Hikaru’s mommy, Junko got busted here in the states under suspicion of drug dealing or smuggling.

Great job, Junko. She had 400,000 bucks in wrapped cash on her person and the drug dogs were all over the money.

Utada Hikaru is now claiming the money. I feel that this confirms that rocket science and j-pop are mutually exclusive.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Feed me, Seymour!

Today as I was compiling data and making redundant graphs, I realized that I had left a loaf of artisan bread on the counter.
Normally this would not induce me to leap from my chair and rush to my car, however, I am still pet-sitting and I swear to God, that cat has an eating disorder.
Last night it sneakily jumped onto the counter to lick the dirty silverware in the sink. There it promptly slipped on the edge of the sink and got dunked in dirty dishwater.
Oh ho! I laughed.
Ten minutes later, there he is again. So I walk over casually, grab the sprayer faucet and hose the little bastard.
Now that was a surprised kitty.
A few days ago he even was tearing into the bread I had just brought in from the car before I could let the dog in. He spends the majority of every evening pounding on the pantry door and raowering for food.
All I could picture as I rushed home was his fuzzy fat kitty corpse all burst with olive rosemary bread like the fat guy in SE7EN.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Steve and I went to the Mariner's game last night. Sooooo boring. Our bullpen is crap. We only have two good hitters. Luckily our fielders are great. Too bad fielders don't win ball games.
Steve and I were bored enough that I was teaching him powwow songs.
The last game of the season is Sunday. I've got amazing seats for the last two games, but I will probably just eat and drink too much.

In news that doesn't suck, I found this nifty graphic:
This is every Dr. Who. I've never been tempted to sing the Duck Dance during Dr. Who.


The Truth Behind the Spinach Scare: Cheap Beef

Christopher Wanjek
LiveScience's Bad Medicine Columnist Wed Sep 27, 4:30 AM ET

When in Mexico, the saying goes, don't drink the water. You shouldn't eat the spinach either because it could be contaminated with the

E. coli strain that has sickened close to 200 people in the United States and killed at least one, likely more.

The problem is our food production system is so complex that most of us cannot be certain where our food comes from. Even the U.S. government, after two weeks on the case of the spinach E. coli outbreak, has narrowed the source to, oh, somewhere in central California.

Gee, you think? California produces about three-fourths of the nation's fresh spinach, and Salinas Valley accounts for about three-fourths of that. These guys are sharp. But they aren't looking closely enough.

There are two ways for the U.S. government to greatly minimize the risk of an E. coli outbreak: start supporting local farming and stop mass-producing cattle, the true source of E. coli. Neither will happen soon, however, because it infringes on the American pursuit of cheap, crappy food.

You excrete billions

E. coli, short for Escherichia coli, is a bacterium with hundreds of strains, most of which are relatively harmless in healthy individuals. E. coli is ubiquitous is the guts of cows and humans and is spread from cow to cow and from human to human through feces.

Humans excrete billions of E. coli bacteria with each bowel movement, which is why hand-washing is so important.

Cows don't have the luxury of hand-washing. When they are cramped into pens, ankle-deep in the manure of hundreds to thousands of cows, E. coli tends to spread. Bacteria can splash up on udders and get into milk; or get into intestines and contaminate meat during the slaughtering process; or pass through the cow in manure and ultimately end up on crops directly as fertilizer or indirectly by leaching into the water supply.

Most E. coli outbreaks in the United States are caused by a particular virulent and deadly strain called O157:H7. If you eat, you are at risk.

Meat eaters are at risk because most beef is loaded with harmful bacteria, often the bad E. coli, and needs to be cooked. Vegetarians aren't spared, as evidenced by the spinach E. coli outbreak. Organic consumers aren't spared; organic spinach can have E. coli. And raw food advocates are most certainly at risk, because cooking is the best way to kill the bacteria.

Local food is best

It's September. Every state in the union can grow spinach. In fact, spinach is largely a cool-weather spring and fall crop. Why is California growing all of our spinach?

At work are the perverse forces of economic markets, not the forces of nature. The U.S. food production system has been fined-tuned to maximize profits for a small group of farmers, often corporations, holding vast acres of land.

Spinach from small, local farms could very well be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. It simply wouldn't spread to other states, or to other cities for that matter. Health authorities would be able to identify the source of the bad E. coli within hours. And tons of safe spinach sold around the country wouldn't need to be recalled "just in case," as is the case now.

Small-scale farming inherently means fewer hands and fewer opportunities for contamination---bacterial, viral or parasitic---from field to fork. So while the small, local guys aren't immune to the kind of contamination problems that plague the big guys, the odds are in their favor.

Big, fat cows

While some food safety experts are unfairly bashing organic farmers and their reliance on manure for fertilizer, the real culprit behind E. coli outbreaks is the industrial beef and cattle industry. First, certified organic farmers are prohibited from using raw manure for 90 days before harvest of food for humans. Second, most organic farmers compost their manure, which kills most E. coli.

Industrial beef and dairy farms are disease-ridden cesspools. A growing body of evidence suggests that corn-fed cattle have higher counts of E. coli O157:H7 compared to free-range, grass-fed cattle, which seem largely free from this bacterium. The reason is twofold: Free-rangers come in less contact with each others' manure compared to stressed-out cattle packed in feeding lots; and corn makes the cow's stomach juices more acidic, which gives rise to the acid-loving O157:H7 strain.

Also, mega-farms cannot get rid of their tons of O157:H7-rich manure. This sits in cesspools and ultimately contaminates the surrounding environment.

Switching back to free-range, grass-fed cattle would solve this problem. But beef would be more expensive, and some view this as a bad thing despite the epidemic of obesity and diabetes and the clear link between high beef consumption and colon cancer.

Zap those buggers

Look for Band-Aid solutions touted in the weeks to come, such as irradiation, with its cute, deceptive nickname of cold pasteurization. Irradiation entails zapping food with gamma rays, X-rays or electrons to deactivate harmful bacteria along with other stuff helpful in the food, like vitamins.

But with the unnatural process of irradiation, we can continue the unnatural but cheap practice of feeding cows corn, which they can't digest, so we can continue the unnatural process of consuming lots and lots of this modern invention called the cow.

Then maybe we can counter any adverse human health effects with expensive surgery or drug therapy. It's the American way.

Christopher Wanjek is the author of the books “Bad Medicine” and “Food At Work.” Got a question about Bad Medicine? Email Wanjek. If it’s really bad, he just might answer it in a future column. Bad Medicine appears each Tuesday on LIveScience.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Best Cartoon Ever.

Hands down.
Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys

I got no strings on me.

Last night Cathi and I showed up to the String Theory lecture only to find that it there was not even standing room.
Seattle is totally full of dorks.
I am terribly bitter. Now I'll never be the smartiest person ever.

Luckily, there's a good cannoli place not too far away.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Jew for Jesus

So for years I have encountered the strangest thing. During the holidays, I will be in the checkout line and the checker or bagger will be Merry Christmasing the customers as the leave and they'll get to me and say Happy Hanukkah.
Now this is not an occasional occurrence. We are talking nearly every time I would go to the store in Philly and even 30% of the time now.
All this time I've wondered if there is some kind of Global Grocery Checker Zionist Conspiracy.
It turns out there is.
I've known about having Jewish relatives- though it is not talked about too often in my family (red neck, red neck, red neck). Now my mother drops that I am, in the technical sense, a Jew. Judaism runs in the female line, this woman is apparently my some increment of greats granny, thus I am one of God's chosen people. Eat your hearts out bitches.

Hello JDate.

Kidding! Sort of. I actually dated a phenomenal Jewish guy briefly in college and we eventually ended it when he found out that:
1. I wasn't Jewish (maybe he was led to believe I was Jewish by the constant phone calls from my female relatives to settle down and raise some kids.)
2. I wasn't going to switch.

So I'm just saying, David, if you are out there stalking me over the interweb, looking for just this sort of technicality, call me!

It's a Doozy

I had a busy weekend.
Friday was Rachel's surprise birthday party at the BalMar in Ballard. Of course yours truly arrived in time to bumble in between two police blockades thus finding a nice parking space.
I parked about four spaces up from this:

I had a great time at the party, and I think Rachel did two. Below are some pictures that Rachel took with her nifty new camera that she received for her birthday.

Rachel and Brandon, the cutest couple I have ever seen.

Jackie, Rachel, Monica, and Maya

Rachel and some funny looking girl.


Saturday morning I watched Network again. I can't get over how much this movie filmed in 1976 captures the sentiment of today. The power that the media holds, the feelings of helpless anger that the public feels, and the way that programing is changing. Our shows are tougher. Less Friends, more House. It is just really interesting to me. Seriously, watch this movie.

Later I went to the First Annual Edmonds School District Indian Summer Powwow. It was great! Monica and I went and had a great time. Attendance was pretty good for such a small scale event and I really hope that they raised some money for the Indian Education Department, because they could sure use it.
I will try to get some pictures posted soon.

After that I dragged Monica to Poker Night at the Comic Stop. It was great fun, and I particularly enjoyed seeing Jim again, especially so close to his birthday. I made a cake off of a dubious recipe that turned out to be pretty good. I have never played poker so poorly, though I was cursed with Jacks and Fours, which are not necessarily useful.
When I returned home from poker night I found out that I had accidentally locked the cat in the pantry for numerous hours. In my defense, he sneaks in there. Oh well. He doesn't seem to be holding a grudge.


Monica, Bonnie, and my cousin Sean and I all went to the The Puyallup Fair. My menu for the day:
Strawberry shortcake, cotton candy, a crusty pup, curly fries, funnel cake, and a milkshake.
I can't believe I didn't spend the evening rolling around on the floor murring to myself.

In the evening Melody came over and we watched Night Watch.

It's a Russian movie about good and evil. It is a kind of sci-fi, fantasy, horror movie. While I really liked it, I felt that like most movies made from books, things that are unnecessary and nonsensical are included to placate fans. The story could have been fleshed out in some portions and many characters and vignettes could have been axed to make a stronger and easier to follow movie. I was definitely confused during certain parts. Although two reasons for my confusion are generally unrelated to the actual movie.
1. I can't tell people- especially men- apart. Not just in movies, but in general. When we go out sometimes I will tell some guy, "Now look, I'm trying to be kind here, but I JUST told you no." Only to realize that I told some other spiky-haired stripey-shirted guy to get lost. Let me tell you, Poker Night is a nightmare in terms of names.
2. I can never really understand foreign films. I think as much as all people everywhere are the same, they are totally and completely different. If you don't believe me, go to Youtube and just type in Japan.

Oh and one thing to pimp:Ask a Ninja.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Last night my cousins and I went to see Wicked.
Wicked was visually pleasing, had a few very good lines, excellent performances, and two or three pretty good songs, but I felt that the show was so-so. I enjoy musicals in general but there is this musically predictable sort of Andrew LLoyd-Webber styled sort of musical that I don't enjoy. Where there are soaring inspirational songs and sorrow songs and boring boring love songs.
There have been a few musicals in the past few years that I think have escaped that trap, Chicago for one, but where is a new style? There was the Roger's and Hammerstein style, now the Lloyd-Webber style, what's next?
Maybe I'm a curmudgeon, but I want to see something new in musicals.
Wicked was nice and I don't feel like I wasted money to go and see it. If Chicago was a decadent molten chocolate cake, Wicked was a perfectly nice store bought cookie.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Lady of the Morning

This morning I came in a little under an hour early to actually get something done.
I was filling out tedious paperwork quietly singing along with the music when a ludicrously hot guy walked up to turn in paperwork.
I had been listening to Death Cab for Cutie and was a wee bit embarrassed out of nowhere it shuffled to


Bu bu bu bu but, I was sparkling clear and lovely.

Riddle me this...

So three days ago I went to make a copy. The copier was so out of toner that it actually wouldn't make a copy. "Lazy bastards" I grumbled to myself as I pull down the extra toner box. "Hmmmm, this feels mysteriously light." And lo, it was empty.
Now on the top and front of the box, and on the shelf upon which it sits is a neon pink sign that says: "When you remove the last toner, please order 3 more. Thanks." I should mention that all you do is leave a voicemail on a 1800 number and they mail you more.
So I turned to a coworker and said, "I can't believe we're out of toner." Then she responded, "Oh yea, we've been running out for like three days."
So, for three days, the toner warning message came on before every single copy was made and not one person thought, "maybe I should put a new toner in."
So, of course, I actually ordered toner and sent out a friendly and polite email along the lines of:

Hi everyone,
Please remember to order or to ask your support person to order more toner, staples, or paper if the supply looks low. A good time to reorder is when you put the last full toner cartridge in the copier. Currently there is no toner for the copy machine and there will be no toner for 3-5 days. You will need to send all copy jobs to the print shop in the mean time.
To order staples or toner, or to report a problem with the machine, the phone number for the company is blah blah blah. The machine is a blah blah and its identification number is blah blah blah.
Additionally, if the copy machine is jammed, please remove the jam, or ask someone for help removing the jam.
Thanks for helping the department run smoothly,

Then today, some crazy woman with whom I work, comes into my cubical and says that I have to go out and find toner (toner trees? toner mario bros. surprise boxes: if I punch them three times it just pops out? toner leprechauns?) and that this is unacceptable and that people like myself who are in charge of the copier need to do their jobs and if they need to check it all the time then so be it.
I VERY politely told her that I don't have any copier related responsibilities and furthermore that the only reason I am ALWAYS doing copier maintenance is because I am the only one who will actually get off of my duff and do it.
"I have very important copies to make and what am I supposed to do now" she screeched. I told her to send it to the Print Shop. Then she said , "I sent something there two days ago and I told them to do it by yesterday and it didn't come." "Uhm. Did you go and get it?" I asked incredulously. "No" she announced with finality, "but this is totally unacceptable."

Now here is the riddle bit:
Today the toner cartridges arrived, should I:
A. Put the toner in the copier and send out an email?
B. Put the toner in the trunk of my car till Monday?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Dear man at work who sucks at adultery,

Not only do you suck at adultery, you suck at your job too.

Imagine the look on my face when I received from you a box containing hundreds of legal affidavits and related papers that appeared as though they had been collated by drunken tap-dancing pandas who had attached the papers to their feet whilst dancing across a bed of hot coals and broken glass.

A mere 3 weeks before the legally mandated deadline to have the papers available for audit, I was forced to return all the forms to you and rat you out to your boss.

The only way I could hate you more is if you were entirely constructed of popcorn, seafood, melons, and nuts and were taking a shit in my favorite Coach handbag whilst singing Who Let the Dogs Out.

You are so ridiculously useless that the only purpose you could possibly have on this planet is as a paperweight.

déjà vu

1. When I get home he jumps all over me and immediately wants dinner.

2. He doesn’t help me make his dinner, but follows me around getting in my way while I cook.

3. When he is done eating he immediately runs off to play, leaving me to do all the cleaning too.

4. When I am trying to tidy and get my evening work done he follows me around, slapping me in the ass, insisting that I stop doing what I am doing and focus on him.

5. When we watch TV together, he hogs the good seat and sits with one arm on the arm-rest and the other thrown over my shoulder or on my knee. His face is one inch from mine. He steals my snacks and sips of my drinks.

6. At night he hogs the bed, invades my space, farts, kicks me, and steals my pillow.

7. He follows me around with slavish devotion, always under foot, begging for attention.

8. He gets bored when I’m reading or knitting so he interrupts me to suggest alternate activities.

9. He bugs me when I’m in the bathroom

10. He is noisy, smelly, and smothering, but he sure is easy on the eyes.

I think I am dog-sitting the canine incarnate of my ex-boyfriends.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Worst movie ever. Seriously.

The Family Stone.
I hated everyone in this movie. They even managed to make Luke Wilson and Dermot Mulroney unattractive. What a waste of a good cast.
Last Warning:
Diane Keaton and Craig Nelson make out scene.
If you still watch this garbage, you have nobody to blame but yourself.

Coup Coup Kachoo.

Thai commander takes over after coup
By GRANT PECK, Associated Press Writer

BANGKOK, Thailand - Thailand's army commmander ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a military coup Tuesday night while the prime minister was in New York, circling his offices with tanks, declaring martial law and revoking the constitution.

An announcement on national television signed by army Commander-in-Chief Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin ordered all troops to report to their duty stations.

As soldiers and armored vehicles moved through Bangkok, an announcement from the military earlier declared a provisional authority loyal to beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The announcement declared that a "Council of Administrative Reform" had seized power in Bangkok and nearby provinces without any resistance. It recognized the king as head of state.

Normally I'm anti-military coup, but the King of Thailand is pretty cool. And Thailand has a good history of productive coups. The last coup ushered in the best leadership Thailand has had since WWII, so cross your fingers!

PS- The Associated Press has a typo! Ha! Losers.

I'm just saying....

I've been pondering this Pope scandal. Pope-gate, if you will. Some thoughts:
1. Not the most brilliant thing to quote at the moment, however upon perusing the rest of the text that he quoted and under the context of his lecture- why reason (science) and religion need each other- it isn't quite as awful. But still, over all, not good to say "evil" and "Mohamed" together. Not very nice either.
2.When somebody slanders your religion as violent and you don't agree, burning down their churches is probably the least persuasive argument.
3. When apologising something better than the following would probably be better:
"I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address at the University of Regensburg, which were considered offensive to the sensibility of Muslims. These in fact were a quotation from a medieval text, which do not in any way express my personal thought." He went on to say: "If the offensive comments that were made offended you, quit being wussy. I can't help your "feelings." Besides, I just say things I don't mean all the time, hey, nice sweater, Steve."
4. Now some people are calling for a war against the "worshippers of the cross." I totally don't worship a cross. And while I do follow (rather slapdashedly) the teachings of Jesus, I would like to just put it out there again: I'm not with this guy.

Monday, September 18, 2006

My, my, my, my, my- wooh!

Stolen From Terry:
The Knack Sue Run-DMC Over Sample 20 Years After Its Release

One-hit wonders seek unspecified damages for use of 'signature' riff.
On Friday, attorneys representing the Knack's Doug Fieger and Berton Averre songwriters of the 1979 chart-topping hit "My Sharona" filed a copyright-infringem ent lawsuit in Los Angeles against the members of Run-DMC, claiming the rappers did not have permission to sample the song's core riff in one of their most recognizable tracks, "It's Tricky."

The filing which also names Rick Rubin (who produced the cut for 1986's Raising Hell), Arista Records, Rush Groove Music, Rush Communications, online music retailers Yahoo, Amazon, Napster, iTunes and others as defendants claims that Run-DMC engaged in the "unauthorized copying, reproduction and distribution of [the Knack's] musical composition and improperly [profiting from]" use of the sample, which the suit claims was "willfully, or with reckless disregard, unlawfully appropriated."

The document asserts that, because of Run-DMC's sampling of "My Sharona," Fieger and Averre have "suffered actual damages, including lost profits, lost opportunities, loss of goodwill, lost publicity, attorneys' fees and interest." The suit seeks unspecified damages and related legal fees, and characterizes the "signature" riff sampled in "It's Tricky" as "the essence" of the song.

In addition, the suit requests a permanent injunction barring the sale, reproduction, and commercial release of "It's Tricky," and suggests that Fieger or Averre's "percentage of ownership in ['It's Tricky']" be determined and factored into a declaratory judgment which should also consider what profits the pair are due from the sale of the Run-DMC song. "Our clients created a unique and distinctive musical composition in 'My Sharona,' " attorney Dick Schultz said. "Others shouldn't be allowed to profit from the unauthorized use of that creation. That is what copyright laws are for, and we are protecting our clients' rights in their creation."

"That [riff] is not only the essence of 'My Sharona,' it is one of the most recognizable sounds in rock and roll," said Fieger through his lawyers.

Despite the popularity of the riff, some may wonder why Fieger and Averre waited two decades to take action against the hip-hop icons. The lawsuit claims the pair never heard the DMC classic before 2005.

No date has been set for the first hearing in the action. Representatives for Run-DMC were unavailable for comment at press time.

That's right kids the riff in My Sharona is one of the most recognizable sounds in rock and roll.

We here at SUC...

are committed to boring journal entries.... blah blah blah. I just noticed that my blog becomes the word suc when abbreviated. How nice.

Strangely enough, this is quite contrary to the origins of the Seattle Umbrella Conspiracy.

About a year ago I was downtown on a business day in late fall and the skies opened up and a deluge of quite literally biblical proportions began. The funny thing about Seattle is that it sprinkles, mists, and drizzles, but it hardly ever rains. It was chilly and people were completely soaked but about half of them still met my eyes and gave me a smile as if to say, "Well, would you look at that."

I, luckily, had brought an umbrella. About 40% of people had an umbrella, and the rest were huddled under the cherry trees. As a group of us stood waiting to cross I walked up to a stranger and offered to share my umbrella. The surprised man accepted and we stood grinning like idiots. Then another guy with an umbrella offered to share his. And soon three umbrellas had six people under them.

That's when I had this day dream. In Japan you could buy cheap plastic umbrellas for less than a dollar. If each of us could just keep a cheap umbrella in our trunks, we could give it away. That could mean something. I know it wouldn't stop world hunger or cure cancer, but maybe it could make this craptastic world just a little better.

It's like my obsession in college with the contagious smile. When you smile at someone and then they smile and sometimes it sticks. I love that concept. In college I actually kept tally and graphed progress of smile to smile growth. I used to think that maybe if I smiled at someone, they might smile at someone else and then they would smile at someone else and on and on. Then maybe that 6 second smile that I started could last for days.

Sorry to be such a Pollyanna, but that's where the name came from. Back to bitching and moaning tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I am on day two of evil Quiana. I am so grouchy.
I should hang this on my cube wall:

Oh and this came up on Google Images when I typed in "grouch:"

Confusing news

According to the Ottowa Citizen there is some kind of new system being developed to enable Canadians to cross the border using smart id cards rather than passports. Am I to assume that either we have instructed Canada to change their licensing system or that in order to facilitate travel and to creepily track our whereabouts, both countries are getting new smart ID cards by 2008? Does this mean that I am going to have to shell out another 25$ for a new license in 2008, because I've had TWO 25$ new license charges in the last year, and I'm pretty butthurt about it.
The passport rule for crossing the border isn't to go into effect until 2008, and I guess a lot of folks don't have passports due to the expense. I do feel a bit like a passport is only like 40$ and is good for ten years, so just cough up the dough and suck it up.
Incidentally, my mom mentioned a while ago that gas is over 5$ a gallon in Canada. Ponder that.
Furthermore, Pop Culture Junk Mail is reporting that some Starbucks in Canada and in New England are offering Maple Lattes. Very very jealous.

Everything Deadwood is good

McSweeneys! Deadwood! Yay!

And a little something for the ladies:

Happy birthday, Roald Dahl!

Roald Dahl hailed with birthday celebrations
By Paul Majendie Tue Sep 12, 6:35 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Children, parents, teachers and adult fans are throwing parties on Wednesday to celebrate what would have been the 90th birthday party of the darkly comic writer Roald Dahl.

"He understood children and identified with them. This is like a great big happy birthday party to acknowledge him," said his daughter Lucy, launching what she and others hope will be a day of improvised "Revolting Rhymes" and "Oompa Loompa" dances.

Exhibitions and children's reading campaigns are also being staged to commemorate Dahl, who died in 1990 and has now sold more than 100 million books in 40 languages.

Dahl initially made his name as a writer of adult fiction, but cult children's classics such as "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "The Witches" have more recently overshadowed his chilling adult work.

Children's writer Anthony Horovitz said the recent renaissance in children's literature had begun with Dahl, rather than J K Rowling, author of the phenomenally successful

Harry Potter wizard sagas.

"Dahl was perhaps the first author to take the children's side and collude against the smelly, ugly, stupid creatures that inhabit the adult world," he said.

In an echo of Potter's Hogwarts Express, a special train will take visitors from London to Great Missenden, the rural retreat in southern England where Dahl wrote in a hut at the bottom of the garden.

The Dahl Museum, which attracted 70,000 visitors in its first year, is staging walking tours around the village to locations used in his books.

Amanda Conquy, director of the Dahl literary estate, hailed Dahl as the first of children's writers to achieve 'pop star' status. "He was very much the children's choice against their parents," she said.

Some critics have attacked his books as brutish, scary and scatological, but in an interview 20 years ago with Reuters the author supplied his own fitting epitaph:

"I never get any protests from children. All you get are giggles of mirth and squirms of delight. I know what children like."

I loved Dahl, who seemed to be the only one who knew what I really wanted as a child: to have the dickens scared out of me. Every book and movie I liked as a child was good but terrifying. Gremlins, E.T., War Games, etc. movies with distrust of the adult world, or hidden dangers. I don't know if he shaped me to enjoy the quirky, crude, and scary or if he just taught me that it was ok.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Some times the word of the day is just a bit too apt.'s Word of the Day:

tetchy \TECH-ee\, adjective:
Peevish; testy; irritable.

Waugh's tetchy and combative personality made him a difficult companion at arms.
-- Penelope Lively, "A Maverick Historian", The Atlantic, February 2001

Wright was in Tokyo, busy with the Imperial Hotel, firing off telegrams blaming his son, Lloyd, and Schindler for nagging cost overruns that Barnsdall, always tetchy about parting with money, was balking at.
-- Greg Goldin, "Light Houses", Los Angelous Magazine, February 2001

His every word was pure gold then, and even the chairman, who is not known to hide his light under a bushel, got a little tetchy being asked to opine on every economic subject known to man.
-- Jamie Dettmer, "Greenspan Doesn't Always Get It Right", Insight on the News, February 26, 2001

As prams trundle and toddlers bawl, bargain-hunters try to shove, grab and kick their way to consumerist nirvana, while their spouses, weighed down by bulging bags, get seriously tetchy.
-- Kim Gilmour, "Hello, good buy", Internet Magazine, November 2001

Tetchy probably comes from Middle English tecche, "a bad habit," from Old French tache, teche, "a spot, stain, blemish, habit, vice."

I have been seriously grouchy all day.

Organized sneak attacks.

Raccoon forces student to miss homework
Mon Sep 11, 9:31 PM ET

LARGO, Fla. - Stephanie King had to tell her music teacher that a raccoon was to blame for her missing homework. "I explained that the raccoon fell from the ceiling in my bathroom and it ran into my bedroom," the 13-year-old seventh grader at Osceola Middle School told the St. Petersburg Times.

"Animal control came out to get it and they couldn't catch it and they said we couldn't go in my room."

Stephanie's grandmother vouched for her story Friday with school officials. "I told them she can't get her homework, her books, because everything is locked in the bedroom," Natalie King said.

The female raccoon and its babies crashed to the Kings' bathroom floor Wednesday night. Until that moment, the family didn't know the roof was leaking, much less that a family of raccoons was living in their ceiling.

The mother raccoon escaped into Stephanie's room. It finally made its way Thursday night into the trap set by Pinellas County Animal Services officers, who picked up the critter the next morning.

I'm just a bit nervous that these raccoons are organizing- nationwide, no less.

Science on Tap.

"Science on Tap" presents:

Matthew Strassler
UW Department of Physics
"Beyond the Hype: The Weird World of String Theory"
September 25th 2006, 7pm

More information on this talk go to:

• What to expect: meetings usually last about one to two hours. The speaker gives a short talk about their area of interest, followed by a breakto fill up on coffee and a time for small group discussions. Afterwards there will be a question and answer session and general discussion of the topic with the speaker and the audience at large.
• Monthly meetings take place the last Monday of every month at the Ravenna Third Place Bookstore in Seattle at the corner of 20th Ave NE and NE 65th Street. Free parking is available.

Please join me if you have any interest in String Theory. I will admit I'm fairly dorkily excited.

Stealing from the poor.

According to Beau over at The Daily Brain Stew, pay-day loan outlets made $1.2 billion in revenue in 2004, likely because the average APR on a pay-day loan is 390%.

Why do we let the short term loan assholes fleece our poor? How can this possibly be legal? I would be willing to bet that you can get better interest at a pawn shop.

I want to see some legislation. Come on Democrats, we're still the party of the proletariat, right? How about instead of finding new ways to steal from the poor, we start protecting them. Maybe we wouldn't need so much Welfare if we protected our poor from predatory lenders.

Just a thought.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Happy Monday folks, go home, eat some cookies, call your mom, but don't watch the crap on tv.

Please don't wallow in 9/11 like a dog rolls in crap. It makes me ill.

As for my plans, fajitas, ice cream sundaes, and disc one of season two of Veronica Mars will do quite a lot better for me than all the death, destruction, and bitter vitriol that will be splattered across tv tonight.

Not wailing, is not the same as not caring.

Weekend Movie Update.

The Notebook was predictable, cheesy, and most unfortunately kind of boring. It was a story that has been told numerous times (several times more interestingly), this time by actors who cannot carry the movie. I know that I am on occasion a Surprise Slut, but I like many utterly predictable romantic movies. I think the difference between The Notebook and other romance movies that I have enjoyed, such as While You Were Sleeping, Last Holiday, and Sweet Home Alabama was how seriously the latter movies did not take themselves. The Notebook was trying so hard to make you cry that they may as well have sent a studio gopher to the theaters to cut onions.

In Hollywoodland, a movie also shown in flashbacks (though much more effectively) I found it to be a refreshing portrayal of one of the most famous unsolved mysteries of all time. It is hard for me to understand the so-so reviews of this movie. It was well written, visually interesting, organized in an interesting manner, and very well acted. Ben Affleck was particularly good. I suppose playing a middle aged over-promoted has-been isn’t a stretch; but I found myself actually swept up into his belief that he could be a star, his wasted charm, his helpless dependence on an older woman, and his sorrow upon realizing he had hit the undesired climax of his life and was on the downsweep. Contrary to most critic’s reviews, I found the personal aspects of the detective’s (Adrian Brody) life added another layer of interest in the story. I wonder if people’s displeasure with the movie was that it didn’t reveal some new theory, or highlight a murder scenario; they left the viewer with no solution to the puzzle. I hope those complainers don’t bother to go see The Black Dahlia.

In other crap-that-I-watch news: I caught a couple of episodes of Eureka, the new comedy on the Sci-Fi Chanel and liked them a great deal. If you’re into silly pseudo-sci-fi I recommend checking it out. Yesterday I started a new British mystery series called Murder in Suburbia and it is also quite nice and available on dvd. I’ve also been watching Scrubs, a show I thought would be juvenile, boring, sit-com garbage; but was actually smart and laugh-out-loud funny (though still deliciously juvenile).

In crap-that-I-read news, I just read Roman Blood, by Steven Saylor and was quite impressed. Check it out especially if you are a Roman history dork. My next read is going to be a two foot pile of comics, followed by The da Vinci Code. Yes, I know that everyone else in the known universe read that a long time ago, but I was evading the hype. Now that I’ve seen the movie and I’m a bit curious about the book, so don’t judge me.

Friday, September 08, 2006

We'll just see if he'll be back....

Schwarzenegger apologizes for remark
By MICHAEL R. BLOOD, Associated Press Writer 58 minutes ago

SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Gov.

Arnold Schwarzenegger apologized Friday for saying during a closed-door meeting that Cubans and Puerto Ricans are naturally feisty and temperamental because of their combination of "black blood" and "Latino blood." He said the tape-recorded comments "made me cringe" when he read them in Friday's Los Angeles Times.

"Anyone out there that feels offended by those comments, I just want to say I'm sorry, I apologize," Schwarzenegger said. He added that if he heard his children make similar comments, "I would be upset."

The furor comes amid a re-election campaign in which the Republican has tried to mend fences with Democrats and moderates and look more statesmanlike and less like the swaggering action hero he played on screen. Schwarzenegger has a history of making off-the-cuff remarks that get him in trouble. He called California legislators "girlie men" and "losers" and talked of kicking nurses' butts.

During California's 2003 recall election, he was accused of groping or otherwise mistreating women on movie sets and other locations. He apologized for having "behaved badly sometimes."

The statements about Hispanics and blacks were captured on a six-minute tape made during a March 3 speechwriting session between Schwarzenegger and his advisers. On it, Schwarzenegger and chief of staff Susan Kennedy speak affectionately of state Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia and speculate about her nationality.

"I mean Cuban, Puerto-Rican, they are all very hot," the governor says on the recording. "They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it."

Garcia, who is Puerto Rican, appeared with Schwarzenegger on Friday and said she was not offended by the governor's comments. Garcia earlier told the Times that she often calls herself a "hot-blooded Latina."

Schwarzenegger also said he called leaders from ethnic groups, who he said were not upset.

"All of them understood it was an off-the-record conversation," Schwarzenegger said. "It was not meant to be in any negative way."

A spokesman for Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez declined to comment directly on the remark but said the governor "has always been very respectful toward Latinos."

"These are hardly Nixon's Watergate tapes," Nunez spokesman Richard Stapler said.

However, Schwarzenegger's Democratic challenger, Phil Angelides, said the governor should "conduct himself with dignity."

"Once again, Gov. Schwarzenegger has used language that is deeply offensive to all Californians and embarrassed our state," Angelides said in a statement.

Schwarzenegger aides routinely tape his speechwriting sessions so the writers can keep a record of his thoughts and speaking patterns.

The newspaper did not say how the tape was obtained. The participants suggest during the meeting that they know they are being recorded.

Hooooooooo dogie. That's it. That's all I've got. It must be my Irish temper, mixed with my part black feistiness, being tempered by my Native American uhm... laziness? Actually I am three stereotypically lazy races. Luckily the Croatian can come through in the nick of time... to be taken over by communists? Sooooo confused.

I am a terrible person.

Panda accidentally crushes cub in China
1 hour, 34 minutes ago

BEIJING - A new panda mother who gave birth to twins this week accidentally crushed one of her newborns in her sleep, state media said Friday.

Ya Ya, who lives in the south China's Chongqing Zoo, delivered the twin cubs about an hour apart on Tuesday. One was taken to the Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center, also in Sichuan province, while the other cub stayed with Ya Ya.

After falling asleep late Thursday for the first time since her labor, Ya Ya apparently crushed her newborn while it was nursing, the official Xinhua News Agency said on its Web site.

A zoo handler noticed the cub, which weighed only about three ounces, had fallen away motionless from her mother's nipple, it said. Zoo staff took the cub away while Ya Ya was still asleep and an autopsy showed that its heart, liver and other organs had been crushed.

The report said that Ya Ya searched around for her cub after waking up, then appeared depressed, laying listlessly in her zoo enclosure.

The report did not say if zoo staff would try to reunite the mother with her other cub.

Ya Ya was mated with 11-year-old Ling Ling from Wolong in April. The pandas watched a mating video before breeding.

Last month, the government announced the birth of four sets of panda twins. China has more than 180 pandas living in captivity, according to the government.

A 2002 government census found there were just 1,596 pandas left in the wild. But state media has said a new study by Chinese and British scientists has found there might be as many as 3,000.

So I was very sad when reading this article. Until I hit the following:
"The pandas watched a mating video before breeding."

Panda porn. No wonder the damn things are endangered. Did they have to light some candles and play mood music too?

Ok fine. I feel a bit bad about mocking pandas, so here, to make up for it:

If that isn't the cutest thing you've seen in a month I am bitterly jealous.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The things that you learn when your pride dies.

Michael Franti and Spearhead play a song called "Never too Late" and I have been meditating on it. The Live at KEXP version has a little story at the beginning about a man trying to turn his life around after having a stroke.
My own grandfather was a hard man. An alcoholic. Late in his life he had a stroke and began to reach out to his children. My mother never accepted his apology before he died. I think a lot about that.
We all make mistakes in life. Sometimes life rides us hard and makes us sour. I think it is an amazing thing for anyone to apologise, to try to move on. I really don't think it's ever too late. I know you can't undue your wrongs, but sometimes all it takes is an apology to move the wronged from a place of wounded bitterness, to acceptance.

Michael Franti and Spearhead are in concert in Seattle at the Paramount on the 13th of October, in case you'd care to join me.

Anyway, I put the lyrics below.

Don't fear your best friends,
because a best friend would never try to do you wrong.
And don't fear your worst friends,
because a worst friend is just a best friend whose done you wrong.
And don't fear the night time,
because the monsters know that you're divine.
And don't fear the sunshine,
because everything is better in the summertime. (summertime)

And it's never too late to start the day over,
it's never too late, pick up the phone.
(pick up the phone and call me)
never too late to lay your head down on my shoulders,
never too late to come on home.
(come on home)

Don't fear the water,
because you can swim, inside you, within your skin.
don't fear your father,
because a father's just a boy without a friend.
And don't fear to walk slow,
don't be a horse race, be a marathon.
And don't fear the long road,
because on the long road you got a long time to sing a simple song.
(sing along, come on)

And it's never too late
to start the day over,
it's never too late,
pick up the phone.
(pick up the phone and call me)
never too late to lay your head down on my shoulders,
never too late to come on home.
(come on home)

Don't fear your teachers,
because if you listen you can hear music in a school bell.
And don't fear your preacher,
if you can't find heaven in a prison cell.
don't fear your own self,
paying money to justify your worth.
And don't fear your family,
because you chose them a long time before your birth.
(yes you did, come on)

And it's never too late to start the day over,
it's never too late, pick up the phone.
(pick up the phone and call me)
it's never too late to lay your head down on my shoulders,
never too late to come on home.

Hold to your children, hold to your children, hold to your children, let them know.

Alexander Downer, you can bite me.

Use of secret jails draws mixed reaction


SYDNEY, Australia -- Staunch U.S. supporter Australia on Thursday backed Washington's use of secret CIA prisons to interrogate terrorist suspects, but Muslim critics in Asia said President Bush's defense of the practice amounted to a tacit approval of torture.

Lawmakers at the European Parliament, meanwhile, demanded the U.S. give the locations of the secret detention facilities.

Bush acknowledged for the first time Wednesday night that a small number of detainees had been held in secret CIA prisons overseas, and he defended the program by saying it forced terrorist leaders to reveal plots to attack the United States and its allies.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said information from one secret prison detainee had led to the arrest of Riduan Isamuddin, a key leader of Southeast Asian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, as well as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, al-Qaida's alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks. Bush had also mentioned Mohammed's capture in his defense of the program Wednesday.

"A great deal has been achieved through these kinds of programs," Downer told Parliament.

Australia has troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq to support coalition military operations.

But Muslim politicians and activists decried Bush's secret prison program and the types of interrogation techniques used on detainees.

Asma Jehangir, a senior member of Pakistan's Human Rights Commission, demanded Washington end the program immediately and apologize for ever bringing it into existence.

"They have to admit that what they did was wrong," said Jehangir, who heads a U.N. panel that recently issued a scathing report about the detention of suspects at the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "They cannot justify it in the name of terrorism and frightening people."

She noted that Bush had said in his speech that militants were trained to resist interrogation. "It doesn't mean that you can lower the threshold and start torturing them," she said.

In his speech, Bush said that interrogation techniques used were tough, but did not constitute torture. He also said the secret prison program would continue because it "has been, and remains, one of the most vital tools in our war against the terrorists."

China, which has five citizens among the Guantanamo Bay detainees, also criticized the secret prisons. "China advocates ... that anti-terror efforts should observe the principal of the U.N. charter and the basic norms governing international relations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters.

In Europe, the head of a European investigation into alleged CIA prisons in Europe said he believed the timing of Bush's disclosure was politically motivated. "It probably has to do with the fact that the elections are coming up in the United States," said Swiss senator Dick Marty.

Marty said Bush's speech was "just one piece of the truth," without elaborating. "There is more, much more to be revealed," he added.

Marty said in July that evidence suggests planes linked to the CIA carrying terror suspects stopped in Romania and Poland and likely dropped off detainees there, backing up earlier news reports that identified the two countries as possible sites of clandestine detention centers. His report said European governments failed to fully cooperate to establish the facts.

"The location of these prison camps must be made public," said Wolfgang Kreissl-Doerfler, who sits on a special EU assembly committee investigating the secret prisons. "We need to know if there has been any complicity in illegal acts by governments of EU countries or states seeking EU membership."

Some activists and defense attorneys said Bush's acknowledgment illustrated progress on the administration's part.

"President Bush has finally realized that American values are the way to win the war on terror - the values of true openness, a commitment to having fair trials and not allowing the torture of detainees," said lawyer Zachary Katznelson, who represents 36 Guantanamo detainees.

Manfred Nowak, the U.N. special investigator on torture, said the transfer of 14 detainees from clandestine centers to Guantanamo Bay was "an improvement," but warned that "of course there are many others."

Nowak, who reports to the U.N. Human Rights Council, the global body's top right watchdog, has said the use of secret prisons violate anti-torture commitments under international law because keeping detainees in such places is a form of enforced disappearance.

Ahmad Nader Nadery, spokesman for the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, which has sought to gain access to the U.S. military's prison in Afghanistan where an estimated 500 "illegal combatants" are held, also welcomed the new guidelines.

"We have been looking for an improvement in the treatment of detainees in Guantanamo and Bagram and any improvement in that direction would be welcomed. It will build more confidence in the war on terror," he said.

Are you shitting me? A great deal of good was accomplished by secret prisons run outside the mandate of the prison system, UN, or Geneva Convention? I want to live in the country that doesn't put secret gulags in foreign countries. I don't want to live in the country where I am protected through the torture of POWs. Thanks though. I don't know who this Zachary Katznelson dude is, but I would totally make out with him for his above statement. American values are sexy. Rawwwwr call me when you get back from Cuba, baby.

Oh, additionally, we are being criticized on human rights by China. CHINA! Who else here is blushing? I am mortified. This is like the time I wore the same dress as Susan Hanson to homecoming, except replace homecoming dress with secret gulags in countries with lax laws on torture.

Things I don't care about that are dominating the news:

Suri Cruise
Lindsay Lohan's hoo-ha

I don't mean to be a jerk but Lindsay Lohan's cooch is old news.

Furthermore seeing what a beautiful child Suri Cruise is just makes me feel more foreboding for her future.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Chill of light rain.

Wet evergreen tree fresh scent.

Pumpkin Truffles from Godiva.

Key Lime Pears from Recchiuti Confections.

New lessons- this year, Hula.

Pumpkin or Gingerbread Lattes from Starbucks.

Decorating for Halloween.

Making costumes.

Making scary sugar-cookies.

Pumpkin pie.

Leaves falling.

Candy corn at work.

Halloween socks.

Christmas shopping.

Thanksgiving with the parents in October.

Thanksgiving with family in the States in November.

Left-overs from two Thanksgivings.


Gourds, Indian corn, and tiny pumpkins.

Picking a pumpkin from the patch.

Carving pumpkins.

Hot buttered rum.

Hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps.

Sleeping under the winter weight comforter.

Stews and casseroles.


Planning the family Christmas celebration.

Christmas shopping downtown whilst in a sweater and simultaneously drinking a gingerbread latte.

Add one more person to the list of people who can blow me.

'Crocodile Hunter' exploited animals, critic says

Feminist author Greer says 'It’s no surprise that he came to grief.’

(Why must they ALWAYS throw in the word feminist. This isn't about gender, but throwing in feminist makes it look more like she is a freak-- which she is, don't get me wrong. But I'm a feminist and my views on documentaries about animals have nothing to do with gender.)

SYDNEY, Australia - Feminist academic Germaine Greer said on Wednesday she hoped the death of Australian “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin would mark the end of what she called exploitative nature documentaries, a discordant note amid floods of tributes.

Irwin died in a freak diving accident off Australia’s northeast coast on Monday after he was hit in the chest by the serrated barb from a stingray’s tail.

Echoing comments she made this week in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Australian-born Greer likened Irwin to a lion tamer and said he had intruded on the habitats of animals and treated them with “massive insensitivity.”

“It’s no surprise that he came to grief,” Greer told Nine Network television. “We now have enough respect for lions to be embarrassed if we see someone trying to crack whips at them and wave chairs at them. Jumping all over crocodiles is the same kind of thing.”

(Yes, it isn't particularly surprising, however, caging lions and dragging them around the midwest is entirely different than the amazing education about conservation- especially of the most dangerous and frightening of creatures- that Irwin undertook. Those kinds of creatures have a great appeal to young men, and I think that interesting more men in conservation is imperative.)

Greer, an award-winning author, is a frequent critic of personalities like British soccer star David Beckham and social trends like reality television.

In 2003 she criticized J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy for attracting “spaced-out hippies, environmentalists, free-market libertarians, social conservatives, pacifists, new-age theosophists, sexists and racists the world over.”

(Oh please.)

Irwin’s death has prompted outpourings of grief and sympathy from around the world, dominating local newspapers and clogging Internet news sites.

His “Crocodile Hunter” documentaries for U.S.-based television company Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet were seen by tens of millions of viewers around the world. He became famous for flirting with death as he wrestled crocodiles, swam with sharks and handled some of the world’s deadliest snakes and spiders.

Greer said she found the Irwin phenomenon "embarrassing," although she understood the sadness at his death.

“I’m not saying that’s not sad, I’m saying what might be over now is this kind of exploitation of animals,” Greer said.

(Not like eating them. Or keeping them prisoners in your house and making them wear little sweaters. Or riding them. Or milking them or stealing their eggs. Or wearing various bits of them.)

“I am sick and tired of programs that tell me that the world is full of wicked, nasty, powerful, deadly creatures. Why does Australia set itself up to be made into this hellhole?” she said.

(The world is full of powerful and deadly creatures. Sorry about that. I wouldn't go so far as to say a shark is wicked or particularly nasty... as it is an animal. Furthermore, every animal in Australia can kill you. Poisonous everything. People in England sent their prisoners there. I'm just saying. I still want to go there. I'm just not going to rub myself in honey and go lay in the lawn.)

Very angry.

Rape law rankles some Pakistan lawmakers
Tue Sep 5, 5:25 PM ET

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Lawmakers from a coalition of six Islamic groups threatened on Tuesday to vacate their parliamentary seats if Pakistan's government changes a rape law criticized by human rights activists.

A walkout by the 68 lawmakers could destabilize the government of President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, criticized by Islamic parties since his ruling party last month presented a bill to amend the law in a bid to protect women's rights.

Pakistan's National Assembly has 344 members. A walkout could force by-elections.

Under the current law, approved by a former military dictator in 1979, prosecuting a rape case requires testimony from four witnesses, making punishment almost impossible because such attacks are rarely public.

A woman who claims she was raped but fails to prove her case can be convicted of adultery, punishable by death.

Maulana Fazalur Rahman, a leader of the Islamic coalition, said Tuesday that lawmakers in his group would vacate their seats in the National Assembly if the government tries to get the assembly's approval to change the law.

"We will render every sacrifice for the protection of the Shariah (traditional Islamic) laws," he said at a news conference.

However, the ruling Pakistan Muslim Party — which has a majority in the assembly — has praised Musharraf for taking steps to amend the law and end the four-witness requirement.

Ready for a Bryn Mawr moment? Great. I absolutely cannot believe this garbage is going on to this date. I am doing the typing equivalent of sputtering in sheer anger. Let me just put it this way, if the Islamic Coalition vacates their seats, I'm not complaining. Incidentally, I hope these guys enjoy heat because they are going to be chilling with Warren Jeffs in that special place in hell. I'm so frustrated, I don't even know what to do. I know what I'm not going to do though: go to Pakistan.