< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://caltechgirlsworld.mu.nu/" /> Not Exactly Rocket Science: March 2005

Thursday, March 31, 2005

New State Mottos

Stolen from a Tall Dairy Beverage:

A little something to amuse and/or offend everybody ....

  • Alabama - Hell Yes, We Have Electricity.
  • Alaska - 11,623 Eskimos Can't Be Wrong!
  • Arizona - But It's A Dry Heat.
  • Arkansas - Literacy Ain't Everything.
  • California - By 30, Our Women Have More Plastic Than Your Honda.
  • Colorado - If You Don't Ski, Don't Bother.
  • Connecticut - Like Massachusetts, Only The Kennedy's Don't Own It Yet.
  • Delaware - We Really Do Like The Chemicals In Our Water.
  • Florida - Ask Us About Our Grandkids.
  • Georgia - We Put The Fun In Fundamentalist Extremism.
  • Hawaii - Haka Tiki Mou Sha'ami Leeki Toru (Death To Mainland Scum, Leave Your Money)
  • Idaho - More Than Just Potatoes... Well, Okay, We're Not, But The Potatoes Sure Are Real Good
  • Illinois - Please, Don't Pronounce the "S"
  • Indiana - 2 Billion Years Tidal Wave Free
  • Iowa - We Do Amazing Things With Corn
  • Kansas - First Of The Rectangle States
  • Kentucky - Five Million People; Fifteen Last Names
  • Louisiana - We're Not ALL Drunk Cajun Wackos, But That's Our Tourism Campaign.
  • Maine - We're Really Cold, But We Have Cheap Lobster
  • Maryland - If You Can Dream It, We Can Tax It
  • Massachusetts - Our Taxes Are Lower Than Sweden's
  • Michigan - First Line Of Defense From The Canadians
  • Minnesota - 10,000 Lakes...And 10,000,000,000,000 Mosquitoes
  • Mississippi - Come And Feel Better About Your Own State
  • Missouri - Your Federal Flood Relief Tax Dollars At Work
  • Montana - Land Of The Big Sky, The Unabomber, Right-wing Crazies,and Very Little Else.
  • Nebraska - Ask About Our State Motto Contest
  • Nevada - Hookers and Poker!
  • New Hampshire - Go Away And Leave Us Alone
  • New Jersey - You Want A ##$%##! Motto? I Got Yer ##$%##! Motto Right here!
  • New Mexico - Lizards Make Excellent Pets
  • New York - You Have The Right To Remain Silent, You Have The Right To An Attorney...
  • North Carolina - Tobacco Is A Vegetable
  • North Dakota - We Really Are One Of The 50 States!
  • Ohio - At Least We're Not Michigan
  • Oklahoma - Like The Play, But No Singing
  • Oregon - Spotted Owl...It's What's For Dinner
  • Pennsylvania - Cook With Coal
  • Rhode Island - We're Not REALLY An Island
  • South Carolina - Remember The Civil War? Well, We Didn't Actually Surrender Yet
  • South Dakota - Closer Than North Dakota
  • Tennessee - The Edyoocashun State
  • Texas - Se Hablo Ingles
  • Utah - Our Jesus Is Better Than Your Jesus
  • Vermont - Ay, Yep
  • Virginia - Who Says Government Stiffs And Slackjaw Yokels Don't Mix?
  • Washington - We have more rain than you do
  • West Virginia - One Big Happy Family...Really!
  • Wisconsin - Come Cut The Cheese!
  • Wyoming - Where Men Are Men... And The Sheep Are Scared

I'm not a Catholic, but

Pope John Paul II has been a big influence on my life. His example of Christian charity and selfless service is one all Christians can follow. Now it appears that the former Karol Józef Wojtyła is at the end of his days. CNN is reporting that the Pope was given last rites today.
"VATICAN CITY (CNN) -- Pope John Paul II was given the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church late Thursday night as his health deteriorated, a Vatican source has told CNN.

The pope is suffering from a high fever caused by a urinary tract infection, the Vatican confirmed Thursday -- one day after revealing he had been put on a nasal feeding tube for nutrition

The pope is taking antibiotics, a Vatican spokesman said."

The NRO has a lovely tribute to the Pope and the meaning of his last days of service here.

(h/t Michelle Malkin for the NRO link)

Update: The Pope appears to be rallying yet again. Yay for good antibiotics!

The winds are changing....

Winter gives way to Spring, the NCAA tournament winds up another UNC basketball season, I'm going out of town (Sat- Tue for a conference, don't worry, there should be blogging opportunities since the hotel has wi-fi), I may get a job offer soon (fingers crossed), and changes may be coming to this blog....

Details to come, perhaps next week......

SOOO wrong

From the referral follies:

This blog is #7 on Yahoo! Search for "misformed testicles"

And I don't even have any....

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Wednesday House Blogging

Last night's House pushed all my buttons. You want to know what I look like? Did you see the ep. last night? Well, that little girl was me at 10. All the things they said to her, all the things she went through, all the things her mom said to try to make her feel better? That was me too. I had her ass beat though, I was smarter than all of the little turds who made fun of me, so I could at least take comfort in the fact that they would hate me anyway.

Deb already made this comment over at Ith's, but it's worth repeating. The girl's mom was right, diet and exercise isn't the answer to everyone's weight problem. And BTW not everyone who's fat is out of shape. Until shortly before I was diagnosed with RA I could do just about anything I wanted. I played golf, tennis, volleyball, and softball. I'm no marathon runner, but I know people (not skinny) who've trained for and run marathons and not lost an ounce.

Chase was already top of my list to get fired. All the foul things he said last night just pushed him even farther above Foreman. In fact the ONLY thing I like about Chase besides his accent is the fact that Patrick Bauchau plays his dad (and played Sydney in The Pretender). Good for Cameron for standing up for herself last night, for her job, her feelings for House, and her integrity. And didn't we all know that Chase was the little birdy singing to the boss? He was always far too much of an asskisser for my taste. Duh.

Speaking of bosses, someone needs to boot Vogler. I vote that House infects him with some mysterious disease and then must save his life. That's the only way that odious SOB will figure out that he needs to keep House's merry little band intact.... Arrggh. He's so slimy, especially for a guy with no hair. Ewwwww.

April Fools Day

Not just for kids.

I love to pull silly jokes on April Fools Day, and one of my favorite things to do is to serve food that isn't always what it seems. I've seen other people do this for a dinner party or kids party, but it's fun any time of year. Here's one of my favorite "not dessert" recipes:

Meatloaf Cake

You'll need:
* Two round cake pans
* Your favorite meatloaf recipe (see below)
* Mashed potatoes
* Ketchup (or whatever condiments you like with meatloaf: mustard, BBQ sauce, etc)
* Cherry tomatoes

Prepare your favorite meatloaf recipe as you normally would, but, before baking, divide the mixture into the two round cake pans and pat it flat. Bake as usual, but shorten the cooking time (these thinner meatloaves won't take nearly as long to cook). While the meatloaf is in the oven, make a batch of mashed potatoes, adding a little extra milk to them and whipping them with an electric beater until they are fluffy and spreadable. When the meatloaves are done, invert one of them onto a round plate. Cover the meat with a thick, even layer of mashed potatoes. Place the other meatloaf on top of the potato layer, and finish frosting the "cake" with the remaining potatoes. Garnish with halved cherry tomatoes to look like cherries. Just before serving, decorate the top of your crazy cake creation with ketchup. You can use it to write a personalized message to the hungry gang at the dinner table, or just a simple "Happy April Fool's Day!"

Here's a simple meatloaf recipe that gets rave reviews at my house:

Simply Delicious Meatloaf

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell's Golden Mushroom (Cream of Mushroom works too) soup
1/4 cup water

1. Mix beef, breadcrumbs, and egg thoroughly. In medium baking pan shape firmly into 8 x 4 inch loaf pan.

2. Bake at 350 deg. F for 30 minutes. Spread 1/2 can soup over top of meatloaf. Bake 30 minutes more or until meat is no longer pink (160 deg. F)

3. In a small saucepan mix 2 tbsp drippings and remaining soup and water. Heat through. Pour over meatloaf. (omit this step for meatloaf cake)
Serves 6
Get more April Fools food ideas here.

This week's Carnival of the Recipes is hosted by John of Texas Best Grok, so get those recipes in to recipe-dot-carnival-at-gmail-dot-com by 12 AM EST Thursday night!

Blogger Sucks

I apologize for any inconvenience Blogger may have caused you over the last 12-18 hours. Comments and Permalinks appear to be working again.

Arrrgh. Must change soon. After I get back from my conference I'll have to figure something out.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Bill of No Rights

I loved it, and I hope you will too:
The following has apparently been attributed to State

Representative Mitchell Kaye from GA.

"We, the sensible people of the United States, in an
attempt to help everyone get along, restore some
semblance of justice, avoid any more riots, keep our
nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the
blessings of debt free liberty to ourselves and our
great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more
time to ordain and establish some common sense
guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden,
delusional, and other liberal, bed-wetters.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that a whole
lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and
are so dim that they require a Bill of No Rights".

ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big
screen TV or any other form of wealth. More power to
you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is
guaranteeing anything.

ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be
offended. This country is based on freedom, and that
means freedom for everyone -- not just you!
You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a
different opinion, etc., but the world is full of
idiots, and probably always will be.

ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from
harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to
be more careful, do not expect the tool manufacturer
to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.

ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and
housing. Americans are the most charitable people to
be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are
quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after
generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve
nothing more than the creation of another generation
of professional couch potatoes.

ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health
care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public
housing, we're just not interested in public health care.

ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically
harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally
maim, or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest
of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.

ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the
possessions of others. If you rob, cheat or coerce
away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be
surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you
away in a place where you still won't have the right
to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.

ARTICLE VIII: You don't have the right to demand that
our children risk their lives in foreign wars to
soothe your aching conscience. We hate oppressive
governments and won't lift a finger to stop you from
going to fight if you'd like. However, we do not enjoy
parenting the entire world and do not want to spend so
much of our time battling each and every little tyrant
with a military uniform and a funny hat.

ARTICLE IX: You don't have the right to a job. All of
us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help
you along in hard times, but we expect you to take
advantage of the opportunities of education and
vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.

ARTICLE X: You do not have the right to happiness.
Being an American means that you have the right to
PURSUE happiness -- which by the way, is a lot easier
if you are unencumbered by an overabundance of idiotic
laws created by those of you who were confused by the
Bill of Rights,"

ARTICLE XI: This is an English speaking country.
We don't care where you are from, English is our language.
Learn it or go back, for good, to the hole you came from.
Think about it.

(h/t JT at the Beagle Express)

Some things just make you happy...

Like finding that you've already got the data you had set aside the day to get so you can go out to lunch with your Darling Husband.....

Like finding a favorite blogger is back....

Like watching your team get to the Final Four.....

(AP Photo/David Duprey from ESPN.com)

It's been a pretty good day!
(Note-- this was last night. Blogger ate my happy post until this morning! I hate Blogger.)

Monday, March 28, 2005

That Mockingbird just wouldn't sing

So FrankJ bought SarahK a diamond ring!

Go here and here to congratulate blogdom's newest betrotheds!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Happy Easter

Luke 23: 1-12
It was very early in the morning on the first day of the week. The women took the spices they had prepared, then they went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from it. When they entered the tomb, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. They were wondering about this.

Suddenly two men in clothes as bright as lightning stood beside them. The women were terrified. They bowed down with their faces to the ground. Then the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? Jesus is not here! He has risen! Remember how he told you he would rise? It was while he was still with you in Galilee. He said, 'The Son of Man must be handed over to sinful people. He must be nailed to a cross. On the third day he will rise from the dead.' "

Then the women remembered Jesus' words.

They came back from the tomb. They told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them were the ones who told the apostles. But the apostles did not believe the women. Their words didn't make any sense to them, but Peter got up and ran to the tomb. He bent over and saw the strips of linen lying by themselves. Then he went away, wondering what had happened.

Easter Blessings to you and yours!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Barry Bonds

So ESPN keeps harping on this Barry Bonds story. You know, that he's so disgusted that he may never come back after his knee surgery rehab.

Oh yeah? Well GOOD RIDDANCE. I find it kinda fishy that Barry was improving and then all of a sudden, on the same day as the Congressional Baseball Hearing, he needs to have knee surgery? According to previous reports, all he was supposed to do was see his own doctor in SF for a follow-up that day, and next thing you know he's in surgery? That doesn't compute. Barry needs an excuse to get small. If he can't be on the 'roids, he needs to cover up his withdrawal. What better way than to be layed up with a "bum knee"? He'll be at home, out of the public eye, and presumably won't be able to work out as much, hence he'd be smaller if and when he comes back....

And how convenient is it that Barry can blame the media for his little snit, and say he's never coming back because of what the media has done to his family. PLEASE, dude, we're not stupid. We don't think you can be "Barry Bonds" without steroids either. But don't think this is some kind of controversy-free graceful exit from the game before you get popped for your steroid use. It's ok to come out and not hit 40 home runs this year, even if you were healthy. Everyone has an off year, right?

Wussing out of baseball, even if it's only for the season, based on some press comments is just as bad as McGwire refusing to discuss his steroid-related past in front of Congress, and makes you look just as guilty, dude.

Elite Eight!

The Tar Heels finally pulled it out at around 12:30 am last night, 67-66 over a surprisingly scrappy Villanova team. Next game is tomorrow afternoon vs Wisconsin. That won't be a cakewalk, either. The Badgers played the Illini super tough twice this season, so this is probably a pretty good match-up, not to mention that they bitch-slapped NC State about hard as we did.....

Pretty Picture:

AP Photo/Winslow Townson(from ESPN.com)

Friday, March 25, 2005

Oh yeah, one more thing...

Duck Fook!

Damn that was a good game, though.

Housekeeping in progress

Updating the blogroll among other things now that Blogger is being more cooperative....

* indicates a recent addition to the blogroll

I'll take it

I'm #2 on Google for caltech evil


Thoughts for Good Friday

Good Friday is the day when we remember Jesus' arrest and crucifixion, his suffering and death.

A traditional version of the scripture is here

A not-so-traditional version here

No more Salmon Pink Tie. Please.

Most of you who read regularly know that I follow British politics as a hobby. I love to watch PMQ on C-SPAN, and Tony Blair is one of my political heroes, even though we sometimes take different positions.

This spring's general elections were to have been a referendum on the war and Tony Blair's leadership, with many predicting that the Tories (Britain's Conservative party) would take back nearly all of Labour's (Blair's party) majority.

Now it looks like the Tories have shot themsleves in the foot. Howard Flight, a Tory MP, and the party whip (2nd in command behind party leader Michael Howard), let slip to donors that the Tories may not be entirely truthful in their campaign spending/budget promises, and that things on their platform might change after the elections. Now Mr. Flight has been sacked, removed from his position as deputy chairman, and taken off the candidates list for the elections.

This couldn't have come at a worse time for the Tories. Leadership in the party has been questionable throughout Tony Blair's tenure as PM, culminating in the vote of no confidence in party leader Ian Duncan Smith, and his ouster in late October of 2003. Mr. Howard, considered more of a party hard-liner, has served as party leader and "shadow Prime Minister" since then.

Initially, Howard's leadership was thought to be a much needed boost for the party, since his style is more aggressive, and he appeared to have Labour on the ropes for several months. That has changed in recent months, largely due to Tory stands on EU issues and changes in public opinion after several large terror-related arrests in the UK coupled with the success of elections in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Troubles in the Tory party are a boon for President Bush's foreign policy. Although the Tories are generally considered to be the closer allies to the US Republican party (think Maggie Thatcher and President Reagan), Tony Blair's Labour government has been the US's best ally in the war on terror, both at home and abroad.

Michael Howard's leadership of his party is in serious jeopardy right now. Chances are good that if the Tories don't make up ground in the election, his time as chairman is over and done with. And as far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing. I can't stand that salmon pink tie.

Calling all cooks...

This week's Carnival of the Recipes is up at Pajama Pundits, and Donna did a great job putting everything together!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Jurassic Park, here we come

From today's NY Times (pathetic registration required, sorry) :
"Tissue preservation to this extent has not been noted before in dinosaurs," the team leader, Dr. Mary H. Schweitzer of North Carolina State University, said in a teleconference on Tuesday. The scientists said that an examination with a scanning electron microscope showed the dinosaur blood vessels to be "virtually indistinguishable" from those recovered from ostrich bones. The ostrich is today's largest bird, and many paleontologists think birds are living descendants of some dinosaurs. Dr. Schweitzer and other scientists not connected with the research cautioned that further analysis of the specimens was required before they could be sure the tissues had indeed survived unaltered. They said the extraction of DNA for studies of dinosaur genetics and cloning experiments was only a long shot. But in a separate article in Science, Dr. Lawrence Witmer, a paleontologist at Ohio University who had no part in the research, said: "If we have tissues that are not fossilized, then we can potentially extract DNA. It's very exciting."
This is how it started, folks. I don't want to be the one who ends up dead in an outhouse......

Carnival reminder....

This week's Carnival of the Recipes is being hosted by Donna B. of Pajama Pundits. Get those recipes in before 12AM EST (That's Midnight, folks) at recipe.carnival-at-gmail-dot-com.

Setting the Date

Ok folks, it's semi-official. As soon as I hear back from a couple of committee members, I'm going to go schedule the conference room for the meeting.

I will be leaving the long, dark, pathetic tunnel known as
Grad School
on May 26, 2005, sometime between 10AM and Noon. Of course, I will still have to turn in my paperwork and finish up the stuff that wasn't done, and I'll be teaching through June, but I **will** graduate.


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Toast of the Town

In honor of our Sweet Sixteen-bound Tar Heels, here are two recipes with a Tar Heel theme!

First, the perfect drink with which to toast the hometown 'Heels. This is a REAL drink. I found it here while searching for something completely different and may try this when I can drink.

The Chapel Hill

1 1/2 oz bourbon whiskey
1/2 oz Blue Curacao
1 tbsp lemon juice

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange or lemon peel, and serve.

The original version just calls for a generic Triple Sec, but Blue Curacao is the most appropriate one I think. Don't you?

BTW I learned something here: (although in retrospect, I suppose I should have known...) Triple Sec is called that because it is trebly distilled (sec being short for "secado" or dried, Triple Sec is originally from the Caribbean)

Or, if you'd rather indulge in something more chocolatey try this one....

Tar Heel Pie

1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
1 - 9 inch unbaked pie shell

Pour warm butter over chocolate chips and stir. Blend remaining ingredients and stir into chocolate chip mixture. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes

Temperature: 350°

Baking Time: 30-40 minutes.

(found here)

Wednesday House Blogging

Took a break from The Pretender long enough to watch AI and House last night. Mobster informant "John Smith" was suffering from Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency, which is a deficincy in function of a key enzyme in the disposal of nitrogen.

When the body breaks up ingested proteins, the extras get turned into urea, which is then excreted in urine (mostly) and sweat. People with this disorder can't do that well, so they get toxic intermediates built up in their liver, and well, you can guess the rest.

According to this site, frequency of some form of the disease (it varies in severity) is 1:80,000 live births. Clinical onset is often rapid and devastating, and late-onset cases may start as late as 40-50. Also, and extremely interestingly, the disease is X-linked, and homozygous females (who don't have a normal copy of the gene) are often also severely mentally retarded. So House probably should have tested the brother's DNA (50% chance he had the same gene) for the disorder....

Who else was creeped out by the way Vogler was all over Cuddy? I would have totally torn him a new one about the difference between medical ethics and the bottom line. And whether or not it was his business if I had a crush on/ relationship with a coworker or not IN THE PAST.

Also, I cracked up at that whole "Do you like him? I mean like like him" conversation between Alison and Chase. That was SOOOO 7th grade.

Finally, we're hoping to see more of House's new Red '65 Corvette, which we have dubbed "Dr. House's P*ssy Wagon"......

The Pretender has arrived

And it is GOOD.

I can't wait for seasons 2-4 and the movies to be released. I watched almost the entire first half yesterday.


Monday, March 21, 2005

Oh my GAWD

Inspired by Lileks, but so, SO much worse.

I give you Weight Watchers Recipe Cards ca. 1974.

fair warning: One of these so-called recipes is titled "Mackerelly"

(h/t SWWBO)

If you pray...

Send up some special prayers for VW's second little guy who went to the hospital today with croup. Mom and older brother have also been down with the creeping crud, and the whole family needs all the prayers and good wishes they can get. Drop by here and leave VW a short message and let her know you're thinking about them...


Dammit. Now I'll never get one of these:

John DeLorean died Saturday of complications of a recent stroke. This article is from the Belfast Telegraph, which probably has the most interesting perspective on the life and death of John DeLorean.

I remember being bitterly disappointed when he was arrested and the factory closed. I was 6.

I did actually sit in one, and I know someone who owned one. Not bad with only 9000 ever made.

Pretty Picture

I like what I do. I can't really talk about it, because it's not published yet, or if it is, discussing my papers would reveal my secret identity :)

But I can show off:

I think it's rather pretty, myself. This is picture of a section of rat brain. The green cells are migrating from where they're born to where they will live. Ok, it's WAY more complicated than that, but I think it's a neat picture. Enjoy.

It's 4 am

and I have given up. Not sleeping tonight. I went to bed at 11. DH was already asleep on the couch so I woke him and got him upstairs. But I wasn't sleepy. This is not that unusual. I have always had a hard time getting to sleep. Usually takes me 20-40 minutes instead of the 7 that it takes most folks. So I did what I usually do.
SportsCenter. DooDooDoo. DooDooDoo...
No dice. Didn't even faze me. In fact, it was a rehash of the earlier one since it was right after Dream Job. So I flipped. And watched the Schiavo vote in the House on CNN (2 channels over).
Still awake.
So I watched 2 shows on Discovery Health. Too interesting. By now, it's 3am and I'm wide awake.

So I decide to use my time wisely: I'll work! Great idea, except that the papers I need to write from are on my desk. At school. I did put together a graph I was thinking about, and so now I am writing something far less useful. Arrgghh.

This generally indicates that there's bad arthritis times coming, but I'm guessing it's stress over graduation. I don't have a job, my experiments aren't quite finished, and I guess I'm officially losing sleep over it.

Anybody out there need a postdoc (or know someone who does) with a PhD in Neurobiology who is a whiz at immunohistochemistry and behavioral studies, loves teaching, and is interested in development and stress?
Anybody looking for junior teaching faculty in biology, psychology, or neurobiology?
Leave a comment or email me if you really are such a person.

What the heck. The usual channels haven't worked yet......

Sunday, March 20, 2005

How's this for funny?

I'm pretty sure visitor #20,000, who dropped by at 9:51 am today was either Jay or Deb, given the combo of ISP and referring URL. In any case, the big winner was Accidental Verbosity, despite strong competition from CotR referrals.

Go here and tell her mom and dad how cute Sadie looks in pink :)

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Since Blogger appears to be over the flu too...

Ten quick links you may not have seen yet:

1. Carnival of the Recipes #31 is up, and the Space Monkey did a great job!

2. Thinking seriously about getting off of blogger. If I haven't emailed you already, I'd appreciate any tips on hosting etc. in the comments, or email me at citgirl99-at-gmail-dot-com.

3. Tammi links this wonderful post about why those who choose to serve our country do so, even when they may have better opportunities elsewhere.

4. Ben is Ebola.

5. Rosemary has funny (crude) jokes and adorable baby pictures.

6. VW also has cute kid pics.

7. Marie shares her shopping obsessions.

8. Kevin Aylward shares what may finally be a reasonable use for kimchi (yecchh...)

9. John of Argghhh and Rev. Sensing both share the amazing story of Pvt. Johnson Beharry, latest recipient of Britain's Victoria Cross, their highest decoration for valor in battle.

10. The Laughing Wolf has been wolf-blogging again.

Milestone coming up!

If the usual visitation rates apply, visitor #20,000 will arrive on my doorstep sometime tonight. Linky Love to the referrer (140 to go as of 11:45 am EST).... :)

Update: 72 to go at of 8:55 pm EST....

Friday, March 18, 2005

I haven't written about this yet

I have all kinds of excuses, from not wanting to think about it to not wanting to get into it to directing my mental energies toward graduation. But I had a pretty vehement argument about this with my DH tonight, and my emotion on the subject surprised me.

So I feel that the time has come for me to put in my 2¢.

I think it is absolutely inhumane to remove Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. So many have already written so much and so eloquently about this, that I just want to make 2 points.

1. Terri is probably conscious. She can respond to stimuli and may even be able to make coherent responses. A "vegetable" has minimal response even to sharp pain. She may be suffering from something similar to "locked-in syndrome" in which a patient is conscious but unable to move, talk, or respond as a result of her heart attack in 1990. She will feel pain and sickness as she dies of dehydration (you dehydrate about 4 times faster than you starve to death). Some have made the declaration that "Terri wouldn't want to live this way". Of course not, but she may not always have to.

2. What is the difference between Terri Schiavo and a quadraplegic who can breathe but cannot swallow? (although such cases are rare, it is possible) That person must also be fed through a tube and have their other bodily functions attended to, yet we would never consider withdrawing food from such a person. Is it because they can communicate with us, even rudimentarily? Is it because we're sure that they're really "in there"?

While Terri is not terminally ill, how she has been treated by those who should be protecting her (her so-called husband and the courts) says a heck of a lot about our rights at the end of our lives and how our human dignity will be respected when we can no longer speak for ourselves. Does human life mean so little that we can terminate it slowly and painfully on a whim? I mean there's a big difference between starving and dehydrating someone and stopping extraordinary lifesaving measures when someone is already clinically dead. Terri's life may be less active or useful than it was when she was healthy, but she is still alive, regardless of whether she knows it or not.

Allowing her even the simplest dignity at her death requires us to let her finish her life in her own time and God's, not to die a horribly painful, slow death at the hands of a man who would rather kill her than allow someone else to decide her fate. Perhaps she would have preferred to have her life ended, rather than live like this, but if that was really the case, why didn't he pull the plug on Terri in 1990 when she was dependent on machines as well as the feeding tube? She would have died quickly and painlessly, within minutes. Why wait 10 years before deciding that this is not what Terri wanted?

I couldn't starve an animal to death, how could anyone possibly do this to a human being?

What the media doesn't tell you...

Redsugar Muse received this correspondence, detailing what was effectively an AAR on the actions of the 1st CAV, who have almost all returned from Iraq in the last few weeks. I concur that you won't have heard ANY of these things before unless you have a correspondent with "boots on the ground".

Here's just a taste:
"He showed a graph of attacks in Sadr City by month. Last Aug-Sep they were getting up to 160 attacks per week. During the last three months, the graph had flatlined at below 5 to zero per week.

His big point was not that they were "winning battles" to do this but that cleaning the place up, electricity, sewage, water were the key factors. He said yes they fought but after they started delivering services that the Iraqis in Sadr City had never had, the terrorist recruiting of 15 and 16 year olds came up empty."

Interesting, no? Read the whole thing. It gets better.

Welcome home guys! Including my B-i-L and our bud Henry and the other guys my husband served with for 3 years. Job well done!

My Own Private 'Roid Rage

Mark McGwire is a wuss of the first order. There's a reason we haven't seen the Degree ad with the "Wuss" character yet. They took it out of production so that they could put HIS face on the damn doll.

Let me sum up his testimony. (Yes, I listened to nearly all of it at work, and all of the player bit):
"I'm retired", "I can't say that", "Positive".

Is it me or was he CRYING when he read his opening statement???
Newsflash, Marky-Mark: THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!!!!

He was the only one who WOULD NOT give an answer to the following questions:
1. Did you use steroids?
2. Did you use any other substances?
3. Is steroid use cheating?
4. Is performance-enhancing drug use cheating?
5. Should the league adopt tougher standards?

Yet he mocked Canseco. At least Jose-Can-You-See had the stones to take it like a man. McGwire was just pathetic. That whole "I'm changing the mission of my foundation" line was such a pile.

And the whole "Steroids are bad" bit. Am I the only one who was adding "MM'kay" in my head? Did Mr. Mackey step into his body for a minute there?

Personally, I think Congress was right to step in. Baseball enjoys a very plummy anti-trust exemption that none of the other sports have. If baseball is going to take advantage of the fans, and essentially cheat them out of their hard-earned, then Congress should be able to say "hold on there one minute", and threaten baseball's sweet little deal. Yeah, Congress probably should have focused on the budget this week, but as one of the Congressmen said yesterday, "How come we don't have 12 TV cameras when we discuss education or healthcare for poor children?" Personally I'm all for Olympic-type draconian steroid policies. If they're clean then why not? Palmeiro and Sosa seemed to be in favor of it, so maybe they are clean. At least, except for that Viagra that Palmeiro hawks on TV. But I doubt it enhances baseball performance.....

Two thoughts with coffee

Or, I'm waiting for my brains to incubate and inspiration strikes....

1. The Gathering of the Blogs is set for April 6, with a blog-fashion show on April 1. If you're a scots-person, or you agree with Mike Myers ("If it's not Scottish, it's CRAP"), sign up and join in. The more the merrier. The half that's not Armenian is at least part Scots-Irish(from the hills of TN), so I'm in. That, and I love plaid.....

2. Bou has a great post here about the way we learn, and the way our kids are being taught from a parent/former student perspective. I have had a very similar experience, not with math, but with physics, so I totally get her point, and I agree that we push kids WAY too hard when they're little, sometimes with bad results. Point to ponder: Our brains don't even work in an adult way until after puberty, sometimes not even until 18-25. Between 12-25 the frontal cortex undergoes a dramatic remodeling, and we change the way that we take in and store information, and the timeline is different for each individual. Is it fair then to ask kids, who physiologically think like children, to have to think like adults (which they may be physiologically incapable of)?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

First alcohol, now cookies

This is another fabulous Chocolate Chip cookie recipe, with the added bonus of being a great oatmeal cookie recipe as well! Oatmeal cookies with lots of cinnamon are really my favorite, but these come in a close second to Ghirardelli's chocolate chip cookies.....
(originally from allrecipes.com)

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips ( I use more)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Yields about 3 1/2 dozen.

I am Smrt! **Hic** I mean Smart! **Hic**

For a chick that doesn't drink I think I did pretty well. Of course, my Dad was in the liquor biz for 35 years, so I guess I probably know a thing or two....

Bacardi 151
Congratulations! You're 144 proof, with specific scores in beer (120) , wine (100), and liquor (95).

All right. No more messing around. Your knowledge of alcohol is so high
that you have drinking and getting plastered down to a science. Sure,
you could get wasted drinking beer, but who needs all those trips to
the bathroom? You head straight for the bar and pick up that which is
most efficient.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
You scored higher than 84% on proof
You scored higher than 99% on beer index
You scored higher than 92% on wine index
You scored higher than 94% on liquor index
Link: The Alcohol Knowledge Test written by hoppersplit on Ok Cupid

(h/t Ith)

How I celebrated St. Patrick's Day

by Caltechgirl

Last night we had this yummy pot roast. Mmmmmm. Guinness. Brilliant!

Thanks, Kathleen for the idea.

(BTW, if you don't normally read her blog, drop by here anyway and give her your $0.02 on her work-related dilemma)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Today of All Days....

Only two of you will understand the title, but oh well. Acidman posits this question:
Are men REALLY more comfortable being nekkid than wimmen are?
He then goes on to ask:
Guys horseplay nekkid, too--- you know--- pop somebody in the ass with a wet towel, go piss in the hot tub from OUTSIDE while somebody is IN it, smack a wad of Atomic Balm on somebody's bare balls and run off cackling... yeah.

I never did that ANY of that stuff, but some guys do. Wimmen DON'T. Do you?

And the comments of course got around to discussing that great American sport of fart-lighting.

So here's the story: this guy I knew in HS was famous among his peers for having a hairy posterior. He also liked to show off said posterior, so I can assure you that it was indeed MASSIVELY hairy. This person was also a master at breaking wind on command. I have never met another person who was so capable of emitting such noxiousness on command. Being the type of guy that I'm sure you can guess he was, he was also quite a braggart, especially when it came to his posterior.

One day in the locker room, the subject of fart lighting came up, and he decided to prove to the naive moron that asked that such a thing was possible. So he flicked his lighter, let one go, and proceed to burn:
1. all the hair off of the middle of his rear
2. all the paint off the side of the locker he was standing next to
3. singed the eyebrows of the dude holding the lighter

True story.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

It's That Time of Year Again

3rd Annual International Eat an Animal for PETA day! Yay!!!

CTG and DH will be celebrating with a pot roast (if it thaws) or hamburgers.
The Princess will be celebrating (as usual) with Kangaroo.

Mmmmmm Meat.....

This post stays on top all day!

Monday, March 14, 2005

Happy Pi Day

Today is Einstein's birthday and International Pi day, or rather, International day...

For the nerds among you, here's Pi to 100 places:

π ≈ 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510


Or perhaps you'd prefer this kind of pi(e)...
I myself made a Jello No-Bake Cheesecake. Hey, I still have the flu...

(this post stays on top today)

Ith answers the Meme.... (updated)

1. How much longer do you think it will take the window guys?

Christmas! I'm told that this Thursday and Friday is D Day, but I'm skeptical.

2. Why Dragons?

I used to collect unicorns, and then they became popular. And that bugged me :) (same thing happened with amber -- damn Jurassic Park!) Then at a Norwescon back in 1985 (I think) I saw this amazing pendant with a dragon that wasn't a Chinese style one, and my collection was born! But I'm rather particular about the dragons I collect, so neither me or my house is covered in them or anything. I'm also a big fan of the Pern books by Anne McCaffrey -- I want a Fire Lizard. I also collect hedgehogs, though you didn't ask. But it is sort of related because I collect Pocket Dragons, and every few in a run have a hedgehog on the figurine with the dragon.

3. Who is your favorite character on House BESIDES House? Why?

There are other characters?!? I'd say Cameron. Why? Because I relate to her and the "being nice" thing. I think we'd get along famously.

4. What is your favorite self-indulgent treat?

A dinner of assorted cheeses from Whole Foods or going out to good restaurant and having a filet mignon with blue cheese or bernaise sauce.
(The cheese happens way more often.)

5. Which is better, Absinthe or Cookies?

I've never has absinthe, so I don't know. But I'll get back to you.

Update: tritcale's answers are here.

More interviews

For Ith:
1. How much longer do you think it will take the window guys?

2. Why Dragons?

3. Who is your favorite character on House BESIDES House? Why?

4. What is your favorite self-indulgent treat?

5. Which is better, Absinthe or Cookies?

For triticale:
1. Do you also consider yourself one of the "normal"munuvians? What the heck is the deal with the munuvians, anyway?

2. Why triticale? I know it's an esoteric hybrid grain. Are you an esoteric hybrid kind of guy?

3. What's your favorite meal to cook?

4. Milwaukee, huh?

5. What's your biggest blog peeve?

Who would you be in 1400?

I would be:
The Prioress
You scored 26% Cardinal, 51% Monk, 55% Lady, and 40% Knight!
You are a moral person and are also highly intellectual. You like your solitude but are also kind and helpful to those around you. Guided by a belief in the goodness of mankind you will likely be christened a saint after your life is over.

You scored high as both the Lady and the Monk. You can try again to get a more precise description of either the Monk or the lady, or you can be happy that you're an individual.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
You scored higher than 31% on Cardinal
You scored higher than 68% on Monk
You scored higher than 66% on Lady
You scored higher than 49% on Knight
Link: The Who Would You Be in 1400 AD Test written by KnightlyKnave on Ok Cupid
(h/t Ith)


Tomorrow is International Eat an Animal for PETA Day. Yours truly and the DH will be participating enthusiastically. Will you? What will you be eating to celebrate this auspicious occasion? Any non-practicing carnivores care to comment?

Flu-induced randomness

1. The Georgia Tech fans next door who insisted on banging on the floor and making my dog bark every time Tech got a point also sound like a weird mix of roosters and tomcats when they come piling out of the house screaming because they beat the team that everyone else in the neighborhood was rooting for, at least those who weren't trying to sleep... Good thing I didn't have a gun or it would have been Texas Tower all over again.

2. Did you know that at 6:30 am there's "cheaper" traffic than at 7? (I meant to say less... my husband thought this was funny) This is what I get for leaving my sickbed to take work things into the lab that I was ATTEMPTING to do over the weekend.

3. Tylenol Flu is indeed the nectar of the Gods.

March Silliness

Since I can't call it "madness" because SeeBS are boogers about trademark, but it is that time of year again.....
Bracketology, baby. WooHoo! And this year I can pick my Heels to win it all and have a legit shot at winning the whole thing. Yay!

Anyway, if you're into the bracket thing, and want to track your picks against others (free!) drop on over to Yoco college basketball and fill in a bracket. There are modest prizes for the winners, but there's no entry fee and you can track your score online in this bracketfest only for bloggers.

I'm already in. Go Heels!
(h/t BFT)

Saturday, March 12, 2005

down for the count

Posts in the last hour notwithstanding, this blogger is pathetically flu-ridden, and begs for your indulgence while she attempts to shake off the fog. Interviews will resume tomorrow or Monday, depending on when I begin thinking straight again. Urrrgh.

However, xrlq's answers to the interview are here. Questions are here in case you forgot what I asked....

Oh, and Georgia Tech sucks. Except that now I have no good excuse to not go in to lab tomorrow and get caught up....

A Tribute

Acidman's mama lost her battle with the big "C" this morning. Having been through that fight with my grandmother when I was 17, I'm glad to hear that she went in peace and before cancer took herself away along with her strength. And I'm especially glad that Rob had the chance to speak meaningfully with her in the last few days. That's the one comfort I've had for the last 10 years since my Nana passed, I was able to have a chance to really hear her. That and the fact that she met and liked my darling husband (even though we were only friends at the time). But that's a subject for another post.

Rob wrote a wonderful tribute to his mother here. I'd love it if my children said similar things about me when my time comes. Drop by, if you haven't already, and read it.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Lots of long posts today

Just keep scrolling....
and remember, if Blogger comments suck, you can email me at citgirl99-at-gmail-dot-com.

Two thoughts

1. For that rumbly in the tumbly feeling look no further than Carnival of the Recipes #30, hosted by the endlessly creative Pam of Pamibe (with some help from Zoe, I'm guessing), including the Dr. Pepper meatball recipe of yours truly.

2. The ecosystem came back up today, and whaddaya know? I'm still a large mammal. Guess y'all were still coming around while I was becoming a brain surgeon. Thanks.

Interesting medical news (long post, sorry)

It seems that three teams of researchers have together found a gene that is responsible, not for causing macular degeneration, but for predisposing carriers to develop macular degeneration.
According to the story:
"Age-related macular degeneration affects between 10 million and 15 million people in the United States alone and is the leading cause of blindness among the elderly. By the age of 75, as many as 30 percent of Americans have some symptoms of the condition.

The macula is a circular area at the center of the retina and is packed with cones, the structures that help in seeing color, detect motion and making out fine detail.

As part of the normal aging process, yellowish waste deposits called drusen accumulate around the macula, but in AMD, they are bigger and there are more of them. They kill cells in the eye, affecting central vision.

Smoking, obesity, and a high-fat diet are all known to raise the risk of AMD, while eating fruits and vegetables lowers the risk. But there is also a genetic component. "We know that one of the most significant factors in determining who gets macular degeneration is family history," said ophthalmologist Dr. Albert Edwards of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, who led one of the studies."

Interesting. The gene that they isolated is called complement factor H (CFH), and functions as part of the immune system, specifically involved in the regulation of inflammation. So essentially, this find not only identifies the genetic component of AMD, it also pegs the disease as yet another auto-immune disorder. One could postulate a mechanism of action whereby mutated CFH leads to dysregulated inflammation in the eye, which in turn causes the heavier than normal build up of the drusen deposits. Of course, this would be heavily influenced by 1) the function of other genes involved in inflammatory regulation and 2) how much inflammation is present.

If you have more inflammation, it's more likely that you'll have problems caused by an abnormal response to it. Guess which things are all associated with increased inflammation? Age, obesity. smoking, high-fat foods, etc. Sound familiar? (see above if your attention span is too short ...)

Interestingly, positing AMD as an auto-immune disorder related to control of inflammation casts it in the same light as cardiovascular disease: Increased inflammation leads to build up of sticky goo that eventually clots up the whole works and kills the cells that are important for some function. In the case of CVD, it's lack of oxygen to the heart muscle resulting in a heart attack, in AMD, it's lack of nutrients and signal transduction, leading to nerve damage and eventually blindness.

On the other hand (pun intended) this story is interestingto me for two reasons. First, since I already have a haywire immune system that thinks my joints are full of goo from outer space, sometimes I wonder what else I'm going to attack in my own body, just for fun, of course.

Second, if you pay attention to health news, you may have noticed that auto-immune disorders are on the rise in the western world. This is so for 2 reasons: more disorders are being recognized as having an auto-immune component, and more people are being diagnosed with them. The auto-immune spectrum now includes the "classic", rare AI diseases (RA, Lupus, Grave's Disease, etc.) as well as number of more common diseases: diabetes, MS, and asthma, to name a few. So I wonder what the real cause is. Nominally, it's a bad reaction to stress on the body, but what that entails is not clear, nor is it clear what "stress" even means in this case, except EXTREMELY generally, even to those of us who study the molecular consequences of the stress response..... Something to think about, though.

Answers from Down Under

Aussie Wife Amanda answers the meme:

1. Did you beat the Wombats?
Those wombats musta been channeling their lazy side,rather than their
marauding side. Only 3 of their team turned up, so they had to
forfeit!! We win by default.

2. What do you like about your job?
Umm.. that's a hard one. I get paid? Also, I have a nice team leader,
so it is not as sucky as it could be. Other than that, nothing, it's a
call centre.

3. What's one thing about Australia that you love that most Americans
(and other touristy-types) never see?
My husband? hehehe. I'll cheat and give another one. It's not a place
as such, but getting together for a BBQ with friends has got to be one
of the best things around. I promise if you head over here for a
holiday, we'll cook up a storm for you :)

4. Which is worse: Spiders or Snakes?
I'd have to go with Spiders, we don't get snakes around the 'burbs
here, but we do get massive Huntsman Spiders

5. Do you have everything the way you want it in your house yet or are
you still settling in?
I don't know that we'll ever have our house the way we want it. :) We
did get some new sofas the other day, so that is good, but we still
have to get another sofa and a sofa bed refurbished, and we need to
get a bookcase built for our library, still stacks of books on the
floor. Oh, and we need to put our pictures up yet, too!

Variations on a Meme....

Bill's interview answers are here.
Ben's are here.
Still polishing their answers: Amanda and xrlq

Up next: triticale, Acidman, and Ith....

Remember, folks, if you get interviewed you need to interview 5 others to carry on the meme....

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Interview Part 3

Two sets of questions in this one:

Questions for Bill:

1. Mountains or Ocean?

2. Favorite Dodgers moment? Best game you ever attended? Who's your favorite Dodger of all time?

3. Why is your cousin "annoying"?

4. What's your favorite movie? What makes it so special?

5. What annoys you most about people?

Questions for Amanda:

1. Did you beat the Wombats?

2. What do you like about your job?

3. What's one thing about Australia that you love that most Americans (and other touristy-types) never see?

4. Which is worse: Spiders or Snakes?

5. Do you have everything the way you want it in your house yet or are you still settling in?

As usual, answers in the comments or email them to me at citgirl99-at-gmail-dot-com if blogger's comments are still down..... You know what to do to fix the email address.

Answers to Ben's questions are here.

Interview with a VampireBlogger, Part Deux

Here are the questions for xrlq:

1. How exactly does one become a "school teacher and a drug
trafficker"? Is that an easy line of business to get into?

2. If you had your choice, who is the one person living or dead that
you would most like to read the blog of? Why?

3. Michael Jackson: Misunderstood weirdo/sicko freak or Calculating
weirdo/sicko bastard?

4. What's the best thing about being a new dad? The worst?

5. Where did you come up with xrlq? I know your mama wasn't that mean.....

You can leave the answers in the comments, assuming Blogger is back on its meds and functioning again, or you can email me and I'll post them here.

Update: I have my final victims. I will be interviewing six of you since I discovered Amanda and Rob's acquiescences at the same time... Unless Ith wants to be more than standby, in which case, I can interview her too!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

More recipe blogging....

I return to this week's Carnival of the Recipes with a great recipe that's quick, yummy and a real favorite. Great for parties and potlucks and can be made ahead of time!
My mother got this recipe from a cookbook that the parents at my preschool put together in 1979 or 1980, and I believe the original came from a cookbooklet that you could get for free with purchase of Dr. Pepper in the early and mid 197os.

Dr. Pepper Meatballs

1 pound ground beef
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 to 3 tablespoons oil
1 cup Dr. Pepper (Diet Dr. Pepper works just as well!)
1/4 teaspoons dry mustard
2 tablespoon ketchup
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Combine meatball ingredients, shape into balls and brown on all sides in a skillet. Mix the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs to the sauce, cook on low until the sauce almost disappears, either on the stovetop or in a crockpot.

The interview meme part I

I thought I'd start with Ben today, and do the others between now and Friday. I still need one more victim interviewee....

So Exgaucho Ben, here are my 5 questions for you:

1. Explain the famous UCSB "tortilla incident"

2. Who is your favorite non-major Simpsons character and why? What's your favorite episode?

3. Why on earth would anyone ever have called you "Kingsley"?

4. Boxers or Briefs?

5. What's your motivation for blogging?

You can put your answers in the comments, assuming they load....

Say "Good Night" Dan

Goodnight Dan.

Hehehehe. Tonight the first of the Document Gang leaves his job at SeeBS news. Let's hope the dominoes keep falling.

Speaking of dominoes, see here as well.

A slightly more involved meme

All right you lurkers! I see you. Don't think I don't.

Trying to prove a point (Jon DOES get visitors) I stepped into this one. But it's not stinky or painful.

I need 5 brave souls to interview. Well, make that 4, because one of you signed himself up because I said so (Ben). I make up the questions, you answer em'. As truthfully as you can, although they're not painful. See here, here, and here for examples of questions.

This is kind of fun, and a good creative exercise if you hide behind a mysterious internet persona or you just want some traffic.... You don't have to be a blogger to participate, although it will help me think of good questions......

Update: Wow Y'all. I need just one more of you, after less than 2 hours! Come on, ante-up!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Sometimes you feel like a nut....

I was always partial to Mounds, myself...

What Flavour Are You? I taste a bit like Almonds. I taste a bit like Almonds.

Mmm, the taste of almonds - anathema to many with nut allergies, and a bad sign for many more, as my taste is not unlike that of cyanide. Am I good or am I poison? A risky thing to guess about. What Flavour Are You?

Stolen from Acidman.


I thought this one was amusing.....

bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

(from practically everyone.....)

I love it when a plan comes together...


UNC 75 - Dook 73

Mwahahahahahahahahahahaha. Eeeexcellent Smithers!

My Hero:

Photo: AP from ESPN

Sean May had a career night with a personal best double-double: 26 points, 24 boards. He may be the worst dancer on the team (I have pictures!) but he's got it where it counts: in the paint.

UNC takes the ACC regular season championship outright, and we're waiting for 6pm for the poll to come out.... since, as you may have heard already, some team called Ohio State beat some other team from Illinois........

Franklin St. was burning:

Photo: Raleigh N&O

At least they didn't flip any cars this year. We heard the sirens and the helicopters from our house. It was madness.

Let's hope we see a repeat of this in St. Louis, where it actually means something:

Photo: AP from ESPN

In other ACC news Chris Paul of Wake Forest may be suspended by the league after punching NC State's Julius Hodge in his, well, jewels. Here's the best recap (registration required) of the events that I've seen, and here's the highlights for those of you who don't want to bother:
"In a play that set the tone the rest of the night, Paul gave Hodge a harsh parting gift on senior night, hitting him with a low blow during a battle underneath the basket. Hodge, the reigning ACC player of the year, fell to the court with 12:48 left in the first half.

With Hodge laying on the ground, his older brother, Steve, walked onto the court to see if Julius was OK — and to yell toward Paul on the Wake Forest bench. Steve Hodge walked off the court, and arena security soon instructed him to leave the court area.

Once Hodge got up, he angrily yelled and gestured toward the Demon Deacons' sideline on his way back to the bench.

Paul said the two were just tangled up.

"I don't believe I popped him," Paul said. "It was just the heat of the game. I've got too much respect for him to try to pop him on senior night."

When told that replays showed him hitting Hodge, Paul responded, "I haven't seen the replay."

The question is whether Paul will face any kind of sanction from the league for the blow. Hodge mentioned his suspension as a freshman for an elbow he threw against Maryland's Steve Blake, which was caught on film and led to a one-game suspension afterward.

Wake Forest, which finished second in the league standings thanks to North Carolina's win against Duke earlier Sunday, plays Friday in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament.

"He punched me in the groin and the ref saw it," Hodge said. "I got suspended for that (as a freshman). ... I never play dirty like that."

Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser said he didn't see the incident. N.C. State coach Herb Sendek said he had reviewed replays of the incident, but declined comment.

"I think the replay is going to have to speak for me tonight," he said."

It wasn't obvious initially, but the replay clearly shows the nut-punch. What an ass. I mean, jeez, that's sexual harassment, not basketball...

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Oh yeah, and BTW, for tomorrow:


Your weekly meme

Stolen from here.
Grab a book, turn to page 123, then count down five sentences. Post the next three.

From "The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues" by Ellen Raskin:

"Mallomar lunged. One hand grabbed her neck, the other clasped her wrists behind her back. Struggling, stumbling she was dragged into the apartment and down the curved stairs by the iron-fisted fat man."

Sunday Funnies on Saturday

Gir posted this yesterday, and as it is one of my favorite bits of all time, I repost here for your amusement:

The New Priest:
A new priest at his first mass was so nervous he could hardly speak. After mass he asked the monsignor how he had done. The monsignor replied, "When I am worried about getting nervous on the pulpit, I put a glass of vodka next to the water glass. If I start to get nervous, I take a sip."

So the next Sunday he took the monsignor's advice. At the beginning of the sermon, he got nervous and took a drink. He proceeded to talk up a storm. Upon return to his office after mass, he found the following note on his door:

1. Sip the Vodka, don't gulp.

2. There are 10 commandments, not 12.

3. There are 12 disciples, not 10.

4. Jesus was consecrated, not constipated.

5. Jacob wagered his donkey, he did not "bet his ass".

6. We do not refer to Jesus Christ as the late J.C.

7. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not referred to as Daddy, Junior, and the Spook.

8. David slew Goliath, he did not kick the shit out of him.

9. When David was hit by a rock and knocked off his donkey,
don't say he was stoned off his ass.

10. We do not refer to the cross as the Big T!

11. When Jesus broke the bread at the Last Supper he said, "Take this and eat it, for it is my body", he did not say, "Eat me."

12. The Virgin Mary is not referred to as "Mary with the Cherry".

13. The recommended grace before a meal is not: "Rub-A-dub-dub, thanks for the grub, Yay God!".

and finally...

14. Next Sunday there will be a taffy-pulling contest at St. Peter's, not a peter-pulling contest at St. Taffy's.

Hehhehehehehe. I first got this joke in my email in 1996, I think. Still funny!

Common Sense, please!

Howdy y'all I'm back. Even just for a minute.

This was too much to pass up.

A lot of people are hand-wringing about this, but I wanted to point out a few things so that we all understand that this was totally not the chimps' fault. I used to want to work with chimps and bonobos, so I had to learn a few things about working with them or being around them. I have been the recipient of an "bonobo shower" (a threat display I'll explain at the end), and seen the kind of violence that apes will perpetrate on others because of a percieved threat or stress to the troop.

So with that in mind, here are some facts I'd like to point out:
1. Chimps spook easily. When their environment is altered or their family group is changed, things can be tense, especially for young males (teens and 20s, the age of the attackers). These chimps were out of the cage and isolated from the remaining members of the troop. Four got out, but there were more still in the cage.
2. Chimps have different signals for fear and aggression than humans do. A smile at a chimp can bring on an attack, since chimp smiles are fear/aggression signals. Quick movements can be perceived as a threat.
3. Size matters. Even just standing tall can make a chimpanzee nervous, it can be considered an aggresive threat. By all accounts the guy who was hurt is a big dude. Notice how the chimps went after the man and not the woman? She was smaller and female, and therefore less of a threat to their dominance. She only got hurt trying to help her husband.
4. Chimps are 99.8% identical to humans in their DNA. Their brains are the same size. The only reason they can't talk is that the structure of their skull won't allow them to shape sounds the way that humans can. They do have rudimentary language capability and the intelligence of a young child. So you essentially have the reasoning and determination (read: stubborn fury) of a five year old in Arnold Schwarzenegger's body. When you have that combination driven by pure testosterone without reason, it can be extremely dangerous.

The main problem is that even people who have raised chimps can be lulled into a false sense of security. People who are not familiar with adult chimpanzees think of them as the cute diaper wearing babies on TV and in the movies. People who raised or lived with them can be fooled by the sweet disposition of their former pets, forgetting that chimps, like humans have many different personalities. Some are sweet, some friendly, and some are violent.

So in case you're still paying attention, here's the story of the "bonobo shower". I was interviewing to study with Sue Savage-Rumbaugh (then at GSU), who is one of the lead researchers in ape language in the world. She works with Bonobo Chimpanzees who have learned to communicate using a symbological language. These apes not only communicate rudimentary statements, they demonstrate new learning, and have been observed teaching the symbols from the "keyboard" to their offspring. Pretty cool.

Anyway, I was visiting, and so Sue and the grad students took me out to the yard to meet the apes. Kanzi, the male, decided he wasn't happy that there was a new person there, so he did a typical "display" dancing, hooting, beating on his chest, etc. Then he went into the "pool" with his sister, Panbaneesha, and while we were sitting next to the enclosed pool area, Kanzi sucked in as much water as he could hold and came over to the fence near us and let loose. I don't know how much water he spit on us, but I was soaked. I was the new person, the threat. I have no idea what he might have done if he easn't behind a fence. They told me that it's common for new staff to have to stay outside the fences for months.