Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Pat Robertson is double plus out of his fucking mind.

I bet you didn't know that Professors are killers!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

David Blaine survives, millions dissappointed

After swimming in his own urine for a week, David Blaine attempted to break the world record for holding his breathe. He failed. He still sucks.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Truthiness comes to Washington. Hilarity Ensues.

What network has the most intelligent news and societal commentary on television today? Well, it has become (painfully) obvious that distinction now belongs to Comedy Central. If there ever was a time when CNN, MSNBC, Fox News (hahaha!), or any of the major network news offered insight into the events that shape our world, that time has now passed.

Stephen Colbert's irony filled evisceration of both the White House and the press at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner was merely latest example of how the assembly of talent put together at Comedy Central is the primary source of real dissent on television to the major powers in American media. This article from Salon is the best I've seen so far on Colbert's speech, and summed up what the politicians in Washington should start to realize...
"Make no mistake, Stephen Colbert is a dangerous man -- a bomb thrower, an assassin, a terrorist with boring hair and rimless glasses. It's a wonder the Secret Service let him so close to the president of the United States."

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Goodbye Scottie : A tribute to our departing chief of propaganda

"I do expect that the President will say something at the beginning of his remarks today, at the conversation. "

“Flood control has been a priority of this administration from Day One.”

“an obligation not to render people to countries if we believe they're going to be tortured.”

Getting Off Scott Free: AP Presents McClellan's Past Quotes on Rove and Plame

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan says White House Reporter Helen Thomas opposes the war on terrorism

Friday, April 14, 2006

Friday Quote of the Day

“We have been chosen, ... by fate or providence or whatever you wish to call it. As far as we can tell, we are the best there is. We may be all there is. It's an unnerving thought that we may be the living universe's supreme achievement and its worst nightmare simultaneously.”
-Bill Bryson

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Signs of the Apocalypse

David Blaine. What a fucking wierdo. I wish he was sleeping with the fishes... in cement shoes!
The 33-year-old magician will perform his latest stunt by living underwater for seven days and nights in a "human aquarium" in front of New York's Lincoln Center.

He will conclude by attempting to hold his breath underwater longer than the record of 8 minutes, 58 seconds.

I hope someone breaks the supports on his spherical aquarium and sends him rolling down Broadway. Who else thinks that would be hilarious?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Apathy is the order of the day

As the latest Bush scandal hits Washington, the whole bio-weapon trailers justification for war being a total load of bullshit, I'm struck with a sense of complete and total apathy. Perhaps it is just the season for apathy and lack of discontent. Perhaps the source lies in the face that I haven't believed a word the President has uttered for many years (6 and half to be exact). I should be angry. Outraged even. And yet, the best I can muster is "why should this suprise ANYONE?!?!"

Perhaps I'm a victim of the 24 hour news blitzkrieg of which I'm so happily addicted. The saturation of political scandal has so infected my core that nothing moves me anymore. In fact, the only media that provokes anger in me anymore is watching Hannity and Colmes. And that's just because every word that comes out of Sean Hannity's mouth is venomous hate speech that has been tailored through years of practice to perform a unique brand of verbal fellatio on white males, Age 18-35 who don't like anyone that doesn't fit into their gated community, McDonald guzzling , SUV driving picture of life (hooray for demographic research!). Oh great, I just admitted that the only thing that can currently inspire my righteous indignation is the Jerry Springer of 24 hour news. Fan-Fucking-Tastic!

Am I truly defeated? Or do I just need some grilled meat and beer? Tonight I will test this theory. Stay tuned tomorrow for the results.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Oddities of a public restroom

So, I just got back from using the restroom on the first floor of the Physics building. I went to sit down on the toilet and look at the floor. What do I see? Fingernail clippings. Lots of them. A few of them were big. When I say big, I mean it looks like someone clipped the talons off of an eagle! So, after brief reflection on this incident, I'm left with the following questions...

Who the fuck clips their fingernails in a public restroom stall?
And why don't you have the common courtesy to clean that shit up when you are done?
Anyone else spot some fun items in public restrooms?

Friday Quote of the Day

Guns have little or nothing to do with juvenile violence. The causes of youth violence are working parents who put their kids into daycare, the teaching of evolution in the schools, and working mothers who take birth control pills. [on causes of the Columbine High School massacre, 1999]
Tom Delay

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Global Politics in 30 Seconds

Fat Kids: brought to you by the food and soft drink manufacturers of America

Kids in the U.S. are overweight. Fat even. Why is this happening? One big reason is the unhealthy slop that kids are served in school cafeterias. Another reason is the vending machines in school that dispense sugar in either liquid or solid form.

Ok, so this is a problem. But what are you going to do? Food and soft drink companies are big evil corporations who wield unreasonably large amounts of power in our nation's schools. Well, Congress has finally decided to step foward with some proposed legislation that will put minimum nutrition requirements for food served in schools.

Is this not the perfect analogy of corporate America today? Federal legislation is required to force school districts to provide a healthy meal to school kids instead of making a buck from Coca Cola or Frito Lay.
"We talk a lot about healthy nutrition, we teach the kids about the food pyramid, and then they go down the hallway and get the high fat, high sodium and high junk available in the vending machines," Ms. Murkowski said. "We need to be consistent. People are beginning to connect the dots between rising health care costs and obesity." - Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Picture Blogging France

I'm finally back from France. It was a great vacation. Right now, jet lag is kicking my ass but I figured that I might as well get these pictures up while I can.

Here's a front view of the Eiffel tower.

Here is a view from the bottom of the Eiffel Tower looking up.

My sister's boyfriend proposed on the intermediate level of the Eiffel Tower. She accepted and here is the ring. It's a Platinum ring with a big Sapphire gem and diamonds. Quite the bling bling.

My family traveled down to Southern France and stayed for a few days at a farm house in the Pyrenees mountains. I'm messing around with one of the dogs at the farm house on a hill that is called "nipple" in French.

Another farm picture.

Here's the view from hill next to our farm house.

My French relatives house near Monein.

This is the cave at Lourdes where St. Bernadette saw a vision of the Virgin Mary.

My sister and her fiance in front of the Cathedral at Lourdes.

I took this picture of the Pyrenees at dawn the last morning of my stay at the Farm house in Southern France.
My French relatives, Mary Te and Jean Claude, making us a gigantic meal. I can't remember the last time I ate that much food and all of it was fantastic.
Me at a beach in Southeastern France, about 40 km from the border with Spain.

Me in front of the Louvre. The Louvre was absolutely incredible. Next time I go to Paris, I'm going to spend at least a whole day there, if not more.

Notre Dame.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

It's French... Bitch.

I'm heading out today for a week long excursion to France. Don't expect any new posts until next Wed. Viva la France!

Monday, March 27, 2006

2008 : A premature preview

I've been doing a little thinking about the upcoming 2008 election. Specifically, who among the Democrats will run, and which ones I would vote for in the primary. So for this post, I will go through some of the potential candidates and give my short opinion.

Hillary Clinton: I like Hillary Clinton. But she can't win, so I won't vote for her. The conservatives hate her. Despise her. She could energize the Republican base more than any other candidate. She will not be getting my vote.

The most infuriating thing about Hillary is that she has moved so far to the center that she will alienate her liberal base, while not picking up the centrists and conservatives she covets because they hate her. Sorry Hillary, but you are not well liked outside of liberal circles.

Joseph Biden: A smart, savvy veteran Senate Democrat. He's a member of the Senate foreign relations committee. I've seen him on several television shows, including Meet the Press, and he has a superior command of foreign policy and relations. However, he comes off as a pompous know-it-all and would likely turn off voters who don't like smart people (i.e. the American voting public).

John Edwards: I'm completely indifferent to this guy. Did he actually do anything in the 2004 election?

Al Gore
: He won an election and still didn't get to be President. Sorry, but you should have fought harder Al.

John Kerry
: Oh joy, it's Al Gore version 2.0 Hey Kerry, if you couldn't win in 2004, when Dubya was fucking up everything, what makes you think you can win now? Well you can't, so you will not be getting my vote.

Russ Feingold
: Now here is a real candidate. Between his campaign finance reform bill and his censure resolution, Russ Feingold seems to be a politician who actually has some testicular fortitude against both special interest and the Republicans. Did you see him on the Daily Show? He made simple but eloquent arguments for his censure resolution. He is probably the only candidate who can beat McCain if he runs. Feingold gets my vote. Hell, I'd go out and campaign for this guy. Go Feingold.

Bill Richardson: Only candidate besides Feingold that I would actually be enthusiastic about. Richardson was the head of the Department of Energy under Clinton. He was also chief negotiator with the North Koreans back when we actually were making progress on disarming them. As the Governor of New Mexico, he will not only keep that swing state in the hands of the Democrats, but he could swing the Latino vote heavily in favor of the Democrats. He's a winner. I'd vote for him if Feingold is out of the running.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Friday Quote of the Day

"Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events"
- Sir Winston Churchill

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dick Cheney: Rockstar!

Dick Cheney cracks my shit up. Seriously. How can a man who is so malevolent make me laugh so hard? The latest installment of Dick Cheney humor comes via the Smoking gun. And what did they find out about our gun toting de facto President? Dick Cheney's Suite Demands. Here's the list, but go check out the smoking gun for a picture of the original document...
  • Queen or King Size Bed
  • Desk with Chair
  • Private Bathroom
  • All lights turned on
  • Temperature set to 68 degrees
  • All televisions turned to FOX News (hahaha! Big suprise!)
  • Microwave
  • Coffee Pot in Suite (Brew decaf prior to arrival)
  • Container for Ice (and location of where ice maker is)*
  • Bottle Water, 4-6 bottles
  • Diet Caffeine Free Sprite
  • Hotel Restaurant Menu (please also fax a copy to the Advance Office)
  • Newspapers - N.Y. Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Local Newspaper

*Apparently Dick Cheney can't read the fucking signs that are EVERYWHERE in hotels telling you the location of the icemaker.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

YouTube to Tom Cruise: Fuck You

Here's the Scientology Episode from South Park, in its entirety, via Youtube. Long Live Xenu!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Illegal Immigration solutions

Newsweek is running an intersting article this week on one of those anger invoking subjects that everyone loves: illegal immigration. According to the author of the article, Robert Pastor, the only long term solution to stopping the wave of illegal immigration is to create a North American regional economic solution, which would involve massive amounts of economic aid to Mexico for the next decade or two. I like this idea for a few reasons.

The most important reason is that we treat the cause of the illegal immigration, massive poverty in Mexico, instead of attempting to treat a symptom. Building a wall around the United States is not a realistic solution. The fact is that the U.S. could never build a wall strong enough to keep the wave of illegal immigrants from coming to the U.S. At best, a massive border wall would slow down the rate of illegal immigration. And for a country of immigrants to build a massive "Do Not Enter" sign on our border would not only be hypocritical but would be a knife through the heart of everything that the U.S. stands for.

Massive investment in Mexico will also help the U.S. economy. Mexico is one of our most important trading partners and if their economy grows it will create a larger market for exporting U.S. goods and services. In addition, this investment will create jobs on both sides of the border and raise the wages in Mexico. Once wages in Mexico begin to rise, the amount of illegal immigration will decrease because people can make livable wages at home.
While the idea of funding Mexican development may sound ludicrous, this investment would also benefit the U.S. economically, and the total is less than half of what the EU spent. Washington's $80 billion contribution would amount to about a third of what the Bush administration has spent in the last three years in Iraq.

I'm back

For the last week, I've been rocking the East Coast. I had to give a talk at APS March Meeting in Baltimore and then I visited my friend Katie (who is about to graduate from NYU law school) in New York City. So, here is a few pictures from my trip...

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday Quote of the Day

"When any government, or church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, this you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motive "
-Robert Heinlein

Bush Sucks Part 2000548433252342352... you get the idea

I start off my day browsing through my usual news sites and then I find this jewel of irony on CNN.com
First Reaction: HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Second Reaction
: Are you fucking kidding me?!?! The head of the greatest fear mongering administration in decades is worried about a bad message being sent to Arabs? How many fucking times have we heard such classic lines as: "they are well trained killers", "they want to destroy our way of life", "we must fight islamo-facists over there, so we don't have to fight them here" etc. The American people don't do well with any level of nuianced arguments pal. You've spent the last 6 years convincing them to fight the evil brown people. Now you expect them to jump for joy when you let a UAE government owned Arab company run our ports.

Final Reaction
: Marie Antoinette nailed this story.
This isn't about Republicans versus Democrats. This isn't even about outsourcing national security to a country with diplomatic ties to the Taliban. This is about how much you trust this president. And people are increasingly standing up and saying that they don't.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I'm feeling left out of this whole crazy religious thing.

Agnosticism is a tough gig. Other people get to do and say all this crazy shit as long as they do it for god. Hell, you can be a full blown alcoholic coke-head for years and then become President as long as you become a born again (what the hell does born again mean anyway?) I'm feeling left out. I'm feeling lonely. So, the obvious solution when feeling lonely is to put up a personal ad online. So, here's my personal ad for a new religion...

SAGS*, 24, slight beer gut seeks religion. Must allow/encourage all of the following activities:
  • Daily consumption of Alcohol (would prefer some sort of daily ritual in which this is required)
  • Watching sporting events, particularly violent ones (Football, UFC, etc.)
  • Gambling (Hold 'em and blackjack are preferred)
  • Smoking (Me likey the cigars and hookahs)
  • Not believing in God
  • Extensive use of sarcasm
  • Pre-Marital Sex
  • Post-Marital Sex
  • Eating Meat (particularly beef. Mmmmmm... Steak)
  • Hating on stupid people
  • Idolatry
  • Science
  • Logic
Also, if your god/prophet can beat up all those other religions' gods/prophets, that would really save me alot of time when I get into arguments with all the infidels. If you are a religion and can meet up to these expectations, leave your contact info in the comments section.

*Single Agnostic Graduate Student

Another blow to "Intelligent" Design

Intelligent Design is losing. The state board of education for South Carolina (arguably the most conservative state in the union) has voted down an attempt by the advocates of Intelligent Design to get their foot in the door of the science classes of South Carolina. Hey Discovery Institute, if you can't win in a state this red, then you aren't going to win.
Science teachers had complained that although critical analysis is part of all science, the wording was really a backdoor attempt to force educators to teach religious-based alternatives. In a 10-6 vote, board members agreed.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I hate service fees

I found this story on MSNBC and I have to say that I'm shocked. I had no idea, but merchants are not allowed to charge a service fee if you use a credit or debit card. In fact, it is a violation of their merchant agreement with the credit card companies to charge a service fee OR impose a minimum amount that you must spend to use your credit/debit card.
Can a merchant charge you a service fee for using a credit card or debit card? There is no federal regulation that prohibits this. The law that prohibited a surcharge on credit card purchases expired back in 1984. But both Visa and MasterCard say it would be a violation of their rules for a store to tack on a service fee for using one of their cards. A merchant can offer a discount for paying by cash or check, but they cannot charge more for putting it on plastic.
So the next time a local store attempts to pull this crap on you, remind them that they are violating their merchant agreement. If they insist, reports their asses to the company that issued your card. And if they don't like it, fuck 'em!

Monday, March 06, 2006

All this foreign policy done hurt my think-bone

L.A. Times published an editorial today analyzing the disaster that is George W. Bush's foreign policy by applying the 5 Principles of Foreign Policy laid out by William Ewart Gladstone nearly 130 years ago. These principles were laid out in a series of speeches during a heated political campaign in the U.K. and yet they remain quite relevant even today. The 5 Principles of Foreign Policy are summarized in the following list...
  1. Foster the strength of the empire by just legislation and economy at home
  2. The aim of foreign policy should be "to preserve to the nations of the world … the blessings of peace."
  3. "Even when you do a good thing," Gladstone observed, "you may do it in so bad a way that you may entirely spoil the beneficial effect."
  4. To avoid needless and entangling engagements.
  5. To acknowledge the equal rights of all nations.
Number 3 sure seems to just jump out at you when you think about U.S. foreign policy at the moment. Admittedly, foreign policy has to be far more flexible than would be allowed in such a list of general principles, but if the U.S. government thought about Gladstone's principles a little more often, maybe we wouldn't be stuck in a quagmire in Iraq.

Friday, March 03, 2006

No big surprise.

You're a Wild Drunk

You can get enough drink. Seriously, you'll just go puke and start pounding them back again!

People like to get drunk

People everywhere love to drink alcohol. Getting drunk is fun. Booze make people feel better. If you are still in denial about this, then check out this story from the BBC.

Despite a food shortage going on in Tanaznia and a government ban on using grain to make alcohol, local brewers are continuing to use grain to make beer. Even with the food shortage, local customers continue to go to the local breweries and drink beer. Why? Because people love to get drunk.
Mama John, who produces the "libeneke" local drink in her backyard on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, says she needs to continue with her business to feed her family of four.

Her brew is popular as it costs $0.25 for a litre, the same price as a bottled cool drink.

Friday Quotes of the Day

After reading the Disgruntled Chemists posts (Both the description of events and his personal thoughts) on the UCI College Republicans meeting in which an open dialogue turned into a discriminatory anti-muslim hate fest, I thought a few quotes from one of the great revolutionaries of our times would be appropriate.
"Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it."

Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Universiy Science Education: A New Approach

For students to understand the issues in modern science (particularly with the rise of interdisciplinary science), they must have at least introductory knowledge of both the physical and life sciences. However, in order to teach an umbrella course that incorporates both physical and life sciences, a unifying principle is needed. I propose that scaling be used as a unifying concept to teach a general science course for non-science majors. The course would focus on how the world works on different length scales, and different time scales.

For the full post, follow the link to Nice Shoes, Wanna Fock

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Boys have a penis. Girls have a vagina.

See it's that simple. However if I have learned one truth in life, it's that parents are complete fucking retards when it comes to their own kids. Seriously. Have you ever known a truly great parent? Most of them are utterly irrational morons when it comes to their own kids. But I suppose that's just the nature of parents. I'm sure IF I ever have kids, I'll join the ranks of the functional stupid parents.

Now that I've got that mini-rant out of the way, onto the the actual point of this post. Some parents decided to try and get an elementary school teacher fired because Mr. McBeth decided to become Ms. McBeth.
I, as a parent, am appalled to have this issue brought into my child's psychology," Steve Bond said...
"I will not allow you to put my kids in a petri dish and hope it all turns out fine," said Mark Schnepp, who had taken out an ad in a local newspaper urging parents to turn out for the meeting.
I think these parents who were speaking against hiring back Ms. McBeth were just being paranoid, overprotective parents. I doubt these kids could even comprehend a sex change. Even if kids vaguely understood it, I doubt they'd even think twice about it. Besides, a good teacher is a terrible thing to waste. People should be judged on their talent, not their sexual preferences (obvious exception being rapists and child molestors).

Several parents and students spoke at the same school board meeting in favor of hiring back Ms. McBeth. The school board ultimately voted 4-1 in favor of hiring back Ms. McBeth.

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming

My friend Mikhail, whom I met when I worked in Amsterdam last summer, visited me this last weekend. It was his first time in the United States, so I offered to give him a tour of the L.A./Orange County area. So, enough with the introductions and on with the picture blogging.
Mikhail had watched NBA games as a kid and it was a life long dream for him to go an NBA game. I took him to the Lakers v. Celtics game. Kobe scored 40 points and the Lakers still lost.

Mikhail is a huge Pulp Fiction fan, so he had to have this picture in the Hollywood Wax Museum.

Mikhail and I having some beers at a bar on Hollywood Blvd. I got him wasted that night.

Mikhail drinking at a bar in Costa Mesa. Aren't I a great influence on people?

Yes, that's right. I won an oscar. I bet you don't have one. Suck it!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Expect light posting

I have a friend who came into town from Amsterdam yesterday, so I would expect no posts until Monday, which should probably include some interesting pictures.

- The Management.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

And so it begins

The Supreme Court will review a case on late term abortion. Well, that sure was quick. Hey Democrats who didn't vote for the filibuster of Alito: WAY TO GO JACKASSES! Now that Bush has stacked the court with some more old conservative white guys (obvious experts on women's health issues), the Supreme Court is ready to start turning back the clock on women's rights.

The most disturbing thing about this new law that the Supreme Court will review is that there is no health exception. So, if being pregnant puts the women's life in danger, well that's just too bad for her. Feministing seems to think this is a bad idea, and I am in complete agreement with them.

"Despite 33 years of Supreme Court precedent that women's health matters, the court has decided it will once again take up this issue," Cecile Richards, the organization's president, said in a written statement.

"Health-care decisions should be made by women, with their doctors and families -- not politicians," Richards added. "Lawmakers should stop playing politics with women's health and lives."

Friday, February 17, 2006

Friday Quote of the Day

Here's one for our "pious", alcoholic, coke-head President, who likes to imply that god is always on the side of the United States.
O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it...
"The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Expressing my poetic side

Firedoglake is sponsoring a Dick Cheney poetry contest. Obviously, I could not resist entering in such a contest. The only rule for the contest is that entries are limited to four lines. I highly recommend reading the entries, because some of them are absolutely hilarious. Here are my two entries...

Entry One
Dick's thirst for blood was overwhelming
He was tired of bombers doing all the shelling
So he grabbed a gun and drank beer from a can
And then shot in the face, a 78 year old man

Entry Two
Dick was tired and needed a break
So he went down to Texas for some human steak
Shooting caged quail seemed kind of lame
Because Dick prefers The Most Dangerous Game

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

WoW addiction

Many of the younger students in my lab, grad and undergrad, are addicted to World of Warcraft. I didn't think it was possible, but this game has actually increased the level of nerdiness in a physics lab. For example, I heard this exchange in lab this last summer...
Grad Student 1: "I've finally made it to level 57"
Grad Student 2: "Don't even talk to me until you make it level 60"

After hearing this conversation, I instantly did not approve of WOW. After a quick google search, I found that apparently alot of other people in the world just absolutely hate WoW.
I know it's sad but if he had a choice between keeping me or wow..he'd choose that game, unless we got engaged (in that case he promised me he'd sell it). Heh...riiight. I've just had enough with it. It's something that is between us...and is the main problem in our relationship. I know how addicted he used to be and I don't want that to ever happen again.
If you want to get a really good laugh though, go check out Mikey's addiction. Some poor guy who lived with a WoW addict decided to document his roommate's addiction. He has a running count of how much sleep his roommate gets versus how much time he has spent playing WoW.
Alright, we're back in the swing of things here. Mikey played the game from midnight to 3:30 last night, got up at 7:30, and started playing again at 10:15 until 4:30 with a 2 hour break in between. At 4:30 he took a nap until a quater to seven and then got up and played until 9. So...

Gameplay - 10:00
Sleep - 6:00 (Night - 4:00, Nap - 2:00)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My ode to the Daily Show

The Daily Show last night was hilarious, even more than usual. So, for Valentine's Day, I've decided to express my poetic side by writing an ode to the Daily Show that is inspired by the segment last night with Jon Stewart interviewing Ed Helms.

Shooting Dick in a Barrel, My ode to the Daily Show.

Vice President Dick Cheney shot a 78 year old man, in the face.
Vice President Dick Cheney shot a 78 year old man, in the face.
Man's face intercepts Vice Presidential bullet.
Vice President Dick Cheney shot a 78 year old man, in the face.
Vice President Dick Cheney shot a 78 year old man, in the face.
Whittinghams condition upgraded from stable, to stable but still shot in the face.
Vice President Dick Cheney shot a 78 year old man, in the face.
Vice President Dick Cheney shot a 78 year old man, in the face.
A 78 year old man, was shot in the face, by the Vice President of the United States of America

Monday, February 13, 2006

Dick Cheney shot a guy

Funny. DAMN funny. But definitely not a suprise. Why? Because we know some facts about Dick Cheney.
  • One time, Dick Cheney stabbed a delivery boy just for forgetting his egg rolls.
  • Dick Cheney has died 3 times already. Each time he dies, Donald Rumsfeld performs an obscure pagan ritual on him that brings him back to life. And each time, Cheney's hunger for the flesh of the living becomes more and more unquenchable.
  • Dick Cheney once killed in a man in Reno just to watch him die. And by once, I mean once a week.
  • If you see Dick Cheney, do not approach or taunt him, but keep your distance and call the authorities.
  • Dick Cheney once beat a man to death with a copy of the book of Mormon
  • If Dick Cheney has to tell you one more goddamned time to put the toilet seat back down, he's going to teabag you to death.
  • Dick Cheney is personally responsible for the death of Rock and Roll. His next target: Happiness
  • Dick Cheney once shot a man for snoring too loud
  • When he gets bored, Dick Cheney likes to have a hooker dress up like a hobo, then kill her.
  • If you send Dick Cheney an email forward that he finds insufficiently amusing, he'll kill everyone you've ever loved, but leave you unharmed.
  • Dick Cheney killed Johnny Cash
  • Dick Cheney is making a list, and checking it twice. If you've been nice, he will give you a barrel of oil and an Iraq reconstruction contract. If you've been naughty, he'll crush your skull with a tire iron.
Here are a few new facts that I'm going to add today.
  • Dick Cheney. The only animal smarter than man.
  • Dick Cheney has never "accidentally" shot anything.
  • The Most Dangerous Game was a documentary about Dick Cheney's last vacation.

  • Dick Cheney, Dick Cheney Random Facts, Dick Cheney Shooting

    Picture Blogging: Easier than writing

    I went to Austin this weekend for a bachelor party for one of my college friends. I was also lucky enough to be in town the same weekend as some of my old college roommates (I lived almost entirely with women my last 3 years in college). Now, onto the pictures...

    Here's me with some of the ladies of my college years. The two girls on the right (Patrica and Reena) were two of my college roommates and the girl on the left (Tasha) was on the UT Drumline with me.
    Here's some food I got at Rudy's BBQ, one of the best bbq joints in Austin. That's almost 2 lbs of meat! You know it's a a good bbq joint when they serve the meat on butcher paper. There is the bachelor, Joe, infront of all the booze for the party. And we drank nearly everything in that picture. This is an instant classic of my picture collection. You might be asking yourself, why do all these guys have duct tape around their hands? Because virtually the entire bachelor party decided to start off the night with Edward 40 hands. In Edward 40 hands, one has a 40 ounce bottle of malt liquor taped to each hand, and you must finish both 40's before you can remove the bottles from your hand. Gluttony rules!

    Saturday, February 11, 2006

    Shocking UCI

    Thursday night, I had the privilege of joining an elite club. Some of you may have read about J.J. Reddick becoming the charter member of this club. However, I have now joined the ranks of individuals to throw the shocker at a crowd from the basketball court of a college basketball game. Allow me to further articulate the situation.

    The Nice Shoes, Wanna Fock crew, Commandante Agi, and some non-bloggers attended a UCI basketball game on Thursday night. A member of the public relations staff asked our group for volunteers for one of the games played during the game breaks. After much debate, it was decided that The Disgruntled Chemist and I would participate the event. However, in an effort to be fair, I informed the P.R. staffer that I would be drunk and would probably just try and shoot the ball from half court or the 3 point line till I made a basket. She still requested that I participate. Foolish.

    The game we were supposed to play was essentially a game of basketball musical chairs. There were 3 participants in the game to start and 2 chairs. In order to stay in the game, you had make a basket and then get back to an open chair. The winner of the game was to be rewarded with free In-N-Out burger. However, I had a few ideas of my own on what kind of game I wanted to play.

    The game started from half court. So, mildly intoxicated, I was walked to the center of the court, and threw my initial shocker to the student section. Once the game started, T.D.C and the other participant ran towards the baskets to attempt layups. I decided to casually walk to the free throw line. Once there, I promptly turned around with my back to the basket, did a quick check for wind (note: this was in an indoor basketball arena) and proceeded to heave over my head backwards, reverse granny shot style. I turned around just in time to see that not only had a missed the basket completely, but I clocked a camera square in the forehead with my shot. Luckily for me, the ball ricocheted off of his skull directly to a ball boy, who then quickly passed me the ball.

    Feeling particularly inspired, I then threw shockers to every direction of the stadium and walked off, as T.D.C. and random guy had already made their baskets and gotten back to the chairs. As I was walking back to the student section, I then heard an angry fan shout “What’s your problem man?” which was about the funniest thing I’d ever heard. Hey, fuck HIM if he can’t take a joke. But the true greatness of this story is when I handed the ball back, the P.R. staff still gave me a gift certificate for In-N-Out. Hahaha!

    So to summarize:

    1. I was intoxicated on a college basketball court.
    2. I threw the shocker to several thousand people, multiple times.
    3. I clocked a camera man in the skull with a basketball
    4. And I got free In-N-Out burger for doing all this.

    Wednesday, February 08, 2006

    Shameless Promotion

    I know what you're thinking: What does some nerdy graduate student in Physics know about sex? The answer is of course only what I read in books.(damn you grad school!) But in all seriousness Sperm Wars: The Science of Sex, by Dr. Robin Baker, is a book that will rock your world.

    To read the rest of the preview of Sperm Wars, go to my post at Nice Shoes, Wanna Fock.

    Tuesday, February 07, 2006

    Scottie gets schooled

    But MOMMY! I want a fudgesicle!

    Nothing like the white house press corps actually showing a little backbone. If you haven't read about Helen Thomas grilling Scott McClellan over the President's illegal domestic spying program here's the written version from Raw Story (emphasis mine).

    Q: Does the president think he should obey the law? He put his hand on the Bible twice to uphold the Constitution. Wiretapping is not legal under the circumstances without a warrant.

    MR. MCCLELLAN: Well, I guess you didn't pay attention to the attorney general's hearing earlier today, because he walked through very clearly the rationale behind this program.

    Q There is no rationale --

    MR. MCCLELLAN: And Helen, I think you have to ask --

    Q -- (inaudible) -- the law.

    MR. MCCLELLAN: I think you have ask are we -- well, he's not -- are we a nation at war.

    Q That's not the question.

    MR. MCCLELLAN: No, that is the issue here.

    Q The question is, the point is, there are means for him to go to -- get a warrant to spy on people.

    MR. MCCLELLAN: Enemy surveillance is critical to waging and winning war. It's one of the traditional tools of war.

    Q But he says he doesn't have running room --

    MR. MCCLELLAN: The attorney general outlined very clearly today how previous administrations have used the same authority --

    Q That doesn't make it legal.

    MR. MCCLELLAN: -- and cited the same -- and cited the very same authority.

    Q (Inaudible) -- they broke the law, that's too bad.

    MR. MCCLELLAN: And we're going to continue doing everything we can --

    Q You know what happened to Nixon when he broke the law.

    MR. MCCLELLAN: -- within our power to protect the American people.

    This is a very different circumstance, and you know that.

    Q No, I don't.

    Now check out the video at Crooks and Liars. Am I the only one who is pissed that they turned Helen Thomas' microphone down so low you can't even hear her after the inital question? Fuck those guys.

    Monday, February 06, 2006

    What the Fock?

    I'll now be contributing to a collaborative UCI science graduate student blog called Nice Shoes, Wanna Fock. The content of this blog will consist mainly of science, science news, and the occasional rant about the life of a grad student. Check it out, it should be fun and informative.

    "Four Things" Meme

    I got tagged with this Four Things Meme by Amicus over at The Prejudicial Effect. And considering I'm exhausted and hung over from the Super Bowl, doing this is way easier than a post that requires effort.

    Four jobs I've had:

    1. Balloon Artist (i.e. making balloon animals)
    2. Private Lesson Instructor for Percussion
    3. Mindless drone at Service Merchandise
    4. Front Desk of the Physics, Math, and Astronomy library at UT-Austin

    Four movies I can watch over & over:
    1. Fight Club
    2. American Psycho
    3. Pulp Fiction
    4. Boondock Saints

    Four places I've lived:
    1. Grand Junction, CO
    2. The Woodlands, TX (yes, "The" is actually part of the name)
    3. Austin, TX
    4. Irvine, CA

    Four tv shows I love:
    1. The Simpsons
    2. The Daily Show
    3. Family Guy
    4. Futurama

    Four places I've vacationed:
    1. London
    2. Mexico
    3. New York City
    4. Las Vegas

    Four of my favorite dishes:
    1. Texas Barbeque
    2. Sushi
    3. Steak
    4. Spaghetti Carbonara

    Four sites I visit daily:
    1. N.Y Times
    2. CNN
    3. GorillaMask.net
    4. ESPN

    Four places I would rather be right now:

    1. My couch
    2. My bed
    3. Salt Lick Barbeque in Driftwood, TX
    4. The magical land of no hangovers

    Four books I love:
    1. 1984
    2. Coercion : Why We Listen to What "They" Say
    3. Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman
    4. Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

    By request, I'm tagging Allison with this meme.

    Friday, February 03, 2006

    Friday Quote of the Day

    You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.
    Richard Feynman


    Mmmmmm... 72 ounce steak

    After reading through this thread at Shakespeare's Sister, I have to decided to rant a little bit about vegetarians and their chosen lifestyle. I will attempt to stay civil. (highly unlikely)

    1. Eating meat is unethical. Bullshit. Humans are omnivores. That sheep/pot belly pig/fill in the blank cute animal is not your child. Stop anthropomorphising everything.
    2. Human digestive systems have not evolved to eat meat. Are you a fucking moron? Guess why people didn't just go out and graze on grass? Because we lack the enzymes to digest that shit. That is why ancient people let livestock, who possessed enzymes that can digest grass, graze on fields and then ate them. You learn that in an introductory microbiology class.
    3. Vegetarian diets are healthier. Wrong. Balanced diets consisting of the proper amounts of fruit, vegetables, meat, bread, etc. are the healthiest diets. Vegetarians typically have to take suppliments of protein and certain nutrients to maintain their "healthy" diet. If you are taking supplements, that means your diet is NOT healthy.
    4. Meat is disgusting. Liar. Have you had a steak? What about bacon? It's fucking delicious. Make your best vegetarian meal. The best meal in the HISTORY of vegetarian meals. Then we'll do the Pepsi challenge at some mall between your Cadillac of vegetarian meals and a juicy red steak. Guess which one wins 99 times out of 100? Steak, bitches.
    5. Everyone who can afford to be a vegetarian, should be a vegetarian. You chose to be a vegetarian. I choose to eat meat. It's a free country, so quit your bitchin.
    6. The meat industry mistreats animals. You're correct. Animals should be treated with respect, but they are still food.
    7. Why are you so mean to vegetarians? I'm mean to everyone. I'm a bad person. But NOT because I eat meat.

    Thursday, February 02, 2006

    State of the Union Replay

    Just in case you missed the State of the Union, here it is on video... just slightly remixed.

    Bros before proles

    Dont worry guys, I'm just fucking with them

    That's my proposal for a new title for the State of the Union address. According to this article in the N.Y. Times, some of W's best friends were not in on the joke. The Saudis were acting like they just dumped at the altar...
    In Washington, Prince Turki, the Saudi ambassador, said he was puzzled by Mr. Bush's words in the speech. He said he wanted to know if reducing American dependence on foreign oil also applied to other suppliers to the United States. "Is that a declaration that the U.S. is going to work to be independent of Canadian oil, Mexican oil and Venezuelan oil?" he asked, adding, "I see no threat from America from receiving its oil from the Middle East."

    Meanwhile, Republicans were acting like Dubya just cheated on them with their best friend...
    Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, said he was enthusiastic about nuclear power but questioned whether the government should be subsidizing alternative fuels like ethanol.

    "It loses some of its shine when it becomes another government support program for an alternative fuel, which seems to be the pattern here in Washington," Mr. Cornyn said.
    But George W. Bush always takes care of his buddies. They obviously had nothing to worry about...

    The Energy Department will begin laying off researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the next week or two because of cuts to its budget.

    A veteran researcher said the staff had been told that the cuts would be concentrated among researchers in wind and biomass, which includes ethanol. Those are two of the technologies that Mr. Bush cited on Tuesday night as holding the promise to replace part of the nation's oil imports.

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    It's 9:18am, the day after the State of the Union...

    And I'm still fucking pissed off about the State of the Union. But the Democratic response, was absolutely fucking PATHETIC! If you want to perform fellatio on the entire Republican party, then join the Republican party. Fucktard.

    By the way, go read The Disgruntled Chemist's live blogging of the State of the Union. It guest stars some of your favorite O.C. liberal bloggers such as: Rob the Dirty Liberal, AC Patriot, Commandante Agi

    Tuesday, January 31, 2006

    A different angle on choice

    I've been reading How the Republicans Stole Christmas, by Bill Press, and last night I hit a passage that really made me think. The exact passage from Press goes...
    Make no mistake about it: If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a nonissue. Men would never let anybody take away their right to choose.
    The more I think about it, the more I realize the undeniable truth in that statement. While debates about when life begins, and the morality of abortion are important, they are secondary to the core issue of this debate, which is equal rights. I can guarantee that if the U.S. government tried to regulate sperm, you'd have the 150 million man march showing up in D.C. ready to burn the politicians at the stake. Ladies, you gotta fight for your rights, because the U.S. government wants to regulate your ovaries.

    I just worked out for the first time in 6 months

    My preferred form of jello.

    And my body feels like jello. Really, really tired jello.

    Monday, January 30, 2006

    State of the Union: Let's all ride magical hydrogen ponies in the land of Gumdrop Rainbows

    You'll always be my bff.

    CNN reports that George W. Bush (douchebag extraordinare) will focus his State of the Union address on U.S. energy policy. Am I the only one who finds this hilarious, in a severely depressing way? President Douchebag, the failed Texas oil businessman and the best friend a Saudi oil king could ever want, is telling us that he has figured out how to fix U.S. energy policy.

    Here are a few real solutions to help the U.S. break its dependency on Foreign Oil...
    • Force the big car companies to produce more hybrid vehicles through forced quotas and incentives.
    • Make large scale investments into mass transits systems in the largest cities in America. How about using that $50 billion we are wasting on missile defense?
    • Introduce a large gas tax (50 cents per gallon) to force a reduction in demand. Use that money to invest in mass transit, road maintenance and alternative fuels.

    Guess how many of these Bush will mention in his speech? If you guessed zero, then you win the prize.*

    No, ole Georgy is focusing on hydrogen fuel cell technology. Now, hydrogen fuel cells have the potential to one day replace gas powered cars. However, the best estimates put the first practical hydrogen fuel cell car being introduced no earlier than 2020.

    So why would Georgy push technologies that, at least for now, have zero practical application to reduce the current demand in foreign oil? My guess is that Dubya is a little busy making sure his buddies at Exxon are making some money and doesn't have time for energy solutions that will have an immediate impact. He would rather talk about the magical hydrogen ponies in the enchanted land of Gumdrop Rainbows and privatized Social Security.

    *There is no prize

    Update: I've been cross posted on Shakespeare's Sister and AlterNet Peek. Big thanks to Shakespeares Sis for the cross posts.

    Friday, January 27, 2006

    Beat them without becoming them

    I understand that an insurgency is difficult to beat and that unorthdox tactics might be needed in order to defeat them. However, this just crosses the line. MSNBC reports that the U.S. military has detained the wives of insurgents, in order to leverage their husbands into surrendering.
    In one case, a secretive task force locked up the young mother of a nursing baby, a U.S. intelligence officer reported. In the case of a second detainee, one American colonel suggested to another that they catch her husband by tacking a note to the family’s door telling him “to come get his wife."
    This is one of the more disgusting tactics I have ever seen from the U.S. military. Doesn't the Geneva Convention prevent us from using such tactics? And just a little food for thought...

    U.S. Military
    No, we let state governments handle that
    And the U.S. is trying to convince people that we are the good guys?

    Friday Quote of the Day

    Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual
    Thomas Jefferson

    Thursday, January 26, 2006

    Changing the look

    So I put up a new logo for the blog. I'll probably be tweaking some other things on the ole blog over the next several days. Throw me some feedback and let me know what you think.

    And thanks to The Disgruntled Chemist for helping me figure out some of the blogger template shit.

    Summing up 6 years of douchebaggery

    Marie Antoinette just did a post yesterday that eloquently summed up Dubya and the Republican controlled Congress. I enjoyed it and recommend giving it a read. Here's a preview...
    In 2000, Bush ran as an outsider who would usher in "an era of personal responsibility." In six years, he and most of his party have done nothing but dodge questions and pass the blame. It took Bush two months to admit that maybe Brownie didn't do one heck of a job after all

    Wednesday, January 25, 2006

    If you give me your privacy rights, I'll give you this SHINY quarter?

    Fuck with me and I will karate chop your ass!

    Attorney General Gonzalez has been giving speeches all around the country trying to support the administration's illegal domestic spying on U.S. citizens. He laid this insight in a speech at Georgetown University...
    Gonzales told his audience: “You may have heard about the provision of FISA that allows the president to conduct warrantless surveillance for 15 days following a declaration of war. That provision shows that Congress knew that warrantless surveillance would be essential in wartime.”
    Some might interpret the explicit 15 day time limit on warrantless surveillance as a stringent control on warrantless spying because it is a grave threat to civil liberties. Others might interpret the 15 day warrentless surveillance as an emergency power that is only to be enacted if the country(and I mean U.S. soil) is under attack during the initial declaration of war. Gonzo's statement that warrentless surveillance WOULD BE essential in wartime is gross misinterpretation of the FISA law. A half dozen students listening to Gonzo's speech held up a banner summed up my viewpoint on the matter, Ben Franklin style
    “Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.”
    I think this spy program comes straight out of 1984 and every other novel about a totalitarian government using technology to spy on its own citizens. So to Bush, Gonzo, and the NSA employees participating in this illegal program: Suck it.

    Tuesday, January 24, 2006

    Shit + Trash = CW

    I thought UPN and WB were the worst networks on network television. Honestly, do they produce even one show that doesn't make you more stupid by watching? Fuck No. But now, the brilliant minds that brought you these two networks has decided to combine them into one unholy network that will be called "CW".

    CW will feature the best shows (ok, I'm trying not laugh as I wrote those last two words) from the UPN and WB, includings suchs gems as "Smallville","Gilmore Girls", "America's Top Model", and of course "Smackdown". I imagine the effect watching a few hours of CW will be something along the lines what Mad Cow Disease does to your brain: turning it into Swiss cheese.

    Monday, January 23, 2006

    And he streched forth his hand, and darkness fell upon the lab

    Today I had two encounter with some of the forces of darkness at a University. The network administrators and the safety administration.

    Apparently, as my labmates and I installed a new router for the lab, the computers in our lab began blasting the school network with large amounts of data. So either some hacker took over our lab computers and used them for a denial of service attack, or we wired a loop into our lab network and this led to bad things. Either way, the network administrators shut down our ports and showed up at our lab. I've attempted to accurately reproduce the experience in the diagram below.

    To be honest, giving the guy a columbian necktie popped into my mind, but then I realized that he was just a sad little man. Besides which, he stood between me and high speed internet access and thus I just ignored him. The funny thing is that the network engineer was nice, it was just his crony that was being a jerk.

    The laser safety guy showed up in the afternoon and that went well. Apparently, he was quite impressed that our lab bought safety glasses. Apparently, people using high powered pulsed laser that can burn through skin and blind you don't really think that much about using safety goggles. Go figure.

    Sunday, January 22, 2006

    Deep Thoughts

    I've been considering for a long time a question that is rather important to me: What is the perfect pre-drinking food?

    For a long time, I would just pack anything into my system that I could. Pizza, beef fried rice, and Freebirds burritos were the college favorites. Back then, I thought sheer volume of food was the key to victory. I quickly learned however that massive amounts of food can work against you. I ate 5 pieces of fried chicken before attempting to join the century club... hilarity did not ensue. Vomiting did.

    Grad school has introduced a far greater variety of pre-drinking foods. I think I've had everything from fish tacos, to sushi, to meatball subs. My birthday this last year taught me that soup, even beef barley soup, is no match in a head to head contest with whiskey.

    Last night, however, was an epiphany. I've discovered the perfect pre-drinking food. And it was right there in front of me all this time. Thoebrama, thy name is Double-Double meal (animal style )from In-N-Out burger. First of all, it is delicious. But it has all the essential elements that a good predrinking food needs.

    1. Meat. Good predrinking food needs meat. It forms the backbone of the meal.
    2. Bread. That delicious spongy bun for the In-N-Out burgers gives you a little extra alcohol absorption.
    3. Vegetables. You need to have some veggies for a hard night of drinking. The nutrients and water in veggies will help you when you get to that 8th beer.
    4. Fried potatoes. The fries provide bulk and salt, both of which are good for drinking.
    5. Cheese. Is there ever a bad time for cheese? Is there? (no)
    6. Correct amount of food. Not too much but enough to keep the drunkeness at bay for a while and keep the hangover stomach damage to a minimum.

    So, anyone else have special pre-drinking food?

    Friday, January 20, 2006

    Called out by one of their own

    I enjoyed this N.Y. Times OP/ED by Charles Marsh,Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia and Evangelical Christian, on the how Evangelical Christians have lost their way. I recommend reading the whole OP/ED, but the last paragraph of his OP/ED really stood out to me(emphasis is mine).
    What will it take for evangelicals in the United States to recognize our mistaken loyalty? We have increasingly isolated ourselves from the shared faith of the global Church, and there is no denying that our Faustian bargain for access and power has undermined the credibility of our moral and evangelistic witness in the world. The Hebrew prophets might call us to repentance, but repentance is a tough demand for a people utterly convinced of their righteousness.

    Friday Quote of the Day

    With the rise of the Christian right (which is neither Christian, nor right as a good friend of mine used to say), and their zealot President, I thought this little gem from Thomas Jefferson might be appropriate.
    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or Worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", thus building a wall of separation between the Church and State

    Thursday, January 19, 2006

    The truth about Dick Cheney

    From the health the U.S. economy to the latest in the War on Terror, Neil sits down for a powerful one-on-one interview with Vice President Cheney. Got a question for the vice president? Drop us a line to: cavuto@foxnews.com and maybe Neil will ask it!
    Hat tip: Newshounds

    So here is the email I just fired off to Cavuto. I decided to keep this one short and direct.

    Here is my question for Dick Cheney.

    Mr Cheney. Are you a robot or zombie?

    Rob the dirty liberal

    Wednesday, January 18, 2006

    I'm having an Emergen-C

    One of the undergrads in my lab has been pushing me to try this Emergen-C for the last week. Emergen-C is this nutritional supplement that you gives you some nutrients and 10 times the recommended daily dosage of Vitamin C.

    So I finally tried some Emergen-C, mixed with my gatorade. I can only describe the feeling afterward as buzzed. But not like a beer buzz. Closer to a caffeine buzz. But not quite. My muscles definitley felt kind of tingly, but I don't think I really felt energized. Just like something was off. Anyone else encounter this stuff?

    Tuesday, January 17, 2006

    Acceptable error

    The Scientific American blog did a short but succinct post on error rates in the death penalty. The main point of this article is that innocent people have been executed by the state. While most Americans (66% at the moment) are in favor of the death penalty for murder, what levels of error is society willing to accept so that we can execute murderers.

    To humanize this statement a little more, let me put this another way: How many innocent people are we willing to kill for the satistfaction of executing the worst criminals? No matter how far forensic science advances, innocent people will die if we have a death penalty.
    But we can estimate. The error execution rate has to be at least 1 in 1,000--the "1,000" being Kenneth Boyd and the "1" being Ruben Cantu, who the Houston Chronicle seems to prove that he died for a crime he did not commit. The Death Penalty Information Center lists another eight people as "executed but possibly innocent." That pushes it to about 1 in 100. Estimates for the number of people on death row who have been exonerated range from 25-30 from a prosecutor's estimates to 73 from a University of Michigan study. The maximum possible error rate, depending on very loose assumptions, then surges up to 1 in 30 to 1 in 12. These rates are undoubtedly too high, but they help to establish an upper bound.

    Monday, January 16, 2006

    The Corporatization of American Youth

    I went to a UCI basketball game on Sunday afternoon with some friends. Basketball games involve drinking large quantites of beer (76 ounces for this game), yelling at the other teams players, and terrifying the generally passive population of Southern California that goes to UCI basketball games.

    And yet, my friends and I weren't the scariest thing at that basketball game. The Corporate plush whores were in full forced on Sunday, determined to push subliminal messages to all little children of So Cal. Let their indoctrination begin!

    Worship the Red Robin. Buy more Hamburgers or you will foresake me!

    Don't forget to buy cookies too! Consume, Consume, Consume! And now they pacify any further resistance with their hypnotic plush dance. Come on kids, you're not real Americans unless you buy stuff.

    It's enough to drive someone to drink.