commotiocordis: Green on black, an animated depiction of a normal heart rhythm on an ECG monitor. (Default)
Blatent crosspost from mah tumblr, because believe it or not I think I actually have more LJ friends than Tumblr followers idek.

AGH

FUCKING HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

FUCKING REPUBLICANS

I AM SO UPSET RIGHT NOW

LIKE, LITERALLY SHAKING

HOW CAN YOU DO THIS

I KNOW IT’S PROBABLY NOT GOING TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE SENATE BUT JESUS FUCK

I DON’T THINK I HAVE EVER BEEN THIS UPSET ABOUT ANYTHING POLITICAL EVER

THANKS A LOT, GUYS, I’LL JUST KEEP ON DEALING WITH MY CHRONIC ILLNESSES WITH ABSOLUTELY NO SUPPORT WHATSOEVER BECAUSE I’M AFRAID OF THEM BEING COUNTED AS PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS WHEN I HAVE TO SWITCH OFF OF MY PARENTS’ INSURANCE

I DON’T EVEN HAVE A GIF THAT CAN EXPRESS MY FEELINGS RIGHT NOW BECAUSE MY CHEST HURTS WITH HOW ANGRY SAD BETRAYED I AM

This has been a post.
commotiocordis: Green on black, an animated depiction of a normal heart rhythm on an ECG monitor. (Default)
Democratic lawmakers opposed to federal funding for abortions said Tuesday the House leadership's health care bill contains a "hidden mandate" that would allow taxpayer dollars to be used to end pregnancies.

God, that's a hard question. (Though first of all, I'd call it a loophole rather than a mandate--the bill just doesn't say anything about abortion, which means that insurers that already cover it will continue to do so, possibly funded by the public subsidies of low-income subscribers.)

I've hashed this out before--I'm pro-birth control and sex education and extremely anti-abortion, but I'm more or less reluctantly pro-choice because data says that if it's illegal, it'll still be done, just criminally and unregulated and people will die. (Like pot.) I take a more practical aproach to the whole issue--reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, and soon abortion won't be an issue. (Kay, that's really optimistic, but we can reduce the need for it drastically.)

If we change something, that's government interference with private companies, which people scream about. (Mostly the Republicans, which is probably why the article I read talked about how it's Senate Democrats making a fuss about closing the hole, LOL.) 90% of private insurers cover abortions (which flabbergasted me until I realized that they probably just cover it some minimal percentage that they cover any gynecological surgical procedure by an approved provider), so the government just steps in and is all "Umm, sorry. Change your practice. You don't get to cover that anymore, even if you have no publicly-subsidized clients, because, you know, how can we tell that you have no subsidized folk?"

And on the other hand, I'm way not comfortable with my tax money (that I pay way goddamn too much of for a kid who's only income is a freaking scholarship--I'll bitch about this again; I've got a full ride, room/board monies included, and all of that went straight back to the school, but because they didn't, idk, waive my tuition or something, they actually deposited money into my account, I had to pull some > $600 out of my savings to pay the taxes on it) going to abortions. And since the money goes to people who can then use it for whatever insurance provider they want, the only way to ensure that I'm not contributing to this is to stop all of them from covering it.

Huh. Legally, infringing the right to an abortion is a no-no, so they're just going to end up having to not do anything and leave the loophole or whatever in, but it might be yet another interesting fight to derail the healthcare bill (that I'm not paying nearly enough attention to considering I'll prolly have to buy into it when I age out of my parents' plans and still have mounting education debt).


Also interesting, a study from the Department of Transportation that was blocked from release in 2003 and just gotten under the Freedom of Information Act says that your driving sucks just as bad whether you're talking on a regular cell phone or a bluetoooth, handsfree thing. Makes sense--I mean, most of the distraction is cognitive. More so if you're a business type person or taking important calls, it says, because you've got to pay a lot more attention to that. At first, I was like "Okay, so places with cellphone bans move to banning even hands free stuff, but then isn't having a conversation with somebody in the car going to be just as bad? How about listening to NPR or other high-brow talk radio? Ban that too?" But you really can see how

It's funny, because most of the time when they talk about cellphone driving laws, it seems directed towards the stupid teenagers, when according to this, it's businessfolk that are the problem. Except for texting, natch. But it's not like you can really get caught texting like you can get pulled over when they see you with a phone in your ear, so that's rather impossible to enforce.


Moar news.

Prometheus Laboratories v. Mayo Collaborative Services et al. is heading for the federal circuit in early August. Hells yes. I've long been of the opinion that medical patenting has gone WAY too far. For instance, what this case is about: testing for metabolites of a drug to see how well the drug is working in somebody's system. Sure, patent your little kit for doing so, whatever, but if a lay person can walk up and say "Oh, because if there's lots, it means there's lots of drug being metabolized!" and get it just like that, it's way too common sense to patent the process.

If Prometheus wins, I kinda want Obama to step in there and be all "Dude. Judge-types. We're over here trying to make healthcare less expensive and you're on the other side of the beltway screwing us over by making sure that every one of this whole category of tests has to be run through your company. WTF. See if I put any of you on the Supreme Court now." I can see it coming out as sort of a compromise decision--the company gets the patent on testing for this drug because Mayo's simply changing the threshold numbers the test looks for is too derivative, but. . . I don't know. Mayo's kinda been a sneaky little bitch by trying to avoid the patent like that, but in my world, that kind of a patent is invalid anyway. I mean, what, can only one company in the word do a CBC too? Counting eosinophils, we did that in microbiology, should we have to have licensed that process first? No way.


And finally? Interesting food fact. I tried this out when we had a fire in the backyard a couple of times this week (it's been unseasonably cool and wonderful lately) and didn't feel like pigging out on s'mores but also didn't want to lose the opportunity to make them for later, so I made a bunch, wrapped them up (some in foil, some in wax paper--the latter first just because I couldn't find the foil at first, but then switched when I did because I had to tape the wax paper to get it to stay, and the tape didn't stick well) and froze them. I made the mistake of trying to eat the first two when they were still frozen, and then the graham cracker just turns to powder in your first bite, though the innards are good, but the other two I'm eating right now, and I let them thaw first and it's marvelous. So. Has discovered that that works. I mean, you lose out on the warm and gooey, but I can still taste that campfirey-marshmallow flavor. Win.
commotiocordis: Green on black, an animated depiction of a normal heart rhythm on an ECG monitor. (Default)
Polish pianist stops show with anti-US tirade

Obama insisted the shield was part of a defensive posture against Iran, not Russia, and that he intended to remove it as soon as the threat from Iran subsided. But many Poles have accused the US of wanting to mount a military occupation of their country, and fear the shield could make them a target of Russian aggression.

Seriously? What do they have that we want? I mean, I can come up with nothing worthwhile in Poland that would make us go to the trouble of mounting a military occupation.

Though go, pianist dude:

Shortly after 9/11, his piano was confiscated by customs officials at New York's JFK airport, who thought the glue smelled funny. They subsequently destroyed the instrument.

Holy shit, I'd be pissed too. That was probably in the hundreds of thousands of dollars we're talking here.

Oh, and the ideological stuff was on, as well. But the piano!
commotiocordis: (Seven/B'Elanna)
Reading through Memory Alpha. Started to look up a distinction about Klingon hearts for my RPG (they're referred to in canon both as having two hearts and having an 8-chambered one, the latter tending to be by characters who would be expected to be knowledgeable, but I wanted to make sure), went to fixing the article about the DS9 episode "Babel" (they had the kind of aphasia they experienced totally wrong; it's Wernicke's, not global), and somehow managed upon the article on Sexuality. It's a good article, actually, talking a lot about the issue of homosexuality in Star Trek (at first I was all "Erm, I'm probably the wrong person to point this out considering how every ST character who's ever been in a room with another of the same sex is sleeping with that person in my universe, but there's such a thing as heterosexuality too," but that's really all covered via canon examples of different species' courtships and mating and such in more specified articles). My initial dislike for it, I realized while beginning to write this up to get to the quote I'll present in a minute, was really because of what they were reporting and the fact that there are no gay people in Star Trek unless they're Mirror Universe and thus somewhat evil. Which is how they're perceived, as well, as shown by my having to edit up the Wikipedia article on MU characters because somebody decided that MU!Ezri and MU!Leeta were bisexual (it's suggested that Ezri is a lesbian and Leeta we only see for a few seconds and have no way of knowing) and thereby "promiscuous" (we see Ezri with Kira whom she decides is morally corrupt and dumps for Leeta, and Leeta just with Ezri. Not promiscuous in my book, especially if you consider that in the novels, the pair got married).

This is another example of what I thought was my dislike for the article and have decided upon further reading is just my dislike for the situation/producers.

"The production team over the years has stated that they do not want to create a "token" homosexual character for the express purpose of the issue, anymore than they want to create a black character purely to address racial issues."

Was his acting really that bad that no one remembers, idk, SISKO? That was entirely his point. And even if it wasn't his initial point of being there, Avery Brooks turned it into the point with his requisite, twice a season episodes talking about how bad racism is. I mean, it's bad, but I'm watching Star Trek, kthx, and though social commentary is important, I think not only did we get it the first time, society as a whole has pretty much moved past the whole separate drinking fountains thing, I'd hope. Instead of talking about how the past sucked, talk about how we can move forward and love each other, etc. etc.
commotiocordis: Green on black, an animated depiction of a normal heart rhythm on an ECG monitor. (Default)
I Love the Gays


A no-on-8 video that makes me LOLOLOL.
commotiocordis: Green on black, an animated depiction of a normal heart rhythm on an ECG monitor. (Default)
"If the taxpayers are helping you, then you've got certain responsibilities to not be living high on the hog,"

Obama to detail further compensation limits

Damn straight. But then again, how many of the bailed-out CEOs really need a salary anyway? They'll cash in their stock options, maybe sell off one of their 4 Lamborghinis (which I'm surprised as hell I spelled right on the first try), and just keep on trekking. Still. Step in the right direction, considering what the Forbes list comes out with as salaries for the top CEOs every year. (Shift it to the teachers. The teachers!)

Microbiology test this morning? Quick. Should have been easy, had I been studying the easy stuff and not the hard shit that I didn't understand because he didn't really teach it. Lots of memorization of the history, which I've learned to expect to be the barely-skimmed-over part of these classes where it's not really relevant and have been unpleasantly surprised when this is not the case in two science classes here now.

And one question that just killed me--they wanted the name of the apparatus that lets you grow a continuous culture by feeding in and draining out a limiting nutrient that you then use to determine growth rate of a species. I looked at that last night and went "Oh, that's easy; I'll recognize it." Sure, I would have recognized it were it multiple choice. I remembered that it started with "chemo-". I could have danced around the word, bloody diagrammed it were it a short answer question. Nope. Fill in the blank, the stupidest test question type in existence. Seriously. Multiple choice gives you some context and lets you rely on recognition memory. Something with more room to answer lets you show that you know what you're talking about even if you forget the word. Can't come up with the exact term on fill in the blank and you're screwed. That's the one that I absolutely know I got wrong (I made up some "chemotron" thing that sounds more like a big technical piece of equipment than the "chemostat" it actually was).

And then a bunch more where I had spent too long working on trying to figure out what a south seeking magnetotactic bacterium in Flathead Lake would tend to do (questions from the book's online tests, which I mistakenly both prioritized higher since I don't have the actual book and spent much more time on since we covered the topics but not much of the actually questioned-on content, which should have been a clue in retrospect). So it was more "yeah, it's one of these. And this one sounds right. But not quite sure." The history stuff, mainly; the names I'd never heard before lecture and then didn't spend time reviewing because who really gives a damn about who did this first and when, so long as they did it?

*sigh.* Psychology next, which I'm hoping should be as easy as I'm expecting it to be, but as usual, I'm vaguely fearful that I'm entirely wrong. The bio test was all of 10 minutes max; I was out of the building by 8:20 when you add in my taking it and then going through it 2x more because I didn't want to turn it in first (the kid next to me looked like he finished it--turns out he just paused for a really long time whilst thinking--and just sat there, so I wondered if maybe we'd be grading it in class or something), so I got to my spot in the psych building (actually a different spot, because I brought my laptop cord today just in case and the spot with the tables that I usually use has no outlet) and had enough time to do this before I go through my notes again, as the class isn't until 10.

I started the third journal for my Hero and Quest class last night before realizing that she said "before Thursday" we must turn it in, which means that I can probably slide it under her door before my 9am on Thursday (hopefully she's not in before that), so I switched to the biology. That test is tomorrow as well, so maybe I can work the answers I'm going to write out for the study guide--this class appears to be very free response rather than the multiple choice/matching/"describe what myth's happening in this picture" of her class last semester, so I figured actually composing answers to all of the prompts is a good idea as she's mentioned pulling test stuff from there (though you never know to what extent teachers mean when they say that; could be anything from pulling questions word for word to their being related in topic and style)--into the reflective part of the journal. It's only got to be 2/3 as long as the others as there's no "talk about what happened in class" bit, as we had no class last week. The summary of the reading is going to require that I actually do some of the reading, though. The translation on the Internet Classics Archive of the Iliad isn't as good as the one I've been using by this Canadian professor that's also available online (he's translated a whole bunch of stuff and put it all out there for free, which is really awesome. I think I might email the guy and thank him at some point); I realized that I should have pointed it out to Dr. Johnson and asked what she thought of it in terms of, idk, accuracy and such, but it's a bit late now.

Should probably psych now. This is another one where I'm afraid there's going to be a whole load of names and dates I didn't memorize. There is a lot more history (more detailed, I guess) in the book than in the notes that I didn't really look at, which I'm hoping will be okay. I'm not planning on getting the book for this one at all, since I can pretty much get anything I need from his notes and the DSM (and, you know, AP Psych) and if really necessary, Chelsea (the cohab) is taking it as well and has the text sitting out on her desk that I can nab and quickly look things up in.

commotiocordis: Green on black, an animated depiction of a normal heart rhythm on an ECG monitor. (Default)
Clicked on a featured story on the Yahoo home page (one of the mini!featured stories listed in little links under the real featured one, actually; "Designer brings pajamas to the street" below "$43,000 suit sells well during recession"). And the tab that popped up (I haven't opened it yet) says "Yamamoto brings sleepwear onto t. . . " and whatever after that. Presumably Yamamoto is the aforementioned designer. And all I could think of was "but we killed Yamamoto!" LOLOL, West Wing geekage.

Finally got around to watching all of the Face of the Enemy BSG webisodes. The Gaeta plot twist in last night's episode makes more sense now, though I'm going to watch the webisodes again because I was (as per usual) sort of half paying attention and thus wasn't clear on the whole Gaeta/Sharon/people on the planet deal.

Let's see, what else. Umm, pissed that I'm not home this weekend, because it's the weekend of the open call for extras for Clooney's On the Air that's filming in the STL. To add insult to injury, the open call's at the mall that's all of a 10 minute walk from my house. And I can't just fill out the form and send it in because they need a picture as well, and I don't have a color printer here. May try to make the family do it for me and just drop it by the casting office (right down the road from aforementioned mall) once I pick out a picture (I don't have any recent ones that make me look oldish, which I have the feeling is what they're looking for), but first I've got to figure out the answers--I spend most of my time in t-shirts and workout pants now, both because of the comfort factor and the way my weight keeps bouncing around, so I've got very little idea on my clothes' sizes, and absolutely none on a dress size (especially because I'm still quite busty, so though I'm okay in pants and shirts because I can size them individually, I might have to go up one or two from the size for the rest of my body to find a dress that'll fit my chest).

CDC's sexually transmitted infections report came out a bit ago. Still not ever going to have sex in St. Louis, kthx: #1 again in gonorrhea and chlamydia. Umm. . . at least we're not the most dangerous anymore? Though LOL, I suppose that depends on how you define "danger".

Heard some people talking at brunch this morning (meaning, erm, yesterday morning) about the inauguration (a word which I still cannot spell--I leave out the first 'u' every time) music being taped. I think they misinterpreted the story, though--thinking, I believe, of the story with the little girls in China where one sang the anthem and another lip-synched it because the first wasn't attractive enough. This is Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Anthony McGill, and some pianist whose name I didn't recognize but is undoubtedly of the same caliber. There is no one else who could stand behind them and play that music while they waved their bows/fingers. It was still them, just prerecorded.

And still. Have you ever tried to play in the cold? I have, fairly often with Fiddlers. Think about how your fingers feel when they're exposed in the winter. Stiff and painful, no? Now add to that your instrument gumming up in much the same way and bitter wind blowing around while you're trying to pull a light wood-and-horse-hair bow in a smooth line across a very narrow target that will produce the optimum sound. From what Yo Yo Ma says, that's SOP for these events--they did it at Bush's goodbye thing a few days ago as well.

Oh, and so I don't forget. Was in Dillon's (grocery store down here, part of the Kroger chain, none of which we have in St. Louis) and picked up a Star Trek Magazine issue to flip through. At the end of Nana Visitor's interview, she says something about how cool it would have been to have there have been (wow--spend too long looking at those last few words and you'll really get confused) a switch between Kira and Intendant Kira that nobody knew about, so at the end, you've got everybody running off in different places leaving her in charge, and imagine all of the mischief she could have gotten up to with Ro Laren. Now I really want to write that, maybe tying it in with the Annika overthrowing her in the Dark Passions books (as the impetus for her semi-permanent defection to our realm), but I'd have to watch the 7th season again--I haven't seen most of the whole plotty section of DS9 with the war and all, just knowing it through fanon and the semi-canon of the novels. Still. Would be great.
commotiocordis: Green on black, an animated depiction of a normal heart rhythm on an ECG monitor. (Default)
Evangelical pastor Rick Warren, whose participation drew criticism from liberals and gay rights groups, directly invoked Jesus as expected in his invocation, but did so personally.

"I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life," he prayed.

He also quoted from the most important prayer in Judaism, the Sh'ma, when he said, "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God. The Lord is One," and he called God "the compassionate and merciful one," a phrase from Muslim devotion.
Inaugural prayers aim for a more diverse America - Yahoo! News

Color me surprised. And impressed. The whole "who changed my life" bit felt pretty much like a late-night televangelism testimony session, but the rest (as well as Obama's shoutout to the secularists in his speech) was neat.

And then we get to Roberts. Way to fail, sir. Now we don't actually have a president, as according to Article II of the Constitution and all, he's got to say those 35 words (that are in there in quotation marks, so I think even though he got them all in but out of order, it doesn't count) before taking office. Which he didn't.

Plus, "So help you God?" Not in there. What if he didn't want to say that part? I mean, no reason that he wouldn't, really, but putting that in there as a requirement in the oath sets precedent. Especially since Roberts will probably be doing the next, idk, 8 inaugurations since he's all of 53--now we've just injected a religion requirement into a Constitutionally required element of taking the Presidential office.


Back here in podunkville, fail that after finally finishing the 8 page review exercise for chemistry that every other lab section gets to turn in next week, but my teacher's an ass, I not only have psychology homework to finish (1 page on Dorothea Dix; totally easy but I keep trying to make it harder somehow because idk, using the first hit on Google just seems wrong) and chem lab prep still to do (that's going to be during lunch, because I'm already falling asleep), during the open hour that I thought I'd be able to use to throw the psych paper together I've got a meeting with the guy running the lab I'm supposed to be researching in this semester to go over what's going to be my project for the semester. And I have no ideas. None. I pulled up a couple of pages to read some about what work's already being done in those fields (that's the problem--all of my ideas don't have to do with this DNA repair stuff; I dig much more macro things than that).

And in microbiology news (my 8am class tomorrow), I think I've already "missed" that twice. I swear the guy takes attendance at 7:55 or something, because I was late twice already (of the three class periods we've had so far, major fail; it's almost exactly the opposite corner of the campus from me and it's been so damn cold and windy that riding my bike and walking take the same length of slow) but only maybe 7 minutes the first time and no more than 3 the second, but I don't remember having attendance taken either time. But it happened on the first day, and it's mentioned in the syllabus that though it's not for points, if you've got <4 misses he takes that into account when putting together final grades, so to have lost half of that grace period of 4 in the first week is really pissing me off.

I really, really need another Dr. Pepper as I'm thirsty as hell, but Chelsea moved her bed over near the door more, so I'm reluctant to get up and open it and trek out and back, etc. And I've only got one cold can left, and only 6 I think overall (and I bought the cans rather than my normal 2-liters in the first place because I could just grab one in the mornings, not to drink them while in bed). Plus, I'm thinking about going to sleep now and getting up at 6 or something to finish this Dix thing and try to read over some lab stuff because I'll just be able to take my Ritalin early and let that help keep me up, as opposed to how I'm obviously not able to take it now or risk never going to sleep tonight (and crashing 6-8 hours from now, putting it smack in the middle of my classes).

Another note, because procrastination is my thing. Michelle Obama's dress at the balls? Not a fan. The skirt was white and sparkly and pretty, but the bodice frankly looked like somebody had taken a roll of toilet paper and wrapped it around her chest and over one shoulder a bunch of times.
commotiocordis: Green on black, an animated depiction of a normal heart rhythm on an ECG monitor. (Default)
*points to Bush countdown clock on profile*

OMIGOD. OMIGOD. /end excitement.

Seriously? I'm not that excited. Guess what, guys--a couple of days from tomorrow, a week? I still won't be able to get a decent part time job because more qualified people are ahead of me in the unemployment line. I'll still be paying taxes on my scholarship money and for my textbooks. I'll still be going to a state school because I couldn't afford any of the more prestigious ones that I was admitted to, even though they gave me their top scholarships. Things are different, but they aren't that different. Things don't change overnight because somebody else is sitting in that chair--he's got to make the right choices to get us back on the right track, and that's not going to be easy. And frankly, when things happen like his pegging Rick Warren for the prayer at the inauguration, I begin to question exactly how many of these expectations we've laid upon him Obama's actually going to keep. I mean, think about it--how much has he promised really, and how much have we just assumed is going to change? I think we'll find that there's a lot of the latter. Sure, a lot of the former as well, but a lot of the latter.

I really do hope my clock implodes, though. (Side note also from the Colbert Report? The rerun I watched this afternoon [Edit: and this one] was sponsored by Canadian whiskey. IS THIS A JOKE, STEPHEN?!)

I can't decide whether to get up and eat something or not. I'm not particularly hungry (I think I am brain-wise, which is why this is such a dilemma, but not to the stomach-rumbling yet), but I only ate lunch (sort of two lunches, actually, at 11ish and 3ish, but the first was more like a snack) and I sort of feel like I should. If I don't, I'm afraid I'll fall asleep, and though I doubt of the 10 quizzes we have in my microbiology lab we'll have two in a row, I can't chance not knowing what's going on for a second quiz in a row. As I didn't expect the first one as I hadn't yet bought my lab manual (zomgwtf $55 used) and thus had zero idea of what the answers were on that one. But I can't find where to find out what lab we're even doing tomorrow, and I've been looking for quite some time and it's really starting to piss me off. How hard is it to just put it on your faculty page, or on the Blackboard course page? There's nowhere else I can think of to look. So perhaps to bed it just will be, and I'll just skim the stuff when I get there and actually know what it is I'm supposed to be reading.
commotiocordis: Green on black, an animated depiction of a normal heart rhythm on an ECG monitor. (Default)
Many "reply all" fiascos result in mere embarrassment, but American diplomats have been told they may be punished for sending mass responses after an e-mail storm nearly knocked out one of the State Department's main electronic communications systems.

A cable sent last week to all employees at the department's Washington headquarters and overseas missions warns of unspecified "disciplinary actions" for using the "reply to all" function on e-mail with large distribution lists.

The cable, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, was prompted by a major interruption in departmental e-mail caused by numerous diplomats hitting "reply all" to an errant message inadvertently addressed and copied to several thousand recipients.

Reply-all e-mail storm hits State - Yahoo! News

O. M. G.

People keep drawing comparisons between the Obama administration and Matt Santos' on the West Wing? Well, evidently the administration before on both sides CONTAINS MARGARET ("You lost me at raisin muffin")!

This excited me. That is all.

Edit: "Anyone who disregards these instructions will be subject to disciplinary actions," Kennedy wrote in the cable, which begins: "Please ensure widest distribution of this message.

So evidently forwarding is okay, then? LOLOLOLOL.
commotiocordis: Green on black, an animated depiction of a normal heart rhythm on an ECG monitor. (Default)
Oh, and that whole Madoff thing, and the Ponzi scheme? (I kept referring to it as "that thing that reminds me of Fonzi from Happy Days" because, having never heard of it before, I couldn't ever come up with Ponzi before I actually sat down and read a few articles about it.) Does this system of taking the next guy's money, promising big returns that you can't actually pay out on, and branching out to more and more people as time goes on in a structure that eventually collapses into a pile of economic ruin not remind anyone else of, I don't know, SOCIAL SECURITY?

Edit: Oh, LOL. At the bottom of the Wikipedia article for Ponzi Scheme (because I had to pull it up because I kept wanting to call Madoff 'Maddow') there's a link to an Internet Archive copy of a page from the Social Security Administration entitled "Is Social Security a Ponzi Scheme?" Guess what they're going to try to tell us? I wonder if that's why the page is (presumably, as the linker had to resort to an archive) no longer up--they realized "Yeah, guys. This is sort of bullshit. We totally are a Ponzi Scheme." /edit

Note to Washington. We gave you a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House, and a Democratic executive. You've been claiming for ages that that's what you need--let's get to fixing this thing, people. (Yeah, I just watched the West Wing episode "Slow News Day", wherein Toby tries to fix SS.)

Am I a bad liberal if I think we should raise the retirement age more? I mean, as much as it sucks for the workers, the argument is absolutely right that we're living ages beyond what we were when the system was enacted, and that it wasn't set up to support people for decades. On the other hand, living longer doesn't mean productive longer, so that's hard to get around--physical jobs you can't stay in for too much longer, and when there's threat of mental decline, that takes out a lot of possibilities like medicine, stuff you've got to be sharp for. Balancing act. I don't think we can raise it to, idk, 75 or anything, but doing the math (which, if it weren't pushing 6am with me still awake, I'd totally do right now) and figuring out how much longer proportionally we're living than we were back in 1935, mixed in with some stat on productive/workable living age (as there's no doubt somebody on one of the sides of the issue did one) should give a good number. And still make it flexible, like it is now--you can retire earlier, but just not draw quite as much.

Not that that'll be anywhere near the amount of fixing it'll take, but still. Also reading the Blagojevich report. Is it just because I'm from Saint Louis, a stone's throw from Illinois, that I can't understand why people can't pronounce "Blagojevich"? I think all the talking heads just sound stupid when they call him "Blahgo".

And I mentioned earlier watching CSPAN today yesterday. Twas because there was nothing good on while I was exercising, plus it was the SCOTUS arguments on that Kennedy v. Louisiana child rape being a capital crime case, which I posted once or twice about in the spring when they heard the arguments and possibly again when they handed down the decision in June. I totally want to be on the Supreme Court. First, because that's pretty much the coolest branch. They've kept a lot of the shrouded mystery and. . . idk, honor that's been killed by all the scandal and such in the other two branches. Plus, it's about a bazillion times better than regular judging, because if they have a question, they just interrupt you. And Scalia made a joke, which made me LOLOL just because. . . I mean, powdered wigs (which I'd totally bring back), and old guys with robes, and heavy cases that go down in history and such; you don't expect one of them to make a funny. That's the other thing though--sure, Congress can make laws, and the President can sign them or not, but only the Supreme Court really gets to send them back with not only the "4srs? bitchplz" of rejection that the President's veto can do, but the establishment of sweeping precedent that governs jurisprudence on levels reaching from the highest courts all the way down to cops reading people Miranda, and remains doing so for centuries. I wrote a couple of things on the Court for polisci that I should throw down here sometime I'm not supposed to be sleeping (I'm not really feeling that tired, but the drastic increase in typing errors killing my backspace key begs to differ), one on the modern court's lack of efficacy reigning in the expanded powers of the Bush administration and one on Justice Stevens and term limits. Because fun.
commotiocordis: Green on black, an animated depiction of a normal heart rhythm on an ECG monitor. (Default)
Happened to notice a newspaper article about the movement of Pakistani troops to the Indian border in the Saturday paper a few hours ago. I haven't watched the news lately, but I read the headlines on the internet and spent more than an hour watching CSPAN this evening and I had no idea this was happening until just a while ago, which is surprising. Is it just not getting a lot of coverage? Because I'm fairly sure that now that they both have nukes, a Pakistan/India rematch would be pretty much a really bad thing.

Did some more research, and NDTV (an Indian news source) is calling it a bluff to blackmail the west (read: America) into placating them with stuff. Like we can give them anything, our economy the way it is, LOL. They also claim that the Pakistani movements aren't nearly as serious as the media is presenting, and declare that Whatever movement of Indian tanks and troops are noticed in Rajasthan is part of the annual firing exercises that various units conduct in Rajasthan's Lathi, Mahajan and Pokhran ranges in the winter months.

It's like they're saying "yeah, all the media is saying that the Pakistanis are moving troops. But we found out that they're not. So believe us, not. . . you know, everybody else. And while you're doing that, if anybody tells you that we're moving guys around in response, they're wrong. Rather than hold off on our annual firing exercises right next to Pakistan, we're just doing them right on our normal, everyday schedule even though it's liable to escalate this into bringing all manner of shit down on our collective global heads."

This article seriously makes no sense. It doesn't feel like a bad translation in terms of the normal syntactical errors that you'd expect, but the sentences just don't line up:
There are reports all over the media about heavy redeployment of forces along the Line of Control and International Border.
But NDTV has learnt that there is no significant movement of forces towards the Indian border.
Meanwhile, newspaper reports say that thousands of troops have been moved towards the Indian border.


Okay, guys? Let's just stop with the posturing. Neither of you is going to attack the other, because nuclear war is not a fun thing to play with. So why waste your resources like this? Wouldn't it be so much better to just make the other guy look stupid by not showing up? Or just go play a soccer match or something, a la Christmas Day in WWI.


To move on to a totally different topic. I realized I meant to mention: the cover of the Oregon Catholic Press reading book things ("Today's Missal") that we (and tons of Catholic churches around the US) use? They have religious art on the covers, both of the reading book and the music issue that come in pairs but always have different covers. Sometimes you can't really tell it's religious art (last month on the music one, it was this blue and purple cover cut into stained glass-esque rectangular pieces that if you squinted, you could make into a sort of 3d outline of a cross if you were looking for it), but on the reading one this quarter/season/however they divide them is a really nice piece of a Korean Madonna with Child. I was pleased, both because it was kind of pretty and because it's something different. I've always been a fan of multicultural representations of these images that are so often white-breadified. We had this Santa decoration that I think was a set of window clings of Santas in all different ethnicities, and all of them also had little tweaks to the outfit that just subtly reinforced the differentness. It was really cool. Because seriously, if you think about it? Where was Jesus from? Not America, I'll tell you that much, so I find it very highly unlikely that he's as pasty and blue-eyed as often presented.

Edit: Ooh, found the picture. )
commotiocordis: Green on black, an animated depiction of a normal heart rhythm on an ECG monitor. (Default)
From Jerry Brown asks California Supreme Court to void gay-marriage ban

Voters are allowed to amend other parts of the Constitution by majority vote, but to use the ballot box to take away an "inalienable" right would establish a "tyranny of the majority," which the Constitution was designed, in part, to prevent, [California Attorney General Brown] wrote.
. . .
In an interview, Andy Pugno, the lawyer for Protect Marriage, called Brown's argument "an astonishing theory."


Bullshit. That's nothing astonishing. That's an argument I made in PoliSci 101. (Actually, it's 110, but whatever.) That's an argument that 90% of the rest of my mostly-oblivious PLS class could have come up with as well. You know why? Because it's basic and it's true.

Oh, and in computer news? CD drive doesn't work. I don't remember if I mentioned that. I'm pissed.
commotiocordis: Green on black, an animated depiction of a normal heart rhythm on an ECG monitor. (Default)
Re: Rick Warren. What's next, James Dobson to preform next year's Red Mass? Seriously. Sure, he's not going to be doing anything official in the administration (as far as we know), but this indicates that Warren's got more than a little influence over Obama, which is not a good thing when you consider that according to Wikipedia, this guy has stated that homosexuality is an intolerable, unnatural way of life and thus not a human right, denounced evolution, and compared atheists to Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot.

Got home after exercising and spending hours between Big Lots (where I just took a while), Wal-Mart (where I stood in the express line for 20 minutes, because the cashier kept letting this guy try his denied credit card over and over and fiddling with the computer and such), and then Shop N Save. Got fat free hot dogs at the last, which I didn't realize I'd been missing until I was in [livejournal.com profile] bleakone's room last week and her roommate made a veggie dog and my stomach practically did backflips with the longing (as the fat free ones taste similar, prolly because their meat content has been cut down to "has been on the same refrigerated grocery shelf as meat" levels). Reason I went to the other two, though, was looking for an electric warming throw blanket thing for my mom for Christmas. Turns out that Dad had just checked for in-store availability and didn't see that it said that they weren't in stock at our local Wal-Mart, and so assumed that they were, when really it was just that the local one wasn't listed at all because they never carry it.

Grades come out Monday, as they're all due from the teachers before 5pm, I think, Saturday. Which is why a lot of them were pushing up the finals to the week before, as that's earlier than usual for them and they didn't think they could get them all graded that quickly, I suppose. I see it with some of the more populous classes (some kind of psych 101, or my gym class, even though that was all done electronically so there was no physical grading for the final), but my mythology teacher has what, 60 students total? 19 in my class, though that's an honors section, and her other two are more specialized, upper-division (I think one's graduate) courses, so I presume that it'd be the same or less. She only pushed one of hers up, but maybe that one required a more grading-intensive final than ours (which was in the second-to-last time slot of all the finals, I'm fairly sure) did; essays or something.

Anyway, that mythology final was bad. I'm fairly pissed about that. I'd thought (and others had agreed to the point of overtly encouraging me to stop working on the older Ovid stuff during breakfast right before and study Odysseus--LOL, all of a sudden I wonder if that was purposeful) that most of the final would be over the parts of The Odyssey we hadn't been tested over yet, with 50% at most of comprehensive material. Nope. This was the third test that contained Odyssey material (1 & 2 were all Ovid, 3 was half and half, and 4 was all Odyssey and Oresteia), and yet Ovid was easily 80, maybe 90% of it. The only bits of the Trojan War stories (Odyssey, Oresteia) were in a 10 or so question matching section at the bottom of the 4th page of the test, matching names to identities and one "identify the myth in this picture" thing. And Wednesday night, what did I do but finish the Odyssey instead of studying the Ovid myths. So I used to be able to say that I was getting an A in everything but gym. Fairly sure that's no longer the case, as this was a good 25% of my grade that I'd be surprised if I pulled a C on. It's hard, because I know I know most of the stories so if you just prompted me a bit, I would be all "Oh, and then [blah]". It's tough to do the matching then, too, because you can't tell if you recognize these two items as a pair because they go together, or because you just know both stories, or because one's a family member of the name that really fits with the story and that's why you're connecting the two (because everything's intertwined somehow in Ovid--the man's king of "Oh, and speaking of" transitions), etc., if that makes any sense.

Slight oddness tonight. More in my reaction of a perception of weirdness than the actual thing. Was hanging out in the kitchen, fixing one of my newly purchased hot dogs, when I heard my dad talking to Mom's rabbit. Okay. I'm not really a fan of that animal, but whatever. I look around the little island bit that separates the kitchen from the dining room (which is in turn connected to the living room, where the rabbit's cage is), and he's down there next to the cage petting it. It's not that my dad's an unnafectionate fellow, or dislikes animals or whatnot (he championed the original adoption of Rascal as well as probably every other animal we've had in the house save the rabbit), so I'm not sure if I was just projecting my dislike for the rabbit (I'm not sure where that comes from, whether it bit me a few too many times or what, but I'm just not a fan) onto him, but it surprised me. In a very pleasant-surprise sort of way, as it was quite. . . idk, touching. He was uber gentle (I spelled that "gentile" at first, and then went "LOL, Christmas"), and yet I suppose because of his size or whatnot, the rabbit was still scared (I feel like I've written about this situation almost exactly before because I felt the same way then--shall have to peruse my tags and see if I'm not just deja vu-ing). I don't know. It was touching, okay? Something about it being a rabbit, too; I'd see him petting Rascal with no such out-of-place feeling. Maybe it was the combination of rabbit + him having to squat way down to be anywhere near where he could reach the cage on the floor + talking to it (in not a crazy way) that sort of created this dichotomy of rabbit/giant human (saving my mild, occasional feelings of paternal intimidation for future exploration, LOL) that was cool to see.

Too much analysis, way too late at night. Without classes, I've evidently shifted back to my up-all-night cycle within all of two days. CIRCADIAN RHYTHM, WHY ARE YOU BATSHITCRAZY?
commotiocordis: (carmen)
Iraqi judge says shoe-throwing reporter was beaten

That sounds really bad. And yeah, they probably are beating him up somewhere right now. But then you read down, and it turns out they're talking about right after it happened.

Excuse me if this is wrong to say, but. . . duh?

I'm sorry, but I throw an unidentified object at a foreign dignitary, I'm expecting to get my face mussed a mite by his security folk. Hell, I'm anticipating that there's a goodly chance that I'll be shot before the second such item leaves my hand. I'm against torture and police brutality and all that as much as the next girl, but from what I'm hearing, that is not what this is (again: at least not what they're talking about here).
commotiocordis: Green on black, an animated depiction of a normal heart rhythm on an ECG monitor. (Default)
I was totally planning on watching the football game this evening. Instead? CSPAN and Laura Bush giving a tour of the White House. As research for my never-to-be-finished West Wing fic.

Laura says that she and George sleep in the traditional Presidents' bedroom, the same that her in-laws slept in when HW was president. I have no problem with the prospect of my parents having sex. But could you imagine having sex in not only the same bedroom, but the same bed that your husband's parents did? Idk. That's what jumped into my head, LOL.
commotiocordis: (Jack/Ianto)
Well, shit. Panel warns biological attack likely by 2013 Self-fulfilling prophecy? Please to not be being in effect. Because this is the Armageddon scenario--back before cars and affordable (well, you know) plane flights and people jetting back and forth every day, we might have been able to survive it, but these days? Get something airborne and contageous enough and it's everywhere before anyone realizes it's out there. Nuclear weapons can't touch this. Add that to the report from the CDC that came out today stating that their pandemic drills revealed major supply issues, and let's face it. We're screwed.

"The United States should be less concerned that terrorists will become biologists and far more concerned that biologists will become terrorists," the report states.

Yeah. You know it, United States. That means you better work harder at keeping me happy. Federal government, I think that's going to take making me a tax-exempt entity, giving me an honorary BS so I can skip on to medical school (which you will then pay for), and hooking me up with a senior adviser position in the Obama administration. Now, bitches. LOL.


I keep hearing the old cellphone I use as an alarm giving me it's "I'm really, really close to dead" tone, but I can't find it. Argh.

A day (or maybe two, idk) later:

Jeeze, I'm backing up on posts. I've got one still half-written in my draft folder from Saturday, this one from Tuesday or so. Fail.

Note to self: Thursday, 12/4/08 = another uber!sensitive face allergy attack thing. Definitively noticed around noon, itching (not just pain this time) got really bad at 1. Around 4am, put on Duac gel, entire face. Also wearing 10% wool sweater (since about 7:30). Wore acrylic yarn knit hat in morning. Took Dipenhydramine 25mg at 3:20, shower (made redness worse, prolly because used the hard, chlorinated spray of warm water on face instead of scratching), then another Dipenhydramine at 3:55.

So of course this happens on the day of the initiation dinner to the pre-law frat, as well as the trivia night in the student union. Plus, I've not yet gymmed. Meaning that of course, it doesn't happen on a day where all I do is go to the dining hall and then the gym (or even a day when I'm home and just leave to hit the gym), but one of my 8-4 (3, this time, as the genetics lab final was quick) classes days where I have three separate semi-social outings afterwards and have to walk around the whole time with this mostly bright freaking red face. No kidding here, we're not talking a bit pink and irritated--my face is red. With the occasional white blotch of normal skin--two that I noticed when I glanced in the mirror as I passed, about quarter-sized on the right and dime on the left cheek (and they're not even symmetrical, to add insult to injury).
commotiocordis: Green on black, an animated depiction of a normal heart rhythm on an ECG monitor. (Default)
Oh my god.

I wrote a sort of current event review paper thing for polisci about this study published that says that not only is there a strong correlation between winners of elections and physical attributes, but consistently in head-to-head fictional matchups, women were rated less competent.

Said quickiepaper with more info on the study )

This goes on the message board thingie for the class, and somebody actually wrote a response piece (as we're required to do). I say again, oh my god. You've just got to read it.

' I think the biggest factor is that women, for the most part, have things to do that are more important to them.' )

Thank you for an excellent essay? No, sir. You do not get the privledge of thanking me for writing an excellent essay because you know what? Not only do your arguments make no sense, as they're organized in some kind of crazyland kind of way, they're wrong. And I could appreciate your arguments if they were at least, you know, decent, but they're not. I see where you're trying to go with the societal stigma against the working woman, but you didn't get there.

And the worst part is that this is one of the best essays I've seen posted on there. (Admittedly, I've not nearly read them all, and a moment ago I just flipped open to one that's actually good, but still.) Such is the caliber of my honors college political science class. Le sigh.
commotiocordis: (Jack/Ianto)
I am weirdly not tired, considering I got 2 hours max of sleep last night with my papers and shit all being due today. Probably due to it being a pretty good day (at least early on)--got my lab report done to my satisfaction, as well as the lab notebook, polisci was good (I love how Dr. Dutton says "Like in Alexandria's West Wing" every time she makes a WW reference, since I made the first one in my presented position paper; it both makes me feel like Aaron Sorkin special and really validates the show as a whole for me, because when you and your Princeton-Ph.D. political theorist professor can spontaneously and simultaneously quote an episode together to illustrate a point to the class, that says something about the caliber of the show/our geekness).

Genetics lab was pretty cool--played with PCR, which was nothing I'd never done before, but we got to use our individual DNA, so in a few weeks I'll know how many of some random (common, but I can't recall the name atm) repeat I've got on each copy of chromosome 16. And speaking of geekdom, I went and talked to the new BMS prof that needs people to fo research and he's totally cool--he was wearing a Star Trek shirt and his kids are named after DS9 characters (Kira and Ezri), and also was quite impressed that I actually did some research on his topics before coming in (I was totally freaking that he was going to semi-quiz me on the stuff to decide if he wanted me or not, but he explained it all way more than I needed).

Home now, and will be until the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Which will be nice. I'm skipping more classes than I probably should--though really just genetics this Friday and PoliSci and Mythology on Tuesday, though the latter are two of the three classes that are the more vital ones attendance wise (though mythology is just a movie); the third being gym, as attendance is points there).

Listened to Torchwood podfic in the car, and now I have a real hankering to record some more of my own. Because there's still not enough in fandoms that I know. A huge proportion of it is Supernatural or SG: Atlantis. Or *shudders* boyband.


It feels like if Obama doesn't slow down the tapping of prominent Democratic senators and governors for cabinet positions, soon we'll have the kick-assiest cabinet ever but lose the senate and gubernatorial majorities! I am quite happy about Clinton, however, even if I'd be happier if Condi stayed on (idk why, but I just love that woman). And poor Mukasey. I don't have a problem with him, which is significantly more than I can say for most of Bush's other appointees.

O, and. Found my dream job. At least to do for a while (an administration or two). The Office of Legislative Policy and Analysis for the National Institutes of Health. It's politics and medicine! Not quite as kick ass as being the surgeon general (I still want that job, kthx), but since I'm not a) rich, b) from a family with prominent political ties (see a), or c) at an ivy league school making both a and b happen, the chances of that are v. v. slim. OLPA I could prolly swing.
commotiocordis: (carmen)
Hooray, Pauley Perrette! I knew I could count on her.

Her blog post re: Prop 8 from before the election. (Evidently she's getting married again, so congrats there.)

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