Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Official God FAQ


Monday, November 28, 2005

Happy Birthday, Libby!!!

Hope your 17th is special!

Remember, today brings us that much closer to answering this question. =p

Sunday, November 27, 2005

High School State Champs in Football Again

AP - Derrick Washington tied a Show-Me Bowl record with four touchdowns as Raymore-Peculiar beat McCluer North 43-21 in the Class 5 state championship game Saturday. Washington rushed for 99 yards and caught five passes for 115 yards as Raymore-Peculiar (13-0) won its second straight state championship and extended its winning streak to 26 games.

Washington scored on runs of 1, 5 and 34 yards as well as on a 48-yard pass reception. Thomas Hodges rushed for 166 yards for Raymore-Peculiar, which beat McCluer North in the Show-Me Bowl for the second straight year. Ray-Pec beat the Stars 37-18 last year in the final game...

The Show-Me Bowl, which features the championship games of all six Missouri classes, set an attendance record with 33,036 attending the two-day event.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

What's in Your Turkey?

JOHN FEFFER, ALTERNET - Imagine having to go to a doctor for a prescription to buy the ingredients for dinner. It's not such a farfetched scenario. From testosterone and tetracycline to zeranol and genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, enough chemicals circulate in our animal products to stock a medicine cabinet. Because our meat and dairy are still over the counter, though, Americans remain largely oblivious to the intrusions of the pharmaceutical industry into our kitchens. Consider the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving feast, the hybrid turkey raised in a factory farm in conditions of pain and squalor on a diet of chemical-infused feed. Close confinement requires the use of a long list of antibiotics to control such diseases as rhinotracheitis and colibacillosis. And let's not talk about what the bird picks up during processing. One of the last stages at the slaughterhouse is a dip in chlorine to wash off pathogens.

But conventional turkeys are practically a health food compared to some of the other dinner options, such as roast beef. Turkeys, unlike cows, don't get pumped full of growth hormones. Hormone residues in milk and meat likely play havoc with our endocrine systems.

Meanwhile, the routine use of antibiotics potentially builds up our resistance to drugs and encourages the spread of super resistant bacteria. "Eighty percent of all antibiotics in the United States are given not to people to cure disease but to animals to make them fatten up and enable them to survive unhygienic confinement in factory farms," according to Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association. If one of those little bugs survives the onslaught of antibiotics at the factory farm, it's going to give you one hell of a bad case of food poisoning. . .

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Now this is my kind of woman...

Nina Gordon's acoustic cover of "Straight Outta Compton," a rap originally recorded by NWA.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Best wishes to my favourite Canadian on her 22nd!

Can you identify the real Sam?



Monday, November 21, 2005

Congress Reduces its Oversight Role

"We believed we had something to do, to [assure] that public money was being spent appropriately, that laws were being enforced, and we did. Our country was better for it," [Democratic Rep. John] Dingell said. But now, "everything seems to be run out of the White House."

SUSAN MILLIGAN, BOSTON GLOBE - Back in the mid-1990s, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, aggressively delving into alleged misconduct by the Clinton administration, logged 140 hours of sworn testimony into whether former president Bill Clinton had used the White House Christmas card list to identify potential Democratic donors. In the past two years, a House committee has managed to take only 12 hours of sworn testimony about the abuse of prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

The jarring comparison reflects the way Congress has conducted its oversight role during the GOP's era of one-party rule in Washington.

While congressional committees once were leaders in investigating the executive branch and powerful industries, the current Congress has largely spared major corporations and has done only minimal oversight of the Republican administration, according to a review of congressional documents by The Boston Globe. An examination of committees' own reports found that the House Government Reform Committee held just 37 hearings described as ''oversight" or investigative in nature during the last Congress, down from 135 such hearings held by its predecessor, the House Government Operations Committee, in 1993-94, the last year the Democrats controlled the chamber. Party loyalty does not account for the difference: In 1993-94, the Democrats were investigating a Democratic administration....

At a time when the Bush administration is under scrutiny from a special counsel inquiry, the lack of action by Congress appears to be especially striking. Senate Democrats invoked an obscure rule to force the body into a closed session and embarrass the Republicans into jump-starting an investigation into accusations that pre-Iraq War intelligence had been politicized.... Controversies such as the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, abuses at US detention facilities at the Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prisons, and the revealing of former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson's name have gone largely unscrutinized on Capitol Hill. Instead, congressional committees have directed oversight at such topics as steroid abuses in sports and ''diploma mill" universities -- topics critics say are worthy, but which do not fulfill Congress's responsibility to be a check on the executive branch....

The agenda was different during the Clinton administration. The government reform panel alone, for example, issued 1,052 subpoenas related to investigations of the Clinton administration and the Democratic National Committee from 1997 to 2002, and only 11 subpoenas related to allegations of Republican abuse...

BONUS STUFF: Green Day - American Edit

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Coming of Colored Bubbles

MIKE HANEY, POPULAR SCIENCE - Chemical burns, ruined clothes, 11 years, half a million dollars—it's not easy to improve the world's most popular toy. Yet the success of one inventor's quest to dye a simple soap bubble may change the way the world uses color.

Tim Kehoe has stained the whites of his eyes deep blue. He's also stained his face, his car, several bathtubs and a few dozen children. He's had to evacuate his family because he filled the house with noxious fumes. He's ruined every kitchen he's ever had. Kehoe, a 35-year-old toy inventor from St. Paul, Minnesota, has done all this in an effort to make real an idea he had more than 10 years ago, one he's been told repeatedly cannot be realized: a colored bubble.

No, not the shimmering rainbow effect you see when the light catches a clear soap bubble. Kehoe's bubble would radiate a single, vibrant hue throughout the entire sphere—a green bubble, an orange bubble, a hot-pink bubble. It's a bubble that can make CEOs giggle and stunned mothers tear up in awe. It's a bubble you don't expect to see, conditioned as you are to the notion that soap bubbles are clear. An unnaturally beautiful bubble.

Kehoe made a bubble like that when he was 26, after only two years of trashed countertops and chemical fires. He showed it to toy-company executives, who called it a "holy grail." And then it broke, as bubbles always do. And when it did, the dye inside escaped onto clothes and carpets and walls and skin, staining everything it touched. The execs told him to come back with a bubble they could wash off their boardroom table.

Continue reading this very interesting story....

(ZUBBLES should be out by February 2006.)

NPR's "My Lobotomy" on MP3

NPR's 'All Things Considered' aired a segment entitled 'My Lobotomy' on Nov. 16, a story of and narrated by a 56-year old bus driver from California named Howard Dully who underwent a transorbital (a.k.a. icepick) lobotomy in 1960 at the age of 12.

Since his lobotomy, Mr. Dully has been tortured with the thought of how his life, personality, and soul were changed by the brutal procedure. I'm an avid NPR listener and this is one of the best stories I've ever heard on air. MP3 Link

Monday, November 14, 2005

Sense of Time

A man: God, how much is a million dollars to you?
God: It is but a penny.

A man: God, how long is a million years to you?
God: It is but a second.

A man: God, could you please give me a penny?
God: Sure, just a second.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Today was thoroughly enjoyable....

6:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. Busy the whole time! This shall be considered a victory! =D

Fun Thing to Do For Today:

Write a letter to your future self.

(It's interesting to read the entries that others have chosen to make publicly viewable too.)

Now I'm going to fall asleep. Zzzzzz......

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Death by Caffeine

After 171.60 cups of Starbucks Grande Caffe Latte, I'd be pushing up daisies.

A handy calculator designed to help you figure out how much of your favorite caffeinated beverage it would take to kill you.

The Physics of Cow-Tipping

TIMES ONLINE - Much to the relief of dairy herds, the sport of cow-tipping has been debunked as an urban, or perhaps rural, myth by scientists at a Canadian university. Margo Lillie, a doctor of zoology at the University of British Columbia, and her student Tracy Boechler have conducted a study on the physics of cow-tipping.

Ms Boechler, now a trainee forensics analyst for the Royal Canadian Mounted Corps, concluded in her initial report that a cow standing with its legs straight would require five people to exert the required force to bowl it over. A cow of 1.45 metres in height pushed at an angle of 23.4 degrees relative to the ground would require 2,910 Newtons of force, equivalent to 4.43 people, she wrote. Dr Lillie, Ms Boechler’s supervisor, revised the calculations so that two people could exert the required amount of force to tip a static cow, but only if it did not react.

"The static physics of the issue say . . . two people might be able to tip a cow," she said. "But the cow would have to be tipped quickly — the cow's centre of mass would have to be pushed over its hoof before the cow could react."

Newton’s second law of motion, force equals mass multiplied by acceleration, shows that the high acceleration necessary to tip the cow would require a higher force. "Biology also complicates the issue here because the faster the [human] muscles have to contract, the lower the force they can produce. But I suspect that even if a dynamic physics model suggests cow tipping is possible, the biology ultimately gets in the way: a cow is simply not a rigid, unresponding body."

Monday, November 07, 2005

Goodbye, Dr. DeSena

We are saddened to inform you that Dr. John DeSena, Associate Professor, UMKC School of Medicine, passed away on Wednesday, November 2, 2005, at the Overland Park Regional Health Center. He was a long time faculty member of the SOM’s Basic Medical Sciences Department. In spite of his illness, Dr DeSena continued his faithful commitment in educating students here at the School of Medicine. Services will be 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, November 8, at Carson Speaks Chapel, 1501 W. Lexington, Independence, MO 64052. Dr. DeSena will be missed by us all. A link to Dr. DeSena’s Kansas City Star Obituary and guest book is attached for your convenience.

Truly one of my favorite professors... Sad to see him go.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

God, what a week....

Matisyahu - King Without A Crown (via 3hive)

Friday, November 04, 2005

Pentagon Planning for Possible War with Venezuela

WILLIAM M. ARKIN, WASHINGTON POST - The Pentagon has begun contingency planning for potential military conflict with Venezuela as part of a broad post-Iraq evaluation of strategic threats to the United States. The planning has been precipitated by general and specific directives issued by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his civilian policy assistants...

Though autocratic, Chavez has also presided over unprecedented growth in the Venezuelan economy, setting the stage for a significant increase in public services. Given solid resources and political backbone, Chavez has been able to keep much of his word to the poor, resulting in a level of domestic popularity that Karl Rove would kill for...

Military sources ascribe Venezuela's emergence on a list of actual military threats as a reflection of an important post 9/11 war reality: The events themselves of September 11 provide justification -- and perceived need -- to take risks in thinking about unanticipated threats. "The Global War on Terror is rightfully our near-term focus, but we certainly don't want to be caught flat-footed by a series of other possibilities," says one Defense Department planning document. Oil rich Venezuela provides approximately 15 percent of the oil imported to the United States.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Blah blah etc.

I'm so tired. I was happy that I'd finally be able to sleep in tomorrow until I got home and realized the damn exterminator would be coming in the morning. On top of that, they're gonna be testing the dang fire alarms all day. Blecht. < /complaining>

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Ultrasonic Love Songs of Male Mice

BBC - Male mice serenade potential mates with ultrasonic love songs, a study by US scientists has revealed. The research adds mice to the exclusive club of mammals that can sing, which has until now comprised only human beings, bats and cetaceans.

A University of Washington, St Louis, team studied ultrasonic squeaks emitted by mice when they smell a female and found that they form complex songs. They have published details in the scientific journal PLoS Biology.

Love Songs