Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mass. Gov. signs gay marriage bill

Mass. Gov. signs gay marriage bill BOSTON (AP) — "Massachusetts on Thursday began allowing any gay couple to get married there as Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill repealing a 1913 law that had blocked most out-of-state same-sex couples from tying the knot."

Hopefully this will be the start of something. I don't expect to see every state running out and allowing gay marriage. But with any luck the tide has turned and the State and religious groups will get out of the bedroom. Maybe by the time my grand kids are old enough to marry.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

NASA confirms Saturn's moon Titan has liquid on its surface

WhooHoo! This is cool.

NASA has confirmed that "At least one of many large, lake-like features on Saturn's moon Titan studied by the international Cassini spacecraft contains liquid hydrocarbons, making it the only body in the solar system besides Earth known to have liquid on its surface, NASA said Wednesday."

There's more on Irene Klotz Discovery News Space Blog.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Army Wrestler Earns Greco-Roman Berth

Army Wrestler Earns Greco-Roman Berth June 23, 2008 | Army News Service | by Tim Hipps - LAS VEGAS - "Staff Sgt. Dremiel Byers secured an Olympic berth by defeating U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program teammate Spc. Timothy Taylor in the Greco-Roman heavyweight finals of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling on June 15."

This will be great to watch. You know there'll be military in events like the pentathlon and shooting but it's great to see them in other events as well. I'm reminded of the 1984 Olympics in LA. The winner of the 400m and 4x100m relay gold was a guy I went to high school with. He went to the Air Force academy and on the Olympic gold. Maybe I'll dig up all the info and post something about him later.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

South Carolina's 'so gay' travel ad upsets state officials

South Carolina's 'so gay' travel ad upsets state officials [USA Today] By Page Ivey, Associated Press Writer COLUMBIA, S.C. — In late June, travel agent Matthew DeGuire got a call from a customer about an ad in London's subway.

"South Carolina is so gay" read the ad, alongside others touting Las Vegas, New Orleans, Boston and Atlanta as also being "so gay." The ads were timed with London's annual gay pride festival.

"He was pleasantly surprised about it," DeGuire said of his client.

But several state officials, including Gov. Mark Sanford, think the ad went too far. While the state's tourism agency initially agreed to pay $5,000 for the ad, the governor and other officials are now refusing to pickup that tab, saying taxpayer dollars shouldn't be used to promote any group with a particular social or political agenda.

The employee at the state Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department who approved it has resigned, and Republican Sen. David Thomas has called for an audit of the state agency's spending.

Yes, more stupid crap from the homophobes. All they needed to do was use any of the first five definitions of the word "gay" from WordNet. Instead they get all pissy and make some poor slob Tourism Department fall on his sword.

Get a life.

[Yes, I'm extra cranky today. Can you tell?]

No Life Here

No Life Here | July 23, 2008 | Irene Klotz | Discovery News - "Looking for life in the universe? Here’s one place you can skip: a new view of the Pinwheel Galaxy, aka Messier 101, in infrared light shows a coral-red outer ring devoid of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons."

Doesn't matter how old I get, I still love this space $#!t as much as I did in my K-12 days. Check this article out if for nothing else than the image of the galaxy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Soldier Gets Silver [Medal] for Killing Bomber

Soldier Gets Silver [Medal] for Killing Bomber July 15, 2008 Knight Ridder FORT LEWIS, Wash. - "It took Sgt. Michael Espejo Jr. a moment to realize that the injured Afghan policeman he was dragging away from a burning truck was no policeman at all."

It's not uncommon to hear about an American Soldier killing an Insurgent in Iraq. You're more likely to hear about it the other way 'round. But when it happens have you ever wondered what the back story was? How did it come to take place? What happened to cause the incident? Here's one story where you can get a perspective of what it's like over there.

I'm usually fairly vague when it comes to political discussions on the war in Iraq. Primarily because so many people are so unbelievably polarized on it. It's impossible to have a conversation with someone who has their opinion and will refuse to even listen to anything else. My opinions on the issue are not ambiguous and based on my knowledge and life experiences. However I am always willing to listen to someone else's point of view. They might have a perspective that I haven't thought of which could help clarify my position one way or the other.

If anyone would like to calmly and rationally discuss this topic with me just let me know.
Like that's ever going to happen

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Abigail Adams leads rhetorical charge against Britain

November 12, 1775: Abigail Adams leads rhetorical charge against Britain
Upon hearing of England's rejection of the so-called Olive Branch Petition on this day in 1775, Abigail Adams writes to her husband, "Let us separate, they are unworthy to be our Brethren. Let us renounce them and instead of supplications as formerly for their prosperity and happiness, Let us beseech the almighty to blast their councils and bring to Nought all their devices."
I was just wandering around the History Channel web sight and thought I'd see what happened on my birthday. This one was interesting because I am a fan of the movie 1776. Anyone who's seen this film will not be surprised by Mrs. Adams position on this subject. If you haven't seen the movie then you are missing some very interesting information on the happenings of the American Revolution. The movie isn't just for those of you in the States, either. Knowledge of historical happenings in every part of the globe is fascinating and goes a long way towards keeping us from repeating it.

Keep away from the dark side!

With all the computer annoyances going on here lately I thought I'd give Windows Vista a try and see what all the (non)fuss is about. I reinstalled from the vendor supplied DVD, which went smoother than I'd expected (based on previous WinXX version installs I've done). As for how it fairs for me, here's the short and sweet of it...
It sucks!
No, wait. Make that...
The two of you who might be reading this will immediately suspect that I cam to this conclusion due to my fervent dislike of Microsoft and my near-zealotry for Linux. It's an understandable conclusion but not quite accurate today.

The biggest reason for the total suckage is the attempts that Microsoft has continually made to make everything "User Friendly." Every version of Windows from Win95 on has made the interface more cumbersome and less usable. It works fine if you only run a web browser, mail client and office-like applications. If you want to do any real work it's like pulling teeth. If you really want to see a well designed user interface check out a Mac running OS X 10. Heck, even older ones running OS 9 kick the pants off of anything Microsoft has done. Playing with Vista might be entertaining but this box is going to be wiped and have Fedora installed very soon.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Computer wars

I finally got one of my systems back up. There's still some customization that needs to be done but it's pretty much back to "normal" (whatever that is). The newer box is still very unhappy. If I can find the paperwork I'll see if it's still under warranty. It would be better not to have to spend any fund$ on it. Getting ready for that I put Vista back on it. Man, every time I think there might be something redeeming about Microsoft & Windows I give it a spin and it's just as sucky as ever. So far Win2K has been the best OS they've had. It's the one that sucks least.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Drug-Free Depression Treatments; More Effective?

Why Drug-Free Depression Treatments May Be More Effective | Newsweek Health
Source: - "In a new book, psychiatrist James Gordon explains why he believes there's a more effective and drug-free way to treat depression and anxiety.

About 10 percent of American women and 4 percent of men now take antidepressants (according to a 2004 CDC report). Gordon's new book, "Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression," outlines a treatment program he believes can be an alternative to medication. NEWSWEEK's Anne Underwood spoke to Gordon about his recommendations and how he's implemented them around the world.

As one who's taking three different anti-depressants this is an interesting read. It's always curious to me how the human race ever survived the first umpteen thousand years before all these drugs and therapy. But then again, one common theme in Science Fiction is how modern industry and technology are the cause of new ailments. And there's always the case that medicine has removed natural selection from humans allowing more "defective" genes to propagate.

Who knows?

Finally, I can take a normal shower

The cast is off and the doctor said the ankle is looking great. It was actually broken on both the bones in my leg. There was a small break on the big bone and a fairly good one on the small bone. I know, I know... These bones have proper names but I'm just feeling to lazy to look them up. Right now the ankle seems pretty strong but it still hurts if I bend it out. I didn't get a picture of either the red or the black cast but I'm sure two of you readers won't mind. It's nice that I will be able to drive again, though.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Saw it all off

I'm going to get my cast off today (Monday). I hope the ankle is all healed as I really don't want to be "casted" anymore. Hopefully I can last a little while before some other medical malady decides to inflict itself on me. I should have been asleep more than 45 minutes ago but, oh well. I'll still make it there.