Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cat Man Do

This is a hilarious little bit of animation by Simon Tofield of Tandem Films. Aren't cats the best pets?

video

There are some more cute picture here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

the Larry Craig video

Just in case you haven't seen this gem yet.
I am actually fairly upset about what happened but I haven't heard many people talk about what bothers me. The Republicans are mad at Craig because he turned out to be gay and brought bad press to the 'moral values' crowd. The Democrats are so happy to have another Republican caught with his pants down that they are milking it for all its worth. While I have no appreciation for Mr. Craig's politics, I am most upset about the fact that he was arrested in the first place! We should all be outraged that a man can get arrested for what is in essence flirting, simply because the object of his advances happens to be another man. It's not like he was having sex in a public restroom, which could have fallen under indecent exposure. Maybe he was going to take the fella out for a drink or a romantic dinner!
Nevertheless, this video is funny.

video

Comic of the Day


This one is "Ben" by Daniel Shelton.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Comic of the Day


Just my favorite comic strip from today's collection.
This is Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Inkscape


Yesterday I was introduced by my dear coworker to the joys of Inkscape. Inkscape is a free program that is used for drawing/editing. What is cool about it is that it uses vectors to map everything you draw or import so you can really play around with every stroke you make. There are pencil and calligraphy tools and so many fun things to play around with. And as everything that has to do with Linux, it is absolutely free! (and you can use it on Macs and Windows, too).
So here is a drawing I did, mostly from memory, playing around with the calligraphy tool.

Funk Da Pamonha

video


This song cracks me up beyond all reason. It is sung by Rodney Dy and is called "Funk da Pamonha". A pamonha is a Brazilian dish made of mushed corn and cooked in corn husk pockets. This song uses advertisement slogans like the ones you hear from the speakers of advertising cars and bikes. That is one job I would not want. The other food mentioned in the song is cural, which is also made of corn.

The lyrics go along the lines of "come see my pamonha stand", "my pamonha's are cheaper then theirs" and "if I give you my pamonha will you give me your cural?" I would love for someone who speaks Portuguese to translate this for me!

Dumbledore is gay!


Oh what a hoot!

Albus was outed this past Friday by creator Rowling during an appearance at Carnegie Hall. Reports are saying "the rumors are true" but I have to admit I was surprised, mostly because I always thought of him as some sort of Buddhist monk, asexual and celibate. But it could be my own orientation-centricity (is there a term I could use here? anyone know?).

Some comments on the news include:

"My mind is blown and lying in little pieces all over the floor."
by your mom

"Now, that you made her millions, she reveals it. She was a clever one. If I had known this sooner, I wouldn't have never allowed my children to read the books or see the movies."
by jac

"I think this is great. It's a good statement for tolerance. Especially the fact that no one in the HP universe seemed to care."
by Apophenia

And now onto Laura Mallory. Mother of four from Loganville, GA, she keeps trying to get the Harry Potter books banded from her kids school because she claims they promote Wicca. Mind you, she hasn't actually read the books, but I am sure her opinion is very well informed. While appeal after appeal was being rejected, she became ordained as a Minister and was named Washington Post's 2006 "Idiot of the Year." Mallory told ABC news:

"My prayer is that parents would wake up, that the subtle way this is presented as harmless fantasy would be exposed for what it really is: a subtle indoctrination into anti-Christian values. A homosexual lifestyle is a harmful one. That's proven, medically."

For further musings from Mrs. Mallory visit www.hisvoicetoday.org


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

(post has been renamed as of 1/3/08)

A few thoughts on sex education.

Topeka High School in Kansas has recently gotten into trouble over offering condoms to students. The contraceptives were available at the nurse’s office and were accompanied by information about how to use them, as well as how to receive free AIDS testing. The basket of freebies was set up by a student at the school, but once officials got wind of the situation they immediately put the kibosh on it. The position of the superintendent was that the matter of birth control should be handled by the parents. President of the booster club, Michelle Durkes (who is an adult, by the way), added:

"Schools are not the place to choose to hand out condoms. Kids can go to the health department for that. It's not the school's job. It makes it look like you are approving having sex. We are supposed to be teaching, I thought, 'Just say no.' So it is very shocking that the school would be supplying them."

Just say no indeed. Honestly now, show of hands - how many of you DID NOT have sex in high school? Some studies show that about 35% of students are sexually active on a monthly basis (mind you, how many teens in long term relationships do YOU know?) So if they are going to be sexually active anyway, and what we really don't want is for them to get hurt, pregnant and/or sick, condoms and proper sex education are key. And why do we bother having schools? So they can educate!

So here is the question: should parents be solely responsible for educating their kids on sexual matters? Sure many of them can do a great job, but what about those who are uncomfortable talking about sex with their kids? What about the parents who for some religious or ethnic reasons feel that sex is shameful, taboo or inappropriate? What about parents who may not be all that informed themselves? This isn't drugs we are talking about, or drunk driving - topics that a "just say no" attitude is more than appropriate for, but a biological function which just about everyone will experience at one time or another.

There was a piece in an advice column that I saw recently, though I don't remember where, in which a mother was worried about her daughter who had 'discovered' at the age of 14 (through snooping in parents bedroom) that the parents were sexually active. She was so angry that she threatened to commit suicide if her parents did not cease having sex, and proclaimed that married people should not be intimate because intercourse is for making babies. The mother put her in therapy. Now, barring any abuse, a child's reaction to sex may initially be that of fright, but I was so surprised to find a FOURTEEN year old holding on to such bizarre notions! Did the parents not talk to her enough when she was younger about healthy sex lives? Did she pick it up at school or from her peers?

So here are my two cents:
It is the parents responsibility to make their kids feel comfortable talking about sex, so that they can explain to them not only where babies come from but what role sex plays in our daily lives. They have to tell them about unwanted pregnancies, ALL the ways of preventing it, homosexuality, lust and most of all love. After all, when the hormones are raging, deep spiritual connections are the last thing from any teens/tweens mind, but they should know that sex does not have to be a purely physical function, but one of the many facets of intimacy. And just to make sure that the kids got their lesson, the schools should repeat those teachings.

In summary - don't teach abstinence - teach moderation. Preach respect, not fear. And give out condoms like they're candy!

Just for fun: for a list of increasingly vulgar condom slogans click here.


Update (10-19-07): CNN.com poll of 154,437 people showed 22% in favor of giving out the pill to students, 78% against.

Update (01-03-08): This post used to be entitled "if you are nude, tube your dude" which I thought was clever and appropriate but apparently too similar to a porn site URL, causing a lot of search engine traffic from porn seekers. Oh well...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

the San Francisco Sacrilege

As you may or may not have heard, last Sunday (October 7th, 2007), the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in San Francisco was invaded during mass by homosexual militants. Most of us might have missed this attack were it not for our dear friend, Mr. Bill O'Reilly, who was prompt to point out to FOX viewers yet another reason San Fransisco should be wiped off the map. Those of you who missed this ride in the no spin zone can watch it here and then again here.

On that Sunday, as Mass was being given by San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer, two men, dressed in what could perhaps be described as 'subdued' drag and wearing copious amounts of makeup, joined the ranks, and were granted communion by said archbishop (do forgive my terminology as I know little of Roman Catholic lingo). One of the men wore a rainbow colored maypole hat, while the other was dressed in a habit and princess Leia buns (Ear Brassieres if you want to be precise). After consuming their wafers, the nun and the clown (maypole? you decide) shared an air kiss, no doubt celebrating their successful invasion.

The men are part of a group known as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a social activist 'order' that arose in 1979. It's mission - to combat homophobia, raise awareness of AIDS, and collect money for charity in their spare time. In 1987 the order performed a notorious exorcism of Pope John Paul II, and in 1992 they started the Queer Army, enlisting "for the Holy Wars against homophobia in the church and the government". With more than 20 'orders' world wide, and nearly 30 years of awareness-raising, tolerance-promoting charity work, this is the group of vicious militant blasphemes that Bill O'Reilly would have arrested.

So what did the devout have to say on the subject?
The Archbishop issued an apology, and explained that he saw two strangely dressed persons at the end of the line but did not recognize any signs of mockery, protest or disruption.
His apology did nothing to endear him to the already displeased Catholics who feel that Niederauer is too much of a gay-lover anyway. Here are some choice comments from a great Catholic blog, the Curt Jester:

"This act by our Archbishop is actually a good thing, in my opinion. What took place on Sunday was the result of 25 years of gay activism in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Now the rotten fruit is out there for all to see--it was there already, but now everyone can see it. This will be the turning of the tide in San Francisco."

"Just when I think I'm desensitized to these things...something more outrageous then I could ever imagine occurs. I say out loud what happened, and I don't even believe my own words."

"I pray that someone is collecting all of the info, compiling it, and burning it to a CD to send to the Pope."

"I miss the inquisition."

So these men, who behaved themselves very respectfully, are blasphemes because they
a) arrived at mass wearing their ostentatious attire in quiet protest to the condemnation of homosexuality by the Church
b) received communion while being sinners in the eyes of the Lord (according to Bible)
What do you think?

My thought is that they would not get dolled up for mass in their make up and habits (problem A) if they were not endlessly condemned for their 'sinful' lifestyle (problem B). After all, these guys are the epitome of 'doing the Lord's work', what with their support for the sick, the young, and the persecuted. And if these are the problems, what solution is there? Is it possible to change our biology? Is it wiser to reexamine the doctrine? What are our priorities here anyway? Tell me, what would Jesus do?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Thief of Time

Weather has been unseasonably warm lately (global warming anyone?) but it is starting to cool down now. My professor says that is because the high pressure area over the Atlantic is finally subsiding into its winter diminutive state. But we've been getting some gorgeous sunsets the last few days, even if they do happen earlier and earlier (what? why? where did the summer go?).

Monday evening especially, the sun turned the sky an insane gold and the air itself seemed to glow, while in the east ridiculous black/purple clouds actually stood like mountains or really dirty cotton balls, just to make sure that you wouldn't miss the sun-lit autumn foliage in its foreground. And then, as if it wasn't enough, it began to rain. And the sun shone through the water, and you could see every drop, which was, of course, gold, and a rainbow appeared against the black sky, and it was a full half circle with one end starting, I swear, over our home. I am sure that nature that day had decided to drive me mad! It was an infuriating situation to be in - standing as I was in the middle of this perfection, wet, overwhelmed by the sight, and completely unable to capture the moment with any of the numerous digital devices at my disposal. I tried of course, but 'lame' does not begin to describe the photos that I took.

Being an artist, I could just paint it, but who would ever believe it? There is a great quote from Terry Pratchett's novel, "Thief of Time" (which is an excellent book, and by far his best and this quote does not due it justice, nor does it pertain to any subject matter covered in the rest of the narrative - but it made an impression) :

"Sometimes the gods have no taste at all. They allow sunrises and sunsets in ridiculous pink and blue hues that any professional artist would dismiss as the work of some enthusiastic amateur who'd never looked at a real sunset. This was one of those sunrises. It was the kind of sunrise a man rises and looks at and says, "No real sunrise could paint the sky Surgical Appliance Pink.""

So there you have it. There was magic happening all around me for a few minutes, and all you get is this blog.