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Saturday, April 30, 2005

Saturday Lemur Blogging

Red Ruffed Lemur

The Bush Plan for Social Security The dark blue line represents benefits under the current plan. The light blue line represents Shrub's plan to "fix" social security. Any questions?

Friday, April 29, 2005

For years now, I have struggled with a question of faith--Are Christian Science and dental braces incompatible with each other? Let me explain why....

Back in college, one of my roommates was quite the ladies man. Or, at least, he fancied himself to be quite the ladies man. In fact, he wasn't rico suave and had a string of failed relationships punctuated by such classics as leaving a note for a woman in her dorm room while she wasn't there, but then finding out he left it in the wrong room; jumping out of a moving car and chasing a woman down the street; asking another roommate for a condom and saltines while his date was in the bathroom throwing up a hairball. All the while sleeping on a pull-out sofa with Tracy Chapman playing on the stereo.

One day, he came to the realization that there was a whole group of women that he had not even considered dating. This led to what could be termed the Ugly Girl Theorem. He explained himself by saying that he had only been dating women whom he had been physically attracted to, that the relationships never worked out, and so the superficial beginning must somehow be to blame. He identified the problem variable as the attraction he felt. In order then to have a different outcome, he would only date women whom he was not physically attracted to. He summed it up saying, "I haven't given ugly girls a chance." Or something equally wise.

The Ugly Girl experiment was a complete failure, and fortunately, the Theorem was only tested on one unknowing subject. After a couple of dates, he realized that he just wasn't attracted to the woman, and he likely was not going to become attracted to her. It was a shocking outcome that none of us could have predicted. So he told her that he didn't think it was going to work out, and he explained to her his theory about dating ugly girls. No, not really. But that would've been funny, too.

So what does all this have to do with Christian Science? The woman he tried dating was a Christian Scientist. Christian Scientists believe in the power of prayer to heal sickness and disease. These are the people you hear about on the news (or on "Law & Order") whose children die when they aren't given medicine and who believe that praying will make a headache go away.

In addition to being a Christian Scientist, the woman that he was dating also had braces (whether or not this was a factor in his selection of the woman as a test case was not determined). And so this begged the aforementioned question--Are Christian Science and braces incompatible with each other? If God gave you a fucked up set of teeth, then wouldn't braces be an affront to the will of God? If prayer is good enough for a clogged artery, then why isn't it good enough for a snaggletooth?

And so for years, I've wondered about this. And finally today, I found the answer. Virginia S. Harris, chairman of the board of directors of the Church of Christian Science, breaks it all down for Larry King:
KING: How about orthodontists?

HARRIS: For teeth.

KING: For teeth.

HARRIS: Sure, that's OK. You can have your teeth cleaned.

KING: You can have braces put on.

HARRIS: You can have braces put on, sort of a mechanical
thing, and a haircut.

KING: So all Christian Science kids aren't walking around
with crooked teeth.

HARRIS: That's right.
So yes, America, you can both be a Christian Scientist and also have braces. But setting out to date ugly people is a bad strategy.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Because he got high. Poor Rush Limbaugh. The Florida Supreme Court rejected his appeal claiming that his medical records were illegally seized. First, the Florida courts tried to kill Terri Schiavo. Now they're out to make Limbaugh someone's prag. Who will stop these freedom-hating, radical activist judges?

Funny that Limbaugh's defense relied upon arguments about the right to privacy at the same time that Rush is supporting Tom DeLay, a man who doesn't belive in the right to privacy. Rush's unholy alliance with the ACLU in his case is also amusing.

Should Rush end up doing time for his pill-popping habits, he'd better hope that nobody plays any fraternity pranks on him.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Dog. This is Tiberius, winner of the 26th annual Drake Most Beautiful Bulldog Contest. Kick ass.

With the crown, he looks like the JMU Duke Dog.

In 7th grade, we had one elective course to choose from three options--Band, Choir, and a third cleverly designed course, "Interest Block." Having neither vocal nor musical skills (a couple of years of piano lessons and a Casio synthesizer notwithstanding), I opted for Interest Block. The course was organized as a four-part class with each nine weeks devoted to a different subject--art, music, home ec., and shop (though shop was probably called "industrial tech" or something equally misleading). And each nine weeks, I would have an opportunity to demonstrate my inability to work with my hands in a new way, whether it was painting with watercolors, playing the recorder, or sewing a pillow. I think all we did in shop was cut some wood with a bandsaw, and I didn't lose a finger, so that was a success.

The first nine weeks, my class was in the art rotation. One of our projects was to make a clay whistle in the shape of an animal. My older brother was in his first year at JMU, and so I thought, why don't I make a whistle in the shape of the JMU Duke Dog? And rather than buy him a Xmas present from the drug store like I usually would do, I could give him the whistle for Xmas. Surely that is the one thing a college dorm room would be missing. Excellent idea. But like I said, I'm not the most artistic fellow. And so after molding the clay, firing it, painting it, and firing it again, the Duke Dog whistle ended up looking more like some sort of super-cow wearing a crown and a cape. Not that my brother much cared when I gave it to him; he was probably hung-over like he was Xmas morning two years before.

And that's what Tiberius reminded me of.

Not a good listener. Via Kos:
From today's Social Security event in Galveston, Texas:

MR. BENTLEY: And we're operating in central Iraq. I'll be back there next week.


THE PRESIDENT: How many children you got?

MR. BENTLEY: We have two children. We have a four-year-old son named Patrick, and a three-month-old daughter named Elaine that I just got to meet for the first time.


MR. BENTLEY: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: No wonder you're emotional. (Laughter.) That's awesome.

MRS. BENTLEY: She was born two days after he deployed.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, great.
He really just doesn't give a shit. These people are just props for his Bamboozlepalooza. Any normal person wouldn't sit there and listen to someone say that he has missed out on the first three months of his child's life and will again have to leave his family in a week (because of said person's own actions) and say, "Yes, great."

This certainly isn't the first time Shrub has displayed this type of inappropriate affect. From a February "destroying social security" tax-payer funded, access-restricted event:
THE PRESIDENT: Mary is with us. Mary Mornin. How are you, Mary?

MS. MORNIN: I'm fine.

THE PRESIDENT: Good. Okay, Mary, tell us about yourself.

MS. MORNIN: Okay, I'm a divorced, single mother with three grown, adult children. I have one child, Robbie, who is mentally challenged, and I have two daughters.



THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but nevertheless, there's a certain comfort to know that the promises made will be kept by the government.


THE PRESIDENT: And so thank you for asking that. You don't have to worry.

MS. MORNIN: That's good, because I work three jobs and I feel like I contribute.

THE PRESIDENT: You work three jobs?

MS. MORNIN: Three jobs, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that. (Applause.) Get any sleep? (Laughter.)

MS. MORNIN: Not much. Not much.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, hopefully, this will help you get you sleep to know that when we talk about Social Security, nothing changes.

MS. MORNIN: Okay, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: That's great.
Goddam, Shrub is an optimist. Only he could see being a single parent working three jobs with a mentally challenged child as "Fantastic." If working three jobs is uniquely American, isn't that a sign that something is just a little fucked up?

Meanwhile, oil companies are seeing a surge in profits, something that has a more direct effect on Ms.Mornin than anything Shrub wants to do to kill social security.

The number of significant terror acts tripled from 2003 to 2004.

And in Iraq, the number of insurgent attacks per week is at 400, essentially the same as a year ago. I wonder at what point more people will demand a more coherent exit strategy than, "We'll be there as long as we have to and not a day more."

No wonder Shrub wants to extend his Bamboozlepalooza tour.

Monday, April 25, 2005

"I did not have sex with that woman." Remember when in an interview with Polish television, Shrub said:
We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons. They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Shrub and BFF (Best Friend Forever), Crown Prince Abdullah, taking a lovely stroll in Crawford today.

Shrub looks a little more comfortable this time than last. Odd that an image like this is more likely to send a leftwingnut into fits than a rightwingnut.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Which will you look at first? A new story on male escort/press whore JimJeff or a story about exploding toads in Germany?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Saturday Lemur Blogging

The Lake Alaotra Gentle Lemur.

Fingering the culprit. The woman who claimed to have found a severed finger in her Wendy's chili has been arrested for what appears to be a hoax. I'm shocked. Shocked, I say. The question still remains--where did she get that finger?

Nothing to see here. Abu Ghraib? Fuhgeddaboutit. I'm shocked that nobody higher in the chain of command is being held accountable. Shocked, I say.

Movin' on up. Here's what you'd call a feel-good story related to everyone's favorite blowhard Bill "Falafel" O'Lielly.

Okay, here's what I find to be really crazy about this story--the apartment Mackris purchased for $809,500 is only 750 square feet. That's crazy! (to be said in your best Brian Fellows voice)

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Who's the Pope, Part II. BGW notes the similarity between the new Pope and the Emperor from the original Star Wars series. Fitting as the Sith and the Catholic Church both have a history of targeting young boys.

Hacktacular. Alan Greenspan is so highly over-rated. He's the Brian Bosworth of economics. He's the Grateful Dead, the Jennifer Lopez, the Ronald Reagan. What nugget of wisdom does Mr.Greenspan have for us today?
"The federal budget is on an unsustainable path, in which large deficits result in rising interest rates and ever-growing interest payments that augment deficits in future years."
No, really? Now why is it that we have huge deficits? Oh, that's right--it's because of those massive tax cuts for the wealthy that Greenspan supported. According to the CBPP:
Indeed, the contribution of the tax cuts to the current deficit exceeds the contributions attributable to other factors, such as the economic downturn. A new CBO study finds that the direct effects of the business cycle account for only six percent of the 2004 deficit. Furthermore, when the cost of all legislation enacted since 2001 is considered, the tax cuts are found to cost more than all program increases combined, including increases in military expenditures, homeland security, and education spending. Domestic discretionary spending (which is funded on an annual basis) is now being singled out by the President and Congress for reductions. The cost of the tax cuts, however, is 18 times the cost of the increases in domestic discretionary spending.
Of course, this won't stop Shrub from pushing for making the tax giveaways permanent.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Here's a clip from last night's Daily Show lampooning Shrub's fake townhall meetings.

Who's the Pope? See if you can pick out the new Pope!






If you said, "d," you're right!

(Yeah, I know I'm a little behind on the news cycle here)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Doing the Lynndie. How did I miss this? All the time I wasted at my previous job, and yet I never came across it.

And today, Pan Danio gives us SQUIRRELS!

Update: Pan Danio also does the Lynndie.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Warning: If you believe in a place called hell/sheol/gehenna/tartarus/hades and fear that you might end up there one day, then I would recommend that you not read Terri's Blog (via

I don't necessarily buy into the whole "eternal damnation" concept. It seems like too much paperwork would be involved, and the upkeep would be a nightmare. On the other hand, if there is some sort of glorious afterlife, then I figure that I know at least a couple of people who are locks to get past the velvet rope, and how could their afterlife be full of glory without having me around to play doubles foosball against Herve Villechaize and Ben Franklin? As a mooch, that would be quite fitting.

SCOTUS. It seems that the French infiltration of the Rehnquist/Scalia Supreme Court runs deeper than any freedom-lovin Murkan could have imagined:
The Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider the constitutionality of state laws that regulate speech and activities within a buffer zone around abortion clinics.

Without comment, justices let stand a lower court ruling upholding a Massachusetts law that was passed after the 1994 fatal shooting of two abortion clinic workers. Anti-abortion protesters say the state-mandated zones have unfairly become a place where only abortion rights rhetoric can be uttered.

The law, which creates a six-foot buffer zone around patients within an 18-foot radius of a clinic entrance, prohibits anyone from approaching without their consent for the purpose of passing leaflets or "engaging in oral protest, education or counseling."
Who will save us from these radical activist judges? Where's Bill Frist when you need him? Maybe he's too busy killing cats or warning people about the dangers of contracting HIV from tears and sweat.

Wrestlemania. When you invite someone who once called himself the Dingo Warrior to talk politics at your campus, how can you expect the results to be anything but bad? The Ultimate Philosopher the Ultimate Warrior is not. Among his other nuggets of wisdom that he shared with a gleeful group of College Republicans, Warrior had this to say regarding gays and lesbians, "Queering doesn't make the world work."

Nothing homoerotic here or here or here.

I want a grudgematch between Warrior and Mankind. No-holds-barred, winner-takes-all steelcage match for control of all three branches of government. There's a pay-per-view event that I would order. And it's not like pro wrestling is any more or less fixed than our current system of elective government.

Friday, April 15, 2005

It's precious! The aye-aye is a nocturnal lemur. Maybe they are nocturnal so that other lemurs are less likely to see how ugly their babies are.

I got nuthin. Really. I can't even focus the indignation that comes from watching the GOP crazies running the roost. And I'm sure I've got some story about peeing in the pancake batter working at IHOP (not really) that I could share, but that would require typing a whole lot more. And I'm tired of typing.

So while I regroup, go read this blog written from the perspective of two cats. And once you've done that, you can take a gander at this cat. Both links via the Axis.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Jeebus. It's the Jesus Action Doll! Collect them all! (via this blog)
A talking Jesus doll is due to go on sale in May, along with versions of Moses, the Virgin Mary and David, as a teddy bear maker tries to find a market with churches and religious families.

The foot-tall Jesus doll will be able to recite five Biblical verses at the push of button on its back, while the Moses doll will recite the Ten Commandments. The Mary doll will recite a long Bible verse.
But you'll have to order your very own talking Jesus over the internet since it won't be available in stores:
"In the beginning we don't feel it'd be right to put it in Toys R Us and be next to a Barbie or a Bratz," [Josh Livingston, one of the founders] said.
Yeah...because that would be in poor taste or something. The makers have spared no detail as the dolls will have hand-sewn period clothing! You'll have hours of fun knowing that a little girl in Vietnam has put her own personal touch on your Jesus doll.

And check out this picture:

Jesus and Moses are huge. Looks like they've been hanging out with the talking Jose Canseco action doll.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Love, Wal-Mart style. Via as if its practices weren't egregious enough, now we have this from Wal-Mart:
On Friday nights, singles looking for romance, mindless flirting or just a new friend head over to their neighborhood Wal-Mart where they're given a big bright red bow to attach to their shopping cart or shopping basket.

Then it's up to the willing participants to approach one another and take it from there.

But if that's too intimidating, Wal-Mart has set up "flirting points" around the stores stacked with "romantic" merchandise, such as chocolates, wine and cheese, to help with that first awkward step.
Fortunately, you can only find this in German Wal-Mart stores. But once it hits in the states, I think a good assignment would be to go to Wal-Mart and add extra items to the flirting points--Magnum brand condoms, KY jelly, rubber gloves, dog collars, and adult diapers to name a few.

Don't forget Poland! Poland says to the coalition, "Do widzenia!"

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Idiots. Idiots in Arizona. Idiots in Ohio. Idiot on c-span. Idiots in Roanoke. And lastly, idiots in San Jose:
San Jose State has suspended its dance team after a sexy routine at a basketball game triggered a confrontation involving an elderly alumnus and and a 20-year-old dancer.

The team is suspended until it develops guidelines to represent the university "at the highest possible standard," the division of intercollegiate athletics decided last week.

The confrontation, captured on videotape by a parent, erupted after a dance during a March 5 home game to the raunchy lyrics of "Move Somethin'" by LL Cool J.

"It was vulgar," said Ray Silva, 74, a San Jose businessman and major university booster. "It was like a burlesque, with bumps and grinds. I just came unglued."
You idiots!

Friday, April 08, 2005

"It has a penis!" Another item to add to my list of things I've said while teaching Intro to Soc.

The context: the role of the elderly dependency ratio in a pooled time-series cross-sectional analysis explaining economic growth among third world countries. Ha ha. Just kidding. There is no effect (yet) between the EDR and GDP! Wait 25 years, and that paper will be gangbusters! Gangbusters, I tell ya!

The kids and I were talking about how the process of gender socialization starts if not before the baby is born then immediately after with someone exclaiming, "It's a girl!" or "It's a boy," rather than saying, "It has a vagina!" or "It has a penis!"

And that was my afternoon.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Unfit for Pageantry. New Ms.Wheelchair Crowned After Dispute:
MILWAUKEE - A new Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin has been crowned after pageant leaders stripped the original winner of the title when she appeared in a newspaper photograph standing up.

The announcement of the new winner Tuesday came amid a storm of protest over pageant officials' decision last week to take the crown away from Janeal Lee, a high school teacher and muscular dystrophy sufferer who uses a scooter as her main way to get around but says she can walk up to 50 feet on a good day and stand while teaching.
The Wheelchair Pageant Veterans for Truth first brought this story into the spotlight, charging in a picture book, "Unfit for Pageantry," that Janeal Lee has lied about her medical history and participation in junior pageants.

Said Wheelchair Pageant Veterans for Truth leader, Johnetta O'Neill, "Twenty years ago when Janeal Lee was protesting an unsanctioned junior miss pageant, she threw away the tiarra she won the previous year for congeniality. Not only was that not congenial, that act dishonored every pageant contestant on the catwalk, still in the shit, and gave aid and comfort to our enemy--the evil feminists. She pretended to have muscular dystrophy just to get out of 6th grade gym class when in fact she just had a foot cramp. I know because I was there."

In actuality, Janeal Lee threw away her sash, not her tiarra, and she has always been consistent on this point. Also, the leader of the WPVFT was in the same school only after Janeal Lee had transferred to another district. Medical records support Lee's version of events.

Political junk. Good post here on the national debt, social security, and Shrub's plan to screw me and you. The Bugman Tom DeLay is in the news again today. Florida again makes the case for being the craziest state. Army recruiting fell short again...gee, I wonder why.

Not your cup of tea? Then maybe you'd be interested in the Body Suspension Convention. But if phrases like "giant fish hooks" and "pierced through the skin" make you squeamish then you might just want to look at Shrek the Sheep.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Oh Lord, indeed! Via The Other Sociologist (and CNN):
Britney Spears and hubby Kevin Federline have said "I do" to star in a UPN reality series that documents their courtship, engagement and wedding.

Featuring what UPN bills as "exclusive, never-before-seen private home videos" of their "personal love story," the six-episode series is scheduled to premiere later this year. It picks up shortly after the pair met in Los Angeles and headed to Europe on tour, where Federline performed as a backup dancer for Spears.

UPN is also shooting new footage and commentary with the couple, who wed in September.
Ha. UPN. A touch of class. And no, I won't be watching this trainwreck.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Soy un perdedor. Congratulations to David for winning the NCAA tourney pool challenge. At his age, this is the only type of challenge that he'll be winning. Your major award, Don the Undercover Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figure, will be soon on its way. Anyway, this whole thing was designed as a front to get this damn action figure out of the apartment. Of course, had Illinois not blown it, I'd have proudly displayed Don alongside my Monster Thickburger Challenge Burgermeister Meisterburger. Nice work by Roanoke and Fenway Slim moving up to 2nd and 3rd in the final standings, and better luck next year to Mr.Tibbs' Ten Pound Balls.

Thanks to everyone who played. Now we can all go back to not giving a shit about the Vermont Catamounts.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Butterbean! Coco truly has no shame.

Look! Cats!

Is it really April already? It seems like just ten minutes ago it was March.

Somebody said a few weeks ago, "Anyways, I'm heading into the home stretch on the Big D, so I'm signing off for the rest of the month. I'll be back in April to let the procfreak fan base know how everything turned out."
Well, it's April, fool. Your fan base demands blogging satisfaction.

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