So with poor little Pluto's demotion to dwarf planet-

Hmm.. shouldn't that be vertically challenged...

we need new mnemonics, hence the above subject. The above came from the Houston Chronicle, which I got via Off the Kuff, a Texas blog I started following during the redistricting fight a few years ago.

A couple more ideas

My Very Extravagant Mother Just Sent Us Nachos.

Make Very Extraordinary Meals of Jell-O, Strawberries and Unsalted Nuts.

Mary's Violet Eyes Make Jack Stare Until Noticed.

Here's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me's options (scroll to the bottom of the page.

Anyone got another they'd like to suggest?
A replier in one of my favorite blogs,Slacktivist, pointed at an article in The New Yorker by Seymour Hersh on the Israel-Hezbollah conflict which I think is of interest.

patiently waits for you to read the article and come back )
I had two things buzzing around in my head last night; neither of which I could get out of my mind. Both which were keeping me from getting a restful sleep.

The first is a further armchair psychoanalysis of the Doctor based upon a scene from The Girl in the Fireplace. I'll probably post that on the Doctor Who list at some point.

The second is a continued frustration at the direction the country is headed and the fundamental abandonmment of responsibility inherent in the current political climate. It began with the concept that the current President uses the phrase "My fellow Americans," and that I feel this inherently separates the us from the them. It establishes privilege. We are "Americans" and it's great to be us.

Admittedly, it is pretty great to be American.

But it asserts a sense of entitlement, of empowerment, and ultimately discretion without concern for the thoughts of non-Americans.

Were I running for office, I would use the phrase "My fellow citizens" instead. "American," you get by birth, especially when you consider the way the House of Representatives is headed on immigration. Being a "citizen" demands more. It requires more effort. You can't sit back and be a "citizen." You have to be involved. You have to accept responsibility not just for yourself, but for society as a whole. You have be a part of society. You have to practice good citizenship.

And we can't afford to not be "citizens" any longer...
[ profile] kyriotate wrote earlier this week on his frustration with the recent NSA telephone information datamining revelations. I've got some thoughts on that which I'm putting behind the cut.

Hypocrisy at its finest )

It's really quite simple. As usual, the administration is saying whatever it wants you to believe, while doing something quite different.
Fundamentally I have a problem with the concept of illegal immigration. After all, pretty much all of us who are U.S. citizens are immigrants and did not have the permission of the previous denizens to come here either. Of course they probably arrived via a land bridge from Asia so they may have entered illegally too.

But ignoring that concept, the problem with the current approaches to illegal immigration is the same problem with a different war.

The War on DrugsTM

(Thanks to [ profile] elengul for the superscript trick)

more behind the cut )

Should they be granted full citizenship? That's a thornier question. But expecting people who come here to work aren't going to come because we erect a few more fences is, once again, blaming the problem on someone else, not ourselves.
Science, when done right, is based upon skepticism. It is checking, testing, and verifying when (like in good journalism) your mother tells you she loves you.

Religion, when done right, is based upon belief.

Intelligent Design is belief that an external force had to be involved for life to be what it is.

Therefore, it is not science and should not be treated as such.
Many of you, I'm sure, have heard about the Eagles fan who ran out
onto the field and spread his deceased mother's ashes as he went.

Now leaving aside that he should have been shot, that spreading an unknown
powdery substance is never a good idea in the current climate, and
that there were probably legitimate channels he could have gone
through for this...

He spread his mother's ashes on an artificial turf field. He spread
his mother's ashes on fake grass. There's no dirt for it to get into.
It's just there laying on the little rubber nubs that provide the
cushion between the fake grass blades.

Imagine if it were the Vet. He would be spreading his mother's ashes
on green painted concrete, for all intents and purposes.

Doesn't this just seem silly?
We went out for a walk for ice cream tonight. The woman behind the counter said I look like Paul Rudd. It's not the first time that's happened. A couple of my sister's friends said it first. I don't see it...
I love the internet. A friend, [ profile] lee_c_rip, of a friend, [ profile] drewshi, whom I only know through LJ, posted that he didn't understand I Tunes etc.. He reasoned, that those who wanted to get songs legitimately would buy the albums, while those who weren't would go ahead and find free ways to get the music anyway.

While I posted some thoughts over there, I want to get in to a deeper discussion of where music is headed. )

Is it realistic? Who knows? But I can only hope things get better.
It's really great that people are giving to Katrina Relief, just as it was great when people gave money to Tsunami Relief back in December and January. Major international and domestic relief organizations are rolling in cash and other donations right now.

These are good things.

But I ask you, my friends, to remember the homeless shelter in your own town. The orphanage. The rape counseling center. Your local SPCA, etc. etc.

These organizations suffer when major disasters occur. The people who normally give them the money to scrape by, give their money to the major newsmakers. And these organizations are usually just scraping by.

So remember, people are suffering all the time, not just when the news cameras roll.
So, my friend [ profile] darkwingjhu came down to visit this weekend. Along with him he brought the entire manga run of Fruits Basket, a fabulous shojo series.

Shojo is anime or manga targetted for young girls. So it's silly enough that I read it in the first place. Though this series is not your typical shojo.

But anyway, while I was in the shower this morning I happened to be turning the word shojo in my mind and the word "Shoju" came up. Shoju was the name of the Daimyo of the Scorpion Clan in Legend of the Five Rings. So imagining Bayushi Shojo as Magical Girl Daimyo just sent me into fits.
Well, we didn't get the house. Someone else put in a higher bid. While I'm not happy we didn't get the house, I am happy we didn't pay more than we offered. It's still unnerving to think of how much money we're considering committing.

My sorry state of affairs )
I've always found it odd how some people are so strident in their defense of the English language as being the proper language of our nation. While I can appreciate the desire to believe in the melting pot, it's never really been that way. Especially not in the cities. People have always retained their own language to some extent. What always puzzled me is that English is neither the language of the original inhabitants, nor the language of the first people to land here from Europe. Heck it was not even the official language of most of the territories of this nation. Indeed, this land, America, is named after an Italian.

So I write this to those who wish to fight for the sanctity of America's English only culture.

You've lost. It's over.

On the way down to visit my sister this weekend, we passed the sign for Kings Dominion, which now includes a Spanish message. When commercial interests, beyond those of niche markets like ethnic grocery stores cater to the non-English speaking public, they have accepted that it is in their financial interest to be bilingual. If major commercial entities see the Spanish speaking community as having buying, they have real power. The Spanish language is here to stay.

My son, my nine month old son, will begin learning Spanish in his daycare in another nine months. America's culture is moving to that of a bilingual society. Whether it becomes an upper class of largely English only speakers, a middle class of bilinguals, and a lower class of Spanish only speakers or a truly completely bilingual culture is irrelevant. We are no longer a society, if we ever were, of one language.

In the long run, I think we'll be better off for it.



August 2011

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