October 28, 2011

You read it incorrectly, people

They were just following my advice. . .

You know, sort of:

A neighboring hotel's staff alleged voiced concerns about having to recently escort hotel employees to and from bus stops late at night due to inappropriate behavior, such as public masturbation, from street protesters.

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This video was of Aiden reacting to my reaction while watching this:

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October 26, 2011

Hey Occupy Wall Street? Let's Debate.

The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) demonstrations continue to confound those trying to understand what it's all about. Which isn't surprising, since no OWS protester seems to be able to adequately or coherently verbalize exactly what OWS is all about.

According to one MSNBC.com headline/article today: "Another idea for student loan debt: Make it go away." That's a peculiar solution, and it's a solution that indicates such protesters probably didn't take a lot of critical thinking classes whilst packing on their student loan debt.

But, that brings me to my own personal great OWS protest idea. I think the OWS protests and the ideas expounded by OWS participants need to be more critically debated. I mean, mass protests are great and all that, but the OWS protests seem to be descending into general chaos, which in turn leads to inevitable clashes with law enforcement, followed by arrests. And, arrests tend to be counterproductive to getting ideas out there. So, rather than simply protesting, I again say we need debate.

Mass protests need to turn into mass debating.

I'm a huge advocate of mass debating. In my opinion, everyone should take some time out of their busy lives to mass debate. A daily mass debating session would almost certainly relieve a lot of the OWS stress we see building up. If the OWS movement would simply get together and mass debate, I genuinely think we'd see a lot of progress.

I know it sounds difficult but, trust me, mass debating is one of the easiest things you'll ever do--I learned how to do it at a very young age--and you'll be surprised how fulfilling it is. When people can come together and verbally ejaculate and critique their ideas in a full on mass debating session, you'd be amazed how much they can accomplish.

People often tell me I'm blind to keep mass debating, which is nonsense. I saw the light when I first started mass debating. I would often come home from school as a child and I'd vigorously mass debate, and it was awesome.

When I see the OWS protesters, I think "now, there's a bunch of mass debaters," so they're clearly in a perfect position to just sit down and start mass debating. Just think how much additional fawning media attention the OWS movement will get when the cameras catch hundreds or thousands of people engaged in a mass debating session. Why, the media has probably never seen such naked spunk on display.

And, don't forget, both men and women can mass debate. To be perfectly honest, I actually prefer to see a crowd of women mass debating--it's a beautiful thing, trust me. When I see women mass debating, I often feel inspired to mass debate myself. Guys mass debating is fine and all that. In fact, guys are probably better at mass debating and have certainly logged in more mass debating hours. But, I gotta say, women just plain look better when they're mass debating. So, the OWS protesters should keep that in mind: when they're mass debating, they should keep all the women up front.

There you have it. That's my simple OWS mass debating advice. If nothing else, at the very least, if I see a huge crowd of OWS participants enthusiastically mass debating, the OWS movement will finally at least make some sort of sense.

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October 24, 2011

Sit, Zoey, Sit!

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October 19, 2011

A Journalist's Take on Science

Last month, science was rocked to its core when it was announced the speed of light may not actually be the interstellar speed limit after all. And, since it was science that was rocked, pretty much no one else cared.

Unfortunately, I'm a journalist, which means I have to both pretend to care about science AND write like I know what I'm talking about. So, let me just say, this announcement is huge. Maybe.

Einstein's "Theory of Relativity" holds that nothing can travel faster than light, because the faster an object moves, the more mass it requires, and once an object approaches the speed of light, it would need infinite mass--which means any time you're standing in light, you're being crushed by mass. As a journalist, I have to think about this concept in layman's terms, so imagine the impossibility of Rosie O'Donnell running a three minute mile, and you can begin to understand Einstein's point. Although, I personally think he just smoked a lot of marijuana--patent clerks have a lot of extra time on their hands, if you catch my drift.

Anyway, last month scientists observed some quirky little particles called neutrinos outpacing light particles by 60 nanoseconds. I wrote that last sentence with such confidence, I'm betting you think I know what neutrinos and nanoseconds actually are. I don't, of course, but "Neutrinos" sounds like a super healthy cereal, and "nanoseconds" sounds like a second helping of "Nanos," whatever the heck those are.

Obviously, the implications of this discovery are huge, and scientists worldwide are in a tizzy about what it all means. After all, science--particularly physics--has been solidly grounded for almost a century on the understanding that nothing can travel faster than light.

In my view, it's ridiculous to think light could maintain that kind of stamina for nearly 100 years. Do you think Abe Vigoda could win the 100 yard dash in the 2012 Olympics? Of course not. Neutrinos are simply the Usain Bolt of physics, while light is Carl Lewis. I'm really throwing out a lot of names no one knows here, aren't I?

Whatever. The point is, physicists are now faced with a dilemma. If neutrinos can travel faster than light, that means Einstein was wrong. Previously, to suggest Einstein was wrong meant a scientist would awaken one night to find a severed horse head in their bed. OK, this is science we're talking about, so a scientist would more likely awaken to find their hand dipped in a cup of warm water. Regardless, to say Einstein was wrong used to be a pretty big deal, but now it appears he actually was. . . WRONG.

Einstein's been dead since 1955, so he's probably not going to get too upset about being told he was wrong, but for living scientists this development is like being told there's no Santa, or that Paris Hilton is a societal asset, or that Charlie Sheen makes sound life choices. It means scientists have to question some of their most strongly held theories, and scientists hate that.

My advice, as a journalist, is simple. Keep telling light that it's really, really fast. Give light continued confidence. If light comes in second after a foot race with neutrinos, give light a participation ribbon and take light out for ice cream afterwards. Tell light it's still special and important.

We still need light. After all, we have "light bulbs" not "neutrino bulbs" and, last I checked, Darth Vader wielded a "light saber" not a "neutrino saber," which would no doubt be a faster saber, but that's not important.

It's okay that there's something faster than light. It keeps science fresh, and everyone knows stale science tastes simply awful. It means anything is still possible.

It means Abe Vigoda could actually win the 100 meter dash in the 2012 Olympics. How wickedly cool would that be?

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October 18, 2011


I'm not dead.

Just exhausted.

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October 13, 2011

Zoey Makes Hitler Look Cute

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October 10, 2011

Random Ruminations

I spent last week basically on vacation. It's weird to think I can be on "vacation" when I write freelance articles from home, but I'm not sure how else to describe it. Yes, I had several articles to write, but at the same time we were enjoying October temperatures that felt like June with falling leaves, so why in the world would I want to spend such precious time writing about the latest innovation in fiber connectivity (FICON)?

We're enjoying the same kind of weather this week, but I can't ignore the deadline pressures forever. First drafts are due when first drafts are due, after all.

Still, 70+ degrees in October? That makes it incredibly easy to say "Screw FICON."

But, no, deadlines beckon, and writing pays the bills, and my family seems to enjoy having a roof over their heads, so. . . FICON it is.

Before I FICON--which isn't a verb, but it is NOW--some random ruminations:

I've been sort of, kind of, but not really, following the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) phenomenon and it's associated derivatives popping up nationwide. I can't say I have a huge opinion about it all one way or another. It would be easy enough to adopt the old knee jerk "smelly, lazy, entitlement-suckling hippies" line that's so in vogue in so many comment threads, but there's obviously more to it than that.

I can empathize with the OWS component that's upset about debt. Debt sucks. No doubt about it. But then, debt is also a conscious choice, or at least it usually is, if you're conscious. When I bought my house, for example, I knew I was entering into $150k worth of debt, give or take a few grand. Thing is, I was approved for a loan almost three times that amount, but common sense and third grade caliber math told me the monthly payments would leave me subsisting entirely on my own pubic hair and urine for survival--or somebody else's when I could afford it. So, I calculated what I thought I could afford, even in the lean times, and now I have a modest home.

Student loan debt is a different beast entirely, of course. It follows you around and you can't get rid of it. Worse, you're told all your life that a college degree is a necessity if you want to succeed in life. And who doesn't want to succeed? The problem is, precious few people bother telling you what degrees, in particular, can lead to success, so you have a crapload of young people graduating with completely useless degrees like Sudanese Turd Sculpture and Transgender Appreciation Studies and kind of on and on like that. Oh, and I graduated with a Mass Communications/Journalism degree, so I know a thing or two about useless degrees--okay, it wasn't useless when I graduated in 1998, but it sure is now.

So, you have a lot of disillusioned, unemployed youths out there with useless degrees and a mountain of debt, and they're coming to terms with the fact their once vaunted "precious snowflake" status is actually a big stinking pile of 99 percent. Welcome to the party, kids! Sucks, doesn't it?

And, I don't disagree that some of the one percent top dogs make ridiculously obscene amounts of money. Like, they make so much freakin' money, it's really easy to let yourself get offended by it. It's easy to take to the streets and complain about it. It's easy to say "stop making so much when we don't!"

But, the thing is, I really don't want someone to ever tell me how much money I should or should not make in my lifetime. I realize I'll never own a gold yacht or swim in my own Olympic-sized pool filled with "Vulva," but I like living in a country where I at least have the freedom to do so if the opportunity should ever present itself. It's about freedom, not fairness. After all, life sure as hell isn't fair, so you might as well have freedom.

A large swath of the OWS crowd seems to silently be advocating freedom from responsibility, which is where they lose me. Once you're an adult, life is all about responsibility. Deal with it. Stop pointing at people and saying "You're too rich! Gimme gimme gimme!"

Of course, I'm not allowed to opine about what I think OWS stands for, because it defies "standing for" anything, as this article commenter sniffs:

The fact that you published this means that you never bothered to talk to anyone actually PRESENT at the protests. This list of “demands” was on a public forum and submitted by someone not even participating directly in the General Assembly at the protest. It in no way represents an official list of demands, and presenting it as such is insulting to the protesters and degrading to you as a journalist.

Do some research somewhere other than twitter.

It's an interesting dodge. A list of "demands" published on the OWS Web site doesn't represent the actual demands of a movement that doesn't officially have any actual demands. It requires an odd bit of mental gymnastics, really. But, let's say the "journalist" who wrote the piece had taken the time to interview a protester or two, or five. Would that have made the commenter happy? I'm guessing not. If I attended an OWS protest and interviewed five people who just happened to be wearing fig leaves over their genitals and were chanting "Hey ho, debt must go, and I can pleasure peacocks with my left big toe!" I'm betting the same commenter would scream "THEY DON'T REPRESENT WHAT THE MOVEMENT IS ALL ABOUT!" It's a catch-all dodge, in other words.

It's fascinating to witness the Media's treatment of the OWS movement, as opposed to the Tea Party movement, which is like comparing a child petting a kitten to how Lorena treated John Wayne Bobbit.

Anyway, that's my two cents on an early Monday morning. On to FICON!!!

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October 06, 2011

Run Aiden, run!

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October 04, 2011

The bigger story exhaustion killed

In today's episode of macabre theater: a picnic on Finn's grave, followed by wandering the cemetery taking pictures of infant headstones for ideas on how we want his stone to look. It actually wasn't depressing so much as a very ghoulish scavenger hunt.

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Sharing smiles


The juxtaposition of the Diet Pepsi and the milk bottle makes this picture particularly priceless.

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