Thursday, August 31, 2006

Today In News That's Already A Week Old: Pluto! No Longer A Planet!

Yes, I took my time approaching this subject but it's not like anyone comes here to get breaking news. The electric car thing was, like, a decade old. I'm way impressed I got myself together within a week.

Ah, dear friends, our beloved outermost planet has been demoted. People seem to be upset by this, but I had a feeling it was coming. I've had mixed feelings about Pluto ever since I watched a NOVA episode (or some equally nerdy PBS programming) in which I learned of the theory that Pluto might be one of Neptune's moons gone astray. I was under the impression that astronomers haven't thought of Pluto as a planet for quite some time, but I guess there was a shock in making it official.

OK, so Pluto being kicked out of the club was probably an inevitability...but. Have you read the new definition of a planet?

Rule #1: A planet is round.

Rule #2: A planet orbits a star.

Rule #3: A planet has enough gravitational pull to clear out the area around its orbit.

Seriously? It took an international assembly of astronomers to come up with that? Any first grader who's looked up at the night sky could have come up with 1 and 2. I probably could have made up 3 if I really had to think about it. Sadly, in this day and age, even astronomers are subject to the terrible overpopulation side effect of useless committee meetings.

As for Pluto, well you got two out of three. Damn that Neptune and it's gravitational pull! But seriously. It's not like you're going anywhere. Dwarf planet or not, you'll always have a place in our solar system...just maybe not in our posters for science class. Check out that orbit!

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Another quiz (this one non-Beatles-related)!

For some reason, I'm in a quiz mood. I think Nothing Really Matters is rubbing off on me. Anyway, it was NRM who actually sent me this (several days ago), although he stole it from Phoebe and now here I am, using it all my own. The answers are a little extremist...but who said I wasn't an extremist? :) Hey, guess what? I'm liberal!
Your Political Profile:
Overall: 10% Conservative, 90% Liberal
Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
How Liberal Or Conservative Are You?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Who Killed the Electric Car?

I've sort of been pissed off all day. Last night, I was reading Dude, Where's My Country? and brushing up on the close family relationship between the Bush's and the bin Laden's. I woke up mad.

Then, there was some shit on Jake Watch, which shouldn't have surprised me because there's always shit on Jake Watch anytime the name "Austin Nichols" is mentioned. I'm not going to get into that because I'll probably get myself into trouble.

And now, I've just gotten back from seeing yet another movie that I'm going to beg you to see if it ever comes to your town/country, Who Killed the Electric Car? Through it being beaten into my head via my parents, I consider it nothing more than my duty as an American to keep myself as well-informed about the political climate as possible, including keeping abreast of the activities of THE FUCKING OIL COMPANIES WHO ARE RUNNING THIS GODDAMNED COUNTRY! (For more on this, I'd recommend Dude, Where's My Country? I'm getting it from all sides today.) The message was important enough that I'll pass on commenting on Mel Gibson's highly disturbing cameo (I find his presence disturbing...his views on the electric car were OK). By the way, the Hydrogen Fuel Cell alternative is IDIOTIC. The cars cost $1,000,000 (!) to manufacture, the fuel costs significantly more than gasoline, and they will on the market at the earliest in two decades. I just wanted to shut up anyone who was going to come out of the woodwork to argue that point with me. Anyway, here's the trailer. It pretty much sums it up...I would go more into detail, but I think I should shut up before I bore everyone with a rant. I should probably just go find a compassionate conservative to yell at.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dead President Quote of the Week!

** Sorry for the lack of picture. Blogger is being stupid and as most of you know, I'm in a computer bind at work and things just aren't working in my favor. Sucks, too, because I had a very foreboding picture. Sepia and everything.

This week we take on Grover Cleveland, a dead President near and dear to my heart because I played his wife in second grade. Our class did a historical run-down of all the U.S. Presidents which we presented to the entire school. My line (which I still remember precisely despite the passing of a mere 16 years since I had to say it) was, "Grover Cleveland is the only U.S. President to have served two separate terms, and was the first to use fireworks at his inauguration." Obviously, Mrs. Flemmons had a lot of confidence in me because "inauguration" is a serious word for an 8-year-old. I always was an overachiever.

Anyway, I just randomly choose Grover for the novelty value, but it turns out he said some pretty perceptive things back in the day. That's why he gets two quotes and also we'll probably come back to him. We might have to skip Nixon or something...I'm sure we can make it work. Also, he was the first Democrat elected as President after the Civil War. Who knew?

Quote #1:
"A government for the people must depend for its success on the intelligence, the morality, the justice, and the interest of the people themselves."

Quote #2:
"Minds do not act together in public; they simply stick together; and when their private activities are resumed, they fly apart again."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Just when I was beginning to lose hope...(aka Deep Thoughts for Monday)

Hope of blogging, that is; no serious existential quandry going on here. It's just that I checked this blog last night and thought, holy shit! I haven't updated since Wednesday?! And then, you know, I started to feel pressure to write something but I didn't have a topic off-hand and I really don't operate well like that. I'm more of a go-with-the-flow kind of blogger. I was so beside myself I couldn't actually remember why I was so pissed off about overpopulation. Dark times.

But then, like a light from above, I got an e-mail from Kathryn, my much-cited college roommate who doesn't have a Blogger profile and therefore can't post comments here (although it'd be really interesting to see which Beatle she turned out to be). She sent me an article so now I can appear to be both on-top-of-things and also deeply intelligent, even though it's Monday and the three people I've e-mailed already this morning can attest I'm kind of bored with life right now. Thank you, Kathryn!! Also, I hope classes went (are going?) well today and no matter what those other chemistry people are like, none are as cool as you because none of them supply O.P. factoids. Take that, bitches! And what the hell do you have against shorts?

Anyway, yes. Yahoo News had a thought-provoking article on the alternatives to CFC's and how they are actually no better in the overall scheme of things than the chemicals they replaced. Ergo, Deep Thoughts for Monday. I would discuss it more, but the writer of the article did a good job of summing up the entire issue and also I spent so much time writing about Kathryn sending me the article that I don't really have time because have to go back to work now.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Completely Off-Topic, Yet Still Highly Important

Today being the 40th anniversary of the Beatles stop at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (I actually had to look that's not one of those tour dates I have memorized but I needed some semblance of an excuse for this entry) I decided to take the "Which Beatle are you?" quiz. I've always described myself as a "Paul with strong George tendencies," so it was no surprise that I came out Paul the first time, thought better of one of my answers, and then came out as George. Judging from the extremely short and wildly stereotypical descriptions, I could be either one. Except for maybe that "you love animals" part. Animals love me. Does that count?

What Beatle are you?

Paul McCartney

You have a soft heart. You love animals, nature & quite evenings with good friends.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

What Beatle are you?

George Harrison

You are wise beyond your years, caring. A listener, not a talker.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

I then took the "Which Beatles song personality are you?" and somehow came out as Dirty Maggie Mae. They have taken her away. And she'll never walk down Lime Street any mo' er. I actually don't know how this happened and I hope you don't think less of me since I came out as a hooker. I really thought I'd be Lovely Rita, meter maid.

Which Beatles song personality are you?

Maggie Mae

You are a prostitute who gets in trouble. Now you'll never walk down Lime Street anymore.

Personality Test Results

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Dead President Quote of the Week: Honest Abe Edition!

Er, I clearly have not worked out a specific day on which I plan on publishing these quotes. Whatever. It's kind of a loose show around here. To prove that I'm not just a one-party kind of girl, I'd like to give a shout-out to my favorite Republican prez (obviously there were a few precipitous downfalls in the political system in the hundred and fifty years that followed, highly ironic considering the state of union during his stint in charge), Mr. Abraham Lincoln. A great man, he is known for holding the country together during the Civil War as well as for making cameos in several movies, Prophecy Girl's favorite being Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure ("Be excellent to each other. And PARTY ON, DUDES!"). Let's see what words of wisdom Abe has for us today...

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
- Abraham Lincoln

No doubt in reference to the Civil War, no doubt extremely relevant right now. Abe, I bow to you and your wisdom and can only imagine what you'd think of our country today.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

WTF Moments in Local Editorials!

Daniel from Memphis decided to weigh in on the global warming "debate" a couple of days ago in the Commercial Appeal. Daniel is good at making himself sound smart but he's really just making shit up. I call this the "Fox News Syndrome." The problem with people like Daniel is that readers who aren't well-informed (which, in the case of climate change, would be a lot of people) are inclined to believe what he says because he sounds like he knows what he's talking about. For those people, I offer up my take on his "argument."

1. You take your dog's temperature? That's weird. And what the fuck does that have to do with anything?

2. "We don't have enough information to really say." Actually, that's not true. The scientific community unanimously agrees that global warming is a problem AND that it is man-made issue. The popular press is the ONLY print outlet that has indicated there is any sort of debate on the issue.

3. "We only have 27 years of global weather data..." This may be true, but even so, that's still enough data to conclude there has been a marked increase in both temperature and extreme weather events. Most of the detrimental effects of global warming have been felt just in the past 30 years. Also, scientists are sometimes clever enough to use local data which, I'm made to understand, go back a couple more than 27 years on some parts of the globe. You don't always need a satellite to tell you what the climate is.

4. "...every combination of an atmospheric and oceanic GCM predicts global cooling..." and yet a mere two semi-colons earlier, "none of them can accurately predict even the largest weather phenomena." So first you say you can't trust the things to predict and then you use a prediction to make your point? Dude, come on! (Not to mention this whole paragraph is irrelevant because it doesn't make any sense.)

5. "...sun's output changes..." may not be taken into account by GCM's (actually, I believe they are), but most definitely are taken into account by global warming studies. "...Earth's orientation in its orbit changes..." which is only relevant if we are currently in a period of change. Which we're not.

6. "There were periods in the past when the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere was higher than it is currently." That's actually not even remotely true.

7. "...water vapor is [the biggest greenhouse gas factor]..." Interesting, seeing as how we aren't making any more water, but we're certainly churning out a bunch of CO2. Plus, the whole thing is sort of about quality (amount of damage) vs. quantity (amount of something in the atmosphere...water, for instance, doesn't trap the sun's energy with quite the same gusto as carbon dioxide).

8. "Perhaps the ultimate irony is that according to a "Nature" magazine article a few years ago, most of the Ice Ages were preceded by periods of warming." Dude. Have you seen The Day After Tomorrow?! You just put forth an argument for global warming. Greenland melts and Europe gets stuck under ice. "Global warming" is just a name for the change that's currently going on. It isn't specific to the type of climate change that will ultimately result.

Yes, Daniel, you have made me mad, but using only Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and my junior year Ecology textbook, I think I've managed to deflate your entire theory. So, future editorialists, for the love of God, don't make up science for the newspaper. It's highly annoying to have to keep pointing out how wrong you are.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

It's Death Week!

Or as more polite people prefer to call it, "Elvis Week." I realize this is horrendously off-topic, not so much of the blog itself (as this is precisely the kind of shit I'm talking about when it comes to overpopulation) but definitely in terms of the insightful and surprisingly serious discussions surrounding U.S. and foreign politics of the comments sections. God knows I'm not the one who starts the intelligent conversations around here.

Regardless! Right now we are in that one week period when all the world's Elvis fans descend upon The King's hometown (M-town) and cap off the week by parading by his grave (located within the grounds of Graceland) with candles on the anniversary of his death (a ritual formally referred to as "The Candlelight Vigil"). For anyone who hasn't heard of this/thinks I'm joking, see accompanying picture. That is real, people. It happens every year. According to the Canadians, 50,000 people make the annual pilgrimage, but really, what do the Canadians know?

Every year my mom says we're going to go to the Vigil, just to see what it's like, but every year we find an excuse not to. Usually, you have to stand in line almost all night and the weirdness factor is off the charts. One of my mom's friends went a few years back. She doesn't like to talk about it. Last year, I had a friend in town and we talked about going. We didn't. I'm afraid it's going to have to wait until I become friends with a die-hard Elvis fan, which probably means never.

So, I say to the world, there are far too many Elvis fans out there who are willing to travel great distances to participate in a strange and cult-like ritual in commeration of The King's death. Notice I put a qualifier on that. The world needs more fans, just fewer weird ones. But my hometown pride does take over at times like these and so I thought I should point out that if you aren't in Memphis this week, you're missing out on some serious pop culture. Elvis Aaron (Aron, for you tombstone sticklers) Presley, rest in peace.

OK. I'm done. Now we can go back to arguing about politics.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Dead President Quote of the Week!

I'm starting a new feature since I don't really have any features aside from "WTF Moments in Local Editorials!" and even though I'd be content to do one of those every single day, it does take some effort to cut those things out of the newspaper and scan them in. (Plus, maybe with additional regular features, I'll have an incentive to update more...I've really been slacking lately.) So I'm taking a page from Simon's book and looking to the past, when men were Men, and presidents were Presidents!

We'll start with the noble Harry "My Middle Initial Doesn't Actually Stand For Anything" Truman who, according to my 8th grade report on America's Presidents, had "no college eduaction," "reconstructed American postwar policies," and "issued a doctrine of international resistance to Communism." Dude, I forgot how smart I used to be. (Whereas the Prophecy Girl of 10 years later thinks, "Whoa, this dude looks just like that guy who played the Dick Cheney character in The Day After Tomorrow." What the hell happened to me?) Without further ado, our 33rd President:

I never gave anybody hell! I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.
- Harry S. Truman

Love it, Harry! So much so, I'm ordaining that the unofficial O.P. motto, because I like to think that's what I do around here. (I have lofty aspirations for myself.)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

It's Election Day!

Or, since it's just the primaries, I guess it's technically Polling-for-Who-Should-Be-in-the-Election Day. Still highly important! I cast my vote early, so dire predictions of long lines and grumpy poll workers don't really apply to me. They did, however, apply to me last Friday when I early voted and had to wait in line for close to an hour and a half. The officials were saying it was taking about 13 minutes for each person to cast their votes, and there were only 7 machines where I voted (the Methodist church). It took me about 4 minutes once I finally got in because I wasn't one of the people standing there with my "Conservative Voting Guide" pamphlet carefully going through all the candidates. The woman behind me in line was commenting on how excited she was that there were so many Republicans voting, so I made sure to loudly declare my party as "Democrat!" when it was my turn to vote.

When it comes to voting, I'm all about quick decisions. I was there to vote for Harold Ford, Jr. as the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, but once that was done, I didn't have any strong convictions one way or the other. My strategy is always the same: vote for the Democrat; if there's more than one Democrat, vote for the woman; and if you get a chance to kick someone out of office, do it. I'm all about change.

So, my fellow citizens, please vote today, even if you choose not to use my highly scientific method of ballot-casting. And Simon, I saw your friend Ned Lamont on "The Colbert Report" a couple nights ago. I'd vote for him!

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are based solely on the opinions the author who is not affiliated with anyone. At all. Except herself. This blog is strictly for entertainment purposes. The author would never claim to be anything less than an open liberal, but she's not operating a news organization here. In fact, it's possible she's full of crap (possible, but not likely).

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