when the status quo frustrates.

Never Underestimate the Power of Girl Cooties

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Vatican: Excommunication for female priests

I’d be shocked and disgusted, if only I cared more about the Catholic church or even about the moral sensibilities of the people who want to be a part of it.

Catholic church says it’s following Christian tradition

You can’t argue with that.

The decree was published Thursday by Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, which in a headline called the ordination of women a “crime.”

‘Nuff said.

Oh, That Controversial New Research! Part Two.

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Continued from Part One.

My last major business trip was to Sweden. See, if I just left it at that, it would sound like, really c-o-o-l but in fact, what it was was really freaking C-O-L-D (February!) and yo, it was also really freaking b-u-s-i-n-e-s-s. The trip consisted of twelve-hour days in a mostly unheated test lab putting the brand-new centrifuges we bought for the large-scale plant we’re building through their paces. The highlight of the trip was the weekend between the two work-weeks I spent there, when in an attempt to hop on the Swedish public transit system for some sightseeing Saturday morning I managed instead to accidentally attend a big-ass anti-US rally in the Stockholm central train station. “Surreal” is probably the best one-word description I can use to capture that event (though I couldn’t stop myself from forking out a mere 10 kronor for an awesome souvenir button!):

Terror Bush
Admit you want one.

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Warning- Mostly Personal Post

Friday, May 30th, 2008

When I haven’t been busy this summer working either of my jobs, planning a wedding, or working on the plethora of other projects I’m currently juggling, I’ve been worrying about my future. I have recently completed my undergraduate degree. After dozens of majors, including Aviation and English, I have finally finished with a General Degree from the College of Arts and Sciences with a double minor in Communication and Political Science. Earlier this spring, I took the LSATs, got a decent score, and applied to the law school. I have not heard anything back from them, acceptance or rejection, but that is not uncommon from what I understand- many of my friends waiting on graduate schools have not heard back.
I suppose it’s not unique to start worrying about the future when you are a) just finishing school and/or b) getting married. And I do find myself worrying about the future. What if I don’t get into law school? What on earth am I supposed to do with a General Degree? What if I get into law school, and I’m not any good, and then there’s just one more piece of anecdotal evidence in the minds of sexist people that Women Just Aren’t Any Good at…? Is law even right for me? Will I be capable of doing good in that field?
But the question that keeps rotating in my mind the most is not about the future, but more about the past (and even more so after reading this post by Lisa). Namely: how did I get here?
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Lisa’s Friday War Protest Video

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Takin’ a break from the tunes with some classic Jon Stewart.

The Hotel I Work For

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

I am a front desk clerk at a local chain of hotels that no one outside of the Midwest has heard of. I have worked at my new job for less than a month, and while I hated it, I figured I could hold on until August, when school started again* with a guilty conscience.

This job really is the epitome of contradictory corporate jargon and actual actions. We’re supposed to “go the extra mile for the customer” but every time I did that, I was chastised (do not leave the continentantal breakfast open late for stragglers, do not give the customers batteries for personal items, that sort of thing). I’m supposed to stay at the front desk for my entire shift, but I am also supposed to walk up and down the hallways and do cleaning that takes me away from the front desk. I am supposed to follow a ridiculous script when answering the telephone that wastes everyone’s time and annoys the customer (and oh-boy, I better do it in order or else I am in so much trouble). All of this, like I said, I could have put up with until the time that I could take my exit.

Yesterday, however, after our ridiculous “productivity meeting” I found out that I needed to leave. Now. I’ve turned in my two-week notice, and already have another job on the line. The reason was simple: I found out the company was run by a bunch of Christian crazies.

First and foremost, this particular hotel chain gives out free rooms to Christian pastors, called “Prophet Chambers”. This rooms are gratis, when otherwise they would be 50 or 70 dollars. Secondly, corporate has decided that, in keeping with our “family friendly” image, we are not to rent out rooms to “obvious homosexuals”. I can tell this is corporate, and not our local hotel, because our manager rolled her eyes when reading this memo. When I asked what an “obvious homosexual” looked like, she told me flat out said “nothing- this is a stupid rule that I fully expect you all to ignore”. But still, I cannot associate with a business that has such blatant discriminatory practices.

I checked the website to see if I could find a copy of this policy, but I have so far been unsuccessful. I don’t think this is something that they are publically informing people, but it is still horrible.

I have an unpleasant feeling in my gut now. Even if homosexuality was a protected class, and people weren’t capable of discriminating against them legally, I still have to wonder if they would still get away with it. As front desks, we weren’t supposed to tell them that we didn’t serve them, we were supposed to tell them that there were no rooms available. It’s a kind of discrimination that would be almost imposible to prove.

*I’m still waiting on my acceptance to law school. I haven’t gotten a letter at all.

Oh, That Controversial New Research! Part One.

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Via.

The freedom to say ‘no’

Why aren’t there more women in science and engineering? Controversial new research suggests: They just aren’t interested.

Really, we’d much rather be changing poopy diapers, scrubbing toilets and providing “companionship” for room, board and an allowance. And that’s what choice feminism is all about!

…no, I’m not being fair. It’s just that the endless quest of total strangers to prove that I personally am either (a) some kind of genetic mutant freak or (b) living in a silent hell of self-suppression for the sake of the Feminist Agenda sometimes makes my teeth hurt.

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La!

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

I saw Nightwish a bit earlier. Opening for them was a band called Sonic Syndicate, who I think really demonstrated admirable restraint in not calling themselves Sønïc Sinndikæt. At one point, the lead singer said something that led to the following exchange:

“Did he just say this song is about…”
“…gay rights”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought. Neat!”

Death metal being what it is, I had no way of knowing if the song was in fact about gay rights, but I bopped my head along agreeably all the same.

Nightwish made me really want to see a big, steampunk-anachronistic blockbuster about Anne Bonny and Mary Raed.

“On second thought, no, we can’t.”

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

I’ve been loathe to write about the primaries in the U.S., mostly because I try to only write about those things where I feel like I have something to contribute, and I haven’t experienced any particular election-related insights.

(Also: I don’t have or want a side apart from “not another douchebag, please, the increased relevance of political songs is not worth it,” but it’s almost impossible to write anything without being shuttled into one camp or another. Hell, I went to the county Democratic county caucus not voting in the presidential primaries (I did the math. My vote wouldn’t have mattered either way, in our precinct.)

That said, here’s something a friend said a while back, the truth of which just struck me: Race and gender are, for me, the only interesting issues in this election.

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Another World of Warcraft (!) Post

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Because Aogail finally got her horse.

Photobucket

More pics below the fold. Share yours!

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On Foreskins, From A Person Who Does Not Now And Indeed Never Has Had One

Monday, May 26th, 2008

It makes me wary of espousing any opinion on the subject that appears to be laying down the law! in any way, shape or form. I imagine that some men feel the same way about espousing an opinion about the morality and/or legality of abortion, especially basing any such opinion on the way an abortion would personally impact the life of someone who was having one–

“It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound, when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know: that she allowed a doctor to pierce the skull and vacuum the fast developing brain of her unborn child, a child assuming the human form.”

–Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion on the Supreme Court’s 2007 ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart, upholding the federal partial-birth abortion ban

Hey, I did say SOME men!

But anyway…

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If you can show me he drinks two raw eggs everyday, I’m sold.

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Do you want to vote for John McCain, but are concerned about putting a 70+ year old in an office famous for rapidly aging its holders? Never fear, for Dr. Michael Roizen is here to tell you that even though John McCain is technically 71, according to the Real Age program of Dr. Roizen’s own devising, plus the no doubt fully-revealing medical records McCain chose to release, he’s anywhere between 1/2 and 10 years younger, depending on if all the youngifying factors of the Real Age assessment add up.

To Dr. Michael Roizen, co-author of “You: The Owner’s Manual,” the more relevant information is the candidate’s physical condition. After all, some 72-year-olds are fit for a marathon, while others are stuck in their easy chairs.

Roizen is the developer of the Real Age program, which uses an overall health evaluation to determine a person’s true biological age (in contrast with his or her actual age). Using McCain’s newly released medical records, Roizen walked NEWSWEEK through an assessment of McCain’s physical status. Though some of the information Roizen normally requires was not immediately available—including specifics on McCain’s diet and exercise habits and his resting pulse rate—the details at hand enabled him to make an initial assessment.

The Real Age assessment says McCain’s real age is tip top, through a rigorous procedure involving emphasizing all the good things about McCain’s records and ignoring what little bad came through.

McCain’s BMI works out to 24. The desirable range is 19 to 25, and the ideal is 22 to 24…The American Heart Association advises maintaining a blood pressure below 120 over 80, but Roizen says the ideal is 115 over 75…That said, he has lower blood pressure than most 71-year-olds, who average 145 over 89….McCain’s father died at 70 of cardiac-related problems. But his mother, 96, is still famously campaigning with her son. That shows a good genetic endowment. Effect: 1.5 years younger…McCain has had four cancerous lesions removed from his skin…he fact that he’s survived more than five years is a good sign, so his cancer history doesn’t add to his Real Age.

What can I say, I’m convinced. You?

Oh ,wait, there’s a page 2: turns out you add up the number of months you save from each catagory. How oddly convenient.

Bottom line: 8.1 years younger, or 63.7 years old.

Peak Banana

Monday, May 26th, 2008

I don’t like bananas, but even if I did, I wouldn’t eat them. United Fruit, the reason that we have the bananas that we have today, is basically the template for ruthless, evil corporations, pursuing unimaginable profits as the cost of human rights and the environment.

Within the next few decades, short of a scientific miracle, the bananas that we’re used to will cease to exist. That’s also United Fruit’s fault, incidentally. Check out Johann Hari’s fascinating article on the subject.

Is there a parable for our times in this odd milkshake of banana, blood and fungus? For a hundred years, a handful of corporations were given a gorgeous fruit, set free from regulation, and allowed to do what they wanted with it. What happened? They had one good entrepreneurial idea – and to squeeze every tiny drop of profit from it, they destroyed democracies, burned down rainforests, and ended up killing the fruit itself.

Anyway, it turns out that the banana-as-we-know-it is not so much the atheist’s nightmare:

…as it is a freakish creation of mankind’s greed and cruelty. Sorry, Kirk Cameron!