Month: June 2008

Making the jump to Firefox 3 (Sage 1.4 Announced)

I downloaded Firefox 3 Beta 3 some time ago and the one thing that kept me from using it was that I couldn’t use my Sage RSS newsreader on it.

If you haven’t tumbled to RSS feeds yet I highly suggest you do so.

Anyhow it’s now been announce that Sage 1.4 has been released. It’s very first thing is that it now works with Firefox 3.

I suppose I’ll go and download the latest release candidate.

Troppe informazioni martedì numero un centinaio di nove e trenta (TMI #139)

This is a much more intimate TMI than I’ve seen in a long time.

1. What’s your favorite color of lingerie?

None. Who needs the wrapper? Well in some cases certain wrappers can be sexy and if I had to chose a color it’d probably be red.

2. Do you have a porn collection?

Surprisingly not anymore. Who needs one when the net is just chock full of free stuff. Seriously, the day of VHS was replaced by DVD and now the net will eliminate even that inconvenience. That is until the broadband providers like Time Warner, Comcast and at&t start metering bandwidth. I’m surprise I’ve not heard any noises from Cox about metering.

3. Do you have any fetishes?

This one is a bit personal. I like thickness, in all aspects none the less. And package something thick in a nice tight thong, jock, or what have you, oh yeah. Luckily Keyron meets the above requirements.

4. What is your favorite place to have sex?

Hmmm, the whole house counts doesn’t it? When the moment hits you just do it.

5. Do you like to scratch, bite, pull hair, etc? Do you like having it done to you?

I’m a biter. I don’t enjoy being bitten though. And of course Keyron loves it when I bite so we’re good there.

Bonus (as in optional): Do you think the number of sexual partners you’ve had is below average, average, or above average, and how does that make you feel?

No doubt, above average. How do I feel about it? I don’t really feel anything it about it, it just ‘was’. I played the field quite a bit in my youth and I don’t feel guilty about it. If anything I’m more happy about it.

I once had an orange t-shirt with a silver glitter grin on it with the words “He who sins grins”. That pretty much sums up my take on it.

AFA: Debunking Evolution

Those fun whacky folks at the AFA are now publishing a book titled “Disprove Darwin in Five Minutes or Less”. Curiously they don’t say who wrote the book. I’ve tried to find the author but it’s near impossible since the folks at the AFA have masked that well, relying on quotes from Dr. So and So. If someone would like to send me a copy contact me. I’ll grab the ISBN number and search on that and then publish the info here.

The title Doctor is an interesting thing. Their doctoral studies may have been in subjects like theology, but you’ll never know that until you ask them. I’ve exported the email to a pdf file and linked it below.

disprove-darwin-in-5-minutes-or-less-yahoo-mail

An excerpt from the email:

A few years ago, I joined some friends for brunch after church. At the table was the husband of a friend. Let’s call him, “Tom.”

Tom is not a Christian and was not at church with us. But he showed up for the sake of being social. At first, I thought nothing of it. But when I saw his reaction to our conversation, I knew trouble was brewing.

The sermon that morning was from the book of Genesis. Our pastor has a wonderful way of telling the story of Creation. And like many folks do, we got together after church to share our thoughts about it over coffee.

We weren’t talking 5 minutes before this man’s face turned to ash. Without moving a single muscle he said, “The idea that God created the world is childish… Educated men don’t believe in myth and fantasy.”

We were all stunned. He was usually tolerant. But there he was… trying to make us feel ignorant for believing in God’s power to create this marvelous world we live in.

It’s because you ARE ignorant. The folks at the AFA and other religious institutions have done one thing above all, they’ve abdicated personal responsibility for their own lives and their own free will.

It reminds my of when my grandmother died, the priest at the church must have seen the look on my face because he wouldn’t shake my hand. I suppose the look conveyed that I knew the game.

The friends husband is my hero. I don’t suffer religious fools gladly, nor should anyone.

Here’s where those ‘scientists’ are invoked.

Darwin himself said that future scientists would find fossils of “transitional forms.” Here’s what he meant: If fish really evolved into animals, you would find fossils of creatures that were half-fish, half-animal. This would show that one species was making a transition into another.

So far, no transitional forms have ever been discovered! And of course, no transitional creature exists today. Let’s be honest: Have you ever gone to the zoo and seen a cross between a fish and an animal? Or a half-man, half-monkey?
Fossil: This is a shrimp fossil found in Lebanon. These pictures tell scientists what fish and animals looked like long ago.

All the creatures living on this planet are perfectly formed. There is no record of any animal, fish, beast or creature EVER turning into a different species.

In fact, the real fossil record shows almost no change. That means many of the creatures on this Earth have not changed since the beginning of time.

Here’s something else you won’t read in the newspaper: Hundreds of scientists and university professors are coming out against evolution. This should be front-page news. But you’ll never hear about it in the media.

Check out what some of them are saying about these missing fossils:

• Professor Steven J. Gould, Harvard University: “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology.”

Translation: Dr. Gould is a little too kind. The number of transitional forms is ZERO.

• Dr. Colin Patterson, British Museum of Natural History: “I will lay it on the line – there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.”

Translation: There’s simply no hard evidence for evolution.

• Dr. Gareth J. Nelson, American Museum of Natural History: “It is a mistake to believe that even one fossil species… can be demonstrated to have been ancestral to another.”

Translation: Darwin’s theory doesn’t have a leg to stand on…

First of all, Gould has been dead since 2002. Convenient that they use a dead guy to prove their point.

And then of course the AFA is guity of twisting words in the case of Dr. Colin Patterson. They didn’t just twist them, they’re guilty of the sin of omission.

Then there’s Gareth J. Nelson. Here’s an interesting little logical debate that he had with someone from the Skeptical Christian.

The whole skeptical thing is an oxymoron. If you were skeptical you wouldn’t be a Christian. It’s just that simple. Instead the author on the site is using a perversion of skepticism aimed at the outside world from within Christianity.

What the AFA is doing is seizing upon small gaps in the evolutionary record. There is enough evidence out there right now that indicates that evolution is a fact.

Look at the progress in finding hominid fossils. We go back about a few million years with fossils like Lucy who have features common to pan and homo. Then we come further forward to Homo Heidelbergensis, and finally Homo Sapiens. I’ve left out a whole bunch of intermediate forms of homo like Neanderthals, Homo Erectus, Australopithecus Afarensis, etc. The record is there and as time goes on we’re filling in more and more of the blanks, seeing the face flattening and the brain cases expanding from 400cc up to 1450cc.

Then of course there’s the recent news of E. Coli that mutated in order to metabolize citrate instead of glucose. And the beautiful part is the scientist in question, Richard Lenski of Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI has 40,000 generations of E. Coli that were spawned from one single E. Coli cell.

So it was easy to trace when the mutation that allowed citrate metabolism occurred. That’s evolution.

What the fundies don’t understand is that evolution is a branching process, not a linear one. As an example, humans, chimps and bonobos share a common ancestor but we all diverged from it. All three also share a common ancestor with the apes. I suspect the fundies have brain buckets that are a couple hundred cc’s short.

Imagine that.

Marriage Equality: Judge Patricia Hurst puts the legislature between a rock and a hard place

I am thoroughly delighted. Superior Court Justice Patricia A. Hurst in her opinion (View The Opinion) on the divorce petition brought forth by Cassandra Ormiston and Margaret Chambers had some interesting viewpoints that are now part of the case law.

She denied the request since the law in the 60’s gave exclusive domain to the Family Courts when deciding matters of divorce. But she did go one further.

She explained that as Rhode Islanders both Ormiston and Chambers are being denied rights granted under our Constitution.

“The question yet to be asked is whether the Family Court Act, now having been interpreted by the Supreme Court [in the Chambers and Ormiston case] impermissibly deprives spouses in a same-sex marriage to equal protection of law on account of the coincidence in their gender,” Hurst said. “Assuming the legislature and the executive branch continue to ignore this problem, the question will be whether the Family Court Act is unconstitutional for the reason that it violates state constitutional principles of equal protection.”

I think she’s referring to Article 1, Section 5:

Section 5. Entitlement to remedies for injuries and wrongs — Right to justice. — Every person within this state ought to find a certain remedy, by having recourse to the laws, for all injuries or wrongs which may be received in one’s person, property, or character. Every person ought to obtain right and justice freely, and without purchase, completely and without denial; promptly and without delay; conformably to the laws.

But here’s the clutch part of all this. Hurst has essentially backed the legislature (Speaker Murphy and President (Soon to be indicted) Montalbano) and the executive (Governor Asshat Carcieri) into a corner. Because if Ormiston and Chambers challenge the Family Court laws under Article 1, Section 5, guess what will happen.

What will happen is that the Family Court goes away. More interestingly, I wonder what happens when there is no more court, how about all those collections of fees and child support, what happens to that? This would be a very, very BAD thing. I think Justice Hurst knew what she was doing when she made the remarks about the Constitutional challenge. Bravo!

So now the legislature HAS to act. Time to shit or get off the pot Speaker Murphy, President Montalbano and Governor Carcieri. This is a very elegant way of doing this and I tip my hat to Justice Hurst.

And Rep. Brien, stick your DOMA where the sun doesn’t shine.

Low birth weight and infant mortality in the U.S.

Found this interesting ranking of states for child birth weight and mortality statistics.

If you look at the map a couple of interesting bits of data become apparent:
Child Well Being Map of the United States

One of the scarier things that pop immediately into view is the fact that south and a column going up the midwest have the worst issues with child well being. In the case of the south, that’s the Bible belt, in the case of the midwest states, too much distance between advanced medical care and people.

Then look at the light pink areas. One of the things about those light pink areas is that there are many colleges and universities located within them, including many medical schools. In areas like that the quality and quantity of care tend to be greater and more accessible.

But what is the root cause of low birth weight babies? Is it the modern lifestyle? Or maybe all the chemical contamination in our environment. For example we now know that bisphenol-A is an endocrine disrupter. One of it’s effects on developing male babies is decrease in the anogenital distance and smaller penises In essence it mimics a feminizing hormone.

Other contaminants include heavy metals, radioactive isotopes, etc. We live in a very toxic environment and the effects aren’t just present in developing fetuses, but they affect children and adults too.

It’s really a shame that the Clean Air and Water act has been repeatedly attacked because we’re going to pay the price over and over again due to our lack of diligence.

Dead iPod

I bought this iPod 13 months ago. It’s a Gen 2 Nano. Last night it worked fine but today, it won’t even power up.

Doing a bit of research I find it’s probably the battery. It had been acting strangely, showing less than full charge after showing full charge 10 minutes before, things like that. And I can get a replacement for about $20.

This appears to be a common problem with iPods. It’s a lithium-ion battery so why just a little over a year or use? My li-ion battery in my laptop is going on 3 years old and still going strong. Why the hell can’t Apple use a battery that lasts?

And how curious it dies right after the one year warranty.

**UPDATE**

I decided to hook it up to the USB cable today. And what do you know, in faint grey I saw the battery low warning on the screen. Then it went into sync mode with iTunes and now it’s charging. But I know this is the beginning of the end. I’m going to let it charge for a few hours and see what happens. I’ll still get the replacement battery though because this is all indicative of impending failure.

AFA: Stop $10 Per Gallon Prices

The AFA is known for being, how shall was put this, rather ignorant about things in general. They’re usually off track when it comes to loving relationships, separation of church and state, and things of that nature. Now they’re off track on oil and gasoline.

Act now to keep your family from paying $10 a gallon

Tell Congress you want action on rising gas prices now!

Dear Anthony,

For the past 10 years Congress has refused to do anything to make our country energy self-sufficient. Because of their inaction, we soon will be paying $5 a gallon for gas with the possibility of $10 a gallon in the future. Their refusal to do anything has hurt nearly every family in America. Because environmentalists have kept us from developing our vast and plentiful energy sources, we are now at the mercy of foreign governments (many of which are hostile).

If you believe Congress should allow the exploration of energy sources which would not materially affect our environment, now is the time to send that message. Can your family afford to pay $10 a gallon for gas? They will be forced to if Congress doesn’t act now!

We have abundant energy reserves, but the environmentalists won’t let us use them. All efforts to provide for our needs end up in court because of the environmentalists! A handful of environmentalists are forcing all Americans to pay outrageous amounts for gas!

Will our families have to wait another 10 years for Congress to act? They will unless Congress hears from American families now.

Tell Congress you want common sense action now to reduce the red tape that keeps us from becoming energy self-sufficient!

I’ve discussed the real reasons for the increase in price of a barrel of oil. It has nothing to do with environmentalists but much to do with the companies that control the oil.

Just look at this series of graphs, you’ll see that while the northeast and west coast pay the most for gasoline, we drive comparatively little and pay a smaller percentage of income on fuel, whereas those who live in flyover country pay less for gas, but drive more and pay a higher percentage of income for fuel.

And it isn’t the companies you’d think, it’s oil extraction firms, major investment banks et al that are reaping the extreme profits. If you think the oil companies proper are making obscene profits, look at the banks. They’re making money hand over fist.

If Congress really wants to fix this, they need to break the banks away from the oil process. But to do so would be economically damaging as those investment banks are using oil profits to stave off insolvency.

I say good riddance. Indeed, we’re in for a rough ride. I was talking to my landlord the other day. He’s an old Italian guy, 90 years old and he lived through the Great Depression. He says that right now we are in a depression again. I can believe that, jobless numbers mount, rampant inflation, depression of the value of the dollar, and most of all productivity declines.

I also see news that they’re looking to extend unemployment benefits another 13 weeks, and then in areas particularly hard hit another 13 weeks. So in RI that means we’ll see another six months of unemployment insurance.

That is a sign. Another sign is that the number of people receiving food stamps and using local food pantries has gone way up.

And while we’re at it, maybe we can abolish the Federal Reserve once and for all? One of their key promises in forming that cartel was that it would eliminate the financial panics like recessions and depressions, yet the Great Depression of the 1930’s occurred on their watch, and the next Great Invisible Depression of the 21st Century is happening under their watch right now.

The simpletons at the AFA can’t understand that concept.

But we need to fight to stop this craziness. We middle class have been shat upon long enough.

More advances in treating brain cancer

Brain cancer, particularly glioblastoma multiforme (GM) is in the news again, this time Senator Kennedy is its latest victim. You may recall before that I found out about a vaccine that helped to prevent GM.

And now there’s more news. It appears that cancers have stem cells that live near blood vessels in order to gather an energy supply. They’ve now found that preventing the formation of new blood vessels may in fact starve many cancers, including brain cancers. Anti-angiogenesis drugs have been around for a while, but this is the first time they’ve been used in the treatment of brain cancers.

Oil Prices

This is a very interesting analysis of the rising cost of a barrel of oil.

In essence several things come out of it:

  • Approximately 60% of oil prices are pure speculation.
  • That Enron sponsored the legislation to take away enforcement action from the board that was to regulate oil trading
  • The the Bush Administration holds a key position in this. Both Bush and Cheney come from the oil industry. Is it any wonder they managed to further erode the regulatory environment on oil trading?
  • There’s an interesting shell game going on in oil trading.
  • Almost all oil trading is controlled by U.S. and British concerns.
  • That the instabilities so famously reported have little to do with prices of crude oil.
  • The big investment banks are motivating much of the price increases.
  • This makes the push to war in Iran much more clear. There’s oil there.
  • This is going to come as a major slam on the Bush administration. Let us not forget that Kenny Boy Lay was a major donor to the Bush campaign. While I’m at it, lets not forget Cheney’s ties to the military industrial complex.

    The interference in our government by corporations has now reached astounding levels. We’ve let ourselves be lead down the primrose path. It’s time to rise up and fight back.

    Troppe informazioni martedì numero un centinaio di otto e trenta (TMI #138)

    1. If you’re in love with your partner, does it make the sex better?

    Actually it does. I think I’ve commented on this before but I feel so connected that way. Its hard to explain the feeling. I think the best way to put it is that you really feel it.

    2. What is the most expensive sex toy you’ve ever purchased?

    I’ve not purchased any to date. Who needs those kind of toys anyhow beyond a good lube.

    3. If you knew ahead of time you would not have an orgasm, would you still have sex?

    I think that this question is more for the girls than the guys. For most of us the orgasm is the end goal. It’s gonna happen.

    4. What celebrity would you most like to have sex with if given the chance?

    Mmmmm.. that would mean I’d have to know the celebs. Do TV actors count? I think Kunal Nayyar who plays Rajnesh Koothrappali from Big Bang Theory is cute. But why limit it to just one, lets see Gareth David-Lloyd who plays Ianto Jones in Torchwood is cute too. So many men, so little time.

    5. Have you ever had sex while an audience watched?

    Not that I’ve been aware of at the time. I don’t know, I don’t want to be one of the 10,000 guys who’ve done online porn so you won’t see me in action anytime soon.

    Bonus (as in optional): Describe the best sexual encounter you’ve ever had.

    Oh that’s an easy one. Before I met Keyron I met this guy named Allan. It was a short term thing, basically a summer romance because he was moving to Texas. Lets just say I found out there were things I could do and have done to me.

    The two of us were hyper sexually compatible. And Allan was a sweet guy, even called me now and then to see how I was doing. Had he not moved away who knows what would have happened. But his moving away did allow me to meet Keyron and it’s been great with him, even though he’s very jealous of Allan. Oh well.

    This is why you have to keep a little mystery in your life. Me, I’m stupid that way but then Allan calling to see how I was doing didn’t help matters. It’s been a long time since I last talked to him. I hope he’s doing well.