Month: January 2010

TED Blog: How to live to be 100+: Dan Buettner on TED.com

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via TED Blog: How to live to be 100+: Dan Buettner on TED.com.

Very interesting stuff. I incorporate much of the suggested things into my life. I suppose I could move toward a more plant based diet but I’m a meat eater and it would be tough.

If you look at my family, median falls around 85 to 86 barring disease. So there is a genetic predisposition. But it’s more than that.

What do Italian-Americans eat more of than anyone else? Pasta with a tomato based sauce. And we tend to drink a bit more wine too, not enough to get drunk, but with a meal the right wine rocks.

Cooking – I do not own a food processor. Everything is chopped manually. Of course laundry, that’s a machine but it is a trek up and down the stairs to the basement.

I don’t own a car. Everything I need is within walking distance. It is why I chose to live where I do.

Technology is also going to step in to help too. He talks about Omega 3 vs. Omega 6 fatty acids. They’re bioengineering lots of things to make Omega 3 vs. the other variety. But I do like certain fish, like salmon, trout, tuna, swordfish. It’s just so damned expensive and a very limited resource.

Do what you can. Even if it adds a couple of years of life you’re ahead of the game.

Even the Cato Institute understands equality

The Cato Institute has an opinion piece titled “The Moral and Constitutional Case for Gay Marriage” by Robert A. Levi the Chair of the Cato Institute.

Don’t get me wrong, the Cato Institute is a libertarian, small government group. I don’t necessarily agree with a lot of what they say. But once in a great while they hit the nail on the head.

E.g.

Thomas Jefferson set the stage in the Declaration of Independence: “[T]o secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men.” The primary purpose of government is to safeguard individual rights and prevent some persons from harming others. Heterosexuals should not be treated preferentially when the state carries out that role. And no one is harmed by the union of two consenting gay people.

One could also interpret Jefferson’s text to apply to abuse of corporate power in politics. That causes us great harm.

But the case that Levy makes is undeniable. It is a violation of our Constitutional rights to deny us the ability to marry the person we love.

1979 CES – Comical now

Go check out this vid. It’s from the 1979 CES show. Unfortunately while WordPress can now do YouTube, Google and DailyMotion, it can’t yet embed from Yahoo vids.

The ‘mini’ video camera and recorder is interesting. Now you can fit the whole damned thing in your palm. And you can store a couple of hours of video on a tiny SD card. That’s progress.

And the first cable systems, how quaint. Back when it only cost a couple of bucks as opposed to today where it’s $40+ for basic cable.

Then of course is the VHS casettes, $75 for the Sound of Music? You could probably pickup the DVD copy at Blockbuster for under $10 these days. And video-discs while kind of cool for the time, they didn’t come about. Instead we have CD’s, DVD’s, and Blu-Ray.

Kevin Drum: Obama Needs To Be Willing To Earn The Hate Of Bankers (VIDEO)


President Obama needs to learn how to lead, how to become the leader that we want.

Here’s my theory on the presidency: If you’re going to promise all these things on the campaign trail, you damned well better have the courage and the chutzpah to push those things through and become the biggest cheerleader for those things. That is, even if it means you’d only serve one term. I’d rather see a president deliver on his promises and serve one term, than to see a president who will cater to special interests and serve two terms.

Priority 1: Health Care – insist that real reform means that we’re nationalizing the entire medical system in the U.S. That simple.

Priority 2: Banking – indeed split them into a million pieces. That diminishes their lobbying power and gives us more competition. But at the same time, strongly regulate the inter-bank fees for things like ATM transactions, etc.

Priority 3: Jobs – Enhance the Small Business Administration, penalize employers who offshore production and support.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Prop 8 Appeal to be Webcast: And Maggie Gallagher gets her panties in a bunch

gallagher in the crosshairs
gallagher in the crosshairs

Apparently Judge Vaughn has decided to webcast the proceedings of the Prop 8 appeal via the court’s YouTube channel.

Here’s the test of the system they’re using to switch off microphones or cameras if a witness doesn’t wish to be recorded:

And of course, Maggie “The Loathsome” Gallagher is already crying foul about it.

I’d like to pick apart a few things in Loathsome Gallagher’s article.

To deliberately and needlessly expose these people to a new wave of publicity and attacks by televising the trial is outrageous.

She need not worry. As evidenced in the above video, they can turn cameras and microphones on and off at will. So the bigots can remain under cover so to speak.

Prior to that quote above, Gallagher pulled this from the fun folks at the Heritage Foundation:

But this is no ordinary trial. This is a trial in a case where thousands of ordinary citizens have already faced a wave of hatred for participating in democracy. On Oct. 22, the Heritage Foundation released a report titled “The Price of Prop. 8,” which concluded that “supporters of Proposition 8 in California have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, vandalism, racial scapegoating, blacklisting, loss of employment, economic hardships, angry protests, violence, at least one death threat, and gross expressions of anti-religious bigotry.”

I must first make it clear, the people who supported such a discriminatory measure as Prop 8, or Question 1 in Maine, deserve my hatred, my ridicule and my scorn for they are bigots. It is one thing to personally dislike the fact that gay people can marry, it is entirely another when you sign your name to a petition, donate money, or allow usage of your visage in ads for the opposition.

Those who did the above acts need to understand then when one signs a petition or donates money, we all have the RIGHT to know that they did so. It’s all under the public records doctrine.

However I feel I must tell Loathsome Gallagher something: While your side suffers those slings and arrows, we gay people have experienced the exact same thing from bigots like you and your ilk. Regarding the death threat, I suspect that one is simply wishful thinking, a tempest in a teapot if you will, whereas we gay people have been murdered for even looking like we’re gay. When is the last time a religious bigot suffered that fate?

Maybe it’s because I surround myself with educated people. That’s right Maggie, educated. Your only claim to fame is that you’ve written as a family policy expert, I think Goebbels would be proud of you, repeat the same lie over and over again and it becomes the truth or at least so it is in your mind.

But so long as I’m around, I’m not going to let you get away with it.

TMI #220 – Haven’t done one in awhile!

1. A relaxing vacation or an adventurous trip?

Depends. Sometimes I want the adventure, sometimes I want a hammock slung between two trees, a nice shade cover and temps around 75F, a good book nearby and good tunes playing on the iPod. That’s as close to heaven as you can possibly get.

Hammock
Hammock

2. Get a perfect nights sleep or have amazing sex?

If the sex is amazing I will sleep perfectly.

3. Be intimate with the lights on or off?

On or off, doesn’t matter. I have great tactile senses too. And you know what they say: What’s the difference between light and hard? You can sleep with a light on but you can’t sleep with a hard on.

4. Your S/O be a terrible kisser who could always make you orgasm or an amazing kisser who could never make you orgasm?

I’d just have to nip off and shoot myself. But seriously, an amazing kisser would have me shooting for the moon.

5. Date someone much younger or much older than you?

I generally set the limit to +/- 10 years. For example, there are 8 years, 7 months, 7 days between Keyron and I. Of course when I was 18 I had no intention of doing it with an 8 year old, but a 28 year old was in the realm of the probable back then.

Bonus (as in optional): Which reality show would you be good at? Why?

Is there one where you can just sit there and kick the asses of TV executives who thought it was a good idea to push all this reality tv crap? If there was one for that I’d be perfect for the role. Why? Because I would make a very good ass kicker.

Happy New Year

Some photos from our evening:

Keyron and I

David, John, Diana, Keyron, Me and Jon

David, TJ, Rob, Keryon and Jon

**N.b. You may note that the T/D stamps say 2008. These weren’t taken by me (Well, a few were) but by our friend Jon. I’ll have to adjust the clock on his camera next time I’m over there. **

Very interesting New Year celebration. There were eight of us there, our hosts David and Jon, our friends Diana and John, new friends Rob and TJ and then Keyron and I.

Of the eight people, five were rolling on E/X/Ecstasy, not Empty as thought by one of my commenters, I’ll refer to it as E for the remainder. Of course there was a sixth who hadn’t realized they’d accidentally ingested about 400MG of MDMA (The abbreviation of the active part of E) instead of Ibuprofen. Ooops. Bet that person won’t do THAT again.

Of course me, knowing the downsides of that particular class of drug didn’t partake, nor did Keyron. I’m sorry but headaches, throwing up, and grinding my teeth doesn’t really appeal to me. And I was almost always impervious to peer pressure as a kid, well with the one exception of beer. Thing is, I actually like beer and wine too.

There was some dancing around. Try that with eight people in a relatively small space. You’d all better be good friends. But then there was the classic E dancing by oneself. When you add the multi color glow-sticks it really is quite a spectacle. You should know I’m a sucker for color and this definitely got my attention.

It was an all around good gathering though. Of course one of the party got so drunk that he was in no condition to drive home to East Greenwich, RI. His keys were confiscated and he wasn’t allowed to leave until he sobered up a little bit.

Here are some signs to keep in mind when drinking with friends:

1) Slurred speech
2) Bloodshot eyes
3) Heavy alcohol smells
4) Impaired cognitive ability. Have them try counting backwards from 100 to 1. If they can’t successfully get past 30 or 40 they’re cognitively impaired.

The first and last are the clear tip-offs. Speech and cognitive reasoning take a lot of brain power. If they can’t pass either test, don’t let them drive. If they’re nearby get them a cab, if not let them bunk at your place for a few hours. And whatever you do, hide their car keys. That’s a requirement.

I drank a moderate amount, three beers, and a couple of glasses of champagne. Even I was mildly impaired, and I tested this with a little app on my Touch called Re-Pete-Lite. Sober I can nail a full sequence. But last night, no such luck. Luckily I wasn’t driving.

Then we went back over for a few hours today. Had another glass of champagne, a beer and a jello-shot. The jello-shot was interesting. Lime jello with a little rum and a little Zambuca. You’d get that nice, smooth rum and lime at the beginning and then a nice licorice finish.