Month: November 2012

There are planets around distant stars

This shouldn’t be news to you. For the past few years a remarkable things has happened. Astronomy has gotten better at resolving things orbiting distant stars.

And now, a rocky body is orbiting a dwarf orange star called HD40307.  And it’s orbiting closely enough to have liquid water. Sort of like how here on earth, it’s kind of accepted that life began in the water and then gradually moved up onto the land, thought there is evidence that some land dwellers chose to return to the oceans aka whales.

I find this incredible, when I was a kid we barely knew about planets orbiting distant stars, but this one is only 42 light years away. And we now know there is a group of scientist playing with warp drive, one that could get us 12 light years in a single jump.  Now the interesting part, that jump would take fractions of a second. So 42 light years would be nothing.
The future is looking very bright indeed.

 

 

The Reaction from the Bigot Cavalade to the four victories

Mostly they’re all complaining how they were out-spent on this one. For a group that slung around enough cash to pay for signature gathering etc., to run ads on radio and television, do massive mailings and things of that nature I find it fit for the goose and the gander.
In essence they cannot spin this. As hard as Brian Brown, Maggie Gallagher et al try they can’t come up with anything else but “it was the money”.  It’s really kind of sad when you think about it. As I posted earlier, I think we’ve hit the tipping point for full equality in matters of marriage. And the bigot cavalcade knows they’ve lost not just the battle but the entire war effort.
And we’re now at what, 1/5th the nation where equality reigns? That kind of parallels Loving v. Virginia when you think hard about it. Back then only a handful of states allowed interracial marriage. And then it rocked toward the U.S.  Supreme Court in the case mentioned in the last sentence.

Right now we have Prop 8 and numerous DOMA challenges awaiting writ of certiorari from the Supreme Court. As I mentioned in a prior post, those justices do not live in a vacuum. They’ve got to see the handwriting on the wall on this one.

 

Marriage Equality Advances

So congratulations to my brothers and sisters in Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington! You’ve won back your rights to marry under the law or in the case of Minnesota beat back and amendment that would enshrine discrimination in Minnesota’s Constitution.
I think what happened is that people are finally starting to realize that the arguments put forth by the likes of NOM, the Catholic Bishops, et al are only so much bovine effluent.

And part of what moved those people to realize they were being sold a false bill is that both the President and Vice President of the United States came out last May to lend their support to the cause of marriage equality. That is true leadership right there.

I’m incredibly happy about the victories in those four states, Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington. You all fought a hard battle but in the end you prevailed. And you’ve provided the tipping point.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the United States Supreme Court accepts both the Prop 8 appeal and the DOMA class. They don’t exist in a vacuum, they know that the wind of public opinion is starting to blow strongly in our favor. So they pretty much have to act.

 

A good night so far

Well well, it was a squeaker for the Presidency but President Obama has triumphed. Good, I didn’t want to see Romney/Ryan anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
And on the marriage equality topic, Maine, Maryland and Washington state all approved. Minnesota is still close but I suspect they will prevail. I’d love to hear what the bigots of NOM and the Catholic church have to say about that. Maybe concede that they’re becoming increasingly irrelevant in modern society?? I doubt it though, they’ll try to spin this in order to justify their existence.

And the question in Providence to re-pave a good portion of the city was approved. This means the street I live on is getting re-paved and it needs it desperately!

In RI casinos in both Lincoln and Newport were approved. This one is a no brainer – the state never had any intention of letting the Narragansett Indian tribe open and/or run a casino, but the state can both own and operate the casinos. It’s a shame in a sense, the Narragansetts had inept leadership to the point that the Bureau of Indian Affairs really stuck it to them.

 

One thing about election day I hate

The run-up. It’s exploding all over Facebook of all places.  So I’m avoiding it like the plague. I’ll start taking an interest around 11PM or so once all the polls have been closed and most of the votes tallied.

It is interesting that President Obama has gotten New Hampshire which is very interesting. One thing about the exit polling that people are offering up. People tell lies when they leave the polls. This has been evident for some time now.

I just hope to a non-existent deity Romney doesn’t get the Presidency. That would be disastrous.

 

I voted the 2012 ballot

It was a monster ballot this year. Five pages though compressed on front/back of 3 sheets.
Some things to note about this election in Rhode Island:
The Secretary Of State’s web site is down. Their main site and their RSS feeds are completely fubar at this point. Now this is interesting because when I worked there we never had an outage on Election days. Of course we hosted all our web services locally. But the State of Rhode Island decided all officers should host on THEIR side. So when you go to http://www.sos.ri.gov you get the little spinning icon and the page never loads because the geniuses in DoIT didn’t load balance the main page. Ooops!

Went to vote around 9:00AM – there was a line of about eight people in front of me, and all eighteen  voting booths were occupied. Took about ten minutes before I could get in a booth to vote.

I did note a few things though:
There seemed to be a fair bit of confusion over this ballot. Usually it’s a single sheet, sometimes duplex, but this time out there were three separate ballot sheets.

The other issue was language – and not foul language. I get kind of peeved that they have to describe the questions in both Spanish and English. The reason I get peeved isn’t because the Spanish is there but because we seem to be catering exclusively to those who speak either Spanish or English.  It is the 21st century after all. It’d be a fairly simple matter to have a printer at the poll that could print the ballot in ANY language.  The text doesn’t matter so long as the Approve/Reject fields are there.  You could have a primary language field in the Central Voter Registry, and based upon that your ballot would come out in YOUR preferred language, even Klingon if you so prefer. Printers have gotten pretty fast and cheap over the years so it wouldn’t be a big stretch to do this.

The above would do two things. First it would eliminate 90% of the language problems. Second – it would mean in most cases you could vote the entire election on just one double sided ballot. And the serendipitous benefit, less paper!

They didn’t ask for ID – I just handed it to them and watched the slow search through the poll book. Here’s a suggestion to local canvassers, put indexing tabs on the pages. You know, Aa to Ab, Ac to Ae, etc. That way you can just look at the index tab, pull it open and find the name based on the first two characters of the last name.

Signed the slip, got my ballot and waited about a minute before an empty booth opened up. Now I had already researched the ballot before I went in so it was just complete the line, and so on. Took about 3 minutes to vote.

Did something I haven’t done in a long time though. When it came to the President, VP, state reps and senator, etc. I just ticked the Democrat box.  Reason being the only office with any competition was for President. And of the seven candidates the most logical at this juncture was President Obama, and how the state reps had no opposition on this ballot, why waste the time ticking off each office.

 

 

 

Romeny/Ryan – It’s a bit like North Korea

So I’ve seen the photo  of Paul Ryan scrubbing a pot and then found out the pot had already been washed and scrubbed.

Then there’s Mitt Romney who spent $5K to give food items to a crowd and then have them ‘donate’ them.
It’s a lot like North Korea. You see, if you do go to North Korea you get the whole government tour – all spectacle, shiny, and ultimately plastic, or fake if you prefer.
Mitt Romney and Paul Romney are analogous to North Korea.

TMI Thursday Again: Happy Halloween

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

First attributions: Via Patently Queer who got it from Just a Jeep Guy

Trick or Treat?
This one is difficult. I’m a trickster that’s for damned sure – and I love teaching people how the world around them works. Even if it comes to knocking drones out of the sky with high powered microwave bursts.

Do you hand out candy, make sure you’re not home or pretend to not be home?
I used to do so – until the foolishness of stranger danger raised it’s ugly head in my area and you had to SIGN up and have your house put on a ‘safe’ map. I guess they’re afraid of the sex offenders but I looked it up, there are two in about a 3/4 mile radius of me – one for rape, the other a pederast.  Out of hundred of households.

Now in the past one event makes me smile. I was cooking pork chops with sour cream and dill sauce. I had opened the door and one kid said “Something smells good!” He got a double handful. Other comments I got was that I gave out the good stuff. It’s a shame that we now have to be mapped out as safe.

What’s your favorite candy?
As a total sugar freak I have to say Milky Way’s.  I also enjoy Reese’s Peanut Butter cups – and give those out peanut allergies be damned!

How big of a holiday is Halloween for you?
Not very big at all. I realize what it is. As a kid I’d go out every Halloween – and as a teen we got a little mischievous. But I do not understand the adult compunction to dress up for Halloween. It makes zero sense to me. Where I formerly worked Halloween was a BIG deal. The unit I worked in however, we were all of the same mind – KISS – a cauldron with dry ice and a warm water bath on occasion got thick fog covering the place.
And none of us dressed up.

Sexy costume or scary?
I like to go for interesting – as in donning a small pair of horns this past Halloween or the week before at least.

The horns
Now I had these little horns. But someone else had larger horns.

Bonus Question

Ever have Halloween Sex while staying in costume/character?
The horns lend themselves to that very well. But they’re only held in with a little clip. Get a little wild and the horns pop off! So it’s hard to stay in costume – which brings to mind those people we refer to as Furries. That ranks up there in the very weird for me too.