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RE: "Why Conservatives Fear Gay Marriage" ; Apparently? It's Because They Are Hypocrites...


So. I've been trying, lately, to see every side of different political issue, to at least understand where people are coming from. Because I think it's a good idea overall, really, to understand the reasons people do or believe certain things, particularly from their own perspective.

But sometimes I have to say, even when it comes from the horse's mouth, I'm a little dumbfounded. This is one such case. Collapse )
Doctor Glasses

Writer's Block: Big Debates

Do you think stem cell research is good, bad, or dangerous? Should it be funded by the government?

Well, particularly seeing as this WB did not mention what KIND of stem cell research we're talking about, I'd have to say none of the above! Seriously though, any kind of research could be abused, but stem cell research in general stands to benefit so many people who are suffering so much, and to expand our knowledge of diseases and human development so much, that's hard to argue it's inherently "bad". I also don't find embryonic research wrong, since they can use embryos left over from fertility clinics... embryos that almost entirely would have been trashed. How is it worse to use them to benefit mankind than to throw them in the trash to rot, doing no one at all any good whatsoever? Let's face it, these aren't embryos that are destined to either be children, or research material; these are embryos that are destined to either be research material, or a rotting piece of biological waste.

Given a choice, I'd rather they not be rotting pieces of biological waste. To me, it makes much more sense, when talking about the Sanctity of Life, to not WASTE a potential life entirely; curing Parkinson's does not seem to be as much of a waste compared to doing absolutely nothing with it. They're going to be thrown away anyway - why not at least give that little tiny patch of living material the chance to save a life or reduce human suffering, as opposed to making its existence meaningless and useless?

As for whether it should be funded by the government... well, maybe so. I would currently put technology research into things like solar power (which could reduce our dependence on oil) and air pollution reduction (with which there is a correlation of lower rates of serious asthma attacks and lung cancer) a little higher on the scale, and ditto research into say, human behavior during disasters and crises, but it's arguably supportable and here's why:

America's rise to superpower status post-WWII was almost entirely due to a rise in two things: manufacturing, and scientific achievement, both of which created countless jobs for Americans and gave us an unprecedented level of wealth and economic security. We're slowly but surely slipping away from that status, particularly in the economic sense; science has always been something that has put us on top, hell, our universities' science programs still attract a large portion of students from overseas, so I'm generally in favor of supporting it, particularly in the medical and biological sciences which are some of the most directly beneficial to human health and safety. More biological research means more lab techs employed; more lab techs employed means more kids feeling like it's not a waste to go into science, means more students being better educated by choice, means that everyone wins in the end.

So, my take on it boils down to: is it bad or "dangerous"? Hell no. Should it be funded by the government instead of private sources? Maybe.
Doctor Glasses

Writer's Block: Adult Onset

Putting legal definitions aside, at what age do you think someone can really be considered an adult?

I think my response to this post sums up a lot of my feelings on this. To summarize, though: I would agree age is NOT the only indicator of "maturity"... however, when you get into things like sex, which are inextricably linked with our concept of "adulthood", it gets more complicated.

There are eight-year-olds who are probably wiser than any adult I know, but that doesn't mean it would be a good idea to let them start having sex at that age... not that the Age of Consent doesn't come with its own set of baggage, of course, particularly when a very mature 17-year-old and a 20-year-old aren't allowed to do more than hold hands (which I think is actually the case - or close to it - in some jurisdictions). Throw in the fact that the young brain (on average) does not fully finish developing until the mid-20s anyway, not to mention the lack of consistency between state laws on the matter, and the AoC starts to look a little arbitrary and a tad ridiculous.

I would say though that post-pubescence is a good place to start if we're looking for a logical cutoff point for an "adult", not just in the sense of "legal definitions", but in the sense of what the associations that we have with the word "adult" and the word "child" are. To me, "adulthood" includes "able to make decisions for themselves even when it comes to monumentally important and complex things like sex, ready to have control over their own lives" whereas "childhood" has a connotation of "needing to be protected and taught and cared for", a suggestion of vulnerability and of being a work-in-progress in both the physical and psychological sense. So, the way I see it, while age is not everything there is to being "an adult", age is, up to a point, a huge part of being "a child", and to me, "being an adult" and "being a child" are by definition mutually exclusive.

And on that note, the icon I chose for this post is strangely appropriate I think; it's a shot of the character Echo from the series Dollhouse.
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So I went home early today because my asthma's suddenly being a bitch, and on the way, some douche, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE INTERSECTION IN FRONT OF ME, decides he wants to change lanes, practically causing an accident. So of course I honk. Then he pulls off to the side and starts trying to chew me out. WTF DUDE. You're the one pulling ILLEGAL and DANGEROUS manuevers that could have killed me! You have no right to bitch just because I fucking HONKED. ARGH.

Also, I saw a random wooden sign at another intersection reading "OBAMA'S FRIENDS HATE AMERICA". It took an awful lot of willpower to resist the temptation to go back and add a sign reading, say, "(SO DOES BIGFOOT)" or " - SIGNED, ANON. CRAZY"

That said, purring kitty + Beauty and The Beast soundtrack = ahhh, much better.
Doctor Glasses

Writer's Block: DIY

MacGyver, hero of the tv show with the same name, is known for his resourceful use of ordinary household items to get out of an emergency situation. What's the most ingenious solution you've ever come up with in a pinch?

This is more about a friend/coworker, actually, than something I came up with on my own.

My mom restores prints and documents for a living, and as a result, we have a gigantic wide, flat tub to use as a print bath for when they have to soak in a solution. The only trouble? It's huge, and often needs to be emptied, a process that used to take hours, because we had to scoop as much of the solution out as possible with little plastic cups - except that wouldn't be quite enough to get ALL the solution, so we'd spend an awful lot of time soaking up the excess with paper towels. Lots of wasted time, sore arms from all the scooping, as well as wasted paper towels - as much as a roll or so!

His solution to this issue was truly ingenious, though, and relied on ridiculously simple physics and the fact that we had a spare bit of slender tubing and a hose. No, really. :D Spare bit of tubing (less than a yard long), hose.

Basically, he would put one end of the tube into the tub, spray a brief jet of water through the tube with the hose, and then put the other end of the tube down into the bucket into which we were emptying it; so long as the one end of the tube stayed submerged and the other end pointed down into the bucket, it would simply suck it right up and spit it out into the bucket. Further, sticking a couple of small heavy objects under the other corners of the tub meant that all the liquid would flow down to the one corner, allowing it to suck out more liquid and for longer. The tiny fraction of liquid that is left can be wiped up with only a handful of paper towels. Nowadays dumping and replacing the liquid takes less than half an hour, and is largely automatic - all you have to do is keep an eye on the bucket for when it gets a little over half full (so you can pause it and dump the bucket). :)

My family has also been known to use ordinary adhesive tape + paper towel, tissue or napkins to seal off small bleeding wounds that are too big or unweildy for a Bandaid to handle. :)
Doctor Glasses

"NaNoDoucheMo"... No Kidding

So, if you don't know what it is, NaNoWriMo (which happens in Novemeber) is National Novel Writing Month. What it is, is an organized effort by independent writers to reach (and occasionally help each other reach, via helping with research, plot/characterization advice, etc.) a goal of writing at least 50,000 words' worth of a single novel, which can be fanfiction if you really want, but which most people write original fiction for instead. When you reach 50,000 words, you can enter your text into the NaNoWriMo website to... IIRC, get a confirmed congrats for reaching your goal. There are apparently also sections of the website that host excerpts and plot summaries and the like for past "NaNo" winners, whole buncha stuff, but really, all you need to know is that it's and organized, public effort for writers to try and churn out 50,000 words' worth of fiction in only a month's time.

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So, suffice it to say, I am with quite a few others on what the lovely cleolinda referred to in a recent post as "certainly win[ning] NaNoDoucheMo". Basically, a guy claims he "won" NaNoWriMo by incoherently copy-and-pasting 2.5 million words' worth of nonsense from various websites. Then, when called out on his stupidity, he proceeded to basically bitch and whine and narcissistically claim that his was an Astounding Work of Towering Genius, and that anybody complaining should just STFU.

No, really. Seriously. Scroll down a little and see for yourself, though I'll give you a little taste here:

Overnight the moderator sent me a nice message explaining that "shoutout" is not the right place to ask for a vote. So I hereby withdraw that request, though I'm still totally open to hearing more reasons why my creation is "A Novel" or "Not a Novel" (though I rechecked the Rules and Regs and am confident that I have a legitimate entry) and will gladly respond to any questions or concerns.

Um, hey.... NaNoDouche? Guess what? I'm pretty sure that plagiarism, which is not only illegal, but also, you know, not actual writing that you wrote, does in fact actually violate the "rules and regs". I'm pretty positive in fact that in order to be a "legitimate" NaNoWriMo project it has to be, you know, legitimately yours. Also, what you "made" of course wasn't a "novel". What you "made" was several thousand pages' worth of stolen copy pasta nonsense.

What really astounds me though, is that there's supposedly someone in there defending him, by basically using the old standby of "OMG DONT LIEK DONT READ!". Or, in the immortal, and immortally stupid words of the actual poster of whom I speak:

i fail to see why everyone is getting so bent out of shape. if you don't like the duchamp exhibit at the art gallery, then don't go to see it. if you don't like what's on the station, change the channel. if you like what the OP did, then stroke his ego here, and if you think he's a d-bag or a cheater, then go about creating your own art and don't waste your time on this. this project is not about competition, it's about self-edification, so therefore all of our opinions are irrelevant. i wrote something that i'm extremely proud of, and i could care less what anyone else did or if it "counts"., let me get this straight: The fact that the man is creating a mockery of the perfectly useful NaNoWriMo project and community, clearly neither of which he understands and which he's probably actually trolling because, well, he's a douche... does not matter, and copy pasta is, in fact, art on the level of DuChamp, as opposed to lazy cheating at something that, as you yourself point out, is not actually technically supposed to be competitive in the first place. Gotcha.

Thank god somebody in the thread is making sense though (bolding mine):

Basically, I think my point is: When you grab an article from the internet and move words and sentences around, none of the words are still yours. It is like Tom getting a painting by John, Tom cutting it around and pasting the parts to a board in a different order, and calling it Tom's Painting. It is not Tom's Painting. It is Tom Cutting John's Painting Around And Calling It His..

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that whopping 372 words I managed to write? More creative - and certainly more of a "unique literary work" than NaNoDouche's 2.5 million word copy pasta. I think I will agree with one of otf_wank's posters here and point out that it's apparently none of those three things. From his own goddamn website, after all, comes this (in horrendously self-absorbed third-person, no less):

In order to compile so many words in such a short time, Leach leaned heavily on the Internet. He generated what he calls a “non-linear literary collage” by mining various blogs, chat rooms and fan fiction sites, grabbing whatever words caught his eye.

“The talk pages of Wikipedia and the reader comments on were my absolute favorites,” he said. “These are my people. I shamelessly plagiarized their words -- even their misspellings and gramatical errors -- at every opportunity, combining the anonymous messages with recycled content from ‘Marienbad My Love’ and entries from my dream journal. I repeatedly cut and pasted and searched and replaced, transforming the various writings into a completely new and unique literary work.”

Yeah. I think that says it all, really, don't you? Especially the fact that he describes it as not so much "writing" (which of course, it pretty much isn't in any real sense) as "compiling words". Hear that 'whoosh!'? That's the actual point of NaNoWrimo, going over his head.
Doctor Glasses

Because I'm Bored, You Get The Geektastic Portion of My Christmas List

Though to be fair, some of ya'll may want these for yourselves anyway, so... yeah. This is what everyone gets for me surfing ThinkGeek out of boredom when I have no real spending money outside of like, $10 cash a week (debit cards are eeeeevil).

That black one is both chic and a perfect fit for my current laptop, for which I don't have a good, solid, small bag and which of course is a pain to lug around with the cord and all. It's not even expensive, either, but of course, I don't exactly have cash to burn, so it'll have to reside on the "probably won't get it because my parents hate shopping online" end of the Christmas list this year. Damn you, crappy economy. :P

Not that I have a passport to put in it, but if I did... Because the idea of RFID-based ID including passports freaks me the fuck out. Actually, I'll confess: I don't plan to get a passport anytime soon, so this isn't actually on my Christmas list. But c'mon... Bad. Ass.

I am such a tea geek. But to be fair, it's probably the cheapest fancy teapot I've ever seen even online.

I also have to confess that this seems like it would be nice.

ThinkGeek is probably the quirkiest store I've come across, really. Y'know. Needless to say.
Doctor Glasses


Okay, so, people who're members of ONTD or Twatlight probably saw this like, last week, since both comms apparently found it hilarious, partly because they had probably a little more fun than is quite healthy trolling the hell out of it (but, they tended to be amusing comments anyway, so I personally forgive them).

But anyway, I thought this one, more recent than that (Firefox loaded the page again thanks to me telling it to open my old tabs, what can I say?), was still kind of priceless enough to share:

"Guys, I think Twilight was part of the Skrulls' plan to invade the world. This is bad news because it was obviously effective on 30% of the population.

And Stephanie Meyer is a Skrull.

We have to do something about this. Where are the superheroes when you need them?
Posted by: Concerned Citizen | Nov 20, 2008 4:54:14 PM "

Yeah, basically Lorrie whatsherface had no concept what trolleriffic, snarktastic havoc she would unleash from both allowing open comments and asking a stupid question, namely, "Which is better, Harry Potter or Twilight?" Which of course is the stupidest question ever since they have almost nothing in common, and she quite obviously only asked it at all because she's completely unoriginal and noticed that the Twitards (not Twilighters, people who just happen to really like Twilight, mind, but the Twitards) keep making the inexplicable comparison. In other words, just because HP is popular, Twilight gets not only compared to it but also gets all kinds of undeserved "OMG ITS TOTALLY THE NEXT HP" buzz. Undeserved, of course, because it's nowhere near being the instant classic that HP was, and will probably go the way of Flowers in the Attic; namely, it will someday be remembered, if at all, as a trashy little guilty pleasure a bunch of the current generation read back when they were young.

I love though how most of the pro-Twilight responses are something along the lines of (and yes, this is a real comment):

"no guys...why do you dont like twilight?.... :(
Posted by: twilight! XD | Nov 20, 2008 6:27:52 PM "

At least that one isn't incoherently bitching about how Twilight is better just because it's OMG GORNWUP LOVE STORY~!!! whereas HP is totally noooooooooot (nevermind that the fifth book was nominated for an adult book award, or that most adults could read it and enjoy it just fine. And never mind that the Young Girl Falls For Bad Boy, Cue Angst & Melodrama plot is possibly even more cliche - and even less refreshingly original in Twilight - than HP's epic heroic journey plots were. Or the fact that while Jo Rowling is hardly the world's most astoundingly good writer - that honor possibly falls to say, Jim Butcher or Eoin Colfer, lately - well, let's just say that she never used words like "dazzle" or "chagrin" more than once per page).
Doctor Glasses

So, Yeah... High School Musical Makes No Sense

This is a clip of "Stick to the Status Quo", one of the early numbers in the first High School Musical movie. Now, I hadn't seen HSM before, and I normally am at least amenable to the musical form in all its surreality and sillyness, but I already found a number of things wrong with this clip. I mean, obviously, other than the horrible choreography, awful lyrics, mediocre singing, and overly stagey acting, of course.

1.) AHAHAAHA. I love how the Disney writers seem to think it's still not "cool" for high school guys to cook. Especially if they're jocks! Because that totally will not be acceptable at all to their peers! Dude, three quarters of my culinary class back in high school? GUYS. Including? AT LEAST THREE JOCKS. Guys = liking food. Learning to prepare it isn't girly anymore Disney. Emeril Lagasse kind of already put the last nail in that coffin a long, long time ago. Thanks for assuming we still live in the 1950's, with them goshdarned gender stereotypes preventing the menfolk from OMG MAKING TASTY FOOD FOR THEMSELVES.

2.) I like how they assume that not only do scholastic nerds - even the frickin Type A nerds - only, only, only care about studying, but that GASP! music and dancing!? FUN!? HOW EVIL! to them. Right, because it's not at all like the kids who would ENJOY studying and learning would ever be open-minded to new experiences. And they totally, 100% all of them would be averse to physical activity in any way. Because all nerds are totally just pasty-faced drones who only care about what's in their textbook! And no type-A overachievers ever in a million years do a whole bunch of stuff outside of their textbooks if for other reason than it's nice padding for their college resume. Nope, they completely don't ever do anything except do homework and read their textbooks! That's not a bizarre assertion to make at all!

3.) Does Disney even REALIZE how many so-called "slackers" are only "slackers" because they don't care about school so much as enjoying life? And that in fact, the slacker druggie community (come on, those kids are totally potheads, even if the writers can't say it outright) is actually quite involved in the creative fields? And that in fact, slackers would totally not freak out if they discovered their friends played cello, but more likely react with a "oh, hey, that's cool man"?

And just think: I didn't even touch the fact that the people making fun of the guy who wants to act in the school musical in fact are... singing their hearts out and doing random showy dance moves (mostly BAD showy dance moves). Often cheerfully. Even the ones who've just supposedly been hideously rejected by their peers are now suddenly, happily dancing with those same brutally mean "friends".

And yes, I realize that "it's a musical, it's supposed to have random song and dance numbers!" See, the problem is... that kind of setup? Makes it really goddamned hard to suspend my disbelief. The very fact that the two main kids are trying out for the school musical? Calls way, way too much attention to the you know, MUSICAL aspect, and makes the whole thing seem so... precious. Like "omg look at us you guyz!!! It's a musical, about a guy n this girl and they're trying out for a musical but their entire school is like, sooooo harsh and they sing to them about why it's bad for them to sing! And emphasize how singing and dancing are bad, bad things, by like, dancing in a huge number!"

It's not clever or well-made enough to have that kind of premise, to be honest. I mean, I could actually see it if it were done like the 2002 film version of Chicago, where it's in characters' heads or something, and had better... um, everything. But it's not. It's a straightforward musical... where people make fun of the guy who wants to be in a musical. Through musical numbers.

Just... just... no. Sorry. That's too stupid even for a musical, hell, even for a KIDS musical, it's too stupid.

Somebody please again tell me how the fuck this became a big enough hit to get two sequels, including one with a theatrical release? Because... I'm thinkin' now that the main reason is, as they say in Dogma: "Somebody sold their soul for that one."
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    Stick to the Status Quo( AKA "Really Awful Song That Gets Stuck In Yer Head")
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