Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Obligatory Canadian Comics Content
I asked him that if in the light of recent events, it was in questionable taste publishing a book that could be read by the husbands, wives and more importantly the children (it is a comic after all) of the victims of 9/11 and the Atocha station bombing? ... I finally asked him if, human being to human being, he didn't feel at least a twinge of morality or conscience? He said, everyone's entitled to their opinion.

Except the poor souls who died in 9/11 and at Atocha.
A member of the Bush administration? No, the person being discussed is an employee of CrossGen Comics, in an incident related by Ian Edginton. The book they're discussing is called American Power, the preview issue of which is CrossGen's contribution to this year's Free Comic Book Day, and whose cover features "a muscle-bound, gimp type hero punching out Osama Bin Laden." More here (four pages worth and a bit of the fifth).

Update: Laura points to this Newsarama interview with Edginton as well.
Way to Go, Atrios!

Nice (and long!) appearance on The Majority Report on Air America. Streaming feed tip-top now!
On Air America Now

Whew, finally got it tuned in - had to go, ironically, one twist to the right of the local Bloomberg station. And it's overwhelmed with static and a high whine every time our fax machine goes off. But it's there! And I was just in time to hear Al Franken throw it over to Wally Ballou! Goodness knows how many Bob & Ray fans are out there (Franken is just explaining about them now), but what a delightful surprise! And Robert Smigel played the other part... Now they have Ben Stein on... oh man, this is going to be so much fun when I can sneak a listen...
Celebrating Women - 31 March 2004

Hope you've enjoyed this series, which I'm wrapping up as Women's History Month ends today. (If you still want your fix, I'd like to again recommend bean's "On this day in women's history" posts over at Alas, A Blog.)

While looking through the news sites for mentions of women today, I discovered that the Guardian has a gender issues section. It doesn't include all op-eds, such as this one, but it looks to be a handy resource.

I wanted to conclude this series on happy notes, but the news seems to be full of stories that illustrate how far women still have to go to achieve true equality in our world. The venture capitalist story I mentioned last Friday still has legs. In the UK, the PM's wife talked today about the criminal justice system's failure to cater properly for women, and the pay gap between women who work part-time and men who work full-time is widening. Amnesty International reports a sharp increase in violence against women in Iraq, not surprisingly. A Bollywood actress doesn't feel safe on India's streets due to "Eve teasing."

A bit of positive news, then: According to Census Bureau statistics released this month, the number of women-owned businesses in the United States grew at double the rate for all businesses between 1992 and 2002. The International Women's Forum has been visiting Los Alamos and Santa Fe to give out their annual Women of Distinction awards. In Africa, more women are receiving antenatal care. And Elaina Rose, an associate professor at the University of Washington, says that highly educated women are more likely to marry now than they were in 1980, in response to MoDo and others who irresponsibly perpetuate certain "popular" myths. I love the last part of the article:
Rose, 43, also discovered her personal prospects for marriage weren't as bad as she thought they were. After being divorced for several years, she tried an online dating service.

"As the data were crunching away, literally, and I believed Maureen Dowd as well, I met the man of my dreams," she said. They got married last summer.

Rose, who has a doctoral degree in economics, said she has more education than her husband, based on the U.S. Census' measures.

"But the marriage is certainly hypergamous in a number of respects," she said.
And that's a wrap!
Silly Site o' the Day

You know, I could save myself a lot of work by just cannibalizing Hanan Levin's Grow-a-Brain weblog for the rest of the year. But that's cheating, so I'll try to limit myself. Today's choice is the Top Twenty Drug-Using Cartoon Suspects.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Milestone Aimed For and Met

Happy blogiversary to Amy Sullivan of Political Aims (now part of the Gadflyer)!
We're on the Air and Everywhere

Looks like Air America will be off to a great start tomorrow as far as progressive bloggers are concerned. Scheduled to appear on the Majority Report are Atrios (tomorrow), Kos, the editor of Liberal Oasis, and sooner or later Julia, who did a show run-through yesterday with hosts Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder. Hey folks, I give good radio too, honest! :)
Celebrating Women - 30 March 2004

With the announcement today that the Statue of Liberty will reopen this summer (see my post about this from last December 24, to which I can only add, I think it's criminal that $5.9 million of the $7 million needed had to come from private donations rather than the government), I thought I'd take a look at women immortalized in stone:

  • Women on Pedestals is a great place to start. The site lists 31 statues of women throughout the US, linking to bio pages (but, alas, not to pictures), and detailing where the statues are, their approximate size and primary materials used in their creation.

  • Going back through history, The Center for the Study of the Eurasian Nomads (CSEN) takes a look at Statues of Sauromatian and Sarmatian Women.

  • Here are some monuments and memorials to women warriors in the US. I'd rather peacemakers got more statues, but hey, if your nation is going to honor male warriors it's only appropriate to honor female ones as well.

  • The Nevada Women's History Project informs us that "Of the ninety-seven statues currently in Statuary Hall, only six are of women," and they ran a successful campaign designate Sarah Winnemucca as Nevada's second statue. They're currently raising funds to make this happen. I also think it's cool that NV's first statue (and only one so far) was sculpted by a woman.

  • Here's a history of the Queen Victoria statue in Ontario.

  • Here's a picture of the Britannia statue atop Town Hall in Liverpool, and here's one of Boudica and her two daughters at Westminster Bridge across from the Houses of Parliament.

  • This site makes an international and historical case for the placing of a Sculpture in Cardiff to celebrate & commemorate the start of the Womens March to Greenham Common in 1981. Very comprehensive (with lots of pictures of statues honoring women) but a bit hard on the eyes.

  • Here's some information on Marianne, the embodiment of the French Republic in the same way Britannia embodies Britain and the Statue of Liberty embodies the US. Here's more. Here are some pictures of the Mother Russia statue in Volgograd. Here's a photo of the Goddess of Democracy statue from the Tian'anmen Square movement of 1989. idea of liberty as a woman seems fairly popular. (Check out the bottom of this page for representations of the Statue of Liberty throughout the world.)

  • Lastly, check out the plans for the World's Tallest Woman, the Spirit of Houston.
  • Silly Site o' the Day

    I was reading Funny Times yesterday during my commute and was pretty taken with a piece by Steve Bhaerman, aka Swami Beyondananda. When I looked at his website to see if I could link to it, I discovered the link wasn't working. Steve confirmed in e-mail that "there is a glitch on the website right now in finding it," but he was kind enough to give me permission to reprint it in full. Firesign fans in particular should appreciate the rapid-fire wordplay.

    2004 State of the Universe Address
    by Swami Beyondananda

    Knowing how busy most of us have been, you probably haven't stopped to ask, "I wonder how the Universe is doing." Well, since you didn’t ask, I will tell you. Just fine, thank you. Ever-changing, same as always. Purring in perfection. The Universe continues expanding, and I don't care what the economists are saying, an expanding Universe means more jobs for everyone. Overall activity is up, and when the Universe puts on its overalls, you know it's gonna be a busy year.

    Meanwhile back on earth, the cosmos are drawing us forth. Even George Bush. He recently announced plans to have a man on Mars by 2025. As if we didn’t have enough Mars energy these days. You never hear them talking about putting a woman on Venus, do you?

    Going to Mars. That is the George Bush answer to global warming and environmental destruction. Well, we're just about done with this planet. Time to mosey on to greener -- I mean redder -- pastures. The E.T.s are very concerned. Right after the Mars probe landed, the headline in the Intergalactic Gazette was: "There Goes the Neighborhood."

    Fortunately, there has been an infusion of angelic energy on Earth over the past year. Have you felt it? And those angels have upgraded their entire system. Now it's every time a cell phone rings, an angel gets his wings. The activity is everywhere. Even the Fox network is coming out with an angel show this year. But you know Fox, they're a little edgy. The new show is going to be called "Inappropriately Touched By An Angel."

    And we will need all of the angelic energy we can get, because I have to tell you, the forces of endarkenment made great strides last year, leaving their footprints on the backs of far too many. Sadly, 2003 was the year that the Irony Curtain descended over America -- the invisible wall of impropaganda they put up to separate the people from the truth. And when Michael Moore broke through the soundless barrier at the Academy Awards Show, it was a moment of truth in a year that was short on truthful moments. His courage to speak the truth at a time when lie-ability appeared to be an asset makes him the leading candidate for this year's NoBull Prize.

    Yes, the body politic has been inundated with so much toxic BS, our skeptic system has overflowed and we've ended up swallowing toxic ironies whole. This is called "irony deficiency." Seeing a doctor won't help, but seeing a paradox will.

    If a Speech Freely Falls in the Forest, and There is No One There to Hear it — is it Still Free Speech?

    True, this is a dangerous world, and while Mr. Cheney can hide himself in some undisclosed location, Mr. Bush has to make an appearance from time to time, and must be protected at all costs ... from free speech. So to make sure that criticism of his policies doesn't become massive enough to reach critical mass, protesters are now cordoned behind barbed wire in what are called ... and I am not making this up ... free speech zones. So Americans are still free to speak freely -- as long as no one can hear them.

    Now I bet many Americans haven't even heard of these free speech zones, and that is not surprising. It was one of those stories that went uncovered while the media was busy assaulting us with weapons of mass distraction. Like what just happened at the Super Bowl. CBS -- which apparently wants us to see only the B.S. they want us to see -- refused to run a MoveOn ad critical of George Bush. Meanwhile, their affiliate MTV (or, as it has come to be known, Empty Vee) happily distracted us with the Janet Jackson /Justin Timberlake fiasco. This is all too typical of mass media nowadays -- an overwillingness to expose a little boob, and an underwillingness to expose a big one.

    You can bet the Super Bowl will be entirely different in 2005. Rev. Jerry Falwell was very upset at what he called "trashy titillation and toilet humor" and vowed to clean it up. He has proposed that next year's half-time entertainment be provided by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the event be renamed the Tidy Bowl.

    Strike While the Irony is Hot!

    So the body politic must strengthen itself by doing free press presses and pumping ironies. You know the old saying, "Strike while the irony is hot!"

    Like this one: The best way to make peace is by making war. I think Dick Cheney said it best: "We will keep fighting our war for peace, even if it takes forever!"

    The War in Iraq is less than a year old, and it has cost us over $90 billion. That is $246,575,342 a day! Do the math. And if you find the math difficult to fathom, how about the aftermath? Who will foot the bill for this misadventure? I will tell you. That bill will be placed squarely at our children's feet. Years and years of bleeding off our precious livelihood to pay for weapons of deadlihood. No wonder the 'hood is so deadly!

    Now of course there are those in the administration who say you gotta fight fire with fire, right? Well, I've been talking with some firemen lately, and you know what? They say, "No, you fight fire with WATER..." We should be dampening support for those terrorists, and instead we seem to be firing them up. So here we are, caught between Iraq and a harder place, and unable to pull out because we wouldn't want to lose face. Now I don't know whose face is being saved over there, but for sure ass is being lost -- ours and theirs. War may or may not be face-saving, but it is always ass-losing. So we the people must decide whether saving their face is worth losing our ass.

    And this thing about preemptive war being a new policy -- not true. There's nothing new about it. It is old, very old. Listen, Mr. Bush, I know you sometimes get words mixed up, but Jesus did NOT say, "Doo doo unto others BEFORE they can doo doo unto you."

    Seriousness is Threatening Our Right to Laugh

    The world is in such serious condition, the Earth's protective laugh force has been compromised. That's right. Scientists have discovered a hole in the Bozone Layer -- our planetary clown chakra -- because not enough levity is rising.
    The good news is, we have founded the Right to Laugh Party ... one big party, everyone is invited .. to help us all wake up laughing, and leave laughter in our wake. Why laughter? Well most Americans agree there's definitely something funny going on, so why not use comedy to laugh those clowns out of power -- which in and of itself will raise the laugh-expectancy on the planet.

    Because our right to laugh is being compromised by laugh-threatening seriousness. Everywhere I go, I see people not laughing. People are saying to me, "I don’t understand it. I coulda sworn we voted for West Wing. How'd we end up with the Sopranos?"

    The Trillion Dollar Question

    Listen. A trillion dollars disappeared from the Defense Department accounts last year. Poof, like that. Totally unaccounted for. Did you see that on Unsolved Mysteries? Maybe it was on and I missed it. The Trillion Dollar Question. Now, there's a reality TV show I would watch. Another story covered up because the media failed to cover it. If we want the body politic to recover, we must uncover the under-covered stories that have been covered over. For indeed the best antidote for private excess is public access.

    If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, do you know what he'd be saying? First thing he'd say is, "Boy ...do I feel OLD!" But then he would say that we are sovereign citizens, not subjects, and the government is our servant, not the other way around. And we are not being served very well by our servants. They are serving themselves first, their cronies second, and we the people are picking up the tab. Thomas Jefferson, radical that he was, would be saying, "Forget those airline passengers. Let's strip search the government!"

    Time for a New Precedent

    The good news is we don't need a revolution in this country. We've already had one, thank you. What we need now is an American Evolution where we the people evolve into the enlightened citizens our Founding Fathers designed this government for. We must choose a new precedent, because if we keep doing what we've done we will only get what we’ve gotten. Choose a new precedent ... and a new President will follow. So we at the Right to Laugh Party put forth this precedent: Government of the people, by the people, for the people where the government does OUR bidding, not the bidding of the highest bidder.

    Now I know we have counted on the Democrats in the past to represent the people's interests, but ever since they suffered that electile dysfunction back in 2000, those Democrats can't seem to get an election, can they? For the past ten years, the Republicans have been playing hardball. Meanwhile, the Democrats have been playing hardly-have-balls.
    So that is why we must elect ourselves. It is only because of citizens like yourselves that Dr. Dean was able to alert the American public to the dangers of Mad Cowboy Disease (where the body politic is put into a state of cattlepsy) ... and citizens like you who will continue to awaken the body politic no matter who the candidates are. Yes, we need to wake up laughing, and wake up loving, so we can once and for all heal the body politic and cure electile dysfunction.

    Blisskrieg Launched, All Out Peace Declared

    Last year, we launched the Blisskrieg and declared all out peace. All those who have been developing inner peace, time to let it all out. And time to bring that force of consciousness into the political realm. That is why it is my mission to turn devotees into votees, and offer up another new precedent: Religions of the world helping people practice the Golden Rule instead of saying, "We're going to heaven... and everyone else can go to hell."

    So how do we bring that blisskrieg home? First of all, we must really recognize the foolishness of getting even, and get odd instead. An eye for an eye will only create blindness. Instead of doing what has never worked, why not honor the odd possibility that by doing something different, we can actually get different results? Because the main reason for toxic human conditions is toxic human conditioning. Generations of this toxicity has left a lot of residoodoo.

    Through the human jestive system, we can transmute this toxic residoodoo into harmless laughter that will improve the atmosphere and restore the Bozone Layer. Laughter will help the body politic de-Tex -- oops, I mean detox -- and bring down the irony curtain as well.

    Pray It Forward!

    Now listen, even if we can't prove God exists, we know love exists ... and even if religion doesn't work, prayer still does. So pray it forward. Forget the idea that the messiah is going to come down and save the world. Did Jesus say, "Now don't do a thing till I return?" No! We have met the messiah, and he is US! Who needs a bail out from above? This is supply-side spirituality.

    Pray in any religion, pray in all of them. My guru, Harry Cohen Baba, the Garment Center Saint, was Jewish, had a Hindu ashram, and prayed to Buddha and Jesus. "Any one of these could be right," he explained, "so why put all your begs in one askit?" No one should be excluded, not even atheists. In fact, it is for their benefit that I created my Ultimate Meditation Tape -- which is, of course, blank. Because if we can't pray together, we don't have a prayer.

    Armageddon ... or Disarmageddon?

    The choice is ours, every day and every minute ... love or fear. Will we continue down the well worn path to armageddon ... or take the road less traveled to disarmageddon instead? Are we going to buy into original sin, or go for humanifest destiny where we actually realize our human potential? Because no matter what I see on the 6 o'clock news I believe we have the potential to be human, that mankind can treat man kindly, and that we can bring about Nonjudgment Day where all heaven will break loose!

    But we must enlighten up! How many of you are willing to take a vow of levity? All those willing to take a vow of levity ... please rise! Repeat after me: "All for fun, and fun for all!" I now pronounce you duly absurdified.

    May you laugh, laugh, laugh till the sacred cows come home. For truly the farce is with us.

    © Copyright 2004 by Steve Bhaerman. All rights reserved.

    Steve confirms that he is indeed a Firesign fan, and adds that he "had a great telephone conversation with Phil Proctor several years ago. I was happy that he'd heard of my work." He also announces that his travelling show will be in NYC this October, and he'll keep me posted, so I'll certainly pass that news onto all of you.
    Obligatory Canadian Comics Content

    If I don't blog about this, I'll forget to watch it when I get home. Go to this site to see the new AmEx Seinfeld/Superman ads. And I really enjoyed this blog post from Steve Lieber talking about panel rhythm, but then I'm a process wonk so I would. Lastly, via Laura Gjovaag, I learned that Rachel "Amy Unbounded" Hartman has a blog, so of course I had to blogroll her immediately. (Yes, our younger cat is named for Rachel's character.)

    Monday, March 29, 2004

    A Peep at Peeps

    Robin didn't grow up around Peeps, so he had no appreciation for this entry from Terri. I know a few people who'd probably love it, though. I mean, besides me. Never touch the stuff, m'self. Update: It's spreading.
    Cents and Gullibility

    Budgie wonders what it is about us. As if in response, via Neil Gaiman, someone alertly spotted the follow-up to the dragon hoax story. Which I guess is like, what, a cousin to Leigh Ann Wilson's rock story (see Flea-Smitten below)?
    From the Saved Items Folder...

  • Tristero wrote a wonderful essay last week about how the idea of "spreading democracy" can be read as so much provincialism. He also attempts to see recent events from what might be the POV of bin Laden, the terrorist muckety-muck whose hands we seem to be playing right into. [Update: For a different bin Laden POV, try Tony Hendra's latest. Via Leah at Corrente.]

  • In the same vein, Barista reviews/analyzes Hidalgo.

  • Steve Gilliard writes about Eggs Benedict. Hoorah, I now finally know how to make Hollandaise sauce!

  • Wonkette announces that the Sloganator Memorial site has moved here.

  • Lastly, Luis Toro at the American Street claims that today is César Chávez Day, but I'm fairly sure that's on Wednesday.
  • Flea-Smitten

    Recommended reading: The tale of the mysterious rock that came in the mail, by Flea aka Leigh Anne Wilson; stop on by and congratulate her on her mention in the Chicago Tribune!
    When Sauce for the Goose Isn't Sauce for the Gander

    Something of which voters need to be keenly aware this year is the tendency of Republicans to criticize Democrats every time the Dems touch on a subject they feel should be traditionally associated with them, claiming in a huff "how dare they politicize this?!" as if they (Repubs) themselves hadn't been doing that all along. Case in point, via Julia, is the Bush campaign calling John Kerry's remarks at the New North Side Baptist Church "beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse and a sad exploitation of Scripture for a political attack." Yep, it's a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation. You don't invoke spirituality and you cede that entire subject matter (and base) to the Repubs; you do and you're accused of being inappropriate. Please, someone get these idiots out of power. Update: Kevin Raybould at LeanLeft has more to say about this, to which liberal Catholic Melanie Mattson says "amen." And Len Cleavelin weighs in as well.
    Celebrating Women - 29 March 2004

    Alas, it's still news whenever an ad campaign decides to use real women instead of stick figures. Plus, we large gals tend to make less money and, via Len Cleavelin, sometimes even occupations that have been havens for fat women in the past can become discriminatory.

    Here are some link pages for websites working to change the perception (including self-perception) of fat women:

  • Uppity Women's fat positive book list and other fat positive links

  • SeaFATtle's fat acceptance link page

  • Mama Sutra's fat acceptance and body esteem link page

  • FaT GiRL's link page

    Tish Parmeley at Fatshadow probably has more; it's hard to Google on "fat" and "women" without getting fetishistic sex pages.
  • Silly Site o' the Day

    MadKane led me to the growabrain blog, from which it looks like I'll be taking lots of silly sites. Today's pick is the Pledge of Allegiance as a PowerPoint presentation.

    Sunday, March 28, 2004

    Hire Education

    Congratulations to my friend Leah Adezio and to her son Stephen on his acceptance to Drexel's 5-year engineering co-op program!
    But Is It Art?

    I can't say what's more disturbing, this display (via Robin) or this one (sorry, forget which blogger referred to it). No, I take it back, I know which one's more disturbing.
    The Six-Hour Week

    Budgie reminds us that it's now British Summer Time. Here in the US, Daylight Savings Time doesn't kick in until next Sunday. So adjust your mental clocks accordingly - for this next week, when it's noon in NY it'll actually be 6 PM in Great Britain, not 5 PM.
    Silly Site o' the Day

    Via Budgie, apparently Marvin the Paranoid Android has a new job as a web server.
    Celebrating Women - 28 March 2004

    Just about a year ago I talked about baseball, specifically as regards gender integration. And I just finished watching A League of Their Own again so, aside from the fact that Rob and I realized Rosie O'Donnell was doing the same voice and attitude here as she did in Tarzan (we kept looking at each other saying "Best friend coming through!"), I thought I'd give another salute today to the All American Girls Professional Baseball League as well as the current American Women's Baseball League, the Women's Baseball League, Inc. and, closer to home, the New York Women's Baseball Association.

    Saturday, March 27, 2004

    oh my dear god NOOOOOO!

    I didn't mean to, SZ, really, I'm so sorry! I was just having fun, honest! Had I but known the awesome power of my off-the-cuff musings...
    Brief LC Blogaround

    Just until Robin wakes up and I have to go out to the post office by our new address and find out exactly what it is (opinions differ) and pick up a change-of-address kit, then off to do other new-apartment-related errands for much of the afternoon to escape the inevitable open-house noises upstairs (only a few more weekends of putting up with that, yay!). I think this week I'll concentrate (in reverse alphabetical order by first name or handle) on the Liberal Coalition members who don't have properly working RSS feeds 'cause I skipped them last time and there are fewer of them:

  • Wanda at Words On A Page, who doesn't have permalinks either, notes that George W. Bush's daughters don't share their father's politics, although they do share his penchant for partying. I actually find it weirder that "Second Daughter" Mary Cheney shares her father's politics.

  • T. Rex's scorecards are always great. This week he asks "Where are they now?"

  • Mike Stabile at Left is Right recommends Noam Chomsky's new blog, which I'd put on my sidebar but, I dunno, it seems pretty disjointed so far, and I'm given to understand that although they're Chomsky's words he's not really sitting there blogging them himself, they're just essays taken from elsewhere (a message board, I think). Mike also brings news that Jeb Bush may be eyeing a presidential run in 2008. Lastly, I've bookmarked Mike's "Friday Fun" archives for future Silly Site reference. Why the Atom RSS feed works for Friday Fun and not for Left is Right is anyone's guess, but then I can't figure out why, when I click on an individual entry/item on many Blogspot blogs - including mine - Bloglines doesn't take me to that entry but to the first site linked to... my guess is it's probably a short-term Blogger problem...

  • Keith Kisser at The Invisible Library reiterates the news going around the blogosphere about China banning blogs. But nobody seems to be reporting this correctly. From what I've been able to ascertain, the hosting services that were shut down are apparently local ones, Blogbus.com and blogcn.com, (both load for me), not TypePad or Blogger or any of the familiar names we know here.

    [Update: So far as I know, Yan's information about the TypePad/Blogger ban has still not been reported by any non-blog news sources and, while I regret using the words "possible misinformation" to describe her dissemination of hearsay, I've also asked her to provide me with corroborating URLs. So far she's only told me about another weblog that mentions the supposed Typepad ban. I await actual news site confirmation, as with the Blogbus and blogcn situation.]

  • Bryant Gries of Make me a Commentator! does another nice LC mini-blogaround, and still has the fortitude to read David Limbaugh.

    That's it; off to read the LC blogs that are feeding to me correctly (thanks, Maru and MercuryX23 and Tony!). Might add to this brief blogaround if something there strikes my fancy...
  • Celebrating Women - 27 March 2004

    Nice article by Laura Flanders in the Guardian about Bush's crappy to non-existent feminist credentials. Ruth Rosen gives a nice plug to Flanders' new book Bushwomen, as does Susan Douglas. Flanders' eponymous website is worth checking out as well.

    And an update to yesterday's post - Mark Kleiman has, in the comment section and his blog, confirmed that Kelly is his sister, and suggested I reread her essay, which I now have and, you know, she really does answer all the "but what about...?" questions I had. Worth a second glance, and a second plug. I'm still not totally sure that "Men dressing as women are dressing down," considering the Freestyle dressing movement and a certain "executive transvestite" whom I consider fairly aware of gender issues, but she makes some persuasive points and good connections.
    Silly Site o' the Day

    Rana at Frogs and Ravens says she found this Dyson vacuum cleaner ad-disguised-as-a-game (or is that vice versa?) from Tish Parmeley at Fatshadow, so I'm crediting/blaming them both.

    Friday, March 26, 2004

    Crib Sheet

    Via Wonkette, a nice resource called Footnote TV. Created by journalist Steven Lee, the site encourages readers to "look for your favorite TV shows and read about the real-life issues that have inspired episodes and skits." I remain skeptical - no footnotes for any Simpsons episodes? :)
    Modern History

    I always get a bit of a thrill from certain photos. Probably the sentimental streak in me. Oliver Willis has a great picture here from last night's "Democrats United" fundraising dinner (I'm sure there's an interesting "compare and contrast with the RTCA affair" awaiting some enterprising blogger!). I like this one too; it's by Pulitzer Prize winner Pablo Martinez Monsivais. There's just something about having certain figures of history together on the same stage at the same time that's way cool to me.
    The Mournful Song Still Resonates

    Kevin Keith at LeanLeft posts a remembrance of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, 93 years ago yesterday.
    Obligatory Canadian Comics Content

    Check out Cliff Meth's new column about Marie Severin, one of the most gracious women it's ever been my pleasure to know. Over at the Washington Monthly, Joe Sacco muses about love and politics. And here's an update on CrossGen, for those interested.
    Making a Mockery of Self-Mutilation

    Susie Madrak (among others) reports on the Georgia legislation outlining punishment for female genital mutiliation, specifically the ban on voluntary piercings. Now, I'm all with them that piercing is absolutely a form of self-mutiliation, I've been saying that for years. But see, to me this is a classic case of not agreeing with a personal preference but defending the right of someone to make whatever choice they want. I have a huge personal hang-up on facial piercings - it took me 30 years to screw up enough courage to pierce my ears, only once in each lobe thank you very much - and don't even get me started on even the idea of doing that to sensitive genitalia. But again, I recognize this as my personal hangup. So you know, if these Georgians are as squeamish as I am about such things, I suggest they do what I do regarding excessive voluntary piercing - if it's a friend or personal acquaintance, ignore it as best you can in the interest of your relationship with the pierce-ee; otherwise, if you see it on TV or if it's a complete stranger and you're sitting in a restaurant watching them pass by and you're busy making fun of the way they dress anyway, feel free to mock the hell out of it sotto voce. After all, one must assume they're doing the same thing to you behind your back, n'est ce pas?
    Fiction Thrice Removed

    So SZ passes along a few news stories she's been gathering about people whose lives have changed (or even ended) after seeing The Passion of the Christ. And in the comments, I'm wondering how many of these tales will wind up debunked on Snopes, but I also think it would be a cool idea to have a contest to see who can make up the most outrageous-yet-believable Passion-reaction tale.

    Then I see, via TBogg, that there's a website doing it for real. Now mind you, I'm not one to suggest that people make up stories regarding a made-up story based on a made-up story, but you know, if the passion strikes you...
    She's Rosie, Really!

    Nutshell Kid Julia brings us Chicken Hawks with Rice. She has no idea how much I loved that TV special. Even after all these years I can still sing along to her parody...
    Probing the Frontiers

    Two pass-alongs to recommend:

    Via Jesse at Pandagon, a site called MemeOrandum "presents a distinctly readable and relevant hourly synopsis of the latest online news and opinion, combining weblog commentary with traditional news reports." It seems very heavily skewed towards blog chatter. I've added it to the Round-Ups section of my sidebar.

    And via Kevin Drum now of Political Animal, a group of scientists has started "a blog called The Panda's Thumb, dedicated to debunking the daily assaults on evolution from the ID zealots and the religious right." That one's been placed into my "Blogs in Waiting" folder. Hey, I'm up to 230 regularly-read blogs, gimme a break. :)
    On Bended Knee-Slapping

    Lots of bloggers have been talking about the utter inappropriateness of George W. Bush's remarks at the Radio and Television Correspondents Association dinner in Washington on Wednesday. While my favorite line came from Wonkette's review of the after-party ("No hard data on this, but fake journalist Rob Corddry appeared to be the star-fucking object of choice for real journalists"), I also like the observation from Jesse at Pandagon: "It's not funny when the person who did the bad thing jokes about the bad thing." I wish I'd written something like that as an adjunct to my humor essay last month. Although the RTCA remarks are certainly in keeping with Bush's sneeringly arrogant frat-boy attitude towards just about everything that's characterized most of his life (from blowing up frogs for laughs as a kid to mocking death-row inmates to the "trifecta" quip of which Eric at the Hamster reminds us), I don't know that I'd blanketly condemn anything of this sort as obviously "not funny" as much as my usual head-shaking observation that most of the mean-spirited jokes that come out of his mouth are in highly questionable taste.

    Still, as evidenced by plenty of successful tasteless comics, this kind of humor does have a willing and appreciative audience. I just wish the audience in this case didn't consist of journalists. In fact, I'm rather saddened that folks aren't more appalled that the RTCA (which doesn't seem to have a website, by the way, and how weird is that for a media-based organization?) regularly hobnobs with the objects of its coverage, as they've apparently been doing for 60 years - so much for the idea of an adversarial (not to mention objective) press! And since the RTCA membership is therefore so subservient to power, you get a tailor-made positive reception for whatever nonsense spews out of the mouths of the powerful (which, in this stage-managed presidential race, counts for a lot). I reckon few of them even realize that Bush's "WMD search" wasn't intended at all as self-mockery, but ultimately as an indictment of them and their utterly ineffectual journalism - a sort of taunting schooyard dance - "I'm rubber, you're glue, I can get away with anything and you won't call me on it, see I'm doing it right now!" That would require some thought, some digging under the surface, some nuance - which I'm not sure too many people at that dinner possessed (besides Rob Corddry)...

    Update: For all the people who think Bush's remarks were in bad form, do you think this is as well?
    Celebrating Women - 26 March 2004

    Are you surprised that most rapacious, clawing, greedy, self-centered venture capitalists are men? I didn't think so.

    Trying to find updated news on the first Eucharistic service performed by two women in Dublin - apparently it was halted after protest threats - but the only paper covering it is subscription-only and my registration didn't take. In related news, a South African Dominee notes that The Passion has female stereotypes - no! really?

    Kelly Kleiman (any relation to Mark?) thinks that men dressing in drag constitutes "yet another variation on a dominant group appropriating the identity of a disempowered group for its own ends," but you know, I've seen a lot of women dress in drag too so I'm not sure about this one.

    Lastly, if you feel you really must apply to work in a "breastaurant," you might want to check for hidden cameras. Sadly, the economy is that bad that tons of women will continue to choose this route.
    Friday Cat Blogging (™ Kevin Drum)

    I must admit I'll miss the view from our window after it snows. Kitties will miss having wide windowsills on which to perch:

    Ah, but we all must make sacrifices during this relocation...
    Silly Site o' the Day

    Via Carolyn Ibis, here's your chance to create your own postage-type stamps. Not good for actually mailing stuff. Here's my first attempt:

    You can also create a whole sheet if you want.

    Thursday, March 25, 2004

    My 15 Minutes

    Well, okay, more like 9 minutes, at least until the Daily Show (with Al Franken as tonight's guest!). But before I retreat... okay, collapse in the bedroom, I wanted to profusely thank Seth "The Talking Dog" Farber for his lovely write-up of this blog! The timing is kinda funny as the resume he mentions, whilst still linkable from here, has just been de-emphasized with the pending move (see below) and imminent need to update the address and phone (or perhaps eliminate them altogether from the online version), and I don't feel as though I've been nearly as prolific this last week as the standard to which I'd tried to hold myself previously... but it also serves as the best incentive possible for me to keep plugging away here. Thanks muchly, Seth!

    Well, the apartment hunt is over, at least for this year! We've just signed a lease to take possession, as of April 1, of the top floor of a 3-family house (tenants already live on the first floor and basement) which literally lies on the border between North Riverdale and Yonkers. It's (barely) officially in the Bronx but the houses visible from the back window are in Yonkers; I've already taken to calling it "Bronkers." There's a little patch of land between the back patio fence and the back yards of those houses to which neither county has laid claim (tax reasons, I guess); Robin's thinking of either cultivating it for a garden or declaring it a sovereign country, possibly both.

    When we started flat-hunting I suspended my job-hunting, so I'll be staying with my current company for the moment, which is moving out of the city altogether into a building my boss just bought in Westchester County, right by the New Rochelle train station. Our personal move and the company's move should just about coincide; if the company lags a bit it'll put another 10-15 minutes onto my commute into the city but that's certainly doable. And if it doesn't - well, this weekend I plan to vacate the premises during the open-house hours to avoid the louder-every-weekend tromping about going on upstairs (yes, it could be worse, someone else could have moved in by now) and throughout this half-empty building, and take a ride or two on the Bee Line bus system up into Yonkers then across the county to check out the newly-bought office building and time the commute.

    I'm more psyched about this change than I'd first suspected; between the crowded subways with their too-small molded seats and the general push of the midtown crowds, it'll be nice to have Manhattan be a place to visit only on special occasions rather than a mandatory daily slog. And in a couple months I hope to go car-shopping with Dad. I haven't driven regularly in about 20 years, and I've never actually owned a car, but it will cut my daily commute down to about 15 minutes and finally enable us to visit friends and family without needing to rely on mass transit (which tends not to be so convenient once one gets into Jersey or Rockland County or even parts of Queens) so at this point in my life it's become a necessary evil.

    We will have a Packing Party in a few weeks, at which time we'll also give away or dump all the furniture we're not taking with us (the new place is a bit smaller than our current one), including our dining room set, a couple just-barely-holding-together bookcases, our toaster oven and the table on which it rests, my computer table, and loads of VHS storage drawers, likely with the tapes still inside (most were taped off the TV and are pretty worn). I think Robin's also getting rid of all his PAL Star Trek:TNG tapes. The books and comics stay. :) More about the party once I've decided on a date.
    Another Belated Milestone Noted

    Happy belated blogiversary to John McKay at archy!
    Celebrating Women - 25 March 2004

    Brief looks at what's going on around the country coinciding with National Women's History Month:

    The Seattle Police Department held its first Women in Law Enforcement symposium yesterday, to celebrate the contributions and history of women in the department.

    Nice musings on NWHM by the Ohio state auditor and a reporter for the (Middlefield CT) Town Times.

    The University of Louisville has lots of events planned.

    The Defense Department held a forum last Tuesday on "Emerging Issues for Military and Civilian Women in the Department of Defense: Impact on Readiness."

    In Richmond, IN, Girls Inc. teaches that history can be fun.

    And of course, New Jersey being what it is, the Star-Ledger reports on combining NWHM celebrations with National Craft Month. I was an NJ resident when I first started making gum-wrapper chains (which by the way I'm bequeathing to this guy), so perhaps the state lends itself to such things.
    Silly Site o' the Day

    Just in time for allergy season, Carolyn Ibis passes along this amusing 404 Error message reminding us that we all need a little more fresh air. My eyes and sinuses beg to differ.

    Wednesday, March 24, 2004

    Keeping Up with Comments

    So I said to myself, "self ('cause that's what I call myself), you really should look into Budgie's question about whether there's a way to be notified when you have new comments on your blog, particularly now that you're not there so much any more as you go through your blogroll via Bloglines." And then I said, "hey, wait a minute, didn't I subscribe to someone else's comments section RSS feed by mistake instead of subbing to their blog?" So I checked Haloscan, and sure enough, they offer an RSS feed for my comments sections. Moreover, when I click on a comment I'm shown the entire comment thread, including the fields in which to add any comments of my own. This stuff just gets more and more convenient!
    If I Had One, It'd Be Healthy Too

    Not sure if this qualifies as a Silly Site or Obligatory Comics Content or both, but Brooke Biggs talks about the advertising for an anti-syphilis campaign being run by the SF Department of Health, which I think is just too adorable (uh, in a mature-readers sense, I mean). Go to this page and click on each ad individually; some are one panel and others are 4-panel strips.
    Items to Save and Savor

    From my Saved Items folder, a few nifty and important essays:

    The Old Bloody Shirt, in which Billmon salutes Vietnam vets better than you'll ever see our current Administration do. One for the Koufax nominations file.

    Clarke, Clinton and Terrorism, some very nice observations from David Niewert on Richard Clarke and other former insiders who've had enough of this (mis)administration.

    Empire in Fact, where Melanie Mattson looks at the expansion of US military bases.
    Ms. Meets Maitena

    Don't know what's happened to the Women Doing Comics list I used to maintain for Friends of Lulu, it doesn't seem to have been updated since I handed it to my successor. If it ever gets going again, I hope they include Argentinian cartoonist Maitena. Via Christine Cupaiuolo at Ms. Musings, here's the New York Times profile on her.
    Celebrating Women Mommies - 24 March 2004

    Happy birthday, Mom! Here's what I wrote about my Mom last year. In honor of her, I thought I'd celebrate mothers today with these links:
  • MOTHERS (Mothers Ought To Have Equal Rights)
  • Mothers & More
  • Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc.
  • Mothers Arms
  • National Organization of Single Mothers
  • Entrepreneurial Mothers Association
  • National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, Inc.
  • San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace
  • Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo
  • Mothers for Clean Air
  • Mothers for Clean and Safe Vehicles
  • The latest on the Four Moms from NJ (via Atrios)
    Also, Margaret Cho wrote a lovely bit about her mom the other day which I wanted to share. And lastly, a brief history of Mothering Sunday, which I believe was this past Sunday in the UK.
  • Silly Site o' the Day

    Julia led me to the Project for the New American Empire, a very nice-looking site consisting of "a small group of dedicated patriots compelled to point a satirical finger at the naked Mandarins running the horror show." (This is the creepy group they're spoofing.) Julia and I are both among the "Seditionists We're Keeping a Close Eye on" listed on their Fifth Columnists page, and I couldn't be more delighted. I can hardly wait for their weblog to start up, and have put them in the Humor/Satire section of the sidebar.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2004

    Celebrating Women - 23 March 2004

    Tomorrow, four Bay Area women will be acknowledged for their community service by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Inc. at the group's sixth annual Madam C.J. Walker Business and Community Recognition Awards luncheon. Here are just a few of the boundless online resources for and by black women:
  • Blackgirl International
  • The National Congress of Black Women
  • Black Women in Sisterhood for Action
  • BlackLiving - Black Women's Network
  • Blackwomen (UK)
  • Black Women in Mathematics
  • Black Women in Sport Foundation
  • Association of Black Women Historians
  • Black Women's Health Imperative
  • Black Women for Wellness
  • The Center for Black Women's Wellness
  • Distinguished black women of past and present
  • International Black Women's Film Festival 2004
  • Black Women in Science Fiction
    That last one's for you, Carol Cooper!
  • Silly Site o' the Day

    From Avedon Carol comes this tour of Casa di Libri, a house made entirely of books. More "cool" than "silly," admittedly, although I suppose that depends on your point of view.

    Monday, March 22, 2004

    Real-Time Book Reviewing

    Looks like Tim Dunlop at The Road to Surfdom is reviewing Richard Clarke's book Against All Enemies chapter by chapter. Great excerpts, nice analysis. Start here, then here, then here.
    Another Bennie

    Okay, last Bloglines-related post of the day, I promise. I just found out what the "Saved Items" folder is for. Now I don't have to e-mail my Yahoo account any time I find a Silly Site; I can just save any item (blog entry) I want to keep in that folder until I've referenced it. Also good, I might add, for posts one might wish to nominate for Koufaxes come awards time... of course, it too only works for blogs proper with RSS feeds...
    Wytheville to the Rescue?

    I decided to try a little experiment with my Bloglines subscriptions. I've taken all the blogs that weren't giving me good feeds or any feeds at all, and (re)subscribed to them via the Wytheville Community College (WCC) RSSify connection. And all blogs seem to have WCC feeds that didn't show up when I just pasted in the URL itself. So I'm back up to being able to access all 225 blogs on my blogroll via Bloglines (with asterisks on 52 of them, or 23%). If you're on Bloglines, instead of putting in the URL of the blog into the "Subscribe by Entering URL" box, put in "http://www.wcc.vccs.edu/services/rssify/rssify.php?url=[the URL of the blog to which you want to subscribe]" and see if it doesn't come up for you as well.

    Now, I'm still not really sure how all this works, but as best I've been able to figure out here's the catch: if you subscribe to someone's blog this way and the blogger hasn't set themselves up for a feed, the connection can't actually notify Bloglines correctly of new blog entries/posts (which Bloglines calls "items"); if you hit "Preview" when you subscribe, you'll get the message "There are no items available for this blog. This could be because the blog has not been indexed yet, or it could be because Bloglines was unable to properly parse the blog." So you'll probably have to note that on your subscription list; I'm using asterisks there the way I've been doing on my sidebar.
    "This Is For All The Fat Girls!"

    A very happy belated blogiversary to Tish Parmeley at Fatshadow! Dunno how I missed that one, Bloglines tells me I'm updated on all her wonderful entries... *sigh*
    Celebrating Women - 22 March 2004

    A creepy article in the Calgary Herald about 500 native women vanished or murdered in the past 20 years led me to search on resources for native and aboriginal women in North America. Here are a few:

  • Native Women's Association of Canada
  • Niagara Chapter of Native Women
  • Quebec Native Women
  • Native Women's Resource Centre
  • Native American Women on the WWW
  • Native Women in the Arts
  • Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center
  • Famous Native Women in history
  • NativeWeb Resources for Women
  • Native Women Gallery
    And that's just the tip of the iceberg!
  • Silly Site o' the Day

    Via one of the Yahoo inkers groups, here are the Six Patron Saints of Graphic Design.

    Sunday, March 21, 2004

    Blogs in Waiting

    I used to have no real system to check up on new-to-me blogs where I was undecided as to when or whether they'd ever go on my sidebar. I'd just put them in a "Blogs in Waiting" Favorites folder I'd made then forget about it, because the Favorites folder's only on my home computer and I never seemed to get through my sidebar's blogroll anyway. Well, with Bloglines I can make up a "Blogs in Waiting" folder that's always available to me every time I open the page to read through my subscribed blogs, and stick in that folder every blog that someone's recommended I check out when I get a chance. I just went through Jude Camwell's list of female bloggers she likes and added just about everyone with an RSS feed to said folder.

    And yeah, for me that's gonna be the catch. If I can't subscribe to someone's blog through Bloglines, chances are I'll never get around to checking out their new entries. But as I type, I have precisely four new entries to read from the 183 (non-"Blogs in Waiting") weblogs to which I'm subscribed. Even with about five and a half percent of the feeds not interfacing properly with Bloglines, to be all caught up with that many blogs is... well, suffice it to say that it's something I haven't been able to do in a long while.
    Celebrating Women - 21 March 2004

    Lillian Robinson, principal of Women's Studies at Concordia University's Simone de Beauvoir Institute, is in the news today because she's written a book called Wonder Women: Feminisms and Superheroes which purports to explore female comic icons. So I thought I'd link to my friend Trina Robbins, the foremost "herstorian" of things of this sort, who did it first and is still doing it. If Trina were Canadian would she get this kind of publicity?
    Silly Sites o' the Day

    Time for a couple clocks, courtesy of Avedon Carol at The Sideshow. Here's the Bar Code Clock, which you can download to your system. And here's the VCR clock; be sure to click on the link below it to get a very funny 404 Error page.

    Franken Sense

    If you have a bit of time, you might want to read this 10-screen NY Times profile of Al Franken. I'm bookmarking it for myself to get back to it later. Via Barbara O'Brien at Mahablog, one of the tastiest Hot Links sources around!

    Saturday, March 20, 2004

    An Intriguing Birthday

    Happy birthday to PinkDreamPoppies at Alas, A Blog, who promises more info later.
    Grim Anniversary, The Flip Side

    Iraqi blogger Riverbend on the year of war.
    Happy Spring

    Okay, maybe I was a bit too skeptical. Looks like the day of protest garnered quite a bit of mainstream coverage, at least on the 'net. Of course, the spin is already being put on it in the form of comparing total turnout with last year's demonstrations, thereby attempting to belittle their impact. Don't fall for this one, folks; a hundred thousand in NYC and a million in Rome ain't "small." I don't watch American TV news as a rule, so I don't know what the coverage there has been. Will catch up on EuroNews tonight...
    Liberal Coalition Blogaround

    This'll probably be an all-day thing, as we have to take a second look in about an hour (I've started typing this at around 11:45 AM) at what we hope will be our new digs. It's also the first time I've done a blogaround since switching from my sidebar to Bloglines for my blogroll reading, so those LC members with no RSS feeds will probably be grouped toward the bottom. Incidentally, I'm finding out that some RSS feeds to Bloglines are better than others; so far I've had to put tick marks next to about 10 non-LC blogs out of my 183 subscriptions which apparently don't feed correctly (but to which I can still get via just clicking on their URLs), so I have to remember to check them daily even if Bloglines doesn't show any new entries for them. Still, that's like 5.46% so far, so not bad at all. Now I'll be checking to see how good the LC feeds are:
  • Alex Greenwood at Sooner Thought gives us Hypocrisy on Parade. I'm with him; I'm divorced as well (though still buds with my ex), but I don't go around judging other people's right to marry. Alex also notes that Jay Garner is among the Coalition of the Pissed.
  • My deepest condolences to David's parents on the loss of Pogo, as Amy notes on BlogAmY. And Pudge looks just like Datsa, which reminds me once more how lucky I am that my big boy beast is still with us. Also, David asks readers for their thoughts on the American Ideal. Lots more good stuff I'm not seeing on other blogs, worth a scroll down.
  • Andante at Collective Sigh practices the power of positive thinking, which I suppose applies to that 96-year-old woman about which she writes.
  • Bryant Gries (another 5.46 percenter) at Make me a Commentator! gives us some words from Arianna Huffington about personal responsibility, and does a nice mini-LC blogaround.
  • Charles2 at The Fulcrum reports that Bush is asking others to do his dirty work again, and also brings the sad news that pioneering MTV veejay J.J. Jackson has passed away, apparently of a heart attack. (Scott Baron at The Gamer's Nook also pays tribute to J.J.)
  • Chris Brown lets his "inner comic book mouse roar" as he attends and reports on the con that Robin and I were hoping to get to, before his work dwindled for awhile and the cat got sick needing twice daily medicine for the rest of his life and the rent got hiked so we needed to go apartment-shopping and, well, life getting in the way. Maybe next year! And another LC blogaround. Actually, two! I'd probably get mine done more quickly if I split them up...
  • Over at Corrente, Lambert has fun with haikus and decries the media for focusing on the wrong aspect of Bush administration lawbreaking.
  • Echidne of the Snakes discusses spring cleaning, which we'll be doing in a couple weeks in the form of throwing out everything we don't want to take with us when we move. Parting Party details to follow, for those of you in the NYC area. Oh, and yay, those tacky "piss in her mouth" urinals won't be installed at the Virgin lounge men's room at JFK after all.
  • Edwardpig is on the flipflops.
  • Eryk Salvaggio is going on a road trip - cool! Have I mentioned that we're hoping to get our first car this year? I'm hoping to hold out for a hybrid...
  • Speaking of driving, Guy Andrew Hall at Rook's Rant details the rules and regs of DUI in Minnesota.
  • HL Victoria at New World Blogger presents News around the third world and makes the political wonderfully personal.
  • Jeff at Speedkill has an interesting angle on tort reform.
  • Jesse at The Gotham City 13 tells us Colin Powell's nasty response to Arab journalists walking out on him after our troops killed two of their own, and Googles endorsements.
  • Jude Camwell at Iddybud reasons that the best way to get a message across is to keep it simple and direct.
  • It's not necessarily what Maru Soze (alas, yet another 5.46 percenter) at WTF Is It Now? covers, it's the way she covers it. It's all good. And the little pictures never fail to produce a smile.
  • Weren't we speaking of cars? MercuryX23 is as well, on his Fantabulous Blog, as he and his wife just got rid of their gas-guzzling SUV in favor of a Honda Civic hybrid! Good on ya, Mercury!
  • Michael at Musing's Musings discovers that the Nader for President headquarters has an unlisted telephone call and no visible office. Man of the people!
  • Moi on bloggg gives us more Feaky goodness, and discovers Lord of the Right Wing (my "Silly Site o' the Day" from December 17 '03).
  • Mustang Bobby of Bark Bark Woof Woof also picks up on the Nader thing, and does another dynamite Friday Follies LC blogaround.
  • Natalie Davis of All Facts and Opinions has been swamped with job-stuff lately but has a nice remembrance of Spaulding Gray.
  • Speaking of Fridays, at Happy Furry Puppy Story Time, Norbizness posts his Friday Bizarro! List (don't recognize the artist on Bizarro) and scares me with his anagrammatic talents.
  • NTodd Pritsky has changed his blog's name back to Doyihi Mir and gives us way too much cuteness of a boneless kitty. Also like the Bush Tai Chi move (is that to defend against the Rumsfeld Fighting Technique?).
  • Peter Shadzik at Kick the Leftist shakes his head again at the assholes' audacity and wonders what we're not being told about Pakistan. Also bad news regarding the portions at Red Lobster, a chain restaurant I really like. Seriously, that lobster bisque in the bread bowl was amazing.
  • Rivka at Respectful of Otters explains HIV prevention and long-term exposed seronegatives for the layperson and has some interesting thoughts about urban villages and how, um, bleached they look.
  • Steve Bates, the Yellow Doggerel Democrat, smells something in the air that oughtn't be there, and gives us a handy transcript excerpt from the Seven Dirty Words decision in honor of the FCC's latest jump backwards. Fuckers. Steve's also the best blog source to go to for complete coverage of the attempted Sierra Club takeover.
  • Steve Gilliard also throws some choice words at the FCC's new decision, and looks at political party fundraising in NYC. Also, a really creepy story about an Illinois Republican Senatorial candiate (scroll down to Crazy in Illinois).
  • I see where Susie Madrak totally agrees with me about Trish Wilson's wonderful post The "Invisible" Woman Blogger, but then of course I'm biased. As Susie notes, "Men aren't the only ones who get to decide what's important, and I'm pissed off by their attempt to frame the debate as if it's their inherent right to set the terms." Been there!
  • Lastly, upyernoz in his Rubber Hose updates his LC blogroll as well (I'm gonna wrap this up now, I'll tackle those LC'ers without RSS feeds another time) and makes a few points about the Spanish election.
    Whew! Yep, on and off this has taken me a good eight-hour day. Good job I don't do it all at once...
  • Celebrating Women - 20 March 2004

    With all the peace demos going on today (see post below), I thought I'd link to some women's peace groups:
  • Women's Anti-War Resources and Organizations
  • CodePink
  • Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
  • National Women Peace Group (Nigeria)
  • NGO Working Group on Women and International Peace and Security
  • Coalition of Women for a Just Peace
    The first link has tons of links to other groups, so I didn't want to duplicate too much effort.
  • Confluences

    Via Michelle at You Will Anyway, there's a very cool astronomical phenomenon coming up in the next few days for those of us in mid-northern latitudes, which will let stargazers see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter all without the aid of a telescope. Maybe the next time something like this happens, in four years' time, I'll have a car and be able to drive away from the bright lights of the city to view the phenomenon.

    Planets aren't the only thing coming together for our viewing; just another reminder that today is a Global Day of Action against War and Occupation. Pretty good way to usher in spring. If you want to follow the worldwide demonstrations in the media, your best bet is probably foreign outlets 'cause, you know, the American media seems to have trouble finding protests. I'll be tuned into EuroNews, as usual.
    Silly Sites o' the Day

    Via Mark Evanier, can you pass this 3rd grade American geography test? Careful, it's a timed test. And via Eva Whitley, another timed quiz out to prove that Not All Americans Are Stupid.
    The Ninth Coming

    The BBC has announced the hiring of Christopher Eccleston as the ninth* Doctor Who when the series revs up again next year. Eccleston and series exec producer and writer Russell Davies recently worked together on ITV's The Second Coming, a drama in which Jesus Christ returns to Earth as a Manchester City football supporter.

    *There have been a couple other Doctors, like Peter Cushing in the Dalek movies from 1965 and 1966, and Richard E. Grant doing the voice for the animated web adventure Scream of the Shalka.
    Update on Cockrum Benefit Auction

    Neal Adams has updated his website with the news of how to contribute to the upcoming Dave Cockrum auction, so if you're an interested artist who hasn't been contacted yet please click on Neal's sketch below for more information:

    Neal gave me permission to post the sketch here. If you can't read the balloons, here's the dialogue:
    COLOSSUS: Dave
    DAVE: Hey guys, gosh it's been awhile.
    THUNDERBIRD: We're here to help you, Dave.
    STORM: It's the least we can do.
    (Hang on, shouldn't that be "ja" instead?)

    And I quite agree.

    Friday, March 19, 2004

    First Person Absurd

    I think I've mentioned before how much I've fallen in love with TBogg's weekly visits into the weird world that belongs to America's Worst Mother™, Meghan Cox Gurdon. Well, this week Tom decides to chronicle/review the latest installment of her hermetically-sealed life as though it were, I dunno, some kind of Chandler novel or something. Screamingly funny, as usual. And of course, after you finish that you need to go over to World O' Crap for the rest of the story (best wait till this evening, SZ doesn't have the post up just yet but promises she will).
    Friday Cat Blogging (™ Kevin Drum)

    (Yeah, I'm still leaving up Kevin's Calpundit link in the header, even though he's moved over to the Washington Monthly, 'cause hey, if he ever decides to take up Friday Cat Blogging again it'll probably be on his personal blog...)

    This week I actually thought ahead, and posted my FCB picture on my Buzznet homepage a few days ahead of time:

    Split Level Kitties! Seems a shame we'll be getting rid of that computer desk when we move, but it won't survive another relocation. Cool stuff to note in the background includes the Bookworm game on my computer, my Lulu Volunteer of the Year award behind Amy, and the Perez/Ross Crisis poster on the wall.

    Around the blogroll, Lis does her bit. And from Len Cleavelin comes this heads-up about a FARK Photoshop contest featuring a screaming cat. My God, won't someone think of the kittens?! As for MaxSpeak... oh dear, oh dear...
    Grim Anniversary

    "A year ago, President Bush, who had a global mandate to pursue the terrorists responsible for 9/11, went after someone else instead." Read the rest from Paul Krugman. And speaking of marking the occasion, I'm pretty sure most of you know about the demonstrations planned for tomorrow. It'll be interesting to see how they're covered (if at all) in the mainstream media.
    Remembering Julie Again

    Both Glenn Hauman and Mark Evanier recently linked to Harlan Ellison's eulogy for Julius Schwartz. Yesterday a memorial service was held at DC, where Neil Gaiman read a few words from Alan Moore - that remembrance is now up at Neil's blog.
    Celebrating Women - 19 March 2004

    I've been gathering inspiration for these daily WHM posts by typing the word "women" into Google News . As I've observed before, their front page rarely offers pictures of women - today it's Courtney Love in the Entertainment Section and some pregnant woman doing yoga in the Health section (accompanying an article assuring readers that "Male babies whose mothers used the allergy drug Claritin while pregnant are not more likely to have a particular genital birth defect" so even there the subject focuses on the Y chromosome) - so it's almost always necessary to do a search. Today's results are big on what one paper calls "indulging" and "destructive behavior" such as drinking and smoking heavily. I find it hard to believe that excessive consumption is limited to women, so I resented the alarmist tone with which the information is presented, but it basically comes down to the finding that young folks between 16 and 24 drink a lot. Here's the official press release (PDF file) of Living in Britain from the Office of National Statistics. Interestingly, the ONS notes "Young people drink less frequently than older people." So my conclusion, without having read the report itself of course, is that the reportage on it is fluffy and dubious. As usual.

    As for smoking, the British Medical Journal will have an article on its site sometime today, according to this article, featuring "new research [that] has found that the effectiveness of nicotine patches seems to be related to the genetic make-up (genotype) in women, but not in men." Essentially, if you're a woman trying to quit smoking and you have a CC genotype, good luck to you; if you've got a CT or TT, you stand a better chance.

    As for other indulgences like oil addiction, rampant consumerism and soul-numbing reality shows, goodness knows when we'll see any studies denouncing them.

    Related sites which may be of interest (it's hard to find ones that aren't punitive!):
  • A Breath of Fresh Air!
  • UPMC Women's Smoking Cessation Project
  • Circle of Friends
  • Women's Alcoholism Center
  • The Women's Addiction Foundation
  • Action on Women's Addictions - Research & Education (AWARE)
  • Stepping Ahead