Household tips? From me???

How can I respond to this other than through fake haiku?

  1. If fish or garlic
    is the problem, behold the
    power of lemon.
  2. Everything has
    a place, and everything
    in its place. Yeah, riiiight.
  3. Use garlic. A lot.
    No, really, your cooking will
    be ten times better.
  4. Cockatiels are the
    enemy of cleanliness.
    Spritzing them won’t help.
  5. Immigrants need work,
    and we are lazy fatsos.
    Nice how that works out.

It should be obvious that Holly has never seen the inside of my apartment. Er, I tag, um, Jason, Ginger, Oscar, who should be thinking about this with the oncoming porch monkey (we’re taking it back!), and Todd, who actually is really clean.

Late Night Listening: Voo Voo

A friend recommended this group to me in Poland in the mid-90s. They were a little more avant-garde then, but they still produce great stuff. This first one is a damn near perfect ballad:

And this second one is a great uptempo jazz number, with an equally artful video:

News Flash: Mesa, Arizona Has Solved All Problems of Education!

The education world was rocked last week by news that Mesa, Arizona had found perfection in everything about the way it educates students, allowing all students, no matter their gender, ethnicity, or economic background to achieve perfection, wisdom, and enlightenment. So they started regulating hug length.

The “no-hugging” rule had previously been in the student handbook. After many students began expressing concern about public hugging and kissing in the hallways, the school began reinforcing the guideline by punishing huggers, which led to Friday’s protest.

Prior to the demonstration, the district said the principal and students brokered an agreement to clarify the “no-hugging” rule. According to the guidelines, small hugs, less than two seconds, are permitted but longer ones and kissing are not.

The demonstration referred to in the quote was a group hug-in that students undertook to celebrate their universally perfect educational achievement, since otherwise no sane administration would waste time enforcing hugging regulations and would put their efforts to actually, I dunno, teach or something.
Also, boo on the reporter for not sourcing the claim that student complaints led to the crackdown on hugging. I’m willing to bet a large sum of money it was from a school administrator. I’m also willing to bet that while some pet Christard narc student is ready and available to testify that they complained (hey, lying for Jesus can’t be wrong, as long as “for Jesus” means “imposing my morality on others, whether or not I can actually find textual support for it in the Bible”), the real reason is some random teacher or administrator didn’t like all that touchin’ goan on in hyeuh, and decided to go on a pogrom, Texas-style.

What Have You Changed Your Mind About?

Via Slashdot, I was pointed to the Edge Foundation’s annual question to that effect, put to a cadre of scientists and science-oriented writers and other intellectuals. The stuff is fascinating.

It stirred another question in me, though: what would the same article look like if asked of a bunch of religion and traditional liberal arts professors? Would they be clever rhetorical “I’ve changed my mind that the Bush administration is capable of no more evil than it has already committed” or honest reassessments? I’m especially curious if ardent professional theists–seminarians, theologians, pastors, imams, etc.–would have meaningful things to say.

To me, the possibility of being completely wrong is one of the reasons science has been so successful as a human endeavor. In fact, the capability of reassessing and admitting you are mistaken is one of the attributes I look for in someone to hire. I don’t need people who are going to doggedly keep doing the wrong thing. I want someone to realize that their preconceived idea was wrong, and more importantly, are willing to admit it and change it.

What have I changed my mind about? I used to think that conservatives were unfairly painted as motivated by racism. While I think the race card is still overplayed, I have come to see a lot of what conservatives believe in social issues as at least tainted by racist attitudes, even if they aren’t active hatemongers. Not that they’re the only ones, but they are much more guilty of it than they’re willing to admit to themselves.

I was a global warming skeptic until the late 90s. Once the satellite measurements were corrected, I had to change my mind. And now that alternative causes have been thoroughly tested and falsified, I’ve had to conclude that we’re causing it with CO2 emissions.

I used to think that people were capable of living in a pure market economy with no welfare state whatsoever. While I still think it would work, I don’t think humans are psychologically capable of living (peacefully) without some sort of welfare net. I still worry that we’re insufficiently humble about the power of humans to outguess the market. Too few of us are willing to recognize that any time you help one person, you hurt another or several others. It’s made me pessimistic that we’re doomed to kill the golden goose of the market until the next time it’s reborn out of desperation and bloody revolution. I’m not yet convinced that’s inevitable, though, so it’s worth trying to stop it.

What have you changed your mind about?

Diagonal Like David

Well, I saw Beckham’s MLS debut tonight, but it didn’t make up for Galaxy playing a man down after a guy was shown the red card for a rather nasty tackle. They lost 1-0.

It seems that DC teams are making a habit of quietly winning despite well-known players on the other team making headlines. Barry Bonds may have broken Hank Aaron’s record, but the Nats won that game, too.

Mainly, it was friggin’ hot. But I’ve come to quite enjoy DC United games. It’s less of a time investment than a Nationals game, and, partially because of the sometimes error-prone play of MLS, there’s something exciting happening on a fairly regular basis. The downside is there are fewer chances to go to the bathroom and not miss anything. Plus United has been winning more consistently than the Nationals, which also helps the appeal.

The sausage and pepper sandwiches may be a health problem for me, though.

Death Cat Stalks Nursing Home

I know this story is supposed to be heartwarming, about a kitty who wants to comfort the dying, but it just reinforces the “cats are creepy” image to me. I don’t want to spend my final hours with a semiferal beast who jonezes on my doom.

“Oooh, look, Oscar has come to comfort you!”

“Get it away! Begone, evil spirit, foul spectre, grim visage! I want to live! To live and learn and laugh and lov-”

“Time of death is 2:34PM.”

“Meow.” Stalks off in search of next victim.