Guess what?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Oliver March 31, 2005 @ 2:57 pm

Pot leads to sarcastic comments!

A research experiment 30 years ago tried to prove the conventional wisdom that cannabis smokers are more mellow. Half of the study group smoked real pot; the other half smoked placebos.* The study showed what everyone who’s hung around a college dorm knows–pot smokers are generally less hostile and aggressive. (“Dude, don’t bogart that” vs “I’m gonna kill someone if I don’t have a fucking cigarette RIGHT NOW!“)

However, the study revealed one unexpected result:

“Marijuana produced a small but statistically significant increase in sarcastic communications.”

No! Pot smokers are sarcastic? Really?

*which begs the question: how do you make placebo pot? wouldn’t the subject notice that they weren’t getting buzzed and the jig would be, as they say, up?

“Book him, Danno.”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Oliver March 29, 2005 @ 4:47 pm

I think I finally found the cremation urn I want. Too bad it’s so expensive. But it would go really well with a casket fitted with bookshelves, especially if you got your whole family to go in on the deal.

Quote of the day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Oliver @ 11:33 am

“We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture.”
–Pastor Ray Mummert, complaining about the teaching of evolution (and science in general) in Dover, PA, schools. Because we certainly don’t want our children being taught by the intelligent and educated. Best to keep ‘em ignerant and obedient.

(Via Wonkette via Independent Report. Jeez, people, talk about commenting on commentary.)

Excavating the stairs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Oliver March 28, 2005 @ 10:11 am
Excavating the stairs

For contrast, this is what it looked like digging out our front steps last week.

Magnolia buds

Filed under: Uncategorized — Oliver @ 10:05 am
Magnolia buds

It’s 62 degrees and the magnolia tree is budding. To think, a week ago we had 20″ of snow on the ground! Welcome to march!

I tell ya, I’m about ready to set up the hammock in the back yard and work off the wireless!

Help these kids

Filed under: Uncategorized — Oliver March 25, 2005 @ 4:07 pm

While Shrub was partying the night away at his inauguration, nine children were orphaned when their parents were mistakenly shot by US military personnel at a checkpoint. Now a fund has been set up to help this family. Although I’d adopt these kids myself if I could, it’s tempting to think that they may have become the recipients of more than their fair share of attention. After all, there are thousands of Iraqi families who have had loved ones killed and maimed, or who have lost their homes. However, this fund helps more than just this one family. An e-mail from the photojournalist who covered the story was reprinted on bOINGbOING:

Money donated to the cause will first go to arranging medical care for Racan, a boy in the car who’s spinal column was damaged by one of the bullets and will never walk again unless treatment outside of Iraq is arranged for him. (Humanitarian workers and others in Iraq are working toward this now.) Excess funds will go to the extended family (the Hassan’s had nine children) and to civil projects in Tal Afar itself, most likely a school built to commemorate the deaths.

Life, and death.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Oliver March 23, 2005 @ 12:08 pm

This week, we are confronted, at opposite poles of the country, with two very different tragedies. In Florida, we have the drawn-out legal battles of a life sustained beyond its wishes, and in Minnesota, we have the horror of–as the principal of Red Lake High School put it–”death out of season”.

First, will it do to say anything more about the Terri Schiavo case? Can I possibly highlight an aspect of this political farce, this media circus, this personal, private tragedy that has not already been discussed beyond all reasonable bounds? We’ve all been made quite aware of the constitutional trampling that occured at the disgrace of our Senate and Congress. Countless talking heads, bloggers, and columnists have drawn our attention to the fact that “Terri’s Law” contradicts 200 years of jurisprudence and states’ rights. Many have pointed out the hypocrisy of Shrub’s rushing to insert himself in this stranger’s cause despite having signed legislation while Texas governor that forcibly removes patients from life support who share Ms Schiavo’s condition. And I don’t think it’s necessary to highlight for anyone the fact that conservatives who oppose “special rights” for homosexuals themselves gave special rights to an individual citizen.

I’m also sure that by now we’ve all read about the memo that emerged from Senator Santorum’s office that called the Schiavo case “a great political issue” that would appeal to the Christian right, and about Senator DeLay’s comments that “God brought to us” Terri Schiavo to help the conservatives alter the morals of America.

I guess all that can be said at this point is to be sure to put your wishes in writing, because our goverment has demonstrated contempt for the rights of Power of Attorney, for the autonomy of state courts, and for the Constitution itself. They respect the laws of the land only when doing so achieves the result they want and will not hesitate for a moment to turn your personal, private tragedies into political manure.

Closer to home, a disturbed 17-year-old student went on a killing spree the other day, killing his grandparents, a school security guard, and several fellow students before turning the gun on himself. The facts are just beginning to emerge, one of the most incomprehensible being that an American Indian youth apparently embraced a white supremecist group.

Unfortunately, the comparisons with Columbine have already begun to emerge. It does appear that in at least one way, Weise consciously emulated the Columbine killers by asking at least one victim if they believed in God. (There’s just one catch: that never happened at Columbine.) He also liked to go around in a black trenchcoat–something many goths do–and wrote zombie stories.

My concern is that once again we’re going to see school systems attempt to deal with the problem by banning black clothing and punishing students for their creative writing. The true roots of teenage murder rampages are far more complicated and difficult than we as a society want to deal with. So we attack the symptoms rather than the cause. Wearing black does not cause a kid to pick up a gun. Violent fiction is not necessarily a blueprint.

A lot of teenagers write fiction about zombies. Anyone who has endured the public school system knows that it’s the perfect metaphore for how most kids feel. There’s a reason that the Pink Floyd movie, The Wall shows faceless, identically-dressed students riding a conveyor belt into a giant meat grinder. Our school system is about stipping identity and programming kids’ brains with identical sets of facts that can be easily regurgitated during the No Child Left Behind-required standards tests.

At both Columbine and Red Lake, students were reading Shakespeare at the time of the attacks. By measures used in the past, Shakespeare ought to be banned because it causes kids to get shot.

Flock me

Filed under: Uncategorized — Oliver March 18, 2005 @ 12:08 pm

Flock me

This snowstorm would be almost inconvenient if it weren’t so danged pretty.

So far, the 6-10″ of snow they forecast is up to 14″.

Quote of the day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Oliver @ 9:27 am

“…our courts should have a presumption in favor of life.”
–George Bush, the man who signed more execution warrants than any previous US governor, on the court ruling allowing Terri Schiavo’s husband to have the vegetative woman’s feeding tube removed.

Spin

Filed under: Uncategorized — Oliver March 17, 2005 @ 4:51 pm

My friend A. recently posted his iTunes top 20, which inspired me to copycat also examine what I play most frequently. The results surprised me a little, because they don’t conform at all to my Audioscrobbler stats. And yes, I probably have something more important to worry about.

01. Bang On! – The Propellerheads
02. Velvet Pants – The Propellerheads
03. Come Run Chant – African Head Charge
04. Slave to Love – Lords of Acid
05. Born too Slow – The Crystal Method
06. Shin Jingi-Naki Tatakai – Hotei Tomoyasu
07. Alive Alone – The Chemical Brothers
08. A Day at the Races – The Art of Noise
09. Teardrop – Massive Attack
10. Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
11. American Way – The Crystal Method
12. Bawitdaba – Kid Rock
13. I Love You – Yello
14. Drumbone – Blue Man Group
15. Blue Monday – Orgy
16. Downtown – The JAMs
17. More Human than Human – White Zombie
18. Sombre Reptiles – Brian Eno
19. Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack
20. Date With the Night – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

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