Sunday, October 31, 2010

Who's Being Polled?

I hear all these endless polls of "likely voters", "independent voters", "registered voters", etc, on radio, television, and online.  Who are these people?  Seriously, I have no idea who they are.  Let me explain:

I have a land line phone and a cell phone.  The land line is vital for the home office, and will not be going away.  Having a land line is more and more anachronistic in today's world.  Yet I've NEVER been polled by a reputable polling firm.  I HAVE been push polled by far right wing organizations twice, one robocall for all white, male, Republican tools for president in 2012, and one human call asking if I'd support Qualye's idiot frat boy son (when I am not even in his district and my area code is distinctly NOT Scottsdale).  I HAVE been called endlessly by both Democrat and Republican candidates. On the right, most of the robocalls were voiced by John McCain or other soulless talking heads.  The Democratic calls have been from much less rehearsed humans with good intentions and shaky delivery, asking that I vote for my current congressman Raul. 

I've never been called to ask how I will vote by a reputable polling firm, yet I have a land line.  I AM in a contentious congressional district.  So who is being polled? 

My guess is, they're calling the same people, over-and-over again, from poll to poll.  This would reduce costs (of dead end calls), increase speed of gathering results, and FURTHER increase polarized results.  I think that the polling organizations are calling
- retirees
- tea partyers
- the unemployed (who are often home all day)
- people who enjoy being phone polled
These polling organizations are not calling everyday Americans, or people without land lines, or Independents who are not aligned with a political party. 

So my theory is, these polls are all very biased, and the results on Tuesday will not be as devastating to the Democrats as all the pundits are projecting they will be.  But of course, this theory relies upon an informed, rational electorate who understands the consequences of their actions in the voting booth, and not a bunch of short sighted, impatient, sophomoric, mis-guided, highly motivated hyper-partisans.  We shall see just how "accurate" or mis-guided all of the projected polls are, by Wednesday morning.   And if the extreme right does elect alot of candidates, well, good luck to you boys and girls - you get what you asked for.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Classic Stewart

The Rally To Restore Sanity was awesome.  Broadcast live and unedited and commercial free by Comedy Central, we watched it as a family.  Many hilarious moments.

My favorite crowd rally attendee - in the sea of 150,000+ multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, reasonable people - was a man holding an adult, professionally taxidermied coyote, with a sign saying "I am not a coyote, I am you". 

Google trends points out that the web was a-buzz with searches about the rally all morning:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Art of Noise for Friday

This has been running through my head all day.... "A Time for Fear"

.. my feet have been a stomping to it all morning.

I remember the MTV video with the grinders in the junk yard... "Closer To The Edit" (link here).

I find instrumental pieces are best when doing a great deal of verbally focused computer work.

Tea Party Pre-Election Summary

Olbermann goes on a 20 minute rant against the Tea Party. (link here)  Most of it is fact based - the first 15 minutes is a summary of racist & backward comments that Tea Party candidates have openly expressed.  There's also a wheel barrow load of hypocritical & revealing statements by Tea Party candidates.  Olbermann goes a little over the top on some of his heavy handed dismissive remarks, but the majority of it is right on.  A little long, but worth a watch.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Yolk's On Trader Joe's

Yesterday, I scrambled the last Trader Joe's egg that I had, and now, in retrospect, that I'll ever buy.

The locally produced egg, from a flock of hens numbering in the dozens, all of whom had their beaks, all of whom ran around the barn yard (some getting eaten by hawks), with chicken feed being widely varied (including insects), not laced with antibiotics and hormones, laid one at a time and then hand picked from each hen's nest, had a harder shell, thicker yolk membrane (note the shape), darker color (meaning more nutrient rich), and tasted so much better (these were used for my son's French toast, and the next 3 [All Rhibafarms] for dad's scrambled eggs).  Delicious!

So sorry Trader Joe's, but you never responded to my inquiry about humanely raised eggs - probably because you could not reply without disgusting me.  I'll still buy avocados, almond butter, bananas, and English Stilton from you - and a great deal of reasonably priced wine - but eggs shall no longer be purchased from Trader Joe's, COSTCO, or anywhere that has more than 200 hens laying them.  And if Rhibafarms runs out, there's 3 other suppliers at the Central Farmer's Market who sell them as well.  Let the masses eat their low quality, low nutrient, cheap eggs.  I'm done with that, now that I'm in the 2nd half of my life.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

$5 a Dozen Eggs

Saturday morning, at 8am, I drove to the downtown Phoenix Farmer's Market, in search of organic hummus, humanely raised eggs, and (if I was lucky) some organic celery. What I found greatly exceeded my expectations.
Located between Peirce and McKinley streets, the Downtown Farmer's Market operates 8am to 1pm every Saturday, and 4pm to 8pm Wednesdays.  Though it was a 15 mile drive to get there, I figured ANYTHING had to be better than the pathetic little West Side Farmer's Market Failure that I sadly found last May, being in the center of a 4 million person population center.  Indeed, it was so much better.

4 different local farmers, selling eggs at $5 a dozen.  1 hummus vendor.  3 local green grocers with every vegetable that the large grocery stores carry + more.  1/2 a dozen olive oil or salsa or pepper sales booths. Local cheeses, soaps, flowers, cat grass (for feline fiber), salmon, tilapia, quail eggs, honey, breads, pastries, tortillas, cacti & succulents, and various different craft items (jewelry, art, etc).  Parking was sort of a pain - but it was the center of a large city, so that is to be expected.  Getting there via bus would have taken 3 hours, and getting back by bus, would have been both cumbersome and hazardous to the cool 2 dozen eggs I purchased.

JustJoeP to a local farmer: "how many hens do you have laying?"
Local Farmer: "128, but that's only because last year we got 200 chicks when many of our customers said 'we'd love to buy chicks from you' and only 2 people actually bought any. Between the hawks, and eating a few ourselves, we're down to 128 now a days.  Normally we keep about 60."
Then, 50 feet away at another booth...
JustJoeP to another friendly local farmer: "do all of your hens have their beaks?"
Local Farmer #2: [with surprised and alarmed look on his face, and in the voice of Big Gay Al] "they have their beaks, their own hen house, and 100 acres on which to graze"
JustJoeP: [with a knowing smile] "a little more than the USDA required 'window or door then?'" [chuckles]
LF2: "don't get me started on the USDA and their 'free range' ratings" [B.G. Al beginning to look very disgusted]
And to a third farmer, another 50 feet away:
JustJoeP:  "what time do you normally run out of eggs on Saturdays?"
Local Farmer #3: "usually by 10am, we're completely sold out, no matter how many dozen we bring. On Wednesdays, 'bout all we sell is eggs."
All of the farmers encouraged their customers to bring back their cartons for recycling.  All of the farmers were within 50 miles.  Trader Joe's "free range" eggs are inhumanely sold for $4.99 a dozen, and they're medium, not large sized.  I'll stick with the downtown Phoenix Market from now on. 

I need to ask around if any of them sell unpasteurized milk on the down 'down low'...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Juan Goes Home

NPR let Fox Mouthpiece Juan Williams go after he admitted on O'Falafel's show that he's afraid of Muslims (link here).  A little heavy-handed, but not unwarranted, given Williams' consistent history of taking the Right Wing's side (as I commented here, a year ago LINK).  Williams did call out O'Falafel stating that it was wrong to over-generalize about a religion [you 'can't blame all Christians for Timothy McVeigh'] - but it was too little too late.

No Right to Freedom of Movement In the US

Freedom of Movement, between states, without having to "have the right papers", or pay the right bribes,  was something I always thought I had as a citizen of the United States.  As I traveled around Western China in 1999-2001, and repeatedly watched as the company mini-van driver handed-over pass ports, internal Chinese travel visa documents, and cold hard cash (aka bribe money) to toll booth inspectors on Chinese highways when leaving each municipality, I used to think to myself "back in the US, we can travel where-ever we want to, and no one asks us for papers, or even cares that we are moving between cities, or states".  I commented about this once to close Chinese colleague and friend who said that whenever he wanted to travel between Beijing and Chengdu when he was in University that he needed to get government permission to be able to do so.  Quite the closed society, and (I thought) quite a contrast to the United States.

Then, last week, while traveling West on I-10 across Texas, and spending our 11th hour traversing the Lone Star state, we passed by a "check point" on the East Bound lanes (link here).  Traffic was backed up for more than a mile from the check point, back towards El Paso, and I foolishly thought to myself "well, at least they're not bothering us".  We continued towards El Paso, seeing the plumes of black smoke and pollution rising from Waurez Mexico just South of the city, with a feeling of foreboding.   Keep in mind, I spent 4 years in Terre Haute, and my paternal grand parents used to live just down the street from the East Chicago sewage treatment plant, so I am personally well acquainted with nasty smells and poor air quality.

After we crossed into New Mexico (link here) and passed Las Cruces on our final leg of the three day journey, out in the middle of nowhere NM (link here) we encountered a check point in the West Bound lanes identical to the one we saw in West Texas!   The check point was rife with DEA, Border Patrol, ICE, and Home Land Security vehicles and personnel.  Traffic slowed to a crawl as we exited the barricaded highway in an Orwellian scene.
  • Uniformed government agents with drug sniffing dogs circled each car and truck.  
  • Forward facing and rear facing cameras (and flood lights for night settings) monitored and digitally recorded  drivers & passenger's faces, car make & model, and license plate IDs
  • un-marked boxes on stands "electronically scanned" the cars that drove between them (x-rayed? chemical sniffers? un-sure what they were)

Since we were a rental car with 3 blond haired Caucasians, we were merely "looked over" by the armed check point guard, however Penske rental trucks, and any car driven by a brown person, were
  • pulled over to the side, 
  • personal identification paper work reviewed,(licenses and green cards handed over)
  • vehicle identification paper work reviewed, (we watched a lady driving a Penske rental hand over papers that looked like a manifest with a Penske Header on it)
  • contents of vehicle unloaded & inspected, (we saw a rickety old '80s sedan being disgorged of passengers and contents with Federal agents probing through it)
  • drivers and passengers questioned. 
I don't know what they did with those who they wanted to detain, or deemed un-worthy of continued use of the I-10 highway, but there were wrecker tow trucks and Wacken Hut contracted prison buses, waiting to take any suspects and vehicles away to Federal Holding facilities.

Had I not been blond haired and blue eyed, or if any of my passengers had looked even slightly suspicious (instead of blurry eyed from just waking up from their naps), I am sure we would have been searched intensely and randomly hassled.  The drug sniffing dog took a mild interest to the trunk of our car, circling back and forth twice before continuing on to the next vehicle.  It was a bit un-nerving, to have this happen in my country, 'America, the Land of the Free' - yeah right.

At the end of 2008, New Years 2009, we saw a similar check point in the middle of California's stretch of I-10, late at night, on our way home from San Diego, and I thought it was a random occurrence.  The NM and TX check points were firm, hardened structures, not just "quickly thrown up".  If I wanted to waste 20 or 30 minutes looking on Google Earth I could probably find the CA I-10 check point is also a hardened inspection point.

I thought Obama was going to end the BS draconian erosion of civil liberties that Bush began after the historic 'asleep at the wheel' atrocity of 9-11.  It doesn't look like much has changed.  Keep monitoring the masses phone calls and emails with Carnivore, monitor who is traveling from state to state, rendition people to Bagram instead of Gitmo.  Same ole same ole.

My indignation on being monitored by my government when traveling between states was quelled somewhat, when I began researching the US Constitution's wording on "freedom of instate travel" - it's not in there (link here).  US Citizens have no Constitutional right, explicitly stated, to freely move from state to state.  Yes, there Have Been SCOTUS cases involving residency and movement between states (links here and here), and yes, the Article of Confederation, which were enforce for the 5 years from the Declaration of Independence until Congress ratified the Constitution DID explicitly give freedom of travel between states as a right (link here) with the caveat: "paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice excepted".  But the US Constitution gives ONLY Congressmen the right to travel between states (Article 1, section 6, link here) in order to go to and from annual meetings to perform their jobs.  For everyone else, it is implied, but not stated.  So if you don't like being monitored, recorded, searched, and detained (all in the name of National Security of course) I guess you're supposed to renounce your US citizenship and live on a boat in international waters perhaps?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"No Candidate" - AZ Vote By Mail Fail

As I was completing my early 'vote by mail' ballot, I received a 2nd ballot in the mail for a 2nd "special election" ballot.  Same format, same pre-paid envelope, same system... and if it actually had a real office with a real candidate to vote FOR, that would have been fine.  But see the photo below.  The "special election" ballot is on the left, the normal ballot on the right.

Notice the many offices on the normal ballot?  Notice the lack of much of anything on the special ballot?  Here's the zoom closer, on the special ballot:

 Seriously, "No Candidate"?  All the expense of printing, mailing (with full return postage envelopes), to send out a document that states "No Candidate", for a single office?  What a waste.What a colossal failure of government in wisely using limited tax payer funds.

I think I will have to write in "Joe Notatool" again.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Colbert's Recent Spor(t) Repor(t)

Colbert's recent Sport Report (DVR'ed October 13th) had hilarious references to steroids, the British Empire's Commonwealth Games, and my least favorite quarterback and absentee grandfather Brett Farve.  It's worth a watch. (link here).  Bridge collapses, Dengue fever, hotel room snakes, diarrhea... oh man.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Early AZ Voter Registration

As the sun was setting today, while my son studied for the GRE, I filled out my early voter ballot at the kitchen table beside him.  You can easily and conveniently vote by mail as well in Arizona:

One thing you gotta be aware of when voting early however, is the mortality of the candidates.  Jorge Luis Garcia, who was running for Arizona Corporation Commission (and who is currently a state senator) died of a heart attack last week, at the age of 57.  Instead of voting for the deceased, I may 'write in' my favorite "Joe Notatool" since there's no shortage of Libertarians and Republicans running for the post (vote for 2).  

Hurry, you have only this week left (before Friday) to register to vote by mail.  After that, you'll have to stand in line at your local precinct.

La Grange

Our 3 day trek last week took us past both La Grange Georgia and La Grange Texas.  Dr Desert Flower didn't get the ZZ Top reference that our son and I kept humming and drumming to.

ZZ Top - La Grange (NBC-Leno)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Back From 3 Days of Driving

Last Monday I flew to South Carolina to meet Dr Desert Flower, round up Nathan Junior, move him out of his old studio apartment, dispose of the salvaged 2000 V70, load everyone up in the rental car and trek for 3 days across the Eisenhower Interstate system to get back to the Sonora desert, where our son will be recuperating from his head and abdominal injuries for the next 5 weeks.  Through 3 days of traveling over 2300 miles of Red State American highways we 
  • saw various billboards telling us how Obamacare & Pelosi are ruining America.  
  • We read how women should not have any control over their reproductive rights, because a fetus has a beating heart (and should be a US citizen, capable of gun ownership) by the time it is 10 days old. 
  • Found Budget Rental Car (with a COSTCO discount)  provided invaluable XM radio in our Hyundai Sonata.  There was also a aux input and USB port in the center counsel - very nice for a 3 day drive.
  • We ate some delicious Texas steaks at really low prices.
  • Paid exorbitantly for parking in down town New Orleans.
  • Saw deer, skunk, squirrel, coyote, raccoon, and armadillo road kill (I did all the driving) but no live critters, except for a group of 5 raccoons at the Columbus Texas rest stop.
  • Found Blackberry to have no 3G coverage in most of Central and Western Texas
  • Found our Garmin was good at finding healthy, desirable places to eat AFTER we had passed them (like a Panera), but it was terrible at finding things that lay ahead of us on our interstate route
  • Met Texans who epitomized Boomhower and Hank Hill.
  • Smelled Beaumont, Houston, and El Paso (in that order) over a course of 2 days.
  • Learned that I-10 in Louisiana and Texas is a tremendously dangerous high traffic route, with semi trucks hauling (just to name a few) molten sulfur (2448), anhydrous ammonia (1005), concentrated sulfuric acid (1830), hot tar (1999), diesel fuel (1993), hexaldehyde (1207), gasoline (1203) [salvaged my old 1996 "North American Emergency Response guidebook" that denoted all the placards from the Volvo], liquid nitrogen, liquid carbon dioxide, liquid oxygen, etc.
  • Had great weather throughout, until we encountered a dust/rain/mud storm in Tucson.
It is good to be back now.  Thanks for all the phone consults, conversations, and well wishes.  Il faut voir.   So far.. so good.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Nathan Junior

I will not be blogging for a while.  Dr Desert Flower and I need to 'go get Nathan Junior'.  Hopefully things will work out OK.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tweet This, Truthiness

IU is studying "truthy" [sic] Tweets in Twitter and astro-turfed internet false-info.  Good luck to them. They're not quite adherents to the repeated meme yet.

Links here and here and here.

Zuckerberg a NAMBLA Supporter?

Is Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg a supporter of NAMBLA?  Well, his FB "friends" think so, and added him to the 'group' that FB allows users to modify their friends' memberships.  Full PCWorld story here (link).

Thanks Facebook!  Awesome example of how a mammoth, profit driven, intrusive, global database social network can be miss-used, and yet another reason to not broadcast yourself widely on Facebook. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Scheming Demons Dressed In Kingly Guise

This Rush song - title track from A Farewell to Kings - has been running through my head all day.  Specifically, the quarter note triplets at the 3:12 mark (video below), repeatedly.
And sorry conservatives, you cannot claim Neil Peart as one of your political comrades / disciples.  He is declaredly un-aligned.  And any attempt to co-opt him into your fold is just pathetic and silly.

Another Good Reason To Do Yoga

Another good reason to do yoga: it pisses off closed minded, ignorant, 16th Century paradigm, fundamentalist Religious Leadership.  Tip of the hat to Jill (master of libraries, or mistress of libraries?) for this link (here). 

"Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler... says "the idea that the body is a vehicle for reaching consciousness with the divine." "That's just not Christianity," Mohler told The Associated Press."

Maybe the Southern Baptists will follow the example of the Roman Catholic church in alienating and driving away all of it's core followers (1 in 10 Americans is an ex-Catholic), and further reduce their congregation attendance by sticking to the narrowest, most exclusionary interpretation of dogma possible. 
Once again, Fundamentalism shows its true self.  'Adhere to our narrow view of things, of get out of our club'.  'We're right, everyone else is wrong.'. 

Yeah, increasing flexibility, muscle tone, reducing stress, helping to regulate blood sugar, increasing breathing control, lowering blood pressure, practicing biofeedback, weight reduction, relating to your natural environment, practicing self discipline and control... these are ALL so very un-Christian[TM].

I wish the best of luck to Mr Mohler and his ilk.  It truly is nice when the face of evil, exclusionary, closed minded fundamentalism shows it's ugly head. 

Morning Boot Up Reminder

Seems that I am greeted this way on more boot ups now-a-days than ever before.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Clay Bennett's Accurate & Insightful Perspective

The Chattanooga Times Free Press ran this insightful, poignant, and accurate cartoon of Clay Bennett's last weekend:

Looking at the deluge of negative comments (link here) I think Mr. Bennett definitely touched a nerve.  Artistic Genius is rarely appreciated by contemporaries.  Hat's off to Clay Bennett, and nod to "All Hat No Cattle" for the link!

I am Voting Republican Because...

Tip of the hat to Pam's House Blend for this gem:
(original link pulled from youtube.  new link here)

The wide cross section of Americans represented here, is awesome!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Feline Post-Op Lessons Learned

The items listed  below in this post are all essential or at least quite helpful, if you have a pet and you need to take it to have surgery.  they mostly apply to cats, but some of it is applicable to dogs as well.

Buprenex[TM] (Kitty Pain Killers) - works on contact with the gum tissue, in seconds, and in convenient hypodermic applicators to pop it into an angry, in pain, & reluctant old feline's mouth.

Metacam[TM] (Kitty Anti Inflammatory) - works a little slower than the Buprenex, but it does help to relieve inflammation, swelling, pain, and calms down the cat a few minutes later.

Epi-Otic Ear Cleaner - when applying this liquid, you need to wear old clothes, and have a towel, paper towels, and safety glasses, as cats do not like to have liquids applied to their ears, and they shake their heads rapidly, sending droplets in a wide dispersal spray pattern.

Otomax[TM] Ointment - has to be rubbed into the infected ear, twice a day.   Dr Desert Flower - who is convinced that if she had not married me she'd have become the 'crazy old cat lady' someday - had ear ointment application and cleaning duty each night after I went to bed, and each morning before getting dressed for work while I was on the phone with India.

All-Four-Paws Soft Collar[TM] - sure, the vet will send you home with a hard plastic cone collar in an effort to keep your pet from scratching or biting it's surgical area.  And if you have a pet who is not feisty, and who tolerates such complete intrusions to one's mobility, ability to bathe one's self, ability to use a litter box, or eat from a cat dish or drink from a water bowl, then that hard & thin plastic collar will do just fine.  But if your octogenarian pet hates such a restriction, she may try to pry it off with her forearm and remove all the skin there...  or lose all interest in eating, bathing, life in general, and just "give up" in misery.  If your cat or tiny dog is not very strong, then the soft collar will be too heavy, and is probably not an option for you.

Earthbath[TM] hypoallergenic cat wipes - to wipe off cat hair, drooled medicine, ear discharge, etc.  Dr Desert Flower actually purchased these "Earth Friendly / Organic / Green" cat wipes a few years ago and I scoffed at them as superfluous at the time.   They came in quite handy last month, to aid in cat clean-up. [Always trust DDF]

Puppy Training Pads - keeps cat urine from running down the sides and  under the litter boxes when old cats in big cat collars "miss the box".  Incidentally, these fifty cent a piece generic absorbent pads are identical in size and shape and appearance to the "lab grade" absorbent pads that many biological research labs use.  Hmmmm....

Leather Gloves - marked "Dad" as my son (when he was a tween, and a teen) had a habit of absconding with my work gloves from time to time. Leather gloves help to keep cat claws and teeth from breaking human skin.

Not shown here:
- Covered litter box with cover removed, since a cat in an Elizabethan Collar cannot enter the narrow opening of a covered litter box

- lots of kitty litter, litter box liners, and Chlorox[TM] sanitary wipes,  since an old pissed off cat will "miss" the litter box (intentionally?), resulting in lots of clean up, several times daily

- $950 (total cost) to cover a surgery the vet estimated at $250

- (2) eye dropper sized bottles of cat antibiotics, administered twice daily, most of which is drooled / spit out / shaken from head, due to unpalatable flavor to old grumpy cats.

- Cat collar with a bell on it.   The bell rings when the cat tries to scratch it's head / neck / healing ear, creating a Pavlovian response by the Human owner/'Cat-attending-staff' to LOOK and see if claws are headed for healing ear, or merely scratching an itchy neck, and then to attempt to STOP feline from scratching by a sharp word, or reaching over and grabbing the reflexive hind leg.

- Lots of patience

Tea Round-up

Last week, This Modern World's Tom Tomorrow did a comprehensive, poignant, awesome round up of Tea Bagging - much better than I ever could.  Link's here.

And on the lighter side, Tom Tomorrow's latest cartoon:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Coucher du Soleil

Last week was very windy. 
 It helped to generate some spectacular sunsets. I took this picture from my backyard Thursday night.  Dr Desert Flower and I headed to the Clarendon Hotel Saturday night to watch the amazing sunset from the roof top bar.    

The Clarendon was hosting several functions and was quite crowded (a 1 hour wait for dinner) so we headed over to Fez instead, in the middle of the Gayborhood - it's not a derogatory term, it's a correctly termed geographic location, and it's used by the Visitor's Bureau.

I heard last year on the radio, by a photographer and naturalist who local NPR was interviewing 'It's nearly criminal to be inside at dusk during the monsoon here in Arizona. You're missing out on some of the most beautiful and fleeting sites you'll ever see.  

Heck, it's even featured on our flag: 

Last week is probably the final week of +100F temperatures here.  It was down in the 90s Sunday - cool enough to clean up and organize the mess I had in the garage for 4 hours, without dehydrating. 

Slowly But Surely The Ear Heals

The cat is Much happier without having to wear the restrictive Elizabethan collar.  Slowly but surely, her ear heals.  Next Monday I take her to get her stitches out... that'll be fun.

It'd be interesting if human saliva had healing powers and anti-bodies in ways similar to how feline saliva has.  The antibiotics and ear medicine is all used up.  Now it just takes time for cells to reproduce.

...pounds of Love Crushing

If you missed it this weekend, check out the update from one of JustJoeP's blog visitors 'Christopher' (no relation, that I know of) on Fetchin Bones' "Flesh Blanket" otherwise known as "Love Crushing".  Link (Here).

In High School, and a year later when I first met her, Dr Desert Flower did indeed look alot like Hope Nicholls =)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Area Under The Curve

My Uncle Joe tends to send me some funny emails on the weekends.  This graph is actually one of the best graphic illustrations of why Calculus really is relevant in every-day life.  "Area under the curve", precisely.

Friday, October 1, 2010

So Lonely - Outlandos d'Amour

This has been running through my head all week...

India has no "R" in it

Listening the the BBC yesterday, they kept covering the Ayodhya Mosque / Temple court ruling in India, but they kept referring to the country as Indi-er, pronouncing the name of their former colony with an obligatory British "R" on the end of any word that ends in soft pronounced vowel.  I checked with several of my close Indian colleagues, and not a single one of them said "Indi-er" was the correct pronunciation.  It is India, no "R", pronounced "in-dē-ə".  

I believe it is best to pronounce names of places the way the local people pronounce the name.  Not some imposed mis-pronunciation.
  • Beijing is Not Peking.
  • New Orleans is Nawlins, not New Ore-Leans.
  • Louisville is correctly pronounced "L'ville" (one syllable, from my friend Dan who grew up there, R.I.P.), not LU-E-ville.
  • Illinois is Not Ill-ə-noise.
  • Paris is Pearrr-E, not Pare-isss.
  • Spartanburg South Carolina has one "S" at the beginning, and no "S" on the end.
  • Likewise, Greenville has NO "S" in it at all (it is NOT "Greensville" or "Greenvilles", but flight attendants never seem to understand this.  [Note: Locals can call "Greenville" and "Spartanburg" and "Simpsonville" by the names of "Green-vegas", "Sparkle City" and "Simpson-vegas" but that's just a silly derogatory colloquialism.]
...and India, has no "R" in it. Nor does "Ayodhya".  And North & South Carolina, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Louisiana, Arizona, North & South Dakota, Minnesota, Virginia, and Florida DO NOT end in "R", and should never be pronounced with an "R" on the end.

Stop it BBC.