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July 02, 2007

You heard it here first...

Given all of the chatter going 'round about the UK bombings, and how this hearkens back to the heyday of the IRA and all that, I can't help but wonder two things:

1. Did these bomb plotters actually hire former IRA bombmakers to teach them what to do?


2. Did those IRA bombmakers intentionally fuck them over so they wouldn't hurt anyone and would get caught?

I mean, the IRA hates the UK, but it's their island. Letting muslim terrorists blow it up kind of negates their point, right?

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Robot Chicken

So there's this show on Cartoon Network that's part of adult swim, and hubby and I have been catching it occasionally, and laughing our asses off at it every time we run across it. But we had no idea what it was called...

Last night we finally found out it's called Robot Chicken.

If you grew up in the 80s and had way too many action figures, this show is for you.

Holy crap, it's funny. It's filthy, too.

As proof, I offer Robot Chicken: Star Wars:
(PG-13 for violence and some language)

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Fred Thompson "gets" the new media

If the left tries to push the "Fairness Doctrine" down people's throats, the market will simply migrate to new media: Podcasts, web radio, and the like.

We've been hearing threats to use the obsolete Fairness Doctrine to go after talk radio ever since the left-leaning talk radio network, Air America, failed. Ironically, I think Air America might have had a shot if its target audience hadn't already been served so well by many in the mainstream media. But regardless, giving the government veto power over radio stations' programming decisions is wrong. I don't think forcing the one sector of the media where conservatives have a clear voice to provide equal time to liberals is the American way. At the very least, it has a chilling effect on station owners.

I understand how the left feels though. For most of my life, the big broadcast television networks and almost all the major newspapers and magazines presented only one side of a lot of issues. Talk radio is a relatively small part of a bigger media picture, but I imagine it aggravates the new congressional majority to hear their opposition's arguments without the old filters.

I would remind them, though, that a few Republicans were elected even when the entire mainstream media was painting us as heartless Neanderthals. I would also remind the current congressional leadership that they managed to win the last election despite talk radio.

Americans are smart enough to recognize news that's biased -- even when journalists pretend they're not. New polls show that more than seven in 10 people recognize that the news comes with an agenda. So maybe we should welcome a new Fairness Doctrine. We could start by requiring that every broadcast television news show be co-anchored by both a liberal and conservative; and all major newspaper staff be evenly divided.

Not much chance of that happening. Nor should it in a free country -- but I'll tell you something that those who want to control the media apparently don't know. Everyday, more people are listening to streaming radio on the Web and downloading podcasts. Some popular talk shows skip radio altogether and go straight to the Internet. You can even hear talk shows on Web-enabled telephones if you want, and that will get much easier and cheaper quickly.

If the current stars of talk were pushed off the radio dial, they'd get their audiences anyway. The era of controllable media is over, and nothing will ever bring it back.

I agree 100%. A free media is NOT controlled by anything but the market. And the market will seek out whatever outlets it can for the exchange of ideas. Including the web. And Fred gets it. Which, I suspect, is why Fred is the ONLY major candidate doing any of the blogging himself.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Her Dad would have been so proud....

Fresno's best export in the world of entertainment (NO, not K-Fed. As if) is about to hit the small screen full-time in the Grey's Anatomy spinoff series "Private Practice":

Broadway actress Audra McDonald is set to co-star in ABC's Grey's Anatomy spinoff, Private Practice, where she will replace Merrin Dungey.

The new medical drama centers on neonatal surgeon, Addison Forbes Montgomery (Kate Walsh), who moves to Los Angeles and joins the private medical practice of her once-married, newly divorced medical school friends, Naomi and Sam Bennett.

McDonald will play Naomi Bennett, a role played by Dungey in the two-hour "Grey's" episode that launched "Practice." (Sam Bennett is played by Taye Diggs.)

McDonald has won four Tony Awards, and was nominated for a fifth this year for her lead role in the Roundabout Theatre's revival of the musical "110 in the Shade."  She next appears in ABC's adaptation of the play "A Raisin in the Sun," reprising her role as Sean Combs' wife in the 2004 revival of Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 play about black identity.

While I only met Audra briefly, years ago, her dad was my HS principal, and a pretty good dude. He died earlier this spring, and I know this news would have made his day, as a prouder Dad of all his kids you would be hard pressed to find.

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tony Blair lets his guard down

And finally has a chance to speak his mind after 10 years as Prime Minister:

'The idea that as a Muslim in this country that you don't have the freedom to express your religion or your views, I mean you've got far more freedom in this country than you do in most Muslim countries,' Blair told Observer columnist Will Hutton, who presents the documentary.

'The reason we are finding it hard to win this battle is that we're not actually fighting it properly. We're not actually standing up to these people and saying, "It's not just your methods that are wrong, your ideas are absurd. Nobody is oppressing you. Your sense of grievance isn't justified."'

Blair held out the example of the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan - criticised by Islamists as an example of the heavy-handed imperial West oppressing Muslims - to highlight unfounded claims of grievance. He asked how it is possible to claim that Afghanistan's Muslims are being oppressed when the Taliban 'used to execute teachers for teaching girls in schools'.

Blair added: 'How are [we] oppressing them? You're oppressing them when you support the people who are trying to blow them up.'

Blair, who normally chooses his language carefully when he talks about Islamists, also takes a swipe at critics who accused him of undermining civil liberties. 'When I'm trying to change the law in order to make it easier to deport people who engage in terrorism - the idea that that's an assault on hundreds of years of British civil liberties is completely absurd. Some of what is written on this is loopy-loo in its extremism.'

Honestly, I have been waiting for this since Tony and Cherie walked out of 10 Downing Street. You know there has to be a LOT boiling beneath that calm exterior.

I look forward to more of what Tony has to say. Glad to hear he's not going quietly into his next assignment as mideast envoy.

h/t Martin at MVRWC

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

An observation... and an apology

So tonight I have been watching Sunday's Concert for Diana, which we Tivoed, and I have seen about half of it. I was just watching Andrea Bocelli's performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Music of the Night, and I had a strange feeling about it. I mean on one hand, my goodness, the man's voice is amazing, and every note was a treasure.

On the other hand, it was a bit disconcerting to hear the words sung with an Italian-influenced accent. This is the third time I've seen this particular bit of the concert, and something had bothered me about it from the first few notes each time. Now I realize that it was the pronunciation of the words.

In that sense, I'd like to apologize to the gods of classical music everywhere for my pitiful American attempts at French, German, Latin, Italian, Russian, Spanish, and any other language I have attempted to sing in in my brief choral career. Considering the difference between Bocelli's amazing talent, and my pitiful voice, I can only imagine how awful my American-accented words must be in other languages, no matter how hard I try....

Here's Bocelli's Music of the Night:

and here is Sarah Brightman and Josh Groban, with All I Ask of You, for comparison:

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 03, 2007

Tony Blair -- Realist

Tony Blair is interviewed by the BBC about his response to terrorism and whether or not new anti-terrorist laws enacted under his leadership limit British civil liberties:

The money quotes start at about 1:30 left. And yes, this is the video of the interview that yielded the quotes discussed here.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Man is prone to evil as the sparks fly upward....

Babies as young as 6 months are capable of deception:

Behavioural experts have found that infants begin to lie from as young as six months. Simple fibs help to train them for more complex deceptions in later life.

Until now, psychologists had thought the developing brains were not capable of the difficult art of lying until four years old.

Following studies of more than 50 children and interviews with parents, Dr Vasudevi Reddy, of the University of Portsmouth's psychology department, says she has identified seven categories of deception used between six months and three-years-old.

Infants quickly learnt that using tactics such as fake crying and pretend laughing could win them attention. By eight months, more difficult deceptions became apparent, such as concealing forbidden activities or trying to distract parents' attention.

By the age of two, toddlers could use far more devious techniques, such as bluffing when threatened with a punishment.

Dr Reddy said: "Fake crying is one of the earliest forms of deception to emerge, and infants use it to get attention even though nothing is wrong. You can tell, as they will then pause while they wait to hear if their mother is responding, before crying again.

"It demonstrates they're clearly able to distinguish that what they are doing will have an effect. This is essentially all adults do when they tell lies, except in adults it becomes more morally loaded."

So babies are pushing their boundaries almost from day 1. It's really no surprise to a developmental biologist. Children's brains are built to explore, and from the moment they exit the womb they are continually surveying their environment for cues as to "the rules", this includes everything from object permanence to gravity, to the social niceties of their individual culture. These early manipulations are simply another form of exploration; that is, figuring out how to most effectively get the reward (attention, approval, toys, food, etc.) that they want.

It kind of makes me sad though, as I'd prefer to see babies as little innocents, rather than this more cynical view of children as pre-programed manipulation machines.

Oh, and 10 points to the first person who identifies the source of the title....don't Google it, Google has a bunch of sources....

h/t Wired Science

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

I always get Bert

You think someone's trying to tell me something?

You Are Bert

Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!

You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you

You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil

How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others

The Sesame Street Personality Quiz

h/t Oscar the Grouch

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:51 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 04, 2007

I want this dude driving MY cab

Best Headline EVAR, too:

4 July 2007
Oh hells yes.
A HERO cabbie who took on the Glasgow Airport terror suspects told yesterday how he booted one of them in the privates.

Alex McIlveen, 45, kicked the man, whose body was in flames, so hard that he tore a tendon in his foot.

But he said last night: "He didn't even flinch. I couldn't believe he didn't go down.

"A doctor told me later I'd damaged a tendon in my foot."

If NHS wasn't free, I do believe that someone would be picking up this man's tab. I guess if the fucktard dies of his burns, he won't be able to use those 72 virgins....

h/t Denny

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:49 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Who knew?

A Prius can do 100 MPH!

The 24-year-old son of former Vice President Al Gore was arrested for drug possession on Wednesday after he was stopped for allegedly speeding in his hybrid Toyota Prius, a sheriff's official said.

Al Gore III -- whose father is a leading advocate of policies to fight global warming -- was driving his environmentally friendly car at about 100 miles per hour on a freeway south of Los Angeles when he was pulled over by an Orange County sheriff's deputy at about 2:15 a.m..

A subsequent search yielded a small amount of marijuana, along with prescription drugs including Valium, Xanax, Vicodin and Adderall, said sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino. There were no prescriptions found, he said.

Gore was arrested on suspicion of drug possession and booked into the Inmate Reception Center in Santa Ana, about 34 miles south of Los Angeles, on $20,000 bail, he said.
Well, that answers a burning question of mine.... I was wondering if the Prius had any guts. Turns out that it might not be worthless as a vehicle, after all,

As for algore, junior, MWAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA. Moron.

h/t Steve-O

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:57 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 07, 2007

For your weekend LOLZ


Ok. I can do that.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 09, 2007

Don't f*cking ask

Profanity alert!

My dear friend wRitErsbLock wrote something this morning that struck a nerve with me. She writes:

Do not ask people "when are you going to start having children?"

It might just be a very, very sore subject for the couple.

Maybe one wants children while the other does not. Maybe you asking that question will cause the couple to have yet another fight about it later on.

Maybe the couple is unable to conceive and has been trying without success for quite some time. If so, you just helped plunge them back into despair.

Maybe the couple hates children and never plan to have any.

No matter where the couple is at, you are stepping into dangerous water when you ask the question. It's none of your business. And you are running a risk of either angering the couple or upsetting them. So just don't ask.

Very succinct. About the only thing she didn't mention is maybe the couple has medical issues that must be resolved first.....

People really fuck me off when they ask this kind of shit. It may take a village to raise a child, but does the entire village need to know the details of the conception and whether or not the child was wanted, planned, or a complete surprise? Does the whole village need to know why?

It's amazing to me how the most private and significant moments in our lives, and their accordant choices seem to be public fodder: who we marry (or not, as the case may be), whether we parent, and how we parent. People pop out of the woodwork with advice and questions better for weddings and babies than any other event I've ever seen. Every new mom or mom-to-be that I know has been made to feel pathetic for one choice or another with regard to her baby.

And you know what else fucks me over? A lot of these nosy nellies are the same bitches who go around screaming, 'My Body, My Choice" but then they want to censor your right to do the SAME FUCKING THING if your choices don't agree with their holy-anointed-best-for-the-child-best-for-the-world-happy-shiny BS.

AUUUGH. Get over yourselves, people

With regard to WB's post, the real answer is this: You shouldn't have to ask. If you know me well enough to PRESUME to ask such questions, you should already know the answer. So if you're even considering asking those kinds of questions, that should serve as your notice that I don't want you to know.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:12 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Another 10 minute quiz

Name all 43 Presidents. It took me less than 5 minutes, but I would have been done in under 3 if I had remembered who was before old Abe sooner.

It's not super hard, as Presidents with the same last name are entered together when you type in the name. The timer starts when you click the link.

h/t El Capitan

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:32 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Step right up, folks! It's a contest, well, sorta....

It's time to make your "official" predictions for who lives and dies in Harry Potter 7. No major prizes, just brownie points and maybe gratutious linky love. Your prediction should have two parts: 1) Does Harry make it, or not? 2) Who else did she kill off?

Even if you've only seen the movies, I'm interested in other people's takes on it. Especially if you disagree radically, or if you agree, but for different reasons. Post your predictions in the comments. Contest ends July 20, 2007. Void where prohibited. Do not fold, spindle, or multilate.

I'll start: My own "official" prediction is Snape and Hagrid. Maybe Draco Malfoy. Snape is a good guy and proves it via his death. Similarly I suspect Malfoy bites it to prove his own "redemption". And poor Hagrid is the "Innocent" of the stereotypical hero myth, so I suspect he gets caught in the crossfire and his senseless death serves as a spur to Harry's ultimate action against He Who Shall Not Be Named. I think Harry lives too. He almost MUST. And if Harry lives, Ginny probably does too. Remember, Harry WILL end up with Ginny. Hermione is in love with Weasley. Speaking of, if she kills off either Ron or Hermione before they get a happily ever after I will hurl the book at whatever is close and cry for a while. Profanity will be uttered, too. Deep, dark profanity, of the sort that forms the proverbial cloud over Lake Michigan...

this post inspired by sarahk's

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:21 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack


More recipe blogging. Puke's had a good special on corn last week, so we roasted a bunch tonight, using this recipe:

Aw Shucks Grilled Corn
(originally from Rick Browne's Barbecue America TV Cookbook, found here)

6 ears fresh corn, with shucks on
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons dried ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
fresh ground pepper

1. Soak the corn in salt water for several hours to get the shucks moist. (Add 2 Tbs. salt to 1 gallon of water).
2. In a medium bowl combine mayonnaise, butter, sugar, lime juice, chili, garlic and pepper until the ingredients are well mixed.
3. Grill the corn, with the shucks intact, over hot coals or high gas burners on the grill, turning frequently, until done, about 30 minutes. The shucks will often turn dark/black but will protect the corn.
4. Peel the shucks back, one at a time, until most of the corn is exposed and then remove the silk. With a pastry brush lavishly coat the corn with the spiced mayonnaise-butter mixture.
5. Serve with shucks tied together like a handle.

We used regular dark chili powder, and no brown sugar or lime juice (I was out of limes), and I added Pappy's and onion powder to the mix. Yummy!

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 10, 2007

Ex-Fresno State coach wins multi-million $$ lawsuit against the school!

I hate to say it, but Fresno State has a history of robbing the poor (women's sports programs) to feed the rich (men's football and basketball).  Volleyball coach Lindy Vivas was fired for standing up to them, so she took them to court.

And won.  $5.85 MILLION.  And guess what?  She's not the only one.  There are two more lawsuits pending, including one from the former women's basketball coach that ought to blow the doors off the good ol' boys club that is the FSU athletic office.

A jury on Monday awarded a former Fresno State volleyball coach $5.85 million in damages, ruling that the school discriminated against her for speaking up on behalf of female athletes.

Lindy Vivas, 50, was fired in 2004, two years after coaching her team to its best season in history. University officials said Vivas was let go because she did not meet performance goals and ran a program that often played in empty arenas.

Vivas sued in civil court, saying her contract was not renewed because she raised her voice to advocate for equal treatment of women athletes and access to facilities at Fresno State, a Division I school with a sprawling central California campus.

The jury award, which took into account Vivas' back wages, future lost pay and emotional distress, is likely the largest ever granted to a coach suing for retaliation under Title IX, a landmark federal law requiring gender equity in scholastic athletics, said the coach's lawyer, Dan Siegel.

"Fresno State wants to be a big-time athletic power, but it has to start acting like one. That means treating men and women the same," Siegel said. "This is a complete vindication of her and who Lindy is as a person, as a coach, and what she had to live with as a result of their actions."

The university, of course, released a statement whining about pretrial publicity influencing the jury. Umm? Dude. You're FRESNO STATE. Get a few male football fans on that jury, you shouldn't have had to worry, but you STILL LOST. Get over yourselves. The athletic office has screwed women's sports programs six ways from Sunday. It's time you were held accountable for it.

Read the whole thing here, or the local article here.

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Yay! I'm defective!

At least according to Benny 16:

Pope Benedict XVI has reasserted the universal primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says Orthodox churches were defective and that other Christian denominations were not true churches.
Here we go again. Watch the idiots erupt in 3.... 2..... 1......

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:27 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Holy Crap!

There's a hole in my wall!

We're having an unnecessary (and broken) wall heater ripped out of our front room to make way for my walnut sideboard. YAY! And that gas valve at the bottom will come out too so the floor will be flush.

Yes, that is the neighbor's fence you can see through the hole.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:46 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Irony in Arlington?

Dear Mary Jo,

Clearly you have learned nothing, either from your master's thesis at Columbia, or about your own children.

But that's not surprising, given that you would publicly insult your own son. Calling him a pawn is pretty low.  As if he can't think for himself.  I don't know whether that says more about his shallowness, or YOUR inability to mold him into a self-reliant and thoughtful young man if you think so poorly of his ability to make decisions about his life.

You say your life is surrounded by signs and symbols of the military. Perhaps you should take advantage of your unique situation and learn about that which you seem to loathe without understanding.

Oh, and one more thing.  You say you are worried about how the experience will affect your son.  You worry he will be seriously harmed.  But did you ever think that maybe he might be changed for the better?  That perhaps the "horrors" he sees over there will spur him on to great things?  That he might dedicate himself to removing the suffering of others.

I wish you luck in dealing with your issues, and I thank your son for the choice he made to serve our country.


h/t Cass and Lex

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:04 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

More on HP7

This is the best HP7 speculation post I've seen yet.  Very interesting posits.

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:32 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 11, 2007

Moonbattery, Hypocrisy, Idiocy: Three of a kind

The "crack young staff" of the Hatemonger's Quarterly is on to something:

It's funny how people who claim to care so much about the Bush administration's supposed assault on the proper functioning of our representative democracy seem to care so little about ensuring the proper functioning of our representative democracy.
Reading this, I was reminded of a day, back in 2004, just before President Bush was reelected. It was summer, probably August or September, after the national conventions. The time when the partisanship really started to get out of hand, and bitter.

My own office was on the 7th floor, and it just so happened that there was a lovely, big Wendy's on the second floor. Every day around 11:30 I would head down in the elevator to beat the crowd for my grilled chicken sandwich, baked potato (no sour cream, but lots of chives please!), and Diet Coke.

On the day in question I entered the restaurant to find a girl in line in front of me wearing a white doctor's coat tied about her waist, green scrub pants, and a t-shirt emblazoned with "Fuck the Electoral College".

I was so disgusted, I lost my appetite and went back up to my office. Honestly, the bit that bothered me the LEAST was the fact that she was clearly an intern or resident, and she thought it was proper to dress like that in front of patients. I mean., she probably wore her coat buttoned.... What chapped my ass was the 100% ignorance of what the Electoral College is all about, and why we have it in the first place. That she would proclaim publicly (in effect) "our system is broken because the wrong guy won, so let's trash it and keep changing it until the right guy wins."

But getting back to the HMQ piece, which is about the "Impeach Bush" movement. Answer me this: What kind of "high crimes and misdemeanors" is he guilty of? What laws did he break?

I can't hear you. Maybe because you can't answer.

The truth is that the Moonbat brigade are vindictive bitter losers who CAN NOT accept the fact that (1) the majority of Americans disagree with them and (2) Their poster boy was impeached for cause. He lied to Federal investigators.

It's clear to me that this impeachment nonsense is no more than a tired game of tit-for-tat. You impeached our boy, we'll impeach yours. Except it isn't anywhere NEAR that simple. You can't impeach someone because you think he's stupid or you disagree with him or (OMG!) he's a Christian. (Which BTW, Bill Clinton claims to be too!). He has to commit a crime, which Clinton did, and Bush has not.

h/t Phoenix

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:57 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

July 12, 2007

Haven't done one of these in a while!

Care to play along?  As always, my answers in the extended...

1. Happen ::

2. Terribly ::

3. History ::

4. Master ::

5. Petrified ::

6. Moan ::

7. Attack ::

8. Picture ::

9. Students ::

10. Potter ::

More weekly mutterings here.
h/t Quicksilver Jenna

Read More "Haven't done one of these in a while!" »
Posted by caltechgirl at 12:07 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 13, 2007

Charlotte Mayor won't apologize for telling the truth

Pat McCrory, Mayor of Charlotte NC tells it like it is:

The NAACP wants Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory to apologize for remarks he made about African American youth after last week's arrests during Fourth of July festivities in uptown.

Ken White, president of the Charlotte Branch of the NAACP, on Wednesday called the mayor's comments "insensitive" and said he's concerned they painted "African American youth with a broad swath that cuts deep in many of our communities."

McCrory's comments came July 5 in a letter to the city manager congratulating police on their efforts the night before, when 169 people were arrested in uptown. McCrory also wrote that "too many of our youth, primarily African American, are imitating and/or participating in a gangster type of dress, attitude, behavior and action."

Later Wednesday, McCrory said he won't apologize.

Why not?

"Because my comments were accurate. Period."

Mayor McCrory's comments, as discussed above, were in regards to many arrests at the city's 4th of July celebration. From the Charlotte Observer:
The uptown crowd was primarily African American, as were most of those arrested: Of 143 adults arrested, 122 were black. Police later noted that those arrested comprised fewer than 1 percent of the uptown revelers.
Mayor McCrory went on to explain both his statements, and why he refuses to apologize:
McCrory ... cited statistics showing more than 60 percent of Charlotte's gang members are African American. And, he said, the victims of gang violence also tend to be black.

"One thing we agree on is that it is a horrible stereotype," McCrory said, "but it's being perpetuated by those who continue to dress like, behave like and act like gang members. It's not productive to our community, our neighborhoods, our schools, or to those individuals who are doing it."

Kudos for Mayor McCrory for saying the truth, and refusing to back down from it. Too often in this society our leaders back down from a stand because powerful opposition groups (in this case the NAACP) start threatening them.

But I must echo LaShawn Barber and ask: When did it become more of a crime in this country to SAY that something is wrong, than to do the wrong thing?

LaShawn goes on:

Too many black youth eschew education and decent living, while embracing a lifestyle that glorifies criminal activity, triflingness (yes, theres such a word), and having illicit and zero-responsibility sex with as many women as possible. The resultant children are sentenced to fatherless homes and instability. That, too, makes me sick to my stomach.


Blacks cannot complain about what white people may or may not be doing to them when they dont even care about their own children. Ive lost patience with it, and I advise everybody no matter what color you are to stop being afraid of the truth or of black people making demands. Take it from an insider: the bark, as loud and annoying as it is, is much worse than the bite.

It's my hope that more of our leaders, of ALL colors, stand up and ask the tough questions and give the tough answers about what's wrong in our communities, following Pat McCrory's example.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:49 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 16, 2007

Big Super Triple Happy!

First, two Happy Birthdays:
Ith and Ktreva both have their special day today!

And also, Happy 41st wedding anniversary to CaltechMom and CaltechDad. I love you.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:54 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Mutter this:

This week's Unconscious Mutterings:
1. Situation ::
2. Theme song ::
3. Kelly ::
4. Club ::
5. Swerve ::
6. Couch ::
7. Bigfoot ::
8. Arbitrary ::
9. Inventor ::
10. Blazer ::

As always, my answers in the extended and feel free to play along in the comments!

Read More "Mutter this:" »
Posted by caltechgirl at 11:29 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 17, 2007

Ok, I love Jon Lovitz now.

I've never been a big fan of Jon Lovitz, except for maybe his "Satan" gig on SNL, but from now on, he's on my "good guys in Hollywood" list, regardless of his politics:

It was fight night at an L.A. comedy club last week when Jon Lovitz roughed up Andy Dick over the murder of their "Saturday Night Live" colleague, Phil Hartman.

Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada, who witnessed the assault, said, "Jon picked Andy up by the head and smashed him into the bar four or five times, and blood started pouring out of his nose." Lovitz told Page Six, "All the comedians are glad I did it because this guy is a [bleep]hole."

Lovitz and Dick have been at loggerheads since a 1997 Christmas party at Hartman's house, five months before his troubled wife Brynn flipped out, fatally shooting Hartman, then killing herself. "Andy was doing cocaine, and he gave Brynn some after she had been sober for 10 years. Phil was furious about it - and then five months later he's dead," said Lovitz, adding that when he filled in on Hartman's "Newsradio" sitcom, "I told Andy, 'I wouldn't be here now if you hadn't given Brynn that cocaine.' "

Last year, Lovitz related, a drunken Dick strolled up to his table at Ago in West Hollywood, rudely downed his guests' peach liqueur drinks, and "looked at me and said, 'I put the "Phil Hartman hex" on you - you're the next one to die.' I said, 'What did you say?' and he repeated it. I wanted to punch his face in, but I don't hit women."

When the two ran into each other at the Laugh Factory last Wednesday, "I wanted him to say he was sorry for the 'Phil Hartman hex,' " Lovitz told us. "First he says, 'I don't remember saying that.' Then he leans in and says, 'You know why I said it? Because you said I killed Phil Hartman.' Which I never said. Then he asked me to be in his new movie.

"I grabbed him by the shirt and leaned him over and said, 'I don't want to be in your movie! I don't want to be in your life!' I pushed him against the rail. Then I pushed him again really hard. A security guard broke it up. I'm not proud of it . . . but he's a disgusting human being." Dick's rep said he had no comment.

Good Job, Jon. I sincerely hope you don't get arrested for it because this? It's justice. Pure and simple. Not to mention that you pounded him in the coke-hole he calls a nose. Bravo. Dick is such an appropriate name for that schmuck. He needs some help. Maybe you scared him into it. But I doubt it.

For your enjoyment, here's Jon and the late, great Phil Hartman in a sketch entitled "Discover- The Elements":

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:04 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 18, 2007

House Update

I owe you all a house update, as some of you have been asking pretty often. Not much has been happening, really because we're both working over the summer and it gets too damn hot to do anything in the afternoons.

Ok, not much isn't really true. We've had the handyman rip out the heater, and now the wall is fixed (we'll get it painted after everything else is done so we can do all the touch ups at once):

Lots more below the jump (and more pictures!)

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The First Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Review!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hasn't been made available to the press yet, but the Baltimore Sun obtained a copy and has posted a review (link not necessarily spoiler-free) (SPOILER-FREE QUOTE!):

Readers could enjoy Rowling's temporary, folksy fix for chasing away the blues (eat chocolate) while applauding the more permanent balm she offers: Concentrate with all your might on the events and people that have made you happy.

Book seven is no less penetrating, but it lacks much of the charm and humor that distinguished the earlier novels. Even the writing is more prosaic, less fanciful.

But, how could it be otherwise?

By book seven, Rowling is no longer inventing her magical world. Here, characters are accustomed to it, so it holds few surprises for them -- and by extension, for us.

In addition, Harry and his friends are no longer children. The early books, in particular, were enchanting because we could watch Harry and his friends struggling with exceptional powers, which they had not yet mastered. So a young witch or wizard would mount a broomstick for the first time and promptly be bucked off. It wasn't unlike watching real boys and girls take their first steps or learn to read -- skills every bit as magical and mysterious as casting a Summoning Spell.

By the end of the article, she does give away some minor spoilers, so read the whole thing at your own risk.

Spoiler stuff below the fold for the brave amongst you!

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July 22, 2007

Emerging from my Harry Potter Haze...

Of course, I was done with HP7 on Thursday night, courtesy of the dude who photographed the "carpet" book. Thanks, bud. You rawk.

We did go out yesterday morning and get 2 copies, and I finished it with DH yesterday evening (we were reading aloud).

To make up for it, we set ourselves up for some more serious house work, and this morning we nearly finished the front room.

But this evening I am going to snuggle back up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione and re-read a few favorite moments.

So, what did you love? What did you NOT love? Spoilers sure to abound in the comments, if you're a slow reader.....

My own thoughts in the extended:

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July 23, 2007

This is funny

From the Bookworm Geek:

What Kind of Geek Are You?

You're a movie geek! You're the type who camps out in lines to score opening-night tickets to Star Wars and Charlie's Angels sequels and probably have stalked more than one celebrity for their autograph. Your home movie collection is to be envied - only some of it pirated, honest!
Take this quiz!

As of my taking this, I was only the 6th person to get this result!

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Fun with Google Talk

I know, I am both a geek and a Google whore.

But I love google talk.  Not the least of which includes the fact that you can run Gtalk from your Gmail without having to download the chat program or that you don't need to add people to your list manually, all you have to do is send them an email from your Gmail account.

But by far my favorite aspect of google talk is the "status message" that you can customize.  That's so much better than "available" or "not available"

Recent status messages I've posted:

I am not among the rice-eating robots
I wish I'd never been broiled
I have a date with Harry Potter
Ice!  We have Ice!
I'm afraid of Farmer Shootypants too

I've noticed some of you getting into the act too! Notably sarahk and Paul Burgess who usually have an amusing message attached to their avatar...

So, fellow googleheads, do you have Gtalk?  Do you like to leave wacky messages on your "status" line too?

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:45 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Questions for J.K. Rowling

Not that she'd ever even find my humble little site, but I know we all have burning, unanswered questions about things in the Hogwarts Universe. Let's discuss, shall we?

Mine below the fold, and spoiler-iffic discussion (hopefully) in the comments!

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July 25, 2007

Congratulations Dr. May!

Queen guitarist Brian May is about to hand in his thesis, completing the requirements to be awarded a PhD in Astrophysics:

Brian May is completing his doctorate in astrophysics, more than 30 years after he abandoned his studies to form the rock group Queen.

The 60-year-old guitarist and songwriter said he plans to submit his thesis, "Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud," to supervisors at Imperial College London within the next two weeks.

May was an astrophysics student at Imperial College when Queen, which included Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor, was formed in 1970. He dropped his doctorate as the glam rock band became successful.

Queen were one of Britain's biggest music groups in the 1970s, with hits including "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We Will Rock You."

After Mercury's death in 1991, May recorded several solo albums, including 1998's "Another World." But his interest in astronomy continued, and he co-wrote "Bang! The Complete History of the Universe," which was published last year.

Finishing a PhD is a hell of an accomplishment, regardless of the circumstances. Bravo!

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Mutter, Mutter...

Here we go again....

1. Deputy ::
2. Name ::
3. Arrested ::
4. Trade ::
5. Old ::
6. Fingerprint ::
7. Dwarf ::
8. Newspaper ::
9. Gabriel ::
10. Certificate ::

As always, my answers in the extended, and you can play along in the comments!

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Revenge of Son of Book Chapter....

Turns out that I need to make some serious edits to the book chapter that I sent out a month ago. I needed to resize figures and fix some of the formatting of the text before it could be accepted, so I am taking today to work on the chapter and get some house work done. And of course the programs that I need for the figures are on Hubby's laptop, and not mine. So I needed to commandeer it yesterday for more than two hours. To get the pictures sized appropriately at the right resolution, I have a bizarre workaround that involves a statistics program of all things, and that program is on DH's computer.

Did I mention that's also the laptop with the screen that works sporadically and is hooked to an external monitor and is effectively a desktop. A desktop set up for a lefty? And I'm trying to do graphics on it???

Yeah. Migraine city. But I think I have the figures mostly done, as well as the text formatting, and I am going to do some more editing while I have the chance.

And since I need to work on the figures at home, rather than in the office, I'm at home today, watching Fox News (as usual) and doing laundry. With all of the work we've been doing ON the house, the work IN the house has been getting neglected, especially the laundry. I've been putting off the heavy house work until everything is put away (I mean really, what is the use of mopping around boxes???), and we have slowly been making progress on the house in fits and starts. Last weekend we finished the sitting room side of the front room (except for the pictures and most of the geegaws) and it's quite a comfy little reading space with an oversized chair and lots of books grouped around the fireplace. Pictures later, I promise, as soon as I'm done putting stuff out. We still need to finish the kitchen/ utility room and get all of the last few things in cabinets and on countertops and clean up some of the moving detritus.

Also, I've discovered a recently blossoming local blog scene, and when I get around to it, I'll be putting up a Pasadena Bloggers blogroll, especially as many of them have been kind enough to put me on their rolls. It's been interesting to get to know these blogs. On a national sense, our politics are often diametrically opposed, but when it comes to home, we're all interested in the same things. Look for that soon.

More later. Back to work.

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Bring on the Guinness!

You're Ireland!

Mystical and rain-soaked, you remain mysterious to many people, and this makes you intriguing. You also like a good night at the pub, though many are just as worried that you will blow up the pub as drink your beverage of choice. You're good with words, remarkably lucky, and know and enjoy at least fifteen ways of eating a potato. You really don't like snakes.

Take the Country Quiz at the Blue Pyramid

Yep, that's about right!

h/t Lebanon

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:25 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


You're the California Institute of Technology!

You are seen by many as a constantly rising star, but with the amount of work on your plate, you're afraid of becoming a shooting star as well. Sometimes you take your bottled-up aggression out on pumpkins, or those younger than you, or even just bottle it up in rockets. Though you aren't much for the opera, Wagner can wake you up in any situation. While many people view you as a Martian, you might be responsible for putting a human on Mars some day.

Take the University Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

These quizzes rawk! Damn short, too.

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:34 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 26, 2007

Best HP7 review comment yet

Courtesy of Nightfly, of course.

Below the fold for the 3 of you who haven't read the book

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July 27, 2007

Needing good vibes

As many of you know, from my occasional posts about the subject, my dear friend Helen is 26 weeks pregnant with twins after a series of failed bouts of IVF.

Last night brought word that our girl was in the hospital, with hydronephrosis and a terrible kidney infection.  She's being treated for the infection and the twins (her Lemonheads) are being monitored for any signs that they want to jump ship early.

So far so good, as there's no sign yet of early labor and the antibiotics seem to be helping the infection.  However, the doctors don't know whether or how they'll treat the hydronephrosis.

Which is all a long way of saying that our girl needs love and good wishes and prayers, which I am sure she and Angus can feel and do appreciate, even in the UK.

Please drop by and give her some love and encouragement.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 28, 2007


If you could only watch 10 currently in production TV shows, which would they be?

In no particular order:

The Dresden Files
Ugly Betty
Deadliest Catch
The First 48
Burn Notice
The Closer
Around the Horn
Pardon the Interruption

Stolen from Ith's LJ.

What about you?

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:20 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

July 30, 2007

This internet is a funny thing

I cried like a baby this morning, y'all. Seriously. Helen writes:

There's a song I heard by chance when this IVF round started. I heard it and I listened to it constantly, as it's a sweet, calming, pure song that goes in one ear and right out the top of your toe, massaging every nerve in comfort on its way out. I listened to this song through the shots, the surgeries, the positives, the scans, the scares. This song has been with the Lemonheads since before their existence. I got the headphones and placed one beside one baby, one beside the other.

I hit play.

I heard the song myself as I watched the slide move, indicating the song was playing.

I waited.

And waited.

Then I felt it - a flutter from the left. A kick from the right. Mama, we're sleepy.

I smiled as the song ended, then plugged the iPod into my own ears and fell back asleep listening to the song.

Mama, we're sleepy. That was it. Big ol' sobs. I can't wait for the Lemonheads to be here. But I'll wait as long as it takes for them to be healthy!

All this is a long winded way of saying that Helen is home from the hospital, and feeling a bit better after a hell of a scare, although she and the Lemonheads will be closely watched for the next 10-12 weeks (hopefully!)

Do drop by and give her your love, as she is worn out, sore, and scared, and I'm pretty sure your well wishes are more than welcome right now.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:24 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Mutter, Mutter, Who's got the Mutter.....

Here we go again.....

1. Traditional ::
2. Popeye ::
3. Gin ::
4. Harsh ::
5. Topless ::
6. The thing ::
7. Defiant ::
8. Huge ::
9. Food ::
10. Lenny ::

You know the rules. My answers in the extended post.....

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Posted by caltechgirl at 08:16 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

July 31, 2007

Fred on Kelo

Yep. Preach it, Senator:

Our Founders placed respect for private property as a key principle when writing our nation's Constitution, and the protection of private property resulted in the United States becoming the greatest economic power in the world and a beacon of freedom to all. This principle is even more important today, as homeownership has become an increasingly integral part of our citizens' aspirations for a better future for themselves and their loved ones. If the Supreme Court will not protect our right to ownership, then political leaders must step up to the challenge.
There's plenty more. See it here.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:58 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack