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June 01, 2007

For the Office Space geeks.....

Here's a little Kitty Office Space for you:

Courtesy the geniuses at ICANHASCHEEZBURGER.com

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

It's Friday. More Cuteness headed your way

First up, AWTM's precocious 3 year old, the Pink Ninja, echoes my own sentiments during a tour of the National Infantry Museum at Ft. Benning, GA.  Hubby was 1st. Cav.  'Nuff said.

Second, VW shares more toilet humor from Tot.... (drink warning!)


Posted by caltechgirl at 09:25 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Fred vs. the Commies

Run Fred, Run!

Today's editorial (too good for a short excerpt):

Well, he's done it. Hugo Chavez was already systematically silencing criticism of his autocratic rule through threats and intimidation. Journalists have been threatened, beaten, and even killed. Now he's shut down the last opposition television networks in Venezuela and arrested nearly 200 protesters, mostly students. It's a monumental tragedy and the Venezuelan people will pay the price for decades to come. Americans are also at risk as he funds anti-American candidates and radicals all over Latin America.

It's equally tragic that the U.S. is in no position to provide the victims of this emerging dictator with the truth. There was a time, though, when Americans were on the frontlines of pro-freedom movements all over the world. I'm talking about the "surrogate" broadcast network that included Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, often called "the Radios."


Cynics still say that the USSR fell of its own weight, and that President Reagan's efforts to bring it down were irrelevant, but Boris Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev say differently. Both have said that, without the Radios, the USSR wouldn't have fallen. The Radios were not some bland public-relations effort, attracting audiences only with American pop music. They engaged the intellectual and influential populations behind the Iron Curtain with accurate news and smart programming about freedom and democracy. They had sources and networks within those countries that sometimes outperformed the CIA. When Soviet hardliners and reformers were facing off, and crowds and tanks were on the streets of Moscow and Bucharest, the radios were sending real-time information to the people, including the military, and reminding them of what was at stake.

Then we won the Cold War. The USSR collapsed in 1991, and America relaxed. Military downsizing began and the Radios began to reduce broadcast air time to target countries.

Now, of course, we know that the Islamofascists, many trained by the old Soviets, were making plans and plots of their own. Unfortunately, the plans to broadcast a pro-freedom message into Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Kurdistan, and Ukraine were shelved or diluted. Reagan's ideological audacity was replaced with a more "diplomatic" tone.

And see where it's got us? Not only has Islamic totalitarianism spread without a true ideological challenge, many of the freed Soviet bloc countries are slipping back into repression. Russia is making the same old threats and even protecting Iran's efforts to build nukes.<

We'll never know if Afghanistan might have rejected al Qaeda if America had actively engaged that country as we did those Eastern Europeans. We can't know if Venezuelans would have chosen liberty over the false security of authoritarianism if they had been challenged to face the issues. I do know, though, that it's time for a new generation of Americans to stand up for freedom — like others before us. And this time, we’ll have a whole new set of media technologies.(emphasis mine --Ed.)

We'll be there to stand up.  I can promise you that, Senator.  Just give us the leadership we have been sadly lacking for so long.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Actually, Glenn...

The question SHOULD be: Why isn't this a list of gifts for Mother's Day?  Lots of moms like power tools and grills and camera accessories, too!

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:32 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 02, 2007

Schrödinger's Cat...

Photo geekery courtesy of ICANHASCHEEZBURGER.COM:

For more on the famous thought experiment, see the Wiki.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:02 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

And Fred supports Israel, too!

Wednesday's Townhall column:

Let me ask you a hypothetical question. What do you think America would do if Canadian soldiers were firing dozens of missiles every day into Buffalo, N.Y.? What do you think our response would be if Mexican troops for two years had launched daily rocket attacks on San Diego -- and bragged about it?

I can tell you, our response would look nothing like Israel's restrained and pinpoint reactions to daily missile attacks from Gaza. We would use whatever means necessary to win the war. There would likely be numerous casualties on our enemy's side, but we would rightfully hold those who attacked us responsible.

He's damn right. Read the whole thing. Fred nails the situation EXACTLY.

Run, Fred, Run!

h/t Brian the Sailor at Pereiraville

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 05, 2007

Real life intervenes

Working on a book chapter. If you have keys, feel free to pop in and post! Otherwise, chat in the comments, I guess.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:12 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Ask Fred...

Not invited to tonight's debate, but I'm sure he'll have something INTERESTING to say.

Fred will be on Hannity and Colmes (known as "Sean and Fish Face" in our house) tonight after the debate.

Frank J (another Thompsoniac) says:

Fred Thompson will be on Hannity & Colmes after the Republican debate that's going on as I type. My suggestion for what he should say:

"It was a great debate, but there's one thing I can say that none of those candidates can..."

He turns to face the camera and it zooms for a close up.

"I'm Fred Thompson."

Woo Hoo! Run, Fred, Run! He's already #2 in the polls, and he hasn't even declared yet!

Oh, and as for Scarborough's comments on Jeri Kehn Thompson: Get a life, jackoff. How would you like it if someone asked if your wife or mother "worked the pole"?

One more, here's an interesting Fred story from John Fund in today's Opinion Journal.

Yeah, yeah, I know I said I wasn't going to post, but I had to tell you to watch FRED.

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:03 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

My very first post EVER... from guest blogger ZTZCheese

Hi there. Some of you may recognize me from various and sundry comments, but in general, I'm a big fat lurker. This is my very first blog entry ever. Yes, I know. Frankly, I'm just not a writer. Sit me down over diet Coke or coffee or something, and I will talk your freaking ear off. Ask me to write, however, and it's either a novel or a sentence no halfway from me.

A few weeks ago, during my fairly usual rant to CTG about my day at work, she suggested I take blog keys and post about it. The particular story in question was going to be a lot of work to type up and make coherent, though, and I didn't have the time to write a freaking essay. But I have another story for today that isn't so complicated. Its definitely something smallish to mark that first tentative toe-dip into blogging.

I am a middle school math teacher (ah, that explains a lot, doesn't it?). I teach in a district where the primary student populations are Armenian and Hispanic. I have a student named Greg who really needs to be in Special Education, but his parents refuse to allow the placement. Greg is Armenian. Greg's mom is adamant that he just needs more patience and tutoring.

Now, my take on Special Education is that too many kids are lumped there for stupid reasons. I have a lot of students who have phantom "auditory processing disorders" who I suspect are just 12-year-olds who are too distracted to pay attention. Yes, I know that makes me a bad person who is going straight to hell.

Greg will avoid reading whenever possible. He will come up to my desk and ask me to tell him what to do rather than read the instructions. Ask him to read out loud, and he will clumsily sound out words. I'm not convinced he understands what he's reading, either. He doesn't often follow directions, at least. Clearly, information has trouble getting into his little head.

I am currently working with my students on a project requiring the definitions of acute, right, and obtuse triangles. I have done this project every year since I started teaching 4 years ago, and I know that every time, I get many definitions for acute, right, and obtuse angles. This year, I was convinced I would keep them on the straight and narrow. No more glossary definitions. Students scanning the glossary for "acute" will find the definition of "acute angle" above "acute triangle". It's depressing how many of them will just seize on the first similar-sounding item. Bless them for thinking to look in the glossary, but not today.

I gave a loooong, way over the top talk about how they could avoid the fate their predecessors had not. We were going to copy (gasp!) the definitions straight out of the text. I instructed my students to copy them onto a lined paper for homework. I interrupted those kids AT LEAST six times to make sure they were tracking on the correct page. What are we NOT going to do? Use the glossary. What page are the instructions on? Page 404

The next morning, Greg came up to my desk with a gigantic grin on his face. Mrs. Cheese, I finished my homework! I was suitably enthusiastic and congratulatory. He then proceeds to shove the paper in my face and ask, Did I do it right?

Sigh. I hate that. But its Greg. Greg needs that kind of affirmation.

So I look for acute, as that will tell me all I need to know. As I feared, I saw a picture of an angle. Then I looked at the text. Did I do it right? he asked again. Sighing, I looked up at his hopeful face.

Well, Greg, aside from the fact that its in Spanish

What? gasped a Hispanic student at Gregs group, Lemme see! A very confused Greg handed the paper limply to his group mate. Oh my God, its in SPANISH! pronounced Carlos. Carlos then proceeds to show the paper around to his Spanish-speaking friends. A ripple spreads over the kids.

Now, a good teacher would have put a stop to this. A good teacher would have taken one look at Gregs face, which was just now starting to register that, the ruckus? It might not be a good thing. That's what a good, compassionate teacher would have done. What was I doing? Laughing so hard that I had to turn my chair towards the wall.

Mystery solved below:

Read More "My very first post EVER... from guest blogger ZTZCheese" »
Posted by ztzcheese at 09:04 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

June 06, 2007

Educating Boys

Thirty years ago all the buzz was about girls falling behind academically.  We HAD to fix that.  Change the classrooms.  Make them more girl-friendly.  Give the girls more role models, more chances.  Affirmative action for girls, right?

Well, it looks like we did TOO good a job.  As this article points out, boys are now falling far behind girls, and are testing at a lower level than they were 35 years ago.

“Boys are in trouble,” said Krista Kafer, visiting fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum. “The facts are quite clear; boys trail girls in most indicators of academic excellence such as, school engagement, achievement scores, and graduation rates at secondary and postsecondary levels.” Kafer presented these facts in her latest IWF position paper, Taking the Boy Crisis in Education Seriously: How School Choice Can Boost Achievement Among Boys and Girls.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, shows an overwhelming amount of data that supports Kafer’s theory. Take a look:
* A 2005 NAEP study revealed that a third of 12th grade boys cannot read a newspaper and understand what they are reading.
* The NAEP “Long-Term Trend Test” (started in 1971 and has remained unchanged to better track academic trends over time) showed that at age 17 boys’ reading achievement was fourteen points lower than girls’ and in fact is lower than it was in 1971.
* The same test also shows that scores for the 12th grade reveal that in math, girls have improved while boys have slipped. In reading, girls have improved a little while boys have fallen behind even more.
As an instructor of young women and young men, it is clear to me that while there are differences between boys and girls in the way they learn, there are no real generalizations that can be made about "boys" or "girls".  Each student has a unique learning style, and each student responds best to different types of instruction.  In the past, girls often received less encouragement at home with regard to school achievement, but these days, most kids receive very little positive reinforcement of their academic achievements, boy or girl.  If they do hear about grades, it's often a demand or other negative form of reinforcement.

The best thing that parents can do is be involved enough in their child's education to know what stimulates them to learn best, and work with the teacher to give the child opportunities to experience that kind of instruction, at home or at school. And parents should also be aware that this pro-girl thinking has clearly shaped modern pedagogy, and not completely in a bad way, especially parents of boys.

h/t the venomous one

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Maybe that sign should read "No Blood for Gas" instead?

I got yer "No Blood for Oil!" right here:

Red Cross Offering Gas For Blood

Lucky Winner Will Get $3,500 In Gasoline

American Red Cross officials are offering the chance to win free gasoline as an incentive to get more Pennsylvania and New Jersey residents to donate blood.

This summer, each donor will automatically be entered in a drawing to win $3,500 worth of gasoline. Entries for the first drawing, July 23, are already being accepted. An identical raffle will start July 23 and run through Sept. 16. Every day, the Red Cross also will award a $25 gas card to a randomly selected donor.

Can't you just see the tinfoil hat brigade protesting the Red Cross?  I wouldn't put it past them.....

idea stolen shamelessly from BR

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 08, 2007

Suck it up, twat. a.k.a. Paris goes to jail Part Deux

You play, you pay, little girl. 

This is what happens when you drive drunk.  You go to jail.  PERIOD.  Rich and Famous means nothing to Justice.  Remember, she's blind.

Suck it up Paris.  Maybe you'll actually learn a lesson from this.  You know, that Mommy and Daddy can't cover for you for the rest of your life.

Here's my favorite part:

As [deputy city attorney, David Bozanich] made the final pitch for Hilton's further incarceration, Hilton's entire body began trembling. She had a ball of tissue clutched in her hand and tears ran down her face.

Seconds later the judge announced his decision.

"The defendant is remanded to county jail to serve the remainder of her 45-day sentence. This order is forthwith," he said.

Hilton screamed.

The courtroom was surrounded with eight deputies who immediately ordered all spectators out.

Hilton's mother Kathy threw her arms around her husband Rick and sobbed uncontrollably.

Deputies escorted Hilton out of the room, holding each of her arms as she looked back.

Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200 dollars. Not that you need it.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:05 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

June 11, 2007

Book Chapter: sent

FINALLY. Only 10 days late. 7, 329 words, 5 figures, references and an abstract.


Posted by caltechgirl at 07:27 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

I am not worthy to call myself your friend

I couldn't do what you have just done.  But I am so much more than proud.  Godspeed.

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:41 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 12, 2007

Sad that Harry's ending?

Not to worry, the next Harry Potter might just be on the horizon already:

Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams were signed by Chicken House publisher Barry Cunningham after he tracked down an early version of their book "Tunnels" that was self-published.

"I knew from page one that Harry Potter was magic. Reading 'Tunnels' gave me the same thrill," said Cunningham, who has also achieved worldwide publishing success with the children's books of German writer Cornelia Funke.

"Tunnels has it all: a boy archaeologist, merciless villains, a lost world and an extraordinary journey to the centre of the earth," Cunningham said after first stirring up interest at the international children's rights fair in Bologna.

Here's a little plot summary:
Fourteen-year-old Will Burrows lives with his family in London. He has little in common with them except for a passion for digging which he shares with his father. When his father suddenly disappears down an unknown tunnel, Will decides to investigate with his friend Chester. Soon they find themselves deep underground, where they unearth a dark and terrifying secret - a secret which may cost them their lives.
Sounds really cool!

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Mr. Wizard, Don Herbert, Dead at age 89

The man who taught millions of young Americans about science through fun experiments has died.

Don Herbert, who as television's "Mr. Wizard" introduced generations of young viewers to the joys of science, died Tuesday. He was 89. Herbert, who had bone cancer, died at his suburban Bell Canyon home, said his son-in-law, Tom Nikosey.

"He really taught kids how to use the thinking skills of a scientist," said former colleague Steve Jacobs. He worked with Herbert on a 1980s show that echoed the original 1950s "Watch Mr. Wizard" series, which became a fond baby boomer memory.

In "Watch Mr. Wizard," which was produced from 1951 to 1964 and received a Peabody Award in 1954, Herbert turned TV into an entertaining classroom. On a simple, workshop-like set, he demonstrated experiments using household items.

"He modeled how to predict and measure and analyze. ... The show today might seem slow but it was in-depth and forced you to think along," Jacobs said. "You were learning about the forces of nature."

Herbert encouraged children to duplicate experiments at home, said Jacobs, who recounted serving as a behind-the-scenes "science sidekick" to Herbert on the '80s "Mr. Wizard's World" that aired on the Nickelodeon channel.

I watched Mr. Wizard on Nick, and he was always my favorite. You can keep your Bill Nye and Beekman. Mr. Wizard was the man.  Rest in Peace, Science man.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:19 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 13, 2007

I haven't posted a recipe in a while

This post at Christina's made me think of one of my favorites.  Very simple, and a completely different take on a vegetable most people don't like much.

Brown Sugar Asparagus
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons brown sugar plus a pinch for garnish
2 pounds fresh asparagus - cut into 2" pieces
(about 4 cups, discard woody ends)
1 cup chicken broth

In a skillet at medium-high heat, stir butter and brown sugar until brown sugar is dissolved. Add asparagus; saute for 2-3 minutes, tossing to coat with sugar and butter. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove lid and cook, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by half. Garnish with a pinch of brown sugar.  Serve immediately.

There's a funny story behind this one.  The recipe actually comes from the little tag attached to the bunch of asparagus in the store.  I tried it on a lark, and now this is the ONLY way hubby will eat asparagus.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:20 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

For Eric

Run and Hide, my good man.  Today of all days.  And take your trusty irons with you.

It's Zombie Uprising day!

h/t Ith

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:02 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Fred has a blog and he's not afraid to use it!

New to the ImWithFred site, as of today, Fred's Blog. It has a feed, too.  If you're a "Friends of Fred" member you can log in and comment, too.

Here's what Harvey usually refers to as the "obligatory sucky first post":

Folks, I'm on the road, but wanted to drop you a note of thanks for making the ImWithFred.com website launch a huge success.

Also, I'd like to mention that I'll be appearing on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" tonight, June 12. So stay up with us and watch, or record it to watch at your convenience.

You heard the man: Fred. With Jay. Tonight Last Night. I am an idiot. Be there.
If you missed it too, this might be an acceptable substitute: Fred at the Hoover Institute.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:17 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Play Free Bird!

An explanation here.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Dad!

The wonderful and amazing Caltech Dad turns 73 today.  Those of you who have had the pleasure of meeting him know that "wonderful and amazing" is pretty much an understatement.

I love you Daddy. Have a wonderful day!

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:23 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

June 15, 2007

Fred! vs the Commies

I find it very interesting that one of Fred's strategies so far has been to talk about the subjects that other candidates shy away from, including Israel and communism in Latin America, most notably in castro's Cuba.  Fred takes on castro again, in this piece, which puts castro AND hugo chavez into some historical perspective:

We're coming up on the 45th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis and I think it's worth talking about. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy faced down the USSR, risking total war, and forced the Soviets to remove ballistic weapons from Cuba. Missiles located less than a hundred miles from America were aimed at the US.

A lot of people, I think, have forgotten. Most schools don't even teach about it in any real detail. Judging by the indifference that many people have to the nuclear arming of Iran, I think it's a lesson almost entirely lost -- except among Cuban-Americans.

Over the years, they've never stopped watching "el Comandante" -- or warning us about him. At the same time, they've been criticized by people who say that Castro is really no threat. Current events in South America, though, have proven that we should have been listening to our Cuban-Americans friends.

Last week, when Hugo Chavez officially killed press freedoms, even a big part of Venezuela's far left seemed to realize that they’d created a monster. Unfortunately, it may be too late. He's already packed Venezuela's high court, legislature and military with his loyalists. Right now, he's operating without any check or balance.

During his rise, Venezuelans say that Chavez spent hours a day on the phone with Castro. Additionally, Castro sent thousands of his Communist apparatchiks to help transition Venezuela from a free country to a totalitarian state.

Without Cuban “help,” Venezuela wouldn’t be in the terrible mess it is today. Castro, after all, has been at this since the 1960's and he's given Chavez the benefit of his experience.

There's one big difference between Venezuela today and Cuba then, however. Castro needed Soviet aid to push his so-called "revolution." Chavez does not. One of his first moves was to bolster the Cuban dictatorship with oil subsidies -- a hundred thousand barrels a day to the tune of two billion dollars a year. One of the main factors preventing Cuba's transition towards democracy is Venezuelan oil wealth. On June 26, that wealth could increase significantly, as Chavez says he’ll nationalize the petroleum industry on that date.

Interesting, no? And most people probably don't remember the backdrop to the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Just the outcome.  Sad really.  Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it, right?

h/t Marc Masferrer at Babalu

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The 10 Worst Jobs in Science

And they're not all "graduate student" positions.  Really.

And folks, #10 is "Whale Feces Researcher".... makes me appreciate my job (which I love) all the more.


Posted by caltechgirl at 11:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's a Voluntary Meme

Seen everywhere:

Learn A Lot Of Little Known Facts About Those You Know

My Daddy (first name) and my Mom's friend (middle name)

Two nights ago when we watched the Ugly Betty season finale (finally!). Why did no one warn me, you barsteds?

actually, yeah. It sucks. No one else can read it.

Roast Beef. Sliced thin. Followed closely by pastrami. Yum.

I have a pooch. She's my baby.

depends..... could I put up with me? Hmmmmmm.....

oh, hardly ever, not me. I couldn't.

Yes, thank you.

Oh Hell Fuck No.

Bran Flakes. Or Quaker Oat Squares. Yum.

Birkies don't have laces.

Emotionally, yes.

Cookies and Cream, Ben and Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie, Fosselman's Peppermint Stick

whether they are smiling.


the allergy that is making my face break out

My Nana

I'm not wearing either pants or shoes, but my toenail polish is red, and I have a black and white dress on.


Last night's "The First 48" courtesy of TiVo.


My husband, puppy breath, Christmas trees

Christina and Dash

Football and Hockey

Dark, Dark Auburn

Brown/Green Hazel. They were dark blue when I was born.


hmm, this is actually tough..... I'll go with fried dill pickles today.

Happy Endings. Duh. Life's too short.

Auntie Mame

Again, no shirt. But my dress is black with a white and blue and yellow pattern.

WINTER. More winter, please.

Both, please.

cheesecake or a brownie sundae

no one


I just finished "Eye Contact" by Cammie McGovern. I'll pick up HP6 as soon as I unpack it to prepare for HP7.

Tigger and Pooh

The Riches, Deadliest Catch, and After the Catch. All courtesy of TiVo

snow falling

Neither. Play Free Bird!

well, farthest from where I was living at the time, Ontario, Canada.


St. Agnes Hospital, Fresno, CA


Posted by caltechgirl at 11:41 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Yes, People. I do watch Ugly Betty.

Two of you so far have expressed that you never would have guessed that I watch Ugly Betty.

Yes, Dammit.  I do. I watch a lot of shows you wouldn't expect me to watch.

Here's my TiVo Season Pass List, in case you were wondering:
Around the Horn
Dallas SWAT
Detroit SWAT
The First 48
Dog the Bounty Hunter
The Dresden Files
Top Chef
Quincy, M.E.
Nanny 911
Sherlock Holmes Mysteries
UNC Basketball
Ugly Betty
Project Runway
CSI: Las Vegas
The Amazing Race
Mind of Mencia
Little People, Big World
South Park
Miami Ink
Pros vs. Joes
Top Design
Deadliest Catch
Dancing with the Stars
Shalom in the Home
The Riches
Planet Earth
Kyle XY
Painkiller Jane
After the Catch
The Universe
The Closer
Dr. G Medical Examiner
Match Game
Ice Road Truckers

Note: these are not in order of importance except ATH and PTI.  I get cranky if I don't get my ESPN.

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 16, 2007

Ah-nuld gets it right

The Governator told a gathering of Hispanic journalists on Thursday that mainstreaming recent immigrants means taking off their language crutches:

"You've got to turn off the Spanish television set" and avoid Spanish-language television, books and newspapers, the Republican governor said Wednesday night at the annual convention of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

"You're just forced to speak English, and that just makes you learn the language faster," Schwarzenegger said.

"I know this sounds odd and this is the politically incorrect thing to say, and I'm going to get myself in trouble," he said, noting that he rarely spoke German and was forced to learn English when he emigrated from Austria.

Schwarzenegger was responding to a question about how Hispanic students can improve academically. Many journalists for Spanish-language organizations in the audience were surprised by the remarks.

The best part? The predictable response:
"I'm sitting shaking my head not believing that someone would be so naive and out of it that he would say something like that," said Alex Nogales, president and chief executive of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.

Hispanic immigrants need Spanish-language media to stay informed and "function in this society," Nogales said.
I'd just like to point out that this dude is the one keeping his people down, ok. It's not the Man. It's the Hombre.  I should remind Mr. Nogales of a couple of things.  First, Mr. Schwarzenegger DIDN'T have the "native" language resources that you and your colleagues provide.  And somehow, he managed to learn enough to be informed enough to be THE FRIGGING GOVERNOR of the richest, most diverse state in the US. 

How much more functional than the Governor do Hispanic immigrants need to be in this society, Mr. Nogales?

Second, I'd like to invite Mr. Nogales to take a look around.  What language was that interview conducted in?  Oh yeah, English.  What language is spoken in classrooms in major Universities?  What's that?  Yep, also English.  What do you really want Mr. Nogales?  From my perspective as an educator of Hispanic children, I see you doing them and their parents a disservice by making it easy on them to remain in a shadowy "other" realm, LA's second city, where English is rare and education and resources are low.  Let's face it. English is the de facto language of business and academia in this country.  There are limits to what you can do if you do not speak it.  Period.  And the best way to learn English is to be immersed in it, as for any other language.

Props to Ah-Nuld.  He's been there and he accomplished something great, therefore he has the right to share the benefit of his experience.  But to say (essentially) that his opinion is unwelcome because he didn't have the resources available to Spanish speakers in CA today is ludicrous, and furthermore to call him naive and out of touch because he didn't need crutches to get there is selfish and self-serving.

What is your real goal, Mr. Nogales?  To force-feed non-English speakers your bullshit propaganda?  To keep your people down so that they will foment a revolution? Or to make this country as Spanish speaking as Mexico.  Ironic that, as the Spanish language itself was imposed on Mexico about 500 years ago.....

h/t Mikey

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:50 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 18, 2007

For Ken S.

Thanks for my earworm.  Good thing I actually like it!

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:36 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 19, 2007

There are no words

Charleston, SC mourns nine of its bravest today:

Fire swept through a furniture warehouse, collapsing its roof and killing nine firefighters inside in a disaster the mayor described Tuesday as "difficult to fathom or quantify."

"Nine brave, heroic, courageous firefighters of the city of Charleston have perished fighting fire in a most courageous and fearless manner, carrying out their duties," Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley said at a morning news conference. "To all of their loved ones, our heart goes out to them."

Two employees in the building were rescued from the blaze, which broke out at about 7 p.m. Monday in the Sofa Super Store and warehouse, Riley said. One was rescued quickly, and firefighters punched a hole through a wall of the warehouse to reach the other, he said.

Firefighters, police officers and other rescue workers saluted as the firefighters' bodies were carried from the warehouse during the night.

"To lose nine is just a tragedy of immense proportions," Riley said. "To lose nine is just unbelievable."

The department has 237 firefighters in 19 companies located throughout the city of about 106,000.

My heart goes out to their families and they are in my thoughts and prayers.

UPDATE: The nine Firefighters have been identified

Capt. William "Billy" Hutchinson, 48
Capt. Mike Benke, 49
Capt. Louis Mulkey, 34
Engineer Mark Kelsey, 40
Engineer Bradford "Brad" Baity, 37
Assistant Engineer Michael French, 27
James "Earl" Drayton, 56
Brandon Thompson, 27
Melven Champaign, 46


Posted by caltechgirl at 10:29 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Will Rushdie go into hiding again?

With the author's name on the Birthday Honours List this year, British muslims are renewing their "jihad" on on author Salman Rushdie:

A Pakistani minister says Muslims would be right to carry out suicide attacks over author Salman Rushdie's knighthood.

Religious Affairs Minister Mohammed Ijaz ul Haq told the country's parliament: "The West is accusing Muslims of extremism and terrorism.

"If someone exploded a bomb on his body he would be right to do so unless the British government apologises and withdraws the 'Sir' title."

In Multan, effigies of the writer and the monarch have been burned by about 100 students carrying banners and chanting "Kill Him! Kill Him!"
First of all, if these fuckers had actually read the book, they wouldn't bitch. It SUCKS. SUCKS. No one would have read it if they hadn't made such a stink in the first place. Now it's a classic.

Second, if Sir Salman goes into hiding, will they cancel Top Chef or just find a new host? Mrs. Salman Rushdie, a.k.a. Padma Lakshmi, is the host. Her knowledge of all things culinary as well as her sharp personality and beautiful face makes her a great host. It would be sad if she had to give up her career for her own safety.

It's the Religion of Peace and Tolerance, my friends.  Always remember that,

h/t Wild Thing

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An observation....

Ever seen the commercial for Angel Soft TP where the one angel is trying to reach up to a light bulb to change it, and laments that he is too short to reach it, that is, until his buddy gives him a pile of Angel Soft tissue to stand on???

Does it strike anyone else as WRONG that they are playing that commercial during an episode of Little People, Big World??

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:20 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Cheap DSL Internet!

AT&T is offering $10/month DSL service to some eligible customers as part of a deal brokered with the FCC to garner approval for their takeover of BellSouth:

The $10 offer is available to customers in the 22-state AT&T service region, which includes former BellSouth areas, who have never had AT&T or BellSouth broadband, spokesman Michael Coe confirmed Monday. Local phone service and a one-year contract are required. The modem is free.

The plan was not mentioned in a Friday news release about AT&T's DSL plans, and is slightly hidden on the AT&T Web site. A page describing DSL options doesn't mention it, but clicking a link for "Term contract plans" reveals it. It's also presented to customers who go into the application process, Coe said.

The service provides download speeds of up to 768 kilobits per second and upload speeds of up to 128 kbps, matching the speeds of the cheapest advertised AT&T plan, which costs $19.95 per month in the nine-state former BellSouth area and $14.99 in the 13 states covered by AT&T before the acquisition.
If you're interested click here for more information (AT&T and/or former SBC customers) or here and scroll down to "Term contract plans available" (former BellSouth Customers).

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:55 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The "Nuge" Speaks!

Ted Nugent rocks.

... Especially here in the great Republic of Texas, a smiling, drooling preference for succulent, protein-rich, nutritious backstrap over aromatic mesquite coals is as American and natural and right as Mom, apple pie and the flag. It's beautiful, really.

But a culture war rages against such universal, self-evident truths. It would be laughable if it were not so deranged. Some weirdos actually are on a crusade to outlaw the consumption of flesh.

I have musical touring associates who have been fired from their jobs with ex-Beatle Paul McCartney for sneaking a hamburger.

You heard that right. Fired for eating meat by an animal-rights maniac, hard-core vegan bass player.

The entire agenda of the gazillion-dollar-financed joke known as PETA literally is dedicated to outlawing meat.

Neither I, nor any hunter or meat eater on the planet, has any desire whatsoever to influence any vegetarian's choice of diet or to force them to eat meat. We are the friendly, tolerant Americans.

This is but one of many issues that represent the line drawn in the sand between liberals and conservatives.

There's more. Check out the rest here. Be sure to note Nuge's views on the Left in this country, and how much their rhetoric sounds like the commies...

h/t el Pitbull at Babalu

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June 21, 2007

It's a....

As if I'd tell you. 

Helen and Angus found out what flavor(s) of twins they're getting. 

I'll let her tell you, though.

Now that I know, however, it's off to the yarn store for appropriate baby-colored yarn.  I already have a pattern in mind.

I wish all you people would just quit having babies, already!  I'm already behind with their presents! (j/k)

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 24, 2007

Poor Ned Nickerson....

Sucks to be him, I guess.  The number one bachelor in River Heights  and she still cheats.  Who knew?

h/t Ken S.

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June 26, 2007

I like this!

Dodgers move Nomar to 3rd base, Loney to first, and sit down Wilson Betemit.  Betemit is #2 on my Dodgers Shit list, right behind that pathetic-ass, loss magnet Joe Beimel.

Nomar Garciaparra is moving across the diamond.

After spending the past season and a half as the Los Angeles Dodgers' first baseman, Garciaparra will move to third base, perhaps as early as Friday.

"We're trying to get ourselves in a position where we can be the best we can be, and that option right now is there for us," manager Grady Little said Monday. "Nomar's 100 percent on board. He's been over there before. It's not a strange place for him."

It opens up a chance for streaking James Loney to play first base. Loney is hitting .429 since being recalled from the minor leagues June 10.

"This has a lot to do with the way James Loney is swinging the bat and the way he's playing, too," Little said. "The primary factor is to try to help us win games. And we feel like this is a move we want to give a shot at right now."

Doin' the happy dance! Now if they can just straighten out the bullpen.....

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An update, I suppose

It's time for a brain dump.  I have been posting like crap over the last few weeks.  Going through the house buying process will do that to you , I suppose.  Not to mention that I have to go to work and get that paycheck for the mortgage.....

Anyway, we are mostly settled.  Oh yeah, the house still looks like a box tornado hit it.  Boxes in every room.  But everyday the number of boxes decreases, and every day we get a little closer to "settled".

This weekend we focused on the backyard. We planted tomatoes and peppers and flowers.  We ripped out a bunch of trash (dying annuals) that the previous owners planted to make the house pretty.  Oh, and we mowed the lawn.  Yep, we bought a lawnmower. We also attacked the honeysuckle bush that grows over the top of our patio's arbor.  It was far to heavy for it's own good, and the growth underneath is dying from lack of sun, so we cut it way back. 

We're also trying out different types of squirrel repellent.  I hate the little bastards.  They ate ALL of our apricots, and are currently trying to duplicate that feat with the plums. DH says he's like Ralphie, and he wants a BB gun for Christmas.

I don't think he'll shoot his eye out, do you?

The list of things we want to do to the house keeps getting longer, as we get settled.  However, it's also getting pushed back by the list of things we NEED to do in the house.... like when the hot water in the shower mysteriously stops working all of a sudden...Needless to say, DH is now known far and wide as MASTER PLUMBER.  It was a $25 repair, the plumber would have charged me AT LEAST 10X as much.

Things at work are settling down, too.  My book chapter is in.  Not quite on time, but certainly not the last one, either.  I have been busy doing the part of my job that I refer to as "the other stuff": student business, community outreach, etc.  I sure as hell like this stuff better than being in the lab.

I know I haven't blogged about it much, but I have been keeping up with the news.  This Jessie Davis case has made me sick.  What the hell kind of asshole kills the mother of his child, and his unborn child when his wife already knows about them?  He had nothing to gain from killing Jessie and Chloe.  Not a damn thing.  And now his little boy will grow up without either of his parents.

And I must tell you, I am so glad this whole Paris Hilton crap is over. I STG I now know why people in other countries hate us and think we're weak.  We watch a billionaire's daughter get chauffered to and from jail.  And this is SUPPOSEWDLY IMPORTANT.  Never mind that people are fighting and dying in places most Americans can't find on a map, a rich blonde is going to jail!  Stop the presses!

Give me a friggin' break.

I'm still on the Fred bandwagon.  The more I hear from Fred, the more I like.  And the thing is, Fred and I may disagree on some issues, but he has the cojones to get the job done.  I really believe it.  Like Reagan, there's something about Fred that tells me he's got an agenda, and nothing is going to stop him from making it happen.  The comparison to Reagan, is especially apt, I think.  Not even because Fred is also an actor.  But maybe that gives him an edge, too.  He has ties outside of Washington, he's in touch with the rest of the world. I mean, heck, he has a BLOG!  He actually blogs (sometimes, the majority of the posts are excerpts from his daily commentaries).  And he's already spoken out on a number of very touchy issues that others won't touch: Cuba, Israel, National Health Care.

I suppose that's about it for now. I'm sure I'll think of something else later....

Oh, and it's been one year since we lost Acidman.  I still have him on the blogroll, listed as the "Evil Fairy Godfather"  which, in many ways, he was to me.  At least in the blogworld.  Rob was always good for a laugh, and he always spoke his mind, a rare enough trait in this world.  Rob introduced me to many many folks I am proud to call friends, and made me feel welcome when I was just a noob.

Rob wasn't everyone's cup of tea, but he was always a gentleman to me, and I loved him for it.

Why, Rob, did you have to drink so much? And leave the party so early?  We loved you just as well sober.  And I know you wanted to spend more time with Sam and Quinton and Mommie.

I wish I could have met you.  I tried, you know.  God damn food poisoning.  I thought we'd have more time, and more chances.

In my mind's eye there's a beach and a bar out there somewhere, and a guitar with soft strings, and wimmin with red toenails aplenty.... rest in peace.  Or not.  I suppose raising hell is more your style.

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:55 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Here's some good news for a change

The Shackleford clan has increased by one.  Mrs. Rusty gave birth via C-section to a healthy daughter earlier today.  Drop by the Jawas and give Rusty and family some love.

I sure hope she takes after her mom.  Dad is on the left, below:

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 27, 2007

For wRitErsbLock and sarahk

Here's the perfect cat for you both!

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:01 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I think they dropped one on me during the testing phase....

The Army has successfully tested the "F-Bomb":

The Army announced today that the first successful F-Bomb test has taken place in the New Mexico desert. The F-Bomb - which is not nuclear but still produces a mushroom cloud - was begun after the above ground testing ban treaty in the 1960's. "There was a lot of research left undone." according to Dr. Renaldo Hererra, chief of Munitions Linguistics at Los Alamos. "We went straight from the A-Bomb to the H-Bomb, omitting everything in between. The B project showed promise, but C through E were complete failures. It's good to finally have some success."

The test took place yesterday at 5:42 AM, reportedly flooding the Jouququ Valley with brilliant light, and creating a blast that resounded off the surrounding mountains for several minutes. "It was ****ing awesome!" exclaimed General Milton C. Ironcrotch, Commanding Officer of the program, curiously potty mouthed after the test.
Read the whole report here!

h/t Joyner

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:42 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 28, 2007

Guns don't kill people. Global Warming kills people...

Fred Thompson pulls no punches with the U.N.:

Recently, the new UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the root cause of the current genocide in Darfur is [wait for it...] global warming. Now if you've been following the tragedy of the Darfur region in the African nation of Sudan, you know how absurd that statement is.

There's not room here for even a good summary, but let me make a few points. Sudan straddles the line between Christian African and Muslim Arabic cultures, bordering Egypt and Libya on the north. Bloody regional warfare stretches back centuries but, in modern times, the country has been in pretty much of a constant state of war since the 1950s. It's safe to say that millions have died in wars that are often aimed at control of the rich oil fields in the South. Today, however, the vastly reduced African Christian population isn't even involved. Two Muslim factions, divided along racial lines, are fighting for control of Darfur.

Now it's true that the return of cyclical droughts has made agriculture and life more and more difficult for the people in the region. The impact of the weather, however, doesn't approach the destruction that generations of warfare have worked on the land and the people. With peace and freedom, the economy of Darfur could have easily adapted to any climate change no matter the cause.

Why, then, would the new UN Secretary General blame climate change? I think it's pretty obvious.

Blaming the Islamic government and groups that have manipulated events in Sudan will get him nothing but enemies. Blaming global warming, however, is basically the same thing as blaming America. America is by no means the only major source of greenhouse gases, but we've taken the most political heat. The reason is that congress rightfully balked at ratifying the Kyoto international climate treaties during the Clinton presidency.

There is simply no downside to blaming America, because Americans don't punish their ideological foes. From the UN, we don't even require sanity sometimes. And there might even be an upside to blaming us, since there are Americans who suffer from such ingrained feelings of guilt, they'll support increased aid to both the UN and Sudan.

There is a lesson to be learned here, though. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is arguably the most powerful man in the international community today. We know he's unwilling to blame those who actually gave the orders to commit genocide in Darfur. And apparently he's happy to shift the blame for ongoing deaths to those living peaceful, productive lives in the West.

Now hopefully we can work toward international cooperation with regard to environmental policies that make sense. It's not very encouraging though when the head of the world's leading international body uses climate change as an all purpose excuse in order to avoid hard realities.

This is the NUMBER ONE reason why I will vote for Fred, given the opportunity. He'll stand up to the international community, and especially the UN.

And I'd be happy to put the title of this post on my car as a bumper sticker, together with the phrase "Fred Thompson '08".

There's nothing I can add here.  Fred calls out the absurdity better than I ever could.

Run Fred Run!

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:22 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


This is most severely PG-13 (for BJ references)...

You'll love the ending.

H/T the ever amusing and interesting Baldilocks

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:40 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

June 30, 2007

Happy, Happy!

A little bird tells me that today is a very special day for a very special person!

Chrissie turns the big 4-0 today! Drop by and wish her all the best, as I do.

Happy Birthday my friend, and may the next year bring immeasurable blessings... in straightforward and entirely pleasant ways!

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