slipjack
Technology is for girls now! 04.05.2006
I'm not sure if www.iheartswitch.com is a good thing or not.

On the one hand, girls + technology = awesome.

On the other, the fact that they feel the need to show girls that technology isn't "scary" is kind of sad and demeaning.

-R

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man what 03.15.2006
One word I can't stand is stick-to-it-iveness. It is in the dictionary, unfortunately, and, to make matters worse, it is also in some people's vocabularies.
The example below is a recent caption on Berkeley's Science Matters blog for a picture of a gecko. The article was about robots that imitate animals and self-cleaning adhesive tape.

"Robert Full studies nature's "extremes of performance," like the stick-to-it-iveness of geckos, to extract principles that can be used by human engineers."

Why not use "adhesiveness" or even "clinginess"? Even a lame "stickiness" would suffice as long as one isn't using a word with three hyphens in it.
-A

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PARTNERS:THE CLASS 03.13.2006

Anneka's Stuff-that-is-not-neccessarily-awesome- but-merits-mention-anyway post!

The American Bar Accociation has been endorsing a program for high school students called PARTNERS, which may or may not be an acronym. In the program, students learn "that when couples work together to build a healthy relationship, the joys and benefits of marriage will prevail."
Teachers who participate in PARTNERS are given a course manual which includes the curriculum and five short films created to simulate family life.

"This particular Program was created using caucasian participants. Future programs will reflect African American and Hispanic families."
Huh. Each race must have utterly alien family lives if they can't be shown in the same program. I wonder how many more people "PARTNERS:Ghetto Style" will alienate when it comes to schools.

Furthermore, the students learn how to deal with spousal fights by reading dialogues apparently stolen from 70s sitcom scripts:

"SCENE 1: Unfair Fight
James is sitting on the couch, reading a newspaper, watching television, his feet, on the table. He is dressed casually, in work clothes. Elizabeth enters, carrying a briefcase and her purse which she dumps on the coffee table at Jamesí feet. The house is in disarray, clothes and baby toys scattered throughout. Old magazines and
newspapers clutter the table, the couch and the floor.
JAMES: Hi, Liz. How was work today?
ELIZ: I had an awful day! The boss dumped all this work on my desk late in the day, I had a
fight with one of the other secretaries, the bus was late picking up .... and I'm exhausted.
I just want to crawl into a hot bath!
JAMES: (James is hardly paying attention to Lizs tirade.) I'm starving. What's for dinner?"

-A

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sasquatch of the sea 03.11.2006

Anneka's Stuff-that-is-not-neccessarily-awesome- but-merits-mention-anyway post!




A new family of lobster has been found in the South Pacific. It is blind, and has only vestigal eyes, and is covered in a thick coat of yeti-like fur.
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I've been having fun with retrivr 02.15.2006
http://www.flickr.com/photos/56328239@N00/55127542
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The end of the two things 02.10.2006
OK, here's the rest of my little rant...

As some of the comments to the last part said, good medical care is trustworthy medical care. It's pretty obscene that legislators believe that they should second-guess medical care providers. This whole debacle is just the latest in a string of "politicizing" science and so making it just disappear.

Then, of course, there's the death of Betty Friedan. It think that pretty much speaks for itself.

-R

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- 01.31.2006
Two things today: one piece of news I'm very annoyed about, and one piece of news I'm quite sad about.

1. According to the NY Times, there's been a challenge to Kansas' law forbiding pretty much all sex between teenagers. The assistant attorney general has been trying to argue that it's a good idea to make medical care providers turn over information whenever there's evidence that teens are having sex.
The NY Times quoted Steve Alexander, the assistant atorney general, as saying, "Illegal sexual activity by minors can lead to S.T.D.'s, unwanted pregnancies, abortion, depression, mental illness."
Well, yeah, that's true... But sexual activity can also be a healthy thing.

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Sometimes physics sucks. 01.22.2006
From the Ann Arbor News:

"Livonia man dies after dog falls from overpass."

-R

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word up 01.14.2006
Your neologism of the day is: newt.

newt adj.
New and next on a list or in an order.

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ASTINNABMMP 01.08.2006

Anneka's Stuff-that-is-not-neccessarily-awesome- but-merits-mention-anyway post!
"Each doll comes with a ready to play with vibrator, leather strap on and dildo."
No, not blow-up dolls for women. These are actual 12-inch action figures.
DYKEdolls come in three different styles, Doc Holliday, Rockabilliy, and Diesel Dyke. And now, at the opposite end of the spectrum: Fulla

The Fulla doll is the Kuwaiti version of Barbie. Her outdoor wardrobe includes a black head scarf and abaya instead of Barbie's typical saucy pink bikini. Fulla was created after Barbie was banned in Saudi Arabia for her scandalous American ideals, "revealing clothes and shameful postures."
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Good Night, And Good Luck. 01.06.2006
Matt and I went to see "Good Night, and Good Luck." yesterday. For a movie that every critic seems to be drooling over, it wasn't that great. The acting was excellent, but the entire story just felt kind of unfocused.
There was something about something that needed to be signed in the beginning, but that was dropped as soon as it came up. The cast worried about political ramifications, but there were none. The whole movie seemed disconnected from reality, which is probably the worst criticism one can make about a period drama that's trying to be a docudrama.
I'm either missing some crucial part of the film, or I'm more discerning than the New York Times. -R
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Feels like home. 12.29.2005
Ann Arbor.

-R

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Happy Boxing Day! 12.26.2005
Well, happy Christmahanakwanzakah! And a merry Spaghettimas to all you pastafarians.
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Californians are scary. 12.15.2005
One more reason I'm never moving back to California:

 

As reported by the NY Times (sorry for the copy paste job, they don't have any permalinks. Any suggestions?)

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 - About three dozen students filed a lawsuit against the University of California on Wednesday, charging that it had violated federal law by allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at its campuses while maintaining higher rates for out-of-state students.

The students, all from out of state, are represented by a legal team that includes Kris W. Kobach, a conservative lawyer and former Justice Department official who shaped national immigration policy under former Attorney General John Ashcroft. Mr. Kobach said the policy discriminates against out-of-state students who are American citizens and pay higher tuition than students who are in this country illegally.

"Citizen students have been mortgaging their futures and taking on really heavy student loans," Mr. Kobach, a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, said in a telephone interview from Sacramento, where he is working with the firm of Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley. "Meanwhile, they see aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States getting a massive subsidy from the State of California."

The move plunges California into the midst of a national debate over how to handle the millions of students living in this country illegally.

Federal law requires state universities that offer in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants to do the same for students from other states, imposing a steep financial barrier to the policy. But since 2001, nine states, including California, have passed laws to circumvent that requirement, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Supporters say children who are illegal immigrants did not choose to enter the United States illegally and can make valuable contributions to society if allowed to continue their studies.

Ravi Poorsina, a spokeswoman for the University of California, said it allows students who have attended local high schools for three years and graduated from a local high school to benefit from in-state tuition rates. Students who are illegal immigrants must also sign an affidavit saying they are applying for legal residency.

Ms. Poorsina said that in the 2003-2004 school year, about 390 illegal immigrants paid in-state tuition, currently about $6,700 a year. Out-of-state students pay about $24,500 a year. "We believe it's not in conflict with federal law," she said of the university's policy.

But the adoption of this policy by some states has stirred others to another action. This year, seven states considered passing laws barring illegal immigrants from benefiting from in-state tuition rates, the Conference of State Legislatures said.

Mr. Kobach, who helped shape the Justice Department's policy of tracking and deporting thousands of Arab and Muslim illegal immigrants in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, filed a similar suit in Kansas in 2004. It was dismissed on technical grounds but is now on appeal.

Mr. Kobach has received support from the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a Washington group that advocates strict limits on immigration. The group has provided research and assistance in finding plaintiffs.

Chaning Jang, a senior at the University of California, Davis, said he joined the lawsuit after reading an advertisement placed by the lawyers in a college newspaper. "It's kind of an insult that illegal immigrants who aren't U.S. citizens get more than we do," said Mr. Jang, 21, of Hilo, Hawaii.

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