Friday, May 25, 2012

Pediculus humanus humanus

What the hell is a Pediculus humanus humanus you ask? It’s a body louse. Body lice are similar to head lice except instead of attaching their eggs to hair, they attach them to clothing.

Now, let’s go back to the Garden of Eden when God created all living creatures which, I would assume, included body lice. What clothing did he intend them to attach themselves to? Adam and Eve walked around au naturale remember?

Did God make a view adjustments after he kicked Adam and his lady out of the Garden?

We know that body lice and head lice are derived from the same species because under laboratory conditions they interbreed. But outside the laboratory they occupy two different habitats and do not interbreed. Based upon the degree of genetic difference, the two sub-species appear to have separated about 100,000 years ago. The changes are far too extensive to have occurred in the short time since the mythical flood.

Welcome to Evolution in action.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Manny Pacquiao vs. Obama

Boxing champ Manny Pacquiao doesn’t care for President Obama’s views on same sex marriage.

According to Pacquiao "God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married, only if they so are in love with each other.”

Well I’m glad to see Manny knows God so well.

Pacquiao also said America should be the model of morality for other countries to emulate.

I say to that bull. I’m tired of being the “model” for everyone else. We’ll take care of our house and you guys worry about yours. I think you’ve been hit in the head a few too many times Manny.

Read the United States Constitution and especially the 14th Amendment if you want to really understand the issue. It’s the simple concept of the rule of law and law isn’t the same thing as morality.

The law is an agreement between civilized men. Morality is simply someone’s opinion.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pew Research Economic Mobility Project

Pew Research has just released its finding on economic mobility in the United States. This is the reality between the idea of the so-called American Dream.

Why does a man who is making $50,000 a year vote Republican? Well, that’s a complex question with a lot of factors to be considered but, based upon a number of psychological profiles, somewhere in his mind he believes that someday he could be in the top 1% and he needs to protect that future wealth.

So, it would stand to reason that the states showing the best upward mobility would be the conservative states right?


Again the country defies rationality. Just like the Blue States have a net negative tax flow while the Red States have a positive tax flow (in other words the Blue States are supporting the Red States), the states with the best upward mobility are the Blue States of the Northeast and those with the worst are the Red States of the South.

The ranking is based upon the three indicators of Absolute Upward Mobility, Relative Upward Mobility and Relative Downward Mobility. States were placed in groups depending upon how well they compared to the national average.

The top group outperformed the national average in all three indicators and the second group outperformed the national average in two of the indicators.

On the other end of the scale was the bottom group which performed worse in all three indicators and the next to the bottom group which performed worse in two of the indicators. In many states there was no statistical difference between their performance and the national average.

The top group consisted of New York, New Jersey and Maryland. They’re followed by Connecticut. Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Utah (Utah?) in the second group.

At the bottom were Louisiana, Oklahoma and South Carolina followed by Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas.

Keep on voting Republican you dumb rednecks and you’ll spend your whole as white trash just like the rich folks like it.

Obama and Same Sex Marriage

Barack Obama, in an ABC news interview, has declared himself in favor of same sex marriage. This is a reversal of his 2008 position.

Obama says the change was the result of an evolution in his thinking. He said that originally he thought that Civil Unions would be sufficient but that now he recognizes that they are not.

Well, it’s about time Ollie. Better late than never I suppose.

Is this a politically good move? I honestly don’t know. But the way I figure it, if you’re going to go down, you might as well go down swinging.

The point is that, politically expedient or not, it’s the right thing to do especially given the overwhelming approval of an anti-gay marriage amendment in North Carolina on Tuesday. Holding the Democratic convention there isn’t looking like such a great idea at the moment.

So the battle continues.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

42% of Americans Could be Obese by 2030

Yeah, and the Chicago Cubs could win a World Series by then too.

Ok, obesity in the U.S. is a problem, but how do you decide what’s going to happen in 20 years? Current estimates say that about 34% of Americans are obese, that is they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater, and about 5% are morbidly obese, they have a BMI of 40 or greater.

The report, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based upon a number of factors, believes the rate could become 42% obese and 11% morbidly obese by 2030. The problem, aside from ascetics, are the additional health issues associated with being severely overweight and the pressure those issues would bring on an already overtaxed and costly health care system.

I also saw another article claiming safety concerns. Apparently regulations for airline seats and seat belts and automobile seat belts are way out of date and are left over from when the average weight was 20 lbs less than today.

Great, that means in heavy turbulence, the severely overweight gentleman three rows back could become a lethal missile. Do I really need to be worried about this sort of stuff?

Getting back to the obesity rates, I got a bit curious and got out my handy BMI calculator. I’m currently 6’1” and 192 lbs. That gives me a BMI of 25.3. Since 25 is the limit, that means I’m slightly overweight. This is down from a record high of 210 lbs, a BMI of 27.7, last September so I understand how easy it can be to balloon up if you’re not careful.

Still, to get to obese, I would have to weigh 228 lbs and, to get to morbidly obese, a whopping 304 lbs. I’d have to really let myself go so I guarantee you I won’t ever be in one of those two categories.

I do understand however how easy it can be to put on the pounds. I hit my high after a week at the Jersey Shore enjoying breakfast and dinner buffets. It seems like restaurant meals get larger and larger and snacks tastier and tastier and more accessible.

I like cookies and potato chips but I rarely eat cookies and potato chips. I eats nuts and string cheese instead. Ok, occasionally I’ll get myself a bag of Lay’s Baked Ruffles or Jalapeno Jack Sun Chips or, if I’m really bad, a bag of Lay’s Kettle Chips, but I feel guilty for days afterwards.

It’s hard, but you have to fight.

Seriously, I feel much better at 200 lbs or less. Can I get below 189 where I’d have to get for a BMI of under 25? Probably not, but I’m happy if I can stay around 195 lbs.

Being 63 doesn’t help and sitting at a computer all day doesn’t help either. My metabolism tends to be on siesta most of the day. Hitting the gym 5-6 times a week should help although I’ve seen some arguments that exercise doesn’t really help in weight control. I find that hard to believe.

So what’s the point (other than giving myself a bit of a pat on the back)? I’m not sure. But like most problems, first we have to get comfortable talking about it.

In my Inbox

Every once in a while I like to capture the contents of my Inbox. I do it randomly but when it’s not that overloaded. Here’s the haul for Tuesday Morning, May 8th, 2012. – An advertisement for “Rock of Ages.” I go to Broadway shows with some regularity but I’m not interested in “Rock of Ages.” My wife and daughter did mention something about going a while back. Maybe I’ll forward it to them.

Jeremy Kennedy – An e-mail with an embedded video campaigning against Amendment One to be voted on in North Carolina today. While I oppose Amendment One, since I live in New Jersey there’s not much more I can do about it.

Congressional Budget Office – According to the CBO, the federal deficit was $721 billion for the first seven months of fiscal 2012 (can you spell red ink?). Believe it or not that’s an improvement of $149 billion over 2011. – An announcement for an upcoming webinar about Modular Raman spectroscopy. I think I’ll pass since I haven’t the faintest idea what that is.

Sears Home Services – A repair appointment confirmation. My washing machine is acting up. – An advertisement about flowers for Mother’s Day.

Jeremy Kennedy – An appeal to vote today against Amendment One which might be frowned upon by the authorities given that I don’t live in North Carolina. From what I understand this Amendment is most likely going to pass indicating that we still have a ways to go in this country when it comes to gay rights.

NFL Newsletter – Desperately looking for stories in the post NFL Draft pre-pre-season time frame.

Eat This Not That – An article about the eight scariest restaurant meals which ETNT calls “dietary axe murderers in disguise.” All of these meals are over 2,000 calories with the worst offender, the Cheesecake Factories Bistro Shrimp Pasta, weighing in at a staggering 2,730 calories with 78 grams of saturated fat. To put this in perspective, my maximum daily calorie intake (at 6’1,” 192 lbs, since I go to the gym 5 times a week) is around 2,500 calories and my maximum saturated fat intake is around 27 grams. So this meal is more than a full days worth of calories and almost three full days worth of saturated fat.

Bob Menendez – The senator from New Jersey is complaining about the Republican’s not wanting to renew the “Paycheck Fairness Act” which Bob calls a “reasonable update to a bill passed in 1963.” The problem of course is it’s not 1963 and any semblance of “reasonable” has long ago left the Republican Party. Still, I wonder what he means by “update?”

New Republic – An article about the failure of Europe to successfully cope with the current large scale Muslim immigration. I have to wonder if any western country could handle this. Let’s face it, lower class Muslims don’t fit well into western democracies and probably never will. They refuse assimilation and western society can’t allow their fanatical religious viewpoints. It’s a marriage made in hell. I’m glad we don’t have that problem here. Mexicans are easy compared to Muslims. – Advertisement.

BerganPAC – Advertisement.

Kirsten Gillibrand – The senator from New York also complaining about the Republicans and the “Paycheck Fairness Act.” I must be on some sort of “Democratic Party Central List.”

As I was typing, these came in.

SodaHead Sports – Do I forgive Metta World Peace? Not I don’t. AKA John Artest is a hoodlum on the court and needs to be reined in.

Broadway Direct – An advertisement for “Ghost” which my daughter could have gotten free tickets to but it was a Wednesday night so I passed. Too much of a hassle to schlep downtown on a Wednesday.

Ok, so that’s the lot. Not terribly exciting perhaps but it keeps me in touch with what’s going on and who wants me to do what.

Friday, May 04, 2012

The Second Coming

Once again I was reading about the prophetic end of the world as envisioned by some Christians.

It’s the Late, Great Planet Earth all over again. As tensions rise in the middle east, the oft fleeced flock begins to dream of the arrival of the Son of Man to judge the sheep and the goats.

*Yawn.* Excuse me, but don’t these folks ever get it?

This is a form of what I call the “Vindication Fantasy.” A form of fantasy where an authority figure, parent, boss, king, shows up, vindicates your actions or beliefs and raises you up above your rivals.

Let me make it simple. It’s not going to happen. Jesus is not coming back. A mushroom cloud turning Jerusalem into debris is just going to turn Jerusalem into debris and kill a lot of innocent people.

Revelations is a load of gibberish laid down by a delusional Greek on the Island of Patmos. Either he was chewing on some really good stuff or a growing brain tumor was causing increasingly chaotic hallucinations.

None of it is real and none of it is going to happen.

The earth, at least as a rock in space, will most likely survive for about another 5 billion years until the sun exhausts its supply of hydrogen, expands into a red giant and engulfs the inner planets.

But not to worry. It’s highly unlikely anyone will be around to witness the event.

While the life expectancy of the sun and earth may be in the billions of years, the life expectancy of the human species, unless we can figure out a way to travel between the stars, is at best in the thousands of years and quite possible in the hundreds of years.

99.9% of all species that have ever existed are extinct. It’s unlikely we’ll manage to escape that fate. We may achieve the distinction of being the only species that contributed to its own demise, but in the eternal darkness to follow, there won’t be anyone that will care.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Well, it’s May

Yes, it’s May. I’m not quite sure where April went, but it’s definitely May.

I think I’m becoming partially immune to the idiocy I see every day in the headlines. I’m becoming jaded. Instead of a healthy dose of indignation, these days I find myself more likely to shrug and say something like “yeah, no real surprise there.”

Just a few things.

John Edwards, who I thought at one time might make a reasonable Presidential candidate, is on trial for what amounts to misappropriation of funds. Yes, innocent until proven guilty, but using campaign funds to support a mistress is something someone shouldn’t even be accused of.

The DEA “forgot” about a suspect and left him, a university student, alone in a cell for four days.

Ann “we’re just plain folks” Romney, apparently wears $1,000 blouses.

Mitt Romney hired a gay foreign affairs consultant and then caved in to the howls of indignation from the Religious Right and had him resign.

Another study has come out that demonstrates that abstinence only education doesn’t work. Despite a drop in teen pregnancy in the country, states with “abstinence only” sex education still have the highest teen pregnancy rates. The ink wasn’t even dry on the report before Right Wing idiots were saying on talk radio that “all the data” supports “abstinence only” education whatever the hell that means.

A woman in New Jersey was arrested for taking her 4 year-old daughter to a tanning salon.

“Octomom” has filed for bankruptcy citing almost $1,000,000 in debt. Who in his right mind would extend her significant credit?

At a high school journalism lecture, Ted Savage, founder of the “It gets better” movement, managed to get a group of students to walk out when he challenged the moral issues in the bible. He then called the act of walking out “pansy-assed.”

Barack Obama keeps reminding everyone that “he” killed Osama Bin Laden. No Barack, a Navy Seal killed Bin Laden. You were watching at a safe distance in a comfortable conference room.

The NFL Draft is over. The Colts took Andrew Luck, the Redskins Robert Griffin III and the Giants, picking 32nd, got a running back from Virginia Tech named David Wilson. I was at MetLife Stadium during the first rounds of the draft and got to see the Lombardi Trophy.

Roger Clemens is on trial for perjury over his use of performance enhancing drugs.

And, saddest of all, Junior Seau has apparently committed suicide. Seau is the eighth player from the Chargers lone Super Bowl team in 1994 to have died.