Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Gee, Really?

Concerns have recently been raised in Texas, that a man put to death 14 months ago, Cameron Todd Willingham, may not have been guilty of setting the fire that killed his three young daughters. The Chicago Tribune investigated the case last December and showed that Mr. Willingham was prosecuted and convicted based primarily on arson theories that have since been repudiated by scientific advances.

That we allow this to be done in our names, for our society, for our "safety"...

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The hard press of student loans

Ratzinger was 'unwilling participant' in Hitler Youth...and get this - he was pressured to join because of the cost of graduate school:

"As soon as I left the seminary, I did not go straight into the Hitler Youth, ("I stopped for a lolly on the way..." -ed.)" Ratzinger said in an interview, "and that was difficult because in order to qualify for the reduction in schooling fees that I needed, you had to prove you had paid a visit to the Hitler Youth."

This is an evil, evil man.

But really, where else have we seen educational funding linked to fascist behavior - Did you know that "No Child Left Behind" Funded-High Schools must provide the US Govt with a mailing/phone list of recruitable youth?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Postal Service

No, not the actual postal service.

Who the hell gave me a cd with The Postal Service on it. It, of course, had my favorite song for about a month on it (the one everybody knows - "Such Great Heights"). Who, who, who gave this to me?? It's not something I would have found myself, it's way too cool for me to have discovered.

By the way, Shanukah is coming.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

What's in a name?

Tiger vs Longhorns.

My mom got me this book when she was visiting, probably everyone else has read it by this point: "Don't Think of an Elephant," from George Lakoff. Mom is foisting it on everyone she knows/meets/preaches to...and well she should. I've using the concept as springboard for a term paper I'm writing, and I'm selling it in all my classes. The book has deeply sensitized me to the vast meaning and interpretation we attach to a word.

Which is why, my loved ones, I halted when I found out that Microsoft is planning to call their new operating system LONGHORN.

What does the word Longhorn mean to you? Cowboys, Texas, independence, ferocity (them horns are sharp), masculinity (have you ever seen a bull's testicles? - not good), and our true-blue American Carnivorous Way of Life. In short, the nation-image held by over half of us, our red-state brethren.

Could it be that the Mac/PC line is the same line separating us politically? I certainly don't want a Longhorn running amok on our PC (yes, we have a PC, Alexis needs it for work - but I will always love my ibook best), just like I don't want people who associate themselves with Longhorn imagery running amok in my country.

Monday, April 11, 2005


This morning I had just a short moment to visit my favorites.

I discovered them only recently, less than 100 feet from my bus stop at the Northeast corner of central campus, two beautiful concrete lions, flanking the entrance to the University's Natural History Museum.

Normally, I just get a few moments to look them over before walking down the to get a coffee before class. They've been painted black at some point, and their wide, round, expressive eyes glisten knowingly. They are female lions, curve and class, without that overwhelming mane to muck up the profile. They have elegant lines straight from the 30s, and they look rather wistful. Each faces away from the other, as if they faught briefly in the split second before they were turned to stone, and now they must live some unimaginable eternity without company because of their momentary quarrel.

This morning, I looked carefully at their feet. ( I'm paying special attention to claws these days, since Alexis has recently Dremeled the dog's feet, and they have gentle little nubbins where there were black curving talons.) These lions have soft, rounded paws, with large pads and dulled claws. I've been fascinated that each foot had different length claws - the left had longer, and the right, shorter. Then it hit me...

The lions were kneading.

Kneading has to be one of the sweetest, cutest, heart-warming activities that kitties of all sizes engage in. I love it, but if you hate it, you may not be clipping your cat's nails short enough. Our cat Beast purrs when she's near us, and when we hold her, she kneads and kneads, so full of joy and safety...extend, relax, extend, relax, a slow, quiet, rhythm. A method practiced by kitties, big and small, by grey/peachy tiny things, and huge, black lions, guarding the entrance to the natural history museum.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Sensation of Drowning

Midterm due at 5pm.
Two term papers due in 11 days.
One hour presentation in 10 days.
Stats presentation in 9 days.

It's sunny and beautiful, though, and the days ring blue and clear.