Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What is a Large Hadron Collider good for?

Why does anyone spend $10 billion on the Large Hadron Collider just to bang some protons together? One classic answer was given some time ago by Michael Faraday, who, when asked what good was electricity, told a government minister that he didn’t know but that "one day you will tax it."

According to Dennis Overbye, deputy science editor for the New York Times, however, the answer lies not in the results but in the seeking. See The Joy of Physics Isn’t in the Results, but in the Search Itself.

Overbye's essay echoes in some ways the observation of Albert Camus: "The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart."

Take Dr Vera Rubin, discussed in the article. Her discoveries that stars at the edge of galaxies were orbiting too fast to be kept from being flung out into space led to the idea that there must be extra mass holding them in place that we can't see, namely dark matter. But is it dark matter, or does Newtonian physics not work so well at great distances?

Rubin herself isn't sure. "I don’t know if we have dark matter or have to nudge Newton’s Laws or what." But there's where the joy lies: facing the challenge of not knowing. Says Rubin: “I’m sorry I know so little; I’m sorry we all know so little. But that’s kind of the fun, isn’t it?”

Screenings

This will (effort willing) be a regular feature of the blog. Although the format may well change, for now I anticipate short descriptions of worthy (or perhaps unworthy) films. There will be little or no plot exposition as I find that I often enjoy movies best when I know the least. The hope is simply that you may discover some interesting and entertaining films. Feel free to comment (and/or post your own Screenings). To paraphrase the other James and Murray of "A Thousand Clowns", you can never have too many posts.


Topic for today is dysfunctional families.


Un conte de Noel (A Christmas Tale) (2008)


Writer: Arnaud Desplechin, Emmanuel Bourdieu

Director: Arnaud Desplenchin


This is not a Tim Burton film but a French drama where "Crumb" meets "Mulholland Drive"—not as a thriller, but as not knowing what's going on. It is perhaps the most unconventional movie I have seen—and it is simply a straight forward drama of a family get-to-gether for Christmas. However, it feels as if you have been transported to an alternate universe where everyone is familiar, yet different. This is not for everyone. It is confusing; it can be erudite; it is long. For me, it was not a great film, but it was brilliant.



Eulogy (2004)


Writer: Michael Clancy

Director: Michael Clancy


A gaggle of dysfunctional family members come together for the patriarch's funeral. Their mission is to be themselves, i.e. make everyone else's life miserable and your's hilarious. It is smart, clever, and funny, really funny. The 2 kids themselves are worth the price of admission.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Short Reign At the Top

Leave it to the Germans to ruin Britain's reign.

The currently Strongest Beer in the World: 40% Alcohol

Available in 0.33 liter ceramic bottles, personally signed and hand-numbered by the Braumeister himself. Each bottle is sealed with wax by hand and comes in a wooden case with a transparent window on one side.

Awesome name as well, "Schorschbrau Schorschbock"

Not the the Fainthearted

Here it is, the strongest beer in the world ever: Tactical Nuclear Penguin. If nothing else, it has a great name.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Brewing Update


Priming and bottling occurred yesterday. The beer tasted pretty good for being flat. The pictures have been added to Harvey Family Pictures Updated(12/10/09).

Thanksgiving Pictures will be up shortly.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ice Skating at Schenley

Correction for the google calendar on the right side of the blog.

Skating is at 9:30 PM not AM on December 30, 2009.
9:30-11:30 PM.

The mistake has been corrected on the calendar to reflect the proper time.

Monday, December 7, 2009

blog song

Now that it's our one year anniversary, I have composed the following song -- to the tune of The Beauty and the Beast song "Be our Guest" -- to try to promote more readership.

Read Our Blog

Read our blog! Read our blog!
Don't just sit there like a log.
Take a look at what we've written, friend
And soon you'll be agog.
Its got wit; its got style
And at times will make you smile,
Never coarse and not too catty
Though at times it's slightly batty.
You may laugh, you may cry,
You may write a harsh reply:
It will never leave you wand'ring in a fog.
Go on, check out our venue
Take a glance and then you'll
Read our blog
Yes, our blog
Read our blog!

For your mill, lots of grist
Stuff that simply can't be missed.
It's all there, but just beware
Once you start you can't resist.
Random thoughts, recent news
And our varied brilliant views:
Life is brief and oh-so fleeting
So, come on, why aren't you reading?
There are jokes! Some cartoons --
Always clever, not jejune
And the chance to have a lively dialogue.
Oh yes, there is some scandal,
Nothing you can't handle
Read our blog

-- In a bog?
There's no need to visit Prague --

Just read our blog
Read our blog
Read our blog!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Why Women Have Sex

Let's get the new year started out right with a blog on sex. In 2007, Cindy M. Meston and David M. Buss, both psychology professors at the University of Texas at Austin, published a joint research paper on human sexuality titled “Why Humans Have Sex.” The answers men gave were moderately interesting, I suppose, but what really fascinated the authors were the women's responses -- so they decided to conduct additional research, and this year published “Why Women Have Sex.”

Anyway, Sally Law of The New Yorker caught up with the two authors for the following interview: ASK AN ACADEMIC: WHY WOMEN HAVE SEX. The main theme here seems to be something my son John likes to say: The main difference between men and women is that men are simple and women are complicated.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy One Year Anniversary (plus a few days)

On December 1, 2008 In Progress had its first memorable and eloquent post, "First!" authored by Mike. This week marks the blog's first anniversary. An update on the blog-


Last 40 or so visitors' locations-

Saturday, November 28, 2009

google wave invites

I've got 6 invites left for google wave, if anyone wants one, first come first serve just leave a comment here... im pretty sure whoever I invite gets 8 invites... so we can ... cover eachother pretty well

Thursday, November 19, 2009

luck of the Irish

Ireland missed a chance to go to the World Cup losing to France in a playoff match. France's winning goal came off a blatant hand ball by Theiry Henry. They've already got a song parody in Dublin. ... Shades of Zidane's ignomious head but.

The humility is truly amazing

But when it comes to the 2012 race, Obama didn't discount the possibility he may sit out on a reelection bid.

"You know, if - if I feel like I've made the very best decisions for the American people and three years from now I look at it and, you know, my poll numbers are in the tank and because we've gone through these wrenching changes, you know, politically, I'm in a tough spot, I'll - I'll feel all right about myself," Obama told CNN's Ed Henry during an interview in China.

"I said to myself very early on, even when I started running for office, I don't want to be making decisions based on getting reelected, because I think the challenges that America faces right now are so significant," the president also said. "Obviously, if I make those decisions and I think that I'm moving the country on the right direction economically, in terms of our security interests, our foreign policy, I'd like to think that those policies are continued because they're not going to bear fruit just in four years."

But in the next breath the president quickly sounded like someone who would relish taking his case to the American people in 2012, saying he's tackling big issues like health care and Iran that he's confident will bear fruit in the future.

(taken from cnn.com)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Brew Party is a Go


Whoever is around in Pittsburgh Thanksgiving weekend stop by Mt. Lebanon for a Beer Brewing Party. There will be grilling, music, beer judging/drinking and brewing a new Harvey beer (we'll hopefully be making Root Beer as well). Not much is better than a cold beer and kabassi after a hard skate at Schenley.

Friday, November 27: 2-5pm

Monday, November 16, 2009

Affirmative Action for Dudes

The US Commission on Civil Rights is now conducting inquiries into preferential admissions policies for men in private colleges.

Here’s the problem. Women, having apparently bought into the female empowerment message, are now flooding our undergraduate schools. It is estimated that 60% of all undergraduate degrees in this country are awarded to women. There is no reason to think that this percentage will not keep rising. Already, in many major U.S. cities, women in their 20's are out-earning their less educated male contemporaries.

The imbalance in men and women present a difficulty for colleges and their ability to attract new students. Men feel intimated going to a college with too many women and women don’t want to go to a school where there are only slim pickins’ among the men. Plus, studies have shown that, as the percentage of men in an institution declines, so do their grades. So, do we now need affirmative action for dudes? See Probe of Extra Help for Men.

My thought about this is that the falling educational aspirations of men is just more evidence that men are simply ceding the field to women. The macho "I don't give shit" attitude, which seems to be the prevailing male approach to life these days, is essentially nothing more than, as Jon Zobenica of the Atlantic Monthly said in a slightly different context, "a way to take control of defeat by forfeiting the game rather than risk another losing effort."

Perhaps men kept women oppressed for so many years because they knew that, given the opportunity, women would end up outperforming them.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Message for John of Maryland

John, We got a call yesterday from the Prometric Testing Center. Your GRE is scheduled for Monday, tomorrow, 11/16 at:

Prometric Testing Center
1660 L Street, NW
Suite 204
Washington, D.C. 20036

The test begins at 1:30 PM. You're supposed to be there at 1 PM. You must bring your current drivers license. Although they said that they would supply everything else, like pencils. If you have any questions, you should call 202-833-2005.

Good luck!

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Favorite Thiings

What warms the cockles your heart more than gardening (especially you Hobbits), nanotechnology and the hydrogen economy? You have to love this.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

If you haven't already comer across it, going around the blogsphere-

How an American Soldier is Made is a 27 month photo documentary on Ian Fischer by the Denver Post. Awesome pictures and story.
(kottke)

This video is about a girl giving a school report on her father's current deployment in Iraq.


Tricked On Halloween - Watch more Funny Videos
(Sullivan)

Greatest Healthcare in the World?

The strident opposition to health care reform has always been puzzling to me, but what's really mind-boggling is the defense of our present system. Here's a recent column by Nicholas D. Kristof, Unhealthy America, which points out how alarmingly bad our present health care is.

Similar view put to music:



Why we can't go wrong with healthcare reform, from a Bob Dylan line: when you got nothin' you got nothin' to lose.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Halloween 2009

James, it was hard to top our creepy Venetian Carnival ritual, here is our attempt. Enjoy Theresa, Patricia, Kathleen, James and everyone else.

Update HD video-

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Blog of Champions

Latest sport scores:
René Harvey and her teammates won the Pittsburgh Girls Soccer Championship in a very exciting game early this evening 1-0 over Allderdice.

Not to be outdone, Eddy Martin, and his teammates won the Pittsburgh Boys Soccer Championship in an equally exciting game 1-0 over Allderdice.

I just wonder what names will go on the cup.

(I also heard that Kevin and his teammates have advanced to the Semi-finals in WPIAL with a double overtime shoot out win.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

There's pain in Maine and plainly bias reigns (by George, he's got it)

If I'm blogging too much someone just say something, but some things are too good not to be shared.

In a recent blog entry, Ta-Nehisi Coates takes on conservative fellow blogger Rod Dreher, for suggesting that, given the large number of opponents to same sex marriage as demonstrated once again by the Maine vote, maybe there's something to the opposition besides bigotry.

First, as Coates rightly points out, numbers hardly mean anything. If civil rights had been put up to referendum in southern states, or even in northern states, it never would have passed in the early 60's. So, the fact that large numbers of people oppose gay marriage proves nothing about their motives, nor does it show that there's actually some meaningful principle involved.

Second, no one ever admits that prejudice is the basis for his position. There's always an enlightened reason given. Coates cites a National Review article published in 1957 which gives this defense for segregation and Black disenfranchisement: "It is more important for any community, anywhere in the world, to affirm and live by civilized standards, than to bow to the demands of the numerical majority." As Coates points out: "those who are known to be primarily motivated by ethnic prejudice were, in their time, seen by conservatives as guardians of civilization. Likewise heterosexuals now are presumed to be about something more than base prejudice."

Anyway, an interesting piece worth checking out: A Thought On Gay Marriage In Maine.

Lord of The Ring's Character Line Map

Enjoy-My favorite is Primer, One reviewer, "anybody who claims [to] fully understand what's going on in Primer after seeing it just once is either a savant or a liar.

Click on the Picture to enlarge and then zoom out to get the full picture.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

another installment of the philosophy chronicle

First, this item from the other melancholy Dane: on the difference between clinical depression and spiritual despair. Kierkegaard on the Couch.

Second: for Catholics, the month of November -- when the days grow short and the entire landscape seems to wither and fade -- is a time to consider the last things including our own mortality. In keeping with this program, I offer Happy Ending, on why death is necessary for happiness.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

For those who don't have facebook.




Thought some people may want to see the end product, nothing special, but I was proud of the work. My idea was based off the top picture.


Friday, October 30, 2009

plus la change plus la meme chose

Ah, the burdens of empire... T.E. Lawrence's letter to the editor on British involvement in Iraq in 1920. Depressingly familiar.

http://www.gwpda.org/1918p/mesopo.html

40th Birthday of the Internet

When Samuel Morse sent the first telegraph message, it was "What hath God wrought." For Alexander Graham Bell it was "Come here, Watson. I need you." Armstrong on the moon referred to a "a giant leap for mankind."

The first internet message was sent 40 years ago on October 29, 1969. According to Leonard Kleinrock, a computer scientist in the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, the fist node of the internet, then referred to as ARPANET, was in UCLA. A second node was established at Stamford. The transmission itself was simply to "login" to the Stamford Research Institute (SRI) from UCLA. The UCLA people succeeded in transmitting the "l" and the "o" and then as they attempted to send the "g," the system crashed. Hence, the first message on the Internet was "lo".

Log entry showing the date and the critical entry.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Penguins: Good for Your Health

Incredible story in Sports Illustrated of how the Pens got cardiac arrest patient Pat Celesnik back on her feet: Two Turns For The Better.

Excerpt:
The weird thing was, Pat's progress began to parallel that of the Pens. Pittsburgh made the playoffs and was up 3--2 against the Flyers; the next day Pat took her first gulps of air without a ventilator. The Penguins fought past Philly in the first round; a few days later Pat left the ICU for acute care. The Pens rallied from two games down to beat the Capitals in a thrilling seven-game series; Pat began taking her first real food, applesauce from a cup. When Pittsburgh dropped the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals to the Red Wings, however, she endured a string of lethargic days. Recalls Pat, "Then the game after that they won, and I thought, O.K., we're going to be all right."


Of course, I'm wondering how many critically ill Flyers, Capitals and Redwings fans cashed it in by the end of the playoffs.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NASA's Ares I-X launches

NASA's first design change in about 30 years sees action today. Pretty exciting- keeping my fingers crossed that Ares I-X is the first step to the Moon and Mars.

Timelapse video building Ares I-X-

Monday, October 26, 2009

I am Tony Stark -- Part Deux

Sean, Is this what the final costume will look like, and will you be able to fly in it?


Sunday, October 25, 2009

I am Tony Stark




Over the past couple of weeks my Dad and I have been working on my halloween costume. I just wanted to show you guys. I am Tony Stark before he finishes his suit, while everything is still a proto-type. Tell me what you think there will be many pictures on facebook in the coming days.

For authenticity purposes we connected all the pieces together... or at least made it look like they are all connected. The yellow line in the second pictures goes to the chest piece and then there are separate wires from the second picture going to the hand 'repulsor' ... thing

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A truly bizarre Halloween miracle

INSTRUCTIONS

Make sure both videos are fully loaded before you play them. Turn off the sound to "THURSDAY!" (a movie that I made that you may be familiar with). Then start playing danse macabre. As quickly as you can, start playing my movie. It's slightly unnerving.

I have yet to figure out if I should see the hand of Heaven or Hell in this...



Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's come to this

Well, it's come to this: The Catholic Church promoting itself as a haven for high church sexists and homophobes. Why the Vatican Wants Anglicans.

Monday, October 19, 2009

More on Zombie Strategy

One of the big zombie questions is whether, when the invasion comes, it's a good strategy for the untutored like me to try to team up with a bunch of Role Playing Gamers who have gamed, like, hundreds of zombie scenarios and who, consequently, will have given the matter a lot of serious thought.

Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg says no: "Even if you've gamed this a million times, when the zombies come, I'd still rather be embedded with with a bunch of Navy SEALS caught completely by surprise." See The Zombie Mob.

the other balloon

This gives us some ideas on how to make soccer or perhaps any sporting event more exciting -- shoot objects randomly through the air during play.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsRvLG8PDjE

Thursday, October 15, 2009

yadda yadda yadda black hole....yaddda yadda yadda

again we're all doomed


anyone hear about the kid who got in the balloon and flew away? yah this isn't that article

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Barefoot Running

A few days ago, Uncle Peter had mentioned reading an article on barefoot running and the potential benefits. Intrigued, I googled and read some interesting articles. While I will not be hanging up my running shoes anytime soon, the research on human locomotion with and without shoes is fascinating. The best part of the google search however, is shoe companies trying to capitalize on the barefoot trend. Example- Vibram Five Fingers and Nike Free. Nike once again nails it with the commercial-

How Useful Are You?

If you were to travel 2000 years into the past, how useful would you be in jumpstarting technological advancements?

7/10-Got lucky on a few guesses- I would be worthless as an inventor-as Kottke points out, inventions are not made from multiply choices.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I thought this was appropriate for this blog.

I want my Higgs boson, Part II


God may have an inordinate fondness for beetles, but he rather hates Higgs particles. This spells trouble for the Large Hadron Collider. Some physicists suggest that "the hypothesized Higgs boson, which physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather." The Collider, the Particle and a Theory About Fate.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama gives apple pie a bad name

Barack Obama saves Chevy, eats apple pie, and wins the Noble Peace Prize. Rush says it is a bad thing.

Macavity, Meet Jeoffry

According to Robert Pinsky, the best poem ever written about a cat. The "Jeoffry passage" from Christopher Smart's (1722-71) "Jubilate Agno."

For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
For he is the servant of the Living God, duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon
**his prayer.
For he rolls upon prank to work it in.
For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.
For this he performs in ten degrees.
For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.
For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.
For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the forepaws extended.
For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.
For fifthly he washes himself.
For sixthly he rolls upon wash.
For seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.
For eighthly he rubs himself against a post.
For ninthly he looks up for his instructions.
For tenthly he goes in quest of food.
For having considered God and himself he will consider his neighbor.
For if he meets another cat he will kiss her in kindness.
For when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it a chance.
For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.
For when his day's work is done his business more properly begins.
For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.
For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.
For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.
For he has the subtlety and hissing of a serpent, which in goodness
**he suppresses.
For he will not do destruction if he is well-fed, neither will he spit
**without provocation.
For he purrs in thankfulness when God tells him he's a good Cat.
For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
For every house is incomplete without him, and a blessing is lacking in the spirit.
For the Lord commanded Moses concerning the cats at the departure of
**the Children of Israel from Egypt.
For every family had one cat at least in the bag.
For the English Cats are the best in Europe.
For he is the cleanest in the use of his forepaws of any quadruped.
For the dexterity of his defense is an instance of the love of God
**to him exceedingly.
For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.
For he is tenacious of his point.
For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery.
For he knows that God is his Saviour.
For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.
For he is of the Lord's poor, and so indeed is he called by benevolence
**perpetually—Poor Jeoffry! poor Jeoffry! the rat has bit thy throat.
For I bless the name of the Lord Jesus that Jeoffry is better.
For the divine spirit comes about his body to sustain it in complete cat.
For his tongue is exceeding pure so that it has in purity what it wants in music.
For he is docile and can learn certain things.
For he can sit up with gravity, which is patience upon approbation.
For he can fetch and carry, which is patience in employment.
For he can jump over a stick, which is patience upon proof positive.
For he can spraggle upon waggle at the word of command.
For he can jump from an eminence into his master's bosom.
For he can catch the cork and toss it again.
For he is hated by the hypocrite and miser.
For the former is afraid of detection.
For the latter refuses the charge.
For he camels his back to bear the first notion of business.
For he is good to think on, if a man would express himself neatly.
For he made a great figure in Egypt for his signal services.
For he killed the Icneumon rat, very pernicious by land.
For his ears are so acute that they sting again.
For from this proceeds the passing quickness of his attention.
For by stroking of him I have found out electricity.
For I perceived God's light about him both wax and fire.
For the electrical fire is the spiritual substance which God sends from heaven
**to sustain the bodies both of man and beast.
For God has blessed him in the variety of his movements.
For, though he cannot fly, he is an excellent clamberer.
For his motions upon the face of the earth are more than any other quadruped.
For he can tread to all the measures upon the music.
For he can swim for life.
For he can creep.

**********************************—Christopher Smart


For Pinsky's commentary, see In Nomine Patris et Felis.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Avalanche Skier POV

Terrifying-his breathing gets more and more labored. The Skier's view into the sky look as though it was scripted for a movie.

Avalanche Skier POV Helmet Cam Burial & Rescue in Haines, Alaska from Chappy on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stand Aside BBC and CNN. Al Jazeera's the Best News Channel.

Robert D. Kaplan on Why I Love Al Jazeera.

sports update

Ellen now plays on the William Smith women's rugby team. This photo was actually taken with the shortest shutter speed possible and she's still a blur:

So I heard this paradox today, thought I'd pass it on

So there's a barber in this town whom shaves everyone in town that doesn't shave themselves. So the question is, does he shave himself?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two things of interest

Funny look at what one man chooses to do with his last 30 seconds before the world explodes

And I'm not one for politics or history but... something seems wrong about this womans idea about hitler

Friday, September 25, 2009

Poetic and creative picture

I showed this to mike earlier and then thought I'd like to share it all with you, picture explains itself.

Link

Monday, September 21, 2009

Free movies for those in Mt Lebanon

A blog I follow a lot has a code for a free screening of Zombie Land in Mt Lebanon, I hope if anyones around they take advantage of it, as I thought it was a great zombie flick.
Link

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What's Going on at Johns Hopkins?

Baltimore Sun: Hopkins student kills intruder with samurai sword, police say

Now, for the first time in two centuries: sea-aged beer

For the first time after two centuries, beer aged at sea will be commercially available again.

James Watt, UK's BrewDog founder, was given an 1856 "Brewer’s Handbook" as a present last Christmas. The handbook contained a 200-year-old recipe which included aging the beer at sea.

Inspired by the handbook, Watt spent two months aboard a mackerel trawler on the North Atlantic with eight barrels on-board, each containing beer brewed from the original recipe.

Says Watt, "Today the term IPA has lost its meaning and UK brewers mainly use it to describe beers which are neither particularly hoppy or high in alcohol, Duecher’s IPA at 3.8% being a prime example of the complete butchering of the style. It’s sad to see the great IPA heritage in this country come to stand for nothing more than a sparingly hopped low ABV blonde session.

We wanted to take the style back to its roots and we have created the first genuine IPA for 2 centuries. Going beyond the realms of what would normally be deemed possible in order to deliver is what we’re all about at Brew Dog: making real beer accessible to the masses."

Unfortunately, the beer is not cheap -- £10 a bottle (about $16).


HAS NO ONE HEEDED MY WARNINGS!

Link

Would anyone in their right mind think its a good idea for a robot to take your blood? Especially since only 78% of the time it gets it right, thats 22% of the time your likely to die because you just got stabbed... by a robot... who is programmed to steal your blood. Has anyone seen I-robot, or oh I don't know a little film called, THE MATRIX. Whomever came up with idea should be stripped, flogged, and burned as a lesson for those foolish enough to dabble in such terrorism.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Movie recommendation. King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. Best documentary since Murderball?


Friday, September 11, 2009

Pittsburgh's Finest Couples for a Cure

Tom and I are being honored next Saturday, the 19th.  We have been challenged to a friendly contest with the other couples to raise money for cystic fibrosis.  Not ones to back away from a competition, we thought in these last few days we'd turn to our family to ask for donations.  Thanks for any and all help.  We have to knock out this disease that's running through the Harvey genes!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tech Assistance in the Middle Ages

Art Squatters/ Columbus, OH Independents Day


Here's my first foray into the Harvey Blog. Conveniently I can now advertise for a show in downtown columbus 25ish grad students are putting on on September 19. There's also a bunch of bands, performers and local artists.

I'm performing in a pretty pathetic absurdist play that I wrote over the summer. To sum: Harry Potter, Art and Call and Response in one performance. If nothing else, come take a look at beautiful, kinda vacant downtown columbus.


Location and Time:

September, 19 2009
6:00pm-10:00pm

Downtown Columbus


• 20 East Broad St.:
Artist: Hannah Givler
THERE WILL BE PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE 1ST FLOOR OFFICE ONLY AT THIS SPACE ON THE 3 OPEN NIGHTS.

• 32 N. High St. Former CVS store.
Artist: Jenny Fine
• 34 N. High St. Lobby is active during business hours.
Artists: Nicole Debrabandere & Sara Gallo
THERE WILL BE PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE BUILDING LOBBY ONLY AT THIS SPACE ON THE 3 OPEN NIGHTS.

• 72 N. High St. Former Madison’s Dept Store.
Artists: Janet MacPherson & Julie Greenberg
• 74 N. High St.
Artist: Sara Berens.
• 80 N. High St. A Deli Building.
Artist: Matt Cherubini
• 84 N. High St.
Artists: Micah Daw & Kyla Toomey

• 37 N. High St. Former Columbus Chamber of Commerce Building
Artists:
Elizabeth Wilson
Doo Sung Yoo
Laura Weiser
Paul Simmons
Will Tucker
Matthew Dietz
Christine Jackson
David Staniunas
THERE WILL BE PUBLIC ACCESS TO THIS SPACE ON THE 3 OPEN NIGHTS.

• 11 E. Gay St. Modern Finance building..
Artists: Molly Burke, Julie Ward, JR Gaultieri,
THERE WILL BE PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE 1ST FLOOR ONLY AT THIS SPACE ON THE 3 OPEN NIGHTS.

• Hub Federal Building: corner of Rich and S. High
Artist: Josh Penrose
THERE WILL BE PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE LOBBY AREA OF THIS SPACE ONLY ON THE 3 OPEN NIGHTS.

• 23rd N. 4th St. rear: alley with overhead door
Artists: Matt Keida & Dan Harvey
Used for performance only on gallery hop nights and September 19th.

• Location to be announced (TBA)
Artist: Zepher Potrafka


Monday, September 7, 2009

Today's Gospel

The Gospel today was the story in Mark in which Jesus heals a deaf-mute. It also just so happens to present us with one of the few instances in the Gospels when an actual Aramaic word is quoted: “And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, ‘Ephphatha,’ that is, ‘Be opened.’ And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.”

Our sermon quickly cut to the metaphoric significance of the deaf man. People are deaf to the Word of God and, to hear it, their ears must be opened.

So, I was listening for what message people were not hearing and needed to be opened to: perhaps God’s acceptance and forgiveness, the command of love, the call to service, the empty promise of material things, the virtue of humility, or some other common Biblical theme. But, no. Today, our pastor skipped over that. The best he could do for examples of where the divine voice cries out from the depths and yet falls on deaf ears were the evil of co-habitation before marriage and the ban against non-Catholics taking Communion at Catholic weddings and funerals. As someone once said in another context: "If this is your god, you have a severe ontological problem."

“If Jesus Christ came back today and saw what was being done in his name, he'd never stop throwing up.” Woody Allen


MySpace Codes

Friday, September 4, 2009

Art Squatters

In case any of you are in Columbus, OH in September or October and looking for something to do (and Dan hasn't already sent you info): Art Squatters

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

TNR on Military Intervention

The New Republic has a pretty great book review on two opposing schools of thought regarding the United States and humanitarian intervention. The question asked: "Can a liberal be both opposed to imperialism and devoted to human rights?"

An excerpt:
"...[T]he essence of the responsibility to protect is an insistence that the fate of people matters more than the sovereignty of governments. Traditionally, Evans explains, "what happened within a state's borders and its territorial possessions, however grotesque and morally indefensible, was nobody else's business." "In the history of ideas," he simply and accurately adds, "there have been few that have prevailed to more destructive effect."

Well, Mother Earth is Screwed

I am glad that the stupidity of people hasn't yet cease to amaze me. U.S. Chamber of Commerce seeks trial on global warming..

Popsci blogger post an opinion on the LA times article, if you want a good laugh read the comments- just stop before the stupidity begins to degrade your intelligence.

Correction-I understand why Chamber of Commerce wants to stop emissions regulation-money but this trial method is pretty stupid.

Monday, August 31, 2009

He was a hardworking farm boy

Peter H of Lebo: I really need to get an iPhone

Either that or Rosetta Stone.

MI CHIAMO STAN
by Ian Frazier
APRIL 13, 2009

He was a hardworking farm boy. She was an Italian supermodel. He knew he would have just one chance to impress her.
-Advertisement for language-learning software program.


LESSON 1—Beginning conversation; basic nouns and verbs. Memorize the following vocabulary:

Hello! — Ciao!
name — nome
telephone number — numero di telefono
to live — vivere
Quad Cities — Città “Quad”
Valentino — Valentino
ag school — scuola agraria
to be — essere
stock-tank de-icer — macchina che toglie il ghiaccio dal serbatoio dell’abbeveratoio
Fall Fashion Week — Settimana della Moda dell’Autunno

Sample sentences. Practice saying these out loud:

Hello! May I have your name and telephone number?
Ciao! Potrei avere il suo nome ed il suo numero di telefono?

My name is Stan, which is a nickname for Stancil.
Mi chiamo Stan, che è il diminutivo di Stancil.

I live on a farm near the Quad Cities.
Vivo in una fattoria vicino alle Città “Quad.”

They are Moline, Rock Island, Davenport, and Bettendorf.
Sono Moline, Rock Island, Davenport, e Bettendorf.

Not many people know what the Quad Cities are.
Non molte persone sanno cosa sono le Città “Quad.”

East Moline is technically one of the Quad Cities also, but it’s usually left out, because that would make five.
Tecnicamente, East Moline è una delle Città “Quad,” ma di solito si omette perché sennò sarebbero cinque.

Who is your favorite Italian fashion designer?
Chi è il suo stilista italiano preferito?

Personally, I have been a fan of Valentino ever since ag school.
Personalmente, sono stato un ammiratore di Valentino fin dalla scuola agraria.

During Milan’s Fall Fashion Week, in which hotel will you be staying?
Durante la Settimana della Moda dell’Autunno di Milano, in quale hotel starà?

Could you please give me directions how to get to that hotel from western Illinois?
Per favore, mi potrebbe indicare la strada per quell’hotel partendo dall’Illinois occidentale?

Now I must repair the stock-tank de-icer in our back pasture.
Ora devo riparare la macchina che toglie il ghiaccio dal serbatoio dell’abbeveratoio, che sta nel pascolo.

It is a piece of junk, and has once again broken down.
È un relitto, e si è rotto ancora una volta.

Well, goodbye, and have a good day, O.K.?
Arrivederci, e buona giornata, O.K.?



LESSON 3—Regular verbs. Familiarize yourself with the conjugation of the verb “to milk” (mungere):

I milk io mungo
you (s.) milk tu mungi
he/she milks lui/lei munge
we milk noi mungiamo
you (pl.) milk voi mungete
they milk loro mungono

Milk! (imp.) Mungi! (s.)
Mungete! (pl.)

Many other verbs—to water (innaffiare), to hay (falciare il fieno), to pose (posare), to mow (mietere), to pleat (pieghettare), to manure (concimare), to accessorize (dotare di accessori), to sashay (ancheggiare), to diet (fare la dieta), to apply bag balm (applicare balsalmo per mammelle), and to hiss (fischiare)—take more or less the same endings, so it will be useful to learn them all.



LESSON 7—At the Fuel Co-Op.
Now you are ready to make simple purchases and discuss everyday topics with people on the street. Repeat this typical conversation alone or with a partner until it comes naturally to you:

Good afternoon, Owney. I would like to buy two tanks of propane.
Buon pomeriggio, Owney. Vorrei comprare due serbatoi di propano, per favore.

I said, “I would like to buy some propane!”
Ho detto, “Vorrei comprare del propano!”

Of course you can’t understand me. That is because I am talking in Italian.
Certo lei non può capirmi. Sarà perché sto parlando in italiano.

Laugh if you wish, Owney, but someday I will be having sex with a beautiful Italian supermodel in Milan, Italy, while you are still here sweeping fertilizer pellets off the floor.
Rida se vuole, Owney, ma un giorno farò sesso con una top model italiana a Milano, Italia, mentre lei sarà qui a spazzare via le palline di fertilizzante.

Well, goodbye, Owney. I will buy my propane another day.
Arrivederci, Owney. Comprerò il propano un altro giorno.



LESSON 13—Verbs of motion. Italian verbs of motion use different forms depending on their contexts, as the following examples demonstrate:

to drive (in a vehicle) — guidare
to ride — farsi dare un passaggio
to walk — camminare

Example: If you will not drive me to the bus station, Mom, I will ride with the mailman, or walk.
Mamma, se non mi porti alla stazione degli autobus, mi farò dare un passaggio dal postino, o camminerò.

to run — correre
to fall — cadere
to board — imbarcarsi

Example: I ran down the concourse, fell over somebody’s suitcase, and boarded my flight to Milan just in time.
Correvo lungo l’atrio, e sono caduto sulla valigia di qualcuno, ma poi mi sono imbarcato per Milano giusto in tempo.

to fly — volare
to hurl — lanciare

Example: I don’t like to fly. I might hurl.
Non amo volare. Potrei lanciare.



LESSON 18—At the police station.
Often, foreigners who can speak Italian have difficulty understanding native speakers when they talk quickly, use idioms, or do not pause for response. Listen to the following common sentences in the audio portion of the lesson and replay them as often as you need to.

May I see your passport, please?
Potrei vedere il suo passaporto, per favore?

I must ask you to come with me.
Devo chiederle di venire con me.

Spread your arms and place your hands against the wall.
Stenda le braccia e collochi le mani contro il muro.

Are you aware that stalking a supermodel without her consent is a violation of Italian law?
Lei è consapevole che infastidire una top model senza il suo consenso è una violazione della legge italiana?

This pocket dictionary of Italian prison slang may be useful to you.
Questo dizionario tascabile di gergo carcerario italiano le potrebbe essere utile.

Please surrender your chewing tobacco to the desk clerk. It will be returned to you upon your release.
Per favore depositi il suo tabacco da masticare all’impiegato. Le sarà restituito quando sarà rilasciato.



LESSON 25—Review and summary.
Congratulations on completing this introductory course in spoken Italian! Now that you have put in all the required work, you may be interested to know that most of the people you will meet in Italy probably speak English already. Diplomats, tour guides, stylists, supermodels, and so on may be relied on to have a good command of our language. In that regard, you have largely wasted your time.

Just because they speak English, however, does not mean these folks are a breeze to understand. Quite the contrary! Often, their speech is heavily accented and their phrasing and word use are so eccentric that you must pay close attention in order to get their meaning. Practice your comprehension skills by listening to the passage on the audio as you follow along below:

“Ah, Stancil, I am so fortunata that you came into my life! At first, true, I did not—come si dice—realize what a blessing you were for me. And, true, I had you jailed in prison, but later I changed my thoughts, and paid your bail money, so we could be together now and always. Your love rescued me from the cruel fates of catwalk model, such as attending parties and enjoying cocaine and earning many, many milioni every year or even every month—but at such a cost! My unnatural thinness, so unwelcome for me, so malsana, when my bust measurement is in fact fuller than is suggested in this industry! Always my dream has been to meet a young American with a dairy-cow-and-feeder-pig operation somewhere in the valley of the Des Plaines River of Illinois, to where we will now go immediatamente so we can be married and have many children, and I will join the local 4-H advisers’ group to give me something to do when I am not cooking gourmet Italian dinners for you and satisfying you matrimonially!”

Pinch yourself to test your comprehension.

iPhone 3GS

I really need to get an iPhone-

Harvey James Park


If you watch Parks and Recreation, the writer paid tribute to James!


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tilt-shift Miniature Faking

Tilt-shift Miniature Faking video relating to my previous post. Make sure to watch it in HD and full screen if computer is capable.

Toy Soldiers from Alta Media Productions on Vimeo.

Best song lyrics and song titles of all time.

Experts say that the best song lyrics and song title of all time
come from the same forty year old song and that no titles or lyrics have come close since then:

Best Song Title: "You're so Vain, You Prob'ly Think this Song is About You"

Best Song Lyrics: Tied for first from the same song:

"You're where you should be all the time,
And when you're not you're with some underworld spy
Or the wife of a close friend, wife of a close friend."

and

"You walked into the party like you were walking into a yacht,
You're hat strategically dipped below one eye, your scarf it was apricot,
You had one eye on the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte."

(This was deemed by the experts to be #1 simply from the use of the word "gavotte", which has never been used in a popular song before or since.)

I certain wouldn't quarrel with the experts on either of these choices.

Friday, August 28, 2009

French Realism

I'm not sure whether or not the French have a reputation for making extremely realistic movies, but I think the 3 most realistic movies I have seen in the past couple of years have all been French. They are all good movies and the realism will astound you.

La Haine (The Hate) 1995
Entre les murs (The Class) 2008/2009
Le Trou (The Hole) 1960

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Beer Brewing Party

Inspired by Uncle Peter's cider making gathering last fall, I was hoping to have a beer brewing party Friday, November 27th, the day after Thanksgiving and have the tasting over the Christmas/New Year's Holiday. Anyone around during those holidays are encouraged to participate.

There is a lot of creative aspects people can participate in, designing labels, naming, choosing beer recipe and obviously the steps making the beer. I haven't figured out all the logistics but I was hoping to acquire two beer-making apparatus to allow two different creative teams and recipes, for variety and maybe a little taste competition during the New Year's holiday.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Highlander of Track and Field




A mathematical look at Usain Bolt's world record 100m dash last week. Apparently we shouldn't have seen this fast a time until 2030.

Non-Hispanic Whites: The Party's Over

Studies have shown that, with decreasing birthrates among non-Hispanic whites (no one can accuse the Harvey's of not doing their part) and substantially increased immigration, by 2042 non-Hispanic whites will be a minority in America:



By 2042, one in three Americans will be Latino. How's your Spanish coming along?


Whenever I get depressed, I think of this future and it perks me right up. Given the Republicans' willingness to alienate the entire Latino population by their opposition to the Sotomayor nomination and all their anti-immigration ranting, at some point, the GOP will never win another election. Fantastico! In about 40 years, there will be no NASCAR, mayonnaise, country music, watery beer, popped collars or SUV's! Instead, more fajitas, Latin dancing and crazy Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

And the world will be a better place.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

After over 20 years of built-up anticipation, I finally saw The Unbearable Lightness of Being. And now, I find myself asking, did I miss something? Sure, it featured two of the loveliest ladies ever to grace celluloid: Lena Olin...

MySpace Codes


and Juliet Binoche.

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And a pretty hot Daniel Day-Lewis.

MySpace Codes


And I know that the movie was meant to make the suggestion that, while everyone thinks that weightiness -- being burdened -- is what makes life unbearable, perhaps it's quite the opposite. Perhaps, what makes life unbearable is its lightness, its total insignificance. Our lives are short and then we vanish. Perhaps, it's the unimportance of it all that makes things unbearable.

Even so, I'm not sure why all the critics kept saying that the English language did not contain superlatives sufficient to describe the movie. So, OK, we have attractive characters, a lot of sex, some philosophy and the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia -- but it didn't quite add up for me.

Can someone help me out here?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

90 year old health issues

I'm not sure if everyone got the word so I will update Mom's/Grandma's health here. She went into the hospital Monday after having a sharp pain in her right leg all Sunday and Monday morning. By Wednesday her leg pain which became a knee pain, was gone, even before the cortisone shot, but her blood tests showed unhealthy results for the BUN and Creatinine tests which indicate unhealthy kidneys. After expecting her to be released each day from Wednesday on, I was finally able to bring her home Sunday. She is in good spirits and getting up and down stairs again with her cane, but she will have a nurse come next week for a while and will try "Meals on Wheels" until she gets enough energy to start her routine again.

If any good came about from all of this, we learned that she has had kidney problems for a while now. Of course she never knew (although her doctor says she was told.). Basically this means that she should drink more.

Sidebar:
Despite knowing everything she will say 2 minutes before she knows herself, I learned something about my mom (or my thoughts crystalized better). Basically that she pays no attention to anything about herself, especially her health, but is keenly interested in everyone else. Here is how her doctor (who has a daughter at B.C. according to mom) should have told her about her kidneys, "You know my daughter, the one at Boston College, well, she graduates next year. However, she has to drink a lot more water in order to keep her kidneys healthy--just like you do!"

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My Latest on YouTube

My latest short movie

A little while ago Tommy, myself and a friend of mine from back home made this little movie. It took a while, but I finally got my camera to properly communicate with my computer and it's all been edited and put up. I hope you all enjoy!

Craig Manning

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Oh man... OH MAN..... OHHHH FREAKIN MAN!!!!!

While studying for my finals tomorrow which I should be doing more of my Google Reader informed me of a California amusement park called Sinister Pointe. Apparently it it only open in october and its a haunted amusement park, an ENTIRE AMUSEMENT PARK HAUNTED. If thats not enough for you then I'd just like to say they got the permission from Konami a great video game maker to do Mazes in the likeness of Silent Hill and FEAR to incredibly scary games. If you haven't played them, you should. (but play silent hill 2, silent hill 1 is getting a little dated by this time.) And if you say "oh Sean no I can't possibly play that game I'm no good at videos/I hate video games/ I don't have the system to play/ I don't have any time." then go watch someone play it, or read up on it or go out and buy it or make time. So anyone up for a trip to the Nascenzis in october?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Red Herring

Myk your argument concerning the flaws in my position suffer from an informal fallacy, the straw man argument. You point out two “supposed” flaws,

One-Certain rights belong to certain groups of people
“Heterosexual couples get to have marriage for the sake of the kids they are raising”
“there is some justification for distinguishing between straights and gays when it comes to marriage other than we hate you”

Two-Courts’ role in Civil Rights

Unfortunately, we are now arguing about your definition of marriage, “Heterosexual couples get to have marriage for the sake of the kids they are raising”. I can’t argue with you about your beliefs on marriage, however this has nothing to do with the position that gays are discriminated against solely on their sexual orientation. Marriage right pertains to the state recognizing two peoples’ social contract and has nothing to do with raising kids. Your definition of marriage is not an argument against my position, that the state refuses recognition of two consenting adults because of their sexual orientation. You have not yet illustrated the “justification for distinguishing between straights and gays when it comes to marriage other than we hate you”.

Your second point concerning courts’ role in civil rights again has no significance to the position that gays are being discriminated. Yes, we can argue that functionality of the government branches and the role they play in making sure rights are protected and provided equally. Courts’ role argument is separate from discriminatory States denial of same-sex marriage rights.

Since you have not yet illustrated the “justification for distinguishing between straights and gays when it comes to marriage other than we hate you” my position still stands that the lack of gay marriage is fundamental wrong in our country and without justification. Therefore, returning to our other argument courts’ role- it is the duty of our government to correct with all speed something unequivocally wrong. A single man preventing a mob from beating up a minority is more justified in his actions than is the mob. Thus the Californian Court was more justified and within their power (determining constitutionality on same-sex ban) to allow gay marriage than was the majority voting for prop 8. Just because more people believe doesn’t make it right or Argumentum ad populum

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Once More Into the Fray

I confess that I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with both Jim and Pete (see Treebeard’s comment: “I am not altogether on anybody's side, because nobody is altogether on my side”), and I thought I might clarify a few things.

1. Believe it or not, I think that Pete’s argument that refusing the right to marry to same sex couples is a civil rights issue – a denial of equal protection of the laws -- is a perfectly principled position and, indeed, some courts have adopted it. But, I think it has problems.

First up, marriage, like social security, is targeted for a particular segment of the population. Social security, for policy reasons, is restricted to the elderly. Nobody else gets it. Marriage is restricted to heterosexual couples. The elderly get social security because it’s been judged that they have a greater difficulty earning a living than younger folks. Heterosexual couples get to have marriage for the sake of the kids they are raising.

Now, you can argue that that’s not a perfect fit: lots of married couples don’t have kids and lots of same sex couples do. (But, I suspect that more heterosexual couples have kids than same sex couples.) The thing is, you can make the same argument about social security: some elderly people are doing very well earning an income, and some younger people are not. For what it’s worth, courts have long held that perfect fits in legislation are not required and probably not possible. The point is that there is some justification for distinguishing between straights and gays when it comes to marriage other than we hate you.

The other and more important thing is that, for a court to tell a state that, if it’s going to sanction marriages, it must include same-sex couples, is to seriously step out over the abyss. Not there this means anything in the absolute sense, but there is zero precedent as far as I know in the annals of Western Civilization for this, and courts like precedent. All I’m saying is that this is a lot to ask of a judge.

2. And so, while I see the civil rights point of view, I think that there’s a better argument for same sex marriage: it’s a good idea, not just for gay people but for straight people as well. It’s a good idea because the children of gay parents – either by adoption or conception – deserve to have two married parents just like the kids of heterosexual couples. As Ta-Nehisi Coates argues, “I support it [gay marriage] because I think family is a societal good--which benefits me individually. Raise your kid right, and I don't have to worry about him sticking up my kid.” I’d call it the “No Child Left Behind Act” except somebody already took that name.

Second, there is the whole public health issue. For some time now, we’ve faced an epidemic of STD’s, and the epidemic is more widespread among gays. I can’t think of anything stupider than to say, oh, I don’t care what gays do privately but I just don’t want them getting married. I say, not that gay couples may marry, but they must marry. If everyone would limit themselves to one sexual partner in a lifetime, STD’s could be eliminated. The sacrifice would be totally worth it, because it would permit future generations to have as many sex partners as they wanted with minimal health risk.

Beyond that, we know that marriage is good for your health, particularly for men. Married people live longer than single or divorced individuals. (This is true for women, but it’s truer for men.) Men and women who are married have lower rates of substance abuse and alcohol consumption than unmarried individuals; they have a much lower suicide rates; they live more healthy life styles, and engage in less risky behavior. (Apparently, married couples take to heart the song-line, “Take good care of yourself; you belong to me.”) Oh, and by the way, cohabitating couples do not see any of these health benefits. See mystical aspects of marriage discussed below.

Jim points out in his blog entry that heterosexuals live longer than gays. No wonder – gays can’t get the health benefits of marriage. In any event, I have no doubt that one way of reducing our health costs is to let gays marry. If you want your insurance premiums lowered, vote for same-sex marriage.

Finally, we know from the history of race relations in this country that marginalizing people is always a bad idea. Check out how well things are going in Europe with their Muslim immigrants. By marginalizing gays, we straight people shoot ourselves in the foot. If people have a stake in society, they work to make that society better. By allowing gays to marry, you give them that stake; they become full-fledged citizens just like everyone else. And there’s the related satisfaction of having an all-inclusive society. Again, turning to Coates: “I simply don't enjoy living in a country that discriminates. That's my feeling. That's about what I want, how I want to live.”

I agree with Jim that same sex marriage is a happiness issue. The fact is, despite all the jokes, marriage makes people happy. It also makes the people around them happy.

3. As to Jim’s other points, sure, we’re doing something new and basically untried with gay marriage. But, no doubt there were plenty of naysayers when the American colonists decided to create a democracy or when we were debating whether to give women the vote – arguing that this would upset the cosmic applecart. In fact, how many practices were followed for thousands of years that we now find appalling? Again, I fail to see anything compelling about the argument that, because we’ve always done it this way, it must be right. “Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true. . . .” Noam Chomsky.

I also agree with Jim that there is something mystical about marriage. What’s more mystical than “the two shall become one?” But, in my experience, the mystical is often at odds with the religious. The fact is: historical religions are run by flawed human beings who often get things wrong. The religious defense of slavery alone shows how wrong they can be. I think that it’s better to listen to Jesus on this one: "Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right?” Luke 12:57.

Finally, yes, I said that there are bigger fish to fry. And if my fairy Godmother suddenly showed up and said she'd grant me just one wish, universal health care or gay marriage, I wouldn't give it a second thought. I'd go with the universal health care. But that doesn't mean you can't be passionate about more than one thing at a time.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Moneyball Sold to Highest Buyer

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game seems to have been bought by the big spenders, returning baseball to its rightfully place-teams with money win. Though for the Pirates, since they never bothered with Moneyball, its no big loss.