Trek Character Poll

Our most recent poll, "Who is your favorite Star Trek character in the new cast?" gave us unsurprising results.

Kirk (7%)
Spock (23%)
McCoy (23%)
Uhura (7%)
Chekov (0%)
Sulu (0%)
Scotty (38%)

My favorite zombie killer and hard-ass cop is now also your favorite starship engineer. I like Simon Pegg's work, and I think he's hilarious in Star Trek, but I don't see much 'Montgomery Scott' in his performance. Hopefully the sequel will give him more of an opportunity to 'be' Scotty.

As for your other top choices, I agree. Spock was well done, and McCoy was surprisingly good (who knew Karl "Doom" Urban could actually act?). I am somewhat surprised that Uhura didn't get more love, but then again, most of my readers are female - if I had more male readership, I'm sure she would have gotten more votes.

Now, for the unloved characters... I completely understand why Chekov didn't get any votes. He is whimpy and irritating, and almost completely unlike the original Chekov. Sulu, however, was awesome. He reminded me of the original Sulu (also a fencer), but much better equipped, and far more bad-ass. I hope he gets more screen time the next time around.

This leads us neatly into our next poll - "Who is your favorite Star Trek Villain?"

Life's Little Irritations

You know what pisses me off? I'll tell you...

Conservative crybabies piss me off. Quit your whining - your party was in power for many years, and THE PEOPLE chose to get rid of them. Get over it, and shut the fuck up! I'm looking at you, Hannity...

DRM pisses me off. Amazon, Electronic Arts, Sony - knock it off, all of you. You have ENOUGH money already, you greedy bastards. Plus, it's been proven that DRM actually INCREASES piracy. You guys have so consistently ignored this little detail that I feel compelled to add that "increases" means "makes it happen more" you fuckwits.

Rachel Ray pisses me off. It's olive oil, not "EVOO" you overpaid spokesmodel. I could make meals in 30 minutes too if I had three sous chefs and video editing. Also, I don't trust you - the fact that you hawk Duncan Donuts is proof positive that you're trying to kill America. Your face on my Wheat Thins box is enough - I don't need you on my TV as well. And "Yum-o" is not a word - I checked.

The folks over in Cheyenne who just caught the piggie sniffles piss me off. All you had to do was brush your teeth and use some Purell after making out with that pig handler, but NO! You had to go road-testing your immune system, and now you're going to give it to me, aren't you? Did Taye Diggs send you?

Speaking of Taye Diggs - he pisses me off too. He and Lenny Kravitz are ruining America. Support my statements, you say? WHY? Hannity doesn't. Beck Doesn't. Limbaugh pretends to, by consulting his army of conservative spinwonk morlocks - they also carry him to and from the microphone on a palanquin, Jabba-style, but I digress. When the Nazi Lizards from Space come to claim their rightful place as rulers of the city beneath DIA, Taye Diggs will be enjoying some of Rachel Ray's "entreetizers" made of mouse entrails with Rush and the Savage Wiener, while Lenny's band provides the soundtrack.

People who aren't in the know about this blog's MANY inside jokes also piss me off. The preceding paragraph is loaded with them, and I don't want any comments that say "but I like Taye Diggs..." or "who's the Savage Wiener?". Search the archives. Better yet, read them. It's not like your job is that exciting, you can spare the time. Besides, I'm a hit whore, and someone backing through the archives is like a weekend with the fleet in town.

The Chinese government's ban of Blogger pisses me off. I have a dear friend living in China now, and she can't post to her blog. She's not trying to foment rebellion - she just wants to post pictures of her new apartment, you paranoid freaks. Worse yet, she can't read MY BLOG! The Chinese government is costing me hits. According to the CIA, there are roughly 1,338,612,968 potential new members of the Flock in China. I'm warning you, Hu Jintao - get this shit sorted. Don't make me send my specially trained hacker BCPs over there to get all up in yo bidness...

There's more that is pissing me off, but right now, writing is pissing me off. I had like 6 other things that I wanted to rant about when I started this post, but now I can't remember them. Lack of short term memory pisses me off.


I remembered a few other things I was pissed off about...

PowerPoint pisses me off. It’s the computer equivalent of construction paper and glitter. I do not need you to animate your slide presentation for Colon Awareness Week – a slow dissolve will not make me care any more about my polyps. And why are you so worried about the fiber in my diet? I eat my Triscuits - despite Rachel Ray being all over the box.

Movies are pissing me off. They’re making a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie – without Joss Whedon or Sarah Michelle Gellar. Michael Bay is killing off Arcee in the new Transformers movie. They’re finally putting the Green Lantern in a movie, but it’s not going to be about Hal Jordan. Iron Man is now Sherlock Holmes, Batman is John Connor, Scotty isn’t Scottish, Kirk looks like he's 12, and Spock has a friggin’ girlfriend!

Also - there were only two confirmed cases of the piggy sniffles in Wyoming yesterday. Today there are nine. STOP. LICKING. EACH OTHER!


(pant, pant, pant...)
Ok, I know it's just a fan-made trailer, brilliantly created out of clips from other movies, but Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan could make me take back every bad thing I've ever said about Hollywood's treatment of comic book heroes...

Friend Me

In an uncharacteristic show of compassion, I’ve decided to skip my usual bashing of the conservative talking heads - Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg are handling that duty this week. If you didn’t get to see them kicking Glen Beck’s ass on “The View,” you should Google it.

And while you're online, hop on Facebook and friend the Pope. Yep, Pope Benedict, emboldened by the success of his YouTube channel, is now doing the whole social networking thing. Unfortunately, you can’t poke or super poke the Pope, and he won’t accept any Mafia Wars invites either. He doesn’t even have a lil' Green Patch – what a loser.

What he does have is Monsignor Paul Tighe, the secretary of the Vatican's Social Communications department. Padre Paul is overseeing Benny’s foray into cyberspace, and what he’s lined up for you is more than a dozen "virtual postcards" with pictures of the Pope that you can download and send to your friends. Aside from the potential for Hi-larious photoshop hijinks it's pretty boring, really.

What I want to see is the Pope’s updates. It would make my day if I logged onto Facebook and on Benny’s wall it said, “Prada didn’t send me new loafers – totally excommunicated!”

Where are the Pope’s picture galleries? I want to see pics of Benny and three cardinals, throwing up the Vatican gang signs, with the caption, “me and my boys in Mexico – I was sooo faded when they took this…”

And what about his profile? Does it say, “in a relationship with Jesus Christ” or just, “it’s complicated”?

The thing that actually pisses me off about this is the fact that back in January, old B-16 put out a press release about “obsessive Facebook use.” He warned that “"obsessive" virtual socializing can isolate people from real interaction and deepen the digital divide by excluding those already marginalized. “

Riiight... So, you mean like the same way the Church has tried to marginalize homosexuals, and people who believe in birth control, and people who think that giving folks the tools to deal with HIV in Africa is a good idea? Those kind of people?

He went on, urging internet producers to ensure that their content respects human dignity and the "goodness and intimacy of human sexuality." Yeah - ‘bout that... how would he know? What exactly does a celibate priest know about sex, and why have people been listening to them on this topic for centuries? Taking sexual advice from the Pope is like asking a blind guy if your socks match. Stop it – it doesn’t make sense and it never has!

If Benedict does know anything about sex, I really hope that shows up in his picture gallery. I hope chick on Spring Break tags him in a photo with the caption “What happens in Cancun, stays in Cancun.”

I'm in ur kitchenz, ruinin' ur grilled cheeze...

Someone recently asked me, "why? veganism" and "why isn't vegetarian good enough?" and "why are dairy and eggs a problem?" and a few other questions in that vein. I wasn't going to address it on the blog (because y'all are sick to death of it) but a recent revelation made me decide to put it up anyway. If you don't want your diet brought into question, stop here.

I have been a vegetarian off and on since 1986. Throughout those years, I have crossed over from omnivore to vegetarian to carnivore (stupid Atkins diet...) to vegan and back again. Each time I made those shifts, I became more and more convinced that removing meat and animal products from my diet was the right thing to do. Not just for my health, and not just for my own personal karma, but for the good of our species, and the good of this planet.

Lately, I have been straddling the line between vegan and vegetarian. I usually eat vegan, but when stressed, or pressed for time, I sometimes consume dairy and/or egg products. In fact, anytime I am in want of comfort food, dairy is my drug of choice, and cheese is my favorite hit.

When I unpacked that statement, I realize something pretty unpleasant about myself. I am in want of comfort foods mostly when I am exhausted, lonely, sick, or emotionally wrung out in some way. In other words, I eat dairy when I am suffering. Not unusual, really; a lot of people turn to fatty, salty foods when they want to be comforted.

It's when you look at what milk really is, how it comes to your refrigerator via the local arm tentacle of your godless corporate conglomerate, that it becomes clear that our comforts are pretty unsavory. The dairy industry is horrific (go here and check out the podcasts if you somehow missed that memo) and the gooey, stringy cheese that pats me on the head and tells me everything will be ok, is the product of that horror. Disappointing, that. The conclusion it leads to is quite depressing...

I counter my suffering by enjoying the suffering of other creatures.

I am hurting, so I lash out at others who have no connection to my pain. Looking only at the link immediately before us, and not considering the rest of the causal chain, allows us to perpetrate this violence upon innocents without remorse. We would never tolerate this kind of thoughtlessness in our personal relationships, but we are fine with it in the kitchen and on our plates.

I know no one wants to think about it, but I don't see how you can avoid it. You are all smart people, who know the misery and pain and torment that food animals go through. You all know what animal products do to your arteries, your intestines, and the environment. You also know that it does something even worse to your psyche - it makes you not care. It makes you put your pleasure ahead of their lives, and lets you salve your petty hurts with massive, fatal hurts visited upon them.

Think about your consumption habits. Start with dairy. Ask yourself if you really need to ingest all of the suffering and fear and death that went into making that slice of Provolone.

%(This is a great strategy! On the heels of a post about torture, I put up a bunch of guilt about dairy products. This should drive readership down to zero in no time!)%

Poll Results

Our last poll was a bit of a no-brainer...

I asked:

Where do you stand on torture?

And you answered:

Never, under any circumstances. 0 (0%)
Ok, but only for terrorists who know of future attacks. 1 (5%)
Ok, but only for Foreign Nationals. 0 (0%)
Ok, but only with fuzzy cuffs and a safe word. 17 (94%)

No. No No NO!

I realize that you almost all of you have figured it out, but I really wanted to see a unanimous response here.

Let me lay it out for you: civilized people do not torture their captives. Not EVER. Not even if they know where a terrorist attack is going to take place.

Why? Because we have principles. Because we are better than that. Because it's wrong.

I'm sure someone out there will say, "but if you could save millions of lives..." and the answer is still NO. If we abandon our principles due to the situation, then they aren't really principles are they?

It's not your fault, really. The last administration didn't get it either.

(In the lower picture, is he giving that detainee a purple nurple?)

Savage Weiner

Last week, talk radio host Michael Savage got banned from the U.K. The radio personality was placed on a blacklist by the British Home Office as a “hate promoter,” and barred from entering the United Kingdom legally. In my opinion, Savage has been placed where he belongs, in the company of other hate-mongers like White Supremacist leader Stephen Donald Black, Neo-Nazi Erich Gliebe, Russian Skinhead gangsters Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky, and that perennial Laramie favorite, anti-Gay activist Fred Phelps and his reprehensible spawn of a daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper.

Now, I’d be pissed too if I was lumped in with these hateful bastards, but then again, I’ve never gone on the air and repeatedly called the Koran “a book of hate” like Mr Savage has – but let’s use his real name; Michael Weiner (hee hee). Yeah – like Oscar Mayer - that’s really his name. It couldn’t be better if I made it up myself. I can’t believe the British tabloids didn’t run with the headline “Home Office Closes Door on Weiner.”

OK, his given name is funny, but to be fair, some pronounce it like “Whiner”… which is funny in it’s own way. Ironic to hear someone who had no plans to go to the U.K. suddenly whining about his new banned status. If anything, this publicity has only endeared him even more to his crazy-ass-hate-everybody-and-everyone-not-like-me listeners. Weiner, Whiner - whatever, both is appropriate.

You might be wondering what kind of statements got Mr. Weiner in trouble, exactly? Well, here are a few choice ones…

"You know, when I see a woman walking around with a burqa, I see a Nazi."
He topped that little gem off with, “some Muslims, at least, need deportation.”

As if that isn’t bad enough, he recently took on Autism. On air he stated that the rise in diagnoses of autism was "a racket" designed to get disability payments for "poorer families who have found a new way to be parasites on the government." He also said that in 99 per cent of the cases, autism is "a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out." What kind of Weiner picks on kids with Autism?!

Given his history of inflammatory statements like these, the U.K. has wisely told us to keep our Weiner to ourselves, and Mr. Whiner is upset. This week, he stated that he has heard from British attorneys who are - and I quote - “salivating to set the record straight and win quite a large settlement” on his behalf. I hope this is true, so the headlines can read, “Lawyers Drooling Over Weiner.”

For me, the real issue here is not that an American broadcaster has been banned from the U.K. – it’s that Michael Savage has been saying ignorant bigoted, racist, things on the air for the last 15 years, but somehow only the British seemed to notice. What does this say about American radio audiences? Perhaps we are the real wieners here.

I do hope Mr. Whiner files suit, and becomes embroiled in a protracted legal battle that drags his hate-mongering ass out into the light of day – so we can all see this little Weiner at his full measure.

Polygyny, Polyandry, and Neologisms

A few weeks ago we gave our Intro to Sociology students a quiz on marriage practices. The two words they had to come up with were polygyny and polyandry.

Polygyny, the practice of one man having several wives, is the most common form of polygamy. Polyandry, the practice of one woman having several husbands, is much more rare, known mostly in Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan.

Both of these terms were discussed at length and written on the board during the lecture. The quiz was administered at the end of the class period, and the following is a partial list of their answers:

paligiamy, molygamy, polyganomy, moligany, paligomy, poligony, pilogymy, polyreny, poligimy, poligymay, poligamy, polygeny, polyanmy, poligamy, moligamy, polyndry, polygny, polygany, polandry, polygomy, polyngmy, molyngmy, matrigyny

Some of their answers surpass mere misspellings, however. I have taken the liberty of defining some of these neologisms for posterity.

polygony - the practice of marrying multiple geometrists.

polyginy - the practice of drinking multiple gins.

polygandy - the practice of marrying multiple railroad workers.

polojamy - the uniform worn by a polo player at a slumber party.

polygoma - a type of cancer, possibly related to maligiamy, also one of their answers.

polymatry - the practice of marrying multiple mothers.

malagamy - the practice of bad marriage.

polygandry - the practice of marrying multiple male geese.

polyanthy - multiple flowers?

paligamy - the practice of marrying your best friend.

peligyny - female pelicans?

polagamy - the practice of marrying a Pole.

molyandry - wasn't she a famous Irish step dancer?

polyangy - the practice of marrying multiple women named Angela.

monagamy - being faithful to a nagger.

patriocly - I think I had this in a stir-fry once...

paligrimay, paligrimase - I don't know what these mean, but they are lovely words - sounds like something medieval.

molygamy - "If you really a playa, it's not just polygamy, it's MO-lygamy!"

Spring 09 wrap-up

At long last, the semester has ended. In the last few weeks, I have...

...put in a huge number of hours on a statistics project that will likely be found wanting anyway.

...taken the first "incomplete" of my academic career, in order to free up more time for said stats project.

...witnessed the graduation of 6 Flockers in one day - I think that's a record.

...slipped into a habit of not sleeping, eating whatever remained of my roommates' cooking, and not working out.

...wondered if the yearly cycle of academia really suits me as much as I thought it did.

...watched a bunch of old movies, including two of the Austin Powers flicks, Spaceballs, The Big Lebowski and the painfully 80s Lost Boys.

...watched some friends leaving Black Vatican City for the summer - and some leaving for good.

I miss them all, and I hope they all get to where they are going, physically and in terms of life goals. I am, once again, left behind in Laramie.

Ok - enough maudlin whining.

I suppose it is time to get my shit together, finish the paper that will remove that Incomplete from my transcript, and get going on "Summer of Fitness II - Electric Boogaloo."

You may remember the original Summer of Fitness, during which I lost 12 inches all over, and made significant strength and endurance gains. This summer, I plan to use a slightly different approach, working toward four goals:

1) continued fat loss
2) shoulder rehab
3) closing the #2.5 gripper
4) bending the IronMind Red nail

For details of this plan, see my fitness blog, 100 Pounds.

I should be back to a more regular posting schedule now, and also putting up a new poll tomorrow. See you then.

La Influenza Porcina

Are you coughing? Do you have a fever? Have you been to Mexico lately? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could soon be receiving a visit from the CDC, Homeland Security, the FBI, the Men in Black, and any other enforcement agency conservative fear-mongers like Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann can mobilize. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, swine flu is in your base, killin' your mens!

Now, before we all strap on our bio-hazard suits and fill our garden sprayers with Tamiflu, let's get some facts straight about this "deadly killer" - now officially designated the H1N1 Flu, because calling it "swine flu" somehow offends Muslims and Jews, and upsets the sprawling pork lobby. According to the World Health Organization, there have been, to date, 365 lab-confirmed cases of the Piggy Sniffles. Because many of them originated in Mexico, several right-wing nut-jobs have made suggestions for keeping America safe. Some actually want the TSA to take the temperature of every person entering the US from Mexico. Some went even further, calling for the complete closure of our southern border, saying that immigrants were a threat to the health of America - despite the fact that most of the confirmed cases in America were caused by rich white students returning from vacations in Mexico.

Compared to the estimated 20,000 to 30,000 deaths per year from your regular garden-variety influenza, the swine flu is positively cuddly. It responds quite well to drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza, and it's not particularly contagious, as flus go. Basically, you have to lick the tonsils of a pig-handler to get it. Now, I don't want to say your kink is wrong - if you're into pig handlers, just keep some Purell on the bedside table, and clean up when you're done. In fact, if people spent half as much time trying to avoid venereal diseases as they have dancing around this non-event, the world would be a much healthier place in general.

I realize that saying this is going to make me look like a huge jackass if I actually manage to catch this thing, but with some common-sense precautions, the odds of that are longer than the odds of meeting a straight guy at a Cher concert. The point here is that we should focus on real threats to our nation - like the fact that Michelle Bachmann actually got elected. Perhaps the people we should be screening for illness are the registered voters of Minnesota...