December 19, 2004

Un-Fucking Believable

I might not have time to post tomorrow before I shove off for home, but I wouldn't mind if this was my last post for a while. This clip is real, and it's fan-freaking tastic.

December 14, 2004

Hooray for sexual anarchy!

I guess some Catholics are upset the "V***** Monologues" (because everyone knows `vagina' is a dirty word for a dirty dirty place) are going to be performed at Notre Dame. Here's an entertaining bit:

"The play violates the truth about women, the truth about sexuality, the truth about male and female and the truth about the human body," he said.

Note that `truth' is used here not to refer to certain factual situations involving gender and sex, represented in dramatic form in the play, but rather to the ideas some people have about the way things should be regarding gender and sex.

Hey! You! Academic! Get practical!

Here's a bizarre suggestion. My reaction is pretty well summed up in the letter I emailed to the Times just now:

As a graduate student in both pure mathematics and philosophy, I find Dean Kunhardt's proposal completely opaque. What exactly does he think pure mathematicians should be inventing, besides new techniques for doing mathematics, ie, doing conventional mathematics research? And the idea of a philosphical invention makes even less sense. While practical innovation does seem appropriate for inclusion in an engineer's or possibly even a physicist's tenure dossier, it would be completely inappropriate in other fields, more removed from practical affairs and marketable devices.

December 08, 2004

Parents these days!

There's a fantastic thread over on the City of Heroes forums with some great stories about parents playing the game with their kids. I remember my dad and I played ... ummm ... Hexen, I think, a few times, back around the time he and my mom divorced. He wasn't so good at it, but we played cooperative instead of deathmatch and I lead the way. It was fun; one of the few things we could actually share at that point.

Videogames: Not just for teenage misanthropes anymore!

December 07, 2004

Banana phone!

It's that time of year again. The weather gets crappy and many of us are yet again crushed with the obligations of the end of another semester. Hopefully this will cheer your day up. Incidentally, you can get this as a ring tone if you use Sprint.

Commence uncontrollable giggling in 3, 2, 1 ...

Atrios. If you scroll up a few posts higher, you can find something a bit more thoughtful, but for some reason I just find this most amusing.

December 06, 2004

USA! Number uhhhh

So American teenagers can't do math. This wasn't a surprise. Perhaps I'll go cry now.

In positive math education news, next semester I'll be teaching multivariable calculus. That's right, not TA-ing, actually teaching.



Why is the name of Jesus and, more importantly, the calling upon his authority consistently missing from the rhetoric of political leaders? Could it be because politicians might think it would somehow jeopardize their political well being? Possibly, the failure to openly acknowledge Jesus Christ is closely tied to keeping 'church and state' separated. Or, has the citizenry become so complacent in respect to his name that politicians are merely following suit?

In what parallel universe do people like this guy live? Or maybe he was just in a coma for the past year?

If all he said was that he thinks political figures should talk about Jesus more, then that's his opinion and he's welcome to it. But how, with a straight face, do you say politicians never ever talk about Jesus, and then compare that situation with slavery? Well, okay, I suppose you could say `This situation is completely unlike slavery', but that's not the route he chooses.

Via II

Pat Robertson = Cave Man?

I saw this posted over at Pandagon, and though I am buried deep in things I need to learn before my finals, I thought you all should read this post from Digby.

December 03, 2004

Test: It's Been A While

I was gone for Thanksgiving having a grand old time in Boston and Cape Cod with some old friends, which explains why you all haven't heard peep from me in a good long while. I'm back now, but the flip side is that I've got finals starting next week followed immediately by a trip home for the holidays, so I'm going to be pretty scarce for the next several weeks, but I'll post as I'm able.

The other reason for this post is that I'm at school right now and Blogger doesn't seem to like this network sometimes so I'm testing it to see if it will let me post all the great stories I want you to read before I type them up and loose them to the digital monster that seems to love eating my work.

December 02, 2004

Because it's Christmastime

I've got a present for you: an atheist's reaction to two of the nativity stories in the Gospels.

What did you expect, an announcement of sudden conversion?

Note that I'm taking his guy's claims with a grain of salt, and you should too, unless you know a lot more about Biblical scholarship than I do. But I have heard a few of these conflicts before; they're another one of those little things about Christianity that makes me go hmmmm and scratch my chin in a thoughtful, philosophical manner.

Welcome to America: Thank you for not gettin' it on

Henry Waxman (D-CA) has just finished a report on the content of some 'abstinence-only' curricula. Would you believe the curricula aren't entirely accurate? Even downright offensive, sexist, and heterosexist?

Some course materials cited in Waxman's report present as scientific fact notions about a man's need for 'admiration' and 'sexual fulfillment' compared with a woman's need for 'financial support.' One book in the 'Choosing Best' series tells the story of a knight who married a village maiden instead of the princess because the princess offered so many tips on slaying the local dragon. 'Moral of the story,' notes the popular text: 'Occasional suggestions and assistance may be alright, but too much of it will lessen a man's confidence or even turn him away from his princess.'

Like the rest of you, I'm shocked, SHOCKED, that the people responsible for abstinence-only sex ed would promote misogynist and anti-homosexual views along with bad statistics about other birth control methods.

More seriously: Come on, people! Do you really think your fourteen year old is too stupid to understand `Wait to have sex and alcohol. But if the temptation gets to be too great, we want you to be safe and responsible, so here's how you can make STDs a lot less likely and what to do for alcohol poisoning'? And then giving them misinformation on top of it, so they're actually less likely to use birth control when those damn hormones get out of control! Have you no respect at all for your own children? No concern for their well-being under all possible circumstances?

Via the Panda which has left