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Showing posts from October, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Disney Halloween Wallpaper by Isaiah Stephens

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Ebola Hysteria: The New Socially-Acceptable, Least-Helpful Trend in Politics

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This morning I started reading the news and learned that New York and New Jersey want everyone who travel to West Africa to undergo a 21-day quarantine upon coming to the United States.

Everyone.  Not just people showing possible symptoms, or people at risk, such as a nurse or doctor accidentally stuck with a needle that had been in an Ebola patient.

Everyone.

I cringed reading this.  We have become such cowards, such worry-warts, so concerned with appearances and appearing to care that we hurt more people that we help.  I mean, the United States is not the only country outside of West Africa facing the possible spread of Ebola, but we certainly are the only country acting as if a major outbreak is merely around the corner, despite any evidence to the contrary.

Let me be clear - no one is contagious before showing symptoms.  That means that even if someone returning from West Africa somehow contracted Ebola, they are not contagious - meaning that he or she cannot pass on the virus - u…

A New Type of Obscenity? I Hope Not.

Earlier this month, Adam Lamparello from the Indiana Tech - Law School published a research paper titled "'God Hates Fags' is not the same as 'Fuck the Draft': Introducing the Non-Sexual Obscenity Doctrine".  Basically, Mr. Lamparello wants to create a new class of obscene language out of hate speech.

On the surface, this doesn't sound too bad.  I mean, everyone is against hate speech, right?  I can hear some people now, thinking to themselves that they would like statements like that to be illegal.  Everyone knows what hate speech sounds like, why don't we call it obscene and be done with it?

The problem comes from the fact that obscene language is legally not protected by the First Amendment.  So expanding the definition of obscenity restricts everyone's right to free speech.

If I never hear the words 'God hates fags' again, I will be quite happy.  But that doesn't mean I consider the words obscene, just obnoxious. But we need an ex…

Wordless Wednesday: Halloween Princesses

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Ebola: The Facts

I've heard a lot of people talking about the Ebola outbreak in Africa, worrying about such an outbreak happening here in the United States.  My gut reaction is that we are basically safe due to our health care system and standard safety practices, but sometimes a gut reaction is wrong.  So I did some research as to what we know about Ebola.
In the beginning... Ebola first appear in 1976 in two outbreaks:  one in Sudan and one in the Democratic Republic of the Congo next to the Ebola river, hence the name.  Scientists believe that local fruit bats are carriers of the virus, and that it jumped from the fruit bats to humans through careless handling of dead fruit bats or dead animals who were bitten by the fruit bats.
Transmission Vectors
Transmission vectors are the ways and methods which a virus uses to travel from one host to another.  Some viruses trigger coughing and sneezing, using the air as a transmission vector to travel.  The Ebola virus relies on bodily fluids to infect …

Wordless Wednesday: Alice in Buffyland

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Hidden Game

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Okay, no one likes getting the "Not Connected to the Internet" page.  So Google decided to make it a bit more fun in the latest version of Chrome Canary.

In earlier versions, they changed the notice to include a dinosaur.  I think it looks like a stylized tyrannosaurus rex.



The dinosaur represents the time before the Internet, aka the Age of Dinosaurs.  (I laugh saying this as I too predate the Internet.)

But here's where the fun comes in.  If you hit the space bar, the page turns into a basic side-scrolling game.  The dinosaur runs along, and you have to jump it over cactus, using the space bar to jump.  The game saves your high score, so you can play multiple times if you want, though everything vanishes when you log out.



Here's a screenshot of me playing the game.  It shows my high score - 416 - and my current score - 30.  The game starts at a good speed, but ramps up as your score gets higher.

By the way, Chrome Canary is the early release version.  Google rel…

Please Stop Stalking Your Children

Dear Parents,

How are you doing these days?  I know that you have a lot facing you every day, from work problems to what to make for dinner.  But there's something that we need to discuss.

It's your children.  I know, I know, you worry about them constantly, as you try to learn what they're doing 24/7.  Well, good news - you don't have to do that anymore.  In fact, you shouldn't do that.

As children grow up and turn into pre-teens and teenagers, you want to watch out and help them along the way.  But to do this, you need to know where the problems are.  You don't trust your kids to come to you with problems, so you spend lots of money and time doing it for them.  They should be grateful, right?

Wrong.  By putting apps on their cell phones that spy on them, reading their emails, reading their posts on social media, using a GPS on the car, you are telling them in no uncertain terms that you neither trust nor respect them.

Think about it before getting on the de…

Wordless Wednesday: Chicago from Above

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Wordless Wednesday: Ant vs Ant

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