New York Times reports on Ron Paul supporter’s plans to catch Romney’s bus

•11 August, 2007 • Leave a Comment

In the story here, the New York Times political blog reports on the plans of some Ron Paul supporters to take advantage of Mitt Romney’s offer of a bus to Ames and a free “voting ticket” for the straw poll. Although it does get him more publicity, the story seems to be an attempt to discredit the honesty and intergrity of Ron Paul supporters.

I’m amazed that the Times considers a plan like this news, especially when it isn’t part of Ron Paul’s campaign, but just something some of his supporters are planning on doing independently. In my opinion, this shows that the mainstream media is getting a little scared of the affect Ron Paul might have on the election. People of Iowa, please don’t let Mitt Romney and Big Media buy the Iowa straw poll… buy your own ticket, make your own trip to Ames, and vote for Ron Paul!

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SciFi channel’s Flash Gordon was actually worth watching!

•10 August, 2007 • 4 Comments

I’m much more of a reader of Science Fiction than a watcher, but occasionally I watch things, if often only to see how badly they screwed up the book (like any movie form of anything Philip Dick). However, I am known to watch the occasional movie or show, and I decided to give SciFi channel’s Flash Gordon remake a try. Amazingly enough, I enjoyed it.

An hour-and-a-half (TV time, not actual time) pilot episode premiered tonight, and was actually worth watching. They seem to be going for a far more serious bent, rather than the often unintentional comedy feel of the original. The actors act believably, the effects are pretty but don’t get in the way, and the sets on Mondo are well-done but not overdone. The storyline hasn’t gone very far yet, but it looks like it might be interesting. This one could be as good as their Battlestar Galactica, but takes an entirely different direction… watch it if you can ;).

An impressive display of bigotry on the floor of the United States House of Representatives

•10 August, 2007 • Leave a Comment

The story here describes a good example of the Republican party and their blatant bigotry towards any religions other than Christianity. Bill Sali, a Republican from Iowa, complained about a Hindu leader offering the opening prayer, as well as disparaging a Muslim congressman and threatening hellfire and damnation for the United States due to allowing non-Christians to participate in the House of Representatives. Apparently, the separation between Church and State is getting thinner every day…

Linux/Unix defeats SCO in court

•10 August, 2007 • Leave a Comment

As described at Groklaw here, SCO lost a major decision in their continuing set of patent infringement suits which will probably propagate through all of their cases. This major decision puts the nail in the coffin of SCO’s patent claims, and makes many Linux users such as myself sleep much easier.

Desktop Tower Defense

•10 August, 2007 • Leave a Comment

When not reading too many things or playing Puzzle Pirates, I’ve been spending a few minutes lately trying another great online amusement, Desktop Tower Defense. It’s a sort of RTS where you make a maze of towers to defeat the ever-advancing “creeps”. There are various types of towers, and various types of creeps, making enough variety to keep at least me amused. Soon they’ll be launching a multiplayer version of the game, which looks fun too. Just another quick amusement to spend your time on ;).

The gay marriage/civil unions debate

•10 August, 2007 • Leave a Comment

The Democratic candidates for President recently did a question and answer period on their views about gay marriage and/or civil unions (Coverage here). Although we often hear a lot of talk about the sanctity of marriage (Sanctity? Isn’t that a religious term? Separation of Church and State anyone?), one solution that no one seems to put forth, and the one that would make the most sense to me, is a rather simple one. Stop legislating marriage at all!

Eliminate the wording of marriage, so fraught with¬† religious and emotional baggage, from the law entirely. Have every current marriage declared a civil union, and every future one, in the eyes of the law. This would truly bring equality, without stepping on anyone’s religious beliefs about marriage. In fact, it might be better to separate religious marriage and civil unions entirely, for all of society.

As a further refinement, in my opinion these unions should be contractual in nature, and allow deviation in the terms, to pretty much whatever the people involved want. We already have prenuptial agreements, why not allow pretty much everything that contract law states? The possibilities are endless, and might lead to some interesting issues, but in my opinion marriage legislation has been, and probably always will be, a violation of the separation between Church and State.

What is it about plane crashes?

•9 August, 2007 • Leave a Comment

While reading BBC news today, one of their most read stories is about a plane crash that killed 14 people off the coast of Moorea (link here). While certainly a tragedy, and important to the people involved, I don’t understand why it is that these sort of stories get so much press. As an example of what I mean, we never hear about fatal car crashes, yet according to the statistics here, 116 people on average die every day in the United States alone.

Perhaps it’s the rarity that captivates us… far fewer planes crash than cars. Perhaps it’s the fact that more people die in an individual crash, and so they’re easier to report on. My thoughts on the matter, however, are different. In my opinion, what scares people about a plane crashing, and therefore captivates our attention when someone does, is the lack of control.

In a car crash, people think they’re at least somewhat in control of what happens. This isn’t always true, but the illusion of control is always there, as the driver can generally at least control the actions of their own vehicle. In a plane crash,¬† there is only one pilot and many passengers, and most of the people reading the news aren’t pilots. When we hear about a car accident, as most of us drive, we think about how we could have avoided it. Yet there’s no good way for any non-pilot to avoid a plane crash.

Feel free to comment about other theories, if you have any ^^.