Monthly Archives: September 2008

It’s the Equality, Stupid!

This opinion piece from The New York Times, entitled Preserving California’s Constituion, pretty much sums it up, so I’m posting the whole article here. Bottom line is that Prop 8 is a “mean-spirited attempt to embed second-class treatment of one group of citizens in the State Constitution.”

Oh, and about those “activist judges?” They were just doing their job.

If passed, Proposition 8 would add language to the State Constitution stating that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Supporters of the amendment complain about the “activist” judges who wrote the court decision. But the majority in the 4-to-3 ruling was acting to protect a vulnerable group from unfair treatment. Enforcing the state’s guarantee of equal protection is a job assigned to judges.

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the omnivore’s hundred

Karen shared an intriguing challenge from the Very Good Taste blog called The Omnivore’s Hundred. It’s one of those list-things-you’ve-done quizzes, but based on a fascinating list of possible foodstuffs. The rules:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

My list is after the jump. If you’re wondering about any of the items, the original article has links to more information. The comments there also have lots of other people’s lists.

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Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

[from sources unknown, via John Tantalo]

Welcome, Haumea

The Solar System’s planetary roll call just got longer. From today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day:

One of the strangest objects in the outer Solar System was classified as a dwarf planet last week and given the name Haumea. This designation makes Haumea the fifth designated dwarf planet after Pluto, Ceres, Eris, and Makemake. Haumea’s smooth but oblong shape make it extremely unusual. Along one direction, Haumea is significantly longer than Pluto, while in another direction Haumea has an extent very similar to Pluto, while in the third direction is much smaller. Haumea’s orbit sometimes brings it closer to the Sun than Pluto, but usually Haumea is further away.

It may be just a dwarf planet, but I think it’s interesting enough to visit on the Grand Tour. Who knows what we might find on that (probably) icy planet and its two little moons?