The Angel Gabriel…and his life partner Bruce

2009/12/22 at 20:34

Check out the angels in this Christmas display in our neighborhood
The Angel Gabriel...and his life partner Bruce
(Not to mention Santa Claus at the manger)

Teabagging explained

2009/12/17 at 09:02

Fred Clark, one of my favorite bloggers, offers the first explanation of the teabagging movement that makes sense to me (I prefer ‘teabagging’ to ‘tea party’ due to teabagging’s delicious double entendre).

What fascinates me here is not just that the Tea Partiers are choosing voluntarily to abandon reality, but that they’ve elected to fabricate a world that’s far worse than the actual one. They’ve chosen to populate their imaginary world with their worst nightmares. That’s a very strange choice.
What I don’t get is the kind of deliberate delusion in which a person chooses to pretend the world is more horrifying and filled with more and more-monstrous monsters. Why would anyone prefer such a place to the real world? Why would anyone wish for a world filled with socialist conspiracies, secret Muslim atheists, Satan-worshipping pop stars and bloodthirsty baby-killers?
But the Tea Partiers cling to these nightmares with a desperate ferocity. They get angrily defensive at the suggestion that this world isn’t actually as horrific as they’re pretending it is. They’re very protective of their precious nightmares. They cherish them.
In trying to understand this choice, this weird preference for a world more monstrous than it actually is, I’ve come around to two explanations. The imaginary monsters are thrilling and they are reassuring.

Read the rest of Fred’s blog post to find out why the teabaggers find their monsters thrilling and reassuring.

My 15 minutes of fame–or an hour weekly

2009/12/16 at 09:51

Earlier this week, I received a call from a producer at Voice America (internet) talk radio network. She wanted to know if I’d be interested in hosting my own weekly radio show.
I had never heard of Voice America and I was surprised at the offer. My first question: why me? She gave me a suspiciously non-specific answer, something like “Our hosts are people who are published or who are leaders in their fields.” Second question: so, what field do you think I lead? Her answer: software design. Okaaaaaaay.
I asked her a few more questions and ascertained that the offer does not come with remuneration. Since I’m already very busy, and because the whole conversation set off my scam warning bells, I declined.
After the call, I did a little Googling, and it appears that Voice America is indeed on the level, but I’m still perplexed at how the producer found me and why she thinks I might have something interesting enough to say that I’d draw a weekly audience–without her apparently having a firm idea of the topic that I would base my show on. I’m still scratching my head at the whole thing.
Do you have any knowledge of Voice America? Do you know anyone else who has been approached about hosting a show?

Life and Death

2009/12/11 at 09:23

This op-ed in the St. Petersburg Times puts a human face on the health care crisis.
(via Rafe Colburn)

16 Golden Retrievers teach about atoms

2009/12/07 at 12:16

Quote of the day

2009/12/01 at 12:59

Simple ignorance is a curable condition, stupidity is a misfortune, willful ignorance is a character flaw.