Monday Miscellaneous: The Ebola Edition

XKCD Alt text: “People often say that same-sex marriage now is like interracial marriage in the 60s. But in terms of public opinion, same-sex marriage now is like interracial marriage in the 90s, when it had already been legal nationwide for 30 years.”

XKCD hits the nail on the head as always, but honestly, I think that this lack-of-decision is just that – a lack of a decision that can be easily changed. And honestly, I don’t expect this to stick, so, uh, get married while you can?

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Monday Miscellaneous

Arizona Republican Advocates Stoning Children.

“The maintenance of civil order in society rests on the foundation of family discipline. Therefore, a child who disrespects his parents must be permanently removed from society in a way that gives an example to all other children of the importance of respect for parents. The death penalty for rebellious children is not something to be taken lightly. The guidelines for administering the death penalty to rebellious children are given in Deut 21:18-21” – Republican Charlie Fuqua, from his book God’s Law

“I think my views are fairly well-accepted by most people” – Charles Fuqua, as quoted by the Associated Press

From a book I happened to have about policing: in the first article (“Police Officers: A Gender Perspective” by Loretta Stalans, Loyola University of Chicago) about the status of female police officers in the 1950s:

 The acceptance won by female officers came at a high cost. This different stance allowed gender stereotypes to remain intact and justified the men’s perspective that women’s work was not worth as much as men’s worth. Women were paid substantially less than men, but were required to have qualifications than men. For example, women were required to have a high school diploma and often required to have college education and work experience, whereas men did not face education requirements until 1955 (Feinman, 1994). The number of women in police departments was kept low by quotas, an women were given different training from that given to men. Besides the lower pay, departments did not allow women to be promoted, regardless of their ability or experience. By emphasizing how women were different from men, women allowed male officers to view them as necessary tools for the performance of undesirable duties rather than persons with equal talent and competence.

The full citation of Feinman is Feinman, C. (1994). Women in the criminal justice system. Westport, CT: Praeger; the emphasis is mine. tl;dr – benevolent sexism sucks too.

Voter turnout’s quite correlated with income.

Voter Turnout By Income, 2008 US Presidential Election. Source.

And finally, one of those things that’s just a great piece of advice no matter what you’re trying to do.

Morning guys. I hope you remember today that if you slip up you can restart your day at any time. You don’t have to wait til the next day to start over. Just sit down, breathe for a few minutes, and start again.

Reminds me of one of my favorite SIXX:A.M. songs….

Monday Miscellaneous

Oops, I forgot about Monday Miscellaneous last week.

California may legalize marijuana in 2016.

Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Californians support legalizing, regulating and taxing recreational marijuana in the state, according to a Tulchin Research poll.


Both proposals — the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative and the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act — would regulate and tax marijuana similar to alcohol.

Now, I’m fairly sure this is fairly meaningless, almost, because it’d still be illegal at the federal level, but I like the tax and regulation bits.

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Child-free by-choice survey

1. Do you dislike children?

Not….really? I don’t know. I’d rather have the company of adults over the company of children, especially young children, and I’d rather be alone than have company at all, but frankly I don’t actively dislike children; I’d…just prefer to not be around them.

Also – little kids have a tendency to be noisy and chaotic, and I like to avoid noisy and chaotic people.

2. Why did you opt out of parenthood?

Oh. There’s quite a few reasons.

1) I’m bipolar and absolutely refuse to transmit this disorder to someone else. Bipolar disorder is fairly genetic; if I were to have a biological child, ze would have a fairly decent chance of inheriting a disease that has left me wanting to die for eight years.

2) I’m bipolar and absolutely refuse to get off medications. Because I tried that for eight years and let me tell you, for some people, there is no such thing as “managing your mental illness through lifestyle changes.” I worked out for 2.5 hours a day and ate super healthy. No go. Meditation – no go. Yoga? Nope. Getting lots of sunlight?

….I’m from Texas.

There’s effectively zero chance that I’ll ever be capable of managing this disease sans medication. And given that how delicate brain development is, I’d rather not risk more mutations/developmental defects than necessary.

3) I like to pretend I don’t have a female body. And this actually works pretty damn well most of the time. I really don’t need nine months of extra special gender dysphoria, thanks. One week a month is bad enough.

4) I don’t want to be a parent. Frankly, this should be reason enough.

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20 Things I Wish Schools Taught Everyone

  1. Balance a checkbook.
  2. Make a budget.
  3. Basic nutrition – how to eat healthy and work out healthy and generally live healthy.
  4. Cook healthy meals that are both cheap and fast.
  5. How to use a power drill.
  6. Sew well enough to mend things.
  7. Write a resume.
  8. Properly clean and disinfect a kitchen surface.
  9. Properly clean and disinfect a bathroom.
  10. Do laundry.
  11. How to debug a computer.
  12. The reasonable precautions needed to secure a computer.
  13. How to take a computer apart and put it back together properly.
  14. LaTeX or another markup language. No. Word doesn’t count.
  15. At least one version control schema
  16. At least one programming language.
  17. The proper form for running and lifting weights.
  18. How to swim.
  19. Reasonable precautions one should take to reduce one’s chances of STDs and accidental procreation.
  20. Consent. What is consent, and what is not consent.

[Note: I’ve purposefully left “complicated” things like “critical thinking” off of this and am focusing on mostly basic skills]

Monday Miscellaneous

I guess we’re living in a surveillance state after all. FBI demands Lavabit‘s SSL encryption key.

The U.S. government in July obtained a search warrant demanding that Edward Snowden’s e-mail provider, Lavabit, turn over the private SSL keys that protected all web traffic to the site, according to to newly unsealed documents.

The July 16 order came after Texas-based Lavabit refused to circumvent its own security systems to comply with earlier orders intended to monitor a particular Lavabit user’s metadata, defined as “information about each communication sent or received by the account, including the date and time of the communication, the method of communication, and the source and destination of the communication.”

Why are there so few women in science? A lovely essay written by Eileen Pollack.

Presented with identical summaries of the accomplishments of two imaginary applicants, professors at six major research institutions were significantly more willing to offer the man a job. If they did hire the woman, they set her salary, on average, nearly $4,000 lower than the man’s. Surprisingly, female scientists were as biased as their male counterparts.

It’s apparently not difficult to get a concealed gun permit in Utah, even when you don’t live there.

My achievement doesn’t make sense for a number of reasons. One, I don’t live in Utah. I’m a resident of Washington, DC, a city that holds concealed handguns in roughly the same esteem as working escalators. I’ve never shot a gun. And in distinctly un-Utahn fashion, I’m nursing a hangover. Fortunately, none of that matters here. After four hours at Dukes Defense, I have a completed application and a snazzy graduation certificate for my wall. Sixty days after my application is processed, I’ll be able to carry a concealed weapon in no fewer than 32 states. It’s great for road trips.

Fox News and Republicans celebrate the fact that the EPA shuts down during government shutdowns.

A full 94 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 16,204 have been furloughed for the duration of the government shutdown, impeding the agency’s ability to regulate pollution, monitor air and water quality and clean up Superfund sites. It could also, as the Guardian reports, prevent them from enforcing those new CO2 standards for coal-fired power plants.

Some aren’t too torn up about that possibility. Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn, for example, tweeted the following:

There is some good news out of the shutdown, the EPA can’t issue new regulations.

— Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) October 1, 2013

Personally, I think we should have expected the government shutdown, because seriously Republicans would just rather not govern.

Fox’s John Stossel:

“I’m hoping the shutdown will wake people up and say, hey, maybe we don’t need all this stuff,” [Strossel] said. “We could close whole departments. Why do we need a Commerce Department? Commerce just happens, government gets in the way.”


“So, you’re pro-shutdown?” co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked.

“Yeah,” Stossel replied. “Shut more down!”

Zimmerman’s wife doubts his innocence.

Shellie Zimmerman appeared on the NBC program with her attorney and discussed the trial, her divorce and a Sept. 9 domestic dispute.

She said she never saw a gun during the incident, although she said she felt threatened when her husband gestured toward a holster on his hip and repeatedly told her to “step closer.”

“I saw him in a stance and a look in his eyes that I’ve never seen before,” Shellie Zimmerman said.

Shellie Zimmerman said she did not press charges because she said police told her she and her husband would each go to jail but she would likely stay there after pleading guilty to perjury related to George Zimmerman’s murder case.

[Emphasis mine]

There’s a new Hyperbole and a Half! [1]

And your miscellaneous photo of the week: Giant chart of beer.


[1] Incidentally, the same effect may comes into play when people drink.

Overall, 38% of the experiments found expectancy effects. All 3 of the social influence studies found that expectancy set increased susceptibility to social influence, whereas none of the aggression studies found effects for expectancy set. Studies on creativity, mood/emotion, sexual aggression, sexuality, and miscellaneous topics yielded mixed findings and there were too few within each topic to consider further. Three topics, cognitive/motor performance, decision making/risk taking, and stress/anxiety, included at least 10 studies and were examined at more depth.

Or, in English, people tend to become more susceptible to peer influence when drunk because of subconscious factors and not because of the alcohol itself. [Return]

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Here’s a new decision: With the exception of banks, I am going to boycott any company that’s closed on Sunday and not on any other day of the week.

Because it seriously seems that all those companies end up being Christofascist idiots.

Your example du jour is Hobby Lobby.

Green owns more than 550 Hobby Lobby stores nationwide, all of which are closed on Sunday, the Christian Sabbath. He is also known for his lawsuit against President Obama’s health care law, which he says tramples on his religious liberty by forcing him to insure employees for medical services he objects to on religious grounds. Many legal experts agree the case has a good chance of landing at the Supreme Court.


The Hobby Lobby Hanukkah controversy began when Berwitz learned that on a recent shopping trip his wife’s friends could not find anything related to Hanukkah at their local Hobby Lobby store in Marlboro, N.J., though it was stocked with Christmas items.

According to Berwitz, one of the women asked about bar mitzvah cards, and a Hobby Lobby salesperson replied: “We don’t cater to you people

And yes, I’m totally boycotting Barilla too.

I’d reported this morning that CEO Barilla had said that they won’t put gay people in their advertising because Barilla is a company that likes the traditional family.  The CEO also added that Barilla thinks women are fundamentally important to the family – a somewhat odd statement, since lesbian couples have women, two in fact.  And he threw in the fact that while he’s favorable to gay marriage, he’s opposed to gay adoption.  But he still doesn’t want gays in his ads, and if gays don’t like it, they can buy another brand of pasta, Barilla threw in for good measure.

And their notpologies are not helping:

With reference to my statement ​​yesterday, I apologize if my words have generated controversy or misunderstanding, and if they have offended the sensibilities of some people.

For clarity, I wish to point out that I have the deepest respect for all persons, without distinction of any kind.

I have the utmost respect for homosexuals and for the freedom of expression of everyone.

I also said and I repeat that I respect marriages between people of the same sex.

Barilla in its advertising has always chosen to represent the family because this is the symbol of hospitality and affection for everyone.

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