Monday, October 30, 2006

Weekend

Went up to visit Curtis' dad's family yesterday. Had a lot of fun, ate a lot of food-- 17 pounds of meat: one two chickens, ham, and roast beef, not to mention salad, quinoa, and potato rolls. And Curtis' dad had made a chocolate cake with, like, half an inch of fudge frosting on top.

At one point during dinner, over half the family suddenly busted out singing Tom Lehrer's "Vatican Rag." Curtis, Cristie, and I had never heard of that song or its artist, so they felt the need to enlighten us.

We left his grandparents' house after 11 and arrived back on campus well after midnight. I woke up this morning with a sore throat.

Oh, yay, happy midterm day!!


Curtis and Cristie have been working on their Simon and River costumes for Halloween. If I end up having the time, I may try to pull together a Kaylee costume (just buy coveralls, pretty much :). If I feel better tomorrow night, I may spend some time in downtown SC. I don't drink and don't like large crowds, but seeing all the crazy Halloween costumes would be neat.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

RE4 Tourist Guide

I'm in almost to the end of this game. I love the list of illegal acts; Salazar was so comical. Before I killed him, of course.

Something Awful: US Dep't of Video Game's travel guide to Spain

I've been working on filling out the midterm elections ballet. Honestly, it is more complicated and longer than the midterm I am going to have tomorrow.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Bit**acle

Can you believe it? My dinky little blog has been pirated! Someone may be making money off of this crap that I write! And it's not me!! (And, dammit, I could use a bit of money. A lot more than you high-tech bourgeoisie web goons.)

You can get the rundown from Plagiarism Today and Stop Bitacle. Basically, these people steal the content from blogs (text and images), incorporate the blog into new webpages that have lots of Google ads, and profit from their "advertising service." I don't know how much you can actually earn per ad, but if you over 19 million stolen blogs (as they do), you'll probably net a significant sum.

My opinion on this: If *I* don't make any money from this crap that I write, then no one should. Plus, I don't want stuff I've written showing up on some website with which I have no affiliation. (Unless it is a small piece of content, quoted, credited to me, and linked back to THIS PAGE. A little note giving me a heads-up would be nice, too.) Otherwise, that's plagiarism; and though my stuff isn't copyrighted, it is stealing.

So, yeah, here's a little note I ctrl+c'd and ctrl+p'd from Stop Bitacle for anybody who may be reading this via Bitacle:
Dear reader,

Please look carefully at the web address in the URL field of your browser. It should read ‘http://kaerith.blogspot.com‘. In case you see a web address containing the word ‘bitacle’ or ‘bitacle.org’, you’re not looking at the original page on which this text was posted. If this is the case, the text you are reading right now might be incorrect or out of date. After I place a post on my weblog, I always try to keep published information up to date, or incorporate additional information, which I receive from readers. You will never find this information on bitacle.org.

Bitacle.org copies the content of weblogs without permission of the author, the holder of copyrights or the licensee. By visiting bitacle.org, you create income for the people who run bitacle.org, at the expense of me and other owners of a weblog, without permission and often without respecting copyrights and/or terms of use as in a license. So please, next time you want to view my posts, do so by using the web address of my weblog, which is ‘http://kaerith.blogspot.com‘. Please make a bookmark of my weblog’s address, if you would like to visit it again.

Thank you!


Anyone who has a blog with an RSS feed may want to search for their webpage name or URL in Bitacle's "Blogs" searchbar.

I've changed this site's RSS feed settings to "short" *very* reluctantly. (I dislike incomplete feeds; I like to view the whole article from my feed reader.) It should stop the imposter blog from stealing my entire blog entries and direct people seeing ICTH content via Bit(ch)acle to this site. But they're still infringing on my right to allow complete RSSing.

Addendum: Looking through their "About Bitacle" page, I realized that these guys are either ESL or just can't write well. "How I can do that my blog appears in the list? How I make sure that my last news apeear immediately? Why they don’t appear my older content in the list?" If it's the latter, then no wonder they have to steal text from other people's webpages. Otherwise... it's just sad that they rely on BabelFish or Google Language Tools. If pirating blog content is so profitable, why can't they hire somebody fluent in English and Spanish to translate? Sheesh.

More Random Stuff

...because there is so much funny stuff on the Net and I feel like passing it on.

SA Book Nook Love the Tarantino impression.

Dino Comics: "The Chinese Buffet"

And a serious and thought-provoking article, I thought: NYTimes: Eulogy for an Outlaw Prison by Marc Lacey.

I was somewhat surprised at how organized the inmates became. The guards pretty much left the prisoners to fend for themselves, and the Guatamalan prison pretty much became its own country. Without dilligent and uncorrupt guards, the prisoners managed to set up a "democratic" government and stores and services including a brothel and casino.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

My weekend

Went to a 25th wedding anniversary/vow renewal ceremony and party Saturday night. The reception was at the San Jose Hilton and very nice, with a mariachi band, dinner, and a slideshow. And the awesomest cheesecake I have ever eaten.

Sam took Curtis and I up to the room he and Anna were staying in that night just so he could waste a cigarette by demonstrating the fact that he could smoke in the hotel hallway. It is strange, the small things that can make people happy.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Jesus Camp

I ran across Catspaw's blog entry about a documentary called Jesus Camp. I had not heard anything about this film. These kids are being brought up to be fanatics with an unrealistic black-and-white view of the world.

The trailer scared me.

In the second flim clip on the official website, the leader of this camp talks about Muslim camps which indoctrinate children to believe so fully in Islam that they are willing to sacrifice their own lives for the cause. She wants to have Christian children be the same way, eager to kill themselves "for the sake of the Gospel" because they "have the truth."

Excuse me, ma'am, but don't you think that forcing and persuading children to be martyrs is an atrocity? According to most Christian teachings, Jesus loves children, and he'd be happy to have so many children loving him, but don't you think he would be the first to stand up to prevent 5- and 10- and 15-year-olds from engaging in warfare? Children should not comprise the vanguard of any military conflict. War is created by adults and should be resolved by adults. Unfortunately, children are often the worst casualties in conflicts, but they should not be used as tools to violently propagate ideologies.

I think that this replication of Islamic extremists' inhumane methods of promoting violence and terror is a relinquishment of whatever righteousness your religious group may (incidently) have possessed, and an action that disgraces you to an evil equivalent to those over whom you are trying to triumph. You should take the moral high ground and not stoop to match the contemptible level of your enemies.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Humorous word misusage

A couple weeks ago I was musing about how much more entertaining the world would be with more accidental word misusage and replacement. I was reminded of that tonight while I was working on a paper. I typed "elf-consciousness." That led me into a whole giggle frenzy (I've been working on this paper for a long time, now, and my sanity may be taking a short vacation) as I imagined the world suddenly preoccupied with "elf-awareness", "elf-esteem", "elf-expression", "elf-examination", "elf-development", etc.

One word mix-up that would be really funny: "fromage" and "frottage". Accidentally demanding that the waiter serve you more frottage would be an embarrassingly amusing situation- especially if you were trying to impress your date with your mad French skillz.

Of course, there's always the old bio class standby: the confusion of "organism" with "orgasm". (Heehee, shout-out to Vilhelm)

Monday, October 16, 2006

X: A Fabulous Child's Story

This quirky story was in my Soc of Women reader. Interesting concept as well as entertaining writing.

X: A Fabulous Child's Story by Lois Gould

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Rights of Indigenous People

Rights of Indigenous People (GlobalIssues.org)

Interesting article that popped up on my RSS. Culture clashes, biopiracy, land disputes, struggles for sovereignty- all important issues.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Stand-up Comedy

My two favorite Comedy Central Presents episodes:

Pablo Francisco (and a clip about Mexican music)

Nick Swardson

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Yippee!

You Passed 8th Grade Science

Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!

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Amusing, weird, and cool things

Check out the newest lists at 5ives. I especially like the "Five things you did while MySpace was down" list. Emo-bashing is always fun!

I've been scouring the Net for free crochet paterns lately. I somehow managed to stumble across this. (Scroll down to the second picture; it's even better than the first.) What is more strange: the fact that this woman created this pattern as a gift to her father.

I was reading reviews of Korean films yesterday when I came across this description of a film entitled "The Way Home." This paragraph in the review written by Darcy Paquet impressed me:
The film was shot in a remote village of only eight households, with amateur actors taking all the roles save that of the young boy. Kim Ul-boon, the woman who plays the grandmother, was scouted from another village when the director spotted her walking down the road. Having never seen a movie before in her life, she nonetheless proved to be a talented and devoted actress, and she has since become a minor celebrity.

Yup. There is quite a difference between American and foreign films.

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Anarchy

There are these flyers around campus advertising the Anarchy Club, which is some club downtown I guess. What always strikes me as rather ironic is that they list the times they are open.

If the Anarchy Club were *truly* anarchist, they wouldn't have specific opening and closing hours. They wouldn't have a club, because there are the matters of rent, wages, inventory, etc. that are crucial to any business. If it was actually anarchy there wouldn't be any owners, proprietors, or employees. No one would go through the process of ordering liquor because that is a system of filling out forms, doing basic mathematics, utilizing the postal system, and exchanging currency. There would be no currency, because that is a system with rules under the jurisdiction of a government or other organization. There would be no liquor, because how many anarchists would spend their time working at a brewery to produce alcohol for the consumption of other people? None. They'd probably spend their time getting high, having sex, looting food and electronics (the latter which wouldn't work anyway because who's gonna work at the power plants?), and building forts out of living room furniture or whatever anarchists do in their endless free time.

If the country or world disintegrated into anarchy it would only take a few years for massive famine or widespread violence to wipe out a great percentage of the population. You may work to grow food to keep yourself alive, but thousands of hungry, lazy bastards are just going to kill you and take the food for themselves. And guess what? They'll be no police force, no military, no hired bodyguards to prevent you from dying of rectal bleeding or however those murderous anarchists decide to snuff you.

But, I guarantee you, some new systems will soon rise up. Either small- or large-scale organizations that will gain power through violence or the hoarding and distribution of food and/or weapons. A brutal system of opportunists collecting resources to buy loyalty or favors from others.

Believing that anarchy would work is an ignorant and short-term view. Disorder will always reassemble itself into a system; order is inevitable.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Cat Toy

Kitty Weed Cat Toy

This cat does not look like a friendly pothead.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The problems with TV

Watching the ten o'clock news.

- Angry about the setback in the decision of whose jurisdiction gay marriage falls under (legislative or judicial). Neither of the state branches says that it is responsible for resolving the issue. I still think that this issue should be split into two parts: secular and religious. Let it be legal. Churches and mosques and temples can refuse to acknowledge the unions. If you think homosexuality is a sin, why can't you just let the damned perverts live their blasphemous lifestyle and burn in hell? I, personally, think that homosexuality is a natural phenomenon; it has been documented throughout human history and found in many, many other species.

- Confused and disgusted by the prevalence of child pornography. Why is it so popular? Is it getting even more popular? What the hell is the appeal?

- Police should be cracking down more on meth production and distribution, not marijuana. Pot makes the news much more often than meth, yet it doesn't have nearly the impact on communities and families and individual's lives.

- Illegal immigration to the US will not be decrease to a manageable level until the countries south of our border get their shit together. Mexico and South America are sucky places to live. Corruption among political officials is a huge problem; one that I do not trust most international organizations (*ahem* IMF, World Bank, I'm talking about you) to try to solve.

And, unrelated to the news, I am tired of the sexual subplots in virtually every prime time TV show. Grey's Anatomy is more about who is sleeping with whom than about the lives of medical interns. Desperate Housewives is, near as I can tell, *only* about sex and not about love. At least Jericho's tiny subplot of sexual tension is eclipsed by the more important problem of nuclear war.

Why can't we have more shows which don't revolve around promiscuity? How about a show featuring the struggles of a main character with a disability trying to live a normal life? I can't think of any long-running show that has had a starring disabled character since Life Goes On (remember Corky?). C'mon! It'd be cute, quirky, and heartwarming. No offensive or condescending attitudes that aren't changed by the end of the show.

Or what about a show addressing the hardships of minority groups? Without the pretense of an "unscripted" reality show. Let's move on from the sex and violence people; there is much more to life and entertainment. Dare to branch out and try something new, despite the uncertainty of sponsoring and profit. More people than just me may want something different to watch.

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Awesome Music Find: Gravelstudios

I love to find great music by obscure and unknown bands, composers, and artists. MP3 rotation sites are pretty good for this, but sometimes random searching can lead you to some awesome finds.

Today's Awesome Music Find is Gravelstudios, a site featuring Peter Hopkins' rearranged and original compositions ranging from classical to rag to retro videogame style music to an original musical/rock opera soundtrack. A few highlights that I suggest you check out:

"Call Me, Beep Me", an arrangement of the Kim Possible theme song

"Wedding Processional", an arrangement of Star Wars and Star Trek songs for a trio of wind instruments

And (my absolute favorite) "Piso Mojado". You've gotta give this one a listen.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tonight

Going to San Jose tonight. Marie's grandfather's funeral is tomorrow morning. I'll be back before lunch. Very short trip.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Weekend

Went with Cristie and Curtis to the Casa de Fruta Renessaince Faire on Saturday. Had a lot of fun. One of Cristie's friends was working at a booth there, so she got free tickets. We were there for about seven hours. Saw The Bold and Stupid Men show, Marlowe's Shadow, and Moonie and Broon. The inside info on Moonie and Broon is that Broon drinks pretty much constantly during the whole day, so their last show at 5 pm is the one to see. Broon's kind of tipsy and he and Moonie let loose with a lot of lewd jokes. Very funny.

I finally figured out how to get my voicemail on my cell phone. Whoopee!