Monday, February 28, 2011

this week in information (2/25 belated)

Still catching up from being on vacation (in St. Martin -suck it, bitches!!) so there's not too much to share this week, but...

While I was away, I missed Darwin Day and Valentine's Day.

Republicans are being dicks (shocking!), trying to cut funding for public broadcasting, education, public services, and family planning services. Because everyone knows that all Planned Parenthood does is carve full grown babies out of unsuspecting women's bodies, so of course they shouldn't get any funding for that. Right? Oh wait, what? That's just some bullshit extremist rhetoric? No Way!!
Planned Parenthood is the primary care location for man, many women, many of them poor and unable to get care elsewhere. PPhood provides counseling and referrals and family planning services (read: contraception, which actually REDUCES the number of abortions sought in this country!). Yes, some clinics perform abortions, safe and sterile and legal abortions which enable women to better care for themselves and their families as they make very difficult decisions. And the majority of these abortions do NOT use federal funding, because the law prohibits the use of federal funds for abortions unless the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or if the woman's life is at risk. However, Republicans are also seeking to change the definition of rape to mean only forcible rape. I'm so mad, I can't even keep typing about this bullshit. It's all over the internets so check it out. They are being dicks and they need to be stopped.
Stand with Planned Parenthood against dangerous libel!!

This makes my point, too: MacLeod Cartoons

Listen up, assholes.
Stand with Planned Parenthood!!

Homeopathy = water. Homeopathy is not medicine and should not be sold in pharmacies implying it is such -no, not even in St. Martin. If you don't have the nards to confront it when you see it on store shelves, you can probably at least get up the energy to sign a petition, eh?

In good news: Obama's seen the light and is declining to defend the idiotic and plain old MEAN Defense of Marriage Act. Hooray!! I suppose his incessant god blather and prayer whinging led him someplace good after all. Now, if only he could get his brain around the separation of church and state and do away with this whole National Prayer Breakfast kowtowing-to-Family-extremist shit...

In humor: I haven't read the comics in ages and always found Doonesbury a little too real and depressing, and this example is no exception, but hooray for Trudeau calling out Jenny McCarthy as a public menace!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

this week in information (2/03)

We are kicking the ozone layer's ASS, you guys! Good work! Keep it up, with your aerosols and your CO-spewing rollover vehicles and whatnot. Woo-ho... Oh, wait. That's not right.

Why Kermit is a butcher and not a doctor, and why this case is actually an argument FOR safe, legal abortion (because if abortion is made illegal, more abortion facilities would be like this one as all would be unregulated and women's lives would be in more danger than ever -although that's never really the concern of the religious right because all they seem to care about is the pre-birth fetus...)
PZ Myers, as usual, really gets it. Even if he is a MAN (and I'm a walking talking bad girl cliche).

What's he harm in astrology? Often not too much, but some. And it's all blather anyway as (again) Information is Beautiful makes clear. So stop freaking panicking about it.

Aaaaaand, Phil Plait on the good idea that is charging higher insurance premiums to the anti-vaxxers.

Carl Sagan kicks woo's ass! And then eats apple pie. After first creating the universe.

That'll do it for the week, I suppose. I'm out for a while. Catch you 'round.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


OMfsm, it's the Snowpocalypse!! Again. Or not. Personally, I prefer SNHURRTASTROPACALYSE. SNOWPOCALYPSE NOW is good, too. Or SNOWMAGGEDON! Or SNOWDEPENDENCE DAY! Or DEEP SNOWPACT! Thanks to Sarah Smart for that cold-medicine-inspired bit of brilliance, and no thanks to the media for feeding an ever-hungry public the fodder for yet another snowpanic.

Let's get one thing clear: Short-term weather prediction is a notoriously complex and thankless job. So when the meteorologists predict snow and we just get some rain, or when the public's interpretation of their words imply doom and indicate that panic is the only option and then the storm blows through (again), we must remain calm and try to refrain from the all-to-easy blame-the-weatherman rhetoric.
It is far better to be prepared for a storm that does not come than to be surprised by a storm that was not predicted or was not expected to be so violent as it got.
We are grownups. We have to use common sense. Yes, over-prediction of terrible storms risks making people complacent and falls into the crying wolf category, but how much worse if the news did NOT broadcast anything about the weather? Farmers would not cover their crops and protect their flocks, drivers would not know they might need snow tires or chains, kids would not wear scarves and boots (okay, who are we kidding, kids never wear scarves anyway), people might not fill their gas tanks or have extra food stored in their basements.

The concern of crying wolf is valid, but people need to use their brains. I suppose the anger directed at meteorologists and the resentment of panicky people can directly be traced to a lack of critical thinking in people as a whole.

Remember, this storm was pretty terrible everywhere else that it hit, just not here in Monroe County, and every indication was that it would clobber us like it clobbered everyone else. Would you prefer they not warn us at all and leave us to guess when the next blizzard will bluster by? Or should we perhaps pay attention to the warnings and take what precautions we feel are necessary and appropriate, and then take responsibility for those actions ourselves once the storm has passed -or not manifested- ?

A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals. And you know it. So it's up to you to be smart. Don't be a sheople, but be aware of your surroundings, and try not to blame everything on the weathermen or the government or the media or the vitriol. Sometimes words do incite violence, sometimes preparedness is for naught, but sometimes (most times) we are responsible for ourselves and would do well to remember that.

Come on, kids, get over it. So, the storm blew through lighter than expected? That's a GOOD thing. Better to over-prepare than under-prepare. Watch the radar, wear your boots, get your flu shot, find your snow brush and roll with it.

Happy Imbolc.