Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Stem Cells...

.... ok, I don't know what you all believe, and frankly I don't care. Thanks to Jon Stewart and, to a lesser degree, the public media, I've been learning a lot about the battles being waged between these two sides, and I'm going to take a minute and sum up some of the arguments being made.

Amendment 2 Protects The Buying And Selling Of Human Eggs And Embryos

Michael J Fox For An Unbiased Election

And Here, His Medicine Is Not Top Notch

Gambling With Americans!

Now, I can't find a YouTube for the commercial that they aired last night, along the lines of "Stem Cells could cost American women millions of eggs..." and it has this slow, dark, spooky shot of a woman on a bed, hugging herself and crying. So..... scientists are going to come into your house, and forcibly remove your little eggies? Is that what you think is going on?

"President George W Bush is also against the research, and vetoed a controversial bill which would have lifted a ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research in July.

"It crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect, so I vetoed it," he said. "

Because war didn't cross a moral boundary.

Our present policy on human stem cells has been shaped by beliefs that are divorced from every reasonable intuition we might form about the possible experience of living systems. - Sam Harris

They're not going to be rummaging around in there and sucking out your little unborn gas station attendants, America... let's define some terms.

Stem Cells - in humans are primal undifferentiated cells that retain the ability to produce an identical copy of themselves when they divide (clone) and differentiate into other cell types. In higher animals this function is the defining property of the deleted cells. Stem cells have the ability to act as a repair system for the body, because they can divide and differentiate, replenishing other cells as long as the host organism is alive. Non-embryonic stem cells can be extracted from bones, from the spine, and from organ donors.

Embryonic Stem Cells - stem cells derived from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst, which is an early stage embryo - approximately 4 to 5 days old in humans - consisting of 50-150 cells. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning they are able to differentiate into all derivatives of the three primary germ layers: ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm. In other words, they can develop into each of the more than 200 cell types of the adult body when given sufficient and necessary stimulation for a specific cell type. When given no stimuli for differentiation, ESCs will continue to divide in vitro and each daughter cell will remain pluripotent.

Long story short, the Embryonic ones are more versatile and powerful, but by no means the only ones available in there.

The Wiki articles for stem cells have been HUGELY purged because they were being used as a battle ground. I remember last year reading that millions of babies would have to be created, and then murdered, in order to get enough embryonic stem cells to make preliminary research worthwhile, and it included god-damn pictures of.... well, I don't want to turn away my readers with a description. A week later, the same page talked about how embryonic stem cells could be extracted safely from babies in a few years, while still in vitro, and the babies would continue to grow and develop normally, and these kids would then have, in storage, a lifetime supply of potent stem-cells available to help them with any medical problems they may encounter.

Now, right now, I'll admit that I don't have enough information to be truly informed about this. I'm not a biologist, I'm not Michael J Fox, and I'm certainly not a Catholic priest. But I do know bullshit scare tactics when I see it.

And now, to lighten the mood a little bit...

And now, some facts you may not know about fish:

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is made of fish.

Fish rhymes with electricity, bundle, and pyjamas.

There are three kinds of fish... trout, salmon, and Lionel the Intelligent Fish who wears a suit and has an apartment.

There is enough fish in the Atlantic to feed everyone in Canada, except for Sean Fergusson of Calgary, who will have to settle for some rice, and a salad.

Fish are notoriously afriad of donuts, hence the expression "The fish is afraid of the donut".

My uncle married a fish.

The song, "Hey, Look At That Fish" is the only song about fish that uses the word "cumberbund".

Abraham Lincoln was allergic to walnuts.

In some cultures, it is considered socially unusual to tie a fish to your head and tweet like a doormouse.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Why Did I Just Pay You $1300?

I mean, let's look at the history here so far.

1.) You take my money, then wait three weeks to send me a laptop computer from Ireland.
2.) You send me a BROKEN computer, with a damaged, nigh-unreadable screen.
3.) You wait two more weeks to send me a replacement laptop, from Toronto this time.
4.) The replacement computer has a damaged, nigh-unreadable DVD Burner (which I tried to ask NOT TO GET, but I wasn't allowed to not get it). Laptop DVD burners are notorious for being completely unable to read CDs.
5.) Anytime I run the Search function, I have to reboot the computer.
6.) Anytime I move more than ten files in Explorer, I have to reboot the computer.
7.) If I'm unlucky enough to accidentally pop in a new CD, I have to reboot the computer.

Tell me, what is the "Dell Advantage" of the "Blazing Fast Dual-Core Processor" and "Windows XP Small Business Edition" I paid substantially more than my monthly mortgage to get, when I am unable to perform tasks that my x86 could handle on Windows 3.1 thirteen years ago?

I'd really, REALLY like to know.

Only upside for today? BroYay!

Monday, October 23, 2006

My Toe Still Hurts...

*whine bitch moan*

Well, after a long weekend of hauling stuff out of the basement, shed, and front porch (the one I will remember for a long time being the ~300 lb air conditioner from 1974 that had some sort of dead racoon in it), dumping it at the city landfill, then putting more stuff into it to go to town, then unloading 24 boxes of laminate flooring, and then changing the tires and breaks on my Buick, it's good to be back at work and being harrangued by my superiors.

Actually, it's not that bad. I solved some major problems with the fire-fighting / parking co-ordination at one project, shot down some ideas on a few others, and generally made myself useful. I expect my managers to be baffled for weeks about this strange turn of events.

My ankle is acting up because I've been walking funny, due to the busted toe issue (it still won't bend backwards properly, or forwards all the way). Now it feels incredibly hot, and all the muscles feel saggy, like they've just been working hard for hours and hours. You know the total-exhaustiong feeling you get in muscles you overwork? You know what I mean guys, eh? Overworked? Certain muscles? Ahh, never mind. My foot feels funny.

Image of the day! Another I made myself.

Music video link du jour: Paranoid Changes

Friday, October 20, 2006

I Got Banned Again

Ah well. I'm told that the mods made some good points after I got IP banned, but since I got IP banned, I can't see what those points were. The amusement factor is still high, though, that they can only hold reasonable, mature discussions after I've been permanently exiled from the discussion.

In the words of my man MLK, One has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. Now, it may be a little over the top to be quoting a great human rights advocate in regards to my bannings on a furry-themed webcomic forum mostly populated by petulant teenagers, but the fact still stands that the people in charge have little to no understanding on how to run a forum.

Here's some of the things said about me, after I had no chance to rebut:

Yes, they only banned for you not agreeing with your
opinion and didnt ban you for constant idiocy with
Politic threads and other bullshit we don't normally
let here. Why are you wasting your time attempting
to get back into a forum about COMIC BOOK CATS?

Well, because the forum isn't about comic book cats, it's a forum for discussing things with other people (and, sometimes, with smart people). The forum happens to be RUN by a guy who draws comic book cats, but it is still a place where people I consider friends hang out, and where I like to talk about things that are maybe more important than comic book cats, and by doing so, try to educate and enlighten the people there. But, sadly, they still consider politics "bullshit".

Echoes had a sarcastic, but strangely amusing goodbye post, which was impressive, given his history of dull and strangely amusing posts.

Ah well, you guys... I had fun with Tater, Simonov, Ron, and everyone else with a sense of humor and the ability to let that which does not matter truly slide, and I had fun watching the people without a sense of humor who take everything they see seriously rant and freak and swear and obsess around me.

It's been a slice!

I'm going to go hang out at the big-person table now.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I made a few this week. Not much to say, just check it out.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ow, My Fucking Foot....

... at Tae Kwon Do.

Now, I'm only in Tae Kwon Do as a fitness regime, since my regular dojo moved around the same time I did, and it's now more than half an hour away. I do not consider WTF TKD a martial art... it's a sport. Nothing more. You are taught to score points according to strict rules, and so far, everyone I've met in TKD who wears a black belt makes me a little bit ashamed to be in the same class as them.

Last night, my sixth class, we got into heavy full-contact sparring. I have all my own gear except for a helmet, so I borrowed one and lined up with the rest of them. At first I was fighting with the lower belts, until Sensei (not a sensei in TKD, but I forget his title) decided to try since he knew I had a lot of previous experience. So me and the Sensei square off, and he only lands two shots because I know how to block. After the bout he says that I block better than his black belts.

This does not go over good with the younger, more athletic black belts.

Five more fights, and I am getting really tired but still holding my own, defensively. My last fight is against this tally skinny high-school mid-belt, a green. My first kick is struck down with extreme prejudice by a well-placed fist, and


my toe makes a nauseatingly crispy sound.

So now I'm sitting here, my foot is swollen up, I'm on Robax Platinums, and limping around while I get ready for work.

Stupid green belts, making me look bad...

So, who wants music? Humble Pizza Pizza Pie!

And for amusing pictures, I had a few I had to share....

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Friday, October 13, 2006

NaNo, No Sleep, Sleep Mode...

So again, I'm the only Y-chromo in Kamloops in NaNo. Three years running... I guess the pulp mill isn't condusive to creative writing, which is just sad. Even so, there's only three girls on the NaNo Kamloops board, so our attendance is down from even LAST year. More's the pity, I suppose... Kamloops has enough crazy people to get some awesome literature done.

Also, I woke up briefly at 1am when Poppy woke up, and I drifted in and out while she struggled mightily with Steph. At 2am, I held her while Steph made a bottle, and she struggled mightily even more. I drifted in and out until 3am, when Steph said it was my turn. I got up with Poppy and sat in the recliner (the very uncomfortable recliner) where she struggled mightily until 5am, when I managed to put her back into bed. Then she woke up at 5:15, and I was up until about 5:30. Then I woke up aroung 7am, my reflex, and just tried to stay in bed until Steph nudged me at 7:45, and I figured I should probably drag my ass to work. Thanks, sweeties.

Oh, and Seb broke my N64.

So now I'm in "Away Mode" for the rest of the day... Windows users will know what I mean. I feel stretched thin, and I can see the individual lines in my hands when I look at them, and it's really bright around the edge of my field of vision. Whee, it's just like coming down from a seizure!

EDIT: I also had to go home at lunch, through a one-lane choke on the highway, both ways, and open an unlocked door for my wife.

Who wants funny videos? Who, I say? Behold, the Gopher-moat!

And funny music? Take THIS! Trigun One!

And finally, amusing pictures. Wheee.

Now go away. I'm tired.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Yeah, Yeah, "Every Day", Right, Topper..

... so my "every day" posting is usually "whenever I get time on the computer, and a sense of inspiration" which is very, very rare. Most of the time on the computer I just try and relax and forget about my day, and that's not condusive to writing anything deep and coherent... or even shallow and blurby. Hell, I can barely post "You guys are fucking retards" on my forums at that stage. Killing monsters in various games is the extent of my mental abilities.

And then I go to bed.

Well, today, I got a break with most of the senior management out of the office, and most of my co-workers talking about how mental visualisations let them win lotteries and bend spoons and stuff. This is sufficiently whacky enough for me to try writing something.

Have you ever had so much of your favorite food that, for a brief period, you just don't want any more? It's for that reason that I shouldn't be allowed to go shopping when I'm hungry, because if I have any more crackers and cheese (I'm a carb freak) I'm either going to throw up, or stop pooping just COMPLETELY.

There. Did that make your Thursday? How'd that work for you?

I'm going to stick the Free Mp3 of the Day into the text here, so I can talk about it. Does anyone think that Scott Kurtz's interview with Adam West is ACTUALLY Adam West? It could be just an awesome voice actor, but if Adam West is really that batshit insane in real life, then he's EVEN COOLER THAN BEFORE! Warning: The mp3 involves hot naked soup-baths, talking about Adam's tights, and a pod-racing fishing show. You are WARNED!

Also, the free VIDEO will be stashed somewhere inside this paragraph, too. See if you can find it! Just a warning.... it's a music video for Soulfly's "Jumpdafuckup"... set to Winnie the Pooh cartoons. If you survive this, you've broken through to the world of AWESOME!

Ok, free picture time!

Kirby gettin' jiggy wit da Snoop, yo!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Doo Bee Doo Bee Dooo......

As some people have to poignantly reminded me lately (including a total stranger from PVP), I have a blog, and they have empty lives in need of fulfillment. A special kind of fulfillment. The kind of fulfillment that can only be provided by an overweight and overworked father of two in the middle of Canada's western province. Go figure. I'm happy I'm not you guys... I get my fulfillment from Jon Stewart and Motorhead. ROCK!

Ok, ok, so you want me to write something deep? Meaningful? As Jon Stewart said on Crossfire, "I will not be your monkey". I will, however, perform for treats, and as my wife has just handed me some cookies, there will me laughter and merriment galore!

NaNo is starting in EXARCTLY one month, and just to get writers in the mood, NaNo has decided to.... to shut down it's forums. Yeah. No-one can post anymore. Yeah. Way to go, guys. Get 80,000 writers onto a forum, and a month before the highlight of their literary year is set to start, they take away our ability to write to eachother. *slow clapping* Congratulations. Somewhere, a Wal-Mart is marking down prices on Pizza Pops and Kool-Aid telling people they can't have any.

So, did anyone see Heroes? Does anyone think that, just maybe, the writers on that show need to be told that lifting dialogue directly from four-color print comics perhaps won't work well with live-action people? That maybe some sort of, oh, I don't know, "eh-dit-ing" might be required? Possibly to update the language so that it sounds like something humans might say? I'm stoked on the concept (WOO! Superheroes!), I'm stoked on the characters (WOO! Strip-whore mom!), and I'm stoked on Adrian Pasdar (WOO! Jim Profit! WOO!), but the show is not trying very hard to get me to keep watching.

Also, speaking of superheroes and comic books... why the hell is Tony Stark being made a NON-ALCOHOLIC for the Ironman movie? Seriously, what the hell? It's JON fucking FAVREAU, and he's changing Tony Stark from bubbly remorseful alcoholic into chipper upbeat Tony Stark? That's like making Venom a skinny little pale... oh, wait, Sam Raimi is doing that right now (but it's still Topher Grace, so I'll slightly forgive him). Ok, then it's just like making a Transformers movie and making Optimus Prime something other than a semi-truck, and... oh wait, they're doing that, too. Ok, it's like making a Superman movie and... and... ok, it's like making an X-Men movie and making Dark Phoenix a complete pushover, and...

Oh, god DAMMIT, I hate Hollywood.

The worst part about Tony Stark not being a substance abuser? He's being played by Robert Downey Jr! WHAT THE HELL!!! Why pick Robert Downey Jr to play an alcoholic superhero IF YOU'RE NOT GONNA MAKE HIM DRINK?!?!?!? At least Topher Grace has godly acting chops, at least Optimus Prime still looks cool, and at least Hugh Jackman still comes off as badass, but COME ON!

*head explodey*

There, was that deep enough for you guys?

I got perma-banned from NPF again. This time, though, they keep inviting me to come back just so they can ban be again. Amusingly, I was banned for arguing with one specific poster, Adamark, and while he was not even chastised, I was permanently banned. Again. I'm starting to think that I need a forum where I can talk about stuff like this and not get banned, because the only person I know I can even vaguely discuss things like politics with is my wife, and since we watch and read all the same shows and articles, and more or less share the same views, it doesn't have the jab and thrust, the give and take, as a real discussion does (although it does sound naughty, doesn't it?)

Ok, enough of all that stuff. Let's get to the free links and pictures, otherwise you people will get mad and not come back, and then who will read my evanescent rantings?

Free Music Videos Of The Day: Anime AMV - Van Halen's Right Now

Amusing Pic of the Day:

Sebby's Quote of the Day - This one is more of a dialogue, and bear with me, I am trying to recreate this from memory:

Seb: "Ok, that is your goal (points to the shed) and this is my goal (points to a section of fence) and the ball goes in the middle. Ok?"
Me: "Ok. Go!"

*we play for a little bit*

Me: "Yay, I scored! One to zero."
Seb: "No, you didn't, your points are dirty." (Mimes taking a point off of a score board, and scrubbing it, then throwing it away.)
Me: "What? What do you mean?"
Seb: "It's the rules of soccer, the ball was in the dirt, so the point was dirty, I threw it away."

*we play for a little more*

Seb: "Yay, I scored!"
Me: "No, you didn't, you hit the gardenbox."
Seb: "That's your goal now, too."
Me: "Since when?"
Seb: "Since I got invisible players." (points to the fenceposts)
Me: "How come you get invisible players?"
Seb: "Because they're near my goal. Those are your players." (points to flowers)

*seb goes to his side of the yard, and talks to the fenceposts*

Seb: (to fencepost) "How are you doing? Are we winning? Daddy's good at soccer, but he gets dirty points."
Me: "I wan't better invisible players."
Seb: "No."

*we play for a bit*

Me: (kicking the ball into a fencepost) "Awww, he blocked me."
Seb: "Yeah, he's better than you! HAHAHAH! I get another point!"
Me: "What, why?"
Seb: "I took your point and washed it, now it's mine!" (mimes putting a point from his pocket onto a scoreboard)

I so completely can't keep up with my four year old son.