Friday, March 07, 2003

Friday Five

OK, I don't plan to make a habit of this, but what the hell...

1. What was the last song you heard? Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus", in the truck on the way to lunch.
2. What were the last two movies you saw? In the theatre? "The Two Towers" and "Chamber of Secrets". On TV? "Lilies of the Field" (Sidney Poitier, Lilia Skala, 1963), and "The Princess Diaries" (might not count, surfed in after the first 20 minutes).
3. What were the last three things you purchased. Hair dye, dinner, gasoline.
4. What four things do you need to do this weekend? Re-dye my hair -- moving from this week's tropical bird look (mango-red, green, and blue) to either blond or titian. Clean the apartment. Write a chapter of the novel. Laundry.
5. What are the last 5 people you talked to? In person? My boss, Janis, the guy at the drive-thru (does that even count?), the cashiers and customers at my local Rite-Aid. (It was a long line.)
Diabetes and Upper Leg Length

Terribly short? Have some diabetes.

"The length of one's thighs has a relationship to height. However, height alone is not linked to a higher risk for diabetes or insulin resistance, once other factors are considered."

Logically, it's probable that there's a relationship between upper leg length and certain illnesses because extremely short people may have unusual reasons for being short. If there are factors contributing to stunted growth, those factors may be affecting you in other ways. Plus? It's easier to be chubby when you're short. It doesn't take much, and weight is a known factor in developing diabetes.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Libraries Under Siege

(that fact alone is not exactly news)

Foes lock horns in Web filtering case

"If the Supreme Court rules that libraries must provide access to all materials, then our libraries will become nothing more than glorified government-funded adult bookstores. We support libraries with tax dollars because they provide valuable information and education materials. If libraries aren't allowed to protect kids, we have to question if we should use tax dollars to support them." Congressman Ernest Istook (R-OK)

This is an outright lie.

How does freedom to access all information translate to ONLY porn, 24 hours a day? In fact, the opposite is true. When you censor, you restrict content. You make the set smaller than it is naturally. As long as there is non-porn information out there, and there is, then unrestricted access ensures your ability to get to it. Because it isn't accidentally blocked by inaccurate software, or banned by someone who thinks "James and the Giant Peach" must be a dirty book because peaches make them think of their wife's ass.

The only way to keep providing valuable information and educational material is by being able to acess it freely.

In addition, libraries are not for children, per se. Libraries are information repositories. Libraries are for everyone.

You may note many libraries have children's areas -- areas with content and activities oriented around children's needs and for their use. Is the whole library a children's area? No. Is the Library of Congress only for people under the age of 12? No.

A library is

A place in which literary and artistic materials, such as books, periodicals, newspapers, pamphlets, prints, records, and tapes, are kept for reading, reference, or lending.

A collection of such materials, especially when systematically arranged.

An institution or foundation maintaining such a collection.

Where does it say, for children only?


Word from Alliance is that new Imperial station under construction. Significant threat. Must get plans. OMG!
posted by Leia, 02-02-02
Housekeeper off tonight. Had to cook for myself. Macaroni and cheese! Rebel contact at knoxit race next week.
posted by Leia, 02-04-02.
Was summoned during Senate deliberations, found encrypted message waiting for me. We're a go on the race tonight. Meeting contact who can introduce me to someone with access to plans.
posted by Leia, 02-13-02.
Race was total wash. Contact dead. This sucks. I need some R&R.
posted by Leia, 02-13-02.
Spent the day shopping. 12 pair new shoes!
posted by Leia, 02-14-02.
Finally. Cocktail party tonight, hoping to get that cute aide drunk and weasel plans out of him. Aides always know everything.
posted by Leia, 02-21-02.
Got Death Star plans! OMG!! If only the guys can find a structural flaw or something. This thing is enormous. Stuffed the plans in R2D2. Am already aboard ship. Terrible hangover.
posted by Leia, 02-22-02.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

The More Things Change

"Actuated by these motives, and apprehensive of disturbing the repose of an unsettled reign, Julian surprised the world by an edict which was not unworthy of a statesman or a philosopher. He extended to all the inhabitants of the Roman world the benefits of a free and equal toleration; and the only hardship which he inflicted on the Christians was to deprive them of the power of tormenting their fellow-subjects, whom they stigmatised with the odious titles of idolaters and heretics."

- Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter 23

Monday, March 03, 2003

Religion and Government

"The influence of the clergy, in an age of superstition, might be usefully employed to assert the rights of mankind; but so intimate is the connection between the throne and the altar, that the banner of the church has very seldom been seen on the side of the people. A martial nobility and stubborn commons, possessed of arms, tenacious of property, and collected into constitutional assemblies, form the only balance capable of preserving a free constitution against enterprises of an aspiring prince."

- Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter 3

Sunday, March 02, 2003

And What About You?

Dollmont asks, "What would you do with $100,000,000,000?". In a nutshell: Improve the educational infrastructure in your country or depose a dictator?

Well, heck. Which one of these is better for the global community as a whole? What do I get to replace the deposed dictator with? How long will it take? Does everyone under the dictator have to die?

I know from personal experience that if you pay teachers what they're worth, they'll give even more energy, time, and dedication to their students. Do you know how many teachers shell out part of their paycheck every year just to keep the classroom lurching forward? Aside from the fact that teaching will look more attractive as a potential profession, if you can actually live on what they pay you.

If I had any integer followed by a gross of zeros? You bet I'd be giving it to teachers. There's looking to the long term, and then there's looking to the really long term, by investing in subsequent generations.