Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The space food is worth it

I just watched the launch of the space shuttle. Wow. Way to make me NOT want to get back to work at my boring desk job. My co-worker brought up a great point: most people don't think nearly enough about outer space after about age 10. Leave it to National Geographic magazine to keep the world up-to-date about what's happening in astronomy, planetary science, and the like. Check this out from NG's online section about Mars from the July 2005 issue. The article in the glossy magazine is much cooler, so pick up a copy or borrow mine and thumb through the photos of the great rocky plateaus of Mars that look like rural Utah or something. It's amazing.

I think astronaut should forever be up there with all the other cool careers, like fire fighter, neurosurgeon, and teacher, that kids dream of becoming. You never dreamed of becoming a teacher? Why the hell not? Teachers are the lowest-paid and most-important profession out there because the truly good ones inspire kids to enter all those other cool and important professions. Astronauts didn't become experts in their field from reading about Mars in a glossy magazine, but teachers who require their students to read that magazine and write a report about an article get future astronauts started in the right direction.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Babies rule

Mazel tov to my friend Joe and his family! His sister gave birth to a baby boy last night. I don't think he actually reads this blog or he surely would have mentioned it by now, but if you know Joe, tell him congrats on the birth of his nephew.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Flipping and flopping

The world is falling apart. Where have we gone as a society? Where did these women get the message that this was okay? The unspeakable has happened: Northwestern University's champion women's lacrosse team wore flip flops to the White House to meet President Bush. (GASP!!!) How dare they defile such an honorable institution by showing off their new pedicures to White House staff? From the knees up they appeared to be fine, upstanding young women--smart, athletic, team players. But their choice of footwear revealed them as the hooligans they are. One woman's mother was aghast, claiming she never leaves the house without pantyhose. Other friends and family members commented in the front page article on the horrific scene that has brought their family shame and dishonor. Flip flops have taken over the country. Life as we know it is now over.

Okay, can you detect the sarcasm in that one? Personally, I think it's a little ironic that President Bush painted John Kerry as a flip-flopper in the 2004 election and then some members of a women's lacrosse team choose to wear flip flops to meet President Bush. I really hope that their choice of footwear was an intentional message to the White House. How great is that?

Here's something to actually be disgusted about: (July 14) Health Care Facility Probed, Brain-damaged patient is pregnant and (July 15) Health Care Facility Faces Lawsuit
Isn't that enough to make anyone disgusted? I can't believe that someone would rape a severely brain-damaged woman, maybe not just once but possibly many times. The fact that she's now pregnant serves that man right for the horrible crime he committed. And shame on the health care facility for not only failing to properly supervise its staff, patients, and visitors, but also for not noticing for almost seven months (??!!!!!) that this woman was pregnant. And the mother seems so calm about it. I'd be a raving madwoman if someone raped and impregnated my daughter, especially if she were so brain-damaged that she had to survive by feeding tube. I'm just appalled. I hope they find out who did this, and I hope they lock him away for life.

See, people? There's a definite difference between the horror of inappropriate footwear in the White House (which made front page news) and the horror of a severely incapacitated woman being impregnated by someone in a health care facility (which showed up inside the Metro section.) The fact that some people at the Chicago Tribune failed to recognize that distinction is what has truly caused me to question the media.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Down time

It's been a couple of weeks since my last post. Why? Nothing has inspired me. I could write about the London bombings or about Karl Rove or stem cell research, but my plan for this blog was to write mostly about less-known stories and advocate for the little guys, with the hope of informing people about more than just the headlines they see in the newspaper rack as they walk down the street. Maybe I'm not paying as much attention lately, distracted by other things. Maybe the media haven't had a slow enough news day to report on other things. Or maybe it's just summer and I'm tired of thinking so hard. So in light of my own slow news day, I invite you to comment or email me pieces of information that you want to discuss. Don't worry if it's not a fully developed story--I'm happy to do a bit of research. Ignore the big news pieces and current political/religious/other issues, which are being blogged to death all over the world. I want to hear about the less-publicized things happening. What issues are you thinking about? What has caught your eye?

This offer is always on the table, even when I'm feeling less lazy and more informed. Lots of people tell me they'd love to have a blog but don't have the time/energy/faith in themselves to post on a semi-regular basis, or they have a blog with a different focus but they do keep up with the world around them. So let me do the work for y'all...sometimes. I promise to be non-discriminating, which means I won't choose suggested topics simply because I agree with the point of view. I may have my own obvious political sway but I welcome an open exchange of ideas and views. I want to learn more about the other sides of the issues too, if only to better whoop your ass in a debate.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Not so Supreme anymore

Sandra Day O'Connor is retiring from the Supreme Court. Sometimes she voted with Conservatives, other times with Liberals. She has been the tie-breaker when it comes to abortion, taking a stance supporting abortion rights. You think Bush is going to appoint someone like O'Connor to replace her? Think again. If Rehnquist had retired this summer, even if another conservative were appointed, the Supreme Court would still have O'Connor as a swing voter. But now she's gone, Rehnquist will probably retire next year, and then the Supreme Court will join all three branches of government as being dominated by conservatives. And not the moderate kind, who are okay and necessary for political balance, but the religious radicals who say there's nothing in the Constitution that requires a separation of chuch and state. Hah.
I hope I'm overreacting when I say I'm scared.