verbicide: (serious)
Poor Australia.

How horrifying to consider that part of these are arson-related. So fucking unfathomable.

Those poor, poor families. And all the animals out there. Ugh.

Does anyone know of any organizations collecting for help?

Edited to add:I'm reading that the Australian Red Cross is a good group to send money to. They have a collection set up for the fire victims that is 100% for them (i.e., no money will be taken out of donations for administrative things).

Another update: Though for some reason, my donation isn't going through. They don't have a way for me to pick my state (even though I can pick my country. Argh.

Final update: So it was because my bank freaked out at my sending money to Australia and put a hold on it. Something I only realized when I tried to buy something else here in Seattle. Whew. On the one hand, nice to have them watching, but eek. It's always scary when your money is on hold.
verbicide: (eating the canary)
Breaking news: Women are total horndogs.

Jeff was telling me about this article tonight. How some research scientist showed clips of bonobo (a species of ape) sex "to men and women, straight and gay. To the same subjects, she also showed clips of heterosexual sex, male and female homosexual sex, a man masturbating, a woman masturbating, a chiseled man walking naked on a beach and a well-toned woman doing calisthenics in the nude." She then measured their physical response via genital plethysmographs and also quizzed them subjectively.

When quizzed, the men responded fairly commensurately with their physical response and as expected. Gay men were aroused by gay male sex and naked men; straight men were aroused by straight sex, lesbian sex, and naked women.

Women? Were aroused by just about everything. But gay or straight, their physical responses didn't correlate with their subjective responses.

Anyhow, it's a long article and I'm still making my way through it, but I thought it was fascinating enough to share.
verbicide: (daydreamy - belle)
I think I have a bit of a sugar high. Oops!

YAY CONNECTICUT!

Jeff should be home in half an hour and we're going to go for a walk around Greenlake, because it's pretty out. It's also COLD, but Jeff's been having a rough time lately and I can deny him nothing right now. Please think good thoughts for him, okay?

Then we're going to grab dinner at the Kabab House, which is always exciting.

And then, I swear to god, I'm going to come home and deal with the rabble that is the bedroom. It's absurd. Maybe it's time for flannel sheets, too.

I'm a little hysterical about how cold I am all the time. I'm whiny about heat, I'm also whiny about bone-chilling cold. (Degree values vary by my mileage. Um, shut up all of you who know me.)

So, I guess I should go change back out of my pajamas and put on two hundred layers of things to brace against the cold. If I whine, Jeff may kill me and throw my body in the lake.

And then? It's the weekend for realsies. I am petsitting for Henry and Bailey which = awesome. God, they're so cute and soft and fluffy! Most everyone is out of town, so I really want to clean and organize and donate that box of stuff to Goodwill. I finally organized bills and paperwork, so that's a start. Drawers need to be tidied. (Like, desk and dresser, not underpants. Maybe that didn't need to be clarified. Um.)

Also, I was flipping through Bon Appetit and have a new 'look' planned for the cake. It's like all these rosettes clustered on the top of the cake, and it's very pretty. I'm also a big fan of combing the sides into thin ribbing, so that's the plan for that. If Jeff likes it half as much as he likes the Orange Cake, I'll count it as a success.

Okay, enough blather. Must go get into pants!
verbicide: (lipstick)
Members of the European Parliament voted this week in favor of a report that calls for less sexism in advertising.

European lawmakers are concerned that the way women and men are portrayed in marketing and advertising is making it more difficult to dispell old-fashioned ideas of traditional gender roles.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on Wednesday adopted a new report that calls on member states to make a greater effort to monitor how gender is portrayed in advertising. Constant images of women in the kitchen while men clean their cars outside are reinforcing sexist stereotypes, the study argues.

The lawmakers' statement said, "MEPs call on the EU institutions and member states to develop awareness actions against sexist insults or degrading images of women and men in advertising and marketing." The report isn't legally binding, but it's still a step in the right direction.
verbicide: (Default)
You guys have probably already read about/seen this video in which the Very Awesome Rep. Ackerman (D - NY) speaks some common sense...

While using the phrase "platoon of lesbians" which may be the most awesome thing I've ever heard.
verbicide: (serious)
You guys may have already read about this. Sarah forwarded it to me awhile ago, but I just sat down and watched the film. So sad. Skin color is a huge issue in Desi (Indian/Pakistani) culture, too. It's so deeply ingrained that even when you know it's stupid, you still sorta believe it.

"But this is a new doll test, conducted by Kiri Davis, a 17-year-old student from New York, for A Girl Like Me, her short film about black girls and standards of beauty."

A couple of articles about it:
http://www.btimes.com/News/article/article.asp?NewsID=10180&sID=3
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/living/columnists/leonard_pitts/15545216.htm

The film the article talks about:
http://www.mediathatmattersfest.org/6/index.php?id=2
verbicide: (from elanswer!)
Clicky )
verbicide: (serious)
Early this past Saturday morning, a gunman shot into a room of people, slaying 6 (hospitalizing two) after an all-night rave after-party in the Capitol Hil neighborhood of Seattle, WAl. Here are varius news bits about this. The shooter had been at the rave, and was invited to the house party. He attended, then left briefly, only to return with guns and ammunition from his pickup truck. As the police approached, he shot himself on the porch of the house. While his twin brother has been taken into custody, no motive has been discovered for the horrific event.

Police raid North Seattle apartment where twin brothers have lived for the past four or five years. When one of the brothers came home, he was handcuffed and taken away. Police told the neighbors this was in connection to the Capitol Hill shooting. They also found guns, ammunition, and a hand grenade inside.

Survivors flock to Web sites to check if their friends are okay, as police have not yet released a list of the victims.

Shooter was from Montana. And as said elsewhere on my Friend's List--the comments about how the shooter was a nice and quiet young man have started coming out.

Finally, some information about one of the victims, Jeremy Martin.

[x-posted to [livejournal.com profile] nikkinewsnet]
verbicide: (serious)
An elaborate hoax convinced managers in fast-food restaurants across the country to perform strip-searches and other atrocities on employees based on the belief they were following instructions from a police officer. In a real-life twist on the Milgram experiments—without the convenience of faux victims—McDonald's, Wendy's, and others face numerous lawsuits.

As shocking as it is this happened once, it's inconceivable(!) that it happened repeatedly.

[x-posted to nnn]
verbicide: (oh really?)
NY Magazine's Guide to Who Makes How Much - 2005. A list of salaries from panhandlers to CEOs making billions of dollars a year.

A short sample:

David Letterman: 31 million
Jon Stewart: 1.5 million
Edward Lampert (Manager, ESL Investments hedge fund): 1.02 billion
Travis Harris Shoe-shiner, Wall Street ($20 a day, three days a week): 3,120



[x-posted to [livejournal.com profile] nikkinewsnet]
verbicide: (Default)
Miss manners would be pleased.

(Link from Sarah. And I have to agree with the article. Manners aren't given the importance they should.)
verbicide: (glum)
In awful news, in case you haven't heard: a series of bombs on the London Underground have killed 33 people (so far reported). Allegedly al-Qaeda is behind the attacks.

Outside of feeling awful for the victims and their family, what drives me crazy about this sort of senseless horror is that it's only going to further perpetuate misinformation about Muslims everywhere.

I may be an atheist, but my family still practices and I grew up understanding very clearly that a large part of our religious belief system involved not hurting others. Acts of terror like these go quite against the tenets of Islam. You don't get to run around killing civilians, blaring "YAY ALLAH!"

No doubt that Bush will use this as an opportunity to sneer, "SEE! I told you so!! The sky IS falling!!!!"

On the one hand, our policies and actions (Patriot Act, frex) freak me out. But I have a fair amount of rage at terrorist groups that act outside of the religion they purport to believe in, and have achieved nothing but (to trivialize) bad PR. Not to mention the body count, which I have to compartmentalize, or I would get nothing else done.

I know there are arguments to be made about how our policies have bred this sort of action, and I can't personally image being in the desperate place some of these people are in. But it's frustrating all the same. I hate feeling so helpless and terrified that the next 'act of terror' is going to be somewhere where MY loved one is and I'm going to lose my mind. Makes me want to grab my family and friends and go hide someplace safe until all this is over. And yet, it eventually has to be over. This volatile state can't last forever.

good news

Jun. 30th, 2005 08:58 am
verbicide: (happy)
Spanish MPs approve gay marriages, overruling last week's rejection of the bill by Senate.

"The bill will become law in a month's time, making Spain Europe's third nation after the Netherlands and Belgium to allow same sex marriages."

Also, I loved this quote, "We are not legislating, ladies and gentlemen, for remote unknown people - we are expanding opportunities for the happiness of our neighbours, our work colleagues, our friends, our relatives." --Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero

It's going to happen here, too. It's just a matter of time. No matter how draconian the puritanical hypocrites currently holding the majority by the balls would prefer things to be. The Republican party may have tied themselves to the religious right for power now, but I think they will ultimately find them to be a liability.

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