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On Sunday I read about George Tiller's murder -- on Sunday, in church! Tiller has been targeted for decades, as one of the few late term abortion providers in the U.S. It's mind boggling how people can profess to be religious and yet violate so many of the basic rules of their own religion in one step. Since then I've read some really insightful posts about why the late term abortion issue misses the point. And I've now donated to Medical Students for Choice, so hopefully we will not be left with only two aging doctors in the whole of the United States performing late term abortions.

Meme+

Oct. 29th, 2008 10:28 pm
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Copy this sentence into your LiveJournal if you're in a non-same-sex marriage, and you don't want it "protected" by the bigots who think that gay marriage hurts it somehow.

If anything hurts marriage it's idiots who think that marriage is something you do while drunk in Vegas.

And while you're at it, donate, because the Yes people are getting big bucks and blanketing the state.
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Yesterday the phone crashed for the first time. It first showed the "favorites" dialing screen, and nothing else. Then it showed a blank white screen. I ended up hard resetting it, which worked. But today, in my camera folder, I have two new pictures. One of my "favorites" dialing screen, and one of a blank white screen. What in the world?

Dictating

Aug. 30th, 2008 02:10 am
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So I got an offer for Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 for $100, and I'm thinking of trying it. Has anyone tried Dragon? Is it worth it? The offer appears to be open to everyone & a pretty good deal (Amazon is selling it for $170, and this is $100).
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I'm sitting in the coffee shop, working on a project, and a guy comes in wearing large rubber hobbit feet. No one says anything. People greet him as normal, he orders his coffee, and sits down, to work on the computer.

Even hobbits have to do spreadsheets, it appears.
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This may be too esoteric a joke to be enjoyed by anyone not a lawyer, but it amused me to no end today.

So the Republican National Committee has a registered trademark on the elephant with three stars in it, and the "GOP" name. They sued CafePress, which allows various folks to design their own items, for the use of these trademarks.

When Politico, a political blog, pointed this out and the blogosphere started picking up the story, the RNC settled. But HOW did they settle?

They settled by allowing everyone to continue selling their products, except vendors whose designs consist solely of the trademarked elephant logo or the initials “GOP” without any other expressive elements. Those without such expressive elements will have to go through the RNC's licensing process.

To clarify, if your products only said Yay GOP or have the elephant, you have to get a special license. If your product includes the elephant with a red slash, or a comment that says "The GOP Sucks!" that's additional expressive elements. So, critical of the RNC? No problem, you can continue selling. Pro-GOP and wanting simply to express your appreciation for the Republican party? Please jump through licensing hoops.

I really hope they continue this level of idiocy through the election season.
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I've heard of body dysmorphic disorder, where people who are anorexics see themselves as much larger than they really are. But it turns out, it's not just that. Anorexics couldn't sketch a simple object they had felt but not seen. They couldn't approximate the shape of the object while blindfolded. They couldn't estimate the size of an object using calipers. Apparently, their right parietal cortex, which helps to integrate the various senses was active, but not able to adequately process the information coming from the hand they couldn't see, according to this article.

This cries out for a real study.
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It's for work, to redesign my firm's web site. It's paid. It'll be using mostly data pulled from a database (configured & provided by the designer), to let people search for lawyers and such. Not very exciting work, but pays reasonably well. We are in phase II of searching for someone. So if you have a recommendation, preferably local to Silicon Valley, and someone who has worked with a law firm before, let me know.
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Pastor John Hagee, the extremist minister who has endorsed McCain has called the Catholic Church the great satan, but even better than that, has said that Hitler was doing God's work because the Jews were refusing to move to Israel.

I have to say that this insanity well outweighs Wright's comments about the U.S.
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Indiana lawyer Tony Zirkle is making a run for the Republican nomination for a congressional seat. There is a general rule for political candidates that involves not being photographed in front of Hitler's portrait. Apparently, Zirkle missed that one.

But wait, It gets better. Read about the porn dragon for yourself.
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I rarely rant on LJ. I mostly use it to keep up with friends and occasionally post notes about my life or invites to various events. But the current BoobGate mess that has taken over my friendslist has triggered me to rant. I've been ranting in responses to the original post now locked, and in various friends' LJs (sorry [livejournal.com profile] cynthia1960). And now, I'm about to rant here. )

I must also add as someone who evaluates the validity of open source licenses professionally, this isn't open source. It's not even public domain. At most it's a share-alike license.
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I like vocabulary games.  I don't much like those "click here to donate" things.  But this neatly combines the two ideas:  Vocabulary Practice to Donate Rice.

I'm unsure how the two ideas are related.  However, I was entertained by the vocabulary testing.  I got up to level 46, with occasional mistakes.  They claim there are 50 levels, and few people get above 48.  I consider it a challenge.  :)  Can you make it past 46?

ETA:  All right, you guys seriously kick my butt.  I seem to fluctuate between 44 and 46, with an occasional foray into 47.  My friends have serious vocabularies!
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We happened to be on Castro street today when they closed it off for some sort of festival.  Within 20 minutes of the street being closed to cars, people started walking in the street instead of using the sidewalk.  Within an hour, there were dozens of kids playing chase in the middle of Castro, and having a fabulous time.  It was amazing to me how quickly the street became a promenade, and how much the kids enjoyed the freedom of not having to worry about cars. The cops patrolling on bicycles also seemed to enjoy themselves. I wonder if we could have more walking streets.  I think kids would enjoy it, and adults might too. 
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We have two tickets to see General Clark speak on 4/5/07 (Thursday) at 8 p.m. at DeAnza College. This is part of the Celebrity Forum Series. It's been an interesting series, and the speakers have been good (well, mostly, I could've lived without seeing Bill Cosby play the daft old man). We will not be able to make it to the lecture for obvious reasons.

Please let me know if you'd be interested in getting these tickets. They are open seating, and have a $35/ticket face value. FYI, for good seats you do have to go a bit earlier than 8 p.m.

Comments screened for your protection. :)

ETA: No more tickets from us, sorry. If you are looking for tickets you can find them at the ticket exchange at their web site.

BookMooch

Mar. 23rd, 2007 11:17 am
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I love books, and I cannot throw away an actual real book, even if it's quite bad. Right now, we tend to drop off the "oops, this wasn't good" and "how did we end up with three copies of this" books at our favorite coffee shops (because a good coffee shop should have a bookshelf full of books). But [livejournal.com profile] emzebel mentioned that she uses BookMooch, which is a site for trading books. You only pay for shipping, which is pretty darn cheap for media mail. Has anyone used it? Any comments?
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This article discusses the reality of why women "opt out" of the workforce when they have children. It's quite long, but worth a read.
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We had an opportunity to see Jared Diamond (of Guns, Germs & Steel and Collapse) speak today. He is very clearly a professor (40 years at UCLA), in his manner of speaking as well as his manner of avoiding answering questions. The speech was interesting and thought provoking. I'll try to do a decent write-up later. For now, the two notes he left us with are: (1) the biggest benefit to globalization is that we can learn what works by observing other cultures that fail(ed) or succeed(ed), regardless of their remoteness in space and/or time; and (2) one of the biggest differentiators between governments that make good decisions and bad is the remoteness or distance between the decision makers & the people affected by those decisions.