Me feed fifteen

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

(I wanted to spell it Phiphteen to be über hip, but my cat hissed at me.)

Now this is fun. PZ Myers writes on the Hot or Not Scienceblogger where he ended up at number three. (He wonders why. It’s the squid, PZ. They’re sexy.)

Guess what boys and girls. The hottest science blogger is Shelley Batts a third year Neuroscience PhD candidate.

Janet Stemwedel (that’s Dr. Stemwedel to you) cried, “Have at ye!” with a nerd-off:

It’s time for a nerd-off.

My opening volley after the jump, starting where one does: my momma.

The nerd apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. My momma programs in COBOL.

Circa 1989, my momma emailed me ASCII cow-art. Some of it was NSFW.

Oh yeah? Well, where do you think your momma got that art?

(Yes, I realize that I’m not a science blogger…but I got geek street cred.)


Door number three

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Today is a sci-fi kind of day, as I place my order at Amazon for the newly-released-on-DVD, This Island Earth and Godzilla – Gojira Deluxe Collector’s Edition. Gojira is a return to the original Godzilla movie, sans Americanization, and I’m really looking forward to seeing this version.

Last week I picked up this 12 DVD set of movies packaged as “Scifi classics” consisting of public domain movies burned on to DVDs in all their scratchy, bad audio glory. The set cost a little over 12.00, which amounts to about 1.00 a DVD. As for being classics, I’ve never heard of any of the movies. They’re the worst cheese, awful, and I love every bit. I plan on trying to review at least a couple a week, and then point to where you can download the movies for free.

I just noticed that Sci-Fi’s Eureka is now an iTunes download, making it the last of the set I watch and that can now be downloaded from the Internet or bought as DVD. Once the new Fall lineup at sci-fi goes into effect, and after the premier of Battlestar Galactic, we’re disconnecting the cable and going with DVDs and internet downloads (and books and hikes and what not) for entertainment.

St. Louis Today has been running a series on the problems they’ve had getting their Charter internet connection to work. Considering this is a newspaper’s online site, having a decent internet connection is a requirement. However, they’ve gotten the run around, been given misleading information, and have had repair people not show up at scheduled times and the paper is now looking at moving it’s broadband access to another company.

This started a blitz of emails and letters from other Charter customers complaining of service. Cable and cellphone service are the number one and two complaint, respectively, at Better Business Bureau; so much so the organization has set up separate systems just for these items. (The BBB also recommends turning complaints about misrepesentation of service into the state attorney general for possible prosecution.) Charter is number one for customer dissatisfaction in our area.

It used to be you didn’t have a choice if you wanted to watch television: you subscribed to cable or you picked up whatever you could get on an antenna. Then there was the dish and satellite, which provided a second option, but one which still requires that you subscribe to a service you may end up not liking (and its usually not the best option if you live in an apartment or townhome), and which requires specialized equipment and holes drilled into your walls and floor.

Now there’s a third option, door number three: downloads and DVD. More television networks are providing their material free (with or without commercials) or via a download service such as iTunes (many downloadable the next day after original air date). Show production companies now provide boxed sets for each show’s season. Combining all of these options to get the shows a person really wants is cheaper than paying $50.00 or more dollars a month for ‘basic and expanded’–service consisting more and more of home shopping networks and channels that repeat the same movie or show again and again.

We’re picking door number three. Sayonara Charter.


The New York Times has an article on the webisodes that Sci-Fi is releasing for Battlestar Galactica. They’re previews of the upcoming episodes.


Museum Piece

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Women have gone to space. Women have led nations. Women have died for their countries. Women have invented, pioneered, and broken barriers and boundaries. They’ve had babies and buried husbands while they did these things, too.

And on the eve of the very overdue day when a woman will lead a network’s evening newscast by herself — which in the scheme of things is important, but not in the same league as finding a cure for hunger and poverty — what mattered to some nincompoop minding the network photo store was The Babe Factor.

Even Katie Couric couldn’t escape that.

This – this! – on top of the recent Time magazine cover of Hillary Clinton, which was set up like a middle-school popularity contest, or one of those online, red-carpet fashion polls: Love her, hate her. These are our choices when it comes to a complex woman who may or may not run for president of the United States?

The double-whammy made me wonder:

What has it all been for — the quiet work, the public actions, the incremental advances, the meteoric successes, the doors broken through before the doors were held open — if, in 2006, many in the world and at least some at two major media outlets still regard older, accomplished women through a prism of cute and popular? Will we ever, ever graduate in life?

I think it’s worth asking the question — whether you’re older and broader in the beam than Katie Couric (as I am), or whether you’re younger and about to embark on a future that I hope will not be mucked up by such outdated but persistent (and potentially debilitating) cultural clutter.

In honor of the shoulders I stand on, I still ask what gives and why.

Some of my friends regard my outrage as a museum piece.

I sure hope it isn’t. I hope people still care about things like double standards and objectification, and what they do to all of us.

Pam Platt Louisville, Kentucky Courier-Journal


So much fun

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

The conference organizer for Office 2.0 has added three more women speakers. Actually, three very impressive women speakers. To address those who think that achieving diversity means giving up quality–you’re a putz.

Speaking of putz, Dennis Howlett wrote the following in comments at Robert Scoble’s weblog related to this issue:

Sadly to say Robert, when you engage the castration crowd, you ain’t never gonna win an argument. Not even come close.

One question to those who agree with Howlett: what are you afraid of? Why is attempting to add 5 or 6 women to a conference of over 50 speakers scare you so much? Are you afraid that the women will have bigger dicks than you? We already know they have more balls.

(And on that note, time to take hands off of keyboard, and back away slowly.)


Women can be critical of each other

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I’m coming down with something and weblogging is actually becoming a least interesting thing to do, but I wanted to toss something out…something absolutely mind boggling.

Women can be critical of each other.

Yes, that’s right: women can be critical of each other. We can be critical, we can be snippy, we can get angry, we can quarrel, we can dislike each other, we can really dislike each other — we can feel the entire spectrum of emotion for each other from love to hate. It’s OK.

I’ve read twice today about how it’s harmful for women and our visibility when we’re critical of each other. That’s hogwash–it’s not saying anything that’s harming ourselves. The men are critical of each other all the time. Why then, can someone please explain to me, can’t women do the same?

We will never be visible if we shut each other down. If we assume that women can only speak of each other in warm, nurturing ways we are shutting each other down. We’re letting our own stereotypes strangle us.

Stop it! You’re beginning to really piss me off!

One last thing: I think the Combos commercials are terrific.