August 23, 2015

New Hat!

Hey, check it out. I was playing Minesweeper because, well, I’m me, and look what happened. I won. Well, of course I won. I’m awesome. But I won a field that had every number on it. 😀

Okay, it was on the third try, but still counts.

You may also notice something different around here. Sure, Why Not? is totally new and improved! The color scheme and whatnot are… ugly as all hell like usual.

But it’s got a new hat!

And by that I mean new header. The winning Minesweeper field with every number because why not? I was tired of the old one.

Enjoy the brand new Sure, Why Not?. 😛

This has been Day 92 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 15.

December 29, 2014

Tyson the Christmas Troll

On Christmas Day, Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted the following:

On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec 25, 1642

Hehehe. Cute. I shared it. Why not? 🙂

Then, as I should have expected, a bunch of idiots complained that this was offensive to Christians. Tyson tweeted a bunch of tweets on Christmas, all of them a little snarky, yet somehow this is the one that pissed people off so much.

How the hell is this even news? Is anyone that surprised?

Well, actually, I’m a little surprised. This Newton tweet was just a clever play on words. I can’t even find anything in it that would even be offensive to Christians.

If anything, it’s some of the other tweets they should take issue with. Like this one:

Merry Christmas to all. A Pagan holiday (BC) becomes a Religious holiday (AD). Which then becomes a Shopping holiday (USA).

Two problems with this one.

One, Pagan IS Religious. It’s so often that the non-religious calling out Christian hypocrisies talk about paganism as if it’s some other thing entirely, forgetting that pagans are also religious, just not members of an Abrahamic religion. This sort of statement implies that only the Abrahamic religions are truly considered “religions” and that those that aren’t are just something else. Which is, needless to say, rather disrespectful and othering.

Two, yeah, the USA is not even close to the only country that spent the past month in a shopping frenzy. Come the fuck on! 😆

But aside from that, well played, Tyson. Well played.

December 11, 2014

Christmas in Africa

Filed under: Check It Out,Christmas Time!,Musical Musing,Teh Interwebs — Katrina @ 11:00 pm

You’d think I should know better now after what happened last week, but I’ve continued browsing cool Christmas stuff on Wikipedia. And so far there has been significantly less child abuse.

I was looking through the Christmas Traditions article, with what countries all over the world do at Christmas. It’s pretty neat. Haven’t gotten all the way through it yet.

I had the radio on, playing the Christmas music. And guess what notoriously geographically-impaired song came on!

“There won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time. The greatest gift they’ll get this year is light. Where nothing ever grows, no rain nor rivers flow… do they know it’s Christmas time at all?”

Umm…

Christmas in South Africa is a public holiday celebrated on 25 December. Many European traditions are maintained despite the distance from Europe.

Christmas trees are set up in homes and the children are given presents in their stockings. Traditional ‘fir’ Christmas trees are popular and children leave a stocking out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. The gift bearer is Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

The Christmas meal is mince pies, turkey, roast beef or a barbecue outdoors. The meal is finished with Christmas Pudding. Christmas crackers are used to make noise.

Okay, I guess they don’t mean South Africa. Surely the rest of Africa is devoid of holiday spirit- oh…

Christmas Day is a public holiday in Nigeria which is always marked by the emptying of towns and cities as Nigerians that have been successful returning to their ancestral villages to be with family and to bless those less fortunate. As the towns and cities empty, people jam the West African markets to buy and transport live chickens, goats and cows that will be needed for the Christmas meals.

On Christmas Eve, traditional meals are prepared according to the traditions of each region. Rather than having sweets and cakes, Nigerians as a whole tend to prepare various meats in large quantities.

Huh. Okay, Nigeria seems to have this whole Christmas thing down. But then again, that song was more specifically about Ethiopia, right? And it’s not like they- oh, look at that!

Christmas Day in Ethiopia is celebrated on January 7. Many people who are Christian in Ethiopia, go to Church on the Eve of Christmas, and stay there all night until 4am the next day on Christmas while doing many spiritual prayer and rituals like Liturgy and Holy Communion.

Oh, snap!

Well, alright. Ethiopia has a lot of Coptic Christians. They in fact do know it’s Christmas time, just like Nigeria and South Africa. But maybe it’s just them, and that the rest of Africa doesn’t know about Christmas…

Or they do, since according to this map, only in Morocco, Mauritania, Libya, Tunisia, SADR, and Somalia is Christmas NOT a public holiday.

Though the song is from 30 years ago so who knows what’s different between then and now. And there’s some new version of it out now that seems to have changed the above line. That’s something. But the original is played frequently, complete with misleading information. And it’s stuck in my head now and I’m still annoyed because it’s three weeks into the Christmas music and I’ve only heard them play Canon twice with its nice lyrics of not-totally-sure-what-but-at-least-not-geographical-misrepresentation. :irked:

December 2, 2014

No Salvation for Male Teens

So apparently a homeless family of five sought shelter from the cold weather with the Salvation Army. Four of them were welcome, namely both parents, their 16-year-old daughter, and their 5-year-old son. The fifth, their 15-year-old son, was not welcome.

According to the guy’s father:

“They said he’s too old to stay on the women’s side, because of the women running around in their pajamas and they said he’s too young to stay on the men’s side in case some pervert wants to do whatever,” Lejeune said.

So he’s too dangerous to be with the women, while the men are too dangerous to him for him to be with them. Oh, God, it’s like wolf-sheep-watermelon riddle!

But seriously… what?! The Reason article calls it pedophile panic, but it’s quite a bit more than that. It’s yet another manifestation of the idea that teens equal trouble, both for themselves and for others. They are a danger to everyone, and everything is a danger to them. The curious ageist paradox that always seems to yield fewer rights for teens, who are never allowed a word in edgewise.

And it’s more ephebiphobic paranoia. “Help! It’s a teen! Is it a child? Is it an adult? Oh, Lord, I just don’t know. Let’s just shove it out of sight and not have to worry our heads with this freaky age-hybrid.”

The result? A young guy, whose only crime was existing and happening to be part of a family that fell on hard times, is forced to stay out in the cold, as is his family.
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April 29, 2014

Paglia on the Drinking Age

Filed under: Check It Out,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:53 pm

While it’s always nice to see articles in favor of lowering the drinking age, I’ve learned not to get too excited right away. The other day, a TIME article by Camille Paglia came out in favor of lowering the drinking age. Let’s have a look…

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act, passed by Congress 30 years ago this July, is a gross violation of civil liberties and must be repealed. It is absurd and unjust that young Americans can vote, marry, enter contracts and serve in the military at 18 but cannot buy an alcoholic drink in a bar or restaurant. The age-21 rule sets the U.S. apart from all advanced Western nations and lumps it with small or repressive countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

While I don’t care for the “it makes us similar to these piece of shit countries” argument, since its entire basis is “ewww… THOSE countries… THOSE people…”, the rest is right on. The drinking age is a violation of young people’s civil liberties and carries with it some nasty repercussions.

She goes on to briefly compare MADD with 19th century temperance activists (which seems a little unfair to the temperance activists :P). Then she mentions the marijuana legalization and uses that as a jumping point for lowering the drinking age, citing also that “The decrease in drunk-driving deaths in recent decades is at least partly attributable to more uniform seat-belt use and a strengthening of DWI penalties.” Which is the general argument against the pro-21 side’s “Raising the drinking age saved ALL OF THE LIVES!!!!”
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July 25, 2013

Estimating Earth

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Check It Out,Teh Interwebs,What the hell? — Katrina @ 9:14 pm

I hate this fucking game.

GeoGuessr

Go ahead. Give it a try.

I’m awesome at it. I think my highest score was up over 28,000. I often get over 25,000 anyway and seldom lower than 20,000. I’ve mastered the art of pinpointing the exact spot to within meters. I very rarely check Wikipedia or the like, and when I do, usually it’s a matter of “okay, I know the name of the town and what country it’s in, I’ve just been panning all over the country’s map looking for it and am getting impatient.”

And oh dear God, the constant panning! Dear Lord at the long barren usually-Australian roads. Yeah, I can pinpoint exact locations within meters after a LOT of panning and clicking down a road, hoping that there will be a sign showing the name of a nearby city or at least telling me what language is spoken in this place. Or the number of the road.

Only twice have I screwed up so badly that I didn’t even pick the right continent. Once wasn’t too long ago. A lot of locations in the game are in Brazil, and usually a sign or something in Portuguese can be spotted before too long telling this, along with rather obviously tropical scenery. Well, sure enough, at one point when I couldn’t identify any town names, was on some endless forest road, and saw some signs in Portuguese and finally guessed a random spot in Brazil and hoped it was close… it was in Portugal! :irked:
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March 14, 2013

Sacked the Gunman

Now for a quick-thinking, death-stopping edition of…

Here’s to You!!!!

So I raise my glass and say, “Here’s to you, Cypress Lake hero!”

I don’t actually know his name. Very few people do. But he’s a high school student who, when another student on his school bus pointed a gun at someone else and threatened to kill, he and two others leapt up and tackled him, likely saving one or more lives. Yay! They’re heroes!

So they went to school where they got awards and medals not unlike the final scene from Star Wars…

Oh, no, wait, actually he got suspended. For being involved in an incident “where a weapon was present”.

Well, NYRA and others are on it! My always awesome fellow board member Jeffrey Nadel is on the case and has appeared on a couple of news spots and radio shows talking all about it.

Also, here: SchoolBusHero.com

Go there, watch the video, and sign the petition. And get others to do the same.

Seriously, that principal just isn’t backing down on this, insisting that she “knows the full story”. After the original suspension, they made up some junk about the heroic student being insubordinate and uncooperative, something they added after this story got media attention and they wanted to cover their tracks. Yeah, sure, okay. 🙄

Because the student should totally have instead done nothing like a good little boy and watched his fellow students get killed. And because he didn’t allow people to die in front of him, he now has this suspension blemish on his record because “only I know the full story, he was uncooperative! uncooperative!” Genius!

Come on. Expunge the suspension and move on. The school fighting this is nonsense, even by school administrator standards.

December 17, 2012

Coventry Carol

Ever heard of Coventry Carol? Yeah, didn’t think so. It’s an obscure Christmas carol, existing pretty much only in choirs and whatnot.

Anyway, check it out:

Lullay, thou little tiny child
By by lully lullay
Lullay thou little tiny child
By by lully lullay

Yeah, yeah… lots to, um, think about there. That’s, um, some deep stuff.

Anyway, second verse:

O sisters too how may we do
For to preserve this day
This poor youngling for whom we sing
By by lully lullay

Wait… what was that?!

This poor youngling for whom we sing

You know what this means?!

youngling

Of course! It’s so obvious!

JESUS WAS A JEDI!!!

April 19, 2012

Mainstream

Filed under: Check It Out,Teh Interwebs,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 3:17 pm

I make a point occasionally to read back through not only my own writings on youth rights, but those of others, even ones that are years old now. The study and recollections are needed sometimes to feed the ever-present thoughts and considerations of the issue.

A little while ago, I reread Alex Koroknay-Palicz’s “The delay between the inarguable and the acted-upon”, about a professor who seemed to agree with all the reasoning behind lowering the voting age yet wouldn’t explicitly come out and say he believed the voting age should be lowered. Why? Because it felt like such a fringe view to take, and nobody wants to be the lone supporter of a fringe issue.

In other words, something we youth rights people hear all too often!

Alex goes on to suggest the solution is to have more high-profile people voicing support for our issues and organization, as well as making what positive changes for youth rights we can already. I agree with the second part wholeheartedly, since making real changes to ageist policies is a pretty clear “yes, we’re serious about this, and, yes, this is in fact realistic” sign.
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December 18, 2011

Play Ball!

Filed under: Check It Out,Christmas Time!,Think About It! — Katrina @ 3:24 pm

A few weeks ago, I read and reposted to NYRA’s forums an article by Alfie Kohn on children playing, and its being redefined to serve adults’ expectations of children.

Crap about how adults keep trying structure children’s play, making it all about and led by them, rather than just letting the children do it any way they want. Whether it’s “productive” in any way or not.

Totally agree. I found this part interesting, too:

3. Play isn’t just for children. The idea of play is closely related to imagination, inventiveness, and that state of deep absorption that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi dubbed “flow.” Read virtually any account of creativity, in the humanities or the sciences, and you’ll find mentions of the relevance of daydreaming, fooling around with possibilities, looking at one thing and seeing another, embracing the joy of pure discovery, asking “What if….?” The argument here isn’t just that we need to let little kids play so they’ll be creative when they’re older, but that play, or something quite close to it, should be part of a teenager’s or adult’s life, too.[4]

It brought back memories from college. A few times, I inexplicably carried around with me a miniature playground ball. And the looks and remarks I got were interesting. Of course, I threw it at a few of my friends’ heads and they weren’t too happy, but usually I was just strolling around campus, bouncing it around, or tossing it to people I knew and they’d toss it back. I was the first arrival at one of my classes and the teacher interrogated, “Why do you have a ball?” And I said, “For fun.” And he mulled this over and remarked that it’s perhaps therapeutic.

Therapeutic! Ha! Why must there be a reason? I just felt like having ball with me! It was fun. That’s reason enough.

Such boring and unimaginative people! Don’t have real fun. The desire has been squeezed out of them in a world that demands productivity at all times. And those who do have some unexplainably fun seem weird or immature. They’re just jealous! 😛

December 8, 2011

Politically Incorrect Contraception

Emergency contraception is available over-the-counter. No prescription needed! That is, unless you’re under 17.

But the FDA came in and said “why stop those under 17? this is safe for all young women capable of pregnancy!”

But then HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the FDA, the people who actually know WTF they’re talking about, “nah, the idea of this being available to YOUNG GIRLS OMG sounds scary! so I’m going to say no to this and keep the current age restriction LOL”. And Obama supports her decision.

*sigh*

Really? I mean, I’m not surprised in a way. Typical pandering bullshit, trying not to make the Republicans too uncomfortable. And politics doesn’t like women or youth and therefore especially doesn’t like young women! So the Obama administration wants to make its policies less squeamish to the average anti-youth misogynistic Joe Six-Pack by not – gasp! – letting 12-year-olds access emergency contraception!

Sebelius claimed that she wasn’t so sure it was actually safe for those under 17. Because she knows better than FDA, the people who have to comb through mountains and mountains of research that’s been conducted before they come to such a conclusion. Right. Hey, Sebelius, you know what’s actually not so great for young girls? PREGNANCY!

Again, though, shouldn’t be surprised. Politicians reach astounding levels of cluelessness when it comes to just about anything about young people, especially their reproductive issues. They ignore any statistics and sense and just cover their ears and go “la la la la la!” and just pass more laws to hurt young people for their political gain. Hey, it’s not like those young people can VOTE! 🙄

Anyway, here’s a Change.org petition about it. And here’s a lovely piece by Scarleteen! And here’s a lovely paragraph from that piece:

It’s so tremendously important that your requests for rights like these be heard. And that the incredibly sound, sage things you say like this from reader Arai, “These politicians really need to get on the same CENTURY as the one young people live. All the questioning for contraceptives, abortion rights, gay marriage are real in today’s society,” or this from reader Katrina, “Politicians on both sides of the aisle reach unheard of levels of cluelessness when it comes to youth reproductive rights and needs,” are heard and seen. It is, of course just as important that they are also very thoughtfully and with great intention considered in choices like this, but we can’t help much with that part, save continuing to say things like that and continuing to be ardent supporters of youth rights, including reproductive rights.

Yes, that Katrina is me! 😀

June 27, 2011

Final Boss Defeated

And by final boss, I mean the Supreme Court has rendered its verdict in Brown v EMA, formerly known as Schwarzenegger v EMA. This was the case where California has been defending its ban of selling M-rated video games to people under 18. It went all the way to the Supreme Court. On November 2, 2010, day of the oral arguments, we NYRAnians rallied in front of the Court in defense of youth rights and free speech. And Usiel gave this amazing speech, of which I totally shot the video! And after that it was just a matter of waiting and seeing…

And today came the verdict at last…

7-2, in favor of EMA. Two dissenters were Stephen Breyer and (surprising absolutely no one) Clarence Thomas.

WE WON!!!!

Check out the official document here!

I’ve been retweeting a lot of remarks and articles today in response to this ruling, so here’s a nice roundup.
(more…)

March 17, 2011

When I Saw It…

Filed under: Check It Out,Foodz — Katrina @ 8:24 pm

Wow, my ass sure does hurt. From all the humongous gold bricks I shat.

:wow: :wow: :wow: :wow: :wow:

Five Alive?! In my United States?!

😀

December 2, 2010

Vindicated!

Filed under: Check It Out,Christmas Time!,Foodz,Teh Interwebs — Katrina @ 10:15 am

I hate cheese.

That’s one infamous thing about me that anyone who knows me even a little bit knows or will find out soon enough. When I first mention it, I get some strange looks and shocked reactions, as if I’d just praised Satan or something. Some wonder if I’m healthy. Some ask if or assume I’m a vegan. A college roommate said “but cheese is a nutrient!” (If that quote hurt your brain a little, that’s nothing. The same girl once told me that I shouldn’t carry such a heavy backpack or I’ll give myself cerebral palsy… yeah.) I’m not really a big fan of dairy products in general. Don’t care for yogurt. Only ever buy milk if it’s to have it with cereal. I like ice cream, of course, but most ice cream has very little milk in it anyway. I was glad to notice on a Cool Whip tub one time that it contains no dairy (or, well, at the time, it does now). I mentioned this to someone and the immediate response was “yeah, I know, that sucks, stick to Redi-Whip instead” or something like that. They just assumed the observation of no dairy was to me a bad thing, but not at all. To be normal, you must want lots and lots of dairy products.

Then I saw yesterday’s Cracked list, 6 Insane Conspiracies Hiding Behind Non-Profit Groups. Go read it. I’ll wait.
(more…)

April 22, 2010

Meet Mohammed

Filed under: Check It Out — Katrina @ 7:47 pm

Hi, everyone! Just thought you’d like to meet someone very special. Say hello to…


Mohammed! The Prophet of Islam! That is who this extremely crude drawing is meant to represent. Anyway, what kinds of things does our friend Mohammed here like to do? Let’s have a look at a few ways he spends his time, shall we?
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March 4, 2010

March Forth!

Filed under: Check It Out,Here's To You!,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:05 pm

Now for a scholarly, collegiate edition of…

Here’s to You!!!!

So I raise my glass and say, “Here’s to you, college protesters!”

Today, March 4th (“march forth”, get it?! ha ha ha), at a fuckton of colleges around this country students are occupying their school buildings and even interstates! It’s a beautiful thing!

What for? What else? Tuition keeps going up, yet there are constant layoffs, lower quality education, cut programs, and all kinds of other ways the students are getting the royal screw job. So GOOD FOR THEM for all their activities today, standing up for themselves! I’m at awe at all that has gone on!

Look at this! A map of all the day’s student protests and occupations. Look at that! Holy crap!

Look at all that has happened! Mostly in California, but also stuff right around here at good old College Park. 😀

Go here for more info on everything.

Yay, students! Kick some ass! :doitnow:

December 19, 2009

SNOMG!!!

Filed under: Check It Out,Christmas Time! — Katrina @ 9:51 pm

So we just got like 16 inches of snow. WIN!

So I went outside earlier to brush some of it off my car, then slipped on some ice, went back inside for a minute, then went back out, brushed some more snow off my car, froze, and back inside again. Good times.

Check it out…

It’s like a cross between a blue sedan and a jagged snowy mountain. This was before I started brushing snow off, but I didn’t really finish the job, and it now looks more like a jagged snowy mountain growing over my little car, all covered except for the red NYRA sticker. 😀

June 9, 2009

Couple of Comments

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Check It Out,Teh Interwebs,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 4:24 pm

Proud of myself today. Commented on two blogs for youth rights, though as of right now, one of them is still in moderation. Lame. Is this how you guys feel when I ignore your comments? Haha.

Anyway, first I commented on the ACLU’s Blog of Rights, where they condemned sentencing juveniles to life without parole. Here’s my comment:

It is sick, especially when you consider how very few rights teens have. Everyone is always talking about how they can’t handle responsibility and that they shouldn’t be voting or driving or outside past a certain hour or whatever other unjust stereotype-based regulation, yet for some reason, if one were commit a heinous crime, then everyone suddenly thinks they’re fully developed and accountable and should get the harshest punishment. Can’t have it both ways, folks. Don’t treat them like kids and punish them like adults. As Dr. Mike Males said in on this subject in one of his books, we treat teens as kids when doing so is convenient for adults, and we treat them like adults when doing so is convenient for adults. Adult convenience and privilege should not be the basis for our justice system.

Awesome.

Then just a bit ago, NYRA-SEFL posted on Twitter an article about how Rochester, NY just got their youth curfew law struck down by the court. Score!

And here’s my comment:

For those who think a curfew is to protect young people from being victims of violence, I have a question. Why are you blaming the victim? If a young person is attacked at night, the REAL question should be “why are your streets so unsafe from violence?” not whether someone under a certain age is out past their bedtime! Arrest the CRIMINALS, not the potential victims! The worst thing you can tell a young victim of a violent crime is that it was her own fault because of her “improper” behavior, and that is exactly what curfews do. Glad to see this one gone and I hope Rochester keeps it gone. Hope all other curfews see an end sometime soon and people wise up and realize we have to treat young person with more respect and to come up with REAL, non-discriminatory ways to control crime.

Mmmm, yeah. (Despite them both containing typos I’m rather pissed about.)

Want to be awesome like me? Or at least as close as you, someone who isn’t me, can get to my astronomical levels of awesomeness? Then go leave a comment yourself! Only thing more annoying than a vocal youth rights opponent is a silent youth rights supporter.

And I totally got this in in time for this week’s Youth Blog Tuesday! Which is chock full of more blog entries you should totally comment on. Power to the Youth Rights Blogosphere! :doitnow:

This has been Day 17 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 9.

October 23, 2008

Red-iculousness

Filed under: Assorted Politics,Check It Out,In the News — Katrina @ 6:44 pm

So I was reading the Economist today when I came across an article about how Obama’s campaign is kicking the living ass out of, well, everything, setting us up for anything from a landslide to another Dewey Defeats Truman. But that’s not what I mean to talk about here today. In the article, it begins describing the lopsided attention being given to the Republican and Democratic booths at some North Carolina fair. And then I saw this little gem.

[Some redneck]’s backing John McCain because the Arizona senator “thinks murdering little babies is not a good idea”.

Ah, we saw this four years ago. And eight years ago. And so on. Many Republicans’ persistent belief that if an anti-abortion president takes office, abortion will become illegal and never be done again. You know, I wonder what life is like to live in such a strong delusion, for these people seem to completely ignore that even though we’ve had anti-abortion president George W. Bush in office for the past eight years, abortion is still legal. I’ve got news for you. John McCain is not going to make abortion illegal. He and Sarah Palin may talk all the time about how bad it is, but the fact is, it won’t be made illegal even if they are elected. So you Republicans thinking the McCain-Palin team is going to be the saving grace of embryos and fetuses from women making an excruciatingly difficult decision, and you Democrats thinking the McCain-Palin team will take away a woman’s inalienable right to kill her unborn child, you’re living in a serious fantasy world.
(more…)

September 28, 2007

Muvico’s Modern Segregation

Filed under: Check It Out,In the News,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:43 pm

This article is a little old now, but still worth discussing.

Muvico Makes Adults Only Theater

Can you believe that? For those who didn’t feel like reading it, or were suffering too much from a rapidly melting brain which tends to happen when exposed to such high levels of astounding idiocy, basically the Muvico movie theater company is planning to set aside one screen in their facilities for just people 21 and over.
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