20 Random Things Friday

1. The threat of 30 has been looming over my head, but Hank Green has cheered me a bit with the concept of Logarithmic Aging.  “So that you have more birthdays when you’re younger, when you like birthdays, and fewer birthdays when you’re older, when you don’t wanna think about em!”  Brilliant.

2. He is, incidentally, also right about the eating less meat thing — that we need to stop dividing people into meat-eaters and vegetarians, but instead encourage people to be thoughtful about their meat eating and do it much less.

I was a vegetarian for a couple years and my cholesterol got so low that it was bad for me.  Because even though we’re all “Cholesterol is bad” it turns out your body, you know, actually uses it.  Too low cholesterol is associated with depression, anxiety, and higher rates of mortality!  It also makes you bad at making vitamin D — and I don’t go in the sun much, so my vitamin D also got quite low.  So now I eat meat occasionally and feel better and categorizing me as a terrible meat eater isn’t useful.

3. Christina Hendricks is almost always wearing a wig or a hair piece.  I can’t believe I never noticed it, it’s super obvious.  Beyonce as well.  I feel so lied to.

christinahair

4. I had this thought today: “My flowery galoshes are almost perfect, except that no one can see my dinosaur socks.”  I’m a grown-up.

Galoshasaur

5. Also on hair, I’m trying to re-train my part to be further from the center, partially because I’m not entirely convinced one can train their part and the internet doesn’t have any authoritative claims on that front that I can find.

6. Photos from meeting Annie Leibovitz: https://www.facebook.com/mgafm/media_set?set=a.10100422213881817.1073741832.2605101&type=3

7. Photos from my trip to New Orleans: https://www.facebook.com/mgafm/media_set?set=a.10100422226162207.1073741833.2605101&type=3

8. Video of a real rescued baby sea turtle: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10100422239111257

9. Video of koi murdering a butterfly: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10100422242968527

10. Occasionally South Carolina does something amusing in a positive way.

sclawnmower

 

11. I thought I’d try this whole mindful meditation stuff that Greta is doing but I feel totally incapable of teaching myself to do it and the internet seems mostly filled with hippie dippy woo crap.  Thoughts on where to start?

12. Number one on this list so hard.

13. How many of the world’s 197 countries can you name in 15 minutes? I got to 120. I can place all the country names in the middle east in 1:45.  BAM.  I wonder if there’s a world map where you can place names instead of having to remember them off the top of your head?

14. DRUNK DIAL CONGRESS: http://drunkdialcongress.org/

15. Our prison system is just the worst.

16. Once again when a woman says “Guys, don’t do that,” atheist dudes are there to blow the whole thing up and call her irrational and oversensitive.

17. I really miss google maps Wikipedia plugin.  How am I supposed to learn random stuff about Western China?

18. Rebecca wrote a wonderful article about how useless the police are when it comes to online harassment.  It reminds me of my experience with Eddie Kritzer.  First comment? Go to the police.  I did.  And they told me they wouldn’t file a restraining order unless I changed my email and phone number and he kept harassing me.

19. ARGH ANTONIN SCALIA BOOO

20. Me repeatedly today:

jonwhat

 

mugatu

Tonight at 7PM: The Ashley F Miller Show Episode 6

Join me, annalise fonza, and Yasmin Nair as we discuss:

Politics: The Anthony Weiner Scandal
Media: “Orange is the New Black”
Guest Choice: Prison in America

The YouTube link will appear shortly before 7PM EST.

This is filmed in front of a live internet audience — if you’ve got input feel free to get in touch before or during the show by commenting here, on youtube, or on the event page.

It will also be edited and released as a podcast.

Podcast website: http://ashleyfmiller.libsyn.com/webpage

South Carolina Judge: I Sentence You to Read the Bible

Perhaps I should just start a regular feature called “My Dumb Home State”.  South Carolina is known basically for being an embarrassment, and we like to continue that tradition thoroughly and frequently.  You may or may not remember that the ACLU sued a prison in SC for only allowing the inmates access to one book, The Bible.

A woman was convicted of drunk driving and, among her other sentences, was also sentenced by the judge to read and write a book report on the Book of Job.  Aside from the arbitrariness of the sentence, it is also, at best, extremely borderline on that whole church/state separation issue.  According to the news report, the assignment was an attempt on the judge to be compassionate by showing that God could hurt people and then treat them well in the end — it was a way of communicating to the woman that, though her life had been difficult, it wouldn’t necessarily always be so.

I can see the compassion of the statement he was trying to convey, though I am not sure that Job is the best way to get that message across.  It is one of the stories that most demonstrates the capriciousness and chaotic neutral approach that God generally takes.  It is very easy to hate God in that story; it’s difficult not to.  I’m also sure that there are many other, better stories of people who were real who had difficult lives and went to jail but ended up being quite successful (Danny Trejo, Stephen Fry, etc.).

As compassionate as it is though, that is the job of her pastor, not of her judge.  He has no place trying to guide her spiritual life and certainly no place using the authority of the state to enforce it.  I don’t think he is a bad guy and, as mistakes go, I think this is one that doesn’t begin to measure up to not allowing prisoners to read anything but The Bible, but that doesn’t make it OK either.