This is a crude post.

Crude oil flowing from BP’s Deepwater Horizen oil rig explosion has started washing up on Louisiana’s shores. 

Last night rough seas pushed oily water over the protective booms standing between the on-coming oil and Louisiana’s coasts.  Oil has entered the Mississippi River and is spreading into the river’s offshoots and surrounding wetlands, and toxic chemicals from the oil are leeching into delicate aquatic environments and threatening wildlife.  Alabama’s coastline is also threatened, and wildlife with the potential to be affected by the spill include hundreds of species of fish, birds, and mammals including Atlantic bluefin tuna, plankton, sea otters, sperm whales, oysters, menhaden fish, and endangered turtles.

The above paragraph is a summary of the TimesOnline article located here.  The article has very good writing and includes a current video of the situation unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.  Please click the link for more information.

From YouTube:

Other coastal wildlife at risk: Mussels, crabs, shrimp, fish in nurseries, dolphins, manatees, brown pelicans, terns, gulls.  NOLA.com has posted what they claim is a comprehensive list of all of the birds, mammals and and invertabrates under threat from the oil and toxic chemicals from the spill.

View from space.  Photo source.

The worst part of this spill is that we’re not sure how much oil is going to escape before we can plug the oil leaks.  Everyone ready to do this again?

photo source

Pay It Forward Day

Remember that Haley Joel Osment Pay It Forward movie?  Did you know that an entire social movement has sprung up around the concept of “paying it forward”?  From the Pay It Forward Foundation’s website:

The premise of the novel Pay It Forward is one that any person can implement in his or her own life, at any time. It begins with doing a favor for another person– without any expectation of being paid back. Indeed one would request that the recipient of that favor do the same for someone else: ideally for three other people. The unconditional favors can be large or small. As the fictional 12-year-old Trevor observes, “It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It can just seem that way, depending who you do it for.”

Trumpets please!  Today is International Pay It Forward Day!  The Pay It Forward Day’s website claims participation from 28 countries around the world.  In the US there have been five state proclamations, one county proclamation, and 12 city proclamations declaring April 29th Pay It Forward Day.  So get out there and do some good!

In honor of Pay It Forward Day: 

The hubby and I finally joined Kiva.org and made our first microloan!  You can visit our lender page and learn more about the shoe salesman from Palestine we (and 82 other lenders) are supporting.

Today I corralled six coworkers and went to lunch at Santorini’s in Eden Prairie to support Dining Out For Life.

This is a fun idea I heard from a friend of mine: I plan on doing drive-through for dinner, and I’m going to pay for the person behind me in line.  I’m giving to ask the drive through guy to give the person behind me one of the Pay It Forward cards.

photo source

I’d love to hear from you if you are doing anything above and beyond for Pay It Forward Day.

Odds and Ends

Things that make me sad:

Oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Barrier Reef.  I’m just getting my SCUBA certification this spring – quite screwing up the pretty diving areas!

The Party of Hell No! – Republicans who like to look tough when they’re grilling Goldman Sachs executives, but who vote no to discussing Wall Street Reform.

The new Papers Please law.  Thank you, Arizona, for your cultural sensitivity and legal logic.  From Jon Stewart: “”It’s not unprecedented, having to carry around your papers. It’s the same thing free black people had to do in 1863!”

Oklahoma’s new limiting-your-choice abortion laws.

Things that make me happy:

Pay It Forward Day (here’s the facebook group).  As Anne Frank wrote: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

Zooey Deschenel’s She and Him.

My favorite books.  Not too long ago I had to submit a Top 10 list to the bookstore for a “Our Employees Suggest” display.  This was the original list – before I had to chop it down – who only gets to pick TEN favoriate books?

Stranger in a Strange Land

Robert A. Heinlein
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden Joanne Greenberg
Tales of a Female Nomad Rita Golden Gelman
Flowers For Algernon Daniel Keyes
Good Omens Neil Gaiman
Neverwhere Neil Gaiman
Lamb Christopher Moore
The Shack William Paul Young
Voyage of the Dawn Treader CS Lewis
The Cat Who Went to Heaven Elizabeth Coatsworth
Ecoptopia Ernest Callenbach
Brave New World Aldous Huxley
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
Beggars in Spain Nancy Kress
Darkfever Karen Marie Moning
Vertical Run Joseph Garber
Replay Ken Grimwood
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams
Toxin Robin Cook
And Eternity Piers Anthony

This picture that Liz from the bookstore drew during break, and then gave to me!  It’s a book superhero robert:

Things that make me giggle:

A church sign seen in Hutchinson, MN:  Be a fisher of men – You catch ‘em, He’ll clean ‘em.  Aieee!  I don’t want to be filleted!

This Family Guy video: 

 

In the Wake of Boobquake

The results of Boobquake 2010 are in! Jen from blaghag.com did a statistical analysis of the number and severity of earthquakes that occured across the globe yesterday. Sadly, ladies, it looks like we don’t have boob/butt/leg/ankle/hair magic that can control plate tectonics.  From blaghag.com (click here for larger image):

Each data point represents the total number of earthquakes per day going back to February 5th (the extent of the online database). Days are measured in Coordinated Universal Time. That red square is boobquake. As you can see qualitatively, our provocative dress didn’t really seem to effect the frequency of earthquakes. There were 47 earthquakes on the 26th, which falls well within the 95% confidence interval for number of earthquakes (about 0 to 148).

Ah well, that’s just one more superpower I can cross of the list, I guess :)

Now from Boobquake 2010, to boobs on the boob tube:

Have you heard about the banned Lane Bryant lingerie commercial?

Apparently ABC refused to show the “racy” commercial during Dancing with the Stars, and FOX network demanded excessive re-edits before they offered to run the commercial at the end of American Idol.

Hmmm…between the Victoria’s Secret “The Nakeds” commercial that aired during American Idol (FOX) and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars:

   Dancing With the Stars Poster 

Yeah…wouldn’t want to show any girl skin or cleavage when families might be watching…

For more in-depth writing on the Lane Bryant Lingerie Commericial Controversy, I recommend checking out The Stylelist

A Call to Boobs

So I haven’t yet posted about the viral awesomeness that is Boobquake.  Jen M. McCreight from the BlagHag blog has started a protest movement called Boobquake 2010.  Boobquake was created on April 19th – last Monday – and holy crap has a lot happened in a measly week.  If you want to follow the entire hullabaloo, start reading Jen’s post “In the name of science, I offer my boobs”.

Boobquake started out as Jen’s off-the-cuff response to Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi’s comment in the Chicago Tribune:

Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes.”

Jen decided that this was a ridiculous postulate, and she asked her readers if they would join her in a bit of scientific study.  People were invited to join the Boobquake facebook event, which she describes below:

On Monday, April 26th, I will wear the most cleavage-showing shirt I own. Yes, the one usually reserved for a night on the town. I encourage other female skeptics to join me and embrace the supposed supernatural power of their breasts. Or short shorts, if that’s your preferred form of immodesty. With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake. If not, I’m sure Sedighi can come up with a rational explanation for why the ground didn’t rumble. And if we really get through to him, maybe it’ll be one involving plate tectonics.

Well, I’m all for a little activism and the scientific method, so today I sported my cute little on-the-town cleavage-showing t-shirt!  This is a far cry from what I usually wear in the office, so I have been wearing a sweater most of the day, choosing the route of not flaunting my chest and politics in the work place.  I may have to do a little grocery shopping this evening, though :)

Is that a flesh-induced EARTHQUAKE?

Nah…it’s just Boobquake 2010.

 

By the way, in the light of the OVERWHELMING response* to Boobquake, Jen has answered several concerns of the “experiment” being demeaning to women, and cries that it isn’t being rigorously controlled…to which the general reply has been, DUH!  This is first and foremost a show of activism against the oppression of women, the criminalization of women’s bodies, and the unfortunate belief that following a certain moral code can affect plate tectonics.

By the way, there are T-Shirts!  Purchase of t-shirts goes to benefit the Red Cross and the JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation).

*BBC, Canada AM, WGN, CNN 

Weekend Report: Kick Ass and Psycho Suzi’s

I saw Kick Ass this weekend with a bunch of coworkers from the bookstore, and I LOVED it.  Seriously, I heart Hit Girl – she’s one of the baddest ass action heroes that I’ve ever seen.  Check her out, but not at work because much like Hit Girl herself, this video is violent and crude.

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On Saturday night me, the Hubby, and our good friend Courtney went to Psycho Suzi’s, a fantastic hipster tiki-themed bar in Nordeast Minneapolis.  They’ve got famous tiki drinks like The Native’s Curse, the Crummy Scoundrel and their over-sized version of a group punch bowl, the Flaming Pele. 

I ordered a drink special that had a really geeky chemistry theme –  the Tikium Euphorium, chemical symbol “Te”.  I was hoping to be able to read the description on the sign in this picture, but sadly it’s a leeetle to small to see.  I don’t know any cool computer tricks to blow it up and maintain the resolution, but hey – it’s still a cut pic of moi!

Another great thing about Psycho Suzi’s is the trailer-trash appetizers – we ordered tater tots and pickle roll ups – dill pickles rolled in ham and cream cheese…mmmm….

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On Sunday I took Ashley to the Como Zoo in St. Paul.  We were going to take an Adventure Drive down to Manketo…oops, so an Adventure Drive is when you decide how much time you want to spend going in any one direction, then you draw a radius around your starting point, pick a direction or a highway and go explore.  But sadly, at our fueling stop (that’s the Carribou Coffee, not the gas station), I discovered that I had left my wallet at home.  By the time we got back to Minneapolis, we didn’t have nearly enough time to make it to Manketo, so we decided to shelf the Adventure Drive and go to the Conservatory and Zoo.

Ashley at the Sunken Garden

100th Post Anniversary

Here’s to me for passing the 100th Post mark! And to cheeky old broads! photo source

 

This is my 101st post!  I started the Biodork blog in December 2009, and started posting (nearly) daily on December 31st.  WordPress has amazing stats, so with very little work on my part I can show you what’s been going on in the way of traffic for my blog:

Posts: 100
Comments: 137
Views:  1,559 (not including me!)
Subscribers: 4
Avg Views Per Day: 14
Busiest Day:  4/26/10 with 84 Views!  

The Busiest Day – February 26th with 84 Views - came right after I published WTF, Barb Davis White? *singsong* I think someone’s google alert was tickled!  Let’s find out…

From My Tag cloud, I can see that the majority of my posts have something to do with Humor, followed closely by Science, Political, Dinkus-ness, Adventure and Ubergeek.  Yup…that sounds about right!

The blog statistics are fun and all, but they really aren’t – and can’t be – the reason to blog long-term.  At least not for me, someone who blogs as a hobby.  This is a repost of a comment I left on a friend’s blog about a month ago, and I think it’s fitting to re-copy it here, today:

My reasons for blogging are constantly evolving, but the one underlying purpose for me to write something new is to remind myself that the world is full of wonderful, exciting things. My blog posts are snapshots in time – I can go back and see what caught my attention on any given day.  My blog posts do also have the secondary purposes of sharing myself with my friends and family and to pass on “important” new stories now and then, but the main reason I write is always for myself. And trust me, with an average view rate of 10-20 views per day…it’s gotta be that way.

Thank you blogosphere for providing me hours of free entertainment and a place to share and record my thoughts!  And I have to say…after four months on WordPress, I have been – and continue to be - pretty durn happy with this blogging site.  So thank you WordPress, also!

Enough of this crap – On to a funny picture:

I had this for lunch yesterday:

Smart Food + Not Smart Food = Zero Net Calorie Gain or Loss, right?

Vree Vree: A Horror Story

Vreee, Vreeeeee!   That’s what I think a dentist drill sounds like.  And this isn’t really a horror story, so much as a gross, annoying story. 

I set my alarm for 5am this morning so that I could be on time for a 7am appointment with the dental hygienist.  I didn’t drink any coffee because I thought it was really nice that another human being would poke around in my saliva-y mouth at 7am, and my gift for this generosity was a lack of coffee breath fumes wafting into her face.  photo source

I let the dental hygienist talk me into a fluoride treatment, which cost me $42 out of pocket…grrr…being a grown-up sucks some days.  I remember fluoride treatments from when I was a kid: The dentist squirts the foam into the squishy mouth-guard thing, you sit for 30-60 seconds and then you can’t eat or drink for 30 minutes.  No biggie, right?

But now they have this brush-on crud, and emphasis on CRUD.  She brushs this nasty “mint” paste on my teeth (I don’t know who thinks that tastes like any mint found in nature or lab), and then tells me to avoid brushing my teeth and drinking hot liquids (READ: coffee) for FOUR HOURSI shell out my $42 and shamble out to the car.  I run my tongue lightly over my film-encrusted teeth and shudder.  All I want to do is spit and spit and spit; there’s no way I’m swallowing with this crap in my mouth.  How am I going to last for four hours at work with this crud on my teeth? 

I’m driving toward work and I notice the roof of my mouth feels filmy, so I take my index finger and rub the soft tissue.  I look at my finger, and it’s covered in this white stuff that looks and feels like candle wax…ewww, ewww, ewww!  I get to work and everywhere the smell of coffee calls to me.  The gentle sound of water flowing through grounds into coffee pots tickles my ear.  And my mouth tastes like waxy rot.  Mint-ish waxy rot, but waxy rot nonetheless.  I look at my watch…only 3 1/2 hours to go. 

Argh!

Three minutes later I emerge from the bathroom – toothbrush in hand – with clean, smooth, shiny teeth.  My mouth is now filled with the familiar chemical-tasting mint of my regular toothpaste, and I’ve just washed $42 worth of waxy fluoride paste down the sink.  I’m divided in my emotions – sad that I’ve wasted four movies worth of money (or a new snorkel for dive class), happy that I can have coffee and not be grossed out by my filmy, wax rot teeth. 

And then I start to wonder: Did she say four hours…or for an hour? 

photo source

 

In memory of those lost 15 years ago.

Today is the fifteenth anniversary of of the Oklahoma City Alfred P. Murrah federal building bombing. 168 people died, 680 were injured and $652 million in damage was done. I’m taking a moment to remember those who were affected by bombing, and to reflect on the consequences of hatred, intolerance, and the belief that violence is the solution to our country’s problems.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_City_bombing

The Oklahoma City National Memorial

Aerial view of the Oklahoma City National Memorial. photo source

From Wikipedia: On the south end of the memorial is a field of symbolic bronze and stone chairs—one for each person lost, arranged according to what floor of the building they were on. The chairs represent the empty chairs at the dinner tables of the victims’ families. The seats of the children killed are smaller than those of the adults lost.  photo source

Teabaggin’ for Geezus

I’m off to the gym (mmm…hot tub…), then brunch with some friends at the Independent in Uptown, followed by a shift at the bookstore.

Two outta three ain’t bad.

Today, I bring you the satirical stylings of Edward Currant.  WARNING: This video is mean, a little rude, and dare I say vicious and relentless?  But, gently readers, know that none of these things are done idly!  The attitude of the video helps drive home it’s underlying message: Evangelical religious right wing politics are very, very scary…and funny in their ridiculousness…funny in a make-you-want-to-cry kind of way.

Edward Currant is well known for his no-holds-barred videos lambasting religious silliness and right-wing extremism.  However, if you like that kind of stuff, enjoy!  Oh, and make sure to watch for the hand-reading glance ala Sarah Palin!