As if Wikipedia wasn’t addictive enough…

Micek’s Tumblelog points out the fun and addictive nature of playing 6 degrees of separation using Wikipedia. The object of the game is to pick two random articles and see who can connect them using the fewest links. The game makes sense, since the nature of Wikipedia is to start looking up avacados and ending up reading about the bubonic plague. My friend and I have been playing against each other. For example:

Robert Hawkins > Pennsylvania > Lehigh University > Anthropology > Paleoanthropology > GHR von koenigswald > NG 6

For shits and giggles, let’s see who can get from Avacado to Bubonic Plague in the shortest amount of steps.

EDIT: Holy crap you guys are too good. That’s what happens when I don’t pick truly random articles. Ok, have a challenge:

Battle of Montreal to Barangay Health Volunteers, Phillippines

Why don't astronauts float away on the moon? Heavy boots, of course!

If you’re not facepalming, you should review your introductory physics book. Either way, there’s an excellent summary about this particular question that really shows how little the average person understands basic scientific principles. Here’s the introduction:

“About 6-7 years ago, I was in a philosophy class at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (good science/engineering school) and the teaching assistant was explaining Descartes.

He was trying to show how things don’t always happen the way we think they will and explained that, while a pen always falls when you drop it on Earth, it would just float away if you let go of it on the Moon. My jaw dropped a little. I blurted “What?!” Looking around the room, I saw that only my friend Mark and one other student looked confused by the TA’s statement. The other 17 people just looked at me like “What’s your problem?” “But a pen would fall if you dropped it on the Moon, just more slowly.” I protested.

“No it wouldn’t.” the TA explained calmly, “because you’re too far away from the Earth’s gravity.” Think. Think. Aha! “You saw the APOLLO astronauts walking around on the Moon, didn’t you?”

I countered, “why didn’t they float away?”

“Because they were wearing heavy boots.” he responded, as if this made perfect sense (remember, this is a Philosophy TA who’s had plenty of logic classes).”

I had a similar experience when I was taking Sex, Gender, and Sexology my freshman year. It was a graduate level class offered through the Health and Kinesiology department. I’m pretty sure I was the only freshman foolish enough to take a grad level class, but it sounded so awesome that I couldn’t resist (and it was). I was also the only biologist in the class of 70 people – most people were in psychology, sociology, anthropology, or history.

We were talking about the possible biological causes of homosexuality, and our professor mentioned how there is probably a genetic component. One of the outspoken anthropology PhD students raised her hand.

“Well that’s obviously wrong,” she said. “A gene is either on or off, and we know people aren’t either straight or gay. There’s a continuum.”

A shot up my hand. “Um, that’s not how genetics works. You can have multiple genes effecting one trait, or different levels of regulation. That’s how you can get continuous traits like height or skin color. You’re not just tall or short.”

Her friend smiled and gave her the You Just Got Owned By a Freshman look.

Add this to my friend’s Anthropology TA who was convinced DNA was made up of proteins, and you can see why my opinion of Anthropology is a little shaky.

Why don’t astronauts float away on the moon? Heavy boots, of course!

If you’re not facepalming, you should review your introductory physics book. Either way, there’s an excellent summary about this particular question that really shows how little the average person understands basic scientific principles. Here’s the introduction:

“About 6-7 years ago, I was in a philosophy class at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (good science/engineering school) and the teaching assistant was explaining Descartes.

He was trying to show how things don’t always happen the way we think they will and explained that, while a pen always falls when you drop it on Earth, it would just float away if you let go of it on the Moon. My jaw dropped a little. I blurted “What?!” Looking around the room, I saw that only my friend Mark and one other student looked confused by the TA’s statement. The other 17 people just looked at me like “What’s your problem?” “But a pen would fall if you dropped it on the Moon, just more slowly.” I protested.

“No it wouldn’t.” the TA explained calmly, “because you’re too far away from the Earth’s gravity.” Think. Think. Aha! “You saw the APOLLO astronauts walking around on the Moon, didn’t you?”

I countered, “why didn’t they float away?”

“Because they were wearing heavy boots.” he responded, as if this made perfect sense (remember, this is a Philosophy TA who’s had plenty of logic classes).”

I had a similar experience when I was taking Sex, Gender, and Sexology my freshman year. It was a graduate level class offered through the Health and Kinesiology department. I’m pretty sure I was the only freshman foolish enough to take a grad level class, but it sounded so awesome that I couldn’t resist (and it was). I was also the only biologist in the class of 70 people – most people were in psychology, sociology, anthropology, or history.

We were talking about the possible biological causes of homosexuality, and our professor mentioned how there is probably a genetic component. One of the outspoken anthropology PhD students raised her hand.

“Well that’s obviously wrong,” she said. “A gene is either on or off, and we know people aren’t either straight or gay. There’s a continuum.”

A shot up my hand. “Um, that’s not how genetics works. You can have multiple genes effecting one trait, or different levels of regulation. That’s how you can get continuous traits like height or skin color. You’re not just tall or short.”

Her friend smiled and gave her the You Just Got Owned By a Freshman look.

Add this to my friend’s Anthropology TA who was convinced DNA was made up of proteins, and you can see why my opinion of Anthropology is a little shaky.

The racial double standard

It really irks me when people say we’re “post-racial” or “colorblind” now that Obama is president, because it’s obviously not true. If you need convincing, here’s a good example:

“As a black father and adopted white daughter, Mark Riding and Katie O’Dea-Smith are a sight at best surprising, and at worst so perplexing that people feel compelled to respond. Like the time at a Pocono Mountains flea market when Riding scolded Katie, attracting so many sharp glares that he and his wife, Terri, 37, and also African-American, thought “we might be lynched.” And the time when well-intentioned shoppers followed Mark and Katie out of the mall to make sure she wasn’t being kidnapped. Or when would-be heroes come up to Katie in the cereal aisle and ask, “Are you OK?”—even though Terri is standing right there.”

Why is it okay for white couples to adopt children of different race, but not vice-versa? White couples seem “humanitarian,” while black couples are mistaken for kidnappers. People glorify Angelina Jolie and her Gotta-Adopt-’Em-All strategy, but what if Tyra Banks did this with different races from underprivileged places around the world? …Ok, Tyra’s a horrible example since she’s full of crazy, and the idea of entrusting her with multiple children scares me. But I digress. There’s a part of me that hopes beyond hope that this can be chalked up to statistics. That is, there are far more white couples adopting black children than black couples adopting white children, so people see it as an anomaly. Unfortunately, I think that’s just wishful thinking. I’m pretty sure the dirty looks wouldn’t go away even if the adoption rates evened out.

Christian Websites

I’m not sure what’s worse. Seizure inducing websites that look like they were made in the 90′s, or the most extreme, intense, James-Bond like Flash-happy websites.

Neither seem to make me want to convert to Christianity much.

Speaking of crappy Christian websites, I skimmed through the Westboro Baptist Church’s upcoming hate mongering sites. Apparently May 17th they’ll be in South Bend, IN protesting Obama’s commencement speech at Notre Dame:

“Notre Dame Commencment – Obama Hates you, take U 2 Hell! E Angela Blvd & N Notre Dame Ave How appropriate that the biggest pedophile mill in the whole entire world would have Beast Obama speaking at their 2009 Commencement. We will be outside with some good words on our signs. No need to try to hide from the words, little spoiled figs.”

Yes, take that you little spoiled figs!

I’m actually kind of jealous. Maybe before I graduate we can do something so scandalous that they’ll come picket us. It almost seems like a badge of honor!

Oh drunk people

This week is Grand Prix week at Purdue, which is basically a week long excuse to party and binge drink 24/7, culminating in a go-kart race. Being the defective college student that I am, I fail to see the appeal in these activities. I plan to hide in my apartment as long as possible, since I may just accidentally get drunk from stepping outside into the alcohol-infused air.

My fellow students, though, take this very seriously. Yesterday as I rode the bus to my 1 PM class, people were already outside drinking beers and partying. I guess I should be happy that it was at least after noon. Maybe I’m just secretly jealous because while they’re partying away, I was sitting in the basement of LILY learning signaling cascades associated with cancer…naahhh, what I was doing was more interesting.

The funniest part is that they’ve set up barricades all around the bars in Chauncey, narrowing the street from 3 lanes to 2:
They claim it’s because of the smoking ban, and now more people smoke outside the bars. Yeah. Totally not for the exponential increase in drunk people who like to stumble out into the road and dart in front of your car. They do this anyway, but now there’ll be ten times as many of them.

And yes, I think I’m a curmudgeonly old woman at heart. Good thing I don’t have a lawn, or I’d probably be yelling at people to get off it.

Pepsi: Funding the evil Homosexual Agenda

I always knew there was a reason why I prefer Pepsi over Coke.

The American Family Association (which you know must be awesome because it has “Family” in its name and has a big Jesus fish behind its logo) is organizing a boycott of PepsiCo. Why? Because Pepsi is supporting the evil homosexual agenda! What sort of vile things has Pepsi done? From boycottpepsico.com:

  • Pepsi gave a total of $1,000,000 to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) to promote the homosexual lifestyle in the workplace.
  • Both HRC and PFLAG supported efforts in California to defeat Proposition 8 which defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. HRC, which received $500,000 from Pepsi, gave $2.3 million to defeat Proposition 8.
  • Pepsi requires employees to attend sexual orientation and gender diversity training where the employees are taught to accept homosexuality.
  • Pepsi is a member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

Oh no! The horror! How disgusting! Why, pretty soon Pepsi will be injecting its products with soy (which obviously makes you gay), and it’ll be the Gaypocalypse!

You don’t believe me? Look at these horrible, horrible commercials and shows Pepsi are supporting:

See, Pepsi turned him gay! Noooooooo!

It’s perfectly fine for three dozen women to drool over a hot guy, but once you add a single guy from Queer Eye it becomes the work of the devil!

And there’s not even any Pepsi in the next one, it’s just a show they sponsor:

Oh, heaven forbid, two guys making out, funny awkward discussion about sex. I’ve never seen that with a heterosexual couple on a tv show!

Well, I really must be doomed. I’ve drank so much Pepsi over the years that I must just be ready to burst at the seems with gayness. Sorry guys, but after I finish the 2 liter in my fridge, I’m going for the boobies only.

TMI time!

I had my annual womanly check up today. I find it quite depressing that that’s the most action that I’ve gotten in months. A two and a half year long relationship with constant sex suddenly ending sucks ass. It sucks more ass when you’re still living with your ex, and he’s doing his new girlfriend who you have classes with because you’re the same major. Yay!

…Yeah, sorry, I’ll try to keep real life drama to a minimum. Had a couple Strongbows (friend got her PhD, celebration ensued, woo) and I’m sleepy. Three drinks also leads to sexual frustration. Sexual frustration and drinks lead to revealing blog posts that I will possibly regret in the morning. Oh well!

I am now going to cuddle with my pillow and dream of non-deadly pie, professors who want me for grad school, and sexy men (or a combination of the three?)

Pie Update: Slice #2

Ate a piece of pie with lunch today. A dangerous experiment, since I had class two hours later. Didn’t experience much past stomach gurgling and a couple burps. Was the first time a fluke? Have I biased my results by willing myself to eat the delicious pie without getting sick?

I think further testing is required. Maybe I should have someone else eat a slice as a control…but that would involve less pie for me. Hmmmm. A scientific conundrum.
Good, or evil? The world may never know.

Officer elections

The results of the Society of Non-Theists’ officer elections tonight can be summed up by my friend:

“We now have three attractive women as our officers. By the way, the contracts you all signed include mandatory matching leather outfits. What, you didn’t know about those? Club attendance will skyrocket!”

But it’s sort of true. We’re like an atheist chick super heroine squad. We even have one brunette, one red-head, and one blond. Move aside, Powerpuff Girls!

EDIT: Apparently our hair combinations are a TV trope. Woohoo!