You can blame it on the president
Or blame it on the press;
Its Republicans—or Democrats!
That put us in this mess
It’s the radical conservatives
Who can’t admit defeat,
Or the constant wimpy whining
Of the liberal elite
Yes, we’re quickly pointing fingers—
Someone’s got to take the fall—
And it doesn’t really matter
What the issue is at all.
May 22 2013
You can blame it on the president
May 21 2013
It’s so annoying when tornado victims don’t follow the script, isn’t it?
Wolf: “…we’re happy you’re here; you guys did a great job. And I guess you gotta thank the Lord, right? Do you thank the Lord? For that split-second decision?”
Survivor: “I… I… I’m actually an atheist.”
Wolf: “Oh, you are! … But you made the right call.”
Survivor: “Yep; we are here. And I don’t, I don’t blame anyone for thanking the Lord”
Wow, and she doesn’t seem at all angry at God, either. Darned atheists, don’t they know the script?
Cuttlecap tip to Anonymous, via twitter.
May 21 2013
When disaster hit the coastline
With a hurricane and flood
And the people needed money
And the people needed blood
There were some in Oklahoma
(They were senators, no less!)
Who defiantly insisted
It was someone else’s mess
They would not support New Jersey
When the hurricane had struck;
They’re conservative Republicans:
They did not give a fuck.
Now tornadoes hit the heartland;
Oklahoma’s on the ropes
And the folks in Oklahoma
Count on others for their hopes
If the senators were assholes
(Which, without a doubt, was true)
Time to show them by example
What’s the proper thing to do.
What the people need is money
So it’s time to pass the hat…
Save your prayers–they’re only wind, you know–
They’ve quite enough of that.
That link (here it is again) goes to the Foundation Beyond Belief’s “Humanist Crisis Response” site. 100% of donated money goes to the cause; FBB takes no cut at all. And they are tax deductible–which shouldn’t be a concern, but might make a difference for some folks.
May 18 2013
Wish I could be there, instead of grading seventeen stacks of stuff here.
I hear there is a lot of good stuff going on, and a vocal handful trying to deny that. Anyway, I don’t have time for more, but this one from not that long ago seems all too appropriate again:
May 16 2013
I purchased this ink,
To be honest, I think
For the picture adorning the bottle.
It’s a cuttle with quill,
And it gave me a thrill
In a way that–in truth–not a lot’ll.
With the ink smoothly flowing
My pleasure is showing
(I’ve never been one to be subtle)
To conclude my review
It’s a beautiful hue:
“Foggy Bottom”–approved by the Cuttle!
Ok, so the truth is, I did not purchase it; it was a gift. But other than that, I am loving this ink. It’s by the good people at Organics Studio, who also make a neat indelible black ink named for Charles Darwin. I can see why I was given this ink–just take a look at the label!
May 14 2013
So I just got back (never announce your departures–it’s like leaving a “rob my house” sign on your door) from many days of driving, smiling, lifting, hauling, driving, shivering, waiting, driving, greeting, hugging, driving, and driving. With very little chance to check email (students who did not come to class for the last half of the semester are now wondering what they can do to make up for it), let alone check comments here. But now that I have, I am glad I did. Any less-happy weekend, and the comment on this post would have been in the position of making up for the whole weekend. And it likely would have. But this was a great weekend, so the comment was only like the third or fourth most happy-making thing.
The comment notes that
My sister asked our niece to read this at her wedding today. It was paired with “The Owl and the Pussycat” by Lear (read by the bride’s mother).
Thank you for this wonderful poem!
I have no idea where this wedding was, nor who the bride and groom were, but if any of you know, congratulate them for me and (only with consent) kiss the bride for me. She clearly has spectacular taste in poetry (Lear, I mean–plus, she chose mine!)
So, for those of you who didn’t click through, It was the Evolutionary Biology Valentine’s Day Poem (one of the few of my own poems I know by heart and can and will recite):
Why I love you and you love me—
Which anyone can plainly see—
Is mostly in our genes.
No, not the ones you buy in stores,
But what a scientist explores–
I like the way you look in yours,
And you know what that means.
What subtly-coded stimulus
Takes you and me, and makes us “us”
And makes us feel ‘twas ever thus?
The list of suspects narrows.
No longer are we all a-shiver
From some Cupid with a quiver
Out of which he might deliver
Fusillades of Eros.
Nor Dopamine, nor Serotonin
Tell us why our hearts are moanin’
Though they serve to help us hone in
On–not why, but how;
The parasympathetic blush,
Adrenaline to bring a rush,
Are how, not why, I’ve got a crush
On you, my darling, now.
But if old Charles Darwin’s right,
The reason that the merest sight
Of you will always give delight
Throughout our species’ family tree,
Producing proper progeny
Is what determined you and me
And Darwin was the witness.
Is thinking that you’re oh so sweet
And how you’ll make my life complete
Some trick to make our gametes meet?
It seems it may be so.
I feel the way I feel today
Because some bit of DNA
Sees your genetics on display
And wants to say “hello.”
But think of this, for what it’s worth:
Millennia before my birth
That DNA had roamed the earth,
In residents thereof;
The neat thing is, it’s really true,
The feeling that I have for you
Although, of course, it feels brand-new
Is truly ageless love.
May 10 2013
Looked at the bullet we’d
Hoped we had ducked
Argue no longer for
Carbon’s new record means
Humans are fucked.
Yup. Carbon Dioxide levels in the atmosphere are higher they have been in the history of humankind. The highest in over
six thousand three million years. The New York Times reports:
The best available evidence suggests the amount of the gas in the air has not been this high for at least three million years, before humans evolved, and scientists believe the rise portends large changes in the climate and the level of the sea.
“It symbolizes that so far we have failed miserably in tackling this problem,” said Pieter P. Tans, who runs the monitoring program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that reported the new reading.
While some groups have short-term economic reasons for denying reality, the truth is…
Carbon dioxide rises and falls on a seasonal cycle and the level will dip below 400 this summer, as leaf growth in the Northern Hemisphere pulls about 10 billion tons of carbon out of the air. But experts say that will be a brief reprieve — the moment is approaching when no measurement of the ambient air anywhere on earth, in any season, will produce a reading below 400.
“It feels like the inevitable march toward disaster,” said Maureen E. Raymo, a Columbia University earth scientist.
Or as I put it above… humans are fucked. Read the article… and not for nothing, this month is bike-to-work month.
May 10 2013
Jerusalem has seen the light
And said that women have the right
To worship at the wall.
To Ultra-Orthodox, this slight
Can’t be condoned at all.
And so, when women came to pray
Together at the wall today,
It seemed the worst of shocks!
The men have morals to obey–
So, pelted them with rocks!
No matter what the young men tried
The women wouldn’t be denied;
The men, despairing, moaned:
“It’s quite the same as genocide,
And cannot be condoned!”
Via the LA Times, the first day of equal right to pray at the wall. Yay, more people get to pray! That’s good, isn’t it? No, no, no, cos women have cooties, thus sayeth the Lord.
Dressed in black hats and coats, mobs of young ultra-Orthodox men tossed eggs, water bottles and coffee cups at members of Women of the Wall as their leaders led a group of 100 men and women in prayer. Several women from the group wore white shawls and other religious ornaments, such as black tefillin boxes on their heads, traditionally used only by men at the site.
Oh, come on, Jews have been through much worse than this…
Police, whom the youths called “Nazis,” arrested five men for disrupting the peace, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. As the women departed, some were pelted with rocks.
Well, yeah, I guess protecting women while they pray is pretty much exactly the same as committing genocide. Those Nazi cops.
Women of the Wall leader Anat Hoffman, who on Friday was being protected by the same police who once arrested her performing a similar prayer service, predicted that it was only a matter of time before women won expanded rights at the holy site.
“This train is gone,’’ said Hoffman, who has been pushing for religious equality at the Western Wall for 26 years. “Women are reading the Torah and praying out loud. This is going to happen. You are either leading it or you will be dragged by your hair.”
Nice turn of phrase there.
My question is, why on earth do these women want to be part of a religion that treats them like this? (Yes, that question terribly oversimplifies–we are not looking at one religion at all, but many that share a common ancestor.) And (conversely), if you have one group throwing stones at people who want to be part of a religion, and another group braving these stones to be part… which group loves that religion more?
May 07 2013
The forsythia bloomed at the edge of the yard
An explosion of yellow and gold;
An abundance of nectar—but where were the bees?
Disappearing… or so I’ve been told.
So, yeah, the first few lawn-mowings of spring used to be a harrowing affair. My yard has a border of forsythia on one side, which used to be inundated with bees when it bloomed. The past few years, I can mow with impunity; I stop and scan the flowers, knowing there should be bees there! But they aren’t there. My redbuds used to attract a variety of bees and wasps; we’ll find out in a few days, maybe a week, when the buds open.
Today was the first day I saw any substantial numbers of Hymenoptera at all–some wasps, some hornets, and an astonishing number of bumblebees (or maybe carpenter bees, or probably both), far more interested in one another than in me as I made my way through them with gardening gear.
My apple trees are getting ready to blossom–they are young, so this is only the third year of flowers, and last year’s late frost meant that I had a total of one apple make it to maturity. It was then partially eaten by a worm, which was then thoroughly eaten by a bird. I found the half-apple on the ground. And yes, dammit, I ate it. It was superb.
But I digress. My apple trees are getting ready to blossom, and I have never hoped for bees so much as right now. Mind you, I’ve never had to–my heirloom tomatoes had plenty of bees in past years. So… Where the hell are the bees?
What we have lost in bees, we appear to be making up in reasons why we have fewer bees. I have always wanted to keep a hive (Cuttlefamily does not agree, and currently outvote me). I hope they last long enough that I will be able to.
For both our sakes. And so much more.