Florida Trip part 1

Sorry for being a little absent lately. I went on vacation to Florida from the 25th to the 1st, which means I needed a week of doing absolutely nothing to recuperate (ah, vacations). But now that I’m properly rested, I get to babble about my trip for a bit!

Vanessa (my friend/roommate), Ben (my friend/her boyfriend), and Jeff (my friend/ex boyfriend from high school…long story), and I left West Lafayette at 5am for our long drive to Florida. Ben was our first driver since he was the only person who got enough sleep to be functional. So not only were we all trapped in my car for 16 hours, but we were sleep deprived – extra delirium!

The drive was okay until we got to Kentucky – which, of course, was when I had just taken over driving. Cool fact: It’s generally not going to be fun when you see a giant plume of smoke on the road ahead of you. Apparently two semis had collided and effectively shut down I-65 going both directions. We ended up sitting still for an hour and a half since there was only one tiny part of the road where you could do a U-turn.

Jeff: Well now that we’re stuck in traffic, this is a great time for me to tell you about Jesus.
Me: Nooo! Tuck and roll!

It took us another hour to go through the detour because that’s where everyone else was going. Then Jeff started playing the dueling banjos song (I have no idea why he had this on his iPod), which officially drove me insane at approximately 10:30am. Kentucky, the only reason why you’re not on my shit list is because I happen to currently like a boy from you. But be careful, you’re on watch.
Creepy ice cream truck.

Apparently everyone else in the car had gone insane as well. Vanessa suggested we get matching Darwin Fish tramp stamps. Then in Georgia we got stuck behind this car driving really slowly in the left lane (raaaaaaaaaaage) that had a “Jesus is Lord” bumper sticker. We drove behind them for a good period of time without them realizing they needed to get the fuck over.

Jeff: Only prayer will solve this.
Us: *fake pray*
SUV: *wedges between us and Jesus car and rides its ass*
Jesus Car: *changes lanes*
Jeff: Divine intervention!

Eventually we made it to Florida, died of exhaustion, and then woke up early to go to Disney World.

It wasn’t very sunny when we got there. Stupid Kentucky.

Five Movies

Jerry Coyne and PZ did it, so I might as well hop on the bandwagon. Here what I consider my five favorite movies, ones that I could watch over and over again:

Clerks: I like Kevin Smith, even though his movies can be hit or miss, but Clerks is more than just an entertaining movie to me. I first watched it when I 15, and I think it was a catalyst in developing my more perverted, dark sense of humor. Sex stopped being such a taboo topic for me. Between the sex jokes, nerd humor, and bizarre parts, it’s pretty much a perfect comedy to me.

Contact: I know people love to make fun of this movie, but I still love it. When I was little, I liked it for two reasons: 1) It was about outer space (which I was obsessed with at the time), and 2) Deciphering the alien message was basically figuring out a bunch of neat puzzles. But now that I’m older, I like it for totally different reasons. The main character is a strong female scientist who loves searching for the truth – how can I not love that? Then there’s the whole atheism/religion discussion, especially in terms of science and politics… And while Ellie gets a love interest, she’s still independent enough to follow her dreams first and not feel obligated to be tied down by a man. How many movie romances have that?

Hero: I’m usually not into the whole Chinese running around having battles thing, but this movie is so much more than that. I love the storytelling nature of the movie, and can’t really say more than that without giving away a major part of the plot. But more of all, I love it because it’s so goddamn beautiful. The way they use color makes it seem like you’re watching a living painting. Hero makes the artist in me very happy!

Pulp Fiction: It’s Pulp Fiction. What more is there to say? I love this dark sort of humor.

Y Tu Mama Tambien: This movie is so brilliantly complex. One minute you think it’s a comedy, the next you find yourself going quiet at a heart wrenching scene – but they meld it together perfectly. On top of that you have social commentary on class differences in Mexico that’s really eye opening. Oh, and did I mention that it’s really erotic? I mean, this movie is hot. I accidentally watched this for the first time on a first date, and boy was that awkward. One of the final scenes doesn’t show you anything past kissing, and I still think it’s the sexiest scene I’ve ever seen.

What would your five be?

Awesome godless party in Indianapolis!

Us godless heathens in Indiana have to stick together, and what better way to do so than with drinks and music? I won a VIP party at Howl at the Moon Indianapolis on June 11, and I figured I’d share the fun with my blog readers (man, what’s up with atheist bloggers winning VIP parties to Howl at the Moon?). Between 5pm and 8pm, we have:

– Free cover
– Free dinner buffet
– ½ price drinks

All you have to do is show up between that time and give my name at the door (Jennifer McCreight, pronounced McCRITE). I’ll probably get there between 5 and 6 to maximize my half priced drinks – Howl is tasty but kind of overpriced normally, so I suggest you do the same. Also, you have to be over 21. Sorry young people D:

If you’re coming, RSVP at the facebook event so I know who to expect. And don’t forget to say hello!

(Holy crap, I used the tags “Indiana” and “fun” in the same post! Never thought that would happen…)

Sunburn woo

Hey everyone! I’m back from my week long vacation in Florida, and it was awesome! I’ll recap all the fun later – don’t have time right now since we’re reviewing my paper in lab meeting today. But I do have a moment the blog about the one un-fun thing that happened:

A massive sunburn.

Honestly, I’m not surprised. My skin behaves in a highly predictable way: I will stay pasty white until I get one horrible sunburn, but that will turn into tan and I’ll never burn for the rest of the summer. And being half Irish, that “horrible sunburn” step isn’t hard to accomplish. Even with multiple applications of SPF 30, this is the result of me going to the beach:Wish my Greek genes would have helped a bit more in the melanin department. As one of my twitter followers suggested, I think I need to go to SPF Solar Flare.

While at the time not being able to move or sit (sorry, you don’t get photos of how burnt my butt was) wasn’t very amusing, it’s kind of entertaining in retrospect. For one thing, I have to give my swimsuit props for being so stable. I mean, look at those burn lines! It’s like my suit didn’t budge at all.

But the real fun started when I went to the pool two days later on Memorial Day. We were staying at my parents’ place, which is effectively a retirement community. So even though this was one of the “family” pools and there were young people and kids there, there was a high concentration of 50+ people. By then my sunburn only hurt a little, but it still looked awful.

And when the ladies saw my sunburn, they went into Worrying Mom Mode.

During my first hour there I was approached by about ten different women who lamented about how horrible my sunburn looked. But more amusing than how quickly they started acting like my mom or grandma was the various advice they gave:

Lady 1: Go to the emergency room!
Lady 2: Dr. Oz said to sit in a bathtub of cold water and dissolve two aspirins in it!
Lady 3: Sit in a bathtub of cold water and vinegar! You’ll smell like a salad, but it works!
Lady 4: You know what you do? Rub some plain yogurt all over it!

Me (to friend): I think I need to fill a bathtub with cold water, aspirin, vinegar, and yogurt, and just sit in it.
Friend: You know what I heard cures sunburns? Showering with two burly men.
Me: Wow, really? I’ll have to try that too!

I don’t know if any of these remedies actually work, but if they do, I’d like an explanation why before I go rubbing strange things all over myself. A scientific explanation, not just “well it worked for me!” Until then, I’ll continue popping aspirin and rubbing medicated lotion all over myself.

Have you heard any weird sunburn related woo? Or have you ever gotten weird advice from strangers? How did you handle it?

Is pedophilia a sexuality?

“Do you think pedophilia is a sexuality that you dont have a choice about? (similar to not having a choice about homosexuality)”

I’m going to give a very tentative and qualified “maybe” because I don’t know enough about pedophilia (and since I’m pre-writing this while packing for my Florida vacation, I don’t have time to look up more information). I really have no idea if pedophilia is something you have a choice about.

If I’m just totally speculating here (can I add anymore qualifiers?), I can see it being somewhat biological. For one thing, I don’t think anyone would “choose” to have what’s widely considered one of the most, if not the most deviant behavior. And because it’s so frowned upon (understatement of the century), I don’t know how easy it could be to learn the behavior. Maybe it is learned, but you can’t help it once you’ve learned it. Maybe it’s a chemical imbalance. Who knows – I certainly don’t.

Certain types may even be instinctual. Young, healthy females are still physically attractive to men. Some girls can biologically mature at 12, 11, or 10 years of age. From an evolutionary perspective, they are “adults” and potential mates. In past cultures (and unfortunately some current ones), this was recognized by females getting married at these young ages.

However, biology does not dictate morality. Even if you could come up with a scientific explanation for why someone would like a 10 year old, or hell, why someone would like a toddler or infant, that does not make it ethically acceptable. It doesn’t matter if it evolved or if there’s a gene or if there’s some sort of chemical imbalance. Pedophilia is still morally wrong because the younger party is not emotionally developed enough to consent.

That’s why I’m always so annoyed when someone equates homosexuality with pedophilia (not saying the question-asker was, just saying). Homosexuality is between two consenting partners, while pedophilia is not. Even if they had similar biological causes, that doesn’t mean they should be treated the same ethically.

I freely admit I know little about the previous research done on pedophilia. If someone would like to enlighten us in the comments, feel free to do so.