Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My new laptop is so pretty!

I bought it last night out of desperation. The two laptops at my house are no longer functioning properly and although I would NEVER normally purchase a notebook from Best Buy I felt I had no choice given the current state of my lack of reliable computing. Anyway, I am really happy with the HP Pavilion DV 4 special edition I ended up getting:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This is how important voting is to me...

I will even support you doing so if we disagree.

After all, as Chomsky said, “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

Friday, October 3, 2008

I can't believe this is a REAL photograph...


A True Image from False Kiva
Credit & Copyright: Wally Pacholka (

Explanation: Is there any place in the world you could see a real sight like this? Yes. Pictured above is single exposure image spectacular near, far, and in between. Diving into the Earth far in the distance is part of the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy, taken with a long duration exposure. Much closer, the planet Jupiter is visible as the bright point just to band's left. Closer still are picturesque buttes and mesas of the Canyonlands National Park in Utah, USA, lit by a crescent moon. In the foreground is a cave housing a stone circle of unknown origin named False Kiva. The cave was briefly lit by flashlight during the long exposure. Astrophotographer Wally Pacholka reports that getting to the cave to take this image was no easy trek. Also, mountain lions were a concern while waiting alone in the dark for just the right exposure.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

In preparation for the VP debates tonight

Some snippets from an interview between Katie Couric and Gov. Palin can be found below and describe some of Palin's personal views and convictions. It is clear that the Governor and I are fundamentally different people, although there are definitely a few (very few) areas where we agree. However, during the interview Palin does make a good point about VPs not making or interpreting laws while in office...of course the concern here is that she won't remain only VP during McCain's administration. I know that essentially it is a terrible thing to discuss some one's potential death and I do hope that McCain lives many more healthy satisfying years, after all he deserves all the happiness in the world after everything he has been through. I just can't shake the uncomfortable feeling that McCain chose one of the least qualified individuals in our nation as his running mate. I feel as though his selection shows some seriously bad judgement on the part of himself as well as his campaign managers.

Anyway, I will let Ms. Palin speak for herself:

On Abortion:

Couric: Let me get your take, if I could Gov. Palin, on a number of social issues. Because that's, they've gotten some attention, your position. If a 15-year-old is raped by her father,you believe it should be illegal for her to get an abortion. Why?

Palin: I am pro-life. And I'm unapologetic about my position there on pro-life. And I understand good people on both sides of the abortion debate. In fact, good people in my own family have differing views on abortion and when it should be allowed. So … I respect people's opinion on this.

Now, I would counsel to choose life. I would like to see a culture of life in this country. But I would also like to see taking it one step further. Not just saying I am pro-life, and I want fewer and fewer abortions in this country. But I want, then, those women who find themselves in circumstances that are absolutely less than ideal, for them to be supported for adoptions to be made easier. For more support given to foster parents and adoptive families. That is my personal opinion on this.


Couric: But if you have a moral problem with abortion, it seems to me you would do everything in your power to make it illegal and overturn Roe v. Wade and …

Palin: Of course, it's the legislature, the law-making branch of our third, of our three branches of government …

Couric: But they …

Palin: …makes the laws.

Couric: …your vision or the administration's vision.

Palin: Well, let's be practical about it and let's be realistic about a vice-president's role in this debate. I can personally share my views, which I don't apologize when I share my views of being pro-life. And, you know, I'll do that all day long if you want me to. But a vice-president does not make law. And a vice-president does not interpret the law either.

Couric: So you're saying this won't be a top issue for you if you're elected?

Palin: I will do all that I can personally to encourage that culture of life, to remind women that I believe with more empowerment, they - more and more women will realize that they are strong enough … and they are able to carry a child and still continue a career, still continue education opportunities, all with the goal being fewer and fewer abortions in this world.

On Evolution:

Couric: Do you believe evolution should be taught as an accepted scientific principle or one of several theories?

Palin: Oh, I think it should be taught as an accepted principle. And, you know, I say that also as the daughter of a school teacher, a science teacher, who has really instilled in me a respect for science. It should be taught in our schools. And I won't ever deny that I see the hand of God in this beautiful creation that is Earth, especially coming from one of the most beautiful states in the Union and traveling around this country also in this last month. My goodness, just seeing, you know, the beautiful landscape of New Mexico recently. That was just breath taking and seeing the rolling hills in Virginia and all … the beauty that is this Earth, I see the hand of God in that. But that is not part of state policy or a local curriculum in a school district. Science should be taught in science class.

Couric: Should creationism be allowed to be taught anywhere in public schools?

Palin: Don't have a problem at all with kids debating all sides of theories, all sides of ideas that they ever - kids do it today whether … it's on paper, in a curriculum or not. Curriculums also are best left to the local school districts. Instead of Big Brother, federal government telling a district what they can and can't teach, I would like to see more control taken over by our school boards, by our local schools, and then state government at the most. But federal government, you know, kind of get out of some of this curriculum and let the locals decide what is best for their students.

On Homosexuality:

Palin: But you are talking about, I think, a value here, what my position is on homosexuality and can you pray it away 'cause I think that was the title that was listed in that bulletin. And, you know, I don't know what prayers are worthy of being prayed. And I don't know what prayers are gonna be answered or not answered. But as for homosexuality, I am not going to judge Americans and the decisions that they make in their adult personal relationships.
I have, one of my absolute best friends for the last 30 years who happens to be gay. And I love her dearly. And she is not my "gay friend." She is one of my best friends who happens to have made a choice that isn't a choice that I have made. But I am not gonna judge people. And I love America where we are more tolerant than other countries are. And are more accepting of some of these choices that sometimes people want to believe reflects solely on an individual's values or not. Homosexuality, I am not gonna judge people.