xoder: (Political O RLY?)
There is a guy out in front of our building today, protesting. He's across the street, on public sidewalks, so it's absolutely legit, but it's a little strange. He's wearing hunter's camo (i.e. screen printed pictures of trees and leaves, not the pixel camo or the patches camo that actually work), and has a sandwich board and a sign. He's been there all day from 8am, and I'm pretty sure he's still there now.

The front of the sign says "PERJURY", "FELONY", and "FIRE CEO YBERATRE*" with the famous Obama/Joker picture in the middle. The back of the sign says something along the lines of, "Watch out, Terrorists Ahead!" The front of the sandwich board says "VGG* DISCRIMINATES AGAINST AMERICANS!" And the back of the board implies our company should "DEPORT" all H-1B visa holders.

The really, really ridiculous thing is that we have no foreign nationals in this building, let alone H-1B holders. We have very particular rules about who is allowed in the building, and when foreign nationals are in, we are all alerted and must not discuss business in hallways, and so forth.

I'm not annoyed by him, as he's providing exactly no nuisance, but I am amused at the lack of research he did, and I wonder what corner he came from. My coworkers theorize he applied for a job here and was turned down. They also joked it was a recently (well, actually about a year ago) laid-off mutual coworker, but it's not.

* All identifying marks have been ROT-13 encoded for Google-protection.
xoder: (An/erisian)
Facebook is now suggesting I become a fan of "Prayer In Schools," a group "To see how many people want the return of prayer to the public schools." Can I un-fan things?

I love the ignorant comments like, "I don't seem to remember having these kinds of problems back when we had prayer in schools," except that the first decision to restrict religious instruction in public schools was back in 1948, and the person who posted that was clearly in their mid-forties.
xoder: (Default)
So sayeth: http://www.pinke.biz/news/518/Lesbian-Teens-More-Likely-to-get-Pregnant-than-Straight-Teens/

The obvious problem here that I see is that they do not appear to have controlled for sexually active teens or not. The study itself may have, but this article does not mention it. I would not be surprised to find out (although I have no evidence one way or the other) that many GBLT folks start having sex earlier than their straight brethren.

Now, however, I feel that I may be stating assumptions not in evidence and falling for the classic "teh gheyz are horny" stereotype.
xoder: (Mii)
Wikipedia Affiliate Button
xoder: (Default)

And the conclusion (not as funny, but you gotta finish the speech)...

xoder: (Political O RLY?)
So I've been following FiveThirtyEight for my electoral vote predictions lately (and having Electoral-Vote text me every morning...). I really like their statistical method, running 10,000 simulations every morning with the new polling data. And the simulations are not pure Monte Carlo, but rather known ways that states and groups of states tend to move. The key graphs I wish to go over right now are:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us

The first image has the "Win Percentage" graph, which says that in 90.7% of those 10,000 simulations (or about 9070 of them), Obama wins. This figure comes into play later, but I want to focus on the more interesting chart, specifically the first two rows. The chance of Obama winning the Electoral vote but losing the popular is 5.07% (507 of 10,000 simulations) and the chance of the same happening to McCain is 1.10% (110/10,000). A cursory glance would make it seem like Obama has a five-times greater chance of pulling a Hayes. However, given that Obama has a 90.7% of winning, then, if he wins, he has a 5.07/90.7 = 5.59% chance of that victory being a Hayes-ian one. But, if McCain wins, he has a 1.1/9.3 = 11.9% chance of that victory being Hayes-ian — double that of Obama.

For more on this wacky mathematics, check out Bayes' Theorem, and be glad it's used to filter your spam!

No Dumping

Oct. 3rd, 2008 07:37 am
xoder: (Default)
Found at a car wash near Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem. Pretty awesome.

The debate last night was fun in certain ways. Biden clearly won, but he did it with class by letting Palin go off on her own tangents and by trying to force her to ad lib. However, what was up with her repeated need to change topics? Especially without segue.

I guess this post will be short, as I'm sleepy and I have about 100 new Picross puzzles on my DS and about 50 left to download.

xoder: (Default)
This is what happens when you steal a man's torso.

As these past 2 weeks have been 2nd shift, I've managed to break all the good habits I've been developing lately. For instance, I'm now back to 3 big meals instead of 5-6 small ones, and I stopped posting a picture to LJ every weekday. I wonder if I'll be able to get them back after I return to my normal schedule.

I don't have any nifty tales, as my life has been TKD and work and commuting lately. Because of the rain last night, I did not return to my apartment, opting to sleep at my parents' house instead.

I'd love to comment on the political situation right now (bailout, McCain suspension, &c.), but it all seems so surreal, I feel I must be missing something. I will say this: the FDIC cannot fail. With that piece of information, you should feel confident that you'll be able to get your deposits at any time.

xoder: (Default)
This is one of the few times I'll post about politics so blatantly and without citation. Probably because it's sticker graf. I am unaware of any accusations of war crimes against Mr. McCain, although Vietnam was one hell of a war. I do like this sticker, likely because of it's simple design and the way it echoes old ad tag lines.

I'm not really sure what I have to talk about now. I was really sleepy, but I managed to leave the house with everything I need, including the latest Dresden book for a good re-read.

Everybody ready for a good rain today? What about the end of the world tomorrow? I'm kidding about the latter; I don't actually think the Large Hadron Collider will end the world, but if it does, it won't be for another month, when they actually do collisions with the beam they're turning on tomorrow.

I'm glad I have class tonight, as it's really fun, but I'm not glad I have to walk in the rain to get there. Especially as I'll be looking for dinner-ish things at the time.

xoder: (Default)
I've got some LED lights that I got at Ikea a few weeks ago. They provide nice, diffuse lighting at very low power in a variety of colors. They're really handy as a sort of night light, so Erin doesn't have to turn on the harsh overhead light to come to bed.

Due to a miscommunication on my part, I didn't get to see The Dark Knight last night after class. It's for the best, I think, as I got to bed at least 2 hours before I would have gotten home, had I seen it.

My class is really cool and relevant to my interests. The Chief Security Officer of AT&T is the professor. He recommends reading Feynman and 2600, but there is no required text, which is great, because I already read those.

I've been catching a little of the convention, and I think it is too slick and too mastubatory. But I'm glad Obama will be getting the nom and that Hillary is no longer trying to split the party.

Time to go to work. Tell me a happy story to read on my lunch break, please.

xoder: (Default)
Found in Fairway on this long weekend. Apparently, this juice brand one of my roommates really likes is full of rich conservatives.

On Wednesday, two very important ladies went to the hospital. You may have already heard of Erin's sprained back, and how she was forbidden from sitting or laying down for days.

My mom also went to the hospital that day with what turned out to be cellulitis. Over the next few days the infection spread from an injection site on her foot almost all the way up her leg. Obviously it hurt a lot. Luckily, the fascia do not appear to be infected, and the redness and swelling have gone back down to being just on her foot. Still hurts, though. Because of this, she missed the swim on Saturday. Needless to say, we're all rather pissed at the Dr that gave her the injection that touched this all off. Hopefully she will recover soon.

xoder: (Default)
So many of you have posted this quiz lately (as in the past five minutes), I thought I should follow suit. Some questions I have a hard time with, like the minimum wage question (it needs to be higher, I believe, but I'm not sure about long-term and generalizable strategies that actually work). Interesting that it picked two Dems I've heard little about in my top three.

82% Bill Richardson
80% Mike Gravel
80% Chris Dodd
79% Barack Obama
77% Dennis Kucinich
75% Hillary Clinton
75% John Edwards
71% Joe Biden
45% Rudy Giuliani
41% John McCain
37% Ron Paul
35% Mike Huckabee
34% Mitt Romney
29% Tom Tancredo
26% Fred Thompson

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz
xoder: (Embrace the Penguin!)
So I was reading this Digg post about Ahmadinejad saying that there are no homosexuals in Iran. There was the predictable "Check the closets" line, and some rumblings about Tom Cruise and mass murder. Of note, however, was the following exchange*:
In America - we just ignore their rights
Jesus, you're dense. America ignores gay rights? We have hate crime laws that apply to gay people. We have a huge gay population which vehemently lobbies and pushes for gay rights. We have gay people on tv, in the movies, everywhere and they aren't being oppressed. Just because they can't "legally" be married doesn't mean their rights are ignored. I'd be willing to be that any gay person in Iran would happily trade places, with any gay American. If you really think it's bad here, go to Iran and see what it's like to have no rights based on sexual preference.

You people will say/state anything that takes a jab at America yet we have it so good, regardless of what you think. If you think I'm wrong then why does everyone want to come here? As cliche as it sounds this is the land of freedom, in all forms, and also the land of opportunity. Go open a gay support group (non-profit) in Iran and tell me what happens. They'll probably just kill you, but at least you'd be free of American oppression....your comment and those who digg you up is proof that most Americans have no appreciation or idea on how good they have it. Well, some of us do and we don't take it for granted.

I work in a corporation. I am white, hetero, and single. I have no special interest group that gives a shit about me. There's a gay/lesbian group, african american group, latino, etc.

Along with the aforementioned hate crime legislature, it seems minorities, including gays, have grabbed special rights, not equal rights. Granted I am not as likely to be effed-in-the-a by a cop, I am more likely to be should I end up in court.

Oh yeah, you poor dear. My heart bleeds for the rich white men; there is no justice for them. Why don't you go arrange a straight white man pride parade? Oh yeah- you don't have to because you have everything already.

I think the last poster in the thread misses the penultimate poster's complaint entirely. He says "I have no special interest group that gives a shit about me." The reply is "you have everything" so why should you? The key difference here is the penultimate poster wanted a group, while the last poster wants things/rights/justice. Maybe I'm completely off-base here, but I often envy my GBLT friends for their ability to draw a community out of [what appears to me to be] thin air [but is likely out of shared repression &c.].

The penultimate poster also mentions all of this second to "I work in a corporation." The irony there is, he does have a group of people like him working toward a common goal, but this goal is not community, not rights, not justice, but money—which our dear poster will never see his proportional share of. If he works extra hard he might get a promotion, but he'll more likely just get his slightly-lower-than inflation "merit" raise. If he even has a track for promotion, his most likely community, his co-workers, are in direct competition with him for those precious few seats at the top, and will not be there for him as a community.

Perhaps I am very much the poor little rich boy that the last poster mocks, but I can understand the penultimate poster's issue, and I'm afraid I don't have much of a solution out of it. Personally, I ape at the Queer community through my Bi girlfriend and Poly lifestyle, and while I enjoy friends through Tae Kwon Do, often I feel a certain disconnect from them. Often the only thing I have in common with them is the Art, which is fine and all, but I like a certain level of social discourse and connection.

Of course, in the end, we are all alone in our trip through life, and perhaps all this striving towards community is false and silly and temporary. But if it has to be false and silly and temporary, I at least want to get some good hugs out of it.

* I nested two comments where I believed they went as I believe they were unintentionally posted unnested thanks to what many Diggers complain of as "The New Comment System". Also, I'm lazy and deleted their usernames.
xoder: (iKatamari)
So I was reading an Ask Metafilter question about being asked to smile. The thread is interesting but devolves into a giant "Men Are Pigs" fest. The operative theory being that men think women should be pretty no matter what, therefore they should smile all the time. In addition, the smiling somehow reinforces their submission to the males. Personally, I don't think I've ever asked anyone to smile, of either gender, but I often try to cheer people up through silliness and absurdity—occasionally to bad result. Given the initial question at AskMeFi, however, how does the answering public become so certain that the poster is female and is being told by males to smile? (Ignore, for the moment, that the poster marked a response as "Best Answer" pretty much declaring what the previous posters suspected.)

On a slightly related note: (most, if not all of) you know that I'm a tall, white male. That said, I feel very vulnerable telling women I find them attractive, as the song notes suggest I do. Perhaps its from the culture at RIT, where women could bring men up on "looking" charges and then those men could get expelled (although extremely unlikely—forced letters of apology and probation were much more common). Perhaps it's just plain old fear of rejection. Who knows. But I ask you, my reading public (which has many women in it), how do I avoid the first kind of repercussions (the latter, I have only myself to blame, I know)?

And on a related note to that last related note: most of the shame I feel from my eyes catching on attractive women for as long as is "safe" is mostly due to the fact that I feel I am consuming a resource (looking at an attractive person) and not contributing resources back to the "ogling pool", if one exists.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] s00j's K for giving me that second idea to think upon and ruminiate on since Lunacon '06. And thaanks to Sooj herself for the song which gave me the impetus to actually write out the thoughts I was having.


Jul. 23rd, 2006 09:04 am
xoder: (Default)
So I know I haven't posted since I moved, but I'm not going to post about it yet.

HOPE is fun. Thus far I've:
  • Listened to talks on:
    • "Hacking the Palate" (food)
    • Hacking Sex
      • although I'd heard all the stuff before via my own studies as well as TES
    • Tor
      • although I feel I helped to give this talk instead
    • Community radio
    • Wireless security and link maintainance
    • The current political situation, and how the gov't should spend more money on "Open Source Security"
  • Met MC Frontalot (yet again) and promised him that I'd be at his show tonight. You should come too!
    • 9 pm at Club Midway at 25 Avenue B.
  • Messed with the dumb terminals that someone brought over. Did not manage to get more than one working (and that one worked because it had a ROM chip that the others didn't)
    • They were messed up because the ROM images supplied (for PXE boot) were corrupt. But one of them could boot into X, and I was one of the few people borking on it that knew how to xforward.
  • Bought 3 T-shirts
    • The HOPE 6 shirt
    • An MC Frontalot Nerdcore Rising Tour shirt
    • A babydoll tee that says "The Internet is a Series of Tubes" with an illustration of a uterus (including ovaries and fallopian tubes).
      • Needless to say, that last one's for Erin
  • QSO'ed with the special event call sign N6H. I'm going to try to ping them from here when I'm done with my shower.
  • Ran into a couple I met at the Pride Parade
Any questions? Ask.
xoder: (Default)
Previously, on my LJ...:
OK, I am registering now because I want to go to HOPE 6 regardless of who comes. That said, Who's muthafukin' comin?
xoder: (Katamari SNL bouncing heads)
So, is this video by the Dixie Chicks about the politics of the situation or is it about a family ravaged by rape, or what? Either way, very nice.

If you use an extension to grab the .FLVs instead, this one is double letterboxed, but in sync.
xoder: (Default)
First HPV vaccine approved:
Take that you fucking theocrats!
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