Tuesday, November 30, 2004

shaking the email queue

I hate that emails take so long to post sometimes.

*kicks blog*


Anagram fun

From http://www.wordsmith.org/anagram/


Saturday, November 27, 2004

way too funny

At this moment, my son wishes his mom didn't have as much chemistry
knowledge as she does. His grandparents took him to a new heath food
place and he got a Neopet(tm) branded treat called Tigerfruit
Crystals. While he was busy enjoying it, he read the ingrediants to
me, "Freeze-dried grape juice concentrate, maltodextrin, silicon
dioxide (prevents caking)."

"Silicon dioxide?" I said. "That's sand. But if it's ground small
enough, I suppose it wouldn't cause any harm and it would prevent

My son looked at me in disbelief. "Are you sure that's sand?"

I checked Google and sure enough, Mom's memory is correct on this.
Silicon dioxide is the most common form of sand. My son is now a bit
put off on the treat, but my daughter isn't phased by eating sand at

Friday, November 26, 2004

Thought while watching "Moonraker"

First, I realized today that I enjoyed the Bond movies a lot more when I was much younger and only got half of the sexual innuendos. It's hard to take a character serious when you keep wanting to snicker whenever you think of their name.

But anyway, I was letting the thoughts of psychological transformations, evolution and the progress of humankind, while watching my favorite part when Jaws and his bespeckled girlfriend realized that Hugo Drax wouldn't want their kind in his perfect world. Such a perfect world, with no deviations, would probably lead to stagnation.

It is indeed ironic that Drax would have needed the help of someone with physical deviations from the normal to succeed in his plan, but yet how many times has mankind and civilization advanced just because of a deviation from the norm? How much has been revealed to us about the laws of nature and the nature of things through the abnormalities?

I'm sure many sociology experts would agree that society functions because you have a norm and outliers. No advanced organism exsists without a stable support system with specialized members.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

dream snippet

I was dreaming I was studying a book for class and I was marking a
passage that said some like this:

"According to the studies of Joseph Wallace, a frown is a release of
negative energy, just like a smile is a release of positive enegry.
This release is a healthy means of dealing with emotional energy,
which would otherwise be trapped."

While I knew where most of the "text" comes from, I had no clue who
Joseph Wallace was. I doubt he's someone I've read for school, because
when I Googled the name I got X-File references and I've never gotten
into the X-files. I don't even think I've sat through more than 5
minutes of an episode. None of the other entries were anything I would
have read either.

It just seemed weird in the dream that I needed to remember the name.
I guessed it must have been a fusion of persons.

Later I figured it out - at least I think so. It's a combination of Charles
Wallace from A WRINKLE IN TIME and probably Joseph Campbell, whose
book HERO OF A THOUSAND FACES I've been reading recently.

I shared the snippet with my mother in case JW was someone she knew
and she focused on the text, saying she disargeed with it, because she
frowns when she thinks. (She just like to disagree with things
sometimes.) I told her it was a symbolic thing, which made it easier
for me to figure out my Joseph Wallace.

But really, based of several sources I have been studying, exchange
"smile" with "controlled expression of a positive feelings" and
"frown" with "controlled expression of a negative feelings" - and you
have in a nutshell what I have been studying. And to take my mother's
example, usually when she is thinking with a frown on her face, it's
because something isn't making sense. In other words, she is dealing
with confusion, which could be considered a negative energy/emotion.
I've seen her when she's planning something artistic and there isn't a
frown on her face when she's thinking then.

A side note - I'm still having nightmares about my last boss. Not
horrifying ones, just very anxious one.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Cleito of Atlantus Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Having some fun with a dollmaker and Paintshop. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Getting in touch with my inner Centrist

One political selector always calls me a "Centrist". I finally decided to research the term and found that there were actually organizations for people like me.

Centrist Coalition

The Centrist Coalition is a gathering place for moderate Americans who have a certain distinct vision of political leadership in our country.

We believe strong leadership involves a bold mix of views drawn partly from the right and partly the left.

On the one hand, we embrace an economic agenda focused on growth and fiscal responsibility. We believe in free trade, fair competition, and limited government.

On the other hand, we embrace an inclusive social agenda that celebrates the rich diversity of American life, and seeks to avoid imposing one person's choices on another. We are pro-choice and pro-civil rights.

I'm everything, except I'm more pro-life. For me, the choice comes at the time of conception or before it - not afterwards. In those situations, like rape and incest, where the ability to choose has been compromised by another person, then abortion should be allowed.

Centrist Policy Network

The Centrist Policy Network is a non-profit, non-partisan social welfare organization formed under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code. Its goal is to provide timely commentary and legislative resources pertinent to its social welfare mission: improved health care, pension and retirement security, budget discipline, economic well-being, corporate responsibility and performance-based government.


Centrists.Org is a small think tank and communications center for bipartisan policymaking. Centrists.Org provides detailed and practical centrist policy ideas that adhere to basic principles of fairness, cooperation and responsibility. It also serves as a clearinghouse for centrist ideas from outside experts.

Radical Centrism Manifesto

Cute little ditty. From the "about" link:
Radical Centrism grew out of Dr. Ernie’s attempt to apply the intellectual rigor of physics and the spiritual values of his Christian upbringing to the reality of business in Silicon Valley. The resulting synthesis is a creedal statement known as the Ground Rules of Civil Society, which acts as a manifesto for this website. This balanced focus on Reality, Character, Community & Humility forms the basis for a principled critique of existing ideologies as typically emphasizing one aspect at the expense of others (e.g., materialism, conservatism, liberalism, and postmodernism, respectively).

American Centrist Party

It is with great anticipation that I am announcing the formation of a new political party for 21st Century America. It has always been the expectation of the Framers of the Constitution of the United States that there be multiple political parties in competition with each other when deciding the presidency of this great nation. Yes there are multitudes of political parties available for one to join. However, not many of these parties are given serious consideration by Americans, and even fewer make it to the presidential election ballot. Upon contemplation of why this is, I am convinced it is because each political party has at its heart, one or only a few "fringe" or niche issues which keep its membership low, and isolate that membership from the "mainstream" of American politics. There are even political parties whose own purpose is self-defeating, and squanders an otherwise huge potential following. The net result is that, over the decades, only two "major" political parties have kept an iron grip on the jugular vein of American presidential politics. These two parties are of course the Republican and Democratic parties.

Another The Radical Centrist - personal blog.

Let’s All Calm Down
With nothing left to prove, Bush's second-term presidency could be surprisingly centrist.

We can hope.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Term limitations

I was rather shocked to find out that a very good friend of mine thought that all conservatives were for lifting term limitations. I really don't know where this idea that all conservatives think alike comes from, but then I'm more of a moderate and am used to disagreeing with both sides - as well as ignoring the fringe element of both parties.

Anyway, my reasons for why we should not only keep term limitations for the presidency, but also add it to a few other elected positions that don't already have it.

  1. It allows other qualified people to do the job and take care of issues that maybe the previous official was weak in. Everyone has a slightly different focus and skill set. Changing candidates without necessarily changing parties allows us to have a more rounded approach to the needs of our regions. Most parties will stand behind the incumbant no matter what, when there may be someone who would be better for the voters condemned to stay on the sidelines until the another party candidate gets them out of there. Some of these people never get a chance to represent the voters.
  2. It makes crony-ship less likely, since lobbyists will have to reforge relations with the new guy. Also keeps the influence of past favors down a little.
  3. It forces the voters to think more about who they vote for. The "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" sentiment becomes less of an issue.
  4. It gives less of a chance for pet projects to become core projects. Even if one does, it isn't as likely to stay one for decades.
  5. It keeps candidates from creating "legacies".
  6. For the Presidency itself, it's essential for us to save the candidates from themselves. Being president is hard on a person physically - just look how they all aged. (Those who weren't assassinated, that is.) It really is in their best interest that we keep them from endangering their health too much. You may think I'm joking with this one, but I'm really not. No person should serve more than two terms as President for their own good. They should do their allotted time and then spend the years after engaged in other pursuits.
  7. Ex-Presidents and others have a great ability to do more good for the country. They can take what they learned and gained in office and then apply it in ways to help the people that they wouldn't be able to do if they were still in office. Even writing memoirs helps beause it gives us some idea what makes a world leader think and a chance to better evaluate decisions made in office. And there are many charities and organizations that could benefit from the experience of such a person.

Of course, I would never be a career politician, but I do think that a person can learn a great deal by being one and use it to benefits other parts of society, if they chose to. And if it becomes more of an expectation that an expolitician uses they experiences in serving the public publicly to continue to serve the people afterwards, more would be likely to do it - if only to keep their time in office looking good.

What works between parent/child doesn't work between strangers.

Amazing that so many people don't realize that.

When a parent insults a child, it does have a very definite affect and can cause change. Occasionally, it goes the other direction too.

However, insulting someone who doesn't know you and is not emotionally connected to you will only make them less likely to give a damn what you think. And some people like that. They don't expect to change their victim's mind. They're just enjoying themselves. Not a good reason, but it's more honest and aware than those think they can make people change that way.

These others, though, are too infantile to realize this and think that people will change their ways to stop the abuse. And if they don't then that just means they're horrible people. *stomps little baby foot*

Using emotional balckmail is manipulation, people. If others don't succumb to it, it is probably because they know that. Not to say it can't work sometimes, but you have to know your target and show some reason for them to actually let into their emotional world. Otherwise, you're wasting your time throwing rocks at stone walls.

"Let me bully you or you're the bully" is a stupid social platform.

An Australian friend pointed me here.


A series of articles that talk about what lead to the Iraqi War. He says it's very good reading. I'll have to make time between my homework, housework, parenting and income-making activities.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I've never really been that political.

But I have really been bothered by the trend lately to demonize everyone. So it helps me to realize that I'm not the only person looking at all of this and saying, "What the?"

Some suggested reading for my fellow moderates:

Jane's Law - she's right and read the comments too. There is a LOT of good information posted by other people there.

Unabrewer's observation - one that I've come to too.

A summary of the CNN exit poll - Bush took 46% of first-time voters. He took 52% of college graduates. 48% of working women. 44% of those earning less than $50,000. 45% of those aged 18-29. Given these are conventionally supposed to be strongly Democratic demographic groups, it suggests the stereotype of Bush voters as middle-aged white guys is equally suspect. Kind of takes the wind out of the "smarter people voted against Bush". Of course, a lot of the reliance on IQ scores is bogus. There are so many factors that affect IQ scores that it is amazing that any educated person would put any serious faith in them - outside of perhaps predicting the ability to do certain tasks.

What the Democrats need to do - A good guide for more than just the Democrats to appeal to us moderates. Some Republicans need to learn this too.

New Blogs added to my sidebar

Democrat for a Free America

Louisiana Conservative

Semi-Intelligent Thoughts
Read Open Letter to President Bush

Not going onto my sidebar, but a good read and something I agree with:

Open Letter to the Democratic Party

EDIT: After reading ALL the comments, I want to add my observations and since I can't get that screen to come up there, I'll add it here:

1) I found it amusing that the writer was told she would never be a Democrat or wasn't a real Republican. She didn't really claim to be either. Which leads to...

2) One person wrote that she couldn't be a moderate because they don't exist in this day and age. They DO exist. They just DON'T have someone they can vote for. This "you're either for me or against me" is stupid.

3) It doesn't matter if the letter is a hoax or not. It obviously summed up the feelings of many and therefore deserves to be considered.

4) I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh or AirAmerica and yet I felt the sting of what she talked about. The part that got me was when even those liberals I respected even gave into the name calling. The conservatives that I respected did not change on the regard. THAT WAS SCARY! Yes, I still got irrational conservative stuff sent to me too, but it was from people I'm used to getting it from and I deleted most of it unread. It was the change I saw in normally responsible people that started to make me wonder what would happen if Kerry had more power.

5) Voting against someone because you couldn't stand the behavior of the other side isn't any better than voting for someone only because they aren't someone.

6) Neither Kerry nor Bush are the epitome of evil. Deal with it.

7) Feeling abused is not something that can just be shrugged off, not matter how logical you are.

8) I am just as guilty as the next person of being nasty on occasion. While it helps in short term endeavors, it doesn't work in long term ones and it never convinces the person I am arguing with that they are wrong.

I think this next link is more me, because it's just practical. Your candidate can't do much if they aren't elected:
Thoughts for Democrats, Liberals, and other Depressed People

Re: Testing

Weird. Do I have to send another email before what I sent before will
be posted?


Let's see if I can publish via email now.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Adult Intelligence

I'll need to look into this more, because in my last class we did have some required reading that did show that intelligence could be improved in later years through effort. Not just knowledge, but the ability to manipulate it. I do know that physiologically myelination does not stop until about the 70s.

From Papalia, D. E., Olds, S. W., & Feldman, R. D. (2004). "Physical and Cognitive Development in Late Adulthood." Human Development - Ninth Edition (pp. 459). New York: McGraw-Hill.

"Does intelligence diminish in late adulthood? The answer depends on what abilities are being measured, and how. Some abilities, such as speed of mental processes and abstract reasoning *may* decline in later years, but aspects of practical and integrative thinking tends to improve throughout most of adult life (Sternbreg, Grigorenko, & Oh,2001). And although changes in processing abilities may reflect neurological deterioration, there is much individual variation, suggesting that declines in functioning are not inevitable and may be preventable."

"Measuring older adults' intelligence is complicated. A number of physical and and psychological factors may lower their test scores and lead to an underestimation of their intelligence." - as measured by the WAIS. The next few paragraphs explain why the WAIS does not give accurate results for older adults. One of the reasons being a lack of interest and motivation. Others are higher amount of test anxiety, poor vision, high blood pressure, etc.

Apparently many gerontologist are now using the dual-process model of intelligence. They break processes down into crystallized intelligence and fluid intelligence. Fluid Intelligence is the ability to solve novel problems that require little or no previous knowledge. Example: seeing a pattern in asequence of numbers. Crystallized Intelligence is the ability to remember and use information acquired over a lifetime. Example: finding a synonym for a word.

You might say that the first one is intelligence and the second is knowledge, but you would be inaccurate in your definitions. Crystallized intelligence is the ability to use and integrate the knowledge one already has. One can study and add to it, but if they don't know how to use it, it does not raise their crystallized intelligence.

The fluid does decline for most, but the crystallized continues to improve. The Seattle Longitudinal Study does show that some fluid abilities last until late middle age. Unfortunately, I will have to find the study to see which ones, because my text didn't list them.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Found this link in a discussion about those who want to become expatriots:


The whole thing is educational, as well as amusing. But I found this particular passage interesting:

"Should one candidate win, those who opposed the Iraq war might hope to find refuge in France, where a very select few are allowed to “assimilate” each year. Assimilation is reserved for persons of non-French descent who are able to prove that they are more French than American, having mastered the language as well as the philosophy of the French way of life. Each case is determined on its own merit, and decisions are made by the Ministère de l’Emploi, du Travail, et de la Cohésion Social. When your name is published in the Journal Officiel de la République Français, you are officially a citizen, and may thereafter heckle the United States with authentic Gallic zeal."

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

reasons for raising the voting age

I know Kerry supporters of various ages and I think the older ones can handle the loss better. Even those who are very anti-Bush.

The younger ones, though, are looking for something to feel important about - so much of it is just being anti-Bush. However, a lot of them are also trying to break being identified with their parents and want something they can fight against.

But the real reason there will be temper tantrums is because most of these younger ones are at Ericson's Identity vs Identity Confusion development stage and are in the commitment stage of resolving it according to Marcia's identity resolution model. Winning is more to them than just who is President of the country - it's how some of them are measuring their success as individuals.

Add to this the fact that many of them are still at the social concern and conscience stage of morality, while not yet achieving metacognition - which is just a fancy way of saying that they don't recognize when their own actions are not appropriate and hypocritical.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


And even if my candidate loses, it's okay. Because the guy who wins will know that there are some people who didn't agree with him. Our forefathers wanted elections to be a mature process and I, for one, intend to honor that spirit by facing the outcome - whatever that maybe - with dignity and composure. I will not curse people or tell them I hate them or otherwise behavior like a spoiled brat. It does nothing except perhaps shows a lack of maturity.

Voting matters!There was more at stake than just the presidency on my ballot. Education referendums and other issues.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Something from my imagination

Created at http://elouai.com/doll-makers/candybar-doll-maker.php
Rendel Posted by Hello

An idealized me

Seeing if I can post more than one image to an entry Posted by Hello

Apparently, I can't.
Image created at http://elouai.com/doll-makers/candybar-doll-maker.php

New Picture for my Profile Posted by Hello

Due Thursday

I think I went cyclic in my thinking while writing this.

What We Really Miss About the 1950's - a summary

Basically, the 1950's was an island of economic and relative social stability, wedged between the war-torn 1940's and the activist 1960's. After dealing with the decades of uncertainty before it, people needed and wanted a "better way" and set about as a society to create one. Using mass media techniques, the American public was introduced to a new "traditional" family - one superior than the miserable one they were raised in, as penicillin was superior to sulfur powder in the treatment of infection. The solution was the creation of the nuclear family and the suburban lifestyle.

The author does a very good job of describing the instability that existed in the 1940's. Those of us who grew up after 1960 tend to see the 1950's as the era of traditional family values. Though history classes taught us about the Great Depression and WWII, the prevalence of old Hollywood movies and early television shows have also convinced the following generations that this was the way a family was meant to be. Like Spain sending her best warriors to bring Christianity to the New World, Hollywood only showed movies that reinforced the image of the perfect nuclear family. Visually, it is very hard to find examples of real families that existed before then. So effective was this indoctrination by mass media that its vestiges continued on in television shows like The Brady Bunch and The Cosby Show.

But perfection is what people wanted. As the author stated, they didn't want to see their own lives reflected back at them - they wanted an example to follow that would give them an alternative to the family structures of their families of origin. However, the author neglected to add the mind set created from the technological advances made during WWII. People believed that there was a solution to everything and it wasn't in the ways of the past.