Thursday, April 30, 2009

Making fun of muscles

Damn, this annoys me.

In a review in Slate of the movie Wolverine, Dana Stevens smirks as follows: "The first time Jackman appeared shirtless, about 15 minutes into the movie, his absurdly pneumatic chest garnered one of the few laughs at the screening that I attended."

Pneumatic: "Having a well-proportioned feminine figure; especially: having a full bust."

That's the first part of the standard sneer at muscles - implying that they're somehow feminine, not really masculine at all.

The second part is the implication that a muscular male physique is inherently laughable and contemptible. Among a certain subset of the American population, this is a commonplace. For those people, the presence muscles is assumed to prove the absence of brains.

Jackman's developed chest is not absurd. First, it fits with the cartoon character he's playing. Second, to those of us who lift weights, it denotes the hours of hard work the actor underwent and his admirable self-discipline. What's absurd is Dana Stevens and her ilk. Perhaps she needs to spend a few hours in the gym.

Intelligent Design Sort

It's enough to make a theist out of you!

Orson Scott Card goes even further

around the bend.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Atheist art

Of the in-your-face variety, which I think the world needs more of:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Update on pregnant woman hit by car while running from bear

Mother and child are fine. She says that, in honor of the euthanized bear, she's going to give her kid the middle name Bear.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Another Chance at Life: A Breast Cancer Survivor's Journey

Leonore's book is now available online.

At Barnes & Noble, both the hardcover and trade paperback have shown up.

At Amazon, so far only the trade paperback is listed.

Oh, God, I love Belgian blondes!

I'm talking about beers.

My First Dictionary

It's an extremely clever and funny blog.

Friday, April 24, 2009

David's Definitions for June 2007


(Will appear in the June 2009 issue of Community News)

Something that indicates a trend or leads the way. For example, in an election, people pay attention to certain states that they feel indicate how the country as a whole will go. Those states are bellwethers for the election. You'll sometimes see this word misspelled bellweather. Perhaps some people think that it has to do with a bell that warns of bad weather. Nope. In old English usage, a castrated ram was called a wether. English farmers would put a bell around the neck of a wether and let it lead a flock of sheep. That way, a farmer could find his sheep by following the sound of the bell on the neck of the bellwether. I suppose no farmer in his right mind would try to put a bell around the neck of an uncastrated ram.

I'm collecting all of these at:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pregnant woman running from bear hit by car

Really. It's an actual story in today's Denver Post.

And it was a hit and run, to boot.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

We may be able to breed with aliens!

That's one implication of this article, anyway.

Woo hoo! Let's get working on that warp drive/hyperdrive/makeupanameforit right away, you scientist guys!

Of course, we'll have to be able to fit together properly. That could be difficult. Then there's the likely difference in body chemistry. Oh, quibble, quibble, quibble.

Wedding anniversary

It's my 41st wedding anniversary today. That number doesn't seem quite real.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Brother-in-law has died

In a previous post, I said that a brother-in-law was diagnosed with metastasized lung cancer. He died today, many months short of the time he was estimated to have left. It was his heart that did it.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

They're not fallen heroes. They're dead soldiers.

Local and national news always refers to the American military dead in Iraq, and now Afghanistan, as fallen heroes. (Other nations' military dead and civilian dead aren't referred to at all. They don't count.)

This imbues the dead, and hence the illegal military invasion and occupation, with a somber and sacred nature. It also eliminates the distinction between those who actually died heroically and those who died in accidents or by their own hands (an increasing number, apparently) or because they were sitting ducks.

No, a few are heroes, but most are not. They're victims of an American government gone mad, just like the million Iraqi dead and the millions displaced. And they aren't fallen. They're dead.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Offense-O-Meter

This is a product the world needs.

For decades - since childhood, I think - I've had some sort of chronic sinus problem. Certain things make it flare up, such as a head cold or chili peppers. When it flares up enough, the result is bad breath that could kill a fly at 50 paces. (Which is not even a useful skill in Denver, where we have few flies. Although it does suggest an idea for an offbeat superhero comic.)

Before I got hearing aids, I used to speak too loudly, a common problem with the hard of hearing. Or sometimes too softly, because I feared I was speaking too loudly.

In both these cases, part of the problem is that I can't detect the nastiness myself, so I'm constantly worried that I'm offending other people. What I need, therefore, is an inconspicuous gadget that would warn me. For example, it might be something that would fit on my glasses and flash a signal onto the lenses. Color coded, maybe. A red blink for bad breath and an orange one for speaking too loudly. Something like that.

Other people might need to be warned if their body odor is offensive. The gadget would have to be personalized.

The Offense-O-Meter. I'd pay for something like that.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Apollo 11 anniversary official moon dust simulant pen!

I just an e-mail from the group I used to work for at NASA concerning a party to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11. (I won't be attending. Houston is a tad to far to go.)

Included was the URL for a site where I can buy a commemorative pen containing official moon dust "simulant"!

Whee doggies! All right! Copacetic!

Actually, I think I have some of that stuff in my back yard.

Added: Here's the site, where you can see the pen, watch video of Kennedy calling for the moon program, and see a clever Photoshop of an astronaut in space holding the pen up for view.