Monday, November 15, 2010

Illegal drugs and immigrants in the same post!

So, Arizona has approved "medicinal marijuana use" (15th state, along with DC, that allows such), and its tourism industry has suddenly seen quite a spike of activity. From the article,

"Sadly, patients in 35 states still have no legal protection if marijuana is the medicine that works best for them," Kampia said in a statement. "We will continue working in the years ahead to ensure that others are awarded the respect and compassionate care that seriously ill patients in Arizona will now enjoy, thanks to this law."

I guess, if your sickness is addiction to marijuana, and the obvious "medicine that works best" is marijuana itself, you're in luck! (You can find the remainder of the states in which marijuana is an approved medical treatment listed in the article.) I also found interesting this bit: "Patients who live more than 25 miles from a dispensary can grow their own marijuana." Quite the defense, huh? Cop: "Why do you have 30 acres of marijuana growing in your back yard?" Drug lord: "Oh, it's for my own, personal, medical use."

In other law-related news, California (Arizona's apparent antagonist in all things illegal-immigrant pertaining) has had its supreme court rule that illegal immigrants can pay in-state tuition. As long as the immigrant has, apparently, filed for legal status, they don't have to legally be a resident of California (or the USA even) to pay in-state tuition. Arizonians wanting to attend USC? Out-of-state rate for you, my fellow American.

Maybe I'll just move to Germany or Italy or Japan... nice cars in the first two, and nice food in the last. Better yet... when are we going to start colonizing Mars? Count me a volunteer!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse...

If you've thought reality television has nowhere else to go, nowhere any lower, anyway, check out  Bridalplasty - where potential brides are competing - in bridal sorts of competitions, like dress picking - for complementary plastic surgery of various kinds. First, how stupid can we get, people? Second, can't we get away from all of this "make yourself more awesome by surgery" junk? Seriously... there are times and places for plastic surgery, typically related to injuries, but I'd wager that the majority of people undergoing these surgeries don't really need the "fix" - they probably looked at least as good before (if not better), and definitely natural trumps artificial in my mind. Too much advertising and peer pressure goes into selling the lie that girls (or even guys these days) are flawed and need help to look better, or even acceptable. And now we have a tv show devoted to exactly that.

Totally unrelatedly, a train killed 20 cows the other day ( article ). Now, is that headline-worthy news or what?

And, as this is Veteran's day, thanks to all of you who've served our country in its military, defending our freedom and way of life.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Twinkie diet?

What can you say about this? Some professor goes on a diet of a variety of snack foods: twinkies, little debbies, etc. - one of these every three hours instead of meals. (Also he was taking in a serving of veggies - 3-4 celery stalks or a can of green beans - and a protein shake and a multi-vitamin.) Over 2 months, he lost 27 pounds - and, interestingly enough, his bad cholesterol levels dropped and good cholesterol levels increased. I think I may have to give this diet a go. :) (Read the article; he does not recommend or endorse the diet, but he also doesn't say it's bad - simply that there's not enough evidence to support a conclusion in either direction at this point.)

Unrelatedly, here's a good reason to call an ambulance rather than trying to get your loved one to the hospital yourself: you might end up in jail.

Now I'm going to post this since it may look like I'm copying a friend of mine (@jejily), when in actuality I saw this article independently. Later, all...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Alliterative Asking

Just wanting some opinions: Is it possible as a practicing parent to undo unintentional implicit condonement of potentially perilous or halfway hazardous behaviors without seeming hypothetically hypocritical? Any thoughts on this poorly worded subject?

(In other words, if past actions or omissions might have led to certain behavioral conclusions in your children, reinforced by repetiton or lack of correction, is there any benefit to an abrupt "policy shift" or are there other ways that would be better suited to remove bad or introduce missing good to their teenage minds that might actually work?)

And, yes, I know that there is potential for my or other children to read this note, hence vagueness. :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

iPhone - smartphone? maybe not...

According to this report (from CNN), if you depend on your iPhone for your alarm clock to get up and go to work on Monday mornings, you should set a special alarm (non-repeating, as the issue apparently only occurs with repeating alarms) for this coming Monday, and then delete and re-add your recurring alarm, as the iPhone apparently isn't smart enough to keep up with time change. Already in Europe and Australia this has been cause for some to be late to work. (Personally, I think we should just rid ourselves of this silly DST thing anyway... it's not really that valuable any more now that we have artificial light sources.)

I really liked this line in the article, though: "If nothing else, we think the amount of interest in this glitch shows how fully dependent people have become on their smartphones.". They (CNN) even have an article about how dependent we have become on our technology.

As for me, I just want a G2 and for T-Mobile to get their high-speed mobile network into south Alabama. (The G2 isn't as slippery in the hands as my MyTouch 3G Slide, has a better processor, much more memory, and a better screen, as well as running the more recent and significantly more feature rich Android 2.2 vs. the 2.1 in my MyTouch.) Too bad I'm not eligible for an upgrade yet.

Bad Toyota, Bad!

I'm not talking about brakes or throttles (or even fuel pumps, as per a portion of their recent recall). I'm talking about advertising. Besides a really haughty, terrible-acting, jerk of a kid (sorry, family of the bad child actor, just calling it as I see it), the recent commercial series about the Highlander is, well, very insensitive, and just plain wrong.

First, minivans are not geeky or lame. In fact, in general, minivans are significantly more practical than most SUVs.  The cargo capacity is usually superior, passenger capacity is often superior, if not in number, at least in comfort, access, and cargo behind the passenger space (and, let's face it, who can beat the 84.5 cupholders that most modern vans have?!), not to mention the flexibility afforded by stow and go type seating (yeah, I know that is trademarked by Chrysler, but I think it's soon becoming a generic term in the vein of, say, kleenex).

And, second Toyota themselves make one of the most "non-geeky" (i.e., sporty) minivans on the market right now.

But, third, this type of commercial may give kids a complex about the (practical) mode of transportation chosen by their parents. Also, what about the parents whose only transportation happens to be that mid-80s Chrysler minivan "featured" in the commercial as "ultra geeky and lame" (quote from the commercial: "we're the geek family") that they can't afford to replace because dad's been looking for a job for the last year and a half? And what about the boy hiding in a recent version of that commercial?

Come on, Toyota, find a better way to advertise your Highlander. There's no reason to start trying to sway sales by influencing the kindergarten and elementary school children, making them feel bad about something that's 1) untrue; 2) not anything under their control.  And, worse, you're potentially promoting bullying and ridiculing those whose parents are more practical (and who may even be driving a Toyota product in the minivan category).

Bad Toyota, Bad!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Death by caffeine

I think I've blogged about this before, but check out - if you're sensitive about your weight, be sure to visit in private since you'll need to put your weight into the blank to see the results. Why is this important? Because people tend to underestimate the potent effects of caffeine. Such as this guy who washed down two teaspoonfuls of caffeine with an energy drink on a one-way trip to the local morgue.  The real hidden danger is the fact that caffeine is becoming so readily available in large, sometimes deceptively hidden amounts.

For example, consider  5150 Semi Sweet, a "concentrate" that is intended to be added to other drinks. According to the death by caffeine web site, if my 13-year-old son downed 6 of these four-ounce bottles (that is, a 24-ounce total, which is not even the largest cup from your local convenience store), he would suffer the same fate as the guy mentioned above. I'm not sure of the cost of the 5150, but I could easily see this as either a prank or a dare gone horribly wrong. Oh, and the cost of the caffeine powder the guy mentioned above took? About $5.26. Death comes cheap, it seems.

Anyway, the point is this: be wary of the dangers of caffeine, and especially make sure your kids (if you have any) are aware of them, too. Better to be considered a wimp than to submit to the pressure of a dare only to end up an example of how stupid it was to do so.