April 29, 2009

Special Cup

That's right folks. This guy finally got the gold in special cup for Mario Kart Wii. This marks the first time I've played Wii by myself other than Wii Fit since I got the machine, and while it would have been nice to celebrate with some of the crew - I will take the victory. Daisy unlocked.

April 28, 2009


The "left" is tingling with excitement at Arlen Spector's recent announcement that he would change his party affiliation from R to D. You all know what that means: we can all look forward to one more Democratic asshole parading around in the senate.

As if we needed any more proof that party affiliation is next to meaningless.

I'm Not a Doctor But I Play One On TV

Last month, a study in the journal, Resusitation, found that many medical students and residents were preforming intubations incorrectly because "they had learned the procedure from watching medical dramas."*

The National Post has a good article on the study that's worth checking out.

Brindley PG, Needham C. Positioning prior to endotracheal intubation on a television medical drama: Perhaps life mimics art. Resuscitation. 2009 Mar 16

April 27, 2009

Racism Coverage

Did anyone see any news coverage of the recent Durban Review Conference on Racism? I'm interested because like Bush before him, Obama has decided not to participate in this international effort against "Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance." I haven't been following the news lately so I was hoping to hear from anyone about the coverage or lack thereof.

The Road to the Top

It looks like I'll be starting my own practice again since my latest "job" fell through.

This time, I'm doing it right and doing it right starts with the right business card. Thank God that the internet is there to advise me on such matters.

This video is really more appropriate for Recon's blog so this is going to be one of those rare double posts.

April 22, 2009

Iced Cream

I had a dream last night that I was eating ice cream. But not just ice cream, more like a bucket of ice cream

April 19, 2009

How to Define It

Ok, people, here's your chance to share some of that "lernin" you're always bragging about.

The question of the day is: What is science?

I know that a bunch of you are actually scientists of some sort so you guys get bonus points for participation. I have some ideas of my own but I thought that I'd open up the floor a bit first. I'm not asking for a monograph or research paper just let us all know what you think science is.

And, Recon, I've got dibs on "science is anything with lasers."

(photo, "M.S. Strock measuring radio lengths at the Bureau of Standards," via shorpy)

April 17, 2009

Here I Go Again...

I know that I complain about the media way too much. I know. But this takes the cake.

Yesterday, Obama released some documents from the Bush administrations Office of Legal Council. These documents discussed in frank terms the torture of detainees. Then today, CNN convened a panel to speak to such issues raised by these memos as the legality of past acts of the executive branch and the possibility/desirability of prosecutions of said criminality? And, who did they pick for this panel?

Joan Walsh of Salon.com, Jeffery Tuber (CNN's legal analyst), and G. Gorden Liddy.

Yes, G. Gorden Liddy. The same G. Gorden Liddy who was not merely accused of but convicted of conspiracy, burglary and illegal wire tapping in the Watergate scandal. I guess one way of looking at it is that he's an expert on doing illegal things within the executive branch but come on. And surprise surprise, Liddy ends up arguing that what happened wasn't torture and that no one should investigate or prosecute anyone in the government. CNN probably felt that in order to be "objective" that they would need a a panel member who would be willing to argue that what happened wasn't torture and Liddy was the only guy they could find. I'm not even going to link to this bullshit.

Could I Really Be This Right?

Do any of you out there remember when, a week ago, I made some predictions about which policies are most likely to change under the Obama Administration? Well, I didn't expect instant gratification and frankly I'm not sure what to think about how right I seem to be. If you don't know what I'm talking about, take a look at some headlines from the last few days news:

And I really don't feel comfortable saying this but if you read this blog you literally heard it here first folks*.

Actually, you literally read it here first but you know what I mean.

April 16, 2009

How Liberal is my Media

So, we've had almost no coverage of the many often massive antiwar protests over the last six years and yet now some nonsense about tea parties is getting tons of airtime with FOX practically sponsoring the events.

And still, I can't see much more than a few hundred people at any of the b-roll footage. I've been to bigger protests to keep the Friends spin off Joey on the air. Maybe, the real lesson could be that every good protest should be a double entendre.

Here's my quote of the day from one such tea party: "Government -- to be honest with you, and this will probably be misquoted, but on 9/11, I think they hit the wrong building. They should have gone into the Capitol building, hit out, knocked out both sides of the aisle, we'd start from scratch, we'd be better off today."

(quote from salon.com article by Mike Madden)

April 14, 2009

Some Questions on Banking

Having now moved to DC, I have been forced to switch banks since my old bank is a Michigan bank and only has branches in Michigan. Does that strike anyone else as strange? I've lived in five different states and every time had to have a different bank. There are probably at least five fast food chains with restaurants in every state in the union but most banks limit there branches to something like a 300 square mile radius. Sears, the retailer that sells tractors and other gianormous objects has no problem shipping their wares all over the country yet most banks can't manage to ship their digital ones and zeros to the next state over.

The other thing is that my new banks is constantly confusing me with their "product" talk. For example, I went into the bank yesterday and wanted to make some adjustments to my "free" checking account so that it would actually be free. After a few minutes, the teller totally confused me by asking me "what product are you in?." So, apparently, a checking account is a product. When did this happen? Is banking a product or a service?

April 13, 2009

Clarence Thomas

The NYTimes has a nice piece that looks inside the mind of Unbeatable's favorite Supreme Court Justice. As the article mentions, this type of "informal" interview is rare for Thomas.

I have to say, that when I reminisce about childhood memories, I typically start with the joyous act of saying the pledge of allegiance in unison. Just imagine having that thought process for one day.

April 10, 2009

Predictions: Obama Administration

Heard it here first folks!

The two policies that I feel are most likely to actually change in the Obama administration:

1. Drug policy - I think the US is really ready to look at how are current drug policies are harming our criminal justice, immigration and pubic health systems not to mention the racial and class hypocrisies it embodies.
2. Relations with Cuba - I mean come on already, the Soviet Union ended in 1991 and even Castro isn't exactly what he used to be.

Guns in the holsters.

April 6, 2009

The Devil is in the Dream Tales

I'm not really sure what I dreamed about last night but I know that it included the devil, a creature with probiscii for arms and when I woke up in the middle of the night I felt compelled to make sure the doors were locked.

(image via wallpapers)

The War Isn't Over

Two years ago the Bush administration choose to increase the number of combat and noncombat troops in Iraq in a so called "surge." The administration was adamant that this was a temporary surge and vehemently denied that it was an escalation. For all the talk about drawing down in Iraq, Obama still hasn't reduced the number of troops below presurge levels. We still have more troops in Iraq than we did in 2006. Does that sound like a withdrawal?

April 3, 2009

The Average Man Knows Race

One of the most annoying things about race in America is that it takes complex notions of culture, nation, and identity and tries to map them onto the mind-numbingly simple binary of black and white. Or more accurately, white and non-white.

The justices never said what whiteness was, only what it wasn't. These days, the term minority has come to be a more inclusive version of blackness and the levels of racism are far less intense than ever before but much of the same racial dynamics still apply. For example, consider that there is now PC term for whiteness that corresponds with minority. In theory, the term should be "majorities", but have you ever heard of anyone refer to someone as a majority or majorities? Minority status and what it means to be a minority in the US is a topic that people spend a lot of time trying to describe and understand but "whiteness" doesn't even have a similar term and is a fitting topic only for race conscious comedians.

Like in the Ozawa case and the Thind case, does America construct a common notion of race by defining what whiteness is not and not what it is? Although far from universally accepted among all American subcultures, my gut tells me that in the mainstream there can be no common definition of what whiteness is because to a large degree to be white is to be human. Whiteness is meaningless* because a white person is just a normal human or a member of what could be called the normative race while are normal humans plus their racial identity.

I would call this an assimilation based definition of race because at it's heart it constructs the idea of race as a measure of assimilation into mainstream American culture. Whiteness means full assimilation and normative status. Minority status means having an additional non-assimilated identity. There is the sense that if you're white you would have to add on blackness or asianness to become more black or asian but if you're black or asian you would need to remove your blackness or asianness to become more white.

It is important to note that unlike in the past this additional status is no longer viewed in solely negative terms and is even described as desirable.** We've certainly come a long way since the days of the California Alien Land Law (which by the way wasn't struck down until 1952 in Sei Fuji v. State of California). But on the other hand, I do have a problem with this view of race as favor or race as bonus identity because it ends up trivializing*** the severe racial biases in current society and tends to overlook the extremely dark history of American race relations. These biases are so easy to find in the US legal system, the health care system, the education system, the political system, and the economic system that they pop up with even a cursory analysis.


The blog Stuff White People Do is an outstanding blog that takes a deep look at whiteness and what it means in the context of non-white identity. Highly recommended.

*Here is a great example of a meaningless description of whitness.
**For an example of a blog absolutely dripping with the notion that minority status can become desirable check out this blog.
***It doesn't get much more trivial than this.