Nature satisfied irony and made the marketing bs true in Binghamton yesterday. The Susquehanna river rose 34 feet over flood stage as watersheds throughout the mid-Atlantic states flooded from record rainfall. The floods forced people from their homes and inspiring armchair pundit comparisons to Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. Here's coverage from the local Gannett affiliate. So far this flooding is much more localized than what New Orleans faced, although there have been 14 deaths reported (most from storm-related accidents). Let's hope that the government learned something last year, so it can provide more effective aid to this much smaller scale disaster.
Personally, I've always imagined a modern Jesus as a transgendered sex worker single teen mother. Guantanamo prisoner Jesus does have a certain topical appeal that's hard to deny:
Jesus: The Guantanamo Years shows Jesus returning to earth but finding himself in Guantanamo. Jesus is a bearded Middle Eastern man who when questioned on the purpose of his visit replies that he is "on a mission from God " which involved "dying as a religious martyr".
Although it may cause the Bush administration severe embarrassment, Jesus plans to speak about his experiences at Guantanamo Bay. In Abie Philbin Bowman's cleverly written one-man show, he parallels Jesus as the preacher and the comedian.
Well it's about time. DaimlerChrysler has announced it will bring the fabulous Smart to the U.S. Apparently that dollar-a-gallon price increase everyone's been going on and on about (everyone who doesn't smugly commute via public transportation that is) has finally convinced the man to bring us the most stylish car in Europe. When it arrives, the Smart will out MPG even the best of the current Hybrids at 60 mpg, while avoiding nasty battery question mark. You can expect to see them fill up the streets of Brooklyn faster than the Fit has, but I'll hold out for this most awesome A-Team Smart in the photo above.
Hybrid UPS Truck [Auto Insider] with unexplained scifi water drive Isolation A Feature of Sprawl [TBO News] Wal-Mart Voters Turning On Their Own Bush [Yahoo] Canada Tights Mad-Cow-Fighting Feed Restrictions [Bloomberg] Bush Takes A YEAR To Say Contraception's A-Ok [Ms] Abstinence "Education" Really Just Sexist Social Programing [Alternet] Police Call Defaced Gay Cars A Hate Crime [WHO TV] Woman Gets Grilled Cheese Mary Tattooed on Her Boob [Local10] Xtians Don't Want Gay Pride in Jerusalem [Jerusalem Post]
The origin of my sexuality has never really kept me up at night, but I think it bothered the parents quite a bit when I came out. Great news folks: a recent study written up in the LA Times says it's not your "fault" [sic] after all:
Having one or more older brothers boosts the likelihood of a boy growing up to be gay — an effect due not to social factors, but biological events that occur in their mother's womb, according to a study published today.
In an analysis of 905 men and their siblings, Canadian psychologist Anthony Bogaert found no evidence that social interactions among family members played a role in determining whether a man was gay or straight.
The only significant factor was the number of times a mother had previously given birth to boys, according to the report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The so-called fraternal birth order effect is small: Each older brother increases the chances by 33%. Assuming the base rate of homosexuality among men is 2%, it would take 11 older brothers to give the next son about a 50-50 chance of being gay.
I have three older brothers, but I'm bad at math, so that leaves me at about an "eh, probably gayer than the rest" chance of gayness, but at least I fit the model.
HUMAN EVENTS ONLINE isn't exactly a trusty source of news, inappropriate caps or no. But there are a few issues where the far right and the far left circle back to overlap each other. Free trade is one. The right hates Mexy-chuns, so they're opposed to the freer boarders and sending "our" jobs down south - basically anything that helps other, poorer people. On the left we're onto the scam that is outsourcing - which allows U.S. retailers to avoid labor laws (including kids and sweatshops) buy "outsourcing" their labor to other countries that don't care so much about protecting their citizens. So that allows Human Events to write up the "NASCO" superhighway in a tone that scares me just as much as any righty:
Quietly but systematically, the Bush Administration is advancing the
plan to build a huge NAFTA Super Highway, four football-fields-wide,
through the heart of the U.S. along Interstate 35, from the Mexican
border at Laredo, Tex., to the Canadian border north of Duluth, Minn.
Eeek - four football-fields-wide? Who wants that in their backyard? There's already a question of allowing Mexican trucks into the U.S. because of their - ahem, relaxed - safety and emission standards. Aside from enriching corporations (who could avoid U.S. longshoreman unions and port charges and security) and ahhh, Texas, what's the benefit to Americans? 5% cheaper prices at Wal-Mart? American citizens have seen very little concrete benefit from NAFTA, but we can see the very real costs that have been paid - especially in manufacturing jobs, which are pretty much drying up.
Yet corporations (who are setting record profits, merging into smaller and smaller monopolistic baddies and generally subverting most legislative efforts at regulation) keep feeding us the same whine about their perceived need to keep "competitive." At what point does a company become "competitive" enough? After it's achieved a Microsoft monopoly? What's wrong with competition? I thought that was a hype-tastic part of the free market? How free can a market be when the deck is stacked like this? And who fucking wants a 400-yard expressway built anywhere?