Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Atheist Blogroll

I mentioned the Atheist Blogroll in a previous post, I have finally gotten around to applying.

You can check out the scrolling marquis with lots of awesome blogs written by atheists and agnostics in the side bar.

It is managed by Mojoey at Deep Thoughts, which is also worth a look.

Monday, June 15, 2009


A great op-ed in the New York Times about the Right's silent (and sometimes not so silent) enabling of hatred, violence, and even terrorism.

It makes me pretty disgusted when I hear all the sensationalist and ridiculous lies that some on the Right are spreading. They are appealing to a very low and hate-filled segment of our population and I think that hate-mongers like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh should be accountable for violent acts like the murder of Dr. Tiller and the security guard at the Holocaust museum.

The fact that at a GOP fundraiser, Jon Voigt could say his wish was to "bring an end to this false prophet Obama" and then be praised for it by those present, is sick and frightening to me.

Vaccine Debate

Was reading Mojoey's Deep Thoughts blog and he introduced a new blog on the Atheist Blogroll (which I am meaning to join...any day now) called Ziztur.

Started by reading an entry about the vaccine debate and I really enjoyed it, so I will be following this blog in the future.

I liked a few points that were made about the silliness of the argument that pharamaceutical companies are profiting off of poisonous vaccines or by suppressing homeopathic remedies that work.

It was suggested that treating the illnesses would probably be more profitable for the pharamaceutical companies than selling vaccines for them. And that pharmaceutical companies could easily enter the homeopathy market and drive out the smaller companies, who, by the way, aren't necessarily struggling in their industry and are also making huge profits. Just as they claim that pharmaceutical companies have something to gain from driving them out, they also stand to profit from giving pharmaceutical companies a bad reputation.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Speak American

Found this very interesting list of correct American pronunciations.

Ashamed to say that I pronounce the following words incorrectly:

  • grocery (I say GROH-shuh-ree)
  • irony (I say EYE-ur-nee)
  • medieval (I say mid-EE-vul)
  • often (I pronounce the t)
  • parental (I say PAR-en-tul)
  • semi (I say SEM-eye)
  • spontaneity (I say SPAHN-tuh-NAY-i-tee)

They also have some interesting quizzes about regional American accents at that site.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

$125,000-a-Year Teachers

I read an interesting article in the New York Times about an experimental charter school being set up where they have hired eight exceptional teachers and will pay them $125,000 a year.

The school is looking to prove the theory that excellent teachers are what make the difference in education, not class size or revolutionary technology.

I am interested to see how this turns out. It's a shame that one of the most important jobs in our society is also one of the most under-valued.

Friday, June 5, 2009

More Sex, Please

This is an insert from Der Spiegel, which is one of Europe's largest weekly magazines with a circulation of more than one million per week.

It says "More Sex please! The movies have lost their lust."

I thought it was very amusing since you would never hear that in the U.S.

Instead there are people complaining about how much sex there is in the entertainment industry and how we're all going to hell and it's a sure sign of the coming apocalypse, and yada yada.

I have to admit that my childhood in the U.S. has had a big effect on me. While I don't consider myself a prude, I still feel a bit uncomfortable during sex scenes in films, don't feel comfortable with people who wear their sexuality on their sleeves, and I don't enjoy seeing nude women on the back of every newspaper in Germany or on calendars in the supermarket.

I guess my biggest beef is when the nudity is objectifying women or portraying unrealistic beauty. I think this gives both sexes unhealthy ideas about women.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Whenever a woman is in a bad mood, is upset, is argumentative, is emotional in any way, inevitably someone will make a crack about how she must be menstruating or PMSing or whatever.

This is really frustrating and incredibly sexist. If I am rightfully angry about something this is used to completely invalidate my feelings and to shut me up.

So it is even more frustrating when a fellow woman says this to me. Stop perpetuating this nonsense! When I am angry, it is usually because someone has angered me, not because of my monthly cycle!

So try not to belittle the women in your life by telling them their feelings are just irrational hormones, because it is quite offensive.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Same-Sex Immigration Rights

This fall I am returning to the U.S. with my German husband where he will apply for a spouse visa to stay permanently.

If we were the same gender, this wouldn't even be an option.

An estimated 36,000 bi-national couples face the same dilemma each year, according to an advocacy group, Immigration Equality.

The issue will be discussed in Congress on Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, after 10 previous attempts to have hearings on the Uniting American Families Act.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council which opposes same sex marriage, has condemned the bill as "yet another attack on marriage at the expense of U.S. taxpayers."

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from couples facing deportation and split because of the law.

Nineteen other countries, including much of western Europe and Canada, Brazil and Australia among others, allow nationals to sponsor same-sex partners for citizenship.

An attack on marriage? I will never understand how these people think a gay couple's marriage will affect their own. It does not affect mine whatsoever.

What this is, is an attack on freedom and on love.

Recently I have begun to see the possible benefits of having government not recognize marriage, but only civil partnerships, and to let marriage be only a religious rite.

But I am sure the same people will also find some reason to be against this because it is simply about their hate, not because their marriages are at risk.


When I think of it, I'll be trying to use to do all my searching instead of Google.

It's supposed to be better at helping you find the kind of site you want.

We'll see about that!

Still waiting for Sims3, which wont arrive until next week. I need a break from my usual routine.

Might try to catch Obama while he is sightseeing in Dresden this Thursday.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I began wondering if soft drinks vary from country to country. And I'm not just talking about brands, but about the taste.

Does a coke in the U.S. taste the same as a coke in Germany?

Well, if you ask me, the answer is no.

I looked around on the internet and found that the variables in the equation are water and sweetener. So a soft drink can even taste differently in different regions, not just countries.

I found this interesting article about how people are smuggling cokes back from Mexico because they contain cane sugar instead of corn syrup like in the U.S.

Apparently the Coke in the U.S. used to also contain cane sugar, but they switched to corn syrup because of the costs. Now they are concerned that people are buying the product from Mexico, and that people are demanding a more expensive ingredient but are probably unwilling to pay the difference in cost.

Sorry, I was a business major, so I find case studies like this very interesting. Coke is now trying to tell people that there is no perceivable difference in taste.

But I don't agree. I have trouble telling the difference between Coke and Pepsi sometimes, but I can definitely tell there is something different about the coke in Germany. It is too sweet and not carbonated enough for my tastes. They also rarely have them in cans here, but that's probably because Germany is more environmentally conscious. I'm looking forward to a coke when I get back home, one that fizzes in my nose and burns my throat when it goes down. Sounds appealing, no?

Oh and by the way, I was using the term coke very generally (unless capitalized) . I am a Pepsi drinker.


I am absolutely disgusted by the bigotry being displayed here by the criticism of Sotomayor.

We should be embarassed of this.

Are we actually using this woman's race and gender to insult her? Are we really going to insinuate that she is stupid when she is obviously educated? Would we ever do this to a white man?

Oh how I wish we could just judge her based on her record.

Now Buchanan is mocking Sotomayor for learning how to speak English from elementary grammar books and children's stories.

I'd like to know what fracking foreign languages Buchanan can speak and if learned them some other way. What an idiot.

Value of Life

I've been thinking some more about the murder of Dr. Tiller.

I often try to empathize with the other side of an argument. To try to understand why they would feel that way. But I'm having a hard time in this case.

I understand that they think abortion is murder.

What I don't understand is them thinking that a fetus' life is more important than the humans who are dying and suffering every day.

There are policy makers who send soldiers to war and every day they kill human beings.

These human beings have a sense of self, they have a personality, they have memories, they have friends and family.

A fetus, in my opinion, does not have these things.

I have heard the argument that unborn babies are innocent and that human beings are not. But I don't buy this argument. Are the children who die because of war and starvation and abuse every day not innocent as well?

And since I am familiar with Christianity, I know that they often times view this life as painful and miserable, and just a waiting room of sorts to get to the afterlife.

So I also have trouble understanding why they think it is so bad that a fetus has been deprived of a life if they believe it is going straight to heaven.

Your thoughts are welcome.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dr. Tiller

Reading this, I was pretty disgusted with whoever thought they had the right to take the law into their own hands and execute this man. Disgusted with whoever is now proud of what they have done and thinks their god is also proud of them.