Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Corrupting the minds of our young

A friend recently posted a message to my blog “… BUT for your own sanity, I think you ought to get some rest and live and let live a little lest you too become a little neurotic yourself.” I appreciate his sentiment; after all, I have been poking fun at Nutball Christians quite a bit lately. Perhaps I should move on to other subjects for a while. Of course, that line of thought fades just as soon as I catch up on my news reading…

Doug Cowen, a high school biology teacher, wrote an oped piece for the Christian Science Monitor titled Teaching students to be 'competent jurors' on evolution I nearly gagged. Here is another Nutball Christian Fundie the introducing Intelligent Design concepts into our public schools; and he has the gall to boast about it. Should I live and let live as my friend suggests? Hell no!

Cowen writes:

Scientific theories have come and gone for centuries, replaced by better ones as new evidence arises. There has always been controversy in science and tremendous opposition to those who challenge the orthodoxy of the day.
This is called “teach the controversy”. Instead of teaching evolutionary theory, Cowen teaches the Intelligent Design party line which serves to introduce Christian creationist world views under the guise of science.
When I note that contrary to their large and monolithic biology textbook, some highly credentialed scientists insist that there are limitations to Darwin's theory, the students perk up.
This introduces the work of Intelligent Design operatives who are also men of science. The problem is, these ID Scientists and not pushing peer reviewed scientific theories, they are pushing the position of their religion which is masquerading as science. Our children or misled into thinking this is real science, when it is really a sham.
Skepticism for its own sake isn't the goal here, but it's important for students to realize that even respected scientists have peddled fraudulent evidence in defense of a pet scientific dogma.
Again, Cowen goes for teach the controversy. His position is that scientists have a position to protect and will do so even if it means telling a lie. Is this Science Mr. Cowen? It smells like pseudoscientific dogma to me.
The job of the scientist, I explain, is to find the best explanation to a problem, not just to defend his or her own position at all costs.
I thought a scientist was a person who uses observation, experimentation and theory to learn about a subject. A scientist rarely definitively answers a question; instead they contribute to a rich fabric of facts and observation in an effort to find answers. Teaching our children that scientist spend their time defending there precious theories is a gross mischaracterization.
One such student told me she appreciated my neutral approach. Her reason was simple: hearing the evidence for and against the theory gave her the freedom to weigh the evidences for herself.
There is no argument against Evolution, this is just plain stupid. Cowen is teaching his students something very damaging here, that a theory can be discredited simply by believing in something else, like Intelligent Design. This is irresponsible at best. Evolution can stand on its own merit. Legions of scientist around the world work every day to test and adjust Evolution. They work ceaselessly to add to our understanding of this complex model; Evolution is the only theory we have. Intelligent Design is simply discredited creationism, without the religious component, rehashed for release today. No scientists has tested Intelligent Design as scientific theory because it is not falsifiable, put simply. ID is not science.

Shame on you Doug Cowen, your smarmy "smarter than thou" editorial is proof of your questionable character. Are you proud that you lie to your students by teaching beyond the bounds of your mandate? Teaching Intelligent Design without calling it Intelligent Design is dishonest. Violating objectivity principles by telling students your personal religious views after teaching them about Intelligent Design is dishonest. How do you sleep at night? Oh wait, its God’s work – right? That must excuse everything, even deceit. Silly me.

Why do I keep posting on these nutballs? People like Doug Cowen scare the crap out of me. Their BS needs to be confronted, even if it is only on a personal rant on my blog.


20K blog visits as of this morning!

My blog hit a major milestone this morning, 20,000 visitors. Deep Thoughts has been up for just over a year now. The blog had its birthday earlier in the month. It gets about 135 visits a day, mostly from image search engines. Visitors leave about 30 comments and 10 emails per week. Most of the comments are up beat; however, the vast majority of emails are not. Most emails are hate mail. Things have cooled off a bit lately; I used to get mostly hate mail, now it’s mostly prayer mail. Then again, I stopped posting on Islam and turned my attention to nutball religions about six months ago.

The 20,000 visitor stopped by at 9:13 PST. I don’t think they stayed very long.

Monday, May 30, 2005

A book for the bonfire

Hatemongering homophobe Janet Folger’s new book The Criminalization of Christianity , should go straight to the bonfire. By all critical accounts, her book continues with the theme that America should be a theocracy, homosexuals are mentally ill (and fixable), and that Christianity itself is under attack. Of course, with Bush and the fundies in power, nothing could be further from the truth. I will not read it. I may buy a copy to burn, but I will not read it.

Her book jacket reads:

Right now, people in powerful places want nothing less than to eradicate Christian faith from American society.

At first the attacks were subtle. The Supreme Court ruled that children can't pray in school. The Ten Commandments were removed from our classrooms and, later, our courtrooms. Now pastors are being imprisoned for speaking out against homosexuality from their own pulpits, people in New York are fired from their jobs, and kids in California are suspended from school. Their "crimes"? Nothing more than exercising their religious freedoms.

How in the world did we get to this place in a "free" and civilized society? And how far will it go?

While you have the right to remain silent and watch as Christianity becomes criminalized in America, it's not what God would have you do.

If it sounds kind of "out there" it is because it is.

Her first point, prayer in school and the Ten Commandments - she misses that America is in fact secular by design. Religion is a private matter and not to be infused in our public institutions.

Her second point, pastors being imprisoned - well perhaps they should not degrade themselves and Christianity by preaching hate speech in a public forum in violation of federal and state laws.

Her third and fourth points - well again, if you break the law...

Folger has a long history of extremist beliefs and out of the mainstream positions. Yet, she has access to people in power so that makes her dangerous.

I am adding Janet Folger and her faith2action organization to my nutball list. I know Pastor Brad will object, but what the hell. There will be more to come on this I am sure.


Sunday, May 29, 2005

Sunday is for music and reading

Today is a music day of sorts. I picked up the new Audioslave CD, Out of Exile. I'm listening to it now. My first impressions are that it is not as good as their first effort, but a good CD nonetheless. I'll post more on it after I listen to it a few more times.

I've been playing an older play list most of the day; one my son helped me put together when he was home on Christmas break. He's coming home soon. I was listening to these songs to remind me of the time we worked on putting this mix together for our year-end CD.

  • God Only Knows (Stereo Mix) - The Beach Boys
  • Needle And The Damage Done - Neil Young
  • The Fat Girl - Lyle Lovett
  • .38.45 (A Thievery Number) - Thievery Corporation
  • Dream Girl (featuring Miho Hatori) - Baldwin Brothers
  • Heavy Metal Drummer - Wilco
  • Bodhran - Young Dubliners
  • Big Time - Peter Gabriel
  • Maybe - N*E*R*D
  • Close To Me [Closet Remix] - The Cure
  • Black Sky - Hepcat
  • Greatest-Hits - Sublime
  • Grey Street - Dave Matthews Band
  • Don't Push - Sublime
  • Could You Be Loved - Bob Marley & The Wailers
  • 5:15 - The Who
  • When the World Ends [Live] - Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds
  • American Idiot - Green Day
  • In The Garage - Weezer
It has been a slow Sunday, perfect for the large amount of reading I need to do for Grad School. Well... back to the books. Next up is another Michael Porter article, "What is Strategy?". I can hardly wait.

How cool is MTV these days?

I remember when MTV started with Video Killed the Radio Star, I remember when they played nothing but music videos, and then something changed and they moved closer to ABC/NBC/CBS, and well... FOX. Now Nine Inch Nails has dropped out of the MTV Movie awards over control of editorial (image) content. MTV objects to a picture of President Bush that would be shown behind the band when they sing The Hand that Feeds.

Nine Inch Nails does not like the war in Iraq, nor do they like Bush, but when did MTV become so politically correct? I have not watched MTV since they stopped playing music videos a few years ago so I guess I am a little out of touch, but… what happened to cutting edge social commentary? Isn't that what music is all about anyway? Some people might actually object to the war. They might be some of the same people who watch this mindless and unmeaningful award show. I do not think that showing a picture of Bush behind Nine Inch Nails while they play an anti-Bush/Anti-War song will drive sponsors away. In fact, I am absolutely sure it will attract more advertising from Pepsi.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Just give me that old-time atheism!

Hat tip to Amardeep Sing for his post on Salman Rushdie's article Just give me that old-time atheism! in the Toronto Star. Rushdie, who is always a good read, hits the mark again with a well thought out piece on creationism and intelligent design.

Rushdie writes “It is among the truths believed to be self-evident by the followers of all religions that godlessness is equivalent to amorality and that ethics requires the underpinning presence of some sort of ultimate arbiter, some sort of supernatural absolute, without which secularism, humanism, relativism, hedonism, liberalism and all manner of permissive improprieties will inevitably seduce the unbeliever down immoral ways.

To those of us who are perfectly prepared to indulge in the above vices but still believe ourselves to be ethical beings, the godlessness-equals-morality position is pretty hard to swallow.”

Well said, no?

Friday, May 27, 2005

Stickers: Chucky Chuck Don't Give A...

Found at Taco Surf on Pine Ave in Long Beach this afternoon - The crew and I ate here for lunch, the fish tacos rock. I snapped a few pictures of the many stickers posted on the windows and walls of the restaurant to pass the time; most are surf, skate, or music related.

Public Art: Fireworks over the Queen Mary

Fireworks over the Queenmary in Long Beach by Paul R. Dominguez. (On 3rd near Atlantic)

Falwell or Fallwell?

One of my least favorite humans is the bluster Rev Jerry Falwell. Christopher Lamparello, the operator of www.fallwell.com, a site critical of Farwell’s stance on gays, has been fighting a losing battle to keep his domain name. Lamparello to his case to the 4th Circuit Court of appeals this week in an attempt to reinstate his constitutionally protected rights to free speech. I don't really know the particulars of the case, but if the website helps spoke a sharp pointed stick in this hate mongers eye, then the website needs to be on the internet.

Falwell or Fallwel, it’s kind of cute too.

Photo Friday: Symbol

This week's post for Photo Friday...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Parking Around Back

I love to shoot signage – even bad signage.

Stilo - what ever that means

I shot this today in Cerritos, I was aiming at the chalk Stilo on the crosswalk box, I got grandma as a bonus.

Fountain - Los Angeles Central Library

Found on the grounds of the Los Angeles Central Library.

I loved the stained concrete.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Blogrolling update

Added another good photoblog:

Sticker: All Vatos City

Found in the City of Carson at an Arco on Avalon

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Sex offender alerts via e-mail or cell phone

This sounds like fun, you can subscribe to this new news service and get alerts by email or on your cell phone. I can't wait to find out what the freaks in my neighborhood are doing.

Sacred cows make the best hamburger

What the hell is happing in the world when a European author can be brought up for trial for thought crimes? It feels like Stalin and Mussolini all over again.

Oriana Fallaci has controversial ideas, of that there is no doubt. Like... there is no two sides of Islam, only one. That one single side of Islam is hell bent on world domination, or… Muslims are breeding faster than Europeans (I believe she wrote "multiplied like rats") which is resulting in a tipping of the balance of power in Europe.

Fallaci is yelling to the world that the dyke might be leaking, and for this she gets sued? Come to America Oriana Fallaci, here you can make up a story about desecrating the Koran and suffer no repercussions.

btw - the title is a quote from Twain.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Review: Revenge of the Sith

Is it possible to love Revenge of the Sith and hate Star Wars?

I think it is possible to love the movie while questioning the series – I’ve been a Star Wars fan since the beginning in 77 when I saw the first movie drunk with friends six months after it hit the theaters. I’ve always been troubled by the underlying elitist message; only those anointed with special powers can rule.

Episode 6 officially killed it for me, Darth Vader was absolved for the killings of millions (including younglings as I found out in Revenge of the Sith), by killing the emperor to save his son. I remember thinking, what about accountability. This guy is a murderer after all. Of course, episode 6 also had the ludicrous Ewok attack. Were these Storm Troopers the same Storm Troopers that had conquered the galaxy in the Close Wars? What they devolved into was comic relief instead of the galaxies most feared warriors. Compare them to episode II for a good example of what I am talking about. Ewoks killed the Emperors elite shock troupers with stick and stones. It was total BS. But… it was a fun!

Episode 3, Revenge of the Sith, fits the same model as episodes one and two for me. It rocked as a movie if you turned your brain off. It had great action, wonderful special effects, and a semi-compelling good vs. evil story line – well somewhat compelling anyway. Only the good side was preachy and impossible to attain, and the evil (dark) side seemed all to much like normal life; hate, jealousy, and desire are all things I’ve felt from time to time and I’m not going to hell. Oh, wait a minute, I don’t believe in hell….

The story goes that Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader to save his wife from death during childbirth. That seemed weak to me at the time and even weaker now that I’ve had a few days to think about it. Didn’t Anakin have a good hospital that could help her? Jedi Knights lop off major limbs and reattached them in all the movies routinely, it seems reasonable they could deliver a baby without killing the mother. In addition, why turn to the dark side over this? Why not something more grand, like galactic conquest, power, or glory?

Any dialog between Anakin and his wife Padmé, were wooden and stilted. Lucus should hire a good screenwriter for episodes 7, 8, and 9. Any scene depicting Obi-Wan Kenobi with his dapper ”gay beard”, is questionable unless he is chopping bad guys to bits with his light saber. Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lines are comical in their attempt at pseudo seriousness; he comes off sounding like a peevish big brother. Of course, most of these lines were delivered while Anakin is butchering innocent people, plotting the overthrow of the Republic, or contemplating treason.. Also, did you notice that the good guys had hair that did not move (like Obi-Wan), while the bad guys had hair that moved like crazy? What was that all about?

Did I like the movie? Hell yes – in fact I loved it and will see it again. I will buy it on DVD and watch it many more times in the future with my sons. Is this a good science fiction movie? Hell no, I’ll take Blade Runner anytime.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Oh, that's just wrong

I saw this on a Burger King in Huntington Beach today. Sometimes rampant consumerism can go too far. Does this plastic plaything in anyway evoked Darth Vader in the minds of those who view it. I don’t think so.

Review: hubs and spokes

I have started a new mini-project to eat away at what little free time I have left in my life. I am going to read and review as many blogs as I can from Homespun Bloggers. I am starting with hubs and spokes who happens to top the list currently on my blogroll.

Worldview: Conservative
Politics: Republican - A Bush supporter
Religion: Don’t know – Catholic maybe
Region: Detroit area
Music: A big U2 fan
Popular Culture: Not a Star Wars episode III fan
Photo Blogger: Yes, but it is not emphasised

I found hubs and spokes to be an interesting read. The author, Marc, blends news snippets, quotes, and pop culture into an interesting series of well-written posts. I enjoyed my 10-minute visit. Marc takes an interesting stand on allowing high school girls to compete in coed wrestling programs, apparently he thinks all high school boys are horny and could not possible wrestle with a girl with purely athletic intent. Marc also takes an anti-Star Wars position that I cannot support (I saw the movie last night and loved it!).

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Photo Friday - Green

This is my Photo Friday submission under the catagory - Green

Eye on ID

I read a good editorial on Intelligent Design in Los Angeles City Beat this evening, it seems Andrew Gumbal and I share some of the same concerns, we are not in Kansas anymore,This ID nonsense needs to be stopped.

A quote from Gumbal's editorial: "Another manifestation of the misdirection of the ID movement is the ludicrous notion that high schools are the appropriate venue for intricate debate about the finer points of evolutionary science. Any public school science teacher will tell you it’s already a minor miracle if a 16-year-old can accurately summarize The Origin of Species, or pinpoint the Galapagos Islands on an atlas. Raising questions about the cellular structure of the flagellum is unlikely to exercise most students until grad school. "

I could not have said it better myself.

CBS dumps Joan of Arcadia

I am so totally pissed - CBS dumped my favorite TV show Joan of Arcadia. Sixty Minutes I understand, Judging Amy is lame, but Joan was good. (ok, no comments from my unbelieving friends here.) The show was about something interesting, it was well acted, the cast was interesting, the story lines were engaging. I watched every show. But Apparently I don’t skew the numbers in the right direction.

I am launching a protest – let this be the first volley – Leslie Moonves, I want Jon of Acadia back for another season!

Damnit – I don’t even watch much TV. Why THIS show?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Theme Thursday - Handball

This picture is a game of fourth-grade-and-up handball at Pat Nixon Elementary School taken during the yearly open house on Wednesday night. It took me 10 minutes and a bunch of questions to get the rules right – this kids take the game very seriously.

Theme Thursday
under Play

Waiting - Part II

I caught some flak via email on my first post on this subject. I thought it might be wise to include a second shot and some editorial content. The man in the wheelchair is not physically disabled (although he might be mentally disabled). I have watched him scramble for a dollar dropped from a passing car in the past. He is but a homeless beggar with a good scam. He parks in a wheelchair near Harbor General hospital in the entryway of a gas station and waits for the sympathy handout. So, am I an ass for shooting him? No, I don't think so. I just shoot what I see, sometimes it isn’t pretty. No worries, I shoot it just the same.

Tony Robbins scares me

He really does scare me. I met him once on an airplane about 8 years ago. He game me on one of his books to read - I found it incomprehensible crap-o-la. I'll tell the whole story in another post soon.

I only see his advertisements in the poorest neighborhoods, in this case in little Somoa near Carson. Dirt poor, ugly, with little hope, but for $250 you can pull yourself up to a better life!

btw - little Somoa has the best dougnuts around.

Is this message for me, or...

... the Muslim Mosque about 150 feet farther down the street?

Christian Graffitti - Orangethorpe & Knott - Buena Park

Shoes - Carson CA

It's been hard to post the last few days. My Mom had major surgery monday, my Grandma is gravely ill, and Grad School is kicking my ass. It's been a hard five days or so. I picked up my camera and shot a few today, but I am not very happy with the results so I'm posting a picture from last week. I think this shot captures how I feel about Carson.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Nutball Alert: Firpo Carr on KFI

Firpo Carr does a regular Friday radio show on KFI called Friday's with Firpo. Give it a listen and try not to laugh. Firpo defends Jackson without regard to logic, while trying to use logic. It gives me a headache.

Firpo was asked what it would take to change his mind about Jackson; he replied that it would take physical evidence on Jackson's beddings. He went on to suggest the semen is indelible and could not be washed away because an ultra-violet light and some chemicals would find it. According to Firpo, semen cannot be washed away.

(Editorial note: I don’t think it works that way Firpo, but that never stopped you before right?)

DMB took 2 hours of my life and I want it back

I bought the new Dave Matthews Band CD “Stand Up” today. I love DMB – they are always good to listen to when I am stressed at work or school. However, today was different. I put the CD in my computer to rip it to my iPod, and that is when my troubles began….

SonyBMG has the CD copy protected. I could not rip Stand Up to my iPod. In fact, the only way I could listen to at all was to agree to a license agreement that popped up when you start the CD. Since iTunes and WMP played garbled crap, I elected to accept the license agreement so I could hear the music. This was a mistake, DO NOT accept the license agreement. It allows MediaMax to load software on your computer, from that point on you are totally screwed.

MediaMax controls the licensing of protected WMA files that can only be downloaded to your PC via the DMB web interface. Once loaded, they will only play on WMP. Great – I use iTunes. This is a friggen joke.

With persistence, you can get a license from Sony to make a backup CD and then burn the backup CD to MP3 so that it will play on your iPod. Of course, if Sony allows me to do this process, why not just let me rip to MP3 in the first place? There is a good reason, they don't tell you there is significant quality loss! The music sounds like a cheap radio copy.

By this time I am totally steamed – I’ve spent an hour playing by their rules only to be rewarded with exceeding crappy results. (Did I mention that I had to retype the MP3 tags?)

By this time, I am looking into hacking the CD – I find the driver for MediaMax and contemplate a lobotomy using regedit. I have had mixed results with this technique in the past and prefer to work on a test system instead of my main personal computer, so I nix the idea.. I dived into a googling the issue by filtered through a great many people struggling with the same issue. Then, on antsmarching.com, I hit pay dirt. J. Alex Halderman of the department of Computer Science at Princeton University had published a paper on this lame-ass technique in October of 2003. Sure enough – his solution worked.

I was able to rip using iTunes and I am now listening to “Stand Up” – I’ll post a review later after the angry little man as left my head. I had purchased “Stand Up” and Weezer’s new “Make Believe” earlier in the day. Weezer had ripped with no problems. Stand Up took 2 hours – Dave Matthews Band, Sony Music, MediaMax – I want my time back. Please send a check for $300 to Mojoey!

When confronted with the ethical dilemma of buying original music and then ripping it for my collection or stealing it from the web and adding it to my collection, lame-ass copy protection schemes help make the decision very easy. Wise up Sony.

Final thought – DMB – this is reprehensible. Of all bands, I would have expected much better from DBM.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Starbucks Survey

I need help on a project for school. I want to pose a few questions about Starbucks and use the responses in a paper I am writing. Any help is appreciated.

Do you think Starbucks coffee is a premium product?
Is the Starbucks brand a good coffee?
Would you rather drink coffee from a Starbucks or from a local competitor?

What do you think about Starbucks market saturation policies? Is it comforting to have a Starbucks on every corner? Is it necessary?

Do you think Starbucks will be able to establish itself in Europe? Will they be able to compete against local espresso bars and cafes?

Do you like Starbucks as a company? Does the way Starbucks treat their employees or their green initiatives influence your buying decisions?

Do you use Starbucks coffee products at home? If not, what do you use? (I’m a Kona Gold Espresso Roast drinker myself)

How many times per week do you by a Starbucks coffee product?

Answer any or all questions, and then respond by making comments or send me an email at mojoey-AT-gmail-DOT-com (I get way to much spam already). Thanks!

Deep Thoughts has its first birthday

I did not realize it, but May 10th was Deep Thoughts one year birthday. My first post was about driving on the freeway. I've had about 17K visitors in the year since I've started writing. Most have been nice, but I have garnered a few pieces of hate mail. No worries - it's just a blog.

My most popular post is clearly my anti-uhaul rant.

My most popular picture is boyonbike - I have no idea why, but I like the bike too (I used to have a Stingray as a kid). By a quick count, it has been viewed at least 3,000 times since I originally posted it. I've also received about 100 requests for more pictures.

Some common questions:

Why do I blog? - It’s a creative outlet. I have a demanding job and I am a graduate student too, blogging tends to be my study break.

Why did i switch over to photoblogging? I wanted to be a photographer when I was growing up, the reality of life dictated a career in manufacturing, then a move to IT. Photography fell by the wayside. Now I shoot pictures almost everyday and I write about what I shoot. It's not the same as being a photographer but it gives me immense personal pleasure.

What have I learned from blogging?

  • That spelling counts and that I suck at it. (I went to Artesia in the 70s, spelling was not part of the program.)
  • People are very sensitive about religious beliefs - especially Muslims (no more hate mail please!). Whenever I do a Christian nutball post, I get Christian hate mail. (You can substitute Christian for Muslim, atheists, democrat, republican, etc…)
  • I don't have an audience, I write for my own pleasure. If somebody likes what I write or a picture I make, then that's just fine with me. If nobody likes it, then that is just fine with me too!
  • I love to read other peoples blogs – I tend to like artistic blogs the most, but my favorite is clearly the conservative blog littlegreenfootballs.
Why Deep Thoughts? - read this post

Will I continue to post? - I think so, blogging is addictive and fun.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Daniel - a grad student from Pepperdine

This is an older picture, but one I've meant to post. I misplaced it.

This is my turf

This is the type of graffiti I don't really like much. All I see is my tax dollars going to waste because on a petty turf war. This is in Carson, who would want to fight over this?

Waiting, waiting…..

Day after day, this marginalized homeless man sits in the sun on Carson near the Medical Center. I think he's waiting for the end.

Take the freeway, it's quicker

I'm not one to complain, but this morning the short time I normall spend on the freeway turned into nearly an hour of looking at this. I eventually jumped off, but the side streets were not much better. Sometimes it sucks to drive in LA.

Murder Jerry Branton Hobbs III

This story - it sickens me. Please tell me that Illinois has a death penalty; this bastard disserves to die. We should consider looking at his whole bloodline, somebody this cold-blooded is sure to have had negative family influences who helped shape his behavior. Perhaps a little public humiliation is in order?

Update June 2011 - Jerry Branton Hobbs III has been exonerated.

Homeless dude

I've passed this guy a few time in Hawaiian Gardens on my way to work. I've never really seen his face. There was a time when I did not notice people like him. Then I started to shoot at least one picture every day and suddenly they were everyplace. I never noticed how many homeless or marginal people there were on the streets, the number is quite large. I counted 14 persons yesterday, most around a stretch of the San Gabriel River near long beach. I think they sleep near the bridges.

I have a friend name Susan who feeds the homeless. I think it might be time I pitched in too.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

My new church

Dave and Busters in the OC hosts a Sunday morning chruch service. Pizza, ribs, beer, video games, pool, music, and big screen TV... I'm all over it.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Nutball Alert: Intelligent Design Network

The news is full of the embarrassing case of the Kansas Science Standards debate over the pseudoscience of Intelligent Design and the scientific fact of Evolution. The Nutballs at Intelligent Design Network seem to feel it is their mission to fill our children's heads full of religious theology while on the public dole. It saddens me to think we could take such a large step backwards. This travesty of logic and reason can only happen when voters elect public officials whose common sense is buried in a bible. Do these public figures think they are doing us a service by teaching our children anti-science? Will our children better able to compete?

I do not see much difference between teaching Intelligent Design and sending my children to Sunday school. It is reprehensible to teach this religious concept in public schools. It should be taught in church, and in the case of my children, it should not be taught to them at all. The future of our nation depends on the quality of the minds we produce from our public school systems. Will you knowinly hire a scientist educated in Kansas? Will anyone?

We are talking the basics of science here. There is no debate. Evolution is scientific fact. Intelligent design is religious theory masquerading as science. Jack Krebs, a lawyer defending science in Kansas said, "They have created a straw man. They are trying to make science stand for atheism so they can fight atheism." ... It's all about the religion baby.

New Nutball Inductees from the Intelligent Design Network are:
  • John H. Calvert
  • William S. Harris
  • Joseph D. Renick
  • David Clounch

Random Contact - Jason

I had a good conversation with Jason today while hanging out outside of the Borders at the Block of Orange. Jason made eye contact. I said hi and invited him over to talk. He guided his complex wheelchair over to my table and introduced himself. We spoke of Camus, Sartre, and the role of existentialism in our lives, and then briefly devolved into the ultimate loneliness of the human experience. He blew me away.

I asked him if I could make a picture of him. His only concern was that I do not show his body. I explained that I was working on my portraiture because Ferocious Cheese was blowing me away with her work, he agreed. I am happy with the results.

Jason is at the Block every weekend between 10:00 and 4:00. It’s how he gets his social time. He said many people were afraid to talk to him because of how he looks, and thanked my son and I for taking the time to speak with him. I encourage anybody who enjoys good conversation to look past the troubling outward appearance, you will find a witty and kind man.

My son asked him how he “go this (referring to his condition) happened to him”. Jason replied that he was born that way. I explained what a birth defect was while my son fired questions at Jason – who answered them all kindly. My son then connected the dots and said “oh, your body is like my eyes! (my son has very bad vision), “and… like my dad’s color blindness!”. Jason laughed.

Focal Length: 240mm
Exposure: 0.002s (1/640)
Aperture: f/5.3

Mother's Day & Punk Rock Girl

By happy coincidence, I was able to capture this picture while celebrating Mother’s day with my wife and son at my wife’s favorite restaurant. I was trying to compose a crowd scene using architectural elements from about 75 feet away when this girl walked into frame. I snapped quickly and was very pleased with the results. The funny thing is… well, the picture is much more interesting with just a hint of Punk Rock Girl in it; she looked a little off. It is much better to let your imagination fill in the blanks.

Focal Length: 220mm
Exposure: 0.002s (1/500)
Aperture: f/5.0

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Terrorist Hunting License

Although as a libertarian, I would protest vehemently about the need to actually regulate hunting through a fee based tax on hunters, in this case I would be willing to look the other way.

Good hunting!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Weird night in Buena Park

Last night in Buena Park was one of the most werid I can recall. It started with a O.C. fireworks bust a few blocks away. The sirens and news helocopters were opprisive as the evening turned to night. I hope this does not kill our next 4th of July.

Later in the evening, all the major network news hellicopters were hovering over my house. It seems that a poor unfortunate woman was in a crosswalk at the corner of Orangethrope and Valley View. The news helicopters left promplty at 11:04 after their "breaking news" segments aired.

I went to bed around 1:00 a.m. only to be awaken by a thunderstorm. We don't get thunderstorms here in Buena Park. Once or twice a year we see lightning or hear disant thunder, but last night it was on top of our house. I could actually feel the static electricity in the air as the lightning hit around us. The thunder was defening. The storm lasted 40 minutes and dumped at least a half inch of rain on us.

I appologies for the news links - most are subscription based.

Update: ----

On the other hand, Friday morning was stunning!

A rainbow on Orangethorpe near Valley View - A woman died here last night.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Bumper Sticker Trinity

By now, most of you know I collect bumper stickers and nutballs. Now I'm not saying this guy is a nutball, far from it in fact. It's just odd that this Christian bumper sticker afficianado would arrange his display in a triangle. It's like he was trying to send me a message... I don't get it.

Abstract - biked

Sometimes I like to play with photoshop. Every 20th try, I like the results. This photo was shot today, then butchered, cropped, pushed, sharpened and about a dozen other things. It's fun.

Deep Throughts joins Homespun Bloggers

I am proud to say that I've joined Homespun Bloggers after originally having some problems getting accepted to the group (my fault I’m sure!). Paster Brad and I plan on putting out a radio show for them. There will be more to follow on this, I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Last Trimester

I started my last trimester of graduate school on Monday. I have Macro Economics on Monday and Strategy on Tuesday. Both professors like to talk, oops… I mean lecture. I did not get home until after 10:30 either night. With a little follow up work at home – I was in bed by midnight.

I’m a little scared this trimester, the workload for one class, strategy, is larger than the last four classes I’ve had combined. Plus, this professor is very much into the “Back in my day, I walked ten miles to school through snow storms” kind of justification for the heavy workload, so resistance is futile.

It looks like I will be tied up with a bunch of papers this time around; by my count, well over 20. Hell, I have four due by next Tuesday. I wrote my first paper tonight, an analysis of catalytic mechanisms supporting key business strategies. It was based on a article by Jim Collins – or was that Tom Collins? Hmm.

I do not know how actively I will be posting over the next few weeks; most of my writing effort will be going to school. I’ll post a few pictures though – I always have my camera.

I have decided one thing about the future already – it will be a cold day in hell before I ever work as an economist.

Abstract - 24 Hour Fitness, Irvine

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Nutball Altert: Firpo Carr gets his own radio show

According to Carr's webiste...

Starting Sunday, May 1, 2005, and every Sunday thereafter, one or more of the following weekly installments will be heard on "The Dr. Firpo Carr Show." Included in these installments are: "America in Black and White," "Michael Jackson and the Media--An Insider's Perspective" (until end of trial), "The Theology Behind Scientific Thought," "Religion in the News," "At Issue in L.A.," and “What Really Happened in History.”

I missed the debut, but I'm going to start recording his shows. It should be a hoot. His unique blend of paranoia, misinformation, and factual distortions should be quite entertaining. I am especially interested in his Michael Jackson insight and his attempts at revising history to fit his world view.

Brumper Sticker - Frodo Failed

I saw it in traffic a few cars up but did not have my 300mm on my camera. I shot with 70mm instead which left me with a very small image that was almost unreadable. I could not read the subtext from where I was in the car. Plus, my wife and son looked at me like I was nuts when I suggested we follow the car so I could get a better picture. I used Photoshop to enlarge and enhance the original image to produce the image above, and then I did the same on the bumper sticker. The results are below.

Frodo Failed - Bush has the Ring. You too can own one for just $2.95 plus shipping and handling. I managed to find a picture of Bush wearing the Ring of Power! On another note, I think this guy qualifies as a Nutball and as a Bush hating Moonbat.

Review: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

I saw The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy yesterday. I was more than a little worried because the theater was showing four screens at around Noon, but almost nobody was watching. My theater had maybe 20 other patrons. Not that I minded; I like watching movies in an empty theaters unless it’s for a Star Wars like epic premiere.

I am an old school Hitchhikers fan. I read the books when they were released in the 80’s. I have autographed copies of each book signed by Douglas Adams himself while I watched (and tried not to drool) at A Change of Hobbit in Santa Monica in the 80s. I miss A Change of Hobbit, it was a great bookstore; the one in Berkeley does not come close to the original. Anyway, I’ve listen to the BBC series when it was on public radio in the early 80’s, and well, I can actually say, I was an am a fan. Of course, this all scared the crap out of me because Hollywood usually butchers good science fiction stories.

My wife and son saw the movie with me. We all laughed at very different places in the movie. I laughed all the time, my son laughed at the physical comedy, while my wife did a little of both. Hitchhikers translated to the screen very well. The story came across with a few modifications. I don’t remember Dent and Trillian being in love from the books, nor do I remember John Malkovic’s character Humma Kevula, and the VP character Questular Rontok. I could be wrong; it has been 20 years since I read the book. However, the story as written for the movie worked and managed to maintained the wacky and profound comedy sense of the original series.

I worry a little that people who are not familiar with the original story won’t get the movie. And god help the moviegoer who misses the first 10 minutes, there is no way to catch up after the movie gets rolling. Also, the story is very complex and completely off the wall, I fear people won’t get it.

The Cast:
Moss Def as Ford is brilliant.
Martin Freeman as Author was right on the mark. I loved him in Shaun of the Dead
Zooey Deschanel as Trillian was not what I expected, but passable. She has distinctly goofy facial expressions that distracted me from her performance.
John Malvoich was interesting and I think maybe the highlight of movie. His role was captivating, interesting, and very strange.
Sam Rockwell as Zaphod was hilarious. I cannot believe he was able to pull it off so well, Zaphod in the book is a completely over the top character. I think Rockwell did a fine job.

My favorite bit – the Vogons are closing in Dent and company on backup earth. Ford chases away a small group of Vogons with a towel, and then locks a small garden gate from the inside. The Vogons return and say “he’s locked it from the inside, go around, go around”. It was hilarious.

I’ll buy the movie on DVD. I am sure I will watch it many times in the future. Heck, I might even dust off the books and give them another read. It might be a good thing to do with my son. To my friends, go watch it, I give it the Mojoey stamp of approval. To my enemies and Paster Brad – give it a pass.

Douglas Adams passed in 2001 – I was not blogging then, so I will say it now. So long and thanks for all the fish.

Little softball champ

I had the pleasure of watching my five-year-old niece Christine play T-Ball on Saturday. She went two for two and ran the bases like a future champion (I'm just a little bit biased).

See a few more pictures at my Buzznet site.

Michael & Alex on the bounce bounce

We went to a family party Saturday afternoon in Carson. My Brother-in-law's soon to be stepdaughter Andrea turned 12. Pre-teen girls are the most amazing kids to watch. They function as a herd in many respects. It is interesting to watch them test their boundaries and interact with adults and younger sibling.

This picture is of my son Michael and his cousin Alex having fun on the bounce-bounce Velcro wall. It was complete chaos. You can see a few more pictures at my Flickr account.