November 2006 Archives

Today’s Fortune

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“Wish you a good journey (in bed).”

sjfa.png Today is my birthday, and it is the first one away from family and long-time friends. I am up in Raleigh working, while Tiffany is down in Athens studying. We are six hours away and simply could not fit my birthday (or hers next week) into our schedules. So with little enthusiasm, I sing to myself Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary:

Deep within the womb of time, A creature thus be born The seed of life is united with The egg of tyranny Gestates forth from within the womb of life For three-quarter and nigh a year The creature thus be born! The creature thus be formed! And ye of years… Twenty-eight bells Will chime! When the heavens open up And drink from the silver cup The creature thus be born! And blow the magic horn! To alert the spirit deep within the cycle of life. The creature has begun it’s journey deep forlorn, Upon this day which he be formed In the sea of mucus the spirit rides down from the mountain And unites with the creature in the womb A holy union, dark mortality, until the dark mortality Breaks the chain of life The creature thus be born And every year raineth down the celebratory tears A celebration of the years From mere mortal sky.

Accepted

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I found out today that my second dissertation chapter was accepted for publication in BMC Bioinformatics.

Thanksgiving

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I’m off to Athens for Thanksgiving. I’ll leave you with a photo that I took on my last trip back to Raleigh.

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This is an oak that sits in the middle of I-85 near the GA-SC border. It doesn’t show up well in the photo, but there is a ribbon tied around the tree to bring the troops home.

Sweet

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Today they updated the name plates on all the offices, and I now have one that says “Dr. Reed Cartwright”. Sweet.

New Digital Camera

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I ordered a new digital camera last week for my birthday. I went with a Fujifilm FinePix E900, which was a Consumer Reports best buy. It’s a nine megapixel camera and can take 3488x2616 jpeg photos, or 17x13 inch printed photo.

I took it to a wedding last weekend and those pictures are coming. However, on my way back to Raleigh, I stopped at a rest stop in South Carolina along Lake Hartwell. I wanted to take a break and play with my digital camera. I got lucky and was able to take a picture of a blue heron in flight.

blue_heron.jpg

When I walked down to the lake, I spooked the bird and it flew to the other side of the lake. Because the bird was behind some brush to my left, I didn’t know it was there. The shot above was taken quickly because I didn’t know that a big bird was going to fly in front of me.

West?

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I followed PZ and took the American accent quiz.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland
Boston
North Central
The South
The Inland North
Philadelphia
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

This is very odd considering that I was born and raised a southerner and never lived outside the South. But I guess it’s all that TV I watch.

Democratic Rule

Now that the Democrats appear to control both the House and the Senate (as well as a majority of state governments), I expect that we will see a much more fiscally responsible federal budget in the future. The explosion in pork given to us by Republicans will disappear under Democrats as the two parties now have to come to an agreement on legislation. Americans voted for checks and balances yesterday.

However, I am certain that several years from now conservatives will forget the previous six years and attribute the fiscal responsibility of the Democratic Congress to Bush controlling “tax-and-spend” Democrats.

What I am most excited about is the opportunity that Congress will actually investigate and expose the corruption and incompetence of the Bush administration. The Republicans refused to do their jobs, but Democrats will relish in it.

I Voted

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I voted in my first North Carolina election today. The most exciting part was getting to vote via optical scan technology, which is considered the most reliable method available. Much better than the corrupt Diebold machines that Georgia uses.

Ken Miller’s Talk

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Tonight, Prof. Steve Steve and I went to see Dr. Ken Miller give the R. L. Rabb Lecture. We met up the Coturnix and Big Dumb Chimp at the lecture. Interestingly, Big Dumb Chimp is actually the grandson of R. L. Rabb.

Anyway, Prof. Steve Steve got to be part of the action because Dr. Miller needed his J.D.-M.D.-quintuple Ph.D expertise to run the projector. And I think we can all agree that Dr. Miller’s polished presentation wouldn’t have succeeded if it wasn’t for Prof. Steve Steve’s direction.

After Miller gave his excellent talk, there was a panel discussion on prayer in a scientific society. The discussion topic was chosen to cover a limited area of theology, and probably to avoid turning Miller’s talk into a debate about creationism. (A group of creationists in attendance were noticeably disappointed that there wasn’t a debate scheduled.) On the panel were five local clergy: a Reform Judaism rabbi, a liberal Baptist pastor, an evangelical pastor, a Muslim imam, and a Presbyterian pastor. Nothing really notable happened on the panel discussion. There were no arguments between panelists, just a lot of agreement about how they use prayer in their lives and in the lives of their congregations. Basically they all said that prayer can exist in a society built on the fruits of science because prayer isn’t just about asking for intervention.

After the panel discussion, Miller got mobbed by people wanting him to sign books and creationists wanting to challenge him. (As if Miller doesn’t know every single talking point they can think of.) Eventually things quieted down enough where Miller could get his picture taken with Prof. Steve Steve.

We’ll post photos as soon as they get developed.

Borat Kills

According to the AP, Borat took in a surprising $26.4 million this weekend.

“Borat” played in only 837 theaters, fewer than one-fourth the count for “The Santa Clause 3” and “Flushed Away.” Averaging a whopping $31,511 a theater, “Borat” easily outdistanced “The Santa Clause 3,” which averaged $5,784 in 3,458 cinemas and “Flushed Away,” which averaged $5,152 in 3,707 theaters.

Fox originally has 2000 theaters lined up but suddenly reduced that number last month after some audience polls revealed that only 25% of Americans had heard of the movie. Looks like Fox underestimated Borat.

What I found interesting about the movie is how much more hospitable the people in the South and the West were to Borat than the people in New York City. Sure Borat exposed their prejudices, but none of them threated to kill him after he greeted them with a kiss or tired to shake their hands.

Freethought Symbology

PZ is having a discussion on a new symbol for Freethought. He has taken the suggestions from a previous post and put them side by side: Freethought symbology.

My two favorite are “a period” and “affinity”.

Vote the Bums Out

The Republicans need to be voted out of power this Tuesday. They’ve controlled all three branches of government for years now and have made a mess of our country. Government spending is out of control; our country is sinking into debt; good soldiers are dying in Iraq because the Republicans refuse to give them enough body armor.

And yesterday the New York Times revealed that the Republicans, in a partisan effort to create a talking point, posted Irag’s nuclear weapon research from the 1980s in Arabic on a government website. They don’t want to give terrorists lawyers, but they’ll give them the bomb, all to win a blog war.

WTF? We need a change, if only so that Congress will actually investigate the ineptness that is currently controlling Washington.

Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who had said they hoped to “leverage the Internet” to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.

Last night, the government shut down the Web site after The New York Times asked about complaints from weapons experts and arms-control officials. A spokesman for the director of national intelligence said access to the site had been suspended “pending a review to ensure its content is appropriate for public viewing.”

Officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency, fearing that the information could help states like Iran develop nuclear arms, had privately protested last week to the American ambassador to the agency, according to European diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity. One diplomat said the agency’s technical experts “were shocked” at the public disclosures.

Here is Keith Olbermann’s take.

Georgia and Borat

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Well my football team isn’t doing that hot this season. We’re 6-4, with last minute losses to Vandy and Kentucky. Teams that we should beat every year. I think the coach gave up on this season several games ago and is concentrating on getting his freshman quarterback more game experience. It’ll probably help in the long run, but Georgia will probably not be competitive for a couple years.

I just hope that the head coach upgrades his staff after the season is over. A couple of good offensive minds will be looking for new jobs after the season is over and I’d like to see Georgia go after them. I also hope that being down might help sell recruits that they will be able to start early if they come to Georgia.

Anyway, after the loss today, I went saw Borat at a small college-town theater up the road. It was very funny, well worth the price of admission.

Lieberman Most Powerful?

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I was thinking about the election today and I came to the conclusion that Joe Lieberman an Independent (nee Democrat) senator could emerge as the most powerful senator in Washington.

It is a very good possibility that the senate will consist of of 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and 2 Independents after the election. Bernie Sanders, an independent winning Vermont, will most likely caucus with the Democrats, giving a 50/49/1 breakdown.

This leaves Lieberman, a Democrat who lost his primary because he was too-Republican but is winning the election as an Independent, the opportunity to be the swing vote on partisan issues. If he votes with Democrats, it is a 51/49 win for them. If he votes with the Republicans, its a 50/50+1, win for them since the Republican Vice President will get to break the tie.

When Lieberman lost the primary, he looked done. Now he has a chance to be more powerful than ever.

More New Style

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Based on feedback, I’ve made more changes to the style.

After several complaints about the color scheme, I’ve dropped the Red-Green-Blue theme in favor of a pure red scheme.

I’ve also fancied up the post titles to make them more distinct.

Some people have wondering where all the sidebar information has gone. Well, I’m working on moving all that information to their own pages or in the footer or header of the page.

Archives can now be accessed via the Archive button on the navibar.

Recent comment, trackbacks, etc. will be placed under the Recent button on the navibar.

I’m also working on giving searches and links their own pages. Likewise for Contact and About information.

Feedback is welcome because I hope to implement a similiar style and layout change on PT.

The style is best viewed in Firefox, which is what I develop it on. Support for IE can lag.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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