23 April 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

My study of science and evolution vs. ID/creationism occurred about 8-10 years ago, and I really haven't devoted a lot of thought and time into it in quite some time. I never really experienced the anti-ID bias or didn't really notice it in my college biology class but then again it only had a grad student presiding over it and it was very structured to go directly by the book. I prefer classes like that, with more book learning than the teacher/professor pontificating in front of the lecture hall.

Ben Stein's new documentary, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" pulls to the front the obvious bias against ID that is done by main-stream scientists... where that if you even mention it you are ostracized or expelled.

Here are a couple of articles discussing the movie, that puts a lot of my own thoughts down far more elegantly than I could in one day:
Ben Stein vs. Sputtering Atheists
Win Ben Stein's Monkey by Chuck Norris

16 April 2008

Liberal Elitism

I've ceased being suprised about today's liberal elitism. I could have many comments about the Obama "bitter" controversy, but after much thought and web surfing, I think my opinion is better clarified in the following Townhall.com column.

Xenophobia: San Francisco Style

On a different note: I have no Weekly Review from last week yet. I "finished" a couple projects, but they still have finishing touches left. There should be a weekly review for this week (and last) coming up.

10 April 2008

Knitting Pattern Review: Mary Jane Pithy Hat

Pattern Found Here

With the Mary Jane Pithy Hat pattern, there are two separate patterns for hats that Kirsten Dunst wore in movies. I have tried both of them.

Spiderman: Mary Jane's hatI first tried this hat using Vanna's Choice, but it was very rough to my hands and then the hat fell apart after a few days of wear. Whether that has anything to do with the yarn itself or my own failure at good tying off on the top, I am not totally sure. The picture above is of the pattern using Caron's Simply Soft. The pattern worked much easier on the needles with this pattern.

This is not a pattern you can really do without paying good attention to what you're doing, because of all the yarn overs and knit/purl-two-together that you have to deal with. It's a comfortable hat to wear and I intend to make more of these in the future. Recently I began testing out a new type of yarn I found in A.C. Moore yesterday during lunch break (my shopping therapy involves books and yarn, but I don't like to admit this, no). This yarn is called NaturallyCaron.com's Country. It is an Acrlyic and Merino Wool blend that is very soft to the touch and comes in many lovely colors. I look forward to giving this a try because the more nice yarns I can find without resorting to the online buying (although so much fun), the happier I am when it comes to making presents for friends and family.

Elizabethtown Hat
So I couldn't really say no when I got a bunch of red yarn for my Kaylee knitted garments collection (stuff that is washable and okay for lots of crazy activities outdoors). So I made the "girl in the red hat" hat. Using KnitPicks Swish Superwash, it was very easy. This was also my first experience with doing cables. It was easier than I thought it would be, especially easier to not use a cable needle (I didn't use anything but my own fingers to hold the to be cabled stitch) than I had originally thought. I found this pattern very comfortable to work with and relaxing to just sit back and attempt to do other things while knitting.

Also this hat actually suited my need when I had to do a mod outside while it was drizzling. It kept my head warm and the rain didn't seem to do any damage. Good thing I used superwash wool.

07 April 2008

Week in Review: Therapy

Yes I realize last week's week in review is slightly late, but things happened this weekend that were beyond my control. so this posting has to do with something nearly different (but it can tie into whatever I feel like at the time I'm writing this).

For me there are multiple different types of therapy and I will highlight them thus following.

Knitting Therapy
I, like many people, find knitting to be extremely relaxing. Although, when I need to relax, I usually choose my easiest project I am working on (the one that uses less brain power). There's not much more I can go into that, because words usually cannot describe how good I feel when I accomplish something like a project or get a good way done in it. Now, if only that project would be cleaning my apartment...

But I've always felt i need more knitters to talk to about advice and various knitting sort stuff. Yay for being invited to ravelry! Now... to make with the actually getting off my butt and shyness to talk to folks I don't know.

I would've had a nice week of progress when it came to my projects that I'm working on, but unfortunately I got a new baby (Wii) and some new stuffed animals to claim my two favorite hobbies (Wii and Knitting).

Gaming Therapy
Fantasy, games, and the like are a release for me. It is something I enjoy and spend a good chunk of my weekend doing. I have always found reality to be extremely boring and littered with evil responsibility and bills and the like, so reading fantasy, playing fantasy, and creating fantasy has been good times for me. This past weekend I ran a story of pirates and evil fishmen and an evil empire trying to enslave the seas. I also was in a story of transmundane things happening in the fictional city of Roanoke, North Carolina. These things are fun for me and help me relax and escape from reality for a brief moment.

Not to say that I don't live in reality. I have learned over my years that I think good gamers need to have a stronger grip on reality than anyone else because they need to recognize the separation between fantasy and reality. It's the gamers that can't do that that you hear about in the news killing themselves accidentally with a katana.

Cleaning Therapy
Believe it or not, sometimes cleaning makes me feel good. Perhaps this is because I don't do it often enough and that I feel a lot better about myself when it's done because it is one of my biggest sources of self-blame. I am lazy, I dislike having to do a lot of work to get the apartment straightened up. I am much happier with yarn thrown across the house... but that does not work for being a central location for hanging out. It doesn't work at all. So this week I am going to begin the long therapy session that is cleaning therapy. Now if I can just get past the knitting and gaming therapy to focus on that.

Driving Therapy
Even driving in I-66 rush hour traffic, I find the power and control I have behind the wheel to be very relaxing. One day when I was in college I got really hurt and stressed out about something or other and I just left where I was and took my car and drove a circle around Greenville, North Carolina. They had a nice way of doing that and it felt a lot better afterwards. I think I need to do that more often, although now is the day of really high gas prices, so it's not as luxurious and stress-relieving as it could be anymore.

Sleep Therapy
Simply put, you go to sleep, you feel better. That is... if you can sleep.

Talking Therapy
This does not always involve talking to other people, but a lot of it involves talking to myself like I'm talking to other people. I have been able to tell my computer screen exactly how I think about the situation at hand better than anyone else. I have also been able to do the same thing with the walls in my bathroom. It's a little silly, and it may be a sign of insanity, but I come to a lot of self-realization when I'm talking to myself.

Besides, one of the differences between girls and guys is how we cope with our problems and the "talking therapy" is a point of contention. Guys don't usually like to talk when they cope. They usually like to be left alone. Girls on the other hand like to talk about it. This has been a problem in many relationships (including mine) that I have noticed. Pushing a guy to talk about a problem is not usually advised. (hard lessons I have learned)

Fuzzy Puppy/Kitty Therapy
How can you be sad when you've got a corgi puppy licking your face. Even Chicken the sick kitty had his effect on me as well. Some of the best times I bonded with him was when I needed someone after a break-up that broke my heart.

Also connected to this therapy is "stuffy therapy". In the event that you do not have a real pet but instead have a mound of stuffed animals of which you can bury yourself under (like myself), you can snuggle up with a stuffed animal for comfort. For some reason, even at 25, I find it hard to peacefully sleep without a stuffy. It be embarrassing.

Actually seeing a Psychiatrist Therapy
I have Generalized Anxiety Syndrome according to my psychiatrist. She did listen and prescribed me Citrocal. It has helped. It doesn't relieve everything, hence all the other sorts of therapy. It also doesn't prevent new stresses to emerge. But, it's a start.

Biblical Therapy
Sometimes when I'm down and really uncertain what to do, I do turn to God to help me with what to do. Unfortunately a few times I make the mistake to ask for patience and peace, which causes me to be put in instances where I need to feel such things. Sometimes it comes with a small prayer proceeding opening a Bible to see where it leads me. I'm still confused with what He's trying to tell me, but... well, things will work out according to His plan and His own time.

Snuggleupagainst Therapy
Boyfriend snuggles. That's it.

01 April 2008

Punished by a Baby?

Obama said the following quote in a town meeting in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

“Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old,” he said. “I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby. I don’t want them punished with an STD at age 16, so it doesn’t make sense to not give them information.” (emphasis added)

To equate a baby to getting an STD is ridiculous. And punished? This just does not compute in my mind.

I am a firm believer in personal responsibility. Every action has a direct reaction. Everything one does has a "consequence". I don't see a baby as a punishment but as what happens when you decide to have sexual intercourse (especially if you are doing it unprotected). This is supposed to be an understood sort of thing. If you don't want a baby, either be informed and be protected, or simply don't do it. To call a baby a "punishment" makes it sound like you don't want to take responsibility for your own actions even though you know what you did was wrong.