Thought it said men’s taste

An Article in Scientific American says “Recent research suggests that the contraceptive pill … could affect which types of men women desire.”
It has something to with the man’s smell and how the pill affects a women’s sense of smell.

Wanted to say something witty, but drawing a blank – any whoo – The more we know, the less we know.

Earworm alert

I was getting caught up on my comics this morning and ran across this one:


That was all good and well – until about 15 minutes later when I was making breakfast and started singing “Country roads take me home…” AAAGGGGHHHHHH 😉

It started as a harmless political joke

My dad sent me a joke:

   Recently a Democratic operative pointed out that when Obama holds a rally 25-30,000 people show up, whereas when McCain holds one he only draws 10-15,000. The Republican spokesman replied, ‘That’s because McCain’s supporters are at work.’

I replied:

   Think you are funny, don’t you

he replied

   I thought it was an interesting point of view. I am not sure yet who I will vote for but so far I am not really super impressed with either of the candidates, however, Gov. Palin does have some interesting credentials.

That got me thinking about Obama vs McCain and more specifically the recent Governor Palin interview with Katie Couric. I wanted to continue the conversation with my dad – but then I realized that what I had written articulated fairly well my feelings on McCain, Obama, and Palin. To this point I have not really shared any overt political opinions regarding 2008 on this blog – time to change that. I don’t expect to continue the conversation with my dad on this blog, but wanted to get my thoughts out there:

Really!?– I had assumed you were McCain all the way.
Palin – “interesting credentials” – such as???

During the primaries, if there was any Republican I could vote for, if I had to vote Republican, was McCain. But I don’t see myself voting Republican because I disagree with the Republican party on too many issues – many issues I perceive are driven by the influence of religion in their policy decisions.

In regard to Palin I do not feel comfortable with her because:

  1. I don’t know what her experience is in a national setting is.
    – being close to Russia does not qualify you to speak on international issues – see this clip from the interview with Katie Couric. I am sorry – she comes across as a bit wacked. How can being the Governor of a state near a foreign country give you foreign policy experience. In that case, the Governors of CA, AZ, NM, and TX all have even more experience because they actually touch a foreign country.
    – I concede that Obama is relatively new to politics but he has been on the American/World stage for year plus and people have had a chance to get to know him. Palin is the shiny new 2009 model year car that everybody likes and wants to check out. But once we have lived with it for a few weeks and the new car smell wears off we may find there are issues we don’t like – like one of the tires is out of balance.

  2. she is currently taking positions now that resonate with the public – but I hear/read/see her positions in the recent past were different (echos of the whole flip-flop tag that got put on Kerry).

  3. she is too extreme in her religious view. I think McCain picked her to appease the religious right. But I am concerned that she will drive policy decisions based upon her religious point of view – abortion rights, teaching evolution in school, abstinence only sex-ed, etc.
    – the whole thing with her daughter. She said it was a family issue and they would make the choice that was best for them. That is fine and I support that, but my perception is that if she had her way she would roll back Roe v Wade, thereby limiting my choice. Smacks of do what I say, not what I do.

  4. Watch more of the Katie Couric interview here and here. When presented with the hard question she answers in generalities. In the first minute of the first interview Katie asks her about an advisor to McCain and his potential conflict of interest. Palin does not answer the question and when Katie asks it again Palin stumbles over her words and then says the exact same thing again. When she is parroting the party line she is articulate and clear – require her to think on her feet and she stumbles.

I think the current administration has driven us to a point, based upon their “you are with us or you are with the terrorists” attitude, where our standing and influence on the world stage has been reduced – how much I don’t know. We need someone who can be a “shining light” for America and work with the world community to resolve issues that affect not just America, but the world – Global warming, terrorism, genocide in Africa, energy – the list goes on.

There may be concerns about Obama and his experience, and post primaries we are seeing a bit of the “dark-side”, but I believe he presents the change the country needs. America needs something different than what we have had for the past 8 years, and right or wrong, McCain is too closely associated with Bush and the failed policies of his administration. Obama is articulate, has a clear vision for the future, and has presented himself to the world stage and passed the “sniff” test. I think he should be the one we hand the baton off to and lets see how far he can carry it.

But honey – I was congested

From Neurotopia on ScienceBlogsScrew the sudafed: When your nose ain’t great, masturbate!.

Seems, um exercising, a certain part of your anatomy can reduce congestion. And none of the side affects of Afrin. You can read all the scientific reasons in the article

   me – but honey, I was congested

   her – for 2 weeks in a row!?

ps – Had a hard time find a good picture to use for this post

pps – The floor is open for more puns (GSM – that means you)

It makes a parent PROUD!!

A little background: Connor graduated from 8th grade this past week [don’t even get me started about 8th grade, 5th grade, and even kindergarten graduations] and on Wednesday they had the baccalaureate Mass. At the Mass they handed out a number of awards – academics, athletic, good citizenship, etc. Seems like everyone got an award but Connor. He commented afterwards that he thought he would at least get a good citizen award – “that is the award they give you when you don’t get any other award”

More background: Connor is the school’s version of the Geek Squad. He is always being called upon to resolve technology issues – the teachers joked that they were not going to let him graduate because who would fix the equipment.

That leads us to the graduation last night. At the end of the ceremony they handed out more awards. I could see the stack of framed certificates and it was a pretty good stack. They handed out the valedictorian, the salutatorian, the scholar-athletes, the most spirited students, etc. Through all of the awards – no Connor. The stack was shrinking fast and soon they were down to the final award – Student of the Year.

They read the “qualifications” for the Student of the Year and commented that the awardee(s) would have their names engraved on a plaque in the school office. They said that they had two outstanding students that were deserving of the award this year. They read off the first winner – one of Connor’s female classmates. Then they said the final award goes to …. Connor Gibson.

Yep – that’s right, Connor was a Student of the Year for the 2007-2008 Eighth grade. I thought Bev was going to faint and I must admit I was pretty darn proud.


High Dynamic Range Photos

At lunch today we started talking about photography and the discussion turned to High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos. There are some awesome photos on the internets, but the my first introduction to HDR photography was by Trey Ratcliff at

He has some awesome photos that you can browse on his website, on his flickr account, and on his portfolio. Here are some of my favs : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6

He also has a great tutorial if you want to learn how to create HDR photos yourself.

This is an area of photography I want to start experimenting with RSN*

* = Real Soon Now

TED Talks – April 13th

TED talks I recommend.

Clifford Stoll: 18 minutes with an agile mind
Clifford Stoll could talk about the atmosphere of Jupiter. Or hunting KGB hackers. Or Klein bottles, computers in classrooms, the future. But he’s not going to. Which is fine, because it would be criminal to confine a man with interests as multifarious as Stoll’s to give a talk on any one topic. Instead, he simply captivates his audience with a wildly energetic sprinkling of anecdotes, observations, asides — and even a science experiment. After all, by his own definition, he’s a scientist: “Once I do something, I want to do something else.”

— Loved the slide rule.

Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight
Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened — as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding — she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.

Johnny Lee: Creating tech marvels out of a $40 Wii Remote
Johnny Lee demos his amazing Wii Remote hacks, which transform the $40 game piece into a digital whiteboard, a touchscreen and a head-mounted 3-D viewer. A multi-ovation demo from TED2008.

Meet Guinness – the newest Gibson

It has been a long and winding road that ended last Thursday at San Francisco Airport as we meet Saudjie Crook and our newest addition to the family – Guinness.

Guinness comes from Balrion at Weathertop – a breeder in the UK. We have been looking for a 3-4 year old English Labrador for awhile and our good friend Barb saw Guinness on their website in January. He was one of their show quality puppies that has had a very challenging life that led him to be on their website. The Crooks had retired him from the show ring and were looking for a good home for him.

I started a months long conversation to try to coordinate the travel schedules of the Crook’s and mine to get him to the states at the lost cost. Initially I was going to use frequent flyer miles to go to the UK but could not get seats on the flights I needed to. And when Saudjie came here last month the weather was too cold in Chicago (where she connected flights in the US) for Guinness to come with here. We were starting to wonder if it was not meant to be.

Then we found out Saudjie was coming back to the states in late March and we crossed our fingers hoping he would make it this time – he did. He is a great dog, a bit of a chow hound (understatement), but he has a great personality and has fit in well with the family and the neighborhood dogs.

Some of you may ask – in fact some of you have – “what, they don’t have dogs in the US?” Well, we were looking for a specific breed of dog and were not willing to pay an excessive amount. In fact we found a similar dog in the Central Valley here in California – but they wanted 3 times as much for a dog the same age. After all of the fees for shipping and getting the medical waivers for Guinness it cost less than half as much as the dog in the states.

And the most important fact – Beverly is over the top in love with him.
Only downside – now the ranking at home is the boys, the dogs, and then me. So now I have one more dog I have to fight with for attention ;-). And with teenagers I am not sure how long they will stay above the dogs.