01/31/2006

Jonathon Sharkey is running for the governor of Minnesota.

Most people (even those living in the great state of Minnesota) may not have heard of Mr. Sharkey– possibly because his political party is called the Vampyres, Witches, and Pagans Party. Go independents!

Sharkey’s platform includes the following:

  • emphasis on education
  • tax breaks for farmers
  • benefits for veterans
  • impaling criminals on the front yard of the State Capitol

Those first three are fairly plain-jane political promises we hear from many candidates, and cause a fairly “ho-hum” response from potential voters. But that last one– which is completely true– certainly warrants a raised eyebrow. Apparently he thinks terrorists and other violent criminals should be impaled. Nice.

Sadly, we may never see if the proud citizens of Minnesota will be able to elect a governor even stranger than Jesse Ventura, because Mr. Sharkey was arrested on felony counts from his days in Indiana.

Oh, and lest we neglect the legacy of Governor Ventura, it should be noted that Mr. Sharkey was a professional wrestler using the name Rocky Flash.

01/30/2006

“I had an epiphany a few years ago where I was out at a celebrity party and it suddenly dawned on me that I had yet to meet a celebrity who is as smart and interesting as any of my friends.”

— Moby

01/29/2006

Truly, genetics is a mysterious thing. How can someone as goofy-looking as me have a daughter who’s so completely photogenic?

01/27/2006

It’s amazing, sometimes, to consider the power of music. I listen to it almost every day as I work, and it strongly affects my mood… one day I might have a bunch of hip-hop dance music, the next I’m jamming to some heavy-beat trance music, and then I switch to soothing new age stuff. Soundtracks are a favorite of mine because– like trance– they don’t have words to distract me while I’m programming or writing an e-mail or proposal or whatever. Great background.

And there are certain songs, generally few and far between, that literally give me goosebumps when I listen to them. They either evoke a strong memory from the past, or they convey some sense of grandeur. I just bought the soundtrack for “The Island” (great movie!) and the final track, My Name Is Lincoln, which plays right at the very end of the movie before the credits, does this. It’s fabulous composition, and the scene in the movie is truly great. Before I bought the album I read reviews on Amazon, and everyone seems to agree that it’s a very moving piece of music.

It’s good for the soul.

01/27/2006

“America believes in education: the average professor earns more money in a year than a professional athlete earns in a whole week.”

— Evan Esar

01/25/2006

If you’re a law student, it’s quite a privilege to have the Attorney General of the United States come to speak at your school, in a room of perhaps fifty fellow students. It happened today for students at Georgetown Law School: Alberto Gonzales arrived and was talking about the justifications of the Bush administration to wiretap American citizens.

As he launched into his speech, the students rose from their seats and turned their backs on him. A few other students then trooped into the room carrying a banner with Benjamin Franklin’s oft-quoted saying:

Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

Following his (mercifully short) speech, there was a panel discussion where his arguments regarding Bush’s antics were shredded. David Cole, a Georgetown law professor, said:

When you’re a law student, they tell you that if you can’t argue the law, argue the facts. They also tell you that if you can’t argue the facts, argue the law. If you can’t argue either, apparently, the solution is to go on a public relations offensive and make it a political issue… to say over and over again ‘it’s lawful’, and to think that the American people will somehow come to believe this if we say it often enough.

If I ever need a lawyer, I want someone who was in that room today.

01/20/2006

Margaret Elizabeth Taylor was a 98-year-old woman who died last November. Her estate was worth just over a million dollars. Her husband had died twenty-five years ago, and she had no living siblings or children. The big question: who received her estate?

The federal government, of course. In her will, she bequeathed her entire fortune to the government and asked that it be used to pay down the national debt.

Although generous and most certainly original, I suspect that million dollars pays for a few minutes of interest on our $8.1 trillion debt. Shame.

01/19/2006

Laralee and I teach a weekly science class for second-graders, and a few weeks ago we put together a lesson about chemistry– specifically, how mixing different things together has some pretty interesting results. The highlight of the lesson was undoubtably when we mixed polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) with borax solution to make green slime.

We had a bit left over after class, so at home we mixed up a big batch and had some fun with it. Mmm, slime…

01/19/2006

It’s always fun to get goodies from clients as thanks for good work. In today’s mail was a huge envelope from my friends at ATO Records. It was a stack of ten CD’s… all of the latest stuff from the bands they manage. Sweet!