Friday, March 12, 2004

St Louis Star Ball - tonight and all weekend

It's still worthwhile even though *I* won't be competing there this year... Everything you need to know to get there and enjoy some of the best amateur and professional dancing ever is right here.

The event is managed every year by the Just Dancing studio in Manchester, MO just west of St. Louis. If you want to get started with dancing and you're around StL, that's the place to go, from the greenest beginner to the national level.

It's about time!

That most Politically Correct of devices, the condom, is threatened with exposure::
"WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is considering requiring warning labels on condom packages noting that the contraceptive devices do not protect users from all sexually transmitted diseases, a Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites) official said Thursday.

Most recent studies indicate condoms do not safeguard against human papillomavirus, or HPV, a little-known but widespread sexually transmitted disease that, untreated, can cause genital warts or cervical cancer. "

The FDA "has developed a regulatory plan to provider condom users with a consistent labeling message and the protection they should expect from condom use," said Dr. Daniel G. Schultz, director of the agency's Office of Device Evaluation.

The agency "is preparing new guidance on condom labeling to address these issues," Schultz told members of a House Government Reform subcommittee.

The FDA has considered warning labels since 2000, when President Clinton (news - web sites) directed the agency to re-examine whether information included in packages accurately reflected condom effectiveness in preventing all sexually transmitted diseases, including HPV.

But some lawmakers feared that such labels could turn people away from using condoms, thereby increasing the risk of contracting diseases such as AIDS (news - web sites), chlamydia and gonorrhea.

"Anything that undermines the effectiveness of condoms for these uses will have serious public health consequences," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif. "Are condoms perfect? Of course not. But reality requires us not to make a public health strategy against protection, but rather to ask a key question: compared to what?"

Some lawmakers "insist that abstinence-only education is the solution to teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases because abstinence works each time," Waxman said. "Well, the evidence, however, indicates that abstinence-only education works rarely, if at all."

Responded Rep. Jo Ann Davis, R-Va.: "This is not about social ideology, or religious ideology. It's about informing women. ... And truly, the only way to be protected is abstinence. That's not ideology — it's fact."

The White House wants to double, to $270 million, federal spending on education programs to convince young people that abstinence is the only certain way to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. But an independent report for the government two years ago indicated that no reliable evidence exists that abstinence programs work.

More than 2 million American women are infected with HPV each year, said Dr. Ed Thompson, deputy director for public health services at the Centers for Disease Control. Ten thousand women are diagnosed annually with cervical cancer, claiming 4,000 lives, Thompson said.
Of course there's the usual ridiculous statement about abstinence programs. Read this sneer-quoted double-talk to see how far backwards some of these creeps will bend to try to convince us that abstinence fails the same way a condom does.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Kerry voters? Count on it.

Yep, I even stole the title from local boy Rodger Schultz. I can't figure out which one is dumber - the drug pushing asthmatic or the 100% minority owned firm that wasn't 51% minority owned.

I never read this in my high school history

From The Washington Times: "An American historian says that more than a million Europeans were enslaved by North African slave traders between 1530 and 1780, a time of vigorous Mediterranean and Atlantic coastal piracy.
The number of white European slaves is only a fraction of the trade that brought 10 million to 12 million black African slaves to the Americas over a 400-year period, historian Robert Davis says, but his research shows the slave trade was more widespread than commonly assumed. The impact on Europe's white population was significant."

Kid power

It’s thought that nearly a billion and a half people around the world don’t have access to safe drinking water. People often walk for miles every day to find it, which can take hours. That’s why the task of getting water has been considered a difficult, tiresome job.

But that’s changing in South Africa. The World’s Amy Costello visited a place where getting water has actually become fun.

Kids run in a circle and push a merry-go-round faster and faster. Those who are seated on the ride, get dizzy from the speed...laughing and giddy from the force of gravity.

These kids are having so much fun, they don’t seem to realize they’re working. Then again, that’s the idea behind the Play-Pump…a merry-go-round with a mission.

....The World Bank recently recognized the Play Pump in a worldwide competition and provided 160,000 dollars to install forty more Play-Pumps around South Africa. The World Bank’s Michael Kubzanksky says that of the 450 projects funded by the competition, the Play-Pump’s one of the best.

...There are plans to put the Play-Pump into other African countries. It may come as no surprise to parents…but Field says the energy created by kids turning a merry-go-round generates enough power to supply a village of 3000 people with clean drinking water.

Each pump costs about seven thousand dollars to install.

But if they could get married...

Drudge linked to something under a headline like "Rise in syphilis tied to Internet", so I dug a little deeper. Incidentally, in the following, "MSM" means "men having sex with men":: "Among 151 MSM interviewed, nearly 45 percent reported meeting sex partners online, and roughly one fifth of those men had no other contact information for the partner besides an e-mail address."Yep, it's the Internet's fault alright. And back when, as documented in "And the Band Played On", men would lie in bathhouses, nude with their butts in the air waiting for a stranger to sodomize them, that must have been because of Ronald Reagan's views on AIDS.

Well, maybe the chat rooms should be shut down, eh? Oh, you could chase them off AOL, but they'd be back elsewhere, and with even less supervision.

But if you did successfully shut down chat rooms, it would be just as it was in San Francisco some years ago with bathhouses. When some gay groups recognized that they were the nuclei for the spread of AIDS and lobbied to shut them down, there was mass outrage. I don't know if they're back open now or not, but they're irrelevant - sluts are sluts.

Are all gays like that? No. But it would be nice to hear them disavowed once in a while, especially when some of them want us to take the idea of gay marriage seriously.

But if she had gone hunting with them, that would have been different

Another high court justice faces questions on ethics: "WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has lent her name and presence to a lecture series co-sponsored by the liberal NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, an advocacy group that often argues before the court in support of women's rights that the justice embraces."

Atrios for President!

Why not? - how much worse can he be than John Kerry? It's harder to tell the difference every day, and then Kerry described his Republican critics as "the most crooked ... lying group I've ever seen." Perhaps it's just a coincidence that he had just been speaking with Howard Dean.

And in the same article Kerry is proposing "deeper tax cuts for the middle class than proposed by President Bush". I can't wait to see this.

She's still alive!

Yes, Susanna finally posted something. I'll just link to the top of the blog, because it's the only thing showing right now anyway.

That's also the page where her PayPal and Amazon tipjars are (hint hint).

But you still can't post comments over there. If you can't contain yourself you can leave them here and I'll see to it that she gets them. We need to remind her that since she's been slacking on blogging, President Bush's numbers have been going down.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Real Starship Troopers?

They haven't caught up with Robert Heinlein's classic yet, but Robotic Legs Could Produce Super Troops

Should we hold him to it?

You might have heard about a hockey player whose neck was broken in two places recently. Colby Cosh is absolutely, positively certain Bertuzzi was just following orders - he wrote "I hope the Canucks still think they're getting good value for money with the universally-hated Marc Crawford behind the bench; I'll eat Rosie O'Donnell's thong if that sadist didn't order Bertuzzi to jump Moore."

Ear prints?

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Criminals are used to trying to avoid leaving fingerprints at a crime scene. But now British scientists have developed a computerized system that allows them to identify ear prints just as easily.

Privacy in Retreat?

Drudge linked to this William Safire column lamenting loss of privacy in the wake of 9/11.

But it turns out that he was only working himself up to fussing about attempted research into abortions by the Justice Department. Why, the sanctity of medical records might be violated!

If in fact the Justice Department was trying to assemble a list of abortion recipients for some sort of harassment, then I say hang the creeps. But that's not what's going on here - their stated purpose is to see if partial birth abortions are medically necessary. And the radical pro-abortion crowd can't stand this, because they know very well that it will expose partial-birth abortions as being medically unnecessary and irrelevant to the health of the mother.

What's really going on here is that politics have trumped science again.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Marketing whizzes

Last night Jay Leno showed some headlines featuring "Outhouse Springs" bottled water. Of course I had to look it up on the web.

Yep, it's for real:
This brand of bottled water was dreamed up by an advertising agency that wanted to gauge how effective outdoor billboard ads could be. So they put 40 billboards advertising the fictitious Outhouse Springs Water up around Charleston, South Carolina. The billboards sported slogans such as "It's #1, not #2!" People definitely noticed the ads and actually started asking for the stuff at retailers. Demand became so intense that the ad agency eventually made a deal with a bottled-water company to produce a limited run of Outhouse Springs Water. It's on sale now at Piggly Wiggly's in Charleston.
More here. The Leno gag suggests that the stuff is still out there.

On a somewhat related note, I've heard that there is a unique cheer at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN. "Let's Go Peay!"
Virginia Postrel says:
This sort of indirect genetic evidence for human evolution is going to pile up until it resembles the overwhelming geological case against believing the earth is a few thousand years old.
Maybe so. But to say so is an act of faith.

Is there a competing scientific theory (ie that does not involve creation of humans as they are) for how human brains got to be the way they are? Not that I know of. But that is not the same as saying the current theory is correct. It might be telling us more about the ingenuity of the practitioners in the field in creating alternative explanations.

Sunday, March 07, 2004 don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows....

Kevin McGehee notes how certain elements have attempted to overthrow much of American traditional culture.

Just how long do imperial judges and liberal attack lawyers think we'll stand for this nonsense?

Martha Stern?

Martha Stewart was found guilty of several charges on Friday. She has been a big donor to Democrats. So how long will it take for someone to claim that the Administration is behind her troubles?

Maybe if she hurries she'll be able to tell her side on the Howard Stern show before he's taken off the air. You know, last I knew they were both unattached...