Category Archives: Random

Maybe there is something to astrology…

With the impending birth of my first child coming up in late May, I decided to see if there was anything to astrology. I did a survey of famous people of substance whom I respect: Richard Feynman, Obama, John Adams, Einstein, Ron Paul, Ayn Rand, Margaret Thatcher, etc. It turns out they all, every single one of them, had birthdays in the Fall or Winter, with a few in Spring. Not a single one in June or July.

Kookery about planetary alignment aside, might the environment of the child’s first experiences shape their thinking? I can’t imagine any baby whose first impressions of the world consist of pool parties and people in hot pants turning out to be a person of substance. But maybe my observations were just due to the fact that people simply have less babies in the Summer for some wierd social reason?

As a control I then did birthday checks of the worst human beings I could think of: Pamela Anderson, Jessica Simpson, Tom Cruise, Kanye West, Courtney Love, George Bush, and the worst person to walk the planet since Hitler: Linsday Lohan. Their birth months? June, June, July, June, June, July and July. Incidentally, George Bush is the only world leader I could find who was born in either June or July.

This isn’t scientific, but nor did I have to cherry pick. This shit is real. Gestate faster, Michele!

Update: I’m relieved to find out that a few good friends were born in June. So, astrology is rebunked. But July is still highly suspect…

Final Update: Alex just squeaked in before the buzzer, born May 28th, 2009. Good boy, Alex.

Thanks to Dikipedia.org for help with the research for this article.

Weird dream

So, my wife is now 22 weeks pregnant.

A few nights ago I dreamt we were allowed, by some new medical advance, to have our baby taken out early so that we could have a little meet and greet, and then he’d have to be put back in to be born normally a few weeks later. When we got to hold him, he looked like a regular baby, with his eyes tightly closed and his face scrunched up.

Then, he started to relax, and opened one eye, then he cautiousy opened the other and looked around. My wife was holding him so that he faced me, and we both got excited that he was already looking around, way ahead of schedule. He then locked eyes with me and said “Hi, Jonathan!”

“You know my name?!?” I exclaimed.

“Yes, you told it to me earlier, you’re my dad,” he replied, as if it was obvious. He then
started to try to move around and crawl, but was too weak.

“Don’t worry,” I said, “your brain has been getting good exercise with us talking to you in your mom’s belly, but your muscles haven’t been able to, what with you all squeezed in there. Speaking of that, how do you like being stuck in there all curled up in a ball?”

The baby shrugged stoicly, as if to say, “What can you do?”

“How do you feel about the fact that you gotta go back in there in a little bit?” I then asked. He shot me a wide-eyed “Say what, now?” look. The dream ended.

Additional detail: the baby had red hair and a receding hairline with a widow’s peak. He looked sort of like a miniature David Caruso. What the hell does that mean?

How to make a left-wing progessive media statement

In the interest of giving fair time to all opinions, I’ve decided to step aside and table my regularly scheduled rabid wall-punching right wing diatribe. Instead, today’s post has been guest written by a member of the Green Party in Cambridge, on the topic of how to give a proper media statement.

How to make a left-wing progressive media statement

by Sheila Baldwin-Cooper-Oscar-Meyer

Are you planning to attend a protest against a G7 convention? Going to picket outside of an oil company? Just planning to throw a brick through some deserving corporate window? If there’s any chance that you might be interviewed by a reporter, especially on camera, you should brush up on the following official advice for progressive media statements.

  1. Make sure your voice goes up—preferably a dissonant interval like a half-tone or a diminished fifth (“The Maria”)—at the end of every sentence. Otherwise, you’ll sound offensively declarative and patriarchal. Kind of like a Republican.
  2. Shrill monotone nasal intonation! I can’t emphasize this enough. A low, calm voice does NOT get the message across. You want to aim for something between a child’s whine and a cat being ingested in a jet engine. You know who have creepy-low, calm voices? Republicans.
  3. Use the word “shocked” or “outraged” at least five times. Per sentence. If you’re not shocked, you’re probably a Republican.
  4. Use the phrase “the current administration” in a smugly mocking tone in every other sentence. Republicans!!!

Despite this advice, you may find yourself flustered in the heat of the moment. The best of us do (especially with all the great weed that one tends to find at a protest). If all else fails, chant something that rhymes. It will be hard, so fortunately the research and development wing of the progressive movement has discovered that “ho” and “go” rhyme, even if–and this is crucial–you put other words in between them. An example: “Hey hey, ho ho, lateral extraction drilling has got to go.” Does it mean anything? No. But did you actually learn anything about economics or environmental science while you were majoring in gender studies at Brown? Exactly. Stick to the playbook; it’s time tested by a generation who managed to dismantle an entire culture while higher than a roadie at an Allman Brothers concert.

And just remember: when all else fails, call somebody a “fascist”.

Maybe there are dumb questions…

I’ve been wondering about the following: When somebody says “think about the color blue” you cannot help but have an image of blue (or something blue) pop into your visual cortex no matter how hard you try otherwise. Moreover, the thought apparently triggers rather similar neural patterns to those excited if you were actually seeing it. But if somebody says “think about raising your right arm” your arm does not shoot up. If motion is caused by the brain, initiated by thought, and my thoughts are not entirely in my control, why is it that I am nonetheless in total control of my physical movement? There must be some pretty interesting machinery to insulate our normally chaotic thoughts from our motor control system so that we’re not constantly smacking people whenever our subconscious mind wants to.

Poem for the day

Didn’t see that coming, did you? I think this one is especially appropriate for the time, as well as needed balance to the last post:

O look, look in the mirror,
O look in your distress;
Life remains a blessing
Although you cannot bless.

O stand, stand in the window
As the tears scald and start.
You shall love your crooked neighbor
With your crooked heart.

(W.H. Auden)