Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Cat Blogging

Lucy had another of her odd cat moments today.  I was folding laundry on the bed, and my comforter was all bunched up on one of the corners.  Lucy jumped onto the bed, zipped over to the comforter, promptly shoved her nose under one of the folds, and then proceeded to burrow her way into the blanket one skooch at a time.  I don't know if there was a stinky sock in there or what, but whatever it was, she just HAD to get in there.  It was pretty funny and I tried to snap a picture, but being only human, I was too slow and only managed to catch part of her tail (it's the little dark spot in the middle-left part of the screen).

 Of course, once she was in, she discovered that whatever-it-was was not nearly as exciting, got turned around a bit, and then spent the next 5 minutes trying to find her way back OUT of the blanket.  (Note, at no point was she distressed or calling for help; if she was I would've gotten her out immediately.)  Anyway, she managed to work herself free, and either she was tired or embarrassed, as she decided to waltz her way right over to my folded laundry and plop herself down in the middle of it.  As if to say "Oh yeah?  Well, I may get stuck in your blanket, but now you can't put your laundry away.  So HAH!'

Of course, after a few minutes she'd forgotten the whole thing, and went back to being a snuggly little angel on the bed.  Why do cats do these things?  Only Sky-Cat knows, I suppose.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fittest ... I do not think it means what you think it means

Whooooo boy, Aaron Schock has got to be PISSED.

I'm on the Men's Health daily email list, which sends you things like exercise tips, foods to target (or avoid), and general fitness tips & stories.  And this morning I got an email titled "The 25 Fittest Politicians", a story about men in government who, even with all the inherent challenges, still manage to stay fit.

These kinds of stories aren't exactly my cup of tea, but you never know when you might pick up a tip or two, and hey, pretty guys!  So I clicked through and started reading.

Now, as I was clicking through, I was reasonably sure that Paul Ryan would be featured somewhere.  Ryan's pretty proud (and rightly so) of how fit he is, and the topic hasn't exactly been off limits from the news.  So mentally I was preparing myself to read through the fluff piece, give the man his due, and then go right back to wondering why no one's ever actually told him that his economic ideas are based on mathematical impossibilities.

So I click through numbers 25,24,23 ... 14,13,12 ... and then finally to numbers 2 and 1.  And my jaw dropped.  Because somewhere, somehow, someone saw these two men side-by-side:

And decided that ... Paul Ryan deserves the title of "Fittest Politician".  (For those keeping track, the one on the left is Republican Congressman Aaron Schock of Illinois' 18th district, who's actually been a feature story in Men's Health magazine before.)

Now, this isn't to diminish Ryan's accomplishments, but I honestly have no idea how you look at those two guys objectively and come to the conclusion that Schock deserves runner-up status.  Seriously Men's Health, you gotta dial the puppy-love down just a few notches.  Your credibility is suffering.

But seriously, how big a blow to Schock's ego does this have to be?  He's buffed to magazine-cover perfection, easily in the top fraction of a top percent, and he loses to a guy with chicken legs.  I'm sure he'll grin and smile when he meets Ryan next, but inside he's got to be thinking "Seriously, I lost to this?"

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

No Live Blogging Tonight

I'll be watching the debate tonight, and multi-tasking at the same time, but alas it will be get some work done, and not to live-blog.  Maybe updates later.

Monday, October 01, 2012

This is an Argument?

In the past I've tried to avoid explicitly political posts, since I really don't want to alienate either of my 2 readers.  I have a feeling this election season may force a change there.  And then every once-in-a-while you come across a post like this.  From Maggie Gallagher at the Corner:
[British researcher Charles] Lau found that cohabiting same-sex couples in Great Britain are twice as likely to break up as cohabiting opposite sex couples — and married couples (all opposite-sex in Great Britain) are at least five times more stable than same-sex couples.


This of course cannot tell us how children fare on average when they are raised by stable same-sex couples, or whether gay marriage will significantly increase stability in same-sex couples. It can tell us why Professor Mark Regnerus’s study turned up so few: They are rare.
So, let's unpack this, shall we?

First of all, without a link in the original, it's difficult to actually check the specifics of the study.  "Twice as likely to break up" could mean many things ... 5% vs 10%, or 50% vs 100%.  I doubt it's anywhere near as that extreme, but even granting (for the moment) the validity of the arguments, the absolute numbers matter here.  "Twice as likely to die in a car crash than in an airplane crash" doesn't stop people from driving, and nor should it.

Second of all ... what exactly is Gallagher trying to argue or imply here?  She cites some statistics, and then runs down a litany of what it doesn't mean.  It doesn't tell us the impact on children raised by same-sex couples (because everyone knows it's all about the children, which is why men and women over 80 aren't allowed to marry ... oh wait).  It doesn't tell us what the impact same-sex marriage would have on stability of same-sex couples.  Also true, although one can reasonably assume it would have a positive affect.  But why exactly would either of those have a bearing on whether gay marriage should be legal?  Either the stabilizing effect on same-sex couples is lower than the effect for opposite-sex, which only justifies denying it if you adopt a "you don't get as much benefit from it as we do so you can't have it at all" mindset; or it's a judgment on the underlying stability of gay relationships, and it doesn't matter what the stabilizing effects are.  In other words, they're only arguments against gay marriage if you're already working off of a premise that same-sex relationships are fundamentally inferior to opposite-sex relationships.  Is that what Gallagher's arguing here?

And thirdly, that last little comment really just comes off as snide.  "It can tell us why Professor Mark Regnerus's study turned up so few: They are rare."  Well DUH.  Same-sex marriage is illegal in the UK, so I'd expect there to be very few same-sex marriages.  And if she's referring to stable same-sex couples in general, there's a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem here.  When you keep telling a group of people, year after year, that they're undeserving of marriage and that their relationships just aren't worthy of recognition or legal protections like everyone else, OF COURSE there's going to be an aggregate effect.  How could there not be?