Minutiae
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"Chuck Norris doesn't read books; he stares them down until he gets the information he wants out of them."
- ChuckNorrisFactsdotcom

Friday, January 06, 2006
Mmmm.
Warm fuzzies.

As I like to occasionally remind people, I'm a mid-twenties, liberal arts degree holding, pro-choice woman, and I'm the NRA. Charleton Heston's hands aside, most people's perceptions of the NRA are inaccurate. It was founded after the civil war because the urban northerners were such terrible shots. It's been around for over 100 years. It's primary mission/activity is NOT lobbying but marksmanship and safety education. It isn't funded by manufacturers it's funded by membership dues (which are expensive,) and donations from members.

The Eddie Eagle gun safety program for kids was one of the very first and is still one of the best.
If you see a gun:
STOP!
Don't Touch.
Leave the Area.
Tell an Adult.
That's the message that the 'gun lobby' is spreading in schools across the nation with volunteer instructors and donated materials. They'll send you a trigger lock for free. (Hell just about anyone involved with guns in any way will GIVE you a trigger lock. Walk into a gunstore and ask.) Those evil bastards.

posted by Rachel 1/06/2006
. . .
So it looks like 3 dead and up to 26 cases of
bird flu in Turkey.

I agree that panic would be counter-productive. It may be years before it makes the easy transmission jump, but... All this pooh pooing doesn't seem likely to spur productive action on the part of the masses, and seems likely to piss them off if it does hit and they've been told not to worry for the past 6 months. It's especially disconcerting to have health officials telling you not to worry at the same time they admit not knowing what's going on, and that the disease is contained in the same message that says that it's obviously spreading. We live in this weird zone lately of the media telling us that the sky is falling and the powers that be telling us that all's well.

Panic is never productive. It wastes the very internal and external resources you need during a crisis. Still, I think the tone taken recently by many officials is going to outrage the masses when they do wake up. (Not even reasonably, but there you are.)

posted by Rachel 1/06/2006
. . .
I first encountered
The Imp of the Perverse in a book by Christopher Stasheff. He took the notion posited by Poe and ran it through a futuristic sci-fi version of the Catholic church and came out with a really neat concept. The cliffsnotes version is that the whole belief creates gods notion also applies to things which are universal but not believed and rarely even recognized. eg Perversity is part of every human and thus is part of everything made by humans. Hence, Murphy's Law. Or, The Imp/Maxwell's Demon is an actual entity. Much fun ensues.

The Warlock/Wizard series by Stasheff can be hard to find but worth a read. He's a crappy writer, but like Tom Clancy he tells really engaging thought-provoking stories. A better understanding of human nature and the currents of history, you'll rarely find. Although I warn you, he can be much too pleased with his references and puns. If you like Pratchett you'll probably like Stasheff, though it's a bit apples and oranges.

I bring this up because Benno's been the on-call overnight help desk guy this week. Either 3 calls one every 90 minutes or 4 calls while in the bathroom. Once you have a name for something you recognize it everywhere. The Imp! The Imp!

posted by Rachel 1/06/2006
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