February 13, 2011 archive

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Our regular featured content-

And this article-

Along with weekly features by TheMomCat Rant of the Week and Translator, aka Dr. David W. Smith’s Pique the Geek

The Stars Hollow Gazette

from firefly-dreaming 13.2.11

Regular Daily Features:

Essays Featured Sunday, February 13th:

  • Sunday Open Thoughts has Alma discussing ignorance and ways to combat it.
  • Waterbug  hosts the first WYFP at firefly-dreaming: WYFP: Esprit d’Escalier
  • Xanthe offers poetry for the season in Two Valentine’s Poems
  • Sunday Bread has  madeBill Egnor a man after my heart… today he shares how to make Chocolate Covered Cherries!
  • Firefly Memories 1.0 is where Alma takes a look back at some of the most Brilliant essays of our first years posts, highlighting those which exemplify our firefly-dreaming spirit and mission.  Today:Earthships

come firefly-dreaming with me….

Injustice at Every Turn — Part IV: Family Life

Part IV — Family

Scarlet Letter

Our analysis shows that many transgender and gender non-conforming people experienced improvement in their family relationships after coming out. Others endured considerable challenges including rejection by partners, friends, and family members. A majority experienced both good and bad, and this didn’t differ much by race.

“Common wisdom” over the years has been that when a transperson begins transition, the first thing that happens is that she or he will be rejected by her or his family…that the road we are called to travel must be traveled alone.

Our Friends……

Really. I hear it all the time. Egypt is our friend. Saudi Arabia is our friend. We have a special relationship with Israel.

So, how exactly is it that two Countries share “Friendship?” Do they call and cheer us up when we are having a bad hair peasant day? Do they cover for us when we are cheating on our wives ripping off other Countries? I mean when its gets up to the “special relationship” phase, do we have an “From Here to Eternity” moment in the surf?


Oh, come onnnnn already!

Countries aren’t people, they cannot have friends. So what could these code words possibly MEAN?

Egypt: From Celebration To Confrontation With The Army

Crossposted from Antemedius

Only two days after cheering began in Egypt’s Tahrir Square following the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, it now appears that the celebrations of the Egyptian democratic revolutionary movement have begun to give way to the realization that while many low ranking soldiers in the Egyptian Army are likely sympathetic to the protesters, higher ranking Army officers are not only not on the side of the revolution but see it as a threat to their military junta.

This short clip from Reuters shows physical confrontations and shoving matches as the Army attempts using force to clear Tahrir Square of demonstrators.

“Egypt’s new military administration and the pro-democracy protesters who brought down Hosni Mubarak are at odds over the path to democratic rule”, notes Chris McGreal in a UK Guardian article: “The army sought to stave off pressure from jubilant protesters to swiftly hand power to a civilian-led administration by saying that it was committed to a ‘free democratic state’.

McGreal also notes, to the credit of the Egyptian protesters who are not giving up, that although “The military leadership gave no timetable for the political transition, and many of the demonstrators who filled Cairo’s Tahrir Square for 18 days rejected the military’s appeal to dismantle the barricades and go home.

Six In The Morning

Mubarak’s Youngest Victims  

Cairo’s street kids were duped into resisting the revolution, then shot by police in the chaos that ensued

Robert Fisk: Cairo’s 50,000 street children were abused by this regime

The cops shot 16-year-old Mariam in the back on 28 January, a live round fired from the roof of the Saida Zeinab police station in the slums of Cairo’s old city at the height of the government violence aimed at quelling the revolution, a pot shot of contempt by Mubarak’s forces for the homeless street children of Egypt.

She had gone to the police with up to a hundred other beggar boys and girls to demand the release of her friend, 16-year-old Ismail Yassin, who had already been dragged inside the station. Some of the kids outside were only nine years old. Maybe that’s why the first policeman on the roof fired warning bullets into the air.

Dad’s Duct Tape

The storm window was broken so I tried to fix it using a 3M inside window insulator kit and some duct tape.  Problem was it’s today’s duct tape and not my Father’s duct tape.  Dad was a packrat.  Saved everything and had just a path through the single car garage under in a modest suburban house.  There was a roll of duct tape from 1973, the really good stuff I used to seal Ma’s air conditioner last summer.  This old tape was heavy.  It stuck to anything and stayed there in heat and cold.  It was most likely made in America in the era when we made things in America.

On a perfect starry winter night a gleeful four year old hunts for bear tracks in the snow.  His mother and Grampy are falling through the icey crusted snow so he offers to help us.

Late Night Karaoke

Call me Ishmael

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Like Robinson Caruso (it’s primitive as can be), The Whale is kinda sorta based on a real life incident, the sinking of the Essex by a Sperm Whale.

Now if you think this dense symbolist tome is grim (and long and boring too), you may be grateful that Melville spared you the rest of the tale.  Far from “And I only am escaped alone to tell thee.”, in fact there were several survivors including Captain George Pollard Jr. who seems remarkably un-Ahab like to me.

In terms of length they drifted through the Pacific for three months (“Still no sight of land, how long is it?”  “That’s a rather personal question, sir.”) and, in desperation, ate the Captain’s cousin (“I’d rather eat Johnson, sir!”).

Well, it wasn’t the Royal Navy

Dear Sir, I am glad to hear that your studio audience disapproves of the last skit as strongly as I. As a naval officer I abhor the implication that the Royal Navy is a haven for cannibalism. It is well known that we now have the problem relatively under control, and that it is the RAF who now suffer the largest casualties in this area.

Now you might think after an experience like that you’d be as reluctant as John Harrison (who got terribly sea sick during his trip to Lisbon testing the H1 and never sailed again) to return to whaling, but Captain Pollard got another command, the Two Brothers.

Which promptly sank off French Frigate Shoals near Hawaii.

After that crews were understandably reluctant to sail with him and he ended his life as a night watchman on Nantucket where he met Melville (who was a customs inspector, you can’t make any money writing) after the book’s publication.  It’s said they got along quite well.

While the Essex is as lost as the Pequod, marine archaeologists have recently found the wreck of the Two Brothers and there’s an interesting article in The New York Times about it.

No ‘Moby-Dick’: A Real Captain, Twice Doomed

By JESSE McKINLEY, The New York Times

Published: February 11, 2011

On Friday, in a discovery that might bring a measure of peace to Captain Pollard, who survived his second wreck (though his career did not), researchers announced that they have found the remains of the Two Brothers. The whaler went down exactly 188 years ago after hitting a reef at the French Frigate Shoals, a treacherous atoll about 600 miles northwest of here. The trove includes dozens of artifacts: harpoon tips, whaling lances and three intact anchors.

The discovery is believed to be the first of a Nantucket whaler, one of an armada of ships that set sail during the early 19th century when the small Massachusetts island was an international capital of whaling. It was a risky pursuit that led sailors halfway across the world – and sometimes to the bottom of the sea.

Republicans out to Kill Canaries in the Coal Mines

Seeking to protect fossil-foolish interests is at the core of the Republican House majority’s agrenda.

“We think what we can be is the canary in the coal mine,” Republican Representative Darryl Issa told reporters.

Congressman Issa’s words are prophetic — evidently he and his colleagues consider themselves to be the ‘canaries in the coal mine’ since they are taking steps with the newly introduced Continuing Resolution to kill off as many canaries in the coal mine to protect Americans from environmental, safety, and other risks. ¬†For example, the proposal includes a 22 percent reduction in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, massive cuts in basic science research, budgets slashing seeking to essentially eliminate U.S. government research on climate change, … a true anti-science syndrome agenda.