So, does the Religious Right all have a heart attack now, or later?

The Fresh Ten

Recent events have made it clear that we are suffering from a broken moral compass.  People today could use some general guidance.

Since the original ten commandments seem somewhat narrow and obsolete (too much focus on livestock, servants, and jealous god issues), here is a modest first draft of a fresh set. 

  1. You shall treat all people with respect regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, or national origin.
  2. You shall not kill, assault, nor intimidate with threats of physical violence.
  3. You shall not rape, sexually coerce, nor intimidate with threats of sexual violence.
  4. You shall cultivate intellectual curiosity, be open to new ideas, and  respect the scientific method.
  5. You shall not cheat, nor cheat others out of what is rightfully theirs.
  6. You shall not lie, deceive, nor spread lies about others.
  7. You shall not steal, that is to say take or use what rightfully belongs to another person in a manner that causes harm. (Stealing is a trickier concept than it once was. How do you say yes to Fair Use and no to software patents?)
  8. You shall keep your promises.
  9. You shall not waste natural resources nor pollute the shared environment.
  10. You shall take responsibility for your actions and their consequences.

This is from Communicatrix’s (?) aunt.  Very well said – I am an atheist but I can totally get behind every one of these commandments.

Nora Ephron, RIP

Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.

My mother wanted us to understand that the tragedies of your life one day have the potential to be the comic stories the next.

Summer bachelors, like summer breezes, are never as cool as they pretend to be.

When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.

I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are.

The amount of maintenance involving hair is genuinely overwhelming. Sometimes I think that not having to worry about your hair anymore is the secret upside of death.
All from Nora Ephron, 1941 – 2012

She was an amazing woman, putting her finger on the pulse of a generation of people who wanted, above all else,  to be deeply in love.

Affection on Valentine’s Day

Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.
– Alfred A. Montapert

Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.
– C. S. Lewis, 1898 – 1963

We should measure affection, not like youngsters by the ardor of its passion, but by its strength and constancy.
– Cicero, 106 – 43 BC

When you make an omelet, as when you make love, affection counts for more than technique.
– Isabel Allende

Noble characters and pure affections and happy scenes are very comforting things. They’re a refuge from life’s disillusionment.
– Gustave Flaubert, 1821 – 1880

Does it really matter what these affectionate people do, so long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses?
– Mrs Patrick Campbell, 1865 – 1940

Via Van the Quotemaster

 

Last week’s news

Gender-Spotting Tool Could Have Rumbled Fake Blogger
New Scientist (06/17/11) Paul Marks

A gender analysis program developed by Stevens Institute of Technology researcher Na Cheng and colleagues could have successfully determined the sex of a 40-year-old U.S. man writing online as a gay Syrian girl, according to tests.

The software permits users to either upload a text file or paste in a paragraph of 50 words or more for analysis. The program was based on a vast corpus of documents that the researchers screened for psycholinguistic factors, and they winnowed the more than 500 factors they uncovered down to 157 gender-significant ones.

These cues were then combined by the program through a Bayesian algorithm that guesses gender according to the balance of likelihoods suggested by the factors. The program has three gender judgments to choose from–male, female, and neutral.

A judgment of neutral might signal that someone is attempting to write in a gender voice that is unnatural to them. When fed text, the software’s assessment of a male or female author is only precise 85 percent of the time, but the researchers say its accuracy will improve as more people use it and alert it to wrong guesses.

——————–

This was a huge deal to some of my online buds last week, particularly the gay activist ones.  It was interesting hearing their reactions to this, but since it was last week, I can’t remember why.

 

 

Quotes

I like the way this woman thinks.  I had never heard of her until today, when Van sent out his quotes of the day about Mignon McLaughlin.  I keep wanting to call her Filet.

~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~**

Courage can’t see around corners, but goes around them anyway.

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.

The hardest learned lesson: that people have only their kind of love to give, not our kind.

What you can’t get out of, get into wholeheartedly.

What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.

Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not permanent.

Nobody really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you’ll see why.

Women usually love what they buy, yet hate two-thirds of what is in their closets.
All from Mignon McLaughlin, 1913 – 1983

Welcome to Panic Central

Um, we now have 37 RSVP’s in the affirmative.  Did I mention I’m not that great with crowds?

Looks more and more like it’s going to rain buckets.   If that happens we’ll have to ditch the tables and just plop everyone into rows of folding chairs crammed around the furniture.  What should I do with all the balloons?  Do people mind being crammed together like sardines at a party where they don’t all know each other and the age ranges are from 16 to 70+? With no booze?  Oh yeah.  This is hilarious.  Frankly, I think there WILL be a little booze, if only in the hostess and the hostess’ helper.  Thank jeebus for Corey, she is an industrial-strength organizer.  But she can’t make the house any bigger or control the weather.  Hey, internet, you want to come, too?  Why not?  The more the merrier.  🙂  HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Yep, losin’ it.