Archive for the 'Things I Like' Category

12
Mar
09

M.A.S., Inc.

Yep, it’s been awhile.  My new blog home takes all my time and energy. (And why aren’t you a member yet???)

But things have been happening in RL too.  I got engaged last week – yippee!! 🙂  Good stuff.  We’re finally taking the M.A.S. public!  (Who’s the b-school grad?) lol

I’ve been thinking about my own wedding for the last decade or so (not, as pop culture would insist, since I was a little girl, nor do I subscribe to the idea that it will be the best or most important day of my life [so far]…that will be my MIT graduation!  Dr. Redstar…someday…).  I have attended probably 30 weddings, and been in a slew of them as a bridesmaid or reader and even minister.  (That was my personal best on the wedding circuit.  They say that day was really about my friends who married, but I was like, whee!  All these people are here to see me up on this altar!  I do love the pulpit!)  My mind wanders from the finer details of dresses and venues to the broader issues of feminism, materialism, and equality.

So I’m pleased to see these concurrent posts on weddings at Shakesville and Feministing, concerning LGBTQI inclusive weddings and feminist ceremonies.  At least now you know what I’m thinking about, even if I’m not around these parts much anymore.

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26
Jan
09

“It’s always art that goes first.”

And the hits just keep on coming:

Rocked by a budget crisis, Brandeis University will close its Rose Art Museum and sell off a 6,000-object collection that includes work by such contemporary masters as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Nam June Paik.

[snip]

…there is no precedent for selling an art collection of the Rose‘s stature. Internationally recognized, the collection is strong in American art of the 1960s and 1970s and includes works by Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Morris Louis, and Helen Frankenthaler.

President Reinharz grieves over selling off a campus “jewel.”

Yep, wow.

This is awful.

I’ve never been there, but I’ll be going now.  I always thought it was cool that Deis had a museum, and that I was just my uncultured self for never making it there.  My man has opened my eyes to art appreciation, meaning, I might not go there myself, but I get the travesty that is selling off a clearly-not-priceless collection of art to keep the university afloat.  What a luxury it was, having that museum as part of a university that is such an intellectually engaging place.

Ah well, one less thing to do for all the additional undergrads they’re planning on packing in to cover costs, after laying off one in every 10 faculty.

The good times, they are not with us.

19
Jan
09

Redstar

obama-redstar

Make your own at Obamiconme.

07
Jan
09

That Settles It.

I must be middle-aged.  I just got a postcard from my health insurance reminding me how I’m covered for their mastectomy services!

24
Dec
08

My heart, it is warmed

I celebrate 5 Christmases every year: first with the man’s family, then with my mom, then dad, then two different aunts’ houses.  My enthusiasm for this hectic schedule varies each year.  On this quiet morning of Christmas Eve, sitting in my pj’s at my mother’s house with coffee and good company, I’m feeling the yuletide spirit.  Finally.

But this, this warms my tiny, jaded heart, especially the chance spur-of-the-moment decision that spawned this sweet tradition.  If only our military expenditures could always cover important diplomatic work like this.

As I write, Santa’s in Tasmania.  From Tasmania to New England – I’d better get the cookies in the oven!

Merry Christmas!

16
Dec
08

Bush by the numbers

I received this via e-mail this morning from the progressive NYC think-tank Drum Major Institute.  It’s reprinted in its chilling entirety.

The 2008 DMI Injustice Index: The Bush Legacy

Opening weekend box office gross of Oliver Stone’s Bush biopic “W”: $10.6 million

Opening weekend box office gross of Michael Moore’s 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 911, which intensely criticized the Bush Administration: $23.9 million

Number of days during his presidency that Bush spent on vacation at either Camp David or his Texas ranch, as of August 2008 (including partial days off): 916

Total number of years in Bush’s presidency, if these vacation days are subtracted: 5.5

Proportion of U.S. workers who have no paid vacations or holidays at work: 1 in 4

Date on which President Bush received a presidential daily briefing entitled “Bin Laden determined to strike in U.S.” while in the midst of a month-long vacation: 8/6/2001

Date on which a FEMA report warned that Hurricane Katrina could “could greatly overtop levees and protective systems” in New Orleans, displacing more than a million residents, a warning which came when the President was again on a month-long vacation: 8/27/2005

Date of a second warning, from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, that Katrina would “likely lead to severe flooding and/or levee breaching”: 8/29/2008

Date that President Bush told ABC “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.”: 9/1/2005

Date on which George W. Bush announced “I believe we’re overextended… if we don’t stop extending our troops all around the world and nation building missions, then we’re going to have a serious problem coming down the road”: 10/3/2000

Date on which the United Nation’s chief weapons inspector, Han Blix, informed the U.N. Security Council that he had found no evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, although inspection and monitoring efforts would continue: 3/7/2003

Date that United States invaded Iraq: 3/19/2003

Cost of the Iraq War through 2008: $567 billion

Approximate cost of the privately funded George W. Bush Presidential Library, whose manager insists it will discuss the war “upfront”: $250 million

Year the library is set to open: 2014

Year by which the No Child Left Behind law mandates that all students nationwide must achieve grade-level proficiency in reading and math: 2016

Number of societies on earth that has ever succeeded in achieving universal student proficiency, according to testing expert Robert Linn: 0

Amount by which No Child Left Behind has been underfunded since its inception, according to Senator Tom Harkin: $70.9 billion

Proportion of U.S. public schools that are failing to meet No Child Left Behind standards as of October 2008: 2 out of 5

Percentage increase in overall school performance when previously uninsured children were enrolled in public health coverage, according to a California study: 24%

Change in the number of children with health coverage during President Bush’s tenure: -78,000

Percentage of President Bush’s total vetoes that blocked expansion of children’s health insurance: 20%

Number of times he cited the superiority of private insurance programs in his message explaining the first veto to Congress: 5

Year when President Bush made privatizing Social Security the centerpiece of his State of the Union Address, asserting that “your money will grow, over time, at a greater rate than anything the current system can deliver.”: 2005

Number of points the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped on September 29, 2008: 778

Overall change in stock market wealth between Oct. 2007 and Oct. 2008: -$8.4 trillion

Date President Bush signed legislation phasing out the federal estate tax: 6/7/2001

Increase in the number of U.S. millionaires since that year: 928,000

Increase in the number of Americans living in poverty since that year: 4.4 million

Cost of all Bush’s tax cuts from 2001 to 2007: $1.3 trillion

Date President Bush announced that his tax cuts would “encourage more investment” and “strengthen the foundation of our economy so that every American who wants to work will be able to find a job.’: 5/28/2003

Rank of the business cycle that included these tax cuts compared to all business cycles since 1949 in terms of employment growth: last

Rank in terms of investment: last

Change in the real median income of non-retiree households since 2000: -$2,010

Estimated home equity lost by American families with the bursting of the housing bubble: $4 trillion

Year that subsidiaries of the U.S. Treasury Department struck down laws in Georgia and New Jersey that were intended to rein in predatory lending and prevent foreclosures within those states: 2003

Year in which the Federal Reserve issued its own rules to rein in predatory lending and prevent foreclosures: 2008

Number of home foreclosure filings in the first three quarters of 2008: 2.2 million

Number of surrounding homes likely to suffer price declines as a result of this number of foreclosures according to the Center for Responsible Lending : 40.6 million

Date on which President Bush appeared on the NBC game show “Deal or No Deal,” joking that he was “thrilled to be anywhere with high ratings’: 4/21/08

Percentage difference in viewership of the episode with the Bush cameo, compared to the show’s season average: -27%

Approximate proportion of Americans who approved of President’s Bush handling of the Presidency in October, 2008: 1 in 5

Proportion of American adults currently incarcerated in a prison or jail: 1 in 100

Date on which President Bush commuted the prison sentence of I. Lewis Libby, the Vice President’s former Chief of Staff, who was convicted of perjury and obstructing justice: 7/2/2007

Percentage change in the number of full time staff monitoring hazardous goods at the Consumer Product Safety Commission during Bush’s tenure: -16%

Percentage change in the number of federal investigators who monitor employers’ compliance with minimum wage, overtime, and child labor laws during Bush’s tenure: -23%

Percentage of Bush Supreme Court appointees who ruled that factory worker Lilly Ledbetter would get no recompense from her employer despite proving 20 years of pay discrimination: 100%

Number of judges Bush appointed to the Supreme Court as president: 2

Number of Supreme Court Justices who ruled to stop the Florida recount in Bush v. Gore, effectively handing the 2000 election to George W. Bush: 5

Date on which Vice President Dick Cheney announced “history will be the judge – and history, I believe, will say, job well done.” 10/3/2008

To read more from DMI’s 2008 Year In Review, click here.


14
Dec
08

The Spirit of the Season

To all my friends and loved ones in real life and on-line, and especially for those who worship the goddess of science or no g-ds at all this holiday season – from our house to yours, we send you the spirit and cheer of

The Christmas Amoeba!**

christmas-amoeba1

And by “spirit” I mean my spirited – and first ever – attempt to hang outdoor lights at home, in our third floor walk-up in Boston.  Go me shaking off the Virgo need for symmetry!!

**The Christmas Amoeba is a close relative of the Hanukah Amoeba, Ramadan Amoeba, Kwanzaa Amoeba, Boxing Day Amoeba, and Winter Solstice Amoeba.