Archive for October, 2008

Animal behavior

The tree outside my ninth-floor window is within arm’s length. Closest to the window is a stubby pseudo-branch–it’s a little jagged at the end, which makes me think the maintenance guys sawed it off when it started to get a little fresh with the building. Perfect for a birdfeeder!, I thought. What a fun, interesting way to interact with nature!, I thought.

Let me tell you some things about birds.

  • They’re picky. I’ve got a jay who comes and systematically tosses out every piece of birdseed from the feeding trough till he finds the kind he likes.
  • They’re stupid. The titmice have not yet figured out that tapping on the birdfeeder does not yield food (notable subpoint: the titmice come early in the morning).
  • They’re ravenous. I filled up the feeder halfway this morning before I left, and when I got back around dinnertime it was basically gone. The birds are eating my booze money.
  • They’re ungrateful. I just want to take a picture! Don’t fly away!

Here are the advantages of having a birdfeeder outside my window:

  • Birds are kinda cute (especially the titmice).
  • I get to complain about them on my blog.

October 26, 2008 at 9:24 pm Leave a comment

Peirce, STDs, etc.

Tonight is the Celebration of Peirce Hall, planned by the College to wow the trustees into believing the $28-million investment was worth it. Personally I miss the old, tired grit of freshman-year Peirce, but that might just be nostalgia talking (it’s definitely nostalgia talking). Also, my opinion of Peirce has improved tremendously since they brought in more coffee dispensers. In any case, I’m looking forward to the “Bishop’s Sidecar Punch” (seriously), the sixteen-piece Big Band (seriously), and the five-foot-tall cake replica of Peirce (seriously!).

Also, check out this unsettlingly vague article from the Washington Post:

NORMANDY, Mo., Oct. 23 — Students at a suburban St. Louis high school headed to the gymnasium for HIV testing this week after an infected person told health officials that as many as 50 teenagers might have been exposed to the virus that causes AIDS.
Officials refused to give details on who the person was or how the students at Normandy High School might have been exposed, but the district is consulting with national AIDS organizations as it tries to minimize the fallout and prevent the infection — and misinformation — from spreading.

The St. Louis County Health Department said last week that a positive HIV test raised concern that students at Normandy might have been exposed. The department is not saying whether the infected person was a student or connected with the school, only that the person indicated that as many as 50 students may have been exposed.

Hochstedler said the district doesn’t know the person’s identity, or even whether he or she is a student. “We do know there was some potential exposure between that person and students,” he said. “We don’t know the individual or the route of transmission.”

Is there any possibility of misinformation spreading if there’s no information in the first place? Also, 50 people? Either there is a huge heroin problem at this school or someone’s operating a used-needle tattoo parlor out of his dad’s toolshed.

October 24, 2008 at 12:12 pm Leave a comment

Long overdue

So, I’ve cut all the political blogs from my Google Reader. Yes. It’s over. No more Talking Points, no more Think Progress, no more Power Line (token conservative voice), etc etc.

If I didn’t live in a swing state I might feel a little more tolerant towards political talk during the next two weeks, but the phone calls, the emails, the shrill speculations, the petty outrages, and the wholesale YouTubing have all reached a breaking point for me.

I’m also tired of Palin jokes.

This is a larger part of a greater plan for my life.

In short, I just can’t deal with politics anymore. I have put a personal moratorium upon my own involvement in election-related discussions that do not count toward a class participation grade. I will not participate. I do not care. I am voting and everyone else who’s going to vote is voting and no one can convince anyone to vote differently so the point is moot.

Call me on November 5th. But please speak softly into the phone, as I will be miserably hungover.

For what it’s worth, I replaced them with homepage feeds from the NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and BBC. That last one might not stay–I just received an article about the Pakistan Cricket Board.

October 20, 2008 at 5:04 pm 1 comment

First world problems, vol. 2

  1. This paper will not write itself.
  2. Sugarfree Red Bull tastes like steel wool.
  3. I can’t go to Washington till Wednesday.

October 6, 2008 at 10:56 pm Leave a comment

Awesome political discourse, everyone.

The next person to threaten a move to Canada based on the outcome of the 2008 election gets a one-way plane ticket to Nova Scotia paid for by yours truly.

Have you people heard of checks and balances?

October 4, 2008 at 12:12 am 1 comment

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