Last Chance

Among all the impotent “Don’t they realize the damage they are doing?” that populate my blogroll, finally I found somebody who understands that, of course, they do:

The U.S. government is shut down, except for essential employees. The military, prison guards, and air traffic controllers stay on the job. Isn’t that exactly the limited government the extreme right wants? National defense and homeland security, and nothing else. Hard-line conservatives don’t want to spend money on  parks, environmental regulation, nutrition programs. They don’t want taxes to be collected, and they certainly have no sympathy for unemployed government workers.

Let’s face it, the conservatives in this country are very good at getting exactly what they want. We all know that time is not on the side of ultra-conservatism. The battles on immigration, gay marriage, abortion rights, contraception, evolution, and even hawkish foreign policies are pretty much lost. In twenty years, these issues will only be raised in comedy routines making fun of the older generations. If things are allowed to run their natural course, ultra-conservatism is dead. Its only hope is a very profound crisis that will disrupt the country’s existence on every level.

So. please, let’s stop referring to the ultra-conservatives in Congress as children who throw tantrums or fools who are blind to reality. The fools and the children are those who don’t accept the existence of a logic that is different from their own.

And an Award in Self-Defeatism Goes To. . .

This is an email that came to my work mailbox:

As employees of the federal government will be unavailable to respond to inquiries, help and support for projects will be unavailable. This includes, but is not limited to, contact with program officers, help desk inquiries, requests for no-cost extensions, budget change requests, award transfer requests, supplemental funding requests, support on electronic portals, and inquiries regarding submissions. Electronic portals, such as the NSF’s Fastlane and, are closed as of October 1. The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) eRACommons is closed. Peer review of submitted proposals is suspended. No new awards will be announced.

Yes, it is such a brilliant idea to cripple research at this point in time. We are making total idiots out of ourselves, folks. The whole world is laughing.

In the meanwhile, nothing I could ever write about this issue is likely to attract even 1% of the attention that a silly test with pictures of trees is getting.


Looking at these blog stats one might conclude that I wrote something super smart yesterday:

crazy stats


I didn’t, though. The reason why visitors inundated the blog yesterday is that somebody discovered this old personality test and started sharing it on Facebook. It is kind of sad that I keep trying to say something valuable, yet all people care about is a silly test.

Driving Terminology

I keep undertaking projects that will occupy me and make me incapable of thinking about anything sad. One of these projects is, once again, studying the driving rules. I don’t understand half of the terminology they use, so I have to Google things constantly.

Take, for instance, the term “controlled-access highway.” Why couldn’t the driving rules just specify that the term refers to something as simple as an Autobahn?

Now I need to figure out how an expressway differs from controlled-access highway.