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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Jane Lake and Moodspins!

I have joined the illustrious writing staff of Moodspins, an InsidePulse Zone.
Inside Pulse is a community of enthusiastic, opinionated writers covering a broad range of topics and subjects that span the entirety of modern popular culture. Unlike traditional, mainstream media, Inside Pulse has no corporate parent to pander to, and the result is a no-holds-barred take on the world that is a rarity in modern media.

Come visit as I plan to post once a week there, and feel free to comment!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Jane Lake and Vista!

As Microsoft rolls out Vista, I must take a mental snapshot of the world that I know today for tomorrow it will be different.

Whether I like it or not Microsoft shapes how we look at the world and how we access the world. Today, Vista is a new thing. Tomorrow you will not be able to imagine a world without it and XP will look and feel like a dinosaur.

I am always a little queazy when my computer world is reshaped beyond my control, and it is always a little uncomfortable at first. But I must credit the techies with the vision that allows them to recreate what seems like a perfectly acceptable world and manage to make it sleeker and better.

I will probably resist going over to Vista until I can't do something on XP that I want to do that I would be able to do with Vista. But the day will come and I will inevitably move forward and contribute to Microsoft's coffers.

Viva Vista!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Jane Lake and Cold Weather!

It was 8 degrees when I left for work this morning. -4 degrees with the wind chill factor.

These five things went through my head.

1) Thank God for long underwear! They should make long underwear fashionable so that you can wear them on the outside. Then once you get inside you can take them off. Another billion dollar idea that someone else will actually do!

2) Why do some people wear a thin coat with a scarf and thing they will be warm? And then if you ask them if they are cold, they say "No, I love this. I'm from Minnesota." Then their ear falls off!

3) How many people will actually get their tongue stuck to a pole today?

4) How hard will I be laughing at the smokers who stand outside their office building 10 times a day frantically trying to light their cigarettes, taking 3 long puffs and then running back inside barely avoiding frost bite?

5) As brutal as it can be, there are only about a half dozen cold days like this all winter. It is part of the variety that makes the Northeast interesting. It does wear thin though.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Jane Lake and Sam Brownback!

Once in a blue moon (which of course really isn't blue!) there is a presidential candidate that rises above the others as someone you would actually vote for, not because they are the lesser of two evils, but that they would actually make a great President.

Sam Brownback is that candidate. Now, typically that means that he will be pummeled early and hard so that he doesn't even have a chance to represent his party in the general election. But the eternal optimist that I am, I hold that glimmer of hope that others will notice the humanity, wisdom, and honesty that Brownback represents.

He certainly at this point does not have the name recognition of the other Republicans that have announced or will announce their candidacies. But neither did Jimmy Carter at this point analogously in his campaign.

And this I know for sure. I can not stomach Hilary. I do not like her Sam I am!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Jane Lake and Snow!

This morning brought big flakes of snow,
As Manhattan woke from slumber,
They melted quickly don't you know,
And soon had lost their number.

And that's the best the city brings,
For if the snow should stick,
Black and yellow and brownish things
Will begin to make you sick.

Snow is meant for rolling hills,
Where sleds and kids can play,
For kids on streets will give you chills,
throwing snowballs that are grey.

So a mild winter is what I see,
with the occasional pretty flake,
And keep the dreaded doggy pee,
Away from Miss Jane Lake

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Jane Lake and the Super Bowl!

I admittedly know nothing about sports, but there is something about the Super Bowl that is hard to avoid.

At work, there are the "boxes". Buy a couple and you are hooked - at least in watching the end of each quarter.

Socially, there are the "Super Bowl Parties" where boys will be boys and girls will be boys.

Whether you watch it for the commercials or the half time wardrobe malfunctions, or for the thrill of watching someone throw a dead cow to a grossly overweight athlete, it is a once a year must for any good American.

Being from Boston, I have to hope the Patriots make it again. It at least makes people think I care. Otherwise, I will claim I got 2 - 2 for my box and watch everyone look so sad for me.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Jane Lake and Amniotic-Fluid Stem Cells!

One technology after another is developed that shows that embryonic stem cell research is Draconian. Between umbilical cord cells, adult stem cells, and now amniotic-fluid stem cells, a high percentage of any potential benefit that embryonic stem cell research might muster, if any, can be investigated using alternative methodology.

Why continue to utilize methods that are considered by many to be unethical and potentially fruitless when we now have clear alternatives?

1) Monetary gain - grants have been given for embryonic stem cell research. Both the grantors and recipients would lose out on funds already spent.

2) Stubborness - people don't want to admit that all the energy and effort that they put into fighting for embryonic stem cell was for naught.

3) Selfishness - If it will help me one day sooner than I don't care about the ethics!

4) Political gain - many Democrats have used this issue as a stick against their Republican foes, and they wouldn't want to find themselves on the opposite side of the beating!

The bottom line is that given the potential of all of the alternatives, it is an abomination to pursue any further a technique that millions of people in this country believe is killing innocent lives.

Let's all grow up and do what is right!

I entered this in the Philosophy Blog War. Pleases vote for my entry here:


Monday, January 08, 2007

Jane Lake and Personal Responsibility!

The other day I crossed the street, not at an intersection, but in the middle. I walked between two parked trucks to get out into the street and peeked out to see if any cars were coming. Just as I stuck my head out, a bicyclist swerved to avoid taking my head off. As luck would have it, I am still here to tell the story, and the bicyclist was okay as well as there were no cars coming.

On Friday, a local 13 year old boy was hit and killed by a Long Island Railroad train as he was going home for dinner from spraying graffiti on the train signal box. He was running across the third of four tracks to beat out a train coming on the third track. What he did not know was there was a train coming on the fourth track as it was blocked by the train he could see.

Both of us did something not quite right, and certainly not smart. For me it is a subtle wake up call, that we are responsible for our own well being and our choices affect not only ourselves, but also our families, our friends, and strangers alike.

Taking unnecessary chances, because of impatience, the thrill, or just plain stupidity is something we all do at one time or another when we are driving cars, crossing streets, or just trying to get somewhere.

Someone out there is telling me to think smart and slow down. I think that is sound advice.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Jane Lake and Life on Other Planets!

I got to thinking about life on other planets and how it relates to religions and God. Certainly there is no place in the bible where life on other planets is either supported or rejected.

Why would God want life on only one planet anyway? Maybe the Adams and Eves on other planets didn't eat from the Tree of Knowledge, and snakes still walk and talk. It seems a little like overkill to create a whole universe just to put life on Earth.

I'm not even sure how we know there is nothing outside our Universe. We certainly have no way way of detecting something that might be a googleplex to the third miles away.

What is my point? Well, it seems we are always searching for answers to the big questions. Discovering an advanced civilization on another planet would probably give us more answers (and more questions) than anything we can divine on this little blue marble.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Jane Lake and Checks!

A new year means trying to remember what year it is when writing out a check! Of course, who uses checks anymore?

Anything that can be automatically paid, I do it. All of my monthly bills are paid through an online account. Quite frankly, I'm surprised that checks haven't gone the way of the subway token.

Of course, now the IRS has decided that cash contributions for charitable organizations can not be deducted on your income tax, which means writing a check may be the only viable alternative in some cases. I guess I will be handing out checks to homeless people in the subway stations from now on. I just hope I put the correct year!

I entered this in the Philosophy Blog War. Pleases vote for my entry here:


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