the minor premise

the minor premise

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Zero-Cal, Dental-Friendly, Slightly Spooky Treat for Halloween

...The original (accept no substitutes; there has been a proliferation of vids on this theme on YouTube) Buffy Summers v. Edward Cullen mashup. This is how a gal with spunk deals with a pesky vampire stalker!

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Friday, October 30, 2009

For the Birds?

I usually view technology as my friend. My father worked for a large computer company when computers were large, and only Bruce Wayne had one in his home. I enjoy a good gadget, even if my budget has kept me from early adoption of most of them. On the internet, I can really appreciate how internet relay chat, instant messaging, voice and video conferencing software, Wikis (especially Wikipedia) and even blogs have enriched life. I'll even allow that social networking sites have some use. The one phenomenon for which I really haven't found a use is microblogging, also known as Twittering.

Recently, in a leadership seminar, I asked a presenter if she used Twitter professionally. She was effusive in her praise of the program, saying that Twitter had brought business to her company. As proof of Twitter's usefulness she pointed me to an article by networking expert Sarah Michel entitled "Twitter Chatter." Sarah Michel embraces Twitter as

an amazing marketing tool. I personally know several people who have gotten business, secured contracts and even landed new jobs all on Twitter. It provides a great platform for you to get immediate feedback on ideas, products or concepts. Remember, this is free marketing research!

She also gives some tips on keeping the tweets relevant and interesting.
Here are a few of her recent "Tweets":

# I just saw "This Is It" the new Michael Jackson movie with a group ranging from 11 to 50 yrs. of age-EVERYONE loved it! Go see the talent!about 22 hours ago from TweetDeck

# Driving to Denver airport in a blinding snow storm. Luckly it's not sticking to the road. If you don't have to go anywhere today...don't!2:46 PM Oct 25th from Tweetie

# You have 17 seconds to make a positive first impression-make sure your intro is Clear, Concise, Catchy & Communicates your value-add8:03 AM Oct 23rd from TweetDeck

I still have to say that I am somewhat of a skeptic. Consider these "Tweets" from one Levi Johnson of Wasilla, Alaska:

# CONFIRMATION: It looks like the shoot will
be all nude after all.. ..! But in a
tasteful matter (who remembers Austin powers
ending part I)about 21 hours ago from web

# @JGoo220 You know you're a celebrity when
strangers want to see your penis.!!LMAO --
9:57 AM Oct 29th from web in reply to

# there's been a lot of rumours whether I'll
go fulll frontal as of late... I repeat
===its NOT CONFIRM. ( not yet ) I will let
ya guys know9:46 AM Oct 29th from web


Friday, October 23, 2009

Counting for Diddley

Anyone who has had small children while living in Germany knows about a treat that delights children of that nation, the Kinder-Ɯberraschung (literally Children-Surprise, but known to most Americans as the Kinder Egg). A Kinder-Ɯberraschung is a hollow chocolate egg containing a small plastic toy which usually requires some assembly. These eggs generally cannot be found in the U.S. due to laws about hiding small, choking-size inedible objects in edible things, especially if those edible things are meant for children.

Recently, the U.S. Congress has taken a page from the European candy-makers. Hidden within a large Defense Appropriation bill was a rather unpalatable expansion of hate-crimes legislation. I disagree with making violent crime against one group different than that occurring against another group. Laws against violence should be stringent and vigorously enforced, regardless of the gender or orientation of the victim. To do otherwise would divide Americans into first and second class citizens before the law.

Rather than let my frustrations build over the matter, I engaged the parody department to help me let off steam. The results are here for your enjoyment.

Hate Crime (to the Tune of "Willie and the Hand Jive")
by Dminor. Apologies to Johnny Otis, as well as Eric Clapton, George Thorogood and a million anonymous bar bands.

I know a cat named Way-out Willie,
But when he goes out at night he's named Rocking Lily.
Yeah Congress says that it is true;
A crime against him now counts as two.

From Pelosi to Senator Reid
"A hate crimes law is what we need!
It won't pass standing on its own,
So a Defense bill will be its home."

Hate Crime, Hate Crime, Hate Crime
I don't rate a hate crime.

A doctor, a lawyer and an Indian Chief,
They don't rate that kind of relief.
Unless they are of a certain lifestyle
They won't count as much at trial.

Hate Crime, Hate Crime, Hate Crime
I don't rate a hate crime

Violent crime is evil, against the law.
And no one should fall victim, that goes for all!
Well, defense appropriation now has a twist;
You're second class or you're on a list.

Hate Crime, Hate Crime, Hate Crime
I don't rate a hate crime

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dynamic Duo or Others Doing Smothers

The talent scouts at the minor premise have been at it, finding "undiscovered" musical talent so you don't have to. Today we present a music-comedy duo from the UK: Rocky and Balls. They have it all -- funny lyrics, harmonies, innuendo, hand clapping, ukelele and kazoos. They remind me a little of the Flight of the Conchords (although they're from a different set of islands), and a little of an SNL skit (folk group with hand clapping).

I'm not really fond of the video ending, but you can't have everything. The two women have solo projects (Sophie Madeline and Hannah Rockcliff aka Hannah Rei, but here the sum is better than the parts.
So, what do you think? The next Spice Girls?

Thanks to Hon Daughter #1

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Reaction (In Stages)

If you don't know what this is about, pick up a newspaper.*

1. Mystification (And a sudden urge to check the calendar to make sure it wasn't April 1.)
2. Amusement.
3. A little anger, when I began to reflect on the many other far more deserving individuals and organizations that could have been selected:

Nominees believed to be on the 2009 Nobel Prize list are US President Barack Obama and French President Nicholas Sarkozy. Other known contenders for this year's prize include former French-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt and Chinese dissident Hu Jia, who was also a front-runner in 2008.

According to, The Cluster Munitions Coalition is also known to be on the list after it played a central role in getting nearly 100 countries to sign a treaty last year in Oslo banning cluster bombs.

Other nominees are believed to be:

* Macedonian humanitarian and artist Zivko Popovski-Cvetin, nominated by the Macedonian government
* Austrian children's charity SOS-Kinderdorf International, put forward by the Austrian government
* American Greg Mortenson, nominated by six members of the U.S. Congress for his Asian school building charity
* Vietnamese religious leader Thich Quang Do, put forward when a campaign recruited lawmakers to nominate him
* American musician Pete Seeger.


And those are just a few of the 205 submissions for this year. I've read that Dr. Sima Samar was on the short list, for example. A women's rights activist who's worked tirelessly in some of the most hostile territory on earth? Or a recently elected former first-term U. S. Senator with a spotty voting record and a few good speeches under his belt? Gosh, who would want to be on the Nobel committee with such decisions to make?

I had NPR on in the car this morning and even they seemed to be struggling to wrap their brains around the news. Don Gonyea had some real quotables, which I'll have to look up later so I get the wording exact. In the meantime, here's the story currently on their site.

Quip from Hon. Daughter #2 on hearing the news:
"Why didn't they just give it to Miss America? She makes speeches about promoting world peace, too."

I can think of nothing more to say. Re-sabbaticalizing.

Update 10/10: A couple of quotes from Don Gonyea, as mentioned above. He stammered heavily throughout the dialogue, as if he were completely unprepared for the discussion and grasping for something to say:

*Well, it really does seem to be an award that honors what he stands for and what he hopes to do, than what he has actually accomplished...
He has initiated and worked hard to get the peace process going in the middle east, but nothing has really taken fruit there yet; you can look, Guantanamo is still open, still troubles with Iran and North Korea, but the committee sees this president as giving the world hope for a better future, and that seems to be what this is, an award to encourage him to keep doing what he has been doing.

*It seeems like this is a reward for the President for changing direction in US foreign policy...while the Bush administration is mentioned nowhere here, certainly Europe, much of the world was so critical of Pres. Bush...again, Pres. Obama's entire campaign...was based on changng that direction. This is the Nobel committee embracing that change, even if we haven't seen real fruits from that change yet.

*Update 10/20: In retrospect that first line doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I wrote this around 7:30 a.m. so the news hadn't been out very long. Come to think of it, it actually wouldn't have been in the papers that morning (except, of course, for the online editions.)

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

First, the Serious...

I never got around to finishing that post on our local health care bill town hall meeting, and don't know when that's going to happen. Before the issue goes completely stale, here is a link to the video of the first of two meetings held in our community. I wasn't at this one; I was at the second. Other than the question session at the end, I think it's fairly similar. (Note: run time is over one hour.)

...then, the silly.
A Mitchell and Webb take on Pride and Prejudice, courtesy Hon. Daughter #1, who got it from a friend. LANGUAGE WARNING: Mr. Darcy gets very NOT drawing room around 1:36-1:39. Miss Jane would not have approved.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Drinking the Kool-Aid

A singularly bad choice for the advertising of a political event , wouldn't you say?

I found this through Future Majority.

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Laws, Decency and Broken Clocks

I hardly ever agree with Eugene Robinson. I can't think of a time when we have been on the same side of an issue. Generally, his columns approach controversial subjects with no respect to opposing views; an attitude that generally annoys me. Our local paper runs him as a liberal voice in a mostly conservative op-ed section, probably as contrast. Even taking into account his role as equal time, I have considered writing the paper and asking them to replace him with someone with better arguments. (Ah, William Raspberry, why did you have to retire!)

But I have to give credit where credit is due. Mr. Robinson is spot on in his assessment of the Roman Polanski/Hollywood situation in his column of October 2, "Hollywood's Shame." The folks who are supporting Polanski's unconditional release are dead wrong, by any reasonable measure. Polanski plead guilty of a crime, jumped bail (another crime) and evaded U.S. law enforcement for 30 years. Leniency, if warranted, is the province of the sentencing judge, not the Hollywood elite or even public opinion. Not if we claim to be a nation of laws, it isn't.

Much was made of unity and common ground between the right and the left after the election of Barack Obama, although the rosy scenario failed to play out. In this case, at least, there can be unity among the decent.

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