Monthly Archives: April 2008

Hey, pal. We’re Lesbians not lesbians!

 (source)

People of Lesbos take gay group to court over term ‘Lesbian’

By NICHOLAS PAPHITIS, Associated Press

A Greek court has been asked to draw the line between the natives of the Aegean Sea island of Lesbos and the world’s gay women.

Three islanders from Lesbos — home of the ancient poet Sappho, who praised love between women — have taken a gay rights group to court for using the word lesbian in its name.

One of the plaintiffs said Wednesday that the name of the association, Homosexual and Lesbian Community of Greece, “insults the identity” of the people of Lesbos, who are also known as Lesbians.

My sister can’t say she is a Lesbian,” said Dimitris Lambrou. “Our geographical designation has been usurped by certain ladies who have no connection whatsoever with Lesbos,” he said.

The three plaintiffs are seeking to have the group barred from using “lesbian” in its name and filed a lawsuit on April 10. The other two plaintiffs are women.

Also called Mytilene, after its capital, Lesbos is famed as the birthplace of Sappho. The island is a favored holiday destination for gay women, particularly the lyric poet’s reputed home town of Eressos.

“This is not an aggressive act against gay women,” Lambrou said. “Let them visit Lesbos and get married and whatever they like. We just want (the group) to remove the word lesbian from their title.”

He said the plaintiffs targeted the group because it is the only officially registered gay group in Greece to use the word lesbian in its name. The case will be heard in an Athens court on June 10.

Sappho lived from the late 7th to the early 6th century B.C. and is considered one of the greatest poets of antiquity. Many of her poems, written in the first person and intended to be accompanied by music, contain passionate references to love for other women.

Lambrou said the word lesbian has only been linked with gay women in the past few decades. “But we have been Lesbians for thousands of years,” said Lambrou, who publishes a small magazine on ancient Greek religion and technology that frequently criticizes the Christian Church.

Very little is known of Sappho’s life. According to some ancient accounts, she was an aristocrat who married a rich merchant and had a daughter with him. One tradition says that she killed herself by jumping off a cliff over an unhappy love affair.

Lambrou says Sappho was not gay. “But even if we assume she was, how can 250,000 people of Lesbian descent — including women — be considered homosexual?”

The Homosexual and Lesbian Community of Greece could not be reached for comment.

 

The adolescent in me just spent the last 20 minutes giggling at this news article. The adult in me wants to say, “Uh…you just now figured out that ‘lesbian’ doesn’t always mean people from a tiny Greek island?”

For every guy who has ever made some dorky quip about being a lesbian (and, by the way, that line is old so please stop using it), just imagine that you could move to Greece and actually apply to become a Lesbian. Maybe even sell t-shirts. I’m seeing something like those “Virginia is for lovers” shirts everyone seemed to have when I was a kid. Maybe “Lesbos is for Lesbians”. And think of the great jokes they must have there: “An Orthodox priest, a goat herder, and fishermonger walk into a Lesbian bar…”

Ok. I’ll admit it. I’m still childishly giggling.

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You are coming with me, dead or alive. First, try the fish & chips.

Robotic vigilante: Homemade ‘Bum Bot’ patrols in Atlanta

By GREG BLUESTEIN, Associated Press WriterWed Apr 23, 12:00 AM ET

Cars passing O’Terrill’s pub screech to a halt at the sight of a 300-pound, waist-high robot marked “SECURITY” rolling through downtown long after dark.

The regulars hardly glance outside. They’ve seen bar owner Rufus Terrill’s invention on patrol before — its bright red lights and even brighter spot light blazing, infrared video camera filming and water cannon at the ready in the spinning turret on top.

“You’re trespassing. That’s private property,” Terrill scolds an older man through the robot’s loudspeaker. The man is sitting at the edge of the driveway to a child care center down the street. “Go on.”

The man’s hands go up and he shuffles into the shadows. Almost immediately, a group of men behind him scatters too.

The Bum Bot’s reputation, it seems, has preceded it.

The electronic vigilante — on the beat since September — has enraged neighborhood activists, who have threatened protests. Street people say it’s intimidating. And homeless advocates question the intentions of its inventor, who uses the Bum Bot as a marketing tool and a political prop.

Terrill, a 57-year-old ex-Marine, asserts his motives are pure: He says more police now patrol the area at night, the park across the street feels safer and he’s had no break-ins since the cube-shaped robot, which Terrill controls with a wireless remote, has roamed the area. To Henrik Christensen, director of Georgia Tech’s Robotics and Intelligent Machines Center, the Bum Bot exploits the kind of anxiety that underlies the Terminator movies.

“We have a Hollywood picture that they’re going to run amok, kill people and do bad things. This Bum Bot plays on that stereotype,” Christensen says. “For the rest of us who want to use technology to assist people in their daily lives, it’s an obstacle.” (Read full article HERE)

You mean “Bum Bot” has nothing to do with heineys? I only clicked on this article because I thought the Sony Asimo had gone on the rampage and started grabbing himself a little ass. Ah, well. When the machines take over the earth, there will be plenty of good Benny Hill-style robot cheekiness.

As I was reading this article, one thought kept flashing in my mind that had absolutely nothing to do with the controversy over his vigilante tactics. That thought: “This guy is going to get shot.”

Here’s this local businessman trying to find ways to clean up his neighborhood and protect his financial interests. He’s tried calling the police, he’s even tried carrying a shotgun around, but to little success. Criminals, drug addicts, and vagrants continue to hang around and stir up trouble. So he decides to build his own Robocop. He can videotape crimes, spray evil doers with water, and communicate with them via a remote bradcast link. No human risk of life, right?

Wrong. All it’s going to take is the wrong drug slinger caught on camera and Terrill’s number is going to be up. Possibly his family’s lives and maybe his bar patrons as well. While I applaud his creativity, you wouldn’t catch me walking into his pub. One minute I’ll be yelling for the bartender to hurry the hell up with that stupid 5-minute pour Guiness, the next I’ll be sprawled on the foor telling him to cancel the pint and just bring me a defribillator.

Now, as to Terrill’s personal assault on crime… Geez. That is a toughie for me. This probably will not win me any Miss Popularity awards, but I have to admit that I get where he’s coming from. Broad social responsibility has gone the way of the dodo in the last few decades (regular readers already know who I blame, so I’ll leave those guys out of this one. But you know I’m thinking it.). In its wake, we have a big ol’ ring of activists, administrators, and well-meaning but blissfully isolated citizens who scream about the suffering this causes the rule-breakers and mentally impaired roaming the streets. When push comes to shove, this whole battle turns into a NIMBY issue: leave these poor creatures alone…unless they are on my doorstep and then it’s ‘game on’. Therefore, most of what those people have to say generally doesn’t even penetrate my eardrums.

Nature abhors a vaccuum and that lack of societal policing is going to lead to someone else filling the gap. And what you may get are strongarm methods. They’re a function of frustration, in my opinion. Groups like the Guardian Angels decided might was more important than right and, for the good they’ve done, they’ve inflicted a lot of unecessary fear and pain. It can go even further. Bernie Goetz is an extreme example of judge, jury, and executioner in one mentally unbalanced person.

So what of Robocop? I think Terrill may be onto a semi-decent idea, but best to leave it up to the designated experts — short-handed and under-paid as they may be. The police are sworn to uphold the law. Uphold it, not interpret it for their own means and benefit, which is what Terrill is essentially doing. Like I said, I understand his position and I’m not sure I wouldn’t do they same (except that my robot would be more like a remote control Barbie convertible with a piece of crap Craig’s list 16mm movie camera duct taped on top). But I’d like to see the Atlanta police step in and take over his “program”.

I also wonder how many times Terrill has made the robot say “Stay out of trouble.” I would give it hidden prime directives like “All forms of melon must be destroyed because it is disgusting.”

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Movie quote of the day

She’s gone. She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen.
— Lloyd Dobler gets his heart ripped out of his chest by Diane Court (Say Anything)

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Gee, thanks for finally telling the truth.

I am mad. So mad I can hardly contain myself.

I’ve just finished reading an article about a man who has been wrongly imprisoned for murder for 26 years.  Andrew Wilson, who died in prison last year, had flat-out confessed to his lawyers that he was the sole shooter in a 1982 killing. Not only was Alton Logan not responsible for the murder of a guard at a McDonald’s, the killer didn’t even know him!

So here is why I am angry:

The lawyers knew Logan was innocent. They wrote an affidavit of what they had heard Wilson confess — and then they sealed the envelope and stuck it in a box for 26 long years. They did not tell anyone that Logan was innocent because (wait for it…) it was against the client-lawyer privilege.

“(T)hey felt powerless — aware of information that could free a man they believed to be innocent, but unable to do anything with that knowledge.”

Dale Coventry and Jamie Kunz, the lawyers on the case, are painted as some sort of heroes in the article for finally digging out the affidavit that could free Logan from prison. Heroes. So while the heroes were golfing at the country club, vacationing with their families, living a life of relative ease, an innocent man was doing hard time in an Illinois pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

They never once risked their careers or put themselves out there to save this man. I understand that there are laws against breaking privilege, but sometimes you need to take your chances. If you get punished for doing right, then it is the law that is screwed up, and being prominent lawyers they probably could have done some cool stuff to fix it. 

Instead, they just sat on the information and told themselves they were good men, while Alton Logan lost his entire life. He has no country club membership, no vacation photos. He doesn’t even have a wife and kids! He’s in his fifties now, still sitting in Joliet and hoping they will free him (because even that is not a guarantee due to the crazy legal system).

An innocent man went to prison and a group of self-righteous jerks clucked their tongues and said, “Oh, I wish I could help. Sorry.”

Big heroes, huh?

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Davy Jones Dance

Actually, Jack, it’s ‘Daydream Believer’. I had to sing half the stupid song in my head to remember what it was.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjV8YjDiwe8

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Quit being lazy, Axl!

On March 26, 2008, various media outlets reported that Dr Pepper will offer a free can of Dr Pepper to everyone in America — excluding former Guns N’ Roses guitarists Buckethead and Slash — if the band releases Chinese Democracy in 2008. Later on March 26, Rose replied to Dr Pepper on Guns N’ Roses’ official website and spoke of his surprise at Dr Pepper’s support. Rose also said he would share his Dr Pepper with Buckethead as “some of Buckethead’s performances are on [Chinese Democracy]”.  Dr Pepper, however, has not publicly acknowledged any of the rumors of support for this album. [Source]

LOL. Buckethead. I love that. Buckethead is apparently some random guitarist who played with G+R for a while. Guess who replaced him? Bumblefoot!! OMG. You can’t make that kind of comedy up, y’all!

So, by now, everyone has probably heard that the groovy marketing department at Dr. Pepper has offered a free can of their sugar swill to everyone in the US if Axl will take time out from his busy plastic surgery and cornrow schedule to finish this supposed masterpiece that the band began in 1994. Supposedly, some tracks do exist but all I can see is that they have a catchy title for the stupid album and I kind of doubt it’s going to be any good even if Axl gets off his flabby pale arse and finishes it. I know. I’m one of the few people who bought “Spaghetti Incident”. Egads, that was awful.

However, I do like Dr. Pepper. Add a little rum and I can sit through any lame “masterpiece” Axl can dish out. Ok. Maybe alot of rum. 

Don’t go running to Vegas to put any odds on this mess being released in 2008. Princess Axl has thrown press releases on the wire in the past saying it was nearly ready. And still we wait with (not so) baited breath. China will actually BE a democracy before this crap is in a Walmart near you.

BTW, just wanted to note this about Axl Rose: ever notice that he stole Davy Jones’ sway dance? You know, the one he does on “The Monkees” when he’s singing that stupid song about the bluebird waking him up or some such nonsense? Always annoyed me that Axl lifted that dance, then had the nerve to do it in a kilt. Thieving bastard.

In other Dr. Pepper news, what’s up with David “I’m a Pepper” Naughton getting busted for domestic battery? Was it the sugar that got to him? The fact that he has werewolf blood? Or was it just his bad satin jacket in the “Makin’ It” video? Damn. I had a satin jacket too. Pink with a roller skate on the back. I’m very angry that it’s not in style now because it was the bomb. Makes me feel violent…like maybe I should go challenge Axl to a muy Thai battle to the death. Don’t mess with Davy Jones.

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Oooie GUI

Oh, WordPress. Why hath you abandoned me?

My gracious host for this site, WordPress, once had a nice administrative user interface. It was easy to navigate, straightforward, and fast. Last week, they decided to push out some sort of new version, for no reason I can surmise. And, as is common with all of us in software, they decided to restructure the whole flipping thing — rendering it a confusing, slow, and nearly unusable mess. Publishing posts (espcially with images) is much more complicated and time-consuming now for me.

So why did they do this, you may ask? I don’t really know. But I’ll let you in on a little secret about software engineers: they hate you.

Engineers love to tinker and change their products, though they hate fixing problems; they only like working on the sexy stuff, like UIs and silly user features. So just when you, the user, get nice and comfy with something, the engineering team comes along and changes it because, they say, you want something different. Uh. No you don’t. You just want stuff to work. I know this, you know this, but engineers apparently don’t.

So, WordPress engineering gets the finger today.

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