Robot Could Keep Miss U.S. on her Feet

Do you think this European initiative to create a less clumsy robot might help Miss U.S. stay on her feet for her next pageant?

It was a perfectly graceful fall…watch the video on MSNBC.

Put this story together with this John Kenneth Galbraith quote, “If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error,” and you get our Question of the Day….Are you brave enough to share your most spectacular error?

I came in this morning to find I failed to save any of my work from yesterday afternoon. Instead of a final edit before shipping my work out for review I had to start over.

Then there’s that time I fell crossing the street at UT….there was nothing graceful about that…

SCOTUS Speaks to Skirts at Work

Sue for wage discrimination fast. You don’t have time to ask questions.

With a Supreme Court decision making news today, you have exactly 180 days from the minute your employer determines your salary to investigate the salaries of your male co-workers and assess whether or not you’re a victim of wage discrimination.

No time for rational conversation. No time to address the situation as a professional and work with your employer to resolve your concerns.

The discriminatory act, the initial determination of your salary which could happen before you even report for your first day on the job, must have occurred within the 180 days immediately previous to the day you file suit. You may not know the protocol for ordering additional supplies but you better know the salaries of your male co-workers, the company’s system for addressing grievances, and how to make that system work quickly enough to wade through the whole process works in 180 days.

Let’s step it up Sharp Skirts…demand a higher salary before you accept the job!

Speaking of Sharp Skirts, there’s one under a fancy lace collar and black robe on the Supreme Court. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the dissenting opinion and took the extra step of reading it from the bench. She is convinced her five male colleagues sitting in the majority on this decision don’t get it…

“In our view, this court does not comprehend, or is indifferent to, the insidious way in which
women
can be victims of pay discrimination.” She noted that Ledbetter’s pay started out comparable to what men were earning but slipped over time.Ginsburg

Ginsburg said Ledbetter faced an impossible choice: sue early and probably lose a half-baked case, or wait until the evidence is strong enough to win and be told she sued too late. Siding with Ginsburg were justices Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens.

That’s a Sharp Skirt who got the last word on a decision good for business without a hint of a concern for civil liberties.

God, Guns, and Cancer

Stepwinder’s post on Tom Craddick reminded me that we all need to know exactly what occurred in this 80th session. Even if you aren’t a Texas resident, you should be aware of the ridiculous-ness perpetuated in Austin’s hallowed halls. If our country insists on electing someone like Mitt Romney or, Christ In a Sidecar, Mike Huckabee, rest assured this is America’s future.

The Dallas Morning News has a good overview of the winners and losers this legislative session, while the Austin American-Statesman features a more comprehensive list. Some to note:

–The Bible can now be taught in public high schools and restrictions on religious expression in schools are gone. Winners: your children, who will now receive much-needed training in the spurning of religious nuts that cross their path.

–Concealed weapons permits are no longer public record; homeowners can now shoot first and ask questions later on their property. Winner: rednecks

-Three billion over the next ten years to fund cancer research aimed at a cure. Winner: everyone

–Perry’s attempt at mandating the cervical cancer vaccine for all sixth-grade girls has been blocked. Winner: cancer (so does this cancel out the $3 billion?)

–The attempt to force women seeking abortions to undergo ultrasounds failed. Winners: reason, logic, humanity as a whole

Soldier Down: Nathan now 1 of 3,728

I knew him during my first year of teaching in 1997. I don’t remember much of that first year but I recognized his name on the news last week as they read those being added to the memorial at Fort Hood.

Now 7th grade isn’t kind to anyone and Nathan was no exception. A relatively small boy, he was all smile with a great big heart. I don’t intend to memorialize a 7th grader as though he never grew up to be that brave young man who died in Iraq but it was his smile I first recognized when I turned to the web to learn more about who he had become. His story is a hero’s story and one I’d like to share this Memorial Day.

In a letter he wrote in June 2006, Nathan described his days in Iraq as some of the worst days of his life and the goal he lists on his Myspace survey was to live through Iraq. He still found the strength to run into danger in aid of a fellow soldier. Nathan hoped to get his comrade to safety but the ambush didn’t provide any. Two American soldiers were gunned down that day…neither one of them alone. Reading the comments on many of the military pages I’ve provided will reveal this wasn’t a single act of heroism for Nathan. Everyday in Iraq calls for a courage few of us at home can imagine.

I’m one tough sharp skirt but soldiers’ stories make me weep. Our commitments overseas demand so much of our men and women in service and that’s rarely included in our political debates. Read the rest of this entry »

The Privilege of Tom Craddick

The final weekend of the Texas Legislature’s 80th session has grabbed attention from coast to coast and even in the UK. An incredibly shallow and short-sighted story of Texas politics is feeding the beast of the Texas mystique and people around the world are convinced, again, that we’re still playing games with the law like it’s the wild, wild west. Only in Texas could an elected state official declare his absolute authority as if any American system of government could tolerate such a thing.

Representatives weary of Craddick’s iron fist challenged the speaker as the session started in January and are now more resolved than ever to remove him before the session ends.

From the LA Times:

Craddick’s third two-year term does not expire until the next legislative session convenes in January 2009, but discontent in the chamber is fueling a plot to force him out before the session ends Monday. In the last week, four Republicans have filed candidacies to be speaker if Craddick is ousted.

Capping a week of simmering discord, Rep. Fred Hill — one of the candidates — made a request Friday night that would allow the 150-member chamber to vote to oust Craddick. Craddick refused to recognize Hill to make the motion.

Hill then asked to allow the House to vote to appeal the decision.

“The speaker’s discretion to recognize a member on a motion on any matter is unappealable,” Craddick responded.

He’s right. The motion to vacate the speaker’s chair is a privileged motion. That’s undeniable. That it makes sense for any elected official in a democratic system to declare himself above the will of the people or their elected representatives, however, makes no sense at all. The story ran throughout the entire weekend with a Parliamentarian in tears resigning her position, sergeant-at-arms physically restraining a rush for the podium, and a walk out by representatives making a show of force.

It isn’t the first time Speaker Craddick has wanted for wisdom. Lost in the wrasslin’ match for the podium is the recent news about a civil lawsuit filed against Craddick and his lobbyist “roommate,” Bill Messer.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Painted Whores

Gawker Media is like the Conde Nast of blog publishing: they’ve spun out oodles of blogs on all manner of subjects and have become something of a juggernaut in the once-independent blogging world. From politics at Wonkette to entertainment at Defamer to Silicon Valley gossip at Valleywag – they’ve even got porn covered at Fleshbot. These all operate much like the magazines they deride, with editors and interns and salaried writers posting multiple items a day. They’re also witty and entertaining to read, for the most part.

Gawker’s latest blog, introduced last week, has me flummoxed. With the tagline “Celebrity, Sex, Fashion. Without Airbrushing,” Jezebel‘s aim is to point a skewered fingernail at the ridiculousness of women’s magazines. Its manifesto lists The Five Great Lies of Women’s Magazines. Fabulous. Go for it. They’re all a bunch of crap anyway. Read the rest of this entry »

Hillary Needs a Campaign (song)

There’s much buzz about Hillary’s latest attempt to go interactive…she wants our help picking a campaign song. The suggestion in her YouTube appeal that this is one of the most important issues of her campaign is worth a guttural groan (my response) or a good-hearted enough giggle.

Either way, it’s worth a response. This initiative isn’t just out of touch…it’s out of orbit. One of the choices is “I’m a Believer” by Smash Mouth! That is worthy of at least six different rants. Then there’s “Right Here, Right Now” by Jesus Jones which I prayed to have heard for the last time after graduating high school.

Committed to the process, I can’t overlook such a passionate appeal from the supposed Democratic front runner. The whole proposition has me singing Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab…”

“No, No, No…”

But I’m sure the SharpSkirts p.o.v. can still make this work for Clinton. Here’s what I”m thinking…

The new Linkin Park album is on constant rotation in my world, so I’d like to suggest “Hands Held High.”It features a prominent snare drum daring everyone who listens to join the cause…

we march to the drum and
jump when they tell us that they wanna see jumping
fuck that/I wanna see some fists pumping
risk something/take back what’s yours
say something that you know they might attack you for
cause I’m sick of being treated like I have before
like it’s stupid standing for what I’m standing for
like this war’s really just a different brand of war
like it doesn’t cater to rich and abandon poor

Bonus feature: If Candidate Clinton hears the message that accompanies the beat, she just might find a campaign as well as a song!